"Report: Oil Pipelines at Risk in Hurricanes"

"As if the Deepwater Horizon oil-well blowout wasn't enough to threaten Gulf Coast communities with oil, scientists with the Naval Research Laboratory at the Stennis Space Center say waves as tall as 91 feet and strong underwater currents generated by major hurricanes create massive forces that can wreak havoc on the more than 31,000 miles of pipelines connecting oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico to the coast.

'Major oil leaks from damaged pipelines could have irreversible impacts to the ocean environment,' conclude the authors of a study of the underwater effects of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 published last week in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The report is one of several scientific studies using data gathered during Ivan, which traveled across an array of underwater instruments the scientists had moored in several locations along the Gulf of Mexico shelf just south of the Alabama coastline to measure current flows."

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune June 14, 2010.

 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010