26
   

The Gulf Oil Spill in a Nutshell

 
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 12:52 pm
Scuse me, having been brought up in the Texas oilfield, when there were problems with a well, say for instance "fire" they would do an offset drill to take the pressure off and put out the fire before capping the hole.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 01:53 pm
Not that I'm not pissed off about this oil spill stuff...but does anyone 'really' care. I mean, I'm not driving any less. I'm not doing anything but complaining on this board. Most people aren't even doing that.

Let's face it...we don't 'really' care.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 02:17 pm
I live on the gulf. How could I fail to care?
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 02:19 pm
@edgarblythe,
I care.

as people we are not consulted about these things.

we just have to live with the effects of the bad judgment of our leaders and dominant businesses.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 02:36 pm
The system of how things work in this country makes driving a matter of being able to take care of yourself and your family. I did not drive more than necessary before the catastrophe. I cannot drive less unless I quit my job and stay home.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 02:52 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

The use of a high energy explosion to seal the man-made aperture around the pressurized petroleum deposit appears at least feasible. Further I understand from other posters that the Russians have done something like this in continental gas wells.

However, I don't believe a conventional nuclear warhead or device could function at the extreme pressures and depths involved. As a minimum a high strength containment would be required. Further, this container and the extreme surrounding pressures could significantly alter the implosion used to create the supercriticality and the nuclear detonation. Perhaps a shotgun uranium (vice plutonium) core could be employed. However, in either case I doubt seriously that a suitably designed and tested device exists anywhere. Considerable time would be required to produce one.

In addition, I very seriously doubt that our current government wold use such a device, even if it were at hand. That, however, is just my opinion.

Secretary Chu agrees with you that radiation isn't a concern under a mile of water - and as you know he has a Nobel Prize in physics. He and 4 others (Sandia Labs, MIT, etc) came up with plan B, imaging with very high energy gamma rays. The journalist who interviews him here is obviously panicking at that plan - truly very funny, but sadly nothing new:
Quote:

Journalist: How is it that you know enough about gamma rays and oil spill technology to be helpful? I wasn't aware that that was an area you'd worked in before you were secretary?

Chu: Oil spills were not something I've worked on, but I do know about gamma rays.


Journalist: How?

Chu: Because I'm a physicist. And I dabble in many areas of physics. I did experiments when I was a graduate student on weak interactions, which are the forces of nuclear decay..... Very high-energy gamma rays can penetrate several inches of steel.
...........
Journalist: Why are the national laboratories getting involved in helping with the spill, including a weapons lab? What exactly to they have to offer that's germane to the problem of an oil disaster?

Chu: They have the high-energy gamma ray source! ....BP and the national laboratories discussed having the lab supply the Cobalt 60, but BP ultimately procured it elsewhere

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2010/05/exclusive-how-steven-chu-used-gamma-rays-to-save-the-planet/56685/
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 02:57 pm
@High Seas,
An interesting reminder of the ignorance of many journalists. Even an undergraduate course in physics would have given her the information to appear less stupid than she appeared. Anyone sent to interview the Secretary of Energy on an issue like that should have known much more than that.
Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 06:13 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
An interesting reminder of the ignorance of many journalists.
You dont seem to be aware that journalists ask questions for other people. If the journalist already knows the answers and behaves accordingly, then the two will sit there and stare at each other. You also seem ignorant that most interviews have two or three dry runs so they can edit in advance what is included.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 07:12 pm
@Ionus,
Nonsense. I doubt seriously that the Secretary of Energy sat still for multiple dry runs of this interview. I have seen enough of that stuff to know that your assertion to the contrary is simply contrary to the facts.

