BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - The Admiral on Casing and Connections, and an Update or Two - and Open Thread 2

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6645.

Update by Gail, Tues. 4:30pm:

Judge rules against Obama's deep-water drilling moratorium

U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman says the administration overreached in implementing a six-month ban. A White House spokesman says an immediate appeal is planned.

I am following a number of different events this week, and so today is as much a set of updates as anything. Firstly the oil in the Gulf.

For the first 12 hours on June 21 (midnight to noon), approximately 8,410 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 5,015 barrels of oil and 25.3 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

On June 20, total oil recovered was approx. 23,290 barrels:
• approx. 14,570 barrels of oil were collected,
• approx. 8,720 barrels of oil were flared,
and approx. 48.3 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

Total recovery was slightly down on June 20 due to shut-ins from a lightning storm in the area of the Enterprise and Q4000 heading changes to accommodate wind shifts.

One of the concerns in the Gulf relates to the arrival of a hurricane, and the National Hurricane Center is showing the development of an area of low pressure that could cause problems later in the week. It has changed from yellow to orange in the past day.

National Hurricane Center

Admiral Allen held a telephone conference call today. In this he mentioned that the deeper relief well has now reached 10,677 ft. They intend sending electrical pulses down the casing of the existing well (WW), which will induce an electro-magnetic field that will help locate it and allow the relief well (RW) to be steered towards it. This will start about now, and will allow a much more accurate estimate of position than they now have. The RW operation is currently scheduled for the second week of August.

Given concerns over the integrity of the borehole, Admiral Allen specifically noted (in response to a question from the AP) that during Top Kill they had evaluated the highest pressure that they could use in injecting mud, without impacting the integrity of the casing. When they reached that pressure, without being able to kill the well, then they stopped the operation. But that did not damage the wellbore, and though there may be a problem with the wellbore near the top there is no way to check it, and thus they will rely on the bottom-up filling with mud. This will exert less pressure on the casing, and if, at that time, there is a casing failure it will be with the well full of mud, and thus of less consequence. It is also why they don’t want to cap the well at the surface now. They are capturing the oil and gas, and the RW will be able to perform a safer kill.

Apparently the vents on the top of the LMRP cap are still open, and the 23,000 plus bd that is being produced does not count the amount that is still being vented. However they are bringing in another vessel so that they can tap into the kill line out of the blowout preventer (BOP) (they are currently only producing through the vent and the choke lines). That will allow an increase in volume collected to a capacity level of 53,000 bd sometime next week.

Following the tests on unbolting with the ROVs the new plan is to unbolt the current cut riser segment and then bolt the new cap onto the top of the BOP. That will then produce through 4,000 ft-long flexible risers (rather than the current rigid pipe) and should be in place by the middle of July. (With a capacity at that time in the 60,000 to 80,000 bd range). This will give the flexibility of totally sealing the end and directing the flow up the risers. BP has been tasked to put instruments that will measure flow into the new cap. The current intent is to carry this change through in the next 7 – 10 days.

He noted that there is no sign of ongoing erosion, and that the BOP is tilting at an angle of 10 - 12 degrees.

In regard to the fielding of the suction barges, he said that the Coast Guard had carried out a safety inspection and found some safety issues with electrical grounding, and the barges were kept in port until those had been fixed – which they now have been, and the barges are being used.

Two different procedures are also now being described for connecting between the RW and the WW. In one option the RW will intersect the well, and break through the rock wall of the well. Then a path will be milled through the casing to inject mud to fill the well, before pumping in cement, at the bottom of the WW to totally kill production.

If there are problems with the connection, and it is not a good intersection, then perforating charges will be used to penetrate between the two wells and provide the pathways for the mud and then the cement. This process also allows the area around the bottom of the RW to be separated from the main well with a packer, if it is needed, as extra protection.

Oh, and by the way, there is a solar car race that will be coming through Rollo, Missouri, (where I live) on Wednesday of this week. I have written about it on Bit Tooth Energy.

Prof. Goose's comment:

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This is not to say that well considered questions about current attempts and modifications to those attempts are not welcome; they are. But try to place them in context and in what's actually going on, as opposed to your MacGyver dream solution where you have a 10 megaton bomb, an ice pick, and Commander Spock at your side.

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6. Don't be afraid to go back and read the last couple of open threads yesterday and today before you start on this thread. They are really good, and will likely catch you up if you have been out of the loop for a while. We shut down threads when we get to 300-400 comments, as it's really unmanageable. Lots of good stuff in there though.

EL --With the exception of operators currently drilling I doubt you'll see any effort to start new wells. First, rigs are leaving the GOM for overseas contract. Don't know the official count but the last number I heard a week or so ago was 6. Others are certainly under negotiation. I’ve been told that there is a fairly strong demand internationally. When the moratorium was imposed it allowed a force majeur cancellation of the existing rig contracts. But that works both way: the drillers were now free to sign long term contracts overseas. Don’t know if it’s still true but for a while Petrobras was picking up every rig that came available. Especially the ones that can drill in very deep water. A year ago they had 80% of that entire rig fleet under long term contract. If they tie up the balance of these rigs it may be many years before any of the GOM very deep water leases are drilled.

Also remember the moratorium applies only to existing drilling permits that have been approved. The MMS is under no obligation to issue new drill permits any time soon. Even under the old rules the MMS was allowed to take up to 180 days to approve a new drill permit. And even after 180 days they can still kick your application back to you on some minor tech issue. Then you get to wait longer. The rigs are leaving the GOM as fast as possible. The service industry is laying off thousands as I type as well as closing yards and shops. IMHO if the moratorium were permanently lifted tomorrow it could take many months for activity to recover to former levels. Maybe even years. Even the shallow water wells will take much longer to drill even though they aren’t part of the moratorium. I’m in the process of starting the permit process of 6 different shelf wells. I thought I might be able to start the first well in 3 or 4 months. Talking to my permit agent she thinks the upheaval in the MMS right now could delay my first well for at least 6 to 8 months.


I don't know if you will pick this up and maybe I can repost in a newer thread at some point. Im running out of time to hang out here.

I had hoped to be able to refer to a link regarding MMS regulations on
Abandonment of Wells or more precisely:


Part 250 Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf

Subpart G 250.11 Abandonment of Wells

On the E-CFR on the link above they have it listed as "Reserved"

Since I can't post a link to the info, here is what I have from my own files that draws my attention:

"(h) Fluid left in hole. Each of the respective intervals of the hole between the various plugs shall be filled with fluid of sufficient density to exert a hydrostatic pressure exceeding the greatest formation pressure in the intervals between the plugs at time of

Maybe someone else will be able to find an online copy of the MMS rules for abandonment of wells that can be shared on TOD.

