Stop another oil rig disaster -

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    May 05, 2010 3:46 PM GMT
    Sign the petition to the Senate today! - http://bit.ly/cNAfZw

    Yeah it is sort of not gay but this is our planet and we need to protect it!


    Oh and stay sexy guys!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 05, 2010 3:59 PM GMT
    Almost everything we use is made of plastics, which comes from petroleum, which comes from offshore drilling.
    There are thousands of offshore rigs around the world, and out of those, the number of seriously large spills can be counted on one hand...with this one topping all others. This spill is an isolated event, and one in which they can learn from to protect the other rigs.

    Sorry, but I can't sign a petition created by a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated event.
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    May 05, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    There's a rumour circulating up here that the oil rig off Louisiana was hit by a US sub. It seems pretty unlikely.
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    May 05, 2010 4:06 PM GMT
    Sorry Paul,

    The Damage this is going to cause does not warrant anymore drill baby drill. It will destroy the fishing season for at least two years in the gulf.
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    May 05, 2010 4:33 PM GMT
    The only thing I have against further drilling is that they need to find a fix and prevention for THIS problem first. Once they have that accomplished, let'm drill again. If every potentially hazardous operation were halted because of one large failure, we wouldn't have nuclear power now. The idea is to learn and improve from these things.
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    May 05, 2010 4:53 PM GMT
    meninlove said There's a rumour circulating up here that the oil rig off Louisiana was hit by a US sub. It seems pretty unlikely.

    Given the bad PR being suffered by BP and the operators of the rig, you'd think they'd announce this if it were true. And sue the US to cover their losses. Plus the US Navy would have to quarantine the submarine crew, to conceal the truth, and find a way to repair the submarine in secret.

    Of course, the US has tried deception at sea before. The Hughes Glomar Explorer was an elaborate CIA ruse to raise a sunken Soviet submarine in the 1970s, disguising the recovery ship's mission as deep-sea manganese mining. But its cover was blown within a year, because you simply can't keep secrets like that, involving so many people in so many fields.

    Interestingly, after being mothballed for years, the Glomar Explorer was refitted as a deep sea drilling platform, which is does today in the waters off Indonesia.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    May 05, 2010 4:54 PM GMT
    Accidents happen. I think this whole disaster will get them to become more ept at keeping them from happening and fixing them when they do. Progress comes with hurdles and pitfalls along the way. That said, if we want to move away from our dependence on oil from other countries, we need to forge ahead. Drill baby drill!!!!!
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    May 05, 2010 4:59 PM GMT
    Yeah, gonna have to agree with what paul's saying on this one. Yes, the recent disaster is a tragedy. Yes, it has made the industry stop and think about how good its safety systems really are.

    But no, it does not mean there needs to be an end to all oil drilling. No, it does not mean that every single project with oil drilling is inherently dangerous.

    Moreover, recognizing and understanding the fact that at the moment, we don't have a complete, viable plan for replacing oil as an energy source and our source of plastics is not synonymous with "drill baby drill." (And that's even ignoring the economic value that oil is going to have as it continues to become more and more scarce). To say that anyone who realizes that oil is a valuable resource also supports the wanton exploitation of it is over-generalizing and really only plays on peoples' emotional responses.

    Yes, we would like to find those alternatives, but until we have them, you can't simply throw out what you've got.
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    May 05, 2010 5:01 PM GMT
    Actually after the three mile island accident all further building for nuclear stopped. Radioactive is much more dangerous than oil, but there are still many nuclear plants in operation. Nuclear may be making a comeback as well being "clean energy" while the potential hazard is on a scale magnitudes higher than oil spills.

    Oil spills suck but its relatively minor compared to the positives. If one big oil spill happens every 20 years, then that really isn't that bad from a risk perspective. For the hundreds of millions, probably billions of hours spent extracting oil one large accident could occur. Oil drilling is enormously difficult and its a true engineering feat to accomplish what it has while being relatively safe. It's more difficult than space exploration. And from this more safety features will be implemented, guaranteed, as any major incident in industry has caused.

    Basically by wanted oil to be banned, its insulting the engineers who design and implement these wells, and many other industries. Your saying, "you can't do that because I don't trust you." Think about all the advancements in technology due to engineering and how different society would be without them. Accidents are part of the learning process unfortunately but its not a reason to ban it completely unless it was a regular occurrence. And if you have to go back in time 20 years its not a regular occurrence.
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    May 05, 2010 5:04 PM GMT
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Time-for-some-oil-spill-perspective-92810479.html

    "Time for some oil perspective":

    There are presently more than 4,000 active rigs employing an estimated 80,000 people on the U.S. outer continental shelf, with the large majority of those operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Salazar said Sunday on Fox News that more than 30,000 oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in the Gulf, and one-third of the oil and natural gas consumed by the United States is produced there. This means off-shore drilling is now and will remain for the foreseeable future a critically important national resource.

