BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Bill Clinton's Views - and Open Thread

Because of the large number of comments, this thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6689.

Bill Clinton talked for a few minutes this week about his views about the oil spill.

Let me give you my impression of what Bill says. Listen to the 7 minute tape to get the exact words.

Clinton says that with respect to the leak, the most important issues are, in order:
  1. Fix the leak
  2. Keep oil away from the shore
  3. Minimize the damage from the oil
  4. Determine who is at fault, and hold them accountable

Clinton mentions the possibility of blowing up the well--but not with nuclear bombs, and not as our first option. His view is that about all the military could do would be to blow up the well--not that this would be the best choice. There would likely be ecosystem damages and other unknown effects. Since this is the military's only option, he thinks the best option would be to calm down and work with the engineers and others at BP who are doing their best to fix the situation. Even if some people in charge may have done some things wrong, that doesn't mean the people working there now aren't good people.

He feels the question of President Obama's empathy (or lack thereof) has received too great attention. Each president has to be whoever they really are. President Obama's style is different, but it doesn't mean he is not empathetic.

Prof. Goose's comment:

new stuff in this introductory comment, 1 JUL 10.

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8. Yes, HO and others have put up many counterarguments to the "DougR" comment. There are many many links, but the first one was here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6609. If you ask in the thread nicely, they will also point you to others.

My first thought about how to contain the oil spill after day ten when it became know to be a much worse problem than BP was saying was to use a boom that reach to the Gulf floor to is surface with a gap at the bottom for equipment to move in and out of. It would also have vent valves to offset pressure changes from oil and gas displacing water as it warmed and depressurized making it expanded coming to the surface where it could be harvested hopefully in a usable enough way to offset the cost of the rest of the clean up, which of course would be much cheaper. I just thought I would put it out there because no one seem to be coming up with anything that will work to solve this situation that has the risk of making things worse. I mean if this idea would work, then it might be better to just let the well pressure equalize with water pressure over the coming months rather than risking the kinds of apocalyptic events suggested in the articles at the links below.

Apocalypse in the Gulf: Could a Sinkhole Swallow the Deepwater Horizon Well


Gulf Oil Gusher: Methane, Climate & Dead Zones


EPA Says Dispersants OK—But Major Questions Remain


Experts agree that the pressure that blows the oil into the Gulf waters is estimated to be between 30,000 and 70,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Some speculate that the pressure of the methane at the base of the well head, deep under the ocean floor, may be as high as 100,000 psi -- far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff valves and safety measures were only built for thousands of psi at best. There is no known device to cap a well with such an ultra high pressure.

I keep hearing these high pressure estimates "as high as 100,000 psi" and I understand that the BOP is rated to about 15,000 psi. I know that Matt Simmons has been suggesting it which has made him sound like the "crazy uncle". How can they measure the pressure? If there is that kind of pressure those relief wells might fail.

One thing I know is BP was warned about Macondo being "unstable" due to the presence of a massive natural gas bubble that like a volcano might erupt. It did. Setting off a nuclear device on top of that bubble doesn't sound like such a good idea. OTOH what if this thing erupts for years to come? It could poison massive parts of the Atlantic.


you heard wrong....or rather the information you are quoting is grossly wrong.


What makes you so sure? Right now they can't even figure out how much oil is gushing out of that hole; never-mind gauging what the actual pressure is?

If you have information you'd claim is right, then putting it with your statement would be the right way to object to someone else's data.

That information is all over TOD and has been dealt with dozens of times here. Take a look.

There are 1040 web pages currently containing this exact content including Above Top Secret and Godlike Productions and apparently millions of people believe it. If nothing else it's an illustration of the internet's contribution to the new dark ages.

snakehead - Alright genius, tell me how "the grown-ups" are estimating the pressure. If you have all of the answers why are you here?

Stop the invective and stop being lazy. If you're curious about something you've read spend the effort to do a little research. I mean beyond cruising sites for the scariest info available and then not bothering to check sources.

snakehead that type of response is always unfair. If you have knowledge share it with links. If you make a contention support it.

It was measured.


What I don't understand is why, if people are going to believe whatever they damn want regardless of evidence or science, they don't choose to invent beliefs that are more interesting and entertaining.

Believe in a 100,000 psi methane volcano despite a 11,900 psi measured pressure, seas of abiotic oil in the caverns of the deep, and don't believe in the fossil record?

Why not then believe in Bigfeet sailing those seas among swimming dinosaurs and a passage from the deeps to Loch Ness?

Much more satisfying.

ad hominem attacks are the refuge of nitwits.

Ad hominem as in "Alright genius, tell me how 'the grown-ups' are estimating the pressure. If you have all of the answers why are you here"?

No attack intended, at least on you.

Your source on the other hand...

Anyway, I was just doing my bit to promote more charming apocalyptic visions.

my bit to promote more charming apocalyptic visions

ExCELsior -- carry on!

Joe -- We’ve covered this in detail a while back so I’ll offer the short story. First, let’s ignore the lack of physical reality with regards to those very high pressures. We’ll just stick with the documented facts. Before they ran the csg BP sent a pressure gauge (called the MDT tool) down the hole on the end of a cable. It’s an accurate tool. It measured about 11,900 psi in the producing reservoir which equates to a 12.6 #/gallon mud weight. That fits with what we know about the mud weight used to drill the reservoir: 14 ppg. You normally drill a little over balanced like that.

Don’t ask about the numbers Simmons has put out there. None of us has come up with any rational explanation. Also, there are no giant gas bubbles buried in the GOM. Nor are the giants lakes of oil down there. The reservoir is made of sand similar to what you would find on the beach. The oil/NG exists in the pore space between the sand grains. In fact, in the reservoir there is no free NG. It’s dissolved in the oil. As the oil rises up the well bore the drop in pressure allows the NG to come out of solution.

What about the unusual amount of gas to oil; Is that a factor? Also you're saying that the pressure in this reservoir, like air in a tire, is uniform throughout?

It is not an unusual amount of gas.

Joe -- Not that unusual for that depth. The NG concentration is normally given in cubic feet of NG per bbl of oil. This reservoir is reported to have a NG/oil ratio of 2,000 to 3000 cu ft per bbl. There are minor variations in pressure in any reservoir depending upon the structural position. But the differences are typically a fraction of a percent. Yep…like air in a tire: psi is psi. And to carry the analogy farther: the RW is going to pump mud into the blow out well just like you would pump those Fix-a-Flat sealants into a flat tire. The mud (sealant) is going to leak out until there’s enough back pressure to stop the oil/NG flow.

FOR ALL: I can understand, to a degree, why some have jumped on Joe pretty hard. He did come off a tad defensive. But we have to remember there are a lot of Joes out there who have been fed so much BS about this situation that it can get frustrating for them. But Joe is here and will to take some slings and arrows to understand the situation better. Just my dumb opinion. But if he dumps on my “words of wisdom” I’ll be glad to supply the rope. LOL.

Rockman I appreciate your reasoned answer. What I don't understand is if we have known from the beginning of this blowout what the pressure of the well was why haven't we been able to reliably measure the volume of oil coming out of this hole?


Don't know the size of the hole- or more specifically the constrictions in the BOP and perhaps elsewhere.

Joe -- been in the oil patch for 35 years and could truly bore you to tears telling you about everything I know. Just what I could go on about pore pressures and mud weights would make you run from the room. OTOH I don't know anything about trying to measure the flow in a situation like we have out there today. And I honestly don't pay much attention when the more knowledgeable folks chat about it. It doesn’t matter too much to me whether it’s 20,000 bopd or 60,000 bopd. I focus more on the details of the damage being done to the environment. And that is what it is regardless of the flow rate. The marshlands don’t look anymore devastated whether I put a number on the flow or not. I also don’t think the actual rate/total oil spilled will be of great concern to BP or the govt in the end. I suspect the govt and BP will come to some negotiated number they can use to assess financial penalties.

Halliburton docs, for reference (see Table 1.11 for pressure stats): http://tinyurl.com/33zsg9f

Hat tip to Rockman for dousing that potential flamewar like Red Adair.

"FOR ALL:..."

My toe in the door, Thank you. I like to think my logical process works pretty good but I also know this is based on my education which feeds my perception of the topic. As I further my education my perception changes, the cycle continues to repeat itself and that's why I'm here. To me it seems logical that if a person accepts an item is rated at 15K (probably tested to twice that amount)then subjected to 100K would blow it apart immediately and the logic would debunk the misinformation. But it doesn't happen that way either. You and all the PRO's here get high marks for tact and diplomacy.

A follow on to a previous question I thought I asked clearly but what was in my head didn't make it to the keyboard. So continuing from your response; After the RW makes the kill and BP cleans up the well site maybe taking months or longer and they have met all the requirements etc. etc. what happens to the reservoir? Will this tract be drilled again? If RW #2 isn't needed to kill the WW is it possible to use it for production? In general what's the SOP for producing this site in the future?

my -- it is possible that BP could use the second RW for a producer down the road. The field isn’t huge by DW standards but I believe they were going to run production to a nearby facility. That would greatly improve the economics and time line. There’s also an interesting side possibility. The reservoir may actually lay partially under two offset leases that BP doesn’t own. The owners of those leases had negotiated with BP to form a joint unit and develop the field together. But BP eventually decided to drill with just their partners (Anadarko and Mitsui). Lucky for those other two companies: they almost bought into the nightmare out there. So even if the BP lease isn’t developed these other two companies might do it from their leases if possible


You said "And to carry the analogy farther: the RW is going to pump mud into the blow out well just like you would pump those Fix-a-Flat sealants into a flat tire. The mud (sealant) is going to leak out until there’s enough back pressure to stop the oil/NG flow."

Using your analogy, pumping sealant into a flat tire..it wouldn't matter where you pump it in from, the sealant will do what it's supposed to, right?
In that context, and with some credible things stated in this thread, if the top side pumping didn't work, why would it work from the bottom? If 50K barrels of mud all leaked away during the top kill, and there were major concerns about the pressure increase affecting the casing integrity...why would the same pressure increase not be an issue from the bottom up? If something blows/gives/cracks/whatever, above the RW entry point, won't the result be failure?

Foolishly perhaps, I was under the impression that they were going to plug the hole from the bottom, using something more substantial than just mud and cement.

I'm no scientist, but I do have a very logical and scientific mind....and now I'm thoroughly confused about the bottom kill.

I have spent the past 30 min looking for a good ref for over burden the source of the well's borehole pressure and haven't located one.

A good rule of thumb is .45 psi per foot of depth for sea water column and .75 psi per foot for rock formation.

The oil/gas zone is permeable, that means there can be no differential pressure between 2 points in the permeable zone except for the differential depth. So yes it's like a tire, except when it's flowing, pore size changes flow rates within the formation but not greater than the initial pressure.

Believe rock he has good explanation.

We need to put this 100,000 psi nonsense to rest. It makes TOD look less than reliable for facts.

Chip -- Dig thru the doc and you'll find a pressure plot. From the log data they estimate the OBG (overburden gradient) to be around 16 - 16.3 ppg. They probably used the wire line density log to come up with a site specific OBG. You'll also notice the frac gradient is in the upper 15’s. I suspect the low FG is why they’re setting csg just above the intersect: cut down the possibility of lost circulation.


I think one doesn't need a good reference to come to a conclusion that 100,000 psi is VERY suspect. Here is what I did:

To have a high pressure there must be a great weight of overburden. I convert psi to lb per cubic foot. I know that 5000 ft of column is H2O and that the remaining 13000 ft are something else. I propose a two layer model x feet of shale (because shale is a very common geologic deposit in places where people drill for oil, density 167 lb/cuft) and y feet of gold (because its density is high, 1204 lb/cuft). I then have two equations in two unknowns:

(100000 psi)*(144lb/sqft/psi)-(5000ft*62.4lb/cuft) = 1204 * x + 167 * y
13000ft = x + y

I solve for x and y and get:
y (thickness of shale) = 1508 ft
x (thickness of gold) = 11,492 ft

Anything less dense than gold does not have a solution. (And there is nothing on Earth more dense than gold.)

So, to believe that 100,000 psi number, one has to believe that BP drillers are so focused on finding oil that they ignored 11000 ft of strange shiny metal in the mud returns. IMHO, there is something really wrong about this model. Maybe, just maybe, 100000psi is simply wrong.

That's a beauty of an analysis. Sticking gold in the equation is genius as it both gives you a solution and points to its preposterousness.

Did you pick up any of your knowledge building a dam on the Arkansas river in the 1970's.

So the NWO is keeping the gold secret?

Probably plan to flood the market as soon as everyone has converted their savings to gold.


Dang it, boy! Oh, my poor drowned keyboard.

(And there is nothing on Earth more dense than gold.)


Ummm - what about Platinum, Iridium and Osmium?

One might say "Gold is one of the most dense metals/elements known".

Au 19,250 kg/m^3
Os 22,610 kg/m^3 - 17 % more dense.

Otherwise - a good analogy, thanks for QUANTIFYING things with real numbers.

(And there is nothing on Earth more dense than gold.)


19.32 g/cc Gold Au 79
19.35 g/cc Tungsten W 74
19.84 g/cc Plutonium Pu 94
20.2 g/cc Neptunium Np 93
21.04 g/cc Rhenium Re 75
21.45 g/cc Platinum Pt 78
22.4 g/cc Iridium Ir 77
22.6 g/cc Osmium Os 76

You are concerned that the Gas pressure in the hole could be up to 100,000 psi. So lets look at the reasonableness of that concern.

Using some simple verifiable facts for a basis of our investigations we can say these things are true and unchangeable:

A cubic foot of water weights 62.4 pounds and has a specific gravity of 1

A cubic foot of limestone has a specific gravity of 2.7 times that of water so it weighs 168.48 pounds.

The well is about 13000 feet below the sea floor that is 5000 feet below the surface or about 18k feet total.

Lets take this step by step:

To estimate total psi of the overburden we can say;

If we stack 5000 cubic feet of water at 62.4 pounds per cubic foot, one on top of the other for 5000 vertical feet we get 312,000 pounds per square foot.
There are 12 inches by 12 inches of area at the bottom of the column so there is 144 sq inches upon which 312,000 pounds rests so we divide and get 2167 psi.

If there is 13,000 feet of limestone that weighs 168.47 pounds per cubic foot and stack that up we get 2,190,240 pounds per sq ft or 15210 pounds per sq inch of overburden.

So we end up with a weight on the formation of 15210 psi and 2167 psi or 17377 psi total weight over the production formation.

So if the weight of the formation is 17K psi and the gas pressure is 11k psi then we are very likely safe assuming that the rock is not holding back gas produced in an area of higher pressure. Logically 17 thousand pounds will hold down 11 thousand pounds.

The rub comes when we look at the totals in a very rough way. There is nearly a pound of pressure per foot if the depth is 18k and the pressure is 17k. Therefore if gas is formed at a depth of 100,000 feet and migrates upward we would be in store for 100ksi pressures that would be held back by a 17k weight. I think we all agree that it is not likely that 17k can hold down 100k of pressure over any geologic time frame, even without the drilling of a well. Therefore any high pressure gas would have leaked out years ago and it is likely that the drill log is right in saying the pressure is in the 11k range. But it is not impossible that gas formed about 20 miles down. And it is possible that it did migrate into the production zone. But it would be a miracle if it stayed there for even a short period of time.

Disclaimer: This is based on very rough numbers and violates rules of thumb that indicate the overburden pressure could be a few hundred pounds less.

Thanks to Manofmetal, Rockman and geek.

The above analyses assume that the pressure of the oil in the pocket is entirely due to the weight of the overburden. Is it ever the case that, in addition to overburden, there is pressure due to gas production in the pocket that would pressurize it even more?

The gas production could be due from conversion of liquid oil to gaseous methane, or oxidation to CO2, or even to chemical processes unrelated to the oil.

Jim -- That actually is one of the sources of “abnormal” pressure. Normal (or hydrostatic) pressure in the GOM is essentially the pressure from a salt water column at that depth. But “geopressure” develops from of a number of causes. NG generation as one source. Another is actually simpler: is the sediments are compressed during burial and if there are no conduits for the water to be “squeezed” out of the rock the pressure will increase above hydrostatic. This typically occurs when sandstone reservoirs are entirely encased in impermeable shales. That appears to the at least one source of the geopressure in the BP reservoir.

There's surely some sort of a limit on how much it can be overpressured beyond what gravity would suggest - after all the shear and tensile strengths of rock are not infinite. So something would fail somehow, and the oil/gas would find its way to the surface...

How strong is 13,000 vertical feet of rock?

If I understand correctly, the fracture pressure in the Halliburton document's Table 1.11 cited above helps to answer your question. If the pressures are greater than the fracture pressure, the rock fractures and the pressure is released. The estimated fracture pressures are all less than 15000 psi. That is why the 100,000 psi numbers are unbelievable. Those sort of pressures would have fractured the formation.

On a marginally related topic-- mostly out of curiousity -- has anyone run the numbers on how much the pressure should have dropped due to 30+ days of flow? I tried it out, and get a roughly 1000 psi drop, which seems rather high so I might have had an error. I assumed a high permeability-- 1 darcy, a 60 foot reservoir thickness, and 30000 barrels/day outflow.

Please state source of oxygen for the oxidation to take place.


My understanding is that the initial problem arose as mud was being removed from the well. So when the column was filled with mud, the pressure was contained. isn't that proof enough that the pressure is less than 14 ppg?

In my opinion, the only two options are to seal the well or to tame it. In the long run, if it cannot be killed from the bottom, we will engineer some form of cap that will either stop the flow or tame the flow so that all of the oil and gas is captured. At a radius of say, 20 meters from the well head, pylons can be drilled and cemented into the seabed creating a basis for a structure that can withstand any force produced by the well. It is basically a question of getting our minds around the problem and engineering a solution. As humans we are capable of doing this. I have no doubt about it.

This is why I believe our Federal Government should be more pro-active regarding understanding the problem. There should be greater scientific interest in what is actually taking place. Right now there is a great deal of speculation without any real data to accurately characterize the situation. That is not wise. Every effort should be made to discover everything that can be known around this problem in parallel with the efforts currently being made by BP to solve it.

I personally do not believe in the explosive solution that is being bandied about.

Briefing by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen
July 2, 2010 9:00 a.m. CT

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Jaquette White with the Times Picayune.

Jaquette White: Hello, Admiral. Thanks for taking my question. I was hoping you could update any – the contingency plan for the relief well in the case that there is a problem there. You had mentioned about a week ago the opportunity to pump oil to another platform. And I wondered if you had made any progress in identifying platforms whether it could go and if you could just update those plans.

Adm. Thad Allen: Yes, there are three potential mitigators for the relief well. One is the second relief well itself that’s being drilled by Development Driller II which is now a little over 7,000 below the sea floor right now.

So if for some reason there was a problem with the first relief well, we have a crack with the second relief well. The second is an idea that’s being follow-up after meeting here in Washington several weeks ago with American Petroleum Institute and members of the industry where they're looking at plans on how they would – could lay pipelines from the well bore to other production facilities that are in the area two, three, four, five miles and actually pump that oil back down into reservoirs that have been depleted where it’s not a problem.

The third one quite frankly is to continue to produce. If a decision is made to go with a new containment cap and we have basically shut in the well, I mean and it’s not killed by the relief well, the option is until you are able to stabilize and come up with an alternative strategy, just go ahead and produce all the oil that’s coming out of there at that point.

That is assuming we'll have an 80,000 barrel a day capacity which at this point exceeds the flow rate predications we have of 35 to 60,000 barrels a day.

Jaquette White: And how long could that last option go on? Would you try to drill a third relief well or what would be – would that be an ongoing solution until there is nothing left to produce?

Adm. Thad Allen: Well, I think the notion is the second relief well is the risk mitigator for the first one and then other two are just holding strategies that would allow us to stabilize the situation and not have hydrocarbons going into the environment while the second relief well is drilled.

Emphasis mine.

This is why I believe our Federal Government should be more pro-active regarding understanding the problem. There should be greater scientific interest in what is actually taking place.

I am sure that every national laboratory and other research institution, like Woods Hole, has a task force looking at blue-sky solutions to the blowout. I participated in one on the burning oil wells after Gulf War I. There is a great motivation for such task forces; finding a solution would generate a lot of good will that could lead to more funding.

But what I saw was that too many of our group didn't know enough about the situation to realize that their proposed solutions either were in practice by wild well specialists like Red Adair, Boots & Coots, and Wild Wells, or were inapplicable.

There is a task force at the federal level, which includes Richard Garwin and others from the national laboratories. However, the only idea we've seen so far is the gamma radiography proposed by Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Garwin has been involved in nuclear weapons design, so some enthusiasts have taken that to mean that the nuke solution is being considered. I have no doubt that Garwin and company have discussed it.

One of Garwin's bona fides when the team was appointed was that he had been on a task force for the well fires after Gulf War I. I will only point out that it was Red Adair, Boots & Coots, and Wild Wells that put out those fires, much more quickly than the task force I was on had calculated.

Cheryl; the Kuwait well fires were put out quickly, but my memory is that Red Adair himself had said at the beginning that it would take years. Somebody I knew at the time remarked: Yes, because Red expected to put out every one of them by himself.

Seriously, those fires were extinguished relatively quickly not just because of those companies and their regular employees. There were so many fires near each other, and a lot of crews, who learned quickly.

This type of proposal seems like it would be simple, cheap and probably effective. It has been suggested since the early days. How come no one has followed up on it?

presuming you mean "boom that reaches from sea surface to the bottom"?

The force of the current on such a large object is huge -
would need massive/complex anchors to keep from blowing away.
I too suggested something similar, but realized that even a half-knot current over 5000 feet is a huge force.
Just did the math to quantify it - urrrr.

Rough calc, neglect drag, just use cross sectional area.