From the Blog Naked Capitalism


Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Guest Post: Experts Say BP Lowballing Size of Leaking Oil Reservoir

→ Washington’s Blog

On May 1st, I warned that the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf was much higher than either the government or BP were admitting:

As a story in the Christian Science Monitor shows, the Gulf oil spill is much worse than we’ve been told:

It’s now likely that the actual amount of the oil spill dwarfs the Coast Guard’s figure of 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, a day.

Independent scientists estimate that the renegade wellhead at the bottom of the Gulf could be spewing up to 25,000 barrels a day. If chokeholds on the riser pipe break down further, up to 50,000 barrels a day could be released, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration memo obtained by the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register.

As estimates of the spill increase, questions about the government’s honesty in assessing the spill are emerging.


“The following is not public,” reads National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Emergency Response document dated April 28, according to the Press-Register [see this]. “Two additional release points were found today. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought.”
An order of magnitude is a factor of 10.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that John Amos, an oil industry consultant, said that NOAA revised its original estimate of 1,000 barrels after he published calculations based on satellite data that showed a larger flow.

The 5,000 barrels a day is the “extremely low end” of estimates, Mr. Amos told the Journal.

CNN quotes the lead government official responding to the spill – the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen – as stating:

If we lost a total well head, it could be 100,000 barrels or more a day.

Indeed, an environmental document filed by BP estimates the maximum as 162,000 barrels a day:

In an exploration plan and environmental impact analysis filed with the federal government in February 2009, BP said it had the capability to handle a “worst-case scenario” at the Deepwater Horizon site, which the document described as a leak of 162,000 barrels per day from an uncontrolled blowout — 6.8 million gallons each day.

Now, I am warning that the amount of oil still in the reservoir might be much bigger than BP is admitting.

Specifically, BP claims that there are 50 million barrels worth of oil in the reservoir underneath the leaking spill site.

But the Guardian noted Friday:

But the 50m figure cited by Hayward took some industry insiders by surprise. There have been reports the reservoir held up to 500m barrels – the figure quoted by Hayward’s questioner, Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas.

“I would assume that 500m barrels would be a more likely estimate,” said Tadeusz Patzek, the chairman of the department of petroleum and geosystems engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. “I don’t think you would be going after a 50mbarrel reservoir so quickly. This is just simply not enough oil to go after.”

Indeed, Wolf Blitzer said:

One — one expert said to me — and I don’t know if this is overblown or not — that they’re still really concerned about the structural base of this whole operation, if the rocks get moved, this thing could really explode and they’re sitting, what, on — on a billion potential barrels of oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Bloomberg notes:

The ruptured well may hold as much as 1 billion barrels, the Times reported, citing Rick Mueller, an analyst at Energy Security Analysis in Massachusetts.

Oil industry expert Matthew Simmons also puts the number above one billion barrels (see this Bloomberg interview, for example, where he says that – unless stopped – 120,000 barrels a day will leak for 25-30 years; that adds up to 1,095,000,000 to 1,314,000,000 barrels).

And Rob Kall claims that a source inside BP tells him:

Size of reservoir – estimated by BP and its partner, Andarko to be between 2.5B and 10B bbl. (that’s 100,000,000,000 gallons and 400,000,000,000 gallons).

Yes – all of those numbers are BILLIONS.

Given that BP’s nearby Tiber and Kaskida wells each contain at least 3 billion barrels of oil (see this, this, this and this), estimates of more than a billion barrels for the leaking Macondo reservoir are not unreasonable.

Why the Size of the Reservoir Matters

The size of the reservoir is important for several reasons. Specifically, the more oil in the Macondo reservoir, the longer the oil leak will flow if the efforts to cap it fail.

Moreover, higher volumes of oil and gas might change the pressure of materials gushing out of the leaking well. As CBS notes:

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.

I will leave it to the scientists to calculate what a larger volume of oil (with 40% methane) would mean for pressure. Higher pressure may make it harder to cap the leak, and may wear out the casing quicker by speeding up the rate at which sand and other small particles in the oil abrade the metal. Lower pressure would ease both problems.

Finally, the more oil and gas in the reservoir, the higher a priority the government may consider it to produce the well at all costs. See this and this.

Volume of oil reservoirs follows an interesting distribution of sizes. It's what statisticians call a "fat-tail" distribution, which is not even close to your normal bell-shaped curve.

Actually it only looks like a bell curve if plotted on a logarithmic scale. This is the data taken from the MMS web site, taken from a sample of 8000, alongside a model assuming a highly disordered dispersive growth of reservoirs.


The mean size is around a million barrels per reservoir.
A billion barrel reservoir shows up just off the right edge of the scale. Extrapolating, that size reservoir places it in the 99.96% percentile of USA reservoirs in the Gulf. For comparison, Mexico's Cantarell is 10 times this size (and 10x as rare).

This fits in with the USA as a whole which I wrote about on TOD here and shown as a rank cumulative histogram:

Again that makes it above the 99.9% percentile in rarity.

what reservoir size are your refering to, ooip ? or recoverable ?

recoverables will have a distribution of their own because of recovery efficiencies for differing drive mechanisms, reservoir management practices and indeed year of discovery.

That is a good question. Since I did not collect this data myself, I can't tell how consistent the underlying collection method was.

What is critically important is that the size distribution works well in relative terms. For every large reservoir that is proportionally off in its certainty, there is a smaller one that is off by the same proportional amount. It comes down to statistics and the nature of sampling.

When I wrote about it in the TOD post I linked, I noted that this has much similarity to species abundance distribution. We neither need to count every species in the sample nor care too much about the heterogeneous nature of the mechanisms of the species. That is what entropy does for us as it fills up the state space of possible rates.

In other words, we have an average rate, and we don't know the variance. Maximum entropy picks the largest variance that maintains that average.

The numbers are getting bigger and bigger - and the plot thickens.

Someone out there is not being forthright.

50m barrels in sworn Congressional testimony is a rather suspect number.

Why do you say that? When you say that the numbers are getting bigger are you referring to estimated flow?

And remember that Tiber has nothing at all to do with Macondo - for some reason, people tend to get them mixed up.

OK I read the article above which I didn't see before...that's the new numbers. But is there anything new there? Tad Patzek saying 50 million isn't worth it? That's questionable - subsea 50 million is probably quite profitable (doubt Tad did the numbers and I certainly didn't). And exploration wells have a POS on them always - would Patzek question a hole was dry because "that's too small to go after"? And how easy is it to make a billion bbl from a 60 ft sand? Why would this be an elephant when the primary info (reservoir thickness) is that it's mediocre.
I'm not ready to bump the reservoir to a billion bbl yet.

Very interesting FE. I don't look at those regs but it sounds pretty straight forward. Unless BP was granted an exception then it's safe to say they went beyond gross negligence and into illegal activity. I'll check with my engineer for more details.

What bothers me is that I can't find it online although I have my own copy of the regs. Again this is Subpart G and applies to both permanent and temporary abandonment.

