Saturday, 5 March 2011

How Do Oil Spills Affect the Environment?

By Joseph Stutzman Platinum Quality Author

Until recently, there had not been a major oil spill affecting the United States in many years. Now, however, the effects of oil spills have been brought into the forefront due to the recent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed, the effects of oil leaks can have devastating consequences for the environment and for marine life.
For instance, oil can kill animals by causing hypothermia. The oil mixes with water to form a substance that sticks to the feathers and fur of animals such as birds and seal pups. This keeps the animal warm and interferes with their ability to regulate body temperature. As a result, they can suffer from hypothermia and die. The oil can also make it difficult for birds and pinnipeds to escape from predators, since they are weighed down by the oil. They can also drown from the weight in some cases.
Oil can also cause animal death through poisoning. Animals who ingest oil can suffer from ulcers as well as damage to the kidneys, livers, eyes, and lungs. There can be a chain reaction of deaths when one animal eats another animal who has already been poisoned by the oil. This can also affect reproduction, leading to reduced rates of a particular species. Oil can disrupt the reproductive hormones and affects the eggs of fish, sea truths, herring, salmon, and other marine wildlife.
Moreover, oil spills also affect the ocean habitat both onshore and offshore. Oil can poison pelagic marine life like plankton before it reaches shore. In addition, oil can cover marine algae, marine invertebrates, and rocks. This makes cleanup of a large area extremely difficult. Even after an area has been cleaned, the effects of the oil spill can remain for decades. Oil can seep deep into the ground, creating negative effects for burrowing animals such as craps and for other marine life.
It is clear that the effects of oil spills are negative and long lasting.
Along with keeping up with the news, Joseph enjoys working in his gardens. Garden Harvest Supply is one of his favorite gardening web sites which offers diatomaceous earth andperma mulch tree rings.

Responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

By James Witherspoon Platinum Quality Author

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began April of 2010, questions have begun to surface for claims of damages and loss of business. As these cases are filed and precedents are being set in this situation, the question of who is responsible for the damages caused by the oil spill has become more widely discussed. Though BP was the company responsible for operating the oil rig at the time of the leak, they may not be the only responsible party.
BP has been officially recognized as the responsible party for the oil spill. The multinational company was the main owners and operators of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2001. The rig, which has been in operation for the better part of the nine years that it has been in existence, was being leased by BP from March 2008 to September 2013. During that time several different entities have been part of it's operations and were active at the time of this disastrous event.
The nine-year old rig is owned by Transocean Ltd., a Swiss company that did not originally commission the building of the rig. This Swiss company was responsible for regulating drilling operations in regards to the equipment and maintenance of the platform. Any faulty practices in maintaining the rig would be the responsibility of Transocean.
Halliburton was responsible for the cementing of the well. Cement casing lines a well and is perforated at specific points to allow for oil to flow. If the cementing and well cap are proven to have been constructed in a faulty manner, Halliburton could share a great amount of responsibility for the damages caused by the leak.
These types of blowouts are not unexpected in the oil and gas industry. For this reason, blowout prevention equipment is always in place to minimize the risk for this type of event. Cameron is the company responsible for manufacturing the blowout preventer used on this rig. If their product was faulty, they too may have a major part in the cause of the leak and the resulting damage.
This oil spill is a devastating global event and the ramifications of these events are not fully known. If the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a damaging impact on your Gulf property or business, please visit the website of Gulf of Mexico oil spill attorneys at Williams Kherkher.
James Witherspoon

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill's Effect on the Shrimp Industry

