[Eoas-seminar] Reminder TODAY EOAS Colloquium Fri Nov 9 - Ian MacDonald

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Fri Nov 9 09:20:34 EST 2018

TODAY at 3:30 Friday in CAR 101 will be Ian MacDonald from FSU EOAS

Title.  The longest oil spill: Investigations of the ongoing discharge from an oil platform destroyed in 2004
The ongoing oil spill from the Taylor Energy platform has been the subject of recent articles in the Washington Post and is the subject of a lawsuit in which the platform operator seeks relief from further financial responsibility for the spill.  FSU scientists have been investigating the site for several years.  This talk will summarize recent work and discuss the controversy.
Prominent plumes of hydrocarbons and surface oil slicks have been reported from independent surveys in MC20 lease block, located approximately 15 km offshore South Pass, LA.  The oil emanates from the wreckage of the Taylor Energy platform, toppled by a mudslide during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.  Analysis by FSU of 161 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images collected from 2006 to 2017 indicates a discharge rate of 96.4 barrels per day.  However, the operator maintains that the discharge rate is 3-30 gallons per day and disputes the source.  BSEE and NOAA sponsored a cruise to investigate the sources during 1-7 September. Acoustic surveys identified two groups of bubble streams, at least five in total, emanating from erosion pits at the NW corner of the toppled well jacket.  deployed 2018. An ROV entered the streams near the seabed (~130 m depth) to quantify this material with an FSU-designed sampling device (bubblometer).  Bubbles of oil and gas passed through a 30x30 cm wide, 20 cm high visualization chamber.  They were imaged by a calibrated HD video camera with high-intensity lamps that resolved 4 pixels per mm.  Oil and gas bubbles were also observed rising vigorously above the well jacket (~110 m and higher).  After passing through the chamber, discrete samples of oil and gas were collected into pressure cylinders for laboratory analysis, which indicates a thermogenic gas.  Measurement of bubbles will provide size frequency statistics, bubble density samples, and qualitative gas to oil ratios from the plume.
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