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Originally posted at my site Bob Higgins

The Guardian reports that according to figures provided by BP 'Weasel in Chief' Tony Hayward, the Macondo field reservoir now emptying into the Gulf of Mexico contains enough oil to continue spewing at the current rate for more than two years.

Hayward told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the reservoir contains 50 million barrels of crud and is gushing at the rate of 60,000 barrels a day which would give it the capacity to continue for 833 days.

Using the government's present flow estimates of up to 60,000 barrels a day, BP's well could go on gushing  for two to four years, unless it is stopped.

BP and the  administration say they are containing a rising share of the oil from  the well, and hope to plug the gusher completely by August, when two  relief wells will be complete. BP said today that the relief wells were  within 60 metres of the ruptured well.

The consequences of failure  are enormous. The Guardian

Joe "I'm Sorry" Barton quoted a figure for the capacity of the reservoir of ten times the 50M figure during his questioning. The capacity figure was also questioned by an oil academic:

"I would assume that 500m barrels would be a more likely estimate," said Tadeusz Patzek, the chairman of the department of petroleum and geosystems engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. "I don't think you would be going after a 50mbarrel reservoir so quickly. This is just simply not enough oil to go after."

The consensus seems to be that once the natural gas has dissipated or more correctly blown out of the well, the flow rate will be significantly reduced but no one offers a figure for the low end.  Simple math would tell us that if not contained the oil could continue to flow, spill, spew, and gush for years to come, clogging the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Stream with a terrible toxic stew for a decade or more.

Meanwhile, Anadarko Oil, BPs Texas partner which has a 25% share in the Macondo field says that BP:

should pay the costs from the spill because it  acted recklessly and unsafely at the drilling site.

Already 60 days old it seems that the spill has no chance of containment for perhaps another 60 days according to the "relief well" drilling schedule and if that process fails I guess it's good night for the Gulf.

It should be noted that in civilized countries (those that have not been bought by mammoth oil companies) relief wells are often required to be drilled concurrently with the main bore and redundant blow out protection is required. Costly measures perhaps, but it seems to me that a 200 million dollar hit to BP's bottom line would have been a wise investment.

So we watch the news, watch the brown waves bathe the shore of the Gulf, watch the smoke and smell the wretched poison of the product of human greed as it pollutes our air, watch the wildlife die and the people of the Gulf suffer the loss of their livelihood and their way of life.

We are watching a terrible reality show in which a culture dies and the series is being continued.

Bob Higgins

Related post:
Juan Cole at Informed Comment compares the BP disaster to the Iraq war. Twin Oil Disasters: BP and Iraq

Originally posted to Bob Higgins on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 07:16 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Thanks for stopping by Bob Higgins Worldwide Sawdust

    by Bob Higgins on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 07:16:01 AM PDT

  •  Two years!!! (5+ / 0-)

    I'll never get used to oil soaked animals.

    This is horrendous news. Each day I check the news hoping that the death gusher has been stopped. Lately I have been reading environmentalists who are saying the Gulf ecosystem is dying and dead. Even the little animals that cling to the sargassum in the sea are being burnt by BP's fires. And where is the cleanup, the collected oil going? to land fills where it can contaminate the ground water.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

  •  There's a Ton of Well Vetted Information Going (6+ / 0-)

    around in the blowout ROV continuing live blogging, that's essentially unavailable to the general public, including debunking of the cracked-seafloor story that keeps being pushed, and a lot of information on the surface containment and the relief or kill-wells being drilled.

    Of course the Gulf is indeed in deep doo-doo and would be for years even if they stop the leaking this afternoon.

    The slick's now the size of Lake Superior.
    Image Hosted by

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 07:49:16 AM PDT

  •  I think I found the silver lining. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flaming Liberal for Jesus

    Ok.  This is a stretch, but this is all I got's.  Prior to this horrible disaster in the gulf, there was in my opinion a larger disaster.  Over fishing of the ocean in general.  The fish population can't keep up with modern fishing techniques, or current consumption.   What is needed is a break from fishing to allow the fish to repopulate.
    We are about to lose species of fish, forever.  Gone.  Good bye.  And it looked like nothing was being done to avoid it.  Until now?