By James Witherspoon Platinum Quality Author

Much has been made about the effects the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have had on the fishing and shrimping industry in the Gulf Coastal area.  However, many people are still unaware of just how extensive the damage is, or the implications it may have on the industry in the future.  Many believe that the future of shrimp harvesting in the Gulf region may be in serious jeopardy.
Shrimp from off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are prized for their naturally delicious taste and firm texture.  The industry is worth an estimated $1.3 billion in Louisiana alone.  However, while the oil spill has received an abundance of attention because of its potential effects on the trade, it has actually faced a series of setbacks and challenges for decades.
First, there have been a series of natural disasters.  Several hurricanes, culminating in the devastating Katrina, challenged professional fishers and reduced the effective harvesting season.
Second, imports and farms have challenged the Gulf Shrimp's position in the market.  Cheaper and found year-round, farm and Asian options have undercut America's wild harvested prawn - which has a mere 10% market share.  However, aficionados are quick to point out that Gulf-harvested animals have a superior taste and quality which other items on the market simply can't match.
It remains to be seen just how much the massive, 190-million gallon spill will affect shrimping on the Gulf of Mexico.  The prospective total haul is likely to be a sliver of what it was last year, as many captains and crew are now being contracted in the clean-up effort.  Some are even suggesting that the effects of the spill may be the industry's death knell.  However, the future is uncertain, and the Gulf Shrimp industry has certainly weathered worse.
To learn more about this and other oil spill-related topics, please visit the website of the oil-spill lawyers of Williams Kherkher.
James Witherspoon

Oil Spill Claims: File Them Now

By Richard Trott

April 20 2010 is a day that many people will surely not forget too soon. In this day, the British Petroleum company has caused one of the greatest disasters in the history of oil spills and there were also, among the thousands of people affected by the spill, 11 people who were killed in the incident. According to the information that was passed in by international news agencies, there has been a daily estimation of twenty five thousand barrels of oil that were spilled on a daily basis in the Gulf of Mexico. This caused many things to come to a halt, especially the fishing industries, tourism industries, oil extraction and many more. If you are someone whose life has been affected by this disaster, then you should not worry too much about this, as you will be able to get your life back in no time, by delving into the BP Claim Process and filing a claim. Here are the steps that you will need to take in order to successfully achieve this.
The 1st step you will need to take is round up all the documents that will be needed in this process, so that you can prove that your life has been affected by the spill. You should know that your claim can regard the loss of your income, revenue and wages. Also, if you own a business, then you will need to bring solid proof in your business numbers in the year of 2009 and this year, when you have been affected by the spill. Also, if you are someone who works for a company, you will need to have your W-2 forms for last year prepared and also your pay stubs.
The second thing you will need to do will be to have your claim filled in. The form can also be downloaded from the internet if you don't have any other ways of getting it. There will be some basic question that you will need to answer to and you will be asked for personal information, like occupation, address, full name and so on. If your property has been damaged by the oil spill, then you will need to provide good info in regards to this.
The third and final step will be to have your form submitted to a claim office. You will be contacted in maximum 48 hours so that the interim payment will be discussed. BP has made a monthly interim payment of five thousand dollars.
If you would like to know more about BP Claims and the BP Claim Process, please visit us.
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Richard Trott - EzineArticles Expert Author

BP Oil Spill - A Flip Flop on Regulation

By David Lorango Platinum Quality Author

Take a look at some of the comments over on the Wall Street Journal regarding the BP oil spill. You will notice certain trends, but the most glaring among them is this: the government failed to adequately regulate the oil industry.
That's right. The government failed to regulate the oil industry.
Excuse me if I'm missing something, but I assumed that the "drill, baby, drill" slogan was about the government NOT regulating the oil industry.
Let us get things straight. Offshore oil drilling, with or without regulation, is not safe. To continue to believe it to be a secure way to drill for oil is a flight of fancy that will only have disaster at its core. The BP oil spill, while a tragedy, would still occur even with proper regulations.
What could the government have done? Well, for those who believe government regulation is necessary, the federal government has clearly failed as regulatory overseers. For the last 20 years, regulation has been ceded to the oil industry. Despite President Obama's cries against the oil industry, his team has done little to remedy the situation. And, in a blow to progressives, the president actually planned to extend offshore oil drilling.
The problem we have here is one of deep hypocrisy. Americans can not both hate regulation and then wonder where the government was when companies fail to regulate themselves.
This is why America needs to come to a consensus on the role government must play in their lives. The BP oil spill shows that we do need regulation. Even those who were anti-regulation now agree that some form of regulation in necessary.
But we also must define the boundaries of government regulation. Hyperbole and insane rhetoric will not solve crises. Hating President Bush, President Obama, or blaming Ronald Reagan will not answer the question: how big do we want our government?
Let's start discussing these questions. In the mean time, there should be no more "anti-regulation' rhetoric. And for those who wish to blame the government for their lack of response, realize that you're angry because you believe in government, not because you don't.
David Lorango is a thinker, writer, musician and motivator dedicated to helping Americans and America rediscover its moral center and prosperity. He is an expert in new media and has thousands of tips and strategies to help small businesses succeed in a world filled with big money and big government. He is a regular blogger and his posts can be viewed at
David Lorango - EzineArticles Expert Author

