BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Methane Levels Unusually High - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6655.

One issue we have read about recently is very elevated methane levels in dissolved sea water, near where the oil and gas mixture are currently escaping in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 40% of the oil/gas mixture that is escaping is natural gas, and it is some of the natural gas (which is mostly methane) that seems to be dissolving in the water.

The most recent report on this issue is from John Kesseler, Professor of Oceanography at Texas A & M University. He reports that near the surface, levels of methane are normal, but “Below approximately 1,000 meters, the concentration of natural gas and methane in the ocean waters jumps by a factor of one million.” In other areas, methane concentrations are 100,000 times normal levels.

The microorganisms that feed on methane can use up part of the oxygen in an area, and, if this happens to a great enough degree, can create "dead zones". At this point, there seems to be some oxygen depletion, but not enough to cause dead zones.

According to Kessler, "At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is."

Earlier in June a team of scientists lead by Samantha Joye of University of Georgia also found very high methane concentrations in some areas, farther from where the rig was originally located. She spoke of methane levels 10,000 times background levels. Her discussions were in the context of oil and gas plumes. She mentioned reduced oxygen levels as well, which are still being studied.

This seems to be a story that is still developing. Both teams of scientists are still analyzing data, and more information may be announced in the next weeks or months.

new stuff in this introductory comment, 23 JUN 10.

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Time to begin fabrication of a massive dome/ box structure that when finished will be placed on the sea floor directly over the BOP wellhead at MC252. Box structure will be driven into sea floor mud as far as is easily feasible. Structure will be cabled to seafloor to anchors driven into the bedrock of seafloor.

Dome structure will have several bulkheads for attaching valves suitable for quick connect of piping to surface producing ships, pipelines direct to onshore refineries, and provide for additional future uses.

The BOP will thus be completely enclosed within this dome/box structure and all oil will be contained within the dome. Obviously the mud seal at the base of the dome will only withstand a pressure of a few hundred PSI relative to the ambient pressure of the seabed at 5,000 foot, Therefore constant monitoring of the pressure within the dome will be necessary to allow venting of the oil should the pressure within it become too great.

Structure will be modular in design and allow for future attachments as can be reasonably anticipated.
This design allows for the worst case scenario, that is, failure of the bottom kill.

Sounds good.

Couldn't the dome/box have a long continuous "blade" around its perimeter that would drive deep into the mud floor to improve the seal?
Also if the structure had a wide flange at the base, it could be heavily weighted.

Also, large storage tanks could be sunk to the seabed nearby to cope with overflow during bad weather when tanker ships had to be disconnected...


I was also thinking of using winches on the anchoring cables to drive the walls of the box into the mud. A big problem would be all the metal pipe and debris scattered on the seafloor that will prevent the box from making a good seal. Some sort of site prep to clear the way would no doubt be necessary. Blades/ Rakes/ Draglines are likely necessary.

Bottom line, Now that Relief Well 1 & 2 is plan "A", what is plan "B"? We keep hearing talk of casing failure, missing the well bore, formation collapse, and hurricanes. Clearly, This disaster will not end until we get our shiite together.

"Some sort of site prep to clear the way would no doubt be necessary. Blades/ Rakes/ Draglines are likely necessary."

Scallop Dredgers would do the trick. Just take a look at the reefs around Elephant Trunk in the Gulf of Maine.

"Now that Relief Well 1 & 2 is plan "A", what is plan "B"?"

May I offer that RW 1 + 2 is really Plan X and Y...with only plan Z left...which is what is addressed above IMHO.

They should have been working on Plan Z weeks and weeks ago...just like NASA...mega redundancy.

Has anyone heard anything about evacuation preparations?

I'm in Tampa and just saw this. Nothing credible or conformed as far as i can tell, but hey...you never know, since the government isn't saying much.

"Plans to Evacuate Tampa Bay Are Put Into Place ; Pensacola Beach Closed "

Gulf Oil Spill 2010: Plans to evacuate Tampa Bay area are in place.

As FEMA and other government agencies prepare for what is now being called the worst oil spill disaster in history, plans to evacuate the Tampa Bay area are in place.

The plans would be announced in the event of a controlled burn of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico, or if wind or other conditions are expected to take toxic fumes through Tampa Bay.

This practice has been used by the US Forestry service, when fire and smoke threaten the health and well being of people.

The elderly and those with respiratory problems would be more susceptible to health risks, in the event of a controlled burn.

Estimates of the rate of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill have varied. Independent scientists now suggest that the true spill rate, before the riser pipe was cut off in June, was between 20,000 and 50,000 barrels a day.

Since the April 20th explosion, which resulted in the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, there have been more than a million gallons of chemicals poured into the Gulf of Mexico in efforts to break up the spill. The chemicals have come under scrutiny because of their own toxic nature.

It is not certain if the massive slick will have to be set on fire near Tampa Bay, but the possibility has not been ruled out.

Pensacola Beach is CLOSED due to the oil disaster.



I'm reposting this here for more eyeballs. Magically disappearing offshore trajectory forecasts due to . . . the small amount of oil offshore . . . just about the time when people can smell and see for themselves what the truth is. And over 400 dead sea turtles, who've died of . . . wait for it . . . red tide? suffocation from trawl nets? Both articles linked to NOAA in some way. My gut tells me that we are going to be really sorry about those dispersants. We are truly in George Orwell Land, interesting times. I'm going to bed, disgusted and sad again.

G'nite Iaato. Me, I have insomnia, caused in part by Gulf-Spill I.

Lots of people - politicians, talking heads, think-tank spokespeople and the like - are spewing copious quantities of sage advice about how to stop this leak, why it cannot happen again, and why 2 miles down, 6 to 8 miles horizontal off shore in Alaska is just fine. None are talking about why we are compelled to do this. Why we are fighting endless wars in remote locations. Why we absolutely cannot do without our daily fix of 82 Million Barrels of oil.

Bobby Jindahl and friends, liberally lubricated by limitless lucor from their sponsors, cry that only their jobs, these jobs, are important. Never mind that as a nation we could, no should... no make that we must replace our dated, inefficient, carbon-dioxide producing energy grid and transportation infrastructure, and that doing so would provide many more jobs than deep water drilling in the GOM.

Crap! No wonder I can't sleep. Endless reading about insanity; ceaseless droning, on and on. All motivated by the great unseen hand of Ronald Reagan in answer to the mantra of modern economics, "Greed is good." It's enough to make one ill.

Best hopes for a good night's sleep.


Zaphod old buddy,

It is truly worse than you think.

We are in truly deep doo doo and no mistake because we are mainlining petroleum addicts.

But most of us in this forum are blind to a second reality because we hate the guts of the bau crowd and conservatives in general;but the fact that they are wrong about many OTHER things does not mean that they are wrong about our (short term) economic survival.

Of course they are sort of painted into a corner on this issue, as openly admitting our ADDICTION and describing it in truly honest language would be to admit political defeat;all they can do is paint the opposition as econuts and hope like hell that the oil keeps flowing, regardless of the price, human ecological , or financial.

For the OTHER basic fact of the matter is that withdrawal is probably going to kill us.

We are out of time.Doubtless if we had more time, the costs of renewables would drop far enough to save our butts, when combined with lifestyle changes.

If the flow of oil diminishes greatly in the short term, the results are going to go beyond a few million more people losing thier jobs.

The stage will be well and inevitably set for a revolution of a very bloody sort.I expect the best we could hope for would be to find ourselves living under a totalitarian govt eating beans and potatos and hoping for an issue of cabbage and fatback occasionally;and that is probably overoptimistic in respect to the short term.

I am well on the way to being ready to bunker down for a year or so and stay as much as possible out of sight of anyone with a gun who may be contemplating long pig for dinner. ;)

Are you?

Thanks for this.You are so right!We need some collective wisdom to prevail .The atmosphere of Mother Earth and her ocean are affected by our greed.

My gut tells me that we are going to be really sorry about those dispersants.

It wouldn't surprise me if in a year or two, an official government report will come out saying the use of dispersants in this "spill" was a very big mistake.

Why the cleanup hasn't been federalized is a big mystery.

It's looking bad for Hillsborough County, when the hurricane hits it's very likely that the oil-rain-lightning-methane bomb will go off right over McDill and you know what that means.

Like a shopping mall? That's right,let's drop a shopping mall on the damn thing, Oh wait! Didn't we alreay try that? Nevermind, this time we will drop one with a magical fairy dust collection system or something or the other, right-o, thats the ticket! let's contact the wild oil well department at Walmart, they will certainly have mitigated these minor DW blow out issues in previous developments - Hey!, they probably have a chinese guy that is good at math or science or whatever!

What is the advantage of this proposed dome over BP's current plan to replace the containment cap by unbolting the stub of the riser and bolting the new containment cap directly to the flat, circular flange on top of the BOP?

It's already been fabricated.

The original, large containment dome would fit the ticket perfectly. Just cut openings in the ceiling, to avoid hydrates formation and to allow hydrates to escape, and build gantrys that hold a containment cap that can be maneuvered into position and held there, with greater control than with the one suspended below the ship LMRP.

The inside of the dome could be fitted with adjustable supports for the BOP.

The containment dome has the proper dimensions, it fits around the BOP, and can be arrayed with greater supports, to cover a wider section of the seabed, for greater stability.

Gulf Shores here. We got hit bad today. Worst one yet. The smell was strong. I was in it for 2 hours and I now have a headache. The were oil waves breaking. There were workers there in yellow Hazmat suits, but no respirators. I will let the pictures say the rest.

From my bucket: http://s892.photobucket.com/albums/ac126/tinfoilhatguy/Gulf%20Shores%206...

Sorry, man.

Goddamnit - why are these people not being provided respirators?

