BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Storm Threat, Current Production, and Other News - and Open Thread

This thread is closed. The new thread is http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6663.

The storm moving through the Gulf of Mexico is becoming more of a concern. It was upgraded to a tropical depression late Friday afternoon, and there is a possibility of a second storm forming out further east. Chuck Watson is providing updates on the storm on his post.

Admiral Allen has indicated that evacuation decisions are based on predictions of when gale force winds, of about 40 knots, might hit. The federal on-scene co-ordinator makes a decision about five days, or 120 hours before gale force winds are expected to hit. The five day cone of the storm center gives a rough idea as to where this might be. Chuck Watson will be providing a map later today giving a 40 knot "cone" forecast, which is really the area of concern. I have put a red square roughly where the Deepwater Horizon site is, as a point of reference.

The actual time it is expected to take to disconnect different kinds of equipment varies. According to Admiral Allen, the time needed to "secure and evade, including 24 hours for transit" is 114 hours for the Discoverer Enterprise and 54 hours for the Q4000. With both of the ships removed, the oil and gas being emitted (estimated at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day) would flow directly into the Gulf of Mexico, without any containment.

Work on relief wells would need to be discontinued, pushing back the date of completion. Since taking down, evacuating, return transit, and setting back up takes several days minimum, and forecasting isn't very good several days in advance, there may be several interruptions this summer for storms, or possibilities of storms, some of which are false alarms. Each evacuation will delay the relief well effort, and lead to more oil being spilled, which is not captured by ships.

Other Briefing News

Also in the briefing, the Admiral explained the location of the initial well and the relief well (RW) (one relative to the other) in a little more detail. Now that the initial location of the well has been established, the RW is drilling back downwards. But every so often it will stop and:

This is where they withdraw the drill pipe and put down an electrical cable into the end of the wellbore, and they put out an electrical signal, and they actually could pick up the magnetic field around the wellbore. This tells them how close they are getting.

They have made contact with this electromagnetic field. What they will do is continue to drill down in short intervals, withdraw the pipe, put that sensing device down, and slowly close on the wellbore to the point where they're ready to do the intercept drilling.

This last part takes some time, because they only do several hundred feet at a time, withdraw the drill pipe, and then put the sensor down to figure out how close they're coming. After a series of these readings, they can have a very precise idea of how close they are to the wellbore and then how to actually turn the drill in and make the intercept. But then we'll get much slower, because they have to basically drill, withdraw the drill pipe and put the sensor down.

They also have a vessel standing by that's full of mud on the top, in the event they get really close, they could potentially knick the wellbore they could actually put mud down to control any hydrocarbons that might come out.

Regarding the longer-term containment, we should by next week have the additional vessel in place to start producing off of the kill line. That's the other line that's available to bring oil to the surface. That will bring us the three production vessels and the 53,000-barrel capacity we were looking for by the end of June.

In the change to a new cap that is planned for next week, there are three different designs that are being considered for installation. The ROVs are currently hooking up the hoses to the new distribution system that will ultimately feed four risers.

Recovery Operation

The recovery operation has returned to collecting about 24 kbd:

• For the first 12 hours on June 25 (midnight to noon), approximately 7,870 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 4,230 barrels of oil and 27.5 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

• On June 24, total oil recovered was approx. 23,725 barrels:

• approx. 15,785 barrels of oil were collected,
• approx. 7,940 barrels of oil were flared,
• and approx. 54.7 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

Effect of Cap Replacement

A couple of days ago, the cap was off, and put back on. When the view from the cameras is examined, the pictures are a little different from earlier. The camera on the Enterprise ROV2, for example at 9:50 pm on June 24 is showing no oil leaking from under the cap.

View of the cap 9:50 pm June 24, showing no leak on the Enterprise ROV side of the cap.

In contrast there is still some volume leaking on the Skandi ROV2 side of the cap – but the body of the cap can be clearly seen, suggesting that the draw-off of the oil and gas is reaching the totality of the flow.

View of the cap and leak from the opposite side (Skandi ROV2) where the body of the cap can be clearly be seen, suggesting that almost all of the flow is now being captured, since the oil and gas leaking out are much reduced in flow.

However both these views do not show what is happening at the top of the cap, where the vents are that allow oil and gas to escape from the top of the cap. But this suggests that the well flow is coming more under control, and that as the four new riser pipes are put into place, and more flow is extracted through the choke and kill lines, that the leak into the Gulf can be reduced to almost zero, which will then happen as the new cap is put into place next week (assuming no hurricane interruption).

Prof. Goose's Comment:

A continued humble and sincere thank you to all who have donated thus far. It will help us pay for the fourth server we brought online to accommodate the increased traffic. (See point 3 below.)

1. The Oil Drum is a special place. We strive to maintain a high signal to noise ratio in our comment threads. Short, unengaging comments, or comments that are off topic, are likely to be deleted without notice. (to be clear--engaging, on point humor and levity, more than welcome.)

We are trying to perform a service to the public here to coordinate smart people who know their stuff with other people who want to learn about what's going on. Promotion of that ideal will be the criteria by which we make our decisions about what stays and what goes.

Flame wars, polemic exchanges, and other content deleterious to the community will be removed, either by an editor or by the community through its moderation process.

2. If you see a problematic comment USE THE COMMENT MODERATION SYSTEM--see the "Flag as inappropriate" and (?) beside it? Learn more there. If you see comments that are questionable after you've done that (that aren't being removed), let us know at the eds email address.

It is up to this community to enforce the norms we have established here (a high signal to noise ratio), keep. it. up.

Our guide to commenting at TOD can be found here: http://www.theoildrum.com/special/guidelines . Please check it out if you are unfamiliar with it, but it is essentially 1) citations welcome (if not necessary), 2) be kind to others, and 3) be nice to the furniture.

3. We have gotten a lot of queries whether this bump in traffic is adding costs to keep the site functioning. Truth is, yes, we are incurring added expenses from these events. It is also true that we try not to beg from you very often as we are not the types to bother you with constant queries.

That being said, if you are inclined to help out, your support is always welcome and very much appreciated. To those who have already given, thank you very much.

You can find the donate button in the top left hand corner of the main page.

4. If you have come here to vet your plan to kill the well, understand that you will be queried on whether or not you have read all the other previous comment threads and all the myriad plans that have already been run by the kind folks in this room; if you have actually read all the comment threads and still think your plan has legs, well, then maybe yours really is the one that will save the Gulf of Mexico.

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

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(google MIRC and download it; Hit the lightening bolt and fill in your info; select the server as "freenode" (it is in the server list), hit connect; when connected type /join #theoildrum)

or you can get there just via a browser: http://webchat.freenode.net / Just enter a nickname and #theoildrum in the boxes; then when connected type /join #theoildrum)

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

Here is the current NHC forecast track image from: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT01/AL0110W5.gif

Here is the current image of various model tracks from:

Both of these images are updated periodically. By watching these links you will always have the latest images.

Weather and sea state information from Thunder Horse, about 50 miles South of MC252, can be found here: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42887
You can see numeric or chart info for wind speed & direction, wave height & period, temperature, dewpoint, and heat index. These readings should be representative of conditions at MC252 except for local weather conditions.
Here are charts for wind speed and wave height:


No offense and all best wishes for safety to those in Tamaulipas, but we sure hope NHC is on its game widdat.


Please stop posting your comments as replies to the topmost comment; they have nothing to do with the housekeeping information Gail/Goose post at the top and belong in a separate thread. Instead, use the "Post a comment" or "Start new thread" links and only use the "Reply" or "Reply in new window" links when you are going to post something pertaining to the comment immediately above the link (i.e. within the same comment box as the link you are clicking). Thank you.

From the last thread, Sustainable2050 wrote:

Mammoet (www.mammoet.com), Dutch company that lifted the Kursk nuclear submarine, has a plan to shut BP leak within 2 weeks. Contacted Bill Clinton, but not taken up by BP

Is there a more specific link? I haven't found the info on their site and I'm coming up empty via Google.

Not yet. It's information from @RuudvanTendris, who established the contact with Bill Clinton. Will keep you posted, also via @Sustainable2050 on Twitter!

Hmmm....Am not sure what that would be. interesting. I know they have some real nifty cranes, among other things.

I found the following news stories with the details on the Kursk and Mammoet (and Haliburton's) role in the recovery:

I recall seeing a vid showing the saw that they used to cut through the front section, but am unable to locate it now.

There was this bit of info in regard to Mammoet.

What is interesting to me is that several countries are now looking at the GOM gusher as a global issue, and are assessing the disaster from a more global perspective. I think other countries have every right be involved, as the ramifications of this disaster will impact more than the immediate Gulf area.

The Palin part is a little scary, but if they can get it done...

I hope an intrepid WH reporter brings this up.

yeah, snakehead.... I noticed that, too.... a bit scary... as I was reading, I wondered, 'wtf' ...but hey, I agree, if they (or anyone) can get it done.

Yeah, Palin, wtf? It was a showstopper. I had to check the source out before I'd read any more of it.

I’ve been avoiding the dougr “controversy” for a variety reason not the least of which is a lack of interest. That’s not to say either side is more right than the other. But there seems to be a disconnect between the meaning of the terms “possible” and “probable”. Most know that I do have a good bit of experience but wouldn’t call myself an expert in many of the subsets. There are few potential future events in this nightmare I would qualify as “probable”. A hell of a lot of “possibles” though. A big reason for this is all the unknowns. I’m sure BP has more details than we have but they don’t know all the conditions either IMHO.

Some folks think dougr’s offerings are rather scary. If we just stick with “possibilities” dougr predictions aren’t even close to worse case scenarios IMHO. I’m not a drilling engineer but I’ve seen a few scary things in my 35 years. I could talk about an underground blowout on one of my wells that took 23 months to get under control. We can chat about hands killed while drilling relief wells. I had over 1,000’ of csg that split open like a ripe banana when it was subjected to a mud weight pressure way below its specs. I’ve no doubt that there are many on TOD with oil field experience that could add even more horrible “possibilities”. But my list of probabilities is very short.

But identifying possibilities could be useful IF planning can be adjusted for such what ifs. But since neither I nor anyone on TOD is involved in the BP planning then it’s pretty much an academic exercise. Which is not a bad use of TOD IMHO. The MSM might grab some of our worse case scenario theories and run with them. The MSM always needs fresh “bleeds” to lead with. We can’t change that so I don’t worry much about it. I don’t consider us responsible for the MSM misleading the public. Personally I just don’t care to contribute too many predictions. I’m just one more opinion floating around in cyberspace. For instance, not only did I see very little chance of the initial top kill effort working but also the “possibility” of it making the situation worse. But many folks here were hopeful. I saw no good reason (other than playing the “I told you so” game) to diminish such discussion based on just an improvable opinion. Of course, should someone offer a theory that’s just so bizarre I wouldn’t hesitate to slam it (gently, of course) but I’ve seen very few such ideas on TOD. Yes…many silly ideas. But I think the silly ideas have a place on TOD. If nothing else they help lighten the mood which can rightfully become so dark at times.

Shelburn, thanks for your excellent explanation of the MC252 well construction. Particularly the casing/tubing explanation. I have always visioned casing as being stabilized in the wellbore by centralizers,and cemented from bottom to top (except in the area of perforation) but it seems this is not correct. The interval between the casing and the production tubing is called the annulus, I believe. Is there a seal(between casing and production tubing) above the formation, which would force product into the tubing and not allow it to go up the annulus? Thanks to all

Rockman, this post deserves a barrel of Blue Bell.

OK Rockman and snakehead explain Blue Bell, get on with it....or go to IM

Blue Bell: A brand of ice cream indigenous to the land of Texas. Made in a magic creamery in Brenham, Texas, it is known to have many beneficial properties. Rockman, and pretty much anybody raised in Texas, will be subject to doing virtually anything along a very blurry legal line to obtain Blue Bell.

Those of us expatriated from our Texas homeland tend to carry a "jones" for Blue Bell the rest of our days regardless of the interim since our last "fix". So you see, there's a dark side too.

Doesn't BB use HFCS in some of its offerings?

The added HFCS is miniscule compared the C the cows eat.

I'm starting a rumor that they will use Blue Bell as an ingredient in the kill pill to be delivered by one - or both - of the RWs.

Waste of GREAT ice cream I know, but it's possible though not probable that it will work.

So, what flavor-type do you think would work best - Happy Tracks maybe (it's a new flavor)?


How about a new flavor, just for the kill, named Cement Trick?

What's te approximate mud weight of Blue Bell ice cream? (Sorry it's a slow day.)

R2: You will come to realize that, sadly, Rockman's entire life can be described very concisely: “Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening.” —AW

Seems sad.....I wish he would just condescend to reply to my 9:09am post,he knows a lot about well design....and explain why the post deserves a barrel(42 gal) of Blue Bell !

Richard -- Me? Sorry...I was distracted with my own little drilling problem until 4 this morning. Please repost if you like. I hate to miss any opportunity to be condescending.

BTW -- I don't beleive I've ever done anything in my life to deserve an entire bbl of BBIC. Not even that time I took that assasine's bullet meant for President Carter.

Rockman - last night I tried Blue Bell!

Ahhh Don...another has succumbed to that sweet mistress. She is cruel and you are doomed. Welcome to the club.

Despite the heat and humidity I have been fighting the temptation. You, you are to blame. I weakened and failed. Temptation took over. I have now recharged my freezer with Blue Bell Ice Cream.


Ching ching...those royalty checks keep rolling in. Thanks

One of the things I actually miss about Texas (another is DQ Dudes).

FWIW: four years in West Texas, about 50 miles north of Lubbock (at the northern edge of the Texas wine country).

Wish I could say that. Stuck here in Cali where BB sadly seems to be contraband.

Nice website though... http://www.bluebell.com/

Web design is my second job and I admire a well designed site. Especially one with such great subject material!

Bluebell....It's the only ice cream Outback Steakhouse sells

Hmmmm.... may have to check out our local Outback and see if they have the BB.

It is about five posts above, at 9:09am...thanks....

Richard - The primary reason for centralizers is to allow enough space between the hole and the csg so the cmt can fill the gap properly. If the csg is laying up directly against the hole the cmt won’t fill in. And typically it’s important to have good cmt across the productive zone so it doesn’t communicate with other zones in the well. The cmt isn’t really needed to hold the csg in place…it’s nor going anywhere. It’s to isolate zones behind the csg. It appears that’s what went so wrong in the blow out: the cmt wasn’t sufficient to withhold the reservoir pressure from flowing up the csg when they removed the heavy drill mud.

By definition an annulus is that gap between two interfaces. Could be the wellbore (rock) and the csg or the csg and production tubing inside of it or between two strings of csg. The cmt should isolate the zone in the wellbore/csg annulus . Inside the csg a packer (a cork with tubing running thru it) will isolate production to the tubing when holes are perforated in the csg. There are three critical factors in designing csg for a producing well: isolation, isolation and isolation.

Maybe we need to start keeping an eye on you. There is a connection between ice cream consumption and murder. Did you know that the sales of ice cream and murder are strongly positively correlated? Which causes which; does eating ice cream cause murder or does murder make people eat ice cream? The answer is neither of course— ice cream consumption and murder are both at least partially caused by hot weather.
Just because we can correlate two events even in an apparent one, two chronological order, it does not mean by default that there is causation of one event from the other. I think many folks here tend to forget that when they start becoming Jr. Detectives out there.

Thanks from Alabama's Ground Zero.
BTW Blue Bell is made in Sylacauga Alabama too. Small plant compared to the Texas stuff, but I am guessing they could help you if by chance you came this way. Blue Bell is currently a regional company and you cannot get it in all 50 states.

Rockman: BBIC? Is that Bulgarian Biotechnology Information Center? http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions/bulgaria.html You Bulgarian? I thought you must be Irish.

[Edit: cite added.]

EL - I started consulting in 1981. Pay my invoice and I'll be any nationality you wish. But I warn you there's extra if you want me to be English.

Cute EL...thanks. I need to send that to this company man (N Ireland Protestant) that I (S Ire./raised Catholic) I use to work with in Africa: always "energetic" conversations after work over a pint to say the least.

Rockman: One side of my family Irish RC; other Orange. Grandparents detested each other. No family Thanksgiving dinners here. Parents stayed together till the tipplin' got both. I was not raised in either faith and still remain throughly unchurched.

me too EL...that was the "raised" Cathlic part as opposed to being Cathlic

Rockman: And to all of them Rule Britannia types from all of us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thsd3VCyOI4&feature=related.

the dougr “controversy”

i read this a few nights ago and was ready to forward to a friend for offline discussion... but...

dougr wrote a very well reasoned piece... about a very worst case scenario... the whole thing is lucid... well reasoned... heavily referenced... and logically developed...

but... then i read the comments... and one commenter pointed out... one semi very signigicant fact... dougr stated without equivocation there were no "flaps" in the wellbore below sea level... and used that in part to establish parts of his "scenario"...

even me... a dope's dope... KNEW... just by reading... theoildrum.com since this thing broke... there are flaps in the wellbore below sea level... what they do and how they functioned / malfunctioned... etc., has been detailed by people who know what they are talking about in several posts...

so THAT... one... IMHO... factual error... puts dougr in the michener-wanna-be-running... taking real life people places and things as a backdrop to his story...

that being said... what dougr laid out COULD happen... and the entire se u.s. & caribbean area gets sucked into a sinkhole never to be seen again...

just my 2 cents.

squid -- a little help please: I've ben a petroleum geologist for 35 years and have been inolved in the drilling of hundreds of wells. What is a "flap in the well bore"? I've never seen that term before.

Rockman, given your experience, am just curious what you think of this (unrelated to the GOM spill):

see http://articles.latimes.com/2008/aug/05/local/me-hotground5

This is in a steep terrain area adjacent to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary north of Los Angeles. Oil drilling was just opened up in the Los Padres National Forest right up to the edge of the sanctuary in 2004 under Bush, despite protests.

I was just down there doing paleontological research for a museum in California. Some of the oil infrastructure down there seemed pretty worn out, even though its not that old. At one of our fossil localities, there was a somewhat rusty and unsupported pipe coming down the hill from wells nearby that was chalked with the words "high pressure gas" on it. We stayed a distance from it and made sure that no rock fragments would go flying in its direction as we trimmed fossils. We had heard of one such pipe getting bumped by an equipment operator or something, bursting in an explosion that killed two and started a forest fire a few years back.

There have also been spills, some of which have caused oil soaked condors, unfortunately. Where we were collecting was adjacent to a seep containment dam with some pretty ugly water - and no barriers to wildlife getting into it.

