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(UCSB, 1999) OIL AND GAS SEEPAGE FROM OCEAN FLOOR REDUCED BY OIL PRODUCTION
ucsb edu ^ | orig 1999 | UCSB office of public affairs

Posted on 08/23/2012 6:27:54 PM PDT by doug from upland

PRESS RELEASE

OIL AND GAS SEEPAGE FROM OCEAN FLOOR REDUCED BY OIL PRODUCTION

November 18, 1999

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) Next time you step on a glob of tar on a beach in Santa Barbara County, you can thank the oil companies that it isn't a bigger glob.

The same is true around the world, on other beaches where off-shore oil drilling occurs, say scientists, although Santa Barbara's oil seeps are thought to be among the leakiest.

Natural seepage of hydrocarbons from the ocean floor in the northern Santa Barbara Channel has been significantly reduced by oil production, according to two recently published peer-reviewed articles, one in November's Geology Magazine, the other in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans.

The Santa Barbara Channel provides an excellent natural laboratory, as it is among the areas with the highest levels of seepage in the world, said co-author Bruce P. Luyendyk, professor and chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The studies were not funded by oil companies, but rather by the University of California Energy Institute and the U.S. Minerals Management Service, states Luyendyk, responding to the fact that the results favor off-shore oil production and are opposed by some environmentalists.

"We've done a good piece of science," said Luyendyk. "We've developed a good understanding of a natural process. It's all public data; it's all straightforward. If I thought the study was compromised I wouldn't be involved in it."

Most of the seepage is methane, a potent greenhouse gas which escapes into the atmosphere, said Luyendyk. About 10 percent of the seepage is composed of "higher hydrocarbons," or reactive organic gases which interact with tailpipe emissions and sunlight, creating air pollution.

The researchers state that the production rate of these naturally-occurring reactive organic gases is equal to twice the emission rate from all the on-road vehicle traffic in Santa Barbara County in 1990.

According to the articles, studies of the area around Platform Holly showed a 50 percent decrease in natural seepage over 22 years. The researchers show that as the oil was pumped out the reservoir, pressure that drives the seepage dropped.

"If the decrease in natural seepage found near Platform Holly is representative of the effect of oil production on seepage worldwide, then this has the potential to significantly alter global oil and gas seepage in the future," state the researchers in the article "The World's Most Spectacular Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps: Quantification of Emissions " in the Sept. 14 issue of the Journal of Geological Research - Oceans.

They continue, "For example if the 50 percent reduction in natural seepage rate that occurred around Platform Holly also occurred due to future oil production from the oil field beneath the La Goleta seep, this would result in a reduction in nonmethane hydrocarbon emission rates equivalent to removing half of the on-road vehicle traffic from Santa Barbara County. In addition, a 50 percent reduction in seepage from the La Goleta seep would remove about 25 barrels of oil per day from the sea surface, which in turn would result in a 15 percent reduction in the amount of tar found on Santa Barbara beaches."

They conclude by saying that the rate of increase of global methane atmospheric concentrations has been declining for the past 20 years, and that a "worldwide decrease in natural hydrocarbon seepage related to onshore and offshore oil production may be causing a global reduction in natural methane emission rates."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: california; drillbabydrill; energy
I arrived on campus in 1966. As I sat on the beach studying for a psych exam, I noticed a great deal of tar on the beach. The drilling rigs off the coast did not bother the view. They were far enough away to look like small ships. Tom McClintock has discussed this in making his arguments to be able to drill and get our energy. That is the environmentally sound position.

As a side note, some thought I was a little nuts to put a big sign in my window on the 7th floor of San Miguel Hall == "BOMB PEKING". I guess I was ahead of my time.

1 posted on 08/23/2012 6:28:02 PM PDT by doug from upland
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To: doug from upland

I had read another study, a few years ago, that had estimated the west coast seepage at about 8-88 Exxon Valdez’s per year.

