21 May 2010

Graphic Animation of Oil Spill Movement Over Time


This animation of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was created using actual overflight information and forecast models from the NOAA and Unified Command.
The red dot is the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil well, which exploded on April 20, releasing oil into the Gulf near the Louisiana coast that has yet to be contained. Eleven rig workers died in the explosion.
The animation begins Aprill 22, the day the first image of the spill via flyover was released. _NOLA

While waiting for the new and improved government estimate of oil spill flow rates (the old estimation of 5,000 BPD was from US NOAA), we can only wish the best of success to sea and shore prevention and remediation crews, and to the BP and USCG crisis response crews.

BP intends to attempt the top kill injection of kill mud into the well (using a 30,000 total hp pump array?) via the blowout preventer (BOP), on Sunday. If successful in stopping the flow, they will fill the BOP and upper well with concrete. If the top kill is unsuccessful, BP may attempt a "junk shot" into the BOP followed by another attempt at a top kill.

The sooner the flow of oil is stopped, the easier the surface remediation and prevention activities will be. To this point, damage to the environment of the Gulf is slowly accumulating. Keep in mind that the Gulf of Mexico is not a pristine environment, and that at least twice the amount of oil of the Exxon Valdez spill, seeps into the Gulf every year naturally. When a much larger spill -- Ixtoc 1979 -- hit the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican Bay of Campeche, the ecology recovered completely from a much larger and more extended disaster, in under 2 years.
"Spillcam' Streaming Video -- What It Looks Like
al.com Spillcam

The important thing to notice about the Spillcam, is the much slower velocity of the oil out of the riser pipe, compared to videos of the spill prior to the siphon tube placement. That is the best indication of flow rate. The inescapable conclusion is that the 5,000 barrels per day extraction of oil from the riser has put a serious crimp in the rate of oil leakage. The final call will be up to the engineers and scientists on the scene, delegated by the US government to make the flow assessment.


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