Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[Gulf Coast Oil]: Spill, Baby Spill. Volunteer Info at the top of OP

1356763

Posts

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    What the opinions on burning the oil slick on the surface?

    As far as I can tell it's actually a pretty good idea. I mean, we were going to burn that oil anyway.
    I'm not an expert, but the problem there seems to be that the water is going to heat to unsafe levels. Ocean life has pretty stiff requirements for temperature in most cases. Obviously, a lot of that heat would be moving upward through convection and wouldn't impact the water temperature, but some of it is going to get into the water and will probably result in at least some wildlife dying.

    Then again, the alternative is probably worse.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    What the opinions on burning the oil slick on the surface?

    As far as I can tell it's actually a pretty good idea. I mean, we were going to burn that oil anyway.

    Swapping air pollution for water pollution?

    Apparently there are spray-on dispersants that can be helpful, but only in calm seas.
    Weren't we just going to be using this stuff for fuel anyway?

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    What the opinions on burning the oil slick on the surface?

    As far as I can tell it's actually a pretty good idea. I mean, we were going to burn that oil anyway.

    Swapping air pollution for water pollution?

    Apparently there are spray-on dispersants that can be helpful, but only in calm seas.

    I don't understand how dispersants can actually be particularly good. I mean the net effect is that all the hydrocarbons get solubilized into the ocean, rather then floating on top of it.

    electricitylikesme on
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    What the opinions on burning the oil slick on the surface?

    As far as I can tell it's actually a pretty good idea. I mean, we were going to burn that oil anyway.

    Swapping air pollution for water pollution?

    Apparently there are spray-on dispersants that can be helpful, but only in calm seas.

    I don't understand how dispersants can actually be particularly good. I mean the net effect is that all the hydrocarbons get solubilized into the ocean, rather then floating on top of it.

    I think the idea is that it won't wash up on beaches and kill cute animals.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Offshore drilling is entirely safe and we should open the Alaskan Wildlife Reserves for oil exploration.
    Considering how much of it goes on, offshore drilling is pretty damn safe. Accidents like this are really rare. And, yes, we should open up more of Alaska for drilling.

    And when they do happen they are disasters of epic proportions
    I think I would rather invest the money spent collecting and dealing with this in some other energy source, personally
    Not really. A few certainly are, but most are pretty minor. The oil industry has tons of incentives to keep oil from spilling. Putting aside the bad PR and the legal problems, 5000 barrels a day at the current price of $85/barrel is about $425,000 in lost revenue, plus the costs associated with cleanup.

    The oil industry hates spills as much as environmentalists do.

    Apparently they don't hate them enough to design a better rig system...


    These are my favorite sentiments, especially because they are only ever directed at large companies.
    If environmentalists really cared they would have perfected cellulose-ethanol 40 years ago.

    tinwhiskers on
    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Offshore drilling is entirely safe and we should open the Alaskan Wildlife Reserves for oil exploration.
    Considering how much of it goes on, offshore drilling is pretty damn safe. Accidents like this are really rare. And, yes, we should open up more of Alaska for drilling.

    And when they do happen they are disasters of epic proportions
    I think I would rather invest the money spent collecting and dealing with this in some other energy source, personally
    Not really. A few certainly are, but most are pretty minor. The oil industry has tons of incentives to keep oil from spilling. Putting aside the bad PR and the legal problems, 5000 barrels a day at the current price of $85/barrel is about $425,000 in lost revenue, plus the costs associated with cleanup.

    The oil industry hates spills as much as environmentalists do.

    Apparently they don't hate them enough to design a better rig system...


    These are my favorite sentiments, especially because they are only ever directed at large companies.
    If environmentalists really cared they would have perfected cellulose-ethanol 40 years ago.

    Yeah because everyone knows big oil companies are only rivaled in size, manpower, and money by environmentalists.

    Seriously that has to be one of the dumber things I've heard today.

