You are browsing the archive for Deep Horizon Oil Rig.

Where Did the Oil Disappear ?

August 7, 2010 in Environment

Deep Water Horizon Oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico spewed oil in to water around for 86 days, after many different trials and errors BP managed to cap the well and a few days later there was hardly any oil to be seen on the surface. As per estimates around 200 million barrels of oil leaked into the waters of the Gulf Of Mexico. The NOAA says almost 3/4th of the oil was either skimmed, burned, dispersed or consumed by the microbes in the water. There by leaving around 54 millions gallons of oil in the gulf which is still nearly five times the size of the 11 million-gallon Exxon Valdez spill, which wreaked environmental havoc in Alaska in 1989.

I found it interesting that 200 million barrels of oil could be taken off from the waters in the gulf. The skimmers were getting around 20+million barrels of oil a day. The government says about a 1/4 of the oil evaporated or dissolved in the warm Gulf waters, the same way sugar dissolves in water, federal officials said. Another 1/6 th naturally dispersed because of the way it leaked from the well. Another 1/6 th was burned, skimmed or dispersed using controversial chemical dispersants. Easily explained away with the percentages and combination’s et al, but in reality it just sounds too good to be true.

I have seen and heard news reports where local boat captains and others who have been involved in the cleaning and skimming operations say they were finding it difficult to accept the claims that only 1/4th of the oil remained in the gulf of Mexico. BP is now conducting a static kill on the well in place of the 75ton cap.

During the static kill BP pumped 2,000 barrels (84,000 gallons) of synthetic drilling mud into the well, beginning 3rd August 2010. The way the system works is in a static state, meaning that the downward weight of the mud is counterbalancing the pressure of the oil pushing upward from the reservoir.

The locals along the Gulf coast are outraged by the clean claims of BP and the slowing down of the cleaning activities in the gulf.

” According to WVUE correspondent John Snell, local officials dispatched a dive team to a barrier island off of southeastern Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish to scan the sea floor for oil. The team, however, could barely see the sea floor, due to the current murky state of the area waters. But when the divers returned to shore, they made a rather remarkable discovery: Tiny holes that burrowing Hermit crabs had dug into the ground effectively became oil-drilling holes. When the divers placed pressure on the ground near the holes, oil came oozing up.”

It is shameful that the largest oil spill in the nations history is being covered up without much thought, it will be decades really before we know the real extent of Deep Water Horizon Oil Spills lasting impact.

A Video from FOX  WVUE on BP’s Oil on the Louisiana Barrier Islands:

A video About how Oil Dispersants Work?

A CNN Video interview with Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungusser,Dated June 16, 2010

The Latest on BP in the Gulf of Mexico – as they are working on the static kill and the relief wells to confirm it worked, BP announced it’s plans to drill another well somewhere nearby!  BP’s  COO Doug Suttle “Clearly there’s lots of oil and gas there and we’ll have to think about what to do with that at some point,” Read the entire article HERE

This Video is about Corexit the Dispersant extensively used by BP in the Gulf

Will update as I learn more, it seems like yesterday when Deep Horizon was front page news…


Deepwater Horizon Oil well is Capped; What Now?

July 20, 2010 in Environmental News

For the last almost 3 months the public has been interested in the oil spill and what it was doing to the environment and the people who depend on the gulf of Mexico. BP managed to close the leak on the well after months of trying various options on the 15th of July 2010. The interest probably waned by the end of last month when the oil spill left the front pages of news papers.

When Exxon-Valdez happened in 1989 most people who felt the Oceans needed to be spared from the aftermath of another oil spill vowed that we would all fight off-shore drilling, as soon as Exxon became relegated to the back pages, it drifted away from memory too and we continued our consumption of oil with a gung ho attitude…The NYtimes reports that “on the rocky beaches of Alaska, scientists plunged shovels and picks into the ground and dug 6,775 holes, repeatedly striking oil — still pungent and dangerous a dozen years after the Exxon Valdez infamously spilled its cargo”.

