Skip to main content

Microbiological investigations after the “Bravo” blowout (Ekofisk oil field, North Sea)

Abstract

Following the accident in 1977 at an offshore oil producing platform in the Ekofisk oil field (North Sea) an estimated amount of 13000–15000 tons of oil polluted the sea. Microbiological investigations were conducted one to five weeks after the blowout and compared with data collected in the same area during the years before. Bacterial numbers in the water were fairly low. In the floating oil particles, however, extremely high values were obtained (2 × 1011 heterotrophic bacteria 1−1 and 5 × 1010 oil degrading bacteria 1−1). The data on oxygen consumption gave markedly different results indicating that the oil degradation potential of the water seemed to vary widely from one station to another. The greatest increase in oxygen consumption (following the addition of oil to the bottles) occurred in samples taken at the station where oil particles from the blowout were observed floating on the surface. This indicates a higher oil degradation potential.

Literature cited

  1. Bratberg, E., 1977. The Bravo Blow Out. A report on marine research activities April 23 to May 5 1977 including some preliminary results. Fisken og Havet. — Rapp. Meldr Fisk. Direct. Havforskningsinst. Bergen (Ser. B)5 1–41.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Gunkel, W. & Trekel, H. H., 1967. Zur Methodik der quantitativen Erfassung ölabbauender Bakterien in verölten Sedimenten und Böden, Öl-Wasser-Gemischen, Ölen und teerartigen Substanzen. — Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters.16 336–348.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Gunkel, W., 1968. Bacteriological investigations of oil polluted sediments from the Cornish coast following the “Torrey Canyon” disaster. — Fld Stud.2 (Suppl.), 151–158.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Gunkel, W. & Rheinheimer, G., 1972. Bacteria. In: Research methods in marine biology. Ed. by C. Schlieper. Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 156–175.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Gunkel, W., 1973. Distribution and abundance of oil-oxidizing bacteria in the North Sea. In: The microbial degradation of oil pollutants. Ed. by D. G. Ahearn & S. P. Meyers. Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, L.A., 127–129.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Gunkel, W., Gassmann, G., Oppenheimer, C. H. & Dundas, I., 1980. Preliminary results of baseline studies of hydrocarbons and bacteria in the North Sea: 1975, 1976 and 1977. In: Ponencias del simposio internacionale: Resistencia a los antibioticos y microbiologia marina. Santiago de Compostela, 223–247.

  7. Indrebø, G. & Dundas, I., 1977. Microbial counts in the Ekofisk Area of the North Sea. — C.M./ICES,E 55.

  8. Jahresbericht Biologische Anstalt Helgoland,1976, 1–95.

  9. Jahresbericht Biologische Anstalt Helgoland,1977, 1–112.

  10. Jahresbericht Biologische Anstalt Helgoland,1978, 1–110.

  11. Oppenheimer, C. H., Gunkel, W. & Gassmann, G., 1977. Microorganisms and hydrocarbons in the North Sea during July–August 1975. — Proc. Oil Spill Conf., Washington,1977 593–609.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gunkel, W., Pedersen, S., Dundas, I. et al. Microbiological investigations after the “Bravo” blowout (Ekofisk oil field, North Sea). Helgolander Meeresunters 39, 21–32 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01997516

Download citation

Keywords

  • Oxygen
  • Waste Water
  • Water Management
  • Water Pollution
  • Oxygen Consumption