Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gulf Spill - Not So Fast - Problem at LOOP?

[UPDATE 11:15am ET - according to an email sent to us, a pilot flying over LOOP yesterday observed an oil slick there. UPDATE 11:50am ET - a 2 mile long slick was reported to the NRC Saturday morning at the LOOP facility]

Whoa, hold the horses. Maybe Anglo-Suisse did happen to have a small spill over the weekend. But we just looked at this NASA/MODIS satellite image taken yesterday afternoon, from the Terra satellite. It shows what appears to be an extensive oil slick emanating from very near the location of the Lousiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP). We have no confirmation of any problem at or near LOOP at this time (10:30am ET):

MODIS/Terra satellite image, March 22, 2011 showing possible oil slick originating near LOOP facility and carried off to the northwest. Light brown areas are sediment-laden water entering the Gulf from the Mississippi River.

SkyTruth analysis of March 22 MODIS image showing extent of possible oil slick

SkyTruth analysis overlain with platform locations (orange dots) and pipelines (yellow); data from BOEMRE

Detail of March 22 satellite image, with platform locations and pipelines

2 comments:

  1. Looks like this is a good match for the spill a Houston oil company just admitted to, no?
    http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2011/03/houston_company_accepts_respon.html

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  2. Miles - it's possible, because the currents in the area would take anything from West Delta 117 past the LOOP facility. So we're still working to confirm if Anglo-Suisse is solely responsible for the oil that came ashore over the past few days, or if there might be another source as well at or near LOOP.

    Anglo reported only a couple of gallons in total were spilled. It is improbable that such a small amount could travel across more than 20 miles of ocean and oil 1/4 to 1/2 mile of beach across a 30-mile section of coastline. If Anglo has accurately reported their spill, there must be another source that contributed to the mess.

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