Oil Spill Cleanup Guide - The Three Step Procedure For Cleaning Up an Oil Spill Fast

By Travis Zdrazil Platinum Quality Author

How do you clean up an oil spill? No matter where and how it happened, there are three key steps you must take to contain the damage and remove the oil as quickly as possible.
Speed is important because oil spills are dangerous. Oil can contaminate water and soil, and because it's flammable, it can cause even bigger nightmares once it catches fire.
Fortunately, most spills can be contained quickly and effectively if you are prepared with the right materials and know what to do.
However, without preparation and the right materials, no amount of knowledge will be of much use. So make sure that you have the needed equipment on hand before a spill happens.
A) How to prepare before a spill happens
Make sure you have oil containment berms, booms, or socks, as well as a range of absorbents. Which ones you should get specifically will depend on your situation and what kinds of spills are likely. Consult with your safety equipment specialist to find out what is appropriate and cost effective for your needs.
In addition, you should also have a fire extinguisher and a range of safety equipment, including goggles and masks.
B) How to clean up a spill: the three step process
Once a spill happens, follow this three step cleanup procedure as quickly as possible to minimize damage and prevent the spill from spreading and getting worse. If the spill is large, be sure to call the fire department as well.
1) Control
The first thing you should do is to stop the source of oil or at least slow down the rate at which the oil is released. If there's a shut-off valve, shut it off. If a drum has been turned over, turn it right side up. If there's a hole, plug it.
2) Contain
The next thing you should do is contain the damage. If there are drains nearby, cover them first. Then arrange spill berms, booms, or absorbent socks around the area to secure it and prevent the oil from spreading.
3) Clean Up
Lastly, bring out your absorbents and start cleaning up. The idea is to drop pads, socks, or other types of absorbents onto the oil and then, once they're saturated, gather them up into plastic bags or salvage drums. Repeat this process and continue to mop up until all the oil has been absorbed.
C) What to do after the spill has been cleaned up
Of course there's another step -- what to do afterwards. Be sure to dispose of the soiled absorbents properly. File any required reports with the EPA, OSHA, and state/local agencies.
And last but not least, be sure to replenish your supply of oil spill cleanup tools and absorbents. You'll need them to be prepared if there should be another oil spill in your future.
Want to know more about oil spill cleanup procedures and supplies? Get valuable tips and the latest news about absorbents and other environmental safety products on Travis Zdrazil'sSafety Maintenance News blog and get his free newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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What Are the Effects of Oil Spill on the Environment?

By Betty Wallace

A Tragic oil spill incidence, such as the gulf oil spill is one of the worst contributors of our natural resources' destruction. Amongst the many reasons, this one results to extensive fatality among aquatic animals that will further more affect humans.
What is an oil spill?It is a release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. This term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal of waters. The types of oils being released are crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products like gasoline and diesel as well as their by products. It also includes heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel. The problem with it is that it may take months or even years to clean them.
It can happen when people make mistakes or are careless and cause an oil tanker to leak of oil into the ocean. Breaking down of equipment is also one way that can cause it. During war among countries, destruction that an opposing country can do to another is dumping oil into the enemy's oceans. Some of the oil spill may also be caused by terrorist trying to get the country's attention.
There are a lot of effects it have on the environment. The aquatic animals are greatly affected by oil spill; since aquatic animals thrive in the waters so they are directly affected and most of them die. Seabirds also die when their feathers are covered by oil. Plants near the coastal water may also die if affected by oil spill.
As a solution to this problem, one effective way to contain it is with the use of oil containment booms to prevent oil from spreading and will enable easy skimming of oil with the help of boats.
The company that offers Quality Oil Booms that are used to contain & clean up oil spills is Enviro-USA. Visit them online at
Looking to find the best deal on Floating Turbidity Curtains.

