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Old 06-01-2010, 11:57 AM   #101
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I was thinking about that one also... just did not want to look up how to spell it.. (I already miss enough words... )


What is funny... I almost went there to see it while on a vacation... just did not have the time etc. (the cost was a bit high also)...
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:18 PM   #102
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Nope... not weird in the least... accidents happen even when people do not break any laws... but you are still responsible for any accidents you cause... ie, it is your negligence that causes you to be responsible, not your illegal activity... I think we can agree that BP was negligent... the results speak to this fact...

Just to give an example and to make it clear... say you are driving ... you look over to change the radio... nothing happens for thousands of time... but this one time the guy in front of you stops qucikly... and you hit him... sure, you were following 'industy practice'... but because you hit him you were negligent.. you pay... same with BP..
Wait a minute. The cement job was apparently bad and the BOP failed. So the apt analogy is that you looked down and the guy in front of you slowed down all of a sudden...then your brakes and steering wheel failed. So you ran into him. Not quite the same.

Was BP negligent? The relevant questions in my mind are: should they have proceeded with the well suspension given the ambiguous results on the quality of the cement job, should they have displaced the mud out of the hole prior to well suspension, and when was the BOPE last tested? You know, wells take gas kicks all the time, and cement and steel (containment), the mud column, and BOPE are the tools that are routinely used to deal with them. In this case two failed and the third was intentionally taken away. Negligence is not at all certain.

Having worked on drilling rigs and having had to make tough decisions, one thing I'm virtually certain of is that the guys on the rig felt the pressure of the rig's $500K dayrate a lot more than they felt the risk of a multibillion dollar oil spill. The morning report every day shows everyone how far ahead of or behind schedule and budget you are...but doesn't really reinforce how disastrous losing control of a well in 5000' of water can be. And the guys are trained to deal with gas kicks. They are confident they have the tools and knowledge to deal with them. These make the "It will probably work" decision a lot easier to take.

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I am not disputing that it works... as you have said you have put your life on it... but... from what I read the pressure is in the 6,000 psi range (now, this could be wrong... but it is what I read somewhere)... so, I think you could be shooting lead down that pipe and the upward pressure of the oil will just bring it along for the ride... (I am assuming lead is heavier than the mud)...
The 6000psi would be in the formation where the oil originates, far beneath the seafloor. The pressure differential between the oil in the wellbore and the ocean-bottom seawater is more likely less than 1000psi. That 1000psi is still hard to overcome in a wide-open well while pumping through the choke and kill lines, but it can work.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #103
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This has shutdown fishing in the gulf. Most of the coastal businesses have temporarily closed. These people are not FI. I'm not sure "minimal" is the best word to use.
Yes, I agree with you 100%. What I was saying was that so far the visuals of one or two dead birds (sometimes the same dead bird on different networks), or a few globs of oil on the beach, make it seem like no big deal.

Compared to these, for example:



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Old 06-01-2010, 02:36 PM   #104
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This has shutdown fishing in the gulf. Most of the coastal businesses have temporarily closed. These people are not FI. I'm not sure "minimal" is the best word to use.
True. And how long before you delight in a big plate of Gulf shrimp? It's just not worth it now for me to even risk eating fish from the Gulf given I have lots of choices. I know people who own vacation rentals from Texas to Florida. Their summer bookings have almost all canceled.

This spill has been devastating - catastrophic. Even the BP CEO said this. While people do have short memories, the actual damage is going to persist for a LONG time. We could debate about what a bayou is worth...or a pelican...

But a lot of people go to Gulf beaches every summer, have vacation homes there, and make their living off tourism, fishing, and oil services. What else is there in the area? And all of those are dead industries for the foreseeable future. Yes, we need oil. But who is going to approve any new rig off the US coast in the near future?

Of course people will eventually forget but it's going to take a couple of decades. BP will make profits...elsewhere in the world.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:42 PM   #105
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The name of the captain is as irrelevant as the color of his underwear. The thing that everyone remembers is the pictures of the oil-soaked birds and beaches. They remember that using oil can be a messy, environmentally expensive business.

If the gulf turns into a dead zone for 20 years, and the Florida keys are closed to swimming for a few summers, then the true cost of oil will be on display, and people won't forget for a while.
My point exactly. A spill in the middle east or Alaska is not at home for Americans. People will pay attention if Margaritaville isimpacted and Bubba can't do his shrimin.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #106
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Man made disasters are..... wait for it..... man made.

