What would a hurricane do to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:57 PM GMT on May 26, 2010

Share this Blog
8
+

Hurricane season is upon us next week, and the Deepwater Horizon blowout is still spewing a geyser of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. With this year's hurricane season likely to be a severe one, with much above average numbers of hurricanes and intense hurricanes, we have the unwholesome prospect of a hurricane churning through the largest accidental oil spill in history. A hurricane has never passed over a sizable oil spill before, so there are a lot of unknowns about what might happen. The closest call came in 1979, after the greatest accidental oil spill in history, the massive Ixtoc I blowout. That disaster dumped 3 million barrels (126 million gallons) of oil into the Southern Gulf of Mexico between June 1979 and March 1980. Category 1 Hurricane Henri passed just north of the main portion of the oil spill on September 16 and 17, generating 15 foot seas and southwest winds of 15 - 25 knots over the spill region on the 16th. Interestingly, the NOAA/AOML report on the spill found that the winds did not blow long enough or strongly enough to control the direction of oil flow, as evidenced by the fact that the wind direction was often 180° to the direction of plume flow. The main impact of the wind was to dilute the oil and weather it, converting it to a thick "mousse".

Oil and beaches
During the Ixtoc spill, prevailing currents circulating clockwise from the blowout carried a 60-mile by 70-mile patch of sheen containing a 300 foot by 500 foot patch of heavy crude 900 miles to the South Texas coast. On August 6, 1979, tarballs from the spill impacted a 17 mile stretch of Texas beach. Mousse patches impacted the shoreline north of Port Mansfield Channel on August 15 and again on August 18. On August 24, mousse impacted shoreline south of Aransas Pass. By August 26, most of North Padre Island was covered with moderate amounts of oil. By September 1, all of the south Texas coast had been impacted by oil. However, Hurricane Henri formed in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche on September 17 - 18. At the same time, a strong non-tropical low pressure system formed along the Texas coast, bringing gale-force winds and rainfall amounts in excess of ten inches to the coast. The combination of swells from Hurricane Henri and wind-driven waves from the non-tropical low pressure system scoured the oiled beaches of over 90% of their oil (Gundlach et al., 1981). The oil washed over the barrier islands into the estuaries behind them, and much of it sank to the bottom of the ocean. According to NOAA, impacts to the estuaries were minor. However, Payne and McNabb (1984) noted that selected regions of the coast, most of the beached oil was heavily resistant to transport during storms. Oil/sediment mats were ultimately covered by clean sand, but the oil/sediment mats were re-exposed and washed into the lagoon behind the barrier islands one year later when Category 3 Hurricane Allen battered the coast. No transport of the oil/sediment mats from the lagoon bottom was observed in the 3-year period following Hurricane Allen.

So, the Ixtoc blowout experience shows us that if a sandy beach is already fouled by oil, a hurricane can help clean up the mess. However, the situation is different along shores with marshlands, where the many shoreline plants offer crevices and tangled roots for the oil to accumulate in. A hurricane will help scour some of the oil out of marshlands, but the majority of it will probably remain stuck. This is also true of rocky beaches. Rocky shores fouled by the great Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989 have been pounded by many hurricane-strength storms over the years, but these storms were not able to clean the beaches of oil like Hurricane Henri did for Texas' beaches in 1979.

Transport of oil by hurricanes
Shores that are already fouled by oil will probably benefit from a hurricane, but the oil cleaned off of those shores then becomes someone else's problem. The strong winds and powerful ocean currents that a hurricane's winds drive will bring oil to large stretches of coast that otherwise would not have gotten oil. This is my chief concern regarding a hurricane moving through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Consider the case of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. The ill-fated tanker split open in Prince William Sound on March 24, and oil spill response crews were initially able to contain the spill behind booms and make good progress removing it. However, two days later, a powerful Gulf of Alaska storm with 70 mph winds roared through, overwhelming the containment booms and distributing the oil along a 90-mile stretch of coast. The oil went on to foul over 400 miles of Alaska coast, a far larger disaster than would have occurred than if the storm had not passed by. Similarly, a hurricane moving through the Gulf of Mexico spill will very likely make the disaster much worse, spreading out the oil over a larger region, and bringing the oil to shores that otherwise might not have seen oil. It is true that the oil will be diluted some by being spread out over a larger area, so some shores will not see a substantial oiling. But overall, a hurricane passing through the oil spill is likely to result in much higher damage to the coast.

I expect that during the peak portion of hurricane season (August - October), the clockwise-rotating eddy that is attempting to cut off from the Loop Current this week will be fully separated from the Loop Current. The separation of this eddy will substantially reduce the possibility that significant amounts of oil will reach the Florida Keys and Southeast U.S. coast, since the Loop Current will be much farther south, flowing more due east towards the Keys from the Yucatan Channel. Oil moving southwards from the spill location due to a hurricane's winds will tend to get trapped in the 250-mile wide eddy, potentially covering most of the surface of the eddy with oil. Thus we might have a 250-mile wide spinning oil slick in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico for days or weeks after a hurricane. This could potentially have a significant warming effect on the Gulf waters, since the oil is dark and will absorb sunlight, and the oil will prevent evaporation from cooling the waters underneath it. Since Loop Current eddies contain a large amount of very warm water that extend to great depth, they often act as high-octane fuel for hurricanes that pass over. The rapid intensification of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were both aided by the passage of those storms over Loop Current eddies. Thus the warming of the Loop Current Eddy by oil pulled into it by a passing hurricane or tropical storm could lead to explosive intensification of the next hurricane that passes over the eddy.

The Loop Current Eddy will move slowly westwards toward Texas at about 4 miles per day after it fully cuts off. When it reaches the shallow waters near the Texas coast in early 2011, the eddy will turn northwards and gradually dissipate, By then, I expect that the vast majority of the oil in the eddy will have dispersed, sunk, or evaporated.

Storm surge and oil
One of the more unnerving prospects to consider if a hurricane hits the oil spill is what the hurricane's storm surge might do with the oil/dispersant mixture. The foul mix would ride inland on top of the surge, potentially fouling residential areas and hundreds of square miles of sensitive ecosystems with the toxic stew. The impacts of the oil and dispersant on vegetation may be too low to cause significant damage, since the hurricane would dilute the mixture with a large amount of sea water, and wash much of the toxic brew off the vegetation with heavy rain. We do have some limited experience with oil spills during Hurricane Katrina's storm surge to shed light on the subject. Katrina's storm surge caused over 8 million gallons of oil to spill into the storm surge waters. The largest spill occurred when the storm surge hit the Murphy Oil refinery in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. According to Santella et al. (2010), The refinery was inundated with 12 feet of water, and a partially filled 250,000-barrel above ground storage tank was dislodged and ruptured, releasing 25,100 barrels (1.05 million gallons) of mixed crude oil. Dikes surrounding the oil tanks at the refinery were flooded and breached and oil from the spill covered a residential area of approximately one square mile affecting approximately 1,800 homes. Front-end loaders were needed to remove the oily sediments from the area. A class action lawsuit resulted from the spill, ending in a $330 million settlement with a buy-out of properties closest to the spill and graded compensation in a larger zone. Katrina also caused a 139,000-gallon crude oil leak from a 20-inch pipeline at Shell Nairn Pipeline Company in Port Sulphur, Louisiana. Approximately 10,500 gallons of the spill reached the shoreline and coastal marshes, and only 10,700 gallons were recovered. This release resulted in a $5.5 million class action settlement to nearby property owners (http://www.nairnclaims.com). I haven't been able to find any information on how the marshlands fared after getting oiled by this spill.

Katrina's storm surge also destroyed an oil tank at Chevron's Empire facility, releasing oil into a retention pond in a region surrounded by marshland. Three and half weeks later, Hurricane Rita's storm surge hit the oily mess in the retention pond, washing 4,000 - 8,000 gallons of oil into nearby marshlands, which were heavily or moderately oiled. According to the EPA and Merten et al. (2008), the oiled marshlands were set on fire six weeks after the spill, resulting in 80-90% removal of the oil and contaminated vegetation. The marshland recovered fairly quickly, as seen in aerial photos taken five months after the burn (Figure 1)--though oil still remained in the roots, affecting burrowing crabs and the wildlife that feed on them. So, oiled marshes can recover somewhat from a storm-surge driven oiling, but it is uncertain if burning could be successfully used to restore a 100+ square mile region of marshland oiled by the storm surge from a major hurricane. Another big unknown is how toxic BP's dispersants might be to the vegetation.