    SyphonBlue on
    LxX6eco.jpg
    PSN/Steam/NNID: SyphonBlue | BNet: SyphonBlue#1126
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Offshore drilling is entirely safe and we should open the Alaskan Wildlife Reserves for oil exploration.
    Considering how much of it goes on, offshore drilling is pretty damn safe. Accidents like this are really rare. And, yes, we should open up more of Alaska for drilling.

    And when they do happen they are disasters of epic proportions
    I think I would rather invest the money spent collecting and dealing with this in some other energy source, personally
    Not really. A few certainly are, but most are pretty minor. The oil industry has tons of incentives to keep oil from spilling. Putting aside the bad PR and the legal problems, 5000 barrels a day at the current price of $85/barrel is about $425,000 in lost revenue, plus the costs associated with cleanup.

    The oil industry hates spills as much as environmentalists do.

    Apparently they don't hate them enough to design a better rig system...


    These are my favorite sentiments, especially because they are only ever directed at large companies.
    If environmentalists really cared they would have perfected cellulose-ethanol 40 years ago.

    Yeah because everyone knows big oil companies are only rivaled in size, manpower, and money by environmentalists.

    Seriously that has to be one of the dumber things I've heard today.

    The point was tech doesn't adhere to peoples will. We lose spacecraft regularly(including 2 shuttles) and we've been using that tech for nearly as long as we've been doing offshore drilling, probably longer considering the depth this well was at.

    Designing an oil well that operates at 5000ft isn't a trivial challenge, like say designing a safe car.

    tinwhiskers on
    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Okay, a couple of things:

    Regarding burning the oil slick, it's probably better than nothing. The effects of burning it off are much less harmful than the effects of it washing ashore (although that's pretty much going to happen anyway in this case). It's not exactly the same, but you can compare it to the practice of flaring. It certainly isn't good for the environment, but it's far far better to burn off excess hydrocarbons than to simply release them into the atmosphere.

    Also, I seriously doubt that this is a rig design issue. In terms of drilling in deep water, the Horizon was pretty much on the cutting edge of technology. It has safely drilled some of the deepest wells on earth (including the record last year with the Tiber field at 35,000 ft), and to do this requires a mind-boggling number of advanced design techniques and safety systems. This is the case for any deepwater rig, and especially for the Horizon. I'm fairly confident that, whatever caused the explosion, it was related to equipment failure rather than bad design.

    Big Dookie on
    Steam | Twitch
    Oculus: TheBigDookie | XBL: Dook | NNID: BigDookie
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If your equipment fails it was either bad design or you not doing it right.

    FWIW, BP is blaming it on the rig operator fucking up the blow-out valve somehow.

    Phoenix-D on
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    npr has some scary good pictures on this. They are reporting on how the def department is getting involved, and that its going to take at least 3-4 weeks to plug the hole (from the livestream). Not clean up, just to plug the hole. Also setting it on fire will only take care of about 3% of the total spill.

    3 to 4 weeks, wow. I am just speculating here, but 3 to 4 weeks of this in the news might change some drill baby drill hearts. Or i hope it does.

    Barcardi on
  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    If your equipment fails it was either bad design or you not doing it right.

    FWIW, BP is blaming it on the rig operator fucking up the blow-out valve somehow.
    Not necessarily, in either case, though both are a possible cause of equipment failure. In this case, it seems (based on the little we know at least) that it was either some kind of operational error or random equipment failure (or possibly sabotage, though the possibility of sabotaging a blow-out preventer in 5000 ft of water is pretty much zero). I hadn't heard that anyone was pointing fingers yet, but BP will ultimately be held responsible because they were the ones contracting Transocean to drill the field.

    Big Dookie on
    Steam | Twitch
    Oculus: TheBigDookie | XBL: Dook | NNID: BigDookie
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    "Operational error" is "you're not doing it right". "Random equipment failure" is usually (not always) code for "not doing maintenance right".

