Daily Kos is a wonderful place....a collection of lots of different people who know lots of different stuff. So I need a Kos expert with some engineering math expertise....fluid dynamics to be particular and oil to be specific:
So I saw this story today in the NY Times about a North Dakota farmer who smelled oil on his property and discovered that a Tesoro Logistics pipeline, running across his property, was leaking oil.
For several days last month, Steven Jensen smelled the oil, wafting up over his rolling wheat farm near Tioga.The question I need answered.....is below the orange bubble of leaking crude:
But in that part of northwestern North Dakota, where the rush to tap the Bakken shale field is roaring, the scent of crude is hardly uncommon. It was not until Sept. 29 that Mr. Jensen came across a six-inch spurt of oil gurgling up from his land and reported a spill.
As it turned out, a Tesoro Logistics pipeline had ruptured, spreading more than 865,000 gallons of oil across seven acres of Mr. Jensen’s farm. The spill is one of the largest inland oil pipeline accidents in the United States.
A Tesoro spokeswoman, Tina Barbee, said in an e-mail that an internal inspection last month detected “anomalies” with the pipeline. But Tesoro was still waiting for details when Mr. Jensen discovered the spill.
The company estimated that the hole from which the oil leaked was about a quarter-inch in diameter.
How long would it take 865,000 gallons of oil to leak from a quarter-inch diameter hole if the exit jet of oil was six inches high?
I am terrible at math....I started taking calculus in college and soon thereafter changed my major to English.....
Hopefully this is a pretty simple calculation for someone with basic math and engineering skills.
The obvious reason for this question is, how long was it before Jensen or anyone discovered the leak.
Tesoro officials said the company had monitored the pipeline’s pressure remotely but acknowledged that was not enough. The company would not speculate on the length or cause of the spill, which the pipeline agency is investigating. It first learned of the accident the day Mr. Jensen discovered it, after he called another oil company with a pipeline in the area.I don't know about you, but my sense is that 865,000 gallons of oil covering seven acres of land is a big deal.
State officials did not alert the public of the accident until more than a week later, which Mr. Roberts said was because the spill posed no danger and was swiftly contained.
This story obviously is not something the oil or pipeline industries want to publicize, especially given the interest in the proposal to construct the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf to feed US refineries with Alberta Tar Sands Oil.
Through their investments and various subsidiaries, Charles and David Koch could make a fortune from the transcontinental oil pipeline, contrary to previous Koch claims.Opponents of Keystone have cited a raft of reasons for opposition including the impact of tar sands mining on global warming, dubious claims about job creation, the fact that the oil produced in the Gulf will largely be shipped overseas and (harking back to the subject of this diary) the risk to waterways and aquifers of a major pipeline break and spill.
The Koch brothers have become well known (and despised by many progressives) for their right-wing political activism. The Huffington Post reports that a progressive think tank, the International Forum on Globalization, has been studying Koch investments and properties, including 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada. The IFG also estimates that the Kochs have spent about $50 million lobbying pro-Keystone think tanks and members of Congress.
Of special interest is the fact that the proposed route for the pipeline takes it through the Sand Hills of Nebraska and over the vital Ogallala Aquifer, a massive source of water for crop irrigation in the Great Plains.
So again the question.....how long was that pipe leaking before it was discovered. The NY Times article notes:
“This section of the pipeline was not required to have leak monitoring or pressure sensors,” said Kris Roberts, an environmental geologist with the North Dakota Department of Health, who is leading the state’s response to the spill. “And it didn’t.”Or weeks? If you know the math, maybe you can tell fellow Kossacks just how long that pipe was leaking before it got to 800,000 plus gallons.
Carl Weimer, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, which advocates tougher pipeline regulations, said the federal government had moved too slowly to bolster leak detection standards.
“Even though people have been calling for better leak detection, it is usually a landowner who finds the spills,” Mr. Weimer said. “It runs counter to what the industry tells us, that they can detect and shut off these spills in a minutes, when they actually go on for days.”