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  1. #1
    Eruption Ilovevh's Avatar
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    Default Gulf of Mexico oil disaster

    OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO It's a hellish scene: Giant sheets of flame racing across the Gulf of Mexico as thick, black smoke billows high into sky. This, though, is no Hollywood action movie. It's the real-life plan to be deployed just 20 miles from the Gulf Coast in a last-ditch effort to burn up an oil spill before it could wash ashore and wreak environmental havoc.

    The Coast Guard late Wednesday afternoon started a test burn of an area about 30 miles east of the delta of the Mississippi River to see how the technique was working. Crews planned to use hand-held flares to set fire to sections of the massive spill. Crews turned to the plan after failing to stop a 1,000-barrel-a-day leak at the spot where a deepwater oil platform exploded and sank.

    A 500-foot boom was to be used to corral several thousand gallons of the thickest oil on the surface, which will then be towed to a more remote area, set on fire, and allowed to burn for about an hour.

    If the hourlong test burn was successful, rig operator BP PLC was expected to continue the oil fires as long as the weather cooperated. The burns were not expected to be done at night.

    About 42,000 gallons of oil a day are leaking into the Gulf from the blown-out well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

    Greg Pollock, head of the oil spill division of the Texas General Land Office, which is providing equipment for crews in the Gulf, said he is not aware of a similar burn ever being done off the U.S. coast. The last time crews with his agency used fire booms to burn oil was a 1995 spill on the San Jacinto River.

    "When you can get oil ignited, it is an absolutely effective way of getting rid of a huge percentage of the oil," he said. "I can't overstate how important it is to get the oil off the surface of the water."

    The oil has the consistency of thick roofing tar.

    When the flames goes out, Pollock said, the material that is left resembles a hardened ball of tar that can be removed from the water with nets or skimmers.

    "I would say there is little threat to the environment because it won't coat an animal, and because all the volatiles have been consumed if it gets on a shore it can be simply picked up," he said.

    Authorities also said they expect minimal impact on sea turtles and marine mammals in the burn area.

    A graphic posted by the Coast Guard and the industry task force fighting the slick showed it covering an area about 100 miles long and 45 miles across at its widest point.

    "It's premature to say this is catastrophic. I will say this is very serious," said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry.

    From the air, the thickest parts of the spill resembled rust-colored tentacles of various thickness. The air was thick with the acrid smell of petroleum.

    Amid several of the thicker streaks, four gray whales could be seen swimming, and one of them appeared to be rolling and curling as if struggling or disoriented. It was not clear if the whale was in danger.

    More than two dozen vessels moved about in the heart of the slick pulling oil-sopping booms.

    Earlier Wednesday, Louisiana State Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham told lawmakers that federal government projections show a "high probability" oil could reach the Pass a Loutre wildlife area Friday night, Breton Sound on Saturday and the Chandeleur Islands on Sunday.

    As the task force worked far offshore, local officials prepared for the worst in case the oil reaches land.

    In Plaquemines Parish, a sliver of Louisiana that juts into the Gulf and is home to Pass a Loutre, officials hoped to deploy a fleet of volunteers in fishing boats to spread booms that could block oil from entering inlets.

    "We've got oystermen and shrimpers who know this water better than anyone," said Plaquemines Paris President Billy Nungesser. "Hopefully the Coast Guard will embrace the idea."

    But there was anxiety that the Gulf Coast was not prepared for the onslaught of oil.

    "Our ability to deal with this would be like us having a foot of snow falling in Biloxi tomorrow," said Vincent Creel, a spokesman for the city government in Biloxi, Miss. "We don't have snow plows, and we're not equipped to deal with this."

    The parish's emergency manager planned to meet in Houma on Thursday with a Coast Guard official to discuss whether volunteers can help, Nungesser said.

    "We don't want to just sit by and hope this (oil) doesn't come ashore," Nungesser said.

    The decision to burn some of the oil came after crews operating submersible robots failed to activate a shut-off device that would halt the flow of oil on the sea bottom 5,000 feet below.

    BP says work will begin as early as Thursday to drill a relief well to relieve pressure at the blowout site, but that could take months.

    Another option is a dome-like device to cover oil rising to the surface and pump it to container vessels, but that will take two weeks to put in place, BP said.

    Winds and currents in the Gulf have helped crews in recent days as they try to contain the leak. The immediate threat to sandy beaches in coastal Alabama and Mississippi has eased. But the spill has moved steadily toward the mouth of the Mississippi River, home to hundreds of species of wildlife and near some rich oyster grounds.

    The cost of the disaster continues to rise and could easily top $1 billion.