FG and Rockman: Would this issue give Anadarko and Mitsui grounds for dumping all the damages on BP for gross negligence/willful misconduct? Perhaps, in the amount of $35 billion +/- a few tens of billions.

"BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement," continued Hackett. http://www.anadarko.com/Investor/Pages/NewsReleases/NewsReleases.aspx?re...

Your news sound more accurate than CNN.

"The rigs are leaving the GOM as fast as possible. The service industry is laying off thousands as I type as well as closing yards and shops."

Are the rig workers of those 6 rigs going with the rigs or taking a layoff to collect from the $100M fund?

Is the service industry adapting and supplying the clean up effort?

Were any of those rigs already drilling? Did they stop and close up the hole? How?

The boys better start brushing up there Pork & Cheese.

The Brasileros don't like too much English down there.

They may as well start looking for good divorse lawyers, as the oil field is not quite like the marines, some will be left behind! (I mean in Brasil)

Rockman: "existing drilling permits" Sorry for imprecise wording. I knew. Bye the bye, do you know how many existing drilling permits there are?

Are you saying that today's ruling overturning the existing drilling permits moratorium is in fact irrelevant? They would wait to start up ops again until there is a final court decision, probably from SCOTUS?

Thanks for the prompt response. Buy yourself a hogshead of Blue Bell and send me the bill.

EL --I had heard there were around 100 drill permits approved(in all of the GOM) but can't confirm. I wouldn't say irrelevant but I no one believes the gov't will give up the effort easy. Offshore ops require a rather long time line plan. The moratorium literally destroyed all existing time lines overnight. Re-establishing those time lines will not only take time but a good deal of confidence. And time lines/commitments to send rigs overseas won't change regardless: a contract is a contract. I've seen companies let rigs sit idle at a cost of many millions so they could keep their contracts solvent and stick to their time lines. We might see some of that in the GOM but only for so long. There is a long history of rigs departing/arriving in the GOM as part of the normal business cycle. Once a rig leaves a region it takes a substantial commitment to get it back to that area. And not inexpensive. I mentioned a rig mob from Africa to Brazil about two years ago: the day the rig arrived on location for Devon the well cost was $33 million. And then they started spending real money by drilling. We can only speculate but when the moratorium is finally ended it could take many years before we see 30+ DW rigs working in the GOM. Consider the BP discovery. Assume the blow out is killed and everyone one is satisfied with new regs/procedures. BP might have had the field on production by 2014. Given the uncertainty of rig availability the new target date might be 2020. But even that has to be penciled in at the moment...too many unknowns.

Thanks. We are just beginning to understand the scope of this mess. Send me the Blue Bell bill for fast payment.

ROCK, thanks for the comeback on the CBL and pressure testing. I didn't figure the pressure testing could ever be skipped, but I was just trying to find out if the CBL was all that helpful or just a little niciety that wasn't all that necessary. I guess a CBL would indicate if the annulus really narrowed up in spots if nothing else, which would seem to be a good thing to know if you had less than the optimal number of centralizers in the pour, but then I'm just guessing.

Not much rest for those drill ships right now is there? I happened to be sitting next to a Alabama shipyard engineering guy for an hour flight last weekend. He currently has seven boats contracted in the circus looking for oil outside of Mobile Bay. Anyway he mentioned that he had to do some sort of work on the Deepwater Pathfinder just after it had reached the GOM from is African coast duties. He said that Transocean ship was one of sorry looking vessel, maintenance wise, and that he'd seen better looking craft completely laid up. No time to lay these deepwater rigs up it seems. That of course didn't give me a lot of confidence in the whole program.

how 'bout jim bob's wells ? seems like they might be blow out candidates in really shallow water.

"Admiral Allen specifically noted (in response to a question from the AP) that during Top Kill they had evaluated the highest pressure that they could use in injecting mud, without impacting the integrity of the casing. When they reached that pressure, without being able to kill the well, then they stopped the operation"

I am sorry that I do not believe BP's Admiral. They stated before they started the top kill that it would take 48 hours. Yet they stopped after 12 or so? Why did their plan suddenly change? There is no explanation of this. I would like one other than that the casing is damamged and they had to stop. Did I miss a credible explanation here? This thread only accepts what BP's Admiral says. Remember, he was the officer in charge when all of this happened. Why does he still have his job? He was on watch when all the insider manipulation was going on. Why does he still have his job?

If they were going to have to drill the relief wells anyway to stop it as BP's Admiral seems to imply, why did they go through this exercise?

What pressure did they encounter that would be high enough to blow out the casing so that they stopped?

I am sorry that I do not believe BP's Admiral. They stated before they started the top kill that it would take 48 hours. Yet they stopped after 12 or so?

I think you need to stand back and try to understand the operation. the 48 hours is duration of the top kill operation. No one claim that they will continuously pump mud during that 48 hours. If you spend time understanding the top kill operation, you would know that if the operation work, it will only take a few hours to fill the casing with mud. There is no need for pumping mud for 48 hours. If after 12 hours, the operation fail, why keep pumping risk and risk busting the casin? Do you understand that if the casing were to bust, we would have a subsea blow out. The worst outcome of the spill clean up. What better reason do we have to stop that operation? . The plan change because it does not work. Keep pumping mud would only make matter worse, not better.

he was the officer in charge when all of this happened. Why does he still have his job?

because no one else can do a better job now.. Our current problem is that the oil spill response plan is inadequate to the size of the spill. So from the beginning, the response team had to play catch up. The spill problem grow geometrical in size but organization can only grow linearly.. If there is a better candidate, Obama would have replaced him already. You think Obama has any attachment to Adm Allen given the beating that Obama took on the response? You should watch some of his briefing.. He is as good a crisis responder you can get.. It is not enough because industry and coast guard underestimate the potential damage and the preposition resource are not enough. No one can vision the damage a terrorist attack can caused before 9/11 and no one know what an 8.1 earth quake to Northern California until the bay bridge in S.F. broke. We plan for things that we know that will/can happen. But we won't plan for things that we don't know.

wrong thread

This thread only accepts what BP's Admiral says. Remember, he was the officer in charge when all of this happened. Why does he still have his job? He was on watch when all the insider manipulation was going on. Why does he still have his job?

Maybe he still has his job because he isn't "BP's admiral" - he is the US Coast Guard's admiral.

Two things:

First, in case anyone hasn't noticed, Ken Salazar has announced that he will issue a new moratorium soon:

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday called a six-month halt on deepwater drilling "needed, appropriate and within our authorities" in announcing he will issue a new order on a moratorium just hours after a federal judge blocked such a mandate.

"We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP's well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling," Salazar said in a statement. "That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico."

Second, to oilfield brat, re: Locke. Yep.

Oh. I thought it would be a moratorium on re- renaming BOE/MMS.

Corpolitical hack.

