How Do Oil Spills Happen?

Author: James Hunt

When we hear about an oil spill that has occurred in some part of the world we may be unaware of just how much oil has been spilled into either the water or on land. When we are talking about an oil spill, we are talking about a huge amount of oil that can do serious damage to the environment in which it was spilled.

How do Oil Spills happen?

Oil spills into rivers; bays and oceans are caused by accidents that usually involve tankers, barges, or refineries. Usually the oil is being transported to another part of the world for various reasons. People who by some form or another make mistakes or are being careless in what they are doing cause the spills themselves. Oil spills are not always caused by human mistake however; sometime machinery can break down which cause oil to spill out into the surrounding environment.

What happens when oil spills occur?

If an oil spill occurs in the ocean, the oil itself will float in salt water. It has been found that if the oil spill occurs in fresh water there is a good chance that the oil will float on top of the water as well. Believe it or not this is a good thing. This means that the oil is confined to the surface of the water, which makes containing the spill a little easier. The problem is that in water the oil will spread out quickly over the surface of the water. The more time the oil is left in the water the more it will spread out to cover a wider surface area, which can have a negative impact on the rate at which it can be contained and corrected.

When oil spills occur in the ocean there is always a chance that the marine life as well as birds and other animals will be negatively affected. Some oil spills have a greater impact on the wildlife then others, but no spill is good. Birds and other animals that are covered in fur, the oil itself actually destroys or breaks down the insulating ability of the fur. For birds, if the fur is covered in oil, the water-repelling abilities of the fur are affected. This exposed the animals to the harsh elements of the environments in which they live. There have been many animals killed as a result of oil spills in the oceans around the world.

Who takes care of Oils Spills?

When an oil spill occurs, who takes care of the problem? There are various, local and federal agencies that can be called upon to take care of oil spills. No matter who is called to take care of the spill the methods employed to clean up the spill are the same. Some agencies will be better equipped to clean up bigger spills whereas local agencies and organizations can handle the smaller, less dangerous spills. It is a criminal offence not to report an oil spill and failure to do so can result in jail time.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/how-do-oil-spills-happen-10934.html

About the Author

James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest.
Read more at www.oil-spills-central.info

3 thoughts on “How Do Oil Spills Happen?

  1. Oil Spill Eater II
    Testing of OSE II by Dr. Tsao of British Petroleum
    BioChem Strike Team Leader

    Regarding the Effectiveness of OSE II Remediating Oil from Deepwater Horizon, Blow Out, Gulf of Mexico
    British Petroleum tested Oil Spill Eater II at Louisiana State University. Relevant sections of BP’s BCST (Bio Chem Strike Team) test results are posted.
    British Petroleum formed the Bio Chem Strike Team (BCST). Under the direction of Dr. Tsao, BCST was established in response to the Deepwater Horizon incident by the Alternative Response Technology (ART) program. The BCST consisted of experts from BP, LSU, LDEQ (Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality), USCG (U.S. Coast Guard), OSPR (California), SCAT, and highly experienced oil spill response consultants. Furthermore, BCST operated in conjunction EPA and NOAA.
    The tests were conducted with Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry EPA test procedures. PAH and Alkane degradation was quantified.
    OSE II showed a great ability to remediate PAH’s, and Alkanes. By the conclusion of the testing time frame, OSE II remediated 80% of both components of the oil. Based on total concentration levels of the PAH’s OSE II actually remediated 200 %of the PAH’s or 162% of the total of both oil fractions.
    released by BP which ended up in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana.
    This test by a major oil company is the second major testing of OSE II on two of the largest spills on water in the history of Earth caused by Man. Exxon tested OSE II in 1989 and discovered OSE II was the most effective product on Alaskan Crude oil from the Valdez spill.
    BP has now successfully tested OSE II on their spill in the Gulf of Mexico which is over 600,000,000 gallons of oil spilled.
    Dr. Tsao wrote “After nearly one year since the Deepwater Horizon spill, residual weathered oil remains in many locations. The need for a field trial to establish operational criteria for final bioremediation work plans should be initiated before early Spring 2011.”
    The OSEI Corporation after over 16,000 spill clean ups in the past 21½ years, stated the logistics in regard to the successful application of OSE II were worked out some time ago.
    The remediation of the PAH’s also verifies that OSE II is an effective first response bioremediation product, and has benefits:
    ) causes the oil to float which limits the negative toxic impact to the water column or ocean floor of the oil and dispersant
    ) reduction of the adhesion properties so the oil cannot stick to birds, grass, rock or sand on shorelines
    ) elimination of fire hazard
    ) proven non-toxic by the numerous toxicity tests, you can safely wash your hands with it, the TV news program in which Retired Rear Admiral Lively drank some of it
    ) OSE II causes the oil to float, because of the method in which it goes to work on the oil, it is still very difficult to see
    ) defined end point of turning the oil into water and CO2
    OSE II is the best and only needed oil spill response that will, even at this late date, remediate oil and dispersant currently in the Gulf.

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