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2010 May 09 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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What Am I Missing?

Gulf Gusher symbolFirst off I have a large map of the Gulf Coast with place names to give you an idea of where this is taking place.

NOAA has a PDF map of the predicted spread of the oil through Tuesday. Because of the winds, it is going West now.

Pensacola Beach Blog noted that Rick Outzen of the Pensacola Independent News turned down a BP Oil Spill ad. Rick feels that if BP has anything newsworthy to say it will be printed for free, and they should be spending their money on keeping the oil off the beaches, not PR. Rick, like all independent weekly owners, could use the money, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Like most corporations today, the PR and Marketing departments are orders of magnitude larger than their R&D departments, so all problems are PR problems.

On to what confuses me. Does BP understand that the goal here is to stop the leak as soon as possible?

The reason I ask is that my reaction to the ice crystal build-up in their “dome” was not “how do we prevent the build up of hydrates so oil can flow?”, but “why don’t we induce crystal formation in the leaking pipe to stop it from leaking?” BP is talking about pumping in warm water or anti-freeze, while I wonder why they aren’t wrapping tubing around the pipe and circulating refrigerant?

I first considered liquid oxygen, but remembered the nasty result of oxygen and oil. Carbon dioxide is already too widespread in the ocean and the air. How about liquid nitrogen?

Obviously you have to cool the pipe slowly, and make sure it doesn’t get so cold the metal becomes brittle, but it should work, and after the pipe is plugged, you cut it and cap it.

It seems like BP has decided that the only way to stop the flow is to drill the second well. So, essentially, the same people who had their first well blow up are going to drill into the same oil pool that blew it up, and then use the cementing process that may have caused the original well to blow up. Our guarantee is that the second well will stop the leak, or we’ll have twice as much oil gushing into the Gulf from two wells that will need to be capped.

May 9, 2010   6 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day


To everyone who functions as a Mother, take the day off and annoy your kids, especially those that “don’t call” or live in an alternate universe and haven’t seen the sales. Even small children need to be inculcated with guilt early and often.

May 9, 2010   2 Comments