Oil Spill Jobs - An Increasing Demand For Workers

By Ruth Caldon

The 2010 Gulf oil spill has proved to be a disaster in the making, as it has affected fishing in and around the area, thereby causing disruption in the normal lives of people living there. The oil that gushes out from the broken pipe each day affects more than 420 miles of the shoreline. Strenuous efforts are being made to clean the effects of oil spill and the number of people holding such jobs in increasing. Many people have volunteered themselves for the cleanup drive.
The oil spill has also generated many jobs for people. These jobs are open for all. Numerous workers are needed to help protect the coastline from the oil spill. This includes deploying oil boom and protective barriers. These jobs are becoming increasingly popular with different firms, who are hiring people to aid in the cleaning of the Gulf coast. The multinational petroleum company BP is said to be responsible for this particular disaster.
If you are looking for work and are willing to travel, then you should scout online for oil spill jobs that are available in plenty on various websites. Many petroleum companies, including BP, are themselves hiring workers to help clean up the spills these days. They are accepting applications for different positions, wherein the person helps to clean up the oil-spill, relocate the wildlife affected, assists with offshore, beach, and marshes work, and many other task and positions. There are similar jobs with varying qualifications needed. Some positions may require you to have certain skill sets while others just need you to be willing to help clean up.
Once you have applied for a cleanup job, the hiring company will look up and see if you are a contractor or an individual. If you are an individual, then you will probably be assigned to work with someone who is already holding oil spill jobs. On the other hand, if you are a contractor, then your capabilities will be analyzed and you will be placed in a position where your contribution makes a big difference in the task at hand. Most of the times, you will need to undergo a training class if you have applied for these jobs. The training sessions can be of up to 40 hours. All that you need to know about the oil spills and what you can do to help during the cleanup process will be taught here.
There are hundreds of oil-spill jobs that are available. Different agencies are looking at people of all ages and skills to sign up for the cleanup drives. What with the nearly 100,000 barrels of oil being let out into the waters each day, the demand for oil spill jobs is increasing.

Filing Your Oil Spill Claims

By Richard Trott

The oil spill that has been caused by BP has taken many people by storm and affected their live profoundly. The government has immediately taken action and asked BP to make sure that everyone will be compensated in a timely fashion so that they will be able to return to their normal lives as soon as possible. The oil company has been very much cooperative in this and has promised to take swift efforts in order to help everyone that has suffered because of them, return to their normal lives.
If you are someone who has been affected by the oil spill, then you will need to know how to properly file your Oil Spill Claims and get the help that you are raving for, but if you are not too versed in this subject, don't worry, as after reading this article, you will know exactly what you must do and how to do it.
The compensation that you will receive will help you big time in getting your life back and be in for the same successful (hopefully) life that you had lead before this unfortunate incident. There were a lot of fishermen who were affected by this incident and also many people who worked along the coast.
The Oil Pollution Act which was issued in 1990, states that if anyone whose life has been affected by an oil spill, will need to be compensated as soon as possible from the company that has caused the havoc. After you will read this act and you will soon understand how things work, you will be able to file your BP claim and get compensated.
The company has hired around one thousand people in order to deal with the ones that have been affected by their mistakes and there are also thirty three offices that are present along Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and other states. Up until today, there were around sixty four thousand claims filed and the total costs that the company paid until now stack up to over one hundred million dollars.
You can also contact your lawyer if you don't know how the procedures work and he will tell you everything you need to know about this. When it comes to you, you should be able to provide proof that you have suffered from the oil spill and demonstrate just how you and your property or business have been affected by the oil spill.
Make sure to take the right steps and you will surely get compensated, as BP has $20 billion prepared for this.
If you would like to know more about BP Claims and the BP Claim Process, please visit us.
Richard Trott - EzineArticles Expert Author