Figure 1. Upper left: oiled marshlands as seen on October 10, 2005, near Chevron's Empire facility, after the storm surges of Katrina and Rita. Right: The marshlands on March 16, 2006, five months after the controlled burn. The marshlands had largely recovered. Bottom: the controlled burn in progress (October 12, 2005.) Image credit: Merten, A.A., Henry, C., and J. Michel, 2008, Decision-making process to use in-situ burning to restore an oiled intermediate marsh following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2008 International Oil Spill Conference.

Wind and oil
The winds from a hurricane hurl ocean sea spray miles inland, often causing major defoliation and tree damage far beyond where the storm surge penetrates. For example, Category 2 Hurricane Bob of 1991 blew sea spray inland 4 miles (7 km) inland over Cape Cod. The salt deposited defoliated nearly all the deciduous trees along the coast. Kerr, 2000 document the case of Category 2 Typhoon Gay of November 23, 1992, which hit the 15-km wide island of Guam with 95 - 100 mph winds. Interaction with another typhoon disrupted Gay's thunderstorm activity, resulting in a nearly rainless typhoon for Guam. As a result, heavy amounts of salt coated the entire island, resulting in nearly complete defoliation. The salt didn't actually kill many plants, and the island re-greened within a year. The Category 3 New England Hurricane of 1938 was able to cause salt damage to trees as far as 45 miles inland, due to wind-blown sea spray. Thus we can anticipate that a hurricane passing over the oil spill will be able to hurl oil and toxic dispersants many miles inland during landfall. In regions where little rain falls, the concentrations of the oil and dispersants may be a problem. Again, we have no experience with this sort of situation, so the potential risks are unknown.

Rain and oil
Hurricanes evaporate huge amounts of water from the ocean and convert it to rain. In general, we do not need to worry about oil dissolving into the rain, since the oil and water don't mix. Furthermore, about 50-70% of the oil that is going to evaporate from the spill does so in the first 12 hours that the oil reaches the surface, so the volatile oil compounds that could potentially get dissolved into rain water won't be around. Hurricanes are known to carry sea salt and microscopic marine plankton hundreds of miles inland, since the strong updrafts of the storm can put these substances high in the troposphere where they can be carried far inland as the hurricane makes landfall. The Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Nora of 1997, whose remnants passed over Southern California, brought traces of sea salt and marine microorganisms to clouds over the central U.S. similarly, we can expect any landfalling hurricanes that pass over the oil spill to pick up traces of Gulf of Mexico crude and transport it hundreds of miles inland. However, I doubt that these traces would be detectable in rainwater except by laboratory analysis, and would not cause any harm to plants or animals.

Lightning and oil
Could a lightning strike from a hurricane ignite oil from the spill, and the hurricane's winds hurl the flaming oil inland, creating a fiery maelstrom of water, wind, and flame? This would make a great scene in a typical bad Hollywood disaster movie, but it's not going to happen with the universe's current laws of physics. Lightning could set an oil slick on fire, in regions where the oil is most dense and very fresh. About 50-70% of the evaporation of oil's most flammable volatile compounds occurs in the first 12 hours after release, so fresh oil is the most likely to ignite. However, the winds of a hurricane are so fierce that any surface oil slick of flaming oil would quickly be disrupted and doused by wave action and sea spray. Heavy rain would further dampen any lightning-caused oil slick fires.

Bringing oil at depth to the surface
Hurricanes act like huge blenders that plow through the ocean, thoroughly mixing surface waters to depths as great as 200 meters (650 feet), and pulling waters from depth to the surface. Thus if sub-surface plumes of oil are located within 200 meters of the surface, a hurricane could potentially bring them to the surface. However, the huge sub-surface plumes of oil found by the research vessel Pelican were at depths of 2300 - 4200 feet, and a hurricane will not affect the ocean circulation at those depths.

