Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Musings on the oil spill
My Random Thoughts:
As some of you may know I spent several years before I became an attorney as a geologist with the Marathon Oil Company. I guess you could have called me Man o' Rock at the time.
It was a great place to work and I spent several years as an exploration and Operations Geologist in the Offshore Gulf of Mexico region, poking holes and finding oil and gas. So I've some experience offshore, none as a drilling engineer, so take what I say with a grain of salt water please.
BP spent an awful amount of money to drill the well in the first place and therefore has an inherent conflict in doing what is right to shut the well down. This is, of course, tempered by the fact that it's losing thousands of barrels of oil a day as it spews into the Gulf of Mexico and also includes the cost of the attempts to contain the flow and the costs of clean-up and drilling the relief wells.
For all BP knows by the time they are able to shut the flow down or get it contained the reservoir will have lost so much pressure as to render the remaining oil all but unobtainable unless secondary and tertiary methods of recovery are used.
So why not blow the well with explosives?
Why not put high explosives down into the well, if possible, and explode it in an attempt to shear the remaining drill pipe and casing and collapse the bore hole?
Is it because BP doesn't want to lose all the money it has pissed away already on this well and will piss away by the time this is all said and done?
Is anyone looking at the feasibility of accomplishing this task?
If the latest containment attempt fails, i.e. cutting the riser at the top of the Blow Out Preventer and capping it with a smaller dome than previously tried fails, do we just let it keep spewing oil until the relief wells are done which won't happen until August at the earliest?
Two plus more months of millions of gallons of crude oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico? What happens when the inevitable hurricane hits and washes this all up onshore; or worse yet, into New Orleans? That would make the Katrina disaster pale in comparison.