Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Deepwater Horizon – Worse To Come

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    David,

    Time to take a deep breath. There are now eight comments on this thread and six of them are yours. We don’t have a limit, and I’m not trying to cut you off, but I wonder if this is altogether healthy.
    I probably would have never noticed your blog post if not for the fact that I am a frequent participant in the Armchair General Magazine forum. The Great History blog posts appear in the ACG forum.

    I’ve never claimed to be a geologist and I suspect you know a lot more about the subject than do I. That said, right now all I have to go on is your say-so, and that’s about the same as anyone posting on The Oil Drum. I don’t mean that as a put-down, but the nature of this column is that it reports on stories which appear in the open press and sources those stories. I can’t source you, so while your opinions and comment are interesting, I can’t give them the same weight I do published sources.
    That's true. You can't easily source me.

    But there are a lot of things that you could source.

    You could look at WesternGeco's or TGS' websites and look at their multi-client libraries and see that MC 252 is covered by 3d seismic data that anyone can purchase.

    You could look at TGS' Geological Data Library and see that you can purchase all of the geological data in the area apart from BP's MC 252 #1 well (which is now largely available from the US House of Representatives).

    You could get yourself a lease map of the Gulf of Mexico from the MMS and see that Macondo and Tiber are more than 300 miles apart. And that Macondo is not part of the Lower Tertiary play.

    Let’s look at my blog a minute.

    My second paragraph talked about the possibility of erosion on the seabed around the wellhead and I sourced (among others) Professor Bob Bea on that possibility.

    You say he is ‘talking about the likelihood that the casing is compromised and that some hydrocarbons are “channelling” around the casing. This is quite probable. But it’s not going to erode the rock, mud and sand around the wellbore to the point that the BOP stack tips over.’

    While I respect your opinion, that is not the position attributed to Professor Bea in print. I recognize that publications sometimes get these technical attributions wrong, but all I have to go by is what is actually in print. This is his position as summarized by the Time-Picayune:

    ‘Bea said . . . (i)f there is oil and gas escaping from the sides of the well, it could erode the sediments around the well and eat away at the support for all the heavy equipment that sits above. Bea said reports that BP is using an inclinometer is significant news. “It tells me that they are also concerned,” he said.’
    The significance of the inclinometer is that the wellhead is bent. This tends to happen when risers collapse on them. It's not an indication of seafloor erosion.

    Although I never raised the issue of the stack tipping over (you did), Bea’s concern with “eating away at the support for all the heavy equipment” and his interest in BP’s reported use of an inclinometer clearly indicate a concern with structural erosion, not simply “some” hydrocarbon chanelling.
    The Times-Picayune reporter said those things. Those words were not quoted from Bea.

    I also raise (and effectively dismiss) the possibility of an ocean floor collapse. You say, “this isn’t even realistic enough to be bad science fiction.” I think you under-estimate the potential inanity of bad science fiction, but more on this ocean floor collapse stuff later.
    Fair enough.

    My third paragraph dealt with withholding of “proprietary” information and the difficulty this has cause outside groups from independently evaluating the geology of the area immediately around the wellbore and any possible changes in it. The claim is based on multiple public sources and while what you say in response is interesting, even persuasive to a degree, I think the people you might want to address it to are the sources of the original claims. Are they all liars?
    It's more likely that they just had no idea what they were talking about... Or were unwilling or unable to go purchase their own data and do their own interpretation.

    My fourth paragraph says, “One possible outcome is localized subsidence around the wellhead resulting in ocean floor rock and mud being forced into the fissures around the well by the pressure of about five thousand feet of water above it, and serendipitously repairing the ocean floor.” You have repeatedly argued that this, along with everything else in the blog, is nonsense, and yet it is essentially the same thing you say when you assert, ” Furthermore, sand flow would eventually plug the well.”
    Most of the sedimentary section of the Gulf of Mexico from the Miocene up through the Pleistocene is not fully lithified. It's more like mud and sand than it is like real rock.

    If this had been an open hole blowout, the well would have already bridged over (sealed itself up). Mud tends to not stay open very long without steel pipe in it. If the current capping mechanism forced hydrocarbons around the leaky casing and they seeped to the surface, BP would just have to open the cap and start flowing the oil to the processing vessels above. The seep would stop.

    The real risk from a compromised casing is in hydrocarbons channelling through the annulus and possibly blowing out the 18" casing shoe. This still wouldn't deform the seafloor; but it would make the well more difficult to control.

    With the last paragraph I again touch on the ocean floor collapse and I think a lot of the problem between us comes from that. I get the feeling you see that as the centerpiece of my blog and are spending a lot of energy “refuting” it. In fact I pretty much dismissed it as “poorly-sourced” and “crackpots being crackpots.” My final reference to it mentioned I live in Florida. If I took it seriously, I’d be screaming about moving to Ohio. Instead I laughed/shrugged it off, and I think that’s pretty clear to anyone reading the blog with a sense of perspective. I think you are mostly exercised over the fact that I did not issue a sufficiently ringing and angry denunciation. Well, you have your style and I have mine.
    The title of your blog post was, "Deepwater Horizon – Worse To Come." this was your second sentence:

    "More troubling are the signs that the high-pressure discharge of oil, gas, and particulates is weakening the geology of the ocean floor around the wellhead. Cracks have formed in the ocean floor and oil has begun leaking from those cracks as well as from the wellhead itself, suggesting that the integrity of the well shaft itself has been compromised, either by the high pressure flow or damage sustained during the failed efforts to “top-kill” the well with high pressure mud."