Comparisons of the Deepwater Horizon blowout with Exxon Valdez
One footnote to consider when comparing the Deepwater Horizon blowout to the disastrous March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdez spill: the amount of oil spilled in that disaster is usually quoted as 11 million gallons (260,000 barrels.) However, this is the number given by Exxon Mobil, and independent assessments by the State of Alaska came up with a much higher figure--24 to 36 million gallons, with state investigators stressing that the lower number was very unlikely. I'd be inclined to believe Exxon grossly understated the actual severity of the spill, much like BP is attempting to do with the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Steven Wereley, an associate professor at Purdue University, used a computer analysis (particle image velocimetry) to arrive at a rate of 95,000 barrels (4 million gallons) per day since the April 20 blowout, nearly 20 times greater than the 5,000 barrel a day estimate BP and government scientists have been citing. If he is correct, and the State of Alaska's figures on the Exxon Valdez disaster are correct, the Deepwater Horizon blowout so far has spilled five times the oil Exxon Valdez did.

References
Gundlach, E.R., Finkelstein, K.J., and J.L. Sadd, "Impact and Persistence of Ixtoc I Oil on the South Texas Coast", Proceedings: 1981 Oil Spill Conference (Prevention, Behavior, Control, Cleanup) March 2-5, 1981, Atlanta, GA. p 477-485.

Kerr, A.M., 2000, "Defoliation of an island (Guam, Mariana
Archipelago, Western Pacific Ocean) following a saltspray-laden
dry typhoon," Journal of Tropical Ecology 16:895901.

Merten, A.A., Henry, C., and J. Michel, 2008, Decision-making process to use in-situ burning to restore an oiled intermediate marsh following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2008 International Oil Spill Conference.

Payne, J.R. and D. McNabb, Jr., "Weathering of Petroleum in the Marine Environment", Marine Technology Society Journal 18, 3, Third Quarter 1984.

Santella, N., Steinberg, L.J., and H. Sengul, 2010,Petroleum and Hazardous Material Releases from Industrial Facilities Associated with Hurricane Katrina, Risk Analyis, Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 635-649, Published Online: 16 Mar 2010

90L
I've been focused more on the oil spill, and will have just a limited discussion of (90L) off the South Carolina coast. The storm has changed little over the past 24 hours, and doesn't have time to develop into a subtropical storm, before an approaching trough of low pressure pulls the system out to sea Thursday and Friday. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 90L a less than 10% chance of developing into a depression or tropical/subtropical storm, and anticipates not writing any more special advisories on 90L. There presently isn't much to be concerned with about this storm, though Bermuda may get more heavy rain and high seas from the storm late this week as it moves out to sea. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more on 90L.

Central American disturbance
An area of disturbed weather has developed just off the Pacific coast of Mexico. The disturbance will bring heavy rains to Central America during the remainder of the week, potentially bringing serious flooding rains to portions of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. There is the potential for disturbed weather accompanying the disturbance to push into the Western Caribbean early next week and pose a threat to develop into a tropical depression. While there is high wind shear over the northern Caribbean, shear should be low enough to allow development should the disturbance stay in the southern reaches of the Caribbean. Any storm that develops in the Caribbean in the coming week would get steered to the northeast and will not pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 941 - 891

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45Blog Index

Quoting sarahjola:
i guess i will just stop watching it right now and check back later, before i throw up. its like a bad car wreck you don't wanna see nothing horrible but you just can't help but look

Oh, come on now. Just wait until hurricane season gets going now. It is scary but you are hooked and have to watch. This is history being made!
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Yea one of those things you were excited for them to start but you wish it was over at the same time. The unknown is what is exicting and freaky at the same time. I think it would be cool to be watching the feed when all of the sudden you saw the leaks slowing down and then just all the sudden stop all together.

LONGING to see that!!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
Quoting extreme236:
I remember a couple years ago I was fortunate enough to get an email back from the NHC from Chris Landsea.


