Gulf Monitoring Consortium: Mobile, Al - Gulfport, MS
Thompson Divide Drillout Simulation
Simulation of drilling in the Thompson Divide area
Gulf Platform Leak - May 7, 2011
Photographs taken on May 7, 2011 of apparent leak from an oil and gas production platform in state waters 1.1 miles off the Louisiana coast, 37 miles east of Grand Chenier. Unknown if this was a one-time release or a chronic leak. Data from State of Louisiana indicates this is an oil platform operated by FINA Oil & Chemical on a lease held by Harvest Oil & Gas, LLC.
Photographs by Jamie Ward, courtesy of SouthWings / Dan Luke.
Otsego County, NY - Natural Gas Drilling Simulation
Simulated drill-out scenarios for natural gas in Otsego County, new York.
Deepwater Horizon Blowout - April 2010
Images related to the catastrophic blowout, explosion, fire and oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Read about it on the SkyTruth blog (http://blog.skytruth.org).
You can participate: Got oil on your beach? Help us document the impacts of this oil spill around the Gulf region by submitting a report on the Gulf Oil Spill Tracker site.
Or, join the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 2010 group on Flickr and upload your photos, video and observations as this oil slick hits the beaches and estuaries of the Gulf coast.
UPDATE 7/29/10: Yesterday's MODIS and RADARSAT images unexpectedly show slicks and sheen spanning nearly 12,000 square miles. Based on other reports, and the recent trend on images indicating steady dissipation of the surface oil slick, we are optimistically assuming that nearly all of this is very thin sheen.
UPDATE 7/27/2010: RADARSAT images taken yesterday (July 26) show the oil slick is steadily dissipating. Click here for a non-annotated version.
Oil slicks and sheen were observed to cover 68,000 square miles of the Gulf on satellite images taken between April 25 and July 16. Click here for a graphic showing this cumulative oil slick "footprint."
UPDATE 7/26/10: The center of Bonnie's circulation appears close to the Macondo well site on a CSK radar satellite image taken July 24. CSK and MODIS satellite images the next day, July 25, show remnants of the BP oil slick scattered around the Mississippi Delta. No new oil is seen around the well site; it's been tightly capped since July 15.
UPDATE 7/23/10: Tropical Depression Bonnie approaches, but the trend we've seen recently holds: the area of oil slicks and sheen appears significantly smaller than at the beginning of the month. A MODIS / Aqua image taken on July 21 shows slicks and sheen spanning about 5,476 square miles, but also shows a large ocean-color anomaly that may or may not be related to the spill.
UPDATE 7/20/10: The cap is still shut, but small leaks have reportedly appeared on the seafloor around the well site. MODIS / Aqua and CSK radar satellite images taken on July 19 show oil slicks and sheen spanning about 7,868 square miles. An ominous ocean-color anomaly on the MODIS image extends over a larger area, and may indicate a zone of changed water chemistry (possible oxygen depletion?) due to the long-lasting spill.
UPDATE 7/15/10: After 87 days, the spill is completely stopped as the new sealing cap on the leaking well is totally closed. If the well passes this "integrity test" the valves will remain shut and the leak may be stopped for good.
A MODIS / Aqua image taken on July 14 shows the surface oil slick appears to be much smaller, spanning about 3,786 square miles.
UPDATE 7/9/10: An Envisat ASAR satellite radar image taken at 10:44 pm local time on July 7 clearly shows a large oil slick around the leaking well site, and a patchy area of slicks near the Mississippi shoreline. It also contains a large area of possible slicks and sheen stretching along the Gulf coast from just west of Mobile Bay to east of Panama City, although very low wind areas may be mixed in with the slicks.
UPDATE 7/5/10: A Radarsat image on July 2 shows much of the cloud-obscured slick; MODIS images on July 3 and July 4 give glimpses of parts of the slick, including patches reaching far to the west.