Pressure = Force divided by Area, so Force = Pressure times Area.

The dynamic pressure of a fluid is 0.5 x fluid_density x velocity^2

Uses the density of (plain) water and assuming 0.5 knot current (.257 m/s), a 10 meter diameter "riser/boom", 5000 feet (1524 meters) tall:

F = 1/2 x density x velocity^2 x area

F = 0.5 x 1000 kg/m^3 x 0.066 m^2/s^2 x 15,240 m^2

The force on such a tube is 503,000 Newtons (kg m / s^2).
In pounds-force, that is 113,000 pounds-force.

That would take quite an anchor system to keep a flexible tube/boom in place and in shape. Imagine a 5000 foot long, 30 foot in diameter sausage-shaped balloon on the ground in such a wind that it took 57 tons of pull to keep it from blowing away, your job is to keep the thing straight and reasonable circular.

anybody know what the real current out there is?

In any case, the oil industry and the govt needed to be more prepared:
* drill ship on fire + riser won't release:
nearby stock of riser floats, pincer (dual) wire saw, ROV capability; riser tieoff points at 200 - 300 feet. In a matter of hours, attached float bags and inflate, clamp on saw and cut riser just under drill ship to (a) allow ship to be towed away so it won't sink on the wellhead, and (b) oil release to be near the surface in a small area that can be surrounded by burn boom.
* drill ship sinks and riser leaking:
nearby stock of deepwater hot tap equipment, including equipment designed and TESTED to measure surface profile of kinked pipe, as well as valves, hoses, manifolds, etc. When faced with such a situation, don't screw around with caps, hot tap into the riser so one can divert the flow to the surface.
The surface profilometry would allow seating flanges for hot taps and also leak covers (like the riser kink) to be made with CNC machining in good time.
* BOP in uncertain condition:
nearby gamma ray equipment, TESTED with crews TRAINED.

other items that ought to be on hand:
+ saws that can be clamped on, instead of (robot) hand-held.
+ saws that can clamped on and trim a riser without cutting into what's inside.
+ ultrasonic boroscopes deployable from sealed vessels that can be forced into a BOP (via choke/kill) or pipe (via hot tap) some one can "see" what's going on inside.
+ external ultrasonic scanners TESTED to work in noisy environments - every OB-GYN's office has a scanner or two, why can't the offshore oil industry have _one_. These would likely need some kind of scanner better than an ROV operator's touch.
+ the equipment for a floating riser setup, in stock at the spill response center, TESTED capable for the max depth needed.
+ burn spar buoy that could be attached to a floating riser and left during a hurricane.

The lame response is just inexcusable and shameful - and that's one reason why it's so lame - the people involved don't want to own and deal with their shame.

Where was the burn boom when the plan said burn as much as you can? (none was in stock on the Gulf Coast).
Where was the fleet of offshore skimmers? (their was _one_ on the Gulf Coast).
Where was the continued development of skimming? (not in American, 2 months before a few Dutch arms get bought).

There are a bunch of proposals that we see again and again. Each has had several clear, polite, understandable, well-supported answers. Could the site maintainers perhaps pull out several such answers from the archive, and assemble them into a *separate* page for each of the common proposals? Then publish the links to those specific pages in really obvious places (like a "Kill the Spill Ideas" link from the home page; a mention in Goose's intro blurb; and whenever we collectively need to respond to YANBIPs ("yet another nice but inadequate plan").

I think this would have several advantages:

1) People with an idea could go there right away and quickly find a good response, so they wouldn't feel the need to ask on the main list in the first place (this would raise the Signal/Noise ratio). Although they *can* look in the archives already, they're really big, and pretty daunting to navigate (especially when you're new here).

2) When people *do* post such questions, all we'd have to do is point them directly to the answer, by pasting the actual URL into a response. Too often I've seen people respond by saying more or less "go look in the archives" -- which is fine as far as it goes, but finding the relevant answer there is *not* easy.

3) Perhaps the ability to give a good response by simply pasting in a URL, would help us avoid even the brief flame-skirmishes that sometimes crop up (I am very glad that we already have fewer than most places!).

4) It would help anyone coming in wanting to learn, by providing an obvious place to go and learn a lot very quickly. Particularly for journalists, that would be a real help for them in avoiding sensationalism and writing accurate stories.

I don't think it would take much more than a day's work for one person to go through and gather a good set of starting posts. I'll volunteer to help (I have no oil-specific expertise, but I daresay I'm pretty good at telling a good argument from a poor one).


"This type of proposal seems like it would be simple, cheap and probably effective. It has been suggested since the early days. How come no one has followed up on it?"

It is being follow up on by both BP and the Coast Guard. This idea made the final cut for the following reasons.

1) The excerpt below is a valid concept but the conclusion reached is wrong.

“The force of the current on such a large object is huge -
would need massive/complex anchors to keep from blowing away.
I too suggested something similar, but realized that even a half-knot current over 5000 feet is a huge force.
Just did the math to quantify it - urrrr.

The force on such a tube is 503,000 Newtons (kg m / s^2).
In pounds-force, that is 113,000 pounds-force.”

A force of 113,000 pounds is not “huge”. In fact it is only a fraction of the weight of the BOP. For this portion of the load a tie off below the BOP could be of use. A typical resistive force for the embedded pipe is also a help. One could assume the adhesion of the soil to the casing would be on the order of 500 pounds per sq foot of casing surface area. In addition the weight of the casing would also be available.

Typical concrete piling readily available throughout the US could be dropped from a height of 2 or 3 hundred feet—under water above the sea floor-- with cable to the surface to serve as additional anchors. Each piling would be good for as much as 20 tons each. With effort, piling could be installed about 1 per hour to supply about 24 piling for a total load capacity of about 1 million pounds.
Of course, any number of piling could be installed.

The current is between 2 cm per second and 2 knots. http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/02mexico/background/currents/...
A current of 2 knots may cause snaking, but is not a killer as snaking can be controlled as outlined in various patents.

Of course what you speak of is not totally new. Go to http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6675734.html and read the patent from cover to cover and especially the claims. You will see that what you speak of is in fact currently being manufactured, only for a different purpose. This patent proves that part of your idea will work. You will also see the accepted formula to determine the load on the structure due to drag when pulled by a ship. Inferences can be made from this patent that will help you with your idea.

There is no need to force the tube to maintain a vertical path. It can and should drift with the current. It should also be buoyant and stop below the surface to avoid the strong surface currents. Some believe it should stop at least 300 ft below the surface and others believe it should stop at least 800 feet below the surface. The oil at this point could be captured and stored in subsurface tanks as covered by another patent or moved to platforms with flexible tubes as covered in another patent. Later when the well is capped an undersea separation device as manufactured by FMC could be employed along with pipes to a platform.

You should not at this point give up on your idea. Each of the patents listed as resources in the link I give is the result of a person not giving up on what is obviously impossible. And then solving a problem others could not solve.
You have the wisdom to do this and you have the skills that allowed you to see the flaws, now see the solutions. I very strongly suggest that you may improve on the current state of the art (as it is relatively new)if you apply yourself. Same for others on this site.

A nube here, though I've lurked since before Katrina. I've just read and never posted, out of consideration of not wanting to clutter valuable posts with my inexpertise.

This thread, though seemed like it might be okay for me to ask a question?

I saw this video clip by Bill Clinton a few days ago.
From what I've read here it seems that those in the industry and/or with a technical knowledge/background, don't think nuking or bombing by other means is an viable option as it could create a larger, uncontrollable hole.

So my question is, is Bill just spouting off, having no knowledge of what he is talking about? Or does he know something internally, given who he is, and who Hillary is, that's being considered by our Govt, that we don't?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I rest my case.

sirena, did you hear him out to the 5:45 mark? "To the best of my knowledge, we have no tool that belongs to the US government to shut that well down." He is NOT arguing for the Navy to do something it can't do.

Yes, I have listened to it in it's entirety twice.

At 3.13 "Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well, and put piles and piles of debris on it, which may become necessary..."

And at 5.17 "The Navy could probably stop it".

Seems to me, that he is saying, it could be done if it becomes necessary.

Haven't the Russians, from past experience also suggested that this can be done?

Haven't the Russians, from past experience also suggested that this can be done?
Please do a search here, as this has been answered several times in the past. To summarize: The Russians used explosives to close off a well which was on the land, not 5,000 ft below the surface and they did it by drilling a relief well to some point where they believed that they could close off the wild well where the explosion acted as a seal on the well by melting the rock and pipe at that point. This is a very different case. Please search and read before you bring up an argument which has been much discussed.

Yes, except the explosion was set not in rock, but in a deep layer of clay, which is of course plastic and not susceptible to fracture.

Please read my first post above my second.

"From what I've read here it seems that those in the industry and/or with a technical knowledge/background, don't think nuking or bombing by other means is an viable option as it could create a larger, uncontrollable hole."

My point simply was that Clinton said bombing may become necessary and that the Russians had suggested this nuking it before as well.

I personally think from what I've gathered here from reading several thousand of pages, that nuking or bombing would be a very dangerous proposition.

I'm asking why is Clinton suggesting that bombing might become necessary? His words, not mine. It seems that a person in such a prominent position would choose his words carefully. Is he not informed or does he know of something possibly being considered?

Thank you!

I think his reference to a bomb was more hypothetical. He's saying that he doesn't know the correct technical solution, and that he's heard about using a bomb. But he would rather keep the solution in the hands of people who know more about the subject, which includes BP.

I believe he was referring to the use of bombs to close burning oil wells in Gulf War I. See my link to the patent of the U.S. Military below.

Yeah really why dont they just do this but with a bomb to turn the big wheal

I wish he's kept quiet.
IMHO, Clinton wanted attention.
He doesn't know about DW oil wells.

He spoke in the declarative. If I'm not mistaken, and I may well be, past presidents maintain their clearances and are even kept updated to some degree on things? I suspect he is speaking in the declarative knowingly.


he is not dumb....he was a rhodes scholar ....im sure he could follow briefings and look at data...i mean...he was the president. They don't let any idiot just become preside......oh wait, i forgot about the 00's.

I have a question that I haven't seen the answer to anywhere.

How hot is the oil and gas as it comes out of the well?

On the subject of you are who your are:

Obama is not a southerner, he is not a country boy, and he doesn't earn his keep with the strength of his back. These things are no character flaws any more than eye color or some such trait. Some circumstances depend on when and where we are born.

But sometimes these things that you can't change do get in the way of communicating with other folks.

The real problem is that we are not in control with that runaway well. If Obama could stop the oil, nobody would care what his emotional state was.

He could waive the Jones Act with a stroke of a pen and get world wide assistance. Why doesn't he do that? It is not just lack of control. He is not doing what he could do.

I linked to the entire Jones Act a while back. I have read it, and I don't think it says what you, apparently, think it says. Why do you seek to demonize the President by using a falsehood? What do you expect him to do, run the oil industry? Pick up oil with a bucket? Invite more traffic to the area?

I'm hardly an Obama fan, but I don’t know that being an expert on every potential disaster that might occur is the President’s job. Any President.

Maybe you think Palin, McCain, Huckabee, or Rush Limbaugh would have had this all cleaned up by now (I’m sure Limbaugh’s mouth is large enough and his expulsion of hot air pressurized enough, to cap the well without assistance).

OTOH, I do think that disasters that are likely to happen (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, epidemics, and now deep-water oil spills), should be acknowledged, and that appropriate response plans be drawn.

Maybe the first thin Obama did after his inauguration should have been to study up on BOPs and oil industry practices.

Hold on, hold on... the issue here is NOT if we understand the Jones Act, but do the people involved, from the President on down? That's what's important here. It's not what it says itself, but what those who are makign decisions THINK it says. What they've been legally ADVISED it says or means, or how it's supposed to interpreted. The Jones Act, as it has been revised, could be as clear as crystal and be no impediment, but if the Administration wants it to be an impediment, it can be made so.

It's just like how weapon weilding people standing in front of a polling station, intimidating people is NOT a crime if the people charged with prosecuting them wanted the outcome they were seeking, and are willing to simply and boldly proclaim whatever 'truth' they wish to invent to justify their actions.

The unions own Obama, he can't move a muscle without getting permission first. And they're the most greedy and corrupt gang of thugs on earth.

The important fact is that YOU understand the Jones Act. The Jones Act does not stand in the way of anything. It's not being adhered to or not adhered to: It is irrelevant to what is going on in the GoM.

I guess I don't entirely understand the Jones Act, either... or at least I don't understand why it's being used in argumentation for turning away help from other countries. It seems reasonable to get as much help as possible, reasonable to pool as much expertise as possible. Not doing this, suggests that there are aspects of in all this that are intended to be concealed.

This is my fear (having gone to law school and having marveled at every angle of unanticipated litigation): as the oil reaches the shores of other countries (and it most certainly will), could other countries then "sue" the US for refusing help at the source? ...for not allowing other interested parties to do whatever they can to keep the oil from reaching their own shores?

I don't think you can prove that "the US" refused help. At least not because of any nefarious plan or gross incompetence. If you can show INTENT, your premise (and any legal case) might stand the sniff test.

If anyone here is qualified to mount and/or manage a different response than has been used (keeping in mind that Monday morning quarterbacking is much easier than the real thing), please post your qualifications.

If qualified, please keep your comments restricted to your actual plan and don't politicize your decision-making process.

If you drop the politics, those complaining about the government response are only that much more depressurized gas.

Petey.... what friggin' right do you have to be the gate-keeper of anyone's right to post on this board? What are you scared of? What is it you don't want posted, or considered? Your absurd orders, "post your qualifications" ... "keep your comments restricted to your actual plan and don't politicize your decision-making process" ... etc.

You say, drop the politics? How naive are you? There have been politics flying in all directions over this. This particular thread was in response to the Clinton youtube above -- correct me if I'm wrong, but the last I heard, Clinton was involved in American politics. Making an observation or comment over his comments is not directly akin to taking a political stance. Geez. So, by your qualifications and standards (which are also as murky as hell) I guess I'm not 'qualified" to mount "a different response to the oil spill" (different from BP, that is) but I sure can see when a "response" to such a monumental problem could benefit from other expertise. So tell me, Petey, what do you make of this information... should we just sit back, accept, and not wonder why????:
From a July 2 story on Huffington:
"The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department."

(... no wait... "The State Department" ... oh gee... I think I stepped in something "political" again. Mea Culpa)

The Jones Act has not been used as an argument for turning away aid from other countries. No aid has been refused because of the Jones Act. The Jones Act itself provides for waiver in the case of oil spill response equipment that is needed.

The uproar over the Jones Act originates entirely in political messaging, that is, attempts to blame the government for what is primarily a failure in the private sector.

TITLE 46 - US CODE - CHAPTER 551 provides exception to Jones Act for oil response vessels.
One of Hawaii GOP Rep. Charles Djou campaign issues is Jones Act because it impacts transport of commerce between Hawaii and continental US. I suspect Alaska has same campaign issue.

Other posts used math to demonstrate skimmers aren't as beneficial as one would expect due to surface area that can be skimmed in 1 day. Here are the numbers:
Seacor Washington: 14 hours * 11 miles/hour * (72 feet + 72 feet + 59 feet) * 1 mile/5280 feet = 6 miles squared (2MPH, 1.1 miles squared)
HOS Sweet Water: 14 hours * 12 miles/hour * (72 feet + 72 feet + 56 feet) * 1 mile/5280 feet = 6.4 miles squared (2MPH, 1.1 miles squared)
A Whale: 14 hours * 12 miles / hour * 197 feet * 1 mile/5280 feet = 6.3 miles squared (2MPH: 1.0 miles squared)

Thank you. 2 mph is probably an overgenerous estimate of skimming speed except for the French Ecoceane vessels, which skim at 4-5 knots.

Is HOS Sweet Water carrying the Koseq arms? And how did you learn about this? Do you know the third ship?

I got HOS Sweet Water from BP's website.
At the time I saw it, I documented caption and link but I didn't capture photo. Now when I go to same link, the photo is no longer there. The photo I saw was definitely the yellow and white Koseq skimmers that Clinton calls wings from Norway. If you go to BP's website and search for HOS Sweet Water, you get a hit but the link is missing photo. I was able to locate ship in Gulf wih marinetraffic.com. The ship was in DH area a few days ago but has been in port since hurricane. The BP link is http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=9033571&contentId=7061903. The actual BP caption said:
Test deployment of the Koseq Rigid Sweeping Arm, on the HOS Sweet Water in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on 12 June , 2010

I am still searching for 3rd ship with Koseq arms...

Thanks very much, good work. Once again my broken record, we have thousands of articles trying to place blame for the delay, but zero interest in these ships and their performance on the water.

Another area I've researched is the testing and certification of oil skimmers in the US. Somewhere I read there is only one facility for this purpose located in New Jersey and is run by the Coast Guard. The budget for the department performing certification was about $6 million under Clinton but was reduced to $.75 million under Bush. My facts need additional vetting for more details but my thought was skimmers are an endangered species in the US. Another area I looked at is what department in Dutch government owns their skimmers. The Dutch equivalent of US Corp of Engineers owns the skimmers and manages oil spill response. I was suprised to see it is not the Coast Guard.

If you mean that the Rijkswaterstaat owns the skimmers, that seems unsurprising given the key and unique role of water and waterworks in The Netherlands. In a way, having a branch of the military handle that sort of thing, as in the US, seems the odder arrangement.

Thanks for the reply. My ability to understand Dutch ways of doing things is very limited. My goal was to find names of Dutch ships with the skimmers, but I haven't had much luck. My research shows the Rijkswaterstaat has bought the skimmers. The following link lists clients who have purchased the Koseq arms:

Here's the photo... from a cached version of the page.

The caption on the picture was
Test deployment of the Koseq Rigid Sweeping Arm, on the HOS Sweetwater in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on 12 June , 2010

Awesome, thanks for the photo.

TITLE 46 - US CODE - CHAPTER 551 provides exception to Jones Act for oil response vessels


46 USC 55113 - Use of foreign documented oil spill response vessels
Wed, 12/23/2009 - 17:56 — caselaw
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an oil spill response vessel documented under the laws of a foreign country may operate in waters of the United States on an emergency and temporary basis, for the purpose of recovering, transporting, and unloading in a United States port oil discharged as a result of an oil spill in or near those waters, if

(1) an adequate number and type of oil spill response vessels documented under the laws of the United States cannot be engaged to recover oil from an oil spill in or near those waters in a timely manner, as determined by the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for a discharge or threat of a discharge of oil; and

(2) the foreign country has by its laws accorded to vessels of the United States the same privileges accorded to vessels of the foreign country under this section.

There are plenty of problems with the response to this disaster - I don't think the Jones Act is one of them.


In a news briefing last week, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said he'd received "no requests for Jones Act waivers" from foreign vessels or countries. "If the vessels are operating outside state waters, which is three miles and beyond, they don't require a waiver," he said.


That much I understand Comfy... but the politics behind the decision of who helps or not is more convoluted. As I said, the Jones Act has been used in argumentation for why offers of help from other countries were not acted upon.... but what on earth is the real reason? Past the three-mile boundary may not require a waiver, but waiver or not, there sure seems to be some kind of required permission from the administration. That is abundantly clear. The mechanics of all this is murky.

From a July 2 story on Huffington:
"The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department."

Please, please go grind your axe somewhere appropriate.

Even if you're correct, you're not helping your cause here.

Envirotox... you are as transparent as it gets, just a troll trying to assume another guise to sway opinion away from some relevant facts. "Grind an ax?" Strange response to my comment, no ax, just in agreement with what Clinton said in the Youtube, that we need other nations to help. Did you even watch the video?

But wait.... I'm talking to a troll who's been a member of TOD for all of 15 minutes. Yes, you are sadly transparent.

Thanks for the input~I understand theoutdie 3 miles not requiring a waiver, but wouldn't these vessels at some point need to dock or come into a port to unload oil etc., and that would nullify the outside the 3 mile stmt from Allen since IMO at some point they would need to come within the 3 mile limit?

beachmommy, there are tankers out there that "milk" the skimmers to keep them from having to make wasteful trips to port. There are also service boats that carry supplies and crew shifts back and forth to the rigs and vessels out in the Gulf. Foreign-flagged ships can come to port as long as they are not carrying domestic cargo.

Thanks for the clarification, I have read the Merchant Marine Act ad naseum so I must need to read it again, my other question is wouldn't the vessles need to come to port/dock for fuel? I'll go back and read again but it's still troubling that they haven't accepted all the help they could get considering that under the OPA, CWA and NCP the president is actaully MANDATED to get "step up to the plate" for lack of better verbage :The OPA amended the Federal authority in § 311 to respond to spills. Prior to the OPA,
§ 311 authorized the President to respond to discharges of oil and hazardous substances, but
there was significant latitude for private cleanup efforts by the discharger. The OPA amended §
311 to mandate the President to take action to ensure “effective and immediate removal of a
discharge, and mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a
hazardous substance.”9 The President’s removal authority is primarily carried out through the
creation and implementation of facility and response plans.

I just don't see him engaged IMO and it is frustrating as hell, we have people here on the GC killing themselves over the red tape and endless beaurocratic BS, it would have been far easier to accept ALL the help offered and attempt to contain this oil from day one than to have to clean the marshes and estuaries which may never recover? Trust me when I tell you I witness this everyday, all day and it's made the locals so mad that at a joint meeting with the BP liason and FEDs, residents here have had it.......here is an exact quote from one of the meetings :

"You've got a militia sitting in this room," Gulf County commissioner Bill Williams told Coast Guard and BP officials in a combative meeting on Wednesday. "They can either be with you or against you."

beachmommy, again, the vessels can come to port if they are not carrying domestic cargo. For example, A-Whale docked at Norfolk to refuel and three days later moored in the Mississippi River.

