Long-term Environmental Effects of Offshore Oil and Gas by D.F. Boesch, N.N. Rabalais

By D.F. Boesch, N.N. Rabalais

Long-term Environmental results of Offshore Oil and gasoline Development includes 14 chapters by means of diverse authors which concentrate on the US.

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Long-term Environmental Effects of Offshore Oil and Gas Development

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11—contd. 1 Feasibility of approach judged as “High” (can be satisfactorily accomplished within a 10-year time frame using available methods); “Potential” (requires development of methods or innovative approaches); and “Limited” (probably infeasible within a 10-year time frame). this synthesis, to be followed by longer-term assessments of population dynamics and physiological and behavioral studies. Controlled studies can be undertaken for some birds, pinnipeds and turtles: comparing fitness, behavior, and reproductive success between disturbed and undisturbed areas.

Toxic hydrocarbons, particularly medium and high molecular weight aromatics and heterocyclics, may persist for long periods in anaerobic sediments (Chapters 6 and 7) to be released chronically or episodically into the environment and exert potentially toxic effects. Because juvenile forms of many economically important species live in inshore environments, events there may affect those species even though offshore adult populations are not directly or immediately affected. Anadromous species such as salmon are a specially sensitive case because they concentrate in estuaries and rivers during both spawning and seaward migrations.

Boesch et al. Based on inventories of barium (an excellent tracer of drilling muds, but in itself essentially non-toxic), sediment contamination from multiple wells drilled from a single platform appears less than that resulting from a single well discharge multiplied by the number of wells, because contaminated sediments disperse with time. On the wave-influenced shallow continental shelf, sedimented contaminants disperse but where sediments are relatively stagnant, contamination (and the effects thereof) may persist.

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