Oil spills are a sad reality of the world we live in. What makes them even worse is that, often, they are able to be prevented. These leaks do not just have strong financial implications for the companies that have to take responsibility, but can be incredibly damaging to the ecosystems that surround them.
Cleanup from recent oil spills is presently underway or nearing completion in several parts of the United States. The Moab Times-Independent reported that the leak which contaminated the Green River in Utah has almost finished after a valve failure released between 80 to 100 barrels of oil per hour starting on the morning of May 21.
More recently, a spill occurred Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma's Comanche County as the result of a leaking oil battery tank. KSWO News reported that the exact volume of the spill, which was attributed to Wagon Wheel Production Company, has not yet been determined.
These are events that need to be properly guarded against. Had robust equipment condition monitoring systems been in place, these spills - as well as many others - might not have occurred.