01 May 2010

An Oil Man Puts Deep Horizon Oil Spill In Perspective


No one can bring the oil workers killed on the Deep Horizon back to life. The oil rig itself was a total loss. But the environmental damage from the oil spill will be limited in both time and geographic area. The well control effort and environmental mitigation efforts are ongoing and extensive.

Open Choke blog is run by an anonymous oil man who offers his informed opinions on recent developments.
2. How much oil will this spill (worst case scenario)? A. 150,000 barrels.

3. How much is it leaking now? A. 5,000 barrels per day, although it sounds so much bigger when you multiply by 42 and put it into gallons.

4. How much natural oil seepage is there in the Gulf of Mexico? A. 5,000 barrels per day, although it is widely distributed and not point sourced.

5. Where will this rank? A. 37th in the world's top 71 man-made oil spills.

6. What happened to the 121,000 barrels spilled by the Mega Borg (the second largest spill in the GOM)? A. They burned it. 1800 barrels recovered, 270 barrels left after burning, so, in essence, via burning and wind and wave action biodegradation, 121,000 barrels turned into a little over 2000 barrels. The Prudhoe Bay incident was magnified because it had little wind or wave action... it was a closed system.

7. How does this compare to, say, wildfires? A. Wildfires fully devastate the areas they cover, and typically take 5-30 years to fully recover from a ground fire and up to 150 years to recover from a crown fire. Full recovery from an oil spill is typically a year or less. _OpenChoke
More graphs and discussion at the link above.

Here, the anonymous oil man blogger discusses the (unlikely) conspiracy theory that eco-terrorists may have destroyed the Deep Horizon.

Clearly, the long term damage depends upon how much oil is spilled, how quickly it is spilled, and where the oil is transported by wind and current. Light sweet crude will lose a lot of volume into the atmosphere via evaporation. BP is attempting to cover the spill with a containment vessel so as to capture and store as much leaked oil as possible before it can reach the surface. Modern bacterial and enzymatic treatments along with chemical dispersants can break up much of the floating oil, leaving much of the denser residues to sink.

It is safe to say that engineers and techs from BP, Halliburton, Transocean, US government agencies, and other interested parties, will be busy 24 hours a day working on solutions, until the well is controlled and the slick is contained.

Update: This news story quotes a US Senator and a US Representative who overflew the spill site earlier today:
U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor on Saturday said people shouldn’t be so scared about the massive oil spill in the Gulf; he said after flying over it, “it’s not as bad as I thought.” Taylor said the oil could break up before reaching Mississippi shores.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said he is putting his focus on finding a way to contain the crude that continues to spill each day from the uncapped well in the Gulf.
Taylor flew over the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig Saturday along with Department of Marine Resources Director Bill Walker and Rep. Jo Bonner of Alabama.

They viewed the spill from the extended ramp of a Coast Guard twin-engine plane 1,000 feet above the water.

“At the moment, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be,” he said, shortly after returning from the three-hour tour. Taylor told a group of reporters waiting at Atlantic Aviation he was less concerned about the spill after witnessing its movement firsthand.

“This isn’t Katrina. It’s not Armageddon,” Taylor said. “A lot of people are scared and I don’t think they should be.” _SunHerald


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Blogger Nicolai said...

Ok, for arguments sake lets just go ahead and agree with the falsified information that only 5,000 barrels are leaking daily.

They have started drilling the relief valve which has construction timeline of 2-3 months.

So simple math dictates 5,000 barrels a day for 60 days = 300,000 barrels.

He also makes claims that the oil is being burned off? However there have been 6-10 foot seas that have been preventing any burn offs from happening.

Satellite images showed the oil slick triple in size over a 24 hour period from March 30-April 1st?

Independent analysts have determined that 20,000-50,000 barrels are spilling daily.

Make your own analogies here people, He gets paid from the oil industry you think he is going to bite the hand that feeds him.

Looking at the quote above my text box couldn't of said it better myself. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

Saturday, 01 May, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Nicolai: First, you need to be sure you are telling the truth.

Estimates of oil leakage range between 1,000 barrels per day up to 25,000 barrels a day. If you have a source for your estimate of 50,000 barrels a day, feel free to share it.

If you honestly believe that the powers that be are going to sit back and let 300,000 barrels of oil flow out without doing more than drilling a relief well over 2-3 months, you probably are not well acquainted with people who have to get things done for a living.

Pseudo-intellectuals (college professors, journalists, political activists, etc) use words as weapons, rather than as ways to get at the truth. There is too much of that in journalism and the blogosphere as it is.

Saturday, 01 May, 2010  
Blogger Nature Creek Farm said...

BP has publicly admitted that 5,000 barrels are likely being injected into ocean waters each day -- but at a closed-doors congressional hearing on Tuesday, executives admitted that as many as 60,000 barrels may be contaminating the Gulf daily.


Thursday, 06 May, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

That is not a credible number, NCF. BP spokespersons have said that if all current impediments to oil flow were removed, the well might possibly gush at 60,000 barrels a day. Not that it would. And it has certainly not done so up until now.

Words must be transferred carefully. Our pseudo intelligentsia is destroying its own credibility through sloppy use of words and evidence.

Friday, 07 May, 2010  
Blogger ADVILL said...

The amount of oil can be determined by calculation, using the diameter of the pipe applying a Bernoulli calculation you will have the maximum theoretical flow, now you have a portion og gas that is also being expelled that means that between 20 and 60% of volume is gas....there is you range of oil pollution.

Friday, 14 May, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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