Thanks Heading Out! Regarding "... though there may be a problem with the wellbore near the top there is no way to check it, and thus they will rely on the bottom-up filling with mud. This will exert less pressure on the casing, and if, at that time, there is a casing failure it will be with the well full of mud, and thus of less consequence."

Doesn't this still mean that until they actually seal the current well down at the rescue well (RW) location, any mud pumped in will still need some pressure from the BOP to compensate for the 5000' of static head the well and mud would normally have added in a fully connected production well?

The dynamics of the sealing process still seem difficult, as they have to prevent any concrete injected from the RW being swept up the existing well. If they just pump mud in it will never reach the static head needed to kill the well even if they have pure mud all the way to the BOP will they? What's the pressure just below the BOP? How many feet of what density mud is that?

So they need some restraint at the BOP, and it looks like it will be of the order of at least 2500psi for the 5000' water depth. Can the failing pipework up near the BOp take that pressure?

If there is a casing failure before the cement plug at the RW sets, then it will just sweep the mud straight out again, the unrestrained discharge volume from the reservoir will go up through the roof, and the GOM turns into a tar-pit. Not nice.

Remember that when they start pumping mud down the relief well, and into the old well that the top of that second well is still connected, through the BOP to the collecting vessels at sea level. Thus if those lines are also filled with mud, as the oil is displaced, it will give that extra height of mud column and raise the pressure at the reservoir to the same level that was sufficient to hold the well under control when it was drilled.

Errr... sorry, but the simple hydraulic diagram of pumping mud into the WW is exactly the same as the diagram of the Top Kill:

Line extending from reservoir to top of the BOP with exit 5000' below sea level. Side line (Kill line or Relief Well) coming in the side. Pump mud from side line. Hope that pressure above the side line becomes greater than reservoir pressure.

Its an open-ended system with the vent at the BOP. The connection above the BOP is currently the leaky Top Hat, and if they do get a flanged connection onto the BOP they have already proven to their own satisfaction that the BOP cannot withstand enough pressure to hold back the upflow. But hey, you guys know better. Good luck!


You are correct, unless they get there sealed floating riser in place before they pump kill mud then, they are going to need the 19lb + mud wt. I suspect BP are working on there floating riser as much for killing the well as they are to collect the extra oil.

BP even if they are doing there best, they certainly are not selling the story very well. It seems everything they do, they have been forced by other parties. I do believe the only chance of stopping the flow is the RW, the top kill had a chance of creating an under gound blow out, but at least the oil would no have been in the water.

nigwil -- The BOP won't supply any back pressure pressure. The 5,000' water column will add around 2,300 psi. That's why the kill mud weight will have to be higher than the 14 ppg mud they drilled with to compensate for the short column height. I estimated it will take at least 16.0 - 16.5 ppg MW for a 13,000' column for the kill. But it won't be easy: the oil/NG will dilute the MW as it's pumped in. The rate at which the kill pill is pumped will be critical.

I would like to see this oil well cemented and capped as soon as possible just like everyone else. But what scares me is when Admiral Allen comes out and says he stopped “Top Kill” because the high pressure might compromise the integrity of the well casing. Someday they will get some cement down this bloody hole and they are going to have test this cement. I would like to know what this pressure was. I hope Allen doesn’t get oil all over his face and the casing was just fine and they could have went ahead and capped this well..
The first Top Kill was probably a waste of time, just too many openings. The right time might have been was when they had the huge shears on the BOP riser casing to cut it off. Almost no flow out the riser. I posted several days ago about this time period but I will do it again. The pressure in the riser would have increased to almost max. I know this is not much of a test. But after they removed the jaws and the pipe opening sprung out a little, the pressure did come down some but not much, this condition went on for several hours until the string saw cut into the riser. Did anyone see any oil coming up around the BOP during all this time?
Allen also says that they will remove the top flange in 7 to 10 days and bolt on a new riser. This should have been the first thing after cutting off the riser. No, the first thing would be straighten the flex joint with a hydraulic jack. They are designed to move, just use a jack between the big nuts, on top of the flex joint, and the bottom of the top flange. Next we need a riser. I will call it a “tree”. On the bottom is a 6” flange, welded on an 11 degree angle if you can’t get the riser straight. On top is a 6” valve and in between is a whole bunch of 2” 3” and a 4” ball valves. It’s going to look like a tree. Install with all valves open. Connect all lines needed to collect the oil. You are now able to begin to control the flow and pressure.
You might be able to throttle the flow down to the point that no oil would be spilled into the ocean.
The “Top Hat” is a joke! I would be ashamed to claim I had anything to do with it.

Here is Judge Martin Feldman's ruling in Hornbeck v. Salazar:

Case 2:10-cv-01663-MLCF-JCW Document 67 Filed 06/22/10

Thank you.

Judge who nixed drilling ban has oil investments


Obama administration to issue new drilling moratorium


Many in Louisiana appear to have Oil and Gas investments. I think this is a barometer for how the rest of the economy will fare when production really starts declining - drill anywhere, anyhow, irrespective of consequences, so nobody has to bear the burden. Just. Keep. Drilling.

We bailed out the banks, we bailed out the auto companies - are we to end up bailing out the oil and gas industry too ? And, by the way, the chemical companies after that, because we can't kick our addiction to fertilizer and pesticide ?

Addendum : BP is already required not to fail because of all the liabilities in their future.

From previous thread

From Frontier_Energy

Not all land rigs are that puny by the way. Check out some of the Unit rigs. My favorite is one that used to drill nuclear test wells and would drill a 60" diameter hole to 5000 feet. The substructure was high enough to accomodate a railroad car to deliver the bomb. They'd hook up a pad mounted transformer and shut the rig engines off- all you could hear was the brake squeak. No I don't want to feed the "nuke the well" bunch. But it was a neat rig.

I'm starting to think "small is beautiful", though.

I applogise for my comments about land rigs, I started offshore and the money always kept me there. I do realize there big land rigs but the only ones I have seen have been on the small side.

As for your "nuclear test wells and would drill a 60" diameter hole to 5000 feet", can we make that 5000ft of water, I feel we should get one down to the gulf ASAP, tie it to the back of one of those river barges and start drilling ahead.

What do you think?

That should keep the Nukeum lot happy, until the well can be killed with a little mud.

Hey man, no need to apologize to me. I chose the landlubbers route and it is a different game altogether. Some the DW hands may migrate to the north on these long horizontals. It may be something of a decompression for them and the weather sux in winter- but its work.

There is some pretty decent land rigs- H&P Flexrigs, the newer Nabors and Precision rigs. One of the neatest little rigs is here:


They drill with Range III 45' drillpipe with automated pipe rack, "pipe launcher" and an articulating top drive. Great for drilling directional surface hole.

