Thursday, May 20, 2010
Bye bye Louisiana coastline
After a month of spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico the crude oil finally made its' way to the Louisiana marsh lands. An area where fish spawn and costal birds nest. It's an area that also protects the cities against hurricanes by providing a buffer against high winds and tides. Many groups had spent thousands of hours trying to rebuild that area by planting mangrove trees which can survive in salt water. Oil for them is another story.
BP is planning to do a "top kill" which should be ready by Sunday. That is shooting mud at the leaking pipe to stop the flow then covering that with cement. Good luck with that one. I've heard estimates of the pressure coming out of that pipe. First BP said it was something in the neighborhood of 1400 psi. Yesterday they said it was more like 13,000 psi. I've dealt with hydrolic lines that were 3600 psi. Not something you want to be around when they fail.
To date some 6 million gallons have leaked into the Gulf. If they can't get the flow rate slowed then at that rate there'll be 18 million gallons by the time they get the relief wells finished in August. I'm sure at that point it will take an effort of all the oil companies foreign and domestic to put a dent in this problem because when the oil hits that Gulf current it can travel as far as Britain killing a good chunk of the fish and other marine life in the process. Oh and something I forgot about. When the oil gets lifted into the atmosphere by the process of natural evaporation you get a nice oily rain. That happened during that European spill some years back.
My suggestion in all this would be to get a bunch of oil tankers some vacuum rigs and a whole lot of oil water seperators and have at it. What they're doing now is nothing more than trying to blot up a swimming pool with a cotton ball.
Keep your drums upright and your pipes covered.