Here is some scary news: The Gulf Oil leak has developed a tail. This suggests it is catching onto the loop current, which could take this around the Florida peninsula and up the East coast.

Check out these NASA photos:

Oil Tail Below Spill

Loop Current

The hell with this . . . I am grabbing a book, some SPF15, and going to the pool . . .

Hat tip boingboing

Category: Energy, Science

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

34 Responses to “Oil Slick Moving North?”

  1. I am grabbing a book, some SPF15, and going to the pool . . .

    It looks like you’re settling in to the westcoast way of trading just fine ;)

  2. Abhishek says:

    Despite “numerous efforts” by BP which took a week to wake up to the scale of the disaster, the Oil Spill has finally hit the American coast.The oil spill will have a devastating impact on the wildlife , fishing and tourism of the area.It underscores the damage that our world suffers from its dependence on dirty energy.Most of the suffering will be felt by the common people while the politicians , corporates and lawyers continue to play their games.

  3. call me ahab says:

    oil moving North- to the E coast?

    wow- I thought we’d get lucky and it would drift south- to Cuba or Mexic or something-


    and Abhishek-

    soultions please- and please tell me you walk everywhere you go, wear your own clothing from your own farm animals, and do not use heat or air condtioning

  4. Robespierre says:

    What no Dos Equis???

  5. franklin411 says:

    We have solutions–nuclear, wind turbines, enforcing energy efficiency standards, etc…

    What we lack is the political courage to implement them.

  6. franklin411 says:

    Dos Equis is terrible.

    Drink Pacifico Clara!

  7. number2son says:

    hey ahab, how’s this for an idea: properly regulate and govern the oil and gas industry to ensure this shit doesn’t happen.


  8. Robespierre says:

    @franklin411 Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Dos Equis is terrible.

    Drink Pacifico Clara!”

    But isn’t this guy Barry????

  9. Arequipa01 says:

    Take a look the things the Brit named otto rock has in this post.

    Money quote:
    “This hasn’t seemed to have gotten much circulation yet, and I think it really needs to. Seems that a crew from Schlumberger, on contract to BP, hightailed it off the platform at their own expense 6 hours before the blowout becuase BP refused their recommendation to shut down the well. This lends more credence to Thom’s suggestion that corners were cut because the bigwigs were coming for a vist.”

  10. Kort says:

    When you can run jet airplanes on Wind and Solar, let me know. Tell George Jetson to find me.

  11. Evoo Kermartin says:

    You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

  12. Marcus Aurelius says:

    There’s nothing wrong with drilling for oil for all of life’s ostensible necessities — as long as sufficient money is set aside to clean up (and by “clean up” I don’t mean “hide”) these kinds of disasters. You’ll always make a profit if you hide your losses (leaving bag-holders yet to be named to deal with them). The real cost of using fossil fuels as our primary energy source is being swept under the rug.

  13. purple says:

    This is clearly the result of too much government regulation of the private sector.

  14. Mike in Nola says:

    Feds are now demanding BP post all of its data on the net. I doubt that public shame will matter to BP, with one of the worst safety records around.

  15. AGG says:

    And let’s not forget veteran of the Exxon Valdez ecologocal crime, Dr. Rikki Ott. She is down in Louisiana documenting the destruction. The latest from her is about VOC compunds (volatile organic carbons) in the air sickening crews participating in the cleanup (BP refuses to issue respirators). The hell of it is that the families of these crews on shore are getting the same symptoms (hacking, coughing and fever). So the gases are at work killing us and the wildlife as the solid oil continues to spread and kill as well.

    But you know, there is an upside to all this.


    I haven’t had to hear about or listen to an idiotic comment or asshat statement from Cheney for over a month!

    The man can certainly be quiet as a mouse when he is sweating bullets for all the toxic repercussions of his oil industry policy meetings in the spring of 2001 caused.

