What Could Go Wrong?

What could go wrong when we drill so deep that immediate response to a disaster becomes virtually impossible? The Deepwater Horizon for one, and this.

A deepwater rig in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland suffered a blowout five days ago, and is uncontrollably leaking natural gas in what experts fear is an “explosion waiting to happen.” “Relief drilling would take six months and require boring through 4 kilometers of rock with painstaking precision in order to intercept the gas pocket, one engineer said.” “All 238 staff were evacuated from the Elgin platform after the gas leak was discovered on Sunday afternoon. Shell is also removing workers from two offshore installations close to the Elgin platform,” the Guardian reports.

“Relief drilling would take six months and require boring through 4 kilometers of rock with painstaking precision.”

That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? Too familiar.

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  • atlavely

    Drill, Baby, Drill!

  • muselet

    Second verse, same as the first. Reuters:

    In the first process, [French oil company] Total will inject drilling mud to “kill” the well using the weight of the mud to stop the gas flow, but is potentially dangerous given that it would require workers to return to the wellhead platform.

    The second process – safer, but slower and costly – involves digging two relief wells, which could take six months and cost up to $3 billion.

    […]

    A senior union official said on Friday that Total had repeatedly assured workers a leak was impossible until just hours before evacuating them.

    “… Where nothing can possibly go worng!”

    –alopecia