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Gulf Oil May Flow Until Christmas

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BP Plc’s failure since April to plug a Gulf of Mexico oil leak has prompted forecasts the crude may continue gushing into December in what President Barack Obama has called the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

BP’s attempts so far to cap the well and plug the leak on the seabed a mile below the surface haven’t worked, while the start of the Atlantic hurricane season this week indicates storms in the Gulf may disrupt other efforts.

“The worst-case scenario is Christmas time,” Dan Pickering, the head of research at energy investor Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in Houston, said. “This process is teaching us to be skeptical of deadlines.” :blink:

Ending the year with a still-gushing well would mean about 4 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf, based on the government’s current estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels leaking a day. That would wipe out marine life deep at sea near the leak and elsewhere in the Gulf, and along hundreds of miles of coastline, said Harry Roberts, a professor of Coastal Studies at Louisiana State University.

So much crude pouring into the ocean may alter the chemistry of the sea, with unforeseeable results, said Mak Saito, an Associate Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

The so-called relief well being drilled to intercept and plug the damaged well by mid-August might miss -- as other emergency wells have done before -- requiring more time to make a second, third or fourth try, Dave Rensink, President Elect of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, said.
The ultimate worst-case scenario is that the well is never successfully plugged, said Fred Aminzadeh, a research professor at the University of Southern California’s Center for Integrated Smart Oil Fields who previously worked for Unocal Corp. That would leave the well to flow for probably more than a decade, he said in a telephone interview. :o

More likely, the relief wells will eventually succeed, though it might take longer than the three months predicted by BP, he said.

http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-02/bp-gulf-of-mexico-oil-leak-may-last-until-christmas-in-worst-case-scenario.html

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Guest sillybear2

If a well misses you don't have to start again, they have a lot of directional control over drill bit, that's why they're drilling at these depths to begin with.

"That would leave the well to flow for probably more than a decade"

That's bull$hit, it's like saving we could see a second great fire of London if fire fighters left an inferno to burn out of control and pi$$ed off on holiday for a year. These experts lose all credibility when they try and gain press attention by being as sensational as possible.

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If a well misses you don't have to start again, they have a lot of directional control over drill bit, that's why they're drilling at these depths to begin with.

"That would leave the well to flow for probably more than a decade"

That's bull$hit, it's like saving we could see a second great fire of London if fire fighters left an inferno to burn out of control and pi$$ed off on holiday for a year. These experts lose all credibility when they try and gain press attention by being as sensational as possible.

As regards missing the well, there's been discussion on this over at the oildrum, so I don't dismiss it.

As regards the oil flowing for years, please explain why this is bulls1t. After all, it is in the well under pressure.

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When ixtoc 1 blew in 1979 off Mexico, it took over 9 months to cap it. 3 million barrels, and that was in 165 ft of water

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/01/gulf-oil-spill-ixtoc-ecological-tipping-point

They even had to move some rare turtles to stop them being wiped out. 'Soverign immunity' limited Pemex's cost to $100 million:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixtoc_I_oil_spill

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Guest sillybear2

As regards missing the well, there's been discussion on this over at the oildrum, so I don't dismiss it.

As regards the oil flowing for years, please explain why this is bulls1t. After all, it is in the well under pressure.

I don't dismiss it either, but are you really telling me that even if both relief wells miss then they gonna give up after two attempts and just pi$$ off and let it flow for a decade? Come on. If they really cared so little why are they pushing ahead with a containment programme that will be in place by the end of this week?

If you want to talk about reoccurring disasters then you need to look at coal seam fires that can burn for decades, not the oil industry :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2917579.ece

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

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Guest sillybear2

Well found, that clip. And the 'top kill' didn't work either.

Where's the new Red Adair?

Here :-

pantherROV.jpg

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I don't dismiss it either, but are you really telling me that even if both relief wells miss then they gonna give up after two attempts and just pi$$ off and let it flow for a decade? Come on. If they really cared so little why are they pushing ahead with a containment programme that will be in place by the end of this week?

If you want to talk about reoccurring disasters then you need to look at coal seam fires that can burn for decades, not the oil industry :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2917579.ece

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

I don't want to talk about ongoing disasters. I would prefer this was stopped now.