Since no one is interested in the folks and their ineptitude or stupidity or their willingness to cut corners to save money etc. who screwed up, and thus created the disasters, nothing will be learned. Lots of hand wringing about critters, animals, birds and land destroyed. The next fool will be promoted to position of decisionmaking. And the next disaster's foundation is laid.

Then all the closet experts come out with their solutions and absolutions even though they have no first hand information of the situation, nor the foggiest idea of what logistics and tasks are needed to effect a fix.


There are times when folks with real expertise will employ Occam's razor to show what went wrong and why. Regardless of blather of engineers, mangers, directors, indian chiefs and whatnot. attempting to deflect blame from their particular area.

Case in point: Dr Feynmann (my all time favorite physicist) listening to days of engineering drivel got real tired of advanced material science and equations by the yard crap being dished out. Obtained a sample of "O" ring, a "C" clamp and then a cup of ice water from the cafeteria. Back to the drivel dissertation of why the Challenger space shuttle's solid rocket booster's components could not have caused the disaster.

After about 20 minutes of soaking the compressed "O" ring in the ice water (32 F) he removed the "C" clamp and showed the now deformed "O ring".
Case closed.

Oh yeah there was some senior engineer who had swapped his engineering hat for a management one to save money and schedule and his job. People died as a result.

The promotion of those to levels where they can proceed and cause mayhem will continue, forever. Regardless of the color of their underwear. The handwringing will remain as well.

Onward we go.


About Smith and Murdoch - Captain and First officer of the Titanic.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:26 PM   #107
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There's so much oil, and yet so far, the effects have been minimal. A few videos of marshes and beaches with a small amount of oil. If all of those huge underwater "plumes" they talk about start making landfall somewhere, it could be more sensational. I can certainly imagine oil globules on Florida beaches for the next twenty years. Who knows?
There's a lot going on underwater. There is a LOT of pelagic and benthic life in the Gulf. At least there was. You can't just look at the beaches to assess the damage.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:29 PM   #108
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My point exactly. A spill in the middle east or Alaska is not at home for Americans. People will pay attention if Margaritaville isimpacted and Bubba can't do his shrimin.

Thanks for disowning the 49th state and my home, Alaska.
I won't take it personally.
I haven't checked in to this thread for awhile, but I guarantee that most every Alaskan knows the name of the Captain of the Exxon Valdez, Joe Hazelwood.
Unfortunately, you are probably right. Most people do not look past their own back yards and their own family, and to hell with the rest of the world. They are like the frog in the pot of water that is slowly heating to a boil. Hence those of us who do look further are labeled "environmentalists" and "tree-huggers" or worse. Maybe even (cover your eyes if you are a minor) LIBERALS.
Ok, end of rant. Is there any solution to companies like BP putting the bottom line ahead of safety? It is human nature to screw up, but if the consequences are spelled out more clearly, I think screwups happen less often. My nurse friend told me that hospital management instituted better hand-washing and other infection prevention techniques after Medicare stopped reimbursement for nosocomial infections.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:08 PM   #109
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Thanks for disowning the 49th state and my home, Alaska.
Wait a minute. Alaska is one of us? I guess I was just hoping something had changed after that Sarah Palin disaster.

I was not dissin' your state. But I think to many Americans, Alaska is a far off place like Europe or Canada while the Gulf Coast is the park down the street (or even the backyard).

I think we need oil and as long as we need oil we need to drill. And drilling can be dangerous. Either BP cut corners or was negligent or whatever or it didn't. The danger was either in trusting a for-profit company to protect the Gulf or there is an inherent danger in drilling and an accident like this was going to happen someday. Either way, I think a much larger proportion of voters believe that now and that is going to change the landscape with regard to what we are willing to accept. That's really all I'm saying.

Nationally I think the influence of Big Oil will be greatly lessened. I would have bet on Big Coal being the beneficiary if they hadn't killed a bunch of miners recently. There will be a push for alternative energy but I personally don't see many promising alternative energy sources once you cut through the idealism. I think we will be stuck with oil for the rest of my life but I think we will demand much greater regulation of domestic production. That will drive up costs and force us into greater dependency on foreign oil.

By the way, your state is high on my bucket list. I'd have already gone but just can't see doing it justice in less than a 6-8 week visit and that will have to wait for ER.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:29 PM   #110
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Wait a minute. The cement job was apparently bad and the BOP failed. So the apt analogy is that you looked down and the guy in front of you slowed down all of a sudden...then your brakes and steering wheel failed. So you ran into him. Not quite the same.

