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View Diary: Daily Kos POST-Top Kill, Junk Shot, LMRP Diary #23 (300 comments)

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  •  super pumping super tankers (7+ / 0-)

    If the oil is on the surface, you can skim oil+water from the surface, then separate.   If the oil is dispersed over a range of depths, there is far more water to process.

    In selected areas, this might do some good, but you aren't likely to get anywhere near the claimed 85% results in this case.

    It also requires the separator infrastructure on the shore.
    The Saudis may have already had that and suitably equipped tankers because this might have been part of their preexisting mitigation plan.

    If you can rely on the oil to float, you could use the superankers as settling tanks.   Pump in water/oil till full.  Wait for settling.   Pump water out from underneath.   Pump in more oil/water, settle, pump out water.   lather. rinse. repeat.    When you have more oil than water, sail to port for final separation.    

    With this spill we have dispersants having already been used, 5000ft of water acting as a fractionating column, trapped underwater plumes, and the oil has over a month head start.

    If the super tanker can hold two million barrels of oil and fill in a day then if you could suck up at least 1% oil you could take 15000 barrels of oil on board - the approximate size of the daily spill.   However, it would take 8 billion supertanker loads to carry all the water in the gulf once.  The existing spill, even if it is a small fraction of the gulf, is likely far beyond what the tankers can deal with.
    But they might help reduce the impact of further spillage.

    On a financial note, those supertankers doing their normal job are helping provide BP with a revenue stream that can be spent on remediation and damages.

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