I received an email from Dennis Feltgen during December 2009. Was cool.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:
this is so scary. i was excited to see that they started but now i am just filled with worry

Yeah, it scary. But this has a pretty good chance of being successful.
They have done lots of preliminary testing, and they are reasonably confident.
((((fingers crossed))))
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
i guess i will just stop watching it right now and check back later, before i throw up. its like a bad car wreck you don't wanna see nothing horrible but you just can't help but look
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:
this is so scary. i was excited to see that they started but now i am just filled with worry

Yea one of those things you were excited for them to start but you wish it was over at the same time. The unknown is what is exicting and freaky at the same time. I think it would be cool to be watching the feed when all of the sudden you saw the leaks slowing down and then just all the sudden stop all together.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
this is so scary. i was excited to see that they started but now i am just filled with worry
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:
is that to be expected

Yes it was.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
Quoting sarahjola:
why does it look to be flowing faster


in order to move the drillers mud down the pipe, they have to overcome the pressure pushing oil and methane out.. greater pressure= greater flow.. this is the part that is scary.. if not enough pressure is used, the mud will not go far enough and nothing is stopped, if they use to much pressure, they could blow up the BOP and give the oil a free flowing path out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:
why does it look to be flowing faster

Because they are pumping mud into the Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) at high pressure.
What you are seeing is the result of increasing the pressure in the whole system.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
Quoting sarahjola:
why does it look to be flowing faster

It probably is since you are forcing something down the hole. If you take your water hose and put your finger in it, the water sprays out faster around the sides of your finger due to the extra pressure you are putting at that spot.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
all we gotta do is get aquaman down there. That or a squad of strong mermen equipped with big wrenches and hammers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sirmaelstrom:


I think it has to be a fairly large proportion of mud as well; that is likely what is obscuring the image. Oil would rise quickly out of the leak and there would very little mixing with the surrounding water.

Exactly.
The "mud" is Bentonite (trade name Barytes and Bariod). It is a very heavy colloidal clay. Will not stay suspended in water long.
Also, with the flow-rate on those leaks now, currents will be set in motion around the area (like a storm creates wind patterns around it, by the movement of air)
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
Gallery: Oil-Coated Pelicans Rescued (9 photos) RSS


Description: The pelican is an iconic bird in south Louisiana. It's habitat is also directly in harms way, as oil from a damaged well deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico begins washing up on islands shorelines along the coast. Several times this week Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries staffers have searched the waters off Louisiana's coast looking for distressed pelicans. On Tuesday, they rescued several oiled birds from an island near Grand Isle. The pelicans will be rehabilitated and released into the wild.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
is that to be expected
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
why does it look to be flowing faster
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
90L looks the best it has ever looked since it got classified as an invest..

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
924. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:



Wow look at that cloud signature!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:


what we are seeing now is oil


I think it has to be a fairly large proportion of mud as well; that is likely what is obscuring the image. Oil would rise quickly out of the leak and there would very little mixing with the surrounding water.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:

how can you tell


it looks the way it's looked the entire week, its just now its starting to look a little "lighter" and it seems mud/sand particles are also spewing out causing a cloud of sand particles to develop. So its more likely a mix of both.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


Yes they are..and them engineers behind um aint no slouches neither,cher

Patrap,

You ain't kiddin. As an engineer(even made a automated boat thingy in college), I shudder to think about designing something like that to operate at those pressures(let alone chemical environment).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:


what we are seeing now is oil

how can you tell
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
90L Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I think it is a mix of both. The color def changed quite a bit as expected.


definately, I think that's why its clouding up as the mud is beginning to spew out.. what I fear is that the pressure inside the pipe is growing.. because its beginning to spew VERY fast..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looks like Andrea but someone trimmed the edges just a little convection and we have Alex
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:


what we are seeing now is oil

You sure??
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Have you read the Q & A NHC Chris Landsea, good interview.


excellent read, thanks!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That's an awful lot of pressure coming out of the cracks. And it is fighting against 2500 PSI water press. too.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
Quoting largeeyes:
Those ROV's are amazing pieces of equipment