    (though how they'd do maintenance on the valve in 5000 feet of water I have no idea)

    Phoenix-D on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    "Operational error" is "you're not doing it right". "Random equipment failure" is usually (not always) code for "not doing maintenance right".

    (though how they'd do maintenance on the valve in 5000 feet of water I have no idea)

    They use robotic submersibles

    nexuscrawler on
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Galahad wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    I think it had to do with the fact that the entire rig blew up and sank, which bent and broke lots of the pipes.
    So, this is a pretty extreme example of an accident. Quick internet search comes up with over 5000 oil platforms around the world.

    You're proposing shutting down an entire industry because of one accident.
    Okay listen you are missing the point here.

    Yes I am proposing shutting down an entire industry, but not because of this accident, previous accidents, or future accidents.

    The accidents just help to accentuate my point that "Hey, oil really is not the best resource to base an enormous portion of the global industry and infrastructure on."

    Not only is it dangerous and destructive to harvest both on land and at sea, the transportation carries risks and the USE of it causes damage to every single ecosystem we can think of.

    Burn it? Atmospheric damage

    Make plastics that don't get recycled? Landfill problems, fish kill, disruption of food chains, general pollution

    There is so much wrong with this resource that while there are good things (the medical and scientific industries could honestly not operate without plastics) maybe it is time to give much more serious thought to how much of this one resource we use, and start considering alternatives.

    Realistically I know we will never end the use of petrol products as fuel and in various industries, but at the same time that does not mean we can't lessen the EXTREME level of dependence on their existence we have created for ourselves.

    And these accidents just help me further my point.

    I'm with you on the US need to reduce our dependence on oil. We should be investing in alternatives, and research.

    But the alternatives aren't ready to take the load yet, and until they are we NEED the oil as a country. This should be an opportunity to look at safety issues, and regulation. Find out where the failures happened. But shutting down drilling in the gulf at this point would not so much be shooting ourselves in the foot as sawing it off at the ankle. We aren't alone in the world, and China for one certainly does not have our scruples (yet).

    I suspect that BP needs to be slapped hard over this though. "It was a well we were renting, it isn't our responsibility!" as a first reaction to this was/is pretty reprehensible.

    (and now I wander away for an hour or so... not ignoring replies.)

    You make very good points, and they are also things that I have considered as well. I guess it wasn't clear that I understood that going cold turkey on this is A. a terrible idea and B. not possible.

    However, I would like to see us (USA) take a more proactive approach to laying the infrastructure to make this move as soon as it is possible. At that point, we can then become a "world leader" in reducing oil dependence and if a country (you mentioned China) doesn't want to keep up; we call them out on it.

    There is no reason America can't make steps to being a "greener" nation; if not the greenest. We have the resources for this that a lot of countries just don't. I may be wrong- but I feel we have enough wide open spaces that could hold solar panels, windmills, and other sources of renewable or simply greener energy that we could shift a larger percentage of the total energy usage onto these sources.

    Now I am not crazy to the point that I think this will happen overnight; and I am also aware that most of these technologies are not as efficient as they can be.

    Anyway I kind of lost my train of thought so I am going to leave it there (lol CNN).

    Arch on
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    What the opinions on burning the oil slick on the surface?

    As far as I can tell it's actually a pretty good idea. I mean, we were going to burn that oil anyway.

    Swapping air pollution for water pollution?

    Apparently there are spray-on dispersants that can be helpful, but only in calm seas.

    I don't understand how dispersants can actually be particularly good. I mean the net effect is that all the hydrocarbons get solubilized into the ocean, rather then floating on top of it.

    I think the idea is that it won't wash up on beaches and kill cute animals.

    Yeah but then you have it solubilized in the ocean where it can potentially mass-kill plankton and fuck up entire ocean food chains. Not to mention it can easily poison large filter feeders like whales and whale sharks.

    It is a huge, HUGE mess.

