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Climate Change - Where's the cooperation when it's needed?

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anneteoh

Climate Change - Where's the cooperation when it's needed?

Postby anneteoh » Fri, 18 Jun 2010 6:08 pm

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental hazard. No doubt every country needs oil and I don't think we should condemn BP for getting it for everybody though they should have been better prepared to deal with accidents such as this recent one. It does seem like an enormously difficult task to stop the spillage. BP is digging deep to compensate those whose economy is affected by their incompetence.

However, is Obama cashing in on BP's misfortune, twisting the director's elbow for billions of compensation while not holding the chairman of the American Minerals Research Board (?) that granted BP permission to dig equally accountable? There was talk of 'dirty game' when the director of BP had to face Congress alone and pay while the US Research team was presumably undergoing a shuffle - the chairman who granted BP permission was sacked and a new head being nominated, or elected? Is the US side being let off the hook, leaving BP to shoulder full reponsibility? Afterall, it's the shareholders on both sides of the Atlantic who are paying the price.

Is it fair to have sacked the US Minerals Research chairman anyway, since he wouldn't have known an accident of this scale could have happened? Shouldn't there be a discussion from all concerned before Obama took the director of BP to task in his high-handed manner?

And where are all those members pledging to keep the earth a greener place at the recent Climate Change World Conference? Shouldn't countries with advanced industrial might like USA, China, Russia , even Singapore, etc. come forward to help stem/stop the spill or should BP SOS for help? What's the point of citizens paying so much to fund the Climate Change Conference only for their reps to attend? I am expecting global solutions, not just global talk.

Afterall, the environment is the world's responsibility and surely, this so far insurmountable disaster is screaming for a quick fix?

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Postby carteki » Fri, 18 Jun 2010 10:11 pm

Welcome to the world of politics....

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 18 Jun 2010 10:26 pm

Countries with industrial might do not always have the know-how for deep-sea drilling. More so for resources.

For global solutions to materialize, the globe should first identify what the problem is and find feasible and effective ways to solve it.

And yeah, politics. When that enters the picture, common sense goes flying out the window.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Jun 2010 10:59 pm

Having spent the better part of two decades myself, in the offshore oil exploration game, I probably have a better perspective than most of what is happening out there.

The grilling of the CEO of BP is typical of the elected idiots in the US government today (including the current president). What everybody is asking and saying doesn't make a damn bit of sense. They are drilling in water 1 mile deep and have drilled another 3.5 mile into the sea bottom. Just like the first blowout on land, or the first gusher on land a hundred years ago, nobody had a clue. They tried different things until it worked. Of course the ecological damage wasn't as bad but until you have an accident actually happen, all the "implemented processes" are nothing more than theory as until it actually happens you don't know what gaia will do. No more than the Army Corp of Engineers knew if the dykes on the Mississippi would hold under a direct hit of a force 5 hurricane like Katrina (they didn't). Theory is just that. Until it's tested.

Oh, it's not the first uncontrolled subsea blowout in the GOM though. I worked in the GOM when the 1st one happened. The Mexican Ixtoc 1 blowout in 1979 when a Sedco Rig sank was and still is the largest blowout. It flowed uncontrollably for around 9 months and poured some 3.5 million barrels (not gallons) of oil into the gulf of mexico. It was finally stopped when the two relief wells successfully intercepted the original well.

Unfortunately, there has not been another way found at depth that has successfully worked as there have only been a few incidences where it could be tested in real conditions when the primary Blowout Preventer fails as did in the current case.

The best brains, unlike what our idiot president thinks, are already employed by the oil companies and not by the government think tanks.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 19 Jun 2010 9:08 am

As an update, I'm definitely not absolving BP of any of the responsibility though. What they did, quite feasibly, and more likely, directly contributed to the blowout in the first place. Anytime one compromises on safety on a oil rig, or ignores spikes in parameters or tries to compensate in order not to shut down, it's a accident waiting for the slightest chance. I have the burn scars on my right side (30%) as a result of an offshore explosion that happened in 1978 (the year before IXTOC 1) also in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) but fortunately it was not the result of a blowout.

But for the president to just demand that they get it plugged yesterday and additional ravings from congress shows that, while they know the enormity of the problem, they don't know anything about the oil industry and the process of getting it out of the ground. They only seem to know how to put it's end product into their SUV's. One other thing. It is already an international effort. Oil companies hire the best & brightest from all over the world and send them wherever necessary.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 19 Jun 2010 9:15 am

Thought I quite relying on my fading memories and look it up this morning. Here's a bit more on the IXTOX 1 disaster.

http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/ixtoc1.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixtoc_1

anneteoh

nice greeting

Postby anneteoh » Sat, 19 Jun 2010 4:26 pm

carteki wrote:Welcome to the world of politics....


Hi! Thanks for nice greeting, and to your website. It's cool.
Politics is not for hedonists, but somehow green issues have become political.

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Sat, 19 Jun 2010 4:39 pm

nakatago wrote:Countries with industrial might do not always have the know-how for deep-sea drilling. More so for resources.

