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A new study that was published last week in Science Advances, says that satellites were not able to fully detect oil in large areas of the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and posits that “invisible and toxic oil” made the spill as much as 30% larger than some experts have estimated.
Why This Matters: Underestimating the amount of oil that escaped during the worst oil spill in US history and where it went is a big deal — it means perhaps BP should have paid even more in civil fines and penalties, and it means that all our best technology and brainpower did not see the error in real-time.
Marine scientists in Brazil are closely monitoring a mysterious oil spill from August that has reached the Abrolhos Bank along the central part of the Brazilian coastline–which is the largest biodiversity hot spot in the South Atlantic Ocean.
A large regional pipeline owned by Enbridge that carries natural gas from the Mexican border in Texas to New York City exploded in rural Kentucky early Thursday morning, killing one and injuring five others in what one resident described as a tornado of fire. CBS News reported that the explosion destroyed railroad tracks and several trailer homes causing tremendous damage in its vicinity — it was so big it could be seen by weather radar — and it took several hours to bring under control by local fire officials.
As we have reported previously, in 2004, an oil production platform owned by Taylor Energy Company sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. This sparked an oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico for the past 15 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent flow rate calculations revealed that between 378 to 4,536 gallons of oil has been spilling into the Gulf per day, as opposed to the estimated 3 to 5 gallons per day claimed by Taylor Energy.
After two barges struck an oil tanker, at least nine thousand barrels of gasoline “blending stock” called Reformate spilled into the Houston ship channel, causing it to be closed, and creating a noxious odor in the neighborhoods nearby the spill. Texas state officials are collecting air monitoring samples and say they will notify the public if any of the readings are at dangerous levels.
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