Friday, 11 February 2011

Oil Spill Recovery Jobs

The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought new attention to the oil business and the recovery efforts that are necessary to contain or at the very least try to reduce the environmental impact of the oil gushing out to coat the waters and land along the Gulf of Mexico's coast. In addition to the jobs on offshore oil rigs, there are more generated as the need to deal with the oil grows.
The jobs that are available depend on the amount of damage that has occurred. In Florida, for example, the number of vessels that have been hired to help set up and operate the containment boom, transportation of personnel and equipment as well as surveillance of the surface of the ocean and the many local waterways is nearly three thousand. These vessels are compensated for their time, usually up to $3,000 per day. The working group of local fishermen and local crews will be the most help to provide clean up of the area the oil spill has encompassed.
Other jobs that are involved in the oil recovery are the people who are trained in shoreline recovery. After training in how to handle the waste products and equipment used to clean them, and the correct way to handle the hazardous waste. This may include cleaning the oil soaked debris, washing the rocks and beach areas and removal of trash.
The spill affected many different types of wildlife and fish along the coast and in the waters of the Gulf. The workers who are required to report the dead animals are among those jobs not normally thought of as spill jobs but they do qualify. The wildlife biologists and oceanic science workers will also be part of the clean up as they study the environmental impact of the oil spill on marine and animal life in the Gulf shore and beyond. The study and impact of an oil spill reaches beyond the immediate into decades from when the incident happened. Studies and environmental impacts are still being done from the Exxon oil spill in Alaska years ago.
A new career can change your life for the better. To find out more about oil fields jobs, visit the oil industries leading employment resource, today!

Oil Skimmers - Simple and Effective

Oil skimmers are an excellent tool in the war against petroleum based spills because everyone knows that Oil + Water = one big mess that is often very hard to clean up especially when the quantity of oil spilled is large.
The most effective, although slow way of getting oil off the top of water is by using oil skimmers. They work by using the adhesive nature of the oil to their advantage. Oil will cling to any surface that it comes into contact with, so these machines provide a never ending surface for the spilled petroleum product to cling to, clean that surface and then repeat that process continuously.
Since the process is continuous and you don't have to replace chemicals or remove soiled items, a large amount of spilled product can be recovered in a short period of time.
Oil skimmers work well in cleaning up oil and petroleum based products on water after major spill events, but for the most part they are used as a maintenance item to remove small petroleum sheens from the surface of retention ponds and tanks at manufacturing facilities that use petroleum based products in their manufacturing operations.
Oil skimmers are really simple devices that do an excellent job doing what they are designed to do. Like any other piece of equipment, it is absolutely critical that the proper size is chosen based on the area that needs to be cleaned. The manufacturers of oil skimmers can provide direction and guidance as to what the reasonable capacity each of their models can realistically provide.
Because of their simplistic nature, oil skimmers are easy to repair, maintain and clean. Any person that is skilled in maintenance of equipment should have no problem adjusting and maintaining the majority of the units that are available on the market today.
One thing you need to know is that oil skimmers work best when they are used in water that is calm such as in a pond, lake or ocean where the waves are not thrashing around. They aren't as effective in rivers or high wave conditions because the oil needs a little bit of time to adhere to the rotating surface in order to pick it up.
Most oil skimmers are driven by an electric motor that provides the power necessary to move the rotating oil collection surface, a collection tank where the oil is stored until it is emptied and a scraper that removes the oil from the collecting surface. Some advanced models have timers and other analytical devices that turn the skimmer on when they sense oil on the surface. These devices are for controlled situations where the spill or leak is intermittent and not for full scale clean up like happens when there is a major oil spill like the Exxon Valdez or the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.
The capacity of a oil skimmers is directly related to the surface area of the collection device. The larger the area, the higher the capacity. This fact, in itself, makes it seem like oil skimmers don't work very well. When there is a major oil spill, people want it to be cleaned up fast. Oil skimmers don't work fast, the way most people see fast. They are methodical and effective but don't get in a hurry due to the nature of the product they are collecting and how they work.
The next time you are watching an oil spill being cleaned up, look for oil skimmers. They are either drums or belts that rotate slowly through the contaminated water collecting the oil as they rotate.
Bret Mundt is a mechanical engineer and industrial contractor with more than 20 years experience working in manufacturing facilities. He knows what works and what doesn't from a practical standpoint. He has the unique ability to take complicated and technical information and simplify it so anyone can understand it. You can check out the information about the best oil skimmers and which one is best for your situation.
Bret Mundt - EzineArticles Expert Author

Never-Ending Need for BP Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup HAZWOPER Courses

Anyone that believes that the worst is over concerning the BP Gulf oil spill in the SE area of the United States of America only has to recall the past. In what natural or man-made or better said as man-created with natural materials disaster has a corporation been truthful about the amount and term of the disaster at hand? From the lies and tribulations concerning the Exxon Valdez spill all the way back to the cause of the Chicago Fire we have been treated as if we were children when it comes to the facts about any disaster.
On the Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico
The most important factor that still remains and needs to be addressed now is that there are still thousands of gallons of oil from the leak still poisoning the Gulf Coast region. With that said it is also of great importance that any of the dedicated and patriotic oil spill cleanup workers/volunteers that still wish and have the undying desire to pitch in and help clean up the nations most dramatic and costly environmental catastrophe need to have OSHA compliant safety training courses under their belt. We still need you ALL!
Bottom to Top Oil Hazards
The hazards that BP Gulf oil spill response teams as well as cleanup workers face on a daily basis is nothing short of mind-boggling. If you can imagine standing waist-deep in what is normally a picture-perfect postcard type day in the Gulf Coast but instead being outfitted from head to toe in sweltering hot PPE equipment while picking up tarballs and other unmentionables then you can almost realize what it's like in the day of a BP Gulf oil spill cleanup crew worker/volunteer. Add to this the health factors of just being in in the near vicinity of so much crude oil and you have a job to beat all jobs.
OSHA Requires Everyone to Satisfactorily Complete HAZWOPER Safety Training Courses
The Department of Labor and OSHA mandate that anyone who is involved in the actual cleanup must receive at the minimum four hours of OSHA compliant safety training that will cover in detail the hazards at the BP Gulf oil spill site as well as any other hazards that will be involved in future environmental cleanup efforts. The Department of Labor and OSHA are very good at check in OSHA compliant cards for accuracy and go directly to the supervisor of the BP Gulf oil spill cleanup crew who is in charge of collecting and verifying each and every OSHA compliance card.
Online OSHA safety was created in 2006. Bobby Malhotra saw the need for an organized and highly-efficient method to not only list but offer all the OSHA required work and worker safety regulatory courses and tests.

Bobby Malhotra - EzineArticles Expert Author

Oil Spill Cleanup Jobs

The Gulf oil spill has affected the local fishing market, the tourism industry and has resulted in a major number of people going out of work. Nearly 423 miles of the shoreline across the Gulf of Mexico is being affected by the 100,000 barrels of petroleum oil that gushes out of broken pipes each day. The petroleum companies that are responsible for this ongoing disaster are hiring people to help in cleaning up the oil mess by providing oil spill cleanup jobs to the masses. Many NGOs and other voluntary organisations have taken up the cleanup drive along the shoreline.
Most people seem to have found a new way to get income and do their bit for the environment by applying for the oil spill cleanup jobs. In coastal Louisiana, this has created a mini job boom with many agencies hiring people to help clean the oil mess. The petroleum company, BP, is also taking in applications for different positions to oil spill cleanup jobs.
When there is an oil spill, the oil is washed ashore and affects the coastline. A quick effort is required to avoid the oil from mixing with the sediment on the shoreline. Different cleanup methods that are undertaken include using barriers to herd the oil spill away from shorelines, pressure washing, manual cleaning efforts, removal of oil debris, sedimentation, and many others. These cleanup jobs are open for all and most of them do not require any dedicated skill sets. Different types of work, like cleaning up the oil spill on the shore, relocating and taking care of wildlife affected by the oil spill, offshore work, etc. are available. Some of the other positions that are being offered are technicians, chemists, engineers, labourers, environmental specialists, health workers, project heads, and general cleanup workers.
There are many websites where you can apply for shore protection and oil spill cleanup jobs. Once you register on these sites, you will be notified on the different jobs that are open in your county by e mail or phone. You may choose the one best suited for you. Most of these jobs are being coordinated by Risk Management Disaster Services, a contractor who specialises in cleanup and recovery services. Other companies also hire people for the same. You may apply as either as an individual or as a contractor.
If you sign up as an individual, you may have to undergo training for the oil spill cleanup jobs. The training may last up to 40 hours wherein you will educated on oil spill basics, what you are required to do and your skills will be analysed before you are placed, to ensure that you are up for the job.

Are Energy Companies and Brand Marketing Strategy Like Oil and Water?

