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Oil oil everywhere and not a drop to drink... oh wait...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Samr, May 23, 2010.

  1. Samr

    Samr
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    In case if you have been stuck under a rock for the past month: an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven and setting off an oil spill greater than the Exxon Valdez incident and is preparing to/already has wreaked havoc on the gulf ecosystems. Obama is now pissed, and despite a mildly-successful recent attempt to siphon off some of the oil, the pipe from the exploded rig is still gushing oil into the gulf.

    It's about time we start a thread on this.

    Focus: Anything from articles about it, to anyone (with relevant experience/background) posting on how it might be resolved, to potential ramifications, to what policies should now be made/what should have been in place before the incident. Obama pledged to stop the "cozy relationship" between the government and oil companies. Discuss.

    Alt. Focus: How has this affected you? Blue Dog posted some info about how his favorite fishing grounds have been shut down because of the spill. The commercial fishing and tourism industries will undoubtedly be affected even more so than they already have.
     
  2. toddus

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    Last Wednesday I was out for a drink with some colleagues* when this came up over lunch. One of the guys there who I am not overly sure what he does for a living had a befuddled look on his face. After some probing it turned out he had no idea what we were talking about. He then went on to explain he finds the news too depressing so avoids it. Suprisingly I wasn't shocked later when I found out he has 3 kids to 3 women. This wouldn't be so bad if he didn't work for a Global Financial Services company.


    * Well of the very lose definition- I am working on a project as a consultant for a month and share an immediate office space with them.
     
  3. Guy Fawkes

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    All that this event has proven to me is that governments should be exceedingly careful about where they allow oil companies to drill.

    There should also be some type of fail safe that shuts down the pipeline if there's a catastrophic leak. The fact that BP isn't focusing on a solution with 100% of their resources is shameful. I hope the gulf states/counties and associated industries that have been damaged sue the shit out of BP. They've certainly made enough profit over the years.
     
  4. BL1Y

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    Kevin Costner to the rescue!

    Costner has a device that can remove 97% of oil from sea water. It's basically a centrifuge and a pump, and the biggest one can handle over 275,000 gallons a day. It's not going to solve the problem on its own, but it seems like this would be a huge help, especially if you put it in a place that needs extra protection, like off the coast of an estuary.

    It's nice to see an environmentalist celebrity who doesn't just talk about the environment, or hold a concert, or make a tv commercial criticizing everyone else. Costner has been developing this technology for the last 15 years. He isn't just jumping on a concern bandwagon.

    Kevin, you'll always be Robin Hood to me.
     
  5. Rob4Broncos

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    Over/under on this being turned into a movie if it succeeds is 4.5 years. Place your bets.
     
  6. Racer-X

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    There is a blowout preventer in place that was supposed to be able to shut off the well in case of a problem. In this case it malfunctioned. Some people are blaming the fact that there was no acoustic trigger for the blowout preventer that would activate in the case of an explosion, but the problem is not that the blowout preventer was not activated but that it malfunctioned and started leaking.

    BP is planning to attempt to top kill the well in the next couple of days. If that doesn't work, the next best bet is the relief wells that are being drilled, but they won't be ready until August. Some more info here.
     
  7. kuhjäger

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    They should nuke it.

    Maybe it will close it, maybe not, but at least we can use one of the 5700 nukes.
     
  8. Misanthropic

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    Then we'll have to deal with a 100-foot version of this running around:

    [​IMG]

    Think of the horror - the residents of New Orleans running panicked through the streets, their yells and screams strangely out of sync with their lip movements, while Nutra-zilla flattens whatever Katrina spared, and Mothra, felled by DDT, is no longer here to help us.
     
  9. DOSEQUiS

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    I literally just finished creating my account to more or less post this exact response. Given the inherent danger involved in drilling thousands of miles below sea level, and specifically in high pressure / high temperature wells such as this one - the industry have introduced significant measures to increase safety, but you literally cannot stop everything (although early reports are leaning towards a cementing cock-up). However, I'd expect the aftermath of this disaster to mirror that of the last significant catastrophe in the industry, Piper Alpha (where the death-toll was the in the hundreds). Following Piper the entire industry received (specifically in the North Sea where most safety measures tend to be trialled and implemented) a drastic makeover changing the way anything on the rig was done.

    For what it's worth (although I've never worked on a rig under contract with BP) everyone I have met offshore has commented on how stringent BP are in regards to safety measures. Obviously following all legal requirements to the letter, but expanding on that with initiatives that are incredibly annoying to implement on the drilling-side, but from a safety perspective are spot-on. So either the company puts on a facade of safety or they have been incredibly unlucky in recent times. Granted I'm based in the UK and don't have first hand knowledge of events in Texas or the Gulf, but I feel some perspective on the dangers of the industry as a whole versus placing all the blame solely on BP are in order.

    And I think an ultimate solution to the issue is months off, probably ending when the relief wells are complete. I also agree that BP's focus should be on fixing the current situation and then investing in a long-term solution, but, to my knowledge, they are already doing this.
     
