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Mile Long Tube Sucking Oil From Leaking Well

May 17, 2010

Finally, some success in controlling the oil leak; BP engineers were able to hook up a mile long pipe in the leaking oil well and are able to suck some of the oil and thus preventing it to go into the ocean. But maybe, it’s too little and too late. Nevertheless, it’s a positive move so lets keep our fingers crossed. Govt and BP estimates give the rate of oil leak as close to 5000 barrels per day which some scientists and analysts believe to be on overtly-conservative side. After BP released the underwater video of the leak, scientists did some analysis on the flow rate and estimated the amount of oil gushing out of the well. Some estimates were done by using computational methods while some were just done as back of the envelope calculations and all these calculations show that the rate of oil leak is 5-15 times more than the current estimates provided by BP. That means, we are very close to surpass the largest oil leak in US history, Exxon Valdez, if not already exceeded that amount.

Scientists have also found huge plumes of oil under the Ocean surface, as large as 10 miles long and 3 miles wide!! Already at some places the oxygen level has dropped by 30% and this will continue to decrease until the oil leak stops causing severe damage to the whole Ocean ecological system of the area. One of the reasons why we might not be able to see all the oil on the surface is due to the use of dispersant which BP has been using excessively. There are various theories for dispersant as well, some say that by using dispersant, the oil layer is broken down to small droplets which is not able to rise to the surface, so much of the oil remains below the surface, unseen. Also, the dispersant which are being used have not been studied for being used at such deep levels below the sea, so no one knows how much damage these dispersant might be causing. Meanwhile BP has said NO to any kind of interference by the scientists to study or estimate the gulf oil spill as it will divert their attention to control the leak. I just hope they know what they are doing, because all the steps they have taken untill now seem to me like a last minute thought and doesn’t seem to be technologically advanced in anyway. I guess, they spent most of their technological advancements in drilling the oil and no thoughts on how to control any kind of disaster that might occur during the process. Here is a hilarious take on BP efforts in controlling the leak by Jon Stewart. Also you can see some of the recent pictures from the Gulf, embedded after the video.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
There Will Be Blame

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