Deepwater Horizon

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

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?

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.

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

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:

400 million gallons = 40 Exxon Valdez

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

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

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

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?

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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