Ecological impacts of the deepwater horizon oil spill sage journals. The largescale applications of dispersants used at the surface and wellhead during the deepwater horizon oil spill raised many questions and highlighted the importance of understanding their effects on the marine environment. Although called for in the oil pollution act of 1990 as a tool for minimizing the impact of oil spills, the use of chemical dispersants has long been controversial. A stakeholder analysis of the bp oil spill and the. Reducing occupational exposures while working with dispersants during the deepwater horizon response. The prime motivation for using dispersants is to reduce the impact of oil on shorelines. Chemical dispersant research the national institute for occupational safety and health niosh conducted laboratory tests in which laboratory rats were exposed for five hours to airborne concentrations of the oil dispersant corexit 9500a and responses were monitored at one day and seven days postexposure. The mixing action of the waves can cause oil and water to combine in two ways. Prior to this incident, no deepwater applications of dispersant had been conducted, and thus no data exist on the environmental fate of dispersants in deepwater. Assessing the effect of photochemical oxidation on the effectiveness of aerial dispersants applied in response to the dwh oil spill. New view of dispersants used after deepwater horizon oil spill.
Footprint of deepwater horizon blowout impact to deepwater. As displayed by figure 1, the bp oil spill is not the largest spill by volume but it has had one of the worse impacts due to its location in the gulf of mexico near a number of major metropolitan areas. It was a result of the well blowout that began with the deepwater horizon drilling rig explosion on april 20, 2010. When responders apply dispersants to an oil slick, these molecules attach to the oil, allowing the oil slick to be broken up into smaller oil droplets. The stakeholders of the oil spill are widespread, varying from individuals and businesses to the environment and entire industries. The effectiveness of dispersants typically decreases as oil weathers in the environment. Over the course of 87 days, the damaged macondo wellhead, located. The use of dispersants in marine oil spill response national. Nov 09, 2015 the chemical sprayed on the 2010 bp oil spill may not have helped crucial petroleummunching microbes get rid of the slick, a new study suggests. Dispersants and their role in oil spill response 4 it is common knowledge that oil and water do not mix easily. One of the first responses was to apply more than 1 million gallons of the oil dispersants corexit 9527a and corexit 9500a to the sea surface, and more than 770 thousand gallons to the subsea on scene coordinator report dwh, 2011. Oil dispersants do facilitate biodegradation of spilled. Fate of dispersants associated with the deepwater horizon oil.
Fate of dispersants associated with the deepwater horizon. By enhancing the amount of oil that physically mixes into the water, dispersants can reduce the potential that a surface slick will contaminate shoreline. Domestic oil production has increased in recent years, and vast quantities of oil continually enter the country via vessel or pipeline, moving throughout the. Dispersant may make deepwater horizon oil spill more. During the deepwater horizon dwh blowout, an unprecedented 1. Cdc oil spill response resources reducing occupational. The following is a timeline of the deepwater horizon oil spill also referred to as the bp oil spill, the gulf of mexico oil spill or the macondo blowout. Timeline of the deepwater horizon oil spill wikipedia. This subtle change caused many volatile petroleum chemicals to dissolve more rapidly. The deepwater horizon dwh oil spill was the largest environmental disaster and response effort in. Msds information for oil spill dispersants corexit 9500. Once oil has spilled, people use oil spill countermeasures to try to reduce the adverse effects of spilled oil on the environment. Chemical dispersants and their role in oil spill response. Footprint of deepwater horizon blowout impact to deep.
Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in. Nearly two million gallons of dispersants were used at the waters surface and a mile below the surface to combat oil during the. The literature on oil spill dispersants between 1997 and 2008 is extensive, consisting of more than 430 papers. Deepwater horizon oil spill, macondo oil was released from the wellhead and partly. Environmental effects of the deepwater horizon oil spill focus on. Dispersant efficacy and effectiveness coastal response research. Subsea videos captured dramatic images of oil spewing unchecked from the wells broken riser pipe. The dispersants, scientists have found, may have significantly reduced the amount of harmful gases in the air at the sea surface diminishing health risks for emergency responders and enabling them to keep working to stop the spill and clean it up sooner. Nov 09, 2015 on april 20, 2010, an explosion tore through deepwater horizon, an oil rig in the gulf of mexico. Response library oil spill prevention and response api. On august 10, 2010, the united states judicial panel on multidistrict litigation transferred most.
