Sunday, June 06, 2010

Visualizing the BP Oil Spill Disaster

Thanks to Bowsprite for directing us to Visualizing the BP Oil Spill Disaster, a site which enables us to appreciate the size of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico if it were in our home waters.

The graphic above shows how far the oil spill would extend if the Deepwater Horizon rig had been in the vicinity of Block Island.


Not only all of Narragansett Bay but all the coastline of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts including Cape Cod and the Islands would be affected, not to mention all of Long Island Sound and the south coast of Long Island. Basically everywhere I would ever sail.

This really brings home (literally) the enormity of this ecological disaster.

Anyone want to argue for more deep water offshore drilling in their own backyard?


Pat said...

Academic for us since we don't have a coast line. So, I'm trying to imagine if the well had been drilled and then failed at Elephant Butte Lake. Then I try to imagine the oil pooling a few feet deep over several square miles and some idiot lighting the thing off. Interesting.

Andrew said...

I'll borrow your link for our Waddenzee, where plans to drill for oil and gas won't go away.

Carol Anne said...

In New Mexico, we do have the occasional drilling operation that goes awry, but the consequences aren't so dire. If a well were to blow out in the way that the Deepwater Horizon did, it would be a trivial matter to cap it and stop the flow of oil, since the operation would be on dry land instead of deep under the ocean.

For that matter, the sort of thing that happened to the Deepwater Horizon would never have happened in land-based drilling, because there would not have been a need for the safety measures that apparently were ignored or short-changed in the operation of the Deepwater Horizon.

Oil and gas drilling companies have been protesting proposed new regulations in New Mexico, complaining that these regulations impose excessive burdens for only questionable environmental gains. However, that's the same argument BP has been using against stricter regulation of deep-sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bob Easton said...

Carol Anne is right on!!! Drilling on land and even close to shore has fewer risks and is far easier to clean up. That's where we ought to be getting our oil and gas.

Government regulations, driven first and foremost by environmentalists are the reason we are far offshore and drilling in depths that tax mans knowledge and technology.

Some like to say we are all complicit by our use of energy. I hold that the environmentalists are MORE complicit by forcing the regulations which result in these extremes. Let's be logical. We are not going to reduce our energy usage. We are not going to find viable substitutes anytime soon. We are facing the choice of providing for ourselves, with huge resources of our own, or depending more and more on people who own all the rest of the world's oil and would delight in destroying us.

A little more perspective:
While there is a lot of hyperbole in the news about this being the greatest, biggest, worst spill ever, the real facts are that it is still 1/6th the size of the 1979 IXTOC-1 spill in the gulf in 1979, and 1/20th the size of the Gulf War intentional spills in Iraq. source:

Anonymous said...

Something has happened here that didn't happen the last time the oil companies and the polluters hid the results and effect of the "greatest spills:" Google Earth.

I wonder if the oil companies are using the wi-fi incidents to try to shut Google down, so they can go back to hiding things.

Jack of all Trades said...

Well, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has already castigated President Obama for his moratorium on offshore drilling. It's all about 'jobs'.

Worse, it looks like Obama is caving in - the WSJ just reported he's lifting the moratorium.


Pat said...

Another issue is energy "colonialism" -- oil companies will go wherever the rules are least restrictive, given other factors being equal.

In a sense, New Mexico and the Four Corners area are an energy colony for California. Power plants don't get built in California; instead, massive coal-burning plants in New Mexico provide power for California and other urban areas westward. The Navajo (Dine) get not many jobs out of the deal but quite a lot of pollution.

O Docker said...

Pat, keep in mind those coal burning plants will be providing all of that 'zero emissions' power for tomorrow's electric cars.

Unknown said...

I am just gonna come right out and say it. People like Bob Easton are the problem. Always mouthing off about environmentalists. What planet do you plan to live on when this one is finally ruined? The real problem is greedy corporations who are always pushing for less regulation. Even with several BILLION dollars of profit per quarter they were unwilling to spend a few million for extra safety. Also we are all complicit, including me who got lazy today and took the car to work instead of biking the 7 miles each way not the environmentalists who want to force companies to act responsibly. Maybe you should put an oil well or Nuke plant in your backyard Bob. That would really piss those environmentalists off, but we all know you wouldn't put your money where your mouth is.

Baydog said...

Joe: I love you man. I hear what you're saying, but I think all of these people have good points to a degree. We're hurting big time, and things are not happening nearly fast enough. It's easy to start pointing fingers when desired results are coming few and far between. "Starting next month, we're going to implement this". WHY NEXT MONTH? WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW? Nothing seems to be urgent enough. They are constantly showing locals driving along the beaches saying, "There's nobody here cleaning up! How is this possible? And the ones who are shoveling the miniscule tarballs from the beach are wearing HAZMAT outfits! Give me a frickin break! I'd be down there in my shorts and a T-shirt scooping it up with by open palms. Nothing a little Gojo wouldn't take care of. Really. We need more locals to clean up. The job would be done alot more carefully, because they are the ones who care the most for the region. When the sludge makes its way up to the NJ coast, I'm driving down and rolling up my sleeves, if I have them. And I will spit in BP's general direction.

Baydog said...

(my) open palms

Carol Anne said...

I think Bob rather missed my point. My point was NOT that the environmentalists were driving the drilling into dangerous waters, but rather, the drilling companies were protesting even relatively minor regulations. The proposed regulation that the drilling companies are protesting is that there be a holding pond at each drilling site to collect drilling waste fluids -- at a cost of about $20,000 per well. The drilling companies are screaming that such added expense will put them out of business -- or at least force them to drill someplace other than New Mexico. Give me a break.

Meanwhile, it was not the environmentalists who caused BP to shortchange safety measures on Deepwater Horizon. That was pure penny-pinching on BP's part. Even the BP contractors wanted more safety measures than BP was willing to use.

Tillerman said...

Meanwhile the Governor of Mississippi is saying that the tar balls are just a "natural by-product" of the Gulf of Mexico and you all should come one down and enjoy his beautiful beaches.

Unknown said...

It is really sad to hear that these type of incidents taking place in Offshore sector.Working in Offshore sector is great thing, but at the same time we have to take care of ourselves.Sometimes oil spill accidents may occur.There are few worst Offshore Oil spills taken place in history.In this Deepwater Horizon oil Spill, USA is the biggest disaster and taken 11 people lives and killed thousands of marine species including birds,turtles and dolphins.

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