Nuke the Gulf- Imagine what the soft sea floor would do if that hard rock in Nevada did this:


And then since it is the "Mississippi Canyon" we would get this:


It would make a hell of a disaster- especially if the nuke-kill failed.

I'd rather wait for the Relief Well before I start blowing sh*t up.

Yeh, but it might stop some of the bright suggestions and arguments that come through while they are drilling the Nuke well. In the mean time the RW can reach TD and do its job.

A couple of things that the Nuke brigade have not come out with is what would happen to all Methane Hydrate than would suddenly be liberated, and the number of fish that would be suddenly wiped out. It would be certainly be a one upmanship on dynamite fishing. The amount of fish killed in the days of blowing well heads was enough for me.

Can you imagine being the driller sitting on the back of the barge with the waves crashing over the side. It just tickles my fancy.

I hope you can see my humour!

Yeah the dead fish would probably create a whole new "stink" to the disaster! (As though it doesn't stink enough now.)

A tsunami of dead fish, oil, liberated hydrates- they would get a real "attaboy" for pulling this one off. I was impressed with Jefferson Island but the nuke stunt would on a whole new level.



I saw an interview with an old man that was fishing on the lake that day at the last well control course I did. He was caught in his little "Tinny" in the vortex trying to power out of it. Lucky for him one of the large barges blocked the hole for a short time giving him time to get free of the pull of the vortex. A very lucky man, but funny to watch with the way he describes it.

As for the leak in the salt mine, I read elsewhere that they were not directly above the mine but they drilled through a fault which took the fluid laterally, and the rest was history.

If I remember he said he thought "it was the end of the world!"

I wouldn't blame him.

I was living in New Iberia (working out of Morgan City) when this happened - it was IMPRESSIVE. Local shrimp boats on that canal couldn't go to work for several days as the canal was sucked dry and a river was flowing from the GOM - upstream!

The mine shaft was on top of the hill (salt dome) and a huge geyser shot out of it a couple hundred feet high for about a day as I remember. It acted on the principal of an air lift, just like the oil and gas coming up from the BOP goes up the pipe to the Discoverer Enterprise.

The barges were covered sugar and salt barges and some estimates were that they had actually gone several hundred, maybe even 1,000 feet down into the mine and then popped up a couple days later. Some miners were waist deep in water before they got out.

Lake Peigneur became a local salt water fishing area in the middle of a bunch of fresh water lakes and bayous. The biological change over only took a couple months although there was visible plant damage for a couple years and of course the physical damage to Jefferson Island was apparent several years after. I think that a couple endangered species of foreign plants that were in the gardens on the island were wiped out, the only North American specimens.

Shelburn: I probably passed you on the road from time to time as I lived in Loureauville outside of New Iberia back then. I was working on an inland barge north of Morgan City when this happened. I remember waking up and going into the galley that evening and this was going on the TV on the wall. I just sat there with my mouth open thinking hmmmm...

I'm sure you did. I lived on Loreauville Rd. Don't remember the street number but it was west of the Sugar Oaks bridge and backed up on the bayou. Lived there from about 1978 to 1983.

I was about 2 miles north of you as the crow flies on Daspit road by the Neuville Boat Works.

I like the idea: Just tell the crazies that the nuke shot is being set up, and give them a web site where they can join in the "official planning."

Lake Peigneur video (it's pretty damned scary):


That the clip I saw,

Now anyone for some riserless drilling into those GOM salt domes!

Gobbet on June 22, 2010 - 2:15pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

No one knows whether the flow rate is increasing. In a couple of weeks they should be able to capture 53K bbl/day, so we'll know then whether the flow is more or less than that. On keeping up:

42,000 bpd-- current median flow estimate.
25,000 bpd-- current capture rate
5,000 bpd-- current rate of in situ burning.
1,500 bpd-- current rate of skimming.*
unknown-- rate of bacterial digestion.
unknown-- evaporation rate.

*Assuming 12% oil in the collected oil-water mix (per Allen's estimate).

"1,500 bpd-- current rate of skimming.*" Wow. 60,000 gallons. Help me out here Roger. I was under the (clear) impression that SIX of your North Sea skimmer ships, each with the capacity to recover 100,000's gpd, were now (finally) working on site. Plus a number of US vessels retro fitted with your skimming booms, each with presumably a pretty high capacity as well.

What's going on, Roger? Is the Gobbet's report wrong? Are your skimmers not working? Have you been ahhh... "enthusiastic" in your reports of the effectiveness of your skimming equipment?

60,000g recovered is pretty slim pickings for the amount of skimming power we were counting on, relative to your postings here.

Over 600 skimmers are working according to the Unified Command.

Less than 100 gal/day per skimmer?

If they are that ineffectual it perhaps offers some justification on the reliance on dispersants and the failure to bring in every skimmer that has been offered from distant places, both of which I questioned.

look at the oil coming from the riser. and think about how that oil moves thru one mile of water to reach the surface.

Then think about a fire and where the smoke appears one mile above the fire. Then wonder if 6 north sea skimmers can find all the oil.

Then consider why 600 boats, and booms etc might be necessary.

WS: On the closed thread: "Back when such things as ethics and trust in government mattered, judges were supposed to recuse themselves if there might be an appearance of impartiality." Where I live, one huge international company literally, and I mean literally, owned every judge in the state for 70 years. In California, the railroads owned every judge for 50 years. Judges who held their positions at the pleasure of the Chandler family judicially approved the Rape of the Owens Valley for the benefit of the Chandlers' real estate fortunes cf. Chinatown. If you want to really push history, read about the trial of Socrates. Yearning for the good ole days when honesty reigned is simply Romantic Nostalgia.

Maybe this guy was biased, maybe not. I support the moratorium on the moratorium until a moratorium hearing can be held. This way any moratorium will be sure not to have another moratorium supersede any new moratoriums. Meanwhile, the oil takes no moratorium.

BTW I bet his ends up in the Supreme Court. Until then there might be a moratorium on the moratorium, it is just so hard to tell or even keep up.

TFHG: "even keep up" Don't worry. The court process will... slow... to... a... crawl... soon. I'm sure SCOTUS will be up to their eyeballs in emergency appeals. You will be able to read court opinions till you up chuck your Blue Bell.

In all def to Rockman, Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey.

I'd like a moratorium on moratoriums on moratoriums on moratoriums plus a gridlocked Congress, and I'd like the President to stop divvying out political favors to cronies when peoples' livelihoods, subculture death and an entire major ecosystem are at stake. Competing interests. I know it's a really tough gig. But he shouldn't have run for the damn office if he knew he couldn't escape being a hack.

Now that is confusing. I blame Congress more than Presidents. Over time they are the responsible for keeping the budget balanced. If they would have stopped the US government during the first non-war deficit, we would not be in this mess. Of course who was that, Washington?

Yes. The first warning about the military-industrial complex came from Washington. And the poor bastard never had a car or had even heard of the IC engine or HFT or derivatives.

As someone already pointed out:

"I will issue a new order in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate and within our authorities,” Salazar said in a brief statement.

Smart move. It's possible the courts may be too uncertain and biased in Salzar's view. Or if the 6th Cir. recused itself en banc again, it would be an embarrassment all around, and the judge's order would stand until appealed to the S.Ct.

More likely, this move seems to be a tacit concession that the first order was in fact technically defective as the judge noted, sufficiently so that it was safer to do it over than risk further humiliation before the 6th cir...if they did hear it at all.

Really, how could you blow that order when you have this oil spill as your evidence. What more could you ask for to justify a moratorium. They just screwed up the presentation. A do-over is the quickest way to cure that sort of defect. They will draft it based on the requirements as laid out in the judge's order denying the old one so as to be able to hold the judge to his own standard upon reviewing the new one, after someone sues to have it stopped.

"A do-over is the quickest way to cure that sort of defect. They will draft it based on the requirements as laid out in the judge's order denying the old one so as to be able to hold the judge to his own standard upon reviewing the new one, after someone sues to have it stopped."

I think that's right.

Also, Obama has inherited, and enthusiastically embraced, the Bush-Yoo Nearly-Unlimited Unified Executive Theory. Presidential adherents of this theory don't let themselves be pushed around by the other branches too much, because they've decided they don't have to. I'll be surprised if they roll over for a "mere" Federal District Court judge.

Anyway, the stays, the hearings, the procedural appeals, the appeals of any new injunction, any actual ruling... all of this is going to take a loooong time during which New MMS, the Coast Guard and, almost certainly, the operators, are going to do what the president and Salazar tell them to do.

Exactly. Bushco let the genie out of the bottle, and it will never be put back in. Our Republic wasn't diminished by this development, it was destroyed.

At the moment, the federal judiciary is the most powerful branch in government. Both the legislative and executive branches have defaulted to the judiciary, finding it easier to let courts make the difficult decisions. Presidents and congressmen rarely cross the courts.

I would not underestimate the staying power and the political and legal effect of a preliminary injunction. It's very difficult to overturn on appeal, and the court has the power to jail, without trial, anyone who violates it... including officers of the Coast Guard. Federal courts have unseated Presidents (Nixon vs. the US), federalized local law enforcement agencies, nullified the actions of governors, openly defied the President and Congress-- and won.

Predicting court outcomes is a good way to look like a fool, but I don't think there'll be any serious challenge to the preliminary injunction.

Usually, do-overs are seen as merely an attempt to do an end-run around a judgment. Do-overs in the face of preliminary injunctions usually don't work so well. It's not an issue of first impression anymore; the court has asserted its jurisdiction and has ruled on the merits. The court doesn't even have to hold another hearing; it just says, "Sorry; already ruled. Wait for the trial."

I'm not sure where the 6th circuit comes in; did I miss something? Judge Feldman would be appealed to the Fifth Circuit, since he is in the Eastern District of La..

The problem is that, in legal terms, this spill proves nothing. To make other businesses stop working because BP screwed up would be like the police arresting you because your neighbor set his house on fire.

Syn --And there's the real dilemma for the feds: "how could you blow that order when you have this oil spill as your evidence". Very easily: just because BP blew out doesn't mean any of the other drilling effort represent a significant risk. The BP blow out does prove a blow out was possible but the feds knew that when they gave BP the drill permit. So no new info from that quarter. Are the other rigs following the regs the feds require? MMS has field inspectors...did they go out immediately and check those rigs? If so did they find any problems? If no problems why stop drilling? And if they didn't go out and check the other rigs immediately WHY THE HELL NOT!

You get my point: if the feds say they need a moratorium then it's an implied rebuke of their own oversight. As someone pointed out on NPR just this morning: there are only 33 other rigs drilling in the DW GOM. Why didn't the MMS put 2 inspectors on each one. For that matter why not have two coast Guard inspectors on board. And for that matter why not have two independent very experienced drilling consultants reporting to the MMS watching over operations. The oil companies would gladly pay that expense if it kept them running. We've joked about but it's true: I could have put together a take-no-prisoners group of consultants in a week to go to all 33 rigs and rip them a new butt hole for any minor infraction of the rules. Basically a due diligence effort. I've run many in the past. And don't think that my guys would go soft just because they are insiders: Due diligence by its nature is slash and burn.

Bottom line: the only rationale for a blanket moratorium is the gov't admission that they are totally impotent and completely unable to handle their responsibilities. Is that going to be the defense they'll present to the judge when they off their appeal?

"Until then there might be a moratorium on the moratorium..."

There are other ways of stopping drilling. If they want to go through the courts to reverse the moratorium, the Administration can turn around and make the permitting process so onerous that it would take years to get permission for a new well...step up inspections on existing wells and make the consequences more strict such that even a minor violation would result in shutting down the well, etc. It wouldn't take a moratorium to bring everything to a halt - there are other means if necessary.

On the one hand, all judges are political animals; on the other, I know Marty Feldman. He's got a tough but good reputation.

When you hear a preliminary injunction case, the assumption is that you are doing so on an emergency basis. The whole point of a preliminary injunction is that people will suffer if you don't act immediately. Because of that, considerations of financial interest don't play as large a part. If Judge Feldman still holds those stocks, and they're not in a trust over which he has no control, he will recuse himself for the formal trial.

This happened a. because the government ignored the formal guidelines of the Outer Continental Shelf Act, and b. because Secretary Salazar deliberately altered the report of a peer-reviewed panel of experts, to give it exactly the opposite conclusion. Sorry, but that was an unbelievably dumb thing to do.

And, note again, this is just a preliminary injunction, not a trial. It's a bit more difficult to appeal from the former than the latter.

retiredL: The question I have is: "Will this TRO give the well drilling operators affected by the moratorium enough confidence to begin their operations again?" I think the administration would probably not be too upset to see people go back to work and the federal courts have to take the blame for another oil disaster in the Gulf.

WOT: One other issue: I sat on my state's Commission on the Code of Judicial Conduct which rewrote our judicial ethics code. Believe it or not, we still had the 1907 Canons of Judicial Ethics through 2007. We were the last state by a number of years. Our concern with a conflict was always "a conflict or the appearance of a conflict." I'm sure that may be Judge Feldman's public perception issue here. The Internet will get you every time. I read on TOD that a number of US Appeals Court judges have already recused themselves on the appeal of the TRO over the appearance issue. Don't know if true. But its gonna get interesting.

Thanks for your time and expert help. We need all we can find. I'm neither an oil and gas guy nor a Southerner.

That's a very good point-- politically, it would make more sense to make Feldman the scapegoat, and not pursue the matter further.

"Conflict or the appearance of a conflict" is the standard. It comes from the old definition of a fiduciary duty-- "the punctilio of an honor most sensitive."