This area of ground heating up in the Transverse Ranges is pretty disturbing! Also, intriguing.

casey -- I consider that a rather shocking story. I think 800 degrees a foot below ground level indicates some very serious undergound ISC (in situ combustion) is going on not far from the surface. Some hydrocabon must be ozidizing near surface. The earth does not transmite heat very easily or quickly.

I would be very careful around that old field. In the bad old days plugging techniques were very poor. And remember natural gas has no odor...that's added to the distribution system. And it's heavier than air so it sinks into the low spots. You just get sleepy, close your eyes and never wake up. I've known more than one hand working on NG pipelines that never woke up. That's probably a greater risk than an explosion. Your state geologist should on top of this big time. If not rat them out to the press. I don't tend to be an alarmist but this sounds serious.

The article mentions shale. Wonder if this is "fracked" shale. Would explain why the water is not good.

Fracked by Mother Nature, I'd expect, like most of California.

Thoughtful and well-stated, ROCKMAN.

In the "Other News" category:

Blimey. Maddow did a segment last night on Judge Feldman’s conflicts revealed in his 2009 financial disclosure docs, which came out yesterday: He sold his Exxon stock Tuesday morning, the day of the hearing on Interior's moratorium; as most of you know, Exxon has a rig subject to the order. AND he still owns positions in at least six funds of BP’s largest shareholder, Blackrock.


It's official, the depression has now been upgraded to Tropical Storm Alex.


Early model results indicate a possible track leading to the central gulf but they're not very accurate several days out, so no need to push the panic button yet.

Oh, didn't notice that while this post says "upgraded to depression Friday", the older post immediately below announced it as TS Alex. Oops!

Sure looks like more oil flowing around the cap now.

I want to respond to James R. White's posting yesterday about the effects of inhaling toxic fumes.
Please consider that alterations in behaviour in response to a variety of stimuli are the result of damage to the middle and inner ear, which I call the "microchip" for the body's "control panel," which is the left cerebral hemisphere. The control of hemispheric integration, which affects not only so-called "mental behaviour" but other systems in the body, originates in the ear, more specifically the right ear in most people. (I must over-simplify here for the sake of brevity.)

A comparison of Dr. Claudia Miller's TILT with Dr. Jay Goldstein's Checklist: "An M.E. [myalgic encephalitis]/CFIDS Symptom Checklist" of symptoms that occur in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome reveals many parallels. [Goldstein's document is no longer easy to find on the Internet since he retired; I reproduce it in my book.] The similarities to the symptoms of Gulf Syndrome also are striking. Goldstein in the US and Dr. Byron Hyde in Canada were the pioneers in examining an outbreak of these symptoms in their patients following the flu epidemic of 1988. Neither of these doctors found a cure for ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but Hyde organized a symposium and published the results. He also published a support newsletter from his Nightingale Foundation in Ottawa for years. His colleague confirmed our daughter's CFS. According to the experts our family's CFS (3 of us) was chronic and no cure was available.

Our son's dyslexic syndrome, my chronic fatigue syndrome, and his subsequent mental illness from substance abuse, which was diagnosed as hopeless schizophrenia, all were CURED through exposure of the ear to music of high frequency -- i.e., the violin music of Mozart and other classical composers. As the cure is a form of physiotherapy for the ear, to maintain health, stimulation by listening, singing, or humming is needed to keep the tiniest muscle in the body working properly.

The following constitute assaults on the ears' mechanism: chemical (i.e., pharmaceuticals both legal and illegal, and INHALANTS); viral and other forms of infection; excessive sound; sound deprivation (see Tomatis and my notes on "mystic" consciousness in monastic settings); head trauma; lack of oxygen; and metabolic disturbance (Oxford Companion to the Mind, ed. Richard Gregory, p. 305).

Daniel's first healing (of dyslexic syndrome) took place at a Tomatis Method centre in Toronto in 1997. At the same time he began to disclose his substance abuse about which we had been utterly naive. When Daniel experienced his first sustained psychotic break and was (mis)treated in hospitals, the Listening Centre would not continue treatment, the psychiatrist said to do so would be "dangerous", and for the next ten years we tried to help Dan deal with his addictions. Long story. See my book. In the end, through observing Dan's behaviour in extreme psychosis I became able to define the changes in his behaviour not only that defined his various levels of mental illness but also that proved the etiology of mental illnes is NOT in the brain but in the ear. Daniel was healed of extreme schizophrenic symptoms (and of the phases of bipolarity I and II, and depression etc through which he passed as his ear function improved) by daily exposure to music containing high-frequencies: i.e., violins. An ordinary CD of classical music. Just as my CFS, our daughter's much more severe CFS, and my husband's CFS improved dramatically via the same kind of exposure to the right kind of sound. These healings are not a silver bullet; they must be maintained through continuing exercise of the stapedius muscle.

Tens of thousands of people have been healed of quite a variety of "mental" and physical problems through Tomatis Method and Audio-Integration Training programs. This technology is not new. In fact, it has been in use to some extent since ancient times (see the effects of David's harp-playing on King Saul's manic-depression in the Bible).

I have no experience with the effects of the inhalation of chemicals into the body, but some of the symptoms are identical to those arising from other kinds of assaults on the middle and inner ear, which is accessed through the pharynx and throat via the Eustachian tubes to the tympanum, the air-filled bony chamber that contains the ossicles of hearing (hammer, anvil, stirrup) and more significantly the stapedius muscle attached to the stapes (stirrup) that has an effect on every muscle in the body.

I cannot provide internet links to my information because it exists in books: see mine: Listening for the Light: A New Perspective on Integration Disorder in Dyslexic Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Bipolarity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Substance Abuse, which provides the theoretical (neurological) explanation for mental behaviours that Tomatis and his one-time colleague Dr. Guy Berard (AIT founder) failed to notice

The books by Dr. Alfred Tomatis are The Ear and the Voice; The Conscious Ear; and The Ear and Language and the slim but very useful book by Berard Hearing Equals Behavior because it shows that genetic ear problems and suicidal depression can be treated with sound. He gives the audiograms of patients that demonstrate the characteristic profile of suicidal depression, which shows anomalous processing of sound in both ears. One of the most severe forms of epilepsy has responded to sound treatment (“static epilepticus the worst form of epilepsy”, Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, “Foreword” in Annabel Stehli, ed., Sound of Falling Snow: Stories of Recovery from Autism and Related Conditions, New York: Beaufort Books with the Georgiana Institute, 2004, x).

I am not a physician and I cannot recommend treatment. But I have provided the neurological paradigm for behavioural changes related to damage to the ear. If anyone experiencing inhalation illness has tried a program of listening with noticable results, I would be most interested in hearing from you via the website noted above.

Been forever since I thought of the Tomatis method. Something like 20 years ago, we enrolled our daughter, who was then struggling in elementary school, in a Tomatis program in Dallas. While there is always a question of cause and effect, she has done very well in school, and she is now a college professor.

E L said
On a closed thread
Keep your head:

I have been up half the night cookin' up this Okefenokee Swamp recipe with Churchill "Churchy" LaFemme:

Take one cup: "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." —Menken

Add one cup: "There's a sucker born every minute." —P.T.Barnum

Mix well and bake uncovered for several weeks in an over heated imagination.

And the resulting gumbo is:

[Sorry. I went to graduate school in the mid 60s thirty miles down the road from Haight-Ashbury. But that was in another county; besides, H-A is dead. Pardon, Mr. Marlowe.]

You know, E L, yesterday I was thinking "We've gone down a rabbit hole!" Long Day's Journey into Shrill-dom...

But today... is a new day. We kept our head. Onward and upward. Let sanity reign!

I pledge my fealty to TOD. I'm about to write another check!

TheraP: lotus, who introduced the most potent psychological therapy in the History of Western Civilization, namely Pogo, to TOD, believes we should use "White Rabbit" as the TOD marching song. I call her nomination and raise her one Steppenwolf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEEzbFxEbB8

[OK, OK. Enough of my "long, strange trip." The 60s are over, I think....]

The 60s are over, I think

Never! Hush yo' mouf, Yo' Honah!

What she said. They will never be over for me. ;^)

Now that is something I can believe in! ;0

Well then, lotus: http://s0.ilike.com play#Grateful+Dead:Truckin%27:10346:s557514.9050803.2293942.0.2.73%2Cstd_d9269b15546d45acad958a07d6eeb760. I'm playin' it right now.

[I fear Prof. Goose is eyeing his magical delete button right now.]

Auditory ambrosia. Thanks, y'all.

More apt, actually ...


Hit the first link for the soundtrack ...

Powerful photo in your link there, Steve. I actually recognized the little girl. She's shown in a closeup, about 57 seconds into the following clip (ending credits of Dogville + David Bowie, Young Americans):


"All the way from Washington,
her breadwinner begs off the bathroom floor
We live for just these twenty years,
do we have to die for the fifty more?

Great song.

[edited: 57 seconds, not 50]

TheraP: I thought you needed a "dead link." [Boo! Hiss!]

My name is August West, and I am an oilcohoic.

How many KWH did just you use last month? How many people miles have you driven? People miles = miles driven / (# of passengers + 1). I am at 300 KWH and 500 people miles for the month. Admission is only a first step. Analysis is the next step.

I don't know how many I use; I produced a net of 66KWH last month, tho. I'm solar powered, and watching my meter go backwards is a cheap thrill. I generally drive 12-15 gallons a month; maybe 300 people miles, or 200 peopledawg miles.

Excellent. The dogs count as a person if both of you get something tangible out of the trip. For example, if you go to the vet and stop at the store for yourself, you would use a 2 to divide. You get to subtract walked or biked miles that result in performing a needed task besides exercise or recreation as a bonus.

My name is BOA C, and I love my Skandi B more than my wine.
More than my wine - more than my maker, though he's no friend of mine.

Everyone said, I'd come to no good, I knew I would Skandi, believe them.
Half of my life, I spent doin' time for some other f*cker's crime,
The other half found me stumbling around drunk on Burgundy wine.



"My name is August West, and I love my Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip best, more than my wine..."

Fast, Good, Cheap, pick two.

TheraP: "Onward and upward. Let sanity reign!" Or as my tradition would say a bit more bluntly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbrzZWLu6Qw&feature=related

I don't know. I've had this one going through my head a lot lately.


PaulS: From the previous thread you said "Huh?" to my statement that Peak Oil is a legal issue.

Let's try this. Peak oil is partially the result of more expensive supply.

One factor in Peak Oil is that supply is becoming more expensive because drilling is now being done in more risky and, therefore, more expensive places. Spindle Top and the easy cheap stuff is long gone. That's why we're drilling in the GOM in deep water. And deep water drilling is also more risky.

DWH's blow out is much more difficult to stop because it's in deep water. It will take time. The risk of damage is high because the time to fix is long. Until safety (lessened risk) is checked out on all deep water exploratory rigs in the GOM and more safety procedures are put in place we should stop drilling exploratory wells in deep water, according to the the executive branch of government.

Thus, the executive ordered a moratorium (a nice Latin legal word) on deep water exploratory drilling. And off to Judge Feldman, the US District Court judge, some parties went to overturn the moratorium through legal motions and procedure. And the Judge did overturn Interior's moratorium by a legal decision with written legal opinion citing law and court cases as authority for his decision.

And now Judge Feldman's legal order overturning Interior's moratorium is on appeal to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeal by legal process.

Peak Oil is already way messed up legal.

Agreed about Peak Oil and the law system. Below is the comment I posted on the closed thread (right before it closed) about the appeal. I apologize for repeating myself.

I don't think the appeal will go anywhere, for two reasons:

1. The appeal is of a preliminary nature; it's not about a final judgment. The courts usually don't hear appeals on such things, because they're pretty sure it's all going to be appealed in the end anyway. Better to let it play out in the district court.

2. The appeals court can only consider matters of law (what law you use, what standards are laid out in that law), and not matters of evidence (what was presented to the court to support or oppose the motion). A large part of Judge Feldman's ruling is based on evidence; evidence of irreparable harm to oil workers, evidence of the need for a moratorium. The appeals court can't consider any of that evidence in its ruling, only the law involved. Since it's a fact-sensitive ruling, I think that the appeals court will let it stand.

One further reflection is that the 5th Circuit court of appeals is not an activist court, nor is is out actively looking for more business. I think one of the Western circuits might eagerly pick up such an appeal, but I think the 5th will decline to get involved, or will affirm the injunction pending the outcome of any trial.

Of course, there are few better ways to look foolish than trying to predict what a court will do.

retiredL: Your next assignment, Professor, is to read Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 2: "The Pool of Tears" and report back to the class on your findings. http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/grol/alice/won02.htm

No thanks. Don't like cats.

Perhaps the better image would be the caucus race; or, if you wish, the conversation with the White Knight.

It depends on whether we have passed down the rabbit hole or through the looking-glass.

With help from a little Quantum Theory, we can do both, I think.

We can just split the difference: down the rabbit hole with oil, through the looking glass with law.

I would like to throw this out to the lawyers, in an attempt to draw your vision out beyond next week. Our legal system in the US has benefitted from a century of massively surplus energy, causing a highly complex and refined system to develop. Early in this crisis, we see legal jockeying at the political level to gain control of the situation through various branches of government, in reaction to corporate control. All fine and good. But we've got peak oil, and surplus energy is now being removed from the system. We now use 25% of the world's oil, but that is about to change, probably rapidly if you believe the ELM. How does that impact the complexity of the legal system in the US? We've already suffered from the impacts of the mortgage debacle in this country, which is arguably directly related to the effects of peak oil. If 20 or 30 million people suffer catastrophic economic problems due to the destruction of the GOM resource base and even some of them attempt legal redress, how will that impact the current complexity of the legal system in this country?

It is getting to the point down here that you cannot tell the BP claim number commercials from the lawyer commercials. I think they are riding the line on being unethical in that regard.
Disclosure: Not a lawyer, have used lawyers, thanked some, wanted to hurt others.

Iaato: Sorry. My poor brain can't even deal with the thought of the next 7,243.7 preliminary motions which are gonna be filed in Class Action v. BP by the end 2010. They may spill over from the courts and further pollute the Gulf.

Surely judicial branch will punt to legislative branch at some point.


On July 26, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Homeland Security Bill and slipped in a last-minute provision which provided complete corporate immunity for the three foreign-owned security companies. Likewise, the Senate voted to shield the three security companies from corporate responsibility on November 19, 2002. These congressional votes effectively prevent any legal investigation or discovery into the security failures of these foreign companies on 9-11.

It sounds sick here, but many would take $10 now than try to get $25 later and the lawyer gets $10 leaving $15? I would take the $10.

The most obvious answer is that there would be the mother of all class-action lawsuits, because everybody's injury basically came out of the same incident. Lifetime employment for hundreds of lawyers.

The less obvious answer is how a collapsed economy, accustomed to a good income, seeks to replace its source of money. New Orleans grew flush with easy money in the oil boom; people stopped saving; government became corrupt; more and more money went to recreation and luxury; the infrastructure declined from neglect and overuse; the population base boomed with poorly-educated workers migrating in to seek jobs either in oil, recreation, and tourism. Then, when the oil business started to recede, people tried to replace the good money with other sources; fishing for "square grouper" (drug smuggling), crime, tourism (which makes everyone a waiter or a paid escort), importing toxic waste (why not-- the environment's ruined anyway), and, finally, gambling.

That, to me, is the profound legal impact of oil. The massive inflow of money corrupts governments, rots societies, and creates a chronic dependency in populations. Everything becomes short-term, expendable, and, ultimately, waste.

Before the spill, my brother-in-law could go fishing over the field where he learned to play baseball. Chronic loss of wetland, due partly to canalization by the oil industry, had submerged his home town. Everyone knew it was happening, but no one wanted to rock the boat-- after all, it was good money.

The less obvious answer is how a collapsed economy, accustomed to a good income, seeks to replace its source of money

Reframe, redirect, obfuscate, and distract the opposing side with new questions, or simply refuse to answer. Why should I be surprised ;-} No wiggling. I'll ask the question again. I'm almost ready to give up; I dipped my toe in here with reservations. The human brain has great defense mechanisms.

how will that impact the current complexity of the legal system in this country?

This is why I'm no good at cocktail parties.

It's a good question. Yes, at some point the system could be overwhelmed.

But the system has handled many cases with millions of people as parties before. I am not sure it has ever had to handle individualized damage claims on this scale, but don't worry, it is doable. Look at the number of tax returns the IRS handles just as an example of how you can build systems to handle volumne.

The system is really much more resilient, and much bigger, than most of us think.

The legal system created some enormous surges in lawsuits, equal to or larger than this, in the 'Fifties and 'Sixties. Miranda gave everyone arrested the right to sue over their treatment; Mapp created state opportunities to sue over warrants (or the lack thereof). A series of cases made every government entitlement, such as public housing, a property right, thus requiring the state to hold a trial whenever it wanted to cut off that entitlement. Most of the administrative acts of the last fifty years created rights to sue, and rights to be heard in court if the government sought to change things (like the present lawsuit, I would guess). Court decisions gave inmates the rights to sue in federal courts, and they do, in large numbers, often for incredibly frivolous reasons.

When excessive demand hits the court systems, they do three things. First, they set limits on their own jurisdiction, saying, "I know we used to hear cases like this, but we don't anymore." Second, they create a new class of court officers to hear similar types of cases, like they did with the bankruptcy magistrates. Third, they amalgamate cases, to streamline taking testimony, hearing evidence, and deciding on legal issues. And, with all courts, they have a great deal of power to coerce people to accept outcomes they may not want at first; they can force people to settle claims or even drop lawsuits.

The court system has a clear pattern of order and superiority, it's already worked out issues about dealing with case surges, and it has the ability to add capacity in a deliberate and somewhat timely manner; sort of like a military organization. It wouldn't be overwhelmed by 20 million new cases; it would just creak for a while, and then adjust.

The legal system created some enormous surges in lawsuits, equal to or larger than this, in the 'Fifties and 'Sixties. .....The court system has a clear pattern of order and superiority, it's already worked out issues about dealing with case surges, and it has the ability to add capacity in a deliberate and somewhat timely manner; sort of like a military organization. It wouldn't be overwhelmed by 20 million new cases; it would just creak for a while, and then adjust.

This all works fine if a huge increase in volume of cases is the only thing that is happening to the system, Retired. The issue that people fail to take into account when discussing resiliency of complex systems is the connected nature of an overly complex system which is suffering from decreasing rates of energy flow-through. In the scenario that we are considering, arguably with migrations away from the coast due to toxic waste and failures of local economies, a very stressed population, in addition to failure of the US economy, probable oil shocks and markedly rising gas prices, there would probably be major increases in violence and perhaps even failure of the political and cultural structure (Orlov suggest 5 stages if you want to read more). Certainly we are already seeing 300-400% bumps in domestic violence cases in the local coastal Louisiana towns in the very short term as an example of what might be in store as everything gets a little unstable.

