Part of the book: Hydrodynamics
Environmental risks posed by oil spills in semi-enclosed basins are more pronounced than those in the open ocean due to potential deposition along long segments of the coastlines. As a semi-enclosed sea, the Mediterranean is highly vulnerable to pollution events. Recent discoveries of major oil and natural gas reserves in the eastern Levantine basin have led to accelerated drilling, with several countries at various stages of exploration and production and others having mapped blocks for licensing, thereby significantly increasing the risks of a potential spill. Due to drilling by multiple, adjacent countries, any spills from deep water wells will be prone to cross border transport due to the highly variable winds and ocean currents. This risk is assessed through a series of simulations with an oil spill model forced with high resolution ocean currents and winds. The scenarios considered are well blowouts of several weeks duration, located within the drilling zones of each of various countries. Models such as this provide the basis for further environmental assessment and risk analysis. They also emphasize the importance of multinational cooperation to respond to and mitigate the environmental impacts which would result from a potential oil spill from any of the countries involved.
Part of the book: Oil and Gas Wells