Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

crude post

Posted in Gulf oil rigs, OffTopic: not in NYHarbor, oil rigs by bowsprite on 2010/05/09

I’m so sorry: we are up to our gills in this, yes? but offshore oil drilling is pertinent to NYHarbor, for its yield is what makes us run. Tugster caught Guardian, whose last position ±10° is recorded here, in the 6th boro a year and a half ago. (Boat doodle above is not of Guardian.)

While looking at photos of offshore supply vessels (OSV) of the Gulf, I noticed: they do get amazing weather.

“It is beautiful there,” said the mariner who worked in the Gulf. He mentioned each rig he worked with pride.

“Drilling is high tech. It’s hard. And they are good at it—very good. But they don’t always know what will happen when they hit that reservoir. I’ve seen so much burned off in a control flare, and if you’re anywhere around it, it’s HOT. I would feel my skin crackle as it dried from the heat. I’d have to go inside the boat, and the flare’s heat would blister the paint off the boat. Then you’d hear on the radio: “Mud! more mud!” and they’d pump drilling fluid through the rod string inside the drill pipe, out through the bit, and some guy would be there, taking measurements of the mud and mixture until they got it just right…When you see a photo like that, with those flames all over, ohhh, it just makes you sick to your heart…”

The fondness for the Gulf and the work is also evident in this wonderful voice.

I know nothing about oil rigs. How many oil rigs are in operation? a peek at this one directory will dizzy you with the numbers of projects and companies at it. (But I couldn’t find the answer.)

The Energy Information Agency is a great resource. But still, no one quite knows the best thing to do to check the gushing:

• at the U.S. Minerals Management Service, MMS: “To submit alternative response technology, services or products please call (281) 366-5511.”

• at the EPA: fill out this form if you have an idea to try. A question: “Have you field-tested your proposed solution?
I suppose they have to ask, but I would have to check off “No. I did not test my idea in 5,000′ depth of water in heavy seas. And neither did you. Y’all.”

• at the source: this pdf form to fill out with your suggestions.

THIS is an impressive website for the Offshore Oil and Gas industry: offshore-technology.com!

top row: 1. Brutus in a water ballet, 2. Blindfaith being pushed by Tern, 3. Genesis on Transshelf cutting through the ice of Finland, reaching the Gulf in 24 days;
bottom row: 4. Mars eases on down the road, 5. Genesis floats through the Corpus Christi shipping channel, 6. Baldpate’s base skates into place.

I could spend hours (er, I have spent hours) gawking at the photos (credit, please? who took them?)

The names of the rigs, fields and ships are poetic, the images are striking, the feats–and implications–are awe-full. (I didn’t say awful.)

Heartfelt support to the crews working there, the crews stranded and waiting.
And heart-full apologies for the loss of life: human, plant and animal. We are all complicit.

Tugster weighs in in “Deepwater Miracles”, and wonders what you think…

About these ads

26 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Maritime Monday 213 said, on 2010/05/09 at 21:17

    [...] See also: Offshore Oil Rigs & Supply Boats of the Gulf » [...]

  2. jeff anzevino said, on 2010/05/09 at 21:50

    Thanks for providing a glimpse into the world of offshore oil drilling. Those rigs are enormous. You’re right that we are all complicit. I know I’ve burned mu share over my lifetime.

  3. Barista Uno said, on 2010/05/10 at 04:15

    Bravissimo! I am tempted to draw after seeing your latest artwork.

  4. frank@nycgarden said, on 2010/05/10 at 08:07

    Yes, we are all complicit -and responsible. We must ensure that we do better, that profit has not come at the cost of safety to the workers and the world from which we prosper.

    Keep the posts coming!

  5. Andy Hall said, on 2010/05/10 at 09:16

    Ironically, seven BP executives were on Deepwater Horizon at the time of the explosion, celebrating that rig’s seven years of service without a serious mishap.

    Thanks, Bowsprite, for making the point that we’re all culpable in this business.

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/10 at 09:40

      Oooh, I didn’t know that. But you probably knew:

      Many were celebrating-communing-conferring just at this time: Houston held the Offshore Technology Conference May 3 – 6 (attended by 72,900 people), all the trade magazines for April-May had cover stories on how things in the Gulf were picking up.

  6. Buck said, on 2010/05/10 at 11:18

    Beautiful drawings of some very hard working vessels. They look very much like anchor handling tug supply ships to these eyes.

  7. Mage Bailey said, on 2010/05/10 at 13:55

    One of my friends was a supply boat captain….a fascinating, rough, opinionated man. It was interesting knowing him and hearing him talk.

  8. tugster said, on 2010/05/10 at 17:41

    in the fifth drawing … the cross-section of Gulf showing the different types of rigs, i love the color and the labels. a question though . .. in the “subsea section and lying on the “dead dinosaurs and plants,” i presume that rig down there is deepwater horizon? just checking.

  9. Vagabonde said, on 2010/05/10 at 19:06

    This is a great post. You say that we are all complicit – I think that some are more complicit than others, above all in this country. For example my husband and I returned from a week of babysitting our two grandsons, ages 1 and ½ and 3 years old, while their parents attended a conference in Baltimore. They asked us if we would need a car – we said no. We went all over Baltimore (the Inner Harbor, Little Italy, Mt Vernon Historical area) with the toddlers in the stroller and used the buses when we went farther than we could walk. Here where I live in the Atlanta suburbs there are sidewalks to the schools, but I rarely see kids walking anymore. I do see long lines of SUVs or minivans, with only one driver, waiting for the kids at the schools – all the while their motor running. My cousins in France don’t get their children at the schools, either they walk or take the school buses. Here the school buses are half empty. It is a choice for many people (and it is not for security reasons as statistics have shown that there are much less crimes against children now than even 20 years ago. ) I find it quite hypocritical for people with huge SUVs and other gas guzzlers to belong to environmental groups – don’t they read their group’s literature? They are part of the problem. You went to Le Havre and its surroundings – did you find as many SUVs , pick-ups and minivans as here? Were not more people walking or on bicycles?