This possible scenario above is just an example of why you can't evaluate your small piece of the system in isolation when trying to predict what will happen to our very complex and very surplus-energy-reliant system. Besides all of that, you mention our ability to tolerate legal upheaval in the 1950s, but our population has almost doubled since then. Do we have another doubling time left in us? Are humans smarter than yeast?

The less obvious answer is how a collapsed economy, accustomed to a good income, seeks to replace its source of money. New Orleans grew flush with easy money in the oil boom; people stopped saving; government became corrupt; more and more money went to recreation and luxury; the infrastructure declined from neglect and overuse; the population base boomed with poorly-educated workers migrating in to seek jobs either in oil, recreation, and tourism. Then, when the oil business started to recede, people tried to replace the good money with other sources; fishing for "square grouper" (drug smuggling), crime, tourism (which makes everyone a waiter or a paid escort), importing toxic waste (why not-- the environment's ruined anyway), and, finally, gambling. That, to me, is the profound legal impact of oil. The massive inflow of money corrupts governments, rots societies, and creates a chronic dependency in populations. Everything becomes short-term, expendable, and, ultimately, waste.

I did not really read this paragraph of yours the first time around, after I realized you were answering a different question, Retired. You make some very good points that illustrate my thesis above. The energy flow through the economic system (in this case represented by the money) creates dramatic second, third, and fourth order effects that are hard to follow unless you think creatively about how one problem will cascade into another, which is what you have done here from your own experience in Nawlins. Nothing happens in isolation in a complex system--butterfly wings in China . . . . And, as you say, energy surpluses were not necessarily healthy for New Orleans, and turned her into a shady lady. Now you have a dependent, entitled population in a damaged economy with a ruined resource base, which then resides in a bankrupt American economy that buys 2/3 of its energy from overseas. I'm still trying to figure out how the system is going to be resilient?

Sounds like a good discription of the Industrial Revolution.


What fun would it be if we agreed? Not much.

I will take the contrary position and predict the decision is overturned. The judge made two errors.

(1) He misapplied the legal standard in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence the govt. offered (i.e., whether the govt. had produced sufficient evid. to demonstrate that the moratorium was rationally related to the risk of preventing a second spill while the govt. is tied down fighting the first one); I predict the court will find that the govt met the burden; and

(2) He misapplied the law in concluding that the failure to consider another option demonstrated that the govt. decision was arbitrary under the State Farm case. The cout will hold that in an emergency situation, where the govt. must act, any remedy it imposes that is rationally related is sufficient showing. Requiring the govt. to consider all alternatives during an emergency imposes an unreasonable burden and misinterperts the law. The govt' needs the flexibility to do what it deems necessary immediately. It can always come back and adjust things. The blanklet moratorium is withing the govt's authority and rationaly related to the goal of preventing a second spill.

If it was not during an emergency, I think the 5th cir. would be very tempted to uphold judge Feldman for a variety of reasons. But really, the rationality test is there for a reason, and the principal is very import. Judges should not reach out to slap down the elected executive branch in handling an important responsibility it is far more competent to handle than the judge. (Although the judge was standing up for the people whose jobs would be lost and his criticism of the moratorium was valid - although improper).

Very good points; but also consider that the government's main piece of evidence was known to be unreliable-- altered by the government to reach a conclusion opposite to its original one. So, strike one; the government tampered with the evidence. Strike two, the evidence in its original unaltered form supported the oil workers, not the government; even though the original report (as far as I can tell) was not submitted, the court knew its import. Strike three, the government told its employees to ignore the TRO and keep working, and had to be slapped down.

So, beyond the bare legal bones, you have the judiciary seeing the government in this instance as deliberately untrustworthy and willfully disobedient. Even though they don't put it in the opinions, things like that carry a great deal of weight with judges.

Please excuse the continuing baseball analogy, but you also have to consider the home crowd. The 5th is a moderately conservative bench with its headquarters in an oil state. A number of the more conservative judges did not like President Obama's calling out the judiciary in the state of the union address. Even with the best of intentions, they're going to approach the government's pleadings with a very small chip on their shoulder.

Also, I'm pretty sure one of the thoughts kicking around the judges' heads is, "Why the moratorium? Why don't you just do the inspection jobs the law requires you to do?" Or, in legal terms, a carefully tailored remedy already exists for this problem-- why a moratorium?

If people didn't disagree, a lawyer's life wouldn't be any fun at all.

It is nice when someone esle makes all of your points for you. I agree with your analysis, you hit all the points i think are impt. here, and I also share your view that these are the reasons that will tip the court away from overturning Feldman and what would be a near certain reversal in many other circuit courts.

And it shows why it was really short-sighted of the Salazar team to leave itself vulnerable to this exact scenario. The must have not thought about what jurisdiction they would be operating it. It will make the president look like he is bumbling and weak.

An interesting point no one has picked up on re one consequence of the moratorium being struck down (although Rockman has raised it prior):

As a practical matter, most analysts are pessimistic that any of the affected rigs will go back to work based on a preliminary injunction. However, the good news is that the injunction will limit the ability of lease operators to declare force majeure in an effort to rid themselves of their multiyear obligations to pay for very expensive drilling rigs. For those not interested in doing the math, that amounts to $3 billion in six months on just the 33 existing rigs.

The real key to the puzzle relates to the 33 existing deepwater rigs as well as another eight rigs that are due to begin work over the next 12 to 18 months.

Those rigs were constructed based on "take or pay" multiyear contracts. These contracts require payment by the operators, whether or not the rigs are actually used. If the contracts are abrogated by federal fiat, the operators, in many cases, will have no choice but to take their business elsewhere. At that point, these assets, each costing $600 million to replace, will move to other international deep water regions, and their owners will sign new multiyear contracts.

The result is that, when the government's neophyte commission, after learning something about the industry, concludes its deliberations and announces the conditions under which deepwater drilling will be allowed to resume, they will be preaching to an empty house.

In effect, the six-month suspension will become a five-year-plus cessation of drilling activity with all of the concomitant problems of regional depression, increased oil prices, greater import dependency, increased risk of spills -- because additional tankers would be bringing more crude or refined products into the U.S., and tankers have a much worse safety record than do drilling rigs and domestic production systems -- and an ever-worsening balance of payments problem. Oh, by the way, the coastal restoration fund, predicated on the receipt of royalty payments from deep water production, will also be history.

For the conspiracy theorists, that may have been the point all alongpredicated on the receipt of royalty payments from deep water production, will also be history.


I think you are probably right the 5th will ultimately deny. However, I do think it appropriate for appellate review in that Feldman's decision is final as to the stay/injunction. I do disagree with the characterization that Feldman's decision being based on evidence. I think that was a complete ruse Feldman tried to foster, but is not correct. The baseline for Feldman was still the propriety of the agency decision, which was something he was not entitled to take his own evidence on or make his own determinations as to sufficiency on (in spite of the fact he did just that).

For that reason, if the 5th wants to address the case there would be no problem in doing so; they either agree Feldman was on solid ground or find that (as I still firmly maintain) Feldman violated the standard of review he was tasked with by ignoring that there was at least some evidence in the record that could support the agency decision. From what I have been able to glean about the 5th, I think Feldman may well be upheld depending on what panel is assigned. The hijinx of the 5th in Comer v. Murphy do not bode well for there being a fair forum. That said, you have the experience there and I do not, and I am probably wrongfully assuming the judges there could divorce themselves from the reality on the ground and in their nearby seas. Either way, will be fascinating to see how it plays out. Also depends on the quality of advocacy by the government, which has been effectively crap so far.

Calling it a legal issue suggested a direct connection, as in "I crashed into your car, now there is a legal issue between us". Rather than, say, getting into an interminable sociopolitical or historical dissertation on how we got to be in those cars in the first place. So I had no idea at the time what you could have meant; it conjures up visions of some grandstanding judge granting an injunction ordering more oil to appear (or disappear, depending on the judge's political whim.) Not a biggie, really, but it did seem like a bit of a reach.

I haven't waded through the judge's dissertation, but I somehow doubt that as that case, or some closely related one, wends its way to the Supreme Court, the words "Peak Oil" will ever be used in any of the case documents in any substantive manner...

PaulS: How about: "I trashed your Gulf looking for scarce oil. Now we got legal issues."?

Why couldn't the first M252-A well be adapted to be a relief well for the M252-B Blowout well? Using the scale on the map they are only about 300 feet apart. Also was M252-A constructed in the same way as M252-B? The MSM seem to be ignoring the presence of the temporarily abandoned M252-A well, I hope there isn't a sunken oil rig sitting on top of it.

In section 2.7 the Exploration plan states there is no requirement for a blowout Scenario for the operations proposed in the EP even though in 7.1 it states that the worst case blowout scenario is 162,000 barrels of crude oil per day. This seems rather odd to me.

Link to the Initial Exploration Plan:

beagle -- If wrong I'm sure there will be a correction shortly. But the POE shows proposed drilling locations...not ones drilled. I don't believe the well you refering to has actually been drilled.

Thanks Rockman. Just had a look at the ROV monitoring the cap and it looks like it is close to the Co-ordinates for well A (EP X=1202803.88 Y=10431617.00). In the EP "proposed activity" it states "Drill and Temporarily abandon proposed well Location "A" start date 04/15/2009 end date 07/24/2009" then "Drill and Temporarily abandon Well Location "B" start date 04/15/2010 end date 07/24/2010", I had wrongly assumed this was well B. Why would the EP not require a scenario for a blowout?


CBS News story from last night about the gross underutilization of the National Guard troops that the federal government has authorized to help with the cleanup in LA (6,000 authorized/1,053 deployed); AL (3,000/432); FL (2,500/97); and MS (6,000/58):


So these governors are authorized to use these National Guard troops to help and are not doing so?

Yeah, but. The governors are opting for trying to hire locals.

hello.....actually VERY nervous from florida.....this is a great site, never thought i would need to know this stuff. anyway, please check out and comment on the following: projectavalon.net has a 2 hour radio discussion with dougR/SHR, he sure sounds like he knows what he's talking about. horrible nightmare last night. we were told to evacuate and obviously we can only go north and this huge exodus bumped right into "gasland". there is no escaping this! billionaire polluters are everywhere! what should we be doing? i have lost all confidence in the obama admin. i admit i always voted for nader. is that naive? again, thanks everybody for all your interesting comments and if anyone does have advice for us floridians please, for the love of god, say so!!!

I hope you have been able to read yesterday's threads that pretty much debunk DougR's position that the BOP is in intimate danger of tipping over and tearing off.

It is exactly because of people like you who are potentially in harm's way and scared that I believe that presentations such as his should be debunked.

There are plenty of real risks out there without manufacturing false ones. The idea that people should evacuate due to his own fears is ludicrous.

I'm not sure what part of Florida you are in but I think the danger in LA, AL, MS and the FL panhandle due to VOCs is probably a more realistic problem, but I don't have any expertise in that area. Certainly the local authorities in those areas haven't shown much concern.

thank you....aren't we all in harm's way? no, the local authorities don't show much concern. except for bill nelson - but lately, he seems like he's two sheets to the wind. i live about 30 miles in off hernando beach. i don't mind hearing/reading - would rather have too much info than too little. my heart bleeds for these people that are losing their lifestyles. and certainly all the animals that are no doubt dumbfounded and dying miserable deaths. what a world we live in.....pelicans are beautiful birds but so are turkeys/chickens. why do we decide to eat one and not the other? why are american lives more important than indian, columbian or nigerian lives? we're all in harm's way, seemingly expendable. i am afraid and also disgusted. what i shouldn't be is surprised, but i keep holding on to the notion that the "EXPERTS" know what they are doing. maybe they are expertly destroying the natural world and all we can do is hang on....

I've told my brother in New Orleans to be careful about the wind direction. He has breathing problems. I suspect that the amounts of hydrocarbons and soot in the air close to the shoreline are pretty elevated. Someone has said the equivalent of 2 packs a day.

It's like that in places like DC and New York City on air quality alert days. There is massive soot from diesel engines and black tarry dust from millions of grinding auto and truck tires plus brake and clutch linings. There are emissions from power plants and building climate control systems. There are paint and solvent fumes. There are imported heavy metal contaminants from coal- burning power stations in the Mid- West. All of this and the NOx and COx outputs of millions of cars going nowhere in particular baked by the sun and turned into a toxic stew.

In South La there are the one- hundred fifty or so chemical, heavy industrial and refining plants emitting hydrocarbons and other exotic wastes 24/7. There is the sulfurous exhaust of the hundreds of bunker- fuel burning ocean- going vessels plying the Mississippi River along with the hundreds of smaller diesel powered push- and tow- boats. The lower Mississippi is called 'cancer alley'. Even on the good days the pollution is bad.


The gusher is making a bad situation worse, but not to the degree that an evacuation is necessary. Air pollution? No problemo!

Since the largest component of the spill so far has been and is methane, the hazard would be most acute on ships in the well area. Other hazardous components of the gusher have been given as reasons for illness on work boats. One component of the spill is benzene which is both toxic and carcinogenic. It is also ubiquitous.


I agree with RM and Shelburn and others that the gusher is bad enough without exaggeration. It is also still taking place with an undetermined end in the foggy future. Timing is everything and the blowout taking place just prior to an active hurricane season adds complications.

I think what's happening in he economy is more dangerous than the gusher. The economy determines how people will live everywhere in the country. There is enough money in the economy to plug the well and scrape the oil off a few beaches and put up a few showcase marsh remediation projects. Most of the oil in the water will sink to the bottom of the Gulf (or wash up on the beaches in France) but people will not be inclined to be concerned about that because they will be flat broke.

(This sounds like an exaggeration but it's not.)

I've always voted for Nader too. Of the recent available options he'd have been best equipped to deal with this. In fact I suspect MMS would've been cleared out long before the accident. Pity we elect people for media savvy and not actual ability.

Nader is skilled at self promotion, authoritarian rule, and making millions of dollars off of cheap labor. Beyond that I'm coming up blank.

I'm afraid I had to agree after I stopped laughing.

projectavalon.net has a 2 hour radio discussion with dougR/SHR

So dougr is The Forum Administrator "SHR" at Godlike Productions?

Very interesting. Reminds me of another publicity hoax:


"Very interesting. Reminds me of another publicity hoax:

TheraP, please read the earlier threads.... it was common knowledge on this board over a week ago that dougr first posted as SHR on Godlike Productions. So what. How in the world do you extrapolate a publicity hoax like balloon boy out of this? Just because of an identical posting on two different websites? How odd.

And by the way, dougr's hypotheticals, right or wrong, were well enough respected to be included in a discussion of USGS geologists and a few earth science Stanford students a few evenings ago. Not everyone in that discussion was as flippantly dismissive of his ideas as you (actually no one ridiculed or summarily dismissed), nor did they interpret his ideas as frivolous hoax. Thank goodness for the respect of genuine expertise.

Yeah, but dougr's not doing himself much good in the respect department. I wrapped up a discussion with him in a different thread about an hour ago. I'll steal a snippet from another TOD member: "Reframe, redirect, obfuscate, and distract the opposing side with new questions, or simply refuse to answer." That's his m.o., to a "t". I was sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it didn't and maybe there isn't one. I've concluded that in the end, he's really all about destruction.

Not to say that topics he brings up do not have any merit or should not be explored, but, his style seems to be to spread FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

Just my humble observation.

Spot on. I've been looking at that stuff as a means to some end and trying to discover some agenda besides that, but I haven't. I'm done spending time and energy on jousting with dougr.

I think it's all a balancing act. On one side you have government and oil-company assurances and minimizations, and on the other side, there's this worse-case scenario conveyed by dougr..... reality is somewhere along the continuum of the two extremes.

What has me the most concerned, is that there are bits and pieces of information trickling in from other "oil-experienced" countries... a seriousness of tone and action that implies a very concerned perspective. I keep asking myself, what is it they know, or suspect, that they are not saying in the public arena.

This is an ongoing event that gets worse daily. It's already worst-case on a daily basis for people who live around the Gulf and for the animals who are in affected areas. It could get worst case for immensely larger areas if they can't get the oil flow stopped. There's a worry that they can't and that the world's oceans will be impacted. There's fear that it'll cripple the US. It's a worldwide event in its possible ramifications. Besides all that there's genuine concern for people and the ecosystem on the part of some, overseas companies that see an opportunity to make some money and possibly do some good, and 1000 other reasons the concern is going global. The external view is that the response is ineffectual sometimes and obstructive at others - both true - and it's raising alarm. All just my opinion, of course.

(and now for something completely different...)
Ya' know snakehead, our modern sensibilty is hard wired by language.... one of the interesting things about English is that individual perspective has omnipotence.... in english, for example, one would say, "I see the dog," implying that I have primacy of existence, and the dog is dependent on my awareness... yet, if I were to make a similar statement in Lakota, or Navajo, it would translate more like, "the dog, I see" ... the dog exists in its own right, exclusive of my awareness. There is less illusion of human primacy or control in traditional, indigenous languages.

Another construct in many indigenous languages that we do not have in English is "flash-point." Flashpoint involves alternative concepts of action and time, and the deep understanding that human efforts can no longer influence events after a pivot point has been reached. As I've read through the TOD comments over the past few weeks, I've wondered if we are all having to come to terms with that hidden, ancient understanding ..."flash point"

I'm certainly in agreement with that, at least to some extent. There's probably nobody here who's 100% certain that this thing can be stopped. And although nobody at TOD can actually stop the oil flow, some are still checking out alternative solutions. Mostly at TOD people are trying to figure out what's what. Being stuck with BP and the USG, there's an impetus to want to find something effective behind door number 3 and a frustration at watching the two players obstruct or drag feet about alternative offers (and I'm not talking about an instant nuke). People will cope with fear of a flash point in individual ways. This isn't at the asteroid bombing into earth stage quite yet, and wild scenarios that are out there feed the fear that it is a flash point. We see quite a bit of that when new posters show up looking for comfort and reassurance. But we also see posters show up pumping something or other sometimes with hidden agenda, and those are all based on FUD tactics.

TheraP, please read the earlier threads.... it was common knowledge on this board over a week ago that dougr first posted as SHR on Godlike Productions. So what. How in the world do you extrapolate a publicity hoax like balloon boy out of this? Just because of an identical posting on two different websites? How odd.

