Water Week

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Oil spill from fuel-transfer hose into ocean is ‘one in 50’, says Drillsearch as it details impacts of Marina-1 Exploration Well

Posted by waterweek on 20 September 2007

While the probability of a major oil spill associated with hydrocarbon exploration and production facilities was low in Australian marine waters, consequences of such an event can be significant (Swan et al., 1994), noted the Drillsearch Energy Limited, Drilling of Marina-1 Exploration Well EPBC Referral Submission (24/7/2007). Marine impacts: Impacts to marine species as a result of an oil spill included ingestion, loss of thermal insulation, irritation to eyes and mucous membranes, loss of food supply or bioaccumulation through the food chain.

Risky activities: During drilling activities, activities with the potential for hydrocarbons to enter the marine environment include refuelling activities. Spill volumes were generally limited to the volume of the hose minimised by automatic pump shutdowns and safety valve closure. Spill probabilities from a rupture of a fuel transfer hose, amounting to a spill of no more than 200 litres, was one in 50 based on a 25-day drilling program (EPA, 1997).

Reference: Drillsearch Energy Limited, Drilling of Marina-1 Exploration Well EPBC Referral Submission. AGR Asia Pacific Controlled Document No. 4489-DR-02-RP-001. Contact: Philip Kelso, Managing Director Drillsearch Energy Ltd. Level 8, 16 Spring Street, Sydney, NSW 2000. Phone: 02 9241 4440. Email: philip@drillsearch.com.au

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