Deepwater Well Construction 101
By any measure, the construction of a deepwater well involves “Extreme Engineering”. And like other applications of technology at the frontier of knowledge, proper operating practices are often a response to failure, and examination of lessons learned. The Deepwater Horizon disaster represents the first time deepwater drillers have experienced multiple failures of the redundant systems that are designed to keep a well from flowing uncontrollably. | Read More »
Oil Spill Reality Check, Part II
The Exxon Valdez, it ain’t. But when I say that, itseems to upset some people. Only by being rational about assessing the environmental threat from the Deepwater Horizon spill can we be prepared to deal with the consequences. Journalists, scientists, Congressmen and bureaucrats have been jockeying to see who can make the most calamitous prediction. As an engineer, I compulsively check their claims (because I | Read More »
Matthews Pines for Executions and Nationalization
Via Newsbusters and Hot Air … Never let a crisis go to waste: You know, I have a suspicion I’ll go back to it again. I don’t think they’re doing their best. I don’t think the government is doing its best. Why doesn’t the President go in there, nationalize an industry and get the job done for the people? There’s a national interest in this, | Read More »
When all you have is a hammer…
Christopher Brownfield suggests ‘Nuke the Oil Spill’ in today’s Daily Beast. Christopher Brownfield is a former nuclear submarine officer, an Iraq veteran, and a visiting scholar on nuclear policy at Columbia University. (I’ve gotta stop reading the Daily Beast. It’s driving me nuts.)
Consider the Source.
Yesterday FoxNews.com carried an opinion piece written by your humble correspondent: “We Can’t Stop Drilling Off America’s Shores”. It’s sort of a rewrite of a RedState piece from a couple of weeks back: “Q: Why Was BP Drilling in 5,000 Feet of Water.” Some of the comments are a hoot.
How to Stop an Oil Spill
Straight from the Gaian People’s Republic of Boulder comes this fresh idea for stopping the flow of oil from the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico: meditation! “The basic concept is to try and get as many people to visualize that the valve is actually functioning and is working and closing,” said Carl Fuermann, a staff member in the University of Colorado’s Registrar Office. | Read More »
After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, warmly referred to as “OPA90″. OPA90 provided for an emergency spill fund so that response for a future spill could begin right away; established the US Coast Guard as the lead agency responsible for spill response; and for the first time required minimum insurance coverage and detailed spill contingency | Read More »
Oil Spill Reality Check
God willing, the Gulf Coast may be spared Prince-William-Sound-like images of waves of tarry goo slapping ashore, while wild birds and cuddly mammals struggle for survival in asphaltine muck. Last Friday, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported on the rescue of the first oil-covered bird Louisiana: It was the only animal being cleaned late Friday morning, but rescuers expected many more to come in throughout the | Read More »