Every so often, an oil company experiences an environmental catastrophe of disastrous proportions. As evidenced by the recent Gulf oil spill, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and countless other eco-disasters, these occurrences are a tragic occupational hazard of the energy industry. In theory, they should not be a surprise -- anymore than an earthquake in California would be a shocker. Of course, a big enough tremor in Los Angeles will generate nationwide news coverage. The question from a brand marketing standpoint is simple: is there anything oil companies can do, given the probability of an oil spill?
In order to answer this question, it is helpful to back up and look at the consumers' view of the industry. When it comes to the consumer, oil companies have a unique advantage over, say, a perfume company. This is that the oil companies offer a necessity. Everyone needs oil; perfume is a luxury.
From a branding and marketing standpoint, this advantage actually has negative connotations. The oil companies are really big and really profitable -- even when the economy is in the proverbial toilet. In the deep recession year of 2009, when almost everyone was suffering financially, the oil companies made billions of dollars in profits. A 2006 FTC study of gas price manipulation found that the record increases in gasoline prices were "not substantially attributable to higher costs." It seems the oil companies always take advantage of their financial opportunities with no regard to consumer goodwill. These companies are often viewed as monopolistic, money-grubbing, price-gouging, predatory goliaths. In a 2008 Harris poll of 20 major industries, only the tobacco industry had a lower rating than the oil companies on the topic of how good or bad a job they perform in serving the needs of consumers.
You could say, from a branding perspective, energy companies are already starting off on the wrong foot. After all, what is there to love about an oil company? Do you trust them? Do you have any affinity to any oil company? Do they do anything for you as a person? Do they make you feel good in any way? This makes it all the more difficult for an oil company to perform branding and marketing tactics that prepare for the worst. The energy industry has to rank among the worst PR and branding industries. We know all about the 1989 Exxon Valdez nightmare which was widely considered the worst corporate PR fiasco of all time. But what has the industry done to counter its image since then?
One could argue they actually have made some positive strides. Let's take the current Gulf oil spill. BP has a real disaster on its hands, and they have clearly learned a lesson from Exxon's PR disaster. The CEO of Exxon was nowhere to be found until six days after the Valdez disaster. When he finally did appear, it was only to hold a press conference to deny responsibility to disclose the plan to clean up the mess. He also blamed the media for turning the spill into a big deal. His refusal of media interviews and complete lack of remorse highlighted one of the worst PR gaffes in history. It conveyed an "ivory tower-esque" tone of arrogance. To his credit, the CEO of BP, Tony Hayward, has learned from Exxon's PR mistakes and has been on air and is taking full financial responsibility for the spill cleanup.
As far as brand marketing strategy is concerned, it is fair to say that oil companies have increased their efforts to convey a more positive image to the consumer. Shell has been focusing on advanced technologies and product performance enhancements along with sponsorships like Eco-Marathons, Exxon Mobil has been supporting science education, and BP and others have been focusing on their "green" strategy. Unfortunately for BP, that positioning is tough to sustain given the Gulf oil spill.
Even with the increased efforts, let's not pretend the problem has gone away (as if that is an easy thing to do at this point in time). The marketing and branding work of oil companies is far from done. Oil and energy companies must develop a sincere, long-term strategy to create brands that connect with their consumers on an intellectual and emotional level. In short, they need to define a plan to evoke positive feelings from their consumers.
One good way to enhance their brands would be to become good corporate citizens. Oil companies make massive profits, so how about giving back? An exhaustive study by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy shows that the energy industry's Total Median Giving as a Percent of Revenue (0.05%) is the lowest of any other major industry! [For reference, health care companies give 0.6%, or 12 times as much as the energy companies.] Once again, the oil companies don't understand the concept of branding.
If anything, the Gulf oil spill should present BP competitors with an opportunity to reinforce their brand marketing strategy to capitalize on public desire for safer drilling and processing measures. Competitors should be highlighting the steps they are currently taking to prevent the next major ecological disaster.
Doug J. McIntyre is the founder and CEO of Cult Marketing - a brand marketing company. An authority in his field, Doug has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and his creative ideas have been featured on TV broadcasts. Learn more at

