BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Static Kill to Begin Shortly - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6806.

Update, Monday Evening, 7:00 PM EDT New flow rate estimates were released today by the same US scientific teams who released the earlier estimates. Their findings:

  • 53,000 barrels a day were leaking, just prior to capping.
  • The amount of leaking had declined, prior to closure, as a result of depletion.
  • Initially, 62,000 barrels a day were leaking from the well.
  • Approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil have been released from the well; of this containment activities captured 800,000 barrels of oil.
  • The uncertainty in these estimates is plus or minus 10 percent.

At Sunday's press conference, Admiral Allen indicated that static kill could start this evening (Monday evening) or on Tuesday.

At the time of the press conference, the pressure had built up to 6,980 pounds per square inch (psi). Admiral Allen indicated this was the type of pattern that would be expected with well integrity. According to his report:

As you know we are in the process right now of laying the final casing run for the relief well and with that casing has now been placed at the bottom of the well bore. It is – they are circulating fluids just to make sure it's clean and ready to go.

And probably in the next four to five hours they will begin cementing the relief well in. As you know following that we are making preparations to do the hydrostatic or static kill as we have talked about. That could start as early as Monday night into Sunday depending on the steps that are taking.

They have to do what's called an injectivity test to make sure that all the systems are operating properly. And there is a sequence of events that has to be followed before they can actually start pumping mud into the capping stack itself.

The mud boats, the pumping boats and the Q4000 are online and all the systems have been tested and they are ready to go.

When asked about whether the static kill could threaten the integrity of the well bore, Admiral Allen replied:

That's a great question and that's exactly what the science team was discussing over the last few days with the BP engineers. What they're going to go do is put the mud in at a very slow rate and I think it's going to be like several barrels per minute and I think during – and I don’t have the numbers in front of me right now but I think at the maximum point I think we're approaching 80 barrels per minute and putting mud down during the top kill we were trying to overcome the pressure of the oil coming up.

We've taken a look at putting the mud in very slowly so if there is a rise in pressure, we would expect there is some, that we could monitor that very, very closely. And we've established 8,000 PSI as the upper limit for pressure inside the capping stack as we put the mud into it. So we'll be monitoring that.

Regarding the use of dispersants, Admiral Allen seemed to indicate less controversy than reported in the press--or if there is a question, it is not a BP decision that is the problem.

The basis for the numbers are EPA's own numbers. And they are in agreement with it, that those are the numbers. These are decisions that are being made by the Federal on-scene coordinator.

Let me clear it up. It's not a decision by BP on whether or not to use dispersants. It's a decision by the Federal on-scene coordinator whether to approve the incident commander's recommendation to use dispersants once they've been located by surveillance aircraft and has an opportunity to use them.

It's a very disciplined doctrinal process on how this works. In the end it may be executed by BP through a contractor. But these are all decisions made by the Federal on-scene coordinator because that's where the responsibility rests.

And those are closely supervised and on several occasions. I've been privy to those briefs in New Orleans when the decision's being made for the following day. And I'm satisfied that we only use them when they're needed.

Prof. Goose's comment:

Welcome--modified 21 JUL 2010

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G'morning, Gail.

Couple of fellows over at the Times-Pic have put together an interactive-graphic page on the first 100 days of the BP disaster; looks like this:

Here're the links for it and for its intro/explanation. I'm just now trying some of the features -- lots going on there. The bottom animation is especially busy (and therefore unintentionally funny sometimes, what with zoomy rigs and bouncy ROVs).

Interesting graphic video, if a little abstract.

I passed it along to others. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. :-)

Hi, Lfeather. Yep, the "Faces of the Spill" interviews actually turn out to be my favorite part of the package, though most of them are pretty sad. I sure want the killing of the well and Ken Feinberg's work to combine to give those folks some reasonable hope back (oxymoron though that may be).

The animated squirmy oil glob is scary and fascinating. It makes four or so separate sorties toward the Grand Isle area, including one particularly spiteful one toward the end.

NOLA.com and the T-P do some really good work.

NOLA.com and the T-P do some really good work.

Boy, do they ever. They've had terrific graphics all along; this one is just superb.

Loved your description of the animated oil glob. It really does look as if it were alive and sentient and malicious. If Stephen King hadn't just written Duma Key two years ago--a horror novel set on the Gulf--he could make quite a sinister tale of the oil spill.

They've had terrific graphics all along

Ooo, SL, did you see the one, early on, on the benthic community? Knocked me out. Dunno what the graphics equivalent to the Pulitzers is, but the T-P deserves this year's -- no question.

did you see the one, early on, on the benthic community?

No, missed that one. I'll see if I can find it; thanks for the tip. Agree about the graphics Pulitzer! I get royally pissed about the pathetic inadquacy of the NYTimes graphics.

Zowie. Smashing. Many thanks, lotus. I'll have to study it; lotta info there.

The two main lessons I take from it:

1. No wonder they made the compromises they did to protect the marshes as much as possible.

2. Sucks to be a small fish. All the neighbors want you over for dinner.

Amazing... Here is SkyTruth's analysis.

nope...no oil in the jetstream...they can't find any oil...nothing to see here...nothing to see here...move it along folks...

Watch the change from day 98 to 100. Where does that large area of new oil come from on day 100? It is near, but not over the well sight.

I think it's oil still rising from before they capped the well why it isn't above the well site could be explained that something caused it to move northward when it was still rising from the previously flowing well.

Just guessing, but it might be because the graphic doesn't show the density of the slick. A change in the wind or something might cause a similar amount of oil to cover a larger or smaller area. For example, the slick area grew explosively when west winds spread the oil over to Destin and Ft. Walton. Conversely, an area of slick might be attenuated by heavy weather to the point it doesn't register at all, but then might be reconsolidated by the winds and become visible.

I would like to hear an expert comment on whether substantial amounts of oil could still be coming to the surface for the first time. Maybe there's a certain tiny size of droplet that would be able to rise only very slowly?

If you go to http://oilspill.skytruth.org/main you will see the oil spill. To your lower right is a spill extent boxes starting in April.. Click from the bottom up. Look at the map on top each time you click the box. The spill will appear.

Holy Edward Tufte, Batman. That's a lot to take in.

Posted end of last thread but re. Kent Well's video presentation 7-21-10, I have a question about pumping concrete during either the static kill or the bottom kill. What happens if the concrete pump assembly on the Q400 fails? Are there other pumps, motors and generators ready to be swapped in and how long does the swap take? If 45-60 minutes expire and the concrete starts setting with the operation half done, what then? Thanks everybody for maintaining this forum.

Hi, F&D. One of the actual experts will probably be along soon, but as I understand it, yes, they have all sorts of backup for everything, no doubt including pumps/motors/generators -- even whole ships. And the cement they'll use is nothing like the everyday concrete we're used to. It takes 1-2 days (or longer) to "cure," so I don't think they'll face the short-term emergency you describe, even if some part of the machinery does kick up. Rockman or someone can answer more authoritatively . . .

Fox and Duck:

They would not pump concrete, it's cement - there is no sand or other solids used as additives.

There's no "congrete pump assembly", there are a series of pumps. I don't have their exact layout, but the probability that all of the pumping systems will fail is very low. If they do, the outcome depends on a ton of things, and whether thay can overcome the problem or not will depend on the exact nature of the problem, the timing, and so on.

I would worry more about the cement going into the wrong place, or fracturing the rocks above the reservoir. I've never heard a straight story regarding the location of the failure point (the spot where the oil and gas enter the wellbore), so I'm not really sure how likely this is either.

I thought that cement had to be mixed with some sort of material for strength? I was under the impression that cement is something like glue that holds other bits of material together ant it is that material that provides the strength - not the cement itself.

(I suspect that I am about to learn a lot about cement/concrete.) :-)

If you get a bag of commercial cement wet, it will turn into a big heavy rock. The reason why contractors add sand and gravel in cement to make concrete is to make it go further, and to add strength to the mix. A pure cement slurry, though, will harden up all by itself quite well.

Here's a couple of links to cement manufactures. I decided to mix it up a little with a US manufacturer and one from Portugal. The Portugese company site shows chemical comp. plus physical properties.



One of the problems we run into when we use the generic term cement is lots of folks think highways, driveways, sidewalks etc. These items are concrete i.e. cement with aggregate added.

The reason aggregate is added to cement is strength and durability. The aggregate added is sized for the job required and it's engineered accordingly. Most state DOTs have strict agg. compliance specs. contractors adhere to. The standard bag of portland cement will set up and get firm if it gets wet but it has no real structural value.

Many types of cement may accept accelerator and retardant additives. Temperature, location and setting time desired/required would be a few factors when determining the use of accelerators or retardants. I don't have experience or knowledge in regard to the cement slurry composition used to seal an oil well and I am surprised a couple of engineers haven't covered this. Rockman has covered this in a couple of responses.

My addition to what I have already stated regarding the static/topkill of the WW is why would anyone want to pump cement into a well full of DP and other unknown items still in the well only to come back and clean it out per MMS regs. It's not logical to expect kill integrity with DP stuck in the BOP extending down thousands of feet.

I know it seems rather simple but why doesn't BP state why they are attempting the process in this manner.

I'm a civil engineer and have experience with concrete. I realize that we're talking about oil wells, and not bridges, so I don't want to make a big deal out of it. Aggregate is added to concrete for economy. It displaces cement, which is the most expensive ingredient. Cement makes up about 15% of a typical concrete mix on a weight basis.

Good quality aggregate does not reduce the strength of the concrete. The bigger the aggregate, the better the economy. The size is limited by the size of the structure, and the spacing between the reinforcing bars. Finer aggregate is added to help fill the spaces between the larger aggregate, and sand is added to fill the remaining gaps. Sand also helps make the mix workable by separating the pieces of aggregate.

