Abiding Ado About Oil

This Friday engineers are attempting to cap the oil well. In the comments are the latest updates. To watch all of the spillcams at once, click here or click here and finally here.

This process is ongoing and even if it fails, frankly there is no other option but to continue trying to cap the oil spill. Below is an animation of the process:



Firstly folks, pay attention to engineers and experts. There is a lot of noise out there on the oil spill and frankly in watching the spill cams, I periodically shout out loud what a bitch! In other words, it's clear this is exceedingly technically difficult. See these previous posts on the oil disaster, Even More Ado About Oil, More Ado About Oil and Much Ado About Oil for some of the technical problems in engineering 1 mile below the sea.

Just to show you if this latest attempt fails, engineers clearly plan more efforts. They literally have put concrete on the sea bed floor to lay all of their tools around. As you can imagine, needing to lower a saw a mile down in the ocean isn't exactly immediate access to it when needed. The engineers have at least 5 different caps on the sea floor currently to try to get a good fit over the pipe gushing oil. Be patient.



We also have new animated projections of the spread of the spill.



The true economic impact is starting to show as well as the environment damage. I won't display the many horrific videos and images of birds coated in oil, dying, smothering, fish dying and people losing hope.

Currently various groups are working on economic impact reports. They vary from $1 billion to $70 billion, all assuredly low-balled. The true economic impact is dependent upon the spill rate, the continuing flow and the total amount of oil leaked. Additionally it is dependent upon ocean currents as well as public perceptions (tourism). Most critical on economic impact is the clean up effectiveness and response time. It's possible the spill will cause a double dip recession.

The Democratic Policy Committee put out a snapshot last week pegging the Louisiana commercial fishing economy at $2.4 billion and the Florida tourism industry at $60 billion. The document said economic damage "will be significant," citing reports of 70 percent declines in hotel occupancy along the Florida panhandle over Memorial Day and other signals that tourists are being spooked.

In the interim, let's just hope more boats scour and shower for oil soaked animals and life that can be saved.

The first relief well was at 12,090 feet yesterday, supposedly on track to be completed by early August. The relief wells are the known permanent solution to stop the leaking oil.

Another site covering the spill source containment efforts is The Oil Drum and they are moderating the comments to keep the noise down.

Consider this post the oil open thread.



more CNN insanity

I'm assuredly not defending BP and it's clear their lawyers are running the show when it should be the engineers, but that said, I just watched it claimed the diameter of the pipe, before the cap, after cutting off the riser was the size of a large garbage can in diameter. They didn't give the trash can dimensions at all. It looked like a 55 gal, but could have been a 32 gal. The diameter for a 55 gal is about 27", depends on the design, a 32 gal is 24" minimum.

Big problem, neither match the riser pipe internal diameter, it's 18" inner to about 21" BOP dimensions here.

That's huge, that's a foot and a half, so why exaggerate?

CNN is also giving barrels per day numbers of 250,000 reading from some BP worst case scenario document but I doubt that is just one well after reading about well capacity they are quoting. I don't think one well could even produce that much.

BP's worst case with the entire well blowing out at the base was 160,000 bpd and that's questionable too on what conditions they are referring to. Supposedly this well's max is 100,000 bpd

What I don't get is they were shutting this well down in the first place. 100,000 barrels is a lot of oil.

It's pretty obviously bad and BP should just fire the attorneys, at least when it comes to anything environmental or science and put the engineers in charge.

But all of this swirling misinformation is getting ridiculous.

now moving in yet another plan to burn some

I really hope these engineers are being careful as hell. There is so much misinformation, from every direction and what is getting lost is this shit is volatile...it's like people are forgetting the damn thing blew up in the first place and MELTED a massive steel structure. Now BP is saying they will take more oil, move it to another ship and burn it off. This is in addition to current rigs and bringing in another platform to handle the rate.

They already are burning off massive gas....

Yet the pressures are enormous and frankly that's when engineers make mistakes.

It's also coming out that not only was top kill stupid, it probably increased the leak.

Then, there are massive underwater plumes, which we mentioned and even worse, there are leaks going back all the way to 2006 Hurricane season.

DeepWater Horizon Production Estimates - 100K to 250K Suspicious

Current U.S. Consumption runs 18.4 million BPD. Production is 40 percent of that number or about 7.5 Million BPD. If the upper end number CNN is using is correct, 250K BPD, would be 3 percent of U.S. production on a daily basis.Nonsense.
CNN empty suits can't do math or economics, that's how they fired Lou, their best economist, who spoke truth to power.

