The major objectives of oil weathering simulation models are to predict both the mass of oil remaining in a slick over time and the chemical composition and physical properties of the slick and the movement of the oil slick on the seas. Predictive oil weathering models which generate material balances for both specific compounds and psuedo-compounds (true boiling point distillation cuts) in a crude oil spill have been developed. Composite models have also been developed to provide realistic predictions on the environmental fate and behavior of oil spills. [Read more…]
The fate of oil spill in the marine environment is primarily controlled by the energy of the environment as defined by exposure to waves and currents and the intertidal substrate receiving the residue of the spilled oil. The case histories of some major spills, their fate and effects are discussed here. There are more details in the reports of spills that occurred in international waters, especially with regard to determined environmental damage, because these are reported in the open literature. The paucity of reports in the open literature of reported cases of spills in Nigerian waters accounts for the limitation of the discussion here. [Read more…]
Weathering of Petroleum Spills
These processes are advection, spreading, evaporation, dissolution, dispersion of oil droplets into the water column, photochemical oxidation, water in oil emulsification, microbial degradation, adsorption onto suspended particulate material, ingestion by organisms, sinking and sedimentation.
The fate of an oil spill in the marine environment is determined by the apparently complex and interrelated weathering processes. The physical and chemical alterations to the spill occurring with time, as well as the rates of these changes, will be influenced by a variety of abiotic environmental parameters, as well as the physical and chemical properties inherent to the oil itself. The weathering processes are described below. [Read more…]
Petroleum introduced to the environment can elicit gross biological damage, physiological (pathological) effects on the biota (both plants and animals) and a brand range of ecological changes. All Marine biota are permeable to hydrocarbons and accumulate them from their environment either directly from the water column or pore water or through their food. Petroleum hydrocarbons can affect and cause changes in many organisms at all levels that is cellular, organismic and ecosystems. [Read more…]
The quality of the environment is adversely affected by the activities of the petroleum industry. During exploration, drilling, transportation, processing, and storage, the petroleum industry discharges gaseous, liquid and solid wastes and products into the environment threatening the health of the population and damaging the quality of the environment by rendering farmlands and water bodies unusable. In particular, oil spills are especially damaging to lands and the Marine environment. Environmental resources at risk are those of direct economic value like fisheries, and those of intrinsic value to human society, like aesthetically pleasing environment. [Read more…]