Perspective on oil spills

We’re getting news about the oil spill/leak/seepage off the coast of Brazil. It looks like buron-buron scattering is happening in addition to a tiny bit of blackmail. Let us explain:

First: Chevron (CHV) and Transocean (RIG) are drilling off the Brazilian coast – have been for some time. Not long ago a “leak” was discovered and Chevron shut the well down immediately. The Brazilian regulator, ANP, said everything looked okay, and the drilling could resume.

Some people warned that there could be seepage from the ocean floor. It now looks as if this is happening. The Brazilian government (not the ANP) has asked a local court to forbid executives at Chevron and Transocean from leaving the country while this is sorted out. Ratcheting up the pressure.

But, wait! How much is leaking? How much oil has come to the surface? Let’s turn to our handy online converter, since the story seesaws between barrels and gallons.

For perspective we need comparable measures, i.e. gallons to gallons, or barrels to barrels. Per day versus per year.

Today’s AP story says that “at least 110,000 gallons (about 416,000 liters) spilled late last year.” Wow. Sound like a lot? 110 000 gallon [US, liquid] = 2 619 barrels [US, petroleum]

But wait! “The field produces close to 62,000 barrels of oil a day.” 62 000 barrel [US, petroleum] = 2 604 000 gallon [US, liquid]. 2.6 million gallons per day!

So, the leak came to 2,619 barrels for the entire year, while the oil field produces 62,000 barrels a day, 22.6 million barrels a year. That’s 0.0115 percent! One one-hundredth of a percent! A drop in the bucket. So to speak.

Let’s not even talk about how many barrels or gallons of sea water there are in the ocean there – some 230 miles off the coast of Brazil.

Buron-buron scattering is a concept developed by IFO’s DDH from a physics concept of electron scattering created when cyclotrons shoot electrons at each other. The scattering pattern recorded tells physicists a lot. We have no idea what.

A buron is a shorthand term for a bureaucrat. When two agencies battle each other (it happens way more than you would think!), that is called buron-buron scattering. There is no way to read the resulting pattern, since most clashes happen behind closed doors.

The blackmail? The Brazilian govt appears to be angling for a bigger settlement to pay for alleged damage from the spill. How would you like to be confined to a single country?


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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