Thank you Coriolis, I am an engineer also, but of the commuinications type !. I now know the reason for using concrete as opposed to cement is pretty elementary. This is not an ironic comment. The things you learn on TOD!. Tks again GA.

Thank you lotus and fdoleza re cementing wells. I found an illustrated primer at http://www.blueridgegroup.com/v4.0/index-1-3.html plus a reference to API Specification 10A/ISO 10426-1

I posted on the last thread too late..I always check the scrolling news on bloomberg for Macondo and the article I was interested in quoted aeberman. I was hoping he'd pop in here for a bit and see if he could give me a percentage vs reasonable chance and if that is in regards to the static kill or RW? I also am seeing the MW is 13.2 ppg, and wanted to ask if that was the proper MW according to either aeberman, Rockman or another expert in the field. Thanks in advance.

mummsie -- here's the numbers: A 18,000 column of 13 ppg mud will exert a bottom hole pressure of about 12,200 psi. Original reservoir pressure was 11,900 psi. But remember when they are pumping the mud the effective mud weight (ECD) could approach 14 ppg to 15 ppg WHILE THE PUMPS ARE ON. I suspect they'll use the pumps to ease the pressure up as they monitor for any signs of shallow leakage.

Chances of success: The BIF IF: If they don't have a shallow leakage than as close to 100% as you'll ever see in the oil patch. In 35 years I've never seen a static kill fail to work. But with all the unknowns with the BP well we are in something of uncharted waters.

I know there a so many unknowns, but IF the static kill fails I did see the three potential outcomes and I am going to do the "optimist" thing and believe the RW will finally do the job even if the static kill runs into problems. I also read in the same article that aeberman is quoted in that IF the static kill works it will bring the pressure to zero, and then BP will permantly plug it at the bottom with cement.

When it talks about the final seal (Allen's words) he states that could begin as soon as five days after the after the static kill is completed and the static kill ......

So, one more question (for a while anyway), what are your concerns about the ability to kill it with the RW IF their is shallow leakage.

Thanks again RM

mummsie -- For a variety of reasons (mostly those "unknowns" again) I view that bottom kill as less likely to work than the top kill. And even if the bottom kill appears to work I would worry about the long term ability of the well to stay dead. I've seen more than one improperly plugged "dead well" spring back to life.

I was actually just thinking about that.
But can't that be solved when they begin the relief well efforts? After killing the well from the top, I would presume they would have total control over the well, and even if the well is only seemingly killed they should be able to quickly make adjustments to respond to the potential dangers.

HOS - Assuming they've killed all the potential flow paths from the reservoir to the BOP I think they'll have trouble figuring out what the paths were. I know many folks think it was mostly annular. I've never been confident would could make that call with cerainty. So if they pump cmt from the RW where will it go? And will it go where it's needed to permanently seal the well? One way to test the reliability of the cmt is to back off on the weight of the kill pill and see if the cmt holds. But that was what probably led to the initial blow out. I don't think it would happen this time because they woud be expecting it. But if they took a kick when they back off MW it could damage the cap and renew the leak.

So is the problem here lack of confidence in the cement or the path it will take?
The first shouldn't be a problem but I understand your concern for the second, but we can ask them about this in the next confrence or interview.

I was under the impression that the end result of the kill process will be that the well would be filled top-to-bottom with concrete. If I am incorrect - what is the procedure used to permanently seal a well?

05b -- It would be rather difficult to fill the entire 13,000' csg with cmt. But that probably isn't needed. The job is to keep the oil/NG from ever flowing up the csg to the surface. Several 1,000'+ cmt plugs would do that just fine if they get them in the right spot. Unfortunately they won't be able to spot plugs with drill pipe. They'll either bull head cmt from the top down, from the bottom up or both. And before one of resident nitpicker jumps on you they'll be pumping cement and not concrete. Concrete is cmt mixed with aggregate.

And we use the term "plug and abandon" to describe permanently sealing a well. Right now the well is "shut in": there's pressure there that would flow if they opened the cap up. If they get the heavy mud down and stop the flow potential (shut in pressure = 0) the well will be "killed". The kill phase may turn out to be easier than the P&A.



Here is another (likely stupid) question - over long period of time (say a couple of hundred years - is it likely/possible that the surrounding rock would squeeze the rest of the well shut?


Assuming they manage to kill the well by filling the column with mud -- let's say heavy enough mud that the 13000' below the seafloor is sufficient to contain the reservoir. (That might be dodgy assumption #1...) For good measure they leave the top uncemented and pump cement in through the RW so we now think the bottom is plugged and the well is filled with mud anyway.

At this point would it be reasonable to take off the old BOP and the new cap, put on a new BOP, fish the wreckage out of the hole, and go in with a new drill pipe to put in the 'several 1000' cmt plugs' you'd like to see?

[Edit: Nvm, I realized the same question has been asked and asked and asked below...]

Rockman, the uncertainty regarding the flow path is what led me to suggest they should flood the well out by pumping clear brine, and lots of it. I still don't see why they're using mud, unless they think the shales in the top seal are very sensitive - if the flow path is annular and in a wormhole they may not want to run water through it.

Oh crap :( Now I need to go fill the valium and make a run to the liquor store. I am so loving our crystal clear turqouise water, sugar white sand and now I'm going to be stressing again.

Ok, off to buy the neccesities .....BRB

Forgive me for asking what must have come up before now..but since we're so close to "static kill"..

IF the top of the well get's sealed via cement ("static kill"), then how can a "bottom kill" follow?

ie if there is a pressure cap of cement or column of same, then the well is sealed from the top, right? And, if you tried to pump mud/cement UP from the bottom of the same orifice it couldn't be done because of the resistance pressure.

It seems to me the only way a "bottom kill" pumping of material could happen is if the top of whatever is being sealed (annulus or well pipe) must have an opening somewhere above to allow material to move upwards.

Excellent question. I guess they would drill into the wild well with the relief well and find out if the top kill worked. If it did (they'll know because there's no way for them to pump in, I guess), then they can pump some more cement and call it a day.

I have some misgivings about pumping cement from the top. Killing the well is fine, but plugging it depends on what they think they found when they killed it.

I agree with FD. There are three ways to get cmt into this well were they need it: top kill, bottom kill and going in hole with drill pipe and spot cmt where you need it. This order ranks from worst to best approach IMHO. I've seen a number of attempts at bull heading cmt with many not working very well. In fact some efforts left a worse problem then you had to begin with.

Hello FD,

I really want to see this accident end with drill pipe finishing up a pretty much standard plug and abandon. I am somewhat comfortable with the bottom kill cement job and quite uneasy pumping anything other than mud during a top kill. Knowing where any cement ends up seems to be important, especially from a top kill. Short of filling the entire wellbore, they can know the volume of cement pumped, but they cannot know in advance exactly where the top of the cement cap will end up for a lot of reasons. And, they cannot evaluate any annular cement located below that cap unless they can enter the hole and drill it out.

From a safety perspective and engineering feasibility, can they devise a removable well fluid that can be pumped in from the top, perhaps chasing the kill mud, which would allow them to unbolt all of the existing BOP stacks down to the wellhead and then bolt on a new fully functional one? If this could be done with acceptably low risk, then they are back in business for normal operations: fishing junk, running wire line and pressure tests, running more casing, shooting holes, squeezing, etc. Anyone care to comment on the engineering to do this and the risk?


Karmadave, those are pretty good ideas. I got a question for everybody. Who's for pumping in kill fluid, watching the well for a while, and if it's dead for say three days, try to open the BOPs? If they're in shape to be opened?

Also, I remember pumping a sensor down the casing side in a well a long time ago, trailing a wire and all. Does anybody know if they can pump a tiny device with a sensor and some sort of transmitter, so they can try to figure out what it looks like inside the well?

Karma, as I understand it 13ppg mud won't balance the well without 5000 ft in the line from the surface. I don't see any way to remove the failed BOP.

True. So why do they need the top of the mud column at the surface anyway? What I had in mind was a dual fluid system such that the combined weight would slightly overbalance both bottom hole pressure and the ambient water pressure at the sea floor. That would be heavier than 13 ppg, but it would insure a killed well just as surely as 13 ppg run back to the surface.
I suggested this yet to be developed fluid to create an acceptable margin of safety while the BOP stack was off. Since everybody already knows the maximum pressure possible at the wellhead, it could be that mud alone would create that acceptable margin of safety. Anyway, the right mud density can easily get you to the point where you could unbolt the BOP. Whether you could make it safe enough to do so is another matter.



From the last thread HOS and I were discussing pessimism/optimism with regards to the BP accident which led to a wider discussion of general global collapse (along with a bit of my dark humor) and that finally got us back to PO. Since we're all sitting on our thumbs waiting for the top kill I'll offer my response to HOS as a side bar in case we want a little distraction while we wait.

HOS -- Silly me...forgot to tell you what my MADOR represents: Mutual Assured Distribution of Resources. No...I don't see military conflict between the USA and China but more of a cooperative bullying of the rest of the globe.

Oil will never run out. There will be some still produced 100 years from now. That isn't the PO issue as I see it. The question will be how much each of the world economies can acquire. In 20 years if the max production rate is reduced by a third of what it is today the USA and China may have every bbl their economies require. I know it's simplistic but for the sake of time: the USA and China have had a symbiotic relationship for a long time. We're one of the biggest consumers (disproportionately) in the world and China holds the same position of the production side. We need each other. Neither one needs any other country to a degree that we need each other. IMHO we're not in the Middle East militarily to take anyone's oil from the producers. We're there to provide a means to keep ME out of the hands of the other importing countries. We don't need to own ME oil: just exert a huge influence on who it's sold to. Same reason China is acquiring long term oil production access around the globe. I've seen no reliable estimate so I'll offer a WAG: China has acquired access (and thus removed from the market place) several million bbls of oil per day. No other country will be able to buy this volume at any price. The USA and China may battle over energy access eventually. But not before we usurp what we need from the rest of the consumers first. The EU will probably be our biggest challenge. They won't give up easily but if our $ won't knock them to the back of the line I suspect our Navy can.

