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#1175250 --- 04/26/10 07:36 PM Drill baby drill
kyle585 Offline
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/26/AR2010042602516.html

Oil leak from sunken rig could hurt Gulf Coast

By CAIN BURDEAU
The Associated Press
Monday, April 26, 2010; 2:24 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- Oil leaking from a sunken drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico oozed slowly toward the coast Monday, endangering hundreds of miles of marshes, barrier islands and white sand beaches in four states from Louisiana to Florida.

The areas, home to dolphins, sea birds, prime fishing grounds and tourist playlands, could be fouled later this week if crews can't cut off an estimated 42,000 gallons a day escaping two leaks in a drilling pipe about 5,000 feet below the surface.

The rig Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP Plc., exploded April 20 and sank two days later about 40 miles off the Mississippi River delta. Eleven of the 126 workers on board at the time are missing and presumed dead; the rest escaped. The cause of the explosion has not been determined and oil has been leaking ever since.

As of Monday afternoon, it covered an area that was 48 miles long by 39 miles wide.
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#1175591 --- 04/27/10 07:51 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
kyle585 Offline
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Oil spill: Gulf of Mexico disaster 'growing by the moment'

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has tripled in size in 24 hours.

Company officials remain confident that they can contain it before it hits land, but environmentalists are increasingly doubtful.

Capping the renegade wellhead spewing 42,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico will take an unprecedented effort by British Petroleum and federal agencies, who face mounting difficulties to contain the oil spill that threatens both environmental and political disaster.

"If this doesn't give somebody pause, there's something wrong," Florida Gov. Charlie Crist tells the Miami Herald.
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#1175616 --- 04/27/10 11:13 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
kyle585 Offline
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By Steve Hargreaves, Senior writerApril 27, 2010: 5:34 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Coast Guard officials are considering setting the Gulf of Mexico oil slick on fire as it moved Tuesday to within 20 miles of sensitive ecological areas in the Mississippi River Delta.

Officials say it could become one of worst spills in U.S. history.
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#1175617 --- 04/27/10 11:17 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
kyle585 Offline
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill,_baby,_drill

"Drill, Baby, Drill!" was a 2008 Republican campaign slogan originally used at the 2008 Republican National Convention by former Maryland Lieutenant Governor, current RNC chairman Michael Steele.

On October 2, 2008, at the Vice Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, "drill, baby, drill" reached a new prominence. Joe Biden, referring to the energy crisis and McCain's 20 votes against funding solar and wind energy, stated that McCain thinks "the only answer is drill, drill, drill. Drill we must, but it will take 10 years for one drop of oil to come out of any of the wells that are going to be drilled." Palin responded by saying, "The chant is 'drill, baby, drill.' And that's what we hear all across this country in our rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into."
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#1175631 --- 04/28/10 01:07 AM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
Phoenix Offline
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Let's hurry up and get drilling in ANWR.
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#1176089 --- 04/29/10 08:05 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: Phoenix]
kyle585 Offline
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By James Eng
Senior editor
msnbc.com

The oil leak triggered by a deadly rig blast off the coast of Louisiana has the potential to cause more environmental damage than the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, one of the largest ecological disasters ever recorded, some observers say.

"As it is now, it's already looking like this could be the worst oil spill since the Valdez," John Hocevar, oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA, told msnbc.com on Thursday.

"It’s quite possible this will end up being worse than the Valdez in terms of environmental impact since it seems like BP will be unable to cap the spill for months. In terms of total quantity of oil released, it seems this will probably fall short of Exxon Valdez.
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#1176113 --- 04/29/10 09:19 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
Festis Offline
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#1176175 --- 04/30/10 12:16 AM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: Festis]
woodsman Offline
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It's interesting than none of the drill-happy conservative/independents have any comments about this....
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#1176181 --- 04/30/10 12:49 AM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: woodsman]
Fud P Offline
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#1176250 --- 04/30/10 09:08 AM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: woodsman]
Ranger Offline
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Originally Posted By: woodsman
It's interesting than none of the drill-happy conservative/independents have any comments about this....


It would be nice to know what cause this in the first place. To know what to comment on ;\) Was it the fault of the company, an accident, negligence, or a group trying to keep us from erecting more of these platforms. Will we ever know, does anyone already know? Will we ever find out? I suppose we will have to withhold comments until the time someone can determine what happen to cause this in the first place.
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#1176272 --- 04/30/10 11:42 AM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: Ranger]
woodsman Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ranger
It would be nice to know what cause this in the first place. To know what to comment on ;\) Was it the fault of the company, an accident, negligence, or a group trying to keep us from erecting more of these platforms. Will we ever know, does anyone already know? Will we ever find out? I suppose we will have to withhold comments until the time someone can determine what happen to cause this in the first place.