But Ixtoc took 9 months and that was only 200 feet down, and not 5000 feet.

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Guest sillybear2

I don't want to talk about ongoing disasters. I would prefer this was stopped now.

But Ixtoc took 9 months and that was only 200 feet down, and not 5000 feet.

That was 30 years ago and a bunch of Mexicans, technology is a little more advanced, the first relief well is already 12000ft into the rock.

Don't worry, they will contain it and eventually sort it out for good, but unlike bailing out the banks this cannot be done in 24 hours by signing a bunch of blank cheques, geology and engineering doesn't work like that, hence the reason why Obama (a lawyer) doesn't quite get it, and why he's sent his people down to the gulf to see what they can do sue.

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Guest sillybear2

At least the huricanes will disperse it quite well.

By driving it deep into the marshes? :ph34r:

Hopefully most of the oil will be contained by the Deepwater Horizon Discoverer Enterprise by then and the remaining surface oil skimmed, dispersed, burnt off or evaporated.

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By driving it deep into the marshes? :ph34r:

Hopefully most of the oil will be contained by the Deepwater Horizon by then and the remaining surface oil skimmed, dispersed, burnt off or evaporated.

By dispersing it so it can biodegrade quicker.

Oil leaks happen all the time, there are creatures that thrive on it. It is good for them.

Meanwhile we have a bigger catastrophe in Cumbria that no-one on here's bothered to create a thread about :(

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Guest sillybear2

By dispersing it so it can biodegrade quicker.

Oil leaks happen all the time, there are creatures that thrive on it. It is good for them.

Meanwhile we have a bigger catastrophe in Cumbria that no-one on here's bothered to create a thread about :(

You mean lawyers?

Catastrophes are fine provided there is instant closure and resolution, that's human psychology for you.

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In an ironic twist, it turns out that BP may be forced to pay the US government $1 million or more a day in royalties for the leaking oil as the drilling lease calls for a 18.7 percent royalty fee on any oil or gas lost or wasted due to the company’s negligence.

Ouch.

And if the fall-out is higher oil prices because of the added regulatory costs likely to follow on this incident, even more royalties? A sort of lose-lose situation?

Deepwater horizon - peak oil review

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By dispersing it so it can biodegrade quicker.

Oil leaks happen all the time, there are creatures that thrive on it. It is good for them.

Meanwhile we have a bigger catastrophe in Cumbria that no-one on here's bothered to create a thread about :(

Sadly, more people will die as a result of the Gulf leak than as a result of the awful events in Cumbria today.

There are already widespread reports of people suffering from respiratory ailments as a result of benzene, hydrogen sulphide and other noxious substances far in excess of safety limits.

I would be grateful if you could tell me what creatures thrive on the toxic brew of oil and corexit which is now floating around the GOM.

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Professor Michio Kaku, author of The Physics of the Impossible, knows a thing or two about technology and engineering, and is decidedly pessimistic:

Physics professor Michio Kaku has some bad news: oil could gush from the leaking BP deepwater well for years.

After six methods for stopping the leak failed, BP is now trying a seventh method: "cut and cap." Underwater robots are attempting to trim the pipe connected to the blowout preventer -- and depending on how well the cut is made, either a "top hat" or "top cap" will be lowered from the surface which would then transport the spewing oil to a drilling ship.

The "cut and cap" method has several drawbacks. A perfect seal is thought to be almost impossible and some amount of oil will continue to leak into the Gulf. And the cap will have to be completely removed during inclement weather. The Gulf hurricane season began June 1, and it's expected to be the worst year since 2005.

If this seventh attempt fails, the next option will be to wait on one of two relief wells to intercept and block the original well. This is considered the best hope for permanently stopping the flow, but those wells won't be in place until August at the soonest. Some predict that it could take until Christmas.

But Kaku thinks that even those predictions could be too optimistic.

"You would have to win the lottery to get on the first try an exact, an exact meeting at the bottom of the well in order to pump cement to shut it off," Kaku told NBC's Matt Lauer Wednesday.