    Arch on
  • Jademonkey79Jademonkey79 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    So here's a question. If they burn the oil on the surface will it burn continuously like the oil well fires in Iraq? Is everyone in the direction of the wind going to be getting oil in their rain? If a few miles of red tide can burn your throat, I'm not sure I want to know what I'll be coughing up when this is all said and done.

    Jademonkey79 on
    "We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them."
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    They're controlled burns so I'm willing to bet they can keep it small and put it out when they need to

    nexuscrawler on
  • Jademonkey79Jademonkey79 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'd imagine the smoke would be pretty thick though. You know you're in a bad situation where fire is the only solution.

    Jademonkey79 on
    "We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them."
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud bear with us as we do some "rebranding" Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sounds like a job for bioremediation!

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm pretty damn sure that if everyone does their job properly, oil rigs do not blow up and sink

    I think someone needs to take a long, hard look at how the offshore drilling companies operate here

    because I am pretty sure that it's not the technology that's lacking

    Abdhyius on
    ftOqU21.png
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    So here's a question. If they burn the oil on the surface will it burn continuously like the oil well fires in Iraq? Is everyone in the direction of the wind going to be getting oil in their rain? If a few miles of red tide can burn your throat, I'm not sure I want to know what I'll be coughing up when this is all said and done.

    They use boats with booms to pull a very small amount of oil (relatively speaking) out about 50 miles away from shore. Then, using jellied gasoline and oil soaked rags, they set it on fire. Since it's a small amount it burns out relatively quickly, and wind direction and weather are factored into the decision on when to burn. I'd hope they have a means to put the fire out if necessary, but I really don't know if they do. Also I read yesterday that controlled burning will only be able to handle about 3% of the spill. I have no idea how accurate that statistic is though.

    Drake on
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Galahad wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Offshore drilling is entirely safe and we should open the Alaskan Wildlife Reserves for oil exploration.
    Considering how much of it goes on, offshore drilling is pretty damn safe. Accidents like this are really rare. And, yes, we should open up more of Alaska for drilling.

    And when they do happen they are disasters of epic proportions
    I think I would rather invest the money spent collecting and dealing with this in some other energy source, personally
    Not really. A few certainly are, but most are pretty minor. The oil industry has tons of incentives to keep oil from spilling. Putting aside the bad PR and the legal problems, 5000 barrels a day at the current price of $85/barrel is about $425,000 in lost revenue, plus the costs associated with cleanup.

    The oil industry hates spills as much as environmentalists do.

    Apparently they don't hate them enough to design a better rig system...

    Anyway I haven't seen anyone point this out yet, but the Gulf is already in pretty awful condition from years of drilling, shipping, poor runoff water quality from the land, etc etc. There's actually a giant dead spot in it where nothing can live because of the above. Something like this on top of all the other crap going on there really does have Epic Disaster Potential, like it or not.

    The dead zone is pretty much down to modern farming practices I think. Yay corn.

    The Gulf is pretty dirty just in general though, yeah.

    Hmm, actually if you look at the dead zone & the oil slick... they kinda sorta overlap. Good? Maybe? I dunno... funky. Ok, no more stream of conscious replying to The Cat.

    how much of the oil spill/dead zone overlap? It seems like the oil spill wouldn't be as much of a problem if it was largely contained in the dead zone.

    CasedOut on
    452773-1.png
  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    I'm pretty damn sure that if everyone does their job properly, oil rigs do not blow up and sink

    I think someone needs to take a long, hard look at how the offshore drilling companies operate here

    because I am pretty sure that it's not the technology that's lacking

    On the other hand, accidents can and do happen, no matter how awesome everything and everyone is.

    I mean, there is no way to accident-proof something as complex as an oil rig.

