RE: [hreg] Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Bp or Transocean, depending on the drilling arrangement, failed to install an acoustic blow out preventer. Everyone’s trying to save a buck. The USA should require this type equipment for all wells below a specified depth. Rumor has it, that in 2000 the administration recommended requiring such devices, but this proposal never made to a vote, because the oil companies cited costs per well of an addition $500,000. Seems cheap now. We should write to congress and demand that acoustic BOP’s be used in all offshore drilling.
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I’m a geologist and these events are unrelated to the Transocean/BP accident (which was probably caused by equipment failure). A USGS seismologist (US Geological Survey earthquake scientist) was recently interviewed on a news program and stated that magnitude 7.0 + earthquakes happen somewhere on the earth an average of 25 times a month. The ones we’ve heard so much about in the news recently (e.g. Haiti and Chile) were near population centers and caused a lot of devastation, so were reported by news media. Just because we hear about it doesn’t make it more frequent. Additionally, the rock type in the Gulf of Mexico makes it less susceptible to earthquakes.
One thing I have to clear up here is that it wasn’t BP that caused this accident. BP contracted Transocean to drill the well. It was Transocean’s rig and most of their personnel there. Because BP leased the area from the US government (the Mineral Management Service), it is responsible for the oil and the environmental damage the oil leaks are causing. I have first-hand knowledge of how deepwater wells are planned and I can tell you that safety and environmental considerations are topmost in concern. A company would be foolish to not plan these extreme wells in that way. BP engineers and scientists are not foolish.
It’s easy to blame “big bad oil”, but that’s not the whole story. Our society needs to learn that our insatiable appetite for oil requires drilling in increasingly difficult areas that require more & more complex engineering technology. Maybe this accident will be a wake-up call to our country to move more quickly toward better energy alternatives.
- Same problem - a disagreement on the rig about the better course of action. The "company man" I'm not sure which one vetoed the driller's recommendation (on IXTOC) to cut the string above the drill collars and let the collars fall to the bottom for recovery after the well was brought under control. At least that is what a driller told me on a rig one night in Montana.The BOP shear rams wouldn't then and won't now cut through drill collars.Human error (Major Screw-up) seems to be common to a lot of major disasters. I believe that the problems on Horizon extends through many years of government regulations, "industry recommended practices", well design, events on the rig leading up to the fatal night.There are several interviews on youtube in anyone can stand to watch.As sad as it may be - this will happen again if we don't learn from this.Ed Sarlls, Jr.----- Original Message -----From: William & Cynthia StangeSent: Saturday, June 05, 2010 2:09 PMSubject: Re: [hreg] Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - Great BP VideoAll,I am being careful not to encite a debate but this is too good not to share. Let me know your thoughts, let your politcians know your thoughts too. Deja Vu?