BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - There will now be a slight intermission (pause) - and open thread 2

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6771.

This is a second copy of this post, with 5:30 update and new tropical storm information. Previous comments can be found at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6766.

Update 5:30pm EDT: BP has received approval to leave the well capped indefinitely. New hurricane update by Chuck Watson at end of post. Unfortunately, new storm track will tend to blow any oil hovering offshore toward land (eastern Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida coasts).

The approaching tropic system that has been mentioned in earlier posts has now not only caught the attention of the folks at the Deepwater well, but has moved them to action. Because of the length of time that it takes to disconnect the systems and then move the vessels out of harms way, BP decided to insert a storm packer, or plug, into the relief well and has gone ahead and put it into place. (From Kent Wells briefing on Wednesday afternoon.)

This will allow them to disconnect the drilling platform from the well and to move it out from the site if necessary. Before the rig could set the packer it had to withdraw all the drill pipe from the well, though it would use some of it to set the packer, which was put into the well 300 ft below the seabed.

The sequence of events that Mr Wells had defined, and which appears to have won the approval of the review panel and Admiral Allen, was that the relief well would have to be cased before the static kill of the well was attempted. There is a concern that, with the relief well only about 4 ft from the original well, in a condition where the relief well has only rock walls without a liner, the risk of possible wall failure in the relief well was too great.

This is not a judgment that it is easy to argue with without much more information on the actual geology at the current bottom of the relief well. If the rock is intact, and relatively competent, given that the well is still above the zone where the leak has likely damaged the rock, then this may be somewhat overcautious, but if there is any risk of weak rock, and of communication between the two wells then it may be a valid precaution. Although it should be noted that the original well is supposed to be still sealed with casing and a liner at this level in the well – since the RW was supposed to run the last casing while some 50 ft above the end of that liner.

But with the static kill now on hold until after the “weather” storm has passed, and the drillship brought back on site (if it has to move), the well re-established, and the plug removed, and then, after checking the well, taking time to run the casing, cement it in place, and check the cement quality after insertion (something that will be a priority into the foreseeable future), it may be some time before the static kill is implemented.

There are a number of different ways the well can be temporarily plugged, but in general a packer is used. This is a device that contains a section with a flexible rubber sleeve (see below). The packer is lowered into place, and the packer inflated (you might think of it as similar to blowing up a bicycle tire) so that the packer section fills the well bore, and stops fluid from leaking. (The full procedure for installing one version of such a packer is given here.)

Diagram of the parts of a storm packer (From Packers and Service Tools Inc )

There is an alternate system made by Weatherford described here. This has three sealing sections rather than the one shown above.

After the storm, and with the rig relocated, the drill string can re-attach to the top of the packer, deflate the rubber section, unsealing the well. The packer is removed and the well can restart. The removal of the packer is not without risk, and accidents can happen. But with that packer in place, the relief well operation is on hold, and so is implementation of the static kill, in BP’s eyes. Given that it will take 3 -4 days to re-establish the well and run the casing, the end of the operation is now moving inexorably into August.

There is one additional worry however, and that is that the current seal on the well is being allowed as a test condition. It is possible, and Admiral Allen alluded to this in his press conference today, that the well will need to be re-opened before the vessels disperse ahead of the storm. With all the connections to the floating risers, and the dispersant tanks not having been connected up and tested, this may lead back to a spillage of the full flood of the oil into the Gulf, until such time as the vessels return and re-establish control after the storm has passed. (The weather one, not the political storm this decision is likely to raise). That action will come down, as other things have, to the judgment and decision of just one or two individuals who will decide whether to leave the well shut-in or to re-open it.

The leaks in the system are, at the moment, very slow, though not insignificant, since they are pointing out points of weakness in the system. Can they be left for a week to ten days, without deterioration? – that is a judgment call. And it requires an assessment of what the consequences of a failure would be, relative to the oil invasion that will come with opening the valves.

The storm will affect other activities associated with the spill. Crews that were skimming the oil have been laid off, and some of the boom may also be moved. It will be interesting to see how the newly dredged islands hold up in this weather.

Chuck Watson's Storm Update 5:30 pm EDT

Tropical Depression #3 is still moving through the Bahamas on track to cross far south Florida or the keys before entering the Gulf. Forecast tracks are amazingly well grouped to take the storm across the gulf and into the Louisiana coast in 3-4 days. The question is how strong it will be when it gets there. None of the models takes it much over 50 knots, or middle tropical storm strength. National Hurricane Center is sticking with a peak of 45 knots, which is reasonable.

As noted earlier, the main disruption of this storm is forcing precautionary evacuations and shut-ins. Our production models are now showing a peak of 30% to 60% shut in for a few days, but no long term damage, with full production restored within 10 days. I'd bet on the higher end of the range simply because nobody wants to guess wrong and have an accident . . .

Unfortunately, on this track, the storm will tend to blow any oil hovering offshore inshore on to the eastern Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida coasts. However, the waves and rain should help dilute oil on the surface, and inland rains should help flush out estuaries. Hurricanes tend to stir up the upper 200 meters of water at most, with most of the effects in the upper 50 meters or so.

Prof. Goose's comment:

Welcome--modified 21 JUL 2010

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In response to bpshareholder and swiftlois-
I guess I just misread the quote or it was out of context. Call me the Secretary of Agriculture. You have that resignation Blackberried yet? I invite you and the author of the letter to post here or http://gcn01.com .
As for a bias against WM . Sure I have one. Just like BP, they are crapping on my environment. I post and offer a place to respond. I have even had a reporter from the Birmingham News respond to one of my posts on my site and I gave him full commenting rights. It would be inappropriate for pros to post a full story at my site under their own name. There are typically contractual considerations. I always give anybody or group to have a chance at feedback. Thanks for the feedback here and I will try to get clarification before I post such a statement again.
If I were the EPA, WM would have been fined for the leaky dumpsters and failure to work with the locals.

You are truthseekers and good folks. Thanks.
Edit : The paper guy corrected a misinterpretation of mine on his story. Time for a Simmons post, will you help me? Pretty please?

TFHG: Like your site. To you and all the folks along the coast, I hope this storm is strong enough to help dissipate a lot of the remaining oil but weak enough to allow all of you to avoid anymore grief. Hope the hurricane forecasters are are wrong this year. Off to the mountains and the rivers. Maybe this thing will be plugged by the time I get back to a place to get the news.Keep up the good work.

GBFNAGL- good bye for now and good luck

This oil will do more damage ashore than it will in the ocean. The ocean can clean itself,the shore can't.

Nah. Based upon my observations from the first event (Alex?), the water more than made up for the oil. The problem comes in when there is no rain to wash out the oil. Then the influx spreads it out over a greater distance. It does break down much more rapidly than any of the experts had projected, at least to the unaided eye. I hope this does not mean we are creating one big unseen killer.

Did you see my movies/photos from the event? I will find them and post a link.

Edit: Here is the 28th. The 29th has some stuff too.

Diverdan on July 22, 2010 - 2:26pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Unfortunately, you always start with legal principles but quickly fall into biased illogical opinions like many others. Frankly, I wish all the liberal elites and conservative elites would have a dual and all of them come out winners.
Comments can no longer be added to this story.

And unfortunately, Diverdan, all you do, at least when you resopnd to me, is launch petty personal attacks and small-minded smears.

Please don't respond to me any more if this is the best you can do.

Syncro - Come on now, there's a reason this is such a famous Shakespearean quote! :)

God save your majesty!

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

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

Nay, that I mean to do.

Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

BTW, did you watch John Guide's testimony today?

I saw a big chunk of it, he isn't particularly slick as a witness, but I had a hard time faulting the content. Pretty much like that discussion we had a couple of days ago, including why the centralizers were a problem and how little they trust the cementing simulation and CBLs.

The added detail about why the centralizers that were available did not match the requirement was particularly interesting. Once the video of the testimony is up I want to watch it again. There was a lot of detail that hung together pretty well.

All in all, it sounded like a normal day at the office until that inflow test was so badly pooched. Then the world caved in.


JTF, yes, you're right. i usually prefer not to disclose my occupation for that reason, but too much pertinent stuff here. I guess i'm a little grumpy today, too. Normally i just let it pass.

I did not see Guide and i must confess it is now getting to be too much for me to keep up with all current info/testimony, as interesting and fun as it is. I will definitely be listening to Guide. Any discussion of him getting a call that evening about 7:00 for a negative pressure test procedure?

I did go back and re-listen to four witnesses who testified about the negative pressure test(s) and have pieced their stories together. I hope to post that later. It's not pretty.

But getting back to your post, JTF, is it really a normal day at the office on DW rigs to displace a riser without first achieving hydrostatic balance in the well, or without first placing any barriers in the well, when as here you have a casing that provides a clear shot from TD to the floor, both through the annulus and the production casing, with the only barrier being the bottom cement? And especially with all the indicators of a bad cement job being a high likelihood, and all of the engineering red flags? And to then not have strict monitoring of returns? I hope that's not a normal day at the office!

It won't be anymore if it was. The new regs are far more strict on all of that, and much more specific on what can and can't be done.

(Of possible interest to other newbies like me is this Shell presentation someone kindly posted yesterday, which provides a good explanation of the casing design defects in the Macondo well. It will help understand why it was very bad practice (as in, "i guess that's what we got them pinchers for") to displace the riser with the bottom cement seal the only barrier preventing a blowout. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/bp-shell-and-the-design-of-...)

Thanks for the heads up on Guide, JTF!

Syncro - I'll be interested in your take on Guide. (sounds like a book review or something).

As you know, I'm not keen on the engineering for that well. I think it took away a lot of maneuvering room that the guys needed when things went badly wrong. You can't plan on humans being perfect every time.

Let leave aside the barrier aspect of the decision to displace just for a moment.

Why would you want seawater instead of oil base mud?

1. You have a MUCH better chance of having your top cement plug bond properly to the casing if the inside of the casing is not covered in oil-based snot. This is kind of a Catch 22 in that there is more risk if you don't put the plug in first, but then you may contaminate the plug and it won't work properly. etc. etc.

2. Its quite nice to be able to flush out the seal area in the wellhead with water before running the lock down, although that's not a big deal.

3. You are going to have to displace the oil-based mud out of the riser at some point because you can't have it leak into the ocean.

4. You need to water from seabed to surface in at least one line in order to do the negative test. No water, no negative. But you don't need it everywhere yet.

Back to barriers. You may have a variety of barriers of different quality depending on how you look at it.

You have the mud in the hole inside and outside the casing, but you've reduced the hydrostatic by the difference between mud and seawater x 5000' from wellhead to surface. Pick an appropriate number to insert here.

Inside the casing, you have the float equipment at the bottom of the casing that has back-pressure valves.

Outside the casing, you have the seal assembly in the wellhead. I'm assuming its set, just no lockdown assembly yet. Normally the seal assembly is set when you release the running tool at the end of the cement job. It does take quite a bit of effort to pull a seal assembly loose even with no lock down set, particularly if the casing string is intact and set in tension. The weight of the casing tries to retain the seal assembly/hanger in place. If the casing IS intact, then the lockdown not being there is just slightly a red herring in itself. The wellhead will hold a LOT of annular pressure without it in place. Now if the casing is collapsed or parted, that is another kettle of fish.

Inside and outside the casing (shoe track and annulus), you have the cement job.

Then finally you have the BOP if all else fails, or even the diverter at surface which might buy you a little time to get out of the way with your life.

My jury is still out on a lot of this. I just don't have enough information on which way to jump on exact causes.

The one thing I am pretty sure of is that the inflow test was misinterpreted, which pretty directly led to the loss of the rig.

BTW, I'm also starting to think a bit harder about the whole off-loading mud while displacing to seawater thing. Any PVT (Pit Volume Totalizer) I've worked with allows you to select the specific mud pits (tanks) you want to monitor. Seems odd that you couldn't offload from an isolated pit or two while still using your mud pump stroke counter to balance volume down the drillpipe vs returns to the pits. You would never, ever offload directly from a pit that you were monitoring for returns from the well. Hmmm. Almost as interesting as the negative test. And the mud loggers should be monitoring this as well as the drill floor and bitching like crazy if they can't. Hmmm.

BTW, I'm also starting to think a bit harder about the whole off-loading mud while displacing to seawater thing. Any PVT (Pit Volume Totalizer) I've worked with allows you to select the specific mud pits (tanks) you want to monitor. Seems odd that you couldn't offload from an isolated pit or two while still using your mud pump stroke counter to balance volume down the drillpipe vs returns to the pits. You would never, ever offload directly from a pit that you were monitoring for returns from the well. Hmmm. Almost as interesting as the negative test. And the mud loggers should be monitoring this as well as the drill floor and bitching like crazy if they can't. Hmmm.

This is pretty much what I said the first day or so that I posted on this site, not as eloquently of course. ;)

And I have the handicap of having to remember 30 yrs or so ago to my roughnecking days, with not much thinking about this stuff in the meantime, until this disaster. When I first heard of it, I immediately suspected sabotage, because SO MANY things went wrong, all at the same time. They shouldn't have lost the drill ship, it should immediately have disconnected from the marine riser, the offloading mud to a support vessel (where they couldn't get it back in time to tame the well), the fire when all the tools on the drill floor are non-sparking, etc. It was like Fate had his thumb heavily on the scales here.

It was like Fate had his thumb heavily on the scales here.

Or dumb luck ran out. That rig was a death trap the way they were running it. Not only because of all of the failed safety equipment (nearly ALL of it failed), but also because of the sprint to finish up the last two weeks.

"Or dumb luck ran out."

Yeah, that's what I've been thinking. Can't be good? Be lucky...

It's easy to cut corners. And it works and it's fine up to the extent that nothing goes wrong. That's where luck comes in. We all do it on the freeway every day, where we drive in tight formation with strangers at high speed, where seconds count. Once in a while luck runs out and they call it an "accident".

I gotta wonder to what extent has BP been lucky? Or Shell, or Exxon? Speculating here, but if you once get away with cutting corners, running to the lowside of engineering estimates, aren't you more likely to do it again? Perhaps push the envelope a bit?

Speculating here, but if you once get away with cutting corners, running to the lowside of engineering estimates, aren't you more likely to do it again? Perhaps push the envelope a bit?

Sam, One thing the commission is going to be looking into is whether BP operated in this way as a matter of course given their history and previous disasters, and whether they thereby posed a significantly greater risk of disaster than other GOM operators.

There is a pattern of BP running equipment into the ground, poor maitenance, routinely ignoring regulations, putting a low priority on safety. This goes back years and may be ingrained in the BP "corp. culture" as they call it. What gets rewarded, what gets punished, who gets promoted, who doesn't, where money is spent short vs. long term. It will be interesting to see what their findings are.

If that Shell presentation is at all accurate and true, it would appear that not all operators share that culture.

to be totally fair...the Shell talk compared what Shell typically does to what BP actually did in this one instance.

We do not really know what BP "typically" does, or how typical this design was for them, nor do we know the worst design Shell has ever done, when Shell finds itself under enormous schedule pressures.

Nonetheless, the comparative safety records of BP v. any other company does indicate that they have do a different culture...many folks have said to me, "we knew that if this was going to happen, it would be them"

Point. Shell has always been really good at talking up their game, but I have personally been involved in Shell operations in the North Sea that make what I've read about the DWH seem like a walk in the park.

The particular operations were probably necessary and no one had a better idea on how to fix the damage that made them necessary, but it was still extremely risky.

Looks to me like nearly everyone has moved to very 'clever' designs for their wells that sacrifice basic safety. Time to get back to first principles.

From what I've heard Exxon is the only super-major that has managed to shift their corporate culture to truly emphasize safety.

They were making a big deal on NPR yesterday about how they changed their internal culture to be safety focussed after the Valdez spill.

My guess is that senior management saw it as a dodged bullet and decided that walking around the woods in camo during deer season wasn't the best idea.

We all do it on the freeway every day, where we drive in tight formation with strangers at high speed, where seconds count. Once in a while luck runs out and they call it an "accident".

At least where I live, law enforcement and the insurance companies no longer refer to such an incident as an "accident", they call it a "crash" That is the word that goes into the police report. The reason being is, that in an accident no one is a fault, in a crash someone always is, and can therefore be held accountable.

What happened in the Gulf of Mexico was no accident.

BTW, Bonnie is already knocking on my windows this morning in Hollywood Florida, it's not going to be pretty out there today...

That Shell presentation does a pretty nice job of showing how vulnerable that casing was. Very visual, you can see it clear as day.

And remember, BP wasn't even going to do a negative test, Harrell got it when he complained about and made his famous remark.

I understand about displacing with seawater and why. My point was you have to make sure the well is still hydrostatically balanced unless you are going to rely on another barrier. Otherwise, it's going to start producing for you if the cement, you're only barrier, fails.

They should have set the top plug, or surface plug first, and let that set up before displacing. That would have delayed displacing the riser and getting rid of the mud for tear down. It was much quicker this way.

Even then, unlike with the Shell design, there was no barrier in the annulus if the cement failed there, unless I am reading the drawing wrong, as i very well may be. But compared to doing the tie back set up with a packer, cement seals and seals in the annulus, this design had no back-up fail-safe. Shell, in contrast, reguires 3 barriers in the well and 3 in the annulus.

(Obviously my analysis is subject to errors since I am still learning all of this.)

I hear (from the Shell presentation) that under the new regs, you cannot displace the riser without having two barriers in place in the well (DWH would have had to do the top plug to comply), and you have to do a pressure test first. In addition, when you displace the riser, all other operations on the rig must cease until displacement is completed and the well is sealed. You cannot be tearing down or doing anything else but focus on the displacement, with strict monitoring of the returns also explicitly required. No off loading of mud during that process seems to be entailed in there, not sure.

Like diverdan, I'm heading to the mountains shortly to do some fishing and hiking. I'm probably going to miss the well getting killed!

P.S. The Shell guy said the pressures in the Macondo well were suifficient to lift the casing without the lockdown sleve, but he made it very clear he was not suggesting that is what happened, so he seems to agree with you that it's not likely an issue, but is evidence of playing loose perhaps, or not abiding by best practices.

I wish USCG hearings paid more attention to WOC (waiting on cement).

Syncro - We are all wandering around this problem like lost sheep.

If you want to go back to first principals, there are all kinds of ways to avoid this mess.

First, run long strings with decent cement jobs much farther back up the hole, at least into the previous casing shoe.

That is the first thing to look at. Yes, it can be more work, but you can customize cement out the wazoo in order to get the weights and properties you need for a given well.

Next, forget the liners and tie-backs. Long strings are great because they're simple. Nice, solid iron all the way to the wellhead.

Every piece of complex gear (needless junk) you put down that well gives you a near-exponential increase in risk. You want an additional mechanical barrier? Run a decent damn cement job and stop pussyfooting around. A liner hanger and packer is complex, a tie-back is complex. Cementing a tie-back is complex.

You're worried about displacing to seawater? Fair enough. Why on earth don't you run a drillable bridgeplug on wireline? Cheap, easy, pretty much bulletproof. Test the bridgeplug, then displace to seawater so you have a nice clean casing to bond your cement to, then drop the top cement plug on top of the bridgeplug. Its been done that way for year and years and years. You get a stout mechanical barrier plus the advantage of cement in a clean hole.

I have tested far too many cement plugs in oil-base mud in a cased hole, only to find they are just mush and you can run the drill pipe right through them.

A bridgeplug is a very simple, very rugged, low risk alternative.

Too much elegant, complex engineering that is COMPLETELY unnecessary.

I've been trying to make that point and not getting through very well, so a little more emphasis this time. :)

There are more primitive ways to do things that aren't as pretty, but are a hell of a lot safer with very little extra money involved.

Its looking a whole lot like the engineering dept at the service company comes up with a shiny new whoopy-wow gizmo. It looks really cool and seems like a great idea to the engineering dept at the oil company, so they try out a few. They mostly work pretty well and allow you to shave a few hours or couple of days off your drilling program, so the cost-benefit is apparently there.

This happens again and again over perhaps 30 years, to the point that your wells are now full of shiny whoopy-wow gadgets.

But no one has stood back and done a real back-to-basics risk analysis on the gadget-laden well vs the original heavy-iron well from thirty years ago.

I think they should.


Thanks to bignerd for posting some real numbers about oil density, reasonable pressure loss due to depletion, and pressure recovery: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6766/685382. This came late in the thread so I'm taking the liberty of re-posting a link here.

Very defiantly a big thanks. A picture speaks a thousand words and the modelling shows just what we've been seeing. Oh, thanks BN for the time spent on the gas/oil phase issue, very educating.


I completely agree -- even though at work I can't see the pretty pictures, the text itself tells me much of what I want to know.

I'm going to take advantage of the fact that bignerd isn't here yet to ask questions/speculate about widelyred's question (plus I do want to hear the official answer, 'specially if I'm wrong):

I've been looking at your curves, and thinking about the potential of both topkill and junkshot to have gummed up the well enough to give us the pressure readings we're seeing. It seems to me that an argument against depletion is how much would have to have been depleted to account for the numbers. An argument against topkill and junkshot is they didn't work, therefore they compromised the casing, but that was only surmised, never proven. I'm thinking the reality lies in between, they combined to give us EXACTLY what we are seeing, and even accounts for the small psi increases every hour.

I think a "gummed up well" (which I'm thinking of as a change in the reservoir permiability and/or constrictions in the well itself) shouldn't affect static pressures -- i.e., the pressure once the well is not flowing. It might affect the rate at which the pressure builds but not the final end point.

I think your answer is in the curves BigNerd posted. Note where is has marked the reported pressures. His calculations give pressures that are a decent match for the published figures so that tends to support that what we are seeing is the depletion of a well that has been produced at too high a rate.


Just logged in from home and found I can now see the plots. They are what I expected -- permeability affects the flow rates while the well is open and the rate of pressure build up when it's closed, but not the end pressure.

WTNT63 KNHC 222222
615 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010





I know the National Hurricane Center is staffed with an easily excitable bunch, who get especially excited this time of year.

But WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS YELLING in their advisories?

I wonder if that's why all the weather babes dress up in foul weather gear and head for the beach every time a little ol' puff o' wind blows along...


LOL ... or should I say lol?

I guess they are passionate about their profession.

No silly. Weather alert machines are based upon early teletype machines that only had UPPER CASE. Damn I am old.

It dates back to the old teletype days.

They're actually considering joining the technological revolution and going to mixed case. Even their announcement of the proposed change in a Word doc, is all upper.


You can even register your opinion here NOAA mixed-case survey.

Rainday- Who was POTUS at the time of your birth? LBJ here.

Truman here

I like Ike

I like Ike too -- at least until he got caught with his pants down over the Gary Powers fiasco. Up until that time I thought POTUS was above that kindof deceit. I've never been the same since.


Me too, and I remember being taken downtown (Springfield, Mo.) to see him in '51. Sweet-looking old guy, I thought, but who knew there were that many cars and fire engines in the wide world?

I remember that every black & white news reel during his presidency used to contain at least one clip of HST out for his daily constitutional with seemingly just a couple of reporters for company.

What is a black and white news reel?

Sigh. Before everyone had television, news was shown in movie theaters. All television was black and white in the beginning. All TV news was shot on film cameras, developed in film laboratories.

[another Truman kid]

Tell him about the town crier. Remember that one :)

Movietone, dude.

HCH when talkies first came out.

HCH when talkies first came out.

(deep bow) I think you've won the thread.

Roosevelt. (FDR, not Teddy.)