    Perpetual on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    At this point, the slick is so big that I think the response agencies are going to have to switch to coastal damage control and wait for natural churning to integrate the oil into the water column. There's no method that's going to remove that much oil. You could have every piece of skimming equipment in the country out there and you'd hardly put a dent in it. And likewise as time passes a controlled burn is going to stop being effective because the more flammable fractions of the oil are evaporating and you're going to be left with very high flashpoint tar.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    I'm pretty damn sure that if everyone does their job properly, oil rigs do not blow up and sink

    I think someone needs to take a long, hard look at how the offshore drilling companies operate here

    because I am pretty sure that it's not the technology that's lacking

    On the other hand, accidents can and do happen, no matter how awesome everything and everyone is.

    I mean, there is no way to accident-proof something as complex as an oil rig.

    Well yeah, but we're talking about everything going completely tits up here

    it just seems like the kind of thing that happens when somebody spend a lot of time doing everything exactly wrong

    chernobyl-style

    Abdhyius on
    ftOqU21.png
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    At this point, the slick is so big that I think the response agencies are going to have to switch to coastal damage control and wait for natural churning to integrate the oil into the water column. There's no method that's going to remove that much oil. You could have every piece of skimming equipment in the country out there and you'd hardly put a dent in it. And likewise as time passes a controlled burn is going to stop being effective because the more flammable fractions of the oil are evaporating and you're going to be left with very high flashpoint tar.

    We need some kind of fish that eats oil.

    Abdhyius on
    ftOqU21.png
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    At this point, the slick is so big that I think the response agencies are going to have to switch to coastal damage control and wait for natural churning to integrate the oil into the water column. There's no method that's going to remove that much oil. You could have every piece of skimming equipment in the country out there and you'd hardly put a dent in it. And likewise as time passes a controlled burn is going to stop being effective because the more flammable fractions of the oil are evaporating and you're going to be left with very high flashpoint tar.

    We need some kind of fish that eats oil.

    They do eat oil :(

    Kinda the problem.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • GalahadGalahad Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Arch wrote: »
    You make very good points, and they are also things that I have considered as well. I guess it wasn't clear that I understood that going cold turkey on this is A. a terrible idea and B. not possible.

    However, I would like to see us (USA) take a more proactive approach to laying the infrastructure to make this move as soon as it is possible. At that point, we can then become a "world leader" in reducing oil dependence and if a country (you mentioned China) doesn't want to keep up; we call them out on it.

    There is no reason America can't make steps to being a "greener" nation; if not the greenest. We have the resources for this that a lot of countries just don't. I may be wrong- but I feel we have enough wide open spaces that could hold solar panels, windmills, and other sources of renewable or simply greener energy that we could shift a larger percentage of the total energy usage onto these sources.

    Now I am not crazy to the point that I think this will happen overnight; and I am also aware that most of these technologies are not as efficient as they can be.

    Anyway I kind of lost my train of thought so I am going to leave it there (lol CNN).

    It seems like we agree on most of the details, but diverge a bit on the big picture. (Drill baby drill… cautiously!)

    I really don’t think that we’re in a position where China needs to worry about keeping up. If we aren’t careful they are going to kick our ass on the alternative energy research front IN ADDITION to kicking our ass in running around the world poking holes and sucking out the juice. They have huge incentives to come up with decent electric car batteries, and they build most of our wind tech for us right now (I think).

    I'm not sure there is enough "national" will to make us the "greenest nation on the planet," but at the state level we've got several heavy hitters doing a pretty good job of moving us in the right direction.

    As much hate as my state of Texas gets on this very subject, we are probably one of the countries best hopes on the alt-energy front btw. We are leading the charge in a lot of areas, and we can do this because we maintain our own independent electric grid. We don’t have to worry about any other states or any thing at the federal level, we just implement it and see if it works. That’s why we’ve had such a boom in wind power here.

    There is also a lot of work going into Biofuels, though I think California probably has the edge on us there, but I’ve talked to folks at Rice working on blue green algae systems that are just awesome. A system that cleans and purifies water while at the same time producing a net energy gain? Yes please.


    Googling around, it looks like what likely happened was BP was trying to insert a cement plug to cap the well off for later use, and a natural gas pocket exploded up the pipes blowing it out? Is this current?

