the Oil Spill

Discussion in 'Natural Revelation and God's Creation' started by JennyG, Jul 30, 2010.

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  1. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    I live in the complex right next to the Back Porch - next time shoot me a message and we'll get together!
  2. TexanRose

    TexanRose Puritan Board Sophomore

    Wow, I'm surprised that the people who have responded here think (as far as I can tell) that the oil spill was no big deal. I mean surely no matter what your political stance and where you get your news, you can at least agree that the oil spill was a horrible waste of perfectly good oil, right?
  3. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    It was "no big deal" relative to the immense hype the media was making about it. Objectively, sure, it was a disaster--but compared to what they thought would happen, it was about as bad as a tanker truck tipping over on the highway.
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    About enough to keep the BP refinery outside Houston supplied for 10 days. (Generous estimate of oil lost, 5 million barrels, capacity of the Texas City refinery, 475,000 barrels a day).
  5. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    Well shoot. We ate there twice. Got the surf and turf. Surprisingly great steaks. Also hit that outlet mall a few miles down the road a couple of times. Really a great area. Going back with my parents before too long so my dad, little brother and I can go deep sea fishing.
  6. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    You should try the Fish Bar - just opened up 6 weeks ago. Really good food - try the shrimp and grits entree. Anyway, if you're interested in getting together shoot me a message...
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    The British media does some real reporting on the context of this oil spill, its impact, cost, and cleanup:

    BP oil spill: Why claims that Gulf of Mexico was history's worst oil spill may be the most cynical spin campaign ever | Mail Online

    We live at a time in which we have no major media journalism anymore, we live in a time of major media propaganda, and we can no longer, in the main, count on it to provide us information about which to form opinions about our world. Not about the church, what's real, what's true, what's good, what's bad, not even what's accurate. (That is a greater disaster than what happened in the Gulf, really).
  8. TexanRose

    TexanRose Puritan Board Sophomore

  9. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

  10. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Sharon, those folks, unless they have changed, are wack-jobs. Based upon what I know of them in the past if they told me the sun was hot I'd try to find another source before I believed it.
  11. TexanRose

    TexanRose Puritan Board Sophomore

    I heard about this on the radio, googled "80% of oil still in Gulf" and grabbed the first site that came up, not having time to research them all. But most of the major news outlets also reported on this--ABC, NBC, NPR, etc. You're welcome to google it yourself.

    Or are you claiming that the oceanographers themselves are "wack jobs"?
  12. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I heard the same sort of reports on the news. I also heard reports that these oceanographers are basing their ideas on spill histories involving heavy and/or sour crude, not the light crude that was in this spill. Those particular news outlets report the same thing almost all of the time. Often it is incorrect. For instance, yesterday they were all reporting that 'all' combat troops are now withdrawn from Iraq. That is a bald face inaccuracy. The US Army still has significant armed combat air troops in Iraq that are likely to be there until 31Dec2011. No report that I heard or read mentioned that the withdrawal of troops was only ground troops.

    No, I was not calling the oceanographers 'wack jobs'. I was called the organisation that owns that website that name.
  13. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    BP oil spill: US scientist retracts assurances over success of cleanup | Environment | The Guardian

    Thia is an NOAA scientist. Not some whacko.


    "experts from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute mapped a 22-mile plume of oil droplets from BP's well, providing the strongest evidence so far over the fate of the crude.

    "These results indicate that efforts to book-keep where the oil went must now include this plume," said Christopher Reddy, one of the Woods Hole team. The report also said the plume was very slow to break down by natural forces.

    "Many people speculated that subsurface oil droplets were being easily degraded," said Richard Camilli, the lead author of the paper. "Well, we didn't find that. We found it was still there."

    The spill was not light crude, it was heavily asphalt. You can probably find more on that if you google it.
  14. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor


    I never called the scientists whackos. I called the orgainisation who the link went to whack jobs and they are.

    I have two very good friends who have been deeply involved in this spill. One is a very well respected petroleum field engineer with over thirty years of experience. The other is an engineer who specialises in spill clean up. He has been at it for more than three decades as well. They are both solid Christians and work as independents in their fields. They both say that the vast majority of the oil released was Louisiana Sweet Crude. There were some Asphaltene released but, minimal. If it were an Asphaltene release then the stuff would be all over the top and on the marshes and beaches. It would not have degraded.

    I understand there is conflicting information out there. One really must consider the source. I used to have a great deal of respect for Woods Hole. I hoped to one day either work there or at Scripps. (God obviously had other plans.) Woods Hole is not the center of independent oceanography that it once used to be. It has become highly politicised. That is a cry shame. Science should be left free of politics, but it is no longer that way. NOAA has become an arm of the 'Save the World from Humans' crowd as well. They continually push the Global Warming agenda.
  15. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Update - all Louisiana waters are now open to recreational fin fishing; about 11% remain closed to shrimping and crabbing. Some areas remain closed to commercial fishing, the state is awaiting approvals from federal bureaucrats. Most beaches remain closed although they are clean and there is no new oil coming in.

