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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The truth about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Deepwater Horizon disaster

A very interesting and tragic  news article has been written by two CNN journalists concerning the
impact of the Exxon Valdez oil Spill in Alaska 21 years ago!. You can read
their entire article by going to this link:

Now we have another serious oil spill which is still occurring in Gulf of Mexico, due to the negligence
of human beings, and possibly due to another oil company BP.

According to United States Federal Government Interior Secretary  Ken Salazar in an article posted at, "Companies involved in the sinking of the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon made "some very major mistakes.He said the failure of the rig's blowout preventer -- a critical piece of equipment designed to shut off the flow of oil in an emergency -- was "a huge malfunction" that has left oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico."
Once again we have an oil company in this World destroying the life forms which
existed in the region, and in addition they are surely going to damage and alter
the way of life of many people  who have chosen this part of the World to live in.
How many chances should Oil Companies get before the people of this world say enough?

"BP owns the damaged well at the heart of the slick. Efforts to shut down the well have failed, leaving it spewing about 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico."

"The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration already has closed the area to fishing, restricting a multibillion-dollar industry in the region."
If mistakes were made in the sinking of this platform you can be sure that mistakes have
been made in the sinking of other such platforms which currently are functioning in the
World's oceans. Why was this company allowed to make these mistakes and keep this and their
other oil platforms working when there could be disasters at these other oil platforms?

To see video reports concerning the impact of  this disaster on the local wildlife and to see
what the water in the region now looks like from an underwater video, and to see other
maps and charts which indicate the damage which this oil spill is causing  please

According to the website:
"BP has accepted responsibility for the oil spill and the cleanup costs but indicated that, because the rig was run by Transocean personnel, the accident was not BP's fault."

This is not the first time that a major oil company is blaming an oil spill on some other party.Why did BP
hire this company in the first place if they did not have the qualified staff to run the oil platform
in the safest way they could?

"Adrian Rose, a vice president of Transocean, Ltd., said workers had been performing their standard routines with "no indication of any problems" just prior to the explosion.[24] According to a Transocean spokesperson, at the time of the explosion the rig was drilling but was not in production.[25] Production casing was being run and cemented at the time of the accident. Once the cementing was complete, it was due to be tested for integrity and a cement plug set to temporarily abandon the well for later completion as a subsea producer.[26] Halliburton has confirmed that it cemented the Macondo well but never set a cement plug to cap the bore as "operations had not reached a stage where a final plug was needed".[27] Halliburton said that it had finished cementing 20 hours before the fire.[28] According to Transocean executive Adrian Rose, "undoubtedly abnormal pressure" had accumulated inside the marine riser and as it came up it "expanded rapidly and ignited", an event known as a blowout.["

Why does Haliburton say that a cement plug was not needed to cap the well, when, this cap could have prevented this
disaster from becoming what it has become?

According to the website

"A marine riser tensioner is a device used on an offshore oil drilling rig or ship which keeps a positive pulling force on the drilling riser, independent of the movement of the drill rig or drill ship."

Aker Kvaerner MH Marine Riser Tensioner (MRT)
"A riser is a string of pipe between the sea bottom and ship or rig. If there were no tensioner and the ship or rig moves downward, the riser would buckle; if the ship or rig is raised, high forces would be transmitted to the riser. To counteract these forces, a number of riser tensioners (springs) are mounted between the ship (rig) and riser. Each riser tensioner consists of a hydraulic cylinder with sheaves at both sides. The cylinder is connected to a number of high-pressure gas bottles via a medium separator. A wire rope is rigged in the cylinder; one end is connected to the fixed part of the tensioner, the other end is connected to the riser."

This  last paragraph to me is very revealing. Even to a lay person such as myself,
it suggests  that the riser must have raised due to  forces within the ocean or
it might have been raised by workers and this is why this pressure accumulated, and lead to the blowout. My question'
is why was this piece of equipment not tested under the most severe circumstances before it was installed as part of
the rig? Exactly what forces could cause this riser to rise to such an extent that it would lead  to a failure of the blowout
protector?  Why did the Government of the United States allow this blowout preventer to be installed in this rig
(and other rigs?) without ensuring that it would do its only function absolutely every time that it was called upon to do so?
Why did the manufacturer of this blowout protector not ensure that its equipment worked properly?  Should we expect
such a crucial piece of equipment be tested to see it is working every day before operations on the rig are commenced?

We have alot of questions about this disaster, let us hope some answers are provided by BP, the Government of
the United States and the manufacturer of both the  marine riser and the blowcap!! In the meanwhile we have to hope and
pray that the extent of this oil spill can be contained so that its impact to the life within the area of  the spill is as
minimal as possible. My heart goes out to the families of  injured and  11 missing workers from this rig. I hope some
way some how these workers are still alive and can be found so they can be reunited with their families.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.