Now we have approximately 1600 off-shore oil rigs in the US waters. Deep-water Horizon was the deepest off shore oil well – standing in 5000feet of water in the middle of the Gulf Of Mexico the well had another 35,000 feet drilled into the rock beneath to reach the oil.

You can read the BP press release here

So what is the verdict at the end of the Oil spill? Have we reached a unanimous decision as a country to reduce our dependence on Oil? Sadly the answer is NO, a good chunk of us treat the oil spill as something that is happening away from them, a necessity due to the “Need for Oil”. There are still quarters where “drill here and drill now” reverberate, and drilling is seen as the solution for all our Oil issues.

Some Facts –

  • Cleaning up the aftermath of the Oil spill still continues and we don’t really know how long it will be before we can say for sure it is done. (for e g: The 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill aftermath is still felt along the shores of Alaska after 20 years, biologists think it will take another 10 years for the shores and marine life to return to normal).
  • Every oil spill is different, but the thread that unites these disparate scenes is a growing scientific awareness of the persistent damage that spills can do — and of just how long oil can linger in the environment, hidden in out-of-the-way spots.
  • The ecology of the Gulf of Mexico is specially adapted to break down oil, more so than any other body of water in the world — though how rapidly and completely it can break down an amount this size is essentially unknown.
  • In 1969, a barge hit the rocks off the coast of West Falmouth, Mass., spilling 189,000 gallons of fuel oil into Buzzards Bay. Today, the fiddler crabs at nearby Wild Harbor still act drunk, moving erratically and reacting slowly to predators.
  • In 1969, a barge hit the rocks off the coast of West Falmouth, Mass., spilling 189,000 gallons of fuel oil into Buzzards Bay. Today, the fiddler crabs at nearby Wild Harbor still act drunk, moving erratically and reacting slowly to predators.
  • US and the World still consumes more oil than can be sustained and it is only a matter of time before we do run out of oil.

The sinking of the Titanic, the meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor in 1986, the collapse of the World Trade Center — all forced engineers to address what came to be seen as deadly flaws. So the chances of a world wide ban on off shore drilling looks very very unattainable in our lifetime.

At the time of this post the Deep water horizon is quiet and capped while BP decides whether to shut it up for good.

Some links to read more about –

NYtimes on lessons from Oil spills

Hidden Damage of Oilspills

BP keeps Oil well closed


Seeds of Deception Part II

June 23, 2010 in Sustainable Living

Continuing from my last post here


Why is there HUNGER in the world? Why do people still die because of Hunger? The days when the world did not produce enough food has been gone for years now, yet we have over a billion people who suffer from Hunger in 2010! There are children dying because of hunger world over, why is it?

No one really knows exactly how many people are malnourished. The statistic most frequently cited is that of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which measures ‘under-nutrition’. The most recent estimate, released on October 14, 2009 by FAO,  says that 1.02 billion people are undernourished, a sizable increase from its 2006 estimate of  854 million people.

Lack of food is not the problem. Enough food is produced in the world today for everyone to be properly nourished and lead a healthy and productive life. Hunger exists because of poverty. In a Developing country like India where the GDP is growing by 6-8% every year the agrarian way of life still supports more than 50% of her 1billion plus people and forms less than 18% of the GDP. Indian Government estimates say around 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. In 1995 India became and agri-exporter because Green Revolution had succeeded and she was producing surplus food! Add to that the fact that India is ranked second in Agricultural out put! Yet her farmers are killing themselves in the 1000’s because of hunger and debt!! Isn’t that a huge disconnect?

Agriculture the First Revolution for Human kind


One common thread that binds all the species on our earth is the fact that we all at the end of day work for food, every thing else is secondary.  Agriculture for all practical purposes can be considered the first revolution for human kind. We discovered agriculture some 10,000 years back which lead to man settling down creating cities and civilizations.