I am tough and can take it. These folks needed them. I am old school military. CNS hut and all. This is a problem. So what does the enlightened City of Gulf Shores do? Throw a Jimmy Buffett concert and get 100,000 people to come. What do you think the fencing was for. Someone stop this NOW!

BP has been deemed Too Big To Fail. One of the problems with their oilfield ops going to hell is that BP has become primarily a huge financial institution. As long as Geithner and Company are calling the shots, no amount of BP brutality will be seriously challenged by the USG.

Tinfoilhatguy --

what county is this ?

Here in Baldwin County-

At first I thought you wrote what country was this and I was thinking, "I do not know."

I read it the same way and had the same thought.

To original post, you can try disposable filter masks with activated charcoal in them, if the vapor levels are not too bad. Something like McMaster 5450T35. They are not great; they are somewhat expensive; but they are better than nothing and (probably) more comfortable than rubber. I picked a model with an exhale valve - you don't need the mesh, but the valve helps with humidity.

But if you are hired by BP to clean up you are NOT ALLOWED to wear a respirator even if you buy it yourself.

Clint Guidry, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, and a third-generation shrimp fisherman, alleges that BP is preventing fishermen from wearing respirators because allowing workers to use the masks would entail acknowledging they face respiratory danger.

AMY GOODMAN: What about respirators? Are people wearing respirators?

CLINT GUIDRY: No, ma’am. Having had prior experience, I know these people. They’re friends. They’re family. I bought respirators, and I brought them down to these people. And when they tried to wear them, the BP representatives on site told them that it wasn’t a dangerous situation, and they didn’t need to wear them, and if they did, they would be taken off the job.

AMY GOODMAN: If they wore respirators, they’d be taken off the job?



Escambia County should be evacuated. I mean look at that? How come the general population hasn't been issued MOP suits? This is a scandal of the first order. This is what happens when the Bilderburgers take a nap. Let's just say it, this is worser than a nuclear war. I mean we got that poison soup thing turning into an orange mousse? Hell that's a reason just to end life on this planet for bad cooking.


since you are on the ground ....you hear bout any oil/sheen entering the mouths of either mobile bay or perdido bay ?

If you don't know what COUNTRY you are in then those fumes are hitting harder than you think ;) If I was giving you a neuro checkout I would be worried and refer you to hospital.


I guess maybe they finally found an opportunity to use all those FEMA coffins?


You know what? Cut the NWO crap. It's not helping.

Sorry Snakehead.

It was tongue in cheek. I was trying to be a little humorous, that's how I deal with fiasco's.

My point was probably far too subtle, but my point was this.

If we were getting information from the government on what the hell is really going on, there wouldn't be all this conspiracy NWO BS coming out of the woodwork like it is.

When he was elected, Obama promised the most transparent government in history, yet there is no denying what we have is the least transparent government in history, or at least in my lifetime.

Sorry, man. There's so much of that crap that comes across here that the subtlety gets lost sometimes. I finished out a discussion with dougr an hour or so ago. He claims that the the reason the USG response to the disaster has been chaotic and inept is that the NWO isn't cracking the whip. They're not cracking the whip because of an anticipated upsurge in solar storms and they're off building "seedbanks".

There is something to be said about the solar cycles and how it affects the earth. I ,not so fondly, recall the massive power grid failure in Quebec....and that particular solar storm was a glancing blow.

I've followed the SOHO spacecraft (not literally...lol) for many years and I must say, we've been very lucky during the last 2 Solar Maximums as the massive Coronal Mass Ejections have mostly pointed away from Earth. Every credible scientist out there will agree that a head on impact from a CME will have serious global repercussions. So maybe it's not a bad thing that the Lone Gunmen are hunkering down.

LOL, where are they now when we actually need them?!!! They're almost like cops...everywhere when you don't want to see them, nowhere to be found when you need one.

...and I'm going to beat this dead horse just a little more, since I still don't have its attention...

With this ongoing epic oil catastrophe, throw in a hurricane and a direct hit from a large CME...North America would likely become a Planet of the Apes sequel and cease to exist as a functioning anything.

Okay, done beating the dead horse.

The most important thing the Devil can do is enforce the K-Mart laws.

You left out a Little Dale win in the FireCracker

Solar proton energies are in the 10s to 100s of MeV. The well established range-energy relation for air tell us that the bulk will not penetrate deeper than 30 km above the surface. There is a tail that can go as low as 10 km and the 1989 storm was notable in its deep penetration compared to the 2003 storm. Even if the Sun ejects protons in the direction of the Earth, they will disperse due to their initial thermal energy and coulomb forces. At most you will get a short lived ozone depletion event at high latitudes (through HOx and NOx catalytic cycles).

We are lucky our Sun is stable and does not emit protons in the GeV range. If it did then life could be periodically cleaned from the surface of the earth.

Maybe the formeldahyde conteracts the methane?

More likely they are synergistic. Let's set a few up and have the BP execs live in them until they get the spill contained!

Best wishes for luxury beach housing on the GOM


...all those ParrotHeads breathin in oil

Looks like a carpet of tarballs.

Back in 1980 when Mexico's Ixtoc was gushing, the beaches on South Padre Island (Texas) were also covered with tar balls and remained so for two years after oil stopped flowing. S. Padre Island is 320 miles from bay of Campeche where Ixtoc let go and Gulf Shores is 95 miles from Macondo (MS Canyon 252). Hope you fare better than south shore Texans did in 1980.

Friends here in St. Louis have a condo on beach at Gulf Shores (maybe in one of the low rise buildings in your photo) and they have no renters this summer. They supplement their SS retirement income with rent from the condo. They might have to be more frugal for the next two years.

Did you see my movies? That was not dark sand in the breaking in waves. That was petroleum. You could see it in the water for miles and miles. This was not a carpet of tarballs. This was spilled oil on the beach and in the water. This was after the cleanup crew had worked all day. Thanks BP. I fear it will get worse before it gets better.

So... is the non-floating oil a result of the dispersant? I wish some of the gung-ho pro-dispersant people had to stand on that beach beside you, and try to wrap their brains around how the hell to remove oil covering and soaking into the sand underwater from the beach out to who knows how far. Our only tools to deal with this are skimmers, floating boom, and kitty litter scoopers. What do we do with the oil that escapes those 3 miserably ineffective tools? Just pretend it's not there? Pray for it to vanish?

BP, the gift that keeps on giving.

Ixtoc 1 happened at 19 N 92 W which is 600 miles from the Port Isabel lighthouse on South Padre (26 N 97 W).

(The mileage is tricky...., many sources use 300 Kilometers, but the oil traveled 600 miles in 2 months)

Oops on the 300 KM.

However, the mileage is 600.

You are correct, its more like 640 miles.
In 1980 I was attending the U of MO in Columbia, MO and a usual ritual of many Missouri students was to head for South Padre Island during spring break (mid March). Well the news was showing oil coming ashore on Padre and few if any students headed to Texas beaches that year or the next. I went to Colorado for snow skiing in 1980.

The Macondo blowout may be sending tarballs to the GOM's north shore beaches for another two years :(

The Macondo blowout may be sending tarballs to the GOM's north shore beaches for another two years :(

I know....without adequate studies from Ixtoc, we're sitting in an unknown...

Friends here in St. Louis have a condo on beach at Gulf Shores (maybe in one of the low rise buildings in your photo) and they have no renters this summer. They supplement their SS retirement income with rent from the condo. They might have to be more frugal for the next two years.

Before and after Ike. It's been two years. The number of rebuilds you can count on one hand and not use all your fingers.

An oil spill is terrible and wide spread. A hurricane is nasty and permanent. I'm crossing my fingers they don't get both.

TFHG: Take some time and think about it. What do you all need there, besides the chemical onslaught to stop? Not from BP, not from the USG; USG is helping BP manage the damage. There are millions of people who want to know the best way to help you and everybody else along the Gulf.

Were you able to talk to these guys? Rumor has it they are ordered not to wear even their own respirators or else they would be fired.

Hey, tinfoil, your pictures, videos, and reports are much appreciated. I wonder, did you see any unusual "bubbling" in the waves as reported via youtube on a post earlier today? Take care, friend.


Yes, it looks bad, and it seems like the oil will be back tomorrow :(

Man this makes me sick. I hope you all are watching the storms and planning (at least). These are not going to be normal storm surges this year.

Category 2 Hurricane Bob of 1991 blew sea spray inland 4 miles (7 km) inland over Cape Cod.

The Category 3 New England Hurricane of 1938 was able to cause salt damage to trees as far as 45 miles inland.

(the "Wind and Oil" section)

Please play it safe down there.

I can't even imagine how this is going to impact the Gulf Coast summer tourist season. It's gonna be a blood bath. Here in NOLA we are in our normal summer doldrums off season, but is much more quiet than usual. Scary quiet. I have lots of friends in the service industry and they are barely scraping by. I mean it's usually hard this time of year, but this is much worse. My housemate works in the CBD and I often bring her to work in the morning and pick her up in the evening. At 8:30 in the morning you could literally shoot a cannon down Poydras Street and not hit a soul. That's scary.

The issue goes beyond methane, but the formation of large amounts of methane hydrates that precipitate out.

I wonder if inhaled any methane from Macondo today. Do you think so? Not being sarcastic, being honest.

Probably lots of VOCs, not much methane (it has already mostly gassed out).

Probably, but what may be more of a worry is the benzene and other light ends you snorted up. Did you notice anyone taking air samples? You and the other locals should look for EPA/OSHA types doing monitoring. If there aren't any, start raising hell with the local authorities. Ask around. Hand held air monitors are available that will detect hydrocarbons. They can be purchased from industrial supply houses such as Grainger. They are not heap but it might be worth passing the hat around and purchasing one. Anyone who has ever done industrial safety work or has had hazmat training will be of help.

I am not so worried about me and I have a 78 year old aunt that calls me every day worried about how the oil spill will kill her in various ways. I use her as my canary in a coal mine. When she says she can't take it anymore, I am outta here. When you said snorted benzene and light ends, I thought you were talking about my hell raising days.

I'm worried about all of you, and I fear that you guys will have to monitor for your own safety.

Are the Cajuns safe or have you moved? As for me 50% Spanish Creole/50% Korean. The two sides have never met. Probably a good thing, the Korean branch got stuck on the north side of the border in the 50's.

Went north about 18 years ago. Fell in love with the Fall and my wife and stayed. Grew up and spent most of my life in SE Texas ans SW La. I still have family and many friends along the bayous and the coast. I am heart sick and damned angry.

"As for me 50% Spanish Creole/50% Korean"

Wow, that's quite the mix! We should probably save some of your genes (and perhaps jeans too) in a vault somewhere. You've got most of the globe covered with that mix...lol. France, Nova Scotia, UK and Europe, Asia. If you marry an Indian woman of African decent, we'll have every inhabited continent covered. (I'm lumping South American with the Spanish part)

You know how many different designations for race on forms I have checked off? Thank God mixed is now on all forms.

"You know how many different designations for race on forms I have checked off? Thank God mixed is now on all forms."

When the DMV asked me my race for my drivers license, I replied 'Master'.

LOL, I almost didn't get my license because of that.

I would laugh about the air quality problem, but I remember that poor fella from Kansas who was getting sick on day 10, so it's no joke really. Sadly there's not much we can do, if you live near the ocean I would advise selling you property now for what you can get. (If you have waterfront I will take up payments out of the decency of my heart). Also don't mess with the mullet, they are profoundly contaminated. I will do my best to take care of the problem from here, but I'm a pro, I advise you not to mess with them.

Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance
For weeks now, local hospitals have tracked patients with suspicious symptoms coming in from the gulf coast. Doctors are having trouble distinguishing it from the flu.

"What makes it challenging is that patients show up with non-specific symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, upset stomach," lists Dr. Claudia Miller at UT Health Science Center.

The illness is called "TILT," or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance. Patients lose tolerance to household products, medication, or even food after being exposed to chemicals, like burning oil, toxic fumes, or dispersants from the spill.

"Things like diesel fuel, exposure to fragrances, cleaning agents that never bothered them before suddenly bother them," adds Dr. Miller.

TILT has been difficult to track because symptoms are similar to the flu. Currently, Dr. Miller is educating primary care doctors on how to spot and treat the illness before it gets worse. Though it's not contagious, the best cure right now is staying away from affected areas.

"Be sure to wear protective equipment and stay out of areas with smell, if [you] feel sick," Dr. Miller says. "The smells are usually chemicals that can make them ill."

Those who are most at risk are pregnant women and patients with prior medical problems, like asthma. To see how susceptible you may be to the disease,
click here http://drclaudiamiller.com/QEESI


"The illness is called "TILT," or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance"

What a horribly perfect acronym. Tilt is also what happens when you're screwed in a poker game by a bad hand that beats you. The very next hand, you go on TILT and basically give up all hope.

"Those who are most at risk are pregnant women and patients with prior medical problems, like asthma"

That could easily be a line from the Novel A/H1N1 book.

Great...just freakin' wonderful.

The BOP is tilting... must be all those fumes it inhaled. ;)

Fund to provide respirators.


Repost – apologies to those who have already read it.

This (overlong) comment is basically a discussion of the (in)famous DougR posting.

First, I will say that in one area we are in complete agreement. BP and the USCG have been less than forth coming and in doing so have hurt both themselves and the general public as all kinds of wild rumors and technical misinformation abound. Some of this misinformation results in harm to individuals and businesses as people suffer increased stress and tourists cancel vacations.

In this information vacuum it is easy to make wrong assumptions that lead to mistaken conclusions. It can be made worse if you have some degree of technical knowledge and verbiage and use that to make a case for a scenario that doesn’t pass muster with actual engineering analysis but sounds highly authoritative to many people, some TV commentators and various politicians.

What eventually will happen is that the blow out preventer will literally tip over

DougR has made a case that he expects the BOP to tip over. He seems to base this on the following information.

1 – The well is leaking into the sediment below the mudline and that is undermining the foundation holding the BOP upright.

2 – In support of that theory he cites that BP cut off the broken riser to relieve pressure on the well.

3 – Currents are pushing on the BOP stack.

4 – He seems to believe the inclination or tilt of the BOP is increasing.

5 – The BOP, riser and well casing are eroding from the inside due to sand erosion further weakening the structure.

He weaves a visual picture of a 450 ton BOP waving around a hundred feet high supported by a thin piece of liner or well casing. Given that description it is understandable that people will believe the BOP is in immediate danger of collapse.

Looking at this from an engineering view point and using real data instead of conjecture and hyperbole I come to a much different conclusion.

The BOP is not in danger of tipping over.

Let look at each of his points.

1 – His theory seems to be that the well is blowing out the side about 1,000 feet below the mudline. I can understand, given the sparse and misleading information from BP and the USCG, how you could come to that conclusion. But let’s look at the actual make-up of the casing that supports the wellhead and the BOP. Here is the data:


First a 36” casing, up to 2” thick was put down. It extends from the mud line to 255 feet down, as tall as a 25 story building.

Next a 28” casing was run from the mudline to 1,150 feet down, almost the height of the Empire State building.

This was followed by a 22” casing from the mudline 2,870 feet down, twice as deep as the World Trade Center was high.

All three of these casings were completely cemented together and they form a very solid base which is what supports the BOP. I won’t detail the casing string below the 22” but is in the above pdf.

It is hard to envision any way the well would be able to leak out in the sediment between the mudline and the end of the 22” casing which is over a half mile down and well into formations below the mudline. At 1,000 feet there is a 1” thick pipe (the 22” casing) which is 100% cemented to another thick pipe (the 28” casing) which in turn is 100% cemented to the formation. Not much of a leak path there.

The immediate (first 1,000 feet) of well structure that remains is now also undoubtedly compromised.

There is no evidence that the foundation holding the BOP is being undermined or the upper portion of the casing (first 2,870 feet) is damaged. If you watch the leakage from under the LMRP cap you can see the oil and gas immediately start rising up at a pretty good velocity. If there were any oil or gas leaks anywhere near the BOP it would be very obvious as the leaks would look very much like the leakage from the cap and they would be quite visible as they flowed up around the BOP.

There are also occasional video shots of the lower part of the BOP and there is no sign of any seabed disturbance or subsidence. It looks pretty much like the earliest photos BP released.

The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking

What may be helping to confuse the situation is that there are two more concentric “pipes” that run from the wellhead area down into the well.

A 16” casing string is suspended about 160 feet below the mudline and runs down to over a mile below the mudline. This piece of casing is also sealed to the 22” casing and hangs down from there. The “annular” space is inside the 16” casing between it and the liner.

A 9-7/8” liner was installed from the mudline to the bottom of the well. This liner reduces down to 7” before it reaches the bottom. It was through this liner that the well was expected to produce oil and gas.

The 16” casing has three rupture/burst disks subs installed and one of those is at about 980 feet down. It was this “disk” that Admiral Allen was referring to when he said it “failed”. This would indicate the “well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking”. But a rupture of that disk does NOT leak directly into the mud. It leaks inside the well casing.

The leak would have to migrate down to the bottom of the 18” casing - 3,902 feet below the mudline before it left the well. I expect that BP thinks they may have underground blowout at that level, which would leak into another formation, not up to the surface unless the cement jobs at the 18” casing or the 22” casing were also bad and those were fully tested and used.

DougR also supports his theory of downhole leaks by stating:

80 Barrels per minute is over 200,000 gallons per hour, over 115,000 barrels per day...did we seen an increase over and above what was already leaking out of 115k bpd?....we did not...it would have been a massive increase in order of multiples and this did not happen.

But three paragraphs above he contradicts himself stating:

Early that afternoon we saw a massive flow burst out of the riser "plume" area


Later on same day we saw a greatly increased flow out of the kink leaks

2 – DougR says BP cut off the riser to relieve the pressure but the timeline of the events indicates otherwise. BP had released the design of the LMRP cap well before they started the Top Kill.

If BP had thought they had a leakage problem requiring a pressure reduction they would never have attempted a top kill. So the that claim they cut the riser to relieve the pressure doesn’t fit the facts, it fits the already announced plan to cut the riser and install the LMRP cap.

3 – There is very little current at 5,000 feet. There may be other forces acting on the BOP, like gravity, but the currents are minimal. It is easy to verify this just by watching the video of the oil leakage.

4 – DougR’s claim is that the inclination of the BOP is increasing. There is no evidence of this.

Early discussions on TOD when BP released the first pictures talked about the fact that the BOP to well head connection appeared bent and the BOP looked tilted. The pictures at that time (very bad quality) seem to show a bend between the base of the wellhead and the bottom of the BOP. I haven’t seen any evidence that this tilt has increased over time or that there is any less mud at the wellhead.

There is a good reason why the BOP wellhead connection could be bent and weakened. For over a day the DWH was without power and the 50,000 ton rig was anchored to the wellhead. The movements of the rig in the surface currents would have put a huge strain on the BOP stack.

Also, when the rig sank and the riser bent over it would also have put stress on the BOP. But the riser doesn’t weigh as much as most people would think as it has floatation on it.

It would be a reasonably easy exercise, if you have all the data, to calculate the force that bending the riser would impart to the BOP and the well head. I’m sure that BP did that calculation and it didn’t deter them from proceeding with the Top Kill.

The LMRP has a flexjoint where it connects to the BOP. I believe that flexjoint is designed to tip up to 7.5 or 10 degrees. Normally the LMRP is under some tension from the riser which tends to hold it straight. Without this support from the riser it will always tip to one side. So the LMRP will always have a substantial inclination, by design.

you may have noticed that some of the ROVs are using an inclinometer...and inclinometer is an instrument that measures "Incline" or tilt. The BOP is not supposed to be tilting...and after the riser clip off operation it has begun to...

