Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby kelvin247 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:18 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:As of the most recent newscast, it's currently leaking about 200 barrels a day, but that was an estimate. Which is still a hecka lot. Several state's coastlines are under direct threat; not only is it a huge ecological disaster, quite a bit of economy is endangered in the form of fishing/shrimping. Plus the weather is keeping a lot of the boons from being effective.

Also, I love Bill Maher.
Bill Maher wrote:"Every asshole who ever chanted 'Drill baby drill' should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty."


If you ask it look's like no one knows what they are doing, this is the biggest mess i have ever seen, speaking as a person that love's sea food this is going to cripple the fishing industry, and it seems like there's no end in sight someone needs to figure this out and fast before we kill not only the wild life in the gulf. posting.php?mode=quote&f=9&p=2125408#

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Diadem » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:31 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:If the cost actually reaches a single year of profits for one of the worlds largest multinational oil companies; I'd be flabergasted.

According to BP's F&OI report, it's average yearly profit between 2005-2009 has been in the region of £20Bn a year (The arithmetic mean of the gross profits is 20.9024 billion pounds and of the profits adjusted for capital replacement cost 20.0616 billion pounds).

Even looking at 2009's reported £13bn Replacement cost profit (a 45% drop on 2008) that's still a staggering amount of money. Even when you consider the £10.5bn liability that BP has taken on in agreeing to leave it's dividend unchanged (which was important in stabilising their position in the market); that would still leave £2.5bn (3.6bn USD according to XE.com) to play with before BP incurs a loss.

Is the real cost of the cleanup to louisianna going to exceed $3.6bn? (as opposed to the imaginary cost which will no doubt be settled in court by hundreds of citizens ranging from those with a genunine losses warranting repairation to outright carpetbaggers).

Costs are already way over that. And still rising. First there's cleanup cost. BP already spent 1 billion on that. And there's many months of cleanup to come. I'm sure that the US government is going to send over a bill for their costs as well. Then there's massive damage to the fishing and tourism industry, and everything that depends on this. Fishing is basically gone for dozens of years to come. That's a lot of billions of dollars. And those famous beaches will never be the same again. Finally and most importantly, the ecological damage. It's hard to put a dollar value on that, but they've basically obliterated an ecosystem the size of a medium-sized country.

Of course, knowing how corrupt the US is, they'll probably end up paying pocket change. But any realistic compensation for damages and fine for environmental destruction (taking into account willful criminal negligence from BP) will be tens of billions. It won't immidiately bankrupt BP. But they'll probably be bought by others, at least.

I'm not making this up. Just look at the stock market. BP has already lost over 60 billion in stock value (about 1/3 of their total value) since this accident. And it doesn't look like share prices have bottomed out yet. That's a huge hit for any company.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Diadem » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:39 am UTC

Oh and, ehm, forget this containment cap. It's not a solution. It's not even designed to be one. Even if everything goes perfectly it can handle a maximum of 15000 barrels a day.

Experts (the ones not paid by BP) put the amount of oil spilled between 50,000 and 95,000 barrels a day. This cap is going to make a minor dent at best.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:56 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Costs are already way over that. And still rising. First there's cleanup cost. BP already spent 1 billion on that. And there's many months of cleanup to come. I'm sure that the US government is going to send over a bill for their costs as well. Then there's massive damage to the fishing and tourism industry, and everything that depends on this. Fishing is basically gone for dozens of years to come. That's a lot of billions of dollars. And those famous beaches will never be the same again. Finally and most importantly, the ecological damage. It's hard to put a dollar value on that, but they've basically obliterated an ecosystem the size of a medium-sized country.


Damages are different to cleanup costs though, there's no need to pay up immediately.

Anyway, I was reading the FT yesterday, and it had an interesting thing in there, a little article on the effects of Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling; According to remarks from the governer of Louisiana that moratorium has singlehandedly caused more financial damage to the economy than the slick has. With an estimated 5-7K jobs lost already, and upto 20k jobs threatened.

Now tell me I'm wrong, but when thousands of people lose their livelyhoods in an accident, you'd think that then killing thousands more jobs in the same geographic area would be exactly what you wouldn't want to do.


It's also worth noting that claiming >90000 BPD (and attempting to ad validity by claiming that it's not BP's estimate) is just plain wrong on two levels, the current accepted estimate is 19000 BPD with the capture mechanism extracting 1-2k bpd, secondly with over 160 companies, agencies and institutions working together under the flag of BP's rescue efforts (including the majoratity of the US gov't.'s top engineers in the field), it's disningenuous to make out like they're somehow decieving themselves as to how bad this is.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Greyarcher » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:20 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Anyway, I was reading the FT yesterday, and it had an interesting thing in there, a little article on the effects of Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling; According to remarks from the governer of Louisiana that moratorium has singlehandedly caused more financial damage to the economy than the slick has. With an estimated 5-7K jobs lost already, and upto 20k jobs threatened.

Now tell me I'm wrong, but when thousands of people lose their livelyhoods in an accident, you'd think that then killing thousands more jobs in the same geographic area would be exactly what you wouldn't want to do.
Mmm, that's tricky. After all, the lost jobs involve activities that threaten ecological and economic damage to others due to, probably, inadequate safeguards. I'd probably want significant info on the full extent of the damages and the extent to which the companies can be held liable. The consequences could be pretty long term and far reaching; since it's almost certain that the company won't be held liable for everything, I can see why he'd be cautious.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby mrpurple » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Oh and, ehm, forget this containment cap. It's not a solution. It's not even designed to be one. Even if everything goes perfectly it can handle a maximum of 15000 barrels a day.

Experts (the ones not paid by BP) put the amount of oil spilled between 50,000 and 95,000 barrels a day. This cap is going to make a minor dent at best.


I'm skeptical of these "expert" figures. Even 50KBPD would make it a quite exceptional producer for the Gulf of Mexico, and it's producing in somewhat less than ideal conditions. BPs new figures seem entirely plausible. To be fair, there has never been any attempt to bill the LMRP cap as anything other than a temporary solution until the long term solution is complete, and the long term solution is to drill a relief well and fill it with cement. As well as the cap, they are also planning to produce back through the subsea manifold that they installed for the top kill and junk shot operation, and that can take up any excess that the cap won't take, while in addition providing a backup in case the cap is affected by hydrate formation.

[correction] - Not "BP's new figures", but the Flow Rate Technical Group. See here.

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Diadem » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:18 pm UTC

mrpurple wrote:
Diadem wrote:Oh and, ehm, forget this containment cap. It's not a solution. It's not even designed to be one. Even if everything goes perfectly it can handle a maximum of 15000 barrels a day.

Experts (the ones not paid by BP) put the amount of oil spilled between 50,000 and 95,000 barrels a day. This cap is going to make a minor dent at best.


I'm skeptical of these "expert" figures. Even 50KBPD would make it a quite exceptional producer for the Gulf of Mexico, and it's producing in somewhat less than ideal conditions.

A blowout is not the same as production. In their permit for drilling the well, BPs own estimates for a worst case scenario blowout was 162,000 barrels per day. So 50k or even 90k is entirely within the realm of possibility.

Using analysis of the videos BP released of the oil spill, several people have independently made estimates of the total amount of oil spilled. Those estimates ranged from 50K to 90K. Initial estimates based on the amount of oil on the surface were also much higher than the official figures.

[correction] - Not "BP's new figures", but the Flow Rate Technical Group. See here.

The figure of 12k-19k barrels per day is often quoted. But those estimates were minimums. So it's AT LEAST that much, but it might be much more. That fact is conveniently forgotten in most media reports.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby mrpurple » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:58 pm UTC

I'm perfectly aware of the difference between a blowout and production.

Do you really think 50+ KBBLS is likely?

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Gears » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:17 pm UTC

Spoiler:
BP.jpg
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Josephine » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:13 pm UTC

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:54 pm UTC

One proposed solution I read (forget exactly where) was to dump about half a billion (500,000,000) tons of rock on the leaking well.

Any remaining leakage should be comparable to "natural" oil leaks in the gulf.

The problem is that you can't drill a "relief well" while dumping half a billion tons of rock. You would have to wait until the relief well fails in August or September before trying it. (Wasn't the relief well originally only supposed to take 3 months?) Have they even started drilling it yet?
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Wasn't the relief well originally only supposed to take 3 months?

If everything went perfectly smoothly, yes. It was a best-case estimate, and I don't think anyone really expected it to be done that quickly.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:42 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:The problem is that you can't drill a "relief well" while dumping half a billion tons of rock. You would have to wait until the relief well fails in August or September before trying it. (Wasn't the relief well originally only supposed to take 3 months?) Have they even started drilling it yet?


A relief well will work, or at least they've never failed before.

The relief wells were started on may 2nd and may 16th respectively (what with the need to tow whole oil rigs there and all), so august *is* three months afterwards.

as an aside FT group says the cleanup has cost $1.25bn upto now (significantly less that the £3.2bn bp has sloshing about) and with the use of the jury rigging of the top kill apparatus to another platform and the cap, they're capturing 11000+ bpd.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby padang » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

I hope BP will make those poor fishermen and shrimpers whole. They can loose everything because someone goofed up.

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby brady94cohen » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:37 pm UTC

What ever happened to oil eating microbes? I thought it was the latest breakthrough in cleaning oil spills, yet there's no mention of it by the people in charge.

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:47 pm UTC

Last I heard about the oil eating microbes, there are too many and they are consuming all of the dissolved oxygen in the water. The oil eating microbes exist naturally in the gulf of mexico (due to the naturally occurring seepage I mentioned).
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:47 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:A relief well will work, or at least they've never failed before.

It will work eventually, anyway. Might take several tries.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Diadem » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:12 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:A relief well will work, or at least they've never failed before.

It will work eventually, anyway. Might take several tries.

Yes. This is important. They need to drill a well into a tiny target a few miles down the surface. It's rare for a relief well to succeed on the first try. It's not a big problem if they miss, just reverse the drill, dump concreet in the hole, and try again. But it does take a few weeks per attempt.

So the idea that this relief well will be done in August is mostly PR. They might get lucky, sure, but it could as easily be christmas before they succeed.

They can fail by the way. Unlikely, but it can happen. A blowout in the relief well will result in an oil spill of 240,000 barrels a day. If that happens, there's not much they can do anymore to prevent the entire oil field from draining into the sea. Then it's game over for Gulf of Mexico. But the odds of that, as far I as understood it, are quite small.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Kyrn » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:13 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Of course, knowing how corrupt the US is, they'll probably end up paying pocket change. But any realistic compensation for damages and fine for environmental destruction (taking into account willful criminal negligence from BP) will be tens of billions. It won't immidiately bankrupt BP. But they'll probably be bought by others, at least.

I'm not making this up. Just look at the stock market. BP has already lost over 60 billion in stock value (about 1/3 of their total value) since this accident. And it doesn't look like share prices have bottomed out yet. That's a huge hit for any company.


Actually, I think the most likely scenario is that BP will spin-off it's off-shore drilling department. Then declare that bankrupt, thereby saving all their other departments from fallout. I do not know how effective or legal that would be though. I do not however expect the damage cap to be able to protect them from this, since they didn't seem to have taken reasonable precautions; it's likely the other oil drilling companies would pressure BP into doing this, so as to preserve said damage cap.

brady94cohen wrote:What ever happened to oil eating microbes? I thought it was the latest breakthrough in cleaning oil spills, yet there's no mention of it by the people in charge.


The problem is that said microbes do not exist naturally in sufficient numbers to make much progress. Anyway, LJ link of someone who knows much more than I do.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

taiweiyi wrote:One day, one day human will pay the price of destroying the nature.

Meh. One day humans will oblitorate themselves entirely, or the sun's expansion will render earth barren, or [Insert next possible appocalypse]; but either way, It's waaaaaay down the line.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

A diving trip I had planned was canceled, and now I'm looking at 3 weeks additional summer time. I was thinking of going down the Gulf and photographing oil choked stuffs. Any idea what sort of security or... I dunno, if I'd get arrested?
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Texas_Ben » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:46 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:if I'd get arrested?

On what grounds? Being on the beach?

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:14 am UTC

My experience photographing national disasters is that those aiding the cleanup don't like non-press poking around. Just curious what people think.

