Friday, May 7, 2010
When the disastrous explosion, and subsequent sinking, of the ill fated "Deep Water Horizon oil rig was first reported my gut reaction was "this has got to be sabotage! Yet I wondered could this have been just one horrific chain of events that led to this enormous catastrophe?
I suspected sabotage because of the timing. After all Barack had just announced that we would expand off shore drilling, and for sure a lot of fanatical environmentalists had to have had their panties in a wad.
I even thought about raising the question in a post but decided to wait and see what would be turned up as this accident was investigated. I'm glad I did.
According to the A.P. a bubble of methane gas blew out, exploded, and caused the demise of this rig as well as several unfortunate roughnecks on the rig.
The news from the associated press states that "the first thing workers noticed was the seawater in the drill column suddenly shooting back at them, rocketing 240 feet in the air. Then, gas surfaced Then oil".
The article goes on to quote a former oil field worker as saying: "What we had learned when I worked as a drill rig laborer was swoosh, boom, run," Bea said. "The swoosh is the gas, boom is the explosion and run is what you better be doing."
I can attest that this is indeed true. I worked as a roughneck in the oilfields of Wyoming back in the 1980's and things can happen damn fast on an oil rig. I have personally experienced having gases from deep inside a well blow in my face. Nothing as bad as what happened in this incident.
Yes whoosh, boom, and run like hell, is more like it. If a well blows out there are thousands of feet of drill pipe coming out of the ground ,flying into the air, and sooner or later, falling back to earth all around you! the bad thing on an ocean rig is there isn't much of any place to run.
It's true that a lot of things had to fail for this disaster to happen, but you know what, given enough time it's bound to happen. Remember the space shuttle Columbia? There were a lot of fail safes in place, but, they all failed and people died.
Unfortunately every so often sh-t happens. Apparently this was one of those times and unfortunately 11 workers lost their lives and a lot of damage was caused to the environment. Does this mean we need to stop all off shore drilling? NO! It means we need to learn from the failures and mistakes that happened here, improve our systems, and move on. America NEEDS the energy.