IMO, the slick containment failed because BP's cleanup contractors claimed they had the capacity to skim up a spill of this magnitude when in fact they did not. Once the spill expanded to a thousand square miles, which it did very quickly, there was really no hope of containing it by skimming. It was hopeless before any European skimmers could have arrived.

I'll have to go back like I stated and re-read OR I could call a friend who is a maritime atty and ask him, but back to your answer which I appreciate, since this "spill" is of national significance shouldn't the FED's on every level, and even Thad Allen admitted something IIRC on Thursday about the containment booms not doing the job..........WTF, anyone could have told him that and frankly he should have known as the booms are practically useless unless they are in water that has no strong current, moderate wind and surf and we have red flag days all the time due to the high and strong surf. I'm not an engineer but I knew this as did anyone who lives on the GC. Foreign skimmers should have been utilized the first week for containment purposes. The skimmers we have here offshore are simply modified shrimp boats that are completely useless and when you compare them to the foreign skimmers it's like comparing apples and oranges. The admin should have known they needed to become fully engaged on day one under the NCP, frankly IMO if they had been and had brought in the foreign skimmers, we wouldn't have nearly the amount of oil washing up from LA-FL.

IANAL but I have wondered if the EPA is the issue over water discharge. The authorities may let it slide but some environmental group may try to sue and make life difficult. There are probably 101 other regulations that need to be checked too.


beachmommy, Re: "the skimmers we have"--BP's cleanup contractors had dozens of skimmers rated at 10K-15K bbl/day each, which would have been more than enough if the ratings bore any relation to reality. The European skimmers are very likely much better, but how much better in actual use remains to be seen-- or rather remains to be publicized because the press is not interested. Very likely the claims we hear are exaggerated by a factor of 10 or more, just like the US skimmers. For A-Whale, I'd guess a factor of 100 or more.

It would have been impossible to bring skimmers from Europe in a week. I don't think there was ever a chance to contain the slick by skimming and burning.

I understand your anger and frustration, though--it is 100% justified.

Skimmers, like many things are rated under ideal "laboratory" conditions. If the oil was all coming up in one select place, in perfectly calm water, and staying in a several inch or foot thick layer without emulsifying or dispersing then the skimmers could easily pick all of it up except what evaporates. You see this occasionally where a ship spills some oil in a protected harbor.

If I had a Ferrari (I wish) that could go 200 mph and I lived 30 miles from my office in downtown Houston, according to the rating of the car I should be able to get to work in 9 minutes. But that doesn't account for curves, stop lights, intersections, traffic, accidents, weather, idiots, not to mention cops. Most likely my average would be closer to 60 minutes.

Its a similar situation with relying on the "ratings" of various skimmers. And those rating are usually for an oily water mix which means that only 5% to 40% of the recovery is probably actually oil, dependent on the environmental conditions.

The European skimmers may be better suited for offshore water but I very much doubt any of them will actually recover more than a fraction of their "ratings".

As for "A Whale", I really hope I am wrong, but my gut feel is that it probably the best presented scam since Madoff went to prison.

At a minimum it needs booms and otherwise it seems it will only be parting the GoM. I'm thinking positive though from a capacity standpoint.

How's your Dad?

Again, the skimmers I've seen here are shrimp boats with containment booms, I'll see if I can post a pic for you to understand, but know there are foreign skimmers that can hold 2-4mm barrels, the ULCC's in particular and these are classified as DWT in the last column and I think we need tankers that actually suck the oil up, granted it won't help for what's already out there scattered over miles and miles but it could help contain anything from now until the RW is complete.

General Purpose tanker 10,000–24,999 Product tanker 10,000–60,000
Medium Range tanker 25,000–44,999 Panamax 60,000–80,000
LR1 (Large Range 1) 45,000–79,999 Aframax 80,000–120,000
LR2 (Large Range 2) 80,000–159,999 Suezmax 120,000–200,000
VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) 160,000–319,999 VLCC 200,000–320,000
ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) 320,000–549,999 Ultra Large Crude Carrier

More specifically, as long as they aren't carrying cargo from one US port to another US port.

OK, one more question.........in one of your posts you mentioned the foreign vessels NOT even needing a waiver, so why would Allen mention waivers?

There have been consideration given to Jones Act and we are looking right now at the Jones Act waivers for the four or five vessels that are working offshore. another Allen quote:

"While we have not seen any need to waive the Jones Act as part of this historic response, we continue to prepare for all possible scenarios," said Admiral Allen. "Should any waivers be needed, we are prepared to process them as quickly as possible to allow vital spill response activities being undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels to continue without delay."

And in other transcripts he mentions not even been asked about waivers for the Jones Act , so why would he even address this issues IF it's a non-issue? Do you see why I'm confused...

I guess Allen keeps bringing it up because the reporters keep asking about it and the cable news THs and politicians keep talking about it. A while back he said there had been no requests for waivers. However, Fred McCallister, a Texas financier, has since requested a waiver. He has testified in Congress is connection with Republican efforts to legislate a suspension or repeal of the Jones Act. Here is coverage by the Dallas Morning News:

WASHINGTON – Businesses offering products and services to help clean up the gulf oil spill are taking their cases to the media and to lawmakers as they try to persuade – and sometimes pressure – BP. Firms hawking everything from fishing boats to sophisticated engineering express frustration with responses from BP and the federal government.

One Dallas investment banker, Fred McCallister, has made the rounds of cable news shows and gone to the Senate Commerce Committee to insist that BP should accept the 25 skimmers and other vessels he rounded up from owners in Greece. McCallister's commission in the deal would be small, according to his firm, which says it initially was asked to find vessels by a BP subcontractor. McCallister and other officers of Allegiance Capital Corp. said they were motivated more by an outcry from local officials that more skimmers were needed. They redoubled their efforts when ignored by BP. "I didn't start out to make this a major cause that I was going to invest a lot of time in, but the fumbling bureaucracy and the inability to get answers from the Coast Guard and from BP led to our vociferous response," said David Mahmood, the chairman of Allegiance Capital.

BP says it has tried to keep up with the thousands of offers that have poured in to the company, both directly and through a federal website. The company says it evaluated Allegiance Capital's vessels but rejected the offer after deciding they aren't big enough to handle the heavy crude oil [ed.: possible reporter error here] in the Gulf of Mexico, said Daren Beaudo, a BP spokesman.

"I appreciate that some people with products and resources have not been enlisted to participate in the response, but I can provide assurances that we have carefully looked at them when offered," Beaudo said. "Not everything that comes to us can be used for a variety of reasons."

That didn't stop Allegiance Capital's executives from making a new offer Thursday of five large foreign-flagged vessels "that meet all the requirements to work around the well head, where the oil is coming up," Mahmood said. The company has also applied pressure by joining a chorus of Republican critics who blame a 90-year-old maritime law, known as the Jones Act, for slowing action on its offer. The law boosts the U.S. maritime industry by preventing foreign vessels from delivering merchandise between U.S. ports. McCallister applied for a waiver from the law on June 16.


One of the vessels in McCallister's package is a Greek cruise ship. It's possible that this whole thing is a political ploy.

Uh . . .

The unions own Obama, he can't move a muscle without getting permission first. And they're the most greedy and corrupt gang of thugs on earth.

Did you mean to say the financial people own Obama -- you know, the people who bundled all the unsecured debts together in packages, sold them as great investments, took mammoth commissions on the sales, then got government bailouts when they flopped? The statement is pretty much true if that's what you meant.

Or are Geithner, Summers, and Goldman Sachs union people and I just hadn't heard?

"The unions own Obama, he can't move a muscle without getting permission first. And they're the most greedy and corrupt gang of thugs on earth."

As someone pointed out in the last thread, Geezer, you are not entitled to your own facts.

You definitely need schooling in the nature, extent and history of real greed. It would be amusing to see that education administered by organized working women and men. I'd pay for a ticket. But, I digress.

To the degree that Obama is "owned" (and he is, as are all politicians in our one-dollar, one-vote system), he is owned in shares, held in varying numbers by the somewhat diverse interests that benefit from buying politicians in our society. Despite your angry and baseless spewing, and notwithstanding the cherished beliefs of the dwindling ranks of the Obama faithful, the largest shareholders, as always, are corporate interests.

Barack Obama received more than $800,000, during the 2008 campaign cycle, from folks in the oil and gas business. (Hillary Clinton had received more than $600,000 from O/G-related players by the middle of the primaries.)

Indeed, Only John McCain receive more oil & gas money than Obama.


Please don't forget that, shortly before the DWH disaster, Obama addressed a different moratorium than the one you and so many others are denouncing so angrily—the longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling. He proposed ending it, opening up drilling off all of the US Pacific Coast, most of the East Coast and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Nearly every move Barack Obama has made since taking office has served the interests of rich and powerful corporations and banksters. His policies have been barely distinguishable from those of George Bush, or of any recent president, for that matter. The outraged hue and cry over "liberalism" and "socialism" that you and so many others have been duped into taking up is a sham. Both you and the other side are merely taunting the rival team and cheering your own. Somehow, all of you have failed to understand that both teams are in the same league.

It would be funny if it weren't tragic.


Hear! Hear!

If you somehow think I have "facts" wrong, then you're the one who's incorrect, NOT me. Obama IS wholly owned, Unions are simply one of the assortment of special interest groups involved.

As for the "entitled to your own facts" nonsense, the previous thread's posting was all about correcting someone who was posted as authoritative here, and promoting nothing but partisan propaganda. Nothing but lies.

Oddly enough, you're responding to things I haven't said, didn't say, and never would say, becuase that's your talking points of the day, and assume that everyone who doesn't agree with you is in lock step, as you are, but with someone else. Tain't so, McGee.

Nowhere did I start arguing Party X vs Party Y, or politician A vs politician B, that's all figments of your imagination here. Oh, and unlike you, I do not condone union thug violence - something you tried to spin as "education administered by organized working women and men". Your blessing of violent and criminal behavior, by greedy union thugs simply turns any complaint you have into hypocritical blathering.

Oh, and unlike some here, I don't make the mistake of trying to equate employees forced into unions in order to have a job, with thier thug controllers who do nothing. Nothing except extract hundreds of millions of dollars of earned money so they can corrupt politics, commit criminal acts, and otherwise, be monsters unaccountable to anyone.

Your statements about Obama advocating deep water drilling, etc, are completely irrelevant to anything I've said. Are you just quoting the talking points youv'e accumulated, or can you actually respond to what's said?

I responded, quite directly, to exactly what you said, Geezer. I used easily-verifiable observations, with a link to supporting evidence, to demonstrate that your claim is without foundation.

Your ranting would be funny (because it is ludicrous) if there were not so many like you. Because you are one of a multitude, it is tragic and frightening.

I'm finished with you, now.

Petey Wheatstraw, As someone who has to deal with the higher prices generated by the Jones act, every day, I wish to add a little clarity. The basic limitation of this protectionist act is that foreign vessels cannot make two consecutive stops at US ports. This affects primarily Hawaii and Alaska. If cargo is coming from the US it cannot go to either place without first stopping at another countries port. There are some rare uses of foreign vessels who pick up cargo in Hawaii, proceed to Vancouver, and then on to Seattle or Portland. But in general it eliminates foreign competition from deliveries to Hawaii and Alaska. In the GOM it would preclude a foreign vessel from skimming oil and delivering it to shore repeatedly, so in deference to your "understanding" it would indeed have to be waived to allow skimmers to operate, unless they were US owned.

treeman, thanks for an informative post, but skimmers can operate outside the 3-mile limit by transferring their oil-water mix to tankers offshore, which is being done even by US-flagged skimmers. It is more efficient than running 50 miles to port. Probably A-Whale would need a waiver if it proves worthwhile, but that's an exceptional case.

Color me confused....but according to what you have posted about the Jones Act, why would they need the waiver since last I checked they were more than 3 miles out? Not nitpicking, just trying to understand your post.

beachmommy, I was just speculating that if A-Whale is actually able to capture a vast amount of oil, it might be more efficient to offload at a port rather than transfer to a shuttle tanker. On second thought, I doubt it will ever max out its oil capacity, so if they allow it to dump oily seawater as planned, that wouldn't come into play.

GOP's false talking point on the Jones Act

There have also been posts here quoting a specific section of the act exempting vessels working on oil spills.

And lest anyone think that the McClatchy news service is just a democratic mouthpiece, take a look at today's front pager there, Researchers Say Obama is slow on oil spill science too.

Yeah, but you have to remember, these people think a center-right President is the most radical leftist in history on a mission to impose his Socialist Communist Islamic pro-homo-sexual agenda and send us all to the death camps.

Sorry I am from Illinois. Center-right? On what planet. Not saying I do not like the guy but....

Center-right on most of planet Earth, wouldn't you agree? But center-left on planet USA.

Yes, indeed. And they don't have the slightest idea...

One party. Two right wings.

Wouldn't that cause flying in circles, CCW I suppose?


Reminds me of my paw's favorite uncle (whom I only knew via photograph) -- very handsome fellow with a fine, long handlebar mustache, both ends of which pointed (east?). Lived in a perpetual breeze, he did.

If Hugo Chavez jokes that he thinks he and Fidel are going to end up to the right of Obama, my feeling is that it goes a little beyond the U.S.

Btw, great job on keepin' up on the skimmer details, as much good as skimmers may or may not be.

The following link shows 2008 candidates as dots on a left vs right graph. The antagonism of conservatives toward other conservatives is self defeating.

Gobbet and brit0310, what you said! (More's the pity.)

LOL, "center right"? Obama is extreme radical left. POLITICAL left, that is. There's a difference between that and being a "socialist" for instance. But, it matters little, since his radicalism is 100% destructive to the nation and world. All you've done is portray your lack of perspective.

Extreme radical Left?

Wow, I wonder what you would call Richard Milhous Nixon? Stalin?

Is he now? Funny, but I haven't seen anything but BAU.

Bush, McCain, Obama - supported TARP

Bush = surge in Iraq
Obama = surge in Afghanistan

Bush = big gift to big pharma aka Medicare part D
Obama = big gift to big insurance aka Obama Care, which is nearly identical to the R plan proposed under Clinton

Bush = White House secrecy
Obama = White House secrecy

Your posts are rude and filled with little more than the same worn out talking points, most of which have been repeatedly shown to be poppycock.

Headline in Pensacola News Journal, a Ganette paper, had the following story this AM.

Close beach? County won't take risk yet
Warnings aside, commission stalls on keeping swimmers from water

EDIT: Keep rumors buried in the beach sand - This story is about how the oil is being buried and not removed. So far BP vehemently denies the practice and so does the MSM. I have seen them do it in limited applications, near the surf line. It was done as a practical measure, folks have had to saw their own arm off to escape a trap. It doesn't matter to me, the beach has disappeared and been replaced many times. It is the offshore sand that is the ballgame. Forget beaches, think sea life.

"Jobs, not owls!"

Listen to the 7 minute tape to get the exact words.

Ahhhh, here we have Exhibit A of the case "Sound Bites Cause Mischief," eh, Gail? Count up all the one- or two-sentence passages of this answer that someone could use (and by now probably has) to suggest Clinton was arguing exactly the opposite of what he actually said. (The "Go Navy, blow it up" bit is only the most potentially-egregious, but others are available too.)

--but not with nuclear bombs,

This statement is definitive, and absolute.

As far as other 'military options':

With respect to the DWH situation,The U.S. military can provide:

- Command,control, and communications (already being done)

- Aerial, sea and shore-based security (already there)

- Weather reconnaissance and meteorology support(C-130 Hurricane Hunters from MS, already on the job just as is the case every year)

- Aerial ocean surface reconnaissance (I imagine this is being done)

- Troops to rake and shovel tar out of beach sand or whatnot.

USN ships are well-suited to destroy other ships and targets on land, but not to skim oil or deploy booms.

I believe Clinton was referring to the use of conventional weapons used to close burning wells after Gulf War I.

Here is a copy of the patented process that may be similar to what he would expect to be used.


In addition there are other closure/control methods that are available but are not being used or even considered.

In war the US currently does not take the all out nuclear method even though it will save lives in the short term. We muddle through in wars like Iraq for political reasons and reasons of self preservation of our leaders, --not our people.

Every dollar spent on stopping this leak will be recovered in one way or another. Society will choose winners and losers here via supply and demand. The more it costs to stop the leak and clean up the oil, the more a gallon of gasoline will cost. After this mess, people will expect to pay more for gasoline, that is just the way politics works.

MoM, Yes, I understand what Clinton said. I simply stated that the statement 'won't use nukes' is a definitive, absolute, unchangeable fact, IMO.

In addition there are other closure/control methods that are available but are not being used or even considered.

Please elaborate...

In war the US currently does not take the all out nuclear method even though it will save lives in the short term. We muddle through in wars like Iraq for political reasons and reasons of self preservation of our leaders, --not our people.

Where does one start with this? Save whose lives in the short term? Was our stated goal in these wars something like: 'bringing (Iraq, Afghanistan) democracy and a functional government with internationally accepted rule of law" or 'kill them all and let Allah/God sort them out?'.

The only statement I will agree with you on is that we are in wars such as the Iraq for political reasons...

I can go about my weekend happy in the thought that you will never be President with your itchy nuclear trigger finger and callous disregard to international norms, arms control, and life in general.


"In addition there are other closure/control methods that are available but are not being used or even considered."

Sorry, I skipped over your posting as it is very rude. You don't know me.

But here is an explanation of what is being done by others as outlined in papers that have made it through the U.S. Patent office and on this site. Much prior art is applicable here in this situation. I don't expect everyone to "see" solutions. And I expect people to be rude. Therefore I should not have ignored you. Sorry.

"This type of proposal seems like it would be simple, cheap and probably effective. It has been suggested since the early days. How come no one has followed up on it?"

It is being follow up on by both BP and the Coast Guard. This idea made the final cut for the following reasons.

1) The excerpt below is a valid concept but the conclusion reached is wrong.

“The force of the current on such a large object is huge -
would need massive/complex anchors to keep from blowing away.
I too suggested something similar, but realized that even a half-knot current over 5000 feet is a huge force.
Just did the math to quantify it - urrrr.

The force on such a tube is 503,000 Newtons (kg m / s^2).
In pounds-force, that is 113,000 pounds-force.”

A force of 113,000 pounds is not “huge”. In fact it is only a fraction of the weight of the BOP. For this portion of the load a tie off below the BOP could be of use. A typical resistive force for the embedded pipe is also a help. One could assume the adhesion of the soil to the casing would be on the order of 500 pounds per sq foot of casing surface area. In addition the weight of the casing would also be available.

Typical concrete piling readily available throughout the US could be dropped from a height of 2 or 3 hundred feet—under water above the sea floor-- with cable to the surface to serve as additional anchors. Each piling would be good for as much as 20 tons each. With effort, piling could be installed about 1 per hour to supply about 24 piling for a total load capacity of about 1 million pounds.
Of course, any number of piling could be installed.

The current is between 2 cm per second and 2 knots. http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/02mexico/background/currents/...
A current of 2 knots may cause snaking, but is not a killer as snaking can be controlled as outlined in various patents.

Of course what you speak of is not totally new. Go to http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6675734.html and read the patent from cover to cover and especially the claims. You will see that what you speak of is in fact currently being manufactured, only for a different purpose. This patent proves that part of your idea will work. You will also see the accepted formula to determine the load on the structure due to drag when pulled by a ship. Inferences can be made from this patent that will help you with your idea.

There is no need to force the tube to maintain a vertical path. It can and should drift with the current. It should also be buoyant and stop below the surface to avoid the strong surface currents. Some believe it should stop at least 300 ft below the surface and others believe it should stop at least 800 feet below the surface. The oil at this point could be captured and stored in subsurface tanks as covered by another patent or moved to platforms with flexible tubes as covered in another patent. Later when the well is capped an undersea separation device as manufactured by FMC could be employed along with pipes to a platform.

You should not at this point give up on your idea. Each of the patents listed as resources in the link I give is the result of a person not giving up on what is obviously impossible. And then solving a problem others could not solve.
You have the wisdom to do this and you have the skills that allowed you to see the flaws, now see the solutions. I very strongly suggest that you may improve on the current state of the art (as it is relatively new)if you apply yourself. Same for others on this site.

"In war the US currently does not take the all out nuclear method even though it will save lives in the short term."

This statement is so glaringly ignorant of the facts and necessities surrounding our military occupation of Iraq AND of the indiscriminate death of non-combatants (women and children included) that would be incinerated by a nuclear blast that it boggles the mind.

You think our invasion of Iraq rises to the level of WWII?

Apparently, you don’t see any "real" lives being snuffed out if we deploy and detonate a nuclear bomb in Iraq.

Please tell me, exactly what army are we fighting in Iraq, or instead, if it could be more reasonably argued, why we are at war with the people of Iraq.

Your argument continues:

"We muddle through in wars like Iraq for political reasons and reasons of self preservation of our leaders, --not our people."

You actually think that Iraq posed a credible danger to the American people prior to our invasion? You think that our invasion was anything BUT political?

You had more to fear from those pushing this war than you did from those targeted by it.

I am really curious, as in, I hope to find and read your response, when N Korea or Iran uses a nuclear bomb to start a war, and does so by detonating one in a densely populated area.

I know, you're going to insist they would never do anything like that and thus, no need to answer the hypothetical. Except it's about as likely as there being more earthquakes in California... The only question being whether or not we act in a preventative fashion before the truly insane government of either obtains the means to do so and then carries it out.

Each has fully justified dooing so, as a response to "zionist" or "imperialist" agression already. In other words, we're simply in a waiting game to see who gains the means first. Note, this has nothing to do with having an itchy trigger finger, as you improperly accuse others of having, but simply recognizing the reality and answering a value judgement question... Would you use a nuclear device to stop them from using one? Do we massively kill them, or allow them to massively kill others first and THEN we massively kill them?