    It all reminds me a bit of the Back to the Future movies wherein a nexus of time stream paths converged at 1954. In our case, the events during the spring of 2001 are probably the greatest concentration of evil corporate and gevernment decisions in the history of the USA. It’s mind boggling to think about the proliferation of naked derivatives leveraged 100 fold, MMS standards on mining and oil industry being gutted while sex, booze and bribery reigned. And the war plans to beef up the bottom lines of various war profiteering corporations were being formulated. The false canard about “saving money” in military services by “privatizing” (as in funneling taxpayer money to welfare cheat corporations like Halliburton) which in reality double the cost of said services. Finally the perfecting of the Rovian upside-down speak technique of doing exctly what you accuse others of doing while using taxpayer dollars to fund PR whores to lie, obfuscate, deny and distract 24/7.

    Sure, it’s all been done before. But the shear concentration of unadulterated mafia style government and industry reached a high in the spring of 2001.

    And while Cheney is too stupid to be a quant, he helped corrupt them and a whole bunch of them by convincing them that cheating is more profitable than due diligance investing. Anyway, it’s nice to not hear him shooting off his yap.

    By the way, did you catch the volume spike at 3:55 PM? I havenet seen one like that since May 10 at 4:00 PM.

  16. gc says:

    The Pope can move himself to tears over a drop of wasted semen; I might expect BP to seem more moved by the loss of multiple Exxon Valdez”s worth of crude and gas. Does BP’s bookkeeping have anything to do in shaping their behavior? Is the crude in the water no loss on their books? If the hole in the ocean floor was pissing gold, I imagine that I would see BP figuring some way to contain it. Is there a website run by an accountant that is explaining what part of this is real money to BP and what part of this is no skin off their nose? Just curious.

  17. Clay says:

    A piece by the Wayne Madsen Report posted at states that sources from FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers say that U. S. Navy submarines have been tracking a huge frozen blob or plume of oil about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide (at a depth of between 3,000-4,000 ft), which moved into the Gulf Loop Current and is currently making it’s way around the southern tip of FL. Parts of the plume have encountered warmer waters and are breaking up into smaller tar balls which are washing ashore on the FL Keys and Dry Tortugas. The report states that the White House is covering up this and other information. We shall see I suppose.

  18. call me ahab says:

    “The real cost of using fossil fuels as our primary energy source is being swept under the rug.”

    no doubt-

    number2son says-

    “properly regulate and govern the oil and gas industry to ensure this shit doesn’t happen.”

    and then calls me an asshole-

    So shit doesn’t happen if we just regulate more? Andf if that doesn’t stop the accidents- just regulate a bit more possibly? And if that doesn’t work and there are still accidents- then really put the srews down and uber regulate- teams of regulators – no battalions of regualtors. Is that your premise?

    You’re not too bright – are you number 2?

  19. mbelardes says:

    As long as it doesn’t make it’s way to San Diego…

    And Barry, the cool thing about west coast trading is you can go surfing before the market opens and hit the beach after market close. It’s amazing how much free time the 1PM close gives you. That’s with staying late, late being 3PM.

  20. call me ahab says:


    LOL- man- now that scene is stuck in my head

  21. rktbrkr says:

    Thank god BP and the other big oil companies have a cap on their losses (since they can’t cap their leaks!)

    Interesting how they refuse to show the leak videos except to select members of congress. “If you have nothing to hide…”

  22. jeg3 says:

    Darn big spill, you figured the blowhard Limbaugh had busted a gut, but anyway,

    Some nice cartoons:

    Some nice white house inaction:

    Some nice beaches along the coast, but not for long:

  23. AGG says:


    I got the idea from Captain Cook’s voyages. On one occasion his ship ran into a reef off of Australia. They floated off with the tide and all the boats haulinig away after furiously chopping away a portion of the embedded reef. The hole in the hull was temporarily patched with a sail wrapped around the vessel bottom. Yes, it leaked but they were able to reach the shore with heavy bailing. On another ocassion while sailing near present day Alaska, the sheets (sails) got hard as gaint boards from the sea spray freezing on the canvas. So you take a square mile of canvas, take it down five thousand feet and anchor it over the oil leaks. At that depth, a layer of ice will form on the canvas making it impermeable to oil and gas. Numerous hoses or flexible pipes can then be placed under the canvas to capture the oil and gas.
    For anyone from BP reading this, it’s my idea and I won’t charge you anything for using it. I don’t give a flat fork about recognition or “compensation”. Keep you oil money. Just stop this killing and destruction of wildlife.
    If BP doesn’t stop this, it may be the Hindenburg of the oil industry. We can send a shuttle into space with hydrogen and oxygen as fuel but we can’t run cars, planes and ships on hydrogen ? Don’t kid yourself. It not ony can be done but it HAS been done for decades. Economies of scale would make hydrogen much, much cheaper than gasolene and hydrogen is totally non toxic. The product of combustion is water. That’s hard to beat. All the bullshit and PR in the world the oil pigs can come up with won’t change that dawning reality that WE DON”T NEED OIL!

