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Thursday, August 18, 2011

North Sea Oil Leak- What the Media, Politicians and Journalists Don't mention

  There has been an oil leak in the North Sea and Shell are getting a lot of political stick because they didn't immediately alert the politicians, RSPB and anti-technology propagandists.  Instead they closed it.
An initial leak was brought "under control" last week but work is continuing on a smaller leak from the same source in an area surrounded by marine growth.
About 216 tonnes of oil - equal to 1300 barrels - were estimated to have spilled from the Gannet Alpha platform, 112 miles east of Aberdeen, by yesterday.

Environmental groups have heavily criticised the operator for the way it has handled the leak, which was first detected on Wednesday.
  The "smaller leak" seems to have added well under another tonne so presumably would not have been even mentioned by the media if they weren't already working up this hysteria.

    So lets see exactly how large this leak was. 1300 barrels with a barrel being  0.158987294928m3 exactly.  is 207 cubic metres or a cube 6 metres on a side. II2 miles from Aberdeen (ie 177,000 metres away. So 30,000 times more water (ignoring the fact that the ocean is 3 dimensional rather than 1 dimensional. Doesn't look that catastrophic when the figures are actually given does it?

    Perhaps some of the "environmentalists", politicians and journalists complaining that Shells' first action was to solve the problem rather than than shouting "Don't panic, don't panic" and giving them ammunition should consider their position. How many of them have made any play of the actual fact of how insignificant this leak actually is?

    If they claim Shell have a duty to help publicise everything in the most alarmist terms then surely they do too. A comparable emission in the water system under Edinburgh leading to Leith would be about 15cm (6 inches). If Wee Eck or the boss of the RSPB, after a particularly agreeable lunch produces such a dangerous deposit does he not believe he has a duty to tell the press. If so they must be a very abstemious lot because I have never seen such reported in any paper.

    Perhaps another comparison that responsible reporters should have made is with the fact that oil naturally seeps from oil fields into the world's oceans. 500,000 tons of it every year according to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences which equates, even assuming the oil distributed equally across the world, to at least 1,000 tons in the North Sea. Puts Man's pollution record in perspective doesn't it. But then perspective is precisely what the scaremongering anti-technology "environmentalists",  politicians and journalists, don't want.

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