Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
2010 July 12 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

What Could Go Wrong?

Gulf Gusher symbolWhile on its face this Miami Herald report on McClatchy sounds great, given BP’s history with the Well from Hell I’m decidedly uneasy: New cap on oil well, testing starts

PANAMA CITY BEACH —; As the Obama administration issued a fresh moratorium on deep-water drilling Monday, robots maneuvered a new, tighter-fitting cap onto a gushing oil well and BP prepared to test whether its latest effort would at long last stop crude from oozing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The company expected to finish latching on the cap to the leaking well late Monday, and up to two days’ worth of tests on its effectiveness could begin Tuesday, BP Chief Operation Officer Doug Suttles told reporters Monday afternoon, when the cap was 40 feet from the well.

We’re taking this step by step, making sure absolutely everything is in place before we do it,” he said.

Suttles described Monday as the third day of a four- to seven-day operation to secure the new cap over the spill’s source, after the previous, looser cap was removed Saturday.

OK, the oil has been carrying grit, which as been eroding the well casing all the way up. The riser collapse with the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon had been stressing the well head assembly, acting like a lever, until it was finally cut away. The well had several incidents of leaking mud into strata deep in the well. The blow-out preventer is leaning 3° out of plumb, which may be from the levering by the bent riser, or may be a result of the rock on which it sits fracturing. These are just a few of the reasons why I don’t think that trying to test a shut off valve on the new cap system is a great idea.

Another thing that bothers me is that to prevent hydrate formation they are talking about pumping in glycol, which is an anti-freeze ingredient. Glycol is definitely poisonous. Dozens of pets die every year from drinking glycol coming from leaking coolant systems. A number of people died or became sick when Chinese companies replaced glycerin with glycol in cough syrup and toothpaste. Given that they are sitting in the Gulf of Mexico and flaring off natural gas, I don’t understand why they don’t just rig a water heater to accomplish the same thing. They could set up a steam engine system to produce the hot water and power the pump to deliver it.

I hope, for the sake of the Gulf, that this works, but it’s BP…

July 12, 2010   3 Comments

Rest Day

Tour de FranceIt is a rest day on the Tour and Lance Armstrong can use it.

As the BBC reports he bad day on Stage 8:

Lance Armstrong said his hopes of winning a record eighth Tour de France are “finished” after he lost nearly 12 minutes on the eighth stage.

Armstrong fell twice and after losing contact with the leaders he lost more time all the way to the finishing line on Sunday’s first mountain stage.

Added to the minute and a half he lost on Stage 4 3 for a tire change, and the yellow jersey is just too far away.

He will stay and help Levi Leipheimer because the Tour is a team event. If Levi can beat Alberto Contador, that will almost be as good as winning… almost.

July 12, 2010   Comments Off on Rest Day