CRUDE AWAKENINGS: 11. Oil-atosis from offshore drilling

Guest Blogger – Joe Marcolivio:  Commercial Diver in the oil rig business

It will be tough to remove the putrid taste in your mouth about the oil business after an April 20 explosion rocked the offshore drilling platform of the Deepwater Horizon off the Louisiana coast  sending a column of fire into the sky.  The rig has now sunk off the the Gulf of Mexico – 11 missing.

The knee jerk response would be to cease offshore drilling to save the environment.  But in reality, due to the world’s reliance on oil to create the variety of products mentioned in previous blogs it has driven exploratory companies to go farther and deeper.  Easy oil has already been found.  Off shore drilling is not done haphazardly.  Look at the multiple millions invested in just this one project ($700 million to build the Deepwater Horizon and approximately a quarter of a million dollars per hour to operate)

Everyone wants to enact new safety regulations, but the fact remains the oil industry is one of the most regulated businesses already. The more that regulations are enforced on our oil companies it tends to drive a lot of the business to third world countries where enforcement tends to be lax.  An example: There was a recent incident where a Chinese freighter hauling fuel traveled 8 miles outside the shipping lanes and ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef. The spill was enormous. The cause has been proven to be crew error.

This brings us back to what happened on the Deepwater Horizon. This was an exploratory rig not a production platform. They had a blowout (which resulted from drilling into a pocket of natural gas) followed by a minor explosion. Because there was a lag between the first and second explosion, logic would say that the crew thought they had the situation in hand. However the pocket of gas that they hit was so intense it overcame their back up safety  systems resulting in the second fatal explosion.

However, if we stop drilling what are we going to do?


About bettybyrd

Betty Byrd is an editor, author, and actress. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in creative writing, and furthered her literary career through graduate studies at Ohio State University. She was an editor for The Spectator, Ohio’s largest weekly newspaper, and has free – lanced for a national men’s magazine. Betty has appeared in film and television, as well as numerous commercials and mini-series. She is a voting member of the American Federation of Television Artists and also of the Screen Actors Guild. In 2002-2003 Betty was accepted into the Who’s Who of America and in 2007-2008, the Who’s Who of American Women. Her previous literary works include a novel, Trinity’s Daughter, for which she was honored as a local author by the San Diego Public Library. She is also a recipient of a first place fiction writing award for her new novel, Utopia, Texas at the prestigious Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. Betty has had successful book-signings across the country to large crowds at local Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores. She has been featured in newspapers, and appeared on NBC – TV, and radio talk shows. Betty currently lives in Southern California with her husband and family.
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