Today half of human kind depend on agriculture for survival.  Almost 3/4 of this population still use their hands and do traditional farming. Agriculture was passed down from generation to generation and the agrarian way of life could be called almost ritualistic. The farmer toiled on his farm every year, depending on his hard work and nature for his yield. Industrialization and the discovery of coal and crude oil changed agriculture too. The unbridled power of oil changed agriculture in ways we would not imagine 50 years back. Machines replaced men; a liter of oil produced enough energy to run machines which replaced almost 50 people working 24hours!

In the US with a population of approximately 300million,  there are only 3 million farmers left and they produce enough food to feed 2 Billion people! Most of this feed is not used as food but transformed into bio fuels and cattle feed.

Agriculture uses 70% of all water we use in the world! Crops adapted to the weather patterns and the soil where they grew gave way to the high-yielding Transgenic varieties which produced more and were easier to cultivate. In the last century we have lost over 3/4th of all native seeds developed by farmers world over by cultivation over 1000 years…

An example for a modern Agricultural “marvel” would be Almeria in Spain- Europe’s vegetable garden. As far as the eye can see it is plastic roof tops with controlled artificial environments below. The home project film describes it like this “As far as the eye can see plastic above and fertilizer below. A city of uniformly sized vegetables wait everyday to be transported to Europe’s super markets”.

This is modern day Agriculture, where hybrids are the name of the game. We get inbuilt pesticides, herbicides and viruses so that the vegetable crop survives. The producers “guarantee” there has been no case of transference of genes from plants to humans noted. The only study done has been with soy and it has been seen it does transfer to our colon. More about it in the next post as am still reading Jeffrey M Smith’s book Genetic Roulette (see the link at the bottom of the page, I got it from there)

Development in the Developing World

India, China, Brazil etc are all part of the world referred to as the developing world. Today over half of the 7 Billion people in the world live in cities. I pick India as an e.g. because it is the largest democracy in the world and has the second largest population in the world, add to it the fact that I grew up there :). During my recent visits what has stuck me most is how fast India’s Urban landscape is changing. Overnight small cities have skylines and suburbs keep encroaching rural areas around to expand.

Right now the population of cities in the developing countries are increasing in ten folds every year. As rural life becomes more difficult people head into cities looking for jobs as they did eons back.

As the Indian economy surged, matters that call for the urgent attention of the public and government are ignored in favor of the stock market, and India’s famed IT boom. Agriculture though it feeds the country is left behind by the Government and the press. As farms become non-sustainable and farmers become debt laden their only recourse is to either head towards  the urban areas to look for menial hand to mouth existence jobs or end their lives.

Effects of Green Revolution in India

The North Western state of Punjab was the poster child for Green Revolution, it was the success story which was on every ones lips. Schools taught it as the shining example of what farming can accomplish. It was dubbed the “Bread Bucket of India” during the 80’s and 90’s. Punjab took to Industrialized farms effortlessly and the results were stunning to say the least. The state was producing surplus in agriculture and their GDP was way ahead of the rest of the country. Now Punjab is referred to as a case study in “How industrial agriculture boosts yields in the short term, but leads to the long term destruction of the land on which agriculture depends and of the social and environmental contxt with which it is immediately linked”.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAAKSTD) concluded after assessing Punjab’s situation that “Business as usual is not an option and If radical changes are not made in how we produce and distribute our food the world’s people can not be fed over the next half century and we will be left with a world which nobody wants to inhabit!”

Now India adds 18 million people every year to her population! Her farms are producing lesser and lesser food and her farmers are getting deeper into debt. What can help them?

India will have to alter her course and go back to her roots in the agrarian way of life which sustained her for long. Some things that come to mind are as follows:

  • Community based natural farming.
  • Using native non-transgenic seeds which are adapted to the native conditions.
  • Rotating crops there by not letting pests get out of control.
  • Using natural herbicides and fertilizers etc…

A radical over haul of thinking and action is what will help the world in reaching a balance where everyone will have access to food and the environment will be taken care of too. Returning to a sustainable way of farming is the only recourse for mankind. As the Native American saying goes:

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”

Live Green!