The question of course, is hypothetical, since there ARE other options to prevent the otherwise inevitable calamity. Someone just has to have the will to act to stop them. I can't imagine ANY person who has a grip on sanity being the one who has to make the gut and soul wrenching decision to act AFTER the fact, so why can't we do stuff now, when it's relatively easy?

Dude, your rhetorical kung-fu is very, very weak.

Who the F said anything about Iran or Korea? We’re not at war with either of them.

"I know, you're going to insist they would never do anything like that and thus . . "

I didn't insist that, I wouldn't insist that, you put words in my mouth, and thus you should STFU.

You continue:

"Note, this has nothing to do with having an itchy trigger finger, as you improperly accuse others of having, but simply recognizing the reality and answering a value judgement question."

Improperly accuse others of having? Show me this accusation in my comment. Again, your lame rebuttal uses Iran and Korea as straw men, you put words into my mouth, and then you attack me for them. And you have the audacity to even speak of "values."

As for the rest of your paranoid fantasy — especially the "value judgement" aspect — we don't preemptively nuke people because that would be wrong (as well as highly unAmerican). Is the concept of right and wrong lost on you?

redstate dot com will serve you well.

"The Flag as inappropriate" would be far more effective use of your time in this case.

Yes, but doing that opens a new tab and reloads the post and resets the 'new' tag on unread comments. I just think he hasn't yet realized he'd be far happier at a different site.

Ummm...the comment was about the evil of using a nuclear weapon against the Iraq...which did NOT possess nuclear weapons. So the post was about how evil it would be to nuke a country which does not yet have nuclear weapons. Obviously, we invaded Iraq and occupied it and told it how to suck eggs without using a nuke. Same with the 'stan.

You are more right than you can imagine when you speculate that we have other effective options than preemptively using a nuke to stop a hostile country from using a nuke.

But back to point: The OP of this thread was lamenting the fact that the U.S. did not go in with nuclear guns blazing into both Iraq and Afghanistan...the way he was going, I imagine he would extend his 'nuke first, ask questions later' philosophy to our invasion of Grenada as well....probably would give the Brits a tongue-lashing for not nuking Buenas Aires after the Argentinians seized the Islas Malvinas.

After the fact is the easier decision...it is called retaliation...the conditions for retaliation can be stated at the beginning of the situation...it could be massive retaliation...it could be annihilation to the last man, woman, and child...the party drawing first nuclear blood against the superior force/the World would not expect nor likely be given any quarter.

"...the party drawing first nuclear blood against the superior force/the World would not expect nor likely be given any quarter."

That's correct. Which is exactly why neither the North Koreans nor the Iranians have any intention, at all, of launching an offensive nuclear attack, against anyone (they could, of course, be pushed far enough into a corner...).

In point of fact, it is quite rational for such demonized players to seek nuclear weapons. It is seen as a measure of protection against the world's dominant, aggressive hyperpower, the United States.

I consider Gulf I to be a justifiable war in that it was fought because Iraq invaded Kuwait. Nuke em? I don't think that would be justifiable. But don't think we refrain from a nuclear exchange because it would kill average citizens. We refrain because the initial target would be Washington.
I have an open mind on the rest of what you say and could lean either way. But I am hard pressed to care for the lives of people that don't control their political leaders. When their leaders kill our people, do the people of other countries stop their leaders? (Have we lost control of our leaders?)

Iraq was in check for a long period of time after the first Iraq war. All of the facts, as well as all of the lies are part of the public record. If you have trouble sorting the facts from the lies, it helps to look at the results of our efforts (such as the presence of Al Queda in Iraq, where there formerly was none).

"We refrain because the initial target would be Washington."

The initial target of whom? The Iraqis? You really think that the Iraqis have the capacity, or could develop the capacity to strike DC even after we nuked them? As for other nations coming to the defense of Iraq should we nuke them, please name one that has the capacity to deliver on your perceived threat.

The history of the 20th century is replete with people put upon by crushing tyranny from their own governments and unable to do anything about it. Yes, even OUR government has run amok on us, and we do nothing about (even though, unlike truly repressed people, we have the means to do so).

Even though April Glaspie, our attache in Baghdad was instructed by George H.W. Bush to tell Saddam Hussein we had no position on a potential seizure of Kuwait, just before he seized it?

Read some more history folks. Kuwait was sawed off of Iraq by the Brits, willy nilly; and, Iraq itself is a bogus construct of Western geo-policymakers.

Saddam, ala Noriega, was a CIA asset who got the idea in his head somehow after the Iran-Iraq War that he could have independent (read: non-Washington-approved) thoughts.

Both men were taken out by the US Military (which now essentially operates as a mercenary force for Big Oil) with immense "collateral damage" to the civilian populations of both nations.

SO SAD that this stuff is done in our names!

I am ashamed that we allow this stuff to continue, and I am a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN, not some bleeding heart liberal.

"I am ashamed that we allow this stuff to continue, and I am a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN, not some bleeding heart liberal."

Screaming who you are and inferring liberals are the only folks with blood I kinda like. To say "I'm ashamed" and then put distance between yourself and liberals says a great deal. You don't express your feelings as I do so therin you are heartless. I think that was a point in Bill's comments.

Does coming out of the closet feel good? Next thing you know you will want to hug someone.

Ummm...we invaded the Iraq back in 1991 because Iraq invaded Kuwait back then.

We invaded Iraq in 2003 because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are evil.

You redeemed yourself with your final parenthetical question.

- Troops to rake and shovel tar out of beach sand or whatnot.

That would be like using firemen to pick up garbage or EMTs to direct traffic. It is an inefficient use of scarce resources.


I was merely pointing out what the U.S. military could provide.

If troops raking sand makes a lot of people feel better about repealing the 6-month DW drilling moratorium, then we are a nation of idiots.


In the late 1960s and early ’70s, four nuclear devices were exploded underground on Colorado’s Western Slope in an effort to free up commercially marketable amounts of natural gas from dense sandstone formations.

The explosion of one 43-kiloton nuclear device near Rulison in Garfield County in 1969 continues to make headlines 40 years later — with the safety of modern-day drilling in the area one of the likely topics of a July 14-15 meeting in Glenwood Springs — while the simultaneous test shot of three 33-kiloton devices in Rio Blanco County in 1973 remains virtually unknown.

One Garfield County commissioner is calling for the Department of Energy to admit its mistake — gas generated in the blasts was too radioactive for commercial use — and ban drilling in the Rulison area and compensate nearby property owners for lost mineral rights.

“I say, let’s just shut the whole thing down,” John Martin recently told a gathering in Glenwood Springs, according to the Post-Independent newspaper. The DOE currently bans drilling on the 40 acres immediately surrounding the blast site, while the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission prohibits drilling within a half-mile radius.

The DOE just released a draft plan calling for drilling by private companies right up to the half-mile limit, then inside that limit until drilling produces radioactive material or reaches the 40-acre blast site, whichever comes first.

The Rio Blanco blasts were the third and final phase of the Plowshare Project, which sought to find peaceful industrial uses for nuclear weaponry. The first test was Project Gasbuggy in New Mexico, followed by Rulison.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Rulison and Rio Blanco is that Rulison is only eight miles southeast of the town of Parachute and 12 miles southwest of Rifle, with heavy natural gas drilling and more conventional fracturing — using water, sand and chemicals instead of nukes — occurring throughout the area. Since the blast, Interstate 70 has pushed through the area and brought with it big-time residential and commercial development.

In the last U.S. Census, Garfield County had a population of nearly 44,000 and Rio Blanco County only had about 6,300 residents. The Rio Blanco blast site itself is very remote, described by the DOE as 52 miles north-northeast of Grand Junction.

“Because the nearest private residence is many miles away up here in Rio Blanco County, there really is no one living close to [the blast site],” Rio Blanco County Commissioner Ken Parsons told the Colorado Independent. “It’s out in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t know which well it is and where it’s at, you’d just drive right past it on our County Road 69 and never even know the difference.” SNIP>>>

Enough to give you the shivers on a hot day, PDV.

According to this web site, apparently MS was not left out of the fun...


According to this web site, allegedly these sites across the world got to play:


And we covered the topic in Tech talks on Sundays a little while ago:




someone asked about BJ Blue Dolphin in the prior thread, there is a fairly comprehensive list of the various marine assets located on the deep water bp site that links to information and the track of each vessel via a marine traffic app (click on the drop down menu)


Headline on AL.COM
USA scientists want to set up real-time air monitoring system for Mobile and Baldwin counties


I have to find the article where an EPA or health official said this was already being done. It should.

EDIT: More petroleum deaths, unrelated to the GOM. Smoking a damn cigarette!
230 killed, scores injured in D.R. Congo oil truck explosion

READ THIS STORY. The deaths occurred because the locals went to get spilled gas from a wrecked truck, and some addicted genius was smoking a cigarette. Is this a fast forward of what is happening here? Folks rushing to see and clean this stuff? Folks around here do not see a direct health risk associated with Macondo petroleum.

Clinton suggests that the Navy can shut down the gusher.


Get the Navy to get that battleship ready with the screw ...

Now you gonna watch the video and see what he really said?

Steve from virginia: That's not what Clinton meant at all. You're taking his statement out of context. I know it's frustrating, Clinton is not speaking in controlled sound bites like an active politician must. He's musing about the situation, but if you listen to the whole thing he's not saying that the Navy or anyone has a better grasp on the situation than oil industry personnel.

I could be wrong, but perhaps SteveFromVirginia is referring to something like this (see photo).

It’s called a Robotic Underground Munition (RUM). The robot would be delivered by air, land softly, then drill into the ground and navigate under the Earth until it reaches its target. Once it arrives to its destination, say an underground man-made structure, the robot would explode inside.

Video of the screw-like device in action is here:

Oh boy, I heard of this quite a while ago...don't stay up too late at night fantasizing that these will do anything useful...except line the pockets of some defense contractors!

Any update on how the helix is going now that seas have finally calmed down? They've been below 6 feet for over 24 hours.

Wish they'd update about dispersants too. I've read they actually kill the microbest that are needed to eat the oil. Maybe they should use different ones which aren't as toxic..maybe if they put nitrogen fertilizer on the slicks they will go away on their own as that is a rate limiting factor to microbial action.

Very frustrating.

I think they've ruled out nukes. The relief well is about 2 weeks away from capping it from what I've heard...600 feet as of a couple days ago whereas it was 900 feet about a week ago.

Brianb: Go to EPA.gov. Read detailed report about dispersant just released. Also daily air, water and sub-sea measurements. Lots of updated test results showing amounts found. Also, another meeting of scientists coming up.
Most surface use was limited to near rigs to cut back on volatiles that might affect workers. Sub-ses limited to 15000 gallons per day but has been about 11000/day the last three weeks or so.

Interesting that early on in a hearing Rep. Nadler stated that BP should be using Dispersit (must be made in his district); stating emphatically it was safer. Well the first studies conclude otherwise. Also, more studies being done using oil-dispersant mix. BP and CG said if there is better choice and its available it would be used, otherwise plan is to limit both surface and sub-sea. May be able to stop most sub-sea if they hook up helix on the 7th.

Latest I've seen on the Helix ... from yesterday's Allen briefing (transcript)

As you know we had hoped to at this point have a third containment vessel on board. The Helix Producer which will be capable of providing another 20,000 to 25,000 barrels per day capacity. We were forced to pull the vessels off sea. They were going to do the connection of the Helix Producer to the flexible pipe to the vertical riser.

We need three to five foot seas to do that. They're still laying down out there. As soon as we have the window to move the vessels back on sea we will do that. The Discover – excuse me, the Helix Producer is out there right now. What we are need are the support vessels and a sea state to be able to finish the connection.

We hope to do sometime within the next 48 hours subject to sea state calming down. That will put the Helix Producer online somewhere around the 7th of July to begin production. That would then bring us to a total of 53,000 barrels a day and allowing us to assess how much oil is escaping around the containment hat at that time. We're anxiously awaiting that to happen so we can get a sense of how that’s affecting the overall flow.

It takes them 5 days just to hook this stupid thing up?

Seas are now 6 feet, does that mean it's delayed another week? These guys are unreal.

He (or Wells) said earlier that it will take around three days to actually hook Helix up and get it running. Add that to the whatever time it takes for the seas to calm to 3-5 ft. He predicted 48 hrs for that yesterday.

(Hope they stream the video of the ROV working on those 24 bolts connecting Helix to the floating riser.)

In addition to the obvious need to get it up and running asap to capture more oil, it's apparent from comments Allen and Wells have made that the amount of O&G that is seen still escaping from under the containment cap after both Q4000 and Helix are collecting is going to impact the decision on whether and when to replace the cap and which new cap to choose. The removal of the riser stem and cap replacement is expected to take around seven days.


It's been under 5 feet for over a day as of noon saturday, except for a brief spike up to 6 feet. So thye better get off their rear and actually get this thing running. SHouldn't take 3 days to hook it up. Should be pulling oil starting monday morning.

If you look at the ROV feeds you'll see that they have 9 of at least 10 available ROVs working undersea. The Ocean Intervention III ROV2 had problems and is topside.

If anyone knows of another ship with ROVs in the area, there was an unidentified Oceaneering Millenium ROV spotted (all of the feeds except Viking Poseidon's ROVs were active - she's in Galveston according to the ship tracking site) so any info on any new ships deploying ROVs would be appreciated, especially if you have the feed info!

Do you have a link that quotes a microbiologist or scientific study on dispersants killing the oil-eating microbes?

No, i've heard it as part of the doomsday stuff, but yesterday on a cnn clip a scientist said they should be using "natural dispersants" and that the ones they're using kill the microbes which eat the oil. How would BP not know this?


Brian, there was no mention of dispersants in the video clip. The issue discussed there is naturally occurring oil-eating bacteria (which are everywhere in the Gulf) vs. other strains of bacteria cultured in labs and offered for sale.

Very probably, bacteria have already removed much more oil than the skimming and burning operations, and eventually they will remove everything that isn't captured or burnt. As far as I know, the dispersant in use is compatible with the bacteria. It may make the oil more available to them by reducing the oil to finer droplets.

I gave you the wrong link..there was another one talking to an NYU professor who touted natural "dispersants", etc.


Right. Sounds good. Prof. Richard Gross says a fairly modest R&D project could lead to mass production of natural dispersants ("bio-surfactants).


Gail: I like the bullet points in your summary. Duh! Isn't he profound, stating the obvious?
You know it is the Fourth of July weekend. Bombs away!

The whole Obama thing is amusing. No mater what a president does/did he will be criticized by probably half the population. Given the state of the economy, different agendas, and the midterm elections it is all about PR, image, and November. I suppose some folks benefit by an "I feel your pain" moment. I actually thought he did okay in the beginning by getting the government agency heads involved. I think he could have met with BP earlier but that's water under the bridge. People want things to happen now. Just does not happen that way. Takes a while.

I am a democrat and love Bill Clinton but his suggestion would not likely work and could make things much, much worse.

Putting an explosive deep, very near the well bore would work only if it managed to pinch the pipe completely closed. I don't think that is very likely but it is a possibility. But it just might blow the pipe apart in many places making sealing the well impossible. The oil, because of the pressure in the reservoir, would just then push through the crushed rock.

Piling tons and tons of debris would definitely not work and would make things much worse. Remember the tremendous pressure the reservoir has. That is what caused the blowout in the first place. The oil would simply blow through the debris and come out many places in the debris pile. How would you plug that?

Best hope? Doing exactly what they are doing right now, drill relief wells and hope that one of the two does the job.

Ron P.

Darwinian: What? You mean follow the plan devised by all those idiotic scientists from government, academia and industry? Come on, Bill knows better. Look how successful he was taking out that aspirin factory! (Actually Clinton is okay. Just needs to know when to stop.)

Its strange that he says that we should accept Obama as his is and not worry about him feeling our pain. I agree.

But couldn't you say the same about the BP CEO Hayword? Yes, some bad choices were made, but I am sure no one in BP wanted this to happen. All the talk about him saying stupid things and does not feel for the little people. Who cares, really.

Plugging the hole, Cleaning up the gulf. Paying the claims is all that matters. I could care less how he or Obama feels.

I do care who Obama or BP sends there to command the situation. I care what solution orientated person they put in charge. But I see that no one is really in charge. that is why its a unified comand.

I said something very similar to this the other day. But I think that Phila's comment on that post may be a better analysis.

I found it interesting that when asked if he was concerned that the relief wells would not work that he never answered the question. He chose to talk more about using the Navy to close the well with explosives. I, of course, have no idea what he knows (or doesn't know). All I know is he didn't really answer the question.

Realistically no one knows if the RW strategy will work or if it won't. Probability estimates don't help because stats can't predict n of 1 events.

I did find it irritating that Clinton defended Obama's "empathy" as if that had anything whatsoever to the administration's actual performance in getting the mess dealt with. I'd have preferred an explanation as to why the USCG is assisting BP in managing PR at the expense of peoples' health and stuff like that.

Wrong . I am certain that the RW will either succeed or fail!
Coast Guard PR? I think Allen would much rather be coordinating and responding to the changes in the surface situation than giving press briefings. Can't see where CG has done too much bad on the PR side. I sure would hate to have to deal with so many different state and local municipalities, politicians, and agency bureaucracies, and the 99.9% of bad info out there.

> Wrong . I am certain that the RW will either succeed or fail!

Laughing. I stand corrected.

Maybe it's not the USCG. Who's helping BP keep reporters and citizens off the beach? If it's to "protect the public" and not liability-evading PR then I'd like an explanation as to why hired hands haven't been allowed to use masks/respirators.

Snakehead: Apparently the reporters off the beaches and the workers not speaking is an urban myth.
One of many that have developed since April 20th. Number of of myths goes up exponentially as the number of days the leak continues. (they said something like 300 reporters enbedded with operations if i heard correctly)

Say, remember the day BP decided to run the ROV cameras. They warned the public that many things would be going on down there that they (the public ) might not understand. Boy they had that right! Look at all the Youtube clips and other blogs from folks taking things they know nothing about to make up great stories!

Cool, thanks.

This doesn't look like an urban myth to me.


Reporters may not be being kept off the beach in general, but it is (or was) happening in some cases. There is TV news footage of it, not just anecdotes. More likely it was policy early on, but BP & the government took enough heat for it they changed their minds, not to mention that oil eventually started washing up on beaches they couldn't keep people away from.

From http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/731603/

DATE: July 01, 2010 19:23:09 CST

Based on air monitoring data collected to date, exposures to hydrocarbons, dispersants and other hazardous chemicals are below established occupational exposure limits. In most situations that have been examined to date, mandatory wearing of respirators is not required.

The next day, respirators were brought up at the Admiral's press conference:

From http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/733403/

DATE: July 02, 2010 13:44:18 CST

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of (Vivian Tsu) with CNN.

Aaron Cooper: Hi, this is actually Aaron Cooper with CNN right now. But my question is about the respirators. I saw the release that went out yesterday and I'm unclear exactly who's going to be provided with respirators.

I understand that anyone basically can wear them voluntarily, but exactly who is getting respirators? And now the decision has been made to give respirators, some people need respirators. Do you have a concern that there have been people that have been exposed to toxic gasses or things that may harm their health over the past times now that we've decided that people do need respirators in certain circumstances?

Adm. Thad Allen: Well, let me take you to a sequence that got us to where we're at. Several weeks ago, in fact maybe even some month ago, I don't have the dates in front of me right now. We sat down with the Department of Labor and OSHA and talked about how best to manage this to make sure that the response workers and everybody that was out there were operating in a safe environment.

As a result of that, we established an MOU between the National Incident Command and OSHA. They have a number of folks that are in theater that are helping us down there. I think they probably have between 30 and 35 inspectors that are just moving around making sure that – the second thing one establishing exposure limits that are realistic, understanding that the ones that are published have been out of date for some time, but the ability to get rules out in regard to those exposure limits have been limited on the Department of Labor.

So we’ve come up with an exposure limits we think are reasonable and that basically drive the respiratory requirements and when those limits are met the respirator are required as you correctly stated somebody can voluntarily use that if they want to but – if those standards aren’t met.
The following issue about the overall effect to public health is being discussed right now. We have not traditionally in this country had a good way to establish health baselines and understand the impact of these large events. We have the opportunity to maybe think about that more on a national level right now.

To that end, I met with Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary Sebelius, yesterday and we talked about options for general surveillance of the public regarding health issues associated with this oil spill. And to that end, they have assigned public health service admiral to my staff, James Galloway, who’s going to be my personal advisor.

And over the next week or so, we’re going to take a look at what our options are what might be able to be done and how we might want to approach the issue of general surveillance of the public in relation to health issues. So it is on our screen, I talked personally with Secretary Sebelius about this, and it’s something we’re going to be discussing over the next four or five days.

Aaron Cooper: So who exactly is getting the masks?

Adm. Thad Allen: Well where we have the thresholds where they’re met, they’re being provided as part of the workplace personal protective equipment and tapping down to the incident command level. I can give you some more detail on that and we can follow-up if you like.

Aaron Cooper: Thank you.

Adm. Allen is a master of double-talk. It is amazing at how he can dance around questions.

In my former life as a nuclear safety engineer, I wrote safety analysis reports for work around explosive, radiological and toxicological materials. The OSHA requirements are pretty clear . . . you take samples of what a worker might be exposed to, and if it is above the limits, you put the guys in protective clothing and respiratory protection. The exposure limits, for example, for benzine, is spelled out in Federal Law - see http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_220100.html and

It looks like the administration is making up new rules as they go along. No telling what limits they are controlling to.

someone posted some NIOSH guidelines for oil spill clean up the other day, and the article mentions "personal air quality monitoring" in regards to respirator use, but I didn't see any mention of what they're using for monitoring.

are they talking about photoionization detectors, (PID)?