Oil Pollution and What It Is Doing to our World

By Sacha Tarkovsky

Needless to mention, this is a very complex and sensitive subject. However, anyone over 50 years old can remember a childhood where the environment was quite different.
The world's population insane dependence on fossil fuels (while there are acceptable and non-polluting alternatives) is basically killing our clean and environment, and us with it.
What is Oil Pollution?
Oil pollution is simply the spilling of crude or refined petroleum product into the environment. There are some staggering statistics that follow.
These are statistics from the 1995 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition, and have not been updated. It is estimated that the overall totals have increased two or three fold.
oAccidental spills from ships : 140 Million tons
oRoutine maintenance of ships and equipment: 511 Millions tons
oAir pollution in the rains (entering the seas): 348 Million tons
oLand disposal of fuels entering the seas: 1,374 Million tons
oNatural seepage (from sea sources) 234 Million tons
The above does NOT include China or India statistics. A total of 2,607 Millions of tons of petroleum had ended up in the environment (estimated in 1995). Now 11 years later, the total is estimated to have trippled, and we are witnessing a gradual increase in Earth temperature due to global warming, other alarming changes in the weather, pollution traces found in both the environment and animals (and plants) in the wild.
Despite the MARPOL rules (marine pollution act by the United Nations), and other legislation, oil pollution continues. A recent survey by marine toxicologists have confirmed alarming amounts of damage to the livers in a wide spectrum of marine fish and mammals. Almost all fish sampled had high levels of heavy metals in the tissue (crude oil contains a great deal of heavy metal, vanadium among them, which is toxic to most animals).
The bottom feeders and marine crustaceans (also living on the bottom of the sea) had an equally high level of absorbed heavy metals and other pollutants (PCB and Dioxin for example).
The natural microbes and small aquatic life that can biodegrade the oil (into water and carbon dioxide) are overwhelmed and cannot cope. There is a lack of available nutrients in areas that surround oil spills, and pollution sites.
One sees large groups of whales or dolphins beaching themselves, and puzzled scientists to explain why. It doesn't take much to figure it out. Whole species of plants and animals are disappearing on a regular basis.
Oil pollution can not be solved by legislation, or by being more careful. So much oil pollution enters the atmosphere, and then the environment, the only measure that we can take is to immediately reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Places like California in the United States has already taken the first steps, but has not gone so far as outlawing the fossil fuel.
Knowing that there are fuel cells which can burn clean hydrogen, there are electric engines and solar cells to run the ubiquitous automobile. There is wind and wave power to create clean and non-polluting sources of electricity. Sadly the interests of big business are coming before the safety of the human race.
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Oil Absorbent Pads and Rolls - Essential Tools For Cleaning Up Spills of All Sizes

By Travis Zdrazil Platinum Quality Author

So you have a spill. What would you use to clean it up? If you're at home and spilled some coffee, you'd probably use a paper towel. If you're at an industrial facility and the spill involves oil or other hydrocarbon chemicals, you need something stronger -- oil absorbent pads or rolls. Read on to find out more about how you can use them to clean up a whole range of messes.
The principle is the same. You have a pad or towel that mops up the errant fluid. If you have to clean up a lot of oil, you'll need either a lot of absorbent pads, or you need to have another type of oil absorbent that can remove a larger amount of oil.
But here's the thing. Just picture it. Just like you may have found yourself in the middle of a mess of crumpled up soiled paper towels when you were cleaning up a big spill in the kitchen, you can find yourself with a whole lot of oil drenched oil absorbent pads. But there s a work-around for that...
You see, if you just mop up the oil with one pad after the other, you might end up using up a whole box or a whole roll of them. And the cost of those pads, event though they are basically quite inexpensive, can add up when you use a whole lot of them. So you don't.
Instead, you use a hand wringer and wring out those pads so you can reuse them. That's right. You can wring the oil out of those absorbent pads, collect it in a drum, and use the pad to mop up more oil.
That's a winning combination. Instead of going through a whole box, you may be able to clean up a substantial spill with a handful of pads instead. That's not only good for the environment, but for your pocketbook as well.
So how will you find the right absorbent pads. As is the case with paper towels, quality can vary widely. Some pads will barely clean up a bit of oil, while others absorb it like a thirsty terry cloth towel.
The best way to make sure to get high quality pads that actually do what you expect them to do is to shop with a high quality vendor. They can tell you which ones to pick, and you can also be assured that they meet the highest quality standards. They're bonded, approved for use in traffic areas, and they can even be used in low lint applications.
And, of course, since they're oil absorbent pads, they will repel water and are therefore ideally suited to removing oil from bodies of water.
Want to know more about oil absorbent pads? Get valuable tips and the latest news about absorbents and other environmental safety products on Travis Zdrazil's Safety Maintenance News blog and get his free newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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Oil Giant in Dock Over Amazon Waste

