Monday, May 03, 2010

Like Double Hulls, Double Relief Wells? 

Frequent YRHT commenter GO suggests forcing oil companies to drill an extra safety line for every rig, just in case, so so that we're never again in a situation where we sit helplessly for months waiting to implement the only guaranteed (but still highly complex) solution to a runaway oil gusher polluting our seas and coasts. Would this be highly expensive? Yes. Probably an extra $100 million per rig. Would the Oil companies squeal like stuck pigs? Yes. But the current helpless situation is intolerable. After the Montara blowout last year, and the Macondo blowout this year, I think the onus is on the oil companies to reduce catastrophic blowout risk.

Simply put: we need another guaranteed failsafe. If drilling a safety relief well for each rig is too "expensive", then the oil companies need to find another solution to mitigate the catastrophic risk of unstoppable oil gushers after blowouts. Because black swans are "expensive", too.

We need to take more of an "excessive" chaaaa...aaance on the side of safety.

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2 comments DiggIt!


Guys I'm talking to are telling me that there should be an undersea "christmas tree" on or near the ocean floor, along with a blowout preventer. The blowout preventer failed, but ROV's should be able to shut off the flow at the tree.

You're right, there should be reduntant safeties on a well. There should have been redundant safeties on the Challenger disaster too, but when things start failing you get a cascade effect that's hard to stop.

Let the experts work. They don't want to prolong this disaster any longer than necessary. BP is taking a huge hit, both in the media and in the checkbook. This is going to be hugely more expensive than if they would have drilled a shut-off well, or put three or four redundant systems down the hole.

By Blogger Pawpaw, at 5:18 PM  

BP's gonna pass this off on the folks who own the rig. They may have a decent case.

I also think that the last resort failsafe device-which was produced in Cameron, LA, unfortunately-that failed, will take a huge hit, as well.

But, BP is going to sue the hell out of the rig-owners, straight up...

By Blogger GO, at 11:32 PM