Where are the Petroleum Engineers?

In 1959, sitting in the USC Trojan Grill, playing bridge with a bunch of graduate student Petroleum Engineers…the discussion turned to slant drilling in the deserts of Saudi Arabia.  The complete concept of how to drill in the sands of the Sahara was a big topic of discussion.  The pools of oil that lay beneath the surface of various deserts around the world and how to reach them.. was fascinating.  Petro Engineers are really a blabby lot in general.  They just loved to talk to anyone all about “the black goo”!

Fast forward to the Gulf of Mexico 2010.  50 years ago, Standard Oil, Union 76, Shell, Texaco and Exxon were hiring Petroleum Engineers that worked independently and provided expertise for the most challenging oil drilling and capping imaginable.  Petroleum Engineers from Penn State, Texas A & M and of course Stanford and USC Engineering Schools dominated the world scene for Oil Development.

Today, we watch a hapless BP not being able to figure out how to tie their own shoelaces, much less cap an errant well at 5200 feet below the surface.  As we watch the flow from a pipe the size of a 50 gallon drum…pumping at a specific flow rate and pressure…which BP cannot determine…one has to ask: Why not?

So, how would those guys we played bridge with at the Trojan Grill in 1959 figure out how to cap Mississippi 252?  Firstly, they would not be drilling another well – next to the flow.  They would be manufacturing a steel telescoping cap that could be mounted inside the current flow pipe.  They would figure out how to utilize welding equipment that could tack weld that apparatus to the flow pipe.  They then would pull out the telescoping  mechanical device which would increase flow pressure, but reduce the size of the  stream of escaping oil.  They then would slide a cap across a slotted top.  They would know how to figure out the right dimensions and pressure gradients.  They would have already solved this problem.

Is the solution to the Louisiana Oil Massacre as described above?  Who knows?  We are not Petroleum Mechanical Engineers.  We do however, try to think out of the box  and are open to people who have two brain cells to rub together.  We don’t need to see CEO Tony Hayward or any other “Ken Dolls” from British Petroleum.  We do need to see Petroleum Engineers, not Admiral Thad Allen or anyone else that knows small boat handling.  Bring in the world expert Petroleum Engineers to talk to the American people…and bring them now!

We don’t need Ken Salazar, Janet Napolitano or politicians from Louisiana to tell us about the devastation to country.  We know that.  What we don’t know is why we haven’t heard from the Petroleum Engineers yet?

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.