Environmental problems related tohuman industrial activitiesEnvironmentalproblems:Environmental problems are the results of adverseeffect of human activities on the environment which includes over population,pollution, soil degradation, deforestation, resource depletion etc Now-a-days, humans adversely affect the environment bynumber of ways like they are increasing the pollution, natural resources are depleting-cuttingof trees etc, water quantity is decreasing, emission of green house etc.PurposeThe purpose of this report is to research about the maincauses of the oil spill. To investigate, we have chosen Deep water horizon oilspill and our research work was focused on the oil spill that happened in 2010.Furthermore we’ll also include why the oil spill was happened, what are therecauses and who was responsible for that oil spill. We also incorporate itssolutions and recommendations in this research.IntroductionThe Deep water horizon oil spill is a disaster thatwas happened on 20th April, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico in the depthof more than 18000 feet in the sea.
BP and its contributors were drilling wellof the Maconda oil in the Gulf of Mexcio and cementing was done in the steelcovering of the well. Suddenly a dangerous methane gas rose up to the surfaceof the sea that caused an explosion and everything was on fire and DeepwaterHorizon drilling rig was collapsed and destroyed. It was in the final stagewhen the explosion was happened. The sink was completely destroyed that even 11crew members out of 126 were also lost at that time. 17 people were alsoinjured in the incident.
Due to explosion after such a great disaster, therewas an uncontrolled leakage of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The number of effortswas made to control that leakage but everything was in vain. After threemonths.
Leakage was controlled and well was sealed after a loss of almost 500million barrels of oil. The researcher further more depicts that the disasterwas caused not because of the technical mistake but also a human error (Flournoy, 2011). The deep waterhorizon oil spill is known by its several names like BP oil disaster, Gulf ofMexico, BP oil spill and Maconda blowout. That oil spill is considered as thelargest oil spill of the world in the petroleum industry covered almost 84 days.The casualties in the explosion of the DeepwaterHorizon included 11 crew (workers) and 17 others were injured. Whenthe deep water Horizon explosion was happened, the rig was piercingLiterature ReviewJonathan L. Ramseur (2010) described in hisstudy that the cause of explosion were the release of hydrocarbons like naturalgas and oil etc. He described in his research work of the factors that impacton the fate of the oil spill are numerous like complexity of natural processes, oil chemical composition and its location.
He said that in 2010 the dischargeof crude oil is relatively in lesser quantity than the other oil hence itevaporate more quickly as depicted in the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL REPORT -OIL IN THE SEA III (2003) that evaporation caneliminate the 1/3rd portion of the average crude oil within the 1st day ofdischarge. Natural processes also affect along with location of spill like thetemperature of warmer water will accelerate natural processes of dissolution,biodegradation and evaporation etc.(John M. Hayes, 2011) Illustratesthat the hydrocarbons that are water soluble is having implications in the deepwater oil spill. His research indicates that a great volume of water solublecompounds and hydrocarbons like C1-C3 keep there in the deep water and the petroleumcompounds that are insoluble were send to the surface of the sea. He concludedin his research that “In the case of the Deepwater Horizon oilspill, however, gas and oil experienced a significant residence time in thewater column with no opportunity for the release of volatile species to theatmosphere.
Hence, water-soluble petroleum compounds dissolved into the watercolumn to a much greater extent than is typically observed for surface spills” (John M. Hayes, 2011)(Richard Camilli, 2010) Concludesthat after deep water explosion more than 400 million barrel of oil wasreleased into the Gulf of Mexico that is app. 636 million litres. Its depth isabout 1500 m below the surface of the sea. Evidence shows that the deepwater horizon oil spill isthe largest marine oil spill that happened in April 2010. Apart of its durationof stay and its size, it is different from the previous spell because ofvarious factors like the discharge of spill is not only of oil but a largeamount of natural gas was also released.
