Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Environmentalists and oil companies form rare relationship in response to oil seepage Read more:

A rare relationship between environmental groups and oil companies formed in response to the Coal Oil Point seepage off the Santa Barbara coast.
The Santa Barbara coast is home to one of the most active naturally occurring oil seeps in the world, where oil and methane pour out of the sea floor into the ocean, making it one of the most abundant sources of pollution along the North American coast.
This year has seen a dramatic increase in oil-coated birds off the coast of Santa Barbara, reported the Santa Barbara News Press. Since January more than 200 murres, pelicans, loons and grebes have been treated for oil-related injuries at the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network. Last year the WCN treated 100 birds.
The National Academy of Sciences determined that the volume of this seepage accounts for two-thirds of all petroleum pollution in North American waters, while only supplying one percent of domestic petroleum.
Currently, all oil drilling off the coast of California takes place on Platform Holly, located 12 miles from Santa Barbara. The South Ellwood offshore field is home to over a billion barrels of oil, according to the Department of Energy. These reserves expel about 86,000 barrels of oil into the ocean each year.
To put the effects of the seep in context, the Dos Cuadras oil spill put roughly the same amount of oil into the ocean in 1969 and covered over 35 miles of beachfront. The oil seep has recently brought environmentalist groups to the negotiating table in hopes that drilling will reduce its impact on wildlife.
Studies show that deep-water drilling has significantly reduced the natural seepage of oil around Platform Holly.

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