Moreover if a long term DOE scientist and the former head of the Lawrence Livermore (I believe) Laboratory has to explain to a journalist that he actually does understand gamma radiation you can bet that (1) the interview wasn't rehearsed, and (2) the interviewer doesn't know the first thing about the subject or what the Department of Energy physics laboratory do.
Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 03:21 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
I have seen enough of that stuff to know
Then you should be aware of everything I said. A lot of interviews are on agreed topics and wont diverge. They have agendas. A quick rehearsal is very common, with two interviews being done for the TV cameras as only one cameraman attends and he needs two angles. They interview the main person, then they can leave and they shoot the interviewer nodding and asking questions. In the case of a written report often they are presented for the approval of the person being interviewed...this is essential if you expect to be interviewing them again rather than on the black list.


I said :
Quote:
most interviews have two or three dry runs so they can edit in advance what is included.
You said :
Quote:
I doubt seriously that the Secretary of Energy sat still for multiple dry runs of this interview.
Even though it is the most inportant environmental catastrophe to happen to North America. Interviews if the important person is busy, can be run through a subordinate first.


I repeat :
Quote:
You dont seem to be aware that journalists ask questions for other people.
You said :
Quote:
the interviewer doesn't know the first thing about the subject
Are we to select physicists to interview physicists ? That would be fun to watch and a real joy to read....unless you are not another physicist. Journalists are selected for their knowledge of journalism, physicists for their knowledge of physics.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 03:23 am
@Sglass,
The vast majority of fires have the area cooled so it wont re-ignite then the fire is blown out with high explosives.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 04:44 am
@Ionus,
That was no TV interview; it isn't even clear from the article if Sec. Chu was interviewed in person or by telephone. The journalist involved only covers politics for The Atlantic magazine, and from his opener you can tell he doesn't know radio waves from alpha particles:
Quote:
It sounds like something right out of Marvel Comics: Government scientists suggest firing high-energy gamma rays -- GAMMA RAYS! -- to diagnose a leaking oil well a mile below the surface of the ocean. But that's what happened in the Gulf, when Energy Secretary Steven Chu and his team....

Further, The Atlantic trends left, and our left is spooked by the composition of Chu's team: Richard Garwin (who helped design the first hydrogen bomb), Tom Hunter (from Sandia Labs), and 2 experts on remotely controlled robots operating on Mars. Finally, BP may yet be shown to have been criminally liable by bungling every security measure before the blowout of that well: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/us/30rig.html

Now you know the parties and the subtext you see - I hope - there's no arguing on this particular interview. Just watch this space Smile
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 05:04 am
@Sglass,
Oil and gas well blowouts don't work the same way on dry land - there's a column of water a mile high on top of that ocean bottom and the oil and gas deposits are located way below that. Temperatures and pressures at that depth call for equipment usually designed for operating in outer space.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 05:53 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

I happen to think the current situation is such a total ******* disaster reaching far far into the future that all options should be considered ..

You're right. It took the Mexicans one year and 2 relief wells before they managed to cap their Ixtoc I well blowout in 1979. During that year Ixtoc spilled 140 million gallons of oil into the Gulf. And Ixtoc was only 167 feet above the sea floor: divers could go down and work on the pipes and valves. The NOAA website places Ixtoc more than 600 miles off the Texas coast - which got badly polluted anyway http://www.incidentnews.gov/incident/6250
Quote:
Products of concern: IXTOC I crude oil
Latitude (approximate): 19° 24.50' North
Longitude (approximate): 92° 19.50' West
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 06:27 am
@High Seas,
Thank you for mentioning the Ixtoc I spill, I've been sending information about it to various news sources since they started broadcasting that this present spill is the largest in US history. Hmmm.
Oh, I see, 200 miles of Texas beaches, wetlands and habitat got oiled up, but because the spill started in Mexico (600 miles away) it doesn't count as a US disaster. Rolling Eyes Drunk Ay yi yi.

