Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shell reports Up to 1.7 MIllion Gallon Oil Spill in off Nigerian Coast

Envisat ASAR satellite radar image showing large slick (outlined in yellow) from major oil spill off Niger Delta.  Image courtesy European Space Agency.
Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian drilling operations in the highly productive Bonga Field were officially brought to a halt yesterday after "less than 40,000 barrels of oil" (1.7 million gallons) were reportedly leaked during a transfer of crude to a tanker. We've just processed a radar satellite image taken this morning (December 21, 2011) of the field, with the spill clearly visible.  Here it is showing the slick outlined in yellow; it is about 70 km (45 miles) long, 17 km (10 miles) wide at it's widest, and covers 923 square kilometers (356 square miles) of ocean: 

Another, much smaller oil slick appears at lower right; this looks like a bilge dump from a passing vessel, not related to the Shell spill.


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