If the attempt fails, the drill will be reversed, the hole will be filled with cement and they will try again.

"You have to do this over and over again until you get it just right," Kaku said. "It takes many tries. So August is optimistic."

"So this could be spewing oil for months. Could it last for a year?" asked Lauer.

"It could last for years, plural. Okay? If everything fails and all these different kinds of relief wells don't work, it could be spewing stuff into the Gulf until we have dead zones, entire dead zones in the Gulf. For years," Kaku said.

Full story and video at: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0602/physics-professor-oil-leak-years/

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Guest anorthosite

Professor Michio Kaku, author of The Physics of the Impossible, knows a thing or two about technology and engineering, and is decidedly pessimistic:

He's always the pessimist and the sensationalist. I remember he had a go at NASA when they launched Cassini saying there was a threat from the nuclear material it was carrying.

He always comes across as a media scientist, always looking for publicity.

Oh, and I read one of his books. It was rubbish.

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He's always the pessimist and the sensationalist. I remember he had a go at NASA when they launched Cassini saying there was a threat from the nuclear material it was carrying.

He always comes across as a media scientist, always looking for publicity.

Oh, and I read one of his books. It was rubbish.

I have to disagree with you. Kaku was at Hay-on-Wye last year and if ever I heard a techno-optimist it's him. Encapsulated in The Physics of the Impossible.

Which book did you read?

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Blimey, I hope they sort this soon as I really feel for the people whose livelyhood comes from the sea/tourisium.

Could this disaster cripple BP? Do people think it's true that they've concentrated on trying to save the well rather than sealing it off ASAP. Mental as it sounds, i heard they could they use a small nuke to seal it, I presume it turns the rock into glass.

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Guest sillybear2

Blimey, I hope they sort this soon as I really feel for the people whose livelyhood comes from the sea/tourisium.

Could this disaster cripple BP? Do people think it's true that they've concentrated on trying to save the well rather than sealing it off ASAP. Mental as it sounds, i heard they could they use a small nuke to seal it, I presume it turns the rock into glass.

Nobody is interested in saving the well for production, it was never a question of that, even from day one, that well is finished for good, the only question is how to finally seal it for good. People are concerned about the integrity of the well and BOP for only one reason, so they don't make things even worse. Do people honestly think BP are able to close it down but are quite happy to leave it flowing, causing untold damage to everyone (including themselves) so they can collect a few barrels of oil and sell it for a measily $70 a barrel, never mind the fact it probably costs over >$1000 to produce given all the heavy iron involved. People are understandably angry that oil is in the gulf, yet they're also angry when it's collected... where would they rather it go? I guess rage doesn't have to be logical.

Nukes are a bad idea, oil is bad yet irradiating the gulf is better? Any warhead would fail well before the crushing depths of -5000ft anyway, nothing is designed for that, not even torpedoes or bunker busters.

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Nobody is interested in saving the well for production, it was never a question of that, even from day one, that well is finished for good, the only question is how to finally seal it for good. People are concerned about the integrity of the well and BOP for only one reason, so they don't make things even worse. Do people honestly think BP are able to close it down but are quite happy to leave it flowing, causing untold damage to everyone (including themselves) so they can collect a few barrels of oil and sell it for a measily $70 a barrel, never mind the fact it probably costs over >$1000 to produce given all the heavy iron involved. People are understandably angry that oil is in the gulf, yet they're also angry when it's collected... where would they rather it go? I guess rage doesn't have to be logical.

Nukes are a bad idea, oil is bad yet irradiating the gulf is better? Any warhead would fail well before the crushing depths of -5000ft anyway, nothing is designed for that, not even torpedoes or bunker busters.

Just wait for the hurricanes to arrive - they'll aid in dispersal. I think too many people have been crying into their tea over this, in a couple of years it'll have blown over.

Now they've said the hurricane season will be busy though, we'll probably get a quiet one :(

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Just wait for the hurricanes to arrive - they'll aid in dispersal. I think too many people have been crying into their tea over this, in a couple of years it'll have blown over.

And where do you think the toxic brew will be dispersed to? On to the land, crops, homes and so on. What an appalling prospect! :o

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  • 149 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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