Tag Archive: oil

  1. Engineers Help in Oil Leak

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    Surely you’ve heard about the massive oil leak that has been wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast for the past week. The slick has been spreading quickly, and BP (the company that owns the well) has been doing everything they can think of to stop the spill since efforts to try to shut down the well have failed.

    That’s where engineers save the day.

    A massive dome began its descent 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday to try to cap the well. Though this procedure had been done before, it had never been tried on a well of this size. The containment dome would have collected the leaking oil at the main leak point.

    The workers at BP encountered a problem, however, when hydrates (crystallized gas) clogged the containment dome. Needing to set aside the dome on the sea floor, BP has started work on it’s plan B, a smaller containment dome that they will be able to keep free of hydrates using  hot water or methanol if necessary.

    The oil is gushing at a rate of 5,000 barrels per day and so far an estimated 2.6 million gallons of oil has been spilled. Hopefully, this engineering feat will be able to contain the oil.

  2. Young Engineers in High Demand in Alaska

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    This week the United States government said it would open 3.9m acres of land  in Alaska for oil drilling as a means to help curb rising petrol prices. However you feel about the issue of drilling within Alaska’s north coast, there’s one thing you can count on: the engineering job market at the very top of the country is about to explode, and most likely remain steady for the foreseeable future.

    President Bush lifted the 27-year-old federal moratorium on energy exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, but still needs congress’ approval to move forward.  Even before these recent developments, the associated press was reporting that “Alaska’s oil industry looks to fill more jobs“. A proposed natural gas pipeline through the region is slated to become the largest construction site in North America.  Coupled with the increased demand, is the fact that the majority of existing engineers in the area are now aging and slated to retire within the decade.

    BP promises to be one of the biggest employers in the region and are currently looking to fill hundreds of engineering jobs in the area, most of them recent graduates. Take a look at their engineering graduates page where you can match your degree to current career opportunities.

    BP Alaska has hired 600 people in the last 2 1/2 years, many of whom are recent graduates who could help offset anticipated retirements, Utsler said.

    Even if the next presidential administration increases their effort toward renewable energy, America’s oil consumption is still far from going away.  Our country, which constitutes just 5 percent of the world’s population, consumes 45 percent of its gasoline. Sounds like solid job security to me.

    That said, what are the dangers of increased drilling in one of the last pristine areas of wilderness in America, and why do so many people oppose it?  In 2005, a pipeline operated by BP leaked out 260,000 gallons of crude oil, covering two acres of land just 60 miles from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge where Bush has proposed drilling.

    Got an opinion on Alaskan drilling?  Leave us a comment below.