Top Kill = Fail

May 30, 2010

The New York Times is reporting that the attempted “Top Kill” of the gushing oil well a mile under the sea has failed.

NEW ORLEANS — In another serious setback in the effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers said Saturday that the “top kill” technique had failed and, after consultation with government officials, they had decided to move on to another strategy.

This is a horrifying disaster, the scale of which we have hardly begun to wrap our minds around.

This video [via The Anchoress] should begin to hammer it home. Rep. Charles Melancon (D-LA) breaks down and cries, walking out of the hearing after his statement:

Can someone please explain why anyone thought it would be a good idea to drill for oil in a way that leaves us all vulnerable to an unserviceable catastrophic mechanical failure?!

Was this potential scenario ever considered when the oil companies were developing this type of drilling, or when the government regulators were granting permission for these rigs?

9 Responses to Top Kill = Fail

  1. Papa Ray on May 30, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Yep, this is bad, bad. But what the article didn’t say is that the leak has been slowed down. Not enough but better would be that the efforts had completely stopped the flow.

    Yes, multiple failures both equipment and by men allowed this to happen. All lined up in a haphashard way, but all contributing to the end result. Not to say that the deaths of the men on the rig prove anything other than luck of the draw and bad luck at that. Oil Field work is dangerous. There are multiple deaths every day around the world and many more that are injured. It makes not any news except possibley in their home towns or in oil related publications. It is kinda like the ongoing deaths caused by auto accidents, not noticed unless it is someone you know or love.

    In this case (deep water drilling) safeguards may never be enough to stop accidents from happening, this art of drilling in deep water is mostly new and traditional safeguards might not always do the trick when there is an accident. And there will always be accidents. Events that may have been planned for, and even practiced many times, but when the real thing happens it shows that the best efforts of men against Mother Nature sometimes just will not measure up to her fury.

    I’ve lived my whole life in the oil field, never worked there myself but many of my friends and relatives did and do. The one thing stressed every waking hour is safety but it seems that it is never the expected that happens but the unexpected and unexplained.
    And men are not perfect nor is the most expensive equipment.

    Mother Nature will give up her treasures but only to those brave enough to take them and even then she gives them no quarter, but life changing lessons.

    Papa Ray

  2. Bob Easton on May 30, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Simple. This is not what the oil companies want to do. They would much rather drill in shallow waters (or on land), but our environmentalists have been pushing them farther and farther off shore.

  3. Dr. Jans Pacebags, esq. on May 30, 2010 at 9:43 am

    amen, Mr. Easton–took the words right out of my keyboard….

  4. Founding Blogger on May 30, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Perhaps this is why environmentalists have been unusually silent through this disaster. They know they own part of it.

  5. BackwardsBoy on May 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    You speak as though the radical environmentalists (who somehow control our energy supply instead of the officials we elect to offfice) have viable alternatives to oil. Their numerous lawsuits force companies to drill in more and more inaccessible places. In light of their non-stop efforts to restrict the harvesting of our own natural resources, they bear a great deal of responsiblity in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
    We could be drilling in ANWR, where the effects of a spill would be greatly diminished, but they won’t allow it.
    It’s time for us to tell these radicals to butt out of our energy policies and pass (or repeal) laws that they use to hold our country hostage.
    Our dependence on oil cannot be suddenly broken, because there is no equivalent substance that does the things oil can do. From gasoline to plasics to petroleum jelly, there’s just no substitute.
    We musn’t give in to the radicals who have no viable answer to our energy needs. We need oil and the jobs that come with it. We need politicians who understand this and will insure that we have the plans in place to minimize the damage of the next spill. We need a can-do attitude in Washington again.

  6. MissTammy on May 30, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Yep, they dril that far out because they aren’t allowed to drill in shallower waters….and the enviros are not the only ones who oppose drilling closer to shore; most people who have ocean-front property do not want their views spoiled by looking at drilling platforms.

  7. Founding Blogger on May 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Good point MissTammy. I wonder how they like their views now.

  8. Cindy on June 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    This oil spill/gusher is so tragic.

  9. james on June 2, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Let’s not write off American business and the free market just yet. This Gulf spill is going to goad other oil companies to get competitive about well safety.


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