Crunch Time on the Gulf Floor
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Environmental damage from the ongoing oil spill continues to be limited, due to the nature of the hydrocarbon mix, favourable weather and currents in the warm Gulf waters, and a good surface response by air, land, and sea.
BP intends to utilise one or more of a few selected methods to slow or stop the seafloor oil gush, today or tomorrow. The "top hat" method would place a small funnel-dome over the larger leak to vacuum the leaking oil and gas up to waiting vessels on the surface. The "top kill" or "junk shot" method would inject rubber junk to clog the failed blowout preventer, then follow with a concrete seal. Another method being considered is to insert a vacuum-connected pipe into the leaking hardware on the seafloor, to suck leaking oil to the surface.
Investigations have revealed that an possibly unauthorised substitution of equipment in the blowout preventer system -- prior to the blowout -- may have contributed to the cause of the disaster. More details on the events leading up to the blowout and explosion will no doubt emerge. It is mandatory that a clear picture of the phenomena leading to the failure be presented, to allow corrective measures to be put in place.
But that is secondary to stopping the gushing, and cleaning up the surface spill.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency is asking the Obama Pelosi government to resist its natural "knee-jerk" reaction to the Gulf oil spill.
"A knee-jerk reaction by regulators, banning new offshore licensing altogether, as some are proposing, risks pushing companies to ever-more precarious locations in search of hydrocarbons," the Paris-based agency said in its monthly oil market report. "The law of unintended consequences may apply."The editors of USA Today send a similar warning to the hysteria-prone Obama Pelosi government.
The spill hasn't affected regional crude oil production, the IEA said. _WSJ
Globe and Mail: Offshore drilling will go on
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