BP is downplaying the Gulf oil leak, situation evolving into epic disaster

A blanket of oil swamped the Louisiana wetlands like a thick layer of syrup on Wednesday, as a seemingly endless geyser of oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico.  The oil has invaded marshes near the Mississippi River’s mouth at Pass a Loutre, North Pass, and South Pass.

Satellite images show that the oil stream has entered the Loop Current, which could drag the blob across Florida’s coast.  National Geographic reports that the Loop Current could carry the oil south to the Gulf Stream, which would inevitably drag the mess around Florida, and north across the East Coast.

BP announced on Sunday that – after three weeks – it had finally managed to contain one-fifth of the constant stream of oil.  But no one knows for certain how much that actually amounts to, because BP and the U.S. Coast Guard will not allow independent scientists, researchers or journalists into the area to monitor the situation up close.

BP originally reported that 1,000 barrels of oil per day were filling the Gulf.   Five days later, the federal government raised the official estimate to 210,000 barrels per day.  After BP released footage last week of the actual leak, many scientists and oil experts have argued that the leak could be as much as 20 times that official estimate.

BP’s current plan has been to spray the ocean with record-breaking amounts of a toxic chemical called Corexit. The chemical make-up of Corexit is kept secret under competitive trade laws, but it has been linked to human disorders, such as respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders after its use during the Exxon clean-up. Corexit is banned in England and other European countries.

Another variable to consider is the impact of hurricane season.  Not only could tropical storms disrupt clean-up efforts; hurricane winds could carry oil to fresh water lakes and rivers, where it will destroy more of the U.S. ecosystem.

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2 comments

  1. BP will soon inject drilling mud and concrete into the broken pipeline at a pressure of 50 barrels per minute in an effort to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf. Unless they know the accurate volume of oil, along with the pressure at which it is escaping, there will be little chance of success.

    Scientists claim that approximately 50,000 to 100,000+ barrels of oil a day are leaking into our coastal waters. Knowing those approximations, we can roughly calculate how many barrels of oil are escaping from the pipe every minute and how much pressure will be needed to cap the well:

    •50,000 barrels a day / 24 hours a day / 60 minutes = 34.72 barrels per minute
    •100,000 barrels a day / 24 hours a day / 60 minutes = 69.44 barrels per minute
    In order for the “Top Kill” plan to work, the drilling mud and concrete must be forced into the pipe at a rate exceeding the pressure at which the oil is escaping. As you can see (above), BP might have a slim chance of success if the pressure from the pipe is below 50 barrels per minute. However, if the oil pressure is above that number (72,000 barrels a day or more), their attempt to seal the well will be ineffective.

    http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html

    http://www.calculateme.com/Volume/Gallons/ToBarrels(Petroleum).htm

  2. You’re right. Not only BP, but the national news has joined in on the deception. NBC Nightly News tried to downplay the amount of oil in the Gulf. Needless to say, I was disgusted.

    In light of the BP oil calamity it’s quite obvious that something must be done, and fast, if we are to save our world from corporations that would prefer to place huge profits above that of our environmental and financial welfare.

    As large corporations gobble up smaller corporations in an attempt to seize an even bigger piece of the global economic pie, it seems that businesses have been allowed to grow, unfettered, into unwieldy corporate behemoths (a.k.a., British Petroleum) with little, if any, regulations regarding their obligations to national sovereignties or allegiances.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that if a corporation begins its “life” in a particular country, than it has an obligation to that country and its people: due in part to the patronage of its citizens throughout the years in helping that corporation to grow. When I hear about American businesses pulling up stakes and moving to other countries in lieu of cheaper labor and supplies elsewhere, I feel both embarrassed and betrayed. (They would be nothing if it weren’t for people like you and me. After all, we purchased their services, time and time again, fostering them constantly by giving them the opportunity to flourish. Our final reward for all our efforts? Millions of fellow Americans out of work, all desperately hoping that their unemployment benefits never run out.)

    I agree that the bad news is not just happening here in America, but around the globe. I blame that on the evolution of the business model: over the years, it has been compressed into a precise science in an effort to squeeze every last drop of profit out of the proverbial “bottom-line.” I began to notice the change in the late 1970’s when I was in my teens. Back then, it was a different world for me and I didn’t seem to care too much. Today however, it is a different story.

    What can we collectively do as Americans?

    Contact your representatives in the House and Senate. Let them know that

    big business should be regulated and ask them to enact laws to:

    1.Ensure that all corporations “born” within the United States deter from any and all actions that would adversely affect our country;

    2.Place high tariffs on imports from American businesses that move their bases of operations (not to mention our jobs) to other regions of the world;

    3.Work to limit their corporate power and influence in Washington D.C. by passing laws whereby politicians, found to have ties with said corporations or corporate lobbyists resign.

    4.Endeavor to ban all corporate favors and corporate lobbyists from Washington D.C.

    Essentially, it’s up to us to fashion our own future. If we don’t, rest assured that someone, or some corporation will.

    •(I know that BP was not born and reared here in the United States. I was merely using it as a reference as to what corporations are capable of doing if left to their own devices.)

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