Consider the truly horrible little country of Equatorial Guinea. Few people know of it. I've worked there. It is ruled by a homicidal maniac of a dictator. With a population of only 500,000 it's one of the world's richest nations per capita in the world...not just Africa. And 90% of those folks live on a near starvation diet. But they can't complain too loudly. Some years ago El Presidente changed the constitution to allow him to have anyone executed without a trial. All he has to do is point a finger and they immediately take a bullet to the back of the head. Why? Since he's in direct communication with God (they are a former Spanish colony and thus very Catholic) then if it's OK with God then no one should have a problem with his decisions. If the USA wants to spread democracy and freedom this would be a very easy sell to the American people. One big reason: EG has no Army. Their local police aren't even allowed to carry firearms. In fact, back in 2002 a 80-man mercenary force was on the verge of invading when they were busted in their staging area in another African country. A side note to that little adventure: Margaret Thatcher's son admitted to being the leader of the attempted coup. He didn't implicate the British govt but...hmmm. It's a very small island nation. We wouldn't even have to fire a shot: just park an aircraft carrier off the coast and provide air transport for the 200 or so members of the extended family that rules and let them skip of to Switzerland where they have tens of billions of $ banked. BTW: did I mention that EG ships around a half billion bbls of oil and a lot of LNG to the EU...including England which will very soon be very dependent for that LNG.

That's quiet a bit to digest, but thanks for explaining this in more detail.

As for the Static kill operation, someone mentioned that if it works than how can they preform a bottom kill, how is that so?

HOS -- They can still pump cmt from the RW but there would be little chance of any of it going very far up the csg. If they get the pump pressure high enough they can easily push cmt into the reservoir. Too high a pressure and they'll frac the rocks and waste cmt and maybe make the situation worse. But that's not a full proof method. Cmt goes where Mother earth lets it go...not necessarlly where some engineer shows it on a diagram. I'll be very disappointed if the don't get a least two cmt plugs in the csg. And I mean two proven and tested plugs.

Just realized I probably made a bad assumption: were you thinking they would bull head cmt from the top first? That's would explain my answer. But if you mean how would they pump cmt from the RW with just the mud in the csg killing the flow that could be down but a little tricky. They have to back off the pressure of the kill mud to allow the cmt to displace up the csg. The even bigger question is as they pump cmt from the RW where is it going to go. Up the csg? Up the csg/well bore annulus? Up both? And with no ability to run logs they may never be able to prove where the cmt did or didn't go. Even if the cmt appears to permanently kill the flow I would hope they wouldn't trust it. It would be expensive and take some time but the best final solution would be to re-enter the well with drill pipe and spot a number of shallow cmt plugs. That's is the reg required by the MMS BTW. And that would be for a well that hasn't pumped millions of bbls of oil into the GOM.

Nothing is fool proof that's for sure.
Though I was under the impression that the top kill would be used first to kill the well. Which I assume it will be, though I appreciate your second explaination as well.

How do you deal with the space between the production casing and the liner? Would you expect to break that casing low in the well and remove the upper portion?

I don't see a US-Chinese alliance forming to fight for oil against the European Union. But then, what do I know, if we keep borrowing money from them, maybe they'll repo the USA and we'll be their colony, or something like that.

Rockman, you're somebody else whose autobiography would make a fine read, so I hope you get around to one.

Thanks for this story, sad as it is. (Mark Thatcher's gang looked and sounded like the plot of a Humphrey Bogart movie, didn't they?) God help the EGians.

lotus -- I love to use movies for analogies but try not to punish folks on TOD with that too often. But there's an old movie (Dogs of War with Christophe Walkin) that fits the EG plot rather well. If you search Amnesty International you'll find a lot about the EG caper. Besides torturing to death a couple of the mercs they caught in country they wanted the other nation to extradite the others to EG. AI put up quit a battle to prevent that. Another sad side note: El Presidente was afraid the next coup world use the EG commercial fishing fleet for transport. So he had the fleet destroyed. So sitting in the Atlantic Ocean the folks are protein short. Explains why they've developed a taste for jungle snails the size of baseballs. Also, the first dictator after freedom from Spain instituted a malaria spraying program on the island and virtually eliminated the disease. The current El Presidente killed his uncle and took over. He decided it would be easier to control the population if he let malaria come back so he stopped the spraying program. He also didn't like the pygmie tribes in the area so they were eliminated.

There's a few even more hear breaking stories I could tell but I'll spare TOD. Eventually I broke my contract. Just didn't care to be involved in even my tiny part of the process.

Eventually I broke my contract. Just didn't care to be involved in even my tiny part of the process.

Sure can understand that, R. Thanks for the AI tip. I followed the story avidly in the London papers, even though every day I asked myself, "No, for real? Is somebody putting us on?" One of those "laugh or cry?" deals . . .

Mr. Rock:

You are so right - EG sounds just like the ficticious country in Dogs of War - a great movie, go to Blockbuster you won't be disappointed.

My grateful thanks to you, fdoleza, rovman, exdrlgmgr & the MANY other professionals who give so freely of their time & expertise here on TOD to help those of use who are looking for facts, not hype. Your efforts are not in vain.



P.S. hope that Thatcher boy wasn't going to pull Walken's surprise as in DoW.......

...back in 2002 a 80-man mercenary force was on the verge of invading when they were busted in their staging area in another African country. A side note to that little adventure: Margaret Thatcher's son admitted to being the leader of the attempted coup.

Reminds me of Operation Red Dog (aka, the Bayou of Pigs), in which a group of white supremacists (including Don Black, founder of the racist website 'Stormfront'), attempted to take over the tiny Carribean island nation of Dominica.

More here:

Something to read with your sundowner this evening . . . in fact, it may be good for two rounds.


Thanks lotus. Heading out to a rig tonight so could use some reading material.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a scientific paper about the relationship between disease stress on children and IQ. The article said Equatorial Guinea has the people with the lowest IQ on Earth. They attribute it to disease. I wouldn't know about some of the other comments, though.

I've worked in Africa, and I was always impressed with the pictures of their presidents we had to keep in a prominent place. It got me thinking, when I was visiting the US embassy, that we should outlaw pictures of our president anywhere. It smacks me of butt kissing. The US embassy should have something more suitable, like a picture of the latest Heisman trophy winner.

fd - all I saw of the locals is what I observed thru the bus window from the airport to the camp. That was bad enough. I would sit on the rig offshore and fantasize about being 30 years younger and gathering up a few good ole Texas boys and hop over to EG and do something right. I once sat on the rig for 28 days without anything to do...way too much time on my hands. LOL.

Nemmind petro-powerplays, this is why we're gonna have trouble with Asians: They prepare, taking great pains to learn English properly instead of floundering around in pidgin . . .


(TF, did you take cussing lessons too?)

lotus -- I don't think we'll have any problems with the Asians: they win and we sit down and shut up. See...no problem. But I've got myself hedged a little on that bet: I adopted my 10 yo daughter in China. So I'm kinda kin sorts a little.

Yepper, R, and we already know she's made o' stern stuff.

Rockman said :
"The USA and China may battle over energy access eventually. But not before we usurp what we need from the rest of the consumers first. The EU will probably be our biggest challenge. They won't give up easily but if our $ won't knock them to the back of the line I suspect our Navy can.
If the USA wants to spread democracy and freedom this would be a very easy sell to the American people. One big reason: EG has no Army."

Nice to meet you, Rockman...I live in Germany !
I think the European Christian faith in God is not as unviolable as in Equatorial Guinea !
May be USA has the army - but Eu has the brainchild !
Time will show what´s proving itself in practice :
The manpower on a par with Neanderthals or the possibility to take advantage of an invention on a par with Gyro Gearloose (Daniel Düsentrieb).
And, Rockman - don´t forget where your roots are !!!

Howdy Lady -- Glad to meet you. It may be an interesting and painful confrontation to watch. I know the Germains are tough competitors but those "blue eyed Arabs" (as they were once so disrespectfully called) up in the Nordic countries worry me a bit more. And I've never met a Dutchman I would care to go toe to toe with in a life/death battle.

And, of course, I'll always set aside a small reserve for my kin in Ireland. Éirinn go brách!

Oh, wow. I'm also German-Irish. Must be a genetic link between who we are and what we do.


Re: "IMHO we're not in the Middle East militarily to take anyone's oil from the producers. We're there to provide a means to keep ME out of the hands of the other importing countries."

Is not the issue a little more complex?

For example, supposing Saddam had been able to expand Iraq's oil exports to 5-10 million barrels a day, that would have given him an additional 100 to several hundred billion dollars a year, making it possible to build Iraq into perhaps the World's No. 2 military power (by expenditure) and thus capable of tilting the balance of world power. In terms of real politic, that alone seems justification for the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

In addition, is it not likely that influence over, or outright control of, the ME oil exporters is important to the US because it means control over where surplus oil revenues go, and in particular how much is invested in US the and Europe?

L - Very complex indeed. I was just offering a little diversion because I didn't think there was much more left to say about the top kill. I was wrong. LOL.

At the time of GWII Saddam was sitting on about $60 Billion of UN escrowed oil sales proceedes. You may recall the cries about how sanctions had caused children to die from lack of food. The UN had approved the necessary imports of however many Mercedes Benze were requested. and ther were warehouses filled with medicines. Did the UN deny the Saddam requests for any food expenditures? Or was Saddam operating in the same manner as the ruler of Equitorial Guinea?

RM: Good analysis! New Cold War, kinda? Where do you fit Russia in this strategy? Or do you?

Russians are a real wild card IMHO. So mnay different ways to write that script.

