A Vast Cloud of Fear; Infra-Red Camera Shows Extent of Explosive Gas Leak in North Sea

Daily Mail (London), April 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

A Vast Cloud of Fear; Infra-Red Camera Shows Extent of Explosive Gas Leak in North Sea


Byline: Lucy Osborne

IT looks like a bizarre piece of 1960s pop art - or perhaps a highlycoloured graphic from an old-style computer game.

But in reality, this neon-bright image of the North Sea is a chilling illustration of just how large the potentially explosive gas cloud spewing from the Elgin platform has become.

The infra-red picture, which was taken using a special camera by environmental campaigners, lays bare the extent of the leak's impact on the atmosphere.

The photograph was released by the Greenpeace activists who have been assessing the potential dangers of the situation since Monday.

They say the bright pink spots visible in the image show the natural - and non-toxic - hydrogen gases being emitted by the platform.

Meanwhile, the darker purple areas depict the dangerous portion of the gas cloud - which consists mainly of methane.

The midwave-infrared camera image, taken from outside the security distance of three nautical miles, uses light tones to show heat and dark tones to indicate cold.

Christian Bussau, chief scientist and ocean expert at Greenpeace, insist they found evidence of pollution and that there was 'oil on the water surface' and a 'chemical' smell in the air.

Air and water samples are being sent for analysis at a German laboratory to find out what is creating the sheen on the surface.

Mr Bussau added: 'Although we are five kilometres away, we can feel here that this is contaminating and polluting the environment and this is dangerous for the environment and for the climate.

But a spokesman from the platform operator, Total, said: 'The only confirmation that we have had [of anything resembling an oil slick] is a sheen of gas condensate.'

He added that this condensate was a light hydrocarbon - similar to petrol - and was expected to dissipate naturally, either evaporating due to warmer weather or through wave action.

Meanwhile, the French oil giant has further delayed plans to fly engineers to stem the 11-day leak of explosive gas.

This is due to continuing adverse weather conditions, a company spokesman said yesterday.

Strong winds are reportedly blowing the gas cloud towards the spot where a helicopter carrying the team of crisis engineers would land - pushing relief efforts back to today or Friday.

The wind direction was initially forecast by the UK's Met Office to change by yesterday evening and through this morning.

It would have blown gas away from the landing point and allowed a team of eight experts to assess the steps needed to stop the large and potentially explosive leak.

The company - which has calculated that the leak is costing it [pounds sterling]1.6million a day - said on Tuesday that the team of engineers would assess conditions on the platform and find out whether a so-called 'well kill' was feasible. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Vast Cloud of Fear; Infra-Red Camera Shows Extent of Explosive Gas Leak in North Sea
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.