UPDATE 7/2/10: CSK radar satellite images taken June 28 cut through the solid cloud cover of tropical storm Alex to reveal the western half of the oil slick.
UPDATE 6/29/10: Radarsat images taken June 27 cut through the gathering clouds from passing tropical storm Alex, and show slicks and sheen spread out across 19,112 square miles of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.
UPDATE 6/27/10: MODIS satellite images show oil slicks and sheen on June 25 and June 26 covering more than 23,000 square miles. Oil appears to be impacting beaches from Gulfport, Mississippi to Destin, Florida.
UPDATE 6/25/10: CSK radar satellite images taken late on June 22 and early on the 23rd show oil slicks spanning about 19,000 square miles. They also show signs of gusty, strong winds and thunderstorms.
UPDATE 6/23/10: An Envisat ASAR radar satellite image aquired June 21 penetrates the heavy clouds and haze to show oil slicks and sheen spread across 26,053 square miles of the northeastern Gulf. Compare with the cloud-covered MODIS/Aqua image taken on June 22.
We've also added a series of photographs taken by FSU researchers working near the site of the leaking well on June 22 and June 23.
UPDATE 6/21/10: MODIS Terra and Aqua images on June 18 and June 19 have some cloud-cover problems but still show oil slick and sheen spanning areas of 11,278 square miles and 18,473 square miles respectively, with oil apaprently coming ashore from Gulf Shores, Alabama to points as far east as Seacrest and Rosemary Beach, Florida. Oil is also apparent in Pensacola Bay on the 18th.
UPDATE 6/16/10: The latest good MODIS image, an Aqua image shot on June 12, shows oil slick and sheen spanning 23,140 square miles (59,932 km2) - an area as big as our home state, West Virginia.
UPDATE 6/10/10: The MODIS / Terra image taken June 7 shows slick and sheen across an area of 9,075 square miles (23,504 km 2).
A MODIS / Terra taken two days later, on June 9, has a broad sunglint pattern centered on the eastern Gulf that effectively illuminates the main oil slick as well as areas of what we interpret as much thinner sheen. Lots of judgment calls made when encircling the area of slicks and sheen, but we come up with a total area of 16,434 square miles (42,565 km2).
We don't think the actual area of ocean affected by slicks and sheen nearly doubled in just two days; rather, we think the MODIS image from June 9 was just much more effective at showing those areas than many of the images we've been collecting throughout this incident.
UPDATE 6/3/10: Cloudy MODIS again on 6/3 but a spectacular Envisat ASAR radar image was taken today of the Gulf spill. It shows oil appearing to make landfall in Alabama on the east side of Mobile Bay near Fort Morgan - Gulf Shores. Slick and sheen visible on this image, which doesn't extend very far west of the Delta, covers an area of about 11,5050 square miles (29,796 km2).
UPDATE 6/2/10: MODIS imagery has been very poor for showing the oil slick for the past few days. So we've taken another look at an oil platform in the vicinity that appears to have a small, ongoing leak: we can see a possible oil slick emanating from the location of platform 23051 on multiple dates of radar and visible-infrared satellite imagery, beginning with a MERIS image taken on April 25. Again, this is very small compared with the huge Deepwater Horizon spill, but it may indicate a chronic problem.
UPDATE 5/29/10: The MODIS / Aqua image taken the afternoon of May 27 again clearly shows the main body of the oil slick in the vicinity of the leaking well. It also shows entrainment in the Loop Current, and *possibly* shows oil moving past the Dry Tortugas and into the Florida Straits.
UPDATE 5/25/10: The relatively cloud-free MODIS / Terra image taken on May 24 shows slicks and sheen possibly covering as much as 29,000 square miles (75,000 km2). For comparison, we've included a matching version of this image with no annotation or interpretation.
UPDATE 5/24/10: A MODIS / Terra image taken on May 22 shows oil slick and sheen covering 16,538 square miles (42,833 km2); a MODIS / Aqua image taken the next day, May 23, shows slick and sheen spread widely throughout the eastern Gulf, possibly covering as much as 18,670 square miles (48,356 km2).
UPDATE 5/21/10: MODIS / Terra image today shows a very faint, long belt of anomalous ocean color that appears to follow the Loop Current. We have very tentatively identified this as possible oil slick and sheen carried far to the south. Consider this a low-confidence analysis; it's possible that the Loop Current has a distinct ocean-color signature without any oil present.
UPDATE 5/18/10: Envisat ASAR radar satellite image today shows oil slick entrained in the Loop Current and spreading out to the southeast. Slick and sheen covers 15,976 square miles (41,377 km2), about 50% larger than seen in yesterday's MODIS image and about twice the size of New Jersey.
UPDATE 5/17/10: MODIS/Terra image this afternoon shows slick being entrained in the Loop Current, with a broad conveyor-belt-like extension of the slick sweeping in a gentle arc to the southeast, reaching 222 miles (357 km) from the leaking well. Slick and sheen covers 10,170 square miles (26,341 km2), almost 100% larger than was visible in the 5/14 radar image.
UPDATE 5/14/10: COSMO-SkyMed radar image clearly shows almost all of the slick, spreading across 5,788 square miles (14,992 km2). And we think we've discovered a leak from a platform nearby, unrelated to this ongoing spill. This leak is visible on radar images from April 26, May 8 and May 13.
UPDATE 5/13/10: MODIS too cloudy to be useful yesterday (5/12) and today, but we got a COSMO-SkyMed radar satellite image that shows almost all of the slick in stunning detail. Slick covers about 4,922 square miles (12,748 km2) on the radar image.
UPDATE 5/11/10: Today's MODIS/Aqua image very cloudy; shows main body of slick and small patch off to west, spanning in all about 3,908 square miles (10,122 km2) but much of slick may be obscured.
UPDATE 5/10/10: MODIS/Terra image, partly obscured by cloud, shows observable slick and sheen today across an area of 4,683 square miles (12,129 km2).
Check out SkyTruth's new Gulf Oil Spill Tracker website. Help us show the world where oil is - and isn't - impacting the beaches, marshes and estuaries of the Gulf Coast..
UPDATE 5/9/10: MODIS/Aqua image this afternoon partly obscured by clouds haze (so what else is new?) but observable slick covers 4,384 square miles (11,355 km2) with fresh-looking oil around the well location. We think this is leaking about 1.1 million gallons per day - a lot more than the 210,000 gallon (5,000 barrel) per day estimate that keeps appearing in the media.
UPDATE 5/8/10: RADARSAT-2 satellite image taken early this morning clearly shows oil slicks and sheen spread across a about 5,025 square miles in the Gulf. Compare with MODIS image taken 4 hours later, still bothered by clouds; observable slicks and sheen cover 4,102 square miles.
UPDATE 5/7/10: MODIS image this afternoon only shows thickest oil in vicinity of leaking well. Compare with NOAA map showing predicted extent of spill today.
UPDATE 5/4/10: A break in the clouds this afternoon allows much (most?) of the slick to be seen on MODIS satellite imagery. Continued fresh upwelling of oil is apparent around the site of the leaking well; long tendrils of oil slick and sheen reaching to east and southwest. Turbidity fom recent high wind and waves, and streaks of dark wind-shadow, complicate the picture closer to shore.
UPDATE 5/1/10: A sad milestone for May Day - we calculate the total spill volume exceeded Exxon Valdez spill today. This afternoon's MODIS image is mostly cloudy but shows at least part of the slick around the leaking well location.
UPDATE 4/30/10: Oil is coming ashore now. We've added a map from European Space Agency and NASA showing cumulative oil slicks for April 26-29 as observed on MODIS and radar satellite images.
