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The Gulf Oil Spill in a Nutshell

 
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 02:24 pm
@High Seas,
he'd need the leg room, i understand he's quite tall
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 03:20 pm

A science editor in Russia (forgot to note his name) gives the nuclear option 20% chance of success.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 04:24 pm
@Joe Nation,
Excellent post Joey.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 07:34 pm
article from Newsweek
What Not to Say When Your Company Is Ruining the World
BP CEO Tony Hayward has made gaffe after gaffe defending his company's response to the gulf oil spill. Here are some of his many unfortunate remarks.
http://www.newsweek.com/content/newsweek/2010/06/02/what-not-to-say-when-your-company-is-ruining-the-world-/_jcr_content/body/mainimage.img.jpg/1275506501104.jpg
On May 28, Hayward points to the site of the gulf oil spill.

There is a long and awkward history of corporate leaders saying the wrong thing when their companies are facing criticism. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein responded to his company's role in contributing to the recent financial crisis by suggesting he was doing "God's work." But BP CEO Tony Hayward, whose company just hired a former spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney to help handle the media, has outdone even Blankfein in his unfortunate comments since the company's Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up on April 20. The blast killed 11 people and sent thick, rust-colored oil billowing into the Gulf of Mexico, destroying natural habitats and devastating the coastal economy.

BP initially estimated that between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels of oil were gushing into the gulf each day. The current consensus pegs the figure at between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels. At 44 days in, it is already the biggest spill in U.S. history, and with no signs of a quick solution to halt the flow of crude, it's dwarfing the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.

Among Hayward's bizarre statements since the accident:

On April 29, The New York Times reported that Hayward, apparently exasperated, turned to fellow executives in his London office and asked, “What the hell did we do to deserve this?" (A possible answer might be the company's 760 safety violations over the last three years. ExxonMobil, in contrast, has had just one.)

On May 14, Hayward attempted to persuade The Guardian that "the Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."

Only a few days later, he told Sky News that "the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest." That might surprise the many scientists who see the spill as a true environmental calamity, the full extent of which remains unclear.

On May 30, Hayward was less bullish and decided to play the sympathy card. He told the Today show that "there’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back." (He has since apologized for those remarks.)

On May 31, he told the world that ecosystem-threatening underwater oil plumes"consisting of droplets of partially dissolved oil suspended in water that many scientists have observed"do not exist. He said simply, "There aren't any plumes."

On June 1, Hayward responded to claims that cleanup workers were being sickened by the fumes from the oil they were exposed to by suggesting another possible, non-oil-spill cause. When nine workers fell ill, according to Yahoo News, he told CNN that "food poisoning is clearly a big issue."

But Hayward is not alone in his manful struggle to spin the news in the face of daunting factual evidence. His colleague Bob Dudley, managing director of BP, told NBC's Meet the Press on May 30 that "I think Tony's doing a fantastic job." To paraphrase President George W. Bush during another poorly managed Gulf Coast disaster: heckuva job, Tony.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 08:00 pm
@djjd62,
Damn ! These people are going to get highly paid positions in the tobacco industry...they are good !!
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 09:19 pm
@djjd62,
Yeah, I know we've reached the gallows humor stage. I don't know how much security Osama has in his Waziristan cave, but I do know the BP "emergency center" in Houston is being flooded with calls and emails making death threats. If you read the NYT article I linked you know a more inept bunch of bunglers never drilled a well in the Gulf - not in US waters, at any rate. The Kuwaiti oil spill in their Gulf was worse, with the Mexicans second - so far.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 09:30 pm
@High Seas,
I think I'm watching, involuntarily, many clumsy fuckups, probably based on earlier ones, but I don't know. Lacking expertise myself, I'm just trying to keep up. This is not the time for the stooges.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 10:13 pm
@ossobuco,
So true. As more bodies of dead sea mammals keep washing out on Gulf beaches though, even the stooges may see the light:
Quote:
Michael E. Webber, a mechanical engineer at the University of Texas, Austin, wrote to Dot Earth, a New York Times blog, in early May that he had surprised himself by considering what once seemed unthinkable. “Seafloor nuclear detonation,” he wrote, “is starting to sound surprisingly feasible and appropriate.”

Much of the enthusiasm for an atomic approach is based on reports that the Soviet Union succeeded in using nuclear blasts to seal off gas wells. Milo D. Nordyke, in a 2000 technical paper for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., described five Soviet blasts from 1966 to 1981.

All but the last blast were successful. The 1966 explosion put out a gas well fire that had raged uncontrolled for three years. But the last blast of the series, Mr. Nordyke wrote, “did not seal the well,” perhaps because the nuclear engineers had poor geological data on the exact location of the borehole.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/us/03nuke.html
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 10:23 pm
Dumb question...

What happens if NOBODY ever has a thought about drilling this particular oil field and, eventually with the passage of time, the pressure builds up and the same spill into the ocean goes forward naturally and the oil hits the beaches of every gulf state before anybody ever notices it?

Or does anybody really believe that the planet has never had anything like that happen naturally??
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 10:26 pm
@High Seas,
This is almost funny. I could not be more anti nuclear bomb. That is part of my whole being (I know we disagree).

But it is the bomb part I am against, not the technology.

Remember, my father knew oppenheimer, teller, etc. I am still trying to work all that out.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 10:37 pm
@gungasnake,
Quote:
Or does anybody really believe that the planet has never had anything like that happen naturally??
a fair amount of crude flows out of the sea floor into the Gulf all of the time. I think the difference is that it is not all from one spot, the amount, and that crude does not have dispersants added.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 11:23 pm
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Dumb question...

