Thursday 15 August 2013

Oil spill on the Oklahoma River.

Between 35 and 45 barrels (5500-7000 liters) of crude oil are thought to have leaked into the Oklahoma  River after lightning struck a tank battery at an injection well, on the evening of Monday 12 August 2013, causing it to leak oil and brine into Mustang Creek, a tributary of the river in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Fire Department and Oklahoma City Public Works Department have been trying to contain the spill with a series of booms while the oil is pumped from the river. A number of Geese have been rescued after becoming oiled in the incident.

The cleanup operation in Oklahoma City on Monday 12 August 2013. News Channel 4.

An injection well is a pipe injected into an oil-bearing layer of rock, through which a liquid or gas, in this case brine (salt water) are pumped into the sediments to displace oil, or sometimes natural gas, which is typically extracted at a second, nearby, well. If the fluids are blasted into the rock at pressure to displace them forcibly from non-porous rocks then the process is referred to as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but with porous rocks simply displacing the oil by pumping in water is often sufficient to allow extraction.

The approximate location of the 12 August 2013 Oklahoma oil spill. Google Maps.

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