Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Understanding the US Oil Spill



And you can take a look at a live shot of the spill here.

32 comments:

akagugo said...

How to clean up the mess in a convenient way...

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=oil+spill+hay&aq=f

The problem is the volume of hay is finite, while the oil spill is not likely to end anytime soon because the leak on the sea-floor is yet to be plugged safely...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Interesting clip. So if they're able to plug the leak they should be able to use hay to wipe the oil in the sea? And what about gato-pimas? Can't we solve the problem if we throw a couple in the leak (I mean the variety without holes)?

akagugo said...

Gato pima is already oily... :-)
Try dipping one in your cup of (Sunday?) morning tea/coffee and it's highly probale you'll end up with a mini-slick in your mug (by the way, this will help keeping your tea/coffee warm for a much longer time because of the reduction in evaporation... Enough of geeky stuff.

Let's concentrate on the oil slick: it appears that there are other alternatives to hay, but all are basically dry organic matter in thin strips (hair , dry algae...) that coat themselves with oil, and coalesce with each other similarly coated strips/strands, forming a mass that can be removed from the surface of the sea much easier than the liquid form of crude oil.
This method was successful in cleaning up an oil slick in an oil spill that hit Santa Barbara in 1969.
Some have proposed to grind the hay to maximise active surface area and thereby significantly increasing the adsorption (coating of the surface) capacity. So let's hope this method works, but then again, this is only half of the problem solved. The bigger half is that of stopping the leak. That's the real challenge!

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@akagugo: thanks for the tip.

They are apparently pumping heavy drilling fluids in the leak. The NYT also reported that BP picked the riskier well casing.

Anonymous said...

And if something like this happened near the coasts of Mauritius? Are we ready to do something? Especially when we learn that a new MPA director is to be appointed? We badly need the right man in the right place, like Mathoora?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Anonymous: National Coast Guard ena ene plan pu kontrer an oil slick si mo rappel bien. Pa kav kont zis lor Mathoora: bizin ena pliziers dimun ki kav deliver si ena ene problem kumsa. Mathoora li pa pu la tu le tan...

Anonymous said...

Agree with you.

akagugo said...

If this hit Mauritius, we'd need all our stock of bagasse and la-paille canne to protect our beaches. Yes, the MPA did show its equipment once on TV (the floating barrier containment device), but the system (which includes the human resources) needs to be put in place and rehearsals made regularly (like fire drills) for the response to be effective.

South Africa has some experience in this matter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills) as well as Australia whcih was hit by a similar tragedy last year: they could help in dealing with this kind of spill.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montara_oil_spill

But the clean-up would represent a massive work: YUCK!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill#Pre-spill_precautions

Satellite Pictures: Gulf Oil Spill's Evolution - look at the scale of the slick: depressing!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/photogalleries/100504-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-environment-nation-pictures/#gulf-oil-spill-satellite-picture-timeline-april-21_19871_600x450.jpg

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/photogalleries/100427-oil-slick-mars-ice-space-shuttle-pictures-92/#space92-oil-slick-from-space_19584_600x450.jpg

Anonymous said...

Ou trouve kan met coco ensam ki manier information sorti... E pourtant nou pena lapareil d'Etat dans nou lamain !

akagugo said...

Another live shot from the leak?

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/oil-ticker/video.html

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

check the pics.

akagugo said...

Latest in attempts at stemming the flow of oil - scroll down for the click-thru/interactive "animation":
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10232371.stm

Tackling the slick:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10232071.stm

Population ki perdi tout dans sa zistwar-la. Et zott pe reazir: éna aggressivement
http://defendneworleans.com/blog/regular/664416122/
Lezott pé essaye motive the common layman donne so l'opinion - pas ti pou mal mette enn concept coumsa (known as "crowdsourcing") diboute pou résoud problem dans Moris - pou attaque bann l'effet marée noire:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10228666.stm

Enn dans bann l'effet enn série négligences ki culmine dans enn simple explosion avec bann conséquences bien plus far-reaching ki ti capave imanginer au début:
http://www.lorman.com/newsletters/article.php?cd=13114:0:1:1:7&md=223922:0&article_id=1540&newsletter_id=325&category_id=8

Who will ultimately foot the bill?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@akagugo: tks pu sa bann links la (pa fasil la dernier logo ek pelikan la!)

Check sa oussi -- flag youtube videos a gos apre get sa swa ki gayne la. Fode mari paress mem sa pu res kuyon

akagugo said...

Yes, the pelican logo does its job!


This poster (also accused of being an opportunistic attempt at "green-washing" a highly polluting inductry) labours to deliver a very cynical message, and makes one cringe equally:

http://societe.fluctuat.net/diaporamas/greenwashing-quand-l-ecoblanchiment-envahit-la-publicite/Total.html

Let's hope that petroleum companies do get the message now...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Here's a nice pic of the use of straw to mop up an oil slick. Just in case agagugo's clear explanation had not already conjured up a crisp image in your brain.

akagugo said...

In the meantime, BP's Tony Hayward was caught showing his concern over the spill in a quite carefree fashion:
http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2010/06/20/la-gaffe-de-plus-du-directeur-de-bp_1375819_3222.html#ens_id=1341498

akagugo said...

Now, the clean-up may take longer than expected...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@akagugo: ayo, spill la pwal partu aster.

akagugo said...

Ayo, quand enn gro problem montrer ki ti ena enkor plein ti-problem avant li...

akagugo said...

AU 60 Minutes Oil Spill Video Axed by BP: Part 1 Part 2

akagugo said...

Pou seki content faire li-zié content ar info-graphics

akagugo said...

Almost a memory now: http://petrole.blog.lemonde.fr/2010/07/28/le-petrole-a-pratiquement-disparu-de-la-surface-du-golfe-du-mexique/

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Pa pu BP ek bann baketeri.

akagugo said...

A nice infographic about the fate of the spill.
You'll note that spills tend to recur every now and mostly where they are least wanted. And this is bound to happen as long as we keep depending on that stuff called petroleum.

akagugo said...

Oh no! It's now Shell's turn...

akagugo said...

Place your bets on the forthcoming court verdict.

Some time back, BP's boss had to apologise for whining about getting his life back. As if the several dead did not merit one. And what a life he led!
He should consider himself lucky that there's no cap on his egoism, given that the Swiss are expected to vote in favour of capping top jobs' salaries. I wonder when this will ever happen in Dodoland...

akagugo said...

And that's how much BP has to pay as fines: 2% of its gross profits.
We know it's in billions. But 2% of any sum is only 2%, and very far from being a memorable whack in the derriere that will bring you to think twice before repeating the offence.

akagugo said...

Do we have something like that?
You know, just in case...
Because we're still lagging terribly on the renewables so far.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

We definitely need this as after all we're the superpower of the mascarenes ;-)

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Is the MV Benita our first oil spill?

akagugo said...

As usual, denial first: Le sergent Prakash Mungroo, de la National Coast Guard (NCG), intervenant sur Radio Plus à midi, assure que la situation est sous contrôle et qu’il ne s’agit pas de l’huile lourde qui s’échappe du navire.

And then after it's too late, a costly and unplanned foray into half-baked solutions that can prove even more harmful to the environment. In the end, we are very sure of one small thing: if we can't see such a large ship hitting our shores, how can we aspire to manage our 4 million sq.km of ocean?

akagugo said...

These two official reassurances resembling those of the NCG are in fact like our meteorological bulletins: keep calm, everything is OK because you are about to get screwed big time.
See how the credibility of state instutitions is eroded by the day...