Friday, November 22, 2013

How Anadarko will deal with an oil spill

Texan oil cowboys Anadarko, responsible for one of the world's worst oil disasters, is currently drilling for oil in deep water off the Raglan coast. The government assures us that the drilling is safe, and that there's no risk to the environment. So how would Anadarko deal with an oil spill? Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ OIA'd their list of response equipment, and its shocking:

The documentation lists the Contents of the “Environmental Spill Response Kit” to be carried on board the drill ship:

“The kit on the drillship includes:
  • 15-4’ socks, 5-8’ socks, 190 pads, 16 pillows;
  • 2-10 lb Albozorbit, 15 disposable bags with ties;
  • 4 pair of nitrile gloves, 4 pairs silvershield gloves;
  • 4 each splash resistant goggles, 4-Tyvek coveralls XL;
  • 1 non-sparking shovel; and
  • 1 emergency response guidebook.”
(page 58-59, Anadarko Discharge Management Plan from the Environmental Impact Assessment.) Cath Wallace said it is clear Anadarko envisages a maximum of four people to respond: with one shovel. “The ‘socks’ are four feet and eight feet long: hardly sufficient to protect the ocean. Their total length is about 30 metres for a 230 m long ship.” “ECO is astonished at how minimal this kit is. There appears to be no provisions for spills at sea or for a well blow out or other spill from the drill vessel.”

So basically, Anadarko thinks that is oil spill responsibilities extend to cleaning up small amounts of oil spilled on deck. For anything bigger, they're planning to rely on Maritime NZ, who have a total of 3 8-metre dinghies. Yeah, that'll fix it.

As a "response" goes, this is a joke. Anadarko needs to be better prepared than this - and if they're not, they shouldn't be drilling. If you can't cap it, don't drill it.