Article Sept. 12, 2018
Treating spills with dispersants allows microbes to naturally break down crude oil
All marine environments contain naturally occurring microbes that feed on and break down crude oil. This means crude oil is largely biodegradable.
Article Sept. 12, 2018
Spilled oil tends to float on the surface of water in slicks. Treating a spill with dispersants allows very small droplets of oil to form, which then become distributed and diluted below the water's surface. This enhances the access of microbes to the oil, thus increasing the rate of degradation.
While the benefits of using dispersants have been questioned by stakeholders concerned about their chemical composition, studies have shown that dispersants are less toxic than oil, and dispersed oil breaks down faster than undispersed oil. When used appropriately, modern dispersants have low environmental and human-health risk. For example, an Environment Canada study found a common dish soap to be 25 times more toxic to rainbow trout than a common dispersant. In its 2005 report on modern dispersants and associated effects, the National Research Council stated that the toxicity of dispersed oil results primarily from the oil itself, and not from the dispersants.
The dispersants developed by ExxonMobil contain ingredients that are used safely in a variety of consumer products, such as skin creams, cosmetics, and mouthwash. We continue to advance dispersant technology and have developed a new dispersant gel that could further reduce concerns about adding chemicals to the environment. This new gel can treat the same amount of oil with two-thirds less chemical volume than other dispersants. If final product stability tests are successful, we expect commercialization of this new dispersant in 2011.
Management systems, standards and controlsAt ExxonMobil, we believe that it is possible to obtain the energy the world needs while also protecting people and the environment.
Risk management Article • Dec. 15, 2022
Operations Integrity Management SystemExxonMobil is committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the environmental and economic needs of the communities in which we operate, and that protects the safety, security and health of our employees, those involved with our operations, our customers and the public. These commitments are documented in our Safety, Security, Health, Environmental and Product Safety policies. These policies are put into practice through a disciplined management framework called the Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS).
Risk management Article • Jan. 7, 2022
Essential service for those serving othersWhen the U.S. Air Force started running low on hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic, ExxonMobil quickly stepped in with a 10,000-gallon donation to help keep service members safe and healthy.
Risk management Energy Factor • July 14, 2020
Our coronavirus response: Meeting a new challengeExxonMobil is working to help meet the needs of health care professionals fighting this pandemic on the frontlines, as well as those socially distancing themselves at home. While those needs continue to evolve, the company remains focused on working to meet global energy demand.
Risk management Energy Factor • March 27, 2020
Innovators bring future-focused ideas to HoustonInnovation doesn’t come from a single source. It takes partnerships and collaboration between creative minds to solve the toughest challenges.
Risk management Energy Factor • Oct. 17, 2019
Safety training gets a dose of virtual realityIt used to be that preparing for a new job or a new task meant poring over a handbook. Those books still play a role, but now, with the help of cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) simulations, technicians and operators are learning and challenging themselves in new ways – all from a tech hub known as ExxonMobil’s digital garage.
Risk management Energy Factor • April 30, 2019