www.eoearth.org/oceanoil. Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill April 20, 2010. Dr. David Blockstein, Senior Scientist The National Council for the Science and the Environment. Deepwater Horizon offshore oil platform (well). Owned by British Petroleum (BP OIL) Exploded April 20, 2010
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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
April 20, 2010
Dr. David Blockstein, Senior Scientist
The National Council for the Science and the Environment
Largest marine oil spill in history
Oil gushed for 86 days into the ocean
Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
Firefighters combat the fire
Oil gushed for 86 days, covering the ocean the size of South Carolina
Energy companies now focused on oil and gas resources in deeper, more difficult waters of 1,000 feet and beyond.
The Gulf of Mexico is peppered with thousands of oil platforms
Remotely controlled robots; 3&4-D seismic info.; 1 billion dollars per deep oil field.
Left to right…….
2. Fixed platform
3. Jackup rig
5. Drill ship
6. Tension leg platform.
An immediate challenge is to gain a better understanding of the deepwater environment and the issues that arise from operating at these depths.
One mile deep
5 stories tall
Aerial application of chemical dispersant to surface oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard.
Construction of sand berms
Method to contain……. in the ocean
U.S. Environmental Services' workers moving
OIL CONTAINMENT BOOM onto a supply boat in Venice, La., April 29, 2010.
Credit: Washington Department of Ecology
Early Response -
Dome to capture and recover escaping oil
Oil captured and pumped one mile to oil tanker on surface of water
Stopping the spill: the five-month effort to kill the Macondo well
All failed or were ineffective
Blow out preventer
five stories, 380 tons
What finally worked?
3 stages -
1. Cap was placed on top of the BOP after a 20 foot pair of shears had cut the riser from the BOP, stopping the oil for the first time. June 3, 2010
2. Relief well was completed at a depth of 17,977 feet. After 2 failed attempts. Sept. 15, 2010
3. Cement was pumped into the well to permanently seal it.
Relief well: a well drilled to intersect an oil or gas well that has undergone a blowout.
The well will remain sealed and abandoned, along with the first two unsuccessful relief wells
Why do we even use oil?
Why do you care?
Fish, shrimp, oysters could not be eaten, or sold
Impact from the oil spill
Benefits of the ocean
Provides 50% of the air you breathe
Biodiversity and future life
Water filled boom, which broke during Hurricane Alex. Oil collected in pools on Grand Isle Beach, Louisiana.
How can you help make the USE of petroleum go away?
can help make the USE of petroleum go away……….
Educate yourself on wise energy consumption
Make choices that lessen the use of oil – transportation, idling motor, conservation, efficiency, etc.
Know the difference between good science and “junk science”
Be prepared to vote with an informed opinion on energy choices