    Industry officials say replacing the Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP, would cost up to $700 million. BP has said its costs for containing the spill are running at $6 million a day. The company said it will spend $100 million to drill the relief well. The Coast Guard has not yet reported its expenses.
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  2. #2
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    Default FUBAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovevh View Post
    OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO – It's a hellish scene: Giant sheets of flame racing across the Gulf of Mexico as thick, black smoke billows high into sky. This, though, is no Hollywood action movie. It's the real-life plan to be deployed just 20 miles from the Gulf Coast in a last-ditch effort to burn up an oil spill before it could wash ashore and wreak environmental havoc.

    The Coast Guard late Wednesday afternoon started a test burn of an area about 30 miles east of the delta of the Mississippi River to see how the technique was working. Crews planned to use hand-held flares to set fire to sections of the massive spill. Crews turned to the plan after failing to stop a 1,000-barrel-a-day leak at the spot where a deepwater oil platform exploded and sank.

    The cost of the disaster continues to rise and could easily top $1 billion.

    Industry officials say replacing the Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP, would cost up to $700 million. BP has said its costs for containing the spill are running at $6 million a day. The company said it will spend $100 million to drill the relief well. The Coast Guard has not yet reported its expenses.
    Coastguard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) experts now estimate that
    5,000 barrels a day of oil are spilling into the gulf – far more than the previous estimate of 1,000 barrels a day. Robot submarines have so far failed to shut off the flow, 1,500m (5,000ft) below the surface, but the coastguard said a test burn on an isolated area of the spill was successful.

    The revision came after a new leak was discovered and strong winds were forecast which NOAA said would push the oil towards the US shoreline.

    5k barrels a day would be about 210,000 gallons of oil per day.

    The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.

    The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week.

    The accident has led to one of the largest ever oil spills in U.S. waters.

    Regulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and Brazil, in effect require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost every offshore rig since 1993.

    The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.

    The U.K., where BP is headquartered, doesn't require the use of acoustic triggers.

    On all offshore oil rigs, there is one main switch for cutting off the flow of oil by closing a valve located on the ocean floor. Many rigs also have automatic systems, such as a "dead man" switch as a backup that is supposed to close the valve if it senses a catastrophic failure aboard the rig.

    As a third line of defense, some rigs have the acoustic trigger: It's a football-sized remote control that uses sound waves to communicate with the valve on the seabed floor and close it.

    An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. On Wednesday, crews set fire to part of the oil spill in an attempt to limit environmental damage.

    Some major oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell PLC and France's Total SA, sometimes use the device even where regulators don't call for it.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium Duke's Avatar
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    Default Oil Disaster

    You guys are gonna start thinking ive gone completley freaky when it comes to the enviro stuff.
    But this is a nightmare with no immediate end in sight.





    : Fri Apr. 30 2010 9:44:36 AM

    CTV.ca News Staff

    Authorities say oil is starting to ooze ashore in the southeastern United States, as a result of the massive Gulf of Mexico spill that threatens to devastate the local environment and economy.

    The National Weather Service predicts that a combination of high winds, tides and waves could push the oil deep into the waterways of southeast Louisiana by Sunday.

    With the added headache of thunderstorms, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara told ABC's Good Morning America that crews would be unable to skim oil from the surface for several days because of the weather.

    She said crews will also be unable to burn the oil for the same reason.

    Brice-O'Hara defended the efforts of the Coast Guard thus far, saying it has adapted its approach as it became clear that the problem was worse than initially believed.

    CNN's Samantha Hayes said earlier forecasts had predicted that the oil could hit the shorelines several states by the end of the weekend, including Alabama, Mississippi.

    "This is a massive spill, we're talking about 100 miles (160 kilometers) wide in some areas," Hayes told CTV News Channel from Venice, La.

    The oil is flowing towards shore after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burst into flames 10 days ago and sank two days later.

    The underwater well, which is located only 64 kilometers from shore, is now spewing an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil every day. Authorities believe it could take three months to stop the gushing well that is located 1.5 kilometres below sea level.

    Mike Brewer, who lost his oil spill response company in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, said it seems that the scale of the disaster may be too much to overcome.

    "You're pumping out a massive amount of oil," he said. "There is no way to stop it."

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency and asked the U.S. government for permission to call up 6,000 National Guard troops to assist in the clean-up.

    Hayes said U.S. President Barack Obama has said his government "will do everything they can" but has indicated he will hold operator BP responsible for its actions.

    Controlled burns, wildlife concerns

    BP is working with the Coast Guard to use controlled burns and other means to limit the spread of the oil.

    BP shares have lost about US$25 billion in market value since the April 20 disaster, which may turn out to be the worst U.S. environmental disaster in decades.

    Tom McKenzie, a regional spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the agency was focusing on national wildlife refuges on a chain of barrier islands.

