Silver Lining of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

-By Kevin Roeten

In one of the worst oil spill disasters of the century, you can always count on the creme rising to the top. True, 11 riggers lost their life when the BP Deepwater Horizon blew up and caught fire. President Obama is under the impression that no more oil drilling can be done offshore for fear of an environmental catastrophe. Why does he ignore what becomes crystal clear from the accident? The fact that crude is seeping through the ocean floor, and is especially pronounced in the Gulf, indicates it’s in the Gulf in vast quantities.

The failed blowout preventer in the Deepwater Horizon leaking the oil is under 5000 feet of water, and we know a foot of water provides 0.4335 lbs/in2 at 1 foot deep. Therefore, at 5000 feet of water, there is ~ 2000 lbs/in2 of water pressure the oil has to overcome at the blowout preventer. Bottom line, the oil wants to escape its entrapment—badly. That does not include the 18,000 additional feet the oil must traverse through earth before it even gets to the 5000 ft ocean depth. At a 22,000 foot depth, the oil could easily be abiotic, instead of biotic.

Scientists Find That Tons Of Oil Seep Into The Gulf Of Mexico Each year. It is past Time for some oil spill perspective | Washington Examiner. According to the Wall Street Journal, there is 47 million gallons of crude that seeps into US waters annually from the ocean floor. There is currently over 4,000 active rigs on the US continental shelf. Most are in the Gulf of Mexico. None of them, until now, has had the hint of a problem pumping oil from its temporary sarcophagus. Unfortunately, over 85% of the US continental shelf is off-limits to oil or gas drilling because of perceived environmental limitations.

The US remains the only industrialized nation prohibiting offshore oil recovery. The 2006 Assessment of Undiscovered OCS Oil and Gas Resources results …from the Department of Interior (DOI), states there are 86 billion barrels of “undiscovered technically recoverable” oil sitting right off our beaches. As one put it, oil is available with “off-the-shelf” technology. That means the oil is there, and can be recovered with no additional technology. Put another way, the OCS contains enough oil to replace Persian Gulf imports for 59 years, and enough natural gas (>419 trillion ft3) to heat American homes for the next 60.

Simply put, the OCS has more than enough oil and gas to make us oil independent for the next 60 years, until Obama makes more nuclear energy accessible, and/or fusion energy is harnessed.

Why don’t other countries have the same problem of crude oil seeping up through the ocean floor? One would think that 47 million gallons of crude a year leaking into our coastal waters would bring up some sort of environmental concern. A simple solution would be to tap that oil and its source field, keep it from leaking out at will, use it to fuel the US economy and make it oil independent, provide at least 185,000 created oil-related jobs [What Can 24 States Gain from Offshore Drilling?], keep Arab terrorists from using that money to kill more Americans, and drive down OPEC oil pricing for America and the rest of the world..

The Deepwater Horizon has leaked a lot of oil into the Gulf. How easily we forget the manmade disasters of 11 million gallons from the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound, Saddam Hussein’s destruction of oil facilities during the Gulf War which poured 500 million barrels of crude into the Arabian Gulf, and the drainage of 3.3 million barrels into the Gulf of Mexico in 1979 from Mexico’s Ixtoc well. As per the Washington Examiner, “…Deepwater Horizon is an environmental crisis, but not the apocalypse that alarmists claim.”

Oil spills have always plagued the earth, but the earth has always recovered.

Seems like a no-brainer. But you’ll have to ask Mr. Obama if he has something else in mind with his current energy policy.
Kevin Roeten has written columns for over 10 years, after being a Chemical Engineer with Dupont for 20. A devout Catholic and staunch conservative, he loves to marry the ‘third rail’ of religion and politics into many of his articles.

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