Have you read the Disclaimer at the bottom of each page of the GLP site? Excerpts:

This website exists for entertainment purposes only. The reader is responsible for discerning the validity, factuality or implications of information posted here, be it fictional or based on real events....Not all posts on this website are intended as truthful or factual assertion by their authors. Some users of this website are participating in internet role playing, with or without the use of an avatar....Some events depicted in certain posting and threads on this website may be fictitious and any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. Some other articles may be based on actual events but which in certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes....We do not discriminate against the mentally ill!

Bold in the original. Note also the site logo in the upper left: Godlike Productions. UFOs/Conspiracy Theorists/Lunatic Fringe.

SHR is a Forum Administrator on the site.

Again I ask: Why would a member of TOD who had a spill scenario they genuinely believed was credible and warranted serious consideration post it first on the GLP Web site?

So... ahhh.... I guess I'll make the same point I made earlier.... most people who have been reading TOD over the past week are well aware of the SHR parallel post. No big news there. And yes, it's been over a week. Are you saying that Shelburn was also foolish for giving "serious consideration" to dougr's post in his rebuttal article?

So... ahhh.... I guess I'll make the same point I made earlier.... most people who have been reading TOD over the past week are well aware of the SHR parallel post.

But they don't seem to be aware of the nature of the site on which the first iteration was posted. Either that, or they don't think it's important, which is what baffles me. Can you think of a reason why he might have chosen a site that caters to wackos and hoaxers to introduce his scenario? (I mean, other than the fact that he's a forum administrator there?) Goodness knows he hasn't deigned to offer any explanation.

Are you saying that Shelburn was also foolish for giving "serious consideration" to dougr's post in his rebuttal article?

Of course I'm not, especially now that it's gotten such traction. I was responding to your question as to why anybody would think the post was a publicity hoax. But hoaxes--well-done hoaxes in particular--require rebuttal the same as flawed serious proposals.

> they don't think it's important

That would be me, I'm one of those. Content is king. It's not as if GLP is Soviet era Izvestia or the mouth organ of North Korea. It wasn't an official publication of the website even. GLP seems to me to be mostly a bunch of people who like/need to flame because the worst is going to happen real soon now.

Nervous...If there is a silver lining to DougR's attention getting doomsday theatrics it would be the reference to TOD and that you ended up here asking questions. Fear is proportional to the things we have no control over but try to. How much control do you have over the events happening around you? If we stop and take stock of what is in our control the nightmares disipate. It's unfortunate the world is full of DougR's predicting doomsday theories. In your lifetime when did the last doomsday theory occur? Most doomsday theories have been predicted by folks **claiming** to be an expert. They take a little factual information and blend it with psychotic mumbling and call it stiring the pot.

Peace and Blessings.


My concern with dougr getting media exposure is that for every nervousfromflorida that finds TOD, there are a thousand other nervous people who are just being abused by dougr's fearmongering.

I call it fearmongering because there have been ample polite critiques of his post, and ample opportunity for dougr to address criticisms, correct errors, and modify his scenario to fit the facts. Modifications like losing the "currents will topple the BOP" theory. But he didn't accept any criticism, he didn't modify and strengthen his scenario. He didn't repost it as a more plausible warning that we don't know it all, and there could be an unexpected structural failure. Instead, he stuck to the original version, telling people that the well absolutely would fail in a catastrophic way, that we are in a race against time to avert an apocalypse.

He played to fear, and defended that as useful work. He seems so obsessed with attacking BP because of the harm they've done, that he is unconcerned about the harm his words are doing to folks who are already hurting physically, economically, and emotionally.


I did the best I could and I agree with you. I didn't get an A in tact and diplomacy. I've been taking lessons vicariouly through RM. I don't know his secret but I'm guessing it's the BBIC.

I typed and deleted; DougR's a psychotic piece of trash at least three times in my post to nervousinflorida. Now I'm not sure why I did because I feel better already.

What's a little oil on your beaches? The important thing is, Tony was able to go to the regatta last weekend. So, in a sense, he got his life back.

sh: The unemployment rate rules.

Swift Loris, Steve Benen just did a follow-up on that CBS story: seems that Bobby Jindal's explanation of why he's not deploying all the troops available keeps changing. Meanwhile, NYT reports,

For weeks, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has attacked BP and the Coast Guard for not having adequate plans and resources to battle the oil spill.

But interviews with more than two dozen state and federal officials and experts suggest that Louisiana, from the earliest days of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has often disregarded its own plans and experts in favor of large-scale proposals that many say would probably have had limited effectiveness and could have even hampered the response.

The state’s approach has also at times appeared divided: while some state officials work alongside the Coast Guard and BP every day, others, including the governor, have championed a go-it-alone approach. ...


It's politics and the CBS story has all the markings of a hit piece on Jindal who has been the most vocal critic of the feds. What is interesting is that while the report focuses on Jindal, the utilization of Nat Guard in MS, AL and FL is even lower than LA, which suggests that either all four governors are out of touch or that there is something screwed up in the process. What I do know is that the Coast Guard has been quite aggressive on for example the dredging project, which they shut down along with the jerry rigged vacuum boat operation.

National Guard Utilization in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

   Available Deployed
LA  6000  1153 
MS 6000 58
AL 3000 432
FL 2500 97 


Here @ Alabama ground zero I met 4 of the 432 Thursday. I asked what their MOS (job classification) was. They replied,"Medics". I said, "Great, here to help with the health issues around here?". A spec 4 replied, "No sir, we are here to help folks fill out forms." WTSHTF, sending in the Guard sounds great, but just because all you use is a hammer does not mean every problem is a nail. What would you want the Guard to do? Shoot BP employees and politicians?

No, we want them to help install and tend rope on properly-laid boom.

I would be far superior for that task than 99% of the Guard. Many folks around here are, that is why locals are being used and there is no manpower shortage for the current plans. Maybe the plans are bad, but it is all we have. Adding bodies without plans just adds to problems. It looks like the scene from Jaws where at the islanders were chasing the shark for the reward. You had boats running into each other, it is almost like that here now. I want to get a picture, but my cheap camera cannot view that far.

Try this: You can see four vessels close together if you blow it up. This was taken from the main beach in Gulf Shores.

lotus quotes the NYTimes:

"The state’s approach has also at times appeared divided: while some state officials work alongside the Coast Guard and BP every day, others, including the governor, have championed a go-it-alone approach."

Interesting comment by Diane Rodriguez on the Benen post:

As a part of my job, I was required to take Emergency Management seminars regularly. There is a Local - State- National network of consistent structure and planning in every state except Louisiana. Although the specifics differ, the methods are the same: written plans including the activation of resources at each governmental level as well as the relationship between and the authority at each level. Louisiana’s parish system of government is unique in the 50 states and those parishes are fiefdoms onto themselves. Jindal uses the state’s disjointed governance, lack of preparedness and unwillingness to embrace safeguards to spin the situation into Big Government failure. This state is firmly planted in the 19th century.

tanstaafl responds to her comment:

so you are saying that Louisana comes the closest to the supposed Republican ideal of having as big a share of government power reside at the local level?...

Yebbut...Louisiana's parish system is as old as the state itself, no? And until pretty recently, it's been a Democratic state.

Is there a major difference between Louisiana's parishes and other states' counties? NJ, where I now live, also seems to have governance problems due to the influence of its local power centers.

It's easy for the Gov's to point the finger at BP and the Feds then when it's their turn they stall. With the tidbits falling on my ears and I try to filter some of this it still seems the cheapest way is hire unemployed locals or use prisoners who may get a few dollars a day for washing pelicans etc. Budget, budget budget....so I guess Jindal doesn't believe BP will pick up the tab for the National Guard which would be the labor choice which costs the state the most. Well, costs the most outside of private contractors who are primarily under the direction of the USCG.

I would like to know how much net oil per day the Shop-Vac fleet is collecting. It sounds like a promising idea for working the marsh lines. ABC's David Muir wrote that they were "sucking up thousands of gallons of BP's oil" until the CG stopped them. (He has been pimping the red tape theme like mad). So how many BOPD? 2000 gal. would be 50 bbl. Is that oil or oil-water mix?

A third of our NG is tied up overseas. I can't understand why anyone thinks that the military would be especially good at this task. I'd just as soon have prisoners or the unemployed do the work, as pulling reservists away from their jobs ain't too smart in light of our economy.

The military has all manner of equipment for moving materials, a chain of command in place, medics, communications equipment and training and personnel who already work together. I can see how they could be very useful in a number of situations. It's beyond obscene that these events happen and these guys are on the other side of the planet on an apparent fool's errand.

Worries, worries worries.

Reading this site sure generates 'em.

Now I'm concerned about the effect of drilling to the 100,000 psi gas located 100,000 deep.

To get there you would have to drill through the 50,000' level where lie the twilit chambers where the bigfeet have sailed since time immemorial on thew abiotic seas in which plesiosaurs spash and play.

"We have to think of them as forever bailing,
Setting and hauling, while the North East lowers
Over shallow banks unchanging and erosionless
Or drawing their money, drying sails at dockage;"

What if the gas leaks? I doubt that the chambers were designed to contain 100,000 psi. Will the earth's crust just blow off, leaving is floating about on eggshell-like shards? Has the government ensured that the atmosphere is properly secured to the ground in the US?

How can you be so naive? The NWO has a plan for everything. However there's nothing to worry about short term as far as drilling to 100k' is concerned. DougR tells me that the big time NWO people are otherwise occupied for now, creating seedbanks in anticipation of the impending EMF doomsday that will be generated by the sun.


It stands to reason that a shell fragment will be more maneuverable than a whole planet so we should be better able to evade sun-blasts.

It was pointed out up thread that the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean will be suck in probably well before the drill gets to the gas. Perhaps this will fill the chambers and prevent the explosion I've been fearing. Sad for the bigfeet and the rest of the critters though. Imagine never again hearing the call of a love-lorn cryptoclidus echoing through the mists of a mushroom forest.

Will the jet of 100,000 psi gas erupting as the surface cause the planet zoom around space lie a balloon that slipped from your fingers while being tied?

Did you watch 20/20 last night?

"Vivos will effectively be a modern day Noah’s Ark, while providing people with an “assurance of life”, versus life insurance. Vivos is a solution for the continuance of life, providing a "biosphere" to survive an Earth-devastating catastrophe. Without an equivalent fully equipped, supplied, virtually impenetrable and professionally staffed underground shelter, survival of most of the predictable and disastrous global scenarios is unlikely.

Vivos will also become a DNA depository. Universities will be invited to submit DNA samples of virtually every living thing on Earth, along with seeds of as many species as possible..."


And courtesy of Bill Gates:
"The region on Svalbard surrounding the Seed Vault is remote, severe, and inhabited by polar bears," according to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which helps to support the vault's operations.

The preciousness of such seeds is reflected in the inaccessible nature of the vault. "Anyone seeking access to the seeds themselves will have to pass through four locked doors: the heavy steel entrance doors, a second door approximately 115 meters down the tunnel and finally the two keyed air-locked doors," the Trust writes. "Keys are coded to allow access to different levels of the facility. Not all keys unlock all doors."

Seeds: not just for a rainy day

Like all seeds coming to the vault, the new ones are duplicates of those from other collections. Material directly acquired by plant breeders to develop disease-resistant and "climate-ready" crops, and to meet the challenge of rapidly growing populations, is maintained by genebanks, not the seed vault.

Do some research...you'll be surprised.

I have done my research. However when you attributed Vivos etc. as the reason the response to the Gulf catastrophe is so mediocre/haphazard, you lost me. I'm more of an Ockham's razor kind of guy.

And Bill Gates has built himself a 50,000 sq ft. dwelling UNDERGROUND.

He's a multibillionaire and can afford precautions that almost no one else can take. So how does that relate to the response to the GOM oil disaster exactly?

You mean the absence of appropriate response, don't you?
It's the absence of appropriate response that is a data point.

Yes, it's a data point. That in itself is true but it's worth about as much as the stating that liquid water at room temperature is wet. Creating a vague and foreboding atmosphere is a great rhetorical tool but it's not going anywhere with me.

GEEEEEZ..dougar Look at the appropriate responses Howard Hughes built, I don't think you are there yet but close. I watched KO's piece to see what was said and it was a relief to hear "someone named DougR who *claims* to be an expert." The pathetic part was the follow up from Bob Cavnar. I don't think Bob's comments were enough to cause you giddy nocturnal sheet soiling emmisions but it had to be close.

Have you ever heard the statement; "Do No HARM?" Or maybe Rockman's; "No one gets hurt."

Read floridians post above and remember the nest time someone puts a gun to their head and pulls the trigger it could be caused by you.

KO's "claims to be an expert" is apropos. Eexpert=drip under pressure.

No EMF doomsday, but there's this:

No NWO? C'mon, snakehead! :) Skepticism keeps us sane, but it's unbecoming to assume there's organization at every level of society...
except at the top. Instead of trudging through reams of documents, how about 59 years of the ruling class telling us they want world governance?

1. "They control everything."

A. T
B. F

[Edit] If the answer you select is A, explain the connection to the GOM oil disaster response in 200 words or less.

A blanket assumption? You can do better than that; I've read your posts. :)

It's a common psychological defense to help ward off cognitive dissonance.

Very helpful once again, dougr. Stop dodging the question, please.

I used to discuss religion with a defrocked Jesuit, but after a while he became annoyed when I constantly challenged his every statement that contained a small error, DOUGR.

He said "Why are you so picky? Your constant objections make it impossible to communicate!"

I said "Jim, if your errors were random, I wouldn't mind, but I've been discussing religion for a long time, and I recognize that your errors are not random, but directed at gradually bending the discussion in a particular direction. I'm just keeping us on the road by applying a constant pressure toward clean truth."

I see your original post, and all the rest since, DOUGR, as non-randomly errored. I smell a societal hacker.

What's your name and address, Doug?

Curriculum vitae?

Real interest in this event?

Are the accusations that you're just a societal hacker true?

Fan of "Infinite Jest"?

It's hard for people who think quite a bit not to eventually succumb to the epistemological cartel. Most people need to feel they KNOW some things with little or no doubt, and aspire to a sense of belonging. This cartel entices with many avenues for weary truth seekers, and although most may actually be cul-de-sacs, they can nevertheless provide such intellectual and social entertainment as cannot be enjoyed by those who stay on the trunk roads - as unremitting sceptics.

I've got an open mind, and my own hypotheses. I'm seeing stuff that makes me think that BP's survival is a lot more important than the health and welfare of victims, per Bernanke/Geithner etc. Explain the lackluster response to the GOM oil disaster as a function of the NWO being otherwise occupied.

It's not the only example. Lack of appropriate response is a real and ongoing pattern.

And it's attributable to self serving and lazy people, miniscule pointy-headed political considerations, the poor staffing decisions that are made if effectiveness is the desired result, and all the usual ills and venalities that can be expected from behemoth bureaucracies. I'm not saying that those are the only factors but we both know they're there and pretty effective at creating and maintaining clusterf*cks. But you seem to want to mysticize it up and dribble out scary little hints. It's a crap tactic and in this situation it amounts to cruelty. Read the damn posts from the people who live along the GOM.

That excuse is getting worn way too thin.
Civilization would never have gotten nearly as advanced as it has if that were the case.
Look at the things that are getting accomplished in other areas and you'll see that "the usual ills and venalities" to which you refer are just simple-minded excuses to avoid thinking too hard.
In what directions is competence being directed?

Existed in every bureaucracy-dominated top down organization since the dinosaurs died off. And they're not excuses. Gates can build an underground house and Vivos might be going great guns; Soros is off plotting to destroy another currency or gunning for more filthy lucre in Brazil. But there's plenty of competence at the individual level and you can check out this board to see some of it. You, however, want to deliver the message "Abandon all hope, the signs are around you." Get lost.

I am working to save my neighbors and Little Lagoon Cotton Rats. Soros can't stop me. A pool of oil that he might have played a part in could, it matters little at this point. Either we (my community) will stop it or we will not. If it does get in, we are responsible for the mitigation and cleanup. Again, there is not a person named Soros around. Let dougr talk about the end, meanwhile regular folks that understand life sucks sometimes will try to work the real problems.

This is why I fight. This and Hooter girls.

"Explain the lackluster..." No thanks; not interested. But maybe you'll find these of interest: The Impact of Science on Society by Bertrand Russell, The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the writings of Francis Galton, and Aldous Huxley. Studying the Annals of Congress couldn't hurt either. The biggest plans are hidden in plain sight because they take so long to implement.

>"Explain the lackluster..." No thanks; not interested.

Another dodge.

Fine. Next?

Prove a negative? You know better. I think it's summarized best by the late great George Carlin in a piece dubbed The American Dream:

Nasa has begun to wind down construction of the rockets and spacecraft that were to have taken astronauts back to the Moon — effectively dismantling the US human spaceflight programme despite a congressional ban on its doing so.

Interesting but tangential to your claim that the NWO would have crafted an effective response to the GOM oil disaster but they're not interested. Tangential. Again. Unless you're in the NWO controls everything camp, and this was supposed to be another example but you didn't draw the link. Again. Just hinting around again?

I always liked D generation X better than the NWO.

Cracked me up.

Central Library's books move in to the salt mines
April 16, 2010
"“We've got a collection of books going back to pre-1850 and the centuries before, dating back to when the printing press started.

“So for a public library it's a very unusual collection and crucial it is preserved.”

"Some 1.5m brown boxes, containing almost 10,800 shelves worth of books from Manchester's Central Library, are in specialist storage, 167 metres below ground.

The works will remain in the two square kilometre area for at least three years..."

"The works will remain in the two square kilometre area for at least three years while the library undergoes renovation and restoration work as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment of St Peter's Square and the town hall complex. "

Your tactics, dougr, are really pathetically silly.

As long as they leave St. Peter's bones alone. It is really probably the guy that made the Shroud of Turin buried there.

Thunder rolled by the rolling stars
Simulates triumphal cars
Deployed in constellated wars
Scorpion fights against the Sun
Until the Sun and Moon go down
Comets weep and Leonids fly
Hunt the heavens and the plains
Whirled in a vortex that shall bring
The world to that destructive fire
Which burns before the ice-cap reigns.

CR: See also: W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming

Stole my post.

sh: The Quick and the Dead.

Lady, whose shrine stands on the promontory,
Pray for all those who are in ships, those
Whose business has to do with fish, and
Those concerned with every lawful traffic
And those who conduct them.

Repeat a prayer also on behalf of
Women who have seen their sons or husbands
Setting forth, and not returning:
Figlia del tuo figlio,
Queen of Heaven.

Also pray for those who were in ships, and
Ended their voyage on the sand, in the sea's lips
Or in the dark throat which will not reject them
Or wherever cannot reach them the sound of the sea bell's
Perpetual angelus.