    Galahad on
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Galahad wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    You make very good points, and they are also things that I have considered as well. I guess it wasn't clear that I understood that going cold turkey on this is A. a terrible idea and B. not possible.

    However, I would like to see us (USA) take a more proactive approach to laying the infrastructure to make this move as soon as it is possible. At that point, we can then become a "world leader" in reducing oil dependence and if a country (you mentioned China) doesn't want to keep up; we call them out on it.

    There is no reason America can't make steps to being a "greener" nation; if not the greenest. We have the resources for this that a lot of countries just don't. I may be wrong- but I feel we have enough wide open spaces that could hold solar panels, windmills, and other sources of renewable or simply greener energy that we could shift a larger percentage of the total energy usage onto these sources.

    Now I am not crazy to the point that I think this will happen overnight; and I am also aware that most of these technologies are not as efficient as they can be.

    Anyway I kind of lost my train of thought so I am going to leave it there (lol CNN).
    It seems like we agree on most of the details, but diverge a bit on the big picture. (Drill baby drill… cautiously!)

    I really don’t think that we’re in a position where China needs to worry about keeping up. If we aren’t careful they are going to kick our ass on the alternative energy research front IN ADDITION to kicking our ass in running around the world poking holes and sucking out the juice. They have huge incentives to come up with decent electric car batteries, and they build most of our wind tech for us right now (I think).

    I'm not sure there is enough "national" will to make us the "greenest nation on the planet," but at the state level we've got several heavy hitters doing a pretty good job of moving us in the right direction.

    As much hate as my state of Texas gets on this very subject, we are probably one of the countries best hopes on the alt-energy front btw. We are leading the charge in a lot of areas, and we can do this because we maintain our own independent electric grid. We don’t have to worry about any other states or any thing at the federal level, we just implement it and see if it works. That’s why we’ve had such a boom in wind power here.

    There is also a lot of work going into Biofuels, though I think California probably has the edge on us there, but I’ve talked to folks at Rice working on blue green algae systems that are just awesome. A system that cleans and purifies water while at the same time producing a net energy gain? Yes please.


    Googling around, it looks like what likely happened was BP was trying to insert a cement plug to cap the well off for later use, and a natural gas pocket exploded up the pipes blowing it out? Is this current?

    I would be interested in learning if this is the case as well- let me see what I can dig up.

    As usual, I enjoy your posts my friend.

    Arch on
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    At this point, the slick is so big that I think the response agencies are going to have to switch to coastal damage control and wait for natural churning to integrate the oil into the water column. There's no method that's going to remove that much oil. You could have every piece of skimming equipment in the country out there and you'd hardly put a dent in it. And likewise as time passes a controlled burn is going to stop being effective because the more flammable fractions of the oil are evaporating and you're going to be left with very high flashpoint tar.

    We need some kind of fish that eats oil.

    They do eat oil :(

    Kinda the problem.

    well, they eat it in the same way you eat cyanide

    we need something that eats oil like it's KFC

    Abdhyius on
    ftOqU21.png
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    Well yeah, but we're talking about everything going completely tits up here

    it just seems like the kind of thing that happens when somebody spend a lot of time doing everything exactly wrong

    chernobyl-style

    I really, really want to know how this could happen. Then let's point fingers.

    enc0re on
  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    At this point, the slick is so big that I think the response agencies are going to have to switch to coastal damage control and wait for natural churning to integrate the oil into the water column. There's no method that's going to remove that much oil. You could have every piece of skimming equipment in the country out there and you'd hardly put a dent in it. And likewise as time passes a controlled burn is going to stop being effective because the more flammable fractions of the oil are evaporating and you're going to be left with very high flashpoint tar.

    We need some kind of fish that eats oil.

    They do eat oil :(

    Kinda the problem.

    well, they eat it in the same way you eat cyanide

    we need something that eats oil like it's KFC

    Just put it in a bucket or wrap two chicken patties around it and America will flock to it

    SyphonBlue on
    LxX6eco.jpg
    PSN/Steam/NNID: SyphonBlue | BNet: SyphonBlue#1126
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Has there been any investigation to what caused the explosion?

