Bill McKibben, writing for The Huffington Post last week, said:
"BP has gone to all this trouble for a well that taps into what they now think may be 100 million barrels of oil. And that's... five days supply for the US?"Five days? Our government let BP take this risk for 5 days worth of oil? Maybe that doesn't account for the gas, gas that is escaping and dissolving in the Gulf, being fed upon by bacteria, sucking huge amounts of oxygen in the process, oxygen fish and wildlife need for survival.
- Missing the Real Drama of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout, McKibben June 9
I guess the US is pretty strapped for homegrown sources of energy at the moment.
Here are some stats on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig I picked up on Transocean's site:
- It floats, rather, it used to float.
- Could operate in water depths up to 8000 feet. (BP was drilling an exploratory well at a water depth of about 5000 feet, 41 miles off the Louisiana coastline.)
- Could drill up to 30,000 feet.
- Used a riser pipe 21 inches OD (outer diameter).
- Was built by Hyundai in South Korea (Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard) in 2001.
- Was powered by 6 Wartsila engines, 9755 horsepower each. Those engines drove 6 AC generators, 11,000 volts each.
- VDL (variable deck load) of 8000 metric tons (17.6 million pounds). This is how much weight the rig could hold.
- The rig cost about $350,000,000 to build in 2001. It would cost at least double that to replace today.
- BP was paying about $500,000/day to rent it (BP didn't own it, Transocean did), another $500,000 to operate.
- The rig didn't use anchors to stay in place. It instead used thrusters controlled by satellites to position it.
- According to Rodgers, the rig "was one of the most advanced engineering feats in the world, having drilled deeper than any other waterborne platform."