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Martin Rees


Added June 18, 2010

"The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come. Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it....I sincerely hope I am wrong. We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down. 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..."


Hi L

Now, why didn't I think of that? Too freaked out by the whole thing. Very elegant, obvious in hindsight, but I suppose the issue is how many barrels escape before mechanical quasi-hydrostatic equilibrium sets in? What about chemical potential gradient - diffusion of oil molecules into the lower concentration of the outside water - what is characteristic time for that? In other words, the boundary between the oil and the water is porous

On Jun 17, 2010, at 10:09 PM, L S PhD wrote:

"The reservoir only has so much oil. I mean even if they can't stop the flow mechanically it will stop pretty soon on its own ... as the pressure in the reservoir equalizes with the external

I meant "stop eventually" ... I understand why there is a moratorium on the drilling now but ..actually if there was more drilling out there now the spill would come to a natural stop sooner because the combined production would lower the reservoir pressure faster."