HCH (for a few weeks). Then FDR, born in between Hitler appointing himself head of Germany and Roosevelt saying we "...have nothing to fear..."

Truman until the election later in the year.

Conceived under Truman or born?

Born under Truman couple months before election, but Ike was POTUS most of early years, met his brother a couple times as a kid in Panama.


Damn. Senior discounts all around.

Maybe TFHG will take us to Hooters



FDR for me, too.

I actually remember the campaign for DDE.

I actually remember the campaign for DDE.

I remember my third-grade teacher coming into the classroom the morning after the election red-eyed from weeping.

I worked on the 1956 campaign (for Stevenson), hanging cardboard shoe soles with holes in them on doorknobs.

IKE-And cars with fins

TFHG--We're making you look young.

Do you folks understand how much this changes things? I am Asian. Group apology, group hug, and I bow to the group. I never would have guessed in a million years. Where are all the young surfer chicks that listen to Avril?

They're listening to Avril.

Some of these young(er) conspirofreaks who show up here don't stand a snowball's chance in hell.

Well they better start cracking some books or we are going to end up getting pushed into the sunset on a piece of trash, all the ice having melted already.

Nah. They won't notice; their iPods and Facebook accounts will distract them. OMG!

Glad I'm not one of them!

Hell, no. You guys are the ones running the conspiracy! They come to you and tell you what they're thinking, poor downy chicks. It's a bloodbath.

Yes. And an acquired skill. To be used for enlightenment only, of course.

Truman here. Egad.

But I've been listening to Avril since her first record, uh ...album, uh ...CD, uh ...download, yeah, that's what they call it now!

What is Avril? I've heard of Advil.

Louis St. Laurent
(good luck figuring that one out LOL....hint: eh?)

Louis Stephen St. Laurent, PC, CC, QC (Saint-Laurent or St-Laurent in French, baptized Louis-Étienne St-Laurent), (February 1, 1882 – July 25, 1973) was the 12th Prime Minister of Canada from November 15, 1948, to June 21, 1957.

That means POTUS of Truman or Eisenhower. Would that be CPM or PMC? Just PM? What if he is at the G20 G7 or whatever the hell it is now? Did it go back down to G7?

You guys have cracked me up. I wish we were all at Hooters. Walk back to the rooms. 75% off.

Tin, like to meet you at the Pink Pony if it is the same as I remember when I lived in Spanish Fort

As long as you do not work for WM. Smokey is playing Sunday at 3. Did you see his video?

Ike in my case. This is revolting: you mean you have to be grizzled and wizened in order to communicate on the internet clearly? That's just depressing... no wonder the whippersnappers make no sense. But I gotta say, the real oldies are still doing all caps all the time. At least by the personal emails I get.

Another Ike here.

Looks like the boomers have it by far.

The young whippersnappers do the all caps thing too, which is sad because the real young ones have grown up with computers My mom is 73 and knows better...it is more a matter of how interested you are in learning, imo.

What started the all caps behavior? We didn't write in all caps, so why type that way?

1955 - was that Truman or Ike? LOL I don't have much memory of the early years.
It shocked the hell out of me to see an old photograph of a skinny young guy in a fedora, holding a baby and standing in front of an active Royal Hudson Class steam locomotive coupled to a CPR passenger train.
Turned out it was me and Dad! LOL Boy I felt old after that!

Ike .. won election in 52.

Well I know what you mean because he's my guy too.

12th Prime Minister of Canada

In office
November 15, 1948 – June 21, 1957

Technically that would be Prime Minister and that would cover Truman's and most of Ike's terms. Northern neighbor.

Ike, and cars "with holes in the side",and "fins". And it was "different", you just can't explain that to the kids...

And it was in a way supremely disappointing to all of us kids growing up. We desperately wanted to see the "cities of tomorrow", and flying cars (limited to the Bob Cummings Show as it turned out:(). And today's younger population seems surprised when alot of us turned out to be cynical old curmudgeons....

I'm still waiting for flying cars...and, of course, jet backpacks!

You can buy your own jet pack now.

I'm just waiting for the first person who tries to see how high they fly before running out of fuel.



I'm in that small cohort that used to be known as "war babies," sandwiched between the "silent generation" and the onslaught of the "baby boomers."

I used to have one of those "get the front page of the NYT the day of your birth" pages... it made for sobering reading, even allowing for war time censorship.

ETA - waves to Swifty and Dredger.

I'm in that small cohort that used to be known as "war babies," sandwiched between the "silent generation" and the onslaught of the "baby boomers."

Me too, almost. Born two and a half months after Pearl Harbor. V-J Day is one of my earliest memories.

FDR. Geez, and here I thought the rest of you (except Old Farmer Mac) were a bunch of kids.

To be honest I am very, very, disappointed and pleasantly surprised. I value the sage of age, but unless the youngsters get it together, we are screwed. Did we have to leave them so much debt and such an unsustainable system? At least give me some wings and beer when you push me into the Oil Lake of Mexico.

LBJ~How about we give you a Hooter's girl also :) I shouldn't even say that, my daughter is in school and pays her own tuition and rent from working at Hooters

TO ALL THE OLD GUYS [including me]:

We have met. We have a connection. I think the time will come in the not-too-distant future when we [collectively] can influence the future in a positive way.

Wouldn't that be cool?

Stay in touch. Don't run away.



I am a "not a crook" too.

I like Ike for me

JFK - However...I have seen an old Ike election commercial that went like...

(Ike for President, Ike for President, Ike for President, Ike for President)
You like Ike
I like Ike
Everybody likes Ike


They just don't make adds like that anymore...

They just don't make adds like that anymore...

We didn't own a TV at that point, so I never saw it. Amazing. Did you notice at one point the silhouette of a man on a donkey in the background going in the opposite direction (to the left, natch) from the marchers? Subtle!

Truman, halfway through his second term.
(I have an aunt who was born in Wilson's first term. She's a resident of Houston.)


LBJ here, too.

It was Ike when I was just a little tyke...

LBJ. This thread's makin' me feel like a relatively young pup.

My b-day POTUS was FDR. I seriously doubt that TTY technology ever had SLANT uppercase. So where do they get off using slant type? That is NOT part of their tradition! I hate innovation!!!

They didn't ... I added the italics to the copy&paste.

Deleted - confused again

Doesn't take you long once you make Hooter's, does it?

Well, my son who goes with his grandad twice a week can get there in one minute flat......priorities ya know:)

My son, 6 att, on a visit to Brazil stared at the television coverage of the girls in Carnival, then let out 'wow'.


But WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS YELLING in their advisories?

Because they are government, and government always uses CAPITAL letters. Just look at your drivers license.


These bulletins were originally designed to be broadcast over the Navigational Text (NAVTEX) radio network for maritime stations (ships) by the USCG. These broadcasts contain military, commercial, and weather related navigational bulletins for ships at sea. Still broadcast on 518 KHz (SITOR-B). NAVTEX uses a limited ASCII 32 character (4 bit) set grandfathered from the days of radio teletype.

4 bits would be 2*2*2*2 16 chars. I presume you mean 5 bits. The first such code was called "Baudot" after Emile Baudot, who invented it in 1870 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baudot_code); it was later replaced by "ITA2".

Most definitely *not* ASCII -- ASCII is a specific American code very similar to ISO 646 (I'm a computer standards guy by profession, don't get me started...).

Oh, and Kennedy was POTUS when I was born.

Allen said they should have a decision on whether or not to begin preparing for evacuation by around 8 pm tonight - I assume that is 8 pm CDT since he is now back in the Gulf area. DDIII has drill string plus a mile of riser to pull up, so it would be the first to begin preparing to leave.

Transcript of his briefing here, audio here.

Asked how long the ROV tenders could stay on site in bad weather to monitor the well, Allen said:

I think if you're talking about the ROV tenders out there, they can operate in excess of 12 to 15 feet [wave height] but not much beyond that.

It was my understanding that the ROVs monitoring the well, if they saw serious signs of deterioration, would open it up. Can they manage that operation in 12- to 15-foot seas?

The ROV cage might be bouncing up and down due to the motion of the surface tender, but wouldn't the ROV, at the end of the flexible 500' tether, be unaffected?

Of course, as was mentioned in an earlier thread, getting the ROV then back into the cage to be recovered might be challenging in rough seas.

The ROV cage might be bouncing up and down due to the motion of the surface tender, but wouldn't the ROV, at the end of the flexible 500' tether, be unaffected?

I was unclear--I'm thinking of the operators trying to control the ROVs while the ships they're on are bouncing up and down (so to speak).

sometimes, they won't recover the rov in heavier weather conditions, depends on the lars in some cases, but it's not unheard of for them to leave the rov deployed and recover when seas are better : )

Charlie Rangel Charged With Numerous Ethics Violations, Among Them Offshore Drilling Tax-Related Kickbacks

(Okay, this was sourced from HuffPo, so you may not want to run to the bank with it quite yet.)

Charlie Rangle (sic), the former chairman of the ways and means committee was charged with a plethora of ethics violations, confirming yet again that the phrase "honest politician" is just as oxymoronic as "Non-stripper-abusing Wall Street CEO." And while we will leave the politics aside, one of the charges is particularly interesting as it ties in closely with the recently popular topic of offshore drilling. Specifically, one of the allegations against Rangel is that he was guilty of: "Preservation of a tax shelter for an oil drilling company, Nabors Industries, which has a chief executive who donated money to the center while Rangel's committee considered the loophole legislation." It appears offshore drilling is not just a republican provenance. If NBR is about to be exposed for a kickback scheme with one of the (allegedly) most "ethically violated" politicians, one wonders just what a detailed investigation into any very probable comparable corruption schemes by BP, DO, HAL, APC and others would reveal and just how far the trail of Corexit-laden corruption would lead.


Being a vet, it is a more bitter pill for me. I almost broke to tears when Duke Cunnigham made his famous mea culpa. I forgave him at that moment, but also insisted he serve every day that was due him, with the normal breaks that an average Joe would get.

Being a vet, it is a more bitter pill for me.

Being a New Yorker until quite recently, I'm devastated. Rangel's been on the right (correct) side of the vast majority of issues. If he loses his chairmanship of Ways and Means permanently, or--God forbid--is expelled from the House, it'll be a real tragedy.

"Some U.S. soldiers were being taken prisoner, but others looked to Rangel, who though only a private first class had a reputation for leadership in the unit. Rangel led some 40 men from his unit, during three days of freezing weather, out of the Chinese encirclement; nearly half of the battalion was killed in the overall battle. Rangel was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds and the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions in the face of death."
From Wikipedia for those that do not know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_B._Rangel

If he is guilty, let him receive the full measure of justice for he served under oath.

(Okay, this was sourced from HuffPo, so you may not want to run to the bank with it quite yet.)

At least not until the investigative panel tells us what Rangel is being charged with. From the NYTimes:

The investigative subcommitee did not disclose any details about the nature of the violations that it found evidence [sic], but one House official who has been briefed on the findings said that they included some of the most serious allegations that had been examined.

“All I know is that it was a majority of them,” the House official said, asking not to be identified as the ruling is supposed to remain confidential for one week. A lawyer involved in Mr. Rangel’s defense, who also asked not to be named, disputed that characterization, adding that the case is not over yet.


(My bolding.)

The Times does say one of the allegations being investigated was the drilling company kickback.

It also had been investigating allegations that he improperly used his office to provide legislative favors for an oil-drilling company that pledged a $1 million donation for an academic center named for Mr. Rangel

Hmm, anything I would say now about corrupt politicians would merely be construed by some to be in keeping with my "bitter" nature. lol

Wonder what we should name that academic center now? Rangel's Slick School?

Wonder what we should name that academic center now? Rangel's Slick School?

Shall we wait until we see whether they're actually going to charge him with that one?

The buzzards have been circling Rangel since last year. Too bad. He could have been one of the greats. Duke too. Those two are the biggest disappointments I have with the soldier/sailor/airman to politician program.