Yes they are..and them engineers behind um aint no slouches neither,cher
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting leo305:


what we are seeing now is oil

I think it is a mix of both. The color def changed quite a bit as expected.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AllStar17:
Is the "center" of 90E really that far away from the main convection?
Those are 18z coordinates, it'll be much more accurate once the 00z coordinates are released.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
90L

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Those ROV's are amazing pieces of equipment
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
If what we are seeing is mud and not oil, then we can assume that the mud is forcing the oil back down the pipe. Which is the idea.
No way of knowing this for sure as yet.


what we are seeing now is oil
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
its certainly pushing out oil at a MUCH faster rate now.. I guess the pressure inside the pipe is going up..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If what we are seeing is mud and not oil, then we can assume that the mud is forcing the oil back down the pipe. Which is the idea.
No way of knowing this for sure as yet.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24674
?????? I stumbled across this item. Is it real or BS?

http://beforeitsnews.com/news/44/380/The_Secret,_700-Million-Gallon_Oil_Fix_That_Worked_and_Might_S ave_the_Gulf.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:
I can't see a thing on the live feed.. looks like its spitting out mud particles mixed with the oil

I think it will get too cloudy to see anything soon down there, but so far it appears everything has held together.
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
Quoting asgolfr999:
Pat

As I am sure you are aware, the only thing missing from that animation is the leak at the top of the BOP. It has been there all the time, and what we can see now is the heavy drilling mud being forced out. It is hoped that the mud will clog this too, in time, as well as the kill and choke lines and the well itself. We do not know it is working, but we damn sure do not know that it is not. As of right now, we are seeing exactly what was to be expected and what is this animation.


Sure nuff..and it may take 48 hours to staunch the Well easily..but the data will show after 18-24 if the Kill is working to a point.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
I can't see a thing on the live feed.. looks like its spitting out mud particles mixed with the oil
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
THe Kill and CHoke Lines are the Key inlets and outlets for the FLow,into the BOP from the MUD pump .

One has to stop the Well pressures,period...thru them as they are the only in and outs for the BOP..

If Top Kill dosent work, well...Id keep rooting for DD-2 and 3 drill crews.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Patrap:


Once again,,the Riser Pipe isnt involved in Top Kill..only the BOP..the Riser pipe is bent over at the Top of the BOP where you see those 3 Leaks spewing up..and the Oil is coming out at the broken riser open end break as well..500 feet away from the BOP.

Riser Pipe is very strong steel casement...and its strength is very well known..its a testament to its strength that the one end remained attached to the BOP atall..


During normal pumping the pressure in that pipe is often greater than anything the top kill will put it through...it can handle it comfortably
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WaterWitch11:
i've had a really bad feeling all day today, i pray this works and doesn't cause more harm.
As far as I am concerned they never should have been allowed out there in the first place especially since so many people do make their living in the Gulf. It's all about worshiping the almighty dollar and not caring how it affects human beings.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sirmaelstrom:


At the pressures required to pump the mud back into the well, isn't the riser pipe breaking inevitable?


Once again,,the Riser Pipe isnt involved in Top Kill..only the BOP..the Riser pipe is bent over at the Top of the BOP where you see those 3 Leaks spewing up..and the Oil is coming out at the broken riser open end break as well..500 feet away from the BOP.

Riser Pipe is very strong steel casement...and its strength is very well known..its a testament to its strength that the one end remained attached to the BOP atall..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
893. xcool
90l doom
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting indianrivguy:


I talk back and forth with Dr. Landsea a couple times a year.. usually about old hurricanes. He has always returned my mail and helped either answer my questions directly, or sent me to someone who could. He rode the hurricane hunter planes with Dr. Masters and they are friends. Like our Doc.. a very nice man.


Have you read the Q & A NHC Chris Landsea, good interview.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pat

As I am sure you are aware, the only thing missing from that animation is the leak at the top of the BOP. It has been there all the time, and what we can see now is the heavy drilling mud being forced out. It is hoped that the mud will clog this too, in time, as well as the kill and choke lines and the well itself. We do not know it is working, but we damn sure do not know that it is not. As of right now, we are seeing exactly what was to be expected and what is this animation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 941 - 891

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.