Oil Spills Over All of Us

We struggle to absorb the immensity of the oil spill in the Gulf Coast and, for the moment, are frozen in the headlights. How do we process the cost of this catastrophe on our economy, our geography and our self image? Unfortunately, we are only at the beginning of this game-changing disaster. Certainly the South will never be the same.
The sunny beaches along the South's Gulf Coast are a tourist's dream. At first blush, it seems odd to compare, the current BP oil catastrophe to the March 1989 spill in the frozen North by the Exxon Valdez. The tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska as it attempted to avoid ice. Within six hours of the grounding, the Exxon Valdez spilled about 10.9 million gallons of crude oil. The oil affected over 1,100 miles of coastline in Alaska, making the Exxon Valdez the largest oil spill in U.S. waters.
We don't yet know the full magnitude of the BP spill. Some estimates say that this may be the equivalent of the Valdez spill, others say it will be worse. One scenario proposes that it will take 90 days to stop the flow. While the 90-day scenario appears to be a worst case situation, there could be even more challenging consequences. One horrifying scenario suggests that weather conditions could blow the oil up along the East Coast, increasing the damage and cost of cleanup astronomically.
The details of the clean up response to the Exxon Valdez spill are not pretty. It required huge amounts of personnel and equipment over a long period of time. The response included providing fuel, supplies, meals, boats, aircraft and equipment, not to mention the many volunteer hours. Shoreline cleanup was year round for the first year and continued during the summer for years following. The cleanup cost to Exxon was 1.28 billion dollars. Monitoring by state and federal agencies is still taking place. Oil spill clean ups are notoriously difficult and long term.
Much of the Southern region's way of life will be affected. Tourism will suffer along with the hotels, casinos, restaurants, boat races and fishing expeditions. Shipping of products through major ports in the area will slow down. Marine life and the businesses associated with it will struggle to survive. Some may not recover. Pockets of cultures, old and new, will suffer tremendous job losses and the dispersion of these groups would be a tremendous loss to the diversity of our country. Regional diversity is a powerful, valuable element of the American way of life. Therefore, it's not only the people of the Gulf Coast region who are mourning, it is all of us, and rightly so.
Deborah Levine is a Diversity Pro with more than 25 years experience, numerous diversity degrees and various honors. Brought up in the British colony of Bermuda, she was inserted into America in grade school. The coping skills of an immigrant are easy to spot, as is the island softness in her voice. Her varied background includes Harvard University, New York's garment district, a dance company, media liaison, conference planner and motivational speaker.
Deborah is an award-winning author and Editor of the American Diversity Report which is read in 70 countries. She currently lives in Tennessee where she coaches international executives and trains diverse workplaces to avoid culture clashes.

A Review of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf

The numbers are staggering. I was blown away when I first started to research this subject.
The oil field was tapped into last September. Estimates say that it holds at least 3 billion barrels of, or six months' worth of U.S. consumption. The field is almost 6 miles beneath of ocean floor and that's on top of one mile of water.
The drilling rig cost $365 million and dug the deepest oil well ever. It is a floating marvel, the size of 2 football fields, hold a crew of 130 and cost more than a half million dollars a day to rent. Those kinds of numbers are just mind blowing to me. Today, this massive vessel is upside down one mile below the sea and 11 of the crew members have not been found and assumed to have perished. The latest estimate is that 3 millions gallons of crude have been released into the sea and it is bringing back memories if the Exxon Valdez disaster.
The oil is threatening the part of the Gulf that is some of the most profitable and productive for shrimping and fishing in the world. It provides a fourth of the seafood in the U.S. The oil spill has already affected several states and if not controlled soon it could affect more. It seems that the people of new Orleans have had enough. First Katrina a few years back and now this, I wonder how much more this city can handle.
One new thing that I have learned is that hair is being collected and used to help soak up the oil. Evidently after the Exxon spill a beautician discovered that hair could be used in the clean up. It's any and all kinds of hair, long hair, short hair curly hair, straight hair, people hair and animal hair. The hair is collected and stuffed into nylon stockings to soak up the oil. If you are interested in donating you can look up an organization called matter of trust.
Jeff Reed is part owner of Internet Marketing Consultants. We struggled for many years in Network Marketing, now we are teaching others what we have learned. Contact us for some FREE tips.
Jeff Reed - EzineArticles Expert Author

United States Government Offers Questionable Evidence on Oil Spill Clean Up

The United States government recently released a report pertaining to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Serving as a status report, the paper offered a very positive perspective on the efforts to clean the oil. According to the results, 75% of the oil had been cleaned up and the spill was will on its way to becoming negligible. However, people didn't trust these results for a number of reasons.
The first major question pertaining to the report by the United States government was that they used questionable measurement techniques. According to descriptions of the study, the same techniques were used to quantify this oil spill as the Exxon Valdez. However, the two spills are of very different types. The Exxon Valdez was a tanker spill and so the bulk of the oil spilled onto the surface. The new situation occurred in an oil well, meaning the oil leaked from within the ocean, and so the presence on the surface is a gross underestimate.
Second, the report comes from a very biased source. The United States government is in an election year, and also under a lot of pressure to take care of the situation in the gulf. If the government report said minimal amounts of oil were cleaned, it would look terrible for the government. As such, they have an incentive to say the spill has been cleaned, and so, every result they offer needs to be looked at with scrutiny.
Finally, other reports seem to offer a very different analysis of the oil spill. Many scientists describe a devastating amount of oil still present under the surface of the water, oil that will take years to clean. We can't let this oil continue to stay and we have to put pressure on the people in charge to make sure this oil gets cleaned up.
Martin Fister is an active product blogger, writing for web sites includinglaura ashley bedding and Nook Vs Kindle. In his spare time, Martin also pursues his interests in the music industry as a journalist.