The ROVs have been checking the bullseyes regularly, before and after the riser was cut. The box that DougR thinks is an inclinometer is likely some other instrument, probably ultrasonic. That would be backed up by another poster’s observation that they had been cleaning the area where the box was being used. They could be checking the wall thickness at that point or trying to determine fluid flow. Both are more likely that an inclinometer reading.

5 - Erosion

I am convinced the erosion and compromising of the entire system is accelerating and attacking more key structural areas of the well, the blow out preventer and surrounding strata holding it all up and together.

I‘m not sure if DougR is referring to internal pipeline erosion or external foundation erosion and I may be doing him a disservice but there has been enough other discussion about internal erosion to try to correct some misconceptions.

When we have been talking about erosion we are talking about small restrictions that have been eroded where the oil flow has to pass small spaces. The most dramatic example was the increase in the leaks at the riser kink. They started at almost nothing and grew dramatically over time. A similar process was occurring inside the BOP.

There are a lot of variables that effect erosion but the biggest is velocity. The only place that there is erosion in this well is where there are tight restrictions which have high velocity and large pressure reductions. These seem to be inside the BOP and the riser kink when it was still there. The original cross section of the leak path was probably less than 0.20 sq in. With the very high velocity this restriction would have eroded very quickly. The five fold increase in the flow estimate in the first few days of the spill would be consistent with this theory as is the continuing increase in flow estimates. As the restriction enlarges the pressure drops and the erosion slows down. This is also consistent with various pressure readings at the bottom of the BOP, dropping from the “8,000 to 9,000 psi” to 4,400 psi on May 25.

The velocity inside the casing, liner, body of the BOP and the riser is relatively low. I doubt that it would be possible to detect the erosion on the casing or riser with the naked eye. It would take years of flow before there would be enough structural damage from internal erosion to cause any problems.

This is especially true for vertical or near vertical piping. In a horizontal pipe sediment can drop to the bottom and over time wear a groove on the bottom of the pipe, which is not the case here.

All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit...after that, it goes into the realm of "the worst things you can think of" The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out...as I said...all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more.

This statement brings together all DougR’s suppositions. I’m not sure if he is actually that frightened himself or if he just enjoys scaring others, but his conclusions come pretty close to fear mongering.

Besides painting a picture of a completely out of control blowout (which is a true worst case), in his “very least damaging outcome” he pretty much doubles the amount of maximum flow that this well could produce according to analysis that has been presented on TOD by well experts.

BP’s FIASCO - lack of information.

If BP and the USG were more inclined to transparency a lot of this aggravation could be avoided. You will never convince the conspiracy theorists, it is a life style they enjoy. But the MSM would not be quite as far out there if they were presented factual information, even if they couldn’t understand it.

Just doing a quick review of this long post I came up with this list of questions BP or the USG could answer that would indicate some transparency.

Have you found any seabed leaks of oil and gas?

Edit – Evidently this was answered by USCG at a press conference with an emphatic “No”. No seabed leak, no washing away of the well head foundation, no traction for the DougR theory.

Do you believe there are any leaks from the well into other formations?, which ones?

Has the inclination of the BOP changed?, By how much?

Describe the “disk failure” at 1,000 feet.

Are you concerned about the structural integrity of the BOP?, wellhead?, the LMRP?, the casing?

Describe the formation levels.

What are the current pressure readings inside the BOP?, the historical readings?

Is there any indication of seabed movement at the base of the BOP?

What are the ROVs doing when they are looking at the seabed?

What is the little black box the ROVs place on the riser?

I could go on for pages. I understand that BP has legal reasons why they won’t comment on the flow rates or what happened to cause the blowout. But there are reams of information that they could be providing the public.

Thanks for setting the record straight. Several friends that are technically oriented have repeated the theory of DougR and now I have info to combat the misinformation. Too bad MSM picks up this conjecture (edit) from people like DougR and runs with it.

Shelburn, a picture tells a thousand words. Can you dig any out of the largest sizes of casings and how they are driven into the mud? Try and give people some idea of scale. Just a thought.


Wow, that took a lot of work. What a public service.

The doomsday scenario is a distinct internet art from. I say that in all seriousness. People thirve on them for the same reasons people like roller coasters and horror movies, but also because they help express fears and anxiety druing a crisis. They are most effective when people believe they plausible, but aren''t sure whether they are true, and are stuck in that suspense/tension.

DougR's doomsday scenario was a masterpiece. It got past some the most sophisticated noses for sniffing out BS in the business, outside of TOD. These pros who can normally sniff out internet BS, trash and scams a mile away got taken in by the sheer terror of DourgR's DDS. Having the oil gushing on the internet 24/7 helps fuel the terror and plausibility. DougR's mastery of the genre enabled him to rocket his doomsday scenario from chatroom obscurity to major blogs, chain e-mails, insider's sites and a host of places across the spectrum, including probably the halls of congress, until it shot onto cable tv the other day.

That takes talent. My hat's of to DougR. I don't think he intendts to hurt anyone or defraud anyone. This is his art form. Maybe he's hoping to get rich and famous from it, are you DougR?

I suspect the trajectory of the tipping BOP DDS has now reached its apex and will crash into obscurity quickly. The game is up, or will be soon.

I beg to differ.

I think dougr's lunatic rant was transparent nonsense and the fact that it passed muster at so many MSM editorial desks, and elsewhere, just illustrates how ill-educated (regardless of credentials) and incapable of basic critical thinking most humans are, in this 21st century.

Further, if it was an expression of his "art," dougr is engaged in a despicable "artistic" practice.

Digby fell for it.

It's a species of the internet hoax. It's street art, like graffiti. '

But I acknowledge your point of view, too.

Pleeeze! Don't insult graffiti.

"Art" that inflicts great pain on already despairing people. Vicious nasty stuff.

But Jeffery Dahlmer was an artist too.

re: 'wellhead/BOP is falling over in the mud'

If the point of failure is at the bottom of the 36" string, at a conservative (compared to the wild theories) lean angle of 8 degrees, the entire structure would be moved laterally 35 feet from its original position in the seabed.

If the point of failure is at the bottom of the 28" string, 8 degrees would give a lateral shift of 161 feet.

Point of failure at the bottom of the 22" string, 8 degrees would be 403 feet. And due to the angle a good bit of the bottom of the BOP structure would be submerged under the mud.

Everyone can see the seafloor around the 36" casing, and it would be damned obvious if it had moved. It hasn't.


Thanks for the analysis. But, a couple of "things" still bother me. The Wall Street Journal reported that people familiar with BP’s “top-kill” attempt have speculated that "... some drilling mud may have escaped the well into the surrounding rock..." Allen wasn't sure: "... And we don’t know, we don’t know if the wellbore has been compromised or not... Then, there is the infamous "disk failure" at 1,000 feet.

How sure can we be that the wellbore has not been compromised?

Thanks for a very nice condensation and iteration of many facts. It seems that some of the MSM took an assertion earlier on that TOD is an "Industry think tank" seriously, and did not investigate and learn that real items are posted above, and what follows in commentary is just that, the thoughts, questions, and speculations of just about anyone who has a computer and is interested enough to log in.

Not that many comments are not worthy... they are. One must learn to weigh the comments. Speculation is easy. Divination of truth much more difficult.

As for the reams of information BP could be providing, your earlier comment correctly states the problem. Their legal department is without a doubt controlling the information. As the primary responsible party, they cannot afford idle speculation, or undue alarm, and their lawyers have certainly directed them to be more than just a bit circumspect.

It is difficult, even for me, to consider that, just maybe, they are not happy campers, and that they did not exactly welcome this disaster. They have to deal with it as best they can. Considering my view that BP, PLC is not the major asset holder of the many BP entities, and could if they wished legally 'skip out.' I am somewhat surprised that they are doing as much as they already have.

And, as to DougR, and others tempted to mucky up the waters, consider Dilbert's view...



tollertwins posted on the previous closed thread:

Great post, Shelburn! I think one reason that people freak easily is that nobody that isn't in the awl bidness understands the scale of what is happening down there.

This isn't helped by the fact that nobody can produce a readable to-scale drawing of the well and fit it on a single page. So everything looks more 'fragile' than it really is.

Somebody over on drillingproboards made a comment that if you made the borehole 4" wide like people do in whiteboard drawings, that depicting it propertly would take a roll of paper almost 700 feet long.

I grabbed this from an earlier post; sorry but don't know who put it up but it's supposed to be to scale. It's the Enterprise connect to the top of the well, 5000 feet of sea. Now add another two and a half plus lengths for the well itself to get to the total 18K run:


Looks like whoever did the sketch dropped a decimal. At that scale they have the water 50,000 feet deep, not 5,000.

The 700 feet paper to represent a 4" wide depiction of the well bore would be about a 1:8 scale drawing. The ship would have to be another roll of paper 100 feet across the top.

As posted above some of the large mats of oil have hit the beaches of NW Florida real hard. There was a little euphoria as it looked like the next high tide had removed a lot of the oil on the beach. That was well and good until a professor from South Florida came along and dug a 10" deep trench normal to the tide line and Gulf. Every time he dug a trench it exposed a layer of oil approximately 1" thick at 6" deep. This oil will sit there until we get a higher energy event high the normal high tide. This is a beach bomb.
There were several of us old timers that tried to tell the people in charge that it would be inadvisable to leave any oil on the beach. We told them that even the quarter size tar balls needed to be remover ASAP or they would get buried. The general response we received was don't worry about it, it's under control of our experts.

unclesyd, I have been reading PNJ.com and it is very bad. I think they have made a terrible mistake as you have said. I won't be down there for a couple of more weeks and I am afraid to think what it will be like then.

