THEGREENGROK    Statistically Speaking

North Sea Well Blowout Spikes Carbon Emissions

by Bill Chameides | April 4th, 2012
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 1 comment


Elgin Platform and Elgin Wellhead Platform (with Rowan Viking drilling rig alongside) on March 27, 52 hours after the incident was first reported. (Photo: © Total EP UK Ltd.)

Déjà vu? Not quite, but certainly some echoes of BP’s Deepwater Horizon incident from two years ago.

On March 25, the French oil company Total found a gas leak at its Elgin platform in the North Sea about 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland. Thus began a dramatic effort first to get the 200-plus workers off the production platform and to safety, and then to try to cap the leak. For more on the ongoing story, see here, here, here, and here. and this timeline.

The New York Times reports that the leak is costing Total $2.5 million a day. What about the other relevant numbers? We run them here.

As of today …

Estimated amount of natural gas leaking daily: 7,000,000 cubic feet  (Source)

Estimated daily leak in gallons: 52.4 million

Number of Olympic-size pools that that leak volume would fill daily: 79

Pounds of greenhouse gases (in carbon dioxide equivalents) emitted daily: 840,000  (Source)

Number of cars it would take to generate the same greenhouse gases: ~ 27,400  (Source [pdf])

Number of days: 10 and counting


End Note

Car, as used here, is defined as a typical light-duty vehicle in the United States, with an average fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon and an annual driving distance of 12,000 miles (or 33 miles a day). Data [pdf] are from the Environmental Protection Agency. The carbon coefficient for natural gas is 0.12 pounds of carbon dioxide per cubic foot of gas. An Olympic-size pool holds 660,000 gallons.

filed under: carbon dioxide emissions, drilling, energy, Europe, faculty, natural gas, oil, Statistically Speaking
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1 Comment

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  1. Dwight Baker
    Apr 13, 2012

    Big oil and gas lies. They hide behind lawyers to do their renditions of what went wrong. The problem is leaking wellheads, valve components and or bad connections on the casing set. The problems are gigantic because of the pressure and heat from the reservoir. The good news is I have the fix a patent called the Total Fail Safe blowout Container one for the Drilling phase and another for the Production phase. We should have the rights to the patent sold near term and with that the products should be on the market by 2013.

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