Browsing by Subject "oil"

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  • Raubenheimer, Marie-Claire (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Oil spillages represent a serious environmental hazard for flora and fauna of marine and coastal ecosystems. Though marine oil spills have decreased since the 1970s, the increasing production of petroleum goods remains a potential source of pollution due to its use and transportation. When aquatic organisms, including fish, are exposed to toxic oil compounds, this can cause sublethal morphological changes and increase mortality. In this context, herring have been frequently studied, and results suggest that particularly herrings eggs and larvae are highly susceptible to oil toxicity. In this thesis, a Bayesian meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of crude and fuel oil on the mortality of herring eggs from the genus Clupea. Observations from laboratory studies, collected during a literature review, served as input for the statistical analysis. To this end, Bayesian inference modeling was applied to generate posterior probability distributions for additional mortality caused by exposure to oil mixtures. Also, oil concentration, oil type, exposure time, and temperature were analyzed to study possible correlations with mortality impacts. The results of this study suggest that acute mortality of exposed herring eggs is similar to mortality observed for individuals exposed to only small concentrations or none at all. Of all evaluated oil types, medium grade crude oil caused the most significant change in instantaneous mortality with increasing oil concentration. Generally, distinct oil types had a greater influence on mortality outcomes than temperatures at the given concentrations. For the lowest temperatures, some correlations for increased mortality were found. Overall, the unexplained variability between the reviewed studies has a relatively small influence on mortality outcomes. In conclusion, the mortality of exposed herrings eggs is most likely delayed due to sublethal effects, rather than immediate, at the modeled concentrations. Altogether, uncertainty amongst the posterior probability distributions is high, indicating a wide possibility range for the monitored parameters' actual values. The reasons for elevated uncertainty likely stem from diverse experimental setups, biological differences between tested species, relatively small sample sizes, and model-related issues. Thus, future research could consider additional variables, information from observational studies and other fish species to reduce uncertainty in mortality outcomes.
  • Zou, Ling (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    Andean lupin (Lupinus mutabilis Sweet) is a potential oilseed crop, with a very high protein content (40–45%) and 15–20% oil content. It is valued as an alternative protein source for both human and animal consumption, and like several other lupin species, has a potential role in phytoremediation. Previous experience in central and southern Europe has shown the crop to have low and unstable yields with high sensitivity to heat and drought during the grain–filling stage. The species may therefore be more suitable for cool–temperate climates, as it comes from similar altitudes and latitudes as potato. Therefore, an experiment was set out to quantify the responses of Andean lupin to heat stress, using both gradually and suddenly rising temperatures during grain filling. In preliminary tests 60 accessions from 4 germplasm banks were screened for time to flowering and daylength sensitivity. For this experiment, 3 accessions were chosen, 478435, 457972, 457977, with vegetative phase durations of 44, 53, 64 days from sowing to first flower, respectively. Forty two plants of each accession were sown and reduced to 30 on the basis of uniformity. Plants were grown in a glasshouse with 22 °C, 18 h days and 18 °C, 6 h nights until about 25 days after flowering. Ten plants of each accession were subjected to one of the following treatments: control (continuing in the same glasshouse conditions), sudden heat stress (transferred to a growth chamber and subjected to 38 °C from 11:00 to 15:00) or gradual heat stress (transferred to a growth chamber and subjected to temperature increases of 4 °C day temperature and 2 °C night temperature, with the final two days at 38 °C from 11:00 to 15:00). The plants were returned to the glasshouse and when mature, the seeds were harvested and pooled into 3 replicates per accession and treatment for quality analysis. Seed protein, oil, soluble sugar, ash and moisture content were determined. Data were calculated on the basis of percentage of overall seed mass and also on a milligrams per seed basis in order to reflect the seed physiology at grain–filling stage. Sudden heat stress had greater effects on seed composition than gradual heat stress. When compared with control, sudden heat stress resulted in more loss of every component than gradual heat stress, on a per–seed basis, in all 3 accessions and the responses of the accessions to the sudden stress were not statistically different. Under sudden heat stress, mean seed weight declined by 70%, protein content by 70%, oil content by 85%, ash content by 50%, and soluble sugar content by 75%. The accessions responded differently, however, to the gradual heat stress. Accession 478435 experienced significantly greater reduction in seed weight, protein and ash content than accessions 457972 and 457977. Oil content per seed and soluble sugar content per seed were also lower in 478435 than in the other two cultivars, but the difference was not significant. On the flour basis, sudden heat stress increased ash content and decreased oil content and soluble sugar content significantly in all accessions. Accession 478435 had highest value in ash content at significant level. Under gradual stress, protein and ash content were increased while oil mass and soluble sugar mass were decreased. 478435 had significantly higher protein mass and ash mass in flour with respectively 57% and 5.1%, 457977 had significantly higher soluble sugar content with 112 mg/g. The results showed that heat stress can have a significant effect on the quantity and quality of seed yield in Andean lupin. While all tested accessions were severely susceptible to sudden heat stress, gradual stress identified differences between accessions, with one being much more susceptible than the other two. The most susceptible accession was the earliest to flower. Gradual heat stress allows better resolution than sudden heat stress when screening germplasm for heat tolerance.
