… a 210,000-gallon-a-day flesh wound:
Today BP finally released video of their spewing 21″ wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico. The brown effluent is oil, still flowing at the rate mentioned above. The white effluent is presumed to be gas, which dissipates as it rises. They claim the flow rate is a mere 210,000 gallons a day. However, expert flow analysts, looking at this video, estimate the actual rate per day is closer to 3 million gallons a day.
Never fear. Today BP is lowering its “top hat” to cap the well. Sure hope it works better than their much larger “oil containment dome” which now sits uselessly on the ocean floor, a monument to BP’s ineptitude, but a helluva nice fish condo.
One thought on “Just a flesh wound …”
While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.
Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)
There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.
As far back as April 24, I expressed my horror over this incident. I’ve exhausted myself writing and worrying about it, and still it continues. Of course I’ve thought the unthinkable — what if we can’t stop it? Eventually the oil will run out; the pool will be drained. But the damage by then could be incalculable.