So, I haven’t been writing anything about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico because I really thought BP would have their shit together by now.
But their latest attempt has yet again, hit the fan. The oil spill in the Gulf, which occurred after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20th, is now the 3rd largest waste of oil in history. BP has come under a lot of scrutiny for their lack of success in cleaning up their mess, which is beginning to damage a good chunk of the US coastline.
Site of the Deepwater Horizon.
The company’s been brainstorming several different methods to contain the leak ever since the accident, but so far they’re coming up short. Let’s go through some of the the list, shall we?:
Oil Booms: Large floating barriers that that go down just a few feet below of the surface of the water (oil floats), and contains the oil as it spreads. So far, these are doing their job to a certain extent, sometimes rough seas, or just improperly placed barriers can cause oil so sneak through and reach the coastline… and there is a LOT of oil.
Controlled Burning: Basically, they try to contain the oil with oil booms, and burn it off. Good idea, but it creates just as much atmospheric waste as it does marine.
Dispersant: I was too tired to look anything up. BUT I’LL GET THERE!
Dome over leak: I honestly don’t know what they were trying out here. They would put a giant dome over the remainder of the wreckage to contain the oil, then what? Well, I guess while I was writing that, I realized they’d just try to pump it out.
Pipe to the surface: Basically another rig to suck up the oil to the surface, however the oil is a little too heavy to makes it way to the top, and the only to get enough sucking power to keep it coming to surface, is to build a new drill rig, which would probably take some time.
Top Kill Method: This was the most recent method so far that failed miserably. I had my doubts when I heard about it, but I also had some hopes. Basically it’s like pumping heavy mud and cement down through an adjoining pipe and ‘clogging’ up the leak. Why it failed? I couldn’t tell you, but it did.
Top Kill method.
So, what’s next? It seems their final option, seems like the most obvious to me. Cutting the pipe for a clean cut, and capping it off. But they must have some reason for not trying it out earlier. Earlier today, rumour had it that the leak would not be taken care of until August, which got me a little rowled up, but now they’re expecting a result in the next 24 hours. I won’t lie, their back and forth makes me a skeptical.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings…
UPDATE: Well, they’ve attempted to cap that well, but surprisingly hasn’t received that much attention. Maybe because IT’S NOT ENTIRELY CAPPED. They put a cap over the BOP (Blow-Out Preventer), meant to prevent these types of accidents, however it’s not capturing all of the oil, only roughly a third of it (but rising). They seem to be ok with it.