Monday, June 21, 2010

BP: Oil Drum blogger’s forecast:
Worse than dismal

Discovered, by way of the indispensable Mother Jones, a comment thread in The Oil Drum, a blog and forum populated by, among others, oil industry professionals. On June 16, one Dougr, ventured a scenario for nothing less than a toxic apocalypse, a dire narrative rendered in language whose clarity and seeming logic give rise to the unthinkable: the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may well be uncontainable.

Read the verbatim excerpts below. Think. Then cry. And hope like hell Dougr is wrong.
"All the actions and few tidbits of information all lead to one inescapable conclusion. The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. Now you have some real data of how BP's actions are evidence of that, as well as some murky statement from ‘BP officials’ confirming the same.

"To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, [the failure of Top Kill] was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.

"What does this mean?

"It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the [blowout perventer] ...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad, same dynamics. ...

"Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed.....and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it ...

"A down hole leak is dangerous and damaging for several reasons. There will be erosion throughout the entire beat up, beat on and beat down remainder of the "system" including that inaccessible leak. ...

"This down hole leak will undermine the foundation of the seabed in and around the well area. It also weakens the only thing holding up the massive Blow Out Preventer's immense bulk of 450 tons. In fact?...we are beginning to [see] the results of the well's total integrity beginning to fail due to the undermining being caused by the leaking well bore. ...

“If and when you begin to see oil and gas coming up around the well area from under the [blowout preventer] or the area around the well head connection and casing sinking more and more rapidly ...it won't be too long after that the entire system fails. BP must be aware of this, they are mapping the sea floor sonically and that is not a mere exercise. Our Gov't must be well aware too, they just are not telling us.

"All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit...after that, it goes into the realm of "the worst things you can think of" The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out...as I said...all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn't any "cap dome" or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. ...

It's a race now...a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up its last gasp in a horrific crescendo.

"We are not even 2 months into it, barely halfway by even optimistic estimates. The damage done by the leaked oil now is virtually immeasurable already and it will not get better, it can only get worse. No matter how much they can collect, there will still be thousands and thousands of gallons leaking out every minute, every hour of every day. We have 2 months left before the relief wells are even near in position and set up to take a kill shot and that is being optimistic ...

"Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. ...”

Image credits: Top: BP live feed image. BP logo: BP plc. Oily hands, Venice Beach, La.: source unknown.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...