2016 Major Tanker Spill

The International Oil Spill Response Technical Seminar brought together over 150 representatives of national government, oil industry and oil spill response companies and shows China is beginning to take oil spill preparations seriously.  A variety of topics were discussed in various sessions including legal, management, and engineering issues.  For example the International Maritime Organization presented on… Read more »

Houston-area petrochemical plants growing concern

Thanks to our friends at Axios, NPR, Vox, and the army of local and national media for their great reporting efforts going on across the Gulf right now.  This post is gleaned from a range of news feeds. Arkema Plant We have new reports of two explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas… Read more »

2 Years Ago Today

Two years ago today (about 18 hours after the initial release), our field teams were onsite at El Capitan State Beach monitoring sandy beach conditions just prior to the arrival of the spreading oil slick from the Plains All American Pipeline break’s epicenter at Refugio State Beach.  We’ve learned much over the ensuing two years… Read more »

Coaled Feet

This via our friends at Tulane’s TUWaterWays:   A proposed coal terminal in Plaquemines Parish is coming into conflict with the Coastal Master Plan, leading to questions about the future of a major restoration project in the Plan. In addition to the proposed terminal, the new facility, owned by Ram Terminals, would include a railroad… Read more »

Oral History of the 1969 SB Spill

To some, the impact of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill was environmental.  To be sure there was ecological harm all around (see any of my old lectures if you are curious about that).  But the bigger impacts were upon the burgeoning Environmental Movement, igniting of a generation of environmental activism, birthing a new paradigm/cultural… Read more »

Venoco Bankrupt

Wow!  Our venerable, longtime offshore and coastal oil and gas producer here in Ventura and Santa Barbara–Venoco–has shuttered operations and is entering bankruptcy.  On Monday (April 17, 2017), Venoco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. This was their second filing within the past year for Bankruptcy protection, but all… Read more »

BP’s Alaskan Well Blowout

British Petroleum’s (BP) oil and gas well on Alaska’s Northern Slope (formally the BPXA Flow Station 1 Drill Site 2 Well 3 Release) that blew out on Friday continues to spill petroleum.  The remoteness of the site translates into essentially all the info coming from BP (or via state authorities who are in turn passing… Read more »

River Spill

We are in southern Louisiana with my ESRM 492: Service Learning in New Orleans class.  Today we head down to lower Plaquemines Parish and it just so happens at 2am this morning we had a small spill of oil in the river.  Details are still flowing in and the Coast Guard are responding, but so… Read more »

Chennai Oil Spill

Our friends in India are battling a new oil spill that began in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 28, 2017.  The cargo ships BM Maple (UK flagged) and Dawn Kanchipuram (Indian flagged) collided about 4 km outside the mouth of Kamrajar Harbor, itself about 24 km north of Chennai Port, Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.  The Dawn… Read more »

Ballooning Plastic

A few distinct, but unrelated experiences have brought the issue of plastic balloons in the ocean into frequent conversation this week. It began with last Saturday’s annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.  I happened to be out on Santa Cruz Island with my son’s Boy Scout Troop.  Our 30 scouts made quick work of the debris… Read more »

Latest
  • The worth of our Beaches

    Sandy Beaches are everything to us here in Southern California, a central pillar of both our cultural identity and economic engine.  They are where we birthed surf culture (on beaches like Huntington and Surfrider), invented beach volleyball (on beaches like Manhattan Beach and Redondo), trained our young people to fight the axis powers of WWII… Read more »

  • Oil at Coal Oil Point: Pipeline or Seep?

        The University of California’s Natural Reserve System (NRS) is an incredible network of protected areas spanning the state of California.  These areas provide much needed spaces wherein researchers can study California ecosystems minimally impacted (and yes, I know that is a relative term) by our voracious appetite to burn, pave, and manipulate all we… Read more »

  • Oil Spill Trigger Disaster Designation on CA Coast: HuffPost Live

    I was on Huffington Post Live this afternoon.  I wasn’t able to finish my thought (Real Housewives were apparently on deck). But if I had, I would have noted that our clean-up technology hasn’t kept pace with our drilling/extraction technology.  And that you can have all the regulations you like, but it is the government… Read more »

  • Oil Spill Sizes

    See our oil spill size comparison in our research section.

  • Santa Barbara oil spill: Pipeline operator has long record of problems

    The oil pipeline rupture at Refugio State Beach may have spilled as much as 105,000 gallons of crude, authorities said. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) Source: Santa Barbara oil spill: Pipeline operator has long record of problems – LA Times

  • Santa Barbara oil spill: 7 aerial photos that show the fallout

    Source: Santa Barbara oil spill: 7 aerial photos that show the fallout – LA Times

  • Environmentalists seize on latest Santa Barbara oil spill – US News

    GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — More than 6,000 gallons of oil had been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast in a cleanup effort that is now going 24 hours a day, officials said, but that’s some of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline…. Read more »

  • California Oil Spill: Biologists Eyeing Extent of Damage to Waters, Wildlife – NBC News

    It could be weeks before the beach near Santa Barbara is cleaned up, and even years before the damage to the wildlife is realized, scientists say. Source: California Oil Spill: Biologists Eyeing Extent of Damage to Waters, Wildlife – NBC News