Yes, drill.


2 posted on 08/23/2012 6:33:26 PM PDT by Puckster
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To: doug from upland
Next time you step on a glob of tar on a beach in Santa Barbara County, you can thank the oil companies that it isn't a bigger glob.

And it would follow that you could also blame the EPA, Sierra Club, Green Peace, and every Democrat in the universe, that it is there at all.

3 posted on 08/23/2012 6:40:57 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: doug from upland
So the truth finally comes out - off shore drilling on the California Coast actually makes for a cleaner environment if you assume that the massive quantities of oil that are released from below the surface fissures are harmful to the environment.

In reality, off shore drilling in California is not, nor has it ever been, and ecological problem.

It's just another irrational, emotion driven hot button issue that Politicians and the Media uses to manipulate the gullible and vacuous NIMBY’s that populate the once great state of California.

4 posted on 08/23/2012 6:41:10 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: doug from upland

Yeah, but liberals and the environmentalist would say that we should not disrupt the natural processes of mother Earth. mega sarcasm.


5 posted on 08/23/2012 6:45:05 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: doug from upland

That’s the one thing I used to hate when going to Seal Beach or Huntington Beach when I was a chile’ in the sixties...cleaning our feet with paint thinner at home to get the tar off!


6 posted on 08/23/2012 7:03:08 PM PDT by liege (I'll pay more for tomatoes...or lettuce.)
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To: doug from upland
Arrived in Isla Vista in '77 to surf and, when necessary, attend classes. I learned quickly why there were metal scrapers and tubs filled with kerosene at the end of the stairs leading down to the beach. It was the only way to get the tar off your feet. Getting it out of our long hair was another story. My roommate kept a jar of mayonnaise in the shower. As weird as it was to see a full jar of mayo in the shower, before I knew why it was there, I have to admit that it worked wonders at removing the tar from my hair.

No one really worried much about the tar, they were much more interested in the swells and the banal, beached out, bleached out blondes that made UCSB a great place to call home.

7 posted on 08/23/2012 7:12:38 PM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: American Constitutionalist
Yeah, but liberals and the environmentalist would say that we should not disrupt the natural processes of mother Earth. mega sarcasm.

That one is invoked selectively. James Watt had a "let it burn" approach for a while as Sec. of Interior. He caught a lot of flak for that.
8 posted on 08/23/2012 7:23:17 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I love to hear you talk talk talk, but I hate what I hear you say."-Del Shannon)
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To: Mase; doug from upland
Santa Barbara's beaches back in the 50's were always littered with big globs of tar, rather like cow patties in a pasture. Had to watch where you walked and where you chose to take a deep breath when swimming. Got much better after the rigs were built.

But loved the kerosene reference. We had that in the dorms, too, but we natives (in my case, almost a native) just used baby oil. Took longer, but much nicer. Looking back, we probably should have shared that info, but it was too much fun to see people gingerly handling the kerosene.

9 posted on 08/23/2012 7:34:31 PM PDT by dorothy ( "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: doug from upland

When I was a kid and before any offshore oil production there was so much natural oil flow that there wasn’t a beach from Santa Barbara to thwe Mexican border that you could go on without getting covered with tar.

My first stop when coming home from the beach was the tin washtub and getting scrubbed down with kerosene befre I was allowed in the house.

Even into the late 70s there was balls of oil the size of a basketball coming up on the horseshoe kelp which is 7 miles off Long Beach.

Scrubbing down the boat on Sunday to get all the oil off was a pain in the ass!!!


10 posted on 08/23/2012 7:35:30 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: dorothy

That’s funny. I had just moved there from New Jersey so getting that kind of “locals only” information just wasn’t happening. We surfed several times a week, at different locations near the school, and I eventually got tired of the kero. I must have had tar residue on my feet the entire time I was at UCSB. It would have been nice to know about the effectiveness of baby oil. :>)


11 posted on 08/23/2012 8:05:30 PM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: Puckster

I spoke with a petroleum engineer from California a few years ago and he told me this very thing. He also claimed that with the twist of a few valves off-shore production of oil in California would skyrocket, but that oil companies were forbidden by law to open them.