    He said some 34,000 birds -- gulls, pelicans, roseate spoonbills, egrets, shore birds, terns and blue herons among them -- within the refuges are most at risk.

    On Friday, McKenzie said the concern is whether the booms will be able to keep the oil away from the wildlife during the weekend.

    "The challenge is, are they going to hold up in any kind of serious weather," McKenzie said. "And if there's oil, will the oil overcome the barriers even though they're ... executed well?"

    Anger, frustration in fishing community

    Fishing guide Cade Thomas did not know who to blame, but was worried what would happen to his employment after a disaster that has turned out to be worse than originally described.

    "They lied to us. They came out and said it was leaking 1,000 barrels when I think they knew it was more. And they weren't proactive," he said.

    CTV's Los Angeles Bureau Chief Tom Walters said people who rely on the sea to put food on their table are hoping that the disaster does not also take away their employment.

    "We sat into the night and ate crawfish with a couple of local fishing guide who are just heartsick because they see their livelihoods and their way of life passing away," Walters told CTV's Canada AM from Venice, La.

    "This really is a place where the sea is life," he added. "The Gulf of Mexico is absolutely a critical site in the fishing industry. Fishing is a critical industry for the people here in the Mississippi Delta."

    Brothers Frank and Mitch Jurisich were out on the water hauling in oysters before the oil reached their fishing area.

    A family that has relied on oyster-related employment for three generations, the Jurisich brothers filled 100 burlap sacks Thursday.

    "This might be out last day," Mitch Jurisich said.

    Without fishing, Frank Jurisich said his family "would be lost. This is who we are and what we do."

    With files from The Associated Press
    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
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    This next part could really confuse things. Let's stay focused. #asis

  4. #4
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    This is a horrible thing. It is going to come down to the company who did the cementing. It appears that a bad cement job is to blame for this. That is also why it continues to leak. The blowout preventers(BOP's) on the ocean floor have a deadman switch that closes them in the event of the loss of hydraulic pressure. It has been stated that the submarines(ROV's) have tried to close them but cannot...they are closed. The oil/gas is leaking from underneath the BOP's which means it is going to be a major undertaking to get this thing to stop.
    A dome apparatus(imagine a large funnel with a hose) is being built as fast as possible to put over the flow to help slow down and contain the mess, but it will be another week of so before it can be put in place.

    Watch the news to see who did the cementing on this well. Halliburton would be the only company with the $$$ to survive this disaster.

    Enviromentally it could very well be way worse than anything before. The Louisiana coast is miles and miles of marsh/swamp land submerged in warm Gulf water. The Exxon Valdez was in cold Pacific waters with a predominantly rocky coast. The cold water promotes coagulation of the crude where this stuff is going to stay more liquid, making this even more of a nightmare.

    This is going to be ugly.



    And by the way...they didn't lie about how much oil was leaking. They didn't know at first, so they guessed. Their guess was way low.
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  5. #5
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    Words can't express how bad I feel over this. This is just devastating. I've been swamped with work, and had heard reports on the radio, but after seeing the roport on CNN last night......What to say? This morning, and forgive me if this was posted already, but I heard 280.000 gallons a day continue to flow out under extremely high pressure, and equipment they've tried to use is rendered useless do to the turbulence of the oil's high pressure release. Apparently trying to funnel the oil has been speculated not to work. The latest is their going to try slant drilling into the patch to releive the pressure as it appears that any means to contain the flow from the existing site will be futile with other methods. How long will this take? very difficult to say. Slant drilling takes considerably longer, and can be met with many obstacles.

    I'm not a religious man, but I am praying for all of you down there. Let's all hope this is handled as quickly as possible. The wildlife and fishery toll alone is unfathomable.

    All the best.
    S.J.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 04.30.10 at 08:35 AM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy 150 View Post
    This is a horrible thing. It is going to come down to the company who did the cementing. It appears that a bad cement job is to blame for this. That is also why it continues to leak. The blowout preventers(BOP's) on the ocean floor have a deadman switch that closes them in the event of the loss of hydraulic pressure. It has been stated that the submarines(ROV's) have tried to close them but cannot...they are closed. The oil/gas is leaking from underneath the BOP's which means it is going to be a major undertaking to get this thing to stop.
    A dome apparatus(imagine a large funnel with a hose) is being built as fast as possible to put over the flow to help slow down and contain the mess, but it will be another week of so before it can be put in place.

    Watch the news to see who did the cementing on this well. Halliburton would be the only company with the $$$ to survive this disaster.

    Enviromentally it could very well be way worse than anything before. The Louisiana coast is miles and miles of marsh/swamp land submerged in warm Gulf water. The Exxon Valdez was in cold Pacific waters with a predominantly rocky coast. The cold water promotes coagulation of the crude where this stuff is going to stay more liquid, making this even more of a nightmare.