GMO’s and other problems will be covered in the 3rd part of this post… have to finish reading Jeffrey Smith’s book

Genetic Roulette Digest

http://www.agassessment.org/

Continued Human Dependence On Fossil Fuels A Folly

June 12, 2010 in Alternative Energy

Picture courtesy US Coastguard

The Line most people say when there is a talk about fossil fuels “America is addicted to Oil”, does that mean the rest of the world does not use it? No it basically means we use more than our share of oil. Approximately the number of registered vehicles in the US could be between 254 to 265 million and a vehicle on average uses 600 gallons of fuel annually which would total to 152.4Billion gallons of fuel! US population of 309.5 million is around 5% of the world population and we use around 26% of the world’s fuel. US has around .8 cars per person!

Experts estimate the earth has around 1.05 trillion barrels of crude oil remaining. We are using around 24billion barrels of oil annually. If that rate remains a constant we will run out of oil approximately by the year 2053. If the usage increases as it is increasing right now that date will be much closer than further.

Fossil Fuels in the coming years

Data courtesy Society of Sedimentary Geology

We all hear about Climate Change / Global warming; many of us accept what the scientists say and many question it. What is constant or common between the believers and the doubters is the acceptance that there definitely is some difference in weather patterns and related natural phenomenon across the globe. The Inter governmental panel for Climate change our planet is at the warmest in 420,000 years!

Some thoughts about fossil fuels:

  • As the Oil Spill in the gulf shows us, drilling and siphoning oil from 5000feet under the ocean is not an easy solution or an environmentally friendly one to say the least.
  • All the technology in the world cannot take on nature and prevent manmade disasters.
  • It might sound utopian but a field of sunflowers powering our vehicles sound so much less stressful than burning oil from the Middle East.
  • A single car using 600barrels of oil will produce around 12,000 pounds of CO2 which will take 240 trees to absorb! Just imagine the number of trees we will need for 260million vehicles!
  • The remaining tropical forests remove a massive 4.8 billion tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere each year i.e. they are carbon sinks (anything which absorbs more carbon than it releases).
  • Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), referring to the goal of limiting global warming to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius as compared to temperatures in pre-industrial times.
  • If flights were fuller it would mean lesser number of flights and there for lesser carbon emissions.
  • European Union too followed the US and decided to give up on the Kyoto Protocol! An international agreement adopted in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. The protocol sets binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for developed countries that would reduce their emissions on average 5.2% below 1990 levels.
  • Flying injects exhaust emissions directly into the upper part of the atmosphere, where they cause the most damage. The effects of the resulting mix of chemical reactions are complex and hard to calculate, occurring over timescales between three days and 100 years. Even so, scientists believe that between 1992 and 2050, the overall impact of these emissions will prove somewhere between 1.2 and four times that of CO2 at ground level.
  • There still is no solid data as to how much Oil is flowing into the gulf. It varies from 12,000 barrels to 50,000 barrels!
  • We won’t know of the environmental and economic impact of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill until the leak is plugged and the cleaning is all but done.
  • For the future of the earth there is no way but alternative energy. For each one of us that is also the way to a better lifestyle.

Well these are just some of the information out there wonder how much more information is out there… which if I knew would make a difference in how I live my fossil fuel dependant life.

Small changes I have made; I have started planning more about the number of times I go grocery shopping so that I don’t rush to the store burning more fuel to pick up something I forgot.

I believe until the day we are truly rid of fossil fuel addiction we need to keep trying to wean our selves off… Not an easy fight I know… If not, the catastrophe that is on the front page these days will repeat, with what kind of impact only time will tell.

This link will give you an idea about how large the area of the spill is in distances which make sense to us… check it out, I found it useful.

Sources:

Bureau of Trasportation Statistics

EDF

Earth Trends

Science Daily

BBC

Time for change


Environmental Impact of DeepWater Horizon Oil Spill

June 3, 2010 in Environmental News

It has been reported by news media that the oil slick spreading from the Deepwater Horizon disaster threatens fisheries, tourism and the habitat of hundreds of bird species who come ashore every year to breed. We thought it would be interesting to see what kind of impact species other than humans are having due to the oil spill.

CHECK OUT THIS LINK FOR PICTURES OF BIRDS AFFECTED BY THE OIL SPILL

  1. Coral Reefs – Coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine species, they are called the tropical rain forests of the sea. However, the tiny colonial animals that build these intricate limestone masses are dying at alarming rates. Scientists in the early 2000 declared that if this trend continued, in 20 years the living corals on many of the world’s reefs will be dead and the ecosystems that depend on them severely damaged. I was wondering whether we had coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and as per the US Geological survey there are at least 2 substantial reefs in the gulf Flower garden banks and the Florida reef tract (check the image below).

    Studies have shown that the dispersants and dispersed oil droplets are significantly more toxic to the coral than the crude oil itself, the scientists report. The dispersants caused “significant harm,” including rapid, widespread death and delay in growth rates, to the coral colonies. Read more about it in detail here

  2. Microbes in the water can break down oil. The number of microbes that grow in response to the more concentrated BP spill could tip that system out of balance, says LSU oceanographer Mark Benfield. Too many microbes in the sea could suck oxygen from the water, creating an uninhabitable hypoxic area, or “dead zone.”
  3. Birds and animals that live on the shore. Check out the link for the list of endangered species which calls the Gulf of Mexico and its shores their home. The plants on the shores will all be dead if oil reaches the shore and seeps into the soil. The nesting grounds of thousands of birds and amphibians. Louisiana’s state bird the Brown Pelican is threatened too as it’s nesting areas and food has been contaminated after having made a comeback in the last couple of years after the hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc on their environment. Brown Pelican
  4. Ocean dwellers – The birds and the turtles we see, we also see the shores and the plants being affected, but 5000 feet deep under the ocean lies a world away from our eyes inhabited by sperm whales and planktons. From the planktons to fishes and mammals the variety of life in the ocean is very diverse. If one of them is affected by the oil it can affect the whole food chain. Schools of Minnows are already seen swimming just below the oil in many places, scientists are pretty sure they are doomed. Birds which prey on those fish too are susceptible to the toxins from the fishes. An e.g.: for a fish would be the Small-tooth saw fish used to have a wide habitat but are now concentrated off Florida’s southwest coast.  “Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying. I have no doubt about that,” said Prosanta Chakrabarty, a Louisiana State University fish biologist.

    Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

    One main story which could become the poster boy sort of for The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Environmental impact is the Giant Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna which has been over-fished for years and the spill added to its woes. The Gulf of Mexico is where the Blue Fin comes to spawn; nurseries of the beautiful fish call the gulf its home. It is in dire need of help, Imagine a fish with a reproductive strategy where it has to grow from a tiny egg to a 225 lb fish, and than once mature, it goes to spawn in the Gulf of Mexico for 4-6 weeks. If that’s your evolutionary strategy for reproduction, you’d better hope that your spawning ground is just like you left it the year before- warm and clean. The rest of the year the giant Blue fin swims the entire North Atlantic ranging from frigid seas off the Maritimes of Canada to Iceland, from the Azores to the shores of North Carolina. Read more here .The spawning grounds of many of these marine organisms are now being drenched in oil, the effects of which won’t be known for some time.

    The organizations which are working to help the Atlantic Blue Fin tuna

    Save the Blue Fin

    Recent discoveries of endangered sea turtles soaked in oil and 22 dolphins found dead in the spill zone only hint at the scope of a potential calamity that could last years and unravel the Gulf’s food web.

    To know the impact and extent of damage we will need to wait for the oil spill to be contained and the maximum amount of oil cleaned… Hoping for some good news soon from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill…

    Below  is a list of the endangered species which call the Gulf their home.  Courtesy of the NOAA

    US exempted BP’s Gulf of Mexico Drilling from an Environmental study! Read the full article here

    Latest on the Oil Spill from NY Times

    An interesting read from the Financial Times


DeepWater Horizon Oil Spill Where is BP Headed?

