Apparently an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico failed 31 years ago (in 1979) and spewed out over 30,000 barrels of oil. The same company was involved as in this oil spill.
According to Wikipedia:
Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well being drilled by the semi-submersible platform Sedco 135-F in the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche in waters 50 m (160 ft) deep. On 3 June 1979, the well suffered a blowout resulting in the third largest oil spill and the second largest accidental spill in history.
The Ixtoc drilling was being done by a company named Sedco, which is now Transocean, the operator of the present blown-out rig.
The disaster happened for the same reason – the blow-out protector failed.
Red Adair finally capped the Ixtoc well.
What was Sedco/Transocean’s approach back then? Dispersants dropped from aircraft and oil booms. Sounds familiar. Here is Rachel Maddow on the disaster:
They were worried back then that oil could spread as far as the Gulf coast of Florida. The disaster went on for weeks because it turned out that they didn’t know how to stop a leak. Says Wikipedia:
In the initial stages of the spill, an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil per day were flowing from the well. In July 1979, the pumping of mud into the well reduced the flow to 20,000 barrels per day, and early in August the pumping of nearly 100,000 steel, iron, and lead balls into the well reduced the flow to 10,000 barrels per day.
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. Mexican authorities also drilled two relief wells into the main well to lower the pressure of the blowout, however the oil continued to flow for three months following the completion of the first relief well.
Pemex contracted Conair Aviation to spray the chemical dispersant Corexit 9527 on the oil. A total of 493 aerial missions were flown, treating 1,100 square miles of oil slick. Dispersants were not used in the U.S. area of the spill because of the dispersant’s inability to treat weathered oil. Eventually the on-scene coordinator (OSC) requested that Mexico stop using dispersants north of 25°N.
In Texas, an emphasis was placed on coastal countermeasures protecting the bays and lagoons formed by the barrier islands. Impacts of oil to the barrier island beaches were ranked as second in importance to protecting inlets to the bays and lagoons. This was done with the placement of skimmers and booms.
Efforts were concentrated on the Brazos-Santiago Pass, Port Mansfield Channel, Aransas Pass, and Cedar Bayou which during the course of the spill was sealed with sand. Economically and environmentally sensitive barrier island beaches were cleaned daily. Laborers used rakes and shovels to clean beaches rather than heavier equipment which removed too much sand. Ultimately, 71,500 barrels of oil impacted 162 miles of U.S. beaches, and over 10,000 cubic yards of oiled material were removed.
It seems we never learn. And it puts into stark relief comments made by SaLuSa and Atmos:
“Man sometimes has to experience firsthand the result of his greed and disregard for [Earth], before he wakes up to the extent of the damage he is causing.
“This is exactly what living in duality is about and the experience helps you move into a new level of understanding of the Oneness of all life, and its dependence on each other.” (1)
“Your dependence on oil has long been a thorn in your sides and left you at the mercy of those who control its supplies and manipulate the prices.
“Free energy involves little cost and will replace your fossil fuels and thereby also ensure that, after the cleansing of Earth, there will be no pollution as you now experience it. Clearly your Earth could not sustain the present levels of pollution, deforestation, and the resultant damage for much longer.” (2)
(1) SaLuSa, May 12, 2010, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm.
(2) Atmos, Aug. 11, 2008, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm.