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Offshore oil drilling is safe?

by MotoH
Tags: drilling, offshore, safe
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Ivan Seeking
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Jun15-10, 07:45 PM
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Provided that Obama comes through with the promises made tonight, esp the independent claims manager, he should come out of this just fine. Some of the confusion and anger was actually misdirected, and really a result of good thinking and planning. For example, there was a great deal of complaining from Gov Jindal, about not getting approvals to start the levies intended to protect the most sensitive wetlands. The fact is, had the Governer's plan been implemented, the containment efforts themselves would have killed the wetlands. It would have driven up salinity levels to the point of toxicity. So Obama's team knew what they were doing, but it looked like a failure to respond. In fact they were trying to come up with a levy design that would block the oil, without killing the wetlands by trapping the water.

Oh yes,

BP has announced plans to raise recovery capacity in phases to 80,000 barrels a day by mid-July.
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-update2-.html
turbo
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Jun15-10, 07:57 PM
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I'm quite happy that BP is willing to up its efforts and recover 80,000 bbl/day. Perhaps they can recover a fraction of the 5000 bbl/day leak? Where is the extra recovery coming from? The "non-existent" underwater plumes, perhaps?
mheslep
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Jun15-10, 08:04 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Says who, you? Our flow experts at PF?
I say there's no logical mass flow argument in the presentation he delivered to Congress that allows one to arrive at 80k bbl/day. In addition some petroleum engineering experts, which Wereley is not, have said an 80k estimate was counter to the flow rates made by any single well in the Gulf.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/7011584.html

The guy making the claim is a real expert.
A 'real' expert? An expert on what? Wereley is not a petroleum or chemical engineer.
1 ,5, 10, 15, 25, 25-40, now 35-60. Next week, maybe we'll make 100K.
Why not a million? Why not Billions and Billions?
Ivan Seeking
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Jun15-10, 08:08 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo-1 View Post
I'm quite happy that BP is willing to up its efforts and recover 80,000 bbl/day. Perhaps they can recover a fraction of the 5000 bbl/day leak? Where is the extra recovery coming from? The "non-existent" underwater plumes, perhaps?
The point is that even they are now planning for a leak this size - 80,000 barrels per day. I'm not sure what you mean by referencing 5000 barrels per day. They have been capturing 15k barrels per day for almost a week now, with little to no noticable effect on remaining leak. It's still a gusher even minus the 15K bpd.

I saw a photo of the spill crisis room, in the White House. I don't know the date of the photo, but it was taken at least a few weeks ago. There is a white board in the background showing facts, figures, and estimates. On it you could see the large print reading 20k-100k barrels per day. So it seems that the White House has been allowing for 100K for some time.

Most siginficantly, Obama claims they have a plan that will allow 90% of the oil escaping to be captured. I am soooooooo happy, esp right now, that we have Chu [nobel-prize-winning physicist] as Energy Sec. It is such a relief to have competent people manning the ship of State.
nismaratwork
#779
Jun15-10, 08:42 PM
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Why on earth does CNN have T. Boone Pickens spinning doom and gloom with that living mummy Larry King?! These constantly changing estimates make everything terribly uncertain, when we should be waiting for actual measurements. Who cares what BP or the White House says; one has to pay per barrel, and the other gets paid by the barrel! I'll wait for independent analysis that is verifiable. Until then, can we please stop hearing from old oilmen who didn't grasp the concept of transmitting power from nonresistant wind farms to the places that need the power?

Offshore oil drilling seems relatively safe when regulations are enforced, just like everything else in life, and when they are not enforced, it becomes unsafe. Not exactly the shock of a lifetime.
stewartcs
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Jun16-10, 11:43 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Says who, you? Our flow experts at PF? The guy making the claim is a real expert.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gree...anel-says.html

1 ,5, 10, 15, 25, 25-40, now 35-60. Next week, maybe we'll make 100K.

60k barrels per day is 2.52 million gallons per day. This is about day 56.
The flow rates have changed since the riser was removed. The revised estimates prior to the riser being cut off was ~20k per day.

Of course now that the riser is not obstructing the flow the estimates have gone up. Which is to be expected. However, that oil is still not leaking into the Gulf since it is being captured by the top side vessels.

CS
Proton Soup
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Jun16-10, 11:51 AM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
Why on earth does CNN have T. Boone Pickens spinning doom and gloom with that living mummy Larry King?!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._Boon...e_Pickens_Plan
stewartcs
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Jun16-10, 11:51 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
I am soooooooo happy, esp right now, that we have Chu [nobel-prize-winning physicist] as Energy Sec. It is such a relief to have competent people manning the ship of State.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1997 was awarded jointly to Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light".
Yeah...I'm sure those methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light will come in handy with this oil spill.

CS
stewartcs
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Jun16-10, 11:53 AM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
Offshore oil drilling seems relatively safe when regulations are enforced, just like everything else in life, and when they are not enforced, it becomes unsafe. Not exactly the shock of a lifetime.
It is safe when done properly and regulated properly.

