Chevron takes blame for Brazil oil spill
Originally published by the Orlando Sentinel.
The drilling fluid that is pumped down the center of the drill as it works, lubricating and stabilizing the pressure of the bore hole, was not heavy enough to counter the pressure coming from the oil reservoir, Buck said.That caused crude to rush upward and eventually escape through a breach in the bore hole and leak into the surrounding seabed.The oil then made its way to the ocean floor and has since leaked through at least seven narrow fissures, all within 160 feet (50 meters) of the well head on the ocean floor, Buck said.
Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency has said it’s possible more than 110,000 gallons of oil have spilled into the Atlantic Ocean. Buck would not provide an estimate on the total size of the leak, but said the agency figure was “in the ballpark.”
He added that the slick currently contains about 756 gallons (2,860 liters) of oil, a figure not confirmed by Brazilian regulators, though they have said it has been significantly reduced since Chevron successfully carried out the first stage of capping the well Thursday.
Buck estimated that 420 gallons to 4,200 gallons (1,590 liters to 15,900 liters) a day are still leaking from the seabed cracks. He declined to guess when the leaks would stop, saying it was hard to predict how long it would take the oil that rushed up the bore hole to make its way to the ocean floor, or even how much of it eventually would.
Continue reading article, here.