UPDATE 4/29/10: This afternoon's MODIS image shows oil virtually in contact with the Mississippi Delta shoreline. The full extent of the slick is visible, with oil covering 2,256 square miles. The slick is expected to start impacting the shoreline this evening.
UPDATE 4/28/10: NASA/MODIS image taken this afternoon shows oil slicks within 10 miles of shore. See spill map put out today by Coast Guard for full extent of oil slick, which is much larger than observable on today's MODIS satellite image.
UPDTE 4/27/10: NASA/ALI image also taken on April 25 shows detail of oil slick and peripheral sheen, and response vessels.
UPDATE 4/27/10: NASA/MODIS satellite image taken this afternoon shows oil slicks extending across 2,233 square miles and within 22 miles of shore.
UPDATE 4/26/10: NASA/MODIS satellite image shows oil slicks on April 25 covering about 817 square miles and reaching 50 miles from the point of origin.
Montara (West Atlas) Blowout and Oil Spill, Western Australia, August 2009
Satellite and aerial images and maps showing the massive oil spill in the Timor Sea off Western Australia that resulted from a well blowout during drilling operations. On August 21, 2009, a well on the Montara offshore oil platform blew out as a new well was being drilled on the platform by the West Atlas mobile drilling rig. The rig and platform were immediately evacuated as oil, natural gas, and natural gas condensate spewed into the ocean from the uncontrolled well. This spill is expected to continue for at least 7 to 8 weeks, the time it will take to bring another rig into the area and drill a "relief well" that intercepts the damaged well several thousand feet below the seafloor.
The Montara platform, built and installed in 2008, and the West Atlas drilling rig, built in 2007, are modern, state-of-the-art offshore oil facilities.
Satellite images show that, by August 30, oil slicks and sheen had spread across over 2,500 square miles of ocean, in an area characterized by The Wilderness Society as a "marine life superhighway," a migration corridor for whales and turtles, dotted by coral reefs and marine biodiversity hotspots.
September 3: oil slicks and sheen extended across 5,800 square miles and had apparently expanded into Indonesian waters.
September 10: MODIS images taken from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites about three hours apart show an area of patchy slicks and sheen about 3,600 square miles (=2,700 nautical square miles) in size, north of the Montara platform and extending well beyond Australia's territorial waters.
September 17: MODIS Terra and Aqua images show a convoluted area of discontinuous, patchy slicks and sheen mixed with open water extending across 7,530 square miles (=5,680 nautical square miles) mostly north of the Montara platform. A large patch of slick is within 14.5 miles (12.5 nautical miles) of Cartier Island Marine Reserve.
September 24: strong winds moved into the area between the time the Terra satellite and the Aqua satellite passed overhead, increasing from 10 kts to 18 kts. The Terra image shows an area of 9,870 square miles (=7,455 square nautical miles) of patchy, discontinuous slick; this was reduced to 3,940 square miles (=2,976 square nautical miles) on the Aqua image five hours later. The higher wind speed for the Aqua image is either obscuring, or has actually dissipated, the thinnest portions of the slick. That would be good news, since the slicks on the Terra image appear to make contact with Cartier Island.
October 21: two months after the spill began, three attempts to kill the leaking well have failed. MODIS / Terra imagery shows the slicks extending across 2,624 square miles (1,982 nautical square miles) and approaching within 35 miles (30 natical miles) of the Kimberley coast. For several days the slicks have been transported toward the Australian coast, south-southeast from the Montara platform.
October 27: a MODIS / Aqua satellite image shows an airborne plume blowing southeast from the Montara platform - possibly smog formed by the natural gas and vaporized natural gas condensate that is being released into the air from the damaged well.
November 1: the fifth attempt to intercept the out-of-control well succeeded, but during initial operations to kill the well, the Montara platform and West Atlas drill rig caught fire. MODIS images taken on November 2 show a 100-mile-long plume of smoke blowing west-southwest from the platform location, and residual patches of oil and sheen within 27 miles of islands along the Australian coast.