To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
When there is distress of nations and perplexity
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.
Men's curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime's death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled,
Where action were otherwise movement
Of that which is only moved
And has in it no source of movement—
Driven by daemonic, chthonic
Powers. And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil

I flagged your post as inappropiate.

The GOM is dying , animal life is dying and you take up bandwidth posting poetry?

Lengthy at that.

I am also gettting rather tired of hearing about a brand of ice cream.

Do you ALL not consider the current events serious?

This whole country is winding down and sliding into the abyss and I see all these stupid posts about ice cream and poetry!!!

I would far rather read Dougr's comments. At least he is serious.

I have sent no contributions to TOD. As long as nonsense is interspersed with gamechanging events and lifeforms are dying off I see no reason to give them money to continue in such a vein. Moderation? I expect this post to be moderated to dev/null so just continue with your word plays,fun and games why don't cha?

Its not the TOD I once knew.

I am also gettting rather tired of hearing about a brand of ice cream.

Do you ALL not consider the current events serious?

This whole country is winding down and sliding into the abyss and I see all these stupid posts about ice cream and poetry!!!

This is TOD. The majority of us probably think the entire world is winding down thanks to Peak Oil. Gallows humour and artistic rage isn't surprising.

Ultimately this well is going to be shut off. I wish Peak Oil could be shut off. If you want more "normal" TOD then read the Drumbeats,

Gallows humour and artistic rage isn't surprising.

Nor is the obsession with Blue Bell.

It strikes me that Blue Bell ice cream is pretty much the antithesis of oil, almost talismanic, a substance that is delightful to the senses, nourishing to the soul, in stark contrast to the destructive toxicity and ugliness of the oil. Thinking and talking about (and eating, at least for some of us) Blue Bell is like a psychological magic charm that helps ward off the negativity of focusing on the oil's evilness.

Let's hope we never reach Peak Blue Bell.

You might trace the evolution of the thread.

I wrote a post poking (gentle I hope) fun at the more extreme of the fear mongering efforts.

I included a short fragment from the 3rd Quartet to add to the atmospherics. Cheryl caught the reference and and posted a longer passage from the second that directly addressed the current situation.

I re-read and posted a few more passages that are topical.

The Four Quartets were written as Germany advanced across Europe and in particular during the London Blitz, during which Eliot served as a air raid warden. Things were falling apart, darkness was advancing and people were terrified. Another focus is on our tendency to forget the overwhelming power of natural forces until they again overwhelm.

They are as powerful and direct a commentary on the current situation as has ever been produced by humankind, imo.

One more that seems too appropriate to leave out. I reread East Coker after your post. Always loved this passage:

What was to be the value of the long looked forward to,
Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenity
And the wisdom of age? Had they deceived us
Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders,
Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit?
The serenity only a deliberate hebetude,
The wisdom only the knowledge of dead secrets
Useless in the darkness into which they peered
Or from which they turned their eyes. There is, it seems to us,
At best, only a limited value
In the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived
Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.
In the middle, not only in the middle of the way
But all the way, in a dark wood, in a bramble,
On the edge of a grimpen, where is no secure foothold,
And menaced by monsters, fancy lights,
Risking enchantment. Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

Worth repeating:

The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:


My favorite, favorite poem of all time! I've reread it countless times. Favorite quote:

The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

TS Eliot: Four Quartets ♪♪♪♪

It is my favorite piece of literature. Much deeper and wiser than The Wasteland.

I think a lot of people miss out on it because the first part of Burnt Norton is so opaque if you don't know the back story, which was only recently discovered.

(it is about roads not taken and describes the place where he spent a few days with his long-time corresponentt and true love before the children in the foliage vanish and he goes back to torment with sad insane Vivian.

What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

Thanks for that info. It's a mystical poem. But your information provides more of a context. Amazing how suffering, transformed, yields such wisdom.

short and bittersweet... Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

That poem has a particularly poignant meaning to me. Brings a tear to my eye.... Thanks.

". . .that destructive fire
Which burns before the ice-cap reigns."

So TS Eliot foresaw that global warming would stall the North Atlantic Current and bring an ice age to Northern Europe?

Just checked to see if Eliot referred to anything "leaning". Just "lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows" and "We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together". So I take it there's no danger of the BOP falling over.

Nevertheless, based on the two quotes above, Eliot does seem to be predicting a cooperative endeavor. Not only that, it is one literary expert's opinion (based on a google search), that the "leaning" actually seems to relate to energy - "part of a search for meaning" the "“Leaning” denotes the application of force". Which definitely relates to TOD.

Thus, I conclude that TS Eliot is a TOD Shrill!

eventually he chills

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.


TheraP: Before you jump to conclusions, please run them past Howland Owl. Thank you.

Please be my guest! I was just funnin'!

TheraP: Your 'pointment with Howland Owl is for 2 pm Monday at his tree in the Okefenokee Swamp. Be there or Miz Beaver will be comin' to getcha. And you know what that means.

Boy... I am not a fan of swamps! ;)

I declare, this is about the last place I'd have looked for an Eliot festival, but it sure is fine to run into one, wherever, whenever. Thanks, all.

Ditto. I love your guys. See you in the Rose Garden.

NPR broadcast a 38-minute interview with Henry Fountain, science writer for the NY Times, on WHYY's "Fresh Air" program on Thursday, June 24.

"The Science Behind Deep-Water Oil Drilling" was the topic.

Both an audio stream and a downloadable mp3 podcast are available here:

I was impressed with this broadcast because it seemed to do a good job of explaining some of the basic technology and engineering involved in rigs like the Deepwater Horizon in a logical and intelligent way. This kind of presentation fills the gap between mass-media hysteria and the highly-specialized material written by and for engineers. (Disclosure: I hold two degrees from M.I.T. in non-engineering disciplines.)

BP on risk in its Annual Review 2009: "We do the difficult things that others either can’t do or choose not to do" http://bit.ly/BPrisc

olemanagain wrote (edited for length) in the last thread:

We seem to have two groups, the "move along there is nothing to see" and the "what is going to happen next" group.

I'll admit that my lack of knowledge puts me in the black swan camp. But some of that lack of knowledge was a gift of BP and its supporters.

When a mechanical system goes bad there is a real world reason. But I appreciate dougr, Simmons, and others who look outside the box to improbable events.

Nothing against Shelburn, He could be little more tolerant of people trying to look into the future. The BOP could fall over, for reasons dougr did not enumerate. To me when compared to the trajectory of the escaped oil, there is a slight off center configuration.

However, this is not the only thing that can yet go wrong. But I give kudos to Shelburn for his realistic look, the flaws in the info and what the science is. The later is what makes OilDrum unique or almost so on the net.

I am told that hurricanes cannot reach he ocean floor. I put little faith in that, for fool me once, twice, all day and night I finally get the message. Expect and prepare for the worst.

I think the reason that I, and some others, felt that it was important to present a strong alternative to DougRs post was threefold.

(1) DougR was not "looking into the future", he presented his case as an actual ongoing calamity. If it had been present as a possibility then it would have been a legitimate presentation that could have been calmly discussed and dissected.

(2) It was picked up by the MSM who, of course, cherry picked the most calamitous portions of his presentation thereby adding additional stress and fear for a lot of people. There are plenty of real concerns out in the GoM, we don't need to add fairy tales.

(3) The MSM reports implied that TOD was a "think tank" and thereby used TOD's name "in vain" (my description) to add credibility to DougR's pronouncement. This is to the detriment of TOD's long term credibility as a site where a variety of diverse opinions can be examined in a hopefully respectful environment. TOD has the potential to help understand and publicize the peak oil story and good publicity helps that cause, association with extreme views hurts it.

The event that DougR describes IS a black swan event. And it could happen - the point is that that particular black swan is not happening - yet.

There ARE many potential black swans associated with this incident and it could still get much worse. As long as they are discussed as possibilities - as Rockman does so well - then they are highly legitimate and helpful. When they are described as ongoing reality with doomsday implications then it enters the role of fear mongering and IMHO should be rejected as such.

Maybe I overreact due to my upbringing and cultural background that a man is only as good as his word, but I have always felt that good points of that attitude have served me well even if there were many times I wished I could take the easy way out.

I too don't trust anything BP says without independent confirmation or if my training and experience tells me it is probably factual. Same goes to a lessor extent to USG pronouncements. But it is a fact that hurricanes dissipate quickly in the water column. The surface effects are gone by the time you reach about 200 feet even for Cat 5 hurricane. Ask any submariner. But hurricanes completely stop all surface work including recovery and relief wells.

Anyways, thank you for your posting and letting me put in my two cents worth (in inflated $ of course).

I'm off for a few days, headed to Denver area to see my 91 year old father who managed to break his leg and is having surgery Monday. I'll try to lurk as time allows and maybe back late next week.

Best healing to your dad and unfraught travel to you, shelburn. You'll be missed.

shelburn: I hope all goes well for you and your dad. I have this sneaking suspicion he's proud of his son. Lurk early and lurk often.

Shelborn, I fully understand and appreciate your knowledge, attitude and course of action.

I have also been in meetings where the job was to think outside the box. By definition these are low probabilities(even impossible) which in a low information environment can lead far from the reservation.

To a lay person, there are those that see no methane problem and those who see disaster. Etc.

Your info is very valued, keep it up.


I appreciate you grinding your finger tips on the keyboard to try and clear up myths and unicorn stories....much appreciated ...keeps the signal to noise ratio within tolerances although past few days have seen a spike in noise IMHO...

why black swan events are being passed on as on-going scenarios is confounding.....here are a few more examples.

1- ask a pilot for an airline what possible things can go wrong in-flight....tell him to list all the possible elctro-mechanical failure points in aplane...all of them ...and i guarantee no one will every fly ....

2- ask a cruise ship captain the same ...to consider all outside chances ...no one will set foot on a cruise liner .....

3- ask a surgeon to list all possible complications that can occur as a result of even the most routine surgical procedures .....i think most will again be surprised

4- ask a cop to list all outside scenarios than can happen with the routine traffic stop....again i think most will then agree he is justified in shooting the traffic offender even before he says "office is there is problem"

i can come up with dozens of everyday events ...that if people start considering black swan events about ....life would simply be a pain ....we live with a certain amount of uncertainty in every process that surrounds us......to start huffing and puffing doesn't do much IMHO....you can be eating on the dining table ....get up to get a glass of water ....forget to put the fork on the plate....ont he way to the kitchen you slip ...fall and the fork in your hand gets twisted and you end up proking your eyeball when you land on the floor.....can any one prove this is impossible !!!! ...no because it could happen .....the BOP can tilt over and fall....you won't stop eating with a fork now will you ....so why are some folks on TOD willing to let this fork scenario pass off as a stupid non-sense example on my part but are willing to accept the BOP will tilt and fall...

same as dougr's post.....he has passed black swan events as geological and engineering certainties.....sounds a little unreasonable to me.....

just a little weekend wisdom

ali: I gonna only use a spoon from now on. Thanks for the heads up.

EL: So you are tired of forking around?

Dd: Thanks to modern chemistry, NO.

"(1) DougR was not "looking into the future", he presented his case as an actual ongoing calamity. If it had been present as a possibility then it would have been a legitimate presentation that could have been calmly discussed and dissected."

This is why I have described it as a hoax. It was an exercise in fear-mongering, not in engineering. The real talent at play in that post, and it's central objective, was the fear mongering. It was a stand-alone piece that had self-supporting credibility very skillfully and subtbly woven into it. Like all good hoaxes, it relied on good information. A hoax can contain 100% true info. But the way it is woven together tells all. And everything here was assembled to create maximum fear. I thought it was very skillfully done.

syncro: Somewhere in my confused brain, when I read dougr, up pops Andy Warhol.

He would have loved it. How funny if it would have been an accidental hoax effect. Perhaps he would have loved it more.

To many indicators of deliberative, skilled action aimed toward that one goal. Including very effective use of TOD as a credibility-enhancing launching pad.

I am not judging it as right or wrong. I do not think there is a malicious motive involved. i find the very thoughtful rebuttal the best response, and one that deserve high praise. After all, it was a thoughtful hoax. A lot of productive discussion has come out of it. I am certainly better educated for it.

syncro: As to Warhol, I was thinking more in terms of 15 minutes.

hasn't there been enough calm discussions already? maybe we the people need to demand that "the people in charge" throw us a little bone once in a while. straight, unadulterated facts would be nice. we know bp is lying whenever their lips are moving, or witholding the truth - same difference. panic in the streets? it's the not knowing that causes that. obama didn't even talk to hayward...obama hasn't talked to ralph nader, either, who told us a year and a half ago to be prepared to be very disappointed in our president. why aren't thousands of people standing behind anderson (nice hair) cooper? we are so convinced that we are powerless that we are indeed powerless. also, speaking for this floridian, i am feeling more murderous than suicidal. don't blame rabble rousers like dougr for people pulling the trigger. they are pulling the trigger because they look out on the water which they love, love, love and it is dying.

The mushroom formula isn't going to work this time. Organize, decide, act. But be prepared for opposition because it'll come.

May all be well with your dad. Mine turns 93 next month. So easy for the elderly to slip and fall....

Best wishes on a speedy recover for you Dad. We appreciate your thoughtful comments.

Best regards to your pops and his leg, and thanks for taking the time to elucidate some on the technical merits or lack thereof presented by others.

I'm below the "before BP disaster" threshold of membership join date credibility criteria presented by some, but do feel that you've defended TOD's technical reputation admirably. Revisiting the well diagrams was helpful to me, I need things drilled into my head before they start to take, so I'm grateful for that.

Enjoy the mile high.

shelburn, thanks for carrying the water on this one, your work is much appreciated. Safe travels and best wishes for your father's health.

Bowing to new environmental standards, Ford is discontinuing the Crown Vic and Lincoln Town Car, sez here.

The impending departures have left New York’s livery world scrambling. The Taxi and Limousine Commission is holding a contest to design a new taxicab to replace the city’s 8,200 Crown Victoria yellow taxis. The Police Department will lose a fast-accelerating sedan it has depended on since 1992. And the black-car industry must replace 75 percent of its fleet.

Geezers in Florida and Arizona, and cops ever'where, aggrieved . . .

"Geezers in Florida and Arizona, and cops ever'where, aggrieved . . ."

Yes, well, it will be good for the health of both groups, and that of the community, if they get off their butts and out of "fast-accelerating sedans" (says a near-geezer in California).


Geezers Of The World Unite....

Yok yok yok

lotus: Thanks for the relief after yesterday's scorched earth bizzaro fugue. We in dire need. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wFpvRMIIEM&feature=related

But, speaking of relief, maybe not this much: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wFpvRMIIEM&feature=related

[Now, if that doesn't bring the good Professor running with his magic delete button, we know he's otherwise occupied... too.]

Maybe GM will re-introduce the rear-wheel drive Caprice/Impala.

Or they could look to the boys in Baaah Arbour.



Have been looking at research on efficacy of oil dispersants, especially Corexit 9500. Here’s a very recent study with interesting implications: Zahed et al. 2010. Effect of initial oil concentration and dispersant on crude oil biodegradation in contaminated seawater. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 84:438-442.

The authors studied seawater samples taken into the lab from coastal Malaysia (several sites to obtain representative biotic communities), at temperatures of ~24-30 degrees C (~75-86 degrees F). They measured removal of total petroleum hydrocarbons over 45 days under several treatments, with initial oil concentrations of 100, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 mg/L. Treatments were (1) seawater with locally acclimated microorganisms cultured in fertilizer (CO), (2) seawater with microbes cultured in fertilizer plus Corexit 9500 dispersant (DCO), (3) natural attenuation of oil in seawater with no culture, fertilizer, or dispersant, and (4) abiotic control seawater, treated with biocide to show effects of evaporation, photo-oxidation, and other physical reactions. There was no treatment that included dispersant without cultured organisms and fertilizer.

Abiotic oil loss was 20% (this was light crude). Natural attenuation resulted in 25-32% oil removal, with more removal occurring the lower the initial concentration. DCO oil loss ranged from 45 to 67%, again with more removal occurring the lower the initial concentration. CO oil loss ranged from 38 to 64%.


This study shows that bioremediation can be very effective. And graphs of the oil-loss timeline show that long exposure of the oil to biodegradation processes is needed to maximize benefits of the breakdown process.

"This study shows that bioremediation can be very effective."

Or, to put it another way, this study demonstrated that between 40% and 60% (roughly) of the oil, with or without dispersant, remained after 45 days of bioremediation in a controlled environment.

full text of the study here (PDF)


Thank you! So am I reading this right?-- they found that, under the study conditions, Corexit 9500 enhanced the performance of oil-eating microbes. There have been questions here about whether it might inhibit natural processes.

Bioremediation may not be applicable to the Gulf. It already has locally-adapted oil-eating microbes, and the area around the mouth of the Mississippi is already fertilized.

So biotic and abiotic processes can remove 1/2 or 2/3 of the oil in 45 days. Great link!

Thank you for the study link. Here is a great example of how science can be used and misused. In this case, as in many, you have to ask yourself, "Are the scientists asking the right question?"

The goal of this research was to evaluate biodegradation rates of crude oil (CO) and dispersed crude oil (DCO) at different initial oil concentrations with and without the addition of the Corexit 9500 dispersant in a simulated marine environment. The results compared with related natural attenuation and abiotic control.

Think now, come on. Is our problem or issue in this situation whether Corexit biodegrades oil quickly or not in the short term? What is the real question? No prizes for the answer.

And as a health researcher, I immediately look to the end of the study to see acknowledgements/disclaimers regarding potential ties, especially financial ones, to the industry. None there.

"Think now, come on. Is our problem or issue in this situation whether Corexit biodegrades oil quickly or not in the short term? What is the real question? No prizes for the answer."

I really wanted a prize, but I'll answer the first part of the question, anyway, because explicitness seems important here:

No. The effect (or relative lack of effect, as indicated in the cited research) of dispersant on biodegradation of oil over 45 days in a controlled environment entirely unlike much of the environment exposed to oil by the current GOM gusher is not particularly relevant to the more important questions about dispersant use in this case.

I'm curious to learn how interested participants here may be in the second part of Iaato's question.

I am. Everyone who lives around the GOM is. The creatures living in it would be. Clearly BP and the USG aren't.


I tell my students that they need to use a skeptic's thought processes, Snakehead, in reading and deciding whether to use research or not. What happened to these turtles? Occam's razor?

Yeah, shrimp nets. Plausible. I noticed the LAT article the phrase "first caught" and hoped there'd be something about this published in a week or so. Worth tracking. There's no way oil that is good for turtles.

I'm interested. We have managed to create a mirror of the genetic horrors of Viet Nam and Iraq in our Gulf. This is called Ma'at.