June 1, 2010 in Environmental News

DeepWater Horizon as it stood on and before 20th April 2010-Pic from Transocean

This Was Deepwater Horizon before it went up in flames and hit the ocean floor. Pic Courtesy Transocean /AP.

Pic Courtesy Deepwater Horizon Response 

It is the end of May, 42nd day of Deep Horizon Oil Spill, the Oil is still leaking and tomorrow 1st of June officially the Hurricane season starts. WSI (Weather Services International of Andover, Massachusetts) predicts 2010 hurricane season could be stronger than the 2005 season (the strongest in recorded history, remember Katrina?). The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  NOAA released its 2010 hurricane season forecast on 27th May Thursday which also reiterated the prediction made by WSI – This is going to be an “Active to Extremely Active Hurricane Season”.

If the outlook holds they predict:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

A profile of the rig which caused the single largest Environmental disaster in US History –

 Manufactured by the Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2001, Deepwater Horizon a submersible oil rig under contract to BP exploration has been used in multiple drillings before including Atlantis, The Thunder Horse field and the Tiber before drilling in the current spot Mississippi Canyon which is known as the Macondo Prospect. It was close to completion when the explosion and the sinking happened. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in September of 2009 drilled the deepest oil well in history at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet (10,683 m) and measured depth of 35,055 feet (10,685 m). Water depth is 5000 feet as we have been hearing so it is not the deepest oil well per se. Check out the list of deeper oil wells in the ocean (List Courtesy FT.com)

A look at the Other Major Oil Spills and How they compare (courtesy FT.com)

Comparing The Oil Spills world over by spillage.

After the explosion the rig sank to bottom of the sea and rests about 400 meters away from the pipe which keeps spewing oil. Right now after the failures of Top hat – the one ton metallic box now lying side by side with the sunken rig, Tubing – the tube attached to the riser which was siphoning oil managed 900,000 barrels, Top Kill  and other methods BP plans to put a lid on the pipe after cutting it right above the leak with a robotic arm. Look at the picture to see the details of the LMRP (Low Marine Riser Package) and how it is supposed to function. The drilling ship on top is supposed to siphon out the oil once the contraption is in place. Hopefully it helps to hold the oil until the 2 relief wells being drilled are a reality in about 3 months (one of which is right now on hold as they work on the LMRP)

BP's latest attempt May 31st 2010, LMRP

The issues with installing the LMRP are how much oil will spill when the pipe is cut? Right now it is a leak that has spewed out all this oil into the gulf.  Let’s hope for everyone’s sake it works, like all the other things BP tried this too is a trial for the first time at this depth. If this does not work there are some estimates that the leak could go on until August of 2010! Scary scenario having all that oil mixed with the storms which are expected…

There is also the issue that if a hurricane hits after the LMRP is in place, the tube siphoning oil will have to be removed as the ship retreats to the shore to sit out the storm, where-by the oil again will be flowing out… who knows what kind of an environmental effect it will have by then.

If left alone the Macondo well will take 7 years to empty itself out!!

Till date the spillage if filled in gallon milk jugs lined up side by side, there would be enough to reach from Chicago to New York – and back!

Latest update from

Reuters: Embattled BP readies to Plug Gushing Gulf Well

Some Useful urls/ telephone numbers for those impacted by the spill

Property damage claims: BP Claims  Claims Hot line – 1-800-440-0858

Volunteers – (If you are from out of state please do contact the organizations listed below before heading out for clear instructions and to be able to help.)

The rig on fire on 20th April 2010

Picture Courtesy the US Coastguard


Deep Horizon Oil Spill the Largest to Hit the US

May 30, 2010 in Environmental News

Live Video Link from Deep Horizon Oil Spill courtesy BP

Top Kill has Failed, we are short of boom and the Atlantic Hurricane season is around the corner! Oil is still in the Ocean some hitting the shore the rest waiting its turn… President Obama has promised more people on the ground on the water front to help with the humongous clean-up. BP supposedly trucked in extra hands to show the visiting President and his officials that they were doing everything right!