    See the Baton Rouge Advocate for more info. | News | Recreational fishing of finfish OK in state waters — Baton Rouge, LA

    ---------- Post added at 01:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:59 PM ----------

    Do you have a source for that?
  16. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Do you have a source for that?[/QUOTE]

    I don't know what source she is citing, but a great deal was made of a couple of 'independent tests' in the news. They both were wailing about the 'heavy asphalt' of the spill. One test was done on tar balls. The only thing was is that the test was a test to determine the amount of volatiles in petroleum. Tar balls are what is left after volatiles have evaporated/dissipated. They will always be asphaltic. The other test was done on some oil found in Florida. The only problem with that sample was it was found to be from an offshore seep - off of the coast of Florida.

    From what I have read from truly independent reputable sources the spill was light, 'Louisiana Sweet', crude. What has thrown some folks is that some of the material washing on shore was black and sticky, more 'asphalt like'. Well, that is what happens to light crude when the volatiles are gone. Before final decomposition it gets 'gunky'.

    Remember, I live down here. I fish these bays, marshes, off shore rigs, and other sites. My livelihood, even as a pastor, is dependent upon a healthy fishery and tourism industry. All that to say, I have a dog in this hunt. I believe that we are much better off knowing what really happened rather than casting about in uncertainty, fear, and distrust. Saying that, I don't trust this administration in what they have said about this spill, how they have handled it, etc. I do have very good intel on what really took, is taking place, from both the industry and the USCG. I'd rather not go into detail on line about that. If you really want to know you can PM me.
  17. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    Hi Lawrence...

    I did a lot of reading during the spill at the oil drum. They are technical ( often over my head) and seem reasonably objective, and have many oil guys posting there. I would say it is worse than the media is spinning now, but better than the doom scenarios.

    Re the asphalt, the gulf has asphalt volcanos in it, natural seeps/leaks that form asphalt domes on the sea floor. There were articles speculating that this had hit one of those reservoirs. I have no idea what I read where at this point, but I do take the time to see if a link is from a science site or an " I saw Elvis in a UFO" site. It may have been because of the extraordinarly high methane levels, If I recall correctly.

    Asphalt volcano - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If you know fine credible Christians who say it was light crude, I believe you, but frankly given the steps BP took to keep scientists and reporters away from independent verification of facts, it is no wonder so much conjecture abounded online. The coverups, evasions, and corruption from BP was over the top. I realize that political groups and environmental groups have their agenda, but so do huge and powerful corporations.

    There are videos online people are taking of their beaches, and you dig eight inches and the water is oily. Based on how long it took the Persian Gulf to recover from what Saddam did ( a huge spill, perhaps similar in amount and also in a warm gulf) it'll take a few years to get rid of the worst of it. It isn't the doomer end of the Atlantic, but neither is it almost over.

    I'd be interested to hear what you know from insiders if you do send out a PM. My dad sells a product somewhat similar to corexit but less toxic, and even that is not allowed in agriculture as it is taken into plants and then humans and does not break down for at least a couple months. Independent toxicologists are saying that dispersant plus oil can be absorbed through the skin ( human and seafood) and is deadly, it can cause internal bleeding. I fear it is far too early to allow fishing to resume.

    Thanks for the replies.
  18. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

  19. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    Lawrence- this source sounds credible. I'd be curious to know what your friends think of this.

    Guest Post: Top Oil Expert Says Geology is “Fractured”, Relief Wells May Fail and Oil May Leak for Years … BP is Using a “Cloak of Silence”, and Refusing to Share Even Basic Data with the Government « naked capitalism

    Friday, August 20, 2010
    Guest Post: Top Oil Expert Says Geology is “Fractured”, Relief Wells May Fail and Oil May Leak for Years … BP is Using a “Cloak of Silence”, and Refusing to Share Even Basic Data with the Government

    → Washington’s Blog

    Few people in the world know more about oil drilling disasters than Dr. Robert Bea.

    Bea teaches engineering at the University of California Berkeley, and has 55 years of experience in engineering and management of design, construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning of engineered systems including offshore platforms, pipelines and floating facilities. Bea has worked for many years in governmental and quasi-governmental roles, and has been a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters. He worked for 16 years as a top mechanical engineer and manager for Shell Oil, and has worked with Bechtel and the Army Corps of Engineers. One of the world’s top experts in offshore drilling problems, Bea is a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group, and has been interviewed by news media around the world concerning the BP oil disaster.

