Tuesday, May 18, 2010

70,000 Barrels Of Oil Gushing Into Gulf Every Day

'Angry' Obama
Talks About Gulf Disaster...
SPILL IS 10X WORSE THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED.. 70,000 Barrels Gushing Every Day.. Note: In little noticed comments to McClatchy Newspapers, Ira Leifer, University of California researcher and member of the Obama Administration's Flow Rate Technical Group, said on Monday June 7, 2010 that even BP itself estimated the worst-case flow of an oil leak in the Gulf could reach 100,000 barrels of oil a day. "In the data I've seen, there's nothing inconsistent with BP's worst case scenario," Leifer was quoted as saying.

Equivalent Of Exxon Valdez Every Four Days..

Oil spill could go on for years, experts say

BP Has 'No Certainty' Of Disaster's Scale..

BP CEO Tony Hayward says: the ongoing gulf spill is "relatively tiny"

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) downplays the spill to the Associated Press

Offshore Platform Sinks Off Coast Of Venezuela

PBS Morning Edition
Listen to "Gulf Spill Could Be Much Worse Than Believed"

BP has said repeatedly that there is no reliable way to measure the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by looking at the oil gushing out of the pipe. But scientists say there are actually many proven techniques for doing just that.

Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry. A computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving.

Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 barrels a day — much higher than the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day. The method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent. mp3
The press, for the most part, has been reporting that 5,000 barrels of oil has been spilling into the gulf every day. Until today they have ignored reports from growing numbers of scientists and experts that the flow may be at a rate of at least 24,000 barrels a day.

The press even failed to widely report that on Tuesday, May 4, British Petroleum executives told the Energy and Commerce Committee of the US Congress’ House of Representatives that up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day may be flowing from the well into the Gulf of Mexico.

Analysis of seafloor video, that BP had withheld until two days ago, indicates that approximately 70,000 barrels could be gushing out every day, NPR reports. That figure is at least 10 times the U.S. Coast Guard's original estimate of the flow, and "the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez tanker every four days."

Federal officials are carefully tracking the trajectory of the oil that's made it to the water's surface and, increasingly, on shore. They even put out a daily map.

But there's never been an oil spill this big and this deep before. Nor have authorities ever used chemical dispersant so widely.

As a result, scientists are finding that a lot, if not most, of the oil is lurking below the surface rather than on it, in a gigantic underwater plume the size and trajectory of which remain largely a mystery.

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

Where is this gigantic underwater plume of oil heading? Oceanographers believe the Gulf Oil Spill Could Devastate U.S. Eastern Seaboard To Canada.

Al Gore has said: Starting 40 years ago, when America's domestic oil production peaked, our dependence on foreign oil has steadily grown.
We are now draining our economy of several hundred billion dollars a year in order to purchase foreign oil in a global market dominated by the huge reserves owned by sovereign states in the Persian Gulf. This enormous and increasing transfer of wealth contributes heavily to our trade and current-account deficits, and enriches regimes in the most unstable region of the world, helping to finance both terrorism and Iran’s relentless effort to build a nuclear arsenal...

Here at home, the illusion that we can meaningfully reduce our dependence on foreign oil by taking extraordinary risks to develop deep reserves in the Outer Continental Shelf is illuminated by the illustration below. The addition to oil company profits may be significant, but the benefits to our national security are trivial.
The small yellow wedge on the top of the graph is the amount of oil available from Continental Shelf oil wells.

Update May 18, 2010 @ 4:55pm
Under pressure from congress BP released two new videos of the leaking riser from their Mississippi Canyon Block 252 well showing the leak after activation of the riser insertion tool. BP claims the insertion tool is siphoning 1,000 barrels of the 70,000 barrels per day flowing from the broken riser pipe.

The first video of the insertion in the end of the broken riser:

The second video (click full screen bottom right of the video frame) the bent section of the riser pipe juxg above the blowout preventer. As was reported to me earlier, it looks like it is definitely getting worse. At about 2:30 into the video, is a closeup -- scary stuff:

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