- Ray Pierrehumbert
That's the first image I've seen of the "green burner" used to burn off oil processed by the Q4000 platform (I assume the gas flare is on the other side of the rig).Whatever one wants to say about BPs managing of this well before it blew, and the inadequate preparations for dealing with a deep sea blowout, the engineers and crews at the scene now are doing a damned good job.Of course, many of them work with companies that have expertise in this work, such as the boots and coots team that are running the relief well effort.But it's good to see them able to pull their 25,000 barrels a day from the blowout ... well, except for the fact that as of a week or so ago supposedly the output of the blowout was 12,000-19,000 barrels. Oops.
Looking more closely, after enlarging the image, the gas flare on the Q4000 is behind the "green burner" but on the same side of the platform. The drillship showing the larger gas flare has a fairly large storage capacity, enough so that they can store the oil they can process while the tanker shuttle (also in this shot) is making its round-trip to shore to offload processed oil.The Q4000 must be an exciting and somewhat nervewracking place with that giant oil burner roaring 24/7.
Here's some video from one of the relief well rigs:http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/19/96214/life-aboard-the-drilling-rig-thats.htmlStarts with a helicopter view of the scene, and from that, it's obvious that the gas on the Q4000 is flared from the center of the "evergreen" oil burner. With that oil burner going my guess is that it's not even necessary to light off the gas, though they probably do just in case.The footage from the drilling gives some idea of how massive everything associated with offshore drilling is.
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