I can’t call the geyser of oil in the Gulf a spill. They think it was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that burped up the drill pipe.
“A small bubble becomes a really big bubble,” Bea said. “So the expanding bubble becomes like a cannon shooting the gas into your face.”
‘Swoosh, boom, run’
Up on the rig, the first thing workers noticed was the seawater in the drill column suddenly shooting back out at them, rocketing 240 feet in the air. Then, the gas surfaced. Then the oil.
“What we had learned when I worked as a drill rig laborer was swoosh, boom, run,” Bea said. “The swoosh is the gas, boom is the explosion and run is what you better be doing.”
The gas flooded into an adjoining room with exposed ignition sources, he said.
Swoosh, boom, run happens onshore too. That’s reason #784 why drill sites in neighborhoods are not a smart idea.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Let me guess, when you run, you run 500 feet from the rig. Yeah, I'm sure they stop there. Anyone still think a 500 foot setback is adequate?
Mike H. says
Many places have short set backs from major gas pipelines, like 20 feet, even though the kill zone can be over 800 feet!
12 people got roasted alive in New Mexico in 2000 from a 30 inch diameter gas pipeline that failed 700+ feet from where they were camping: