Tuesday, June 15, 2010

11 times the Exxon Valdez spill

I heard Wolf Blitzer say on CNN TV today that the spill presently is equal to 11 Exxon Valdez Spills in Alaska. Well, if that is correct then he is saying that it is presently 11 million gallons times 11 which  would be equal to at least 121 million gallons of oil in the gulf.

I was thinking about what the capacity of a supertanker is and found the following. A supertanker is obviously much bigger than the Exxon Valdez which leaked 11 million Gallons in Alaska.

begin quote from above:
Assuming you mean the cargo and not the fuel to power the tanker...

172 million gallons of oil. (42 gallons per barrel, times 4.1m bbl per the article below)

"Supertankers" are generally defined as those greater than 250,000 tonnes deadweight (meaning the maximum weight they can carry when fully loaded). Today's supertankers, on average, can carry about 2 million barrels or 84 million gallons of crude oil and petroleum product. The largest supertanker in the world is the Norwegian-owned Knock Nevis which is 647,955 tonnes deadweight and can hold 4.1 million barrels of petroleum.
Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Saudi_Arabia/pdf.pdf  end quote.

By the way according to my research one of today's barrels holds 42 U.S. Gallons. When I grew up in the 1950s I remember it being 50 gallons but I think they created a unit that could be an even number in the metric system because many countries use the metric system now.  Using this unit of measure the Knock Nevis can carry 172.2 million gallons using the 42 gallon per barrel unit of measure.  So what has leaked into the gulf appears to be approximately 50 million gallons less than the largest supertanker yet built on earth can carry. Now it should be said that I believe Wolf Blitzer's figure to be the minimum that has vented so far in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, I found that 42 gallons is equal to 158.98729 Liters so it IS a very close match to an even number when converting from gallons to Liters.

Also, I found out that 1 gallon is equal to .13368056 cubic feet. So 121 million gallons also equals 16.1753405  million cubic feet of spilled oil. I would have converted that to cubic miles but I didn't have the formula. I found the formula but not being a mathematician I wasn't sure how to use it:

1 cubic foot = 6.79357278 × 10-12 cubic mile

1 comment:

~~Just Me in T~~ said...

This toxic gusher is certainly frightening for us all.

Did You Know?
BP engineers alerted federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service that they were having difficulty controlling the Macondo well (Deepwater Horizon) six weeks before the disaster, according to e- mails released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I don’t think this would have happened on Exxon’s watch,” Tom Bower, author of “The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century,” said in a June 11 Bloomberg Television interview. “They’d be much more careful and much more conscious of the need to supervise subcontractors.”

WELL excuse me your sainted Exxon....... and Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Let’s just take a look at a few of your past misdemeanours, and then we can consider again – if the moratorium on deepwater drilling should be lifted, and place it all firmly back into your nice clean hands!