    From an environmental perspective, off-shore oil drilling is far safer than Mother Nature. As the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, oil that seeps naturally from the ocean floor puts 47 million gallons of crude into U.S. waters annually. Thus far, Deepwater Horizon has leaked about three million gallons. That sounds like a lot of oil, and it is. But the Exxon Valdez leaked 11 million gallons into Alaska's Prudhoe Bay. Even those figures are dwarfed, according to the Economist, by the amount of oil spilled in man-made disasters elsewhere around the world. Saddam Hussein's destruction of Kuwaiti oil facilities during the Gulf War dumped more than 500 million barrels of crude into the Arabian Gulf. The 1979 blowout of Mexico's Ixtoc 1 well resulted in 3.3 million barrels being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. In short, Deepwater Horizon is an environmental crisis, but not the apocalypse that alarmists claim.
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    May 05, 2010 5:25 PM GMT
    @riddler:

    the quote about the natural oil leakage from the sea floor is a little misleading. It is way more volume, but that's also immensely more dispersed. In liquid solutions, concentration is always key. So even though there's more volume, it's more dillute than the recent accident, so it's far less dangerous.

    plus, it's comparing an annual number to a one-time (hopefully only a few weeks long by the time they cap it) incident. Not really a fair comparison.
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    May 05, 2010 7:21 PM GMT
    ucimae said@riddler:

    the quote about the natural oil leakage from the sea floor is a little misleading. It is way more volume, but that's also immensely more dispersed. In liquid solutions, concentration is always key. So even though there's more volume, it's more dillute than the recent accident, so it's far less dangerous.

    plus, it's comparing an annual number to a one-time (hopefully only a few weeks long by the time they cap it) incident. Not really a fair comparison.

    Thanks - point taken - I do however still think it does provide for a bit of perspective. This is clearly a disaster but the ocean is far more resilient than we seem to give it credit for (and while it's hardly a cause for celebration, there have been far worse spills, and on the other hand, the benefits to drilling and exploration are, like it or not, integral to US national security and economics in the short to medium term). It still seems a bit befuddling that the US has not further attempted to develop its onshore reserves and usage of natural gas that are close to primary energy usage markets (ie CNG / shale gas).

    For anyone who wants to see an insider's perspective/analysis of the blast there's a discussion here:
    http://www.drillingahead.com/forum/topics/transocean-deepwater-horizon-1

    Also - more here....

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/05/04/ST2010050405322.html?sid=ST2010050405322

    The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.

    The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions -- show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.
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    May 05, 2010 7:54 PM GMT
    I think that as far as onshore is concerned, it comes down to economics. I admittedly don't have any concrete daa to back this up, but my feeling is this: onshore resources are pretty much tapped as far as current technology can get. Offshore reserves may be more difficult than the easy onshore oil was, but maybe it's still more economically sound than having to use the advanced tech necessary for onshore. I do know that for onshore they're having to some pretty crazy things to get the last bits.

    Shale is also an intense operation. The amount of energy required to melt the oil trapped in the rock is pretty immense. Personally, i've always been a little skeptical of the overall energy balance but companies like Shell report that it's acceptable. Then again, in the not so far off future we may not have much choice anyway.
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    May 05, 2010 7:58 PM GMT
    ucimae saidI think that as far as onshore is concerned, it comes down to economics. I admittedly don't have any concrete daa to back this up, but my feeling is this: onshore resources are pretty much tapped as far as current technology can get. Offshore reserves may be more difficult than the easy onshore oil was, but maybe it's still more economically sound than having to use the advanced tech necessary for onshore. I do know that for onshore they're having to some pretty crazy things to get the last bits.

    Shale is also an intense operation. The amount of energy required to melt the oil trapped in the rock is pretty immense. Personally, i've always been a little skeptical of the overall energy balance but companies like Shell report that it's acceptable. Then again, in the not so far off future we may not have much choice anyway.

    Was more referring to shale gas - and a switch from oil to natural gas. Shale gas economics are quite favorable which is the cause of the significant divergence between equivalent natural gas unit prices to bbl's. Natural gas also burns significantly cleaner to boot (one of the primary problems to conversions is the cost of regulations/licenses to convert and also CNG fueling stations).
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    May 05, 2010 8:07 PM GMT
    That's where a lack of infrastructure (at least at the level of actual gas stations; we've got plenty of NG pipelines) becomes a pain. It's the same issue even cleaner alternatives like H2 face (among many other issues). That and you've got to coordinate across car manufacturers, fuel providers, fueling station owners (there are quite a few independent ones out there, believe it or not). Not saying that can't or shouldn't be overcome. Just that it's a big issue currently.
  • coolarmydude

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    May 05, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidAlmost everything we use is made of plastics, which comes from petroleum, which comes from offshore drilling.
    There are thousands of offshore rigs around the world, and out of those, the number of seriously large spills can be counted on one hand...with this one topping all others. This spill is an isolated event, and one in which they can learn from to protect the other rigs.

