How to stop the BP oil spill: What else can be tried now?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Flopper, May 3, 2010.

  1. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    "BP has failed to manually shut the blowout preventer, and it could take three months to drill a relief well. Before then, BP will try to put a giant hood over the leaking wellhead, or perhaps even install a second preventer. But no short-term options have a proven track record to stop an oil spill."
    How to stop the BP oil spill: What else can be tried now? - CSMonitor.com

    It is obvious that BP does not know how to stop the oil flow. They can't shut the blowout preventer. The giant hood over the wellhead has never been tested so it may not work. They say they may try to install a second blowout preventer or maybe they will drill another well which will take three months, or maybe longer. Meanwhile, 210,000 gallons of crude oil are spilling into the gulf each day with no end in sight. The Wall Street Journal reports the cost to BP of the cleanup may exceed 8 billion. The cost to the seafood industry and tourism will be huge particularly if the oil is picked up by the gulf stream and it hits Florida beeches and reefs.

    Drillers should be required to develop workable tested methods and procedures to cut off oil flow in a disaster. If they can cut off oil flow at surface, they should be able cut it off at the base of the well. Yep, that means government regulations. Comments?
     
  2. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Not an unreasonable regulation: A workable system to shut off the oil at the base of the well ought to be required, and it should be tested as soon as the well goes into operation. A collapsing well casing could do damage to that even after it was tested, making it inoperable, so perhaps a way of causing the casing to snap off under stress when a collapse occurs should be part of the fail-safe system.

    Drilling a well nearby to siphon off the oil from the first well seems to be a hopeless effort, in that it would only reduce the pressure, maybe only by half, not eliminate it. In the new well the pressure to push the oil to the surface would be greater than at the ruptured well head, which only dumps the oil into the water at depth.

    The giant hood is problematic in that a lot of collapsed well casing may clutter the site at depth, making it impractical to form an effective prophylactic. It's worth the effort, in any case. I suppose that recon robot subs would reveal that situation?

    We get one third of our (own?) oil from the Gulf, and we have to have it. No matter how much he hedged it, the president just recently announced new oil platform lease permissions, as did Schwarzenegger in California. A sense of or an appearance of hysteria over this situation will result in higher gasoline prices and maybe effect a double dip to the present recession which seems to be just now ending. These are situations the president and his party will not benefit from with mid-term elections in just six months.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  3. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    I think the review of the leases was to be expected. Obama had to do something beside fly over the oil spill.

    Talk about bad luck. Less that 30 days after Obama approves the leases, we get a major oil spill.
     

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