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View Diary: BP Oilpocalypse ROV Diary #63 (325 comments)

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  •  I'd sic an astrophysicist on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tomtech, middleagedhousewife

    in a heartbeat, if anybody thought it would help.

    •  it probably won't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley

      Most of this is not about solving theoretical problems, its about finding solutions with variables that are only half-known or sometimes just guessed at.

      What is the gas/oil mix?
      What is the chemical composition of the gas/oil
      How turbulent is the flow?
      Can a particular bolt be turned by the ROV?
      etc.
      etc.
      etc.

      That's engineering. Sure, there's a lot of useful theory, but there's also a lot of practical, hands-on judgment call.

      When we cut the riser off? how much backpressure will be lost? You can have Sandia or Los Alamos run fluid flow simulation models to estimate it - but you can't see inside the riser pipe. Is there drill string in there? How eroded is the surface. are there any bulges or voids that you can't see from outside.

      On and on and on.

      Engineering is science trying to operate prudently and safely in the face of a ton of unknowns.

      -2.38 -4.87: Damn, I love the smell of competence in the morning!

      by grapes on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:38:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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