Timor Sea Drilling Spill

Have you heard about the oil spill off the coast of Australia in the Timor Sea? Most Americans haven’t. 5,800 square miles and still growing. It’s slowly approaching Exxon Valdez proportions and nobody knows about it – it’s not even on the news channels (from what I’ve seen). Slowly, a relief well is being drilled to intercept the damaged well, but it will take as much as 4 weeks to complete. Until then, the damage grows. Unbelieveably, it’s been going for close to a month and continues to leak oil. Why isn’t this headline news?


Aerial photo of the Montara offshore oil platform and West Atlas mobile drilling rig. On August 21, 2009, a well on the platform blew out as a new well was being drilled, and both the rig and the platform were imediately evacuated. Oil and gas condensate are spewing uncontrolled into the Timor Sea off Western Australia, and will continue to do so for at least 7-8 weeks until a new rig can be brought into the vicinity to drill a relief well. Photo by Chris Twomey / Australian Greens.

Detail from NASA / MODIS satellite image taken on August 30, 2009, showing slicks and sheen from the Montara / West Atlas offshore oil well blowout. Dark patches are slicks and sheen; scattered white clouds stipple the upper part of the image, and turbid water – possibly laden with phytoplankton – creates the striking aqua color at lower right. Submerged coral reefs appear as pale blue blobs, mostly on the left half of the image.