Navigation Links
Oil from spill could have powered 38,000 cars (and more) for a year, UD researcher says

As of today (Wednesday, June 9), if all the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico had been used for fuel, it could have powered 38,000 cars, and 3,400 trucks, and 1,800 ships for a full year, according to University of Delaware Prof. James J. Corbett. That's based on the estimated spill rate of 19,000 barrels of oil per day.

Corbett, a professor of marine policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, works on energy and environmental solutions for transportation. He has launched a website that reports the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in terms of lost uses of the lost fuel on a daily basis:

Visitors to the website can choose the spill rate they believe is most accurate from a range of reported estimates, and the website will automatically calculate how many cars, trucks, and ships could have been powered for a year, based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Here are just a few of Corbett's findings:

  • By May 5 (15 days after the spill), the oil lost could have fueled 470 container ships serving New York and New Jersey ports for a year.
  • By May 25 (35 days after the spill), energy from the spilled oil could have provided a year's gasoline for all registered automobiles (about 26,000 cars) in Newark, Del., where UD's main campus is located.
  • By May 31 (41 days after the spill), the lost energy could have fueled one freight truck on 17 trips across all 4 million miles of U.S. highway.

Corbett says he developed the website to help put the oil spill in a perspective to which everyday users of petroleum, including most Americans, can relate.

Transportation activities consume about two-thirds of all petroleum in the United States -- more than 20 billion barrels per day, according to Corbett. Gasoline for automobiles accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. total transportation energy, diesel fuels power most of our goods movement, and most international containerized cargoes are delivered by ships -- the largest vehicles ever built.

"Energy resources offshore are being explored because each of us petroleum consumers is demanding more," Corbett says.

The website also may help us decide how to reduce risks of future oil spills.

"Drilling this exploratory well by the Deepwater Horizon was an extremely high-risk proposition," Corbett says. "At $75 per barrel of crude oil, the oil spilled would have been worth about $90 million in terms of spill oil value if extracted for refining. Some experts are now estimating damages from the spill to exceed $10 billion. That's a potential 100 to 1 loss, given the spill damage-to-value ratio."

Corbett's research collaborations focus on ways to improve the energy performance of transportation systems using ships, trucks, trains, and other vehicles. There are ways to reduce the need for offshore oil drilling, Corbett says:

  • If we improve automobile fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg), as proposed by the current administration, we would offset demand equivalent to the gasoline energy lost by 199 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
  • If we add only 2 mpg to the fuel economy for trucks, as proposed by the Union of Concerned Scientists, we would offset diesel-driven energy demand equivalent to 12 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
  • Rebalancing how we transport goods would achieve substantial energy savings. A shift from truck to rail for specific commodities/routes would require about 20 percent of the energy per ton-mile compared to trucking. Achieving this would require an investment in infrastructure and green logistics to facilitate intermodal combinations of trucking and rail rather than treating the modes as competitors.
  • Shifting passengers from single-occupant cars to car-sharing/carpooling and better transit also would produce important reductions.

"The wise use of petroleum and other energy resources is an opportunity for each of us," Corbett says. "We can reduce the need to drill deeper into environmental risk. Within a few miles of our communities, we can do a lot to reduce energy demand."


Contact: Tracey Bryant
University of Delaware

Related biology news :

1. Prolonged respiratory problems for oil spill clean-up volunteers
2. First wind turbines on Galapagos Islands will halve diesel imports, reduce risk of future oil spills
3. Cleaning up oil spills can kill more fish than spills themselves, say Queens biologists
4. Arctic governments and industry still unprepared for oil spills 20 years after Exxon Valdez
5. The Prestige oil spill caused changes in the cell structure of mussels
6. Microbes in mud flats clean up oil spill chemicals
7. Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico nears the coast
8. Spill Central at University of Miami
9. Caution required for Gulf oil spill clean-up
10. Envisat monitors oil spill proximity to Loop Current
11. NASA deploys planes, targets satellites to aid in oil spill response
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Oil from spill could have powered 38,000 cars (and more) for a year, UD researcher says
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Although some 350 companies are actively involved ... few companies, according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche Diagnostics, ... market share of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing market, ... for Molecular Diagnostic s .    ... controlled by one company and only a handful of ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... 2015 --> ... market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - Global Industry ... 2021. According to the report, the global gesture recognition market was valued ... reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a CAGR of ... America dominated the global gesture recognition market ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015 Paris ... --> Paris , qui s,est ... DERMALOG, le leader de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé le ... et empreintes sur la même surface de balayage. Jusqu,ici, ... l,autre pour les empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul scanner ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SHPG ) announced today that Jeff ... 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York ... a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) announced ... in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In ... paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking ... 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 HemoShear Therapeutics, ... discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, announced today the ... its Board of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins is ... Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and also served as ... Jim Powers , Chairman and CEO of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: