BP Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout

Oil drilling platform rigAt up to 30 gallons per second, is it a spill, a leak, or a torrent? Of course “Oil Spill” no longer means substance fallen out, nor leak, amount escaped. It describes the mess that’s left, and the Deepwater Horizon is still being downplayed as potentially worse than the Exxon Valdez, but nowhere near the biggest, in the other Gulf, during its 1990 namesake war, the deliberate draining of a pipeline. The second largest oil “spill” occurred just down our coast in 1979, and is referenced more descriptively as the IXTOC I Blowout. As the BP/Transocean well empties into the Gulf of Mexico, wouldn’t our emergency response be better served to call this disaster a “blowout?”

Spew, gush, geyser, the imprecision of these words tend to sputter, BP’s ongoing environmental fiasco a BLOWOUT!

We have no one’s word but British Petroleum’s to trust about the rate at which their oil is polluting the sea. First they said 1,000 barrels, then 5,000, though we learn 100,000 was being discussed as not outside the realm of possibility. Outside experts had only the telltale expansion rate of the initial oil slick to derive a candid measure of the outflow. Now that the oil has reached the coast, the measure is once again up to those who command the deep water submersibles. They can tell us they’ve capped a third leak, or a fourth or fifth, they could tell us the Madonna directed them where to deposit their giant concrete dome and how would we know?

Let’s call BP’s latest spill a “blowout.” With no help forthcoming for three months if that, we might as well project this blowout’s probable record-setting impact. How large did BP concede was the capacity of this well? No need to calculate the spill when we know the size of the bucket.

We don’t down-class hurricanes just because they haven’t reached us yet, then upgrade them as we feel their effect. Minimizing the size of this disaster can only justify being less prepared.

4 thoughts on “BP Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout

  1. Man, I just LOVE the way the BigPigs say “oopsie!” (actually they don’t it’s just figurative) but it’s like they farted in church or something. “29 miners dead, oops!” “we just poisoned the food supply and incidentally the largest source of breathable air for the entire northern hemisphere, OOPSIE!” “We just bombed living crap out of two sovereign nations based on a long series of deliberate lies, OOPSIE!”

    “Oops, that wasn’t just a fart, guess that’s why they call this chair a pew!”

    Ok, so they were planning to poison the water and the air anyway, just in smaller increments and actually make us pay for the privi… oh, that’s right. We DO get to pay for the privilege.

    Never mind.

  2. So new today… “Oil MAY be causing ecological havoc below the surface” uhhmmmm…. yeah. Next question.

    Methane Bubble probably caused the blast. The blast that knocked out 11 human lives and an oil platform that really shouldn’t have been there in the first, second and third place. And any ordinal number following “third” as well.

    So it was a fuel-air bomb made by the Oil Company themselves… except, in an underwater blast, where did the Air part come in?

    in an non-containerized explosion, which would have taken a LOT of methane to take down the platform..

    In a container with carburetion (air) and a solid spark, not nearly as much.

    That leaves underwater. I suppose some engineer or other could figure a way to introduce that much oxygen into an undersea Methane bubble. A few dozen meters down and the water pressure could have formed the compression, the “container”. Both the Piston AND the Cylinder in our little big Internal Combustion Motor.

    That leaves, again, the air, and a spark.

    Tricky… and then there’s the fire ABOVE the water

    Now, there’s a sort of truthiness to that. Methane does get released from oil wells. It’s something Oil Company engineers should know very well. They’ve had a century of highly subsidized drilling experience to figure that part out. But it still leaves a strong of dead fish… Lots and lots of Dead and Dying fish, corals, crustaceans, jellyfish, protozoa, sponges, starfish, mollusks like oysters, then there’s the plant life. Oh, and the mid-level consumers, grazing mammals like Manatees, for instance, dolphins, turtles…

    Birds, yep, got them too.

    “May” cause damage…

    That’s an understatement like “Dracula Sucks”

  3. I’ve been working in the oil field for 10 years . I personally think if they were to take a ring with a chain, attached to a robots arm, and the robot would be able to close the control arm,and close it. If that doesnt work they could smash the pipe line with heavy weights .

  4. Yeah, they’re looking toward jamming the hole now. Because, apparently, the hole is bigger.

    The BP (Big Pigs) Executives are talking about dumping trash into the hole. old tires, golf balls, the bodies of a few whistle blowers who disappeared before they could testify… tax records, maybe the Enron paperwork.

    The valves are like, Gonzo, man. Apparently enough of the submarine real estate around where the valves used to be that the containment tower couldn’t sit right.
    But the official story is “ice crystals”

    For some reason I remembered just right this instant, from Shakespeare “Once more, into the breach, til we’ve jammed the hole with our English bodies”

    We could get really lucky and have a couple of major seismic events.
    Like a Richter Scale 10 right under Corporate Headquarters.

    However pleasant that might seem, it’s also not bloody likely.

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