I hate to point people to a possibility so depressing and horrifying, but this recent anonymous comment at The Oil Drum speculates that the BP oil spill may be unstoppable now because the well is leaking down below the surface. Even if we cap the well, it will just leak from far below the surface, and before all is said and done, almost 2 billion barrels may leak out.
I took some time to go into a bit of detail concerning the failure of Top Kill because this was a significant event. To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, it was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.
What does this mean?
It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad, same dynamics.
Now, this is just an anonymous comment, and I am the furthest thing from an oil drilling expert. If someone credible debunks this comment, no one would be happier than me. But until that happens, if ever, I'll feel a crushing helplessness.
The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens...
We are seeing the puny forces of man vs the awesome forces of nature.
We are going to need some luck and a lot of effort to win...and if nature decides we ought to lose, we will....
There will be blood, indeed.