Our search for even more non-renewable energy can lead to some very dangerous outcomes:
A natural gas well in the North Sea 150 miles off Aberdeen, Scotland, sprung a massive methane leak on 25 March. The 238 workers were all safely evacuated. But the situation is so explosive that an exclusion zone for ships and aircraft has been set up around the rig, reportsthe Mail Online. And nearby rigs have been evacuated, reports the New York Times:
Royal Dutch Shell said it closed its Shearwater field, about four miles away, withdrawing 52 of the 90 workers there; it also suspended work and evacuated 68 workers from a drilling rig working nearby, the Hans Deul.
But that’s not the worst of it. The platform lies less than 100 yards/meters from a flare that workers left burning as crew evacuated. The French supermajor oil company owner of the rig, Total, dismissed the risk, while the British government claimed the flame needs to burn to prevent gas pressure from building up. But Reuters reports:
[O]ne energy industry consultant said Elgin could become “an explosion waiting to happen” if the oil major did not rapidly stop the leak which is above the water at the wellhead.