Category Archives: Gulf of Mexico oil leak

After the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

In the Irish Times of Saturday 7th August 2010 Claire O’Connell has brought together a number of facts and points of view relating to ‘After the spill’. This accident cost human lives and caused injuries. The economic cost of the mistakes that have been made is enormous. The environmental damage is also enormous and its full extent will only become know in the course of time. Claire O’Connell points out that everyone, especially governments, must learn the lessons of the disaster. It seems deep-water exploitation of oil reserves is continuing in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere—it is to be hoped that those responsible are fully mindful of the issues.
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GOM Oil Spill Concerns

From following the updates at the official site of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command (which has been at I expect that the well will be permanently plugged within a matter of weeks at the most, all going well. Nonetheless, as an ordinary engineer and academic who is following what is going-on out of interest, I consider there are a lot of open questions and things about which to be somewhat concerned.
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Trying to Make Sense of the Gulf of Mexico Disaster

I have trawled the web in my attempts to understand and make sense of the Gulf of Mexico oil leak disaster. I still do not understand it and I would like more information to help me to understand it. As a Mechanical Engineer I feel professional shame. Engineers learn from disasters and it will be very important to learn all possible lessons from this one.
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Plug Rather than Channel the Leaking Gulf of Mexico Oil Well

I saw on TV this evening that BP is now setting about fitting a hose onto the leaking oil well. This slip-on hose arrangement is referred to as a lower marine riser package cap (LMRP); see information available at
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How to Plug a Leaking Oil Well in Deep Water

Drawing of an arrangement for taper insertion

Proposed device for taper insertion into an oil well riser

In the light of the current oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the United States it would seem that not enough engineers thought about how the well might be plugged in the event of such a leak. I was disappointed to learn on TV news that initial attempts to stem the leak have been unsuccessful. The difficulty of working at a depth of a mile below the surface of the ocean is not to be underestimated. I am not familiar with all the technologies that are used, but I could not avoid thinking about the problem over the past few days.
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