Deep Horizon Oil Spill is now officially the largest Oil spill in US history. It is much larger than Exxon-Valdez Spill and the real magnitude won’t be known until the leak is plugged. Right now the Geological survey has put the leak somewhere between 12,000 to 20,000 barrels a day! More than 3 times what they thought earlier.

Scientists have discovered a 22mile long plume of oil on the Ocean floor which is nearing an underwater canyon whose currents fuel the food chain in Gulf waters off Florida and could potentially wash the tiny plants and animals that feed larger organisms in a stew of toxic chemicals there by affecting the entire food chain in the gulf. The plume was detected just beneath the surface down to about 3,300 feet and there is a chance it will spread all the way to the Florida Keys if it does not rise up. Some scientists think if it rises up it might get broken down by sunlight.

BP has moved to plan B?? oh no must be plan W or X or something…BP now is planning to put in a lid in place to hope and stop the leak which has not stopped inspite of 3 continuous days of pumping 30,000barrels of heavy mud into it. The idea now is to cut off the pipes at the top of the blow-out prevented and allowing a container to be connected up to it that will catch the oil and allow it to rise up a pipe to the surface. Like all of these efforts, this has not yet been done before in 5,000 feet of water. Don’t know whether cutting the pipe will let more oil pour out…

Well let’s wait as we have for the past 7 weeks and hope may be tomorrow will come bearing better news 5000 feet under the sea from Deep Horizon… meanwhile if you are anywhere near the South east head down and help with what ever you can…

In the midst of all this One thing that struck me is nature is (As always) so amazing! The way it has kept oil is so much away from anything it can destroy and pollute… packaged under such high pressures so deep underneath…

Some interesting headlines I saw today :

From the NYTimes : Despite Moratorium Drilling projects Move ahead!
From the CS Monitor : Why the Gulf Oil Spill Demands New Regulations?

More tomorrow…


Deep Horizon a Quick Update

May 27, 2010 in Environmental News

President Obama came out today and admitted some mistakes where made and the best thing I heard in his press conference was the extension of moratorium on new offshore drilling for another 6 months! Just want it to be made permanent. He also mentioned that there were still issues with the MMS (Minerals Management Service) which needed to be rectified. He also said there probably were not enough booms (wondering what that is? it is something that will help keep oil contained, those orange/yellow colored long connected tubes floating in the water near the beaches of Louisiana in the oil spill pictures are booms. Read more about it here) the President also mentioned (surprise! Surprise! That BP was not forthcoming about the extent of the debacle!)

Well I hope after all this time they will work out a way to stem the flow and clean up the environment before the next talks about Drill Baby Drill ring out…

Found this interesting video on CBS check it out… it is amazing what BP did know and what it did not do (not after the rig sank but before that…)


Courtesy CBS News

On BP’s part they have stated there are no updates positive or negative at this hour. You can still see the plume looking pretty strong (basically no idea whether the top kill is working or not!) Check out the video here 

More updates tomorrow… hopefully they will be positive.


Deep Horizon Oil Spill Getting Messier By The Day

May 26, 2010 in Environmental News

 Picture source BP/AP/Columbus Dispatch

I was listening to Billy Joel singing Down Easter Alexa and it hit me the fishermen who live by the Ocean in the Gulf states pretty much have the lines written for them “Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore… There ain’t much future for a man who works the sea…” this is effecting a whole spectru… from environment to wildlife to people… there seems to be hardly anyone untouched by the oil spill in the gulf.

