December 20 News: Shell Spills 13,000 Gallons of Drilling Fluids Near Deepwater Horizon Site

Other stories below: Philippine Death Toll Rises in Worst Cyclone in Three Years; India May Jump in Solar Trade War

Shell spills 13,000 gallons while drilling near Deepwater Horizon site

Shell International spilled 13,000 gallons of oil and drilling fluids into the Gulf on Sunday while drilling an exploratory well near the site of last year’s Deepwater Horizon accident, according to a federal report on the spill.

The area where the well was being drilled is about 20 miles from the site of the BP oil spill. Shell is working in water more than 7,000 feet deep. The well was being drilled by the Deepwater Nautilus, according to federal records. That rig is owned and operated by Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig.

While a report Shell filed Monday morning with the National Response Center states that the company spilled 7,560 gallons of oil and 5,829 gallons of synthetic drilling fluids, company spokesperson Kelly op de Weegh said late Monday afternoon that no oil was spilled.

Philippine Death Toll Rises in Worst Cyclone in Three Years

The Philippines’ death toll from Tropical Storm Washi rose to 632, making it the deadliest cyclone to hit the nation in three years and sparking criticism of the government’s lack of preparation.

Eighty-two people were still missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in its noon report today. The cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan on the southern island of Mindanao are preparing mass graves because coffins are in short supply and funeral parlors can’t keep up with the dead, Ana Caneda, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense, said by phone.

“The suffering here is unspeakable,” Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said in a telephone interview today from Iligan City, where he is helping oversee relief operations. “The government should act here very fast. The people have already suffered and they’re making them suffer more.” The Red Cross put casualties at 652.

Google, KKR Set California Solar Deal

Google Inc. and KKR & Co. Inc. are expected to announce Tuesday a joint investment in a California solar-power project, showing investor interest in the industry amid expiring government incentives.

The Internet giant and private-equity firm will become majority owners of four solar farms south of Sacramento, according to people familiar with the matter. Recurrent Energy, the project’s developer and a subsidiary of Sharp Corp., will remain a minority owner and operate the facilities, these people said.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t available. A person familiar with the matter said that KKR and Google beat out other bidders.

Recurrent has a 20-year agreement to supply the Sacramento Municipal Utility District with roughly enough electricity to power 13,000 U.S. homes. The customer-owned utility serves about 1.4 million people over 900 square miles.

India May Join U.S.-China Trade Spat to Prevent Solar ‘Disaster’

India may jump into an escalating U.S.-China trade fight over solar energy as local manufacturers lobby New Delhi for protection against imports from rivals including First Solar Inc. and Suntech Power Holdings Co.

India may initiate an anti-dumping probe in a month focused on imports of Chinese solar products, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement yesterday. India’s Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar declined to comment in a phone call.

Indian manufacturers are also seeking a 15 percent tariff on imports of thin-film solar panels, the country’s Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Tarun Kapoor said in an interview. The biggest thin-film panel company is Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar.

Indian suppliers such as Tata BP Solar India Ltd., Indosolar Ltd. and Moser Baer India Ltd. have failed to benefit from a rule intended to spawn a domestic manufacturing hub in one of the world’s fastest-growing

For Many Species, Moving Day Has Added Stress

Every fall the calliope hummingbird, which weighs about as much as a penny, braves high winds and bad weather to migrate from Canada and the northern United States to as far south as Mexico, then back again in the spring — a total of 4,000 to 5,000 miles.

The journey is one of several dozen “spectacular migrations” — in the air and on land — that are chronicled in a new report by the Wildlife Conservation Society. But the report warns that these migrations are in peril.

“Long-distance migrations as a whole are rapidly disappearing,” said an author of the report, Keith Aune, a senior conservation scientist here in Montana for the wildlife group, which is based at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

Top 10 Creative Videos of 2011: My Water’s On Fire Tonight (The Fracking Song)

The best thing about fracking, perhaps, is that it sounds like a swear word. The worst thing? That is a long list. Luckily, a creative team of students at Studio 20 NYU made a music video explaining ProPublica’s (let’s face it) rather dry three-year investigation on the controversial natural-gas drilling technique. With a chorus like, “What the frack is going on with all this fracking going on?”, the talented animators and composers behind “My Water’s On Fire Tonight (The Fracking Song)” make a tune about energy regulation a hip-shaking experience.

9 Responses to December 20 News: Shell Spills 13,000 Gallons of Drilling Fluids Near Deepwater Horizon Site

  1. Michael T says:

    Air pollution levels from Deepwater Horizon spill similar to large urban area

    “The amount of air pollutants in the atmospheric plume generated by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was similar to a large city according to a new NOAA-led study published today in a special issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

  2. Colorado Bob says:

    Preliminary estimates from the Texas Forest Service show the year-long drought in Texas may have claimed as many as a half-billion trees.

    The agency surveyed forestry professionals from regions around Texas, which has a total tree population of about 4.9 billion. Researchers analyzing the information have determined from 100 million to 500 million, or from 2 to 10 percent of all trees, have been lost.

  3. Colorado Bob says:

    A field trial of LED light fittings in social housing says the new technology can deliver huge energy savings, reduce costs and makes residents feel safer.

    The study, carried out by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), measured the performance of more than 4,250 LED light fittings installed at 35 sites.

    The EST said it carried out the trial because an increasing number of LED lights were now commercially available.

    It is predicted the technology could dominate the lighting market by 2015.

    “We like to test things in-situ in order to understand their real performance rather than rely on manufacturers’ claims,” explained James Russill, EST’s technical development manager.

  4. jk says:

    Franke James video and James et al visual essay regarding Canadian politics and oil:

  5. John Tucker says:

    Beyond irritating. Seafood is getting to be like Russian roulette – all a shrimp/fish/shellfish has to do is occupy in that drifting carcinogenic soup before being caught somewhere else and consumed by some unsuspecting man, woman or child.

    People make a big deal of singe radiation contamination events – which mind you are not good – but incidents like this occur routinely, are much worse, and are barely noticed.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Happy Shrimp…no shrimp cocktail for me, sorry but you got to clean up your resources first.

    Ooops! Only takes several decades or even irreversible! Oooops!

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Omg, India has how many inhabitants?

  8. Colorado Bob says:

    There is more heartbreak in the ongoing saga surrounding the Lone Star State’s trees.

    The Texas Forest Service is reporting that a minimum of 100 million and as many as 500 million trees — between two and 10 percent of Texas’ estimated 4.9 billion — have died as a result of the epic drought of 2011.

    That’s only including trees with a diameter of five inches or larger on forested land, and doesn’t touch the approximate four million acres burned by drought-induced wildfires that raged across the state.

  9. David B. Benson says:

    Soon more than China.