And yes, I know that claiming to be a journalism student works as a virtual free pass.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:37 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:My experience photographing national disasters is that those aiding the cleanup don't like non-press poking around. Just curious what people think.

And yes, I know that claiming to be a journalism student works as a virtual free pass.


For that matter there are no hard and fast requirements for joining the majority of press organisations, and getting a legitimate press pass.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Spen » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:28 am UTC

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/06 ... all-bombs/
An interesting solution to the problem...

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby netcrusher88 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:41 am UTC

Yeah, we already discussed why bombs are a bad idea. Doesn't matter if its a nuclear-equivalent conventional explosive.

Interesting thing about the damage cap: it doesn't apply to EPA fines and fees. BP must pay for every gallon extracted (spilled or not) and again for every gallon spilled - the latter is a higher number (by half or so, I think) if it's proven the spill was due to negligence, which according to available data it sure as hell looks like.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Diadem » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:24 pm UTC

Yep, EPA fines are $1100 per barrel, under normal circumstances and $4300 per barrel if gross negligence can be proven (for example because they failed to repair their damaged blowout preventer).

Newest official figures now say a minimum of 25k barrels per day. That's a lot of money. And the main reason BP is lying about the spill rate.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

Spen wrote:http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/06/marine-techie-end-the-oil-spill-with-the-mother-of-all-bombs/
An interesting solution to the problem...


It makes little sense, as the MOAB was all about making a cheap but devastating weapon by eliminating the need for oxidiser and using dispersion of particulates into the air instead.

If the explosive solution was workable (and It probably isn't) then it would be rather more sensible to simply cast 8.5 tonnes of H6, Octol or even pure HMX (already used in the oil industry to perforate casings inside the formation) into a shaped charge (given it's size preferably with many staged detonators giving a highly controlled application of force) which would deliver the maximal force onto the well and use that.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Cynical Idealist » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:36 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:It makes little sense, as the MOAB was all about making a cheap but devastating weapon by eliminating the need for oxidiser and using dispersion of particulates into the air instead.

No, it isn't. You're thinking of fuel-air explosives like the BLU-96. The MOAB is just a fuckload of H6 in one (in)convenient package.

However, it still makes little sense. There's a risk of opening more channels for the oil to flow through, and also, the leak is coming from a part of the seabed that probably shouldn't be disturbed any more than absolutely necessary.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:37 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:It makes little sense, as the MOAB was all about making a cheap but devastating weapon by eliminating the need for oxidiser and using dispersion of particulates into the air instead.

No, it isn't. You're thinking of fuel-air explosives like the BLU-96. The MOAB is just a fuckload of H6 in one (in)convenient package.

However, it still makes little sense. There's a risk of opening more channels for the oil to flow through, and also, the leak is coming from a part of the seabed that probably shouldn't be disturbed any more than absolutely necessary.


Oooooh, I wasn't aware of that, It wasn't revealed immediately after it's invention. Either way, using a blast bomb seems silly when you only want to apply pressure to one point!
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby phonon266737 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:02 pm UTC

What I would like to know, is why we didn't use thermite to cut the bolts on that flange, and have the new cap, instead of a 21 inch sleeve on a 20 inch pipe, have the same flange, with bolt-studs sticking out of it. I'm sure getting an ROV to operate a nut driver isn't beyond our capabilities.

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Kyrn » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:24 am UTC

phonon266737 wrote:What I would like to know, is why we didn't use thermite to cut the bolts on that flange, and have the new cap, instead of a 21 inch sleeve on a 20 inch pipe, have the same flange, with bolt-studs sticking out of it. I'm sure getting an ROV to operate a nut driver isn't beyond our capabilities.


Actually, getting the ROV to do that is quite possibly beyond our capability, since the "top kill" is essentially getting an ROV to stuff the hole shut. They even messed up with the cutting of the pipe (though that wasn't as serious).
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby thc » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:28 am UTC

Here's an interesting article focusing on the bigger picture. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/ma ... elta-shell

Some of the comments are very well written as well.

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Kyrn » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:35 am UTC

thc wrote:Here's an interesting article focusing on the bigger picture. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/ma ... elta-shell

Some of the comments are very well written as well.