Just think of what the Klingon Empire would do and you have a pretty good first approximation of what the Russians will do.

RM, thanks for your reply. Interesting that you think that the Russians are a wild card. And, as is well known, Russians are very astute chess players. Much appreciate your balanced approach to the various comments on these pages.

MAX -- I think we've gotten a hint of at least one part of the future Russian script: how they dealt with the EU NG supply recently. Imagine how that game plan might change as the EU becomes even more dependent

Oh look!!! It is a new important number in this new test they are going to conduct, 8,000 PSI.

What were they hoping the pressure would be in the capping test 8k to 9k wasn't it?

Why were they hoping for a number then that they will shut down the well kill process if they reach it now?

Seriously, what has changed in the well now that they don't want 8k?

We've taken a look at putting the mud in very slowly so if there is a rise in pressure, we would expect there is some, that we could monitor that very, very closely. And we've established 8,000 PSI as the upper limit for pressure inside the capping stack as we put the mud into it. So we'll be monitoring that.

That sort of made me scratch my head at first too, but I guess this can play out in several ways. One, they figured that 8000-9000 was to large of a number for the psi and are content with the current pressure. Two, they are practicing much needed caution. Three, an evil plot.
Now I'm sure they are more ways this can play out, but these are general ideas on how we may react to this bit of news.

Or maybe 8k really doesn't have anything to do with the integrity of the well or BOP's?

Maybe 8k is just a number if they reach it they know they are just spinning their wheels?

The whole thing is strange, we have them running a test on top of a test. They are testing the test with another test.

The integrity test would allow whatever pressure the well could put out against the cap. The other option was to allow the oil to spill into the ocean. Now they know they have less than 7000 psi, and they can control the pressure. And oil isn't spewing into the ocean.

So why risk a higher pressure when they don't need it? I'm surprised they set it at 8000 psi. I would set it at 7200 psi just in case, and this is a guess.

8000 psi is a somewhat intelligent anal extraction, if they're using that. After all, if they were using megapascals, they would have rounded it to something else.

I guess it is good they set the upper limit to the pressure they will allow in the capping stack during the "static kill".

I would be interested in knowing what their response time is. What is the time lag in their control "loop" ?

Is their system run in pressure control mode or pump rate control mode? If latter, what is their initial pump rate?

floleza, I'm with you. I've bullheaded wells dead by starting at no more than 100psi above shutin pressure, pumping at 1/4 bbl per min, and then slowly increasing speed as the piston formed and the pressure started coming down. After a short while, we would be pumping at 5 bpm or more. As far as cementing from the top, I would not do that. I would circulate the well from the relief well after killing it and insure cement is at bottom. But, that's just me. I envision these guys running around with steel toe clown shoes and a big red nose. They've already delayed the relief well about 2 weeks longer than they needed to.

I'm puzzled what the plan is for putting a drill pipe down through the damaged BOP (does it function at all?) to fish out the 3000 ft lost pipe, if they intend to circulate bottoms up - and or - are they going to attach a riser, or just pump cement through the choke/kill lines? Pump it to where? Enormous top plug that precludes salvaging the BOP?

I give up. Clown shoes in my size, please.

As far as cementing from the top, I would not do that. I would circulate the well from the relief well after killing it and insure cement is at bottom.

I think if they do circulate cement in from the top, it will be the worst mistake they've made so far after the blowout.

I've been looking for a place to pose this question, and hope this is a good spot.

The pressure test was supposed to generate a response curve that would tell us something about the nature of the leak, the reservoir, and some other related stuff. Does anyone have recent news about the pressure curve and some interpretation of the results?


Hi BT,

In a conventional well test, a well is flowed for a period at a carefully measured rate, and then shut in, usually these days using a special valve near the bottom of the test tubing. Very sensitive gauges are also hung near the bottom of the well and record the pressure build up with a very high resolution, usually to 0.01 psi or better.

The pressure response is then analysed using fairly idealised mathematical models of the way that pressure waves propagate in the reservoir. The permeability of the formation can be determined, as can the 'skin factor' which is a measure of the additional pressure drop caused right at the wellbore by damage which is often inflicted during the drilling process. Larger scale features of flow in the reservoir can also frequently be resolved; the presence of barriers to flow or changes in permeability away from the bore, fracture behaviour, layered reservoir behaviour and so forth.

In the case of the Macondo well this exercise is hugely hampered by the data set. In particular neither we nor BP have a really good idea of the flow rate over the 3 month flowing period, and they don't have any down hole gauges. This means that there is a large compressible wellbore between the reservoir and the surface gauge, an unknown pressure offset, and phase segregation and thermal effects help to spoil the response. If you've seen the pressure response presented by BP in a recent slide pack on July 21st, you'll also note that the gauge resolution also looks very low; resolving subtleties in the build up will be very difficult.

Nevertheless it is possible to attempt an analysis and BP will have done something like the following :

These 2 figures show a matched pressure response for the whole 3 month period and a zoom in to the build up. The green points are the observed data extracted from the graph BP presented.

By making various assumptions it is possible to get a good match to the data. In this case I assumed flow at 40,000 b/d for the 3 months, a staged shut-in taking 10 hours, and a fixed wellbore fluid gradient to convert from WHP to BHP. The matching reservoir model has oil-in-place of 160 million barrels, and a permeability of 560 mD. The geometry is rectangular and the well is within several thousand feet of 2 perpendicular boundaries.

The problem is of course that this solution is not unique. There will be a host of possible matches using different assumptions for all the key variables. BP will have generated a lot of these, and have a better constrained data set to work from than we do.

They will be drawing comfort however from the fact that the sort of build up they are seeing IS consistent with one or several reasonable models of the subsurface. But that isn't the whole story; I have been able to get a reasonable match to the available data using a hypothetical leak scenario too, and I suspect they must also be able to do this. They would have to be ruling this out on other grounds; the matching parameters required might be considered unrealistic, the required leak rate would have to be high and quite constant (at least it is in my model) and they must be placing great weight on the apparent lack of breakthrough of large volumes in the near wellbore area or changes in subsurface character on seismic.

reservoir model has oil-in-place of 160 million barrels

I no longer believe 50 mmbbl recoverable or 160mm OOIP. I think it's much larger and saddle-shaped, perhaps 1 Bbbl OOIP based on the predrill seismic line you posted 7/29.


I'm not sure how you cn tell from a single 2D cut. What's the reasoning?

Thickness, areal extent, unfaulted, seismic response, gentle anticline.

Thickness: not that thick a reservoir. maybe 100 ft? I would think they expected bigger
Seismic response? You mean amps? Very difficult to infer anything without the 3D cube. Cant tell downdip from updip in the seismic we see.
Gentle anticline? True but does that matter? Are you talking column height here?
Areal extent? It's only a 2D line. What's your acreage estimate?

Two questions:

What's the full reservoir compressibility assumed in the build up match?

Could it be a smaller reservoir within a larger complex? I understand this is a turbidite basin, and I've see very few 70 ft sands have the continuity to hold 1 billion barrels. I've seen really big tanks, but the sands were 1000+ ft thick.

BP (BP /LN) has placed last stretch of pipe in relief well, clearing way for static kill on Gulf leak - BP executive

16:07 02-08-2010

- relief well to intercept blown-out Gulf well August 11-15

I am trying to figure out why Allen started calling this a static kill test.

Has anyone heard Well's use that term or is he still calling it a static kill?

It's an "injectivity test" first (Kent Wells' words at latest BP update - or see http://twitter.com/BP_America ) where they inject oil from surface and see if they actually do force the Macondo oil back into formation as expected/modelled. After that if all is well they move onto inject mud.

Allen is calling the whole thing a test.

Greg Bluestein: Hi Admiral. If the static kill does not work, what does that mean for the relief well process and will it delayed or put in danger in any way if the static kill does not work?

Thad Allen: Well the static kill is not the end all be all. In fact kill may even be a misnomer. What we're really doing is, we're going to be conducting a static test and see if the well can have mud pumped into it at a very low rate.

That could result in us filling the entire well up, bringing the pressure to zero. And if that's the case then we've taken away about half the job we will need to do from the bottom. Ultimately, to kill this well, we're going to have to inject mud into the annulus which is the area outside the pipe and between the well bore and then fill the well up itself, the pipe and the drill pipe in the middle.

Doing the static test or static kill first allows us to advance the ability to try and bring the pressure down which is what we want to do, bring it to zero ultimately. Also it will tell us right away based on the pressure readings if we have an integrity problem in the well bore or the casing itself.

Yes and it's still officially a capping "test" at the moment. I wouldn't get too hung up on the word "test" - it just tries to convey that they can't be sure of the outcome so the public shouldn't jump to conclusions. Well that's how I see it.

Well they can't please everyone either way. So I don't see the point in renaming it, someone is always going to complain.
Anyway will the ROV be playing during this whole operation?

From recent update

"Will see some ROV activity as they turn valves & open manifolds. We will keep you informed on what stage we are at". -Kent Wells

That didn't really seem conclusive at least not how I was hoping for it be. That could mean anything from news updates via text or live feed.

But that will be about it..

From 7/30

When we do the static kill, there will be some ROV work. Unfortunately, it's going to be really boring. What you're going to see them doing is going to control panels to turn a valve, and basically, once they get everything open, i.e., when the static kill starts, they won't be doing anything.

And so I've got to think this through, but I don't think there's actually anything to – what they will probably be doing is just monitoring the capping stack and the BOP, looking to see if we have bubbles coming from anywhere where we hadn't seen before, but that's probably all that will be going on. So I don't – other than watching them turn some valves early on, I don't think there will be any good ROV footage.

btw, during his briefing today, Wells said that they will be executing and interpreting the injectivity test today and, assuming all looks good, beginning the static kill tomorrow. And he continues to talk about the possibility of cementing from the top, depending on the outcome of the kill attempt.