November 3: the fire is extinguished and the spill has been stopped. The next step is to fill the failed well with a permanent cement plug, an operation complicated by damage to the Montara platform. The $250M West Atlas drill rig is apparently a total loss. The Australian government has launched an investigation.
December 16: Tropical cyclone Laurence is moving through the Timor Sea as a powerful Category 5 storm. Workers on the fire-damaged Montara platform have been evacuated. On December 15, the eye was 18 miles in diameter, and the storm was moving southwest at nearly 15 miles per hour, passing about 130 miles southeast of the Montara platform.
January 21, 2010: The eye of tropical cyclone Magda, a Category 2 storm, is located about 186 km southwest of the Montara platform, and the storm is moving to the south.
February 8, 2010: We've added a sequence of maps showing the cumulative ocean surface impacted by oil slicks and sheen, based on aanlysis of the MODIS imagery; and a map of the cumulative slicks with the state of Virginia superimposed for scale. We calculate that slightly over 22,000 square miles was cumulatively impacted by oil, an area about the size of West Virginia.
April 12, 2010: In light of the Obama administration's recent announcement to allow drilling to expand along much of the East Coast, we thought it would be interesting to see what a Montara-sized oil spill might look like if happened from well in federal waters, 60 miles off the coast of Delaware. It impacts the entire coastline of New Jersey, from Cape May to Sandy Hook, and we've only shown about 18,000 square miles of the 22,000 square mile cumulative Montara footprint.
Read more at the SkyTruth blog.
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Gulf of Mexico, Damage to Oil and Gas Infrastructure from Hurricane Katrina
Gulf of Mexico - Damage to Oil and Gas Infrastructure From Hurricane Katrina
UPDATE 5/1/06: The US Minerals Management service confirmed today that at least one major spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of damage to oil and gas infrastructure caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita (see www.mms.gov/ooc/press/2006/press0501.htm). Under US law, any offshore spill larger than 100,000 gallons is classified as a "major" spill. At least 6 spills greater than 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) have been confirmed by MMS, with the largest being 3,625 barrels (152,250 gallons). Cumulatively, these six spills alone are at least 362,000 gallons. (For comparison, the oil spill from a well blowout off Santa Barbara in 1969 totaled 200,000 gallons: it caused a slick 800 miles long and oiled 35 miles of beach.) MMS also reports that 457 pipelines were damaged, 101 of which were large diameter (10 inches or greater); that 146 spills of at least 1 barrel (42 gallons) have been reported so far, with 37 of these spills being 50 barrels (2,100 gallons) or greater. MMS cautions that the full extent of damage and spills is not yet known. -- UPDATE 2/3/2006: News reports in the Mobile Register reveal that a major oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on November 11, 2005, based on Coast Guard reports. A double-hulled oil tanker hit the submerged remains of an oil platform that had been destroyed by Hurricane Rita, opening a 35-foot-long gash in the hull of the 422-foot-long vessel, breaching the storage tanks and releasing up to 3 million gallons of heavy fuel oil. This ranks as one of the largest oil spills ever in the Gulf. (This oil spill is NOT depicted on the images in this gallery, which were all taken well before November 11.) -- UPDATE 11/6: Slicks on the September 2 radar satellite image cover a total area of 534 square miles (1,434 square kilometers). Assuming that those slicks are just 0.1um thick (1/10,000 of a millimeter, the estimated lower limit for detection on radar satellite images), that amounts to 38,000 gallons of oil. Based on the extensive slicks that also appear on the adjacent September 1 images, and ongoing small leaks from a few platforms for weeks following the storm, we conservatively estimate that more than 100,000 gallons of oil were released from the offshore platforms and pipelines damaged by Hurricane Katrina. (For comparison, the Exxon Valdez oil spill was 11 million