Friday 18 June 2010

BP Spills Coffee: sea floor "fractured beyond repair"

Great video doing the rounds that sums up industry ineptitude over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

OK, laughs over. Steel yourselves for this, for what it's worth:

"Scientists Warn Gulf Of Mexico Sea Floor Fractured Beyond Repair"
A dire report circulating in the Kremlin today that was prepared for Prime Minister Putin by Anatoly Sagalevich of Russia's Shirshov Institute of Oceanology warns that the Gulf of Mexico sea floor has been fractured “beyond all repair” and our World should begin preparing for an ecological disaster “beyond comprehension” unless “extraordinary measures” are undertaken to stop the massive flow of oil into our Planet’s eleventh largest body of water.

According to Sagalevich’s report, the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is not just coming from the 22 inch well bore site being shown on American television, but from at least 18 other sites on the “fractured seafloor” with the largest being nearly 11 kilometers (7 miles) from where the Deepwater Horizon sank and is spewing into these precious waters an estimated 2 million gallons of oil a day.

Interesting to note in this report is Sagalevich stating that he and the other Russian scientists were required by the United States to sign documents forbidding them to report their findings to either the American public or media, and which they had to do in order to legally operate in US territorial waters.

As a prominent oil-industry insider, and one of the World's leading experts on peak oil, Simmons further warns that the US has only two options, “let the well run dry (taking 30 years, and probably ruining the Atlantic ocean) or nuking the well.”

I don't know this source (supposedly the Kremlin) and I'm not sure that the nuclear option is viable for a raft of reasons. And we are talking about a great depth of solid rock said to have been damaged. But it does look as if the pipe itself is doomed. And that sets up a whole load of additional problems.

UPDATE: Saturday 19th June 2010. Naomi Klein on the hole in the earth and the "hubris at the heart of capitalism".
If Katrina pulled back the curtain on the reality of racism in America, the BP disaster pulls back the curtain on something far more hidden: how little control even the most ingenious among us have over the awesome, intricately interconnected natural forces with which we so casually meddle. BP cannot plug the hole in the Earth that it made. Obama cannot order fish species to survive, or brown pelicans not to go extinct (no matter whose ass he kicks). No amount of money – not BP's recently pledged $20bn (£13.5bn), not $100bn – can replace a culture that has lost its roots. And while our politicians and corporate leaders have yet to come to terms with these humbling truths, the people whose air, water and livelihoods have been contaminated are losing their illusions fast.

UPDATE 2: Saturday 19th June. Although we're venting our collective anger at the arrogant Tony Hayward, he has only been at the BP helm since 2007. Part of his brief has apparently been to correct the culture of cost-cutting negligence and irresponsibility overseen by Lord Browne during his ten-year tenure as Chief Executive and a lifetime spent with BP. This same Lord Browne is now on Team Cameron, leading the onslaught on the poor through its policy to claw back as many of the gains made by the British working class as they can muster before being kicked out on their fat behinds. Meanwhile, the wealthy, many of whom brought on the recession, remain unscathed. Given the size of the calamity in the Gulf of Mexico which looks increasingly due to BP's cavalier attitude to safety, my view is that Browne should be banged up in prison with the other criminals, not flouncing about in ermine. BTW, he's one of Tony Blair's mates. Quelle surprise!

Big Oil and global pollution. We need renewables fast.

UPDATE 3: Sunday 4th July 2010. Lord Browne's former lover is now assisting the American lawyer prosecuting BP and alleging that it is Browne's cost-cutting measures that left to such disasters as the Texan oil explosion in 2005 and the unstoppable Gulf of Mexico oil gusher. He is also the person brought in by David Cameron to lead the attack on the poor and make cuts of nearly £7 billion. I hope this doesn't descend into an orgy or homophobia and that everyone remembers Browne is a scumbag because of his class interest and not his sexuality.


VenerableSage said...

We could always try slashing our wrists and bleeding into the rift -- when the blood coagulates it might seal the fissure ...

No, that won't work ...


ASP said...

According to people at The Oil Drum, nuking the well is not an option - the geology of the Gulf of Mexico is such that nuking the well would only produce further fractures in the seabed by which oil can escape. As for other leaks, oil leaks into the ocean are a natural phenomenon, so these may not be the consequence of the events at the Macondo well, but natural occurrences. From Wikipedia:

In the Gulf Coast there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak about one million barrels of oil per year.

On the other hand, they could also be the side effects of this disaster. What's galling is the fact that this is among the largest environmental disasters, yet so little information is available about it. BP are controlling the media access to the sites impacted by the spill, they're constantly lying about what they did, what they're doing, and how it's going, and I'm not seeing the American government doing better, either - if I were them I'd be sending loads of scientists and engineers to the site to inspect this and give people some concrete, credible information about what's going on. Instead, we have to rely on what information BP lets come through and try to figure things out from that.