As we watch newly released videos of the massive quantities of oil and gas gushing from the BP oil disaster, more attention will be focused on learning where the oil is and where it’s going. It turns out the Minerals Management Service (MMS) had long ago thought about this problem and conducted a "field test" 10 years ago to determine what might happen. Their finding: the oil could form underwater plumes that drift below the surface unseen.
...The presentation tells an interesting story.
Ten years ago, MMS engaged industry in a field test of what might happen in a deepwater blowout. The idea of a field test arose in 1997, when MMS and the industry realized three things: (1) an increasing proportion of all off-shore extraction would occur in deeper and deeper water, (2) there was a significant risk of a deepwater blowout, so they better plan for it; (3) there was insufficient understanding of how the released oil and gas would behave at such depths and under the pressure/temperature conditions existing at various depths.
Thursday, May 20, 2010, marks one month since BP's oil rig exploded off the Gulf Coast, killing 11 people and unleashing one of the worst environmental disasters our nation has ever seen.
Since then, millions of gallons of oil have gushed into the ocean, poisoning marine life and threatening hundreds of miles of coastal waters, beaches and estuaries from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Florida Keys.
This is the clearest picture we could have of our failed national energy policy, which extends over many decades and administrations. Yet, shockingly, our elected officials in the Senate continue to drag their feet on enacting the policies that would bring the real change we need to shift our country from dirty to clean energy sources, while creating jobs and cutting our dependence on oil. Read on...