Saturday, May 22, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Causes and Lessons

Deepwater Horizon oil platform on fire
Many investigations lie ahead. President Obama has appointed a commission of inquiry. Industry shills have been hard at work for a month, unhampered by pesky facts. In the interim one of the most detailed analyses I have yet seen is posted at The Oil Drum. The author, a long-time oil and gas geologist, notes that the causes and lessons may change as more facts come to light. The analysis is aided by contibutions from offshore oil industry engineers, bit is also colored in its conclusions by their understandable bias towards perpetuating the industry that sustains their professional standing and provides their economic livelihood.

The principal conclusion pulls no punches:
What can be addressed now is the larger issue that a flawed, risky well plan for the MC 252 well was approved by the MMS, and BP, Anadarko and Mitsui management. Similar or identical plans were undoubtedly approved and used by many operators on other wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico. A plan that does not include enough cement to overlap the final and previous casing strings, and that does not require running a cement-bond log to ensure the integrity of the seal is a defective plan. The fact that there have not been blowouts on previous wells does not justify the approval and use of an unsafe plan.
Similar or identical plans. There are currently 3,858 other offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, each of which can have as many as 20 wells.

Offshore oil drilling is not the solution to our energy problems. It is a reckless attempt to perpetuate our failing energy system, a system which cannot be sustained. It stands in the way of advancing real energy solutions. Time grows short.
Digg It! Delicious Stumble Technorati Twitter Facebook

No comments: