Friday, May 21, 2010

If You Think The Oil Spill In The Gulf Doesn't Effect You... Think Again

Okay, this is a very sensitive subject but things need to be said.

I've been really upset & pissed about the offshore drilling rig that exploded, killing 11 people and dumping hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico... along with that totally helpless feeling. It's like watching your infant child falling to the earth from a great height & not being able to catch him/her, times 1,000,000,000.

Since Mr. Snoots was in the oil business for most of our marriage (he was an independent landman who checks land ownership and mineral rights records and acquires leases for oil companies) I asked him, "Why do we even allow anyone at all to conduct off-shore drilling?" His answer stunned me.

He said that more than 30% of the oil produced in this country comes from the gulf. Without that 30% of oil & gas, we are screwed. It will shut this country down quicker than you can say Bullsh*t! Without that oil (which is what this country runs on), we would have to be 70% dependent on foreign oil (a percentage less when you account for dry land drilling). So when you add that with our billions of dollars of debt to China, what have you got? Total chaos and turmoil.

Having said that, I will add that I think British Petroleum should be banned from ever drilling anywhere near this country. Ever. Again. They are crooks & liars who only hire the cheapest engineers, drillers, roughnecks, etc., which all of us in the oil business have known for years.

So, if you don't mind riding a bicycle everywhere for the rest of your life, I suppose you'll be fine. However, so many of the people protesting against drilling in the Gulf are typical Americans who love their cars. Windmills could pop up all over the country ten times over but it will still never be enough for the amount of energy we consume as a country. This is a hard cold fact until a suitable alternative has been discovered and utilized.

Oil & Gas is our country's life source, the same way coal is. Why do you think they let the coal mines get away with all they do, even in the face of many deaths? Because the politicians know that we need it, however much it sucks the big one. Several years ago when BP's refinery in Texas City, Texas exploded into a gazillion pieces, BP lied through their teeth to everyone, including the Senate  hearing committee conducting the investigation. Many of the senate committee hearings are totally bogus and I say that it's time someone step up to the plate, but nothing will ever come of them, just like always. BP should have been banned from drilling anywhere near this country after the Texas City incident, but they weren’t. Why? Because the government and politicians KNEW we needed it.

I have one friend whose hubby is a driller and was asked to be the driller on the well that exploded in the gulf but he refused because he knew what idiots the guys at BP are. They hire geologists & engineers straight out of college who have NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE as well as the cheapest possible rig workers (roughnecks). The last time I looked, you still get what you pay for. Any seasoned engineer, geologist or driller would have never let it come to that explosion and thus, the horrific oil gushing from beneath the sea. BP is basically hiring kids the age of my own children (a truly horrifying thought to me since I know so many of those kids that went into the business) and throwing them out there, thinking book smarts is all they need. Oh contraire. They were very wrong but we get to pay the price. It scares the living hell out of me.

Additionally, the Gulf is where we get more than half of our seafood here in Texas. That's history for a long time to come, in addition to the killing of the wetlands & all that represents. I consider this to be one of the most horrific tragedies of my 57 years. I mean, it's right up there with 9/11.

Don't assume for one minute that BP cares, because they don't. All they care about is the almighty buck. This. Is. A. Fact.
Will Obama do anything? Hell no! He also knows we need the off shore drilling because without it, this country will will tumble & roll until there is nothing left of us...

It's a hopelessly sad situation & there is NOTHING we can do aside from going down there to the Gulf and pitching in to help or sending money to fund those that do.

I wish I had better news about this, but there is no better news about this..... This is the harshest of all realities and it's happening to OUR COUNTRY.

It all comes down to what I've always said. Washington is a well oiled machine. It will never matter who is President as long as we continue to vote the same a$$holes into the Congress, Senate, and House of Representatives. Think long and hard the next time you vote. Get rid of the same tired young and old politicians who ALWAYS go with the Washington flow. Otherwise,  British Petroleum may be destroying your coastline  next.....perhaps worse.


Suburban Princess said...

But...wasnt GWB an oil baron? So I would think no matter who is in power they are going to go with the oil companies.

And dont think this affects just the US....this affects the whole world. It isnt just an American problem.

Sjn said...

thanks for all that info Snooty. I hate that they can't stop that oil from flowing into the gulf and not contain it, such a waste of both fuel and wildlife. Sadly, we are in trouble.

The Incredible Woody said...

I'm scared.

Daryl said...

Scary thing is last nite the evening news insinuated BP has been lying about the enormity of the situation ..

Drill baby drill .. where is what's her name now? How come she's not in our faces screaming this now? Oh right she's filming her reality show for Faux News channel

Snooty Primadona said...

I heard this morning that BP is now going to plug the hole with the mud like they should have done in the beginning but they were trying to take a cheaper shortcut. You know. Since they are going to be sued for so much and all. Those people are all buffoons which is why no one in their right mind would work for a company like that. Gah. It has been their DUMB a$$es all along, from the beginning. They could have plugged that well with mud from the start. This is just so typical of BP. I wouldn't want to know how it feels to be some of the most hated people in the world. Apparently, they don't mind.

