50 Dead or Missing after Russian Oil Rig Capsizes
Thirteen people have been confirmed dead and dozens missing after a Russian oil rig flipped off the country's far east coast Sunday. The Kolskaya rig sank in just 20 minutes in waters 1,000 meters deep in its quest for oil and gas deposit discoveries on behalf of energy giant Gazprom.
President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation into the incident as regulations strictly forbid the towing of rigs in stormy conditions.
"The investigation is looking into safety regulation violations during the towing of the platform and a disregard of poor weather conditions as the main reasons for the incident, as there was a strong storm in the area," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The hope for finding the remaining missing 40 some persons is bleak, however. In addition to the difficulties of dealing with poor weather conditions, the Emergency Ministry has told the press that people can survive the cold waters for approximately six hours before hypothermia kicks in. Thus far, emergency officials have reportedly rescued only 14 workers and recovered four bodies.
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Poor infrastructure and short-cutting have caused many sea disasters in other Russian oil and gas operations over the years. As the world's largest energy producer, Russia's pushy efforts to step up offshore exploration will need serious evaluation moving forward. In addition to the nearly 50 dead or missing from Saturday's events, the country has become an inhospitable zone over the years that some believe to represent the world's worst ecological oil disaster.
Environmentalists estimate at least 1 percent of Russia's annual oil production, or 5 million tons, is spilled every year, which is equivalent to one Deepwater Horizon-scale leak about every two months, according to the Associated Press.
Though oil spills are less dramatic in Russia than in other places, they're far more numerous than any other oil producing nation in the world, literally occurring on a daily basis. Hopefully, this weekend's events will start bringing to light those companies responsible for poor infrastructure and management, and start holding those entities accountable.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.