Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alpha flow

Remember the great oil spill of 2010?

The BP well blew out on April 20 and live video feeds were soon available online. After viewing the video, I sent out an email to friends on May 13 estimating the flow at 68 000 bbl/day.

The basis of the calculation was a 9 inch pipe and visual estimate of the oil flow rate being 10 ft/s. The calculation (linked below) was done in Wolfram|Alpha. It is a good example of using WA to do tricky conversions between units.

The official estimate came out yesterday, 2 months and 20 days later.

The long-awaited result? 62 000 bbl/day.

*************** Original Email ********************************

from Chris Liner
date Thu, May 13, 2010 at 1:05 PM
subject I'm no petroleum engineer...

... but the live feed oil spill video looks like a 9 inch pipe flowing at least 10 ft/sec. If you work up the numbers it comes out to about 68 000 barrels of fluid per day....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hm, this is an intelligent calculator... Not so bad...