Tuesday, August 3, 2010

BP / Gulf Oil Spill - Static Kill Begins

Just heard that the "static kill" operation - pumping mud, possibly followed by cement, into the Macondo well via one of the valves on the blowout preventer - is now under way.

4 comments:

  1. SkyTruth:

    Have you guys ever attempted--has anyone attempted?--to look at old satellite photos of the Marianas rig drilling where it was damaged and then compared that location to satellite photos of the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the April 20 disaster? I'm getting at the persistent story that BP actually drilled two wells, and the April 20 disaster happened at the second well which was an attempt to do a relief well for the first subsea disaster. Now that this well seems to be sealed, does any indepent way exist to confirm/deny the story that there is another gusher--worse than the April 20 scene--still gushing oil that is staying deep?

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  2. Mark - we haven't looked at that. But we've never seen signs of a second major leak, and we're not seeing any signs of that now, so I'm skeptical. All of the oil wouldn't stay deep - you couldn't hide something like that.

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  3. Mark> ... does any indepent way exist to confirm/deny the story that there is another gusher--worse than the April 20 scene--still gushing oil that is staying deep?

    John> ... All of the oil wouldn't stay deep - you couldn't hide something like that.


    "Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have detected a plume of hydrocarbons that is at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    "The 1.2-mile-wide, 650-foot-high plume of trapped hydrocarbons provides at least a partial answer to recent questions asking where all the oil has gone as surface slicks shrink and disappear."

    News Release : WHOI Scientists Map and Confirm Origin of Large, Underwater Hydrocarbon Plume in Gulf

    *

    Someday somebody who knows how to do it will check satellite photos of the Marianas drilling rig before its damage and the Deepwater Horizon immediately before the April 20 blowout and compare the positions of both drill sites using fixed reference points of some kind to see if they were in the same place. Even if such research only confirms that they were in the same place the effort would reassure a lot of people about the scope of this disaster.

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  4. Mark - those plumes could be caused by the 70+ million gallons of oil from the Macondo well that we think may have never surfaced, or sank back beneath the surface, due in part to the use of chemical dispersants. That is the simplest explanation.

    Anyone can buy a radar satellite image that would show the Marianas, assuming an image was taken while it was on the site (this is not a given). We'd be happy to do that if we could find the $$ - it's a few thousand bucks per image.

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