Archive for July 1st, 2010

The Lake Maracaibo oil spill is sixteen times denser than the one in the Gulf of Mexico

July 1, 2010

Orders of magnitude continue to get this Government into trouble. I could not believe it when I heard Minister of Energy and Oil Rafael Ramirez say today that the oil spill in Lake Maracaibo is far from the environmental disaster of the one caused by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. I could not find the link, so I went into Bloomberg and copied it, justĀ  so you make sure I am not BSing you:

So, Ramirez says that the 8,000 barrels being leaked or spilled are not a disaster like the Gulf and , as usual, they are the fault of the private oil companies that came before his time. Something the Prosecutor fully agrees with. Amazing!

Go figure!

But let’s put this into perspective. The US Government estimates that from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil are spilling from the Macondo well disaster into the Gulf of Mexico which looks like this in Google Earth:

but on the same scale, Lake Maracaibo looks like this:

Now, spilling 8,000 barrels a day of oil into the bottom picture of Lake Maracaibo would seem to be as much of a disaster as spilling 60,000 barrels a day into the top picture, no?

In fact, according to Wikianswers, the Gulf of Mexico has an area of 615,000 square miles, so that in the worst case scenario the BP spill corresponds to 0.097 barrels spilled per square mile every single day.

In contrast, Lake Maracaibo, according to the same Wikianswers is 5,130 square miles in size, which corresponds to the spill that ramirez thins is irrelevant to 1.56 barrels of oil per square mile being dumped, spilled or leaked per day. Even worse, Lake Maracaibo is an enclosure, while the Gulf is open to the seas, which should dilute the effects of the spill.

Thus, the statement about this spill not being a disaster is another irresponsible statement by Ramirez, who has oil spills, rotten food and suitcases bounce off his cynical and Teflonic face almost daily.

But orders of magnitude don’t lie, per unit of area, the spill into Lake Maracaibo is 16 (sixteen times) denser than the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

But hey, maybe they can take advantage of it and dump some rotten food into Lake Maracaibo and mix it with the oil. Who would notice?

Or who would report anyway?

Latest poll about Venezuela and Chavez, a very interesting read

July 1, 2010

The latest poll by Consultores 21 makes for a very interesting read. I particularly liked the historical look at the Dictators’ popularity, with his approval rating at 37%, versus a disapproval of 55%. But the most remarkable chart was this one above, showing the approval and disapproval rating of Hugo Chavez by social strata. Only in the Marginal class E part of the population does Chavez still have more approval than disapproval and this segment comprises only 16.9% of the population. In all other segments, Chavez disapproval tops his approval rating, including in class E+.

Truly remarkable!