Martin Fister - EzineArticles Expert Author

Effective Oil Spill Clean Up Procedure

Let's face it; preventing oil spills is the best strategy for avoiding potential damage to human health and the environment. However, once an oil spill occurs, the best approach for containing and controlling the spill is to respond quickly and in a well organized manner. A response will be quick and organized if response measures have been planned ahead of time. The following elements can be used in contingency planning for clients and company response operations.
When a spill occurs, An Oil Spill Response Team (OSRT) made up of highly trained Engineers and technicians are immediately mobilised and sent to site. If the spill is from one of the company's client the OSRT will work closely with the client company's oil spill response officials. The following are procedures for clean up operations within Nigeria.
Oil Spill Response Team (OSRT)
- Project Manager
- Team Leader
- HSE/QAQC Supervisor
- Field Engineers
- Field Technicians
- First Aiders
- Fire Fighting Officials
- Surveyors
1. OSRT shall work with client officials to stop the flow of oil from the ship, truck, or storage facility, if possible, and prevent ignition
2.The OSRT shall contain the spill with Foss Booms
3.The OSRT shall then Mop up or Scoop the contained spill material (Absorbents, Scooping containers, Vacuum pumps e.t.c)
4.The OSRT shall collect the spill in containers (Tanks, waste barges, Vacuum trucks e.t.c)
5. OSRT shall use dispersant if spill is on water body
6. OSRT shall fully monitor the transportation of spill material to third party facility or other disposal measures taken to primarily ensure compliance to regulatory standards.
7. The OSRT shall ensure a thorough clean up operations after which a summary report shall be submitted to clients.
8.Draw up remediation plans if necessary.
MR. ABAH ROLAND is an environmentalist working in the Niger Delta with an interest on the effects of global warming in Nigeria

Evolv MLM Review - What Does an Exxon Oil Spill in Alaska Have to Do With It?

With so many health and wellness beverages in today's ever expanding market place, how do you find one that truly stands out? It just depends on what type of product are you truly passionate about. Some are crazy about chocolates (Xocai), some love Acai berries (Monavie), and some are in love with the Noni fruit (Tahitian Noni). What about all you water drinkers out there? Everyone drinks water. Not all water is the same. Have you heard of an active ingredient called Archaea Active in a MLM product called Evolv that is combined with drinking water to help you not only maximize hydration levels but also increase your energy levels for sustained physical performance and endurance. Would it shock you if I were to reveal to you that the Archaea Active formula is the same ingredient that was used during the successful Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska?
How Was The Exxon Oil Spill Cleanup Process Accomplished?
The Archaea Active formula in Evolv health water was originally founded by the legendary Gene Kaiser and twin brothers Dr. Jay Collins and Dr. Jock Collins. Working together as partners for 25 years in the development of ideas, patents, and life-transforming formulas, they all have arrived to a complete understanding of how bio-catalyst technology works to increase bio-available oxygen through natural enzymes, proteins and extracts. Bio-catalyst technology is largely responsible for the process of bio remediation which have been credited for the successful clean up of the catastrophic Exxon Oil Spill that have made the front page headlines for a long time.
What Is Bio remediation and How Is It Related to Evolv MLM Archaea Active Formula?
Bio remediation is a process by which micro-organisms are being used to clean up dangerous levels of contamination in order to return the environment to its naturally healthy state. The founders truly believe that Archaea Active and their proprietary manufacturing process in connection with bio remediation is largely responsible for the stimulation of cells that resulted in increases of oxygen levels necessary for radiant health and energy. In other words, if bio remediation is powerful on the Alaska environment, just imagine how powerful it can be on your body. I hope this Evolv MLM review really help you see beyond the product claims in order to provide you with the science behind such a wonderful product.
To find out more about the Evolv Archaea Active formula and how it can benefit you health wise, please click Evolv MLM Review. Please also visit my website if you want to learn about another exciting home business opportunity that also have a track record of success. Scroll down on my website to watch the video before registering for the free webinar to find out more. Billy Ying Ching is a home business consultant and mentor who specializes in providing serious entrepreneurs the necessary survival skills in internet marketing, copy writing, blogging, WordPress web design, and telephone prospecting to build a 

exxon oil spill's

ocean sceneIn 1989, Exxon Corp. caused one of the worst environmental disasters ever. On March 24, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground, spilling 250,000 barrels, an amount equal to more than 10 million gallons, of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. Efforts to contain the spill were slow and Exxon's response was even slower. The incident would go down in crisis management history as a textbook case of how not to respond during a crisis, and "by the time the media was finished, the Exxon name was synonymous with environmental catastrophe." 11