 It has been 5 weeks since the Rig submerged spewing out oil onto the Ocean floor and into the currents headed for the shore. BP is still to this minute trying to plug the leak! The tube which was “supposedly attached” did not work. Now they are trying to cover it off with Concrete and mud slush Top Kill (which has a 60% chance of succeeding!) On 26th May that is today Morning they did just that, they pumped the tube full of mud and concrete.  After a month of trying to cover it up by saying it was “just” 5000 barrels of oil being pumped into the Ocean (when conservative estimates suggests it is between 20,000 to 80,000 barrels a day!) and they would be able to control it and seemingly being inept to manage a catastrophe of this magnitude BP is still not sure when they can have it under control  and when.

The video on their website shows a plume of dark murky substance gushing into the Ocean, Bp officials say it will take 24 hours to know whether the cement, mud et al filling worked in plugging the flow (mainly because this is the first time it is being tried at a depth above 5000feet! Keep in mind in the midst of this Shell is planning to head out this summer to the Arctic Ocean to scout for oil with its 514 foot drilling ship Frontier Discoverer! Could one even imagine how bad a situation like this can be in the Arctic where the temperature and water is much more hostile and the environment equally fragile…

Under water Camera of Oil spill in The gulf

While all this is going on being far away from the Ocean front states, I wondered what was happening on the shore. Today mornings News Paper had a small 1″x1″ pic of Elmer’s Island beach with a “Beach Closed” sign. I wondered how the cleaning was going and searched for articles about the cleaning effort. I landed on MoJo (motherjones.com the site for fearless un-biased journalism). One of their Mac McClelland took a trip down to Louisiana to see for herself what was happening on the shores. She writes  :

Mon May. 24, 2010 12:14 AM PDT

Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge, even after all the warnings, looks worse than I imagined. Pools of oil black and deep stretch down the beach; when cleanup workers drag their rakes along an already-cleaned patch of sand, more auburn crude oozes up. Beneath the surface lie slimy washed-up globules that, one worker says, are “so big you could park a car on them.”

It sends a chill up ones spine, the thought of having oil permeate sand and water… how long will it really take? what will be the after effects? She also writes about the hoops BP made her jump through to get into the reserve. Everything  around there is closely monitored by BP and controlled by them supposedly “for safety precaution”. You can read her interesting report here

It was also today that a Government report came out which said MMS -Minerals Management Service – supposed to enforce safety and environmental rules on offshore rigs are winding and dining with the Oil Executives!

Wonder what tomorrow holds in store… This is a debacle which has its tentacles spread far and wide… June 1st is the official start of the Hurricane season in the Gulf too… May be Nature will be kind to us and our misdeeds and delay it a bit to help in cleaning up the mess we created. If not I shudder at the thought of heavy winds, water and oil… who knows how far and how wide it will spread…

Hurricane Season and the Oil Spill Video

For now lets all hope that the drilling mix being pumped into the tube holds and stops the oil flow… Keeping fingers crossed (toes too!)

By the Way if interested you can follow the rise and fall of “the plume” (see what is happening to the leak basically!)live here

Source :The Columbus Dispatch

Why BP/ Shell should be stopped form drilling in the Arctic Ocean


A Positive Update At The Deep Horizon Oil Rig

May 17, 2010 in Environmental News

A temporary yet significant positive development in the Deep Horizon Oil spill. BP has managed to set in a temporary solution to reduce oil gushing out into the Ocean around the sunken rig.

It has been only 24 hours since I was reading and posting about the 1000’s of gallons of crude oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico with no real solution in sight. There are millions of barrels of oil already in the water and scientists think some of it has made it into the currents headed to Florida keys. Marine biologists and others are keeping watch on that development.

Like mentioned in yesterday’s post BP had been working to try and control the spillage. Today they succeeded in reducing the amount of oil being dumped into the Ocean by successfully attaching a pipe to the burst pipeline and pumping some of the oil into a tanker. Let us hope it works well and the amount of oil flowing out into the water reduces considerably. It won’t be known until some days as to how much oil the contraption is able to suck. Keeping fingers crossed…

The picture below demonstrates how the oil is being sucked out.

Source for Picture and news bit www.dispatch.com

Yesterday’s post is here