    Washington’s Blog spoke with Dr. Bea yesterday.

    WB: Might there be problems with the relief wells? I know that it took a couple of relief wells to finally stop the Ixtoc leak, and it has taken as many as 5 relief wells to stop some blowouts.

    Bea: Yes, it could take repeated attempts.

    WB: Are there any conditions at BP’s well which might make killing the leak with relief wells more difficult than with the average deepwater oil spill?

    Bea: That’s an interesting question. You have to ask why did this location blow out when nearby wells drilled in even deeper water didn’t blow out.

    You have to look at the geology of the Macondo well. It is in a subsalt location, in a Sigsbee salt formation. [For background, see this and this]

    The geology is fractured.

    Usually, the deeper you drill, the more pressure it takes to fracture rock. This is called the “fracture gradient“.

    But when BP was drilling this well, the fracture gradient reversed. Indeed, BP lost all pressure as it drilled into the formation.

    WB: Is it possible that this fractured, subsea salt geology will make it difficult to permanently kill the oil leak using relief wells?

    Bea: Yes, it could. The Santa Barbara channel seeps are still leaking, decades after the oil well was supposedly capped. This well could keep leaking for years.

    Scripps mapped out seafloor seeps in the area of the well prior to the blowout. Some of the natural seeps penetrate 10,000 to 15,000 feet beneath the seafloor. The oil will follow lines of weakness in the geology. The leak can travel several horizontal miles from the location of the leak.

    [In other words, the geology beneath the seafloor is so fractured, with soft and unstable salt formations, that we may never be able to fully kill the well even with relief wells. Instead, the loss of containment of the oil reservoir caused by the drilling accident could cause oil to leak out through seeps for years to come. See this and this for further background].

    WB: I know that you’ve previously said that you’re concerned that there might be damage to the well bore, which could make it more difficult for the relief wells to succeed.

    Bea: Yes, that’s still a concern.

    WB: I have heard that BP is underestimating the size of the oil reservoir (and see this). Is it possible that the reservoir is bigger than BP is estimating, and so – if not completely killed – the leak could therefore go on for longer than most assume?

    Bea: That’s plausible.

    WB: The chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon said that the Macondo well was originally drilled in another location, but that “going faster caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing tools”, and that BP abandoned that well. You’ve spoken to that technician and looked into the incident, and concluded that “they damn near blew up the rig.” [See this and this].

    Do you know where that abandoned well location is, and do you know if that well is still leaking?

    Bea: The abandoned well is very close to the current well location. BP had to file reports showing the location of the abandoned well and the new well [with the Minerals Management Service], so the location of the abandoned well is known.

    We don’t know if the abandoned well is leaking.


    And with the Bay Charman oil leak, more than 50% of the oil stayed below the surface of the ocean. [As I've previously pointed out, the US Minerals Management Service and a consortium of oil companies, including BP, found that as little as 2% of the oil which spill from deepwater wells ever makes it to the surface of the ocean. And the use of dispersant might decrease that number still further].
  20. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

  21. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor


    I can ask them. I do know that naked capitalism is not a trustworthy source of information. I don't know about Robert Bea's credentials as a geologist. I do know that he had a very liberal axe to grind after Katrina. He was a gadfly (not in the good sense) trying to push the blame for the disaster in New Orleans off of the liberal Democratic leadership and blame anything conservative.
  22. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    Lawrence, I can't think of a less credible source than BP.

    We have interviews with highly trained toxicologists saying that the dispersant breaks the oil into microscopic particles which are ingested by seafood and cause internal hemmoraging and death. Chemists are testing water and finding toxic levels of corexit.

    This is about little kids eating carcinogens. If you want to be optimistic about the oil degrading quickly, well, I sure hope so. But I would be very cautious about believing any BP or govt report at this time. I don't think any microbes eat corexit. It is too soon to say everything is fine and safe.
  23. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    If you will re-read my posts. I've never said to trust BP or the government. I have also pointed out that the dispersants used in this spill were of a different, supposedly safer, type that the econuts pushed into the situation. Had the econuts not gotten involved then this spill would have been burned off, skimmed off, and normal proven dispersants used. Very little if any would have entered the food chain or gotten to shore. You can lay a great deal of this at the feet of the current administration and its wonderful new crop of super-bureaucrats.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  24. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    Yup. Although the fine per barrel spilled is so big ( BPs fine will be billions at the higher estimate) that I don't doubt the cynics who think they used dispersant to cover up the real total. Money is the god of this world. Britain's economy is so dependent on BP for income that the USA probably helped cover up ...allies and all.

    Hope your beach is OK, but take it easy on shrimp.....
  25. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    BTW, the dispersants used have proven to be much less safe that the standard dispersants. I should have stated that in my previous post.
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