Holy Cow! Some things in the petroleum sector have our heads spinning of late. We are seeing new strategic positioning with regards to impending environmental regulations and policies. No mere tweaking of positions, we seem to be seeing the stirrings of a wholesale shift in some long-entrenched positions. While I am not naïve and it… Read more »
I opened up the Fall 2018 Semester with a presentation to our English 107 class covering an overview of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill. These undergraduates are just beginning to explore the Santa Barbara Oil Spill waitlist a series of writing pieces for this Advanced Composition course at CSU Channel Islands.
Thanks to the just-passed Trump Tax Bill (and associated language therein unrelated to taxes), the federal government’s Department of the Interior is poised to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge‘s so called 1002 (“ten-oh-two”) lands to new oil and gas exploration.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Gearing up for ROV surveys
We are prepping for our first subtidal surveys for tar/crude and to vett our newest OpenROV platforms for rapid spill surveys/response. For more details, please see our AARR blog.
Pathos And The Mounting Pressure To Do Something
The media and public are apparently getting more and more worried about marine mammals and birds fouled or killed by oil spilled from the May 19 pipeline break. At least part of this current worry can be traced to pictures that began showing up on Facebook late last week of heavily oiled dolphins (or at least… Read more »
KVTA Oil Spill Interview
This was my brief interview at the KVTA (AM1590, Ventura’s News Talk Radio) studios. The recording sound is not fantastic as it was recorded off the radio 50 miles away, but it conveys our most recent observations.
Oil Seeps 101
We have been getting lots of inquires about this crazy tarballing going on across Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties. I thought I would give a quick overview of tar balls in our part of the world; the Southern California Bight. Oil Seeps In Our History Oil has been deep underground for millions of… Read more »
Grunion & Sand Crabs in harms way
There are many critters particularly at risk with this oil spill. While our historic worry/focus has been on our rocky intertidal communities and on warm fuzzies (such as these cute marine mammals and endangered sand-nesting birds), other critters are at risk too. In particular the animals dwelling in the swash zone of our sandy beaches. What I… Read more »
Tarring of Ventura
Quick field observations (note: these are field postings & formatting, etc. may be off) Beach surveys in Ventura County on May 30 We are seeing tar ball strand lines as the high tide retreats this morning. Intermixed in these tar lines are dead sand crabs/carapaces. Tar balls not evident near Hueneme Pier but many… Read more »
More Beaches Closed!
Holy cow! It has been a crazy day. One of our teams sampling Haskell’s Beach (near the Bacara Resort) north Coal Oil Point was basically given the boot. Various clean-up teams are now sweeping the beaches from El Capitan to Goleta and the Incident Command has now shut down public access to all of those beaches. This… Read more »
PIRatE Lab Tour
Here is a quick tour of our PIRatE Lab’s lab. We have been getting several requests about our lab and decided to give you a sense of our set-up. We’ve also had lots of questions about oil; what it looks like, what it smells like, and how sticky it is. We have posted our… Read more »
Struggle to Check Seafloor Around CA’s Oil Spill
When we see videos like this from the Coast Guard: It is easy to take away the impression that things are all good with regards to formal response to this (or any) oil spill. The reality is these clean-up things are vastly complex endeavors, complicated by numerous laws and guidelines and overlapping responsibilities or jurisdictions…. Read more »
Week 1: The oiling so far
Monitoring the Oil As the clean-up progresses, so does our monitoring. We now have sampled an array of sites that span the region of potential impact (Gaviota to downtown Santa Barbara) and the range of observed intensity of oiling. We are now beginning to shift gears a bit to have some of our crew focus… Read more »