gallons.) -- UPDATE 9/20: Radar satellite image taken on September 12th shows that the extensive slicks southwest of the delta seen on September 2nd have mostly dissipated. However, it does show apparently continuing leaks from several locations, including the platforms that were also apparently leaking on 9/2 and 9/9. We intepret the slicks as being very thin and not representing large volumes of oil, but indicating damage to these facilities that is causing persistent leakage. -- UPDATE 9/16: Coast Guard, NOAA and MMS aerial surveys in the Gulf have not detected a catastrophic oil spill, indicating the radar imagery is showing extensive but thin slicks of oil originating from numerous widely scattered sources. -- UPDATE 9/15: Images taken on September 2nd and September 9th show three platforms have apparently been leaking for more than a week. -- 9/9: Satellite images and aerial photographs are showing areally extensive slicks in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, suggesting widespread damage to oil and gas infrastructure (platforms and undersea pipelines). Approximately 2,144 platforms and 15,366 miles of seafloor pipeline lie within the zone that experienced hurricane-force winds. An additional 2,600 platforms and 12,470 miles of seafloor pipeline were exposed to tropical storm-force winds. Although the thickness of the slicks and therefore the volume of oil spilled can't be determined from these images, they show dozens of slicks extending across an area of more than 7,000 square miles, and could prove useful in the response and repair effort.
Eugene Island Pipeline Spill, Gulf of Mexico
On July 25, 2009, a 20" diameter pipeline on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor suffered an as-yet undetermined failure and spilled over 60,000 gallons of crude oil (a "medium" spill by coast Guard definition). The spill occurred in Lease Block 281 of the Eugene Island - South Addition protraction area, about 60 miles off the Louisiana coast, and created an oil slick covering 80 square miles. Responders are containing and dispersing the spill, and investigators will try to determine why this pipeline failed.
One possibility: in May 2009, Chevron's new deepwater platform, Tahiti, began producing oil. Tahiti is on the outer edge of the continental shelf, and for the first 50 miles the oil it produces flows toward shore through a new 24" pipeline, until it reaches Shell's Boxer platform. There the oil flows into the pre-existing pipeline network -- adding pressure and stress to the older pipelines that are closer to shore.
Based on this spill and resulting oil slick, we've created illustrations showing two hypothetical oil spills: one occurring from a point ten miles off the coast of Florida, and another occurring from the vicinity of Platform Irene off the coast of California (where a similar pipeline spill -- the Torch spill -- actually happened in 1997, oiling the beaches and killing over 700 birds).
Coalbed Methane (Coalbed Natural Gas)
Images, maps and graphics illustrating the impacts of coalbed methane (CBM) drilling and production, mostly on public lands in the Rocky Mountain West (Wyoming, Montana, Utah).
Atlantic Rim CBM
Maps and simulations of coalbed methane drilling in the Atlantic Rim area of south-central Wyoming.
San Juan Basin CBM Development
Scenic view of dramatic landscape in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, taken during December 2003 overflight. Photographer Name: Bruce Gordon Organization Name: SkyTruth / EcoFlight
Valle Vidal, Raton Basin - Varmejo Park, New Mexico
Satellite and aerial images showing undeveloped Valle Vidal unit of Carson National Forest in New Mexico; coalbed methane (CBM) extraction on adjacent Vermejo Park Ranch; and oil and gas (including CBM) development in adjacent Raton Basin of Colorado - New Mexico. UPDATE 10/18/06: New images for Areas 1-7 added, extending the time-series to 2005.
Upper Green River Valley
Satellite, aerial and other images showing the spread of infrastructure related to energy development in the Upper Green River Valley of western Wyoming (featuring time-series satellite images of the Jonah and Pinedale Anticline natural gas fields).
Learn more about natural gas drilling in this area on the SkyTruth blog, and at the Upper Green River Alliance website.
