- Posted September 21, 2010 by
Louisiana Gulf Coast
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Track the oil disaster
21 million gallons instead of 210 million gallons of spilled oil
There could have been less than 21 million gallons of oil spilled into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico rather than 210 million if BP had lived up to intent of the rules established in 2000 before deepwater drilling was started.
Each of the oil companies had submitted a, more than 500 pages, "Regional Oil Spill Response Plan" that supposedly described exactly how an oil spill of up to 5 million gallons per day would be stopped from entering the environment.
In fact, the "plan", which is almost identical, in each case, for BP, Shell, Exxonmobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, emphasized dispersal rather than "capture" of spilled oil which, contrary to stopping entry, purposefully directs the oil into the environment with a disastrous result as exemplified by the Macondo incident.
For some reason the Minerals Management Service, now named the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, accepted "plans" that didn't even address a well blow-out scenario, much less, the capture of petroleum fluid emissions at a subsea source.
Logically the MMS had expected there would be a means for capturing oil, if not gas, at the subsea source and not waiting until the oil has mixed with the water to, then, skim it at the surface.
However, the new national "guidelines", NTL No. 2010-NO6 to Lessees and Operators for blow-out scenario and worst case discharge, doesn't mention anything about capturing a fluid discharge at the subsea source.
Also, the news releases regarding the plans of the oil companies non-profit Marine Well Containment Company puts an emphasis on pressure tight capping containment of a well blow-out with no mention of a collection means that will capture fluids emminating from a leak upstream and/or away from the wellhead BOP.
Surely, the final well blow-out scenario will require, on standby, a device such as illustrated by www.dwoc.info to capture all of the fluids in a manner that doesn't expose the wellbore integrity to high counter pressure, and will deliver both the oil and gas to surface storage facilities rather than venting and/or incinerating them.
Congratulations to BP for finally being able to permanently "kill" the Macondo well, but they should have had the means, on hand, initially,to capture the oil which would have prevented about 200 million gallons of oil spill and it was very reckless for them to have risked another serious spill, performing the "kill", as there was doubt about the integrity of the wellbore, without them having, on hand, equipment to capture the fluids in the case the work caused a wellbore blow-out.