Most people I know on Commissions like that spend their lives in perpetual frustration. You have my sympathies.

Breaking: General Stanley McChrystal tenders his resignation

You could see that one coming. Political gaff to talk out of turn about your boss, let alone in Rolling Stone. I guess we all make mistakes...too bad, he was supposed to have been an excellent commander.

According to knowledgeable people, he had lived on the edge even at West Point. He had made fun of the VP in front of people in, I think, Paris. He leaked his plan to the press for troop numbers in Afghanistan mousetrapping Gates and Obama. Gates had a long chat with him. He had openly criticized Ambassador Eichenberry of Afghanistan, a retired Army general, and sided in public with Hamid Karzai against Eichenberry. He said that four star Marine General James Jones, the NSC chief, was "a relic of the 80s." Another meeting with Gates. His time had come.

McChrystal was also involved in covering up Pat Tillman's death when he was shot by his own comrades.

Last winter I was watching Adm. Mullen on the Charlie Rose show. They got into talking about Afghan strategy and where the offensive effort would go. Mullen's choice of words was interesting. He actually said "General McChrystal's main effort will go south." I looked hard for expressive clues and did not think Mullen was at all unaware of just how that soundbite could be clipped out. No doubt a special ops guy's efforts will go south when dealing with the press. Don't know if the situation would have ended up any better without the big side track into Iraq, but I've a feeling Afghanistn will start to become a Chinese concern if they want to get the minerals out. North Korea on one end Afghanistan on the other. We have no idea how lucky we are in North America.


One thing about working overseas in the oil field.

It really makes you appreciate home, where ever it maybe.

TFHG- You may be premature on that one. The general may have his resignation in his front pocket but Obama has to ask for it. I don't think he will.

fritzie-borgwardt on June 22, 2010 - 10:03pm
I did not post this before, but God speaks to me interesting ways. On Sunday, I took a look at the live video of the spill. Just as I called up PBS' link to one of the underwater vehicle cams trained on the gusher, I saw what LOOKED like a large explosion. There was a blinding light, and shrapnel flying. The screen went chaotic, then black, then a new video appeared looking just like the one before the blast. This happened at around 2:39 p.m. Central Time Sunday. Any thoughts?

Wasn't God, it was another ROV on the other side of the cap, out of view of the camera you saw, with a claw-mounted fan blowing away the plume to inspect some part of the cap. The fan blew the oil onto the ROV you were watching from. They do it all the time - for inspecting what's left of the rubber seal around the bottom, checking gauges installed into one of the ports, changing out or adjusting the nozzles injecting methanol etc.

Yes. Now if it talks to you let us know, it may be Him.

I like the concept a lot. But who's controlling the ROV?

Oh, that reminds me. I think I know what the white stuff is in the water, but don't know if I should say...

Now I am not sure if is methanol or Corexit.

You don't have to say anything at all. Just act it out.

(Uhm, that would be... awkward. Read on...)

Well apologies in advance, but I'm pretty sure it's ROV semen. I mean, those little yellow guys have been out there a long time with no shore leave. Think about it.

Interesting, a different take from mine. You may be right. And all this time I thought I was seeing string left over from the failed giant tampon insertion.

Well, I could not sleep, so here I am. Thanks for answering my question! I THOUGHT it was probably something like that! I'm glad I tuned in at just the right time to see that bit of maintenance.

Here's some PR advice. I don't know how close you guys are to this spill or how entrenched you are in influencing the outcome, but some of these comments seem mighty cavalier under the circumstances of this particular spill.

I don't however, think anyone should flag them as inappropriate.

Can someone explain why the info at the top of this thread shows the RW at around 10,000 feet, while the BP site shows casing in place at nearly 16,000 ft on June 19? http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/in...

One is the measurement from the surface, the other from the seabed... you have to figure out which one Allen means from the context.

Oh, yeah, OK, obviously. I guess I just panicked that it was one of those 5,000 bbl/day mistakes again.

Bedtime thought:

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds" Bhagavad Gita quoted by J.Robert Oppenheimer, Trinity 1945.

Damn. I'd rather think about the relief well working. G'night.

Nuke the Relief well with a battleship.

I am very careful how I write about and satire President Obama. I certainly still respect the man, but I am having issues with his handling of the response. It has inspired me to create this satire, but still maintain that respect which I give the office and its holder.

Also, Federal officials halt sand dredging to create Gulf of Mexico oil spill barrier.

I have a feeling the feds did not like the mess the locals were making. We should be aware that there always needs to be standards and they should be enforced. How did we get here again?

me, too....and i truly hate to say it. but to me this is a knee jerk reaction to be seen as having a reaction - esp. as the evidence (what there was of it mentioned in the judges brief) had absolutely nothing to do with 500' of water. i don't know how much active drilling there was between 500 and 1000 feet - but i'm willing to be it was more than zero.

I know its only Huffpost, but could someone write soothing, scientifically well-informed pooh-poohings regarding this nightmare piece?


Look at this thread and the previous open thread. It has about 3 replies discounting that report each. Things like the PSI's were world records and 8 billion cubic feet is just a few Superdomes. Not a big impact in the grand scheme.

It's almost total nonsense. As TFHG says, it's already been debunked here.

It is certainly true that quantities of methane that may be ecologically problematic are being released into the Gulf. Just how damaging that may be isn't going to be known for some time. However, the doomsday scenario painted by "engineer turned entrepreneur" Matai is just wackadoodle gibberish.

Be soothed. It's not even worth thinking about much.

Sounds like another exciting doomsday scenario.

Lots of drama, fire and brimstone.

Just today we got a mount everest of oil scenario and a giant bubble of gas scenario (there was also the Iran scenario), following tales of a giant underwater lake of oil and the imminent blow-out of the wellhead and collapse of the BOP due to a compromised casing.

Did i miss any?

"You are all condemned men ..... We keep you alive to serve this ship .... so row well, and live."

Row men row!

Australia oil spill inquiry released

Canberra, Australia (UPI) Jun 21, 2010
A much-anticipated report on Australia's worst oil spill won't be publicly released yet because it could have legal implications, said Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.

The inquiry, submitted to Ferguson Friday, covers possible causes of the oil and gas spill from the Montara exploration well last August off Western Australia's northern coast and the adequacy of the response. It also reviews the existing regulatory body governing the oil and gas sector's response to spills.


Temperatures Scorch from Central and South Asia to North Africa

Burning heat with temperatures as high as 125 F has for the last week beset a vast swath of central and south Asia to north Africa.


Nations rethink offshore drilling
‘No one on earth is free from the impact of this disaster’


Why in the heck don't we an have international contingent on scene in order to help mitigate the negative global political response to this disaster? I want a former four star, cabinet level, Jamaican in charge of this incident. If the oil volcano blew up and flooded the Gulf with oil who would you want as incident commander? That is who should on scene right now at incident command.