Pronghorn Roadkill Accident, Jonah Gas Fields, WY
Images and photographs showing the location and aftermath of a mass roadkill incident in the Jonah natural gas field of Wyoming's Upper Green River Valley. A single pickup truck reportedly killed 21 pronghorn antelope in a collision on January 15, 2007. Initial accounts indicate the truck was being driven legally, below the posted speed limit. For more information on this accident, see www.newwest.net/index.php/main/article/wyoming_records_de.... To learn more about the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's plans to greatly expand drilling in this area, go to www.uppergreen.org/wyoming/wyoming.php (public comments on this plan will be accepted by the BLM until March 15, 2007). To learn more about gas and oil drilling on public lands in this area, browse our Upper Green River Valley image gallery (http://skytruth.mediatools.org/objects/view.acs?object_id=4419) and watch our 10-minute video (http://www.skytruth.org/ugrvvideo.htm). Google Earth users, download a KMZ file to explore the area and learn more about drilling (http://www.skytruth.org/ge/ugrv/skytruth_ugrv.kmz).
Bridger-Teton National Forest images
Wyoming Range - PXP Eagle Prospect Drilling Simulation
Bridger-Teton National Forest WY Range PXP Eagle Prospect Drill Sim
Wyoming Range - Stanley Energy Drilling Simulation
Grand Mesa Drilling Sim
Roan Plateau, CO
Satellite and aerial images showing the beautiful Roan Plateau in Colorado, and encroaching energy development. UPDATE 6/22/07: 8 new aerial images added, taken on April 17, 2007
Buried Drilling Pit, Colorado
Location of a natural-gas drilling site operated by EnCana in western Colorado. Common drilling operations that cause concerns about potential ground water contamination are illustrated in two videos taken at this site, one showing the storage of drilling fluids in a pit during hydrofracturing ("fraccing") and another showing closure and burial of that pit. Although the operations depicted are probably allowed by Colorado law, nearby homeowners who rely on groundwater for drinking and bathing are concerned about these practices as drilling permeates the area.
Acid Gas Injection Well - Kirtland, NM
Images showing the location of a proposed well to dispose of "acid gas" by injecting it into underlying rock formations. Acid gas - mostly CO2 and H2S - is an unwanted byproduct of natural-gas processing. The public hearing for this proposal is on June 11, 2009.
Otero Mesa, Permian Basin, New Mexico
Satellite and aerial images showing the intense landscape disruption caused by oil and gas development in the Permian Basin of Texas - New Mexico, and the relatively intact natural beauty of the adjacent Otero Mesa region of New Mexico
Suspended Natural Gas and Oil Leases in Utah
Images showing the locations of 77 leases for natural gas and oil drilling, on public land in Utah, that were auctioned off to the oil and gas industry by the Bureau of Land Management in December 2008. These leases were suspended by the federal government in February 2009 pending further review by the Department of the Interior, after receiving over 1,600 complaints from environmental groups, the Outdoor Industry Association, sportsmen organizations, and a collection of river runners, guides, and outfitters.
Several of the leases are adjacent to, or within a few miles of, Dinosaur National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park.
We've included a few images showing current drilling operations in nearby parts of the Uinta Basin, to give you an idea of how severely the suspended areas could be altered if Interior decides to go ahead and approve the leases.
Get more background info on drilling in Utah, and keep up with the latest on this issue, at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance website. And stay tuned -- this fight's not over yet. Some of these leases may get reinstated.
North Slope, Alaska
Images related to oil and gas development on the North Slope of Alaska and in adjacent Arctic waters. Winter images of the onshore infrastructure often show "halos" of what appears to be dust or soot around many of the roads and intallations, possibly caused by traffic and diesel-burning equipment. Particularly in the Arctic, soot and dust deposition on the snow and ice has emerged as a concern because it can accelerate the effect of global warming by increasing the absorption of heat from the sun.
Oil Sands/Oil Shale
Images of oil shale and oil sands (tar sands) mining and processing facilities in Alberta, Australia, and Colorado; and simulation of open-pit oil sands development in western Colorado.