You kidding me? They are still running the ineffective, parallel to the shore, boom fantasies around here.

From previous thread:

All track projections run into the Yucatan. There has been a trend westward over the last few days. Projections seem to aim it more at Mexico/Texas side.

Three models (out of six reported) still have it going north (GFS, GFDL, HWRF).

But "A likely landfall location is impossible to speculate on reliably at this point, and the storm could hit virtually anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico coast given the current uncertainty in its development." - Jeff Masters (weather underground)


I've been following the action at STORM2K : http://www.storm2k.org/phpbb2/viewforum.php?f=59

A few observations:

1) Invest 93L has taken a long time to form, and it wasn't until today that all of the major models called for it to intensify.

2) The models are calling for landfall - somewhere. I think if we all exhaled in the same direction it might push the storm in a new direction.

3) Celia is a CAT5 tonight. From what I've gathered, it's only the second CAT5 in the Eastern Pacific this early in the season. Also, this is the first time there have been CAT5 storms in the EPAC two years in a row.

4) STORM2K is an interesting website, but a few pages into a discussion and the wisdom of TOD NOT having forum member avatars, inline bios and sigs becomes very apparent. (One of the avatars, an animated GIF, is not only NSFW, but simply gross.) There are times when I wish TOD had more images, but too many graphics (and duplicates in the same page) is just... bad.

5) At least one pro forecaster mentioned he is on conference calls for the spill. I was infuriated to hear that he couldn't say much about what he heard, or told them. Deepwater Horizon stopped being a BP private corporate matter when the BOP failed to prevent the blowout, and this secrecy crap needs to stop. Now.

quizmasterchris--from the last post

:) ...not everyone on a rig earns 1500 bucks a day...in fact i was specifically talking about the top dawgs on a rig.....i was just trying to make a point that people are starting to feel enough heat that the top dawgs on rigs are willing to work as the lowest plebs on rigs right now.....and yes the trickle down economic effect of people who work on rigs is of big economic importance to a state like LA.....LA has ONLY two major industries....fishing and offshore oil and gas.....most businesses are directly or indirectly liked to either or both.....and now LA has neither...(i suppose an argument could be made for a third imp industry i.e. tourism but that too wont work in the current environment)

IMHO the idea that this is a 6 month stoppage is wrong .....like i say the rigs are moving ...6 have been contracted ...another 3 are in the process of being contracted.....they will move to brazil or africa or somewhere....now a DW rig is like a small city block on a boat....it takes a firm commitment and a lot of money to move a DW rig that kind of distances.....i would imagine upwards of 25 million all things considered just to move this monster to somewhere like brazil .....and before a drilling contractor will make a move...they will need firm commitment form operators in brazil for atleast 2-3 years of work to justify their move.....so once a rig is gone we can kiss it goodbye for a good amount of time.....this means repair yards....service companies .....logistics ...workshops....marine mechanics....helicopter outfits involved in transporting crews on and off rigs...all will just have to close shop .....so i don't understand how the govt is thinking its a 6 month moratorium and at the first week after 6 months all thing will suddenly be rosey again just like that....just my humble opinion....i never said my point of view was not biased....i am after all one of the "dirty lying oil men" the MSM warns ya'll about :)

wildbourgman -- (from last post)

then i shot form the hip and will ask that you accept my apology ....i must've been talking about some other poster ....cuz the person I was directing my post towards had said this about BOP testing in DW ops ...

Posted on ali's comment by accident. Sorry.

Got busy for most of the rest of the day (still working on something for tomorrow morning unfortunately) but wanted to come back to the conversation you, Syncro, I and believe retiredL were having on the earlier thread. Someone argued that Feldman, although being "creative" in his opinion likely was cute enough in how he did it to make it stick. You know, that may well be; can't argue with that. It could go either way and depends on the next reviewing court. I have zero personal experience in or with the 5th; from what I read, and a bit of study on the Comer v Murphy Oil case (see http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/06/01/01greenwire-court-tosses-landmar... and latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-0624-oilspilljudges-20100623,0,6808793.story ), it is, shall we say, an interesting circuit. If you want some real grins, check out the dichotomy between the opinion and dissents in the actual Comer opinion ( http://www.eenews.net/assets/2010/06/01/document_gw_01.pdf ).

Well, at any rate, I have no idea what will happen in the 5th. Heck I am not even convinced the government is really giving their best effort on this; if so, it has been rather, shall we say, uneven to date. Still, to my eye and experience, I think Feldman pulled a fast one with his opinion in light of the relevant standard of review. But, hey, ain't like it is the first, or last, time that has ever happened. I just find the opinion curious and interesting, and think that there have been about zero informed media takes on it and few even on informed blogs. The one here has been an exception, and I have enjoyed it.

bmaz: I said on earlier comments yesterday and retiredL, I think, agreed that the administration can now have it both ways. We tried, but, if something goes really bad now, well, guess what, it's the judges fault and not our. Pass the responsibility onto the courts.

"Still, to my eye and experience, I think Feldman pulled a fast one with his opinion in light of the relevant standard of review. "

You could certainly characterize it that way, although I think there are a couple less negative characterizations that could apply too. But I don't think he could or would have done it had Salazar not bungled the report, how he handled that, and having 5 of 7 opposed to a blanket moratorium.

It's also another world down there right now. Ths spill isn't threatening our livelihoods. It is for thousands of famlies down there. The moratorium is almost like a second spill to those affected by it.

Anyway, thanks for joining in. I won't hog so much of the discussion next time!

According to retiredL, who has appeared in front of Judge Feldman on more than several occasions, Judge Feldman detests sloppy legal work. It really pisses him off. I think that's in play here. Salazr's boys waltz into court with an attitude of "Hey, Judge, we here for you to endorse our brilliant moratorium. Just sign here please." I had it happen to me with local officials. On one occasion, they didn't even bother to serve the opposing party with a complaint or file a complaint with the court. (Why should they? They were obviously right.) Exact words: "We're here to have you sign this judgment." And handed me a judgment. No notice; no trial; no nutin'.

Typical. It's okay for a judge to act like a juvenile spoiled brat and to ignore the greater ramifications of their decisions if someone didn't stoop down to please them. Maybe this fellow can't look out his freekin' window to see WTF is going on in the Gulf. Maybe he's in the pocket of Big Oil. Maybe he shouldn't be a Judge at all.

No problem, Ali.

There was a "whistle blower" I talked about that came out in Alaska, he tried to used bop test fraud "chart spinning" in Alaska for BP to make people believe that BP on the Horizon must have been doing the same thing. He was wrong.

My comments are harsh toward the lack of oversight and the lack of oversight and the pressure that's on people to "play ball" has to end in all areas of the oilfield.

I will say that the multiple negative test that were not taken seriously on the Horizon is a symptom of our universe and that must be changed. We have to use what we learn from this disaster and the actions leading up to it, or this entire process will have been a total waste. It's hard to look at something like this and look for the silver lining, but the learning and the changes for the better in our industry may be that silver lining.

In my view the negative test will the only area where BP will be found negligent and to be breaking the law.

Thanks for the response, I did see it in the last thread.

Condensing my input on your post and an earlier comment I left about the moratorium:

I'm not sure what wording was used in legalese in the government's appeal, but it seems that the relevant argument in favor of the moratorium is that given the inability of the government and/or portions of the ecosystem to deal with the current release, any further spills would be catastrophic out of all proportion to what they might normally be in other circumstances because they would be in addition to the current problem... and would be for months after this well is killed. It seems we have an emergency situation in which BAU is completely irresponsible even if the odds of another accident of this sort in that time period are 1 in a very large number. If I'm fighting a fire in one part of the house I don't go lighting a candle in a different room that isn't on fire.

IMO this is a 9/11 level event. Probably worse in some ways. I'm no fan of the PATRIOT Act and Gitmo and all that, but it amazes me that we've used the constitution for toilet paper in response to 9/11 with not much MSM (and certainly no right of center) objection, but if we suggest taking precautionary and other measures against the industry and corporations that caused this disaster on a lesser scale then all of a sudden government is being depicted as a bully in those same quarters. Maybe if instead of a bunch of wealthy WASPs the people who did this were brown Muslims some people would've been waterboarded by now and we might have some more accurate flow estimates and lots of respirators out there..?

People making money doing something irresponsible and possibly illegal isn't a good excuse for continuing BAU. It'd certainly hurt a lot of local economies to either totally clamp down on the drug trade or legalize it. Not IMO a good opinion for crack lord BAU.

Lots of people have made better than average $ in the oil industry for a long time. If it's the future ecosystem and cultural system of the GoM or some people who've already been gainfully employed taking on the chin for a year or so, I'll take the latter.

Incidentally a lot of oil people on here - and I don't think you're evil, I had a job teaching English to LNG folks in one of my previous careers - seem to think that the solid pay is related to the danger on the rig. I don't think it is, at all. The US like most of the Third World (and in some ways the US has always had Third World socioeconomic tendancies) pays a lot of people in danger peanuts. Something like 40,000 Americans die at or from work every year, and most of them are making squat. Starting salary for a cop in my city up until a couple of years ago was $25K. This country actually tends to pay the dirty and dangerous work LESS than the clean and safe work. You get paid well because the industry rakes in a bajillion $ and you're skilled labor. Same reason that people in the financial sector get salaries out of proportion with the rest of us. Likewise in a non-profit the grant writers get paid better than almost everyone else; they're just nearer the money source, even though everyone else works in equally vital jobs just as hard. I fear your employers don't really value your safety, literally or otherwise.

