Sunday, May 16, 2010

BP Makes Progress in Capturing Gulf Oil Leaks

Check out the contrasting media spin: At Fox News, "BP's Latest Attempt to Siphon Oil From Gulf Is Successful, Executives Say." (Includes the accompanying video below.) And, surprisingly, at NYT, "BP Reports Some Success in Capturing Leaking Oil." (Via Memeorandum.) Even CNN provides a fairly objective report, "BP says tube successfully inserted back into Gulf leak."

In contrast, Alyssa Milano sends us over to National Geographic where an additional click takes us to this headline: "Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years: "We don't have any idea how to stop this," expert says":
Yesterday a smaller dome was laid on the seafloor near the faulty well, and officials will attempt to install the structure later this week.

But such recovery operations have never been done before in the extreme deep-sea environment around the wellhead, noted Matthew Simmons, retired chair of the energy-industry investment banking firm Simmons & Company International.

For instance, at the depth of the gushing wellhead—5,000 feet (about 1,500 meters)—containment technologies have to withstand extremely high pressures.

Also, slant drilling—a technique used to relieve pressure near the leak—is difficult at these depths, because the relief well has to tap into the original pipe, a tiny target at about 7 inches (18 centimeters) wide, Simmons noted.

"We don't have any idea how to stop this," Simmons said of the Gulf leak. Some of the proposed strategies—such as temporarily plugging the leaking pipe with a jet of golf balls and other material—are a "joke," he added.

"We really are in unprecedented waters."
The rest of the piece lays out all the worst case scenarios.

The spill is obviously a horrendous environmental disaster, but you'd think leftists would be the first to report progress on slowing the leaks. Amazing the progressive investment in environmental disasters.


Dennis said...

Wasn't it Rhamm Emanuel that said " never let a crisis go to waste" or something to that means about the same? One wonders if that does not explain the federal government's very, very, very slow response?
Suffice it to say that if the Obama administration had maintained the inspection schedules as written, had oil spill equipment available and reacted quickly this would have not have come anywhere close to the disaster it may become. BP, as the prime contractor, does bear responsibility, but so does the federal government for failure after failure to do its job at every point in the process. Lip service does not equate to action.