Gensyn med Deepwater Horizon

Diverse — Drokles on February 23, 2011 at 4:58 am

Dough Hoffman gør på The Resilient Earth status over konsekvenserne af olieudslippet efter eksplosionen på boreplatformen Deepwater Horizon i den Mexicanske Golf 

Remember the 2010 BP Gulf Oil disaster? For 83 days it dominated news broadcasts in the US and was followed with interest around the world. Ecological activists wailed that the Gulf would never recover, alternative energy advocates demanded all off shore oil production be shut down, and the Obama administration quickly reversed its plans to open up more coastal areas for oil exploration. Now things have gone strangely silent regarding the worst ever US oil spill. A report commissioned by the reparations fund director pronounced Gulf fisheries mostly recovered and a number of scientific reports found that both oil and natural gas released by the spill had amazingly disappeared. Some environmentalists are still howling but the crisis seems to have passed much more quickly than even the most optimistic predictions.

(…)

While the oil slick in the Gulf dispersed much faster than most experts predicted, that does not mean that all scientists agree that the crisis has past. Various articles have warned of “dead zones” being formed by deep oil plumes. Others claim that the disappearing oil has settled into a deadly layer covering parts of the ocean floor.

“Magic microbes consumed maybe 10 percent of the total discharge, the rest of it we don’t know,” said Samantha Joye, a marine scientists at the University of Georgia and lead author of a research letter published in Nature Geoscience. That paper disagrees significantly with the paper by Kessler et al. appearing in Science. It should be noted that the Joye et al. paper was submitted before Kessler and colleagues took their survey samples, making the latter’s observations more recent.

Obviously, this debate will not subside any time soon and the scientific studies will go on for decades. While the boffins argue and the law suits fly, the people of the Gulf Coast are slowly putting their lives back together. In a few years the worst oil spill in US history will only be a fading memory—out of sight, out of mind.

The damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster should not be trivialized—it was a massive ecological disaster caused by greed and incompetence. Those responsible should be punished to the greatest extent of the law and prevention mechanisms for offshore drilling leaks enhanced. But, given the choice of burning more coal or nation wide energy shortages, expanded drilling off the US coast will happen eventually.

Og så har man forhåbentlig også lært af forskrækkelsen, som Ingeniøren fortæller

Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) har offentliggjort, at de er færdige med et system til hurtig inddæmning af olieudslip fra boringer på meget dybt vand. Det nye system kan bruges ned til 8000 fod (Hele systemet kan ses her ). Systemet befinder sig ved den Mexicanske Golf og en vigtig del af systemet er lukkemekanismen, der kan holde til tryk op til 15000 psi og hvis det er nødvendig, kan der indsamles 60000 tønder væske om dagen, hvilket er mere end, der slap ud per dag ved Deep Water Horizon ulykken.

Det er alligevel fortrøstningsfuldt nu, hvor man virkelig skal gøre sig fri af olien fra Mellemøsten.

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