    Henroid on
    Nobody likes me but that's okay. I'm used to it.
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    Has there been any investigation to what caused the explosion?

    I don't think they can do an investigation yet.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sounds like a job for bioremediation!

    Paul Stamets has a really good talk on TED.com, part of which discusses his successful use of fungi to convert petroleum hydrocarbons to fungal sugars.

    TL DR on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Malkor wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    Has there been any investigation to what caused the explosion?

    I don't think they can do an investigation yet.

    Other priorities and all that.

    Drake on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, yeah. But I mean, what kind of scenario outside of purposeful sabotage / explosives could make it happen? I haven't heard of oil rigs blowing up before.

    Henroid on
    Nobody likes me but that's okay. I'm used to it.
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    Well, yeah. But I mean, what kind of scenario outside of purposeful sabotage / explosives could make it happen? I haven't heard of oil rigs blowing up before.

    A theory that was mentioned was that they were trying to plug the well for later use when a natural gas pocket blew out through the pipe, causing the rig explosion. Then the rig sank, breaking and twisting the pipe and in the process wrecking the fail safe systems built into the pipe itself.

    But really, at this point in time, who the hell knows?

    Drake on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Nobody I guess. But knowing the why behind things is something I can't shirk from having to know. Even if the why is a guess.

    Henroid on
    Nobody likes me but that's okay. I'm used to it.
  • fshavlakfshavlak Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Regarding oil industry disasters and BP.

    If you remember a number of years ago a BP refinery in Texas City suffered an explosion that killed quite a few people. I had a somewhat unique perspective on the situation, because shortly after that explosion I was employed at a Shell refinery down the road from the site of the disaster, and was working in an analogous department to the one that suffered the most casualties in the BP disaster.

    I was able to (encouraged to) read an in depth report on what had gone wrong, not written for politicians or the public, but for refinery operators. The entire thing was more or less caused by a string of operators seeing things slightly out of the ordinary but deciding that things were OK because they see those conditions with some regularity. There was really only one or two objectively wrong decisions made that led to a huge gas spill ... and once a giant cloud of flammable gas is loose in a place like a refinery, something will set it off. You're not allowed cell phones or other electronic devices for the reason that they could potentially be an ignition source, but with all the other equipment running around in a place like that the explosion was inevitable.

    My point in all this is that with machinery as complex as a rig a string of people being just a little bit careless coupled with very bad luck can cause a disaster. People in this thread are crawling over each other to point fingers. Especially with the information that's coming out now - that a gas blowout occurred as they were trying to cap a well - there is nothing to suggest that the crew was incompetent or negligent.

    I spent time at a Shell refinery, and I worked for Schlumberger doing product R&D for a while before I decided to go back to school to learn about robotics. In the field, the operators are deadly serious about safety and keeping everything running smoothly - their lives very much depend on it. In the lab, the safety of a tool design and the procedures for using that tool are at the very top of the priority list. Yes, things go wrong - but when reports covering in detail everything that went wrong, even for small events that did no damage, still circulate the company years, even decades later, it is clear that there is no negligence.

    So when faced with two explanations of what happened here - one, that an unforeseen natural gas blowout caused catastrophic equipment damage or two, everybody involved in the rig from design stage to operation was cutting corners at every available opportunity because Big Oil cares only for profit and doesn't give a rat's ass about safety or containment - I see no reason to jump to the second conclusion.

    edit: I'm likely to get people explaining to me that Big Oil does not actually care for crew safety or the environment. Their point about the later might be justified, but as far as safety goes it is my experience in the industry, which includes field work for Shell and product development work for Schlumberger, that safety sits above profit margins on the list of priorities. It isn't even close. Anyone who says otherwise is either working in the third world or clueless.

    fshavlak on
This discussion has been closed.