CS
turbo
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Jun16-10, 12:27 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
The point is that even they are now planning for a leak this size - 80,000 barrels per day. I'm not sure what you mean by referencing 5000 barrels per day. They have been capturing 15k barrels per day for almost a week now, with little to no noticable effect on remaining leak. It's still a gusher even minus the 15K bpd.
Maybe I should have used a smiley to indicate irony. BP and its handmaidens (including the CG) have been low-balling this spill since it started.
Pattonias
#785
Jun16-10, 12:34 PM
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Everyone has been "high-balling" the spill as well. My determination, no one has any idea how much oil is spilling. Its way too much regardless. They will keep cleaning until its all gone anyway. Not like they are going to collect all the oil in one place and see if they collected as much as they "estimate" came out during the spill. It is a useless number that has really no impact on anything. We know the leak is still there and we will all be happier when no more oil is coming out.
Ivan Seeking
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Jun16-10, 09:25 PM
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Earlier in the thread I quoted a CNN panelist who stated that in a worst-case scenario, much like what we are seeing, the total losses from this event could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars. I was accused of being unreasonable. At first I intended to start digging for examples of how losses can multiply, but I thought it far easier to just wait for the examples in this case to manifest. We have our first example of a hundred-billion dollar loss.

While a bit ironic in the context of this thread, it is the first directly measurable casualty, and it is BP. BP stock, 38% of which is U.S. owned, has lost half of its value - about 80 billion dollars. Today, with the commitment of 20 billion to the relief fund, they have lost over 100 billion dollars.
http://www.tallahassee.com/article/2...ince-oil-spill

Again, while it is a somewhat inverted example of what was intended, it is still an example of the sorts of losses that can spinoff from events like this. One cannot consider only the fishing and tourism industries losses that can be measured directly; the value of which are in the tens of billions of dollars annually for each State, IIRC. We also have to consider the duration of the losses, which may continue for decades in some cases, and secondary and other losses, such as loss of real estate value. How many companies dependent on fishing or tourism will fold? How many companies will suffer losses in stock values? How will this affect trade in the region? While it is impossible to fully anticipate all of the consequences of an event this magnitude, we can be sure that the ramifications from this will be profound, and of long duration. One cannot, in a worst case, dismantle the economy over an entire region of the country, esp a highly productive region like the Gulf coast, and expect anything less.

My best read on this is that we are now at the mercy of the weather. If the weather holds out and we have a relatively calm summer, and if they can get the well under control, maybe the absolute worst case can be avoided. On the other hand, it we have a number of severe storms or hurricanes, which is expected, the biological and financial future of the gulf, and the future of BP, may depend entirely on which way the wind blows. If the oil is driven into the marshes and wetlands by storm surge, or even if we have wind-carried oil coating an entire coastal section of the gulf, it is difficult to even imagine the long-term ramifications. What would be the effect on the economy, for example, if the South suffers a crash in the value of real estate? How would the effects spread throughout the economy; esp during a critical time in our recovery; esp when we are subject to stresses resulting from the European financial crisis? The possibility that the total losses related to this event could be hundreds of billions of dollars, is a no-brainer. And we see that already in the value of BP. Generally, even a relatively small effect on the national economy can results in financial losses that rise to that level.
RonL
#787
Jun17-10, 05:02 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Earlier in the thread I quoted a CNN panelist who stated that in a worst-case scenario, much like what we are seeing, the total losses from this event could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars. I was accused of being unreasonable. At first I intended to start digging for examples of how losses can multiply, but I thought it far easier to just wait for the examples in this case to manifest. We have our first example of a hundred-billion dollar loss.

While a bit ironic in the context of this thread, it is the first directly measurable casualty, and it is BP. BP stock, 38% of which is U.S. owned, has lost half of its value - about 80 billion dollars. Today, with the commitment of 20 billion to the relief fund, they have lost over 100 billion dollars.
http://www.tallahassee.com/article/2...ince-oil-spill

Again, while it is a somewhat inverted example of what was intended, it is still an example of the sorts of losses that can spinoff from events like this. One cannot consider only the fishing and tourism industries losses that can be measured directly; the value of which are in the tens of billions of dollars annually for each State, IIRC. We also have to consider the duration of the losses, which may continue for decades in some cases, and secondary and other losses, such as loss of real estate value. How many companies dependent on fishing or tourism will fold? How many companies will suffer losses in stock values? How will this affect trade in the region? While it is impossible to fully anticipate all of the consequences of an event this magnitude, we can be sure that the ramifications from this will be profound, and of long duration. One cannot, in a worst case, dismantle the economy over an entire region of the country, esp a highly productive region like the Gulf coast, and expect anything less.