Response Time
Time is a major factor in any crisis, and it is one that severely crippled Exxon. Since the Johnson and Johnson crisis in 1982, two things were expected from a company in crisis. "The company must do well solving the actual problem - in this case, cleaning up 10 million gallons of spilled oil. And the company must create a positive perception of how the problem is handled." 
12 Exxon was not successful in either attempt. In regard to addressing the actual problem, which Exxon claimed was its first priority, it took company officials nearly 10 hours after the accident to deploy booms to contain the spill. 13 In addition, Exxon was criticized for refusing to acknowledge the extent of the problem, which was due, in part, to the advice of the company's legal counsel. To further stonewall, company executives refused to comment on the accident for almost a week. The biggest criticism the company received was the fact that CEO Lawrence Rawl waited six days to make a statement to the media and that he did not visit the scene of the accident until nearly three weeks after the spill. Combined, these actions left the public with the impression that the Exxon Corporation did not take this accident seriously.

Ineffective Use of Communication Channels
The media can be an important tool for a company in crisis. They can help an organization disseminate information to the public. After the Exxon Valdez ran aground, Exxon conducted all of its communications from the small town of Valdez, Alaska. This remote location proved inadequate, having only limited communication capabilities, and Exxon seemed unwilling to disseminate its information using any other method or location. Instead, it told reporters "it was Valdez or nothing." 
14 In addition, statements made to the press by high-ranking executives were often inconsistent and contained contradictory information, leading the press to question the credibility and truthfulness of Exxon.

Refusal to Accept Responsibility
In addition to its slow response and insufficient communication, the company's attempts to remedy its damaged reputation fell short of their intended goals. Initially, Exxon blamed state and federal officials for the delays in containing the spill. When asked how Exxon intended to pay the massive cleanup costs, one Exxon executive responded by saying it would raise gas prices to pay for the incident. 
15 These attempts to evade responsibility and defer blame angered consumers. Ten days after the spill, Exxon spent $1.8 million to take out full-page ad in 166 papers.16 In the ad, the company apologized for the spill but still refused to accept responsibility. Many saw this approach as insincere and inadequate.

The End Result
Exxon paid the price for its actions in several different ways. The cleanup effort cost the company $2.5 billion alone, and Exxon was forced to pay out $1.1 billion in various settlements. A 1994 federal jury also fined Exxon an additional $5 billion for its "recklessness," which Exxon later appealed. 
17 In addition to the upfront costs of the disaster, Exxon's image was permanently tarnished. Angered customers cut up their Exxon credit cards and mailed them to Rawl, while others boycotted Exxon products. According to a study by Porter/Novelli several years after the accident, 54 percent of the people surveyed said they were still less likely to buy Exxon products.18

The Valdez Oil Spill

Shortly after midnight on March 24, 1989, in a tragic accident deeply regretted by the company, the Exxon Valdez supertanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Despite the efforts undertaken to stabilize the vessel and prevent further spillage of oil, more than 250,000 barrels of oil were lost in just a short period of time. Exxon and the U.S. Coast Guard began a massive cleanup effort that eventually involved more than 11,000 Alaskan residents and thousands of Exxon and contractor personnel. In 1992 the U.S. Coast Guard declared the clean up complete.
The 1989 Valdez accident was one of the lowest points in ExxonMobil's 125-year history. However, we took immediate responsibility for the spill and have spent over $4.3 billion as a result of the accident, including compensatory payments, cleanup payments, settlements and fines. The company voluntarily compensated more than 11,000 Alaskans and businesses within a year of the spill.
In the aftermath of the accident, we also undertook significant operational reforms and implemented an exceptionally thorough operational management system to prevent future incidents.
This system has been deployed globally and in the years since the accident, we have had nothing similar occur. We believe our subsequent record of safety stems primarily from disciplined and systematic improvements that we have made. We are particularly proud of the spill prevention performance of our global marine transportation affiliates since the Valdez spill. In fact in 2008, there were no spills from ExxonMobil marine affiliate owned/operated tank ships or from those on long-term lease. We consider this strong performance encouraging and it serves as a solid platform for continuous improvement efforts.

Condition of Prince William Sound
The ecosystem in Prince William Sound today is healthy, robust and thriving. While there were severe short term impacts on many species due to the spilled oil, and they suffered damages, based on the studies of many scientists who have worked extensively in Prince William Sound, there has been no long term damage caused by the spilled oil. This level of recovery conforms to the well established record of recovery documented by the scientific community following many other oil spills around the world, many of them much larger than the one that took place in 1989.
ExxonMobil has contracted independent scientists with impeccable credentials who are among the world's leading experts in their fields. They have studied in-depth all pertinent aspects related to the effect of the Valdez oil spill on the Sound's water, shoreline and wildlife. To date these scientists have published approximately 400 peer-reviewed papers relating to all aspects of the Prince William Sound environment.

Changes ExxonMobil has made to prevent another accident like Valdez
In the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez accident, ExxonMobil redoubled its long-time commitment to safeguard the environment, employees and operating communities worldwide. To improve oil-spill prevention, ExxonMobil has, for example:
  • Modified tanker routes
  • Instituted drug and alcohol testing programs for safety sensitive positions
  • Restricted safety-sensitive positions to employees with no history of substance abuse
  • Implemented more extensive periodic assessment of ExxonMobil vessels and facilities
  • Strengthened training programs for vessel captains and pilots and
  • Applied new technology to improve vessel navigation and ensure the integrity of oil containment systems
 In the event a spill occurs, we also have improved our response capability. For example:
  • ExxonMobil is a founding member of every major oil spill response center worldwide
  • There are over 1,000 ExxonMobil employees involved in oil spill response teams worldwide
  • We hold frequent, extensive oil spill drills at various ExxonMobil locations around the world and
  • We have developed and applied new spill-detecting technology.
ExxonMobil Environmental Performance
ExxonMobil is committed to maintaining its leadership presence as a longstanding, technically proficient, industry-leader in safety and environmental stewardship.  Our comprehensive and disciplined approach helps us maintain an unwavering focus on incident prevention, preparedness and emergency response, should the need arise.
We are particularly proud of the spill prevention performance of our global marine transportation affiliates. 
Given the projected growth and important role that marine transportation plays in global commerce, ExxonMobil’s marine affiliates continue to voluntarily find and support innovative ways that often exceed regulatory standards to enhance the safety, security, and reliability of marine transportation.
ExxonMobil marine affiliates are active participants in the development of key voluntary industry quality initiatives including the implementation of the Tanker Management and Self Assessment program, a best practice guide for ship operators that complements existing quality standards, and expanding the Ship Inspection Report Exchange (SIRE) beyond tank ships to now include tank barges. The SIRE program promotes a uniformly high standard of common inspections that may be used within vessel screening and inspection processes for member companies. 

