Lecture on Oil Spills (September 26)

Merv Fingas, former Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada, and author of “The Basics of Oil Spill Clean Up“, will be speaking on ocean oil spills on Thursday, September 26 at Concordia University College of Alberta. Come out and learn about an issue of relevance to all Albertans!

Title: “Ocean Oil-spills: the Deepwater Horizon Blowout – Chemistry and Lessons”

Date: Thursday,  September 26, 2013.

Time: 7:00 PM Lecture / 6:15 PM Refreshments

Location: Concordia’s campus. 7128 Ada Blvd, Edmonton, AB [Map] ( Lecture takes place in lecture theatre HA015, lower level of building where you enter the campus. )

Cost: FREE (All are welcome to attend!)


“Ocean Oil-Spill: The Deepwater Horizon Blowout – Chemistry and Lessons

This talk will provide an insider’s view of the large blowout which now ranks as the world’s second largest oil spill ever. Features of this talk will include exclusive pictures of the incident and recovery efforts. To date, British Petroleum has spent more than $60 billion on the spill, much of it on compensation and fines.

The spill was many faceted and included interesting phenomena in that it was 1500 m deep (1½ kilometres) and that the pressure at that depth is so great that compounds are typically 200 times more soluble in water than normal. Furthermore, the reservoir from which the oil came was at super-critical pressures which meant that all compounds were fully miscible with each other. This resulted in several interesting behaviour patterns which had never been witnessed before.


Dr Merv Fingas is a scientist working on oil and chemical spills. He was Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada in Ottawa for over 30 years and is currently working on research in Western Canada. He has a PhD in environmental physics from McGill University, and three masters degrees, one in each of chemistry, business, and mathematics, all from University of Ottawa. He also has a bachelor of science in Chemistry from Alberta and a bachelor of arts from Indiana. Dr Fingas has published more than 830 papers and publications in the field, has written 7 books on spill topics, and is working on 2 others. Dr. Fingas held and still holds many positions including international ones such as editorship of major journals and chair of several committees developing standards for spill recovery. He has worked extensively on the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, the major spill in the Gulf of Mexico, USA. This work has mostly been on aspects of the chemistry and physics of the situation. Currently he is working on a variety of projects including the behaviour of Bitumen and ‘Dilbit’ in the environment, and the measurement of oil in the sea.