Graham, christine hale, stephen sempier, ladon swann, and monica wilson. Each jitf brought forth subject matter experts to identify best practices in offshore drilling operations and oil spill response and to share that. Application of oil dispersants in addition to mechanical recovery techniques skimming and booming and in situ burning, oil dispersants were used to prevent landfall of the oil in the deepwater horizon spill beginning in early may responders began injecting dispersants at the source of the release 1500m. In addition, api and the oil and natural gas industry have established a robust program of oil spill. Dispersants are being used in the deepwater horizon gulf of mexico response to remove oil from the surface of water where it. Dispersants are being used in the deepwater horizon gulf of mexico response to remove oil from the surface of water where it can be especially harmful to the environment. Using oil spill dispersants on the sea the national.
Dispersants, which are one strategy used to respond to an oil spill, contain molecules that have one end that is attracted to water and one end that is attracted to oil. The location of the macondo well in the gulf of mexico is indicated by the white star. Deepwater horizon oil spill, bp used large amounts of the dispersant corexit 9500. Cumulatively over the course of the spill, oil was detected on over 43,300 square miles of the ocean, an area about the size of virginia. We used ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry and liquid. The april 2010 oil spill in the gulf of mexico discharged 4. Summary of information concerning the ecological and. Pdf dispersants are globally and routinely applied as an emergency. The deepwater horizon dwh oil spill was the first spill that occurred in the deep ocean, nearly one mile below the oceans surface.
Macondo oil in northern gulf of mexico waters part 2. While major oil spills are rare, oil slicks can have disastrous environmental and economic consequences. The spill disrupted an entire regions economy, damaged fisheries and critical habitats, and brought vividly to light the risks of deepwater drilling for. Msds information for oil spill dispersants corexit 9500 and. Response library in the wake of the gulf of mexico spill of 2010, industry mobilized itself and launched four joint industry task forces jitfs to critically assess capabilities and performance.
The macondo blowout environmental reportdhsgjan2011. Procedures a qualification a dispersant which has been found to conform to the requirements of the. Impacts of deepwater horizon oil and associated dispersant on. To accomplish this, the dispersant application must be highly successful and effectiveness high. At open sea, dispersant use attracts most attention due to. Oil dispersants chemical agents such as surfactants, solvents, and other compounds are used to reduce the effect of oil spills by changing the chemical and physical properties of the oil. Corexit 9500a and oil are similar in their toxicity. Over the next 87 days the deepwater horizon oil spill. Dispersants have been researched extensively and used for oil spill mitigation for more.
On april 20, 2010, the macondo well blew out, costing the lives of 11 men and beginning a catastrophe that sank the deepwater horizon drilling rig and spilled over 4 million barrels of crude oil into the gulf of mexico. Background and governance congressional research service summary oil is a primary source of energy in the united states. Small droplets are easier to disperse throughout a water volume, and small droplets may be more readily biodegraded by microbes in the water. The deepwater horizon oil spill occurred at the beginning of the c. This book summarizes research on the use of chemical dispersants. Jun 15, 2010 msds for corexit 9500a pdf msds corexit 9527a pdf according to the deepwater horizon response unified commands website, as of june 14, 2010, over 1,262,000 gallons of dispersants have been used as part of bps oil spill cleanup efforts. Oil spill dispersant corexit ec9500a and ec9527a informationfor health professionals overview dispersantsare specially designed oil spill products that are composed of detergent. Et to answer questions related to the use, approval and science of dispersants being used on the bp oil spill in the gulf of mexico. Synergistic toxicity of macondo crude oil and dispersant. On april 20, 2010, the bp oil companys macondo well blew out in miledeep water in the gulf of mexico, causing the deepwater horizon drill rig to explode, killing 11 workers, injuring 17 others. Waves will break up the oil slick and form oil droplets. Dispersants epa response to bp spill in the gulf of mexico. Soon after the well was capped, a deepsea community km southwest of the wellhead was discovered with corals that had been damaged by the spill.
Response actions to the deepwater horizon oil spill included the injection of. Photochemical oxidation of oil reduced the effectiveness of. Dispersant use involves a tradeoff between exposing coastal life to surface oil and exposing aquatic life to dispersed oil. In the case of guimaras oil spill in the philippines which occurred in the panay gulf on august 11, 2006, the oil tanker mt solar 1 sank off the coast of. Scope this specification relates to oil spill dispersants for application at sea or on beaches and to the procedures adopted in the uk before any dispersant can be so used. Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms. Monica wilson, larissa graham, chris hale, emily maungdouglass, stephen sempier, and ladon swann. Please note that this is an authorproduced pdf of an article accepted for. The primary objective of using oil spill dispersant is to prevent the oil from reaching the shoreline and oiling the coastal wildlife and sensitive habitats such as mangroves and wetlands. The deepwater horizon oil spill also referred to as the bp oil spill, oil leak, or oil disaster. The chemical dispersants used by the tons on the deepwater horizon spill did little to stop the oil from spreading and likely did more harm than good, a new university of miami study says.
Over the next three months, the exposed wellhead released some 750 million liters of oil into the gulf. Graham, christine hale, emily maungdouglass, stephen sempier, ladon swann, and monica wilson. If an oil spill occurs in san juan county marine waters, responders. Cdc oil spill response resources chemical dispersant. Sep 19, 2017 after the oil spill, two chemical dispersants, corexit ec9500a or corexit ec9527a, were used in some areas where oil was present. In principle, dispersants break up floating oil into small droplets that disperse into the water column where they are subject to multiple fate and transport processes. Kenneth lee monitoring subsurface oil released from deepwater. National commission on the bp deepwater horizon oil spill and. Distribution, posting, or copying of this pdf is strictly prohibited without written. The environmental protection agency and the national oceanic and atmospheric administration noaa, hosted a press conference call on may 12 at 4 p.
Oil dispersants do facilitate biodegradation of spilled oil. Dispersants do not remove oil from the water, but instead breakthe oil slick into small droplets. Oil under pressure gushed into the deep ocean from the bps macondo well, located about 1 mile below the ocean surface and about 50 miles offshore. Dispersants are sprayed from planes and on the water from boats during oil spill response, as recommended by the manufacturer. Photochemical oxidation of oil reduced the effectiveness. The injection of the subsea dispersant caused the turbulent jet of petroleum fluids to form oil droplets that were about 30 times smaller by volume than they would have been without dispersants. The most frequently reported symptoms were headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weaknessfatigue and upper respiratory irritation. Jun 18, 2010 roughly five million liters of dispersants have now been used to break up the oil spilling into the gulf of mexico, making this the largest use of such chemicals in u. Spilled oil floats on the sea surface in calm conditions.
Pdf oil dispersant effectiveness and ecological consequences in. An oil dispersant is a mixture of emulsifiers and solvents that helps break oil into small droplets following an oil spill. Their method of producing water accommodated fractions, although routinely used for toxicity tests, leaves the vast majority of the oil. It was a massive oil spill in the gulf of mexico, the largest offshore spill in u.
Dispersants used in deepwater horizon oil spill were. The macondo blowout environmental report 5 pollutants from the oil spill. Sandler said since it was the first time oil dispersants had been used on such a large scale, it was important to examine the possible health effects. Is using dispersants on the bp gulf oil spill fighting. Volume 5 dispersants and their role in oil spill response. Deepwater horizon mc252 oil spill largest accidental marine oil spill in the. Chemical dispersants are one of many tools used to mitigate the overall environmental impact of oil spills.1571 1072 299 1232 550 787 119 1553 1588 847 336 1499 1352 1530 1574 1126 1561 1587 1128 653 868 1551 1629 148 253 1241 436 1237 137 113 1260 723 1225 536 138