Didn't Duke make ace during the Vietnam war?

Duke and his RIO (radio intercept officer) Dutch Driscoll were the ONLY Navy aces from the Vietnam conflict.

Rangel is a crook.

The Dems will NEVER charge Rangel if they can get away with it. It will take a literal changing of the guard by dint of about 30+ Republicans to have the votes to force the issue. My guess is Old Charlie will eventually decide to retire, "for his health". If there WERE an investigation, I think it will be of the whitewash variety

Nice job, SL. Who knows, maybe this'll be one of those rare events, HuffPo gets it mostly right.

If that article's thesis was valid this well should still be gushing oil. It isn't.

Nalco has made public statements that the dispersant sales to BP will not materially affect their financials.


So basically the author of this article didn't do any research and has a completely ridiculous on the face of it conspiracy theory.

Good job.

This is a response to a posting in the previous thread on bioremediation by SaveFlipper.


They claim that the gulf has bacteria naturally, but I wonder if the consumption of oil is limited by the available oxygen in the water. The oil/dispersant is killing the plankton that produces the oxygen for the bacteria to work. So the natural bugs may not be doing so well. I think we should be replenishing the oil eating bacteria in well oxygenated areas.

I think it is clear that consumption of oil will be limited by some nutrient. That was discussed in one of the previous links I posted by Samantha Joye. She indicated to me in an email that she plans to be doing some modeling of that in the future.

As far as plankton (where are you getting data that they are being affected by dispersed oil?) that is not likely to be a factor. Photosynthesis is necessary for oxygen production, and that is limited to the top 200m or so (with most of it occurring in the top 10m), which will already be well oxygenated due to proximity with the atmosphere.

The lack of oxygen in the lower depths is what makes dispersant use such an obvious deception. They are not making it more biologically available to the microbes of the Gulf. They all want to talk about the oxygen levels, but no one is putting up any hard data on the Dead Zone depth.

This statement seems a bit confusing to me. Why isn't the oil more bio-available? Oxygen consumption and rapid measured growth of the bacteria population clearly indicates that it is. And dead zone? While there has been data published showing reduced oxygen levels all the statements I've seen say that the levels are not below what is needed to support life in the so called plumes. In fact I've seen statements that the oxygen depleted areas still have oxygen levels above the levels in the natural oxygen minimum zone (OMZ).

Now of course there is a seasonal hypoxic or "Dead Zone" in the northern Gulf caused by the discharge of nutrients from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya, as described here:


This phenomena is of course going to occur regardless of the biological activity due to the oil spill.

Here is a good basic slide show covering terrestrial bioremdiation of oil spills.


Note that it gives clear guidance about what works and what does not. That includes how to recognize 'snake-oil' and recommendations to not buy bacteria or enzymes because they are not needed.

Well said Speaker, not to mention the many videos from the ROV's showing fish, crabs etc. swimming at ground zero of the leak. If it were that "dead" wouldn't they be too?

Fish and crabs at leak ground zero? I did not see any. Besides, they may not fall over dead immediately. It could take some time for them to die, or just get sick. Or maybe they are resistant. Who knows? We do know alot of the life in the Gulf cannot tolerate it and died.

This is in answer to your question, "Why isn't the oil more bio-available?"

If the oil to which dispersant is applied is in a region where there is no, or little, dissolved oxygen then that oil in that place is not bio-available because there are not any biota there.

Like oil in outer space is also not bio-available whether or not it might have been treated with dispersant before launch.

The situation in the Gulf is not conventional. The training video you reference is for the remediation of oil in soil. My experience with bioremediation is with Indoor Air Quality and I can tell you that the "don't buy bugs" stuff is not appropriate in every situation. Concentrating microbes and using specific ones can speed up the remediation process.

The IAQ bioremediation process we used involved physical cleaning, dehumidifying, disinfecting, and then "reinfecting" with environmentally friendly bacteria. That way we could use a short lived toxic disinfectant and leave the bacterial enzyme in place of a disinfectant residual. The continued effect of the bacteria is noticeable for several days. This method consistently passed clearance testing with flying colors.

Think about it. They are spraying dispersant on oil they see floating on the surface. What if they sprayed an bacterial enzyme solution instead? Especially in the shallows. They did not even try it.

Here is the article I saw on the effect of oil/dispersant mixtures on plankton: http://news.discovery.com/earth/oil-dispersants-wildlife.html

The thing is that people are out there, just now gathering the information. Too bad we could not get the data to make better decisions now. I sure would like to see information on oxygen, plankton and bacterial level and species at various depths of the water column. I guess you would also need to know how much dispersant was there, too. I would also guess that, if the information is not being widely publicized, it does not support the conventional thinking and decisions being made.

I can see where introducing bacteria in an indoor environment after cleaning could be useful.

But that's very different from a large ecology where anything of that nature you introduce has to compete with what is already there.

Think about it. They are spraying dispersant on oil they see floating on the surface. What if they sprayed an bacterial enzyme solution instead? Especially in the shallows. They did not even try it.

I don't think spraying dispersants on deep spill oil once it gets to the surface does much if any good. The evidence I've seen says that the dispersants need to be mixed with fresh oil to be effective. I am pretty sure BP stopped doing that weeks ago.

Similarly enzymes would be more effective subsurface. The oil that gets to the surface is likely to be the least biodegradable.

The problem with asserting that plankton are getting destroyed by oil/dispersant is that there is conflicting data in the literature on this. In many cases it has been found to stimulate plankton growth. There is little evidence that lasting harm will occur.





Blanket statements in MSM reports can be very misleading.

The idea of bioremediation has been around for a long time, probably since the invention of agriculture. Compost heaps, planting crops to prepare the soil, and so on. Modern cities use it to process sewage before recycling waste water into the environment.

With all that experience there have been remarkably few practical results involving introducing engineered enzymes or microorganisms into the environment. Nature is far more diverse and competitive than what man can apply so other than supplying food and mixing it is best to get out of the way unless you are in a situation where you can carefully control all the variables.

Anyone have any thoughts on this story:

New Gulf Oil Seeps Tied to Another Well


It is amazing this much crude leaks naturally in the gulf.

I think the "tied to another well" is a miscommunication. A well "still unidentified"... It is a natural seep, I am pretty sure. Tadsek was probably trying to say that its not easy to tell if bubbles coming up around any well are "natural" or not, induced hydrate dissociation in shallow section (no well integrity issue) or a leaking well-bore.

Anyway...the Gulf of Mexico is one of the richest petroleum provinces in the world, and with the disruption related to the salt tectonics, also one of the leakiest.


The National Geographic article linked by JasonN clearly intended to say that the seep discovered on 7/18/2010 near the Macondo blowout was not a natural seep. The teaser to the National Geographic article stated:

"Oil seeps detected near the Deepwater Horizon wellhead aren't natural, yet they highlight difficulties in teasing out the cause of leaks in the oil-rich Gulf, experts say."

On the other hand, McClathy reported on 7/18/2010:

"No details were given on the size or exact location of the seep, or what it was made of — crude oil, methane, natural gases or hydrocarbons. But the prospect is ominous. If oil is entering from areas distant from the well bore, it suggests that areas of the seafloor and substrata are allowing oil to escape."

The prevalence of natural seeps in the Gulf of Mexico suggests that any seep discovered is likely to be a natural seep. The ambiguity of the letter (pdf) from Thad Allen that reported the discovery of the seep left me uncertain.

I like this NASA satellite image of oil slicks from natural seeps in the Gulf of Meixco.

Nat Geo is better than most non-specialty publishers, but they aren't always accurate. In my opinion, the seeps detected are natural. The geology of that region makes them happen. I strongly suspect the only reason some were found there is because the area was so minutely examined. I'm quite sure there are many, many of them that simply haven't been noticed because no one has any reason to look close enough.

Of course it is natural! I don't imagine that there are too many wells out in the deep water Gulf that everybody has just lost track of! "Yes, it's coming from another well...but we haven't identified it yet"????

What happens to Top Hat No. 7 when the ships skedaddle to avoid "Bonnie"? Does it and riser of some sort get left on the bottom or do they pull it out of the Gulf?

I wondered that too. Also have wondered why it needs 24/7 watching while it's down there.

That's what made me wonder. They have an ROV continuously watching it. Either its really important or its part of the conspiracy to prevent the public from knowing what's going on.

I went down that road (conspiracy) earlier. My a** is still sore. I guess it is better to not question "facts".

Nonsense. It's imperative to question that they are indeed facts. Once you're satisfied that they are, then they are. But it never hurts to double check, down the road.

jason - As Snake said, don't stop questioning. I think several things about the Simmons conspiracy theorists (not saying you are one) have chafed the patience many of the TOD regulars.

The theories have been addressed so many times over the last almost two months since they first came out. So few newby believers are interested in taking the time to search for the previous discussions, which are not very difficult to find if one only looks. They offer no proof, but demand much proof. They act as if there is only two choices, believe Simmons, or you must believe everything BP says. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

And here is what I believe to be the bottom line reason. As if this disaster in its known magnitude is not bad enough, the conspiracy theorists cheapen it by claiming it is inconsequential compared to what is extremely likely a totally fictional disaster conceived by a possibly twisted mind. As if millions of barrels of oil spewing uncontrolled into the GOM over nearly three months, with resulting damage to the ecology, damage to the economy, disruption of lives and the ongoing unknown consequences was not bad enough. That the known disaster is just being used to cover up something that up to now is nothing more than cruel fiction. Not to mention the death of eleven real people.

In my opinion, the disaster we know is bad enough.

IMHO knowing that "the disaster is bad enough" doesn't imply that we should turn off our minds or exclude options a priori.

I'm with you about Simmons theories and the like, and I also don't like the people not taking the time to dissect and analyze things before shouting their opinion.

But I strongly disagree on your line of thinking "it's already bad enough, please stop developing 'cruel fiction'". As an analogy, many people in 9/11 died, and the disaster was more than "bad enough". Yet, many people including the very protagonists of that day (like firemen and their families) are still demanding more investigation, even if the disaster was bad enough for them, based on some provided evidence.

I don't know if they are onto something or not, I don't take a position on that, but I know that there is nothing wrong with them. I believe that the very foundation of a democracy is the ability of people to have free thinking and speech, and to debate on any subject. Especially when subjects have such important and widespread consequences.

I think that it's very dangerous to encourage people to stop being critic about what they see, even if this produces some "cruel fiction". Because, always IMHO, if there is something that history is shouting at us, is the fact that human greed, cruelty and corruption exists, especially when big powers are involved.

Failing to recognize these factors when they materialize in front of us might very likely have very bad consequences on our own life, and on the life of the ones we care for.

I think that it's very dangerous to encourage people to stop being critic about what they see, even if this produces some "cruel fiction". Because, always IMHO, if there is something that history is shouting at us, is the fact that human greed, cruelty and corruption exists, especially when big powers are involved.

Can't agree more. Also big money.

Failing to recognize these factors when they materialize in front of us might very likely have very bad consequences on our own life, and on the life of the ones we care for.


You just have to grow a tough skin, that's all there is to it.

And yes, write, re-read, edit, put on 'how will others read it' hat before hitting 'save'. That's what the 'preview' button is for. But, there's no beating real world learning. You got a good dose of it and came out intact albeit sore. Welcome aboard!

Just a guess, but I think #7 is hooked up to the Enterprise riser -- 1 mile of fixed riser down from the drill ship, that if the Enterprise has to move around to avoid other traffic, need to keep an eye out that the riser/top hat does not run over other subsea equipment or traffic (ROV's, umbilicals, flow lines, etc.) in the area.

I think they are wanting the ROV coverage for the public .. the minute they don't have coverage the conspiracy theorists will go nuts. I can see it now, the ROV goes off site and the nuts will be yelling that it blew up and its now 20 miles away .. why do 5 miles when you can go with 20.


