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Giant Plumes Of Oil Forming Under The Gulf - Economic Impact Going To Be Greater?

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html?ref=business

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. “If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months,” she said Saturday. “That is alarming.”

The plumes were discovered by scientists from several universities working aboard the research vessel Pelican, which sailed from Cocodrie, La., on May 3 and has gathered extensive samples and information about the disaster in the gulf.

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.

BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.

“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.”

The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.

When this was first mentioned on here, people where hoping it was a nut job post that no way could it be as bad as suggested.

I've seen comments on the oil drum saying that some of these high estimates where just crazy talk.

It would appear that the crazies have it, much like when the financial crisis kicked off several years ago people who said it was coming were crazy. Well it appears we are all crazy now.

The clean up bill for this is going to be huge by the looks of things.

Can BP afford this, can the insurers?

Still at least the recovery is locked in.

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http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6464

NPR is now reporting that the oil spill could be 70,000 barrels of oil a day, which is considerably greater than the estimate of 5,000 barrels per day currently being reported. What is the view of Oil Drum readers regarding the likelihood of the higher estimate being accurate? According to the story:

The analysis was conducted by Steve Werely, an associate professor at Purdue University, using a technique called particle image velocimetry. Harris tells Michele Norris that the method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent. That means the flow could range between 56,000 barrels a day and 84,000 barrels a day.

Another analysis by Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated the rate of flow to be between 20,000 barrels a day and 100,000 barrels a day.

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The clean up bill for this is going to be huge by the looks of things.

It would be a blessing if there were a bill that could be paid to clean it up. There is no cleaning it up.

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Makes sense to me. This is highly productive well from a sizeable oil field. One of the early quotes was that there was no chance that the pressure in the well would naturally drop to slow the flow of oil. Crumbs.

Good info

The relief well is the best chance IMVHO but they seem to be having problems.

Not sure about shooting golf balls into it though :blink:

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Not sure about shooting golf balls into it though :blink:

How about trying with some Goldman executives? They'd wedge in quite nicely. We'd all stand to make a net profit from it too.

Edited by Fraccy

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How about trying with some Goldman executives? They'd wedge in quite nicely.

Apparently it needs to be something that, whilst hard on the surface, is squidgy under pressure.

You may just have something there. B)

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Is this going to take out BP?

Will BP go bust from this?

Based on the figure of $10 billion, no, but will obviously be a big dent in future investment and harm them significantly long term.

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It would be a blessing if there were a bill that could be paid to clean it up. There is no cleaning it up.

No but BP could pay everyone effected by it enough money that they never have to work again.

Officially, BP is only liable for $75m max. As a goodwill gesture, and to ensure they get to drill in future, they've been offering to pay much much more.

If it looks like the bill will be too big or they wont get to drill anymore anyway, chances are BP will post a cheque for £75m and tell the US to take a running jump.

The US gov is looking to pass a (totally unconstitutional) RETROSPECTIVE LAW to make BP liable to UNLIMITED COSTS ranging from cleanup costs, to compensation for fishermen, to people who are loosing enjoyment due to being unable to swim on the beach, to payments to the US gov to cover any unemployment cheques caused by it. Basically they are looking to pass a law to open up BP to unlimited claims from anyone who feels like it with no possible defense... they jus have to pay.

The politicians see an opportunity to blame all the countries economic problems on a foreign company, and the lawyers are slavering at the gills to fill their boots knowing their cut will be a 3rd of anything paid out.

BP is toast, and the whole US oil industry is about to be turned on it's head.

If the law passes, I can see BP putting all their assets where the US can't get to them (if they haven't already) and simply walking away and letting the well bleed oil. If the US gov screws BP over with the new law, there is no reason for BP to continue the clean-up. Management will resign and blame each other.

Edited by TaxAbuserOfTheWeek

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How about trying with some Goldman executives? They'd wedge in quite nicely. We'd all stand to make a net profit from it too.

Nah. Vampire squids thrive in murky water.

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Breaking News on the BBC - BP have begun pumping oil from the leak to a tanker so I assume they have managed to put a pipe into their broken pipe.

BP - buy buy buy !

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If they cripple BP over this blowout then they could bring deep water oil exploration to a shuddering halt anywhere within range of an American lawyer. Just what the world's biggest oil guzzler needs as peak oil looms. Wonder if the Arctic will still be fair game?

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Makes sense to me. This is highly productive well from a sizeable oil field. One of the early quotes was that there was no chance that the pressure in the well would naturally drop to slow the flow of oil. Crumbs.

Good info

The relief well is the best chance IMVHO but they seem to be having problems.

Not sure about shooting golf balls into it though :blink:

Tiger Woods may have a useful purpose, apart from banging strippers and cocktail waitresses, after all.

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There is a US statutory cap on liability of £50m which BP won't even notice.

All BP need to do is make teh right noises and pay some additional voluntary coontributions and they're fine.

Of course they could agree to waive that statutory limit. If they were absolutely mental that is.

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It's looking increasingly like the biggest ever single-event man-made ecological disaster, ahead even of the WW2 atomic bombs. Not in human terms of course, but in damage to life on Earth.

Best outcome now is a big re-evaluation of the oil industry, and safety standards something closer to what is rightly imposed on the nuclear industry. Oil rising ... $1k/barrel ... $10k/barrel ...

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Guest sillybear2

Hobble BP for being foreign, then feed their addiction with Arab oil in its place, yeah, nice move!

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Hobble BP for being foreign, then feed their addiction with Arab oil in its place, yeah, nice move!

Simple protectionism in a time of financial crisis – anything not originating in or being monopolised by the good ‘ol US of A gets slammed (see also Toyota).

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Simple protectionism in a time of financial crisis – anything not originating in or being monopolised by the good ‘ol US of A gets slammed (see also Toyota).

Financial crisis not required. See for example RIM (makers of Blackberry mobile phones), who got massively shafted by US pirates before hard times came upon us.

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Guest Noodle

Financial crisis not required. See for example RIM (makers of Blackberry mobile phones), who got massively shafted by US pirates before hard times came upon us.

I thought RIM won that?

Had no effect. Every American has a Blackberry.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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