Posts Tagged ‘oil spill’

Emergency teams battle oil spill off Kuwait

August 13, 2017

© AFP/File | Kuwait is a major producer of oil and gas, which make up around 95 percent of its export revenues

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Emergency workers are battling to contain an oil spill near a joint Kuwaiti-Saudi oilfield in the Gulf, an official said Sunday.”Emergency oil teams are still struggling to put an oil spill near Kuwait’s southern Ras Al-Zour area under control,” said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation spokesman Talal al-Khaled in a statement carried by the official KUNA news agency.

Image result for Al-Khafji oilfield, map

There were no official reports on the source or size of the spill in the waters off Kuwait’s southern coast, near the joint Kuwaiti-Saudi offshore Al-Khafji oilfield.

Kuwaiti media however on Sunday quoted local oil experts as saying the spill originated from an old 50-kilometre (31-mile) pipeline from Al-Khafji.

The experts estimated that as many as 35,000 barrels of crude oil may have leaked into the waters off Al-Zour, where Kuwait is building a massive $30 billion oil complex that includes a 615,000-barrel-per-day refinery.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, located south of Kuwait along the Gulf coast, said the spill had not reached their waters.

Saudi Arabia said that it had put into action a “crisis management plan” and was conducting an aerial survey of its oil plants along the coast in a statement published by the official SPA news agency.

The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation said teams from Saudi Arabian Chevron and the Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) were cleaning the coastal waters.

Kuwait is a major producer of oil and gas, which make up around 95 percent of its export revenues


Pakistan: Fuel Tanker Truck Flips, Explodes in Fire — Over 100 killed when many who had rushed to collect leaking fuel were engulfed in flames

June 25, 2017


© Anwar Amro, AFP file picture | Many of the victims died after rushing to the scene to collect leaked fuel


Latest update : 2017-06-25

A Pakistani official says more than 100 people have been killed after an oil tanker overturned and burst into flames.

The tanker flipped over Sunday and the fire from the oil spill engulfed scores of residents who had rushed to collect leaking fuel.

Another 50 people have been seriously injured.

Dr. Rizwan Naseer, director of Punjab provincial rescue services, says rescuers are collecting the badly burned bodies, many beyond recognition.

He says the death toll is likely to rise.


BBC News

Oil tanker inferno kills at least 120 in Pakistan

Radio Pakistan tweet
Radio Pakistan tweeted a picture of the fire. RADIO PAKISTAN

At least 123 people were killed when a lorry transporting oil burst into flames in the Pakistani city of Bahawalpur, local officials say.

A crowd had gathered reportedly to collect fuel leaking from the overturned vehicle when it caught fire. Dozens are being treated in hospital.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the tanker had been speeding when it overturned.

People smoking at the scene may have sparked the fire, Pakistan’s Geo TV reports, quoting eyewitnesses.

The country’s roads are notoriously dangerous, with poor vehicle maintenance and reckless driving contributing to the problem, correspondents say.

Army helicopters were dispatched to ferry casualties to hospitals, army spokesman Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.


Pakistani media have published pictures from the scene, showing charred bodies and vehicles. There are fears that the death toll could rise further.

At least six cars and 12 motorcycles were burnt, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reports.

The blaze was extinguished by two fire engines, it says.

Some victims may only be identified by DNA sampling as bodies were badly burned in the incident, reports say.

Vietnam’s Tanker Woes: Singapore Seized Vietnam Tanker in Payment Dispute; Second Ship Accused of Oil Spill

December 16, 2015
M/T Nautilus Pioneer, the Vietnamese vessel seized in Singapore on December 14, in a photo on the website of Ho Chi Minh-based Prime Shipping.
A Vietnamese oil tanker has been seized in Singapore over a possible payment dispute following a complaint by shipping litigation and marine insurance firm AsiaLegal LLC.
The 13,700-DWT M/T Nautilus Pioneer was impounded on Monday morning, Ship & Bunker reported quoting Supreme Court records.
The circumstances leading to the action are not known yet, but the news site suggested that such action is typical in cases of disputes over payment.
. values the tanker, built in China in 2008 for Ho Chi Minh City-based Khai Nguyen (Prime Shipping), at US$8.88 million.
Boat collision spills 40,000 liters of petrol into southern Vietnam river
The gas tanker caught in a collision in Vietnam’s southern province of Tien Giang on December 15, 2015. Photo: Phuong Ha