    This is a disaster and it's just not being dealt with.  At all.    My hope is, that with this horrible oil spill people will start to worry that all seafood has been infected with oil and will stop eating seafood for a little while.
    This might be the best chance for the seafood population to get a little help.  Now then, the first person that complains to me about a fisherman losing his job is going to get a punch in the nose from me.  I don't care about you, or your job.  Get a new job.  I care about the fish in the ocean that will not be around any more. I hope that is clear.  Not clear?  Ok.  Try this.  You need a new job.   Lay off the Sushi for a year.  Download the Monterey Bay Aquarium SEAFOOD WATCH App and check what fish is ok to eat, and what to avoid.

    "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 07:59:05 AM PDT

    •  Sorry but I don't (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pescadero Bill, miss SPED, Bluefin, croyal

      believe that anything about this disaster will have a favorable outcome for fish or fowl.

      Thanks for stopping by Bob Higgins Worldwide Sawdust

      by Bob Higgins on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 08:41:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo, Bluefin

        I'm getting quite tired of people trying to turn this into a crusade against eating seafood, fish or meat.

        The simple truth is, that we rely on ocean for this basic necessity is the most immediate incentive we humans have to encourage other humans to protect our oceans. When I lived in Galveston, I didn't met a single person who either loved seafood or relied on seafood for their livelihood who didn't support sustainable fishing and harvesting of the ocean. And that was two decades ago. They didn't need a disaster like to get that we need sustainable fishing practices. Yo can be certain there's a lot people in Gulf right now who have been supporting and practicing sustainable fishing and harvesting who are every bit as angry--if not more--than  I am. All that effort by these people to protect the Gulf, because they have long understood the immediate impact of the Gulf's health on their quality of life, only to have an oil company do this to them and their ocean.

        While overfishing is problem in the Gulf in around the world, overfishing and water pollution are two very different problems. A decline in the demand of seafood will not clean up the water nor will it help populations rebound in areas that are too toxic for them to thrive. We can only address problems as long as we're honest about them. We can't conflate two different problems like this and expect to constructively address either.  

        -8.50, -7.64 Autism Speaks does not speak for me. I can speak for myself. I am a person, not a disease. I want to be respected, not "cured."

        by croyal on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:08:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Relief wells will work (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, jfromga, miss SPED, IndieGuy

    The relief wells will work.  They may not work on the first try and may not work on schedule.  

    Relief wells are wells drilled to intercept the original well way below the ocean floor and just above the oil reservoir.  When the relief well or wells intercept the original well cement will be pumped in to seal everything.

    Not easy.  Not schedulable.  Effective.

  •  I'd literally be afraid for my life if I worked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flaming Liberal for Jesus

    for BP, especially if I was recognizable.

    Don't wish/desire death on anyone, but theyve caused a lot of death.

  •  Not only are animals endanger (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pescadero Bill, miss SPED, croyal

    but, as your title says, shrimping and fishing jobs and even cajun cuisine are endangered by this spill; it's ecocide and maybe culturecide as well.

    •  Cajun and Creole cuisine will survive (2+ / 0-)

      It's not all seafood and fish. But it will have to adapt. Emeril on Letterman the other night talked about how there's no oysters available in LA, period. They're "just gone" he said. That's mind-boggling to me, as I lived in East Texas and not only did I grow to love Creole and Cajun food, I cook it as well. The idea of going back to East Texas and going to Cajun/Creole restaurant, and not being able o get oysters is unreal, but it IS reality now. But trust me, those restaurant will continue to serve Cajun and Creole food. Just not with oysters.

      Creole/Cajun culture and cuisine is a lot like gumbo itself--highly versatile, highly individualistic, and highly adaptable to whatever you have on hand. And while seafood gumbo is my favorite, I wouldn't turn down a cup of duck/chicken and sausage gumbo if that was all they can offer for the time being.

      -8.50, -7.64 Autism Speaks does not speak for me. I can speak for myself. I am a person, not a disease. I want to be respected, not "cured."

      by croyal on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:17:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bad news for the Chesapeake Bay dinner table,too. (0+ / 0-)

    Nobody who eats oysters and crabs wants to stop. That means demand on the Chesapeake Bay seafood will increase. So I expect to see crab and oyster prices seriously  go up here.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 01:49:26 PM PDT

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