All very good points. But no matter what the reason is, there would be no spills if we weren't drilling in the first place- you never hear about a solar energy spill or *gasp* a water spill!

http://waterpoweredcar.com/

I'm not saying that we can end our dependence on fossil fuels tomorrow or in a decade, but now is the time to begin weaning ourselves from ridiculous (and finite) energy sources. There's no good reason not to.
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#1176273 --- 04/30/10 11:47 AM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: woodsman]
woodsman Offline
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Loc: Ovid/Ithaca
...and don't get me wrong- I'm not sure that a water-powered car is such a good idea either (in the long run), but there are other options- we just need to start investing in finding alternatives. The more, the better- a world running on 1,000 energy sources is a lot more peaceful than a world running on a few more than a dozen.
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#1176511 --- 05/01/10 06:59 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: woodsman]
kyle585 Offline
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http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fix-20100501,0,5376328.story

By Jill Leovy

April 30, 2010 | 4:42 p.m.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico presents BP Exploration and Production with a problem of unprecedented severity — a limitless gush in very deep waters — forcing the London-based company to grasp for fixes that have never been tried before.

The problem with the April 20 spill is that it isn't really a spill: It‘s a gush, like an underwater oil volcano. A hot column of oil and gas is spurting into freezing, black waters nearly a mile down, where the pressure nears a ton per inch, impossible for divers to endure. Experts call it a continuous, round-the-clock calamity, unlike a leaking tanker, which might empty in hours or days.

"Everything about it is unprecedented," said geochemist Christopher Reddy, an oil-spill expert and head of the Coastal Ocean Institute at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. "All our knowledge is based on a one-shot event…. With this, we don't know when it's going to stop."

Accidents have occurred before in which oil has gushed from damaged wells, he said. But he knew of none in water so deep.


And "everything is bigger and more difficult the deeper you go," said Andy Bowen, a research specialist who works with undersea robotics at the Woods Hole center. "Fighting gravity is tough. It increases loads. You need bigger winches, bigger cables, bigger ships."

An analogy, he said, is the difference between construction work on the ground versus at the top of a mile-high skyscraper.

To BP falls the daunting task of trying to stop the gush before it becomes the most damaging spill in American history. If the flow is not stopped, it will exhaust the natural reservoir of oil beneath the sea floor, experts say. Many months, at least, could pass.

The company is working on three fronts at once.

Two options for blocking the flow are difficult, but at least rely on conventional technology. A third option — corralling the plume of oil and diverting it into a processing ship's hold — "has never been done in that depth and is stretching the boundaries," said BP spokesman Daren Beaudo.

But BP has no choice. Failure to stop the flow of oil from the sea bottom could undercut all other efforts underway to combat the spill, said Reddy.

Planning, training and experience with other oil spills has produced a "crack team" of spill fighters working with boats and booms combating the slick on the surface, Reddy said. But unless the well underwater stops belching oil, all that expertise will be overwhelmed by a growing toxic mat spreading across the gulf. "The responders can only do so much," he said.

The April 20 accident 50 miles off the Louisiana coast is presumed to have killed 11 people. It occurred 5,000 feet under the sea — many times deeper, for example, than any platform now drilling off the California coast.

A Transocean oil rig hired by BP had just explored a new oil deposit and was preparing to cement shut the well it had bored so that it could later be opened for production.

It's not clear how the explosion happened. But industry experts say natural gas mixed with oil may have leaked up the long "riser," or pipe, used to encase the drill and extract mud from the well. Natural gas expands as it is released from the seafloor and flows up. It can easily spark and explode.

In the disaster that followed, the rig sank, and the riser bent and broke in at least two places. Key to the catastrophe was the failure of a "blowout preventer" sitting on the seafloor on top of the well. This heavy contraption of valves and hydraulics failed to perform its most important function: shutting a valve to prevent oil from escaping. BP officials say they believe there was an attempt to activate emergency systems, but the systems didn't work.

The result is what Reddy called "an upside-down faucet, just open and running out."

BP's first deployed robotic submarines to shut the valve. This the quickest fix. If the people operating the robots could shut the blowout preventer, it would block the top of the well.

The submarines use technology similar to NASA rovers on Mars. A tether connects them to a nearby ship where operators steer them from a control room. The operators are highly skilled, and the subs have robotic arms, so agile and delicate "they could give you three stitches on your forehead," Reddy said.