  24. AGG says:

    Hi. I haven’t posted here for over a year but I thought I’d drop in now that the market is going in a more realistic direction again.
    I’m writing to ask you to consider us older folks who have eyesight challenges and try switching from Times New Roman font to Verdana in the comments section. Verdana is so much easier to read. The way Times New Roman thins out the letters gives me eyestrain. I have to jack up your site to 200% whereas I can read Bloomberg at 125 or 150% with no problems. Lew Rockwell also has an easy to read font as well as zero hedge.
    Just a thought. Yes, I have an old 17 inch CRT. I don’t like to buy new things unless the things I have are broken.

  25. Jojo says:

    As long as it doesn’t get through the Panama Canal, we’re safe on the west coast…

  26. Thor says:

    Jojo – oh, we’re long overdue for a big quake. We’ll get ours :-/

  27. reedsch says:


    And does it not seem ironic, that they can find a pool of hydrocarbons a mile under the surface, build a $500 million machine to drill down a mile of rock beneath a mile of water to get it, but they can’t skim the goop off when it’s floating on the surface? You might get a bit less than $70 for a barrel of goop, but still it’s gotta have some value left in it, no? Or they are saying that the economic value of the goop is so low that it is actually better to spend money to get rid of it? Something is wrong with this picture.

  28. RadioFlyer says:

    @AGG, not sure how serious you were about that suggested oil leak “fix”….but the physics just don’t work. Not to mention that it’s awfully similar to what they tried with the containment dome last week – which also didn’t work because of the crystalization of methane clogging it up.

    The best chance to stop the leak is a large explosion to compress the seafloor, preferrably nuclear, but the tree-huggers would surely scream even louder than they are now – so conventional explosives is probably the way to go. They probably won’t even try this until a month from now when the intersecting drilling operations fail and they have no choice anymore.

    There is no silver bullet to solve all transportation needs. Hydrogen’s great for powering stuff, if you like occasionally blowing them up (sorry, you used the space shuttle example). Besides, hydrogen doesn’t just come from thin air, it generally either comes from natural gas or electrolysis of water – neither of which are “green” – unless you use nuclear for the electrolysis process…but us nuclear fans are a lonely breed…