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/10 at 22:42

      ah! you hit on a very passionate topic: the idling engine! Now i’m inspired! post to come, while these Le Havre drawings sit indignantly under my lamp…

      European friends (particularly of Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands!) tear their hairs out at the waste we indulge here in the US.
      Oil is big business, its slick spreads up to the highest level in our government, and in fact, runs this country.

      That’s why SUV’s still go fiscally unpunished, our fuel is cheap, and why change is a swim against a current.

      Le Havre: I biked partout, I biked alone. But I never saw a gas guzzler on the streets, never ran into traffic anywhere. It seemed like moderate car use in the city.

      • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/18 at 13:01

        update:
        upon further research, it seems Big Oil does NOT get everything it wants from our government (long discourse, email me for references I am reading).

        This is clear: if we want it, the government and industry will give it to us. As long as we want the oil, companies will drill, my friends will haul it, and i will push buttons on the surveyboat to be sure it is deep enough for the tankers to berth and discharge.

  10. tugster said, on 2010/05/10 at 23:08

    hey . . . how about the dutch?!!#@!?

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/10 at 23:57

      i guess your lovely mane is still intact! okok. count the Dutch in, too. BIg time cyclists! yes. Sorry!(–this is almost as bad as overlooking Queens in mapmaking.)

  11. O Docker said, on 2010/05/12 at 04:34

    In the ’70’s there was an oil rig about 60 miles off the New Jersey coast. I spent a day there once on a photo shoot, although I can find no reference to it now.

    Crew lived there for two week shifts, then had two weeks off. It was like a small city, although a very depressing one. The work was extremely dangerous, with high rates of injury, even when the equipment was working normally. With such heavy equipment moving so quickly, it just took a small slip or lapse in concentration. Monotony and fatigue were contributing factors. But crews earned about twice what they would for comparable work ashore.

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/12 at 19:33

      A legal defense lawyer friend said that the return to crime rate for male criminals was ZERO if they were trained for, and worked on, offshore oil rig welding: it’s macho, dangerous, and well paid.

      Their fellow inmates trained in baking or sewing were not as consistently off the wayward track.

  12. bonnie said, on 2010/05/12 at 12:37

    I have to start coming up with some new adjectives for you. “Remarkable”, “wonderful”, and “amazing” are becoming dull from overuse.

  13. Dennis said, on 2010/05/12 at 19:22

    Beautiful drawings! I’m tempted to print them out and frame ‘em. Speaking of cycling. I dusted up my old bike a few days ago and am trying to get back into using it at least to get to the nearest stores and parks. You’re right, we’re all complicit.

  14. bowsprite said, on 2010/05/12 at 19:40

    mio doodles are suo doodles! oh, yes, bike!!! reclaim your streets! the more of us drivers see, the more they will become good drivers around cyclists. And the more they will say, “fuhgeddaboudit! that guy on the bike made much better headway than me!” and will dust off their bikes.

    NYC has experimented with shutting off major streets, turning them into pedestrian malls for cyclists and walkers. And on those days, Centre, Broadway, Lafayette and Times Square have become luxurious lanes to stroll and people-watch, the atmosphere is happy, and the mood is like one commercial-free street fare.

  15. tugster said, on 2010/05/13 at 11:44

    indeed a crude post . . . with refined drawings, color mixes, and sensibilities. i can only hope your crudeness continues to issue forth prolifically in inverse proportion to the gusher’s subsiding. serious, let’s hope it’s capped soon.

  16. tugster said, on 2010/05/20 at 11:16

    kevin “waterworld” costner has a solution to the spill: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/05/19/2010-05-19_gulf_oil_spill_bp_oks_tests_of_kevin_costners_invention__device_to_clean_oil_fro.html

    i wish it were the miracle needed.

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/20 at 11:54

      Inventors say BP ignoring their oil spill ideas

      “You name it, it’s been suggested…” said Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Steve Carleton, who helps handle the flood of social media responses. He said he receives about a dozen emails a day with a link to a YouTube video of a man using hay to sop up oil.

      “There’s so many ideas you become numb to them.”

      oh—does this mean the hay idea is nixed?

      And, inventors are not the only ones they are ignoring: here, for story on rebuffing scientists and oil experts.

      Richard Camilli and Andy Bowen, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who have routinely made such measurements, spoke extensively to BP last week, Mr. Bowen said. They were poised to fly to the gulf to conduct volume measurements.

      But they were contacted late in the week and told not to come, at around the time BP decided to lower a large metal container to try to capture the leak. That maneuver failed. They have not been invited again.

      “The government and BP are calling the shots, so I will have to respect their judgment,” Dr. Camilli said.

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/05/21 at 05:26

      this is what twitter is for: you tweet everyone to come to film on public property, and say, “Ok! arrest us then.”
      Then BP and the USCG will have even more mess to clean up.

  17. tugster said, on 2010/05/21 at 08:10

    tweet me sometime just before you as your arrest seems imminent . . . i’ll be there with the cavalry and all my lenses on . . .

  18. bowsprite said, on 2010/05/21 at 11:06

    don’t rush! I could really use the time to finish drawings and catch up on friends’ blogs…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 405 other followers

%d bloggers like this: