This is estimated amount of oil that is desperately trying to mix up in the waters of south-eastern United States and Gulf of Mexico. Located 5000 feet deep it was on 25th of April 2010 the BP oil well blowout was reported. Starting off by rapidly polluting the Mexican gulf, it is feared that the spill has reached currents that could carry them all the way to Florida! Today, a month has passed and even after desperate efforts by the US and others, the oil is still spilling with full force.
Oil-spread as on Wednesday
Note: the oil-spread has been constantly changing, please search for the latest images or videos.
A background check and I found
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, exploded on April 20, was owned by Swiss-based Transocean Ltd and under lease to BP through Sep 2013. The rig sank on Apr. 22 off the coast of Louisiana in the southern U.S. after an explosion caused a fire that burned for two days.
There should be a safety valve present at the bed for preventing such disasters. Investigation has been ordered into whether there had been a safety valve installed or not. There is a technology where a remote-control trigger called an acoustic switch, makes it possible to shut down an underwater valve even if the oil rig itself is damaged. In Brazil and Norway, use of such remote-control device, which costs 500,000 dollars, is obligatory but is not mandatory in the US.
BP and U.S. officials have reported that 5,000 barrels of oil a day are gushing from the leaking well. From the day it started there has been 6 million gallons of oil contaminating the water and has not stopped yet.
BP has had ideas and plans some of those which were never tried out before for stopping the leak. They tried out one of the three giant underwater domes of steel and cement weighing 70-90 tones to stop the spill with four robotic submarines but unfortunately they failed, may be due to harsh sea conditions. Then there have been ideas for using siphon tubes which would load a pipe inside the leak and redirect the oil to a container ship above.
But the worst plan may involve unprecedented use of chemical dispersants which will help clear the oil on sea surface, but it environmentalists warn of long time environmental damage. Depending on the long-term effects the toxic chemicals could have on marine life, the dispersant approach may or may not be worth its environmental risk.
An environmental disaster
Oil continues to pollute this beautiful environment that is home to around 400 species of seabirds, dolphins, turtles, whales. The people at least can cry for help from the government but who will care for these creatures, what would they be thinking. They have to cry and bear this disaster silently. They have no one to complain. Hope Mother Nature protects such innocent life.
The oil slick, which reached the shores of several islands off the coast of Louisiana on Thursday, is now larger than 9,000 square kilometers and could become the worst ecological disaster in North America.
Talk about people and living
The fishing industry and people of this area already had a blow from the storm just some time back and now they are once again under threat after the intense rehabilitation. The fishing, tourism is about 2million USD industry. Jobs lost, families unstable, fishing tools, sea-side hotels abandoned. There will be certainly a huge economic loss.
And at last what the BP boss Tony Hayward has to say. And you may as well agree to this. As in The Guardian news report.
Is this happening due to over-exploitation of nature? Or is it just unfortunate?
Update – saturday 19 june 2010
Look at those cheap-chaps. Read this article on how BP Relied on Cheaper Wells.