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Shell Arctic oil spill sniffer dogs: is this a late April Fools joke?

Trained sniffer dogs at work…

COMMENT BY A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL COMPANY

John,

I read your latest blog regarding the proposed use of dogs by Shell to sniff-out oil spills in the Arctic.

Surely, someone has got to be acting in jest. Please tell me that Shell and DOI have more effective spill detection technology and a better plan than this. Please tell me that the fate of that very fragile Arctic marine ecosystem is not being abandoned by Federal regulatory agencies and is not being left to ‘go to the dogs’, so to speak. Please tell me that Shell has something better than this to offer. Please tell me that this is a late April Fools joke and not being seriously considered.

After all, Shell is going to be drilling offshore, as I recall, and that means these cute little furry guys must be housed on a drilling rig. A stinky old oil drilling rig that uses all sorts of various type of hydrocarbons – greases, lubricating oils, diesel fuels, etc. This is a place where most of the humans and their clothing reek of drilling fluids and hydrocarbon based lubricants, etc.

Pray tell, how will these cute little canines sniff out a ‘small spill’ leaking into the surrounding ocean with all of this ambient aromatic hydrocarbon based air pollution surrounding the drilling rig ???? Seems to me that they have the potential to suffer from ‘sensory over-load’.

Maybe Shell will put the pooches in boats and they will motor around the rig sniffing the air upwind of the rig. But then, if they are upwind of the rig they won’t be able to pick up odors from a ‘small leak’ either. Hmmm.

And anything more than a small leak should leave a slick on the surface around the rig that should be visible to the rig hands. So, who needs the dogs ????

If those cute canines are sensing methane and other light hydrocarbon gases, then the contractors probably need to quit feeding chili and beans to the rig hands, etc. Either that or hand out ‘Beano’ at every meal. They may run the risk of too many false alarms.

If the folks at DOI take this ‘plan of action’ by Shell seriously then they are either: 1) Grossly incompetent and delusional, or 2) Not taking their job seriously and ‘rubber stamping’ Shell’s proposals, etc., or 3) Acting upon direct instructions from senior level DOI management because a ‘political’ decision has been made.

This oil field soap opera saga continues. It is becoming ludicrous.

Regards

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