Deepwater Horizon

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Wednesday Open Thread: BP Gulf Blowout Anniversary, New PA Fracking Disaster Edition

  • Posted on: 20 April 2011
  • By: Open Thread

It's the first year anniversary of the BP blowout on the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, but this isn't the way most people expected it to be remembered:

Gas Drilling Emergency in Bradford County

Officials said thousands of gallons of fluid leaked over farm land and into a creek from a natural gas well in Bradford County.

Now there is a massive operation underway to contain the spill of drilling fluids.

The rupture near Canton happened late Tuesday night, contaminating nearby land and creeks.

The blowout happened on the Morse family farm in LeRoy Township outside Canton, a farming community.

Chesapeake Energy officials said a piece of equipment on the well failed.

Now a major response is underway to stop the leak of frack fluid and get control of the well.

[...Click for full story...]

One year ago today marks the date when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig experienced an explosion that led to a "gulf gusher," spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of any claims to the contrary, the facts remain that these things happen and will continue to happen...both at sea and, as proven by this latest incident as well as the ongoing heroic blogging efforts of TXSharon at BlueDaze.

Isn't it about time we did something to regulate tighten the quality standards of the equipment and operations that have enormous potential for such disaster?

As you chew on that for a bit, keep in mind: This is an Open Thread. Your thoughts in comments are always appreciated.

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Another Day, Another Spill, Oil Apocalypse Edition

  • Posted on: 28 July 2010
  • By: Open Thread

From DingellDem on DailyKos, the bad news:

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More than 800,000 gallons of oil spilled into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River on Sunday and Monday.  The oil is a part of the eight million gallons that traverse the area each day en route from Indiana to the major refinery town of Sarnia, Ontario.  A Canadian company, Enbridge Inc., owns the pipeline.

Battle Creek Enquirer

For those who don't know, the Kalamazoo River flows 166 miles across southern Michigan.  The river has its origins in the south-central counties of Hillsdale and Jackson.  Eventually, the river reaches Lake Michigan at Saugatuck.

Kalamazoo River: Wikipedia

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More information available over there in Dingeldem's piece or in this one by Brainwrap.

As for our existing, already-unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico,

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At the well site, crews working on the ruptured, but capped, oil well have once again connected through the relief well to existing underwater equipment, BP said Tuesday.

The workers had been forced to disconnect their equipment and retreat from the well site late last week, when Tropical Storm Bonnie loomed as a potential threat. But when Bonnie lost power, workers returned to the site over the weekend.

BP said it planned to test the blowout preventer on the well later Tuesday, and then run casing pipe later this week as a prelude to the final shutdown.

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Let's hope things go right and the thing gets properly capped. The Gulf Spill is enough of an oil apocalypse on its own.

This is an Oil-Free Open Thread.

A Question for Geologists (and other scientists) Regarding the Deepwater Horizon Gusher, Well Pressure and EarthQuakes

  • Posted on: 16 June 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

Question for folks, particularly science-types:

The pressure from the Deepwater Horizon well, which forced the blowout, and the steady stream of escaping oil...is that pressure solely from the weight of the many atmospheres of water above it? ...or could some of it be from internal pressures?

Regardless, does anyone know whether releasing all that pressure will lead to settling of the surrounding crust/mantle, leading to possible shifts in pressure in plates and affecting/effecting earthquakes?

The Five Flawed Choices of the Oilpocalypse?

  • Posted on: 14 June 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Just came across a post by emptywheel at Firedoglake who has put up a letter the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Henry Waxman has written to BP regarding the decisions made by BP leading up to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

BP’s Well Failure Due to Effort to Save $10 Million?

It lays out five choices which BP appear to have made which, had they taken a different route, one which did not appear to be focused on saving time and money alone, the destruction in the Gulf of Mexico may not have happened.

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"I don't ever remember doing this" - Rig Survivor

  • Posted on: 8 June 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Rig survivors: BP ordered shortcut on day of blast

BP official wanted workers to replace heavy mud, used to keep the well's pressure down, with lighter seawater to help speed a process that was costing an estimated $750,000 a day and was already running five weeks late, rig survivors told CNN.

BP won the argument, said Doug Brown, the rig's chief mechanic. "He basically said, 'Well, this is how it's gonna be.' "

In the CNN interviews, the workers described a corporate culture of cutting staff and ignoring warning signs ahead of the blast. They said BP routinely cut corners and pushed ahead despite concerns about safety.

Remember 60 minutes had the interview with Mike Williams where he suspected this was the case.

Jed wrote about it here:

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400 million gallons = 40 Exxon Valdez

  • Posted on: 18 May 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Exxon Valdez spilled an estimated minimum 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of crude oil.

Why BP Won't Measure the Oil Spill

Independent scientists analyzing the slick set the estimate at 25,000 barrels a day, and once BP released the underwater video, they calculated flow rates as high as 80,000 barrels a day.

From a comment in that thread :

at 80k barrels a day, this very well could become the most massive spill in history - EASILY. That's 3,360,000 gallons a day for 90-120 days (assuming the other wells they're drilling do what they think they will - which is another assumption they're making). That's 403,200,000 gallons, dwarfing the Persian gulf war spills in the early 1990s.

A couple of things with this estimate approaching almost half a Billion gallons of oil.

BP : Let's keep the Astrophysicists busy guessing how many jelly beans in the jar

  • Posted on: 16 May 2010
  • By: Unenergy

According to E-How - Many charity functions and parties offer a prize to the person who guesses the correct number of jelly beans in a jar.

Tips to guess how many jelly beans are :
1. Take a look at the jar size. This is important in making a guess.
2. Consider that each gallon jar can hold 930 jelly beans.
3. Pick the jar up (if you are allowed to) and count how many jelly beans there are in one row.

It seems that BP are about to offer America's finest scientists an opportunity to engage in a game of jelly bean guesstimates due to their unwillingness to measure the flow coming from the leaks at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Sound unbelievable? Follow after the fold and I'll explain what is going on here, which, in my personal and professional opinion, shouldn't be.

The Gulf appears to be bleeding - Worse Than BP Admits

  • Posted on: 12 May 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Video from May 7th (4 days ago) flyover of Gulf of Mexico and location of sunken Deepwater Horizon courtesy, Current TV. Amateur Video Of Gulf Oil Slick - Worse Than BP Admits Transcript follows :

On May 7 2010, John Wathen and Pilot Tom Hutchins flew out over the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way we saw small boats dragging buoys out to the islands to protect them from the oil sheen that was certainly coming our way. At nine miles out we began to smell the oil.

BP's Gulf Gusher, 'I've seen this movie before', 8 months ago

  • Posted on: 7 May 2010
  • By: Unenergy

From a highly recommended article : Slick Operator: The BP I've Known Too Well

"I've seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon's name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was ... British Petroleum (BP)."

Greg Palast writes above about a failure to contain the leaking oil from the Exxon Valdez, however we have also seen the movie of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe before.
Similar conditions leading up to what caused the leak at Deepwater Horizon happened not 8 months ago in Australian waters.

Gulf Gusher - Where are the photos?

  • Posted on: 2 May 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Photobucket
I've been thinking about the oil leak at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and trying to picture it in my mind. What would a tear in the fabric of the Earth look like leaking all that oil?
For me the first thing to come to mind is There Will be Blood, or Giant, which had James Dean in it, for TV shows, of course Beverly Hillbillies.

What is common about these shows, the visual of oil? It would have to be the oil drilling tower, the 'excitement' of striking oil and seeing what is called a gusher