I have first hand experience with the effects of Agent Orange on a military family member and his offspring. The affected family member was diagnosed at Bethesda as having a soft tissue cancer which was felt to be the direct result of exposure to AO. He underwent surgery and radiation therapy, but was told he would only live another six months to a year to live. Man proposes, God disposes, he is still alive by some miracle. However, a child was born of a subsequent relationship. The baby, a boy, was diagnosed with gastroschesis, a condition associated with AO. He survived three corrective surgeries, but died of SIDS before his first birthday.As some of you may know, GWS is also associated with a higher rate of fetal defects.

The next generation provided its military member. He served in the Gulf Wars, and has been afraid of the effects of GWS on future offspring. Whether founded or not, there is fear. We are two breeding generations past AO now, one past the Gulf Wars,and that damage lurks in the gene pool.

I am submitting 2 links below if anyone cares to pursue the subject.

I don't normally discuss these issues publically. Most people simply cannot handle the implications.

But, to paraphrase: "Oh wonder, How many goodly creatures were here. How beauteous was mankind! O brave new world that has no creatures in it..." An appropriate quote for our nascent tempests, yes? And now that I'm thoroughly depressed, but having fulfilled my duty to warn, I'm going to work on a water tight cover for the pool just in case a storm is coming.

"...Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon chemicals (PAHs) are produced by burning jet fuel and are also found in emissions from generators and motor vehicles. The WTC collapse, fires, and later cleanup efforts are expected to have released these substances into the air. Since they have some potential to cause health problems, EPA has closely monitored the air at the WTC site itself and in the surrounding area...."

"...Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon chemicals (PAHs) are produced by burning jet fuel and are also found in emissions from generators and motor vehicles. The WTC collapse, fires, and later cleanup efforts are expected to have released these substances into the air. Since they have some potential to cause health problems, EPA has closely monitored the air at the WTC site itself and in the surrounding area..."

I'm sorry, K3, you've had some horrible losses in your family. Gastroschesis is particularly awful. DU is no phantom, PAH is no phantom. Benzenes and other VOCs; just because you can't see them doesn't mean its OK. I saw someone suggest buying a handheld monitor and watching out for yourself there on the coastline, if you plan to stay. I recommend that approach.

The links I posted about the turtles concern me because, for whatever reason, 400+ turtle deaths this past month or two are being blamed on trawl net suffocation rather than the most obvious possibility, which is oil/dispersant toxicity. The question is not if these dispersants do what they're supposed to do, but if we should be using them at all. I am sure that there is all kinds of controlled biased research regarding the efficacy of various types of Corexit in shallow, spill conditions, based on short term outcomes with limited species. Where is the research on the use of millions of gallons of CoRexit in a deep water setting in multiclines, cold water, under pressure, mixed with methane, in an area of the GOM that is already a acidic dead zone from pesticide/fertilizer output from the Mississippi River? Research that specifically addresses long term outcomes for the sealife?

(report from June 23, 2010)

During a conference call with reporters on May 24, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, fielding questions about the use of toxic dispersants to break up the oil from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, made a clear promise: "We will conduct our own tests to determine the least toxic, most effective dispersant available in the volumes necessary for a crisis of this magnitude." Jackson said that she was "not satisfied that BP has done an extensive enough analysis of other dispersant options."

But a month later those tests have not been completed, according to the EPA. In the meantime, the total amount of Corexit—the brand of dispersant chosen by BP and approved by the Coast Guard—that has been dumped into the Gulf has reached more than 1.4 million gallons.

The use of two Corexit dispersants, both manufactured by the chemical company Nalco, has generated controversy since the early days of the spill, with critics claiming the dissemination of this toxic substance in the Gulf could do more harm than good. Recently, Richard Denison, a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, noted that the toxicity of Corexit, when combined with oil, is greater than the toxicity of either on its own, raising additional questions about the extensive use of Corexit. Prior to the May conference call, the EPA had directed BP to find a less toxic alternative and start using it within three days. But BP refused, arguing that there weren't any better products available in the volumes the company needed. This led Jackson on the call to pledge that the EPA would conduct its own tests on Corexit and the alternatives—tests which the agency has not yet concluded.

EPA Director Carol Browner compared Corexit to dishwasher detergent: "If you have a oily pan and wash it, you squirt some Dawn in, right?... So in your kitchen sink, you have the oil starting to break up and you're seeing that biodegrading process right in front of you. That's what happens.". . . .

I would suggest that Ms. Browner might like to try an experiment and use it to clean her dishes, since she likes it so much. And I would also suggest to those of you remaining in coastal Louisiana that you might try a little experiment; get a couple of gallons of what passes for GOM water, put it in a bucket, stick marine minnows in it (if you can find any left), and see how long they last. Then give us a report on VOC concentrations from your monitor, and mortality rates/times for the fish. We're on our own, folks. You're going to have to start evaluating your own evidence, based on your 6 senses and experiments of your own. Comments at the link below about how we've lost our ability to rely on our senses.


I did some very simple calculations based only on the weight of the BOP. I assumed 450 tons for the weight of the BOP. The center of gravity is not shown on the drawing of the government web site so I assumed it was located at the mid height of the BOP and on the centerline. It could be higher or lower. I am assuming the dead weight is acting through the center of gravity. The center of gravity may have shifted some due to distortion but I don’t think due to the magnitude of the numbers it make much difference. The point where I think the CG is = 310 inches from the bottom flange.

Modulus of a 36” one inch thick pipe is 936 in3. If the leaning is only in one plane I need only to account for the Mz moment. To move a force to another location, I need to move the force and add a moment at the desired point. Mz = Fy * x-x being the distance from the lower flange to the downward dead load of 450 tons. I get x = 64 inches. Mz = 90000 lbs by 64 inches = 58 million inch-lb.

Dividing Mz by the Modulus gives the stress of 61000 lbs / inch2. If the pipe material is A-106 Gr B the ultimate strength is around 60000 lb / inch2 so the lower pipe is over the ultimate strength by 1.02 times.

The pipe has gone beyond the call of duty. The stresses are going to be high because I assumed a hard anchor at the lower flange which is not true. The lower ocean floor is going to yield around the lower pipe where it enters the well head and relieve some of the strain. I didn’t account for the extension of the pipe through the soft part of the floor to the well head. This would also relieve some of the strain. The 36 inch is close to its breaking point and any further lean will only cause a larger moment and increasing stress.

I think there is a possibility the BOP could fail at the 36 inch connection. I read somewhere the lower 36 inch is kinked and if this is true the pipe is starting to give up.

If I have made a bonehead mistake please correct.

I could not find a bonehead mistake in your calculations.

However, I think the wellhead construction is a whole lot more than a single 36" pipe. But, there is damage in there too. I'm concerned we get 34% of the pressure drop below the two active VBR's - a zone in the BOP that should be essentially clear of any obstruction.

Then there is the issue of how much of the bending moment due to the BOP leaning over 12 degrees can be transferred to the surrounding material immediately below the wellhead. Has the well started to lean over too? If so, then the bending moment gets even larger down below the surface.

Is the BOP weight at 450 tons after being submerged in the water, or is this dry weight?

Is the fact that the 36" is cemented to 28" casing that is set 1150' below mudline change the stresses on the 36" conductor pipe?

Does this change the calculated stress and therefore the bending moment? How do casing strings cemented inside each other change the modulus of stress? Wasn't the highest amount of stress encountered during the riser fall and this is now relieved?

Finally, if this bending is an issue, couldn't a good mud anchor set a few thousand feet away (and they make them for this mud type, yes) be used as an insurance line if they were actually worried, or is this another worry "they" are hiding from the public?

Keep in mind the 36 inch casing is cemented to multiple smaller diameter casings. Not to mention the 36 inch casing is 2 inches thick instead of 1 inch thick. That would significantly alter your calculations and conclusion. I couldn't find the well diagram from its official source, but this is a copy: http://markimoore.com/uploads/3.1_Item_2_Macondo_Well_07_Jun_1900.pdf.

I can't get my head round these big pipes, but my limited experience with small tubes above ground is that when bent they tend to fail by compression of the wall on the inside of the bend. Are your numbers for tensile modulus or compression modulus, and if you were thinking it would be a compression failure how would the buckling be influenced by the fact that the tube is filled with oil under pressure?

idontno, I'm a civil engineer by training, and I'm not going to dispute your figures, but my common sense tells me that the biggest "leaning over" force the BOP experienced was when the drifting or sinking Deepwater Horizon pulled the 21" riser pipe over to the side with enough force to create the kink that's been sawn off.

That would have pulled the BOP assembly violently sideways, and bent the joint between the BOP and the LMRP, and possibly bent the flange on top of the well casing, and displaced the upper few feet of the well casing sideways a few inches in the mud.

The riser pull would have been much greater than the overturning moment created by the weight of the BOP and LMRP now standing at a small angle, IMO.

There would have been some plastic deformation, which would cause a permanent lean, plus some elastic deformation, i.e. the steel casing is acting like a springy vertical steel bar pulled sideways and now trying to push back to the vertical against the resistance of the mud of the sea floor.

In other words, it is quite possible that the BOP is becoming more upright rather than leaning over, although it will never be entirely upright.

But that's just my opinion. It doesn't explain why BP seems so interested in the bubble gauge readings. Their actions are causing concern with the general public and they should explain them. Another black mark against BP's PR effort.

Would all that fluid under pressure inside the pipe have a significant effect in maintaining stability. I am thinking of the layman's example of a garden hose where water is flowing through it. I know there are hydroforming metalworking processes, but those sure are some serious pipes.

yes that was what I was getting at when I asked the question of how the oil pressure would effect the buckling. This pipe is certainly going to be effected like your water hose, but not being an engineer I can't estimate how much. My hands on experience in a workshop would lead me to guess you have to factor it in.

Sure but would it make a difference to a muffler pipe around the garden hose?

I guess the same way as a tube in a tyre.....

1) You ignored the displacement of the BOP (trivial)

2) Where's your proof the 36" casing is tilted 12 degrees?

3) The 36" casing is 2" thick wall, not 1".

4) The 36" is reinforced with several internal layers of pipe and cement.

5) It's not all soft mud.


Is Corexit damaging inland crops?

My apologies if this info has already been posted at TOD... the story emerged about two weeks ago:

However, I have seen no mention of this in the mainstream media.
Has anyone else?

Rick M in Canada

Is purified kerosene, plane de-icing agent, and salt good for plants? I am guessing not. I am hoping for massive dilution.

Think of it as a weed killer factory at 5,000 feet below sea level.

Agent Orange was a weed killer.

I liked the first part of this thread when you guys were on the Blue Bell conspiracy. Can y'all get comic again?

Hi, Rick. The San Francisco Chronicle is about as "mainstream" as US media get. But I haven't seen any other similar outlet pick up this story (though they may have, and I just missed it). Thanks for pointing it out.

Gulf oil spill: Could 'toxic storm' make beach towns uninhabitable?

Residents fear mass relocations should a hurricane kick the Gulf oil spill onto resort towns. ‘Hazmat cards’ are a hot commodity among residents, since they could be the key to return.

A super-tanker skimmer known as the A Whale, capable of collecting 500,000 barrels of oily water a day, is en route to the Gulf, but its owners have not been assured that it can join the surface clean-up effort. Some members of Congress have criticized the administration for not moving faster to ask for international skimming fleets to help corral more of the slick.


It Looks like The Amount LEAKING Is Still Very High(Just Looked At The Live Feed)......How Much Do You Think Is Still Escaping?....Please.

I am starting to get worried about the air quality around here. I have already gotten a headache from being around oil on the shore. I think folks around here figured out I follow history. Most everyone has heard the term 'canary in a coal mine'. Historically it is just like it sounds, miners used to use canaries to monitor air quality especially for methane gas. Dead canary, run like hell. Probably the simplest test ever devised. I wonder how many folks ran like hell because of a sick or old canary?
Would it be pragmatic if I buy a couple of canaries or other animals to help me monitor air quality? How effective is such a system compared to modern equipment? A pet also offers other intangibles.

edit: Oops, the sir quality is problem too :)

Off topic, but I happened to notice this in the previous thread, from TinFoilHatGuy:

"To sleep, perchance to dream. Romeo and Juliet-William Shakespeare, not looking up Scene and Act, but they are both still alive at this point in the play, early on maybe act 1 or 2."

You'd have had a hard time finding that quote in Romeo and Juliet, because it's from Hamlet. :-) "To sleep, perchance to dream" is from Hamlet's To Be Or Not To Be speech in Act 3 scene 1.

Or is this post really off topic, since a major theme of Hamlet is "madness?" A lot of what's been said about the Gulf oil leak falls into that category, I'd say.

I knew I should have looked it up, call me Mr. Malaprop. Ok going from bad memory again, without looking it up, "First let's kill all the lawyers."
Layon good JeffJ and damned be him that first cries, hold, enough.

I think looking up Shakespeare is cheating. You should have a decent working knowledge if you write English.

Don't know the original context, but the quote is surprisingly apt:-

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.

Capt. Kirk doing a righteous version, over the top, just like we love him.


God save your majesty!

I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Nay, that I mean to do.

Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78
Step 1 in government takeover according to the Bard.

Capt. Kirk doing a righteous version, over the top, just like we love him.

Oh, bless 'im. I'd never seen that. Shatner got his start in Canada as a Shakespearean actor. Too late now, but I'd have loved to have seen him do a full Hamlet (under a firm directorial hand). While this was over the top vocally, notice that he barely moved.

I once saw Shatner do Caesar and Cleopatra on PBS. Of course he was Caesar and he nailed it. Never could find a copy. It was shot in B & W.

BTW He does not move much during the soliloquy, but at least his not holding a skull. Or is that Macbeth?

I once saw Shatner do Caesar and Cleopatra on PBS. Of course he was Caesar and he nailed it. Never could find a copy.

It's not listed on IMDb. He played Marc Antony ("Friends, Romans, countrymen...") in Julius Caesar in 1960 for a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. TV production, though.

BTW He does not move much during the soliloquy, but at least his not holding a skull. Or is that Macbeth?

It's Hamlet, but a different scene later in the play, with the gravedigger ("Alas, poor Yorick...").

i have had a headache for 68 days now! why not ask him - dougr are you shr and how do you know what you know? keep on talking and more power to you!

Hear SHR being interviewed live:

The problem with modern test equipment is, the results don't mean anything after they're run through modern propaganda equipment. Difficult to argue with a dead canary.

Oil Hat, you need to get out of there if you have to for a few days at a time......I was flying over the site at 3,000 feet yesterday, and I at one point there was actually a very strong smell of oil in the plane itself, which had the back portion open.....it almost made me gag. And that was at 3,000 feet.

Thanks for the upgrade, but I am lowly unemployed systems engineer/waiter. It is Tin Foil Hat Guy. I wear tinfoil around my head to keep the CIA from beaming me signals directly to my head. The fumes are a problem no one is talking about. How good are canaries for an indicator? Would say finches work better? Is there an easy to use low cost electronic device? I am really starting to worry about the chemicals and I am not one to usually complain about air quality.

From the BP press release on June 25 -

"Work on the first relief well, which started May 2, continues. The well reached a depth of 16,275 feet on June 23 before the drillstring was removed from the well to carry out the first 'ranging' run using wireline."

Questions from a non-driller.

How long does it take to make the "round trip" from 16,275'with the drill pipe? I believe the wireline run is pretty fast but it would also take several hours?

Please add to that - how does the wireline pass the horizontal section?


Yeah, you right. Running the wireline is fast, but many hours to trip drill pipe in and out the hole to 16kft. That's one of the reasons things slow down as wells get deeper. I'm pretty sure there isn't a horizontal section planned for the relief wells. In general, though, you can run wireline in well with a dogleg to a fairly high angle (30-45 or even higher) especially if you have casing over the bend; otherwise you have to run the tools on pipe (slow). Too bad they don't have tools that they can use MWD (measured while drilling).

EJ -- Could take 6 to 10 hours to pull the pipe. But before doing that they'll probably circ BU (bottoms up)...4 to 6 hrs. RU wire line and running it another 6 to 12 hrs depending on how much logging they do. Then they'll TIH (trip on hole) another 6 to 10 hrs. And then probably BU to be safe. Then again it could take 2 or 3 times that long: sh*t happens

2 days ago someone here posted the link to Kindra Arnesen speaking at the Gulf Emergency Summit .
( Thank - You whoever you were. )
There are 2 clips of this speech , along with many others ripped from the original. Since then I've been watching the first 2 . They are currently getting 2,656 views per hour , sometime later today they will cross 250,000 views. I'm one of many who have been driving eyeballs to them , and this morning I posted a diary to keep up that effort . The ensuing thread has turned up a transcript of her speech . Kindra Arnesen - "It starts with one," she said. "if I have to be the one, then I'm the one."
She said that quote nearly 2 months ago. The speech was on June 19th. If you haven't seen it please do , it's 15:44 min. long and worth the time . The sound gets adjusted better after a min. or two.

Pressure testing the production casing string - from an earlier thread:

wildbourgman on June 23, 2010 - 7:29pm

As for as your later question about testing the cement job. Positive pressure testing the production casing tells you if your casing, casing seals and your shoe tract are holding. It does not tell you how well your cement job is, because you should be isolated from that cement job. On a production casing string the only test you have to tell you about your cement job is the Cement bond log. A negative test can tell you if the well will flow on the annulus through the cement and the casing seals, but if the well doesn't flow that does not mean your cement job is trouble free and providing zonal isolation.

Unless Tony Hayward repeatedly lied to the Stupak subcommittee under oath, he thought the pressure tests tested the cement job. Ignore the facts that the pressure tests had not been done by the time the Shlumberger team left the rig and that the negative pressure tests failed - separate issues. Hayward thought pressure testing the production casing string tested cement integrity.

Jimmy Harrell's testimony to the MMS/Coast Guard hearing in Kenner, 5/27/10:


About 23 minutes into the video, the MMS person who questioned Harrell clearly thought the pressure tests tested the integrity of the cement job. Harrell did not contradict him.

Bob Kalusa, the dayshift BP well leader on 4/20/10, is said to have been on the rig for only a short time to learn something about offshore drilling. I don't know what either he or Vidrine thought the pressure tests meant.

Questions: assuming wildbourgman is correct, would anyone on the rig have had that information? A Halliburton engineer ran a model that predicted a cement job with 7 centralizers would have a severe risk of gas flow, and in another email, he predicted that the job with 6 centralizers would fail with channeling. Would anyone on the rig have known that they were proceeding with no test demonstrating the integrity of the cement job? Even if the negative pressure tests had not failed?

More general questions: again assuming wildbourgman is correct, how generally do top hands know that? Also, would the rig staff have known about the predictions of risk and failure made by the Halliburton engineer?

