Posts Tagged ‘Gulf Drilling Disaster’

The Gulf Drilling Disaster

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

gulf drilling disasterThe recent gulf drilling disaster has brought a lot of scrutiny to the drilling and oil industry. Many people are saying that America should wean itself from the dangers of using oil. However, as a nation we are far from being able to or even wanting to change our oil usage habits. We not only use oil in our cars and trucks but also for plastics, asphalt for roads, and other petro chemicals. The United States already consumes twice the amount of oil as it produces and so limiting deepwater oil drilling will further our dependence on imported oil.

The gulf drilling disaster began in April. On April 20, 2010 there was an explosion and fire on the drilling rig deemed Deepwater Horizon. It was being licensed to BP. The well was 5,000 feet below the surface of the water. It was also 13,000 feet below the seabed. The explosion and subsequent sinking of the rig resulted in eleven workers being killed. The well, now not connected to the rig, opened up and spewed forth gallons and gallons of oil. Efforts to use the well’s blowout preventer failed and oil continued to gush out of the well.

Since the gulf drilling disaster began, many efforts have been made to contain the spill and cap off the well. Oil has washed ashore in each of the states that border the gulf. It has severely impacted the lives of those living and working in the Gulf States. Many of those critical to oil drilling have used this case as the prime example of why the United States should shy away from drilling off our coasts. However, this case should actually be the exception. Many rigs operate safely in shallow and deep waters off our coasts. One reason that people are so critical of the situation is because the blowout preventer did not work properly.

A blowout preventer is a series of valves that can close off the well that is being worked on. Properly closing off a well when the pressure builds reduces the number of blowouts. It’s obvious to many that the gulf drilling disaster could have been prevented with a properly installed and working blowout preventer. Unfortunately, the oil industry now has to pay for one rig’s mistake. The oil industry has had a moratorium placed on oil drilling in the Gulf. Many people have been affected and will continue to be affected by the gulf drilling disaster.