I'm going to say it again. This is a very bad situation, there is going to be long term damage to many areas, but the Gulf coast of the USA is not going to die.
~~~~
just for fun try to think of what the engineers are managing to do...
What's the tallest building in the world? That tower in Dubai, right?

It's (I looked it up) 2717 feet tall. Now, take ANOTHER one of those towers and put it on top of the first one. Now that will be about as tall as the well is deep.
Take the elevator to the top.....
Okay, now down on the street there's a manhole cover that's been opened, yeah, it's kind of hard to see, but the world wants you to plug that manhole.

Oh, did I mention that spewing out of the manhole is gas and crude oil at 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure which, because we are above ground, is reaching up to about fifty stories high.
~~~~
Nah, I can't get my mind around it either. Okay, how about this?
You and I are going to have a water fight. We'll each have a hose.
Yours will have a kind of umbrella-funnel thing around the nozzle. All you have to do is stop the flow from my hose by using the force of your water to slow the force of mine down enough to get the funnel down around my nozzle. Cool? Ready?

Oh, you have a garden hose. I have a fire hose.

Joe(take a deep breath)Nation
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 09:57 am
some more tweets from the twitter account BP loves to hate

@BPGlobalPR

Just got 100k followers and our oil is headed to Florida. You know what this means... WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD! #bpcares

If we're being accused of being criminals, we want to be tried by a jury of our peers- wealthy execs who don't give a damn. #fairisfair

We've hired Dick Cheney's former publicist to head up our PR dept. Hopefully she can make us as lovable as Dick Cheney.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 10:33 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
some more tweets from the twitter account BP loves to hate

They ought to be paying this person.

Would you rather be a laughing stock, or public enemy number one?

Maybe this is really the BP public relations people and this is the greatest PR coup, ever.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 12:53 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

some more tweets from the twitter account BP loves to hate
.....................
We've hired Dick Cheney's former publicist to head up our PR dept. Hopefully she can make us as lovable as Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney is positively cuddly compared to anyone poisoning the oceans and murdering dolphins and whales in the process. It seems more likely that British Petroleum is sharing a publicist with British Airways, whose in-flight magazine carried in its last issue this wonderful ad for printing your own boarding pass using a mobile device:
http://l.yimg.com/a/i/ww/news/2010/06/02/blog_binladenpass.jpg
The image appears on the graphic panel of any iPhone - who knew they get such good sat phone reception out in South Waziristani caves <G>
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 02:18 pm
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:

Thank you for mentioning the Ixtoc I spill, I've been sending information about it to various news sources.......

Most of our journalists are even more clueless about science than the guy from The Atlantic who asked Sec. Chu (a Nobel Prize in Physics!) how come he knows about gamma rays. You're right that the oil / gas is bubbling up from several thousand feet under the seabed at about 8,500 psi (4 tons per square inch, or about 600 atmospheres); water pressure at that depth is only about a quarter that, so hopes that the oil / gas flow will abate any time soon on its own are baseless. Nothing BP can do between now and end-August (completion of first relief well, hurricanes permitting) or end-December (completion of second relief well, if necessary) is going to work.

The nuclear option is politically difficult now but may become less so when the magnitude of this catastrophe finally sinks into our brains. What follows is high-school physics: because of water's high density and relative incompressibility, shock waves travel much faster and have very high peak overpressures. E.g. in underwater nuclear tests (relatively close to the surface) peak overpressure at a distance of 1 km from a 10 Kt underwater burst is approx. 60 atmospheres; peak overpressure in air at that distance from an air burst is just 1 atmosphere. Caution, these aren't linear functions, so it's not a simple multiplication to get to to the pressure of the shock front a mile down required for blasting this hole shut for good, but a relatively small device could do it. There's no radiation risk - George OB posted that calculation earlier. The extra-thick containment vessel (to handle the pressure) is the simplest thing. I hope Chu and his team can get plans B, C, D and E in motion - but I'm not optimistic, since Obama is out peddling carbon credits today.

0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 02:23 pm
@High Seas,
LOL, I just noticed someone marked down that post, presumably objecting to the fact BA gave Osama bin Laden a first-class seat SmileSmileSmile
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.11 seconds on 05/22/2022 at 10:18:22