Here's the thing. They didn't want to plug the well because it's such a huge find. They can go back and eventually do horizontal drilling to that same field but they were trying to avoid that expense. I guess that will soon be someone else's call now. The big oil companies like Exxon, Texaco, etc. are so careful to not let things like this happen. But, back when the tanker Vasldez had that huge oil spill, the government passed a law putting a cap on how much would have to be paid out over damages of that enormity, which means BP has a limit on how much they have to pay out for this atrocity. It's all just insane.

North of 25A said...

I know that every word you wrote is true. When are we going to wake up?

Snooty Primadona said...

North of 25A: When people quit listening to politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouth? And they all do.

SP: I had to laugh at the thought of GW being an oil baron. Sure, he made some oil money through his association with some real wildcatters but he sank a lot of that into his percentage of the Texas Rangers Baseball Team. GW and Laura used to live around the corner from us and up 1/2 a block, in a very modest home. Then, they moved to Austin when he was elected Governor of Texas. They have to give all that up when they go into public office in Texas. Besides, I think Laura was always skilled at keeping him grounded.

There are some incredibly wealthy oil barons in Texas, but GW is not & never was one of them.

brneyedgal967 said...

I can now say publicly that my hubby, Harley Guy, is the cementer who works for Schlumberger that they brought in to do the top kill and cement the well. Which they are working on as I type this.

I do agree that BP as well as Halliburton and Transocean probably cut corners to speed up the completion of capping the well which lead to the explosion. I have inside information on that and don't think I can mention details. But errors happened and it's a combination of human error and mechanical failure.

I don't agree with your statement that BP is now plugging the hole with mud, which they should have done from the beginning but they wanted to try a cheaper shortcut. I know for a fact that within 24 hours of discovering that the well was leaking they began rounding up experts to begin working on plugging the well from the top. At the same time they began drilling a relief well to plug from the bottom as a back up plan. They also contracted welders to construct the containment domes. They also brought in other crews to begin engineering tubes to siphon the leak.

All of these things take time. My husband was brought in shortly after the leak was discovered and has been working around the clock directing a crew of men getting all of the materials and equipment, installing the equipment, building equipment to be used for this unique situation and right now they are dropping pipe to get into the BOP so they can send mud down.

They knew the containment dome was a shot in the dark, but it was worth a try since it could be constructed pretty quick. They were concerned about gas hydrates forming, and sure enough they did and that won't work.

They know that siphoning the leak is just a bandaid to help alleviate it some until they can permanently close the well.

According to my husband, the biggest delays have been dealing with bureaucrats who want to review every step to every plan. Of course, they don't understand it because they're not in this industry so they bring in consultant engineers who may or may not agree. You'll have engineers with Mineral Management who give it a thumbs up, and the Coast Guard gives it a thumbs down, and the Dept. of Interior gives it a thumbs up - but it puts everything on hold until there's a unanimous agreement. Instead of one or two parties signing off on it, there's a BUNCH. Granted, caution is of the utmost importance because everyone is watching.


brneyedgal967 said...

The concern now is that doing a top kill on a wild well with volatile pressure fluctuations at this incredible depth has NEVER been done. It's risky as hell. There's the chance that the well pressure overcomes the mud and causes a blowout beneath the wellbore. If that happens - well, let me just say if you think it's a gusher now you're grossly mistaken. This well has the capacity to produce in excess of 100,000 barrels a day... only a small fraction of that is currently leaking. However, there's a pretty darn good chance that they'll be successful and believe me, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are - not just because of concern for my husbands safety but also because I hate what is happening to our coasts.

The bottom line is this has never happened before. Out of THOUSANDS of wells that have been deepwater drilling for 25+ years, there has never been anything like this. The overall safety record for offshore drilling exceeds that of aviation, trains and coal mines.... but all it takes is one bad incident for people to start ranting and raving about shutting the whole damn industry down.

What needs to happen is a company that is already set up with equipment, ships and rigs on hand that are ready at the call to respond to a disaster. That means a think tank of engineers and expert rig personnel to complete tasks who have been identified and just need to be notified in the event of an emergency. That's what the industry was lacking and I'm pretty damn sure this part will be addressed - not only by government officials but also by a consortium of offshore oil companies.

You're right this oil spill effects every one of us, but it doesn't also just effect BP. It will have long lasting ramifications on every offshore oil company worldwide.

You are right about how screwed we would be if this country stopped offshore drilling altogether. Gas prices in excess of $10 per gallon wouldn't be unreasonable. But also, other countries will continue to drill. There are companies from South America, Mexico and Australia that drill in the GOM who aren't regulated by US agencies. You can bet your bottom dollar that the drilling will continue to go on with or without US companies benefitting.

Okay... off my soap box now. Great post - still lub ya. :-)

Snooty Primadona said...

Tammy: Thanks for setting the record straight. I knew I'd get an update from you if I posted this, LOL!

brneyedgal967 said...

A few days ago I was looking up Red Adair on the internet - the guy famous for putting out blowout fires on land rigs (who you told me about).

Found this great quote of his, "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur."

Thought that was hilarious AND accurate!!!

BJ Roan said...

Lots of great information here. Watching the news reports of this disaster makes me ill. I'm hoping this horrific leak is stopped soon.


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