Prevention Of Oil Spill Disasters Engineering Essay

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In this case it show the cause of the Exxon Valdez Mobil oil spill disaster this event it leave a mark to people of the Alaska and to the oil industries it cause a lot of the damage to ecological system and other impact to human being in this case study will trough every single point of the cause the little bit view on the oil refinery process and some detail about the material of the crude oil and a detail about this event and what is outcome of it and what is the solution of the problem it cause the action taking clearing of the sea and what improvement and new solution being taken to solve the problem new design of the tanker and changes in qualities other mechanism to cover the oil spill area and new navigation system is improved and extra protection to the tanker by tugs always escort from departure to end of the destination and other extra special features to the navigation and the new system to clean the water or can say water treatment system..


On March 24 1989, tanker of Exxon Valdez, route from Valdez, Alaska to Los Angeles, California, ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The tanker was traveling outside normal shipping lanes to avoid ice. Within six hours , the Exxon Valdez spilled approximately 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon cargo of crude oil. Eight of the eleven tanks on board were damaged. The oil would eventually impact over 1,100 miles of non-continuous coastline in Alaska, making the Exxon Valdez the largest oil spill in U.S. waters.

Mainly, this report inclusive of the Oil spill disaster that occured in the year 1989, which was actually lead to the event, the consequences of the disaster and changes made to prevent it from happening again.

1.2 Aim and Objective

Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to being the world’s major petroleum and petrochemical companies. They must work hard to reach the superior financial and operating results while follow the highest standards of business conduct. This provides a strong expectation for their commitments to those with whom they communicate.

By running the business with profit and full responsibility Exxon Mobil expect their shareholders to be apreciated with supreme returns. Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to improve the long-term value for the investment dollars entrusted to them by their shareholders.

They promise to be more innovative and responsive with offering high quality products and services with competitive rates. Exxon Mobil Corporation also committed to be a good member of the company in the places they operate worldwide. They will maintaining the highest ethical standards, comply with all applicable laws, and respect for local traditions and national. Exxon Mobil Corporation will hard work to increase efficiency and productivity by learning, sharing and make perfect trainings. Exxon Mobil also will hard work to develop proprietary technologies that provide competitive advantages. They will be disciplined and selective for assess capital investment opportunities for them.

Exxon Mobil also wills try to recruit and retain the most qualified person available and enhance their opportunities for success by providing training and development. They are committed to maintaining a safe work environment with a diverse and it indicated by fair treatment, trust, and open interaction.

2.0 Refinery industrial processes and operation

The oil refinery process by to change Petroleum or oil refinery is an industrial flow the crude oil flow and refined change to petroleum material of high quality, material is kerosene, heat up the oil refine material such as Asphalt, Diesel, Petrol and LPG. The refinery process usually to huge industrial with long piping going through, the carry streams of fluids between huge chemical process. The more the technology are using in oil refinery and can be regarded as a kind of material chemical plants. Oil process plant process the pure material of crude oil.

2.1 Crude Oil

The crude oil is known as the black oil the characteristic of the oil contain high of hydrocarbon, from refinery and old animal diseased for past million years ago. This crude oil comes from base of the earth to carry out surface it called the petroleum. Fossil fuel naturally from extinct animal over the million years ago. The crude oil there starting point for the different material because has contain of the hydrocarbon.

Figure 1 show flow diagram of a typical oil refinery

2.2 Crude Oil

Split different kind of the hydrocarbons and by separate hydrocarbon outcome material like Lubricants and Fuels.

All kind of the hydrocarbon chain is long and it can be separated by distillation process

By heated crude oil and the different hydrocarbon chain are cut off by the vaporization.

2.3 Refining Process

Separate the material into many type components by using the differences in high temperature breaking distillation

Material chemical process to conversation diesel to petrol by purification process.

Refinery process treatment the breaking to remove the rejections.

Products refineries will combine the process and not process breaking into mixture.

2.4 Fractional Distillation

The mixture of two or more substances will warm up with various boiling points to high temperature.The different liquid fraction will be gathered by racks and the gathered liquid fractions send to storage tanks for material processing.

2.5 Chemical Processing

Process chemical has three ways. 1st step process in chemical process known cracking the bigger hydrocarbons will separate too little piece, second method know as unification the smaller piece connect to long one, at the last step is chemical process known as the alteration many piece will be order according to desired hydrocarbons.There are few type of the cracking method, beginning is thermal the larger hydrocarbon will be heat up at high temperature the visbreaking it will decrease the heavy remaining oil to make Tar material and Coking it to change the remaining from the vacuum distillation tower from heavy oil, petroleum and naphtha at last catalytic process is fastening the cracking process. The second process known as the unification is the process that connect the little piece into larger one that process makes chemicals in mixing petroleum product.The third step known as alteration is the process the several molecules will order arrange in one fraction to make another molecule.

3.0 The risks that lead to the oil spill disaster

Oil spill event and pollution the Exxon Mobil Valdez vessel departed form the terminal in Alaska at night, the vessel was under command of the captain Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood. The outside shipping lane was to avoid with small icebergs so captain got permission from coast guard bring out through shipping lane and 20million was spilled into the gulf of Alaska. The other problem captain is under influence of the alcohol was at drinking while working and time incident. Other problem equipments is not install to monitoring the sensor Exxon Valdez ship was travel outside shipping lane to avoid small icebergs. Arrival of the safety crew or known as the oil spill crew and information send to coast guard was after one hour at incident, then the spill crew was not competence also they don’t know action to be take not ready for this kind of the incident.

The oil spread extend to 470miles south west of the Bligh Reef then is grow total 11 thousand square miles later on it reach Prince William Sound because of the storm and wind speed to level up to 75 mph within few weeks the hole area filled with crude oil blue sea became black sea and thick layer of the oil. The tree at sea side and bed rock all spray by oil cause of the storm, the struggling off the sea other ship is hard to past trough because the oil is thick so is hard to move a small ship time taken long to reach the incident spot.

And other areas of the impact is the ecological system because covers the sea crude oil it cause very problem breathing of the sea life and other animal land it depends sea like the birds and for human is economical impact for fisherman and other uses like daily life usage water and tourism board also been effected of the pollution because less people less visits, the recreational sport fishing place also closed due to oil spill other tourism impact is hotel taxi other kind service also affected.

4.0 Economic impacts

Because of the oil spill Alaskan loses their fishing sport, this is their main source of income. The fishing sport activity had a big loss due to this oil spill. For 1989 the loss was estimated to be between $0 and $30million dollars; for 1990 the range was million of dollars.

4.0.1 Tourism Losses

There were negative and positive issues caused by the oil spill. The major negative effects were:

Tourist and own residence came to a very low level and accommodations near the oil spill area became to a were severe level .

Most labourers were highered with a high pay to clean up the oil spill and this caused a labour shortage in the tourism industry which became a severe problem to the tourism industry

Forty six point eight percent of businesses in the most affected areas reported spill-related cancellations and 16.45% reported business was less than expected due to the spill.

Sea birds are killed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Marine mammals and seabirds are at great risk of floating oil because they have routine contact with the sea surface. Oiling on feathers increase the number of death.

4.1 Long-term impacts

The persistent nature of oil in sediments produces chronic, long-term exposure risks from some species. For example, chronic exposures for years after the spill are due to oil spill were plain from biomarkers in fish, sea otters, and sea ducks warmly related with egg laying or foraging. These chronic exposures superior for years. Perhaps the two generally most influential types of indirect interactions are as follows:

a) Tropic cascade in which predators reduce profusion of their kill, which in turn releases the kill’s food species from control

b) Provision of biogenic environment by organisms that provide as or produce important physical structure in the environment.

4.1.1 Ecosystem response to the spill

Recovery is a very difficult term to define and measure for a complex ecosystem.According to a fisherman from Kodiak Island, a villager from the town of Valdez, an Exxon engineer, you are likely to receive such different answers that you may wonder if they heard the same question. In particular, disagreement happen between Exxon and government-funded scientists, and unknowns persist, especially in understanding how multiple processes combine to drive observed dynamics.

5.0 The Improvements and changes in the management systems so to prevent the disaster from happening are :-

Modified tanker routes

Design and prepare a new route which is much less traveled by other oil tankers

Discusss with the higher board of assocciations regarding how to improve and work more routes which are much less complex and easier to handle .

Navigation and traffic control on these new routes should be strengthen and upgraded to a higher level.

Instituted drug and alcohol testing programs for safety sensitive positions

Awareness programs were held for safety staffs working on these vessels regarding drug and alcohol usage during their travel.The reason for this is to show and explain the dangers about drugs and alcohol usage during their shipping period

The staffs were also send for drugs and alcohol testing every single time before they start their shipping journey

Dog squads and spot checks were improvised before the departure of the vessel from every single stations to check the crew for any drugs or alcohol on board mainly (safety officers).

Restricted safety-sensitive positions to employees with no history of substance abuse

The company has established a code where they only employee workers for the safety positions with a drug and alcohol free background .Employees for the safety positions are checked throughly regarding their history and they are also advised on the negative lines regarding drugs and alcohol usage during working days on the vessel .

Implemented more extensive periodic assessment of ExxonMobil vessels and facilities

Strengthened training programs for vessel captains and pilots

Applied new technology to improve vessel navigation and ensure the integrity of oil containment systems

Improved their response capability. For example:

There are over 1,000 Exxon Mobil employees involved in oil spill response teams worldwide

Exxon Mobil hold frequent, extensive oil spill drills at various Exxon Mobil locations around the world and

Exxon Mobil have developed and applied new spill-detecting technology.

6.0 Conclusion

This case study concluded from oil spill disaster cause of the negligence of the staff it bring oil spill event it effect the all over the Prince William Sound. The factors one of it the captain of the crew failed to maneuver of the vessel from the iceberg and travel through the narrow Valdez the final ran heat at the Baligh Reef the tanker is heavily damaged it oil start spill around 10000miles the ship stuck at the Reef. These problem starts effects the oil spread all the area in safety crew arrives late to the incident spot. The other cause the storm speed at 75mph carries oil spread offshore the bed rock covert wit oil or crude oil.

The improvement and changes been taken for tanker bring new competent and expertise crew to bring the vessel and improvement of the design of the ship single-hull to double-hull layer of the bottom of the ship and other navigation system is also well improved and bring awareness program to staff working in tanker and the safety crew is always to escort the tanker always while traveling along the route of the tanker at last U.S coast guard has satellite watching off movement the vessel and cleaning of the sea infected by improving the skimmer and more personal to improve cleaning.