"You may not resume drilling or other down-hole operations until you obtain a satisfactory pressure test. If the pressure declines more than 10 percent in a 30-minute test or if there is another indication of a leak, you must re-cement, repair the casing, or run additional casing to provide a proper seal. The District Manager may approve or require other casing test pressures."

More here:


I interpret negative test to be "other".

I need real oil spill related help. In all my travels around here collecting information, I have ended up with two tarballs on my carpet. Standard carpet cleaner left a stain.

1. What should I use to clean it? Extra points for green solutions or using my supply of common available cleaners.
2. Call a pro and send the bill to BP? Was I not using reasonable care by walking on the carpet with a tarballs on my feet?
3. Quit whining, call a pro and just pay it.

Buy stock in Mohawk carpets, wait till those casinos start asking the same question.


Actually, I used hot soapy dishwater and it took it right out. Soap is good, very warm soapy water and a big rag is better. As for Corexit, actually perc (Tetrachloroethylene) works good, but I stopped using that stuff years ago. I reserve perc for the dry cleaners now.

I was going to suggest Dawn, which got my allegience after seeing a middle school science experiment based on clean up after the Ex-Val accident in AK.

As a cost-cutting bachelor, I used Dawn for shampoo for years, ($1/bottle at the time, it outlasted a bottle of shampoo by easily 3-4 months). The girl who used to cut my hair thinks that's why I'm mostly pelón now-a-days) Live and learn, I guess.

Gotcha beat, mtm. My last shampoo was on April 28, 2007, the day I read this Matthew Parris column in ToL:

... In 1996 I wrote a weekly humorous column on these pages. Returning from an expedition where we could hardly wash for weeks, I reported that my hair had become progressively greasier, and then — to my surprise — begun to get less greasy again. I recorded my hunch that it might not be necessary to wash your hair with shampoo, soap or any kind of de-greasant. Pointing out that cats and monkeys never use shampoo yet do not seem to suffer from oily fur, I suggested that if humans, too, stopped stripping our hair of natural oils, our scalps might stop pumping them out. I promised readers I would try this. Maybe they thought I was joking.

Today, after ten years of washing my hair with fresh, warm water alone — ten years during which no kind of de-greasant has touched my scalp — I can report back. Readers, if only you could all run your fingers through my hair: as light and fluffy as a kitten’s coat. And (to answer your unspoken question) not at all smelly — snuffle your noses in it, do — because I rinse my hair daily under the shower. Do you soap up your kneecaps every day? No. Are they oily or smelly? I doubt it. Exposed to light and air, human skin and hair find their own balance, the oil-glands secreting just enough to protect. It is our habit of stripping this viciously from our scalps that panics the glands into overproduction — that is why your first few weeks will be an uncomfortably greasy time. But persist, and you’ll come out the other side with less dandruff than when you were shampooing, and less greasy hair than the second day after you quit.

Think of the money, think of the pollution, our nation could save. No wonder everyone’s going bald. One day I shall be hailed as a lonely prophet of the nonsense of shampoo. ...

Try it. You'll like it. (I never did hit the greasies -- maybe because I'd used only shampoo, not the rest of the "haircare suite," before.)

Several questions occurred to me while listening to Allen's comments about hurricane preparation during his 6/25 briefing.

- when he discussed the 104 hr lead time to "secure and evacuate" the two RW drillers DD2 and DD3, he said that the risers would be pulled up and that the drill pipe would be suspended at the well-head. Is it likely that he meant that 5,000' of drill pipe would be left waving around in the sea or that the top 5,000 would be pulled and just the in-well pipe length be suspended?

- any ideas why the Q4000 can S & E more quickly than the DE? (56 hrs vs 114 hrs)

I'd picked up from context that the drill rig vessels could maneuver around the immediate area - guess I had never thought of them traveling a distance under their own power. It must be quite the sight to see one of those ungainly "ships" tooling around.
I trust there is a misplaced decimal point in the speeds given for DD3.
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 96.3 / 96.3 knots


Here's a quote that seems especially appropriate for TOD, maybe even good enough for the quote box in the upper right corner:

Those who assert that 'the system' is at fault, or who see mysterious maneuverings behind every political misstep, have little to teach us. But the disposition to disagree, to reject and to dissent--however irritating it may be when taken to extremes--is the very lifeblood of an open society. We need people who make a virtue of opposing mainstream opinion. A democracy of permanent consensus will not long remain a democracy.

In Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land, Penguin Press, 2010.

Good grief, what a pathetic quote in defense of the status quo -- a status quo that is quickly making it's way into the dustbin of history.

This is my first post here. I respect and appreciate this community and the expertise that it brings to a confused public picture.

I'm the person who posted SHR's audio on Project Avalon. It's well worth listening to.


The focus of his presentation is NOT whether or not the BOP will topple over. To ask that question seems smart, and you can bet a year's wages that the BP engineers have looked carefully at that possible scenario. If it's stable, then I'll be delighted.

A note on that: all nice-to-look-at artists' images show a sea floor that's beautifully flat as a pancake. It may not actually be like that. As best I understand (show me if I am wrong), the entire apparatus is parked on the side of an undersea hill. Please, someone, say more on that.

SHR's main point is that all evidence points to the failure of the well casing. I was told by an insider (indirectly) that the casing was compromised 1800' down. Others have reported 1000' down. This may not be nonsense, and SHR's logic supports this.

There were 17 top kill attempts. All failed. Why? And where did all that mud go?

SHR states, clearly and emphatically, that top kill failed and will not work. That's over. The only chance for a neat ending to this drama is the bottom kill. He estimates success at 50-50. The more experienced members here may agree.

I'm here to learn and at the moment I'm pointing my own readers at this forum... and also at SHR. I've learned a lot from both. My only goal is to learn what's really happening, and to educate others as responsibly as I can.

I will not say the sky is falling if it is not. But if it is, I'll tell the truth. Oilmen are tough critters (some members here, too) and so I'd expect that same standard from others here who understand what may be going on.

The world is watching - this is one of the best sources of good information, and I've been recommending it.

What I'd appreciate explained clearly from those here with knowledge and experience are what the odds are of the bottom kill succeeding - and what happens next if it does not seem to work.

As best I understand (show me if I am wrong), the entire apparatus is parked on the side of an undersea hill. Please, someone, say more on that.

Macondo wellsite is on a broad slope between several flat-topped "hills" underpinned by salt. The salt escarpments are about a 1000' tall with steep (by GoM standards) slopes of up to 15 degrees. These escarpments are all 2 or more miles from the well site. The slope at the wellsite is less than 3 degrees.

Here's the original EP filing with bathymetric maps etc:

The problem with "SHR" and "DougR"'s comments is they do not back them up with facts. SHR 'believes' that the relief wells only have a 50% chance to work; why and how does he come up with that value? Nearly everyone experienced in relief wells give the odds a lot higher than that. Of course the media goes with the most sensational of scenarios; they know little about what this well can or cannot do, and like controversy and dramatic tension, whether it's accurate or not.

Similarly, if there's a casing breach, where's the evidence? Is there oil bubbling up around the outside of the casing? The loss of mud could mean the mud was flowing between the drill pipe and the casing, or between a couple of the liners. The well casings may be damaged, but as of right now there's no evidence that there's any "erosion" taking place around the outside.

The Japanese-owned supertanker A Whale, converted to serve as a skimmer, is en route to the Gulf from Norfolk. Text, video, and still pics here:


Sounds crazy, apparently all they did was cut horizontal slits in the hull near the bow and retrofit the inside to separate oil and water. Apparently the Japanese firm decided to do this in response to the Gulf spill. I guess they are hoping that the US government will force BP to pay for their services.

A possible problem is the EPA regulation against returning polluted seawater, although they have ruled that the oily water can be discharged upstream from the collection device, which in this case would mean spraying it forward of the bow.

Since the slits have to be kept at the water line, It doesn't seem like they can just keep loading the ship with seawater but will need to maintain a fairly constant amount on board. Somebody help me out with this.

"Since the slits have to be kept at the water line, It doesn't seem like they can just keep loading the ship with seawater but will need to maintain a fairly constant amount on board. "
You have a solution at the end of your post, e.g. load it with water make the horizontal slits at water level, then pump out the water as they take on "oily water" to maintain a fairly constant amount on board.

From the article ""This concept has never been tried before," said Bob Grantham, a TMT project officer. "But we think we can do in maybe in a day and a half what these other crews have done in 66 days." I'm amazed at their confidence, never tried it but claiming 40 times better than anyone else. Still not much to lose by giving it a trial i suppose.

Yeah, Allen will have to force BP to lease the thing, at least for a trial, otherwise the governors will howl. I love the chutzpah of just showing up with this humongous experimental device and crashing the party.

Now, we'll see if there is a reporter in the universe with enough sense to force an answer to the question, "How much straight oil did you capture today?" and to give a clear explanation of what happens to the separated seawater.

Tony, your answer to my question must be correct (Doh!). Thanks.

[edit: the owner is a Taiwanese corporation, not Japanese as I said in the first post in this thread. Sorry.)

Another canary in the coal mine device :

Re :
" Oil Rain "

From MonkeyFister somewhere near Memphis :

I have this old bucket that I fill with water for hand watering small fruits and other things in my yard. Tuesday, I still had a gallon or two of water in it when I was done. I just left it in there. Thursday, I came home, and was getting ready to re-fill it, when I noticed the rainbow sheen of oil.

I dumped out the water, cleaned it out with dish detergent, rinsed it thoroughly, re-filled it, did my watering, and purposefully re-filled it with a couple of gallons of fresh water. Last night, I made sure there was no oily sheen there.

Sad to report that there is a very light sheen of oil on the surface of the water, today. I am going to continue this experiment every day, now. Hopefully, when the light gets a little better, I can start taking pictures, and getting them posted here on a day-to-day basis.

I'd like to ask you all to start conducting this same, simple experiment, if you live within the "Gulf Moisture Bubble" from the Gulf to the Mid-South, to Georgia.

Take a clean bucket or wash basin, fill it with fresh water daily. Check it every 24-hours, and repeat. Report observations in comments, right here. Perhaps some Math-type with mad graphing skillz will help map our observations over the coming weeks.



The KISS principal at work . The comments section suggests using 3 containers, glass, metal, & plastic.

Bob, maybe we should send Monkeyfister this Maddow clip and/or the Jeff Masters link methaz provided in the post before this one? Big Meteorology calls oil-rain a physical impossibility.

Run! Scurry! Flee! FLEE!!
And for the diametric: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/26/v-fullstory/1701630/oil-may-pose-a...
FTA: "And when her children emerged from the surf with light brown tar specks on their feet, she stayed cool: 'Honestly, it wasn't anything a baby wipe couldn't get rid of. If it was really dangerous, I'm sure they would have posted a health advisory.'"

been some talk of coman's, drillers, toolpuhser, OIM's, drill engg, roughnecks , roustabouts.....all oil term slang for different potions....heres a little explanation of each ...cut and pasted from my boss's personal collection that he has assembled over 40 yrs of his life in th eoil patch.....

Oil Co. Boss – The Top Bloke. Invariably overseas from location. He puts all the blame on the drilling superintendent when asked why the budget looks so bad and profits are down. He has never liked him anyway and didn’t want him appointed. He feels all the people under him are incompetent. He is a very good golfer and that is about all he does. He’d like to pork the secretary but having come so far up the ladder he has indeed, as opposed to others under him, learned that the consequences of this move would be too far reaching in that he might actually have to work. Talks a lot about Health and Safety when what he really means is ‘cut the costs’. He would rather shoot employees than fire them, but off-site and not on company time. Have few friends and no family. Drives a biggest Truck ( F-350 King Ranch edition) and its common knowledge in the company that to buy a truck bigger than his means he will personally piss on your annual bonus.Believes he should be appointed president of the SPE / API / IADC for life.

Drilling Superintendent – He’s the Company Man’s boss. Got the job due to seniority and because nobody else was prepared to stick their head that far above the trench. Gets the blame for everything because the people under him, somehow or other, get him to make the wrong, final decision at 2:30 a.m. Gets out of the office at 4:00 p.m. but doesn’t get home till 9:00 p.m. Has his wife tell anyone that calls that he isn’t in so the guys who work for him wait till 2:30 a.m. to call because they know he’ll answer the phone then. He is commonly seen as the fall guy for anything bad that happens. Even though his bosses don’t like him they will never fire him because they will need a fall guy. By the age 58 he needs a liver transplant, is developing Alzheimer’s and still does not have the big boat he’s always dreamed of sailing and still never has the time to go away for a weekend trip up the west coast.

Petroleum / Drilling Engineer – TAMU or UT who works for the Oil Co. his father retired from. Is relatively young and has an attractive wife. Thinks every job is easy and there is never a reason for problems on the rig. Understands non-Euclidean geometry and multi-dimensional mathematics but cannot change the fuse on a plug. Knows about the stock market but is always skint. In fact he never has any cash in his pockets. Thinks he could run the Company better than present management. Is always planning to do an MBA this coming year. begrudges the CEO his big truck and is always test driving the biggest truck at the local ford dealership just incase.

Company Man – Employed by the oil company because they needed someone with practical knowledge of drilling a well. Knows everything there is to know about everything. Usually has at least 90 years experience. He has personally drilled the deepest well, been on the world’s worst blowout ever and is the world’s greatest lover. Thinks everyone but himself is dumb. Thinks most toolpushers couldn’t even tell copenhagen from skoal. When something bad happens he tells everyone he knew it was going to happen 3 weeks ago and had told everyone but no one would listen to him. Has a unique way of knowing who to put the blame on. Is usually in debt due to large divorce settlement and rumors about layoffs give him nightmares. Still he can “…. always go back to Saudi”. Thinks consultants are overpaid and would really like to be one but knows no one in their right mind would hire him. Prays every night he will win the lottery like his dad and his grandpa prayed before him.

Consultant Night Company Man – Overpaid and under-worked. Starting to get afraid that he’s running out of oil companies to work for. Always dreaming of his glory days. Tells anyone who’ll listen he was this or that company’s trouble-shooter before it went broke or was bought out and everyone was fired. If no one will listen, he sleeps till 5 AM then hassles everyone for their reports so that he can do his then complains that no one got theirs in on time when his is late. Saw the light and became a mud “engineer” and learned the Co. Man business by hanging around the office and answering the phone when the Co. Man and toolpusher went to breakfast. Got his first Co. Man job in the boom of ’78. Has worked all over the world and been held hostage 5 times. Has been to King of Saudi's beach villa to discuss peak oil problems and chewed coca leaves with the Frente in Colombia. Claims to be a pretty good golfer and fisherman. Has been married 3 or 4 times and tells everyone he knows how to avoid paying child support. Always based ‘overseas’ and has the wildest stories on how to avoid paying tax which never work which is why he moves his country of residence every 4 years.

O.I.M – That’s short for Offshore Installation Manager in case you didn’t know and boy does he want to let you know. He’s just a glorified toolpusher who f**ked up and was promoted because it would cost too much to fire him. Tells the toolpusher he knows everything and worries a lot about the supply boats, crew rotations and gatorate and how to deliver the next round of cost cuts to the Oil Company / Drilling Company big cheese. Has been to every drilling and management school there is and is either a champion fisherman or the world best shot with a rifle. Tries to make everyone think he knows how to use the computer but constantly calls the I.T. dept. or dispatcher who, as usual, know less than he does. Does not like the Toolpusher because of something that happened when they roughnecked together 30 yrs ago. Thinks he should be Superintendent and that all Company Men are stupid.

Toolpusher (Land rigs) – Thinks he’s God, or at least the new Messiah. Dreams of owning a drilling co. and showing the whole world he can drill deeper holes faster than anyone. Talks bad about the Company Man and how he always has to bail him out of trouble. Dreams of becoming a Company Man so he can get fancy coveralls which never get dirty but need to be washed first every time by themselves. Always has a dog that likes to f**k everyone’s leg and always says “hey, ain’t that funny…he jis likes ya” when it happens. Likes to pretend he follows NCAA football but couldn't tell you his BIG 12 from his Big 10 conference. Always manages to shove the pile of jobs on his list onto somebody else’s list leaving him to look very smart and efficient whereas the number of jobs to do remains the same.

Toolpusher (Offshore) – Would like to be able to think he is God. Allegedly in charge of the drilling process and personnel but spends all his time doing paperwork for the OIM, Company Representative, Safety Officer, Drilling Company etc etc. Constantly moans about not being able to get to the drill floor to shwo the fools how the big boys do it but secretly loves the warmth of his office and the comfort of his tilt-every-way executive chair. Has to ask the OIM what exactly to do every morning. Wonders what movie will be on after 1:00 in the morning. Hopes the satellite receiver is working well because he doesn’t know how change it. More than likely was a trucker or a mechanic some point in his life.

Driller – He has worked on every rig in the fleet. Major chip on his shoulder because he thinks he should have been promoted to night pusher by now. He is not related to the toolpusher but knows his wife really well. Definitely believes he should be doing everyone else’s job and could certainly do it better than them in half the time. Always looking to get out of the business – never does.

Derrickman – Gets paid about a buck more per hour than floorhands and thinks he’s getting rich. He’s either young, strong and stupid or old and bored. Usually he is related to the driller by way of his wife. Gets very protective of the rig pumps. Is usually the only person that understands the mess of lines, pumps, valves, hoppers, overside lines, bungs etc etc between the pumps, mud pits, alongside boats and rigfloor but still manages to dump 600bbl of oil-base mud straight through the pits and back on the other side of the rig the first time oil-base comes onboard.

Roughneck – Was a roustabout but was promoted to roughneck becuase amongst all the roustabouts his county of residence is closest to the toolpusher's or he is the toolpusher’s brother’s youngest son.

Roustabout – A roughneck wannabee, but usually too dumb to become one. A walking hazard. hiring process usually revolves around his ability to wash the recruiters truck and not wet the interior.

Missed one alli - WELL SITE GEOLOGIST: God to all the other gods. Keeper of the Keys to the Kingdom of Brenham and a legend in his own mind...I mean time.

bad sign when a person can't even cut and paste properly....last nights revelry is still wreaking havoc in my internals....

Site Geologist -- likes to sit in on every meeting and till yet no one has figured out why. Is considered an outsider in almost every meeting and he knows it. Thinks the different strata in his geological interpretation should be obvious as he did after all decide to go with very light blue, blue, medium blue and dark blue to highlight the differences. Thinks rocks are too complicated to be left to reservoir people and can never understand why each summer every guy worth his salt in well operations gets an intern to help out but not him. Is usually the most agreeable personality in team in his own aloof rock-loving way. The only reason he gets any respect is because he routinely drinks every other guy under the table during happy hour.

