17 May 2010

Meanwhile, In the Crisis Center Somewhere in Houston . . .

BP's crisis centre for the Macondo spill is located in Houston. Needless to say, it is a busy place, running at a hectic pace 24 / 7.
In Houston, the hub of BP's crisis response, the company's campaign has become an industrywide effort. Drilling and well-control experts from rivals like Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips are in BP's offices, as are officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service.

The pace of work there telescopes into just a few hours some tasks that might normally take years. "We usually spend months in concept selection," said Mr. Lynch. "Here you're doing it in the morning and starting fabrication in the afternoon."

In one room in the crisis center, a team guides the robotic submersibles that performed the task of inserting the tube. Live pictures transmitted by the robots are fed to a huge bank of video screens. Updates on weather conditions and wave heights flash on another screen at the side.

Next door is Simops, or simultaneous operations, which choreographs the complex dance of drill ships, drill rigs and service vessels that crowd the sea above the leaking well. "It's like air traffic control on water," says Geir Karlsen, BP's expert on such operations.

In another room, about a hundred BP employees work on a "top kill"—the main option being explored to shut off the ruptured well. That starts off with a "junk shot," in which material such as rubber tires and golf balls is pumped into the shut-off valve, or blowout preventer, that sits atop the well.

The procedure was simulated on land to model potential obstacles. For instance, the elaborate system of manifolds and pipes had to be designed to avoid any 90-degree corners, so the bulky material used in the junk shot didn't get stuck.

With that leak sealed, the plan is to inject heavyweight "kill mud" into the lower part of the blowout preventer, followed by cement that will effectively entomb the well. _WSJ
And so on . . .

Meanwhile, the tube inserted into the leaking riser is withdrawing over 1,000 barrels per day -- and increasing gradually over time. BP has given up on the leaking well, and plans to plug it permanently. The International Bird Rescue Center has cared for 10 "oiled" birds so far -- (meanwhile hundreds to thousands of birds are killed by wind turbines every day, and millions are killed by cats every year).

The environmental hysteria just keeps rising -- driven by attorneys, politicians, the media, bureaucrats, faux environmentalists, and political activists of all stripes. Meanwhile, problem solvers continue to work to solve the problems, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But in a society of blame and incompetent hysteria, fewer and fewer problem-solvers are produced every year.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Ronduck said...

That bird rescue center sounds like something that women would support, the same way they often support animal rescue societies.

Tuesday, 18 May, 2010  

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