Friday, July 16, 2010
Let's call a moratorium on all the stupid things we have been hearing since the BP disaster.
Here are a few of the things that need to be held up to the light of day as incredibly stupid:
1) This is the worst environmental disaster in the history of the world.
This well has been flowing gas and condensate/oil at rates up to 100 mmcf and 50,000 bbls per day. That's a lot of gas and a lot of condensate/oil. The condensate/oil appears to be high gravity, with little or no asphaltenes - basically paraffin based high gravity fluid much like diesel. Exxon's Alaska tanker spill was of heavy asphaltic bunker-like crude that hit very cold water and paved the rocky shoreline with a thick black soup that would not go away. The BP spill is dissipating at contact with the air and a residual orange sludge is making its way to some shores and will be gone in a year.
2) The pristine marsh and wetlands are being destroyed.
The marsh grass has been stained by the residual sludge from the spill and the first few feet of grass is brown and thick with the sludge - in a very few places. This sludged-up grass is acting as mother nature's boom and is preventing further oil from going deeper into the marsh. This oil is decayed organic material - altered by extreme temperatures and pressures - but still organic. Other organisms will eat it and it will be gone in a year.
3) BP finally got a "cap" on the well that is working.
This is not a cap. It is simply a blowout preventer bolted on top of the original seafloor blowout preventer. I have talked to some deepwater engineers, and they all said on day four of this disaster that the way to go was to "bolt on another blowout preventer" and shut the well in. BP has known that this is the way to go from the beginning. The concern was the integrity of the casing and the possibility of an underground or seafloor uncontrolled blowout.
What has now changed that enabled BP to go ahead with the new blowout preventer bolt on? Could it be that the Federal Government has kept them from doing this until now? If so, I hope BP has documentation to that effect - in that case, the bulk of this spill could be on the Feds.
4) How stupid is it to name a bunch of anti-drilling, environmental activists to the president's commission on deep water drilling?
Ok, it as if our president had to fire the military commander of our Afghan war and he chose a bunch of antiwar activists to run the war in his place. Stupid. Or, maybe since he had bomb making experience, our president names Bill Ayers to command the Afghan war instead of Petreaus. This is a drilling safety issue and the commission needs to be heavy on deep water drilling experience.
5) The award for stupid goes to former president Clinton for advocating "blowing up the well" or "nuking the well" as the only solution.
There's more, but this will do for a start.
Let's hope that the new "cap" holds until the relief wells do the job.
Let's hope that all displaced workers get to go back to making a living - fishermen, restaurant owners and workers, rig hands, etc........................
Finally, now that the gas/condensate/oil is not flowing into the Gulf, let's not forget the men who lost their lives in the rig explosion. Eleven men died working as American Oilmen. They lay at rest in the Deepwater Horizon rig on the Gulf floor some 1500' away from the well. That is the real tragedy. May God bless their souls. May God bless those they left behind.