Photo: Unified Command centre
BP’s Deepwater Horizon well sprung a 1,000 barrel-a-day leak when a pressure valve malfunctioned.
Oil prophet Jeff Rubin calls this a hazard of drilling for hard-to-reach sources — some of which are deeper in the ocean than the BP rig.
Most forms of unconventional oil and gas (including, by the way, shale gas) are invariably very hard on the environment. Although tar sands production draws most of the world’s criticism, we are quickly discovering that deep-water wells and the pressure surges they engender run the risk of wreaking even greater ecological and environmental devastation.
And the deeper that technology allows us to drill miles below the ocean floor, the greater the risk that we will see more and more of these disasters. If this week has shown us the pressure surge of wells a mile below the ocean floor, what are the prospects of our standing up to those we’ll encounter in newly discovered Gulf of Mexico fields like BP’s Tiber one, six miles below the ocean floor?
Got it? To keep consuming the amount of oil that we are, we need to pursue oil in more geologically challenging locations, and this means spills.
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