    Sorry, but I can't sign a petition created by a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated event.



    You'd be surprised at how bad the oil industry's track record is on worker safety and environmental protection. You don't hear too often of the smaller spills that don't rise to epic proportions, but still harm ecosystems equally.
  • coolarmydude

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    May 05, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidAccidents happen. I think this whole disaster will get them to become more ept at keeping them from happening and fixing them when they do. Progress comes with hurdles and pitfalls along the way. That said, if we want to move away from our dependence on oil from other countries, we need to forge ahead. Drill baby drill!!!!!


    I don't think things will change. When was the last lawsuit settled over the Exxon Valdez spill?

    2009. icon_eek.gif

    And yet, we keep spilling away...
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    May 05, 2010 8:18 PM GMT
    The petition changes nothing.

    This was the failure of a piece of safety equipment (the blowout protection system).

    People die in airplane crashes, we don't put a stop to all aviation. Some mistakes with cancer therapies have burned people to cinders, but we don't stop using radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Some bankers steal money and manipulate markets but we don't shut down the entire industry.

    This is a horrible accident, but it is an accident.
  • coolarmydude

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    May 06, 2010 1:08 PM GMT
    UrsaMajor saidThe petition changes nothing.

    This was the failure of a piece of safety equipment (the blowout protection system).

    People die in airplane crashes, we don't put a stop to all aviation. Some mistakes with cancer therapies have burned people to cinders, but we don't stop using radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Some bankers steal money and manipulate markets but we don't shut down the entire industry.

    This is a horrible accident, but it is an accident.


    But the real issue is why was the environmental impact statement waived? The whole point of this is to identify risks and provide back-up, fail safe solutions should these worst-case scenarios happen. How could BP and/or TransOcean possibly handle this situation alone and keep the damages to a minimum if they didn't identify worst case scenario? I keep hearing that TransOcean refused to believe that their floatable rig was impossible to sink. Where have we heard that before?...




    titanic-sinking-7790481.jpg


    Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
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    May 15, 2010 2:59 AM GMT
    sportsguy933 saidActually after the three mile island accident all further building for nuclear stopped. Radioactive is much more dangerous than oil, but there are still many nuclear plants in operation. Nuclear may be making a comeback as well being "clean energy" while the potential hazard is on a scale magnitudes higher than oil spills.

    Oil spills suck but its relatively minor compared to the positives. If one big oil spill happens every 20 years, then that really isn't that bad from a risk perspective. For the hundreds of millions, probably billions of hours spent extracting oil one large accident could occur. Oil drilling is enormously difficult and its a true engineering feat to accomplish what it has while being relatively safe. It's more difficult than space exploration. And from this more safety features will be implemented, guaranteed, as any major incident in industry has caused.

    Basically by wanted oil to be banned, its insulting the engineers who design and implement these wells, and many other industries. Your saying, "you can't do that because I don't trust you." Think about all the advancements in technology due to engineering and how different society would be without them. Accidents are part of the learning process unfortunately but its not a reason to ban it completely unless it was a regular occurrence. And if you have to go back in time 20 years its not a regular occurrence.


    I was with you... until the last part of your message. I don't think anyone is faulting the engineers who designed these wells--rather it is some of the big oil executives and government regulators who are not doing their jobs.

    Yes, accidents are a part of the learning process, but one has to look carefully at all the evidence to see why this happened in the first place. Not all accidents are the result of dumb-luck or stupidity—some accidents result from carelessness and recklessness. Time will tell in this case I suppose.

    And yes... these types of spills are uncommon. But it appears this spill could be pretty fuckin disastrous. I think it's time to look deeper into other alternative resources--renewable resources. The US spends billions subsidizing fossil fuels and millions on research for alternative energy. No doubt the oil industry has spent a great deal of time in R&D to refine their methods--how about a little more money going to R & D for renewable energy? There are ways I'm sure to make solar, wind, tidal, hydro power more energy and economically efficient. How about those smart engineers--that you strategically mentioned--get to work on other types of energy?

    Then again... big oil and big coal lobbyists are deep in the pockets of politicians... both democrats and republicans.
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    May 15, 2010 3:02 AM GMT
    CalitoColorado saidSign the petition to the Senate today! - http://bit.ly/cNAfZw

    Yeah it is sort of not gay but this is our planet and we need to protect it!


    Oh and stay sexy guys!!! icon_biggrin.gif


    We can't stop using oil just because some petition gets signed. At the moment there is no viable alternative unless we want to all go back to the 1850s.

    Signing a petition to work harder on a practical fusion reaction would make more sense.