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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nothing new under the Gulf

Same disaster as, only worse than, 31 years ago.

Comments (4)

So what happened to the oil then?

It was actually worse then.


"But it [BP]would still not surpass the extent of the disaster caused by the Ixtoc spill, which belched crude oil for 297 days, dumping nearly 3 million barrels (126 million gallons/477 million liters) of oil into the southern Gulf of Mexico, some of which eventually washed up on the Texas coast, according to Pemex. Pemex pumped cement and salt water into Ixtoc for months before finally bringing the runaway well under control and sealing it with cement plugs."

Ok, so "some washed up on the Texas coast".

Where did the rest of the 3 million barrels of oil go?
Why wasn't there the ruin of the gulf?

"Pemex claimed that half of the released oil burned when it reached the surface, a third of it evaporated, and the rest was contained or dispersed."

So why doesn't the military napalm the spill?

Worst oil spill in history was Saddam dumping ~500million barrels into the gulf war. I vividly remember watching the oil fires at night from my ship and cleaning soot up all day inside the ship.

Anyway, I haven't heard anything about it being an environmental disaster over there to this day so mother earth does clean herself up given time.

The earlier gusher occurred in less than 200 feet of water, the current one in over 5000 feet.

I first moved to Texas right after the Ixtoc 1 spill, and remember how the beaches of Galveston took years to clean themselves of gunk. I also remember how then-new Governor Bill Clements tried to downplay how he was a major investor in that rig, and when asked what he was going to do about it, told a reporter "Pray for a hurricane". Galveston still has tarballs washing up on its shores, thirty years later, and it was only aggravated by the two hurricanes stirring up things in the Gulf in 2005. (Katrina is more famous, but Ike really messed with Galveston and Padre Island.) The more things change...

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