Decontamination and Effective Oil Containment in Dalian Sea Area

On the 18th, Liaoning Maritime Bureau and associated departments in Dalian put significant human and material resources into cleaning up the marine pollution caused by an oil pipeline explosion. By 15:00 on the same day, Liaoning Maritime Administration and other departments had dispatched 400 maritime staff, and coordinated more than 40 ships and 100 other vehicles. The deployment of oil fences in the oil spill area has been expanded to more than 9000 meters, and the removal of marine pollution has been active and productive. The surface pollution of the cleaned sea areas has already shown improvement.

We learned that under the organization and coordination of the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, the Liaoning Maritime Bureau urgently transferred emergency materials for decontamination from other provinces and cities. At present, the 2000 meter oil fence and 2 tons of oil dispersant transferred from Qinhuangdao arrived in Dalian on the evening of the 17th, and the 30 tons of oil dispersants transferred from Qingdao and Beijing are expected to arrive in Dalian by the evening of the 18th.

Experts said that the sea pollution caused by the explosion of the oil pipeline may exceed 50 square kilometers.
At a press conference held at 10:00 on the 17th, Dalian City announced that the open fire at the scene of the accident had been put out. Following the announcement, smoke continued to be emitted at the scene, but no open fire was seen. However, in the early morning of the 18th, there were occasional open fires in some places, which were put out after the fire brigade took measures. At 14:00 on the 18th, the fire brigade mobilized eighty water guns to launch a concerted attack on the still-smoking tank, after which the thick smoke from the tank finally faded. Ning Min, deputy director of Dalian Public Security Bureau, said that the scene was safe after experts’ assessment, though the public security fire brigade has not yet relaxed safety measures.

Sun Benqiang, deputy director of Dalian Work Safety Supervision Bureau, said on Tuesday that the Liaoning provincial government had set up an investigation team to start the investigation into the cause of the explosion of the Dalian Xingang oil pipeline. At present, it is impossible to make a judgment on the cause of the accident, which requires investigation and analysis before a conclusion can be reached. Sun Benqiang said that the reason for the explosion previously mentioned by the media is only based on the preliminary judgment made by the nature of the incident, and further judgment can only be made through technical analysis. Whether the responsibility for the accident lies with the tanker side or PetroChina is still uncertain.

Wu Guogong, deputy director of Dalian Environmental Protection Bureau, said in an interview at the scene of the explosion accident in Xingang, Dalian, Monday that the environmental protection department had continuously monitored the environmental impact of the accident and the extent of the impact had yet to be assessed. More than twenty air monitoring points and more than a dozen water-quality monitoring points have started their work. So far, more than 3000 data reports have been provided to the relevant government departments. The environmental quality of the atmosphere has not been affected beyond the scope of the fire, and the volume of crude oil leaks is being verified. He said that about 11 square kilometers of the sea area are heavily polluted, and 50 square kilometers of the sea area are slightly polluted. The diffusion of the leaked crude oil will be affected by weather, tide, and other conditions. Wu Guogong said that the burning of crude oil will produce more than 40 kinds of pollutants, but will not have too much of an adverse effect on the human body.

According to China News Agency, Dalian on July 18, the data provided by Liaoning Maritime Department suggests that by the afternoon of July 18, the polluted water area had reached 50 square kilometers, including about 11 square kilometers of key polluted water area and 100 square kilometers of affected water area.

In the polluted sea area, the ships carrying out the cleaning operation remove the oil pollution on the sea by means of oil absorption felt, spraying oil remover, setting oil fence, etc. According to the cleaning contractor, the oil can be effectively removed from the sea by means of oil absorbent felt. Large pieces of oil absorbent felt can absorb 35 kilograms of oil at a time, and small pieces can also absorb a significant volume.

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