May 15, 2010 at 5:02 am #2674
An oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana has spread to cover a lot more than 1,800 square miles as of Monday afternoon. The oil spill is coming from a leak in the well that was drilled by the Transocean Deepwater Horizon, a giant offshore drilling rig that exploded and sank last week. It is reported to be leaking about 42,000 gallons a day from a well that is a mile deep. Robot subs getting used by the US coast guard should help to stop the leak.
The spill in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to remain about 30 miles offshore based upon of analysis of the ocean currents and weather patterns. The states along the Gulf coast were warned in a statement on Monday by the Coast Guard to be on alert. The oil rig that sank was drilling a well about 50 miles off of the Louisiana coast butting that shore at the highest risk.
Responses to the spill
To prepare for the oil spill, which the Coast Guard said my reach landfall sometime Tuesday, Louisiana has begun spending money now on oil spill response, installing containment booms around environmentally sensitive areas. The Associated Press reports that Alabama has also mobilized oil spill response to prevent damage when the oil slick makes landfall. The Coast Guard said it is spending extra cash on 15 specially intended skimming vessels, which had collected 48,000 gallons of oil-water mix by Sunday. Dispersant chemicals have been dumped by aircraft to break down the oil.
Oil spill disaster fears come true
The oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico was a big fear when the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank. The well is leaking its liquid cash today from the riser, as reported by the New York Times. The riser is a 5,000-foot-long pipe extending from the wellhead on the ocean bottom that was connected to the drilling platform. The riser is kinked like a garden hose now. The leaks are at the sea floor, and officials believe the kinks are preventing an even worse gusher of oil from escaping. A geyser of oil and gas shot from the riser to create a large plume of flame and black smoke before sinking the platform.
Oil spill cleanup
To contain the oil spill, the Coast Guard aims to have robotic subs activate a 450-ton valve at the wellhead 5,000 feet deep that could possible seal the well. It is possible this valve wont work as it is designed to prevent sudden pressure releases that led to the explosion that sunk the platform. As a contingency, BP has dispatched two rigs to the area that could drill relief wells. It is estimated by officials that this strategy, drilling down to the cavity of oil and gas and pumping it out of mud and concrete, might take two months.
At this rate, The New York times said, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, at a rate of 42,000 gallons of oil a day, would have to continue for 262 days to match the 11-million-gallon spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound from the Exxon Valdez in 1989, the worst oil spill in United States history.
May 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm #5621
I still have problem with this update – like lot initial ones that are painting this US BP Oil spill as worst since XOM Valdez and trying to use it as example of why not to do Offshore drilling (really any exploration and get rid fossil fuels).
While both spills are the worst in US history with XOM Valdez tanker spill at 11MM Gallons & BP Horizon spill potentially at 11-14MM Gallons ……. what they leave out intentionally is that none US spills even tip the scale on World spills and would rank about 34th of top 135 spills and magnitudes below the Global top 10 (smallest is 44MM Gallons Odessy spill & largest is ~560 MM Gallons Kuwait spill). <See my post on history this list 5/11/10 previous post item>
The reason they dont mention this comparison (outside liberal environmental political bashing & chance to kill offshore drilling) is because the obvious conclusion is that the US is still the safest & best at this dangerous job in the world and if we halt US offshore drilling ……. it just shifts the job to one retards that have bad history. Case in point is that recently Venezuela once again sunk an offshore platform proving they lack the expertise (now that Chavez ran off all PDVSA tallent due strike against his government takeover – and I might say doing great job these days helping #4 Colombia bost its production & exports to US), Now I dont remember hearing a word about this or for that matter much on any of the other world spills …..certaintly did not see any protesting environmental types manning liferafts & chanting against the other offenders, did you?
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