ChevronTexaco could be fined hundreds of millions of dollars and be forced to spend more than $1bn (£590m) cleaning up pollution from 28 years of oil extraction in Ecuador, if a court case which has opened in a small frontier town on the edge of the Amazon forest finds against it.

The class action case against the world's second-largest oil company is being watched closely by oil firms and indigenous groups around the world. It is being brought by 30,000 people who say their lives and livelihoods were damaged by the company's operations between 1964 and 1992.

ChevronTexaco had hoped that the case, being heard in Lago Agrio, 115 miles northeast of the capital Quito, would be held in the US, but a New York appeal court ruled last year that it should be decided in Ecuador.

In a landmark decision which shocked the global oil industry, the court also ruled that any judgment against ChevronTexaco would be enforceable in the US. This opens the legal floodgates to claims by indigenous peoples around the world against western oil and mining companies.

According to the original lawsuit, brought in 1993, Texaco extracted 1.5bn barrels of oil during the years it spent in Ecuador, and systematically disposed of its oily waste in up to 600 open, unlined pits, many of which have leaked and affected water supplies.

Lawyers working for the indigenous peoples will argue that Texaco saved $4bn by not reinjecting the toxic waste back into the earth, which is standard practice. They also allege that the company discharged up to 4 million gallons a day of highly toxic wastewater, contaminated with heavy metals, straight into the Amazon wetlands, rivers and estuaries. They allege that this was done on a scale much worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, which devastated parts of Alaska in 1989 and cost more than $500m to clean up.

It is claimed that up to 1m hectares (2.5m acres) of rain forest along the route of Texaco's pipelines and wells were polluted or destroyed.

"All of our land was destroyed and invaded, and what we got was oil camps and platforms and oil infrastructure. Our rivers, which were once good, now are contaminated with oil," said ElĂ­as Piyahuaje, a leader of Secoyas, an indigenous group.

Much of the waste oil has leached into the groundwater and rivers. Samples taken from the waste pits show that many contain cancer-causing chemicals. Several studies suggest high incidences of cancer - almost unknown elsewhere in the Amazon.

But ChevronTexaco will argue that the use of waste pits was legal and common at the time. "Pits were an acceptable method of dealing with produced water," said a spokesman this week. "It's still allowable in many countries, including in parts of the United States."

The company is expected to argue that there is no scientific evidence to support claims that its operations caused cancer, and to argue that many oil spills were a result of political sabotage, earthquakes and of poor people flooding into the region.

"There's never been any credible substantiated evidence to support the claims," a company spokeswoman, Maripat Sexton, said. "We intend to vigorously defend the company against what we view to be a lawsuit without merit."

She said that the government of Ecuador, the national oil company and four local administrations had absolved Texaco of any legal claims after it spent $40m capping 250 of the pits and building schools and medical centers in the mid-1990s.

A panel of three judges is expected to visit the affected areas and take evidence from hundreds of people. A verdict is not expected for at least six months.

Steven Donziger, a New York-based lawyer for communities, said the case could set an international precedent for millions of people affected by oil drilling to use their own legal systems to sue corporations. "This has enormous significance for the oil industry."'

Shannon Wright, associate director of Amazon Watch, a leading US-based environment group, said: "It's historic. What happens in this one-room courthouse could be a turning point for indigenous people trying to protect their land and for multinational companies looking to avoid responsibility overseas."