By Phuong Ha, Thanh Nien News

TIEN GIANG – Wednesday, December 16, 2015 15:36

The gas tanker caught in a collision in Vietnam’s southern province of Tien Giang on December 15, 2015. Photo: Phuong Ha
At least 40,000 liters of gasoline been leaked into the Tien River, a tributary to the Mekong River in Tien Giang Province, after a collision with a gas tanker on Tuesday.
The crash with a sand barge caused a cut of nearly three meters long on the right side of the tanker of state-owned fuel retailer Petrolimex, which was carrying 1.2 million liters of gasoline from Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia.
No damage was incurred to the barge which was carrying more than 1,000 cubic meters of sand on the opposite direction.
Petrolimex has sent two boats to the site and they are expected to transfer all the remaining fuel from the damaged vessel by the end of Wednesday to prevent further gas spills and possible fire or explosion.
Police are investigating the cause of the collision.

Exxon cleans up Arkansas oil spill; Keystone plan assailed

March 31, 2013
Men wearing protective clothing survey cleanup efforts March 30, 2013 where an underground crude oil pipeline ruptured in the Northwood subdivision in Mayflower, Arkansas.  Exxon Mobil was working to clean up thousands of barrels of oil after the pipeline ruptured causing 22 homes to be evacuated in the area. The Pegasus pipeline, which carries Canadian crude oil from Pakota, Illinois to Nederland, Texas was shut-off Friday after the lead was discovered , the company said in a statement. Photo taken March 30, 2013.    REUTERS/Rick McFarland/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO ONLINE USE. NOT FOR SALE FOR INTERNET DISPLAY. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Men wearing protective clothing survey cleanup efforts March 30, 2013 where an underground crude oil pipeline ruptured in the Northwood subdivision in Mayflower, Arkansas.  Exxon Mobil was   working to clean up thousands of barrels of oil after the pipeline ruptured causing 22 homes to be evacuated in the area. The Pegasus pipeline, which carries Canadian crude oil from Pakota, Illinois to Nederland, Texas was shut-off Friday after the lead was discovered , the company said in a statement. Photo taken March 30, 2013.    REUTERS/Rick McFarland/Arkansas Democrat

(Reuters) – Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that loosed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.

Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Pakota, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

The company did not have an estimate for the restarting of the pipeline, which was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude at the time of the leak. An oil spill of more than 1,000 barrels into a Wisconsin field from an Enbridge   (Toronto: ENB.TOnews) pipeline last summer kept that line shuttered for around 11 days.

The Arkansas spill drew fast reaction from opponents of the 800,000 bpd Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry heavy crude from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast refining centre.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns about the impact of developing the oil sands and say the crude is more corrosive to pipelines than conventional oil. On Wednesday, a train carrying Canadian crude derailed in Minnesota, spilling 15,000 gallons of oil.

“Whether it’s the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or … (the) mess in Arkansas, Americans are realizing that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment,” said Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

Supporters of Keystone XL and oil sands development say the vast Canadian reserves can help drive down fuel costs in the United States. A report from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, put together by oil and gas consultancy Penspen, argued diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than other heavy crude.


Exxon said that by 3 a.m. Saturday there was no additional oil spilling from the pipeline and that trucks had been brought in to assist with the cleanup. Images from local media showed crude oil snaking along a suburban street.

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration were deployed to the scene.

“Cleanup efforts are progressing 24 hours a day,” said Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers, who added the oil had not leaked into nearby Lake Conway.

“We were very fortunate that the local responders made sure the oil did not enter the water.”

