Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Can the Ocean Withstand 3 Months of Spewing Oil?

From FOX News:

It will take at least three months to effectively stop the flow of oil rushing through a damaged well that is leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, and now National Incident Commander of the Gulf Coast oil spill said Monday morning.

Three months? But what will happen if this hole in the ocean floor continues to spew oil at its current rate? Opinions on the subject are ranging from alarmist to blasé. It's our reckoning here at Meta-Oceanic that the Deepwater Horizon crew have punched a hole in something that should never have been messed with, and now they have no clue how to stop it.

The oil spill is now the size of Delaware, and is growing at a frightening rate. According to one commenter's calculations on Reddit:

"If you take the surface area of all the unenclosed water on Earth as 139.480x10E6 sq mi, and you take this rate of spread (estimated from the satellite images between 3 days) then the ENTIRE EARTH WILL BE COVERED IN OIL IN 124.3 DAYS"

That's probably an extreme exaggeration, but no one can really say for certain - because nothing like this has ever happened in human history.

According to another scary report floating around the internet, allegedly written by an anonymous engineer, claims:

First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.

First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions to accomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor? There just is no way. No way.

If we can't cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?

The New York Times is reporting that lawyers for a worker who was on Deepwater Horizon at the time of the April 20 explosion had charged that the rig was drilling deeper than 22,000 feet, even though the company’s federal permit allowed it to go only to 18,000-20,000 feet deep. BP denies the claim. Halliburton, who are also said to be guilty of Earth-threatening malfeasance in this incident, also deny culpability.