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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/4/10

Here We Go Again: Another Rig Explosion

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Here We Go Again: Another Rig Explosion - by Stephen Lendman


Drilling means spilling, hundreds of annual incidents, most small, unreported, yet their cumulative effect is devastating, what the industry and nightly news won't mention or explain.


On February 25, 2009, Environmental Research web.org writer Kate Ravilious did, headlining "Small unreported oil spills add up to major damage," saying:


Big spills make headlines while small ones "often go unnoticed and unreported. But these little slicks could be just as damaging to the environment as large spills, according to new research findings."


Barcelona, Spain Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Professors Jose Redondo and Alexei Platonov developed a way to spot spills from satellite images. They show that "small oil spills are very common, and when added together they become comparable to large" ones. Their frequency makes them damaging, yet little about them is reported.


Studying European waters alone, they determined that major spills happen every few years, large ones three or four times a year, and smaller ones virtually daily. Extrapolated globally over time amounts to a major environmental problem, compounded by many small incidents and natural seepage - as much as 14 million barrels a year globally offshore.


"For example, it seems that there are four to five times more spills (large and small) in East Asia than in European Coastal waters," and Middle East ones experience "significantly more spills." Most often, negligence to cut costs is why.


According to Redondo and Platonov, "the cumulative effect and toxic dose (of small spills) is the same as a large spill, and will be detected in the long run," as well as their environmental damage, slowly destroying the health of global waters.


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