(Reporting by Matthew Robinson in New York and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Train hauling Canadian oil derails in Minnesota

March 28, 2013
Crews work to recover an estimated 30,000 gallons of crude oil that leaked from three tanker cars involved in a derailment near Parkers Prairie in west central Minnesota March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Doug Bellfeuille/Minnesota Pollution Control Agency/Handout

Crews work to recover an estimated 30,000 gallons of crude oil that leaked from three tanker cars involved in a derailment near Parkers Prairie in west central Minnesota March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Doug Bellfeuille/

By David Sheppard and Jeffrey Jones

NEW YORK/CALGARY (Reuters) – A mile-long train hauling oil from Canada derailed, spilling 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota on Wednesday, as debate rages over the environmental risks of transporting tar sands across the border.

The major spill, the first since the start of a boom in North American crude-by-rail transport three years ago, came when 14 cars on a 94-car Canadian Pacific train left the tracks about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis near the town of Parkers Prairie, the Otter Tail Sheriff’s Department said.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, the country’s second-largest railroad, said only one 26,000-gallon tank car had ruptured, adding it was a mixed freight train.

CP spokesman Ed Greenberg said he did not know if the crude was from Canada’s tar sands or from conventional oil fields.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Dan Olson said up to three tank cars were ruptured and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons – or 475 to 715 barrels – leaked out.

Cold weather had made the crude thicker, hindering the ability to recover the oil, Olson said, adding the initial cleanup was expected to continue for a day or two.

“We are focusing on drawing up the loose (oil) … and once that has been taken up, they will then pump up the remaining oil in the tanks,” Olson said. “Because of the winter conditions, the ground is frozen and there is not any damage to surface water or ground water. After the initial recovery we will see if the oil has soaked into the soil at all.”

In an updated statement, CP said just one car was compromised and other two cars leaked while being moved during the response to the derailment and were contained.

Greenburg said that the Safe clean-up efforts were progressing well and without concern.

“There have been reports that clean-up has been challenging. Our crews are taking appropriate steps in ensuring clean-up is conducted appropriately.”

A photo provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency showed several large tank cars lying at the side of the railroad tracks in snow-covered fields, as clean-up crews examined the spill and maneuvered pump trucks into position.

“We have options to reroute traffic, so we’ve been able to continue to move trains while we do the thorough job of cleaning up the area,” said Canadian Pacific’s Greenberg.

A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration said two representatives of the U.S. rail regulator are investigating the incident.


There has been a rapid increase in rail transport of crude in the last three years as booming North American oil production has outgrown existing pipeline capacity.

Canada is the top exporter of crude to the United States, due to rising output of crude from its vast tar sands deposits.

              Around 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) on average were shipped to the United States in 2012, according to data from Canada’s National Energy Board.

              Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO, Canada’s largest oil company, pulled the plug on its long-delayed and partially built Voyageur oil sands upgrading project in northern Alberta on Wednesday, citing surging volumes of crude from the Bakken.

              Environmentalists have complained about the impact of developing the reserves, and have sought to block TransCanada Corp’s controversial Keystone XL project, which would carry oil produced from the oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast refining center.

Some experts have argued oil-by-rail carries a higher risk of accidents and spills.

“It is good business for the rails and bad safety for the public,” said Jim Hall, a transportation consultant and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

“Railroads travel through population centers. The safest form of transport for this type of product is a pipeline. This accident could – and ought to – raise the issue for discussion.”

              Others noted that spills from rail cars are rare, and crude-by-rail has opened up opportunities for companies to develop huge volumes of oil production in places like the Bakken shale fields in North Dakota, which are not well served by pipelines.

              Total shipments of petroleum on U.S. railroads rose more than 46 percent last year to 540,000 carloads, the Association of American Railroads said in January.

“It’s not very good publicity, but railroads are incredibly safe, they don’t spill often,” said Tony Hatch, independent transportation analyst with ABH Consulting in New York who has done work for major railroads. “It should not change the opportunity railroads have to make us more energy independent.”