    There is no evidence of a "weakening the geology of the ocean floor around the wellhead," cracks forming "in the ocean" as the result of this blowout, nor is there any evidence of oil leaking from those cracks. The gov't and BP are looking very closely at the ocean floor for such things and not finding them. BP has run several high-resolution 3d seismic surveys around the wellbore since the blowout and found no evidence of hydrocarbons escaping through the seafloor as the result of this blowout.

    Even though you placed the "oil tsunami" at one extreme of a range of possibilities, your evaluation of the current situation also lies on the bad sci-fi end of the possibility spectrum.

    Speaking of style, thanks for the apology for being rude, but I have to tell you it loses something when you follow it with, “but you’re still an idiot.”
    As you said, "you have your style and I have mine."
    Last edited by The Doctor; 19 Jul 10, 16:44.
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

    Comment


    • #17
      Don't worry about it Doc. You truly are the only one here with any real expertise in this area, therefore, to me your posts are very valuable and informative.

      I know that this is "Armchair" general and we are supposed to be receiving opinions from non experts as well, but given that a lot of what is out there in the press about pretty much anything is garbage it is nice to have truly knowledgeable opinion proffered to counter the hype.

      The little that I know about oil drilling I got from the Houston Museum (A really great exhibit on the subject). That is not enough to make this Deepwater thing comprehensible. Therefore I am thrilled to have you commenting on the reality of the subject. I trust you know of what you speak. And since I have seen you admit it in posts when there is an area of oil exploration that you don't know much about, I believe you to be credible.

      I wouldn't worry about the number of your posts. You are addressing issues with them in an area where a lot of us need factual information to help us cut through the slick and understand this disaster.

      I too get frustrated when the truth is out there but being drowned out by the cacophony of things like politics.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Miss Saigon View Post
        Don't worry about it Doc. You truly are the only one here with any real expertise in this area, therefore, to me your posts are very valuable and informative.

        I know that this is "Armchair" general and we are supposed to be receiving opinions from non experts as well, but given that a lot of what is out there in the press about pretty much anything is garbage it is nice to have truly knowledgeable opinion proffered to counter the hype.
        I do appreciate the support!

        The problem is that 99% of the reporting of this story in the mainstream media is from a perspective that is totally ignorant of the subject matter. Even Fox News has done a horrible job reporting this story. After a rocky start, the Wall Street Journal has been doing the best job of any mainstream outlet. Some nitwit in the gov't (like Carol Browner) says something stupid and the press reports it as if it came from a knowledgeable source. Some academic scientist (usually from the environmental sciences dept.) will say something so uninformed that it's ridiculous and the press reports, "Scientists say that... " Even engineering professors like Bob Bea have said things that make it obvious that they are just talking off the top of their head with no direct knowledge of what's going on.

        This stuff gets recycled and mixed up by blogs and the media and then it's reported in a fashion that people in the industry would laugh at, if it wasn't for the fact that we know that many people and politicians are having their opinions formed by this garbage.

        Originally posted by Miss Saigon
        The little that I know about oil drilling I got from the Houston Museum (A really great exhibit on the subject). That is not enough to make this Deepwater thing comprehensible. Therefore I am thrilled to have you commenting on the reality of the subject. I trust you know of what you speak. And since I have seen you admit it in posts when there is an area of oil exploration that you don't know much about, I believe you to be credible.
        Next time you get down to Galveston, check out the Ocean Star Museum.

        Originally posted by Miss Saigon
        I wouldn't worry about the number of your posts. You are addressing issues with them in an area where a lot of us need factual information to help us cut through the slick and understand this disaster.
        We're gearing back up to start drilling again... So I have to get my posts in now, while things are a bit slow...

        Originally posted by Miss Saigon
        I too get frustrated when the truth is out there but being drowned out by the cacophony of things like politics.
        It's a good thing we don't have a parrot at home. He'd have learned every cuss word in the book over the last few months, listening to us as we reacted to the idiotic news reports about the spill...
        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post

          The problem is that 99% of the reporting of this story in the mainstream media is from a perspective that is totally ignorant of the subject matter.
          You see, I get it. I remember one of my econ professors who said, "I have never read anything in the Washington Post on the subject of Economics that was close to accurate". He would frequently bring in clips from articles in newspapers that supposedly illustrated economic principles at work and then proceed to explain how the article was completely wrong. So I understand completely about being skeptical about what one reads in the press on technical matters.

          And then of course there is the whole issue of press reporting during the Vietnam war.

          So you see, I have learned to take press reporting with a healthy dose of mistrust and skepticism.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
            So... The entire post was over your head? Did you at least understand the one-syllable words?
            What is there to understand? That you are incapable of anything but defending the evil empire that is big oil? That you are the same as politicians who owe their career to companies like BP? Companies that strangle our attempts at clean energy, pollute our politicians, and stick it to US consumers any chance they get? No, I get that part of your 'charts' very well.

            Please continue to cry that Obama is at fault for the oil spill and all the worlds' evils.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by CupASoup View Post
              What is there to understand? That you are incapable of anything but defending the evil empire that is big oil? That you are the same as politicians who owe their career to companies like BP? Companies that strangle our attempts at clean energy, pollute our politicians, and stick it to US consumers any chance they get? No, I get that part of your 'charts' very well.

              Please continue to cry that Obama is at fault for the oil spill and all the worlds' evils.
              Another round of ad hominem... Aren't you versed in any other logical fallacies? You could at least try an appeal to authority or a false analogy once in a while to break up the monotony.
              Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

              Comment

              Latest Topics

              Collapse

              Working...
              X