As I've had to indicate on other threads, I've never owned a car and have lived a rather low-energy intensive lifestyle, so I don't feel like a huge hypocrite in making these statements. I have had zero meaningful input in how my society produces food and energy - all of my economic and poltical choices have been swamped by the opposition. The industry itself spends about $170m/annually lobbying, they spend tens of millions on academia and think tanks and advertising to assure us that their energy is clean, safe and cheap. Well I'm not too sorry then if this turns out to have been totally untrue and we need to keep you from earning your (high by this society's standards) keep for a while while we sort out how badly that is and is likely to kill off a major body of water and the communities connected to it.

Thanks for condensing that.

;) Point taken.

I just want one guy that will take charge and restore confidence around the world and at home that we got this handled in the best we way can, and that will work. I only know of one guy the world will believe in this case, a Jamaican man that was a cabinet level official and a four star war winning general. A Knight's Companion of the Military Order of Bath. Of course, I am talking about this guy.

Er... the guy who lied about Iraqis massing on the Saudi border and then years later about Iraq having those WMDs? The guy who kick-started his career by helping the army whitewash My Lai? The guy who was involved in Iran-Contra?

If I lived down there like you do the last people I'd want running this would be personal-career-enhancing cover-up arrangers.

He lied his butt off for Bush. That what good soldiers do. He also quit in disgust and endorsed Obama. As for My Lai, Nixon was the one that pardoned Calley. Powell investigated a letter that never mentioned My Lai. You think Nixon or others influenced things? He is not perfect by any means, but most Seargent Majors would give me more confidence than this guy.

Capt Kangaroo


Does anyone know what type of animal crawled onto his head and died?

Allen was appearing in our paper regularly. He stopped appearing about the time I started photoshopping him and posting the link on every story. Shortly thereafter, he stopped appearing. I am not saying I caused the paper to do anything, but it does make you wonder sometimes.

My satire bucket: http://s892.photobucket.com/albums/ac126/tinfoilhatguy/BP%20is%20the%20d...

I took the Mayor off the devil list because of the recent increase in oil on our shores. He has enough problems right now, so I decided that slamming him right now may not be the best thing for my community. I will keep my eye on him though and I saved the artwork.


Man, that was the most hilarious comment! You almost got me in trouble with my boss, I was laughing so hard!

A guy named COLON would be perfect for this anal raping of the planet.

Best I could come up with. I think the Jamaicans would forget about the oil they would be so happy. Hell give him another star, that would shake it up.

I agree with chris that a moratorium (or a similar stand-down) and revisions to safety procedures, oversight, and spill preparedness/response are entirely sensible and moderate steps to take in view of the magnitude of this disaster. The need to assess the damage to the Gulf ecosystem, alone, is sufficient reason. The ocean is *not* too big to fail, and if it does, we all go with it.

Likewise, I don't think BP's corporate health or the possible economic effects of damage to or failure of the company needs to be at the top of the priority list (personally, I'd nationalize the beast quicker than you could shout "Hugo Chavez!").

However, I do *not* believe that the worker bees in the Gulf states, and their families and local economies, need to be left wounded and in despair. They are victims of this catastrophe just as the bluefin tuna and the Louisiana brown pelicans are. We, as a nation, a community, need to take care of them. It's our duty and we have the resources to do it.

It's all a matter of setting priorities. Everyone who thinks a pair of trillion-dollar wars and Wall Street bailouts are more important than Rockman's out-of-work friends and TFHG and his neighbors, raise your hands.

woah ...steady there cowboy ..

i agree with your post and i disagree with your post ...but one thing i have learned form this post is ....i don't want to be on your wrong side when you DO decide to vent ....considering this was condensed, a rant form you will just drown all in its path much the same way this stinker of a well is drowning out the GOM

bud...you may live a low energy lifestyle...maybe a little frugality directed with words might be the next goal :)

On the moratorium. It seems to me that while rigs maybe contracted to move elsewhere, many would go anyway, if the money is there?

The hurricane season is starting, so how much sense does it make to start wells now?

Finally, from what has been said about the drilling operations, I would guess that there are at least 2-3 moths worth of deferred maintenance on almost all of the equipment used. Plus reconfiguring and testing BOP, adding that proposed second shear ram, so that one or the other ram will not hit a pipe joint.

Ali - I've heard speculation that it would be more like 12 - 18 months even if the rigs DIDNT leave if Cameron and the other BOP providers have to tool up to redesign, and then retrofit.

Most of the rigs apparently already have 2 sets of blind shears, but for some of the others it's a major overhaul to put them on it sounded like. (or I could have misunderstood the post).

Somebody posted yesterday about CEO's having to sign off about people following procedures (this isn't related to Ali's post - something else). They already have to do that for SOX compliance. Now we just have another one. But SOX DID make companies clean up their acts re: how they report on reserves and stuff....

These folks were not even Level D hazmat. They were not donning eye protection. It looked like prisoners picking up trash in the rain.

Does this look ok to you? I was a safety engineer for a phone company for a while, the OSHA man would have made sure I got fired if I ran my crews like that.

That was exactly my thought as well. About a week or 2 ago; before I found TOD. It was a local La. news channel web site (I can't remember which one) whose reporter was shood away by a crew manager (looking an awful lot like a security guard) while the crew was looking a lot like that picture. I seem to recall the manager saying something like "we don't want to talk to reporters right?" and the crew (in seemingly unison) replied "No!".

...but it could be that I just "saw" what I thought I might see.

If anyone else saw it and can find it again please post.

Not sure but these folks were friendly, probably because I thank them every chance I got. I think that reporter attitude always effects the story. I pretend all is well and all is well. At least until I post here with more enlightened minds.

Very good point. That work must be the hardest work out there right now. I hope they're getting some Lobster and Steak for lunches whoever they are. But somehow I doubt it.

I think the evidence is rolling in now to the point that it can't be ignored. Even CNN is noticing. No respirators, bad for PR. No reporters and photographers, bad for PR. The USG is protecting BP's bullshit and brutality while humming a different tune because BP is officially Too Big To Fail and inconsequential mf's like regular people don't count as long as they can be shut up by paychecks. The guys you ran into are terrified their checks will stop.

$25 to a charity of your choice if you can sneak a chat with these guys about it.

Yellow suits, well they may sue for damage to clothing. Respirators, now try and prove it was something you inhaled from the spill not recreationally. Respirators could be seen as an admission of hazard even if there was no hazard. Also, respirator cartridges need changing frequently, maybe every 1/2 - 2 depending on concentrations.


So this concert with 100,000 people this weekend within 30 feet of the pictured location is not a good idea, is it?

By the time of the weekend there will not be any oil within 3km of that location - the PR people aren't that stupid.

Unless they are hoping for a miracle, I doubt they can stop it. The pictures you saw were AFTER a FULL day's cleanup, near dusk.

"Does this look ok to you"?

It looks primitive - cotton pickers clothed in petroleum based products gathering petroleum based products.

Where are the machines? The plantation house?

The only machines that work are loaders. They tried butt screeners, but too much oil got through. If they use loaders, it tears up the whole beach. We have to stay open for the concert you know.

Actually "prisoners picking up trash in the rain" could be right on the money. It all depends on the guard person, if he was clearly armed then they're probably prisoners. If not, then they could be guys on probation (and there are even more of them than prisoners) working off their court-ordered community service hours.

I am curious about BP's collection rates for the last period. Either they have dramatically improved their rates over past performance, or the overall blow out rate has decreased considerably. I have never seen this little outflow from their "cap" as being observed for the last couple of hours.

I agree, it looks a lot better than it has any time since this disaster began, but it seems to be getting worse as time goes on. It looked great about 6 hours ago, now it still "looks" very good, but not that great. Maybe it's just taking time for the pressure to build up in the cap to "overflow" around the edges, especially since the Q4000 was in place this time when the cap was installed.

Yes, that's the least I've seen, also. Of course, we can only see one view at the moment, and they may be venting large portions of the flow.

Or, maybe they've got extra capacity topside and are suddenly sucking up tons more O/G. It would have to have started in the past few hours, though:

For the first 12 hours on June 24 (midnight to noon), approximately 7,215 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 4,040 barrels of oil and 27.2 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

We can hope.

The larger flow was showing on Skandi ROV2, whilst the other side of Enterprise – ROV 2 is looking very low flow.

Skandi ROV2 has since gone walk-about, so you cannot see the larger flow- but still looking lower than ever before.

They may be porting flows, as they test portions of the promised large increase in collection rates early next week.
After all, they are unlikely to simple plug-and-go on that, but will need various pieces chained up.

Skandi ROV1 seems to be on 'seafloor smoke duty' ;)

Reply to windward from last closed post:

Mr. windward, you said:
"While I'm at it, lawyers are members of the judiciary branch of government. That is the source of their power. They violate the separation of powers - the fundamental principle of our federal and state constitutions which lawyers swear to uphold - when they hold legislative or executive office."

Correctomundo, Mr. windward. Old Abe Lincoln should not have been President. Always knew it. Just another sneaky lawyer who violated his oath to fraudulently and surreptitiously usurp power. I never thought he was very honest anyway. All PR for the North. Now you've convinced me. Evil man. Take his name off the monument immediately. Or better yet. Remove it, take it out to Deep Water Horizon, turn it upside down, and jam in that leak to stop it.

"I was blind but now I see." — Amazing Grace

Oops, tried to leave this above, but you moved your comment so I will repost here:

Got busy for most of the rest of the day (still working on something for tomorrow morning unfortunately) but wanted to come back to the conversation you, Syncro, I and believe retiredL were having on the earlier thread. Someone argued that Feldman, although being "creative" in his opinion likely was cute enough in how he did it to make it stick. You know, that may well be; can't argue with that. It could go either way and depends on the next reviewing court. I have zero personal experience in or with the 5th; from what I read, and a bit of study on the Comer v Murphy Oil case (see http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/06/01/01greenwire-court-tosses-landmar... and latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-0624-oilspilljudges-20100623,0,6808793.story ), it is, shall we say, an interesting circuit. If you want some real grins, check out the dichotomy between the opinion and dissents in the actual Comer opinion ( http://www.eenews.net/assets/2010/06/01/document_gw_01.pdf ).

