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Gulf Oil Spill 2010 – BP’s Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Worse Than Exxon Valdez Disaster

UK Today News: Gulf Oil Spill 2010 – BP’s Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Worse Than Exxon Valdez Disaster

Oil Spill Live Feed, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Gulf Coast Spill, BP Oil Spill, BP Top Kill: US President Barack Obama has said that he will do all he can to make sure that the oil industry is cleant up, after the worst ever oil Spill in US history took place this year.

Oil Spill 2010
Photo Credits: Getty Images

BP had revealed that almost 5,000 barrels of oil has been spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico every day, ever since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion took place – which killed 11 people.

However, reports say that these figures are wrong, and that 12,000 to 25,000 barrels per day has been spilling out into the sea.

The Gulf of Mexico Oil disaster has turned out to be bigger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska, thereby making it the worst US oil spill ever!

The oil spill has spread across many areas and has damaged the flora and fauna of the Gulf area.

BP is currently working on it’s “Top Kill” plan, in an attempt to plug the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Comments ( 1 )

  • Harry W. Hadelich

    Written by
    Harry W. Hadelich
    Citizen of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
    Venzuelan ID Card # 5.010.480

    This material has been created May 24, 2010, and modified May 28, 2010. and is subject to copyright laws and it’s reproduction, publication or use and application to any commercial purpose, must be authorized by the author.

    General considerations.-

    There are huge amounts of large oil deposits below the earth surface and many of them are located below lakes, seas and oceans, as the oil industry has happily been discovering.

    Usually they are under pressure, produced by the trapped amounts of gas above the oil.

    Many leaks constantly occure around the world, due to erosion and rupture of the geological layers above these deposits. But in most of the cases, the trapped gas escapes first and climbs to the water surface in form of bubbles, contaminating the atmosphere, but causing a negligable damage to the surrounding water. When the gas pressure ceases, usually the deposit becomes flooded with water through the hole, and this water usually sinks to the bottom of the, in most cases, slightly lighter oil layers. But this different density is normally not enough to maintain a constant oil leak and the hole becomes soon clogged with sand, stone and debris, both mineral and biological.

    Oil leaks in artificially created oil wells.-

    Oil wells created by the oil industry for commercial extraction of the fluid, behave differently, because they normally use the same effect than straws used to extract beverages from their containers by sucking. The higher pressure at the bottom of the straw and the lower pressure at the top, induced by the suction, mantains the flow. To this same purpose, a tube or pipe is introduced through the drilled hole, below the oil level in the deposit, so that the higher pressure of the gas above the oil makes it flow from the bottom of the pipe to the low pressure surface end of it.

    How to fix oil leaks in artificially created oil wells.-

    The procedures are basically the same for surface and underwater wells, except that the environment in deep waters may become substantially more hostile and the access therefore more difficult.

    So there are basically 2 methods :

    1. Clogging the hole in any way.
    2. Equalizing the pressure below and above the delivery pipe.

    In the specific case of the leak under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, in a well operated by BP, the first method, trying to clog the hole, has been, at least so far, unsuccessful.

    So it may be wise to start trying the second method. Turning back to the analogy with the drinking straw, if this becomes broken or punctured above the beverage level, the fluid stops flowing.

    The equivalent would be to break the extraction pipe close to the ceiling of the oil deposit. This could be accomplished with an explosion.

    The other solution would be to drill another hole, near the leaking well, and as close as possible to the estimated highest point of the deposit, in order to let the gas escape and in consequence, kill the feed pressure.

    It is understandable, that both solutions are not very pleasant for the operator BP, because it would become very difficult in the future to attempt the recovery of the amounts of oil contained in those deposits, without an adequate feed pressure left.

    Solution # 1 – The explosion inside the delivery pipe.-

    An explosive load is introduced in the broken pipe, until more or less the ceiling height of the oil deposit, and ignited with an electric primer detonant.

    The high brisance explosive load is contained in a cylinder, with a diameter about the half of the size of the oil pipe, to avoid an excessive backpressure of the leaking oil flow. For the same reason, as well as for an easier introduction, the tip of the cylinder should have a conveniently hydrodynamic rounded form. The length of the cylinder should be enough to contain the required amount of explosives to assure the burst of the oil pipe walls. Also the explosive load should be arranged in a way to provide the maximal radial blast force.

    The explosive cylinder should be introduced either with succesively screwed together pipe or tube segments, or a a long, catheter like, flexible spring, like those used for cleaning of obstructed pipes. Those will, in both cases, contain the electric detonation wire.
    The igniting current should be provided by a remote controlled R/C boye floating on the water surface, so that the surrounding area could be evacuated in advance, to prevent casualties in the event of an ignition of the gas masses emerging to te surface.

    Solution # 2 – The drilling of an gas escape hole.-

    A hole is drilled, near the leaking well, and as close as possible to the estimated highest point of the deposit, in order to let the gas escape and in consequence, kill the feed pressure. No tubing or piping is required, and the drill diameter can be relatively small.

    The drilling head and drive rods can be recovered when the gas layer is reached, or just discarded, letting it fall inside the deposit by gravity.

    Precaution should be exercised, in order to evacuate the drilling area as soon as possible after the gas starts flowing to the water surface.

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