Well its not like we'll notice much of a difference in terms of excitment watching live feed is boring. Period.

I guess that means you missed the recent underwater repair of one ROV and last night's recovery of a second incapacitated ROV by two other ROVs - looked like two giant insects carrying a third.

To each his own.
I woldn't call something exciting just because something happened. Sort of like when they unsheathed that large tube from the sea floor, it wasn't the most exciting thing but compared to watching bubbles rise from the floor it was.

I missed that. Any video?


We hope the feeds will be boring. They could be very exciting, and that would be very bad! :-)



Thad mentioned in today's briefing that there are currently twenty-two heavy duty skimming vessels standing by at the surface in case they had to return to containment. (It would take a while to start that process up again.)

Some activity. Maybe. No, it would just confuse everyone.

I thought he was real close to saying we will probably just shut off the feeds then.

I didn't .. I took it to mean that once the valves are opened, the ROVs won't be doing anything except monitoring, so there literally won't be any noticeable, meaningful activity to observe, unlike during previous operations such as unbolting the stub or lowering the transition spool and cap.

Wells' comment was in response to the question
But I think we all got a little addicted to these great subsea pictures from the ROV cams. Is there anything visually that we would see when these – you know, the final drilling run takes place and the static kill takes place and all the rest happens? Anything that we're going to be able to see?

I too believe that they are creating terms so as to not confuse the general public. Most of my belief is based on an assumption that oil field jargon, although well understood within the oil patch, is unknown elsewhere and is leading to misunderstanding among the public. Terms like "shut in" and "kill" do not mean much to the public. Not an uncommon situation when industry or professional jargon is used outside of its intended audience.

My guess is that using the term "kill" has been conveyed an incorrect understanding; something "killed" is dead and done. Which, in this case, isn't quite correct.

As a newbie, I'm didn't understand this industry's jargon either until I started lurking here (and using WiKipedia a lot).

In their rather poor attempt (IMHO!!) to create a new shorthand for the general public like "capping test" and "injectivity test" (there is a prize piece of language) they are creating a need to parse their terms very closely. Carried much further, they will be coming close to creating "non-speak" that isn't understood by anyone, the public or professionals (also IMHO.)

I do have a certain amount of empathy, though. Basically, it's a tough job to communicate these engineering/technical concepts to the public without resorting to the shorthand of jargon but still making it fit into a sound bite.

I'm general public and I'm confused. This from CNN -- http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/08/02/gulf.oil.spill/index.html?hpt=T1

"The static kill would involve pouring mud, possibly followed by cement, into the well from above -- a process that had been delayed while debris from a tropical storm was cleared out."

Pour it in? Are they really going to "pour" mud down the hole? What's wrong with "pump"?

Storm debris? They are conflating geology and meteorology, but we can thank Thad Allen with this one.

Media loves to invent terms, to frame to story -- soften it, harden it, make it their own. Jargon avoidance is fine, but such abuse of the language misleads and confuses all the more.

Sam -- As bb says above we use jargon that even confuses us sometimes so the talking heads with the MSM can easily get confused. You're correct: neither cmt nor mud is poured. Both are pumped by some very large machines. The "debris" was actually just normal "fill" you tend to see when you move drill pipe in and out of a hole. The "debris" was sand and mud from the sides of the hole and had nothing to do with the storm.

Okay, I've been mostly just reading here but, reading the Admiral's comments above in Quantum's post, it hit me all of a sudden like and I think I GET it now! Yeehaw!

So, how does this sound? Static kill pumps mud (and possibly cement, depending on success of mud) down the INSIDE of the 9 7/8" pipe which tapers to 7". However, no way to determine if leak is up INSIDE of this pipe or OUTSIDE of this pipe in the annular space. Also, no way to guarantee mud will flow down INSIDE of pipe and return back up the well OUTSIDE of this pipe in the annular space.

Okay, so now you have mud (or cement) 99% down the inside of the 9 7/8"-7" effectively killing this part of the well. BUT, oil and gas can still leak upwards through the annular space so the RW pumps mud (and ultimately cement) up through the annular space, thus killing the second part of the well.

Everyone was asking how you can fill the well with cement from the top and still pump cement in from the bottom. Does this answer their question?

Do I get a cookie? :)


You betcha. What kind ya want -- chocolate chip? peanut butter? lemon bar? cinnamon pecan biscuit with peaches and cream?

Now I have a soggy keyboard.


Mmmmmmm...never had cinnamon pecan biscuit with peaches and cream before. I'll take one of those!

Sho' thang, new batch coming right up (the first ones, um, never saw the table).

Static kill 1st phase is injectivity test. Test confirms we can inject oil back into reservoir, displacing w/ mud. -Kent Wells

I didn't read that to mean that they were going to "inject oil from surface." Mud will be injected. No?

On the other hand, I didn't attend Kent Wells' conference call.

I was going by realtime transcription by smokebreak on irc channel - official transcript not up yet. But I understood transcript to mean that they would first flow oil down from surface ("injectivity test") then evaluate before moving on to mud (static kill test). Could be a wrong interpretation though on my part. Need to wait for full transcript.

Yep. Saw mention of using "base oil." Not even going to ask!

I just read on the bloomberg it was base oil as a test and then proceed with static kill to assess how much friction must be overcome . I wonder if this is what I read on earlier threads as "lube and bleed"?

I would assume they renamed it so everyone will know it's just a test operation. I mean they already finished the relief wells so I guess might as well use them.

HOS - A little dose of my dark humor for you again: every time you pump anything into a well it's a "test'. You might be very sure what's going to happen when you start to pump. And then there's what actually happens. You could break a flow line on the rig that's unrelated to the well. You could blow a liner on a mud ump and lose pressure. Could frac one to the shallow csg shoes. Makes me wonder if they might be prearing a spin story for some potential problem. I alway do the same in all my proposals: there's what I think will happen and then here's the list of what might possibly go wrong.

Gallow's humor loses its appeal after a while Rockman. But nice list of what could go wrong. I've heard that the BP engineers have a plan b and c incase this fails. Though I also heard we won't know until we begin the relief effort, is that correct?


Now using my real identify of Dr. Evil, I would submit that you have left out at least one major item that could go wrong...

Those sneaky wankers (taking advantage of video feeds with the new and improved resolution about equal to a "color Etch-A-Sketch"), have during the wee hours, successfully placed "Plan D". An oldie but a goody 50 megaton version that they assure us works far better than BP's Corexit...they have also assured us that upon successful detonation, there is absolutely no possibility of failure, as the blast will also totally remove the entire formation, which insures "No Leaks Atoll".

Now there is only one thing that could go wrong, is that they said there is only a slight chance it wouldn't detonate because it was a "little dusty" after all those years in the warehouse... They did however reassure Unified Command that if this one failed they still have others (on a delayed fuse) that will self-deploy and "take care of any unfinished business" should the first one fail:)

Dr. Evil?
We can't settle for such entry-level villiany, you have so much to learn my freind.
But why are we discussing underwater bombs, that is of course, what you were alluding to. I'd rather go with the static kill and the relief wells before considering using an undersea bomb.

Just trying to save the species a little time...they'll never go extinct quietly at this point.

You're being a little morbid right now, which isn't as funny as you may think.
Though I don't see us going extinct any time soon so why are you anticipating mass death? A true villian knows the value of life, in a way that he may use it to further his goals. May I direct you to tvtropes, so you may become genre savy?


Interesting site, but no "plot" needs to be invented for this one. Although true Villains have been known to arise throughout history, our species built-in attributes of tribalism and superstition (i.e. Religion) already insure at least a massive die-off in the relatively near future. A centralized and highly organized group of Villains are not required.

We'll do what we have always done, fight over dwindling resources or just because we happen to want what the other "tribe" has. You may call such an outlook a bit morbid, I call it pragmatic.

I think most of us here are aware that a certain group in this country particularly, thinks that the planet and its resources (animal/vegetable/mineral) were put here just for them to use up, then they seem to believe they'll be "taken up" to, oh, I don't know maybe Pokipsee. Many of these kind folks however seem to have a vested interest in pushing up their "escape date".

We do "love things that go boom" ya' know, and it has been a while since we tried em' out on anything on a large scale.

The species thing is getting kind of old, my freind.

I don't get where you're getting this idea of a massive die off in the near future. Since I'd say we've become an overall better society since the early 20th century. We need to be careful about hunting and mining but this shouldn't be a problem because in your world view people can't help themselves but destroy. Your doomsday scenario isn't practical at all because it's based off your interest in watching people die.

The whole "boom" scenario as you called it isn't likely to happen. We already came close to that back in the sixites but apparently diplomacy saved the day as did fear.

Now please save it. Does anyone else here share your interest in mass death?

Why Morticians of course Heiro, since you asked...

Time will tell, in the meantime give my regards to Pollyanna, and I really hope you don't have your heart set on the Rapture, but I'd love to see the looks on their upturned faces when they get stuck here with the rest of us.

Now, back to the well...

How discreet.

And where is "here"?

You are aware, are you not, that Nessus is pulling your leg?

I am not. I don't understand sarcasm on the internet and people like him exist so you can't blame me for believing he's one of them.


Sorry to get back so late, but once I had removed your leg I had to get it iced down and post it on e-bay...if you hurry, you might just be able to buy it back before it gets icky:)

It's alright that Hannibal Barca already severed it during the Second Punic War, but I'll gladly go and get it back since it's not worth much. But if your just joking than what do you really think?

Anyway can we drop the monoxide thing. I admit my ignorance in chemistry is hilarious but I already caught on and berated myself for not realizing the obvious trap.

Lighten up for a bit, Heiro-Rant... don't blow a gasket.

You can't make the probability of serious die-offs go away by banning doomers.