Interesting post, James... thanks for the info.

Why is Clinton being queried? What happened to the three oilmen we elected to the highest offices in our land? Where are the Bushhes and Cheney on this? I thought they were our CEO executives. Probably not enough money in it for them to waste their time.

They are not an narcissistic as Bill.

Thank you.
I noticed that Obama didn't respond at all to Clinton's statemnts on the oil spill.
The story died on the vine.

For those of us who watched CNN's repeat of the Clinton interview at 6PM EDT, today, which included Gail's posted excerpt, this story had not "died on the vine".

Discussions on TOD can get very interesting!


Well, snakehead, I agree that Obama's "EQ" [empathy quotient] has nuttin' to do with getting this solved. But blame Blitzer for asking (in fact, leading with) a silly question that Clinton merely answered.

In my defense I was equally irritated with Blitzer (pretty much a steady state for me). Clinton could have addressed the larger question but didn't.

You cant watch any of these guys on CNN, MSNBC, FOX or the rest unless you realize it is entertainmment and nothing else.

Yesterday CNN had the story about the bobbing cap. Steve Werley(sp) from Purdue said that meant they would be capturing less. Of course a few hours later the capture rate was released and shown to be the same or higher during that time. All this stuff is like a lot of TOD: Something to fill in time until the next story comes along or the leak ends.

I love to lurk on "news" sites. I like to estimate just how many responses it takes on any topic(even sports) to get to Bush sucks, Obama, sucks, Cheney sucks, Clinton sucks, Lewinski sucks, dems suck, reps suck, capitalist suck, socialists suck comments.
Probably longer on TOD and some of the more academic sites---but not much. Good research project.

"You cant watch any of these guys on CNN, MSNBC, FOX or the rest unless you realize it is entertainmment and nothing else."

Exactly. If it is news they are giving us, how can they come on the morning shows 12 hours in advance and tell us what's going to be on the "news" tonight? How do they know what the news will be in 12 hours? They don't. IMO their biggest goal is to make us feel bad about our country, our values, our patriotism, our public servants and military; the list goes on...

EJB, I think their biggest goal is commercial, not political, but in any case, "it bleeds, it ledes" is why I stopped watching TV news some years ago (can't remember when now but at least 7-8 years back). The cable channels are especially worthless (in the case of CNN, that ought to thoroughly humiliate any old-timers still around -- probably not m/any). Best I can tell, the only person on any of 'em who actually does her homework is Rachel Maddow. Even in her case, I really only like her well-prepared interviews, not her snarky setups (despite the fact that she and I apparently have similar politics). I'm old, I guess -- still want my news without 'tude, dammit.

So you only want good news?

I think the slant is in the opposite direction...too much optimistic spin and gloss and flag-waving and glossing over or lying about hard realities of the past, present and the future.

Guys and gals. I have to apologize for reposting so much news, but much has been released in the last few hours. I will try to be brief. I told folks that the sand/oil mix retrieved was being recycled as road base. A local politician I used to trust told me this in confidence. BP probably lied to him too. Yesterday an official from BP said it was being treated as hazardous waste. Lo and behold where do we now find out the majority of this stuff is going?


I do not know what disturbs me more. The picture or this quote: Scott Hughes, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, said the waste is not considered hazardous, by landfill standards. He said that the waste was largely being mixed with regular garbage at the landfills and put into the lined cells.


Sorry again, enjoy your Saturday.

Heck, if this is their answer then they should have just scooped up the sand and dumped it out in the breakers and let bacteria and time do the work...

Wow.. wonder if they've seen this. (You might call and report it at (713) 323-1671)

Coast Guard and EPA Send Directive to BP on Oil Spill Waste Management 7/1/10

The directive will do the following:

* Provides guidelines for community engagement activities and sets transparency requirements on information regarding the proper management of liquid and solid wastes.

* Requires BP to give EPA and state agencies access to facilities or any location where waste is temporarily or permanently stored Access includes allowing the agencies to perform any activities necessary, such as assessments, sampling or inspections.

* Requires BP to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and to ensure that all facilities where waste is located or placed have obtained all permits and approvals necessary under such laws and regulations.

* Finally, the directive requires BP to submit to EPA and the Coast Guard specific plans, waste reports and tracking systems for liquid and solid waste.

I read this - http://blog.al.com/live/2010/07/oil-contaminated_sand_heading.html#comments
Then this - http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/731331/ excerpt above, thanks Rainday
Finally this - http://epa.gov/bpspill/waste/r4_waste_plan.pdf
I am not a lawyer, but to this ignorant victim, I call this a violation of the law. A crime. Help me. Tell me I am wrong. Please tell me. God bless all. This landfill is 5 miles from my best land.

I live on P-Cola Beach and have tried a few times to follow the dump trucks, infortunately as a single mom both times I had to go pick up my son and wasn't able to see where it was going, but nothing would surprise me anymore after what I've witnessed here in person.

TF, have you tried that number rainyday supplied? If they're not answering today, I guess Tuesday will be your next chance. Any South Alabama lawyers reading here today? Yoohoo?

I called every number on it. I also called every newspaper editor I know and TV guy I know. They said they would all get back to me. 50% chance this is a WTSHTF issue, I will keep all informed. I know that landfill well. I will wait at the gate and lay my body down if I have to. This is wrong! I cannot believe this. If someones gets arrested over protesting this, you know it was me. The violators are the ones that should be arrested!

EDIT: As a matter of fact. Monday I am there with a sign and my journalist friends. Anyone in the Gulf Shores Area join me. Magnolia Landfill Monday 6 A.M.
Here - http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&q=magnolia...

I might be here by lunch.

If someones gets arrested over protesting this, you know it was me.

Just get word to us where we can bail you out. Thank you so much for focusing attention on this.

Go Tin Go!

I think we need a call to everyone along the coastline to start tracking down where the oiled sand is going.

My first editor friend told me he will personally guarantee no oil will pass through the gates Monday. It is a landfill holiday. Here is my sign. One of you passed up a good one there.

You should try PBS News. Did you see the Gulf Shores article they had last night that included Mayor Robert Kraft?

Oh OK, TFHG, only because you asked so nicely: you are wrong (on the landfill issue, not in general). I think. I've been researching the issue of legal disposal of petroleum-contaminated soil for the past hour or so. This type of waste is specifically excluded from the legal definition of "hazardous waste" under federal law. see:

"Exemption of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Wastes from Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations"

The consequence of this exemption is that petroleum-contaminated soil can be disposed of like most solid waste, in an approved, permitted landfill along with the diapers and banana peels. This is not an outrage, or a crime--it's where all the medium-level disposable nasties go. From my cursory reading here in my recliner 1200 miles away, it looks like they're probably following the rules by disposing of the oily sand etc in a permitted landfill. See:

(especially the chart on pag 4)

(appendix B)

and from:

"Is the oiled waste considered hazardous?
EPA’s review of sampling data provided to date shows crude oil-contaminated waste that has been collected during the response is classified in federal and state regulations as non-hazardous waste. Therefore, it is being disposed in the appropriate state-permitted municipal solid waste landfills. Testing will continue to take place during the response, including testing performed by EPA, in order to verify that the appropriate disposal or reuse/recycling options are used.

Where does the waste go?
Waste is sent to appropriate permitted municipal waste landfills. To date, the designated sites are Chastang in Alabama; Spring Hill in Florida; various sites in Louisiana; and Pecan Grove in Mississippi. At this time, no crude oil contaminant is being sent to Pecan Grove."

Greetings from a retired environmental lawyer who needs to find a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

So it is hazardous until it hits the landfill? You need a yellow card to handle it until it hits the fence of the landfill and then it becomes landfill waste and subject to more lax regulations? Isn't that special. They have a name for that, waste laundering. Ok, maybe I made that up. To put in my version of lawyers terms, which would probably get me held in contempt if I ever really used it. The plantiff's counsel will concede that oil waste is not considered hazardous under federal law when it is processed at the landfill if counsel for the defense will concede that such wastes are considered hazardous from such time that it is deposited on our shores and until it is delivered to the landfill for disposal.
Disclaimer - I am not an attorney and this in no way constitutes legal advice or actions. I am just trying to learn today.

TFHG: Nope, not conceding "that such wastes are considered hazardous from such time that it is deposited on our shores and until it is delivered to the landfill for disposal." My mind is open to persuasion though, cause these regs are a snakepit. What is it that's leading you to the conclusion that oil-contaminated soil is considered a "hazardous waste" when it's deposited on the shore?

Clarification: when I say "hazardous waste" here I'm using the term only as a legal definition, not as a scientific or health judgment. As I understand the law, wastes resulting from oil and gas exploration and production are exempt from the federal legal definition of "hazardous waste," all along, from when they leave the hole right up til when they are disposed of in the landfill. Then again, these laws are full of exceptions, exemptions to exceptions, special circumstances, waivers, dispensations, deferrals and all else, so I might be wrong. Any other legal opinions out there re RCRA status of oiled sand? Let's not even think about the oiled carcasses.... Exempt, verklempt.

"Isn't that special." Actually, yes, it is. "Special wastes" is the legal term for these exempt categories. What are you, a lawyer or something?

Remember, this is a free legal opinion, and worth every penny.

(I like your term "waste laundering." Don't think it doesn't happen.)

Because they require special permitting and procedures to handle the waste. If the waste is not hazardous, then how much jurisdiction does the feds or BP even have? I am talking about government and BP operational procedure as it relates to regulations, executive and administrative, money appropriated by the legislature and paid by BP to the government collected on my behalf, and finally environmental law. My last post on this. Thanks for your patience. This was a educational exercise and should not be construed as anything else. I am just thinking this is not a good move by the clean up team. Either it is a hazard or it is not. What a shell game. Thanks for you help and have a great day.

I read lots of material but DEQ permitted Type I landfill along with a lot of boiler plate but I saw nothing about mixing oil sand, banana peels and diapers.

From what I read if it's permitted it's legal. This gives us more to think about on who lobbies the EPA. No tort reform, NO, NO, NO, you can't hold me responsible. But it makes perfect sense the EPA doesn't want oil tainted sea water dumped back into oil tainted sea water.

Good Luck TFHG, go Missouri on em' What type of permit does the landfill have?

PS. One little C&P from my reading. "Sensible waste management begins with “good housekeeping.” Prudent operators design E&P facilities and processes to minimize potential environmental threats and legal liabilities."

The Biloxi Sun-Herald newspaper reported on Saturday that Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality Director Trudy Fisher seemed to indicate that she was going along with BP and Waste Management that the “oil-spill debris” is non-hazardous and can be dumped in local landfills.

Pearl River County officials were alerted to the possibility that “oil-spill debris” might be dumped at the Millard landfill

Harrison County supervisor Martin Ladner wants Fisher and the governor, no matter what the law is or the tests show, to come out against BP and Waste Management dumping debris in Harrison County’s landfill.

Fisher insisted it was not her decision, that the legal papers dictated the situation, and that BP and Waste Management had papers saying it was legal to dump the debris in local landfills.

“I’m being asked, ‘Can you stop it?’ I could stop it if it is hazardous waste. I could stop it if we get a different type of material in here and it shows it’s hazardous. I can’t say, ‘I don’t want it,’ because I don’t want it.”


There have been issues here since the county sold the landfill to WM. There are serious questions and issues about the safety of the landfill and WM has tried before now to have PRC landfill opened to industrial waste from LA. Looks like another round of loud, angry county supervisor meetings.

I went to the last round over the expansion and I just don't know if I can go again without coming home and packing up and moving.

That's correct. O/G wastes have been specifically excepted from definitions of "hazardous" under CERCLA, CWA and much other legislation, and under the rules formulated pursuant to delegated authority.

Please don't make the mistake of believing that the exceptions arise from a demonstrated absence of hazard.

When I was working in heavy oil, one of the engineers hit on the bright idea of disposing of the oily sand at the bottom of the tanks by spreading them on the lease roads. In heavy oil you get a lot of sand produced with the oil.

After a while, the government environment experts took note, and conducted analysis to determine how this oily sand differed from the oil the rural counties were spreading on the country roads to control dust. Their studies indicated it was the same stuff.

The rural counties then invited us to dispose of our oily sand by spreading it on their own roads, which saved them the cost of buying oil from us and spreading it on the roads themselves. The oil company now had a new way of disposing of oily waste, and the counties had their roads maintained for free by the oil companies. Oil company profits went up and taxes went down. Big grins all around.

Now the thing is that asphalt is a waste product from refining oil, and the oil refineries would have a big problem disposing of it if governments didn't want to pave so many roads. As it is, it is a valuable product which is deemed to be non-toxic because you want to drive on it.

The reason the landfills consider oily sand to not be hazardous waste is that they are disposing of other things which are far, far more dangerous. I mean, oily sand is only toxic if the fish eat it and you eat the fish. If you just drive on it, it's okay.

It would be foolish for me to say this isn't happening in other parts of the country. There's a myriad of reasons for me to agree with TFHG on this one. Oily sand or used oil from your DIY oil change is toxic and should not be disposed of in the municipal landfill. It's not as bad as the stuff already in there is a pathetic excuse. Clean-up always cost more than prevention.

If given the chance for do-overs would BP beancounters rethink their decisions culminating their latest crisis in the GoM? You bet your a**. Well, given their track record this is probably a poor question and it's similar to asking what would you do or how would feel it this happened to you? Bottom line is set a boundary and say what you are doing is not OK.

Rock. I know what road base or asphalt topping here is made out of and can guess to its toxicity. I know my way around a large scale construction site. Spent summers interning in engineering. did the full math and science blitz. Liked computers much better and switched. Read the Press story. Mr. Ransom made it sound like they wanted to 'wash' or 'bio-remediate' the sand and reuse it. One time on those engineering jobs some schmo left a valve open and spilled 1500 gallons of refined diesel fuel. The world stopped. The job stopped. State came, feds came, locals came, media came. There were guys in Hazmat level D suits driving Cat D-5's and HUGE track hoes. I thought they were mining. They took the dirt of and burned at temperatures of the sun or something like that (hyperbole alert). At the end of this little spill the bill was in 7 figures including fines and that was in '90's dollars.
So maybe I am being an alarmist and this is the only practical solution, but I at least have a feeling that this is not right. Keep providing counters though, no mental health help here yet. I am actually worried about going textbook. God bless.
BTW I like European cold road toppings. They are ahead of us on that technology IMHO.

Good detective work, you'll become an investigative journalist in no time.


No apology required, and please accept my continued thanks for your updates.

Slick Willie going on about integrity in the vid ...puh-leeeze,you've got to be kiddin' me.

This is a put-on for comic relief,right ?

You do not seem to understand the word you are using. And politically unintelligent comments have not been the norm on TOD.

To wit: one's integrity in one's marriage is not necessarily the same as one's integrity in public life. Many presidents have had sexual relations, even decades-long affairs, with people other than their spouses.

Raise your level of rhetoric, please.

Ben Raines of the Mobile Press-Register and AL.com has produced some informative and intelligent videos including striking underwater footage. Don't miss this:


They found oxygen depletion at a depth of 40-45' and corresponding dead zones with little or no visible life. It is also cool to see how the legs of the oil platforms become vertical reefs encrusted with living things--as long as there is oxygen. So, knowledgeable folks, please tell us whether this depletion is very likely caused by the spill or whether such events happen this time of year in the absence of extra oil.

Ben Raines also did the whale-shark video, the one with bait and sharks in the surf, and the one with the flag.. Actually testing dissolved oxygen levels--what kind of journalism is that? To meet professional standards, he needs to quote a political mouthpiece saying there is actually no oxygen depletion!

I'll bet you won't find NOAA News reporting on this:

An audit of how fishery police used millions in federal fines collected from fishermen has found
they misspent it on items including cars for managers, a $300,000 luxury undercover boat and a weeklong training workshop in Norway.

The audit, released Thursday, was commissioned earlier this year after U.S. Department of Commerce's inspector general found mismanagement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's law enforcement office.

Inspector General Todd Zinser investigated after fishermen complained for years about arbitrary enforcement of the nation's fishery laws, saying the fines amounted to a bounty because NOAA kept the money.

Gloucester fishermen Richard Burgess, who has fought $85,000 in fines, said NOAA should pay fishermen back every dime.

"We've all known that they're criminals," Burgess said of the law enforcement office. "Every one of them has got to go."

The audit of the fund where the fines and penalties were deposited, the Asset Forfeiture Fund, was conducted by the accounting firm KPMG. Zinser said the fund was so poorly managed it wasn't even identified in NOAA's annual budget documents.

"NOAA has administered the (fund) in a manner that is neither transparent nor conducive to accountability, thus rendering it susceptible to both error and abuse," Zinser said in a memo to NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco.

NOAA administration: Your tax dollars and your randomly appropriated fines at work.

Please use "start a new thread" rather than "reply" unless you are responding to the comment immediately above. Thanks.

Sorry. You're right, it doesn't relate. I let my kneejerk "I think NOAA news is only accurate when they want it to be" viewpoint get the better of me.

Gobbet, Ben Raines' work has been invaluable in this thing (one reason I got so pissed off when that blogger, Alex Whatshername, plagiarized him the other day). My pal on the Biloxi paper told me he's been the Press-Register's enviro-reporter for years and has a terrific Rolodex of sources, so he was ideally positioned for this story (and his habit of diving the Gulf is a great addition to his reporting -- my favorite video so far is his dive in the sargassum). Hope he ends up with a Pulitzer out of this.

one pipe or two?
BP's GOM Response site has a photo of two riggers measuring what looks like two collapsed drill pipes inside a large yellow manifold. I've saved a copy but don't know how to insert.


Hover your cursor over the picture and you'll find a caption. "Test pipe was distorted to resemble what is reasonably expected to be at the deepwater site." Note that the word pipe here is singular, suggesting that what was seen atop the BOP was indeed a figure-8 crush on a single pipe.


<img src="http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/images/5164_test_pipe_375.jpg" width="100%">

It looks like two pieces, one can see the crack in the left-hand piece.
"pipe" can a collective term when descriptive, like "we built a fence out of timber".

The LATimes and other papers had an article about there being two pipes as seen by gamma ray exam.

per Bloomberg, the riser pipe section from just above the BOP was seized as evidence:

One read the caption, see more images at the "Subsea" pics page:

I see two distinct pipes, of different diameters.

Definitely not one pipe sheared into a 'B'.

Note that this picture is a mock-up of the top of the BOP for use in testing the new cap to be connected. They put these two pipes in it based on what they saw when CRAW cut the riser. I have not seen pictures of the riser section since it's been brought to the surface.

I've searched and can't seem to find much other than debates on one or two pipes.

For the experts, if there are 2 pipes, what are the implications?

See this discussion from June 30th:

LOL, 8 years of this schmuck, and people are still listening to him? Why? He's never once said anything worthy of wasting your time upon.

Note, he did admit that the president is IN NO WAY capable of fixing the problem. And promising to beat up BP doesn't give one iota of help.

Here's what we know: The well WILL be closed by people whose job it is to deal with them. It will be accomplished by people who earn their living at this, and have the knowledge and experience to do the job. This rules out EVERY member of Congress and every person working in the White House, and possibly every person working for every news network and major news agency, though there is possibly someone working in them who has experience at it, it seems unlikely. I'm so fed up with the news on this issue. It gives a distince impression of listening to a blind man describe a sunset...

It is only the blogosphere (TOD being part of it) which has provided seriously illuminating information. Like the travails of Costner's company trying to get approval to use a device to clean up the polluted water, but then being subjected to absolutely idiotic EPA rules. And, it's also the blogosphere which has provided some of the worst misinformation out there ( like the doomsday scenarios gone viral).

So, perhaps, in no particular order, if some enterprising news hound, or more appropriately, "investigative journalist" could get the following questions asked and answered, perhaps we could be a lot more enlightened:

1. What impediments have the beaurocracies involved placed in the way of cleanup?
2. What changes should be made to make the future safe from the answers to #1?
3. What cleanup systems work best, on land, open water, and shoreline?
4. Where is the discussion of the minute by minute events, combined with the cause/effect cycle in play prior to the actual blowout, and what would prudent decisions should have been made that were not?
5. What is the ACTUAL command structure in place to accomplish something? For instance, who hires skimmers out on the water to pick up oil? Who initiated the request, who approved it, who pays the bills, and who does each person or entity along the way report to?
6. What are the common "variations" in well drilling and implementation, and what risks does each pose, along with what benefits does each bring? Which of these is in place at Macondo?
7. Starting the day the fireball happened on DWH, what is the timeline for the request and ultimate deployment of the various cleanup/mitigation activities and strategies, and who decided where and when to do what?

I understand the international crisis of biblical proportions that required tens of millions of dollars and scores of personell be assigned to travel to Wasilla Alaska and start the largest dirt-seeking operation by the media and political parties known to man, but couldn't at least SOME organization start seeking the answers to these questions? Even if it meant downsizing the Wasilla emergency operation by a couple people?

Why isn't anyone taking the media to task for failing to conduct the most basic of journalistic endeavors? Perhaps if we just diverted the resources dedicated to tracking every sneeze of Bristol Palin, we'd know the answers to these and more already.

But then again, does anyone besides me want to know any of this?

If I never heard anything from the _ _ _ _ _ family again, that would be great! They had way more than their allotted 15 minutes of fame.

So, perhaps, in no particular order, if some enterprising news hound, or more appropriately, "investigative journalist" could get the following questions asked and answered, perhaps we could be a lot more enlightened:
But then again, does anyone besides me want to know any of this?

We might part company on the questions that we ultimately find the most interesting. Like how much could oil could we possibly extract from the GOM when all is said and done?

This is not a journalistic news hound question, but it requires statistics and modeling and data mining, which is something that a few of us have been hammering at on TOD for several years.

You only seek to know that which may assist you in your political goals?

