Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BP Gulf Oil Spill: Priorities

UPDATE: May 31, 2010

Sadly, I was right.

I hope I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the primary reason British Petroleum (BP) has wasted over a month in attempts to stop the spewing of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is because they are trying to get oil into tankers so they can sell it.

Think about it.

What have all of their plans included:

1. Attaching a pipe to siphon off oil from the leak in the pipe that is way down the road from the wellhead.

2. A secondary well to "ease the pressure" by pumping the crude into tankers. (I wonder if they will use the same blow off preventer (BOP)?

3. The 70 ton hat trick had what? A pipe to siphon off oil from the leak.

Now they have to plans working in "parallel":

1. One where they would pump "heavy mud" into the blow out preventer (BOP) and clog the leak, then make the seal permanent with concrete. Surprisingly, this one would not involve attaching a pipe to grab the oil.

2. The lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment option calls pulling the old riser off the BOP and for cutting off the pipe, then and inserting what amounts to another riser onto the BOPand siphon off oil to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship, putting them back in the oil capturing business. (

I have to ask these simple questions:

1. Why did BP not try the heavy mud option the day after the Deep Horizon blew up, sank, and they discovered the oil spewing into the Gulf? Did it take them over a month to think of that? I would find that hard to believe as they have used the heavy mud process before.

2. If cutting off the pipe and putting another connection on it is an option, why didn't they try that the day after they discovered the leaking oil?

I predict the heavy mud plan will fail in favor of the LMRP option to siphon off oil.
(note: I hope I am wrong about this one.)

Now don't get me wrong. I am a big supporter of capitalism and oil companies keeping the nation and the world running on the energy they provide. We would not have any of the modern conveniences, medical treatments, or anything else worthwhile without the freedom that capitalism and oil provide. But their comes a time when businesses must put safety and ecology ahead of profits. This is one of those times and BP apparently is not doing the right thing.

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