Friday, July 16, 2010
BP: oil spill finally stopped
I don't fully understand what's happening on the video above - explanations welcome - but yes, I do have a feeling that such a procedure shouldn't have lasted for 87 days and shouldn't have been as difficult as it was for a company that could spend a billion of dollars to get rid of this local and limited problem with serious regional consequences.
Next time, BP - if it is allowed to survive - may want to think about petroleum rather than beyond petroleum. But at any rate, it's good to see that the problem is most likely solved, a fine gift of BP to my name day today, and even if the problem reappears, it should be easier to solve it again.
Meanwhile, BP is getting surprisingly "undecided" results of their measurements of the pressure - about 456 atmospheres. Leakage would predict below 408 atmospheres while they would like and expect to see 540-610 atmospheres.
Well, such things may occur - it is a complex and untested system. They don't know whether they should reopen the valve. My immediate opinion is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Instead, they should be theoretically preparing what they shall do if and when it does break in various ways. The lowered pressure could be due to the already lowered amount of oil (and gases) over there, or due to some harmless internal leakage.
They are still learning about a difficult physical system that hasn't been encountered too often in the past. Theoretical physics is usually cheaper than experimental physics but the leak could be an example where the experiments could become even more expensive.
P.S.: The Soviet Union has easily stopped similar leaks by contained underground nuclear explosions five times and via Gene, I learned that experienced geologists and engineers in the U.S. were recommending a similar approach in the Gulf.