I have a hobby of doing amateur statistical sleuthing. Anyone who has been following TOD the last several years knows about the stuff that interests me. Unfortunately math and statistics isn't everyone's cup of tea.

First time that I ever heard math being accused of having a political agenda.

"Why isn't anyone taking the media to task for failing to conduct the most basic of journalistic endeavors?"

The media is the propaganda arm of the Corporatist power structure. If it wasn't, you wouldn't be coming here for information.

No, it's an arm of the democrat party.

Yeah — especially Fox news.

Petey, you know what my favorite part of the computer is? The scrollwheel. Best of all possible trollicides.

old geezer,

Could you explain to me the right-wing's use of 'the democrat party'? I take it you and your cohort use this intended as some sort of pejorative moniker?

I appreciate a clever turn-of-phrase, even when it comes from troglodytes, but I just don't understand the nature of your intended insult.

If you don't respond I can understand that you are probably busy writing a check to those who are re-programming electronic voting machines to pick your favorite candidates.

"Could you explain to me the right-wing's use of 'the democrat party'?"

The Geezer has screwed up the tradition: in this case, capitalization is important. The far-right wing has, for a long time, referred to the "Democrat Party," because they want to deny any association with "democratic," as in "democracy."

It gets boring, after a few decades, but we're talking about a crowd that is very resistant to learning new tactics. Of course, the old tactics—promoting fear, hatred, and greed—have worked pretty well for some time...

We're used to a higher standard of commentary here. Drop the sad political crap from your post and it would be a decent post. As is, it belongs on Limbaugh's blog.

No, you're not. the last open thread was lead by pure political propaganda at the top. It's just that you're used to the propanda you LIKE and not opinion you don't. If opinion is not allowed here, please get it removed, all of it, and if it is, please don't whine and moan because it's not in agreement with your POV.

You've been here three weeks. There are a lot of new posters, such as yourself, that have lowered the quality of the signal to noise ratio.

"But then again, does anyone besides me want to know any of this?"

In short, NO!

Mainly because they're your questions and everyone want's their questions heard first. My questions are different than your and much more important. Actually I like Lotus ????"s because they are succinct, without a lot of wiggle room. Did you notice Blitz didn't follow on the unanswered RW question? That's politics and Blitz understood if he asked again that he would be farther away from his topic. Lotus would never let Bill get away with such behavior and that's why she isn't going to get a press pass. If she does she will be restricted to one question. Maybe one two-part question.

OG, you saw Bill and somehow connected him to Palin which seriiously affected the primary learning skill needed here. Your comments just got foggier. Did you hear what he said?

PS. Does Bill and Sarah have something going that hasn't hit the tobloids?

[a flowah blushes]

I tried to communicate with OG. I said your were succinct. No need to even ask; fruit, blossom or position. I got deep crimson to purple.

Enjoy our Independence Day

I offered absolutely NO connection between clinton and palin. It is truly hard to communicate with people who cannot comprehend straightforward english.

You started with "Eight years of....." then finished with a rant on Wasilla dirt digging then on to Bristol sneezing..." and then you say there was no connection between the two. You did nothing to keep them apart although I admit stepping up and keeping it between two adults. Bill and Sarah seemed more appropriate. It's difficult to communicate when someone has an obsession with only seeing red.

If there had been anything between your start and stop rant I probably wouldn't have made the B&S connection. Messages need to flow between two points to be considered communication. Your position seems to be locked on transmission only. Do you have a green or blue button?

Clearly my point is there are many places on the web to find someone to engage in partisan politics and TOD isn't one of them.

On TV, I saw this person commenting about the video he shot over the GOM...


Not very pleasant...he is going out to shoot some more vids the next couple of days...

Ooo, yeah, Heisenberg. John Wathen, isn't it? He's done two or three excellent videos that I know of -- never easy to watch, but absolutely worth it. I'll be looking forward to his next ones.

David Helvarg, who does the writing, cut short his current book tour to take part in showing the scope of the damage. The link above opens to a page where you can access his C-Span video interview about this new book, Saved by the Sea.

Only one public library in this area has the book on order so I ordered it today. For more on the author's Blue Frontier organization and to buy the book from his website, go to


Thanks, Terry.

not easy to watch, but informative as to the scope:


I am new here, but have been reading since the explosion on April 20th and have learned so much, so I appeciate the opportunity to "pick the brains" of those in the know. As a resident of Pensacola Beach I am extremely worried about the use of COREXIT and how it IMO is making the oil spill worse, from my understanding it appears it makes the oil break apart and drop to the bottom so everyone feels better, kinda out of sight out of mind mentality. I would think it would be better and easier to contain IF they waive the Jones act and allow foreign skimmers in to help because the oil would be more like sheets instead of multiple drops, tar mats etc., so pls correct me if I am wrong. I also talked to someone from FEMA/EPA and he told me that the salt waater actually makes the dispersant bind more to the tar balls and that makes it harder to breakdown.

Second, I understand the relief well is obviously the only solution and that John Wright has a batting average of 100% so my question is, has he ever drilled a RW at this depth?

Thanks to anyone who can enlighten me and a big hello to my neighbot TFHG!

Hi and welcome, beachmommy. rainyday's first McClatchy link here


is what you need.

Don't know what that FEMA/EPA person (EPA? really?) told you, but that version is 180 degrees from every other source I've read or heard about Corexit's effect on oil: its whole point is to break down, not solidify, the mass of oil.

Thanks for the welcome LOTUS....I will go and read the info at the link you provided. Frankly I don't believe anything I'm told by anyone, but he also told me that when it breaks down it could break down into components that are actaully worse and I should stay out of the water for about 6 months until the EPA has a better grip on what the effects of COREXIT will be. Kinda scary when you consider they have sprayed ~2mm gallons so far. Also, wouldn't the oil be easier to suck up with a skimmer if it weren't broken down ? Again pls forgive the stupid questions, I am just seeking answers from people in the industry etc and not talking heads spewing BS.

Well, when I'm trying to get the straight skinny on something, I go looking to see if McClatchy has covered it. Their stories have proven out, over the years, better than any other source. (They were a much smaller chain before they bought out the Knight-Ridder papers; trying to digest that bite -- i.e., deal with that debt -- after the economic crash has nilly kilt 'em, but they're still doing great reporting.)

Thanks! That is exactly what I'm looking for, information from someone with a proven track record.

Here's their chain homepage: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/

I guess the Miami Herald is their biggest paper now (a Knight-Ridder prize), but mostly they own smaller papers; their nearest to you is, I think, the Biloxi Sun Herald.

Thanks, I am actually reading it now in another window and recognize the site as one I've read earlier, just nice to know about the track record on their reporting. So much disinformation out there now it's hard to know what to believe unless I witness it myself. So far I have been documenting everything I can, driving from one end of the Island several times a day taking photos etc., I guess I'm a reseach whore LOL. I can't get enough information, especially since this affects my family considering it's my back yard.

McClatchy is horrible. They've been caught repeatedly producing pure fiction passed off as "news" - all to put a partisan spin on events. Sorry, I no longer read McDemocratchy.

Do you have an example to link -- or simply a point of view?

Go back to Newsbusters.

Sorry I missed your ? about EPA, the only reason I noticed him was I saw the FEMA logo on his truck (this was the first and only sighting of any FEMA I have seen here to date) and sat in the parking lot of Casino Beach until he got out, then I saw it also had EPA on it, so I asked him if I could talk with him and he said off the record yes, I laughed because I'm not a reporter just a worried resident.

Heh. Diddy have a steenkin' badge? Maybe his wasn't the only mistaken ID-of-interlocutor in y'all's conversation? 'Cause boy howdy, that sure sounds like a ver' unlikely claim for an EPA employee to make.

No, I didn't ask for that......I just noticed the FEMA truck and asked if he was with the EPA because that was also on the vehicle. But as far as the EPA being in the know goes, I was asked to help find the Secretary of the Navy a "tour guide" on the beach Thurday and called the EPA HQ on the Island and then decided Buck Lee of the SRIA would be a better choice, so set them up with Buck. When the EPA called back around 7pm they told me that Ray Mabus wasn't coming to the Island Friday and that they would know if he was coming, I just said "nevermind, I already took care of it" and they insisted again he wasn't going to be here. I guess they were shocked when he was out touring the beach around 11:00 and then had a small press conference.

So, yes he could have been impersonating an EPA man driving in the FEMA/EPA truck but he also told me about the test they ran on rats that would be published and showed toxicity levels at the high end of normal in the water and a day later they shut down swimming, or at least "at your own risk" signs went up everywhere.

It's enough to make everybody dizzy, toxicity or no toxicity, isn't it? Gah. Best luck to all of y'all. I have pals in P'cola I'm worrying about too. And who knows, by September or so, we may have party-favors of our own over here on the Atlantic, to boot.

Yes it is, I did get a bit dizzy last weekend but then realized I was breathing in all the fumes from the heavy equipment all over Casino Beach, when I went back down to my house I was fine. I have been reading about the Loop Current taking it thru the Keys and even up to the outer banks, but I pray you don't get it.

Thanks, mom. I'm just south of Daytona Beach, so it'll be somewhat offshore in the Gulfstream heading north by the time it reaches this latitude. HOWSOMEVAH, if a westbound hurricane should happen along at the wrong moment . . .

I hope it will be offshore.....the prediction for canes this yr has me worried too. I just want the RW to be a succes and containment of the oil to happen like yesterday. Sick of seeing the faces of people around here with no hope, no income etc. I'm very lucky my job isn't dependent on the tourism, fishing etc or I might be in as bad of shape as they are, and after seeing that dolphin die last wk, well I was close.

mumsie -- I don't know the deepest RW John has drilled but generally depth isn't the issue. It's the pressures/mud weight involved. The BP blow out is above normal pressure but not exceptional. Just a guess but I suspect John has killed wells with much higher pressures. What may make the BP blow out different from every other job he's been on is that well is cased. I suspect most, if not all, of his other kills were open holes. Just makes it more complicated.

Thanks RM for the answer, I have read everything you posted about MW and from what I've have read about JW it does seem he's extremely capable (also a fellow TAMU graduate) so I am praying hard he keeps his 100% batting average.

That makes 3 of us mumsie...geology master's program '73 -'75

Finance 86-90........I knew I loved your posts, now I understand why! J/K - although I have read all night for weeks on TOD and found your post very helpful while seeking info in an area I am clueless in. I always hung out with the Pet Engineers when I was there so have always been fascinated with this subject and now lliving on a beach where it's directly affecting our lives I an hungry for more knowledge and thanks again for al the feedback.

EE '79-'83. Currently working on subsea control systems.

Wow~alot of TAMU alumni here:) My son wanted to visit the campus for his 10th birthday since that's where he wants to go to school.

Nice to meet you EE!

And my 10 yr gal has decided to go to TAMU and become a horse vet. So there goes my retirement plans.

Oh, I don't know. Thoroughbreds are worth a lot of money and their owners pay good money for good vets ;)


NAOM -- I'll be 68 when she starts college (adopted my sweetie in China when I was 49). If you didn't know it's much more difficult to get into vet school than med school. Even being able to pay the tuition isn't enough: have to get into the alum association and become a main stream school supporter. But she's a country girl that's been riding since she was 3 yo. And she's as stubborn as me so when she says she's going it isn't a little girl day dream. The good news is that it keeps her motivated to make straight A's.

Ah, I see which way you mean it now. Don't worry,she will do you proud. I don't know about the US vet schools but the UK training is longer and harder than for med school. My local vet likes to remind me I am just a mammal and I think he would be able to diagnose me better than some of the local doctors.


Mine RP too, so I pray he gets a scholarship. TAMU is IMO the best school from veterinary studies and engineering etc., and agreed about the cost to go to vet school there, kiss your RP goodbye. That being said I would gladly pay to send him to TAMU over any other as I believe the education there is stellar and it would be a great investment. Amazing how our young ones are so focused on a University at such a young age! I still have family outisde of Houston so I guess I could ship him down there in 6 yrs so he could be "in state" vs out of state because out of state tuition is so high and here in FL if he continues his current path of taking school seriously he can obtain a full ride to any FL University, and he's in the gifted programs already-so fingers crossed he'll continue that way.

Did you see my question earlier where I had neglected to ask you about the difficulties in killing a cased well vs an open hole? I'd appreciate any feedback as I claim ignorance on that topic.

Yo, Rockman. I've yet to meet a ten-year-old girl acquainted with hosses who DOESN'T want to be a vet. Most later develop other career enthusiasms, but there're always a few hardheads . . . considering her DNA, chances may be better-than-average in this case. We'll see.

enrolled in '73, flunked out in '75.
existential crisis brought on by conflict between fundamentalist parental teaching and honors philosophy class (thanks prof, one of the best failures I've ever had ;-).

Did your student id number roll over past YY 4 digits?
Mine nearly did.


"This is like dejavu all over again."

What don't like about BPs response is the lack of any options. Absolutely no plan B.

This is probably why industry folks at TOD are coming down so hard on skeptics. This is all they can thing of( unless YOU have some out of the box ideas).

It looks like they are just trying exactly the same things as was done at the smaller IXTOC 1 in June 1979-March 1980.

Except MUCH deeper--3 km deep Ixtoc 1 was in 160 foot seawater.

So much for the hi-tech oil biz.

In the initial stages of the spill, an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil per day
were flowing from the well. In July 1979 the pumping of mud into the well
reduced the flow to 20,000 barrels per day, and early in August the pumping of
nearly 100,000 steel, iron, and lead balls[junk shot] into the well reduced the flow to
10,000 barrels per day. Mexican authorities also drilled two relief wells into
the main well to lower the pressure of the blowout. PEMEX claimed that half of
the released oil burned when it reached the surface, a third of it evaporated,
and the rest was contained or dispersed.


The day before Ixtoc suffered the blowout and resulting fire that caused her to sink, the drill bit hit a region of soft strata. Subsequently, the circulation of drilling mud was lost resulting in a loss of hydrostatic pressure.[6] Rather than returning to the surface, the drilling mud was escaping into fractures that had formed in the rock at the bottom of the hole. Pemex officials decided to remove the bit, run the drill pipe back into the hole and pump materials down this open-ended drill pipe in an effort to seal off the fractures that were causing the loss of circulation.


Sounds awfully familiar.
Here's to capping Macondo in 10 months!

Actually maj BP's "out of the envelop" efforts have exceeded my expectations. Early on I was not at all optimistic about their capture efforts having much a chance at working. I suspect we'll see a new generation of DW BOP that also include adaptations to make such capture efforts easier/more effective. I can imagine many engineers have looked at the current set up and saw how a few eye hooks or thingamagigs wouldn't have made it a lot easier.

Yes, I think the tech team working to control the well deserves a lot more credit and a lot less mockery than they have received. That goes from Sec. Chu and his gamma-ray thingy down to the ROV operators and the people fabricating the gadgets that the engineers are making up on the spot. Especially the engineers, of course. If not for the storm, the flow would probably be 95% contained by now. Here's to that happening early next week!

I missed the significance in this post earlier....since I have next to zero knowledge about wells etc, how much more difficult is it to kill a "cased well"? Thanks for your patience!

mumsie -- I don't know how to qualify that answer. But to kill an open hole flow you only have one place for the kill fluid to go: up the open hole. In the BP well you have a flow route up the inside of the csg as well as between the csg and the original hole (annulus).

Ok, I think I might understand.......instead of killing just one area in an open hole this one has to be killed in two areas and that increases the difficulty of the mission????

Thanks for the explanation RM

As a life-long tilter of windmills, I keep trying to combat the scare stories out there.

Don't know if y'all noticed, but Kindra Arnesen, who went viral with her comments about BP is now espousing the 70,000 - 100,000 psi, giant tsunami line. Because she previously had some access in BP, people are going to take her seriously.

Is it even possible to drill a well where there are pressures like that? Is there any formula of drilling mud that would hold that back?

What is the highest well pressure recorded?

I worry that the civil consequences of people buying into this mindset could be as destructive as the oil. We are looking at large numbers of pissed-off, out of work, angry, frustrated people spending a long hot summer watching oil wash in. They were already mad at the government and a belief in stories like these could be the match to the powder keg.

Kindra Arnesen, who went viral with her comments about BP is now espousing the 70,000 - 100,000 psi, giant tsunami line

That's a damn shame. Very sorry to hear it.

mommy, you might find the following encouraging

In 1989, the result of 20 years of new technology and strategy proved itself in the North Sea on the Saga petroleum 2/4-14 blowout, with a direct intersection of an 8 1/2-in. borehole at a depth of nearly 5 km.(7) No sidetracks were requred and only nine electromagnetic fixes were made.

The quote is from Wright's quite accessible writing on Relief Wells.

(and, yes, the opportunity to "pick the brains" of so many knowledgeable folks here has been a true gift to those of us wading through so much new material.)

Thanks RD, I have been reading everything I could find on WEL (Boots and Coots) and JW since I read his name here and after watching our coast literally being destroyed finally have a glimmer of hope. ITA about the people that post here and how much info I have gleaned already.

Hi, Mom: The purpose of dispersant is to emulsify the oil (not sink it to the bottom), like bacon grease in a soapy dishpan or like the fat in milk.

This reduces the amount of oil surfacing, hence reducing danger and toxicity for the topside workers. It also increases the surface area and time oil droplets are exposed to microorganisms in the water column. The microbes digest the oil into simpler and much less harmful chemicals. This is much like happens with household sewage in a septic tank or wastewater treatment plant.

Under ideal test conditions, as much as one-third to two-thirds of the oil is destroyed this way, but under field conditions the actual amounts are probably less. Given the enormous challenge of the 24,000-square-mile slick, biological degradation offshore is one more way to reduce the damage coming onshore.

You have a point about "out of sight, out of mind." Prolonging the oil's exposure to offshore sea life increases environmental harms in ways we really don't understand very well, and these are probably much worse than we know. IMO there's no silver lining among the tradeoffs, only trading off one bad against other bads.

Thanks for the explanation, I just wish we knew more about the effects of the dispersant on a long term basis. I snorkel everyday and in fact will be going out soon and have seen tons of dead crab, fish etc with no oil on them....granted it could be natural it's just I have never seen it any other yr and I also question the effectivess of the dispersant, if it does work like you just posted I could understand the use (IF safe), but I haven't seen enough true data that it does what it says it does KYIM? There is so much information/dis-information out there it's just mind boggling.

ITA against the lesser of two evil approch, again I just want to be assured it's the actual lesser or the two!

Are you going snorkeling in the area where you saw the dead crabs and fish? If so why?

Yes I am, I know I've been told about the oil/dispersant combo in the water and where I am the water is clean and clear (well clean as far as anything you can see). Why~that's a great question and to answer it honestly I guess I have to say I refuse to give up my lifestyle and the reason I moved to a beach, to enjoy the water etc., I know it sounds crazy but in my head I can rationalize it by thinking that even though there is a chitload of oil/dispersant in the Gulf, ther is also millions of gallons to dilute th HC's. It's my backyard and I just can't stay out unless it's nasty with tar balls or oozie oil, but it's not so I'll go out. Insane-prolly!

From scuba diving, seeing lots of dead fauna is not usual, a few yes but they get eaten by other fauna very quickly. That sounds like a bad sign. If you do risk snorkelling again get one of those cheap disposable waterproof cameras and get some photos. Maybe scan and send to TFHG as has a new site open to track things in his area and/or post them to flicker or photobucket and post the link here so we all can see. Make sure you have a really good shower after snorkelling though, just in case.


NAOM~You must be reading my mind, that's exactly what I am planning to do as I have this week off for staycation becuase it's Blue Angels week and I love to see them practice over the beach all week (actually it's better than the show on Saturday). I have been uploading all my pic's already and since TFHG is a neighbor I'd love to meet with him some time and discuss what we've witnessed as we are both locals. Also, this has been happening for at least 4 weeks (the dead sealife with no oil in them) so I will risk it, like I said earlier I refuse to let this destroy my lifestyle and passion for the GC, and my outside shower is as close to a pressure washer, it almost hurts to shower there due to the intense water pressure so I will follow your advice just in case. The dead baby dolphin was heartbreaking and I saw grown men crying, but everyone witnessed that and not many are talking about the dead sea life in the water as they aren't snorkeling every day and looking for any differnce this yr vs all the other yrs, so very few even know (or at least aren't sharing)

Maybe there is a lab, local vet or school that could do a dissection on the fish and crabs. Two areas to look at would be gills and stomach. Underwater photos would be useful as everyone is taking photos of the beaches. Take care.


There is an EPA lab on the Island, but I'd prefer an independent lab and met a geologist here working independently, I may ask him for his sources as he has also sent water samples off for testing. I will get the camera no doubt and have been meaning to for a long time but my work has beeen so busy lately and then family comes next........but this wk I will have plenty of time to take care of it.

The dead baby dolphin was heartbreaking

When this gusher became apparent and I realized it was "offspring season" for all these species, my first thought was "My God, born into oil!" It was so horrible to contemplate, I decided on the spot that thumbscrews are too good for any human being found responsible.

Me too Lotus, it's so sad because of the spawing season......here to the AL beaches there are ~800 turtle nest so IIRC that's arounf 60m turtle eggs/hatchlings and BP is seeing to it that they are all moved which is a daunting task since each one hs to be picked up one at a time and put in a styrofaom box and moved to the east coast, but for me it's worth the effort and I will help. Oil washed up here yesterday near the east end of the Island and there were turtle eggs covered in oil

turtle eggs covered in oil


The other day, I promised TF that we'll do all we can over here to send 'em back to y'all well-raised. That was a fascinating article about imprinting them (we hope) in ovo with their native sand. May it work, and may they return to a livable home.

As to all the other doomed sea-babies and adults, may their sufferings be as short as possible.