  29. AGG says:

    Hi RadioFlyer,
    I had a discussion with one of my Chemistry teachers about nuclear power plants. She was all for this high tech version of boiling water called nuclear power. I asked her if there was any place on earth that was gelogically stable for 30,000 years because you need that kind of stability to preveent soil contamination and biotic death zones. Radioactivity is bad for living things from bacteria to humans. If you can put huge nuclear power plants in orbit or on the moon and somehow beam the power here, then I’m all for it. I don’t want nuclear power in my back yard. Earth is my back yard. We all need to expand our “back yard” definition. This would help us see that any hugely profitable industry such as oil must be measured by what it costs ALL living things. I know, we can’t even get to the point where we worry about people in the projects, let alone Mexico or Afghanistan. And forget measuring human species wide effects. People just don’t want to go there. It’s too complicated. I live in Vermont. Vermont sends a bunch of radio active waste to New Mexico. That’s wrong. Most Vermonters don’t give a fork. But now, with the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee, all of a sudden we have a problem. This “take care of your own and fuck everyone else” is killing us. Sir, nuclear power is tantamount to shitting where we eat. And fecal coliforms , as bad as they are for you, are nothing compare to multispecies deadly mutations and human cancers due to radioactivity.
    Now,, about hydrogen, what’s the real problem. You talk about the process of extracting it and using it without danger as insurmountable or simply not cost effective. The process of extracting uranium and purifying it, building power plants, educating nuclear engineers, protecting the plants from sabotage indefinitely and preserving the surrounding countryside is cost effective? Really? Sure, if you are running a scam and the taxpayer has to hold up the heavy end of the costs while you rake in the front end profits. That’s not a business model; that’s fraud.
    Now let’s compare nuclear with oil. We get some pollution in extracting it and some extra carbon dioxide in burning it; Not as bad a deal but again we run into the old “externalized costs” trick (oil depletion allowance, my ass!- that’s just a taxpayer subsidy of oil pigs). Giant, multimillion dollar oil rigs, refineries, leaky tankers, etc. What’s your cost/benefit equation look like over 10 years? GREAT! How about 100 years? How about 150 years? Are you with me here? We are talking about EARTH and the human species and our main JOB of taking care of life here. And don’t say it isn’t your job. The more you make and have, the greater your responsibility to act responsible. Our infantile aversion of “external costs” so we can make an extra buck is okay for a mmoron or a gangster but not a responsible citizen.
    So Hydrogen requires giant generators powered on site buy gigantic solar panels that supply the enrgy to perform electrolysis on water. The oxygen captured can be bottled and sold to hospitals (it works great for hangover relief too). The hydrogen is a royal pain in the arse to store because it is so tiny that it can go through glass or metal or just about anything, for that matter. That’s a technological problem that can be overcome by science (e.g. Magnetic containment fields or charged solutes wich trap the hydrogen molecules as in a fuel cell). The challenges are ridiculously simple compered with the challenges of harnessing nuclear power or refining crude oil.
    No, it hasn’t been done because the energy lobby has not wanted it done, period. But as we speak, Toyota is going to market a car that runs on hydrogen in 2012. They have made it and it runs. No, it doesn’t blow up.
    Finally, the cost/benefit analysis on a hydrogen economy has an UNLIMITED time horizon because there are NOO toxic effects down stream that require tax payer bailouts. Every living thing on earth benefits from a hydrogen economy. We can do it. It’s time to tell oil to stuff it. And nuclear is fine in space but NOT HERE.

  30. AGG says:

    Sorry for the typos. My eyesight isn’t getting any better and I’m not much of a typist. I hate that Times New Roman font. I wish it was Verdana font.

  31. AGG says:

    For those who wish to compare “cradle to grave” costs on gasolene versus hydrogen cars, read this about the Toyota hydrogen car:

    Hydrogen – The longer tailpipe
    By Lou Ann Hammond
    Efficiency of gas, hybrid and hydrogen from well to wheels
    photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Corp.

    Remember the old Chevron commercials where you saw the oil rigs in the middle of the ocean and the fish were happily swimming around the barnacled bottome of the rig? At the end of the commercial the Chevron logo came up and asked “Do people really care? People do care.”
    That’s Bill Reinert, Bill is involved in saving the Galapagos Islands. He’s concerned about strip mining and all things environmental.
    He’s also concerned with what we call well to wheels. Well to Wheels is the term the auto industry uses to describe the time, or dollar amount, the raw fuel is abstracted from the ground (or hydrogen is produced) to the point its energy is translated into motion at the wheel of the vehicle. Reinert is most concerned with the well to wheel thermal efficiency. So far, well to wheel thermal efficiency is last for hydrogen.
    As seen in the chart, currently a gas vehicle (GV) and gas hybrid vehicle (G-HV) are the most efficient. This is because both use gas and the well to tank percentage right now is 88 percent efficiency. This means that only 12 percent efficiency is lost in production of fuel. Once you get the gas in the tank, the tank to wheel efficiency goes way down in an internal combustion engine and up in a hybrid. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCHV) are woefully bad from well to tank (production), at only 58 percent efficiency. The tank to wheel, however is much more efficient than even the newest Toyota Prius.
    According to Reinert, “A hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle emits only water. Carbon monoxide, however, is produced when hydrogen is made from fossil fuels, as we currently do. If we intend to reduce carbon monoxide, we must go beyond tank to wheel efficiency and tackle well to tank efficiency as well. We need to consider production methods from a comprehensive viewpoint.” Most people don’t even think about how many emissions are created when producing the fuel, only how many emissions are being spewed out of the exhaust pipe.
    Toyota’s Fuel Cell Hydrogen Vehicle (FCHV)