My best read on this is that we are now at the mercy of the weather. If the weather holds out and we have a relatively calm summer, and if they can get the well under control, maybe the absolute worst case can be avoided. On the other hand, it we have a number of severe storms or hurricanes, which is expected, the biological and financial future of the gulf, and the future of BP, may depend entirely on which way the wind blows. If the oil is driven into the marshes and wetlands by storm surge, or even if we have wind-carried oil coating an entire coastal section of the gulf, it is difficult to even imagine the long-term ramifications. What would be the effect on the economy, for example, if the South suffers a crash in the value of real estate? How would the effects spread throughout the economy; esp during a critical time in our recovery; esp when we are subject to stresses resulting from the European financial crisis? The possibility that the total losses related to this event could be hundreds of billions of dollars, is a no-brainer. And we see that already in the value of BP. Generally, even a relatively small effect on the national economy can results in financial losses that rise to that level.
How about "the perfect storm II" ?
If all operations are abandoned because of an approaching hurricane, might there be enough oil floating and gas erupting, to produce any amount of combustionable mixture, ignited by a lightning strike? A wild thought, but what would the added heat do for the energy of a hurricane.
apeiron
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Jun17-10, 05:32 AM
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Quote Quote by Pattonias View Post
Everyone has been "high-balling" the spill as well.
Well the high-balling greenies certainly beat out the industry apologists on this forum .

The interesting thing is what comes next. Given the coming global production crunch over the next four years, economies may need BP more than it needs them. So expect real politiks to win over harsh words, harsh penalties. Confidently predict that the goal is still that 40% of US domestic petroleum comes from deep sea drilling by 2020. As nothing less gives even close to business as usual.

And when it comes to environmental damage, are a few giga-spills in the gulf going to be any more of a cost than the slow but sure destruction of Canada's open pit oil sand mining? Or China's exponential increase in coal burning?

Hey, is that the edge of a cliff I can see looming? Quick, jam the foot down harder. And you clever techo-boffins in the back see if you can rustle up some wings for this here dang old car .
nismaratwork
#789
Jun17-10, 07:16 AM
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Quote Quote by stewartcs View Post
It is safe when done properly and regulated properly.

CS
That's what I mean, but clearly regulations were not being enforced, and even broken outright by the enforcers. Really a shame, for the gulf and for those 11 men and their families. I wonder if the coke-heads at Minerals Management will ever see a court of law for negligent homicide? They should... they won't.
nismaratwork
#790
Jun17-10, 07:19 AM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
Well the high-balling greenies certainly beat out the industry apologists on this forum .

The interesting thing is what comes next. Given the coming global production crunch over the next four years, economies may need BP more than it needs them. So expect real politiks to win over harsh words, harsh penalties. Confidently predict that the goal is still that 40% of US domestic petroleum comes from deep sea drilling by 2020. As nothing less gives even close to business as usual.

And when it comes to environmental damage, are a few giga-spills in the gulf going to be any more of a cost than the slow but sure destruction of Canada's open pit oil sand mining? Or China's exponential increase in coal burning?

Hey, is that the edge of a cliff I can see looming? Quick, jam the foot down harder. And you clever techo-boffins in the back see if you can rustle up some wings for this here dang old car .
That's well said, and probably the most accurate statement in the 15 or so pages I've read.
xxChrisxx
#791
Jun17-10, 07:38 AM
P: 2,048
Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
Hey, is that the edge of a cliff I can see looming? Quick, jam the foot down harder. And you clever techo-boffins in the back see if you can rustle up some wings for this here dang old car .
That's acutally quite nice metaphorical imagary. I assume the subtext is that we should slow down and not speed up.

Well to further the analogy, slowing down isn't an option as you've got a huge traffic jam that can't see the cliff that is constantly accelerating behind you. If you brake you get shoved over the cliff whether you want to go or not.
signerror
#792
Jun17-10, 08:21 AM
P: 223
Quote Quote by RonL View Post
If all operations are abandoned because of an approaching hurricane, might there be enough oil floating and gas erupting, to produce any amount of combustionable mixture, ignited by a lightning strike? A wild thought, but what would the added heat do for the energy of a hurricane.
Well, let's see. According to wikipedia, to order of magnitude the spill involves 5 million oil barrels so far (105 barrels/day * 50 days), and a sea area of around 104 km2 (given as 6,500 - 24,000 km2). Dividing naively, I get an average sheen depth of 80 microns (um). I think much of the oil is either already onshore, or underwater (in micelles created by BP's detergent) where it can't combust, so this 10-4 meter figure is a conservative estimate of how thick the sea-surface oil is.

Crude oil has an energy density of 43 MJ/kg and mass density of about 0.9 kg/L, so an 80 micron oil sheen has an energy area-density of 3 MJ/m2.

For comparison, the thermal energy of seawater that is accessible to hurricanes, as estimated by tropical cyclone heat potential (THCP), is on the order of 105 J/cm2, or 109 J/m2. About 300 times higher.

(Or flipping it: the most hurricane-favorable seas have the heat potential of a 25 mm (1 inch) layer of crude oil.)


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