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6 weeks after the oil spill began, and Top Kill has failed..

by grimgraphix / May 29, 2010 11:36 PM PDT
BP will "move on to the next option" after several attempts to stuff solid material and pump mud into a breached Gulf of Mexico oil well failed to stop the flow, according to a BP spokesman.

...But officials say more wildlife are at risk as up to 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of oil daily continue gushing from an underwater well that engineers have been unable to cap for more than a month.

Top BP executives said Saturday that engineers and scientists had decided to try a new technique of stopping the flow after three attempts to pump mud and 16 tries to stuff solid material into the well failed.
That option: placing a custom-built cap to fit over the "lower marine riser package," BP chief operation officer Doug Suttles said. BP crews were already at work Saturday to ready the materials for that method, he said

New plan is to cut the old equipment off the well head and attempt to put on a new one.

I am curious. Has anyone ever seen a news report that detailed how much pressure the oil is spewing out at?

I am also curious to know if BP has reached out to other oil companies to use other expertise?

I have yet to see the comparison, but in many ways, one might compare this leak to a Chernobyl. The half life of the destruction might be different but the impact on the environment will last for hundreds of years.

I saw the news use the phrase "worst oil spill in US history" several times this past week. Do they mean to say that there has been worse oil spills in human history?
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Other parts of the world, check out
by Roger NC / May 30, 2010 12:51 AM PDT

the link for just one example.

From one story-
It is impossible to know how much oil is spilled in the Niger delta each year because the companies and the government keep that secret. However, two major independent investigations over the past four years suggest that as much is spilled at sea, in the swamps and on land every year as has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico so far.

And one totally unexpected fact I saw on another search, Oil spills account for only about five percent of the oil entering the oceans. The Coast Guard estimates that for United States waters sewage treatment plants discharge twice as much oil each year as tanker spills.

The largest difference with the disaster in the Gulf seems to be the amount concentrated in one area in one time frame, with the potential for so much to reach land in a short time frame. Actually the largest difference is the news coverage because of where it is located.

So there may be some fact behind arguments that when we import oil, we're just exporting the problems with producing it.

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interesting information... thanks
by grimgraphix / May 30, 2010 1:00 AM PDT

I did a quick search for answers on how much pressure the oil leak is spewing out at, but all I got was "political" stories about the pressure BP and Obama is under. I'm sure the problem is with the way I am phrasing my search.

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Try backing into it...
by J. Vega / May 30, 2010 4:23 AM PDT

Try "backing into" a search for the pressures involved. BP was trying to force mud down the well. It would seem that the pressure they applied to that mud would be greater than the existing pressure, so that pressure would be a starting point.
I tried a quick Google on "BP top kill mud pressure psi" and got a lot of hits mentioning the pressures involved in the situation. A lot of those hits are for entries in blogs, so they may or may not be valid. However, there are hits on sites that deal with scientific analysis, from Popular Mechanics to more complicated sites. Some of the calculations get quite complex, and their figures vary a bit.
The Popular Mechanics site, which is not as complex, said in part:
"Modern-day drilling mud is typically a water-based mixture of heavy clay minerals and synthetic additives. The minerals provide the weight, which can range from 9 pounds per gallon, to as much as 12 or 14 pounds (water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon). The additives allow the mud to maintain a consistent density and composition whether it's sitting in a tank on a drilling platform, filling an exposed well head at pressures of 2500 PSI and temperatures of 30 F, or squeezing into the narrow base of the well, where conditions could be closer to 9000 PSI and 200 F.".
A search using the above Goggle search example will yield a lot of info to examine, I just did a quick search on a few of them.

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Try this
by Mike_Hanks / May 31, 2010 3:05 AM PDT
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