:) ....this would RM in his heydays

" On an ocean of tears, it's the life raft of laughter that lets us float "

ColoBob: Well, I guess, in the last hundred years or so, it's gone from a pool to an ocean, eh? http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/grol/alice/won02.htm


syncro -

Thanks I wrote that little line for this deal here :

The TM Fish Camp


An oil company needed to fill a key management position. They narrowed it down to a short list of three candidates, an engineer, a geologist, and a geophysicist. In the interviews, they asked all three the same question: 'What's 2 plus 2 equal?'.

When they asked the engineer what is 2 + 2, he looked blank for a few moments, then whipped out his calculator. He said "It's 4.00000000000000000000000000!"

When they asked the geologist, he scratched his beard, consulted the structure map and strat column, and finally said "It's somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2"!

Then they asked the geophysicist what's 2 + 2. He pulled his chair closer, and whispered "What do you want it to be?"

I'll be stealing this one .

Here's yer "Atta Boy ".

Jokes on the Use of Assumptions
definitely relevant to dougr's and shelburn's positions.

Did you modify this joke? A similar joke is used for Mathematicians vs Physicists vs Engineers vs Accountants. Are you saying geophysicists are corrupt? (not that I'm offended) The engineer part of your joke is not consistent with their typical back-of-envelope attitudes.

Interviewer: What's 2+2?
Mathematician: I have no idea what 2+2 is, but I do know that a solution exists.
Physicist: It's 4 +/- 0.001.
Engineer: 3.99 would be a good approximation.
Accountant: Looking around to make sure that no one's listening, he says "What do you want it to be?"

Here's the another that I think better represents the use of assumptions:

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are riding a train through Scotland.

The engineer looks out the window, sees a black sheep, and exclaims, "Hey! They've got black sheep in Scotland!"

The physicist looks out the window and corrects the engineer, "Strictly speaking, all we know is that there's at least one black sheep in Scotland."

The mathematician looks out the window and corrects the physicist, " Strictly speaking, all we know is that is that at least one side of one sheep is black in Scotland."

OH...MY....GOD....that is hilarious. or it would be if they were drilling into tapioca or something equally benign. but no, they are drilling into a beautiful/heavily populated/tourist haven. silly, silly florida thinking no-drilling here would mean jack****. like a restraining order, it means nothing. unless these people/corporate entities can control the currents, waves and wind they have zero business drilling/fracturing the EARTH which sustains us all. why hasn't donald vidrine testified or the other bp guy? medical problems - give us a break! speaking as an average middle-aged, middle-class american, some people seriously need to serve some serious prison time over this. the door that slams shut on people with far lesser offenses needs to slam shut on these guys....and mr. holder - will you take this all the way back to darth cheney and darth bush? you owe it to us to try....seriously.

All these people are the best at drilling and production operations. And they may have a lot to offer in solving this crisis. However, they don't have enough expertise to create a solution to stopping the leak (except for the relief wells/bottom kill).

To stop the leak someone is needed with expertise in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics (i.e. chemical engineer). Each attempt they made was filled with design flaws (especially the dome, top hat and lmrp cap). The dome had no vents and the outlet connected to a 4" riser. They blamed it on being clogged with hydrates. Yes, true, but this would NOT have worked regardless of the hydrates. Did anyone bother to calculate the pressure drop in a three-phase, multi-boundary layer, turbulent flow system through a 4" tank outlet (the boundary layer problem is crucial to the hydrate formation calculations).

The LMRP cap is also terribly designed. This should be a venturi design with a 140" length cone and 32" diameter outlet. A minimum of 12 four inch risers to the surface are recommended (assuming larger diameter riser are not feasible). Increasing the venting area to 240 square inches should allow for the cementing of the LMRP-cap interface interface. The purpose of the venturi design is to reduce pressure differentials across the LMRP-cap interface and cap-riser inferface. Some calculations contained significant approximations. Length of cone could probably be reduced in half to 70".

Obviously, this is a flow containment method that diverts the oil a ship rather than the sea; so cap is a misnomer (but just calling it that for consistency with BP's terminology).

There was an interesting article in today's Anchorage Daily News about BP's previous environmental convictions. Apparently some of the EPA lawyers thought BP should have been slapped way harder for previous violations such as the 2006 Prudhoe spill.

You can find it at:

As a related bit of trivia, I heard somewhere that BP's manager of corrosion at the time of the 2006 spill who took the 5th ammendment under questioning still works for BP in Houston or somewhere.

AKgeo: I think he's Tony Hayward's PR guy.

Muy interesantes los comentarios y notas; lo mio no es técnico.Se trata de concienciar a cerca del peligro inminente en que se encuentra el atlántico sur por la existencia de exploraciones petroleras británicas en las islas Malvinas. ¿Puede suceder lo mismo que en el golfo de México?, pienso que deberíamos estar en alerta al respecto. Un abrazo a todos desde Buenos Aires Argentina.

Computerized English translation:
Very interesting comments and notes; lo mio is not a technical.It is to raise awareness about the imminent danger in that is the south Atlantic by the existence of petroleum exploration british in the Malvinas islands. What can happen the same as in the Gulf of Mexico?, i think we should be on alert. A embrace all from Buenos Aires Argentina.

A embrace all from Buenos Aires Argentina. right back at you! maybe the more of us that question/complain....well, no maybe about it, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. btw, does bp make grease?

Hola. Este accidente puede ocurrir en cualquier lugar. Yo no soy un experto pero la gente aquí piensa que el accidente fue causado por la forma en que el pozo fue perforado. En varias ocasiones, la empresa decidió hacer las cosas rápido para ahorrar tiempo y dinero. Debido a esto, primero de gas y petróleo fueron capaces de escapar, destruyendo el barco de perforación.
También podría suceder en las Malvinas. Pero por suerte, las empresas tendrán más cuidado en el futuro.

El otro problema es que el gobierno no insistió en que se utilizó el diseño más seguro para el bien.
En Brasil, por ejemplo, el gobierno insiste en que la B_O_P (preventor de soplar) se demuestra a cortar el tubo para que el proyecto pueda comenzar.

BP es de un verde diablo.

Of course. Especially if BP or a subsidiary is involved.

There is one thing I do not understand. After the shear made the cut at the base of the riser during the installation of the LMRP, why did BP not attempt another precision cut to allow for a better LMRP cap fitting now that the weight of the broken riser had been removed?

Commenting before reading the "news," so apologies if anyone's already mentioned this (sorta doubt it):

E L, you referred on the earlier thread to ol' Rupe's uneasiness with his creature, Fox News. 'Tain't his only problem, I'm happy to report. On his way to erecting a paywall at the Times of London, he just started requiring user logins:

... according to Hitwise’s numbers, simply adding the registration barrier has cut traffic to the site almost in half. Prior to the change, The Times was seeing somewhere in the neighborhood of four to five percent of the traffic going to the print news media category; after, it was hovering around two percent.

Hitwise also tracked where users were going once they hit the registration page. About a third stay on one ofThe Times’ properties, but many head straight to another news site (The Telegraph and The Guardian are big winners here), or simply to Google.

Me, I booked it straight to The Guardian, not realizing that the paywall wasn't up yet. I'm still not going back there -- be damned if I'll give even part of my ID to any Murdoch outfit. If I want something from ToL or WSJ, I whine to The Google.

More for the 'New News' category. A resident of Georgia who is following and blogging this Oil disaster is finding oil in His water supply. For those interested He breaks news on this thing days before it's found here, if it's found here at all. http://monkeyfister.blogspot.com/ No offense Guys.

Reck -

He's near Memphis . And it's in his water cans left out over night. And I posted the whole thing just up the thread, other than that you did swell.

I whine in similar fashion. For those Firefox users whose foil hats are as tight as mine, check out the HTTPS-Everywhere add-on if you haven't heard about it.
Only works for a few places, but I like having Google with SSL (+ NoScript + TrackMeNot + Adblock Plus + OptimizeGoogle):

It looks like Alex is heading south of the border (knock wood) and the next one out is going fishing.

My question is this, If a 120 hour bug-out is called before the RWs can shut this down, are there tasks that could be done while the big iron (which I assume takes longer to get to safety) is off station?

It seems like there should be a window before and after a storm to do tasks like getting an accurate measurement of the flow, or bringing back the diamond saw to clean up the riser cut, or recovering more segments of the riser to figure out how far the insert came though the BOP.

Has anyone heard of such contingency plans?

I think they had the perfect chance to measure the flow of the well when the cap was off a couple of days ago but I don't think they did it.

I believe the weak link in this structure is pipe from the BOP to the well head-not the casing inside of the well. The 36” if I assume the pipe is anchored at the well head is the section with the highest stress. The calculations are simplistic and probably error on the high side. I have ignored vibration and current loading. I believe even with a more sophisticated method of analysis and a higher modulus, we are past the yield of the material which puts us in the plastic range. Who knows what goes on in that area of the curve? We do know the material starts to harden and this may be a good thing. As the BOP leans further, the moment arm will increase pushing the point closer and closer to the ultimate strength.

I think BP should think about getting a guy wire off of the top and anchored to the floor.

Can someone explain to me why it took almost a month for relief well number 2 to go it's last 1000 feet?


Reason #1

Ever drop your tools down the hole ? That slows things waaaaay down .

Dirty Larry from Round-Up Mont. dearly loved to tell the story of his dad twisting off, and dropping the bit upside down in the hole.

But that was back when Howard Hughes made all his own bits.

Now for someone to supply the serious answer.

I'll take a stab at explaining, with the caveat that I'm not a driller and there is way more to it than my short answer.

Firstly, in any kind of directional drilling, you can't just turn on a dime. You need to make small gradual changes in direction well before hitting the target. And if you get on a trajectory that isn't quite right it can be difficult to make changes to get back on the right path. It gets even more complicated because the directional tools that steer the bit react differently in different rock types. For example you may want to start your turn in a silt or sandstone rather than a shale. Another way of putting it is that you have to be thinking way ahead of the bit. Because hitting another well bore is about as small a target there is, it follows that the closer you get the more exacting your directional work becomes.

Secondly, as discussed in another post, as they get close they will be using speacial logging tools to detect the distance to the target well bore. These tools are probably wireline conveyed, which means you need to pull the entire drilling string out, run in the wireline logging tools, take the measurements, then run back in with the drill string. The deeper you get the longer it takes to "trip" in and out of the hole.

Finally, there is all the usual things with any deep well. Bits wear out and need to be changed. Casing needs to be run, cemented, and the cement job tested. Etc etc..... All this requires tripping in and out of the hole.

The industry does directional drilling all the time, all over the world. It just happens that a relief well is about the most precise and exacting directional drilleng there is. Like anything else, doing it better usually means taking more time.

Rockman can probably elaborate more on this.

Nope...you got it covered geo. Except for the ever present SHF (sh*t happens factor). I suspect any SHF lost time will be explained as some gobbly gook technospeak. I know that language well...used it many times myself. I'll translate when the time comes.

During that month, work on the second relief well was interrupted for a number of days so that DDII, the rig working on RW2, could be moved to be in position to lower a BOP & LMRP on top of the failed BOP if the top kill operation succeeded. Exact stop and restart dates were not released, but drilling seemed to be suspended around 5-6 days.

RW1 took 16 days from setting 22" casing at 8,762' to setting 18" at 9,945',
1,113' in 16 days

RW2 took, let's say 26-6=20 days from 22" casing at 8,576' to 18" at 9,898', 1322' in 20 days - not that great a difference given unknown differences in the formations.

Thank you. That makes sense.

Required reading.


BP welcomes you to the apocalypse

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Funny, he did not refute what he was demeaning.

No. Morford isn't much into meaning. He's really all about general, diversified mockery and demonstration of his own exceptional cleverness. He can be amusing, in occasional, reasonably small, doses.

Mark Morford:

... Not just any tsunami, mind you, but a "supersonic tsunami" so ultra-awesomely massive it will effortlessly wipe out the much of the gulf coast states, killing millions and completely destabilizing the nation and inducing zombie riots in the streets as everyone wails over the loss of Florida. Or, you know, not. ...

Well I like that! Hey, Morford, you do know that Palm Beach County voted Theresa LePore out the first chance it got, right? Dang.

Lotus, is that you - my old friend from Folo? If so, Marcy and I have missed you.

I have yet to see any salient, verifiable fact that mitigates against using a limited, highly controlled detonation to close-in this well and stop the gusher. The only argument I've seen that makes sense, albeit self-serving to BP, is that it would close the well to production. I'd hate us to be in a position, at any point, and realize this all could have been stopped weeks ago.

OK. I haven't seen a single, reasonably detailed proposal that makes me believe that explosives are a sensible way to try to kill this well.

If you have something more specific than "limited" and "highly controlled," please tell us about it.

kalliergo on June 26, 2010 - 2:08pm: "OK. I haven't seen a single, reasonably detailed proposal that makes me believe that explosives are a sensible way to try to kill this well."

I can't provide you with a "detailed proposal." Even so, my observation still holds true. I have no doubt there are people with the necessary skills

All things considered, with all the death and on-going destruction, delays due to weather, only a 20% chance the rw will work first time, the economic and social unrest... these are a few of the things that, imho, make it very sensible (assuming any facts I'm not aware of that would prevent an explosive closure).

"I can't provide you with a 'detailed proposal.' Even so, my observation still holds true. I have no doubt there are people with the necessary skills"

Your observation (that you haven't been provided with adequate arguments against using explosives to kill the well) may well be correct. But, that doesn't matter, because you have "the cart before the horse."

I haven't heard any convincing reasons why the well couldn't be killed by injecting depleted uranium BB's through the choke and kill lines, but I wouldn't expect anyone to even try to formulate an argument against the idea if I hadn't presented a reasonably-conceived and organized proposal.

If you think a big boom is the answer, you should either suggest a way to do it or consult with experts who can create a proposal. There's no reason to argue *against* something when no argument *for* it is presented.

I'll take a stab at that ......

First you drill a relief well , (see the Russian Nuke answer) Then you place your explosives as close the wild well bore as possible, and above the pay zone. (see the Russian Nuke answer) Then, you fill that well back up, making sure not to screw-up your caps wire, or drop them down the hole. Other wise you've just made the world's most expensive shot gun.

Speaking as someone who buried several powder magazines worth 60% high velocity nitropel.

Thinking a " Shaped charge " here ? See the boys discussing the thickness of the mud on the sea floor here. Know anybody who's ever tried to fuse mud into glass ?

America's answer to nearly every problem , " Gee, if we just had a better bomb ".

Know doubt "Myth Busters" is hard at work on this as we type.

My office with Western Geophysical at Douglas Wyoming 31 years ago .

One more office picture taken at the Book Cliffs in Utah -

From what I've learned here, thank you TOD, it seems the Russian experiences are a good jumping off point, yet have limited utility as applied to this particular situation.

Of course you direct the force of the explosion in the right direction, that's common sense.

It seems to me turning mud into glass is a non-issue as there would be considerable distance (filled with rock) between the explosion and the mud on the sea-floor. Although I'll concede this requires seismic analysis by qualified geologists.

Still, it appears my observation remains valid.

It seems to me turning mud into glass is a non-issue as there would be considerable distance (filled with rock) between the explosion and the mud on the sea-floor.

To do this means you need to drill a very deep well, very close to the blow out well. Which is exactly what the relief wells are doing. Except that relief wells are a very proven approach that have been successfully used many times in the past. And even if you fail to hit the blowout will with the first attempt, you can plug back a few hundred feet and make another attempt. The only real downside to relief wells is that they take time and it might require more than one try.

For the nuclear bomb approach you still need to drill a well close to the DWH well, preferably very very deep. If your explosion fails to seal the blowout, you have now so f***ed up the rocks around the blowout that to make another attempt would be problematic to say the least. Not to mention that the drillers on the second well would end up glowing in the dark.

A further downside is that you might potentially completely blow the lid off the oil field, releasing all 50-100 million barrels of (now radioactive) oil at once. I'm sure folks down on the Gulf Coast would not be happy with that.

"Carefully controlled" nuclear explosions sounds like fantasy to me. Somehow, I don't find the supposed Russian experience with this very convincing.

"First you drill a relief well..."

Right. I keep getting stuck at that step. ;^)

Not enough Oralloy available.


notanoilman on June 26, 2010 - 2:58pm: "Not enough Oralloy available."

Assuming it were even needed, what makes you think there's not enough oralloy (enriched uranium) available?

The original observation stands.

What's your backup plan if there's no more well, reservoir containment has been obliterated, and 50M barrels of oil, not to mention lots of methane, decide to wend their way up the path of least resistance?

Snakehead: "What's your backup plan..."

With all due respect, it's not my place to offer any backup plan. I could ask you what's the plan if rw1 goes south, or the weather comes north over an extended period? Are you really content to just let the oil flow at full force for god-knows how long? What if a team of geologists and bomb experts determined it was a relatively safe and viable action?

On the other hand, if the experts say no, then it's no, and we have to go back to containment (weather permitting) and more drilling or ???...

The observation still stands.

My backup plan to RW1 would be RW2. My backup plan to RW2 would be RW3. Yes, I'd rather take the chance that the flow will continue longer than blow any hope of containment away forever if Plan A doesn't work.

As to it not being your place, I'm aware that neither of us can actually engineer one. But a solution that's proposed without consideration of possible consequences and then leapfrogged over stuff that's been shown to work? No, thanks.

The real reason Cheney was feeling " discomfort " and went to the hospital -


Well girls, shiny side up, rubber side down .

Cheney's a minor background actor in this drama, as his boss Bush is. This one is really about BP, MMS and USCG.

You forgot Halliburton and why MMS was so bad. Most of all the secret meetins.

I was explaining my theory of his " discomfort ".

are you sure? yes, about the coast guard. is it me? not impressed with thad allen at all. not exactly quick-draw mcgraw and he should have been. is he really running the show down there? is it true that it did more harm than good to put out the fire on the rig? that it caused it to sink? very interesting thoughts on man-power being tied up elsewhere. seems like they know it's futile. that there is no way to stop the gusher and that it will run it's course over the next what? few years? all they can do is better "capture" it. oh vay! i moved down here from detroit because driving past dow chemical plant made me want to hurl and all the stacks and stacks of factories just churning it out and the rivers on fire....awww come on can't we/you guys do better than this? or maybe it's too late and the psychopaths have us pretty much right where they want us - at their mercy. they are the predators and we are the prey. we worry about respirators and they go to the yacht races or gather together and find even more ways to take advantage.

"Toxic dispersant rain" has made it to the SF Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/ybenjamin/detail?entry_id=65552