For global solutions to materialize, the globe should first identify what the problem is and find feasible and effective ways to solve it.

And yeah, politics. When that enters the picture, common sense goes flying out the window.


I bet once they smell them, they'll know how to buy the rest. But the problem 's in selfish materialistic gains without responsibilities.

They did identify the list of problems causing our 'greenhouse' and ways to avoid causing that, but they can extend to areas perhaps not yet included such as deep sea drilling.

That would defeat the purpose. In matters of science one's objective and the art of talk involves a higher set of reasoning involving consideration, imagination and savoire faire, to pu it simply.

anneteoh

thanks for indepth info

Postby anneteoh » Sat, 19 Jun 2010 5:14 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Thought I quite relying on my fading memories and look it up this morning. Here's a bit more on the IXTOX 1 disaster.

http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/ixtoc1.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixtoc_1


Yes, I thought the Gulf of Mexico and oil rigs rang a bell - so it was in 1979. BP must have done research before drilling and should have had a sound rescue package. Perhaps BP was not as sensitive to the earth's and its differentiated structure and materials as they should have been, seeing that they have done faily well with the oil rig in the North sea.

Strange how I get into a discussion on oil rigs. One of my friend's hubby worked in the North sea as a top engineer. I understood the work was extremely well paid, irregular but dangerous. Thanks for sharing your experience and glad it's no worse than the 30% scaring. Every driver in SG should hoot their horn to salute you today!

I was comparing natural disasters of uncontrollable magnitude like earth quakes and tsunamis with BP's recent disaster in the gulf. Countries flock to help one another out of a natural instinct to save lives and overcome nature; yet when the unstoppable oil spills keep churning out potential environmental disasters for fauna, flora and people's livelihood, the Climate Change global team did not lift a finger or offer help.

The multinational companies indeed buy expertise for their exploitations of whatever, but the same companies working in different countries in the same field, but perhaps under more vigilant conditions or have better skills. should rally round to find a quick solution to stop/stem the spill. That, to me, will prove Climate Change is for real.

I was put off by the way Obama handled the situation. I thought he had lost all the charisma he might have had before ? Compared to him, Tony Hayward (?) looked like a chastised Etonian toff but he behaved honourably and well. The personaltities of leaders should indicate the way they handle the enormous power entrusted to them. I'm not impressed with the blame and extortionate sums demanded by Obama, whilst ot taking any reponsibility himself - the missing link's the US's own Minereal's Research DEpt that granted permission to BP. They should have ensured a list of safety measures.

Should they not share the cost of the disaster?

anneteoh

Environmental hazard . The oil's still spilling out

Postby anneteoh » Tue, 22 Jun 2010 3:12 am

To date, niether BP or any other country can help stem/stop the spill. I wish any one country will stand up and offer BP ideas or aid. I think that would be the most urgent thing for members of Climate Change.
Remember the activists who effectively helped Palestine to get some of the sanctions waived? Some of them were hurt or killed too. My salute to them.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jun 2010 7:02 am

I reckon BP is and has been contacting the best the world's got to offer already. But you won't see it splashed on the front page unless they come up with something new or concrete. These scenarios are constantly being played out in oil company engineering departments around the world as mans unending demand for oil pushes the limits further and further. Had the world seriously started looking at alternative renewable energy sources 40 years ago, this might not have happened. And, it's also the public who own shares in those oil companies who want to see dividends. At the end of the day, it's the public pushing until something breaks. Then they have to look for scapegoats. BP got caught. I daresay, every oil company out there is looking in their own backyard at the moment as they know fully well that their systems are 100% either. I spend too many years out here and I know things haven't changed that much (technology has but humans haven't).

The other problem is if you hold back exploration drilling guess what that's going to do to the price of oil. And then listen to the same public screaming about the cost of running their SUVs. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Jun 2010 9:57 am

word

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Tue, 22 Jun 2010 4:41 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I reckon BP is and has been contacting the best the world's got to offer already. But you won't see it splashed on the front page unless they come up with something new or concrete. These scenarios are constantly being played out in oil company engineering departments around the world as mans unending demand for oil pushes the limits further and further. Had the world seriously started looking at alternative renewable energy sources 40 years ago, this might not have happened. And, it's also the public who own shares in those oil companies who want to see dividends. At the end of the day, it's the public pushing until something breaks. Then they have to look for scapegoats. BP got caught. I daresay, every oil company out there is looking in their own backyard at the moment as they know fully well that their systems are 100% either. I spend too many years out here and I know things haven't changed that much (technology has but humans haven't).

The other problem is if you hold back exploration drilling guess what that's going to do to the price of oil. And then listen to the same public screaming about the cost of running their SUVs. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.


--- Why haven't they been unable to end the spill after all this time - it's been more than 3 months! It seems that all one can do is to watch helplessly as the precious oil gushes out continuously, and by that very act, turning everything upside down -
* a precious commodity - wasting away
* useful resource - polluting the environment
* oil rig, engineering feat - out of man's control
* huge green issue - not a single member of Climate Change coming forward.