Also because the spill is in deep seaocean, some components of oil and almost all components of gas stay in the deepsea forming plumes of hydrocarbons in the depth of 1000-1300 m of the sea. Thedangerous components of hydrocarbons were also contained in the oil plumesalong with non-gaseous components such as total xylenes (BTEX), toluene, benzene and methylbenzene. In the deepsea ocean, the temperature was 4 to 6 degree centigrade, and the temperaturedirectly affects the physical properties of oil and microbial physiology, bothof these components ultimately influence degrading bacteria of hydrocarbons (Molly C. Redmond & Paul G.
, 2011). Alyson C. Flournoy (2011) described thatseveral lessons have to be learned from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spilldisaster. By adpting these measures, wewill reduce the risk of future disasters in the economy. “The threemeta-lessons are to endeavor to: (1) learn from the next disaster; (2) learnfrom the blueprint of the disaster; and (3) learn from the context of thedisaster” (Flournoy, 2011).The government and the industry should work together toestablish safety and a culture that facilitate them to learn from theirmistakes .It also depicts the phenomena of “hollow government”, the resouceslacked by the government and they have the power to protect the interest of thegeneral public .
CausesThe major cause that why explosionwas happened is the cement failure at the bottom of the bore and the bore wasnot sealed at that time that results into the elimination or discharge of oiland gas from the pipeline and was spreading all the Gulf surface. This wasbasically a human and mechanical error that the natural gas was enabled under aterrific pressure to discharge onto a drilling stage, and hence explosion takesplace and it took almost 85-87 days to gain into control. The deep waterhorizon and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was also caused because they didn’tincorporate adequate cement between the production casing (7-inch) andprotection casing (7/8 inch). The failure of BOP is also a issue but it’ssecondary.The Gulf of Mexico is contaminatedalso and explosion may also results because of poor risk management and alsobecause staff are not well trained by the companies. The disaster of deepwaterhorizon revealed the systematic weaknesses of oil and gas adminsitration.
In the newspaper of THE NEW YORK TIMESpublished on 14 SEP, 2011 by John M. Broder, his report says that the maincause of disaster of Deepwater Horizon was a cement failure at the 18,000 depthof the well that was also supposed that it include hydrocarbons like gas andoil. Mechanical errors and human failures are also the reasons of thisdisaster.RecommendationsIn this case of deepwater horizon,crew members performed various pressure tests in order to determine either wellwas sealed or not. The results of these tests were misinterpreted by them andthought that the well was under their control. Staff should be trained enough tocope up with these emergency situations if and when required. Like in this caseof deep water horizon,pressure tests were conducted but misinterpreted by them(crew).
If they were sure that the well was properly sealed by having correct pressuretests attempted from time to time then situation will be different and can savefrom such explosion. But the crew weretrained enough to cope up with these challenge and hence explosion happenedbecause of these reasons. In this case, the attempt was to use the mechanism ofblowout preventer (BOP) which was failed for sealing of the well. A vehiclethat was opreated remotely should have to be use for BOP’s auto-shear mechanismactiavtion. The purpose of this is to either block or cut the pipe thatdelivers oil to the depth of the gulf surface.
A battery for BOP:When the disaster happened and the control lines werecompletely destroyed after that huge explosion, the crew was closing the safetyvalves from the BOP (blowout preventer). There should a safety mechanism in ablowout preventer which incorporates two separate systems to automaticallyswitch off the valves whenever BOP lost contact with the surface. In one systemit should have a battery and the second one – a switch. Gas alarm:The system of gas alarm should be properly configured.A gas detection system was available in the rig also having the alarm and triggered the closure of ventilation fans to prevent the gasreaching potential causes of ignition, such as the rig’s engines.Blowout Preventer (BoP):If the BoP was properly working (which sitson the ocean floor over the top of the well borehole) and was properly testedby the crew and the crew are trained enough that they can easily detect themixture of gas and mud gathered on the surface of the rig before the explosion.The crew can close the valve of the BoP