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Q&A: Deepest oil well off Mississippi

Deepest oil well off Mississippi

With the significant engineering challenges BP is facing trying to cap a failed wellhead a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, are other oil wells that deep in U.S. territorial waters or other parts of the world?

The floating Independence Hub, which is 110 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss., is operating in a water depth of 7,920 feet (1.5 miles), according to the Minerals Management Service website. It is considered the world's deepest oil well.

Chevron Canada just began drilling a well at the Orphan Basin, 267 miles northeast of St. John's, Newfoundland. The well likely will surpass 1.5 miles deep and will take several months to drill, Chevron Canada said.

The most venomous snakes

Recently, a Georgia man died as a result of a rattlesnake bite. What are the 10 most venomous snakes in the world, and does the rattlesnake fall within the top 10?

A top 10 list would be very subjective depending on what defines "most venomous," said John Jensen, a senior wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Nongame Conservation Section.

He said sea snakes are well known for having some of the most potent venom, but most people would not include them in most venomous lists because they rarely bite.

Other snakes have high-potency venom, but they do not have high volumes of venom. Some have nerve-damaging venom while others have tissue- or blood-damaging venom.

Typically, elapids (the coral snake is the lone representative in the United States) such as kraits, mambas, cobras, etc., dominate most venomous lists. He said the only U.S. snake with any possibility of being on a list is the Mojave rattlesnake, which resides in the deserts of the Southwest.

The timber rattlesnake, which recently killed Eddie Lee Dorminey, 82, of Berrien County, Ga., while he was fixing his lawn mower, probably would not be in the top five, and maybe not in the top 10, in the United States, Jensen said.

Delta logo changes

Why has the widget in Delta's logo changed colors from the longtime red-white-blue to solid red?

The logo was most recently changed in 2007, and is not solid red but two different color reds, said Leslie Parker, spokeswoman for Delta Air Lines.

She said the Delta logo has changed numerous times over the history of the airline. "Our marketing department is always innovating and looking for ways to make our brand stand out," she said.

Q&A: Deepest oil well off Mississippi 07/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 1:32pm]
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