  • Friman, Mikko (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    The Baltic Sea area, formerly an importer of crude oil, has become an important node for oil export. In 2015, between 160 and 240 million tons of oil (and some 150 million tons of other cargo) will be transported through the Gulf of Finland only, in 2006, 140 million tons of oil was shipped through the Gulf. There are a number of development projects going on in Russia and Estonia concerning both old and new terminals. Also new pipelines from the Russian production sites to the coastal oil terminals are under planning or construction. According to an estimate by the EU Commission, in 2010 about 400 million tons of oil and petrochemicals will be processed in the seaports of the Baltic Sea. The risk of accidents is increasing with busier traffic and larger ships. Oil can contaminate the sea through various routes: spills during loading, unloading and other port operations, accidental oil spills from tankers, oil terminals, refineries, pipelines, exploration sites and regular non-tanker shipping, runoff from land, and as municipal and industrial wastes. Any step toward improved safety in shipping decreases the risks and impacts on the marine environment. Therefore the Baltic Sea countries have to continue to work toward pollution-free marine transportation by providing employees environmental protection education and training, by combating substandard shipping, and by increasing international recognition for the ecological significance of the status of the Baltic as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) designated the Baltic Sea a PSSA in 2004.. Several modern tools have been installed for the Gulf of Finland navigation to reduce the risk of ship collisions. One of them is the Gulf of Finland mandatory Ship Reporting System (GOFREP), which went into operation on 1 July 2004. The system covers the international waters of the Gulf of Finland in a joint effort between Finland, Estonia and Russia. By Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS) ships are referred to use a different route when travelling from east/north to west/south and vice versa. Important steps forward to further decrease the risks of shipping and oil accidents were taken in July 2006, when new traffic routing measures entered into force in the central Baltic Sea, in Bornholmsgat, and north of Rügen. In the Gulf of Finland, which is a hot spot area for increasing oil transports, the Vessel Traffic Management and Information System (VTMIS) was taken into use in 2004, including TSS. The HELCOM Automatic Identification System (AIS) provides, since 2005, a very helpful source of information documenting, which enables the identification of the name, position, course, speed, draught and cargo of every ship of more than 300 gross tons sailing in the Baltic Sea. The valuation of oil spill damages is challenging because it attempts to estimate the harm from possible future oil spills, and because the harm depends largely on the conditions at the time of the spill. In addition, it might be difficult for people to perceive the probabilities and uncertainties related to oil spills and their impacts. Against this background it is of utmost importance to improve both the technical and the human aspects of ship operation.
  • Stålhandske, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Crude ol is the most traded commodity in the world. Oil and oil products are very important mediums of trade, and therefore these mediums are also traded in the derivative markets. The value of derivatives and “paper oil” markets is nowadays many times higher than the value of the physical crude oil market. Oil refineries, the end-users of oil products and investors plus speculators have all a significant impact on the market, and together they create the balance of price level. In this thesis, the difference between present spot prices and future forward prices was researched. The results show whether the oil refinery could make a profit by using forwards instead of spot prices for purchasing crude oil and for selling the refined oil products. A general hypothesis is that, on average, forwards are not profitable. This hypothesis holds only if the markets are efficient and all the participants have equivalent information at their disposal. If this is not the case, the markets do not work efficiently, or the balance of supply and demand is not stable. In this thesis, both realized prices and forward prices are examined for the period between 2010 and 2016. The prices and forwards are European market prices, and they are based on the Brent crude oil and Brent-based products. Monthly averages for prices, calculated by daily prices, are used in all the tests and the analysis. The maturities of forwards varied from 1 month to 12 months. The results show that the refiner would have made extra profit by selling especially jet and diesel by using long-run (12 months) forwards. The error term of spot and forward prices was systematic and statistically significant. Hedging the sales of heavy fuel oil (HSFO) by using forwards would also have been, on average, profitable. Nevertheless, the fundament of HSFO is not as clear as jet and diesel. Jet, diesel and HSFO constitute about 2/3 parts of the total production capacity (by volume) of Company X. By hedging the jet, diesel and HSFO, the company could have increased the gross margin by approximately 18 % between 3/2012-12/2016. This means that the gross marging would have increased by about 2 USD/bbl (11.3 vs 13.3 USD/bbl). The results clearly state that the demand for specific forwards (and products) exceeded the supply side in the period studied. This was evident in the higher forward prices compared to realized spot prices. The reason for these findings might be the fact that the end users of jet, diesel and HSFO typically want to secure the level of costs in advance. Airline companies, for example, have to know their cost of fuel to be able to set the price of flight