Encourage us with technically sound solutions to the problems of human nature. (Hint: humor is one of them)

I'm not that funny. But I'm not just saying, "no its impossible" but trying to show that we aren't as doomed as you may think.
But what's the point? That's the kind of attitude your trying to enforce on me.

Not enforcing anything, grasshopper. Just advising a little less presumption on your part about what others think. You might be working on small evidence, all things considered. And they should be.

I have.
I never told him to go away or shamed him for his thoughts. If I gave the impression I did I'm sorry.
I have already dwelled on every mass-extiction scenario and have considered them carefully, but I don't see why I don't see anyone siding with me. Assuring others that the future isn't a bleak and hopeless reality.

Many were pulling my leg and shaming me for my optimism but it's okay because I can laugh at my naitivty and youth.

Most doomers, I think, aren't so much talking about a mass extinction scenario, as they are about a lot of failed states, and a massive reduction in our standard of living, since we USers have so far to fall, with our just in time economy, and lack of living skills, all caused by crop failures, water wars, religious extremism or rabid tribalism and nationalism.

Another fork in that thinking is BAU, business as usual, where the USA, and other first world consumerist countries, maintain their standard of living by increasingly brutal repression and extraction of cheap labor and materials, by ignoring the regimes enforcing our desires. See "Confessions of An Economic Hit Man"

Don't forget, the world is pretty bad already for billions of people. They might not have a lot to lose in a doomer world. We do.

Dave, you're needed on aisle 2.


I'm on it. See below.

Should I start publishing a rate scale, or does this come under my earlier incarnation?

Speaking of which, you asked a couple of questions in an earlier thread that I never did answer.

First, I was a protestant but not yet a minister. In fact because of a number of factors (perhaps, but not necessarily, including the fact that I flunked "kneeling"), I was very not very likely to become one even if I hadn't flunked 4 out of 4 courses. In that denomination, if the seminary gives you a degree, they are recommending you for ordination, and I considered it very unlikely that they would have signed off on me like that. There was also no provision for a merely academic degree.

Second while I do some general individual and couples therapy with adults (I don't do kids, in any sense of the term), the bulk of my work is forensic in nature, dealing with issues of intimate violence.

After a number of years wandering in the wilderness, I was lucky, via pure happenstance, to find work that I was both good at, and find very rewarding. Also, since most of my clients are mandated to come to me, when they get bored by the "drivel" I feed them, they can't just up and pull out or even shift to another thread. ~(:<)


Just a quick thought. Maybe it is biblically justified?

Rev 6:7-8 The Fourth Seal — Death

When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." 8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. NASU

I mean, really. With the Middle East about to blow up, North Korea running its mouth, with global warming, with the NWO about to control the EU, with AZ calling our govt' the enemy, and with limited BBIC availability... oh, and the Gulf of Mexico about to implode/explode... just be glad you're guaranteed survival. :)

I'm familiar with Revelation. Yes, it is a bit scary how the world seems determined to fulfill that.

Okay let us break this down.

By the middle east, I assume you mean Iran and Israel fighting correct? That isn't likely to happen due to the risk involved. Iran may mouth off a lot but it's just that. Same for Korea, they are just trying to look tough and aren't really a threat to us or the world. Like Iran they are also starting to loose some respect form the rest of the world even their allies. The global warming thing is a different debate, but it's up to you to decide if it's man made or a natural occurance.

As for the Gulf blowing up, you probably believe in the methane/undersea voclano theory correct? If so, ask a more educated member about it.

Risk? From Israel's perpsective is it to their advantage to allow Iran nuclear capability especially with IRan losing face? Israel has no fear in slapping down its neighbors when needed and the US has quite of history of doing it at well. Do you notice a correlation of warfare during or just following economic downturns?

Israel will strike. Iran, Syria and Rusiia will retaliate dragging the US into defending Israel.

As for global warming. I'm old enough I could care less other than the increasing costs associated with lowering it. It isn't going to impact me in my lifetime. Heck, it warmed enough 10,000 years ago or so and melted the ice age.

.... and no, I'm not a doom and gloomer. I woud add though natural diaaster are only a heartbeat away at all times. The Yellowstone or Long Valley cladera could become explosively active as could the volcanoes in the northwestern US. Seattle down to San Diego could very well see a massive earthquake. A well placed CME (or EMP) like 1859 could impact our electrical grid for some time. The New Madrid fault could rupture again.

There's no need for wild *ss doom & gloom such as Methane explosions, etc, when the very REAL disaster possibilities exists. I'm prepped, locked, and loaded for most... and sleep secure. :)

I'm not. How can you be happy when you think like that? I'm not talking about being naive but really, that's saddening.
As for natural disastors I'll tell you that Yellowstone does not erupt every 600,000 years. So we're not overdue, if you add up all the times it has erupt you'd see that on average it's around 700,000 years so we're good for enough 60,000 years. But I agree that there is a possibility of natural disasters from everywhere but you can prepare for them. The big one can be lived out by stocking up on supplies and being aware. As for an impact, we don't know about that yet. Apaprently we are making sheilds and plans for a planetary defence against them in the near future but I can't be sure.

Way to ruin my day or week. It took me years to build my optimism....:(

Sorry to ruin your optimsim, gained over years, with a few words writtien in minutes. You need a right-sized glass (taken from much earlier thread).

Heck, Katla could blow anytime. China, Russia, and some in our gov't want a one world monetary system. All terrorists have to do is explode a small dirty bomb in DC, LA, NY, Seattle and Houston. Chaos would be immediate if we were even told about it. There's a fault in the Atlantic near the US coast that supposedly could send a tsunami big enough to wipeout much of the east coast of the US.

Greece, Spain, or Scotland may soon experience finanacial problems and the banking system may suffer soon from eextending credit to whoever could remeber their name long enough to spell it correctly enough.

I wouldn't worry though. The othe half of the glass is we're living in the most technically interesting times of all. The gov't can soon implant you with RFID chips helping make sure you don't get lost. We can watch Nascar, bass fishing, and football nearly 24/7. We have motorcycles that can do 200 mph and planes that can fly on electricity.

Furthermore, we no longer have to garden, raise livestock, barter, or even own guns (some people) to defend ourselves. We have a great gov't to do these things for us. Life is good. I'm going to play my guitar now... a real guitar, not the tv kind. Don't worry, be happy. DHMO is abundant. :)

With that logic my glass will soon be so small not even a droplet could fill it.
But I try to be realistic but happy at the same time. Though I would say other than conflict between nations. I think things are looking pretty good.
But are you joking about the last part? You'd seem like the kind of guy who is weary with too much government involvement.

I now laugh to myself, thanks to TOD, when someone says they see their glass as half full rather than half empty... thinking they're optimistic. I now see them as people with the wrong-sized glass.

I am tired of IMHO too much gov't, its corruption, and its appetite for resources. Things are pretty good IMHO... better than working the fields for subsistence which was my point. We depend on so many others where just a couple hundred years ago we were more self-sufficient. It's both good and bad.

Seriously, if a major disaster happens are you prepared? Have you watched to cable show "The Colony"? Can you find, collect, and purify water? What will you eat when the stores are bare and there is no easy food around? Do you garden? Can you shoot? What extra stocks have been set aside to eae the transition?

I doubt anything will soon happen to us in the US or any other modern society for that matter that will be anything like Mad Max. On the other hand I think it prudent to at least be prepared for three months just in case. Heck, read the Bible. Armageddon is predicted. Just saying. :) Gotta run. Nice chatting. Have a band thing tonight. :)

Sadly I can't say I know how to garden or hunt. Which kind of makes me worried about my survival skills. I as a citizen of California have taken precautions for earthquake disasters but I haven't prepared as much as you have.

But good luck with your band. I'll stay behind and watch ROV feeds and maybe the Colbert Report if I haven't tried myself out by sitting in front of my computer all day.

Better to be aware and ready than to be caught off guard, no? Watch, Corexit will lead to increasing birth defects and cancer. You'll know the truth in a decade or so. As for Yellowstone. IMHO it won't blow for thousands of years, however, I'm guessing your sampling size is statistically too small to be reassuring.

If you had a thousand Yellowstone eruptions and like clockwork they blew every 640,000 years... then maybe. How many times does history record Yellowstone blowing? Not much to go on there. Still, my guess is it won't blow anytime soon.

My bet is on Katla within a year as well as one near Indonesia. Toba?

I guess my point is if you can prepare a bit in advance, Katrina comes to mind, you can escape or survive most anything other than nuclear annihilation or a biological attack of somekind. :)

1. In addition to an electric guitar have an acoustic in case the power goes off and stays off. Groupies are always looking for a musician. It will help to repopulate the earth... or at least you can have fun trying.

2. Get a bunch of copper tubing, water, and corn sugar. Make sure you have some firewood and a way to light it. Best if you can find some old wine barrels, toasted oak preferred. Whiskey is good for bargaining post apocalypse and the groupies think you look better after a few swigs. Loosens 'em up too.

3. Get some guns and ammo. Hunting seasons will be no more. Heck, you may become the hunted. Besides, groupies dig guns.

4. Make a list, now, of Mormons (LDS), Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. whose religion tells them to stockpile in preparation for Armageddon. In the case of TSHTF you will have a list of targets with food, water, etc. to go shopping, uh, bargaining with. Bonus is neither group drinks (whiskey is safe) and the Bible says they must treat their neighbors as themselves. Warning - LDS Mormon men think they will become gods and may try to hex you.

5. Keep extra blankets for smoke signals. Communications will be down (no, not the duck feather stuff) and it will be good to know if someone is sneaking up on you.

6. Head to CA, IL, DC, or any other place gov't has restricted gun ownership. You won't get shot at. Avoid TX, MT, and similar states who allow their legal residents to defend themselves.

