2-Month Long Oil Leak?!?!

by David King on October 24, 2009

So in case you’ve missed it, an oil rig in the Timor Sea (off the Northern coast of Australia) has been leaking for two months. Tomorrow will be the Thai-based company’s FOURTH (yes, not 1st, not 2nd, not 3rd, but 4th!) attempt at repairing the leak, which began in late August and has resulted in a slick covering an area of several thousand square kilometers. Leaking at a rate of 400 barrels of oil PER DAY, 1200 tonnes of oil had been dumped by Sept. 14th alone (and yup, it’s continued leaking for 6 weeks since then).

So what’s going on in terms of conservation and clean-up? Not enough it seems…other than dropping chemicals to disperse the oil, as seen in the picture above, and attempting to monitor things. And why hasn’t the Australian government done more? Apparently there’s been a challenge in acquiring accurate and sufficient information about the extent of the slick (huh?). Needless to say, environmentalists are severely concerned about the impact of this spill, which has occurred in an area which is rich in marine life. Government officials are also very concerned – especially now that it may be affecting THE LIVELIHOOD OF FISHERMEN!

Need I say more? Quite bothersome…and sad. Glad to hear that government officials are worried about the fishermen though, and the people who are going to eat the fish. Oh wait a minute, I almost forgot…the World Wildlife Fund has been voicing major concerns about dolphins and other marine animals who have been SWIMMING in the oil for WEEKS! Glad to know they’re being heard. Something is seriously wrong here. Are we ever going to overcome this colossal disconnect???

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” (Edward O. Wilson)

Here’s hoping the fourth time’s a charm…

UPDATE: So, looks like the 4th attempt also failed…and, looks like the leak is getting much worse – it’s now estimated at 2000 barrels of oil per day.

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