  10. Crown Royal

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    This generally hasn't affected me personally, but this shit must end. NOW. Get Forrest Taft down there to blow some shit up. This thing is like a biblical plague down there right now, and it's ruining countless lives every day and it just gets worse because some fat, rich assholes are still trying to figure out how to get even richer. But who the fuck needs things like pelicans and tourism, right? The wind regularly kicks the shit out of that area from time to time, now human beings feel the need to destroy it as well?

    This is why America needs to look to the safe and ultra-clean nuclear industry again. I would say this for Canada as well, but we only discovered electric furnaces for our homes two years ago. Fascinating thing, science is.

    [​IMG]

    ...wasn't that the thing he pissed into in the opening shot of Waterworld?
     
  11. effinshenanigans

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    The Russians are a few decades ahead of you on that one...

    No, that was a game of Mouse Trap.
     
  12. Kubla Kahn

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    Excuse me, but Dave Matthews spreads the gospel of green living, thus obviously, he can tour with his band with dozens of tractor trailers, tour buses (that dump human waste on people), and jet planes if he wants. Take a fucking bike to work already damnit! Costner on the other hand DID jump on the bandwagon, only investing in this technology after, and because of, the Exxon Valdez. He's such a poser.
     
  13. kuhjäger

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    The Russians are a few decades ahead of you on that one...
    /quote]

    I didn't mean to close it, but that would work. I just want to nuke something.
     
  14. lust4life

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    One match and we could have the mother of all fish-fries. I call dibs on Blue Dog's couch.
     
  15. ILikePie

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    What's pissing me off is even after this huge fiasco some of the head honchos of the oil companies were still pushing for the legislation that would allow more off shore drilling.

    Here is an article I found on the BBC.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8684189.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8684189.stm</a>
     
  16. BL1Y

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    Uh...yeah, because one accident doesn't mean we should end an entire industry.

    After 9/11 we still flew air planes and built skyscrapers.

    I'd rather have one big oil spill every 20 years than see gas prices go up to $15 a gallon.
     
  17. slippingaway

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    For everyone that thinks offshore drilling should be stopped, or that the suspension of ALL offshore drilling right now is a great accomplishment, think about this:

    Oil companies don't just drill one well, and pump oil out of that well for years and years. The offshore wells that are producing the oil that makes up a very large percentage of our domestic oil consumption are not endless, they're going to run out, some very soon. The way that offshore drilling works is that in the time a production well is pumping out oil, new exploration wells are drilled to find a new pocket of oil. Then, when a suitable pocket is found, that exploration well is converted into a production well. That process takes quite a bit of time. Hopefully, the new well is ready to go into production by the time the original well runs dry. This cycle is what keeps our oil supply going. By completely shutting down ALL offshore drilling, due to an insanely rare incident that may not have even been preventable, the government has done two things. One, by interrupting and delaying the development of new production wells, we may very well end up with a significant oil shortage/price spike 9-15 months down the road, when current production wells dry up, and new wells aren't yet ready to come online. And two, they are further destroying the economy of the Gulf Coast. Yes, a huge percentage of that region depends on fishing and the Gulf for their income, but now that all those offshore rigs are shut down, you have a huge number of rig workers that aren't getting paid. Where do a lot of them live? Oh yeah, the Gulf Coast. Add in all the businesses along the coast that support the rigs and rig workers (shuttle boats, helicopter services, supply houses, equipment suppliers, etc) and now instead of "half" the economy (fishing) being shut down, virtually the entire economy is shut down.

    Yes, we need to take a look at what happened and try to implement some new standards to prevent it if we can, but we also need to not keep making things even worse. A friend of mine has a son-in-law that is on the main drilling ship working on stopping this leak, and between all the government officials, Coast Guard officials, and other groups "investigating" the incident visiting the site and wanting to talk to everyone, their efforts to stop this thing are being delayed and hampered. They finally had to just start forcing people off of the ship so they could actually work.
     
  18. redbullgreygoose

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    I'm very wary of offshore drilling.
    I'm not saying we should shut down or even limit offshore drilling. That's just stupid.

    What I'm more concerned about is how the United States can exploit offering their coasts to oil companies in order to provide us with (and possibly reduce the domestic price of) oil in the future. This is how an economist explained it to me once: If BP or any other oil company is drilling along our shores, that oil belongs to the company that drilled it. Not the United States government. The government didn't drill it, a private company did. I'm all for the actual drilling, but there needs to be some kind of regulation on how much of that oil needs to be sold domestically. Otherwise, we risk giving up this resource for nothing. I mean, I know we consume a lot of the WORLD's oil already. I'd just feel better if it was guaranteed.

    As for the spill, accidents happen. The last major one was 21 years ago.
     
  19. slippingaway

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    Virtually all of the oil coming from our offshore platforms is being sold domestically, because it's cheaper since it doesn't have to be shipped halfway across the world, and we consume much more than the offshore wells produce. We use everything that comes out of those wells, and make up the rest of the supply with imported petroleum.

    The oil companies aren't going to pay to ship our offshore petroleum to some other part of the world, and then pay to ship oil from some other part of the world to the US. That economist should have understood that.
     
  20. redbullgreygoose

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    But what happens when the supply of oil is significantly reduced? The oil will be shipped to whoever will pay the most for it.