Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – link collection

A major environmental and economic catastrophe has been unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico for about a week. No one knows how much oil is being leaked or for how long it will leak.

It’s Sunday evening so I’m just going to brain-dump the links I’ve been reading this evening and come back to it tomorrow if I have time.

Amazing Photos Of The Deepwater Oil Explosion

Expert: Surface area of Gulf oil spill has tripled

Government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher

Gulf oil spill swiftly balloons, could move east

A graphic explanation of the fight to shut off the oil leak

39 Comments Posted

  1. katie posted a very relevant link on another thread, and since I haven’t found this anywhere else, I am just going to copy what she posted:


    “This site is live-streaming the BP/Deepwater Horizon ’spillcam’ in the Mexican Gulf – and has found some anomalies in the footage, along with evidence of some kind of seafloor venting or explosion around the ruptured oil pipeline … these observations began on Sunday 23rd May, and have been updated at regular intervals since. Also check the latest two posts on this blog for more footage and screen-grabs.

    Seems as though this may be much more catastrophic than previously imagined, especially for wildlife and the fishing industry in the US gulf states. Not looking good for the summer tourism season in the Caribbean, either.

    Mainstream news is showing a lot of damage control PR being done by BP, with the Obama administration finally starting to lose patience and threatening to take over the whole situation.”


  2. One of the problems mentioned with regard to the oil plumes now in the waters is oxygen depletion in that water, as bacteria etc break down and oxidise the oil into water and (relatively) harmless CO2. I wonder if anyone has looked at injecting air into the sea around these plumes to restore some of the dissolved oxygen, much like a giant version of a fish tank aerator. Hopefully this would also speed up the rate of decomposition of the oil.


  3. any thoughts surfaced yet on ‘mining’ the sunken ocean oil plumes..?

    big syringe-type solution.. and a heap of anhydrous calcium chloride in a tank (er) to take out the water and salt… then fractionate.. hey this has gotta be better than hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemical dispersants etc.. which cost lord only knows.. and has serious consequences in addition to the oil spills..

    not that I’m suggesting anything other than clean-up.. wouldn’t want these blokes anywhere near utilizing new extraction processes.. viz leak-to-ocean-‘siphon’-to-tanker-repeat-forever!

    Letterman joke: BP Prez tells of the oily bird gets the worm! Hey.. feel sorry for them.. all of them.. but don’t you get depressed, too..

  4. Nah! While the density in some areas of their anatomy is truly amazing, the overall density is too low – too much fat! To keep the oil down takes a very heavy plug and therefore a high density.


  5. Could the vent be plugged with a huge wad of compressed oil executives?
    I think it’s do-able!

  6. If they are burning the gas that comes up the pipe, I wonder how much gas was (and still is) released directly into the air? Since the gas is methane, it could become a significant AGW contributor 🙁 – if it isn’t already.


  7. BP should have started building a backup containment dome once the first one was completed, so they would have something to modify quickly if there was a problem or if the first dome was damaged or lost. Or just to use on a smaller leak.


  8. They need to capture the spill off shore. Burning and disbursement are just adding to the problem. They need to collect it and recycle it!! They have the money!!!!!

  9. I saw some of this on TV last night & my first thought was, now this after Louisiana, that Gulf is seriously outta luck.

    At least Obama has responded immediately, which is a better look than Bush ever managed.

    Still, very sad that this major environmental disaster has happened at all; BP are definitely liable, and it’s good that they seem to be getting given that message by the US current administration.

  10. This is very reassuring and I’m resting assured now that plans for drilling in the Deep South Basin below Stewart Island will be as safe as houses – whatever was I worried about? If an accidental spill were to occur in those clean waters, the drilling company would have it tidied up in a matter of mere months.
    The mealy mouthed BP ‘spokespeople’ were classics in their field. Smooth as oil and just as palatable.
    This is a very sick situation.

  11. Apparently BP are paying $6million a day in ‘initial’ costs and plan to fully reimburse the coast guard/ USA govt one the damage is assessed

  12. It is interesting that Obama has stated that it is BP that must pay. This sounds very much like the shifting responsibility of leaky homes, who gives access to oil companies in the first place and regulates the industry? Surely there should be some shared responsibility.

    Whether it be the oil industry, dairying or coal mining there is a general reluctance from governments to place tight controls on cash cows and it is the rest of us who pay in the end.

  13. @rimu

    The court costs would end up being more than the worth of the oil – you could take that to the bank!

  14. Does New Zealand have any suitable oil slick control equipment? Can we risk loaning some to the Americans? Do we really have enough for our own needs or should we order some more and loan it to the Americans before taking delivery ourselves?

    We should be taking more steps than we are taking to reduce our dependence on oil and therefore reduce our risk of more disasters like this one.


  15. There’s a good futurama episode related to this

    I do love the fact that the fishermen are moaning about not being able to go out (get business insurance…) while hundreds of thousands of creatures are being killed and billions spent on sweeping up the muck

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