NALCO is not merely involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. NALCO is trying to get control of potable water in various parts of the world. Compared with that, profits made from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may wind up being small potatoes.

In the United States, recent laws have paved the way for a larger private-sector presence in America's water supply. Whereas small or local public-sector operators, such as city or county utility companies, used to control the market, now the big players of world business are getting involved.
One of the main problems with water privatization is that the public no longer has the right to access information or data about water quality and standards.


We are talking about dirtbag CEO's like Tony Hayward who, like certain entities at Goldman Sachs, reportedly dumped a substantial amount of BP stock shares about three weeks or so before the oil spill. The fact that 'Blackstone, Apollo and Goldman Sachs is to subsequently acquire Ondeo NALCO so soon after dumping their BP shares the way they did is a tad suspicious as far as I am concerned.

BTW, did you know that NALCO was at one time the owner of the infamous IBT Labs?

NALCO purchased IBT from Joseph Calandra in 1966. IBT was notorious for falsifying and/or destroying its data.


June, 1983

Four Scientists are on Trial for fraud in a case that has cast doubt on the safety of 200 pesticides and on EPA's monitoring procedures.


By the way, IBT Labs was the company hired by Monsanto in 1970 to test PCB's. Now don't you feel a lot better about BP's choice of dispersant Corexit, manufactured by Nalco?

Nalco appears to be an unethical bunch. I am really pissed about them misrepresenting the EPA "approval" of Corexit.

This is the information from Nalco: http://www.nalco.com/news-and-events/4297.htm .

What Nalco says is, “Both COREXIT dispersants have been approved by the EPA as part of the National Contingency Plan for treating oil spills.”

This is a link to the National Contingency Plan for treating oil spills: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/docs/oil/ncp/schedule.pdf

What the EPA says is: Disclaimer: [Product Name] is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s NCP Product Schedule. This listing does NOT mean that EPA approves, recommends, licenses, certifies, or authorizes the use of [Product Name] on an oil discharge. The listing means only that data have been submitted to EPA as required by subpart J of the National Contingency Plan, Section 300.915. (Source: 40 CFR §300.920 (e)).

The length of their tentacles is horrifying. I spent over 2 days researching them a few months back for a court case that I was working on.

While I agree with much of what you say having had some experience with private water supply companies who generally under-invest in infrastructure and gouge their customers, I think that the statement you made:

NALCO is trying to get control of potable water in various parts of the world.

Is inaccurate. Nalco does not run or own any potable water sources or production resources. They are strictly a chemical supplier for water treatment applications.


They were once bought out by a company that was in the water supply business, but were spun back off pretty quickly are back to their old company structure, as the article you linked to describes rather vaguely.

The head of the coast guard hearings just named two more people of interest in the case. Did anyone catch the names of those two?

One was O' Brian. I think he is pretty far up the food chain.

They sure reamed the onshore "liasion" today.

In the previous hearings, I thought the BP lawyers held the field but today was a little bloody.

Still no smoking guns that I heard. BP is responsible, thats a given, but can they prove negligence?

The centralizer quandry dosen't play well in court but I doubt it had anything to do with the blowout. Office engineers love centralizers but drillers hate em. Personally, I think they cause more trouble than they cure.

Once they get it killed, I think it is possible they will run a bond log before they plug it with cement. I think they should so they can squeeze cement in the annulus where needed.


I thought Guide did OK although he is not an impressive witness. In fact, not being too impressive helped his credibility a bit. Lots of yipping and barking from the lawyers for various parties, Halliburton probably the worst, but the CG guys are pretty sharp and probably scooped a lot of signal out of all the background noise.

Particularly the bit about the cement simulation not being reality and not being particularly relevant except to pad out Halliburton's paperwork bundle.

Agree on those wretched centralizers. You only have to round trip a couple of strings of casing to realize just what poor shape the centralizers are by the time you land off a string, particularly the spring type...

First time I had seen the casing job decision tree. Interesting - if you have full returns, then no CBL. I'm not quite so sure a good bond and full returns are that closely related, much as I dislike depending on CBLs.

After today, if I was oil company management it would be a frosty day in hell before Halliburton got another cement job if I had a comparable choice to go with.


Particularly the bit about the cement simulation not being reality and not being particularly relevant except to pad out Halliburton's paperwork bundle.

BP's own engineering team came to the same conclusion as Haliburton based on the casing design: "severe risk of cement failure"

Interesting - if you have full returns, then no CBL. I'm not quite so sure a good bond and full returns are that closely related, much as I dislike depending on CBLs.

Yup, that's in the regs. But they got returns on the first test. At that point, they were legally bound to do a CBL. Instead, they argued over doing a second test. The temp. BP company man Faluza wanted to do the second one by the book. Vidrine over-rode him, apparently fearing that if they stuck with the proper APD procedures they used the first time, they would get a second fail. So Vidrine phoned to BP to get alternative procedures that did not comply with MMS regs. Even that test produced 15 bbls of returns, according to the Haliburton hand and BP docs. But it held pressure for 30 mins, so apparently someone dismissed the returns and called it a pass.

Syncro - You're conflating two unrelated issues.

Full returns in cementing means you get back the full volume of mud that the cement job displaced.

My point is that just because you didn't lose circulation during the cement job, that doesn't necessarily mean you got a decent bond between the casing and formation. The decision tree implies that no losses = good bond.

Follow the 'losses while cementing casing' branch to the left. You are still allowed to estimate the cement top based on losses before being required to run a CBL (according to this).


A further thought on the centralizers: One thing that came out on the Tuesday hearing was they reduced the bit size on the portion of the hole below the pay. Talk about a perfect place hang some centralizers. I would not be surprised if that was why they reduced the number used. If there is a couple hung up at the reduction point, it might have contributed to the blow out.

I thought Guide did OK as well. Many of the issues sound bad.....Lost Circulation, Failed Negative Test (double negative), Gas Kick....but they are just standard drilling operations. The lawyers know they sound bad so they emphasize them.

All good theater but there is not a lot of meaningful information, especially today. I'm just glad I'm not sitting in that chair. Its kind of a kangaroo court with no real judge to keep the lawyers in line. Why can't the Coast Guard find someone that speaks english to run the procedings. Mr. Hung (what a name) is worthless. With the rig burning down, all he wants to know is who was in charge. News flash Hung...Mother Nature was in charge.


NU, actually as these sorts of proceedings go, I feel this investigation, as public as it is, has produced a lot of good information and insight into what happened. I would have to give it a B+ or even an A- when you consider that this is taking place while the disaster is still on-going and everything is still in its early stages. These people are testifying under oath and we get to see all of the different attorneys cross-examine them in order to protect their clients. It's quite a treat.

If what happend on DWH is standard drilling practice as you suggest, then I think a total ban is in order. However, I do not believe you are correct in that assessment.

Your comments about Hung are unfortunate. He's actually doing a good job. I can understand him perfectly. Have you had your hearing checked recently?

"Why can't the Coast Guard find someone that speaks english to run the procedings. Mr. Hung (what a name) is worthless."

NU: That looks suspiciously like thinly-disguised racism. Can it.

I agree with NU. Hung is quite a name, especially for a Coast Guard Captain involved with Seamen, Rear Admirals, and Joint Investigations. Did you know that Captain Hung has a subordinate on the investigation committee by the name of Lieutenant Butts?

I'm not impressed with Hung's lawyering skills either. He's a Chemical Engineer / MBA, after all. And I can't understand him sometimes. Neither could Mr. Guide.

As for the quality of information coming out of the investigation, it gets an "I" for "incomplete." The most important witnesses refuse to testify.

That said, it's good to see that a child born in Vietnam and raised in Texas can do so well in America.

PS: What's so funny about Biggus Dickus?

FYI, the name is Captain Hung Nguyen. Read his (rathr impressive) bio here http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/3043/545411

Hung is the given name, Nguyen is the family name, a very common one for those of Vietnamese origin. So, it's Captain Nguyen, not Captain or Mr Hung, FYI.

If we're going to comment on such matters, I thought we should at least get the name right!

FYI, I linked his bio in my comment. I guess you missed that, huh?

FYI, I know what the man's full name is. The issue is his first name because that's what NU, who started this reply-chain, commented on.

FYI, Dr. Phil's last name isn't Phil, fyi.

FYI, if you're going to nitpick my comments, read them first, links too.

Pat O'Bryan, BP, vice president drilling and completions, and
Robert Kaluza, BP company man

were the two named today as people of interest.

O'Byran is slated to testify 8/26 in Houston, as is Kent Wells, who I believe was also one of the first witnesses during the board's first set of hearings.

(videos of all three of today's sessions are now up at CSPAN.org ... I just watched the last couple minutes of the evening session to get the names.)

Blame the messenger:

(link to this from the GeoSociety's (GSA) email in my inbox today)


Apparently some geologists have been indicted for failing to predict or warn about an earthquake! Geesh!

I know it's anecdotal evidence but Italy's education system appears to be even worse than ours.

Nice catch on that email.

"...Paolo Diodati of the University of Perugia, who also works at Gran Sasso, thinks Giuliani is wrong to support the idea that earthquakes can be predicted. However, Diodati thinks Giuliani’s findings might deserve the attention of the scientific community. And he was critical of how the local officials handled the situation. "If a researcher is put under investigation after he informed the public about what his data are telling him, scientists will feel intimidated and never take the risk of launching any alarm again."
"In contrast, Francesco Mulargia, a seismologist at the University of Bologna who has written extensively on earthquake predictions, was more dismissive, saying in an e-mail:
“Radon as a precursor has been quite extensively studied in the last three decades and did not stand the validation with the Scientific Method. This led to the widely accepted conclusion that it cannot be proposed as a reliable earthquake precursor. The guy who made the prediction is unknown to the seismological community. Neither his method of analysis nor his data have ever been published in a peer reviewed journal or presented at a scientific conference. I am afraid that under these terms they can hardly be taken into any serious consideration.”

Rossini said his office had opened the probe following numerous complaints from members of the public

Kent Wells Technical Update:


It was mostly weather related. I found this interesting ...

Tom Fowler: Thanks for taking the question. Is there any data that can be read remotely if all the vessels have the move off? Is there anything that can be tracked; even the pressure data or if you keep one – say you decide, I don’t know if this is even an option, to leave one of the ROV tenders onsite. Are there – is that where the pressure data is going, up to one of those ships, or is it reliant on other vessels on the surface?

Kent Wells: Yes, Tom, great question. I think we’re approaching this in two ways, very much aligned with your question. First of all, when we look at how can we continue some of the monitoring right up to as late as possible? In fact, depending upon where the storm goes, we may not need to stop it at all.

And then if we do need to completely evacuate the site where there’s nothing there, is there a way to record some information, and there will be; to record some information while we’re gone and then as soon as we return we can look at that information. Obviously it can’t be as extensive as if we were there, but it is something that the team has been working on.

I found that interesting, too, particularly when he didn't answer the question of how they are getting the data now. I wonder how those every-twelve-second transducer readings are being transmitted and what is listening at the surface.

This was posted last night in a thread about using a submarine as a ROV platform and thus avoid having to leave things unattended during a storm...

I submitted the idea to BP...

Wiki USS Jimmy Carter

Carter is roughly 100 feet (30 m) longer than the other two ships of her class. This is due to the insertion of a plug (additional section) known as the Multi-Mission Platform (MMP), which allows launch and recovery of ROVs and Navy SEAL forces. The plug features a fairing over a wasp-waist shaped passageway allowing crew to pass between the fore and aft sections of the hull while providing a space to store ROVs and special equipment that may need to launch and recover from the submarine.[3] According to figures published by Electric Boat, the MMP increased Carter's displacement by about 33%, her navigation draft by over a foot (300 mm), and made her louder by two dB at 20 knots (37 km/h). It reduced her speed by two knots (4 km/h).[citation needed]

Yes, you did. And I said it sounded like an idea worth thinking about. Good going, Green!

