August 30 Oil Slicks In Gulf – Closest Facilities
Tropical Storm Lee is drenching the Gulf and has put the kibosh on any Gulf Monitoring Consortium investigations for the next few days (even radar satellite images will be screwed up by the heavy rain and gusty winds), so we’ll have to wait and see what next week brings. In the meantime, one of our Facebook friends (thanks Judson!) prompted us to give a little more info about the oil and gas facilities closest to the August 30 oil slicks (shown as orange dots on this image):
BP’s Horn Mountain platform – located in Mississippi Canyon Block 127 about 8 miles east-southeast of the August 30 slicks, this manned “spar” structure was installed in 2002. It is connected to the Destin natural gas pipeline system that was shut down on August 30 because it was producing too much liquid.
Exxon’s Mica subsea manifold – located in Mississippi Canyon Block 211 about 8 miles south-southwest of the August 30 slicks. This structure on the seafloor produces oil and gas that is transported by pipeline to the Pompano platform about 27 miles away. This “subsalt” discovery marked a milestone in Gulf production.
We don’t have any information that either of these facilities is experiencing any problems, but they are both closer to the August 30 oil slicks than the BP / Deepwater Horizon site, which is about 15 miles away.
I’m surprised that no one remembers these articles published on Science Mag and on Scientific American last month
In June scientists found a subsea plume of monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbons rising from Macondo well (or from some point very close to Macondo); they found that at least 5,500 kilograms of monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbons are entering in the plume daily.
Monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbons are about 1% of Louisiana oil. It means that Macondo is leaking a lot of oil, or at least that it was leaking a lot of oil in June. Isn’t it?
Maria – those articles were published in 2010, and describe the undersea plume of oil that was measured during and shortly after the spill.
So, what would the liquid from the "too much liquid" look like? Something like the photos taken by the Press Register reporters?
Judson – Good question. They haven't identified what the "liquid" is. The usual suspect with gas pipelines is natural-gas condensate. I've never seen a condensate spill in the water so I don't know what that would look like.