Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Seepage may signal end of story

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Read this post by John Cole. The payoff is in an email he received. From the post:

I still have no clue why I should be concerned about seepage. Fortunately, someone emailed me in response to a tweet I made asking what the hell is meant by a seep:

…it means that the entire oil reserve’s casing might be collapsing. To give you a visual metaphor: they are currently trying to fix the plumbing in the bathroom, maybe stop the shower from leaking. What might be happening now amounts to the huge water main under the house breaking and causing the entire house to sink, bathroom and all.

The problem is that the well is deep underground and under high pressure, so once it springs a leak it just worms its way to the surface through a thousand crevices and makes them bigger and bigger over time. You can’t “plug” them because… well, to use another metaphor, imagine you have a garden hose that’s blocked by a pillow. Once the water works its way through the pillow and soaks through, you have water leaking from every fiber of the thing, and putting a little rubber patch on any given part of the pillow is really just pointless. This is why the government was worried about capping the well: it amounted to blocking the only escape route for the pressure, thereby forcing out of other little holes in the compromised reservoir, which as I said become bigger and bigger with time.

If the reservoir casing is compromised, we’re fucked, end of story.

Now granted, CNN, the NY Times, and the WaPo can’t drop f-bombs, but which of those actually informed you why the seep was a concern? Why doesn’t every MSM story about the “seepage” include a simple description like that to inform people? Instead, we are told what the government and BP are “doing,” but no one understands what they are doing or why.

Written by Leisureguy

19 July 2010 at 8:59 am

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