12 posted on 08/23/2012 8:33:47 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: HMS Surprise

The foundation of this is Gaia religion that permeates politics, science(AGW), environmentalism and now businesses expecting to suck from the hind teat of this whore.

It’s paganism....


13 posted on 08/23/2012 8:45:34 PM PDT by Puckster
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To: SampleMan
Not meaning to hijack the thread, but the exact same thing can be said about the wildfires plaguing Northern California today as we speak.

All these moronic caring environmentalists plus a few other groups destroyed the lumber industry and quadrupled the cost of lumber for every homeowner. Then they "persuaded" the moron legislatures to not permit even the thining of forests which are criminally overcrowded, adding fuel to natural fires and destroyin hundreds of homes and business in the process.

Just take any east-west road between the coast and Hwy 101 anywhere from Santa Rosa to the Oregon border.

The tree huggers being allowed to cause that level of destruction borders on criminal.

14 posted on 08/23/2012 9:08:53 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: dalereed
When I was a kid and before any offshore oil production there was so much natural oil flow that there wasn’t a beach from Santa Barbara to thwe Mexican border that you could go on without getting covered with tar.

You got to remember that these people are not only delusional and arrogant, but egocentric.

If it didn't exist after they were born, it never happened and it never matters.

15 posted on 08/23/2012 9:21:09 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: dorothy; Mase
Was also at UCSB 77-80 and we used carbon tetrachloride (bunch of science geeks) which causes some sort of organ damage but it took beach tar off real good.

What a great place - I miss that a lot. Biking to 8 AM class always had a test moment - when we could see over the cliffs and there was surf half turned back to get boards.

Took my daughter there 2 yrs ago and biked the campus - it looks much smaller now for some reason. Isla Vista still smells the same - good thing all the Eucalyptus trees.

16 posted on 08/23/2012 10:19:12 PM PDT by corkoman (Release the Palin!)
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To: corkoman
You and I were there for the exact same time period. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to stay there given the many distractions. I don't know if I would have gone the carbon tet route to remove the tar, but I'll bet it worked well. LOL!

I try and explain to others what life was like in IV back then but I never do it justice. I have lots of pictures from Halloween on Del Playa, and even saved an issue of the Daily Nexus that chronicled the Halloween riot of '78.

I took my wife there several years ago and she described it as a student ghetto. True, but what an awesome place to live it was. There were still lots of characters hanging out in Anisq'oyo park, but it was nothing like the late 70's. I don't think they have the concerts there like they used to either; and I didn't see any tipis or wikiups. I remember my first day on campus and thinking I was in China with all the bicycles. My beach cruiser was "borrowed" dozens of times during the year, but I'd always manage to find it, and then lose it again. I don't know why I never bought a chain and lock.

Every morning one of us would run down Camino Pescadero to provide the surf report. The temptation was always there but I would resist - most of the time anyway. The ones who didn't were usually gone within the next couple of quarters. In the winter, we'd try and schedule our classes so we could take Tuesday and Thursday afternoons off and head up to El Capitan, the ranch, or to just hang off campus Point and Devereux. Several years ago, I was attending a trade show in Charlotte and ran into a guy who looked familiar. I started talking with him and learned that he was at UCSB the same time I was, and that he and I had surfed together many times off Campus Point. His name was Brian Bridgeford. He was on the UCSB surf team and was rarely went to class. I think he needed 7 years to finally graduate. Small world. He looked the same - long hair and a little burned out - just 30 years older.

I can't imagine there could be a better college experience anywhere. Although I went to many schools before joining the workforce, UCSB is the only one that receives a check from me every year.

17 posted on 08/24/2012 7:26:21 AM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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