Sunday, May 02, 2010

Deepwater Horizon

To quote the Vice President, this is a big f#cking deal. Go to NOAA for developments. Also check out the Louisiana state site.

This comes from Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground

The oil slick from the April 20 explosion and blowout of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon continues to affect the Louisiana coast near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and along the Chandelier Islands off the coast of Mississippi. Strong south to southeast winds blowing at 15 - 25 knots will continue through Monday, which will push oil onto portions of the eastern Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River northwards towards the Mississippi border.

However, the current trajectory forecasts now show the advance of the oil will slow over the next few days, despite the strong onshore winds. This is probably due to the fact that the shape of the Louisiana coast is setting up a counter-clockwise rotating eddy over the ocean regions between the Mississippi coast and the mouth of the Mississippi River, as seen on the latest forecast of ocean currents from the NOAA HYCOM model (see also this alternative view of the HYCOM ocean current forecast.) Unfortunately, there are no buoys in this region of the ocean to tell us what the currents are.

And according to reporting by Skytrack, this is much worse than we might imagine:

Dr. Ian MacDonald at FSU just produced a new spill-size estimate based on the US Coast Guard aerial overflight map of the oil slick on April 28, 2010. The bottom line: that map implies that on April 28, there was a total of 8.9 million gallons floating on the surface of the Gulf.

That implies a minimum average flow rate of slightly more than 1 million gallons of oil (26,000 barrels) per day from the leaking well on the seafloor. Since we're now in Day 11 of the spill, which began with a blowout and explosion on April 20, we estimate that by the end of the today 12.2 million gallons of oil, at a minimum, have been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

This deepwater blowout indeed shows us the Deepwater Horizon.

And we are in deep s#hit.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this. So many issues:
Why do we allow oil companies to drill in locations which are impossible to cap?
How is it anything short of surreal to solve the problem by drilling another well?
How do we get traction to -- based on this kind of catastrophe -- stop off shore drilling.

Nice to see the blog up again.

12:09 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

SB, I have seen blog comments from Professionals who are pleading with BP to not drill the relief wells... some seem to think that it will make matters worse, much worse.

This is a deep water 3 mile island/ chernobal class event.

1:13 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

The Mobile, Alabama Press-Register has published an article by Ben Raines with an alarming prediction. If the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico shrugs off all control - the crippled blowout preventer, the wellhead, and any remaining control valves or baffles impeding the flow of oil and gas through the well - the rate of spillage could go to a whole other level: as much as 2 million gallons (150,000 barrels) per day.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

Bob Simmons said,
Help me design a neoprene "parachute blanket" that could be towed and
lowered to cover an underwater well head blowout. It would work as a
flow containment vessel that would be lowered over the spewing
underwater well head.
It seems to me the 'steel domes' they are talking about take too long
to construct and will be unwieldy in putting in position.
Why couldn't a device be devised of a thick neoprene/butyl rubber
fabric that could be as big as two football fields with weighted
edges and a relief hose at its center that could be suspended just
above the leaking well. The hose could pump the oil that gathers
under the 'big top' to waiting barges on the surface.
Pretty simple design. As usual, the details will be more
complicated, but the principle is quite feasible.
Wanna CAD something up? We can send it to the Oil and Gas Journal as
our 'modest proposal.'

2:29 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

BP has announced that three steel bell housings will be in place in a week or so. There are enormous pressure issues at this depth.

Battleships and submarines would crumple at this depth.

3:30 PM  

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