Environment Forum

Dalian oil spill is all cleaned up

July 29, 2010

A laborer cleans up oil at the oil spill site near Dalian port, Liaoning province July 23, 2010. China's Xingang oil port has resumed some refined fuel loading for the domestic market, but fuel exports remain temporarily halted, industry officials said amid continuing efforts to clean up an oil spill at the country's major port of Dalian. REUTERS/Stringer

The Chinese government this week announced the oil spill is all cleaned up in Dalian harbor, off the north coast of Liaoning province in China.

That was fast.

Not even two weeks ago, on July 17, a blast hit two oil pipelines and spread an estimated 1,500 metric tons of crude oil (462,000 gallons) into the Yellow Sea.  (Update: Greenpeace on July 30 said as many as 60,000 metric tons could have been spilled.)

It’s a minute fraction of the amount of crude that has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since the BP Deepwater explosion of April 20, with an estimated 414,000–1,186,000 tons — but it’s still significant enough for 8,000 workers and 800 fishing vessels to dive in to clean-up efforts, some literally.

worker

At least one person was killed in the cleanup efforts. Firefighter Zhang Liang, 25, drowned July 20 after a wave threw him from a vessel and pushed him out to sea, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Photos from the region show workers manually scooping oil from water over the past two weeks, using seaweed as an absorbent, some kind of paper toweling and bare hands with helmets and bowls.

A laborer pours oil that he scooped up from the oil spill with a helmet into an oil drum, near Dalian port, Liaoning province July 22, 2010. China's Xingang oil port has resumed some refined fuel loading for the domestic market, but fuel exports remain temporarily halted, industry officials said amid continuing efforts to clean up an oil spill at the country's major port of Dalian. REUTERS/Stringer

Could it really have worked? On Wednesday, the port received its first very large crude carrier since the spill had shut its 300,000-tonne berth to shut, state media said on Thursday.

Impact on the industry has been minimal. Fishing sites are said to be far from the spill site and also the annual fishing ban is in full swing so seafood prices have remained steady.

DALIANPORT/

While the U.S. continues to battle its own massive oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, are there any lessons to be learned from China?

DALIANPORT/

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Photos show from top to bottom:

A laborer cleans up oil at the oil spill site near Dalian port, Liaoning province July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

A worker (R) attempts to rescue his co-worker (L) from drowning in an oil slick while attempting to fix an underwater pump during oil spill clean-up operations at Dalian’s Port in Liaoning province, July 20, 2010. REUTERS/Jiang He/ Greenpeace

A laborer pours oil that he scooped up from the oil spill witha  helmet into an oil drum,n ear Dalian pport, Liaoning province, July 22, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

A worker scoops oil from the oil spill site near Dalian Port, Liaoning province July 26, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

Containers filled with oil cleaned up from the oil spill site are seen at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province July 25, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

Comments
16 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

They accomplished a quick clean-up because politicians aren’t trying to politicize the spill to serve their own agenda.

Posted by GLK | Report as abusive
 

Even if we just take the Chinese governments word that the oil is in fact cleaned up, do you really want to work under the conditions you see in the photos? Its easy to get work done quickly when humans are disposable

Posted by chess3 | Report as abusive
 

And we’ll never know the price these workers will pay in the long run.

Posted by bobSmith | Report as abusive
 

Humans are disposable in wars and Massey coal mining not in oil spill clean up. The workers in the photo will be compensated and honored without submitting claims.

Posted by 2bfair | Report as abusive
 

There is a significant difference in cleaning up a spill of a fixed amount of oil versus trying to clean up the equivalent of a new spill every day. Not to mention that the Dalian spill was not starting 1 km below the surface!

Posted by dogma2003 | Report as abusive
 

This all assumes that the report is accurate. “News” from China – especially heroic good news – is inherently suspect. They certainly have less red tape and can therefore do things more quickly; however, China’s overall environmental record is ghastly. My question is whether this report is China’s version of a Potemkin Village.

Posted by 750L140 | Report as abusive
 

For a nation whose media daily serves us shameless propaganda about war, lies about war, keeps completely silent about the casualties of war in the native countries and while 90% of the world sees that very clearly and agrees on it….you sure have a lot to say about other nation’s media outlets and their credibility.

Your media utterly failed and still fail to deliver anything but government P.R. and thats obvious even to people within your own country.

Posted by Alyosha | Report as abusive
 

They cleaned it up because they started cleaning where we sat around, pointed fingers, ramped up propagama, and came up with cute catch phrases like ‘top kill’, ‘junk shot’, and ‘static kill’.

Posted by Kevin5069 | Report as abusive
 

China managed to clear this oil spill up in ten days – all credit to their ‘can do’ attitude which is so sadly lacking in the West today.

Instead, we have professional doom-mongerers who prophesise the end of life as we know at any possible opportunity.

In the first gulf war Saddam’s army deliberately spilt millions more gallons of oil than this into the Persian Gulf and there were NO lasting ill-effects.

Here’s a newsflash you won’t read on Reuters: oil in the sea is perfectly natural. It seeps out of the ground all the time.

Posted by IamtheBorg | Report as abusive
 

“Dalian oil spill is all cleaned up.”

Is it -really- or is that what they want to believe?

Let’s see: a communist government, and a MSMarxist media outlet… this is a PROPAGANDA piece more than anything.

A few photos and we’re expected to believe it’s all done.

Posted by TheChairman | Report as abusive
 

Naysayers need to go there themselves instead of making BIG ASSUMPTIONS with unwarranted generalizations.

I believe it because I’ve seen roads in North America take 3 years to finish causing insane traffic jams, where it would take a couple months in China for the same kind of road and complexity to complete.

Posted by JRZ | Report as abusive
 

OK I just want everyone to look back at the pictures and understand something very important. Most oil contains benzene. Benzene is a carcinogen. Benzene can be absorbed through the skin. Now do you understand the difference between oil spill response in the US and this example from China?

Posted by williamh | Report as abusive
 

Anything can be accomplished with an endless supply of expendable labor.

Posted by DrFrankNFurter | Report as abusive
 

“It’s a minute fraction of the amount of crude that has spilled into the Gulf…”

What is about this statement that’s hard to understand?

We’re talking around one thousandth of the oil, in a much smaller contained area, from a pipeline near the surface. Any comparison with the Gulf of Mexico oil field leak is totally meaningless.

Posted by davewee | Report as abusive
 

the USA also went through a period of massive, quick expansion and industrialization…and 10′s of thousands of workers paid with their lives. people are quick to point out how fast hoover dam was built but avoid the number of men killed in the process.

china is like america was a century ago…people/workers are a dime a dozen as everyone wants the chance to better themselves and the wealthy at the top give it to them.

news to those that don’t believe:
communism is the ultimate form of capitalism. long live mao

Posted by davehalo | Report as abusive
 

These photo’s show peole actually working ! That doesn’t happen here. All the photo’s I’ve seen on the gulf are nice clean workers walking in circles. Maybe we shoould hire the Chinese to do it for us.

Posted by treeburner | Report as abusive
 

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