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline were quick to jump on the derailment as a reason to build the pipeline.

“It should be clear that we need to move more oil by pipeline rather than by rail or truck,” said Don Canton, spokesman for North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who has been one of the chief political proponents of the line. “This is why we need the Keystone XL. Pipelines are both safe and efficient.”

Hoeven has supported the line as it would help carry oil produced in North Dakota to higher priced refining centers on the coast, and could help further expand production in the state that now pumps more oil than Alaska.

(Reporting By David Sheppard, Edward McAllister, Cezary Podkul, Matthew Robinson, Eileen Houlihan, Jeanine Prezioso in New York, Jeff Jones in Calgary and NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Leslie Gevirtz, G Crosse and Michael Perry)

BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Case: Did Upper-level Management or Cost Cuts Have a Role in Causing the Disaster ?

March 1, 2013

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An internal BP probe of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t explore whether decisions by upper-level management or cost cuts had a role in causing the disaster because investigators didn’t have access to its partners’ employees and records, a BP executive testified Thursday at a trial designed to assign blame to the companies.



Mark Bly, who led the investigation and has served as BP’s global head of safety, said his team didn’t have enough information to conduct a “systemic evaluation” of what caused the blowout of BP’s Macondo well without cooperation from rig owner Transocean Ltd. or other companies that worked on the project.

A report by Bly’s team in September 2010 focused on equipment failures and mistakes that rig workers made before the blowout triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.

A BP policy says accident investigations should include attempts to identify any “systemic failures within the management system.” Bly, however, said he and then-BP chief executive Tony Hayward got an exception to the policy and decided at the outset not to attempt a broader probe.

Bly didn’t explain how they got the exception, but he said the policy allowed for one under certain circumstances. The potential for litigation, the nature of other accident investigations and the involvement of other companies were factors in seeking the exception, he testified.

“We’re tasked with getting to the answer as quickly as we could, and trying to get to a position where we felt we could make good recommendations,” he said. “Having done that, we did have the option to try to go further, but at that point in time, given the limitation that we’ve touched on, it would have been very, very difficult to do that.”

In what has become known as the “Bly Report,” BP took some responsibility for the web of errors and failures that led to the disaster but also assigned plenty of blame to its partners. In earlier testimony, Bly said the investigation wasn’t intended to look at the disaster through the “lens of responsibility.”

While questioning Bly on Wednesday, plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Sterbcow read aloud from the report and asked him about its eight “key findings.” One of those said BP rig supervisors and Transocean crew members botched a crucial safety test that should have showed them a blowout was brewing.

“It was an important test and it was misinterpreted,” Bly said.

Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, the BP well site leaders accused of misinterpreting those test results, have been indicted on manslaughter charges and await a separate trial.

Bly was the only witness to testify Thursday, the trial’s fourth day, and isn’t done on the witness stand. His testimony is scheduled to resume Monday.

Attorneys for the U.S. government and lawyers for Gulf Coast residents and businesses have accused BP of putting profits ahead of safety on a project that was over budget and behind schedule.

Kevin Lacy, who served as BP’s senior vice president for drilling operations in the Gulf and resigned just before the spill, testified that he felt “tremendous pressure” to cut costs. He said BP slashed between $250 million and $300 million from its Gulf drilling budget from 2008 to 2009 while at the same time its production rose by more than 50 percent.

Sterbcow asked Bly if “cost-cutting pressure” and the company’s safety culture should have been part of BP’s probe.

“It depends on what the investigation led you to,” Bly said.

BP has said drilling in the Gulf is a team effort and its partners should share in the responsibility for the disaster. The trial is designed to assess the fault of each company involved, and billions of dollars are at stake.

Earlier this week, University of California-Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea testified that BP didn’t implement a 2-year-old safety management program on the Deepwater Horizon before the explosion.

Sterbcow asked Bly if he agreed that BP’s implementation of the new system was an “absolute disaster.”

“No, sir, I wouldn’t agree with that,” Bly said. “I can speak to many positive things that were in place.”