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New Oil Leak Compounds Gulf Disaster – Apr 29

Posted by feww on April 29, 2010


BP reported a new leak in the offshore well—min combined leak 210,000 gallons per day

The Gulf of Mexico nightmare enters a new phase—the first stage in the collapse of the Gulf states may have begun.

BP Plc, the legal owner of the leaking well, informed the US officials that it has discovered a new leak on the on the offshore well off Louisiana coat, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said.

“BP has just briefed me of a new location of an additional breach in the riser of the deep underwater well,” Landry said.

The new estimate of 5,000bpd,  most probably an under estimate, judging by the initial amount of crude oil the ocean floor well was producing, is 5 times as much as the previous estimate.

[Note: The true estimate for the leak may be as much as 8,000 barrels of crude oil per day, or more, which is how much the well was producing before the rig blew up!]

“We have urged BP to leverage additional assets,” Landry said, adding that President B.O.  had been briefed on the new phase in the growing disaster.

The growing oil slick, now boosted by at least 5 times as much crude oil leaking from the underwater well, threatens marine life, coastal wildlife refuges, coastal fishing and sea food industries, beaches and estuaries in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as the livelihood of at least 1 million people in those states DIRECTLY, and up to 20 million other people indirectly.

What People Are  Saying

“Tarballs and emulsified oil streamers could reach the Mississippi Delta region late on Friday, said Charlie Henry, an expert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” Reuters reported.

“By Wednesday afternoon, the edge of the spill was 23 miles off the Louisiana coast, near fragile estuaries and swamps teeming with birds and other wildlife. A shift in winds could push the spill inland to the Louisiana coast by this weekend, according to forecasters at AccuWeather.” Reuters said.

“We’re sitting here half praying and half with our fingers, toes and everything else crossed,” Byron Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oysterman Association in Pointe A La Hache, was reported as saying.

“This brings home the issue that drilling despite all the advancements in technology is still a risky business,” said Athan Manuel of the Sierra Club.

Meanwhile, BP has set fire to the massive and growing Gulf Coast oil slick

This is, of course, a nightmarish trade-off between the lesser of the two evils, burning thousands of barrels of crude oil, a smaller disaster, to prevent a much greater disaster of coastal pollution.

Imagine all of those other places out there in the universe somewhere, where they don’t have to make such decisions because their lifestyles are much less energy intensive, unlike this human wonderland, and the inhabitants have a direct say in the decision-making process.

Note: NOAA estimate was prepared before the new leak was reported, and therefore does NOT take into account the additional volume of crude that is leaking into the Gulf.

Stock photo of Newfoundland offshore Burn Experiment (NOBE)

Photo Source: The Minerals Management Service. Click image to enlarge.

Updated Overflight Map2

Source. Creative Commons license. Click image to enlarge.

Windrows of emulsified oil (bright orange) sprayed w/dispersant. Photo taken as part of an aerial observation overflight.  Photo credit NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

Clean-up crews have started “a test burn” in an area some 50km (30 miles ) east of the Mississippi River delta to gauge the viability of the technique, AP reported.

The burn-off “solution” became do-able after the BP failed to stop the massive a 1,000bpd crude leak from two holes in the oil well.

“A 500ft boom was being used to hold several thousand gallons of the thickest oil on the surface, which will then be towed to a more remote area, set on fire, and allowed to burn for about an hour.” AP reported.

Should the test burn prove successful, BP could continue with the blaze, one way or another, weather permitting.

As of now, at least 1,000bpd 5,000bpd (about 210,000 gallons, 800,000 liters per day), most probably 8,000bpd (about 336,000 gallons, or  1.3 million liters per day), of the really nasty, gooey crude oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

The damaged well which was being drilled by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, before it blew up killing 11 rig crew members (their bodies are missing, but they are legally presumed dead) is leaking from two different openings.

Although the cause of the explosion has not yet been determined, what is clear is that each and every control and safety mechanism that BP (and the gang) had or should have put in place to prevent such disasters didn’t work or weren’t there.

“Authorities also said they expected minimal impact on sea turtles and marine mammals in the burn area.” AP reported, forgetting to state whether they had interviewed any of the numerous species who live locally.

NOTE: The Exxon Valdez oil spill, which occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, is thought to be one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters ever. The tanker spilled about 10.8 million gallons (about 41 million litres) of crude oil into the water, covering an arae of about 3,400 sq km (1,300) square miles with its load of Prudhoe Bay crude.

The effects of the spill is still felt today, some 21 years later. there is a marked reduction in the population of various marine animals, including sea otters, pink salmon, ducks and many others.

The leak in the Gulf of Mexico could exceed the Exxon Valdez crude spill in less than 30 days, if not stemmed.

Related Links:

Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak – Update Apr 28

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15 Responses to “New Oil Leak Compounds Gulf Disaster – Apr 29”

  1. Mike said

    Some believe in evolution, however it is a Theory only.

  2. Mike said

    I have one question for the moderator. I mentioned several things that the bible said [Edited] You the moderator deleted my comments. That’s certainly not Democracy.

  3. Mike said

    I am happy that at least some of us know what is happening. And you are right about most folks they are not willing to be an environmentally aware species.Wonder what they see when they look in the mirror?

  4. Mike said

    I guess you can put it any way you like, but the point is the government does not represent the best interest of the majority of people.

    • feww said

      “… the point is the government does not represent the best interest of the majority of people.”

      And that hasn’t stopped them from putting the majority of people in a straitjacket.

      • Mike said

        Agree with you, Obama may not know how close the earth is to verge of collapse! Or perhaps because of greed (which blinds people to truth) has taken over! And Power blinds people and then they just think of their own interest. Money money, power, money, more power, more money!

  5. Mike said

    Obama still is going to re-issue drilling after the so called investigation of Why and what went wrong. Big deal a moratorium for 30 days and then business as usual. Obama does not to disappoint big corporations and the dirty fossil fuel industry by stopping all offshore drilling forever. Don’t forget that Obama is spreading the myth of Clean Coal.What planet is he from. He is also a proponent of open cooling systems for Nuclear power plants! That kills millions of fish and prevents species like winter flounder from spawning!! Save us from the evil.

  6. Mike said

    Just goes to show what happens when Big Business is running the country.The puppets in Washington serve their masters well .

    • feww said

      Can we agree instead that the people in Washington are the representatives of “Big Business” doubling as politicians because of their respective levels of vested interests?

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