Hmmm . . . the ROV's are operating at a depth of right at 5,000 feet on the sea floor around the old inoperative BOP and new capping stack. Max depth for today's nuclear subs is a test depth of 1,600 ft. and a collapse depth of 2,400 ft. What am I missing here? Do you suggest that the sub would remain around 1,500 feet or so and reel out the rest of the ROV sea floor dock mechanism and cable?

Kilgorefield on July 22, 2010 - 5:58pm: [snip] Do you suggest that the sub would remain around 1,500 feet or so and reel out the rest of the ROV sea floor dock mechanism and cable?

That's the general idea...

I wouldn't make any book on the accuracy wrt operational depths of today's boats. That information is highly classified

The USS Jimmy Carter is homeported in Bangor, Washington. I doubtr that it could get to the Gulf in time to be of any use.

And I suspect that the Navy will not be too thrilled anyway as this is a 'spy submarine' and they will not want anybody to even make any guesses as to what ROVs it can operate.

Is the Carter currently in Bangor, WA? There was some speculation here that it was in the GoM area already???

I suppose the secrecy may be a valid concern... I don't know. However, given the risk of leaving a leaky BOP under pressure unmonitored... Hope they are at least considering it.

I heard that Qaddafi's got it rented for July.

I wonder if this should be taken seriously for the whole deep water scenario especially in the GOM with the tropical storm issues. Put it into the package with the new system that has just been announced. There must be a small USN sub that can stay down for a few days that could be pensioned off for this, it would spend much of its time (I would hope all) doing nothing. Maybe it could be rented out for inspection work as well.


"Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage"

By Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew

A good read if you are interested in some of the things we can do with spy subs. It's a few years old. Who knows what they can do today?

I think a nuclear sub would be a great platform for tracking 'oil plumes'. If I was Obama, I would have ordered a nuclear sub to be outfitted with a bunch of chemical sampling equipment and personnel, and I would have put them on station to track how the oil moves, figure out where it is going, and all of that.

In addition, these boats have plenty of sonar equipment which could also be very useful.

I feel for any sonar operators in the vicinity of the spill. Those surface ships are LOUD!

Going back to discussion of al-Megrahi:
Ms. Peirce noted apparent interference from American authorities in the initial investigation and suggested that international diplomacy may have diverted prosecutors away from more likely suspects before they settled on Mr. Megrahi. She also sketched out serious doubts about the scientific evidence used in the case and noted that his conviction “was in large part based on the evidence of scientists whose value as professional witnesses had been permanently and publicly demolished ten years before his trial.”

She added that the sole witness who identified Mr. Megrahi initially pointed to another man, a member of a Palestinian militant cell named Abu Talb.

Even if the science that convicted al-Megrahi had not offended against every minimum standard, then the second pillar of the prosecution case, his identification by Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper, would remain spectacular in its noncompliance with any safeguard.

He described al-Megrahi as ‘6’0’’’ (he was 5’8’’), ‘50 years old’ (he was 37), and ‘hefty’; said that he ‘had been to the shop before and after’, ‘had been there only once’; that he ‘saw him in a bar months later’; that he ‘will sign statement even though I don’t speak English’; that al-Megrahi ‘was similar but not identical’, ‘perhaps like him but not fully like him’, and, fatally for any identification of al-Megrahi in the first place, that he was ‘like the man in the Sunday Times’ (in other words, like Abu Talb, whose picture Gauci had initially identified). But Gauci’s evidence was needed and, reports suggest, handsomely rewarded. He apparently now lives in Australia, supported by millions of U.S. dollars.


WTNT63 KNHC 222222
615 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010




LOCATION...22.9N 75.4W


Ooooopss...sorry. Didn't see the previous post. Please disregard.

Remember you can use the 'Edit' tab to snip out your report if you catch it early enough. HTH


Edit: 'edit'> 'Edit'

Thanks - I'll try to remember that...


PS - Hey, it worked ;-)

Dear fellow citizens

Throughout the discussions on the deepwater horizon threads, I have found too little mention of the dispersants that are used, and their effects.

Maybe this will fire up the debate a little :



shoulders back and balls front, don't lose your dignity in the face of death.

Maybe this will throw the water on it.


Corexit 9500 appears to have all of the toxic, poisonous qualities of your average bottle of body wash.

Right.... agent orange was safe too.

Consider: http://www.infowars.com/bp-dispersant-likened-to-agent-orange/

"... The EPA, however, is still awaiting review of chemical’s effect when mixed with oil, and environmentalists are also concerned.

“I suspect that the toxicity impact will in fact be way worse than reflected by the tests that are being conducted by EPA,” because animals chosen for testing are less sensitive than those inhabiting the Gulf, said Doug Rader, chief oceans scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. ...



"Sir Richard Doll is a renowned epidemiologist who was secretly paid a large consultancy fee, at times reaching $1,500 a day, by chemical giant Monsanto for over 20 years, during which time he was investigated the cancer risks of the chemicals industry

According to a Guardian newspaper report, "While he was being paid by Monsanto, Sir Richard wrote to a royal Australian commission investigating the potential cancer-causing properties of Agent Orange, made by Monsanto and used by the US in the Vietnam war. Sir Richard said there was no evidence that the chemical caused cancer." ..."

Other than my tax dollars paying for adults who may get sick later becasue of the Corexit 9500/oil combination, enjoy. What is terrible IMHO are the adults who let children play and ingest the stuff at the beaches.

Why risk it? Are these adults going to look the kids in the eyes later on and say, oops, sorry - I thought it was safe?

How can they wait this long for test results?
The test are not in our best interest.
How much proof do you need.

My kids, heck, I wouldn't be in the stuff until it is tested. They'll wait a year or two to get the results in. By then the well will bestopped and something else will be headlines. Then they'll say there is a possible link to cancer, genetic mutations, birth defects, etc. but still needs some study.

I believe in the future TPTB will say it was an acceptable risk given the gusher and the need to minimize the damage to the environment. It also depends on the election cycle at the time... not that I'm cynical. :)

A most excellent study. About 400 pages, and academic in nature. Not for the flibbertigibbets. And I'll stick with Santa Maria Novella for my bath products, thanks ever so much. Nalco lacks that je ne sais quoi that is so specific to my particular species.

Committee on Understanding Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects
Ocean Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies

".... Toxic unit models have been applied to estimate the acute toxicity of PAH and other oil components (Swartz et al., 1995; DiToro et al., 2000; French-McCay, 2002). A toxic unit is the ratio of the measured concentration of a chemical and the corresponding effective concentration in the same medium. Assuming toxicity is additive, the toxic unit value for individual constituents can be summed to estimate acute toxicity of the mixture. DiToro et al. (2000) and French-McCay (2002) incorporated the critical body residue (i.e., lethal body burden) concept into the narcosis toxic unit model. The assumption for this toxicological model, known as the narcosis target lipid model (McGrath et al., 2004), is that mortality occurs when the concentration of narcotic chemicals in the target lipid reaches a threshold concentration. The acute toxicity threshold is assumed to be species specific..."

ed sp

Nalco lacks a certain 'I don't know what'? Credibility based on their history?

Maybe people should just take Nalco's word as gospel?

Riki Ott's claims are very alarming. Given the mainstream media's appetite for sensationalism I'd expect that they would be much more widely disseminated if they could be verified.

Have you seen Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez? I watched it the other day and just about every aspect of resonated with whats going on down here in the gulf. These are people that lived thru it back then and are still living with the effects of it to this very day. Now we have the State of Alabama opening up Mobile Bay for shrimping today. All its going to take is 1 piece of bad seafood to ruin the reputation of gulf seafood because the Government is in the "Let's make everything appear normal mode". I do not think that anyone can say with 100% certainty that the seafood is safe to eat. JMHO

Well, there was this thread from back on 14 July -

Truthout is well known for breathless advocacy. Perhaps at some point we could have some actual data instead of the scaremongering on which to base policy decisions.

A calculation I did for myself some weeks back told me that 1 million gallons of dispersant released into the entire GoM came out to about 1-2 parts per trillion. Concentrate that by a factor of 10 to 20 to correspond to the area of application and you're still looking at something under a part per billion in concentration. If this is a problem or not, perhaps a marine toxicologist could fill me in.

You may be correct if Corexit was evenly distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, it's not any more evenly distributed than the oil, right?



I've had to do my "day job" and it has gotten in the way of TOD today. I haven't had time to read threads since last night. The previous thread closed before I could post a reply for http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6766#comment-685503


Please, don’t "buy" the comments expressed here as you wish but I don’t think anyone is try to “sell” you anything anyway.

Also, I don’t think the reports of “oil explosions” were ever dismissed out of hand. I’ve now looked at about a hundred hours of these things and EVERTHING I have looked at has been silt blows of one kind or another well within the bounds of my personal experience. In other words, I have satisfied myself that they are silt. If others want to keep looking or have other opinions, please go for it.

I think what rovman has said was that we was looking too and if he saw anything that looked like something other than silt, he was going to shout out.

Example: I saw a documentary on the volcano blow at Mt. Pinatubo and the commander of Clark AFB stated that the USGS folks were working out of his HQ. He said that whenever he passed by their work areas and the USGA folks were busy working, he took comfort and wasn’t worried that a major cataclysm was imminent. One day a USGS guy literally ran past him in a hallway of the HQ and shouted something like, “Run General, or kiss you a** goodbye.” The General decided that was pretty good evidence that the volcano was about to let go. The General ran.

Use your own judgment, but for me, when like someone rovman say, “Here is something to look at,” I’m going to look. Until then, I’m getting progressively less excited when someone claims they have a YouTube video that is proof of an oil explosion. Quite frankly, I’m about to give up looking at these things as a “first responder.” Others can look; if something is indeed noteworthy, I’ll read it here and then go look. Looking at all of these false-positive videos has become a big time sink.

I don’t profess to be an expert in seeps but I have some very limited personal experience with both seeps and ROVs (for several weeks each year for several years). I don’t call myself an expert or would ever put myself in the same league as rovman. But I have operated a smaller ROV for about a 500 hours (“seat time” if you want to use an airplane term). And, I have seen maybe 50 seeps up close.

BTW, the best and most significantly-experience person here that I’ve read is rovman, hands down, IMHO.

I don’t know if we have a seep "expert" here.

My limited experience came as an un-paid volunteer (as a nice vacation on a boat for a few weeks) on a colleague’s research project for a major rearch center. We photographed seeps in much shallower water and mostly and took other samples. Budget and lack of suitable equipment kept us out of the DW. This gives me a bit of experience with seeps and small research-class ROVs (one-tenth the size of these work-class ROVs). I’m also a certified Master Diver with 30 years of ocean diving experience, much of it in the GOM.

Sorry if it is not as much experience as you want, but it is what I’ve got. Don’t read my lack of detail as not holding back; I just don’t want to speak beyond my knowledge and experience.

The seep presented in the YouTube video is very typical of everything I have observed personally.


In fact, this one in the YouTube video looks like it is flowing at a greater rate than many/most of what I have seen personally (2x-3x roughly – although this is from memory only – take it for what it is). I have seen one seep produce about a quarter-coin size dollop of oil once every 20-60 seconds or so (still made a trackable sheen when the surface was claim).

BTW, I've never seen bubbles in a seep, only liquid oil. Again, could be there elsewhere, jut not in my opbersations.

I have never seen a seep flowing so much that it produced a solid stream of oil. I’m not saying they doesn’t exist, just that I’ve never seen one or heard of one talked about in galley conversation on the research boat. I’ve never seen a natural-gas seep either. Again, I’m not a geologist and can’t comment on natural-gas seeps. These would be out of our sample set anyway, since we found seeps by looking for surface slicks of oil (more below), we naturally might miss anything else.