Yup.

gungasnake wrote:
What happens if NOBODY ever has a thought about drilling this particular oil field and, eventually with the passage of time, the pressure builds up and the same spill into the ocean goes forward naturally and the oil hits the beaches of every gulf state before anybody ever notices it?

Or does anybody really believe that the planet has never had anything like that happen naturally??

Well (heh, heh), you're kinda missing the point. This just isn't a natural disaster, like Katrina, or a tsunami. I'm sure BP wishes it were.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 11:48 pm
@gungasnake,
Just realized the answer to this (assuming that this well was made the same way they make the ones here in Texas).

You don't just drill a hole and oil comes gushing up. You drill a hole, then set off an explosion down inside the bore to fracture the rock. Then oil comes gushing up.

So I suspect any natural process to do this would be pretty few and far between.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 02:35 am
@DrewDad,
No. There used to be any number of wells, like in the Spindletop field where the oil just came gushing up. Fifteen years ago, there were no pumps in the Saudi fields at all. Maybe some now; I don't know. I don't know if they had to frac the formations or not, but some wells, in some formations don't need stimulation at all.

BP should have been aware of the possibility from the very beginning.

For what it's worth, around here at least, they are not setting off explosions. I think it's obsolete technology worldwide, but defiantely so in the San Juan Basin. Mostly, it's hydrofrac in this area.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 05:13 am
@ossobuco,
Everybody and his kid brother during the 2 Reagan administrations also knew Teller. He never came across a problem that some new thermonuclear design couldn't solve - well, exaggerating somewhat here Smile I liked him a lot, though that's irrelevant, being personal.

To his last day (in his late nineties) he worked on micro-scale fission and fusion experiments for new apps; I've no doubt he would be supporting the nuclear option for the Gulf oil spill if he were still with us. Your dad was in a plane taking the pictures for Castle Bravo, right? It must have taken a lot of courage to get that close to what is easily the most awe-inspiring human invention - courage I know I don't have, so I admire it in others.

0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 07:45 am
@DrewDad,
You don't think some sort of an earthquake or impact event could serve the same purpose as man-made explosives, or you don't believe in earthquakes or impact events??
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 08:07 am
@gungasnake,
I think that man-made disasters are man-made disasters, and comparing them to natural disasters is pointless.

Next time someone burns down a building, we can just say "well, it's no worse than a forest fire."

Next time someone gets assaulted, we can just say "well, it's no worse than getting attacked by a bear."



Now if you're asking, "is this oil spill the end of the world?" then the answer is a resounding "no, of course not." But acknowledging that it could be worse, or that worse things have happened, doesn't mitigate the effects of this disaster.
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 03:59 pm
@DrewDad,
I think Gunga wants us all to pray for an earthquake.

Maybe some of the women could dress provocatively---that causes earthquakes....

Joe(according to some)Nation
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 04:20 am
Quote:
The Spilling Fields - Vietnamese Fisherman
Olivia Munn attempts to report on the plight of Vietnamese fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico. (06:26)

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-3-2010/the-spilling-fields---vietnamese-fisherman
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:54 pm
@tsarstepan,
Texas Entrepreneur to BP -- 'I Can Fix the Damn Oil Leak!'
PRINT EmailMore
NewsWeird ScienceAsylum Exclusive 182 CommentsThe news keeps getting worse for British Petroleum PLC. Yesterday the company had to suspend its latest effort to stop the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, as the specialty saw used by corporate engineers became stuck within the pipe.

BP's most recent failures come as no surprise to Texas businessman and colorful character Daniel E. Davis. The CEO of the D.E. Davis Group, a consortium of construction, heavy equipment and pipeline companies based in Harlingen, Davis claims that neither BP nor the government is listening to those who have expertise in dealing with oil spills (namely, him).

"You're damn right it failed," stated Davis. "I have tried for weeks to get them to listen and implement my idea to fix the leak. They finally try to take my idea for themselves and they foul it up. It takes a bit of expertise, and they don't have it."

So Davis took to the Internet and launched a website: Oil Spill Fix.

On the site, Davis links to schematics that outline his proposed solutions. Davis believes his solution, when executed properly, will cap the gushing leak in only two weeks.

"I called the White House and was directed to a BP website that directs back to the White House," said Davis. "I tried to reach my congressman, Solomon Ortiz, but I don't think he gives a damn. You think with him being a Democrat and Obama also being a Democrat (Solomon) would want to help that sucker out."



According to Davis and the downloadable plans available on the site, BP has the right idea but poor execution. "What BP is doing is trying to couple up to the riser when they need to cover the structure over the entire leak and all the way down. If done correctly they will cap the spill and the oil will flow up to the barge and to the supertanker."

Davis says BP has been monitoring his site but financial concerns are keeping the company from properly capping the leak: "Our Web administrator says that someone from BP Houston and BP London have spent considerable time on the site downloading."

A call to BP's regional office was not returned but Dave Helford, communications director for Congressman Ortiz did respond. Helford says that Congress has limited jurisdiction in the matter and is working with government agencies to prepare for hurricane season and any possible role the oil leak may play.

"We know what we do best and we are not experts in oil leaks," says Helford. "But we are open to passing along any serious solution to stop this tragedy. I can't imagine BP not listening to serious ideas after a month of mishaps. No company wants to be known as the most hated corporation on the planet."

Good point. Does anyone out there speak science and can tell us whether this guy actually knows what he's talking about?

Check Out Another Person With a Genius Solution to This Problem
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0 Replies
 
 

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