Elgin Gas Leak in North Sea: Another Deepwater Horizon?
(March 30) A natural gas well in the North Sea 150 miles off Aberdeen, Scotland, sprung a massive methane leak on March 25. The 238 workers were all safely evacuated. Now into its fifth day, a flare is still burning. It is regarded as too dangerous to return to the Elgin platform to extinguish it. The flare was lit at the time the leak was discovered on Sunday as a deliberate safety measure to burn off high pressure gas from containers within the Elgin processing platform. Fears are growing that a naked flame on the top of a leaking gas rig could spark a massive explosion and lead to a major pollution incident in the North Sea.
Engineers are still trying to ascertain precisely where the gas and oil leaks are coming from. A 2-mile exclusion zone for ships and planes has been set up around the platform as oil and gas engineers were being flown in from around the world to help manage the methane gas leak. Total confirmed that in addition to a growing methane gas “cloud”, a 4.8sq km sheen of oil “condensates” now covered the surface of the water near the platform.
Total, the French oil giant and operator of Elgin platform said problems with the well were first noticed a month earlier, on 25 February. At this time there is no evidence of human error – the company believes the leak is coming from a rock formation above the main reservoir, at a depth of 4,000m. The company insists there is still no risk the flare will ignite the gas cloud beneath the platform. “The situation is currently stable. We continue to take all possible measures to try to identify the source and cause of the leak and to bring it under control. Preliminary assessments indicate there has been no significant impact on the environment because of the leak.”
Credit rating agency Fitch: “The gas leak from Total’s Elgin platform could cost Total €5.7bn (£4.8bn) but the unfolding incident was not as serious as BP’s Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010. Total is likely to retain its ‘AA’ credit rating as it has the cash resources to more than cover any associated costs.”
Contradictory views from experts:
Marine pollution specialist: “The methane release represents a very significant explosion hazard, and of course methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The gas in this field is ‘sour gas’ – i.e. it contains hydrogen sulphide which is very poisonous to humans and aquatic life – so localised risks to marine life are likely. The hydrogen sulphide content of the current release is unclear at present. Localised fish kills cannot be ruled out.”
Oil pollution expert: “Much of the methane in the water will be consumed by micro-organisms and converted to carbon dioxide. This will make the water slightly more acidic, but the effect will be short-lived and localised, and therefore should not cause too much harm to marine life.”
Director of Greenpeace: “If the leak continues at its current flow for six months it will amount to nearly 800,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, adding to the burden of greenhouse gases already going into the atmosphere.”
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) offshore organiser: “Total acted very swiftly in getting everyone off but the potential still exists for catastrophic devastation. If the gas cloud somehow finds an ignition source we could be looking at complete destruction. This is an unprecedented situation and we really are in the realms of the unknown but the urgent need now is to find a way of stopping the flow of gas.”
Compared with the Deepwater Horizon: If the leaking shaft does not seal itself after the gas flare has been extinguished, it may require a further bypass well to be drilled nearby to relieve pressure, as with the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. This could take six months to drill but would be an “an order of magnitude easier” than Deepwater because the platform itself is in shallower water of 93 metres in depth.
(March 29) It has been two years since BP’s catastrophic oil blowout (also known as the Deepwater Horizon oil Spill) but Mississippi residents continue to find death along oily Gulf shores. Locals say this is far from normal. The pictures taken can be hard to believe: large bottlenose dolphins, their mouths agape and their silvery bodies stretched out like aluminum mannequins on the tar ball-littered and Gulf rotten, decaying endangered sea turtles wasting away on the shores. Recently. there were four dead endangered Kemp Ridley sea turtles washed up in Waveland. They were just a few of the 40 or so decaying sea turtles that have rolled in with the Gulf waves in recent weeks, making a resurgent appearance after spiking in unusual numbers a year ago. (Source)
END TIMES TRUTH
In spite of the differing opinions, it is becoming difficult to ignore the detrimental effects of the BP oil spill. It was more than a mere crack in the pipe – the oxygen depletion is nearing a critical stage for the under sea life where the oil is beneath the water mixed with the dispersant. There have been other oil spills around the world and the list is growing. We’ve shared earlier that the Gulf will represent the loss of the first third of deaths to sea life. The mainstream media is not paying much attention but are we seeing dead sea life washing ashore, and dead fowl littering the landscapes and beaches?
God’s Case against Israel
1 Hear the word of the LORD, people of Israel,
for the LORD has a case
against the inhabitants of the land:
There is no truth, no faithful love,
and no knowledge of God in the land!
2 Cursing, lying, murder, stealing,
and adultery are rampant;
one act of bloodshed follows another.
3 For this reason the land mourns,
and everyone who lives in it languishes,
along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky;
even the fish of the sea disappear.