Was BP negligent? The relevant questions in my mind are: should they have proceeded with the well suspension given the ambiguous results on the quality of the cement job, should they have displaced the mud out of the hole prior to well suspension, and when was the BOPE last tested? You know, wells take gas kicks all the time, and cement and steel (containment), the mud column, and BOPE are the tools that are routinely used to deal with them. In this case two failed and the third was intentionally taken away. Negligence is not at all certain.

Having worked on drilling rigs and having had to make tough decisions, one thing I'm virtually certain of is that the guys on the rig felt the pressure of the rig's $500K dayrate a lot more than they felt the risk of a multibillion dollar oil spill. The morning report every day shows everyone how far ahead of or behind schedule and budget you are...but doesn't really reinforce how disastrous losing control of a well in 5000' of water can be. And the guys are trained to deal with gas kicks. They are confident they have the tools and knowledge to deal with them. These make the "It will probably work" decision a lot easier to take.



The 6000psi would be in the formation where the oil originates, far beneath the seafloor. The pressure differential between the oil in the wellbore and the ocean-bottom seawater is more likely less than 1000psi. That 1000psi is still hard to overcome in a wide-open well while pumping through the choke and kill lines, but it can work.

Good post... I am learning a lot on this one....

But.. negligence seems to be easy for me... as in my example, it is the guy who ran into the back of me... I don't care that his brakes did not work and his steering failed... to me, that is something you take up with your mechanic... (ie, the other finger pointers)...

As for the 6000 psi... what I read was that it was 10K at the bottom.. maybe I read that HERE somewhere... who knows..

What is the pressure of the water at 5000 feet I think it would be pretty high...
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:58 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
The name of the captain is as irrelevant as the color of his underwear. The thing that everyone remembers is the pictures of the oil-soaked birds and beaches. They remember that using oil can be a messy, environmentally expensive business.

If the gulf turns into a dead zone for 20 years, and the Florida keys are closed to swimming for a few summers, then the true cost of oil will be on display, and people won't forget for a while.
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This has shutdown fishing in the gulf. Most of the coastal businesses have temporarily closed. These people are not FI. I'm not sure "minimal" is the best word to use.
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My point exactly. A spill in the middle east or Alaska is not at home for Americans. People will pay attention if Margaritaville isimpacted and Bubba can't do his shrimin.
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There's a lot going on underwater. There is a LOT of pelagic and benthic life in the Gulf. At least there was. You can't just look at the beaches to assess the damage.
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Good post... I am learning a lot on this one....

But.. negligence seems to be easy for me... as in my example, it is the guy who ran into the back of me... I don't care that his brakes did not work and his steering failed... to me, that is something you take up with your mechanic... (ie, the other finger pointers)...

As for the 6000 psi... what I read was that it was 10K at the bottom.. maybe I read that HERE somewhere... who knows..

What is the pressure of the water at 5000 feet I think it would be pretty high...
I really think we are talking about the Gulf equivalent of Chernobyl. Life will never be the same. I am hoping that the clam. oyster and shrimp beds can be reclaimed. But I am not optimistic!

What remains to be seen is whether the gulf beaches can be rehabilitated. All it takes is a hurricane to spread that gunk far and wide, and guess when that starts?

This is an unmitigated disaster caused by lax government oversight, The price to pay for the quest for "cheap" oil is very expensive remediation.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:11 PM   #112
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What is the pressure of the water at 5000 feet I think it would be pretty high...
Around 2500 psi give or take.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:19 PM   #113
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Just one minor ray of hope - when the Ixtoc 1 well blew out in 1979, it was discharging between 10,000 and 30,000 barrels of oil a day, and ultimately spewed 3,000,000 barrels of oil over a ten month period. It is still the largest accidental spill in the Gulf of Mexio.
Why a ray of hope? Because the Gulf of Mexico has a huge amount of natural oil seeps (unlike PWS), there is a large variety of microbes that have evolved to break down and metabolize the short-chain portions of crude oil. Environmenal studies (focusing on the shrimping industry of Mexico) showed a near collapse the first year following the spill, followed by a significant recovery the second, and a return to pre-spill shrimp catches the third year.
Over 150 miles of U.S. beaches and marshes were impacted, including Aransas Pass, where the Whopping Cranes winter.
This isn't meant to minimize the damage being done, just maybe give us some hope that, like the Exlax commercial says, "This too shall pass"
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #114
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Around 2500 psi give or take.
44 psi per 100 ft of depth ~2200 psi
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:06 PM   #115
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Just one minor ray of hope - when the Ixtoc 1 well blew out in 1979, it was discharging between 10,000 and 30,000 barrels of oil a day, and ultimately spewed 3,000,000 barrels of oil over a ten month period. It is still the largest accidental spill in the Gulf of Mexio.
Why a ray of hope? Because the Gulf of Mexico has a huge amount of natural oil seeps (unlike PWS), there is a large variety of microbes that have evolved to break down and metabolize the short-chain portions of crude oil. Environmenal studies (focusing on the shrimping industry of Mexico) showed a near collapse the first year following the spill, followed by a significant recovery the second, and a return to pre-spill shrimp catches the third year.
Over 150 miles of U.S. beaches and marshes were impacted, including Aransas Pass, where the Whopping Cranes winter.
This isn't meant to minimize the damage being done, just maybe give us some hope that, like the Exlax commercial says, "This too shall pass"
I agree nature is a pretty resilient. The devastation of Mount St. Helen's was far more destructive than oil will be on beaches and yet 30 years latter the place is pretty much back to normal. The Ixtoc is the second largest oil spill in historyand unlikely to be surpassed by the Deep Horizon. The oil from this spill has longer to travel to a beach or shallow waters and I think is likely to have a relatively smaller impact.