I do take your point that BP's working with the best engineers; but what is so wrong that they can't fix a thing after all this time? It's said that about 60,000 barrels are still spilling into the gulf a day. Can they use high definitions technology like computer calculations to help or flotillas of massive oil tanks to catch the spills?

What do you think BP should do SMS? This is the same area that blewout in 1979 isn't it? From the Wikipedia report you provided, the problem involved the viscosity of the mud and the strong gush of the superabundance of the substance? Can't they use fortified plastic instead of steel as a wild guess? They're doing this in London, digging up the old rusty steel pipes and replacing them with fortified plastic that will last forever. Some are also malleable - like the materials they use for constructing the HK airport and the tallest building in Taiwan. They were built smack right in the face of the monsoons but they used a combination of calculated engineering right down to the fortified cables so that the buildings don't go up in flames and are adjustable to the wind force. Anything to connect ideas on how to help BP stop the spill. My dad was a contractor - he built the old Police HQ in KL so I have some interest in infrastrutures but no brain for engineering.

I think people will always look for oil; simultaneously, others are searching for alternatives that are greener and less expensive. BP was granted permission - anyway, in Wikipedia it said that Mexico refused to pay compensation to the US as the gulf lies in international water or something to the effect that it does not belong to the US? That was irresponsible as Americans living by the gulf must have been hugely affected like they are today. But BP will pay out and that's right.

I had expected P. Obama to be more reassuring and hold out a hand to BP with assurance of technical support etc ( though BP's got the lot ) instead of the harshwords and the complete blame. I would also expect him to open the BP dilemma to members of Climate Change and start a Climate Change Think Tank to work out a stop the spill plan within a short time. BP can do with a lot of help as it's not able to stop the spill.

As an expert in this field, can you think of how BP can stop the gushing or get the oil out with the least spill into the environment?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jun 2010 6:21 pm

Anne, if I knew the answer to that, I sure as hell wouldn't be sitting behind this computer playing HR & Finance Manager at a 200 man SME in Singapore.

The problem is that once the BOP has been breached (the blowout preventor) and the pipe from the drillship/semisub has been severed there is only one way into that well bore and that is by drilling directional drilling shafts far enough down to the oil-bearing rock and hitting a 7" diameter hole from 3.5 miles away. Not once but twice from two different angles. And you cannot drill through 18,000' of rock/clay/shale/mud overnight. Sadly that is the only way to have a chance of stopping it. You will notice I said "a chance" because even that is a calculated gamble, albeit with a much higher percentage of success as it's been done sufficient number of times. But this could take 4 to 6 months. As you read, the Ixtoc 1 flowed for almost 9 months and eventually poured 3.5 million barrels of oil into the gulf before it was capped.

Now, the next question would have been isn't there a way to "cap it" at the BOP. In theory yes. But in practice what they have done is a close as they would be able to get. Let me explain......

When they are drilling for oil they have a steel casing (pipe) that goes from the top of the BOP stack (that which you see in the video) all the way up to the drilling rig. When the rig blew up and sank, where did that steel pipe go? Remember it's a mile long and going straight up in the sea to the surface. It now looks like a huge pile of spaghetti on the bottom. They tried to stuffing it up in the open end with no success. Next, they decided on try the cap on the top of that open pipe, but had methane gas freezing up the top of the first dome. Now they decided to cap the top of the BOP itself after cutting the pipe off. In theory sounds good, yeah.

The problem here is one that the average public doesn't think about. Take a length of reinforced waterhose that is fastened to a faucet, grab it 2 feet from the nozzle and stretch it till it is in a straight line away from the faucet end. Now, take that hose and bend in upwards so that it moves to a position of 90 degrees from the faucet nozzle. What happens when the hose bends? Of course, it flattens out and kinks. So obviously one thinks well if we cut it back away from the bend it should be okay, but the stresses on the pipe will bend the pipe out of round quite a ways back and unfortunately, they had not enough room to cut and still leave a "round" stub. So, because this round stub isn't really round at all but more of a slight oval shape, they cannot make a seal or a clamp to go around the pipe to seal it. Therefore all that they can do is get a close as possible but it will not stop the leak but allows them to siphon off the majority of it while the relief wells are continuing to be drilled.

And, all of this using ROVs under a mile of water.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Jun 2010 6:32 pm

anneteoh wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
I had expected P. Obama to be more reassuring and hold out a hand to BP with assurance of technical support etc ( though BP's got the lot ) instead of the harshwords and the complete blame. I would also expect him to open the BP dilemma to members of Climate Change and start a Climate Change Think Tank to work out a stop the spill plan within a short time. BP can do with a lot of help as it's not able to stop the spill.

As an expert in this field, can you think of how BP can stop the gushing or get the oil out with the least spill into the environment?


If the greens hadn't gone so swivel-eyed about nuclear power since time immemorial, or land based drilling (ex: Alaska), then this never needed happen. I.e. it is their fault.

Obama is (and always has been) full of it, and simply playing to his audience. Quelle surprise! 'Climate change' is just another politicised fake issue....


There, that's my 2c :)


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