". . .a former four star, cabinet level, Jamaican . . ."

Bob Marley?

This guy.

He is also a Knight Companion in the Military Order of Bath. Yep, if we got to vote on it directly, I bet he would win.

Warning: this comment might be completely irrelevant. Probably is, and I mean that in a good way.

The U.S. Patent Office granted BP North America a patent on April 27, 2010, one week after the blowout. The patent was applied for 10/31/2007, preliminary application 2/1/2007. The patent number is US 7,706,980 B2, "Blowout Preventer Testing System and Method."


Quick synopsis: BOP pressure test results (from positive pressure tests) are recorded on circular charts, whose traces must be interpreted. In a successful pressure test, pressure must be stable (flat or with a predetermined small slope) for five minutes, but equilibration can take an hour or more, and sequentially testing the rams and annular preventers means the rig is not drilling for several hours. BP developed hardware and a software algorithm enabling the determination of a successful test to be made more quickly. Instead of waiting for pressure equilibration, the patented method predicts whether equilibration will occur. Will the data converge? Reading the patent application carefully, I see that the algorithm does not assume the data will converge to a limit or asymptote. Whew. Glad to see that.

One thing bothered me about the application. The method was validated by comparing computer results with charted completed standard tests. Far as I can tell, though, the only tests used for validation were successful tests. I'm not sure this is true, but the application does not indicate otherwise. The method is supposed to detect failures, but nothing in the application indicates that this capability was tested. Not glad to see that.

As of the application date (2007), BP had applied to MMS for approval to replace the standard test with their hurry-up test. I don't know if MMS granted such approval, and I don't know if BOP tests were being evaluated with the hurry-up test in April 2010.

This is all by way of cultural background, because it applies to positive pressure BOP tests, not to positive pressure and negative pressure well tests to determine cement validity. I'm writing this comment because of thoughts triggered by a response from ROCKMAN (in a closed thread) to a question about well tests.

ROCKMAN on June 22, 2010 - 8:48pm

Tow -- I’ve never had the job of interpreting such tests. But I’ve seen the plots and understand the process. It’s essentially a psi vs. time plot. So it’s not so much that X psi was seen but looking at the slope changes of the curve. Sometimes obvious….sometimes not. It’s an interpretation so I can’t really judge the statements of those hands.

My question: Had BP developed a hurry-up method for evaluating well tests? Was it in use April 20? Had the method been validated to accurately predict failures? My inquiring mind wants to know.

It is interesting that the Deepwater Horizon is in the example they use. Take a while to digest this.

AccuWeather -- Bastardi Ups Hurricane Season Forecast to 18-21 Storm

By Carly Porter, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
Jun 22, 2010; 7:17 AM ET
Joe Bastardi's forecast has ramped up, and it doesn't bode well for oil spill cleanup crews and capping operations.

The 2010 hurricane season is set to become even more extreme, with 18-21 named storms now in the forecast, and some of those storms will impact the oil spill in the Gulf.

I sure hope this guy is wrong.

I will have to find the numbers but last time I saw a comparison the NHC kicked Bastardi's tail 3 to 1.

This was published on May 27

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

They predict 8 to 14 Hurricanes.

One of these years Bastardi will be sort of right and the major media will designate him the only expert on hurricane season prediction.

Bastardi is controversial ( I personally enjoy his commentary and find that his take on things insightful ) but a lot of folks get down on him. I like to get perspectives from multiple sources so reading him and for example Masters over at Wunderground along with NOAA. For those who are not aware a commenter here, skyebluepink was until she went back to research one of the preeminent weather bloggers.

I pointed out a couple of weeks ago that accuweather offers a free 30 day trial to their pro service where you can read and watch Bastardi's daily commentary etc... here is the link

here is the link to Masters blog (free)

and here is some background on skyebluepink

and her most recent post here

TinFoilHatGuy, ComfyChair and Snakehead,

You still think She's not trying to tell you something?

I generally leave the interpretation of signs and portents to others. But I'd go with the lower figure, 8-14, if I were a betting man.

Can the ships now working over the well continue in a Tropical Storm with winds 39mph to 74mph? If so what impact would that have on collection and flaring?

Hmmmm.... well, take a look at pictures number 1 and 35 in this set: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/oil_in_the_gulf_two_months_lat.... .....

- That is one seriously crowded piece of ocean, and collisions are potentially disastrous
- It's covered in flammable hydrocarbons
- There are two huge flares running 24x7
- There's a mile-long pipe to the bottom, and it needs to remain vertical, or things get even messier

I sure wouldn't like to be around there when a storm whips up....

Regards Chris

"The 2010 hurricane season is set to become even more extreme, with 18-21 named storms now in the forecast, and some of those storms will impact the oil spill in the Gulf.

I sure hope this guy is wrong."

He always is.

I'd say there's a 50/50 chance he is. [smirk]

Chance has no memory. I do.

some great video of Enterprise and Q4000 starting at minute 1:40


some great video of Enterprise and Q4000 starting at minute 1:40

NBC's Kerry Sanders reporting:

"The reason they're burning it is, their goal is to eliminate it from getting to shore. And the belief is, if they burn it right here, they don't have to worry about it making its way over into the shoreline about 50-80 miles from here."

Cross your fingers that they're right and that none of that oil they're burning makes it to shore!

Shocked, I'm shocked! Who would have thought:


The judge who overturned deepwater drilling bans allowing BP to resume oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico, had shares in Transocean and other firms in the industry, it was revealed today.

Yes, now you have one piece of information about the judge, clearly more than enough to draw a conclusion.

Which may or may not turn out to be accurate, as with so many other stories about the spill. On the face of it, it shows that he had those shares 2 years ago, and divested himself of some of his oil interests at the time.

Instead of looking at the hype, look at whether the Judge Feldman finally recuses himself, or is forced to do so by the 5th Appeals. That will tell you a great deal more about the truth of the story.

Judges are supposed to recuse themselves at the mere APPEARANCE of impartiality or conflict of interest (this rule is intended to foster confidence in the Judiciary). That the judge has financial ties to a party involved in litigation before his court CLEARLY gives the appearance of conflict of interest. That this judge has not recused himself so, even after the media exposed the potential conflict, makes him all the more suspect.

Whether he recuses himself, is forced to recuse, or gets to stay on the job, it's nearly ludicrous on its face to assume his motivation was to make a few bucks, given the catastrophe that he's looking at

I hope this oil does not effect me too bad in the long run. I understand that different people have different levels of sensitivity. The BP press release photos do not encourage me much.

This one turned out creepy.

Federal Gov't Halts Sand Berm Dredging

Nungesser Pleads With President To Allow Work To Continue

NEW ORLEANS -- The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico... Nungesser said the government has asked crews to move the dredging site two more miles farther off the coastline.


Already reported but did you see the pictures? It did look like they were disturbing habitats.