May 18, 2010

Spilling Oil

For the longest time I wondered why the US pays top dollar to another country for oil. Oil production is messy and hazardous, how fair is it that we impose our oil buying will on others?

Then we get this oil spill off the Gulf, which is a horrible thing that needs to be stopped and cleaned up. British Petroleum being the operators have been working to stem the flow. So far they have not been able too. As I am reading I came across this "Since January 2005, inspectors issued just one minor infraction for the rig. That strong track record led the agency last year (2009) to herald the Deepwater Horizon as an industry model for safety". Then it blew up??!!

Then I read about the herculean efforts being made to stem the leakage. This boom being lowered the 6.6 miles down to cap and siphon off the oil. Around 1/5th of the leak... Which begs the question, why drill 6.6 miles when we have access in much, MUCH shallower water? Of course it is the government regulations and the environmentalist mindset that makes it nigh impossible to provide our own oil for our own use.

The MSM is reporting doom story after doom story. Typically focusing on the worst case scenario. Although, some are reporting on where the disaster actually is located. Many invoking the Exxon Valdez proportions.

Which brought to my mind the reports that the ocean is self cleaning. And the technology for mitigation is impressive as well.
Booms -- Floating barriers placed around the oil or around whatever is leaking the oil.
Skimmers -- Boats, vacuum machines, and oil-absorbent plastic ropes that skim spilled oil from the water's surface after booms have it corralled.
Chemical dispersants -- Materials that break down the oil into its chemical constituents. This helps disperse the oil and make it less harmful to wildlife and shorelines.

Yes its bad, its location makes it worse. It is a good that they are trying to mitigate. Lets hope they get containment and cleanup done quickly.

1 comment:

flyingvan said...

I was led to believe we are almost out of oil. We've used it all up. How can it be that a single leaking well will spew enough oil to destroy thousands of miles of coastline? Being a bear of little brain, I don't understand such things.