    This is going to be ugly.



    And by the way...they didn't lie about how much oil was leaking. They didn't know at first, so they guessed. Their guess was way low.
    damn, I haven't been able to follow this as much as I normally would. I did hear yesterday that their initial estimate of how much oil was flowing was low. Then I heard they were trying to burn it but yeah, the warm waters and all that marsh land...it's going to get really really really messy.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  7. #7
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    Too bad Red Adair is dead he'd find a way to cap that sonna bitch even if its underwater.
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    Baluchitherium Duke's Avatar
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    It was interesting to me last night flipping through American news channels and how little play this story was getting, a couple of minutes off the top, and then back to the Arizona thing.

    The Oil spill story got the better part of 15 minutes off the top of one National newscast here last night.
    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
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    This next part could really confuse things. Let's stay focused. #asis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    It was interesting to me last night flipping through American news channels and how little play this story was getting, a couple of minutes off the top, and then back to the Arizona thing.

    The Oil spill story got the better part of 15 minutes off the top of one National newscast here last night.
    You're right. CNN was good though. Sanjay did a great job.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  10. #10
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    Our owner has called all 85 of us to tell us to idle as little as possible, to save fuel. Transportation experts are expecting diesel to spike in the coming days. He's usually pretty cool about us idling while we sleep. He understands that we need to be comfortable when we sleep, and having trucks idling around us all night (the noise, exhaust fumes, etc) make it tough to get a restful sleep. Usually he frowns on us parking on off-ramps, abandoned parking lots, Wal-Marts, etc. Less chance for being harrassed, robbed, etc. But we're able to open windows and our sleeper vents to get a cross-breeze.

    If we're going to be laid over for a weekend, or expect a long wait for a load, he's going to authorize motel/hotels for us to stay in. He says it'll be cheaper.

    He's also pushing out our oil change PM's from 15,000 to 25,000 miles. When we hit the yard, we're to grab, at least, two gallons of oil, to put in our side box, just in case we need oil on the road.

    This is gonna get ugly.
    Last edited by RRMB; 04.30.10 at 09:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    It was interesting to me last night flipping through American news channels and how little play this story was getting, a couple of minutes off the top, and then back to the Arizona thing.

    The Oil spill story got the better part of 15 minutes off the top of one National newscast here last night.
    I flipped through the cable news channels on two occasions yesterday and none of them were covering the story...just the usual Mexicans this/Tea Party that/congress this/Obama that.

    I checked the local news at 5 am and 5 pm but at least Channel 2 wasn't talking about it.

    I guess I missed the time they gave to the story. I did find two articles yesterday on the web though...it's just crazy...seems like this is THE story right now and it doesn't feel that way...at least by watching and listening to the news.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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    Baluchitherium Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broken9500 View Post
    I flipped through the cable news channels on two occasions yesterday and none of them were covering the story...just the usual Mexicans this/Tea Party that/congress this/Obama that.

    I checked the local news at 5 am and 5 pm but at least Channel 2 wasn't talking about it.

    I guess I missed the time they gave to the story. I did find two articles yesterday on the web though...it's just crazy...seems like this is THE story right now and it doesn't feel that way...at least by watching and listening to the news.
    With all due respect to my American friends, from up here it often seems that everyone is so busy dividing themselves into Republican vs, Democrat vs. Tea Party and attacking each other that there is trouble paying attention to real crisis.
    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
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    This next part could really confuse things. Let's stay focused. #asis

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    210,000 gallons/day?
    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    With all due respect to my American friends, from up here it often seems that everyone is so busy dividing themselves into Republican vs, Democrat vs. Tea Party and attacking each other that there is trouble paying attention to real crisis.
    I've had many conversations about just that very thing...the conspiracy nut in me thinks that "They" want it that way. If people were to really get together and get over a lot of the petty stuff, "They" would be in trouble because as long as we're hung up on political parties, how many of a given ethnicity live in this part or that, etc etc then "They" can continue doing what they do and no of us will notice.

    But seriously, this oil explosion looks like it could have major international ramifications... and that is to say nothing of the legitimate environmental impact it will most likely have on our gulf coast.

    This might end up being a situation where, if at all possible, I find myself driving out to the coast to help clean up birds and fish and stuff...if it comes to that. God i hope it doesn't.
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  15. #15
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wruff_ajax View Post
    210,000 gallons/day?
    Upped this morning to 280.000. Could even be higher. Hard to beleive.
    This will make the Exxon spill look like a drop of oil in a pond by conparison.
    ugly doesn't begin to describe it.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

 

 

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