Well, at any rate, I have no idea what will happen in the 5th. Heck I am not even convinced the government is really giving their best effort on this; if so, it has been rather, shall we say, uneven to date. Still, to my eye and experience, I think Feldman pulled a fast one with his opinion in light of the relevant standard of review. But, hey, ain't like it is the first, or last, time that has ever happened. I just find the opinion curious and interesting, and think that there have been about zero informed media takes on it and few even on informed blogs. The one here has been an exception, and I have enjoyed it.

Ali and I are TOD friends. windward and I, not so much. Interesting fellow, though. That's why I moved comment. Sorry to cause confusion.

"18 casing - 3,902 feet below the mudline before it left the well. I expect that BP thinks they may have underground blowout at that level, which would leak into another formation",
Assuming that there is a blowout at ~4,000 feet (Is this where the 30-50,000 barrels of mud went with "top kill"?) is the remaining, hopefully intact pipe, long enough for the "bottom kill" mud column to stop oil/gas flow? What is the minimal length of intact pipe needed to stop the flow?

Bedtime thought:

"I don't care if a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice." — Deng Xiaoping.

At least you did not quote Mao.

In Mandarin cat is "Mao", although with a different tone from the Mao in Zhedong, and in Portuguese we say "Mau" for evil. I practice Kungfu, and it would be a running joke between me and my teacher, we'd say mao Mao Mau, or Evil Mao the Cat! Or perhaps, Mao the Evil Cat... or Cat, the Evil Mao.... or whatever...

So Deng might have been making a subtle joke here.... (I don't think so, though!)


Already have.


BP Demise Would Threaten U.S. Energy Security, Industry
By Stanley Reed - Jun 24, 2010

BP is starting to identify the $10 billion or more in assets it might sell to fund the costs of the Gulf spill, says Managing Director Robert Dudley.

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Rachel Ziemba, a senior analyst at Roubini Global Economics LLC, talks about the possibility BP Plc will sell some of its Russian assets as costs related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico mount....

Oil spill aside, U.S. energy security will suffer if BP Plc goes under or is significantly reduced in size.

With public anger off the charts over BP’s role in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, there’s not much sympathy about the financial burden the London-based company faces from future legal claims and cleanup costs. BP says it’s considering asset sales to help cover the cost of a $20 billion escrow fund President Barack Obama demanded the oil producer set up to handle U.S. claims.

The company’s survival may also be in doubt if the financial hit from the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion approaches $100 billion, as some analysts suggest is possible.

Such a scenario would have implications for U.S. energy policy at home and abroad -- and mostly bad ones, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its June 28 issue.

BP could soon find itself in one of those panic induced death spirals. Watch the CDSs. They'll most likely tell you when the panic run for the door starts in for real, if it does. I think they're at 555pts now. If they hit 800 or so and don't immediately bounce lower, look out below. The British government might step in and guarantee BP's debt. Or at least threaten to do so to stop a run for the door. Wild times.

Wild times indeed and complicated by HFT algos. House of financial cards might be *done* if BP goes under. I'm betting all stops will be pulled out to keep it from happening, although even that may not work. But in the meantime, it won't matter whose health has to be sacrificed. Send 'em a paycheck and shut 'em up.

To be honest, I don't think they'll need to. Bear in mind this is just my opinion, but...

BP doesn't have much in the way of debts, and normally has very strong cashflow - it's a very profitable company on a worldwide basis. According to the BBC it was ~$14 billion in 2009.
A crash in the share prices doesn't actually change that - it just reduces the company's market cap, which makes it more difficult to secure loans and the likes.

Realistically, BP will just divert profits into paying off the penalties. It may not be profitable or pay a dividend for a couple of years (although there'll be pressure on them to pay one) while it pays all this off - that depends on how heavy its liabilities become - but that's the worst that'll happen. In the mean time, someone will buy the shares up when they hit rock bottom - wouldn't surprise me if one of their competitors does this - and make a killing when things eventually rebound.

Edit : I guess I hit reply to the wrong post. Sorry folks.
This was supposed to be in reply to Xofcakes post below.

S&P Downgrades BP's Debt
By Eric Rosenbaum 06/17/10 - 05:43 PM EDT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Standard & Poor's has downgraded BP's(BP) long-term and short-term debt yet again on Thursday, moving the rating to A from AA-, the latest in a long line of equity and credit ratings cuts suffered by the U.K. oil giant.

BP's debt remains on CreditWatch, where both the long- and short-term bonds were placed by S&P with negative implications on June 4. The agency also downgraded the company's long-term debt for the first time on that day.

Edit: Wrong thread

sh: Wild guessing for wild times with a wild well: Guessing it will be British govt to the rescue. BP is largest corp. in GB. Good luck to the newly married govt with this. "Can this marriage be saved?"

There are no holds barred here; BP can't be allowed to fail and BP can't be allowed to be gobbled up by the Chinese. It won't be just the UK government involved in a rescue.

sh: How 'bout: "We will help you with Iran and N. Korea if we can have just a tinie-weenie, itsy-bitsy snack of BP?" Yum!

The British government might step in and guarantee BP's debt.

And they will if BP cannont sell bond at reasonable rate. BP is an important company to British tax payer with their dividend to the pensioner and a lot of citizen holding the stock. They will do everything possible to make sure BP won't fail..

I think you're on track, EL.

"The British government might step in and guarantee BP's debt."

It might, actually. What a moment for the new Tory crew. This will be the end of Baroness Thatcher.

Edit: This (along with the Goop in the Gulf, of course), is just what we lefties mean when we go on about socializing the risk.

BP have very little debt for its size.

Yes. But please explain the CDSs. Must be that ole thingy called perceived Risk. Mister Market ain't happy.

Methane has the same effect as caffeine.
It keeps me awake at night.

My understanding is that there are two earths.
One that we know and love and the previous anoxic place that the archaea call home.

If the methanes are reduced by archaea using oxygen the oceans will become eutrophic.

In which case large clouds of Hydrogen sulphide may be released, killing all.

There are fossilised forests off the coast of Spain that are thought to have been killed and washed into the sea by such an event in the past. (reference needed)

Is there a source of sulphur in the oil?
I suspect there is, as the oils are thought to be products of an anaerobic ocean.

I wonder how many BP trolls are on these threads putting a positive spin and spreading disinformation about this oil spill...Hmmm?


At any rate BP is fried from a legal stand point. A bunch of law firms have just filed under RICO and if you know what RICO is, it was used against the mafia and organized crime. It has far reaching investigative tools and broad power at plaintiff's disposal. The suits allege that BP committed mail fraud, wire fraud and potentially other RICO predicate act violations when the company sought permits from the federal government for deepwater offshore drilling, knowing that it did not possess the technical expertise or equipment necessary to respond to an emergency such as the ongoing Deepwater disaster.

Wow, tough luck for BP, under RICO the exact cause of the disaster is irrelevant. A meteor could hit the rig and cause the explosion and it wouldn't matter. If they mislead or misrepresented through admission or in-admission, the fact they had a plan to handle such spill when all along they didn't. Well, goodbye BP.

As for the comment on UK Gov. bailing them out. UK is on the verge of bankruptcy themselves. Drawing down pensions and extending the age that pensioners can retire and that idea is going well with the public over there. Not!

BP can't spin direct photo and video evidence. BP has been done. The question is if the whole enchilada goes, or just the UK.

Interesting. NtA is correct.

The mass tort guys have filed a RICO civil class action in the Northern District of Florida. Named plaintiff Rinke is a Pensacola property owner.


Edit: Grisham may already be writing...

As for the comment on UK Gov. bailing them out. UK is on the verge of bankruptcy themselves. Drawing down pensions and extending the age that pensioners can retire and that idea is going well with the public over there. Not!

From the UK: If your legal analysis is as good as your economic analysis, then BP are pretty safe.

Oh it is. In fact, We got to many BP PR-Firm "90 day wonder reporters on here"

Under the racketeering statute, a defendant may be guilty of a RICO conspiracy by merely agreeing to the "objective" of the conspiracy. That raises very serious questions about the fate of the entire industry, since all the major oil companies made the same misrepresentations in their response plans about their emergency capabilities. They led the public to believe they had it all covered, but as we see in the blackened Gulf today, not so much.

In fact as for you BP trolls on here, there more additional RICO lawsuits which will be filed against BP soon and that doesn't even take into consideration The Fed's Criminal RICO complaints. So you take that back to your boss. Make sure your paperwork is all together no burning or shedding of documents. That's a no,no, Like I said goodbye BP.

AS a previous trader in oil and gas, I do know the market.
Budget cuts: top Lib Dems fire warning to Tories

Simon Hughes warns that curbs to pensioners' allowances may threaten coalition
Fire Warning to Tories
* Retirement age rise plan attacked by unions
* Strike threat over public sector fury
* All the day's developments as they happened
* Interactive: how the budget will affect you

Bye, Bye BP or should I say Cherio

In fact as for you BP trolls on here

Now that is funny. The fact is you do your more persuasive arguments no good by throwing in these assumptions. I know nothing about oil, but I qualified as environmental biologist and now earn my living from fishing. I hate this mess as much as anyone and am here to learn. I just think you lack accuracy on your assessment of the UK economy, and
now myself.

IMO, large portions of both the offshore oil & gas industry and the MMS have been criminally negligent.

I think you mean the methane is oxidized by oxygen, not reduced. Anyway, one source of the hydrogen sulfide is oxidation of methane by anaerobic bacteria (which would be archaea) using sulfate as the oxidizing agent. Reduction of the sulfate in this process yields H2S.

200 AM EDT FRI JUN 25 2010




Frequently, TCs become disorganized as they encounter the Yucatan. Of course, since Murphy clearly owns the GOM today, I would not bet the farm.