It is remarkable that shrimp industry actually recovered in three years.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #116
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44 psi per 100 ft of depth ~2200 psi
fresh water is 0.433 psi/ft. seawater is about 0.465 psi/ft. i can see we're all learning about density. i had a post earlier about what a "normally" pressure reservoir would be at the seabed.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:41 PM   #117
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fresh water is 0.433 psi/ft. seawater is about 0.465 psi/ft. i can see we're all learning about density. i had a post earlier about what a "normally" pressure reservoir would be at the seabed.
44 per 100 is just a rule of thumb we used on submarines. Sorry I missed your earlier post.

Edit: P.S. For those following along at home in what is a rather arcane discussion, the reason that ronocnikral says seawater is "about" .465 psi/ft is because that number assumes a certain temperature and salinity (both of which affect density and, hence, pressure). The ocean, however, is uniform with respect to neither variable. Temperature and salinity vary both horizontally and vertically in the ocean.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #118
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Most people do not look past their own back yards and their own family, and to hell with the rest of the world. They are like the frog in the pot of water that is slowly heating to a boil. Hence those of us who do look further are labeled "environmentalists" and "tree-huggers" or worse. Maybe even (cover your eyes if you are a minor) LIBERALS.
I think the most profound effect of this catastrophe may be (hopefully) a change, an awakening of consciousness. I live by a creek; my husband used to swim, fish and drink from that creek when he was a child. We don't do that now - the fish are considered inedible.

I must say, I love nature. As long as I know that there is pure, untouched wilderness, I feel secure deep inside.

Unfortunately, today, many people (sadly, children) are seemingly disengaged from their natural environment; computers, TV's, etc. are the means of contact with the world. Unfortunately, we can't just turn off the pictures of the oil-soaked wildlife, or change to a different video game - and keep reality at bay. For a large segment of our country, reality is literally reaching its oily fingers into their lives, especially with the onset of hurricane season.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:14 PM   #119
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Just one minor ray of hope - when the Ixtoc 1 well blew out in 1979, it was discharging between 10,000 and 30,000 barrels of oil a day, and ultimately spewed 3,000,000 barrels of oil over a ten month period. It is still the largest accidental spill in the Gulf of Mexio.
Why a ray of hope? Because the Gulf of Mexico has a huge amount of natural oil seeps (unlike PWS), there is a large variety of microbes that have evolved to break down and metabolize the short-chain portions of crude oil. Environmenal studies (focusing on the shrimping industry of Mexico) showed a near collapse the first year following the spill, followed by a significant recovery the second, and a return to pre-spill shrimp catches the third year.
Over 150 miles of U.S. beaches and marshes were impacted, including Aransas Pass, where the Whopping Cranes winter.
This isn't meant to minimize the damage being done, just maybe give us some hope that, like the Exlax commercial says, "This too shall pass"
The Texas beaches have never been the same. Big old nasty tarballs came up for years, and you needed special solvents to clean them off your skin. Even now on the "white" beaches the sand still has dark mixed in, and you still get a dark stain on your feet.

Audrey
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:12 AM   #120
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The Texas beaches have never been the same. Big old nasty tarballs came up for years, and you needed special solvents to clean them off your skin. Even now on the "white" beaches the sand still has dark mixed in, and you still get a dark stain on your feet.

Audrey
Yea, I have to chuckle when people say that such and such had a disaster and it is just fine now. Even Hiroshima looks pretty good these days.
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