Environmental disasters of unprecedented scale cast long shadows. 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill may have occurred five years ago, but memories about it are still fresh and many of its consequences are still unfolding. News still comes out on legal accountabilities and penalties, and the extensive environmental impact of the event is yet to be understood. It is no wonder then, that news of plans for drilling to start near the site of the disaster is worrying to many.
The Deepwater Horizon Disaster began with the explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to what is believed to be the biggest marine oil spill of all time. 11 workers were killed, and millions of other lives were affected when thousands of barrels of oil per day discharged into the water. The Gulf Coast economy was particularly hard hit, with fears of contaminated fishing, a moratorium on drilling, and a slump in tourism. Thousands of marine animals suffered from the oil too, with illnesses and deaths tracked years later still being linked to the disaster.
Louisiana’s LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC is planning to drill near the site, with a permit for a new well approved by authorities. According to a representative for the company, their staff maintain fresh memories of the disaster and is committed to prevent it from happening again. The development is worrying some, however, who find the site particularly dangerous. Worries have also been raised on this smaller company’s financial capacity to respond to a potential disaster and make consequent pay outs, if it does not have the ‘deep pockets’ of a player like BP. Authorities have reportedly reviewed the company’s plans extensively, however.
Like many all over America, we at Kemplon Engineering, watched the 2010 disaster with grief and worry for the future. As providers of engineering services to the maritime industry for over a decade, we are one with the maritime community in hoping such a disaster will never happen again – for the safety of workers, marine life and the communities that depend on the water for livelihood, and for the continuing operations of responsible and sustainable drilling. May this latest development bring the area a more positive outcome.
Explore Kemplon Engineering’s blog (http://kemplon.com/blog/) for more news on our industry’s beloved marine environment, and learn more about us and our marine and industrial engineering services here: http://kemplon.com/about-us/. You may also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (877) 522-6526 if you have projects in mind, questions and concerns.
^ Grenoble, Ryan. “Spike In Dolphin Deaths Directly Tied To Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Researchers Say.” The Huffington Post, 22 May 2015. Web. 24 May 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/20/deepwater-horizon-dolphin-deaths_n_7346250.html
^ “Louisiana oil company set to drill near site of Deepwater Horizon spill.” The Guardian, 13 May 2015. Web. 24 May 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/13/louisiana-oil-drilling-deepwater-horizon-bp-spill
^ Pallardy, Richard. “Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web. Accessed 24 May 2015. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1698988/Deepwater-Horizon-oil-spill-of-2010
^ Pulsinelli, Olivia. “New drilling plans approved near site of Deepwater Horizon disaster.” Houston Business Journal, 13 May 2015. Web. 24 May 2015. http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2015/05/new-drilling-plans-approved-near-site-of-deepwater.html
^ Stone, Kathryn. “Drilling to Begin Near Deepwater Horizon Site.” The Maritime Executive, 13 May 2015. Web. 24 May 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/drilling-to-begin-near-deepwater-horizon-site
Image “Crude Oil” courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net