Also, and someone has addressed this before, while seeps are common in the GOM, the GOM is a very big place; you’re not going to find one every hundred yards. The GOM is approximately 615,000 square miles and has a volume of roughly 660 quadrillion gallons of water (from wikipedia). If there are 10,000 seeps in the GOM (and I don’t know where is number comes from but I will use since it was mentioned here), that is one seep in every 61.5 square miles. That means, on average, there is about one seep in a square grid roughly eight miles on each side.

Underwater, that is a huge search grid. Underway, that is like being in another state. BTW, it's a big grid on the surface too when looking for something as small as a seep. Seeps aren’t hunted with ROVs because their field of view is too limited and their search grid would be too small. This means looking for seeps with ROVs would be really expensive and take too long. I don’t know if the technique has changed lately, but they used to look for seeps by looking for surface oil slicks with remote sensing gear on planes or satellites. The targets we looked for on these research trips started with aerial surveys (sensors on airplanes) to rough-in a location and we dropped an ROV in the area indicated and went looking. It often took a heck of a long time to find a seep even starting from coordinates on the surface and allowing for drift. Many seeps were simply never found. In fact, the research project I volunteered with wasn’t surveying seeps per se (counting, locating mapping a bunch of them) but instead studying the marine life around seeps. We didn’t need to find a bunch of them anyway, just enough to give us a big enough statistical sample for the study. Most seep surveys I’ve heard about are compiled via remote sensing not subsea.

As to the silt-kick-ups: thruster-blown-silt does not have a single defining visual characteristic; too many variables for both the disrupting water stream from the thruster and the bottom itself being disrupted. What the silt storm looks like depends on (and this isn’t a complete list, only examples): how far away the thruster was, the angle of the thruster flow of water when it hits the mud, how hard the thruster was thrusting, the duration of the thruster’s water stream hitting the bottom, etc.

Also, the bottom mud itself isn’t homogenous in its cross section. The top bits are fines, sea-snot; something that you might not even call a “bottom” but a dense film of “gunk” some inches deep. The deeper you dig into the bottom, the more consolidated the gunk gets.

All of these variable (plus other I haven’t listed) produce different effects on what a bottom disturbance might look like.

If a thruster blows at an angle and sweeps only the top film layer of this type of bottom up, you get something that looks like the “smoke” you mention (I’ve called it the “milk-in-water” look). BTW, my small research-class ROV had some directional control of thrusting but I don’t know that the work-class ROVs have so I don't know if the angle here changes radically as it did on my type of ROV. If the thruster pushes longer, with more power and is more vertical, you’ll get the denser “brown water” boil-up result. A heavy burst from a thruster will dig way past the surface film and fines and actually kicks up chunks of the bottom in divots (think of aiming a fire hose at a close distance to your lawn). It will come up in clump.

Point a 250hp outboard motor at close-by mud bank (feet or inches) and gun the engine. See what you kick up. You'll blast out a pretty nice hole. Partticularly when the intertial mass of the ROV (10k pounds in the air)means it takes a while to get the mass moving so the water stream stays there for a while.

Also, there are a lot of ROVs in a close area. A blow see by one ROV camera might be caused by the thruster wash of another ROV above or below the one you’re watching.

Why does this keep showing up as new? If you are adding to it then I haven't been re-reading it.

It's a long post and I don't have checking tools on this wireless device. I've been correcting typos. Not the best of typist on a full-size keyboard either ;-)

Whew!! You had me worried there for awhile. I read it a few times and got to feeling like " you're goin' over the deep end ".I DID talk to myself.

I was told once that you only have to worry if you start answering back ;-)

Nah.Old wives tale.I ain't never worried about that.Only trustful way to get the answer you are lookin' fer.

I don't worry unless my answers don't make sense....


Thanks for this. FYI, the 10,000 number was one I just grabbed out of the air, with no basis in any fact I'm aware of, but from a sense that 10,000 seeps in the GOM could reasonably be characterized as a fairly common presence. My curiosity had overcome my laziness, so I had just done the fact checking and came up with your numbers. I agree that it would make them hard to find. I suppose one way to characterize it would be to think of it as trying to find a grain of sand placed somewhere in a 30' X 20' room on a sand colored carpet. I wouldn't even waste my time.

Now you got me curious.

Anybody have a citation for seep surveys of the GOM?

This is off topic, or is it. I just got a fairly large shock when I asked the question, who was POTUS when you were born. LBJ here and I was about the youngest. Only two responses younger than me. The thing that concerns me is I am thinking that the new generation text and write in blurbs of emotion, with little thought to content or communication. It does not seem unreasonable to me that enforcing a standard usage in Blogging should be taught in schools. Not because Blogging is all that important (I think it is but most probably don't), but what a great way to sneak in the Oxford revised standards. I would gladly put up with some whippersnapper correcting my grammar and spelling. Just come here and do it. We need to sell the importance of good critical thinking and good communication skills to the young.
I guess I will play the youngster here. It gives me a reason to talk to the Hooter's girls. I will get some interviews now.

It gives me a reason to talk to the Hooter's girls.

I knew you'd come to your senses, TFHG.

Heck yeah. I am putting off the trash post until tomorrow and riding there now. I will pay and get an interview or two.

I'm a Nixon guy myself...but why do you need an excuse to talk to the Hooters girls? Flattery gets you everywhere.

If The Oil Drum wants to make itself accessible to the younguns, then HO and the others will need to start Twitter accounts. Otherwise...

Conceived under JFK, born under LBJ. How's that for a coming-down-to-earth?

Edit: and no nasty speculation about what "conceived under" means...

I means you're rich

Nothing nasty about that...

HST... I'm not into the blog thing. I came hear to learn some facts about the DWH tragedy. I have not been dissapointed. After finding TOD on some google search several weeks ago, I immediately realized the value of the site, the good signal/noise ratio and the knowledgeable, measured and thoughtful posts and responses.

Thanks TOD.

"Surender gracefully the trappings of youth and embrace the wisdom of the years."


(FDR & remember VE day)

I am just a reader of the site and thought I`d add Wm Lyon Mackenzie King when I was born. This equates to FDR for you Yanks.

Truman here.
I never met the guy.

Ford. Yes, us 'youngins' need more representation on TOD...yet it seems I'm a rare breed to come by these days...that is, the 'progressive techie nerd engineer that questions everything' rare breed.

Ike for me.

I wouldn't consider myself a blogger though. Generally just lurking on the site. Made a few posts but generally enjoy just soaking it all in. I found TOD a few days after April 20 when I was having a hard time finding the names of the eleven who had perished on DWH. I've crossed paths with many people in the GOM over the years and was not readily finding the names in MSM. Too busy reporting on the doomsday outlooks of this disaster. Seemed to be little attention to the fact that eleven souls had perished, IMHO.

Anyways,I didn't find the names on the TOD but found it to be a source of highly sound technical analysis of the incident. The noise factor has increased over the last couple of months but you can still find the facts if you're willing to accept them.

Allen gives the order to prepare for an evacuation:

"Due to the risk that Tropical Storm Bonnie poses to the safety of the nearly 2,000 people responding to the BP oil spill at the well site, many of the vessels and rigs will be preparing to move out of harm's way beginning tonight. This includes the rig drilling the relief well that will ultimately kill the well, as well as other vessels needed for containment. Some of the vessels may be able to remain on site, but we will err on the side of safety.

As I stated earlier today, I have directed BP to continue with the well shut in procedure while the work to kill the well is temporarily suspended. I have also directed BP to take measures to ensure the vessels operating the ROV's are the last to leave, and the first to return in order to maximize monitoring of the well. Monitoring of the site during the well integrity test remains one of the government's highest priorities.

While these actions may delay the effort to kill the well for several days, the safety of the individuals at the well site is our highest concern. We are staging our skimming vessels and other assets in a manner that will allow us to promptly re-start oil mitigation efforts as soon as the storm passes and we can ensure the safety of our personnel."

Statement by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen on Tropical Storm Bonnie

rainyday on July 22, 2010 - 6:22pm: Allen gives the order to prepare for an evacuation: [snip]...I have also directed BP to take measures to ensure the vessels operating the ROV's are the last to leave, and the first to return in order to maximize monitoring of the well. Monitoring of the site during the well integrity test remains one of the government's highest priorities.

Thanks rainyday. If it is so important, and I believe it is, then it should not be much of jump to at least consider the sub idea... Or have I overlooked something that would rule it out?

Hi Green,
I think I responded to you and Pink last night. I am 12 Hrs or so from you.
Like you I am a technolgist. I love this stuff. However, we are using the highest technology available to retreive hydrocarbons from wherever they are to be found. Yikes!!. The next thing is to use robots, not just rovs to pursue this. These rovs are just puppets. Your ideas are really lateral, if not helpful in the short term. What do we do with the product?, we burn it !. Not a good look.
Anyhow, this site promotes this sort of interchange. I would be interested to hear from you and pink both, on how best to get off on this fossil hydrocarbon burning thing. cheers juan

I wonder why BP/CG can't setup a surface relay buoy for remote sensor monitoring. I am sure I am not saying anything unknown but our Navy can do this.

Today both have been named persons of interest in the investigation being done by the coast guard.

Robert Kaluza declined to testify Thursday, invoking his Fifth ...

Pat O'Brien, the corporate vice president for drilling

Mmmm,mmm,mmm,mmm,mm! Just had my BBIC

Are Thad Allens briefings still being recorded for replay anywhere? Haven't been able to find them for the last few days.

Looks to me like it's headed north. Where are all the scientist that have a sack? I am so tired of hearing this may happen, it might do this, I predict it to . So now in 2010 Scientist went from this will happen, to I am a fortune teller or I predict..Good Lord we have sent men to the moon years ago. This government has a problem fixing coruption ,bad intel,and wait til it's a major fu*k up before reform. I thought that was the platform to elect Obama---reform. Don't look like it's changed to me..Building pressure in the WW is crazy if you are drilling RW, just something else to deal with. Static kill if you get to bottom might work, if not no go.If the oil was worth anything they would be hauling it off, to refine.I saw they were burning almost 45% of it , plus the "fact" the Gov needs a flow reading(to estimate the fine) and so it gets' tossed back and forth. Looks like more payoffs to me.Sorry about the Gov slam, not really.....


Oh, I get it, this is post-impressionistic prose.

FDR and remember the end of WW2. I remember how happy all of the adults were. I STILL talk to the Hooters girls and some times they even answer. Not the answer aI want, but I didn't get the right answers even when I was young.

If the well stays capped during the storms, I bet it will be hard to find oil to skim. If the coast get hammered enough maybe the beaches will be white again. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I want a new ZR1 Corvette also and thats a long shot.

Right on, David. Post-Joyce, pre-Burroughs.

I blame the schools. If they still required sentence diagramming...

To my eye(s) it looks more like Proust via SMS.


OIL and Dispersants have flowed into Lake Pontchartrain , Chef Pass , The Rigolets , Lake Borgne , behind the Chandelleur Islands , Just about everywhere it could possibly go.
Lake Pontchartrain has oil !
Now they're opening up fishin in many areas.
I know Fisherman but I have to say.
They're only testing seafood for oil .
No Chemicals just oil.
Govt says they don't have a test for that.
I think I would if I cared about the people.
So , hope for the best and plan for what you're seeing.
This is Worse than any Hurricane.
I'm usually optimistic.
MS is a slimy douche.

Does anyone have a number on the sea tolerance of the most rugged ROV
host boat ?

Seems the umbilical would be the weakest link in heavy seas ?

- which could raise a need for a submerged/wireless host box.
Perhaps this power system for the Motors :

and wireless links should do for the short Video surface hop ?

Of course, Navies should have viewing ROVs that can inspect at least.

I'm sure the Russians could move something closer on short notice,
and they would be pleased for some income ;)

The data rates for the video cameras are massive. I've only worked with older smaller ROVs, not these monsters. Typically, on the ones I've used, video sent to surface on fiber optic cables formated as SDI (serial digial interface)

For SD-SDI (standard definition), that is up to 360 megabits per second for a single video.

