Thursday, June 10, 2010

The worst oil spill (BP Deepwater Horizon)

The catastrophic explosion of Deepwater Horizon drilling rig situated about 40 miles southeast of Louisiana April 20 has by far caused the worst oil spill ever occured in the whole history of man kind.

The spill rate has been revised and suggested to be twice as much as the initial estimate, which amounts to 25000 -30000 barrels of oil per day. The amount is equivalent to exxon valdez disaster could be flowing into Gulf of Mexico every 8-10 days.

After a series of failures to seal the leak, BP is now resorting to a large capping mechanism to contain the oil slick and production vessels for recovering some cut of the leak. It is said that the flow can only be stemmed by drilling two relief wells and permanently plugging the well.

Methods that have been tried to stop the leaking oil.

The damage as a result from the leak is still surging. The cost for clean up could easily run up to billions of dollars. As the revised figure of leak is on the rise, it poses even greater stake to BP. Fearing the company may end up declaring bankruptcy, many investors have sold the company shares leading to volatilization of BP's share price over 40%, which amount to tens of billions of losses. It said "Today BP is worth $91.4 bil. In mid April, the company was worth $180 bil"

Such a spill is totally disastrous and its impact on the environment and economy will remain for decades to come. I hope that the planning, implementationof offshore activities will go through greater scrutiny, be free from bribery and in compliance with regulations.

Extension I
In view that the regulations for deepwater drilling which were established since decades ago have expired, as the operators are going to ultra deep water, president Obama annouced a moratorium for offshore drilling in US water. Whilst, drilling experts are reviewing the regulations to meet the unprecedented drilling conditions. According to industry officials, new regulations aimed at permanently reshaping the US offshore oil and gas industry will raise cost and could reduce offshore output.

In response to that, four of the world largest oil companies have come together for an initiative in order to regain confidence and thus get the moratorium removed. An industry consortium called the Marine Well Containment Co. has been founded to combat future oil spill. They are going to manufacture a system that is capable of containing spill in water as deep as 10000 feets, and capture up to 100000 barrels of oil a day. It is said to be flexible, adaptable and available for rapid response.

Extension II
The US government officially lifted the moratorium on Oct. 12, but energy companies are now due toface a more difficult and costly process to get permits to resume exploration there.

4 comments:

Ann Philip said...

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Chemhoster said...

It's pretty comprehensive. Thanks.

Chemhoster said...

Among the causes of Deepwater Horizon disaster, as commented by Tony Hayward:

1. The cement that seals the reservoir from the well;

2. The casing system,which seals the well bore;

3. The pressure tests to confirm the well is sealed;

4. The execution of procedures to detect and control hydrocarbons in the well, including the use of the blowout preventer (BOP) and the maintenance of that BOP;

5. The BOP Emergency Disconnect System, which can be activated by pushing a button at multiple locations on the rig;

6. The automatic closure of the BOP after its connection is lost with the rig;

7. Features in the BOP to allow ROVs to close the BOP and thereby seal the well at the seabed after a blowout.

Chemhoster said...

There goes the blame game. Of course no one will want to take responsibility for as this is such a such liablities worthing billions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/business/global/08ocean.html