Yep-here is a pic from today.....LOL about sending them back, I've tried my hardest to follow them when snorkeling and they are so fast. I fear we will lose so much sea life and who knows how long it will take for them to come back and come back healthy


and every time I see photos of a release of another 40 or 70 cleaned pelicans, in the Aransas Refuge or off the east coast of Florida, I think of all the starving chicks that were left behind. Somehow they are never mentioned.

Oh, Mom! Listen carefully to Iaato. Read the links by Hiver and me Thursday and Friday. Do you have kids, or genes? If so, do you know that volatile carcinogens are absorbed by skin, lungs? I suggest going upriver to noodle catfish or boating up the Choctawhathchee River to photograph an Ivory-billed woodpecker (you'll become famous and stay healthy.

I did, so thanks to IAATO and you:)

I don't let my kids in the water, and am considering digging up the old pool that Ivan covered and putting a new one in, and I know just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there, I just have a need to document EVERYTHING and research it too, so I do shower briskly when I get out. I have cut way back lately after reading volumes of info on the carinogens in oil and the dispersants, so I promise to be very careful.

In regard to John Wright Co and depth, there is a presentation on their website that provides some case history. One example that I am somewhat familiar with is a blowout that occurred about 10 years ago in Wyoming that was +18,000' and another in California that was +17000'.

Although John Wright was probably not on the Piney Woods blowout in Mississippi in 1970, the total depth was over 22,000 feet. This well was where the ranging technology was first used to provide positioning information to make the kill.

#5 Figure out how to prevent a repeat of this without abandoning deep water drilling. That means starting with the design and construction of the drilling rigs and demanding the highest quality of workmanship. This blowout happened because of an explosion and fire above water which resulted in the sinking of the rig. Why did the explosion happen? That is the key question that has not been answered?

Bob Graham says their commission will be consulting O&G experts, and if the Senate sets up its own commission, no doubt same will get appointed to it. So I've been wondering whether either or both will entertain whatever other "needed fixes" Patch people may suggest -- ones outside the DWH chain of evidence but potentially just as problematic. (I don't know what examples there might be, but surely y'all have some longstanding pet peeves about drilling BAU?)

I have often wondered, did the Rig capsize and sink because of the explosion and resulting fire, or from the fire fighting effort. They appeared to pour a lot of water on the ship. The pontoons are below the water and should not have been subject to the heat of the fire.
Ocean Ranger in the Grande Banks sank because of a broken hatch to the ballast control room during a storm and not from a blowout but are there similarities??
I know the effort to extinguish the flames was valid but did it contribute to the sinking of this rig?

I'm close to having multiple chemical sensitivities - mostly respiratory effects...this explains a lot about why there are days that I'm just sick even tho there isn't much pollen or mold in the air. I'm suprised this isn't being more widely reported. BP kinda keeps having one thing after another.

Texas City


The release from the BP facility here began April 6 and lasted 40 days [2]. It stemmed from the company's decision to keep producing and selling gasoline while it attempted repairs on a key piece of equipment, according to BP officials and Texas regulators.

hello all...and a happy 4th of july - you gotta love the onion:


Lindsey Williams stated on 1 July that a senior inside source told him a few days ago the pressure was 40,000 psi.

(Earlier, a different senior source - the same executive who correctly told Lindsey the price of oil would fall to $50/barrel before the Nov 2008 election - had stated the pressure was 20,000 - 70,000 psi.)

Lindsey expressed confidence that this new figure was accurate.

He further stated that the reservoir was encased in granite... which was cracked. This limited the options available for containment should the relief wells fail.

Comments, please, from experienced professionals here on (1) the 40,000 psi figure and (2) the asserted cracks-in-granite geological factor.

I'm aware that 40,000 psi is at variance with the figures in earlier discussions, affecting mud weight, etc.

Presumably John Wright's team will be well aware of the real figures - whether or not the public is being told.

The information on pressure and the rock formation had been stated on TOD numerous times.
His source could be anyone.

"His source could be anyone."

... including someone who knows what the real story is.

Right. But someone nameless, with no reference to data that's at odds with the records that are now part of sworn-to evidence I believe. Who's the "insider"? And what's his evidence?

OK, that one brought me out of lurkerdom for the first time. Granite? Choked on my coffee on that one....

Bill -- I try to be polite and patient with folks. Can't have a meaningful discussion with someone if you piss them off first. But Lindsey is either a liar, a fool or listening to a liar or fool. There is no question what so ever about the reservoir pressure. BP knows what it is. Wright knows what it is, The MMS knows what it is. The White House knows what it is. Most folks on TOD know what it is. My dog, Eva, even knows what it is.

Not trying to get in your face. Would just like to stop burning up space on TOD with a question that's been answered. In fact, reservoir pressure is one of the very few facts we have down pat.

OK - I'll be extremely pleased if he is wrong!

We don't know who his source is in this instance. Given his high profile in the alternative media community, he may be being taken for a ride. (In fact, it would be reasonable to expect this.)

Note that Lindsey does have a track record of being correct in the past. That does count for something.

The problem here is that in the absence of transparency from BP (and the US government), and 101 good questions about the events leaving up to 20 April that have not yet been answered to the satisfaction of many, people with no answers will either create them for themselves, or be open season to deceit.

I don't have an agenda here: I want to know what the truth is, and what the real problems are. Circumstantial (CIRCUMSTANTIAL) evidence points to a really difficult situation here - and there's a euphemism for you.

One source I DO believe, who is a math professor with oil industry connections at a high-prestige establishment, told me in writing that the pressures were "exceptional". I know this guy personally.

In using the word EXCEPTIONAL I do not believe he was lying to me. But the did not name a figure.

Bill - a simple request: ask your "math professor with oil industry connections at a high-prestige establishment" if he's looked at the published data on the BP reservoir pressure. Opinions on this subject are meaningless. The facts aren't. I wasn't kidding: the reservoir pressure really is one of the very, very few hard numbers we have. There are numerous factual posts regarding this subject on TOD. Difficult to run thru the archives...I know. But the links are there for anyone who wants to confirm the info themselves.

And I really wasn't kidding about my dog knowing the reservoir pressure. Just ask her and she'll bark it out. Granted 11,900 barks takes while but she's hit it every time so far.

Does she get a bowl of Blue Bell for getting it right?

Bill -- My apologies. While loading the dishwasher I realized I took the wrong tack in answering you. That’s one of the problems with us techno heads: we get obsessed with our numbers.

Let’s start over and assume the reservoir pressure is 60,000 psi. OK…so what? Seriously, does it matter? The volume of oil spilling into the GOM right now is what it is whether the pressure is 11,900 psi or 60,000 psi. Doesn’t change things for Wright and his crew: he knows what the pressure regardless of the number. He knows what it will take to drill his RW. Remember the well didn’t blow out when they drilled it…it happened when they were abandoning the hole. In fact, when they drilled the reservoir they lost circulation which is an indication they actually had too much mud pressure in the hole to control the pressure in the reservoir.

Next time you chat with someone regarding high reservoir pressure perhaps you can ask them if it makes any practical difference what we ultimately decide it is.


You had it right before: pressure measured in original well not near 60K. 60K physically impossible.

But if it were 60K I don't think it could be killed even with a relief well. IHMO of course. So it would matter.

But it's not 60K so no problemo.

Thanks KL -- That was my point. Think about it for a moment: whatever the reservoir pressure is BP drilled it successfully. So why won't the RW? They know much more about the geology and pore pressure then BP did when they drilled the initial hole. That was my point for Bill: is important what the pressure is as long as Wright knows what he's dealing with? Let's just all agree it's xxxxx psi. Doesn't change what's going to happen. The kill team is going to pump the appropriate mud and hopefully end this phase of the nightmare.

Rockman: You are an Aggie corp turd too? Oh no, and folks here believe what you say?

I remember how I could always pick out all the aggies on the offshore rigs I visited. They were the ones throwing the breadcrumbs to the helicopters :)

Oh, an Aggie joke . . . lawd, takes me back to my misspent youth (at the U of Arkansas -- WOO PEEEG!)

Lotus: Several companies I worked for were infested with them dudes. Lovable guys and gals they were, despite all their short comings! If Rockman got his degrees from there then I bet I know about a couple of his profs--some good stories.

No dan -- the worst of both worlds: just went to TAMU for grad school. So to the rest of the world I'm an Aggie. But not to the Aggies. To them the best I can be is a TBC: Texan By Choice.

In using the word EXCEPTIONAL I do not believe he was lying to me. But the did not name a figure.

Exceptional is not a very useful unit of measurement. Look at the hard data. Does he accept answers like that on his math tests?

I think he might have been referring to 17k psi being an exceptionally high psi, which is it, but within normal range for this type of well/depths.

I hesitate to even bring this up since I can't recall the source, but I think I've read that the highest psi recorded for an actual well was ~22,000.

I am not privy to actual pressure measurement, but I worked on a couple of wells in the Anadarko Basin that required 19 ppg at 22,000 ft which is close to 22,000 psi.

Rio -- Since it relates to the pressure thread I’ll repeat a story about the scariest situation I’ve personally been involved in: DW well GOM. Went out to pull the TD logs. Didn’t know until I got there: the operator had drill the 2,500’ from the last csg set and they drilled this entire section WITH NO RETURNS. That’s right…lost 60,000 bbls of OBM while doing it. So no LWD, no mud log, no flow check, no nothing. They just dumped very heavy mud on the backside. Mud engineer said it was a great technique: it was so heavy that if the well kicked the mud wouldn’t flow. The gas would just up along side the mud and blow thru the kelly before you even knew it was kicking. Took me 6 days to log it. There were 100’ thick WET sand in the bottom of the hole. Ran the MDT: measured just over 19,000 psi.

I was told while they were drilling some hands were sleeping in the escape capsules when off tower. The operator was lucky it was a dry hole. If they had cut gas it would have never held IMHO. And guess what? BP wasn’t the operator. Who was? Let’s just say there’s a little karma payback going on in the GOM right now. Don’t believe this really happened? That’s OK. Probably have the oil patch I’ve told the story to couldn’t believe it was true that any operator would risk the 140 souls on board that drill ship like that.

I was told while they were drilling some hands were sleeping in the escape capsules when off tower

I would have been in the capsule myself, but I don't know if I would have been able to sleep. I have had to make that run for your life twice, but it was on land rigs and I had a slide and some where to run.

Once when I looked back the rig was on fire to the crown. Never had a more helpless feeling as then. Fortunately it bridged off in about 15 min with some rig damage though, mostly weakened A-legs and tongs and such. The rig mascot ( a goat named Billy-R-Goat) got his hair pretty singed.

Who was? Let’s just say there’s a little karma payback going on in the GOM

My guess is hidden in my post above yours.:)

As a consultant I never name clients especially if I’m saying un-nice things about them. Thus I can neither confirm or deny your guess. But it wasn’t a big secret back in Houston. I was telling another hand the story and he immediately ID’d the operator. Turns out the MMS had changed the OBM specs. The mud companies stopped making the old formula and just started producing the new stuff. The mud companies thought they had enough inventory to hold them. But when this operator pumped away 60,000 bbls they emptied the warehouses. Turns out both ExxonMobil and Shell Oil had to shut down drilling ops in the OCS for lack of mud. Granted they didn’t have all the details but everyone knew someone was screwing up big time somehow.

The pressures in any deep oil/gas well would be EXCEPTIONAL in relation to just about any normal business.

For instance the pipelines that deliver the oil and gas to shore are usually designed to a 2,000 psi maximum working pressure and that is described as "high pressure pipelines". Downhole people working deep wells are used to 10,000 psi plus pressures in large diameter (18" or so) "pipes".

Those pressures are in the order of 5 to 10 TIMES as great as most industrial applications. So if your professor had experience anywhere in the oil and gas business, outside the very specialized deep well area, then he would certainly consider 11,900 psi to be EXCEPTIONAL - I certainly do.

(Earlier, a different senior source - the same executive who correctly told Lindsey the price of oil would fall to $50/barrel before the Nov 2008 election - had stated the pressure was 20,000 - 70,000 psi.)

I would say that predicting the price of oil and figuring reservoir pressures are two different things. The first requires some data and a bit of voodoo, and the the other requires hard data (which we have). I suspect the the "senior source" is using a lot of voodoo in his pressure estimates.

I'll tell you guys one thing and this is coming from a fan of "Twilight in the Desert", Matt Simmons is going to have to go to rehab and quit trying to sell his next book or line up his next speech tour.

His BS on this well is making me wonder about the information in his book that I took real seriously. After reading his book and watching many of his speech's along with other peak oil guys out there, all of that info alone would have made me feel like they would have said that a well flowing for months at 120,000 bbls a day with a reservoir psi at 40,000 psi in the GOM wasn't possible. Thank God I don't depend on that information alone because of my past experience I know that those things are highly unlikely.

There are a multitude of reliable peak oil sources. One is the market.

I too read Twilight as a believable read, Now...have to read again with a more subjective eye. The kind of pressures (unrealistic to be sure) coupled with the high permeability this reserve has would make an AOF of ?? not enough zeros on my calculater. I would blow that contatinment system right the hell off of there.

This is a histogram chart of GOM maximum production rates (MPR) that I generated a couple of days ago. Very few production wells get above 45,000 barrels per day whether by throttling or by natural limitations. If there are multiple escape points, that may be equivalent to drilling more wells.


The bulge in the curve above 1000 MPR I believe is due to more wells drilled in certain large reservoirs to avoid the production rate limits of a single well. Amazing what you can deduce from the statistical record.

I too begin to wonder about the book too. I don't think he is dishonest or deliberately misleading people - my guess is that he has just gotten old and the mind is going. Maybe a recent development.

I knew Matt Simmons in the early 1980s and have followed his oilfield data for the last 30 years. He was consistently more accurate than any other forecaster or economist that I was able to find. He read and analyzed massive amounts of data and drew accurate conclusions. He was often a contrarian (sp?) but almost always turned out to be more accurate than the oil companies.

I have no good explanation as to why he is saying the things he is saying now. He was always a straight shooter and was considered an honest broker, well respected in the industry.

In the past year he has put out some papers that didn't ring quite right to me but I just wrote it off to his superior knowledge.

What he is saying about this disaster is demonstrably false and I can only guess he is having some sort of personal crisis.

How did Simmons analyze the data? I get the feeling that he just collected the data and extrapolated based on his intuition. There is a huge window open for first principles modeling based on all the revolutionary advances in statistics the past few years, such as fat-tail statistics, stochastic processes, maximum entropy, and superstatistics. I kind of doubt that Simmons did any of this kind of work.

I don't know how he modeled his data. His background was banking (family), economics and business (Harvard MBA) and he was self taught to the point that he could hold his own in highly technical discussions with petroleum engineers and petroleum geologists. I don't think he used a lot of rigorous statistical analysis but the variables in projecting something like rig utilization isn't particularly onerous - if you have good data. That was where Matt differed from other analysts. He didn't accept EIA, IAE, USGS and BP reserve forecasts and demand projections at face value. He seemed to be the only oilfield economist that questioned those standards and did his own data mining.

Everyone else started with the same flawed data - as has now become apparent.

As an example of the kind of predictions he would put forward, and often be roundly criticized for, in the mid 80s the offshore industry was in a recession and there was a huge oversupply of drilling rigs. He forecast that in 2 years there would be an acute shortage of rigs. He showed his projection based on data with graphs, etc. It was a convincing speech but almost no one believed him. All the oil companies were projecting an oversupply of rigs for at least 5 years, probably 7 to 8.

Matt didn't get it exactly right, the shortage didn't show up for about 28 months. I use that as only one example of many in a decades long career forecasting the offshore and later the whole oil business. Consistently his annual projections contained better data than what was put out by Exxon, Shell, BP, etc.

Thanks. So I take it that he initially did much of his forecasting for commodities trading and helping with his clients, and then took all the knowledge he gained from this over the years to start prognosticating about global oil depletion issues.

Actually I don't think he did a lot with commodities. His initial venture into offshore was through happenstance and he ended up there instead of taking over the family banking business in Utah.

He started by being an investment banker (in the pure sense) for small oil service companies facilitating venture capital, IPOs, mergers, etc. He was quite successful and developed a reputation for honesty and straight dealing so he progressively grew into a large investment banking firm specializing in offshore oil.

His wealth and connections let him indulge in his "hobby"; gathering and analysing oilfield data.

Originally he intended to do "Twilight in the Desert" as a vanity press using his own money, but it was picked up by Wiley and he probably made a small fortune, to go with his large one, from its publication.

He has an interesting connection with the BP work. His first offshore business venture was facilitating the formation of Oceaneering and he was on their original Board of Directors.

I suspect someone is confused and the 20,000 - 70,000 was a BPD estimate rather than psi.

Granite - igneous
Macondo - sedimentary

Please look them up then think about how accurate the information was not.


I'm not an expert on oil drilling, but like many (small) shareholders I would like to know if BP was criminally negligent.

Although legal liability is a complex issue seems to depend on a few relatively straightforward issues.

For example if it is true that the Schlumberger crew were on the rig to do the cement bond log, but were sent away without doing that test, then who made that decision and for what reason?

Also is it absolutely standard practice to do a cement bond log on all cementing jobs, or is this the first well ever drilled that didn't have one, or are there some circumstances in which they are done, and some in which it isn't considered necessary or best practice.

This is just one example of the issues that seem to be contested, but I can think of a few others.

With so much reporting on the ruptured oil well it seems surprising that the press, as far as I know, hasn't really found anyone who can answer these questions. If I have overlooked something that is public knowledge, then my apologies.

Thanks to ROCKMAN for all the comments he has made. Very good stuff.

I have been reading here lately only because of the leak. After it is over I will drift away most probably only appearing occasionally with regard to regulations and such. Great website.

On the subject of the dispersants this issue has been so over blown by the media it is ridiculous. The dispersant corexit being used is one of the least toxic dispersants available. Government told BP to find a less toxic one to use. BP couldn't. Government looked into the matter and all their alternatives were found to be more toxic except for one which was more toxic in one aspect and less toxic in another.

Corexit is only slightly more toxic than dishwashing liquid and people are afraid to go swimming. They ALL get more chemical exposure everytime they go to fill up at the gas station.

I think you posted in the wrong place, but...

The issue isn't the dispersant, it's what the dispersant does to the oil, which IS toxic. Does dispersant allow the oil to degrade fast enough to offset the damage it does by being spread out through more of the environment? That's something we don't know yet.

The dispersant does allow the microbes to eat the oil at a faster rate than the oil were not dispersed. Evidence of this is all of the areas of lower than normal oxygen being found. It is low in oxygen the proliferation of microbes. Lots of microbes means lots of them die and when lots of them die at a fast enough rate their decomposition sucks enough o2 out of the water to create these lower oxygen areas.

The negatives of the dispersants are these low oxygen plumes and these plumes are short lived and will go away soon enough. If the oil reaches the marsh on the other hand the marsh dies and then the soil that they plants were holding in place washes away usually never to return.

You're confused. Please search recent threads here, and Google, for a better understanding of marine environmental impacts of oil, dispersants, and "dispersed oil."

The negatives of the dispersants are these low oxygen plumes and these plumes are short lived and will go away soon enough.

Areas of low total dissolved oxygen may form anywhere that populations of aerobes grow rapidly because of large injections of "food"—oil, fertilizer, sewage, whatever. Whether the plumes "go away soon enough" or not depends upon complex systems with numerous unknown variables. Your confidence is misplaced.

In the case of oxygen depletion at depth (to the extent that it may be taking place), that problem most assuredly will not go away quickly; it will take decades or centuries to be corrected, because the deepwater was oxygenated long ago and far away, when it was near the surface in polar regions. Google "deep ocean currents" and "thermohaline circulation."

Wrong. There is an area called the dead zone off the Louisiana coast that forms every summer. The dead zone is far bigger than the plumes being found due to the oil. The dead zone reaches sizes as high as 13,000 square miles. A GREAT year would have it at 6000 square miles in size.

The dead zone goes all the way to the bottom and approaches the top. The plumes as they are called are much much smaller. The oil plumes as they are called are also higher in oxygen than the dead zone. The vast majority of the oil plumes tested have only low oxygen. On the other hand the dead zone has levels that are not just low but fatal to most species of marine life.

The colder the weather the smaller the dead zone grows. The rougher the water the smaller the dead zone grows. The dead zone is an annual thing and does not last. Just like it needs temperatures that are warm and plentiful nutrients to sustain itself as a dead zone so too do the "oil plumes". They are but a temparary manifestation of the oil.

I don't see to many people losing sleep over the dead zone. Why because for the most part marine life simply swims above it or away from it. The fish and wild life threatened by the few plumes that dip below required levels will also see the fish simply avoid those areas.

So the dead zone is many times larger than the oil plumes has lower oxygen levels than the oil plumes, so I think it is safe to say that the oil destroying the marsh which will a much much more detrimental effect than the oil plumes which are the only negatives that the dispersants are going to cause.

You didn't do the assigned reading, did you?

"The dead zone goes all the way to the bottom and approaches the top."

Yes, sort of. But it does so in the inner- to mid-continental shelf areas.

I was referring (quite clearly, BTW) to deepwater TDO depletion. Again, please investigate deepwater circulation.

"I don't see to many people losing sleep over the dead zone. Why because for the most part marine life simply swims above it or away from it."

You are simply misinformed, or, perhaps, under-informed.

Here. Please do your homework:

An over 7,000-square-mile wildlife "dead zone" located in the center of the Gulf of Mexico has grown from being a curiosity to a colossus over the past two decades, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and scientists are now concerned the recent oil spill and other emerging chemical threats could widen the zone even further.

The NWF describes the dead zone as being "the largest on record in the hemisphere in coastal waters and one of the biggest in the world."

During the summer months, it is nearly devoid of wildlife, save for the dead bodies of crabs, shrimp and other marine species that succumb to oxygen depletion in the polluted water.