These ROVs are likely HD for many of them but I'm guessing. rovman should know.

Some of the cameras look like intensified (low-light/amplified-light) sensors and these might still be SD. Also, on some of the color-bar shots I've seen the model of the Ospery video adapter use on the encoding computer topside and that model don't do HD on SD. My guess, is that the sensors are a mixed bag.

HD-SDI is 1.485 gigabits per second (Dual Link and 3G-SDI about twice that).

No short-range underwater modem anywhere near that class that I'm aware of even for SD.

The data rates for the video cameras are massive.

No, I'm pretty sure they're using 0.3 MP Suyin webcams from an Acer Aspire netbook.

I'm using one right now from a Starbucks. My daugther's and she is sitting next to me and wants it back!

For a Farmville fix she says.

Thruster model is the ClodHopper 2000 XS.

The quality of these components becomes apparent when you see alternatively equipped ROV's in action. For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z7REEnwKOQ

Yes, but those high numbers are for highest quality feeds, at full frame rates, and without any applied compression.,

Look at the images fed from space, for what can be done on lower frame rates, and lousy signal levels.

For leak monitoring, you can tolerate quite low frame rates.

I see mention of '20 megabits per second over a range of 100 meters',
as being viable underwater wireless rates.

If you're brainstorming a total new platform including the ROV, sure.

Currently, the s.o.p. is to take all of the video topside and compress there for off-ship transmission. Compression could be done on the ROV itself with a design there. The current rationale is that these 250HP electric drive motors on the ROV need a power cable so, if there is a need for an umbilical anyway, putting fiber there for full-rate video presents not problems. Keeps the computers/boards for compression topside where they are easier to maintain.

Does bring up the question of building an "observer" class ROV instead of using these work-class ROVs, something like James Cameron's ROV used in Ghost of the Abyss. However, his were HD too (no compression onboard). About the size of a nightstand though. Small enough to run on batteries (for a short mission) as I recall. The only tether was a small fiber to bring the video "take" back to the sub.

See http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2003-04/big-movie-uses-tiny-subs-p...

Both the ROV and the MIR were short-duration missions though since both were battery powered.

Also, weren't designed for open ocean currents (no currents inside Titanic's hull) so just how small you can make a small ROV for the open ocean is a good question to ask. The larger the ROV, the larger the drive motors, the larger the battery pack and/or the shorter the mission duration.

The umbilical should be ok especially at 5kft (Mil umb swl 44k). HWC rov systems are designed to ~SS6, yet the operators might have a hard time staying put. Just a guess, I'd think ~SS4- lower 5 max.

These words we write might have packets flying thousand of miles (kilometers) on submerged cables. One packet could go east, another west. The ATM protocol on the core on the network does not care, it knows how to put it back together on the other end. 5,000 feet is nothing to a telco guy. OC-192 is 9953.28 Mbit/s and you can shoot 160 different wavelengths of light with DWDM (dense wave division multiplexing) so we are talking about almost 1.5 TERRABITS of data per second over one fiber. Bundles of 48 fibers in one cable is common. You could put the world's Internet on one cable, but of course you need redundancy.

Edit: Why could this not have been a telco based disaster. Of course, we would not be able to get online, but I would be Rockman or at least Rockman Jr. :)

Buy a lambda! I loved ATM in the multiple-protocol core but as IP has dominated and core routers have gotten fast enough, packet-over-SONET replaced ATM in most of my stuff. A bit of left though. I put an old empty Ascend CBX500 chassis in my office with a few blinking lights behind the front panel as a piece of art.

I wondered when that was going to happen. ATM is going bye bye in the core? It is an IP world. Multi-link PPP right? Still sends packets all over the 'ether'? Is there a newer one? Yes, Lambda rocks. Light switching is where it is at.

ATM certainly ruled the first generation fiber core. The "cell tax" (most IP packets are smaller than the ATM cell size) begged for something more efficient for IP. The MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) protocol for IP sealed its fate because an MPLS core router makes a pretty good CBR/VBR/ABR switch. ATM is still there but its sun is setting.

Just learned about layer 2.5 stuff. I need to study it more, but I see it gives the router the power to manage the time sensitive packets like voice. I bet IT departments hate it because they lose the control they had with private networks. It would seem they now how have the IP switch combined with the fiber MUX and you get high speed Ethernet/serial in one side and SONET out the other. Where would you break out DS0's for legacy POTS? Another smaller switch/mux?

Yea, but we would be leaking photons all over the GOM!

LOL Call me stupid but, what on earth or how big is a Terrabit??

1 terrabit= 1000 gigabits = 1,000,000 megabits. Old school uses lower case for bits and UPPER FOR BYTES (usually 8 bits). I think now upper case/bits is used throughout and bytes mean less to the IT set every day. In binary it becomes 1024 and 1048576 bits respectively.

In data communication it's safe to assume bits and decimal SI units regardless of case.

In memory size and data storage case matters and binary pseudo-SI is the rule of the day unless you are buying a hard drive. I'm not sure if it is the CS people or the HD marketers being Humpty Dumpty on that one though.

It comes back to me. I thought the communications guys cared less about case.

TFHG - mucho love. The 5kft is in reference to the umb swl, i.e. Mil umb.12.5kft on winch, whereas 10kft is max operating depth, i.e. max load on umb. @5kft, umb's ok...even in some higher SSs. : )

The numbers I've seen say you could put the whole shebang on one FIBER. Nobody really knows how many wavelengths you can discriminate. I've even heard tell that in some future we would assign a wavelength at birth...

Very true. I had to look up the latest DWDM channel spacing and wavelengths. There is much 'dark fiber' out there, so electronics and rates are not the bottleneck right now. It might be in the wrong routes, but that is a complex project. The network also bottlenecks in the POPs and getting to the POPs. Someone has to pay for all this cool stuff. Looked at the Telco stock index lately? Ask we why I used to wait tables before 4/20.

Edit: Any of that quantum communications working? That is some mind blowing stuff. Where is Heisenburg?

I know, no one is certain and we cannot determine where he is.

Edit: Read this. I get bits and pieces and I could run one, but at some point it does get tough. I have the same problem with the anti-matter positron PET scanner technology. Again, I could run one and probably maintain it, but our tools are getting quite advanced and you better start learning your advanced physics in the new age. If you know the old stuff you are fine, but some stuff has changed and a bunch more has been added.

Not without being uncertian of his momentum.

Could such a device theoretically allow us to communicate with a parallel universe, or it that how it works to begin with? Are there alternate quantum parallel universes that I can talk to on the other end? I am going to bed. We will talk about different quantum types tomorrow. My head hurts.

"Parallel universe" is a cheap lawyer's trick concocted to excuse inadequate knowledge. The fact that it serves to provide comfort makes it even more attractive.

Well, they claim that they can teleport individual photons across a distance, if you can advance this technology then faster than light communication might be possible with entangled photons on an established link. If they ever figure that out the real time video and commands could be issued to and from planetary probes in a manner similar to what we are seeing on the ROV.s

'of course... this might just be a SciFi pipe dream.

I just want to talk to the reality where they have mastered peak oil.

Heisenberg? He disappeared....He suceeded in measuring his velocity with infinite precision, and as a result, we have no idea where he is!

So... he can't even tell us the velocity.

This appears to compound the uncertainty.

Looks like Skandi ROV 1 done loosed a bunch of corexit.

This what you're seeing?

Yeah,he was down on the ground picking things up and putting them in his basket in front of him that he would slide out.Just looked and he's still holding it up in the air.There was a big pile of stuff.It says disp.hose recovery.

edit: When I say still holding it,I mean he's sitting on the floor,looking at it.

Release of chemical dispersant sans oil?

This has been going on for over 2 hours now.

Should this be considered a spill in and of itself? It's not being added to an oil flow, just released into the open ocean. Is it accidental or intentional, and if it's the later why?

They are recovering the main dispersant line from a ship to the seafloor to skip out of the stormpath. Some of the dispersant still in that line escapes. Will be few gallons, nothing to bother about.

MoonofA, thanks for the explanation. Looked like a lot more than a few gallons over the 2 hours it was flowing. Wonder why they don't clear the line from above before disconnecting it on the bottom?

Oil is still leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. Lots of oil. The leak tracker map is showing new aerial survey results up to yesterday. And that's only what's on the surface, not the oil lake underwater nor the dissolved oil caused by solvent ('dispersant').

What leak tracker map?

This one?


I suppose the high winds have spread the existing slick, also hampering any skimming efforts.

I'm guessing that you'd estimate the amount of oil that's leaking at about 120,000 bbl/day?

I wish MS would locate this. I'd like to sell his followers lakefront home sites but I don't know what state to get licensed in.

Can any of you interpret these sonar images from the Macondo Well?

There really isn't a lot there to interpret. Ripple marks are beautifully shown. I think most of the bright stuff is low-angle elongation of returns from point sources - clutter in other words. The linear arrangement of short lines pointing NE in #2 are probably a cable or hose lying on the bottom. It breaks up like that because the angles interact.

Back to presidents.....JFK......and one of my earliest memories is the TV Guide special issue on the Assasin-Nation.

OK, another Truman guy here. I stole the buck off his desk.

BBC on BP Buying the Academy

[Big Snip]

Bob Shipp, the head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama, was one of the scientists approached by BP's lawyers.

They didn't just want him, they wanted his whole department.

"They contacted me and said we would like to have your department interact to develop the best restoration plan possible after this oil spill," he said.

Russ Lea from the University of South Alabama: Some clauses in the contract "were very disturbing".

"We laid the ground rules - that any research we did, we would have to take total control of the data, transparency and the freedom to make those data available to other scientists and subject to peer review. They left and we never heard back from them."

What Mr Nelson is concerned about is BP's control over scientific research.

"Our ability to evaluate the disaster and write public policy and make decisions about it as a country can be impacted by the silence of the research scientists who are looking at conditions," he said.

"It's hugely destructive. I mean at some level, this is really BP versus the people of the United States."


Good article, Auntie (thanks especially for the contract), but where are your manners? Shouldn't you have acknowledged Ben Raines' scoop?

BTW, I note that the law firm that drafted the contract is Brunini of Jackson, Mississippi. The name caught my eye because a couple of years ago on my old blog, I told a story including Brunini's role in thwarting the then-fearsome (now-incarcerated) plaintiffs' attorney Dickie Scruggs' attempt to make non-profit hospitals "the next Big Tobacco."

Thus I conclude that BP makes some of its choices with more care and attention than others.

TFHG: Better lay in some kimchee and candles and whatever Hooter girls like. Bonnie's developed a slider.


Rats. If that track holds up, Macondo gets the dirty quadrant, maybe even the center.

Tell me about it. It is taking a turn for my turf. Glad the wind predictions are for non-hurricane speeds at landfall for now.

I'll hope that holds up too, TF. Could be just what y'all need (if Jeff Masters' guessing is on-target).

As long as we get at least 2 or 3 inches of rain. TS and CAT 1's are very hard to call.

Been wondering whether some meteorologist types might be secretly frustrated that they'll miss seeing how a full-on oil/hurricane interaction plays out. Hard to know how much oily surface is still there to factor in, but surely it's much less than when Jeff Masters first wrote up the possibilities.

Anyhow, good job there's less oil now, and let's hope for less storm too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake It would appear that the GOM is one of the most active areas in the world as far as tectonic plate movement. And this drill sight is closer to the Ring of Fire then I thought. I'm sure those teenagers who answered my post yesterday won't be up till later this afternoon so I will be back later.

Really? There's enough people worried about hurricanes without scaring them over earthquakes.

Look again at the Wikipedia map and enlarge the image this time. The GOM is not the Caribbean (think Haiti). And Macondo is as far from the Ring of Fire as it is from D.C.