Friday, April 30, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill - 2 Million Gallons - Per Day?

The Mobile, Alabama Press-Register has published an article by Ben Raines with an alarming prediction. If the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico shrugs off all control - the crippled blowout preventer, the wellhead, and any remaining control valves or baffles impeding the flow of oil and gas through the well - the rate of spillage could go to a whole other level: as much as 2 million gallons (150,000 barrels) per day.

Schematic diagram of the leaking well and the relief-well drilling plan. Courtesy Times/Picayune.

This worst-case scenario is based on the fact that there are individual wells in the Gulf of Mexico that produce 1.26 million gallons (30,000 barrels) of oil per day. That's a controlled rate of flow. If all control were removed, the flow rate would be higher. How much higher?
"Typically, a very good well in the Gulf can produce 30,000 barrels a day, but that's under control. I have no idea what an uncontrolled release could be," said Stephen Sears, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Louisiana State University.

5 comments:

  1. Does anyone know of, or have, polygon or line shapefiles of the spill for use in GIS applications?

    Much appreciated. David DOT Luckie AT bellsouth DOT net.

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  2. GFBF, take a look at the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office's GIS data: http://lagic.lsu.edu/loscoweb/showall.asp

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  3. I believe it may be even worse right now.

    I say this bec use there seems to be a media blackout in the area - everything seems to be April 28 or 29 - any way someone can see pictures from today?

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  4. it's almost 5 BILLION milliliters per day in a worst case scenario.

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  5. wouldn't it be worth replacing the leaky pipeline with nonleaky pipeline until the new well is done in a few months? why not drill the well closer to minimize the amount of drilling needed? the relief will start if the well hits the oil anywhere - it doesn't have to be the exact same spot. that is one scary drawing - no plans to fix the pipeline and no plan to drill straight down at the location of minimum depth. oh well, i guess those fellows at bp know what they're doing, otherwise uncle sam would take over, right?

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