Animal toxicology experts believe the Gulf dead zone is a man-made monstrosity.


Real science, but easy reading.

omegaman:last time I checked my dishwashing detergent didnt contain petroleum distillates.

GOB -- true: the SLB crew didn’t run the CBL log. But opinions differ as to whether this was a mistake or not. I run a CBL as a test to determine if I have the reservoir isolated before I do a completion. So I could run it after setting csg or do it later. I don’t consider a CBL to be of any benefit in determining if cmt is set sufficiently before displacing. IOW I would not have trusted the csg shoe if the CBL said I had 100% bond. I use the pressure test to make that determination. And even if I were 100% certain the csg shoe would hold when I displaced I would have watched my mud returns as though my life depended upon it. Because it does…even when you think it’s safe.

BTW: bad cmt jobs are very common. Just burned up 5 days recmtg a csg shoe that failed the pressure test 3 times before we got satisfactory results. A guess whose cmt it was: Halliburton. And guess what every Halliburton contract says about their cmt jobs: they don’t warrant them at all. If you accept their cmt recommendation and it doesn’t test you pay them 100% for the job. And then you pay them again to recmt. And pay them again if that squeeze doesn’t work. IOW cmt failure is not a smoking gun. But BP accepting what some consider to be an inconclusive cmt pressure test may well prove to be one.

shareholders filed a class action a few days ago: see:http://www.zsz.com/new%20security%20cases.htm#bpgulf
criminally negligent? apparently some people think so: article at bloomberg;http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-01/bp-criminal-case-is-inevitable-commentary-by-paul-barrett-and-justin-blum.html

In which way is the recovery effort now going and who is in charge?

The latest message from the Unified command is confusing to say the least.


Who is in charge?

The system that has been in place for decades puts responsibility for the cleanup on the spiller. The spiller counts on separate, private cleanup contractors that are supported by the whole US oil industry so they can maintain stockpiles of boom, dispersant, skimmers, and people who are supposed to know how to use these resources. The oil companies' spill response plans, which must be approved by the federal agency formerly known as MMS, refer to these contractors' claimed capabilities. Cleanup proceeds under the supervision of the USCG and other agencies.

If it is declared a "spill of national significance," the government appoints an incident commander (first Mary Landry, then Thad Allen in this case) who has coercive authority over the spiller's containment and cleanup efforts. The IC heads a "unified command" which includes the spiller, representatives of state and local governments, the USCG, and representatives of the EPA, NOAA, MMS, DOE, DOI, etc.

So the incident commander is theoretically in charge, but almost all of the resources are in the private sector, and much of the administration of the effort remains with BP. Then state and local officials are fighting with each other for resources and publicity, and fighting with the federal agencies and with BP. So, in a practical sense, nobody is really in charge. It's a decentralized, "small government," heavily privatized system. I'd say the role of POTUS, given the system we have, should be to resolve conflicts among federal agencies and see that regulations aren't applied in a counter-productive fashion.

Thad Allen's use of the pronoun "we" in press releases includes all of the above players. The rhetoric on that website plays up the federal government's active direction of things, probably more than is justified by the real situation.

My apologies if I mis-interpreted your post but I thought it was already deemed a spill of Nat'l Significance:

Earlier, BP asked the U.S. Department of Defense for advanced imaging technology and other equipment to help contain the spill, which the Obama administration labeled earlier today as an event of "national significance."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during the White House briefing that designating the spill as one of "national significance" means that "we can now draw down assets from across the country" to assist with cleanup.


Yes, that declaration was done on April 30 and the Unified Command was stood up about then. I was just trying to explain the system fairly comprehensively.

Gotcha~that is why I started my post with an "apology if I misunderstood" Still, the red tape of dealing with the Unified Command is insane, many counties have decided to go there own way even if it means going to jail because they see the absolute clusterf-ck involved in going thru UC for anything, we wanted beach rakes and sand sifters to clean the tar balls and it took 6 weeks IIRC.

Before BP and/or the government go the desperate use of explosives, I wonder if a more benign approach might work to catch some large percentage of the oil outflow.

Fabricate an very large diameter (10 meters?) oil guide to channel the ascending oil column to a small localized area on the surface of the gulf bounded by booms to facilitate skimming or pumping.

In detail, drop three or more mile long evenly spaced vertical guide pipes from a barge or ship located directly over the wellhead to the bottom of the sea floor. This will form a framework or skeleton for the oil guide. Once this framework is in place, wrap this polygon framework with plastic film, paneling or heavy fabric to form a surface covering. This covering process will form a boom wall in the shape of a long vertical polygon tube given form and structure by this framework of pipe.

The horizontal force exerted by the oil flow will be very small. All the force will be in the vertical direction powered by the natural gas component of the oil outflow. The pressure on the vertical polygon tube will be negligible in the same way that oil is constrained by a surface boom.

The oil will rise through this long tube shaped boom to the surface unaffected by deep water ocean currents. This will localize the oil at the surface to a small area bounded by surface booms where it can be skimmed or pumped more easily and at high efficiency.

How would this survive a current of 1-4 knots over a length if 1 mile?


Thanks for your feedback.

From Oil and Gas Platform Ocean Current Profile Data


Current strength at deeps below 500 meters average about .2 MPH.

The last 500 meters for the oil guide can be made of more robust material, say a very large diameter plastic pipe.

Are you really suggesting that it should be designed for a best case, wish list scenario? Would it not be better to look at the higher end of the measured range? You really don't want to do this BP style.

Ok, now you have this pipe at 500m, 1000m above the sea floor and anchored to the sea floor. What will happen to it as the current starts to run up, how will it behave? How much force will be exerted? How do you propose to overcome those forces? How heavy is it in sea water? Will it need floatation or weighting and how do you control that if the density of the fluid is changing along with the gas/oil ratio? How do you transport and install 1/2 a kilometre of this stuff? Those are some starters, I am sure others can contribute many more questions.


The precise determination of the ocean depth current profile at this site is well known since it is a drill licensing requirement.

The oil guide can be engineered to withstand underwater currents consistent with a magnitude three hurricane; IMHO, a worse case scenario. If required, a very large diameter plastic pipe can be used all the way down to the sea floor. But the oil guide design is just an engineering exercise and is entirely possible.

If the relief wells fail and the oil cleanup extends for years, it might be more economical to put an oil guide in place to minimize total cost. Compare this cost to the loss of the Atlantic.

The cost of the oil guide might seem large, but in comparison to fleets of skimmers in the thousands and a 100,000 strong beach cleanup army, its cost might be perceived as reasonable and appropreate.

Explosive will never be used as there are better alternative imho. But on your idea to capture the oil. I too had a similar idea early on. But I now know why it will never happen. Why because the top hat and other such methods being implemented are better.

Not as much subject to weather. If this has to be done long term due to the relief wells failing to stop the flow then the use of ships such as the enterprise will be discontinued and the oil will be piped straight to a nearby oil rig.

The bottom to surface interconnection piping of Top hat or other methods could be enclosed by the oil guide. The oil guide is a supplemental or secondary method used to minimize any oil escaping/vented from primary capture methods. The same is true for the ROV control cabling. Furthermore, because the background current on the bottom is only 0 to 5 cm/s, the Oil Guide surface covering could start at some hundreds of feet above the bottom of the Gulf to allow the ROVs some headroom to operate.

IMHO, it is more economic and cost effective to localize as much oil as possible to the immediate area around the wellhead as to let it spread over hundreds of square miles on the surface.

Top hat and other such methods are not entirly sucessful; yes?

Don't worry, the oil industry will voluntarily use some of their vast profits to invent something like that, just as soon as this current disaster is over. I bet they will totally promise not to sit back and do nothing like they did in the 30 years between Ixtoc and DWH. They are some of the most powerful groups on the planet, I'm sure we can trust them to figure it out.

But yes, setups like that have already been proposed several times in different forms by the smart people here, and that basic idea is probably the most sensible way to deal with it. Isolate, contain, remove. Is the human race smart enough to figure out how to do that? Time will tell.

All my knowledge about drilling and capping leaks etc etc comes from reading on TOD and hopefully I got i right.

First of all I think your tube will be swept away by the ocean currents. The horisontal forces caused by the currents will translate into vertical forces on the polygon framework. Therefore you have to anchor the skeleton in the mud at the seafloor and at the surface but this is not an easy task I think.

It will also be a huge risk of fire at the surface. An ignition will cause a major fire and will blow upp all vessels a the surface.

You also have to deal with the NG expansion. The plastic film can´t withstand the pressure from the expanding NG and will expand until it falls apart.

But I´m only a newbie on this. I´m sure someone will correct my statements if they are wrong.

Kind Regards from Sweden

Hello and kind regards back again, TOS. You've easily convinced this other newbie, at least.

The way to stop the natural gas problem is to make the oil guide wide enough to keep some water filed side space between the gas bubbles and the sides of the oil guide. The friction of water at deep will slow the natural gas bubble flow very quickly, sufficient for them to be contained by heavy plastic wrap (think plastic pool liner not saran wrap) or panels. The bubbles will also be compressed at depth and gradually expanded gently as they rise. But they will tend to break apart as they ascend up the oil guide losing energy as they go.

Fire danger can be minimizing by keeping most of the support fleet out of the Gulf surface exclusion area confined by booms. The skimmers could avoid areas within the surface exclusion area that are bubbling natural gas. The fire danger is proportional to the total area of the boomed surface exclusion area. Most of the natural gas will erupt from the top of the oil guide, a very small area. The oil will spread from there a safe enough distance to be safely skimmed.

Um, ausgang, the Gulf catches a LOT of lightning. Not a good mix with erupting natural gas, very small area or no.

Gas not now captured by top hat currently reaches the surface and does not catch fire. But if a fire does occur, since all personnel are removed from the vicinity of the top of the oil guide there is no real danger. The barge could be cooled by fire boats or even better, the oil guide could be supported from below the surface of the Gulf by underwater floatation where fire cannot reach.


Hit "control f" on your keyboard and a search box will come to the top of the page. In that box type "manofmetal" and hit search. I cover your subject. What you want to do would work. At least the concept is good, though the implementation is open to improvement. I think you should continue with your idea after reading the patents that are listed on my posting.
You may come up with something different and better than what is currently state of the art.

A farmer was standing in a field when one of the Wright brothers flew over. He looked up and lamented. "don't they know you can't fly"

For those of us stuck on dialup...Would anyone know of a good site with still photos of the damage (recent days only), as I can't load videos?


Someone posted this link earlier, I think this is what you are looking for:


In the closed thread comfychair said...

"BP is falsifying the onscreen UTM coordinates in real-time, that has been proven without a doubt. They have massive spaceships intercepting the data, doing secret modifications, then relaying it back to shore for the sheeple to ooh and aah at on their computer machines. There's nothing but mud down there, do you really think a MASSIVE HUGE GIANT piece of pipe will be able to stand vertical for very much longer in the face of the infinite force exerted by the undersea water currents (not to mention the backwash from ROV thrusters??!)!!? The downward thrust from the escaping oil is currently pushing it down, as soon as they shut off the flow it will fall over and all the oceans of the PLANET will get sucked down into the massive hole in the seafloor. It's a FACT."

Adjust your meds sir. I too had the impression a couple of weeks ago that the BOP was rocking and rolling, but then that same ROV went down to the seafloor and the seafloor itself appeared to be undergoing the same motion, which obviously is impossible. What you are seeing is the rocking motion of the ROV itself. It's an optical illusion. The BOP is fixed at the seafloor to rigid pipe casing with little to no give. If it were really going through that kind of motion it would indicate a complete seperation from the casing, and would fall over within 10 seconds, which obviously isn't the case.

You're taking that comment way too seriously!
(About half of it is a joke, based on the wilder stories that have cropped up around here. Like the 100k psi pressures....)

You mean there are no secret spaceships?

Bill Clinton says bomb the Gulf when asked about BP oil spill http://ow.ly/26I8Z What about methane? http://ow.ly/26I90 What are your views?

Hi, DKM. Did you read Gail's post^^^? Besides that, further discussion on this thread starts here.

He said to do it only as a last alternative. No reasonable person anywhere is looking at that option as viable. For what it's worth, Bill Clinton has about as much knowledge about the situation as the average Dairy Queen employee.

Thanks for the insult. Go suck on a Dilly Bar.

Dairy Queen employee

Sorry John...going to have to gang up on you with Dan on the DQ slam. DQ's are the life blood of well site geologists in Texas. Long before Mc's and BK's showed up there was always a DQ in some little sh*tburg I could get a meal at late at night.

BP admits failing to use industry risk test at any of its deepwater wells in the US

BP was facing fresh criticism over its approach to safety on Saturday night after critics said it did not use an industry standard process to assess risk ahead of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

By Rowena Mason
Published: 8:55PM BST 03 Jul 2010

The procedure, known as a safety case, was developed in Britain after the catastrophic Piper Alpha oil rig explosion of 1988 in which 167 people lost their lives.

Royal Dutch Shell confirmed that it always develops safety cases – a lengthy written document – on each of its thousands of wells in the world, even though they are only mandatory in some countries
However, BP admitted to The Sunday Telegraph that it does not use safety cases on any of its US wells, including the high-pressure deep water Macondo well from which up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day are still leaking in the Gulf of Mexico.

[corrected The Telegraph's typo; no charge]

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7870301...

I find that so hard to believe, BP says it's number one concern is safety.

Safety Cases are no secret and are demanded by some countries.

It appears that Safety is the number one concern with BP only when a country demands it.

Here is a typical Safety Case.


Hope BHP did a safety case at Atlantis...

The latest on A-Whale's proprietor. No wonder they took this crazy gamble:

TMT Co., the shipping line run by Nobu Su, had oil tankers held in Rotterdam and Delaware over claims the company missed rental payments. The Rotterdam District Court ordered the seizure of Gulf Sheba’s fuel on Oct. 5 after being asked to do so by ship owners with $36.3 million of claims against Great Elephant Corp., a unit of TMT, according to court and bailiffs’ documents obtained by Bloomberg News.


Here's someone who claims to have gotten hold of a "preliminary investigative report" on the blowout.

The only possibly useful part of the article is a "root cause tree." It doesn't say much.

I agree Cheryl. Something of an over sell IMHO. Don't really see anything in the analysis that wasn't put together on TOD within the first few weeks. Granted this analysis came from an "insider" that might have more official data than pooled together on TOD. But it's offered without identifying the source so I can't afford it any more credibilty than the thoughts of so many clever folks at TOD.


That root cause tree is directly from the Transocean June 8 "Investigation Update- Interim Report" page 5

They should have referenced where they got it.

jgerbils, one of the posters on the irc #theoildrum, has put together an interesting slide show of the most likely next containment cap at proposed capping stack. It is being readied for shipment to the well site.

It's quite a bit larger and more complex than the current cap. Note that it appears to be designed to be installed in two steps - first an attachment to the riser flange and then the cap itself.

Is that link alive only for list-members, rainyday? Doesn't work for me. Shux.

There isn't a link there, just some html. "< a > proposed capping stack < / a "

Oops.. here you go

proposed capping stack.

Interesting. This sure looks more like it belongs out there than the Overshot Tool, however massive that thing is/was.

Now the blow out is causing earthquakes in Arkansas. We are doomed. I know it is true because I tried the experiment with a balloon and books.


Time's running backwards in Atlanta.

roflmao oil cavern deflating???

You know Hank, New Madrid getting cranked up would be par for the course.

They look like they have some good deals on MRE's on that site.


"First Amendment suspended in the Gulf of Mexico"

Is this legit? Is there really a 65 foot exclusion zone around every bit of oily boom and fouled fowl?


At least according to Anderson Cooper. Not an urban myth. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/01/new-oil-spill-access-rulesjoin-the...

USCG wanted the keep away zone to be 300'.

Yes it is, I got the notice in my email from Santa Rosa County......check out latest report and it even breaks down the fines up to $32m. Not sure about the fouled fowl though, that would be pretty hard to enforce here since the entire Island is ~1/4 mile wide and homes are on the Gulf and the sound, technically you could be breaking the law re: fowl just sitting on your deck drinking coffie in your nightie, but who know anymore.

Why would fowl be sitting in your nightie. Maybe I am better off not knowing.


LOL...Ok, I ran that one together and excuse my typing skills, what I was saying is on this Island there are homes on the water on both sides, Gulf and Sound so IF their was a oil soaked bird in "your yard" for lack of a better word, you could be guilty of violating the law because your "yard" is the sand. My house is only 100 ft from the water, so I better start getting dressed to go outide for my coffee from now on.

Sounds like somebody came up with a 'good idea'(TM) without thinking it all the way through. Even so I can see some justification for not letting people get too close to some operations. With JCBs, trucks and other machines moving around it would be like letting people wander around a large construction site. Also too many people crowding sea life and taking photos can greatly increase stress. As a slightly different situation we get sea turtles and people want to crowd in to get a look and take photos. That doesn't help the turtle dig a nest and it may flee back into the sea and dropping its eggs in the water. So I can see some reason but maybe someone has been a bit over zealous. Still got a picture of a coffee swigging, nightie wearing sea fowl stuck in my head though :)


Sorry, I forgot the link:


I'll now repeat my assertion from earlier today.

The USCG is performing a PR counter-liability CYA service for BP. I'm guessing here, but I'll bet that the USCG will claim that they're trying to protect public health and safety. But BP won't let cleanup workers in the 65' zone (that the USCG wanted to be 300') wear masks or respirators. Anybody see anything just *wrong* with this?


The order covers operations in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties and will assist in the enforcement of no-wake zones, creating a safer work environment and discouraging intentional and unintentional disruptions of operations.
Vessels must not come within 20 meters of booming operations, boom or oil spill response efforts.
In closer areas where the 20 meter distance is not practical, vessels are required to be vigilant of persons working from small boats or deploying boom material and to transit at safe speed and distance to maintain a no wake zone.
Vessels shall not come in contact with boom, booming operations, and oil spill response activities.
Persons or vessels requiring deviations from this rule must request permission from the Captain of the Port Mobile at (251) 441-5976.
Page 2 of 6
Failure to comply with the order subjects the vessel to seizure and forfeiture to the United States, and the person guilty of such failure, obstruction or interference shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six years and may, at the discretion of the court, be fined not more than $32,500.

I remember a video a few weeks ago and the USCG threatened to arrest the reporters and they said they were told to by BP, I wondered WTF?? Since when does a branch of Homeland Security take orders from BP. Just very odd IMO and I have had one "little incident" with workers 3 wks ago, but it was resolved after I talked with them awhile

I can see several reasons for this including that all fouled fowl as you put it have to be collected, counted, etc. Also the problem of people not trained or equipped for handing the oily boom later "getting ill" or disposing of improperly. As well as boat wake if they happen to decide to go up to the boom from the seaward side. This is common sense precaution, I would put it to similar to not letting civilians to walk up to a chemical truck accident.

BP to 40,000 oil spill workers: Talk away to media
By JAY REEVES (AP) – 1 day ago
GULF SHORES, Ala. — BP PLC says it's handing out cards to all 40,000 of its cleanup workers telling them they can talk to the media — but only if they want to.
The message on the small cards? "Feel Free to Talk."

Cool. After there's a protected zone around them, they can feel free to talk. The timing is just a coincidence of course. But they still are not to wear respirators or masks.

I could understand (to a degree) but if there is fouled fowl in my yard and I'm on the deck could I be fined $32,000?? We have no boom off the beach in the Gulf, that's just in the bays, sound, canals etc and most don't even want to go near them, but I had a friend getting married on the beach 3 weeks ago and went down to see if that area was clean, the LE let me in the parking lot and as soon as I got out of the car with my camera they were all over me. They wanted to know why I was there and what I needed a picture of, I just told them I was with Goldman Sachs and we owned 9mm+ shares of BP and they backed down. As it turned out the area was clean and I didn't even need a photo......just an example of someone with a camera in an area with no oil, no boom, and no foul getting harassed .

I have a different thought about the Clinton video that I haven't read in these many, many replies.

The thought is from a book I read by Scott McClellan, the press secretary for President Bush during hurricane Katrina. He claimed the Oval Office took a "permanent campaign approach" to governing. This approach has been used by many previous presidents and I assume is also used by the current president.

Senior Advisor David Axelrod, who manages media strategy and communications, would probably be go to person for Gulf Oil Spill Response from oval office. He would be responsible for checking public opinion to gauge response to various ideas. Perhaps one of those ideas is using the military to plug the leak. This idea would certainly generate emotion and controversy so Axelrod's task is to gauge that reaction. Or if the idea has already been decided upon, the task would be to manipulate that reaction.

I was wondering if Clinton's words on the subject could have been used to help Axelrod get a better gauge of the public's acceptance or rejection of the military idea. Or perhaps to manipulate the reaction in a certain direction.


I wondered this too. If it might have been floating a trial balloon from a safe distance? This was my point when I said didn't think Bill former Prez, with his wife being Sec of State would have just randomly suggested such a thing as bombing the well. You know he's got to be guarded in what he sez.

My hubbie had a different read. He thinks while Bill sez we shouldn't critize Obama for lack of empathy on one hand, was in effect threading carefully by contrasting it with what he would do. Pecked off a quick list. Said if necessary the Navy would bomb etc, etc..., and that that was a plug for Hilary's next campaign for the Presidency as to how she would handle it better.

The whole thing just seemed rather weird and something wasn't right about it.

Decent, albeit MSM nbc, news story on the ROVS and Oceaneering with a brief behind the scenes look at the control room.


Hi All, We are trying to create a site where people can access information, break through the clutter and get some sense of what is happening. Your help is needed. The general public listens to just the news. Our site is trying to blend a news feel while extending the truth. You all are they key. Contact us with ideas and stories. http://savergulf.com/