But experts say conditions for this work are profoundly difficult. The robots are charged with complex, unplanned mechanical work in deep seas next to a whirl of rising oil. Even if their lights can illuminate more than a couple dozen feet, the subs may be knocked around, and must dodge broken wreckage at the same time.

"The biggest hazard is having a robot become entangled in debris, pipes and cable," said Bowen. "This is a huge industrial accident, and that makes it very difficult for them to operate from above."

In any case, days have passed, and hope is waning that the robot mechanics will succeed.

So BP is working on two other plans, one relying on conventional technology. Another hole would be drilled into the seafloor near the accident site. Heavy material and cement would then be squirted into the new hole in an attempt to plug up the reservoir. But this process could drag on for 90 days, BP officials say.

So workers in Port Fourchon, La., are working on an unproven concept: They are constructing three large "subsea oil collection" systems. These are essentially 40-foot-tall steel boxes that BP plans to lower over the gushing sources in order to contain the oil and channel it up through pipes to a waiting processing ship.

The ship, called the Enterprise, is already being prepared in the gulf, and one of the three chambers has already been completed by Wild Well Control, an oil-disaster response company.

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But considerable technical difficulties lie ahead. The huge chambers must be lowered in place and the pipes suspended and properly positioned. BP has successfully used this strategy against shallow water leaks after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, officials said. But in deep water, "it has never been done," Beaudo said.

The engineers are designing the new system without exact knowledge of the flow and force of the oil. Buoyancy and heat will force the oil upward, said David Valentine, a geochemist at UC Santa Barbara. But there is danger of pressure building in the chamber as the oil gushes in. Or oil that is mixed with gas might cool too quickly as it rises, stiffen, and clog the pipes, Valentine said.

BP said it will take two to four more weeks to build and install the collection systems. Until it stops the gush, the company's liability "is essentially unlimited," Bowen said.

And once the emergency abates, BP faces tough questions. Oil industry experts this week compared the accident to a plane crash or space shuttle disaster that may have been the result of a cascading chain of mishaps. There are supposed to be safeguards: sensors that detect changes in pressure, cross-checking protocols, emergency response systems, and people monitoring everything 24 hours a day aboard the rig and by satellite.

"We are all very curious," said an industry source who asked not to be identified because he worked for a rival oil company. "What happened to all that equipment, all the computer power, all the automated systems and manpower in place, could not be invoked to stop this?"


The assumption is that an oil-rig perfect storm occurred, very quickly. "There would have been a dozen barriers that had to fail in order for this accident to happen," said Tim Robertson, an oil-spill consultant with Nuka Research and Planning Group in Alaska.

Perhaps the biggest question, to experts, is why the blowout preventer valves didn't shut. The huge device, which caps the well, is equipped with emergency systems, including a "dead man's switch," a device of last resort that is supposed to be fail-safe.


Edited by kyle585 (05/01/10 07:13 PM)
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#1176512 --- 05/01/10 07:17 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
kyle585 Offline
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Registered: 02/18/09
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Loc: Somewhere out there
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=10526527

The surface area of a catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill quickly tripled in size amid growing fears among experts that the slick could become vastly more devastating than it seemed just two days ago.
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#1176515 --- 05/01/10 07:26 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
Josephus Offline
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I haven't looked, but I have to imagine that BPs stock is dropping faster than a plummeting roller coaster.
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#1176516 --- 05/01/10 07:26 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
Ayuveda Offline
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Sickening.
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#1176519 --- 05/01/10 07:48 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: kyle585]
Josephus Offline
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Last night Bill Maher said that those who were shouting "Drill baby, drill!" at those campaign rallies should be forced to go to the gulf coast and begin soaking up all that spilled oil... using their "Drill baby, drill" T-shirts.

He also placed a great deal of blame on Obama for even allowing the drilling in the gulf to take place.
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#1176536 --- 05/01/10 08:00 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: Josephus]
Animal Lover Offline
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There have been thousands of platforms in the Gulf Coast long before President Obama.

I can see questioning the off-shore drilling that he has recently approved of, but "allowing the drilling in the gulf"?

It isn't really something he could stop, is it?

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#1176540 --- 05/01/10 08:04 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: Animal Lover]
Josephus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Animal Lover
There have been thousands of platforms in the Gulf Coast long before President Obama.

I can see questioning the off-shore drilling that he has recently approved of, but "allowing the drilling in the gulf"?

It isn't really something he could stop, is it?

It was the recent decision to allow increased drilling he was speaking of.
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#1176545 --- 05/01/10 08:09 PM Re: Drill baby drill [Re: Josephus]
Animal Lover Offline
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Got it.

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