    It may be years before there are standards and codes for production, storage and distribution of large amounts of hydrogen. The hope of all concerned is that the production of hydrogen can become more efficienct, with less emissions.
    In the mean time auto manufacturers are working on vehicles that can run on hydrogen. I drove the Toyota FCHV and was amazed and excited.
    The world breaks out hybrid technology from hydrogen fuel cell technology. Toyota does not. The Toyota Prius is the world’s first mass produced hybrid car. It combines an internal combustion engine (ICE) and a battery, power control unit and motor to achieve energy management, fuel efficiency and less emissions.
    Toyota has applied the same practice to their Toyota Fuel Cell hydrogen vehicle (FCHV). The one big difference is they have replaced the ICE with a fuel cell stack.
    In the FCHV, the electricity comes from the fuel cell, powered by an electric motor. In the Prius, electricity comes from a battery, powered by an ICE. The fuel cell gets its energy from hydrogen whereas the ICE gets its energy from gasoline.
    So, how does the FCHV drive?
    The fuel cell cars of today should be kept and put in the Smithsonian, just as the Model A and Model T surely reside in museums. The current hydrogen cars are the cars of a hundred years ago. The technology on these cars will be obsolete before they are finished producing the first commercially viable hydrogen car.

    The FCHV exterior looks just like any other Highlander SUV. It wouldn’t have surprised me if someone had honked and threw a green peace sign at me, that is how normal they look. There is one badge that says FCHV, but that’s it. No funny looking Prius – car of the future – design.
    According to Reinert, the car of today doesn’t have enough power, it’s too “tanked up”, weighing at least 300 lbs more than a regular Highlander. And he says it doesn’t go far enough between fuel stops to be commercially viable.
    Reinert, obviously, doesn’t drive a large SUV too often.
    If I were to compare a large ICE SUV with the Highlander hydrogen (HH) there would be some surprising results. While one can feel the weight difference and the difference in suspension the HH is much quieter. While one can feel the difference in power, the passing quotient is much stronger on the HH. Remember, you’re using the same fuel NASA sends space rockets into orbit. It has a lot of oomph, and it has it at the very start. There is no meting the engine to the transmission for optimal torque, the torque on hydrogen comes in at 0 rpm. It made the Toyota Solara Conv feel rather wimpy when I got back in the car.
    The next issue is the drive mileage between fuel ups. I have driven SUVs that have cost over $40 to fill up and have gone less than 150 miles to the next fill up.
    According to Reinert,”Each new model has to be better and offer more. This is also true about fuel cells.”
    The nav tells you how the fuel cell system is working
    photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Corp.

    Certainly, this is the time for education and experimentation. Reinert knows it’s not good enough to build a hydrogen Model A when consumers are used to driving the car of their choice with all the functionality included.

  32. RadioFlyer says:

    @AGG, you’re obviously passionate about our environment, and the hydrogen economy – and you make some excellent points about nuclear. Rather than quibble about the finer points, I’ll just say this – nuclear ain’t perfect, but we can handle the challenges. Frankly, if the human race is around 30,000 years from now, I’m pretty confident we’ll have figured out what to do with the waste, or be living on another planet.

    Forgetting Avatar for a moment, let’s deal with reality. I’m all for “green” energy and the cleanest energy we can get, but of the economical options available to us now, and for the foreseeable future – nuclear checks the most boxes. Sorry, but it’s a fact. China Syndrome scenarios aside, the fact that E=mc^2 is the greatest scientific and technological achievement in human history ought to be able to provide something good for us. Pandora surely would not agree, but sadly the box is open – let’s make the best of it.

    Hydrogen sounds great, but solar panels to hydrogen to fuel cells to a generator to batteries to my car motor and/or TV….that’s a little inefficient and more than a little pricey at the moment – even when accounting for the unaccounted environmental costs. Continued R&D surely will help bridge the gap, but it’s not happening in the near future – and it’s not because of some vast oil industry conspiracy. Let’s stop kicking MIT PhD foreigners out of the country, give ‘em a few H1-B’s and let them help the USA do what it used to do best – solve major economic and technological challenges with the good old profit motive……and maybe a dash of patriotism while they’re at it.

    How’s that for a red herring!!?!!??

  33. subscriptionblocker says:

    It only takes one jackass to ruin things for everyone.

    And we really needed offshore oil…………