Hazards of Natural Oil Seepage and Pros of Oil Drilling
Posted by rightwinger on August 19, 2008
Wow! drilling is actually good for the environment??? Drilling actually lessens tar on the beach from natural oil seepage. In addition, global methane atmospheric concentrations have been declining for the past 20 years due to drilling. The natural seepage is actually worse for the environment than drilling. Wait a minute has the University of California at Santa Barbra been paid off by Exxon??? Nope. This is real science check out the articles and papers for yourself.
Next time you step on a glob of tar on a beach in Santa Barbara County, you can thank the oil companies that it isn’t a bigger glob. The same is true around the world, on other beaches where off-shore oil drilling occurs, say scientists, although Santa Barbara’s oil seeps are thought to be among the leakiest.
The researchers state that the production rate of these naturally-occurring reactive organic gases is equal to twice the emission rate from all the on-road vehicle traffic in Santa Barbara County in 1990.
According to the articles, studies of the area around [drilling] Platform Holly showed a 50 percent decrease in natural seepage over 22 years. The researchers show that as the oil was pumped out the reservoir, pressure that drives the seepage dropped.
They continue, “For example if the 50 percent reduction in natural seepage rate that occurred around Platform Holly also occurred due to future oil production from the oil field beneath the La Goleta seep, this would result in a reduction in nonmethane hydrocarbon emission rates equivalent to removing half of the on-road vehicle traffic from Santa Barbara County. In addition, a 50 percent reduction in seepage from the La Goleta seep would remove about 25 barrels of oil per day from the sea surface, which in turn would result in a 15 percent reduction in the amount of tar found on Santa Barbara beaches.”
They conclude by saying that the rate of increase of global methane atmospheric concentrations has been declining for the past 20 years, and that a “worldwide decrease in natural hydrocarbon seepage related to onshore and offshore oil production may be causing a global reduction in natural methane emission rates.”
Unlike beach tar accumulation studies associated with oil spills or on beaches near heavy ship traffic, which generally have a transient source, natural seepage is a longterm chronic oil spill, albeit with variability in emissions on time scales from tidal (Leifer and Wilson, 2007) to
decadal (Boles et al., 2001).