Here is where you prayer guys can have a go at it. Maybe the invisble guy can smite Mr. Murphy, and direct the cyclone away from the northern GOM.

We will all be watching and hoping for the best. I do not envy BP, who must plan for the worst.


No one knows where this area of low pressure will go if it becomes a storm. Tropical storms do sometimes deteriorate over the Yucatan Peninsula, but not always. People who study storms often look at the paths of past storms as an indication of what is possible. In 1995, Opal spent several days over the Yucatan Peninsula as a depression and later became a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph in the north central Gulf of Mexico. Opal made second landfall near Pensacola, Florida.


2 things......I'm pretty sure most Americans are trying to ignore this disaster and get on with their mediocore bread and circuses.

The other-----Reagan, Obama, Carter, etc......all to a great extent are mere PUPPETS. Who runs the show? The Kennedy murderers are at the top of the list.....A mulit-lateral coup based in part deep in the heart of Texas....y'all know what I mean?....Which is one big reason why we are in this soup.-----murderous greed for money and power and force.

Eat seafood while you still can.

E L: I grew up reading Walt Kelly. God, how I miss him. He'd have explained this whole spill thing mess by now. Where did you find the illustration? Google images is a garble to search. [I always knew you were OK, lotus.]

Backatcha, good E L. My daddy taught me to read on Pogo -- thus, my worldview.

Yes, we need Walt desperately, don't we? Oh, to see his Tony and Svanberg (not to mention dougr)!

I pecked around in Google Images, looking for Pogo, Albert, Churchy, and Howland (at least) in a johnboat. Figured the one I found would do nicely, though I'd have liked to have Pogo and Grundoon

in the chorale too . . . oh well.

In other news, Bob Dudley has called in James Lee Witt (Bill Clinton's competent FEMA director) to sharpen up BP's response. We could wish that Thud had grabbed him first, but I'll take it as a good sign from Dudley. (Now watch him go for Artur Davis, hm?)

Anyhoo, E L, hit mought be that ol' Walt did foresee 2010 . . .

Right f***ing dead on, lotus. Keep posting Pogo.

This tidbit of information concerning the Deep Water Royalty Relief ACT was put forward in the letters to the editor of the Pens News Journal. The letter states the royalty is normally 16%


I posted a reference several days ago on the litigation of BP under the RICO Act. This approach is being headed by the Law Firm of David Levin in Pensacola, Fla. David Levin was the architect of the lawsuit against big tobacco that cost them dearly and of course made him a few ducats.


Tin Foil Hat Guy, this is worth reading.


British Firm Aims to Rescue Gulf of Mexico

Posted By: Patrick Allen | CNBC Senior News Editor
| 25 Jun 2010 | 06:32 AM ET

With US/UK relations under strain because of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a group of Brits intends to try and give a helping hand.

Ultra Green, a British-based environmental research and development company, is launching an initiative which it hopes will clean up the oil slick and fund itself by selling the oil it captures.

The company believes it can combine innovative technology with grass roots action to clean up the gulf and provide work for fisherman in the region.

“The plan will provide work for local fishermen and harnessing the enthusiasm and knowledge of the frustrated local community, whose offers of help to BP have so far been largely ignored,” Ultra Green executive chairman told CNBC.

Ultra Green has pooled its resources with its USA science partner Algaeventure Systems (http://www.algaevs.com/), which has an established relationship with the US military and the US Department of Energy, to provide a rapid and scalable method of clearing up and the oil spill and deploying barriers to protect beaches.

Rapid response:
I am a retired Oilwell drilling and production engineer.
Regarding an oil spill of the magnitude of the current Deep Well Blowout in the Gulf I would like someone to discuss response readiness and current regulations. I am specifically interested in the legal responsibility of the Oil Company/Operator of the drilling of an exploratory well under license from the authority whether such authority be State or federal or both. The subject is specifically their response readiness . What is there declared and approved preparedness and readiness to drill a relief well should they lose control at the well head as in this case.
While the well is blowing they have been drilling two potential relief wells and according to the Globe and Mail, Toronto of Saturday they are 60 metres from their target with one of them and well ahead of schedule thankfully.
In Canada, where I live, there is currently an exploratory well in 7000 ft of water being drilled by the operator Chevron off Newfoundland.They have declared their readiness is that they have two floating semi submersible drilling rigs rigs on call from the Gulf Coast . Once called one or both would be two weeks sailing time away from the location, WEATHER PERMITTING!
For the Gulf well the authorities insisted they drill two relief wells, not one. Why? Is this like trying to close the barn door much too long after the horse has escaped.
Why don’t we demand a pilot relief well be drilled to a designed depth and would be cased and cemented prior to starting the licensed exploratory well .This relief well could be set up with a Blow Out Preventer and simply ready for riser hook up and bit reentry for deepening should it be needed.
If not needed as a relief well then this second well could be completed like the first. Thus is would be an economic bonus producing from the same oil/gas bearing formation formation as the discovery well.

Isn't that having two very close points of entry into the formation would not be as efficient as placing them far apart? Just considering that two point drains behave as a single one at far distance into the formation.

Another thought, drilling the second relief well would almost double the cost, prompting the companies to seek for savings in other activities, like doing hurried casing & cementing jobs. One point in favor of this option would be that it enforces a better defence in depth rationale.

My question for the experts: the well behavior before the surface blowout may indicate the presence of an already ongoing underground blowout thru the possible casing cracks @ 1000ft?

ADD: You can't produce the safety well, because you would shift the safety problem to the latter.

In the Initial Exploration plan for M252 it states:

"2.7 Blowout Scenario. A Scenario for a potential blowout of the well from which BP would expect to have the highest volume of liquid hydrocarbons is not required for the operations proposed in this EP."

In the Worst-case scenario determination, the plan states:

"7.1 Volume uncontrolled blowout(per day) 162,000 barrels"

You will also see in the plan that this is the M252-B well and the drilled and temporarily abandoned M252-A well is just 300 feet away. I am not qualified to explain why a scenario for a blowout of the well was not required by the plan when the worst case blowout scenario was assessed as 162,000 barrels per day, or why the M252-A well can not be converted into a relief well. Perhaps someone would be kind enough to explain.



Submitted by Jim Sinclair from www.jsmineset.com

A Bankrupt BP - Worse For The Financial World Than Lehman Brothers?


The BP crisis in the Gulf of Mexico has rightfully been analysed (mostly) from the ecological perspective. People’s lives and livelihoods are in grave danger. But that focus has equally masked something very serious from a financial perspective, in my opinion, that could lead to an acceleration of the crisis brought about by the Lehman implosion.

People are seriously underestimating how much liquidity in the global financial world is dependent on a solvent BP. BP extends credit – through trading and finance. They extend the amounts, quality and duration of credit a bank could only dream of. The Gold community should think about the financial muscle behind a company with 100+ years of proven oil and gas reserves. Think about that in comparison with what a bank, with few tangible assets, (truly, not allegedly) possesses (no wonder they all started trading for a living!). Then think about what happens if BP goes under. This is no bank. With proven reserves and wells in the ground, equity in fields all over the planet, in terms of credit quality and credit provision – nothing can match an oil major. God only knows how many assets around the planet are dependent on credit and finance extended from BP. It is likely to dwarf any banking entity in multiples.

The price tag and resultant knock-on effects of a BP failure could easily be equal to that of a Lehman, if not more. It is surely, at the very least, Enron x10.

My comment: Under the Obama/Geithner/Bernanke regime, BP's survival must be protected. At all costs. Including keeping reporters off the beach, not allowing workers to wear masks, dripping out partial payments to victims, etc. As far as saving BP goes, it doesn't matter that governments' true balance sheets are toast. We have Keynes. Get ready for another taxpayer funded bailout, but I'd be surprised if BP's name is attached to it.

Sinclair is correct, snakeoil is wrong.

A bailout may not be necessary but that remains to be seen. If things get untenable, however, one way or another BP will be bailed out and if the pensioners can't provide it then someone else will, and that cannot be China.

Why wouldn't BP divest itself of Amoco/Arco, provided that its London law firms and investment bankers can effectively shield the parent company of liability?

Alternatively, BP could spin out its non-us subsidiaries into a new company provided that they can be shielded from liability. This may be easier to do, especially if the buyer is a sovereign wealth fund that is immune to pressure from the US.

In either case, the liability for the Gulf would attach to the rump company consisting of mostly US assets. The US would have to bail this out in order to keep US oil operating and to earn revenues that could be used for compensation. However, funds that might otherwise go into exploration and development of new oil will instead be going to victim compensation. This reduces the amount of domestic oil and futher exacerbates our oil import problem. If the money comes from the government, then it reduces the money generally available for government expenditures, including those on alternative energy. In any scenario, it is a huge loss for the US economy, although GDP may fare well due to the elevated consumption expenditures around the Gulf.

Given the UK's finances, there is no way we will get the compensation out of the UK with the US being held relatively harmless.

From Greg Sargent's morning political update:

* Missed this yesterday, but that NBC/WSJ poll found that a plurality is unhappy with the idea of continuing offshore drilling. Not increased drilling; merely continuing with it. Drilling = political loser.

* More: A new Pew poll finds a majority now opposes increased drilling. Drilling = political loser.

The point of pain in the US for a gallon of gas is about $2.87. That's when people start driving less. When the price goes to $4.50 or $5, it'll be "drill baby drill".

It appears one of the liquid lines has been removed from the BOP. Boa 2 is watching it. Any idea which line it is and what they're doing with it?

Is debt to GDP a factor in future economic stability. Should we be worried about Japan instead of the UK? Why is their terrible debt-GDP get very little press? Maybe because then we must acknowledge our own problems? Why does Russia have no debt? Is it because no one would loan them money at a decent rate?