• Re: Update on BP's top kill efforts, now largest spill in US History

    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock View Post
    I'm beginning to doubt BP will ever get another chance to drill a well in waters this deep. So we may never know what changing any "drilling procedures" would accomplish. Sounds like maybe the "relief well by August" is being very optimistic. What happens if that does not work? How long will this thing gush? Years? Decades?
    I would be happy to take the other side of that bet. I don't have any difficulty imagining there will be more deepwater rigs drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico five years from now than there were just before the Deepwater Horizon ignited. As the cheap supply of oil depletes it has become a difficult and dangerous job to find more of the stuff. The citizens of the USA may finally be starting to understand that...some day maybe their politicians will catch up with them.

    The current ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico makes some sense because there are simply not enough resources in the industry and the government agencies to deal with a second simultaneous serious offshore incident at the moment. But a complete and permanent ban on drilling in the basin that supplies 10% of USA daily consumption of both crude oil and natural gas would be another matter entirely. I do not see that happening.

    As for how long it keeps flowing, the relief well is the best shot and will be tried more than once if necessary. Also, the collapsed marine riser is attached to a high pressure fitting on the top of the wellhead/BOP stack, so removing the riser [either cutting it off, or using the remote underwater robot vehicles to unbolt the flange] and positioning a second BOP or new riser manifold connection is still an option. The reason this hasn't yet been attempted is because the current thinking is the riser is acting as a choke and limiting the flow to a large degree, and therefore removing it will likely increase the flow measurably...which means if they are subsequently unable to position the BOP or new marine riser they will have a bigger problem on their hands. As I said...difficult and dangerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock View Post
    More like Chernobyl if this continues. But I really don't see what Obama has to do with it. I doubt any human effort could contain a spill of this magnitude. And I have not heard any evidence that his administration was regulating drilling any differently than previous ones.
    Chernobyl didn't stop the world from continuing to build nuclear reactors. The Macondo blowout won't stop the world, including BP, from drilling deepwater offshore wells.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Update on BP's top kill efforts, now largest spill in US History started by jtabeb View original post
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