Oil Spills

6,600 spills from fracking in just four states

Each year, 2 to 16 percent of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill hydrocarbons, chemical-laden water, hydraulic fracturing fluids and other substances, according to a new study. The analysis, which appears Feb. 21 in Environmental Science & Technology, identified 6,648 spills reported across Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania during a 10-year period. “This study provides important insights ...

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Reusable sponge created that soaks up oil

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling pipe blew out seven years ago, beginning the worst oil spill in U.S. history, those in charge of the recovery discovered a new wrinkle: the millions of gallons of oil bubbling from the sea floor weren’t all collecting on the surface where it could be skimmed or burned. Some of it was forming a plume ...

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After Deepwater Horizon spill: Which animals weathered the disaster

A new study from a Coastal Waters Consortium team of researchers led by Rutgers University postdoctoral researcher, Michael McCann, has found which birds, fish, insects and other animals affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion should be given top priority for conservation, protection and research. Until now scientists didn’t know which kinds of animals were most affected and what impact their ...

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Experts successfully test a novel oil spill cleanup technology

Tests conducted last week of a novel technology that can greatly accelerate the combustion of crude oil floating on water demonstrated its potential to become an effective tool for minimizing the environmental impact of future oil spills. Called the Flame Refluxer, the technology, developed by fire protection engineering researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with funding from the Bureau of ...

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Researchers design coatings to prevent pipeline clogging

When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig suffered a catastrophic explosion and blowout on April 21, 2010, leading to the worst oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the well’s operators thought they would be able to block the leak within a few weeks. On May 9 they succeeded in lowering a 125-ton containment dome over the broken wellhead. ...

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