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5,000 barrels of oil spill per day make deep sea mining questionable
by Matt Jansen on May 3, 2010
Millions of barrels of oil have already spilled into the ocean and 5,000 more barrels billow upward from a hole in the seabed BP drilled and now can’t close. Deep sea oil drilling sounds like a good concept in theory but just like with many other energy generation processes, it poses risks. The exact cause of the explosion that caused this mess is not yet known, but the degenerating effects on the waters and coasts nearby is rapidly magnifying.
It’s a life changing event for local fishermen who rely on clear waters and healthy ecosystem to generate their faire. The tourism industry in general will also suffer because for the most part tourists generally prefer oil-free beaches.
BP’s CEO Tony Hayward is answering many questions and accusations about what the company should have done to prevent the disaster, but so far questions on a secondary cut-off valve, and an acoustic switch he’s answered assertively: they wouldn’t have worked. According to The Guardian he says:
This [acoustic switch] is a red herring. In the US we have to have the ROVs [remote operated vehicles], in other places like Norway they specify the acoustic switches ... there is a lot of noise around which we should have had but neither of them would have worked, we have now discovered, having done the days and days of ROV activity.
The company started drilling another relief well a short distance away from the spill site, but by the time that’s complete 500,000 barrels of oil could have escaped into the surrounding waters and coastline. Beyond that, to clean up the oil BP is trying to contain and burn it, which will be sending volumes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere without generating any sort of harness-able energy!
Overall this is a monumental example of a situation where we’ve developed a technology without the means to react effectively in an emergency. BP doesn’t know how to clean up its own mess!