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New Oil Spill Contaminates Gulf Near Former Deepwater Horizon

New Oil Spill Contaminates Gulf Near Former Deepwater Horizon

A Shell Oil rig drilling in deepwater spilled over 13,000 gallons of toxic oil and drilling fluids into the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week. The area where the Nautilus was drilling is only about 20 miles from the site of the BP oil spill.

Shell’s Deepwater Nautilus was drilling an exploratory well in about 7,000 feet of water on Sunday when drilling fluid and oil began leaking from a booster line. The rig is owned and operated by Transocean, the same company that was operating the BP Deepwater Horizon when it exploded and sank in early 2010, causing the worst environmental disaster in American history.

While a report Shell filed Monday morning with the National Response Center states that the company spilled 7,560 gallons of oil and 5,829 gallons of synthetic drilling fluids, company spokesperson Kelly op de Weegh said late Monday afternoon that no oil was spilled.

The National Response Center report lists “equipment failure” as the cause of the spill. The report states that the release was caused by “a leak in the boost line,” and describes the fluid spilled as a mix of drilling mud and “base oil.”

The Shell spill occurred just days after the Obama administration gave Royal Dutch Shell the green light to drill in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea beginning next summer – despite the fact that there is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic’s extreme conditions and there is significant dearth of scientific information, making it impossible to understand the impacts of Shell’s activities.

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Image Credit: Flickr – lautenbach

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9:49PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

I understand that the Republicans have caused a lot of grief and blocked President Obama in every way that they could, BUT, President Obama promised to be an environmental champion before we elected him, and I wish he would stop compromising his word on short-sighted issues like irreversible destruction of the arctic.

6:56AM PST on Jan 7, 2012

It's all Obama's fault for giving the oil companies permission to drill in the Gulf in the first place. Now Obama has given the Green light to drill in Alaska and destroy the enviroment their. Great job Obama, now we can have another oil spill in Alaska to destroy their enviroment further, and complement the Exon Valdez oil spill 30 years earlier.

10:14AM PST on Jan 4, 2012


2:10PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

Hi Patrick F.,
your question »Why aren't our governments holding them accountable?« does in fact rise an even bigger question: "How shortsighted can people be?" You are happy enough not to be the only person having such ideas/proposals …
Can you elucidate how your idea of "holding them accountable" would look/work in practice? – by what means would you (consider yourself as almighty, for the moment) hold any of the 'big-oil-corp's accountable after a spill?
Forget about the "let them pay for the necessary cleanup after the spill, plus a hefty fine for the dead animals and remuneration tho those pepople who saved lives of such spoiled animals."

It is never them who pay anything at all. All and every cent of all the expenditures*) such (and btw. all other Companies as well) have to pay for — comes from those customers that buy that companies products and this is for sure the "end-user" — maybe after some trickle-down for processing and "added value" etc. …

*) that is (not sorted by whatsoever criteria, and also far from a complete list):
shareholders ROI "return on investment"; taxes; interest; wages; compensation; benefits; utility
bills; telephone; postage; exploration (of resources and markets); etc. pp.

4:55PM PST on Dec 27, 2011

are any of you really surprised there is another spill by the same corporations responsible for all the past spills???? And now they will start the same mess in the Arctic. Let Wash DC know how you feel about this!

2:59PM PST on Dec 27, 2011


12:36PM PST on Dec 27, 2011

Geez whose hand is going to be slapped now???? When are we going to stop drilling and destroying our wildlife and oceans!!!!

9:04AM PST on Dec 25, 2011

They won't stop drilling until they kill every living creature and poison every ounce of water on the planet

2:09AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

Can't we just stop drilling in the gulf?

1:51AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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