Oil again…

Dailan Pipeline Explosion

While the deep water horizon incident is still not fully solved, another disaster hits the world. As reported by the Guardian of UK, oil started to leak into the sea late on Friday night (16th July 2010) when a pipe conveying crude oil from a Liberian ship to a storage tank combusted and sparked a second explosion at another pipeline at Dalian Xingang oil port.

A video clip of the incident can be watched at


A later report by the Guardian can be read here.

Leaked oil floating off the coast of Dalian. Photograph: Tian Jingyue/AP (taken from The Guardian)

One report says that as many as 60 000 tons of heavy crude oil could have been spilled into China’s north-east coastal waters as a result of an explosion that rocked the port of Dalian on July 16, Greenpeace said on Friday.


Similar to other cases, government and oil companies tend to provide the most promising assessments of the impact. The truth would never be understood until thorough assessments are conducted. Sometimes the outcome was made public, sometimes it wasn’t, depending on where you are. Worst still, some investigations might be cut short due to some reasons.

The question is, how can these incidents be prevented ? Or for that matter, how can any industrial incidents be prevented? If you are familiar with this subject matter, there is something called Process Safety Management. Familiar? Some of the items in “Process Safety Management” adopted by many developed nations are not clearly outlined in our legislations in Malaysia. Some of these elements are scattered here and there within the regulations prescribed under OSHA 1994. While some global players adopted international standards, others continue to remain as observers. So, we do have a problem.

Both Ends of Technology

When men are desperate, they will resort to any possible efforts that might help. These include the use of both highly technical solutions or “anything that can do”. Skimmers ships which skim oil slick on-board and continuously removes water in a multistage process can be employed to do the job. A skimmer can be visualised as an oil separation plant. It separates water from oily sea-water and recover the oil.There is a giant whale skimmer could collect up to 500,000 barrels of contaminated water per day, but more agile smaller ones are generally preferred.

Whale Skimmer

Sometimes, a more direct approach was adopted…

Crude oil is collected in the sea near Dalian. The oil spill caused by the explosion on CNPC pipelines at a dockyard now covers nearly 100 square kilometres in the sea and the thickest point is about one metre. (Gulf News)

Some Photos collected over the internets in Dailan’s incident

Some of the unlucky ones. Obtained from http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/news13519.html)

an unlucky man

Note that these are heavy oils, and hence black. The ones in Malaysia are lighter and thus brownish.

Thanks God for the Microbes (Miracles for the Gulf Mexico)

An excerpt of the yahoo news.

“Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.” .Who did it??? It’s the microbes.

Men should therefore be grateful of the help from nature, but never take things for granted assuming nature will solve all the man-made problems.


About Dr. AA

I am an educator, professional trainer, safety consultant, researcher, social worker, outdoor enthusiast, and a thinker.
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