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Entries in Gulf of Mexico (20)


Government Goes After BP


It appears that 8 months after the start of the oil spill in the Gulf, the administration is going after BP. How this plays out is anyones guess. Obviously, the region, its economy and the people that live on the coast have suffered. They have lost their business, their tourism and for many, their way of life. The effects of the spill are still not fully know and it could be years before all the damage is understood.

What I want to know is what is the plan from here? Do we push ahead with drilling in the region or do we abandon it altogether? Do we try and find out what oversight was lacking and who did not meet their responsibilities or do we say the heck with it and give up?

With projects of this size and complexity, there are risks and they need to be evaluated. With oil creeping back towards $100 a barrel and the economy still teetering on a ledge, can we abandon domestic production? Do we want to run off producers and exploration outfits to other countries who would be happy to have them? Do we really want to depend even more on foreign sources of oil? I think these questions should be asked and we need to be careful how we proceed. We need to hold those who did not follow the regulations and safety guidelines responsible, but lets not destroy and industry and put our national security at risk. Lets not make the problem worse by punishing everyone in the industry for the acts of a few.




Mariner oil rig explodes in Gulf. All workers appear to be rescued. Early reports suggest that no oil or gas is leaking from the site. Looks like another shot across the bow for oil producers.


Cool- Oil Eating Robots! 



This MIT project is straight out of science fiction. The nice folks at MIT are working on a project to have solar powered robots skim the ocean for oil and other toxic spills. (See video) They are using nano threads that can soak up to 20 times their weight in oil. The sheets of threads can be recovered, heated and then reused to collect oil from the surface. They claim that an army of 5,000 of these robots working for a month could clean up all the surface oil spilled by the recent BP spill. Because of there size, they would be useful in tight areas like estuaries or marshes. Obviously the technology is in the beginning stages, however it's nice to see a new approach to oil spill clean up that does not use chemicals. It's solar, it's reusable and it can cover large spaces. Hopefully if it is ever mass produced it will also be built domestically.


Truth About The Second Leak


For a few weeks now there have been reports in the media and on the web that there was a second accident/leak in the Gulf. I am not sure if the hysteria over the BP accident crept into these reporters brains but they blew it on this story. Besides creating more panic and rumor, they showed that they can not be trusted to do even a small bit of research. We are not talking about small time reporters for "local' news outfits, but national and international news agencies. The spill they referred to and even published pictures of was several years old and was due to the effects of hurricane Ivan. How they could go forward with a story that they obviously did not research is pathetic. We count on these outfits to provide us with reliable reports so that we can make sound judgements and decisions. This should be an example to us all to wait for the verifiable facts good or bad before we decide to pass judgement. This episode really annoys me.


Pipelines May Be In Jeopardy


This is the first I have heard of this but apparently we have other issues occurring in the Gulf that I was never aware of. Apparently, the thousands of miles of oil pipelines under the Gulf are susceptible to rupture from Hurricanes. Apparently, you don't even need a big hurricane to cause damage and create oil leaks. The latest information shows that hurricanes can affect the sea floor as far down as 300 feet. The sea floor can move and land slides created. Up until know the amount of oil that has leaked has been minimal. However, with predictions of this summer being an extremely intense hurricane season, they are concerned that we could see more breaks and leaks. Added to the current spill, this could be a nightmare scenario. The only solution given is to retrofit the pipes or bury them. I'm not sure how feasible that is when you have 31,000 miles of pipe on the sea floor.