Oil Leak

  onionskin 01:44 01 Jun 2010

From Wikipedia:

**The Strategic Petroleum Reserve management office is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The reserve is stored at four sites on the Gulf of Mexico, each located near a major center of petrochemical refining and processing. Each site contains a number of artificial caverns created in salt domes below the surface.

Individual caverns within a site can be up to 1000 m below the surface, average dimensions are 60 m wide and 600 m deep, and capacity ranges from 6 to 37 million barrels (1 to 4.3 million m³). Almost $4 billion was spent on the facilities. The decision to store in caverns was taken to reduce costs; the Department of Energy claims it is roughly 10 times cheaper to store oil below surface with the added advantages of no leaks and a constant natural churn of the oil due to a temperature gradient in the caverns. The caverns were created by drilling down and then dissolving the salt with water.**

I can't understand why they're pumping it up, and then pumping it back down again.

  Forum Editor 06:43 01 Jun 2010

where it's easily accessible, and avoiding the need for large, unsightly storage tanks. It's also cheaper to store the oil this way, as explained in the article.

It's probably safer as well.

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