Sunday, June 20, 2010
Shall we visit grandpa one more time before he goes?
Like a relative in the hospital we ask ourselves that question should I go to the hospital and see grandpa or would I like to remember him the way he was in better times? So it is with the Gulf coast. You know the scenario. Relatives running around screaming at the doctors to do something and they not really wanting to give it to you straight saying that they are keeping him comfortable and stable but they know the outcome and we should too. "We're doing everything we can for him". We know the story. There's the IV drips and the tests and the nurses who hover around while we're there. We just can't bring ourselves to face the facts. They gave it their best shots and it all failed.
I sat there last night considering all of the options. Every conceivable thought or plan no matter how crazy was not out of the question. Surely some egghead from NASA would come to step in to save the day but alas there is no super hero or brainiac waiting in the wings. What was once a rescue mission is now nothing more than a recovery. So like grandpa in the hospital you may just want to see the coast one last time before you won't be able to again.
How can I be so pessimistic you might ask? Well in reading information from people who are in the business who have analyzed this situation and come to very obvious conclusions. When they did the top kill and it didn't work that meant that the casing was damaged below the sea floor. There is no way to repair that damage. What will happen next will be the collapse of the BOP and the structure that supports it but not before the engineers try to brace it. And they are doing the beginnings of that as I write this. Once the BOP collapses then there is nothing else that can be done other than try and collect as much oil from the gushing hole in the earth as they can. As the engineer put it think of it as a leaking garden hose with a nozzle. When the flow is slowed at the end the leaks grow bigger. When they cut the end off the riser pipe it took pressure off the leaks. But as he put it sand that's coming out with the oil will cause the pipes to fail. It's already causing the BOP to lean.
So if you're thinking of heading that way for one last look remember to take a respirator with carbon filters with you because grandpa is coughing up some pretty nasty stuff.
Sorry not a great father's day gift but it is what it is.
info from someone who knows