Oil spills raise concerns about handling of marine environmental crisis

08:19, June 24, 2010      

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As efforts are still underway to contain a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, another leak was reported off the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada over the weekend.

Egyptian officials estimate it will take another week to clean up the oil patches, which spread along some 30 km of coastal line of the Red Sea with many popular tourist spots. Yet the country's authorities have not yet found the exact source of the pollution, whether it was from oil platforms in the Suez Gulf or passing vessels.

The Gulf of Mexico spill will be one of the worst environmental disasters in human history. Local environmental analysts worry the oil slick in the Red Sea, small as it is, will also cause damage to the local marine environment and affect local tourism.

The two cases have raised serious concerns about the handling of oil leaks from offshore or deepwater drilling.

Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Amin Sameh Samir Fahmi told the nation's legislature that he was mulling a cut down on the number of oil platforms in the Suez Gulf, Egyptian media said Wednesday. The U.S. government is also planning to issue a new deepwater drilling moratorium order.

Any oil leak in the sea may do harm to fish, coral reefs and micro-organisms that live in the affected area.

From the two spills and numerous previous ones, the governments should draw a deep lesson and impose strict control on the operation of offshore oil wells.

As offshore and deepwater oil reserves have been increasingly exploited to meet the demands, dangers of oil spills also arise and marine environment faces great pressure.

It is unimaginable if such accidents cannot be reduced and avoided to protect the marine environment.

The government needs to join the handling of oil leaking immediately and take actions to prevent it from spreading, with all necessary measures and resources.

For oil companies, to train workers how to deal immediately with these accidents is a must. Security precautions should be stressed.

In addition, international cooperation and exchange of experience in handling oil spills should be promoted, for the sake of protecting the environment of the only globe of human beings. The Earth already bears too much pollution.

Source: Xinhua


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