Burton Leed

max capacity of a well with no BOP, just hole in the ground

I've been trying to find out what is the maximum flow rate of that well with no BOP, just a hole in the ground and have yet to find that number. What is the maximum of any oil well?

But I agree, that was bogus to throw out that number and it's clear CNN just is kind of this inbred group who cannot add up two numbers. Of course there is way worse on cable. Chris Matthews, he's one to never let the trivial pass by, pounds on that daily and when there is something serious on, his lack of comprehension shows. Keith Olbermann, rant du jour without substance, surprise, he's a sports writer and I suspect a misogynist to boot. List goes on. Even Dylan Ratigan, who I like, has just had on the endorsed punditry without doing his fact checking. We need more Bill Moyers, who is obviously partisan but he sure as hell does his homework.

Lou Dobbs was attacked by the illegal alien lobby, who will do campaigns against anyone who speaks out on illegal immigration. Dobbs made mistakes on air too, some notorious, and some of those rants, I personally cringed, but he did have better, more accurate numbers most of the time on anything economic and he pulled in a lot of experts, except towards the end, he was getting these glorified conservatives with their numbers spin on that show.

CNN claims to be "objective" and what they really are is vague, a lot of noise and inaccuracies. This seems to be a problem overall with Journalism. To do your homework takes time and skill, esp. these days.

processing ship for more oil collection - 2 weeks(?) to arrive

BP is bringing in ships article here to process more oil and burn more gas. These things are massive. The report is one at least will be in the Bahamas by Friday and how long from there to get to the deepwater horizon site, I don't know, a week, 5 days?

These things only go about 14 knots, they are huge, so it takes time to move around the ocean.

Somebody screwed up obviously in their estimates but this did deploy last Wednesday so it's not like they waited, odds are more didn't buy into their own engineering or maybe their is internal denial on the real spill rate too.

Now there is this massive argument and news confusion over plumes and more oil.

I don't get this, the thing is a friggin' disaster, that's with the real diameters of the pipes and the real flow, so why they are arguing and reporting more misinformation is just clogging the system here.

I'm seeing reports claiming BP refuses to give oil samples to NOAA. That is absurd, all NOAA has to do is scoop up some around the site or go to any processing facility who is refining the already collected oil from the main site.

BP executives are out there in pure denial on plumes, isn't that stupid, they exist, it's obvious they exist. The question is their density, their origin and their volume.

So, we have misinformation coming from every direction. They need to muzzle the reporters, attorneys, executives and politicians and only put on the engineers.

We also have a real issue with bacteria eating the broken oil. That's all great except for one thing, this stuff sucks up oxygen. Now the Gulf has had problems dead zones, plumes of algae and all sorts of nasty before all of this, so oxygen depletion isn't something new, but assuredly is something that could add to the Gulf problems in a huge way.

The capture rate is now at 15,000 bbl per day or bpd which is the maximum capacity of the current collection system.

BP is claiming this will up production to 28,000 bbl per day or bpd. I'm seeing gallons getting confused with oil barrels out in the MSM again. OMG these numbers just FREAK ME OUT! Sic, typical reporter...

anywho, it's 42 gallons per oil barrel and considering the massive amounts of oil it's easier to look at barrels.

What is becoming scary is the production mess. They have massive gas, which they are burning off, they are now needing separators of gas, oil and water, on boats, in the middle of a nasty oil slick. They have government breathing down their necks.

Frankly I worry about safety. Not like BP ever cut corners on safety! But the politicians, the press and the rest of it is where pressures can result into disastrous decisions.

They should put a muzzle on everyone who doesn't have at least a Bachelors in Engineering (sans BP CEO). The rumor noise is on maximum volume.

If you look at spillcam it's clear they tightened some things on the cap, even though they are at maximum capacity for collection. You can periodically see the cap through the oil gush around it and you can routinely see the fins of the cap now.

another good source of information

Is this oil production industry niche online newspaper, Upstreamonline.com.

The DOE put up some data on the well and the interior casings are described to have a 16" diameter. So, once again this trash can diameter analogy is pure folly on a host of fronts.

Gov. Jindal out vaccuuming

Bobby Jindal was out vacuuming oil, which it does appear there is a lot of technology just being ignored by BP that could be highly effective on clean up.

Another show did one that operates out of coastal tankers and the demo of that looked great and was used in the Kuwait (largest oil spill ever) spill in their gulf.

It truly doesn't make any sense they are not and did not deploy these technologies. Costner claims he can process 200 gal. per second in his centrifuge. That is A LOT, so let's see that puppy. Regardless all of this is better than throwing glorified towels at the oil and paper napkins and rakes.