Oil spill course of action
I believe President Obama would serve his position better by describing, every day, what the options are for capping and cleaning the spill up, and what progress is being made. Educate us, guide us through the decision making process, and this will be a victory for the Obama administration.
Deploy supertankers to suck up oil, as well as:
non toxic oil eating bacteria
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Dr Stephen A Rinehart writes: Background: The following comments are based in part on my 45+ years experience in structural dynamics/mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and extensive design/project management experience including offshore oil platforms, oil pipelines, conventional/nuclear DOD weapons effects and combat weapons designs, and environmental fate and transport of chemical/oil plumes.
Immediate recognition by Congress that this is a “National Emergency” on the scale of a nuclear weapon attack on the US and funding an appropriate “super response” – now! This spill is already totally destroying the Gulf of Mexico as we know it. It requires the formation of a “Super Governmental/Industry Tiger Team” to address and implement both the detonation of a nuclear weapon as well as the mitigation and clean-up of this spill by a fleet of Super Tankers with oily water separators totally outside of any response by BP to date. This problem has totally overwhelmed the limited responses of an oil company such as BP. BP should be totally removed from the scene the responsibility for clean-up belongs with the US Government in making a “WWII-Type Mobilization Response”. This may include mobilizing a fleet of barges being placed as the first “ring of defense” around main well area (perimeter may have to miles in length right now) followed by a fleet of super tankers to start storing/transporting oil and discharge permits granted to discharge the water. Somebody (appointed by Congress) needs to be in charge of the entire response with billions of funding in-place right now to start cutting purchase orders (there is not time for the usual Government Bid System to be effective in a timely manner) for a fleet of tankers and it is not BP.
Mobilize a Super Tanker Fleet to start sucking up the large underwater oil plumes located at 3000 to 4000 feet under the sea. These plumes can be easily located by US Navy Sonar. Immediately find the real well head location – compare known GPS locations of where the Drilling Rig should have been drilling to the current GPS location of the BOP.
Monitoring what BP is doing is useless at this point as an appropriate Government response and shows a complete lack of understanding from a systems engineering viewpoint of the magnitude of the crisis. The Red Flag in this crisis is going to be that “BP has delayed the heavy mud attempt to seal the well” or at the “Top Kill” will not work and the follow-up “junk shot did not work because this is probably a red herring and not the real location or cause of the massive oil spill.
Immediately remove all Mines Mgmt personnel in Louisiana associated with any Gulf Coast platform reviews until and independent audits can be conducted of the all technical decisions and drilling permits issued in the past five years. Revoke all drilling permits issued by this office in past 24 months.
BP has totally misrepresented the real nature of this oil spill to Congress. It is possible that the real wellhead outflow is 120,000+ bbls per day and located miles from the BOP location. Congress should immediately send the US Navy to locate the real wellhead location.
The use of Corexit 9500 maybe 4X more toxic than oil. It could also be 10X to 20X more poisonous than other dispersants. It could undergo a phase transition to a gaseous state in the warm Gulf waters and result in some type of “toxic rain clouds” over the East Coast. The US Army developed the “best performing” absorbent by the US Corps of Engineers called Oil Sponge (a name trademarked by a company called Phase III and is 100% organic) and is made from renewable resources and there are other much safer dispersants. Oil Sponge is built using a microbial and nutrient package, capable of transforming oil hydrocarbons into a safe bi-product of carbon dioxide and water. There is also AmeriHaz Petroleum Solidifier that encapsulates environmental contaminants making crude oil and other oil like substances easy to retrieve. Both of these products have been ignored by BP and the Government in the clean-up of this fiasco. Why? Has BP trying to hide the magnitude of the spill – absolutely! Contact your Congressman immediately as to why BP has refused to stop the use of this dispersant! It is your grandkids lives that may depend on it.
The enormous amounts of natural gas being injected underwater in the Gulf of Mexico from this blow-out contain the carcinogen benzene which is water soluble. It is classified by EPA as a carcinogen at levels of 1 ppm. Is anyone now testing the Gulf waters for benzene levels? Any oil clean-up personnel need to be wearing Hazmat suits. If the water or beach sand smells oily then they may be exposed to benzene levels 20X in excess of safe standards. Nobody needs to be sticking there finger into some oily product on the beaches. There are probably more than 52000 bbls per day of natural gas being released into the Gulf of Mexico which will cause a huge oxygen depletion zone and possible massive fish and shrimp kills.
Dr Steven Wereley, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, has testified before the House Energy and Environmental Committee that 95,000 barrels of oil are currently leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. BP would not have economically spudded this well unless it was flowing in excess of 65,000 barrels per day (and the real answer is closer to 120,000 barrels per day (50X times worse than BP/US Government stated at the outset).
The Obama Administration needs to release EPA data on air quality at/near spill sites (both onshore and at the spill site). It is the responsibility of the Obama Administration to require workers to wear respirators. It is dangerous to go near large oil spills which have been sprayed with solvents like Corexit 9500 which the Natural Science Dept of Russia has stated is 4X more toxic than oil itself!? Tell your Congressman you wish to see data on air and water quality on daily basis.
According to data from the University of South Florida, the massive oil spill has now entered the Atlantic Loop Current (starting to make its turn around the Southern tip of Florida and towards Miami) and maybe heading up the East Coast. I would expect large plumes of oil may start appearing in spots across the Panhandle and Florida beaches in next 30 to 45 days as these oil plumes gradually rise to the surface (one said to be over 22 miles long and 800+ feet deep!?!).
Bottom Line: We are looking at the worse environmental disaster in human history and it continues to grow and the US Government has failed totally in responding to this epic crisis because of BP and Big Oil political clout and money.
The light end of the oil will be absorbed into the atmospheric system and come down as a toxic chemical bath at some point in the future. Remember that 70% of the oil and natural gas is underwater and chemically destroying the Eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone needs to contact their Congressman about mobilizing the National Guard for clean-up and start monitoring water and air quality. We need to get Congress to budget for a fleet of super tankers to start skimmers and remove BP totally from the scene. The US Navy needs to be mobilized to start identifying underwater oil plumes as well as all marine research organizations along the East Coast. The environmental impacts are almost incalculable at this point and everyone on the East Coast is going to be impacted in some manner in next ten years. Do not go near beaches where oil spills are occurring and do not touch any spilled oil with your bare hands. Wear a respirator if involved in any beach clean-up and make sure the benzene levels have been tested in all drinking and bath water.
The US Government needs to take total control with US Navy and mobilize a massive fleet of barges and super tankers with skimmers to start clean-up. We are going to need hundreds of miles of additional rubber boom and another 50,000 to 100,000 people in clean-up.
Everybody in Congress needs to be asking some very hard questions about what is really going on and find out why they have been massively misled on the real magnitude of this oil spill. We need to make sure we know the real source of the wellhead now.
In the end as much as we hate to – we may have to opt for using a “down-hole” nuclear weapon. If the relief well being drilled (not completed until August) does not stop this oil well blow-out expect a tactical nuclear option to be seriously considered in next 90 days. You may hear it is disguised as an “earthquake” some day in the Gulf of Mexico. This option needs to be structured for an immediate Congressional decision to stop the massive wellhead blow-out. You need to know the sub-sea salt topology in detail before exercising such an option.
By: Dr Stephen A Rinehart