tickets up to one year beforehand. In addition, it is important to notice that Europe is dependent on imported jet and diesel. On the oher hand, the results can be interpreted in a way that the refiners do not want to sell their production in advance. In general, this can be seen in the way that the producers are always waiting for a sudden unexpected shock in the demand side, and therefore the pricing position is kept open. Based on the findings, the supply of crude oil was not profitable. Many estimations of the price of crude oil have been made based on different data sets, and based on the literature, forecasting is very difficult. In addition, hedging gasoline or naphtha production by forwards was not, on average, profitable. Nevertheless, by short run maturities (3–4 months), and in certain conditions, hedging the gasoline would have been profitable. The time period investigated in this thesis saw extreme fluctuation in crude oil pricing. Brent price varied from 35 USD/bbl to 125 USD/bbl. In addition, the time period included both extreme increases and decreases in price. The results might be partly explained by the fluctuations and relatively high level of the price of crude oil. Brent crude oil as an explanatory variable for the price of oil products was also tested in this research. The price of crude oil has explanatory power for the forward values of jet, diesel and HSFO. However, the Brent price could not be used as an explanatory variable for the profitabily of hedging those above-mentioned cracks. Other products (gasoline, naphtha and DFL) did not depend on the price of crude oil as much. In this case, it can be assumed that hedging jet, diesel (and gasoil) and HSFO would be profitable in the near future as well. Then again, many global, political and economical aspects certainly have an effect on the oil markets. Analyzing these aspects is considered to be nearly impossible, and this causes some uncertainty to the forecasting process.
  • Koskinen, Julia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This Master’s Thesis examines how Ugandan civil society organizations (CSOs) have responded to land grabs and subsequent negative impacts on local communities that have taken place in the oil region of Albertine graben in Western Uganda and what their role is in the realization of the rights of local communities. Two international oil companies, Total and CNOOC, operate in the area. The companies have received a lot of critique on the negative impacts that oil development has had on local communities. The impacts of the oil development on local communities have been studied widely by academics and by CSOs while the responses and strategies of civil society organizations that work around the matter have been studied less. This thesis aims to shed more light on what is the role of civil society organizations in the land disputes in the Albertine graben. It can give development funders and other actors more insight on what is happening in the Albertine graben, and also help CSOs to understand their roles and how they can impact on the situation. The thesis is based on political ecology and looks at land grabbing from the theories of primitive accumulation and accumulation by dispossession. The theorization of the roles of civil society organizations is based on civil society studies. The method used in the study is semi-structured interview. Six Ugandan CSO representatives were interviewed for the study. Three of the interviewees were from local grassroot organizations and three were from national organizations that operate from Kampala. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings of the study are threefold. The study found that the CSO representatives identified the same impacts of the oil development as previous studies and reports have identified. The negative impacts are mostly tied to land grabbing and exceed the positive impacts of oil development. The study also identified the most important strategies that the CSOs use in order to support the affected communities. The most frequently mentioned strategies include engaging companies and subcontractors; engaging government and local governments; facilitating discussion between companies/government and communities; capacity building, empowerment and sensitizing of local communities; training community volunteers; legal empowerment of the communities; legal aid; strategic litigation; and networking with other CSOs. Lastly, the study theorizes on the role of the CSOs in the matter based on the CSO representatives’ own views and on the strategies that they use. The roles of the CSOs are to empower communities; to act as mediators between the communities and government/companies; amplify community voices; hold companies/government accountable; ensure that the rights of project affected persons are respected; and balance power imbalances between communities and companies/government. These roles are in line with previous theorizations of the roles of civil society organizations in the society. A common factor in all of the land grabs and the following negative impacts of it is the power imbalance between the local communities and the companies/government. Companies and government are powerful because they support each other: while government gets investment from oil, the companies get legitimacy and freedoms to work in the area. This is why it is difficult for civil society actors to challenge the companies and hold them accountable. The local communities are normally poor and have low education levels and thus they are often not aware of their rights or how they could protect themselves against state and corporate abuses. CSOs often lack financial capacity, and as they are seen in a negative light by the government and by companies, it is difficult for CSOs to impact on them. Even though CSOs face a lot of difficulties, including security risks, they use many strategies to influence the situation, and try to fulfil their social, economic and political roles in the society.