Assessment of sediment hydrocarbon contamination from the 2009 Montara oil blow out in the Timor Sea

Burns, Kathyrn A., and Jones, Ross (2016) Assessment of sediment hydrocarbon contamination from the 2009 Montara oil blow out in the Timor Sea. Environmental Pollution, 211. pp. 214-225.

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Abstract

In August 2009, a blowout of the Montara H1 well 260 km off the northwest coast of Australia resulted in the uncontrolled release of about 4.7 M L of light crude oil and gaseous hydrocarbons into the Timor Sea. Over the 74 day period of the spill, the oil remained offshore and did not result in shoreline incidents on the Australia mainland. At various times slicks were sighted over a 90,000 km2 area, forming a layer of oil which was tracked by airplanes and satellites but the slicks typically remained within 35 km of the wellhead platform and were treated with 183,000 L of dispersants. The shelf area where the spill occurred is shallow (100-200 m) and includes off shore emergent reefs and cays and submerged banks and shoals.This study describes the increased inputs of oil to the system and assesses the environmental impact. Concentrations of hydrocarbon in the sediment at the time of survey were very low (total aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs) ranged from 0.04 to 31 ng g-1) and were orders of magnitude lower than concentrations at which biological effects would be expected.

Item ID: 43388
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6424
Keywords: oil spills, sediments, hydrocarbons, PAHs, environmental management
Funders: PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 01:13
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3701 Atmospheric sciences > 370104 Atmospheric composition, chemistry and processes @ 35%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 35%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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