TOXIC CHEMICALS RELEASED DURING OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS
Toxic Pollutants Released During Oil & Gas Drilling
Risks sited by the California Coastal Commission in 1992 for the proposed Macpherson slant oil drilling project. The summary of the seven major risks addressed by the California Coastal Commission detailed report. Its important to note that none of these risks can be fully mitigated with any new E&B technology.
When Macphearson proposed to locate their hazardous oil and gas industrial development in a fully developed urban area in Hermosa Beach. The Commission staff did not believe that Macphearson had fully analyzed the potential worst-case accidental release of hydrogen sulfide, they felt that nearby wells had historically produced significant amounts of hydrogen sulfide to warrant further investigation.
As a result, the applicant agreed to fund an independent third party review of this risk. Arthur D. Little, Inc., working under the direction of Commission staff, determined that hydrogen sulfide would be encountered during drilling and production. This finding they said posed a significant safety risk to offsite population. Hydrogen sulfide is lethal within a few breaths at concentrations of 1,000 parts per million (ppm), and kills within ½-hour at concentrations of 300 ppm. Serious health issues may occur at lower concentrations. Occupational safety standards are triggered at 10 ppm.
- The E&B project poses a risk of explosion and fire.
- Methane Gas build-up can lead to leaks & explosions not to mention contamination of ground water.
- Withdrawal of reservoir fluids and associated changes in reservoir pressures can lead to subsidence. Subsidence of the nearshore area can lead to changes in beach profiles and result in loss of sandy beach. Loss of sand would be a major change in Hermosa Beaches’ topography and could lead to catastrophic flooding of Strand Homes and Pier Ave Businesses.
- Re-injection of fluids poses risk of increased earthquake activity. Subsidence can also cause increased seismic activity.
- Project-related operations can result in oil spills at the drilling site to a tanker truck or a pipeline, all toxic, all polluting and all dangerous.
- Smell and the lack of clean air to breath.
- Drilling and well maintenance activities require 75 to 135-foot tall drilling rig in place for at least 3 months a year for the life of the project.
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