Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All of those tourists covered with oil...

The oil leak in the Gulf is becoming, if it is not already, the largest disaster of its type in all history. It is hoped that the oil companies will learn, as will the regulators of the industry, from this disaster. But what should they be doing right now?
I am not an expert in oil drilling, capping wells or cleanup, so to tell you the truth I have no clue what should be done, but common sense seems to dictate a few things:
1. If pumping drilling mud into the hole prevents the oil form coming out or reduces it significantly and the mud used is the least toxic, water and bentonite clay based mud, they should be required to keep pumping the mud in until the leak is stopped.
2. The relief wells should be required to be in place before the well can be brought into production.
3. The blow-out preventers and other safety gear should be required to be tested on at least a quarterly basis with a full well shutdown required as a part of the test.
4. Each platform should be required to have in place a floating dam that would contain the projected flow of the well should a blowout occur for a specified minimum amount of time both above and below the water.
5. A main and backup flow preventer (i.e. shutoff device) should be in place before the well is allowed to be in production.
6. All of these requirements should be required to be retrofitted on all existing platforms.
7. The required skimmer and vacuum ships should be on standby within hours of the platforms.
8. The oil companies should be required to provide funding for an independent group of clean-up engineers who will take over a well when an accident occurs who will give priority to stopping the well, not profit.
Will all the above be expensive? Yes! However, it will be less expensive than another disaster of the size we are currently seeing.


kamie said...

As for #7 they should be stationed in the oil fields, just like fireboats.

billcharleston said...

Sounds to me like you guys want $15/gallon gasoline.

Mike said...

Better than $15 a pound shrimp or no shrimp or seafood.