"However, two major independent investigations over the past four years suggest that as much is spilled at sea, in the swamps and on land every year as has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico so far."

That makes the BP oil spill so much more drastic actually, considering it's only gone for little over a month. Not saying that the situation there is not bad though.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby thc » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:56 am UTC

I disagree. A billion barrels of oil spilled in a month is still the same amount as a billion barrels spilled in a year. Yes, you can say that shorter time span increases the amount of damage done, which is true, but the ongoing shitstorm in Nigeria is still far worse by orders of magnitude.

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Kyrn » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:29 am UTC

thc wrote:I disagree. A billion barrels of oil spilled in a month is still the same amount as a billion barrels spilled in a year. Yes, you can say that shorter time span increases the amount of damage done, which is true, but the ongoing shitstorm in Nigeria is still far worse by orders of magnitude.


Except 3 factors:

1) The situation in Nigeria is a combination of MANY factors. It's not just BP, it's also all of the other companies there, and the Nigerian government.
2) We still don't know when the situation here will improve. We THINK it will improve when we get the relief wells set up. That is not definite. And that's also 2 months in the future.
3) The situation in Nigeria is landlocked. The situation in the gulf can spread much further than USA.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:49 am UTC

thc wrote:I disagree. A billion barrels of oil spilled in a month is still the same amount as a billion barrels spilled in a year

Only if you fix one of the leaks within a month and let the other one go for a year. If they're both ongoing, one is worsening 12 times as fast.
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby Diadem » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:43 pm UTC

Oil spills on water are much much worse than oil spills on land. On land the oil stays mostly contained, and the destruction is much more local. The Lakeview Gusher spilled 30x as much as Exxon Valdez but its environmental impact was much smaller. Furthermore it's hard to find good figures on the size of the spill by the way. One I found said 2.4 million barrels between 1976 and 1996. That's 120K barrels per year. That would mean Deep Water Horizon leaks about as much every 4-5 days, instead of a month. So yeah, Gulf Coast Oil Spill, still the biggest environmental fuckup ever.

But yeah, Nigeria is a huge clusterfuck. Corrupt government, oil companies that don't need to worry about PR since noone knows what's happening, rebels attacking oil pipes, etc, etc. I agree, the world should not ignore the situation there. The country is falling apart. But the main problem is not oil drilling, but corruption. The place is simply too corrupt for any measure to make oil drillig safer to work. Perhaps given that we should pull out alltogether and stop pumping oil in nigeria completely. But that's a decision Obama should make, not the CEO of Shell or ExxonMobil.

[edit]My post came across a bit too much like defending big oil. That wasn't my intention. I'm not saying Shell or ExxonMobil are not behaving reprehensible and immoral, or that they should not be stopped. I'm just saying that the issue is more than just "big oil being evil". It's more "Big oil using evilness of Nigeria government for their own profit".
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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby dubsola » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Don't think of these stories as evil capitalist money grubbers cackling over the dying environment, because that's naive.

It's easier to blame some guy in an office building than to consider the fact that by consuming oil we are all complicit in its means of production. And we all consume oil. Nevertheless, everyone is blaming everyone else.

Fifty days in, the backlash from the BP oil spill is being felt on both sides of the Atlantic. As the special relationship comes under strain, Obama invests an unprecedented amount of presidential time on a visit to the Gulf, while Cameron faces rightwing flak

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Re: Gulf Coast oil spill may be worse than Exxon Valdez

Postby phonon266737 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:52 pm UTC

Kyrn wrote:
phonon266737 wrote:What I would like to know, is why we didn't use thermite to cut the bolts on that flange, and have the new cap, instead of a 21 inch sleeve on a 20 inch pipe, have the same flange, with bolt-studs sticking out of it. I'm sure getting an ROV to operate a nut driver isn't beyond our capabilities.


Actually, getting the ROV to do that is quite possibly beyond our capability, since the "top kill" is essentially getting an ROV to stuff the hole shut. They even messed up with the cutting of the pipe (though that wasn't as serious).


Making a clean cut through a giant steel pipe is not easy. Cutting rusty bolts is, not easy. But screwing a new nut onto a new bolt?
Easy, and it doesn't leak once it's tightened.


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