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: 21 Years Later

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: 21 Years Later

Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Four minutes after midnight on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Eleven million gallons of oil spewed into one of the most bountiful marine ecosystems in the world. It killed birds, marine mammals and fish and devastated the ecosystem in the oil's path. North Slope crude spoiled lands and waters that had sustained Alaska native people for millennia.
Within a week, currents and winds pushed the slick 90 miles from the site of the tanker, out of Prince William Sound into the Gulf of Alaska. It eventually reached nearly 600 miles away from the wreck contaminating 1,500 miles of shoreline—about the length of California's coast—and was described as the "largest oil spill to date in U.S. waters."
As many as half a million birds died. Over 30,000 carcasses of 90 species of birds were plucked from the beaches, but this was only a fraction of the actual mortality, and harm to birds from chronic effects and decreased reproduction continues today.
Some fish died, but the most serious damage was to their critical spawning and rearing habitats. Salmon spawn in the intertidal zone, herring in the sub-tidal zone on kelp, and Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout feed in shallow water. Over 100 salmon streams were oiled.
Shoreline cleanup began in April of 1989 and continued until September of 1989 for the first year of the response. The response effort continued in 1990 and 1991 with cleanup in the summer months and limited shoreline monitoring in the winter months. Fate and effects monitoring by state and federal agencies are ongoing.
BP in perspective
In an NBC News report on June 11, scientists claimed that the amount of oil being spilled in the Gulf of Mexico was the equivalent of "one Exxon Valdez spill every one to 10 days."
To understand the devastating ramifications of the BP oil spill, it is imperative to review how the Exxon oil spill affected Prince William Sound from April of 1989 to today—21 years later.
An Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council was formed to oversee restoration of the injured ecosystem. The Council consists of three state and three federal trustees (or their designees). The Council is advised by members of the public and by members of the scientific community. Meetings are open to the public.
"Following the oil and its impacts over the past 20 years has changed our understanding of the long-term damage from an oil spill," the council stated.
"We know that risk assessment for future spills must consider what the total damages will be over a longer period of time, rather than only the acute damages in the days and weeks following a spill."
One of the lessons learned is that a spill's impacts can last a long time in a habitat with calm, cold waters like Prince William Sound, the council said.
None of that was expected "at the time of the spill or even 10 years later," it added. "In 1999, beaches in the sound appeared clean on the surface. Some subsurface oil had been reported in a few places, but it was expected to decrease over time and, most importantly, to have lost its toxicity due to weathering. A few species were not recovering at the expected rate in some areas, but continuing exposure to oil was not suspected as the primary cause."
It turns out that oil often got trapped in semi-enclosed bays for weeks, going up and down with the tide and some of it being pulled down into the sediment below the seabed.
"The cleanup efforts and natural processes, particularly in the winter, cleaned the oil out of the top 2-3 inches, where oxygen and water can flow," the council said, "but did little to affect the large patches of oil farther below the surface."
The group cited a faster transition to double-hulled oil tankers as the best protection for wildlife. Single-hulled tankers are still allowed in U.S. waters until 2015.
Status of restoration
According to a technical background paper written for Alaska Wilderness League in 1999, to the naked eye, Prince William Sound may appear normal. Visitors can see spectacular, unspoiled vistas of islands surrounded by blue-green waters and mountain-rimmed fjords. But if you look beneath the surface, oil continues to contaminate beaches, national parks and designated wilderness. In fact, the Office of Technology Assessment estimated beach cleanup and oil skinning recovered only 3-4 percent of the Exxon Valdez oil, and studies by government scientists estimated that only 14 percent of the oil was removed during cleanup operations.
Pockets of oil—an estimated 16,000 gallons, according to federal researchers—remain buried in small portions of the intertidal zone hard hit by the spill. Moreover, surveys "have documented lingering oil also on the Kenai Peninsula and the Katmai coast, over 450 miles away," according to the council.
Twenty years after the oil spill, the ecosystem is still suffering. Substantial contamination of mussel beds persists, and this remarkably unweathered oil is a continuing source of toxic hydrocarbons. Sea otters, river otters, Barrow's goldeneyes and harlequin ducks have showed evidence of continued hydrocarbon exposure.
The depressed population of Pacific herring—a critical source of food for over 40 predators including seabirds, harbor seals and Steller sea lions—is having severe impacts up the food chain. Wildlife population declines continue for harbor seal, killer whales, harlequin ducks, common loon, pigeon guillemot, and pelagic red-faced cormorants and double-crested cormorants.
The Exxon oil spill resulted in profound physiological effects to fish and wildlife. These included reproductive failure, genetic damage, curved spines, lowered growth and body weights, altered feeding habits, reduced egg volume, liver damage, eye tumors and debilitating brain lesions.
In its 20th anniversary Status Report, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council lists only 10 of the 31 injured resources and services they monitor as "recovered" (which includes bald eagles and river otters). Ten more, including killer whales and sea otters are listed as "recovering." Populations of Pacific herring and pigeon guillemots are listed as "not recovering."
The most important species that is still experiencing significant problems is Pacific herring, an ecologically and commercially important species in Prince William Sound. They are central to the marine food web, providing food to marine mammals, birds, invertebrates and other fish. Herring are also commercially fished for food, bait, sac-roe and spawn on kelp.
Due to the decreased population, the Status Report states, the herring fishery in Prince William Sound has been closed for 13 of the 19 years since the spill and remains closed today. "We're not going to consider Prince William Sound recovered until the herring are recovered," said Jeep Rice, a federal scientist who has spent the past 20 years studying the spill's impact.
Human services that depend on natural resources were also injured by the spill. These services are each categorized as "recovering" until the resources they depend on are fully recovered: commercial fishing, passive use, recreation and tourism, and subsistence.
In the weeks and months following the spill, thousands of people tried to clean up the contamination. But two decades later, oil persists and is estimated to total around 20,000 gallons, according to the council.
Scientists continue to study the affected shorelines to understand how an ecosystem like Prince William Sound responds to, and recovers from, an incident like the Exxon oil spill.
Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound, oil persists in the region and, in some places, "is nearly as toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill," according to the council overseeing restoration efforts.
"This Exxon Valdez oil is decreasing at a rate of 0-4 percent per year," the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council stated. "At this rate, the remaining oil will take decades and possibly centuries to disappear entirely."
Ms. Teri Schure is the founder of, lectures on issues pertaining to publishing, and is a consultant in the magazine, web development and marketing industries.