What Happens If BP Never Plugs the Gulf Oil Spill?

by , 06/18/10
filed under: Environment, Water Issues

bp, gulf oil spill, gulf oil disaster, deepwater horizon, oil, gulf coast

It’s the ultimate nightmare scenario: all of BP‘s attempts to stanch the Gulf Oil disaster (including drilling relief wells) fail. Not only do the relief wells fail, but the broken pipe starts leaking in other places and the sea floor starts to collapse from growing instability. The result is a massive rift in the ocean floor that spews upwards of two billion gallons of oil into the Gulf before the reservoir is exhausted. Could this actually happen?

bp, gulf oil spill, gulf oil disaster, deepwater horizon, oil, gulf coastPhoto by Grassroots Mapping

“Dougr“, a commenter on the Oil Drum’s message board, thinks it could. And while we aren’t normally in the habit of making entire stories out of message board comments, Doug seems to have some credible backers.

According to our anonymous commenter, BP’s comments over the past weeks make it clear that there is “one inescapabale conclusion… The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking.” Doug goes on to explain, “All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit…after that, it goes into the realm of “the worst things you can think of”… […] the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more.”

Given BP’s general lack of transparency, we wouldn’t be surprised if the oil giant already knows that something like this is going on. What do you think — do Dougr’s comments have any merit? Check out his full explanation here.

+ The Oil Drum


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  1. Christophera August 18, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    None even want to acknowledge the “real dimension”. They are afraid to suggest that anyone make a material sacrifice to protect life on the planet. This is proven by the fact that the video I’ve uploaded and posted as a response IS NOT being displayed on youtube pages with gulf oil spill videos.
    Social fears control us. Long term destruction is being accepted over short term social comfort. A spiritual plague is upon us.

  2. dehavillanddave July 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    With the leak plugged, will the methane pressure escalate? Read thid article about a possible methane gas explosion:

  3. grnchi June 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Question: If there is more than 2 billion barrels down there and the spill continues at this rate it would take more than 80 years to empty the reserve. Even if it sped up drastically i would presumable take at least a decade to empty. Am I way off base here?

    I we can put a man on the moon and build the equipment needed to service this well, then I’ve gotta think they can engineer something, however complicated and however long it may take, to contain this.

  4. bayoubornandraised June 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    After reading the article about super-tanker recovery and clean-up, my opinion is as follows: It’s is true:
    Get the tankers in recovery and clean-up for use in automobiles. It should product a great abundance of fuel for our country. I don’t know how much it would cost to put this clean-up into effect but it has to be better than not doing anything and killing all life in the gulf, oceans and where ever. We could trade off this gas to countries that the USA owes a foreign debth, making that liability disappear quickly, never to happen again. Why, I can dream about the cost of our gas lowing for years to come in order to use this surplus, worldwide.

    As for the instability of the ocean floor, please for God’s sake and ours, never use nukes to stop the flow. Just work the oil out as quickly as possible.

    How much oil and gas is in this location?
    What would happen to the earths crust if the oil and gas were successfully emptied?
    These are other thoughts that would have to be reveiwed and discussed. We could be adding to the destruction of our planet quicker than 2012, and would the planet be able to cleanse itself and start over again!

    Remember, I’m only thinking thoughts, sensible or not. This situation calls for complete honesty and cooperation by all humanity, without corruption, personal power and money qreed attached.

    Wild! What a dream come true for all humanity!

  5. DoHop June 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Don’t be sentimental…or sedimental…with the spill: nuke it. The Russians have done this successfully for leaks. Potential natural damage is far less than what has already taken place.

  6. windcatcher June 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Gulf Oil Flow-Supertankers Clean Up-596 million gallons!
    Two months after the Gulf oil well disaster the wellhead oil flow and oil spill remain out of control with no positive action planned to control and suck up the oil at sea before it makes landfall 48 miles away or inters the international Gulf Stream!
    That condition is not acceptable! People in charge need to go!
    President Obama, Fire BP and appoint proven environmental disaster expert and engineer Nick Pozzi and oil expert and former (Dutch) Shell Oil president John Hofmeister to be in charge of a independent “Stop the Gulf Oil Flow & Clean Up Task Force” to take positive action today.
    We need a fleet of Supertankers on site today to recover millions of gallons of oil before it reaches land 48 miles away!
    Dutch and Belgium three days after the oil spill offered to help (thank you) but was turned down. They have world renowned technology and expertise to respond to ocean oil spills with a specialized fleet of ocean going ships; they are oil spill professionals that have a proven and positive plan. In short they are prepared for an oil spill.
    The US obviously, is not prepared for an oil spill and has no positive plans for either stopping the flow of oil permanently or for cleaning up the oil on the ocean before it reaches land 48 miles away!
    Why should Big Oil be prepared in the US, it is easier, and cheaper, to buy corrupt politicians and use in-house illegal, unethical, and unhealthy dispersants than to be prepared for an oil spill. Hell, let nature take care of it!
    Dutch and Belgium have a national ocean oil spill response plan and the specialized equipment to do the job. If the same circumstances happened 48 miles off their coast; the oil spill would have not reached shore. They typically would have set up at least 3 perimeters of oil containment on site and used their specialized fleet of tankers and suction oil equipment to suck the millions of barrels of oil into their fleet of tankers.
    That oil saved (cleaned up) is processed into fuel; there are no dispersants used! The oil on the surface and at dept below the surface is cleaned up and processed! That’s green, in a way!
    The US is backward and sadly corrupt and has no oil spill response plan, expertise or modern equipment to respond; their clean up methods are mean in nature, fatalistic suicidal and archaic. Instead of cleaning up the oil at sea, illegal dispersants (over a million gallons) has been used to spread the oil into the ocean ecosystem to hide it! That’s the “no!!! oil recovery plan”.
    There is no plan for stopping the oil flow permanently (relief wells are very tenuous and dangerous) and the extent of the damage to the wellhead and sea floor is kept secret. The controlled mass media is complicit. That’s the “no!!! stop the oil flow plan”.
    The US and BP strategy is to lie and cover up the wellhead and sea floor damage, dispersant health damage, oil flow rate and the extent of the oil spill with a controlled mass media “Gulf Oil Spill black out” and with the ongoing misleading propaganda that never address the true oil spill issues and ramifications (brainwashing). Money can buy anything, right?
    For example: The largest oil spill in the world, the Arabian Oil Spill 1993 to 1994, was kept secret (media black out) from the world by the Saudi government and went unreported for 17 years. The spill was estimated to be 700 million gallons, 65 times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill. 85 percent of that spill, an estimated 596 million gallons, was cleaned up on the surface and at dept with the use of Supertankers.
    One engineer in charge of that massive undertaking was Mr. Pozzi; experienced engineers and scientist like him should be in charge of the Gulf Oil Spill via an independent task force.
    Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/gulf-oil-spill-supertankers-051310#ixzz0rFPAB9CF
    The US needs to stop the use of illegal, unhealthy dispersants and change our unreasonable, unscientific and suicidal course.
    American citizens need to gain control of this ecological and economic catastrophe today by using available science with clean up Supertankers and Dutch and Belgium state of the art oil spill clean up technology and equipment.
    Blog President Obama, We Demand Change Now!!! Head of State or Head on stick!!!

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