7. Maintain a positive attitude. Don't get in the dumps repeatedly saying, why didn't I just listen and get prepared or evacuate. (Katrina comes to mind)

8. In the meantime, enjoy every free and healthy minute you have. Conspicuously consume as much as you can and save some too. Every good day is a blessing. :)

Katla is a little different though, it isn't a super volcanoe and has already erupted numerous times these past thousand years. As for Toba it already erupted tens of thousands of years ago which is pretty recently. As for stock piling on weapons that's a bit extreame we aren't talking about a zombie apocolypse now are we?

As for the corexit debacle, I can't say I'm sold on either side. But I don't live on the gulf so I can't be sure of its effects.

Anyway the static kill looks like its underway. Let us watch.

"6. Head to CA, IL, DC, or any other place gov't has restricted gun ownership. You won't get shot at"

I don't know what part of Cal you think you mean, but the hills are filled with hippies carrying 12 gauges.

Yeah, and I suppose a lot of bad guys have guns too. I guess what I meant was a number of states seriously restrict gun ownership. It is the legal citizens who give them up first and may be at great risk should guns ever be needed to defend yourself.

To HOS: eccentric? Perhaps. My point or even goal was to point out there is plenty to be concerned about in this world should you want to worry about something. I am saying:

1.Be aware, alert, and ready for action.
2. Prepare as best you can for at least a month of self sufficiency -

Seriously, an earthquake or a hurricane, for example, can disrupt normal routines for at least weeks. Personally I don't want to wait for FEMA or someone to rescue, feed, clothe, etc me.

For $100 you can buy at a volume store:
A. 50 lbs each of beans, rice, flour
B. 20 Gallons of bottled water
C. Vitamins
D. Misc items like salt, sugar, veg oil, duct tape, matches, tarp, rope, hatchet, knife.

Add some extras for a little more.

E. Sleeping bag - camping gear, for example.
F. Gun and ammo... just in case. Watch looters sometime a couple days after earthquake or hurricane.

Point is, just a little bit helps a lot. Watch when a hurricane or something happens. People en masse flock to the stores for "survival" necessities. I'm just saying shop now. Eat it and replace it as time goes on.

Regardless, because I am prepared for most forseeable problems I rest easy and secure. It didn't cost that much. I didn't mean to bum you but for all the doom & gloomers there are probably 99 more (IMHO) that aren't prepared and never concern themselves about it. Then - ENJOY LIFE! :)

ps- if CA has an earthquake and slides into the Pacific, Edgar Cayce predicted it :) you've been warned bwahahahahaha... just kidding

I would suggest you take a deep breath, stop for a couple moments, and reflect a little on what's going on here.

There are a number of us who are seeing and hearing the same things that you are, but not getting alarmed about any of it, even though we've often been puzzled by something BP, the Government, or others are doing. We're not Panglossian, by any stretch of the imagination. We are often very critical, and sometimes skeptical, but you'll see few conspiracists among us, because we know that conspiracies are very difficult to execute, and the more people who get involved, and the more complicated the conspiracy becomes, the harder it is for people to execute it in the presence of anyone who is reasonably aware and insightful.

And who are the voices that you find to be the most credible here? Rock & ROV-man (I like the sound of that) and many others present in a very calm, informed way, even when they differ with what's being done, or have questions about it.

If they can be as calm (though clearly not unconcerned), might it not be a good idea to take our cue from them? Of course if they start running for the exits, it's a slightly different situation, but I don't see that happening.

On the other hand, those who like controversy, or are otherwise excitable, will grasp at the tiniest details that they can construe are inconsistent and see or weave visions of conspiracies, or malfeasance, or any of a number of doomsday predictions, usually without comparing them with pretty well established data.

You perhaps do not remember him, but one of the reasons that Walter Cronkite became such a popular and even revered figure in the news business, was because even when he was dealing with an inflammatory subject such as the Kennedy Assassination, or the conspiracy theories that arose out of that, or the Watergate Affair, he remained calm and composed and clearly labeled his reports as reports, or confirmed reports, or facts, or opinion. It was always clear that he had drawn his information from reliable sources and carefully separated it from other information according to its level of reliability. That's why he acquired the title of the most trusted man in news. It is perhaps a measure of the direction the news business has taken that now Jon Stewart, a comedian, is labeled by some the most trusted man in news.

Now we are in the position of being the filters which have to determine how reliable the information we receive is. Some of it is pretty easy. When there's a lot of ad hominum comments included, that person is more interested in expressing anger than truth. When certain themes, such as the Rapture, come up time and time again it's appropriate to be a bit skeptical. Do you have any idea how many times that theme has been invoked because people were interpreting world events as predicting it, and how many times the predicted event has failed to take place. I suspect that behavior began well before the Book of Revelations was even a gleam in its author's eye.

Look for people who seem to have reasonably coherent views, who present them in a relatively calm fashion. Although concern can often be observed in their manner, they are very rarely excitable, let alone in a panic or rush. Why? Because they have done their homework, and had an opportunity to see the connection between this new information and the rest of reality as they know it.

Extraordinary things can happen, we have Hitlers, and serial rapists, and corrupt politicians, and Bernie Maddows, but we don't need to go in a panic about it. Humankind is remarkably resilient, as is this planet we live on, but we have to give resiliency a chance, and well considered, not frantic, support.

So relax. You'll have more energy available for school and other endeavors, and you're less likely to become someone who is so off the wall that nobody wants anything to do with you. On the other hand, if you continue this way you may indeed be the discoverer of some profoundly significant information that will transform the world. Just avoid getting too far out of touch with reality. It's easy to end up like those people who "discovered" and "proved" cold fusion, then fell flat on their face, because they had seen what they wanted to see, not what was.

A good question to ask about anyone who is advancing information in which you are asked to believe is why are they doing this? And remember, truth is immutable, whereas falsehood has a limited shelf life, especially when exposed to the light of day.

You seemed concern for me. I'm not scared like screaming. But rather, that I should go out and try new things. So be proud of me not concerned! Or was that the guy I was just talking too. Either way he didn't seem like he was panicking at all. Though a bit eccentric.

I like Jon Stewart as well, despite being a comedien I trust him a bit more...for some odd reason.

Yeah, right....

And remember, truth is immutable, whereas falsehood has a limited shelf life, especially when exposed to the light of day.

Jesus, anyone?

"I would suggest you take a deep breath, stop for a couple moments, and reflect a little on what's going on here. ..."

What is going on? Seems like the normal day to day routine IMHO. Of course, the world can be a savage place, or not. I am prepared for both and happy either way though I prefer rich, fat, sassy, and happy.

Heck one of my main goals is to ride a motorcycle 201 mph before I get old, give up, or die. 220+ is completely uncalled for though.

Life's good because I'm aware and ready almost no matter what. :)

Just how many times has the Rapture been deemed imminent?

Never once during my entire time here did I ever mention the rapture or anything remotely biblical. So take it up with the other guy, the only reason why I told you to give him a slight break was because I felt he wasn't panicking but just us giving his two cents.


Just because the comment was posted just below yours doesn't mean it was directed at you.

Follow the threads.

I have. Though I made the mistake that when you reply to someone your comment appears below the comment you were quoting. So I figured if you were talking to the guy above me your comment would be placed above mine that's how it has always worked at other forums.

I made the mistake that when you reply to someone your comment appears below the comment you were quoting.

HOS, sometimes they can appear way down below what they're responding to. If you click "Parent," it'll take you right to the comment they were replying to. You can also tell by indents--if a comment is below yours and indented only once from yours, it's most likely a reply to you.

It never hurts to quote a bit of what you're commenting on at the top, either, especially if your response is quite a bit later than the original (which is when it's likely to be further down).

"Just how many times has the Rapture been deemed imminent?"

By who? I have no idea. Lots probably. Why?

Some people just don't get it, do they?

Who was that directed toward?

I saw one of those on E-bay...

Makes me wonder if they might be prearing a spin story for some potential problem.

I'm with you RM, they try to look confident and experts in what they're doing even if they're likely still playing in the dark...

I am trying to get answers on this http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/bpwar.html

Anyone have any input?

Don't know the answer but sure looks like an interesting question, especially the drop in BOP pressure starting the week of 3/14-20. I'm wondering about the account on 60 Minutes, from Mike Williams of chunks of rubber coming up with the mud, that might have indicated damage to the BOP annular seal - whether that happened during that same week? Sure would like to find time to go through his testimony, see if this came up...

I don't know if anybody's commented on this yet...but have you all heard about the earthquake that hit Louisiana last night? Does that have anything to do with the blowout? Could it? Any thoughts?

Did they just detonate something down there last night? LOL...who knows? Comments?

And to be clear, I'm only kidding about the implosion...or am I?

Just a little 3.0 north of New Orleans and about 3 miles deep.


We actually don't know what fault caused that, but it's most likely related to the New Madrid Rift. No, it certainly didn't have anything to do with the well. FWIW, The NMR is going to bust loose with a biggie one of these days, and when that happens, the GOM will be a lot less important.

Edit: Oh, and we can tell the difference between a quake and any kind of explosion, never fear. And I don't for a minute believe the USGS will participate in a coverup.

Dead zone as big as Massachusetts along coast of Louisiana and Texas, scientists say

"There's no evidence the low oxygen area, linked to nutrients carried to the Gulf by the Mississippi River, was affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists said."

Yet these scientists say the opposite.

Wow...it's amazing what a little evidence can do for an individual's assertion...more people on here should try it...thank you Tin

The last sentence of the article was rather hopeful in its tone. Especially since we are very close to shutting this well down. After a while the oxygen levels should rise again. We can only hope.

The two links by TinFoil refer to different things. The first is to the seasonal dead zone that appears every year west of the Mississippi, caused by fertilizer nutrients carried by the river. The second refers to oxygen depletion east of the Mississippi that is probably caused by the oil spill. You might remember Ben Raines documented oxygen depletion in Alabama waters in a couple of his videos around a month ago.

Never mind I think I get it. Dang editors. Outsourced to India ;)

However, the map at this link shows seasonal hypoxia between the Bird's Foot and Mobile Bay, last year with no oil. Funny the scientist at Dauphin Island didn't mention it when blaming this year's hypoxia on oil. Maybe it's much worse than usual.


And in related news: Migrating Birds and Gulf Oil

Fish and Wildlife has an idea: pay near-Coast farmers to flood their fields so they look like "wetlands" to this winter's visiting birds (who may not be fooled).

But jeez, even if they do go for it, mightn't they end up plonking their heinies into a chemical stew as/more toxic than the oiled marshes?

Maybe. It is where probably part of your food comes from.

Fields are already flooded for migrating birds every year in California and elsewhere - great idea to flood even more this year in the southeast, although they might not be as attractive to shorebirds as they are to ducks and other dabblers.

Across the United States, farmers flood more than 700,000 acres of harvested rice fields over the winter. Waterfowl flock to rice fields because they contain highly nutritious foods. Ducks dabble in the shallow water for waste grain, weed seeds, and aquatic invertebrates. Geese also eat rice grain, as well as the roots of rice stalks and young green shoots sprouting in the fields.

Winter flooding of harvested rice fields is among the finest examples of waterfowl-friendly agriculture

Cool. Guess they don't drench rice fields in the agri-chemicals corn gets. (Or as much?)

lotus -- can't remember where you're from but do you know what we folks in S La call a flooded field full of migratory birds? Supper.

Uh-huh. But my grandparents' farm in north Mississippi was mostly in cotton, so my main memory is cotton poison (which a bunch of us cousins caught a good dowse of one time from a crop duster that nilly had our dear li'l heads).

When I spoke of a cold winter's morning,
a duck blind and a river of gray.
The sound of the snow softly falling
when I thought I heard somebody say:
"I took two shots, got no ducks and cold, cold hands."

John Denver - http://www.metrolyrics.com/two-shots-lyrics-john-denver.html

Gee--reportedly only ~400 acres of marshland have been oiled. Doesn't seem like a big hazard to migrating birds. I'd expect the flooded farmlands to attract lots of geese and ducks. If there are migratory shorebirds that use rookery islands, they'll ignore the farmland. Birds seem very loyal to rookeries until the site is physically destroyed.

Unfortunately at least two rookery islands in Louisiana have been substantially oiled, Queen Bess and Grand Terre. It's annoying not to have updates on conditions there.

I toured Queen Bess and Grand Terre just yesterday and the bird population is down probably 90% from just a month ago, I swear on my momma's grave. It was actually quite striking and downright chilling.

Thanks very much for the observation, Cap, even though it's bad news. Fishing for a more hopeful explanation, could the nesting season play a role in how many birds are on the island during the daytime? I believe many or most pelican chicks would have fledged and left the nest by Aug. 1. Don't know what other birds are involved.

mightn't they end up plonking their heinies into a chemical stew as/more toxic than the oiled marshes?

Chemicals from where? You mean what the farmers had put on the crops in the fields they're now going to flood? I should think USFW would take that into account when deciding which fields to use. Mostly they'll be using fallow fields that weren't planted this year in any case. How much chemical stuff would remain from the previous year? Do we know how much they use?

BTW, did you see the AP article on this that the Times article linked to? Lots more detail:


I'd read about this plan back the end of June:


There's a similar program being run by the Nature Conservancy in the Skagit Bay area in Washington state:


Thanks for the links, SL -- will check 'em out now. Yes, I was thinking of what agri-chemicals might have landed on that acreage.

I wonder if it would be useful to have a kind of generic model of problem solving to which we could compare this approach. Hearing no objection...

If I have a problem, by definition I'm not sure how to solve it, because if I know how to solve it I don't have a problem.

Therefore, I think about it and decide what might work, based upon my understanding (probably not knowledge, otherwise I'd probably know how to solve it and it would no longer be a problem) of the situation, and if I'm smart, I develop at least one alternative approach.

Some of these approaches to solving it may well involve methods I've used before, in similar situations, perhaps with varying success rates, depending upon conditions inherent in the problem.

In any case, I gather all of the relevant information, some of which I may not have at my fingertips, but which I can gather, either by making tests, or acquiring the information from external sources such as experts, or written literature.

Then I assess its relationship to the problem, and whether each individual factor assists or impairs the solution I'm trying to achieve.

I modify my approach to accommodate my assessment of the significance of each piece of information, decide on the parameters I will have in mind to determine, first, what will tell me I have succeeded, second, at what stages might I want to stop the test to reevaluate the situation, and finally what I will choose as the parameter to abandon that effort if it is not, or only partially, successful.

When I think I'm ready I take a deep breath and test my chosen attempt at a solution. In the process, if I'm lucky, the problem gets solved. Otherwise I have gathered more information than I had before, if only that the approach I selected didn't work, or partially worked, or made the situation worse.

If I'm smart, I know that history shows that there is almost always some semblance of a solution, so, if I haven't found the solution yet, I try something else.

If I'm trying to loosen a nut, I go through all of this, but probably very quickly because of the limited factors involved, but with our present situation it's a tad more complex, so, while it's frustrating to have to wait, I'm not prepared to be too hard on the people involved over the decisions they might make. They're there, and I'm not. They have far more information than I do, so they are in a better position to make their decisions.

It is not unusual to bring outside experts in to a situation like this. Some may be used in a support role, eg.: ROV pilots, information networking and communication, etc. I am likely also to bring in, depending upon availability, engineers, managers, and other people who have expertise in the field which encompasses the problem.

But, if I'm smart, and the problem I have is very complex and high stakes, I will bring in a few people just because they're really, really smart, often because they will see things that others might miss, if only because it's a gap in the information which is critical, but so rarely out of whack that the "experts" miss it. I also want them because they are likely to be less confined in their thinking than those who are fond of saying, "but we've always done it this way," or, "So and so says we have to do it this way.

They don't have to be proficient in any of the disciplines involved, but you will find that they pick it up pretty quickly because thy are really really smart. They are quick to see, quick to learn, and quick to process the information they are given.

Unfortunately some of the really really smart people have egos that undermine their value, so I would screen out those types or put them in a position where they can best bring any special knowledge that they have to bear, but never give them major decision making ability. If they are in charge, sometimes they have a tendency, because of the myopia that accompanies their ego, to drive right off the cliff (does Matt Sessions come to mind?).

If one of these people wants to take on the burden of responsibility for results, I might well give them control (or be told to give them control) and let them oversee, and have final say in, the significant decisions, taking into consideration the best expert advice available.

If I want to retain control (and have the power to), I will use them as resources at large, give them all the information that's in my possession that I can give them, and they need. I will ask their input on all the key decisions, and then make the decisions myself.

In any case, the person making the decisions has to be fully in charge, enlist, and listen to, the best advice they can obtain, and then make the best decision they can.

If they choose to go against the best advice they are given then they take on a huge responsibility. On the other hand, if they tend to be unduly influenced by a small group of advisers they also have the responsibility.

As we have seen in these threads, there are a number of often unique perspectives on this problem, and sometimes conflicting proposed solutions for all or part of the problem.

Although I greatly enjoy being in the middle of maelstroms like this, I must confess that I'm not sure I would want to be the decision maker.

I've probably left out some key components here, but I hope people will chill a bit, they'll save themselves some useless heartache. We will know, what we know, when we know it, regardless of how much we've worried in the meantime.

Sometimes it's important to let go of the desire to always be in control. It leads to bad decision making.

Now see, this is why it's always good to consult a shrink. Thanks, Dave. Excellent stuff.

Interesting post, David. especially since I'm currently taking an attitude enhancement course offered through my employer.


Just completed a section on problem solving which utilizes 7 steps remarkably similar to what you speak about. I could expound further, But I don't subscribe to the "Why use one word when 47 will do" school of thought. LOL

You smoked me!! I can't imagine what gave you the clue. :<)

To update you, however, it is my fondest wish to achieve a 1-100 ratio. People may never read what I write (which is not to say they do now) but at least they'll know I'm around! ~(:<)

I looked at your link and found some resonance between it and some of the things that I try to do with my groups. I hope you find it useful.


David, great post. Sometimes we all need to take a deep breath and chill out.

Great,the daily posts telling people how to think and feel.

Boring and facile. I scroll past the drivel.

That's OK. I sometimes scroll past your posts too.

I commend you, I probably wouldn't want to read it either!

So nailed. * sigh *

Oh, Sweet Nothing*.

I like David E. Brown's posts. There is always something interesting in them.

Who else could come up with a remark like this (from yesterdays open thread):

*Must Click.


Muchas gracias.

Must Click.

Choice. Very.

How long have you been saving that up?

You aren't in correspondence with any of my brothers or clients are you? They will love this.

It reminds me of a headstone, which in turn, triggered thoughts of my epitaph (not yet invoked so far as I know) which for a time was going to read, "He meant well." After a couple years thinking that over, however, I decided that it would be more accurate if it said, "He thought he meant well."

Dave ~(:<)

There's a difference between telling people what to think, and suggesting that there might be a reasonable alternative to what they think.

I have no power over anyone else (unless they grant me that power), so I'm hardly in a position to tell them what to think. But when I have a significant concern, I believe that I have a responsibility to share it, when I have such an opportunity.

SEC probing disclosures and potential insider trading at BP (BP/ LN) amid Gulf oil spill - sources

18:32 02-08-2010

- SEC probing whether co. properly disclosed risks associated with its operations in Gulf of Mexico
- SEC probing whether co. employees profited from illegal trading activity in co. stock
- SEC’s investigation is preliminary

We know who got rid of a about 30mil in stock 30 days before the blowout.

This will get all the emails and memos out in the open.

Goldman Sachs did too.

According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman’s sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP’s stock during the quarter.

Any short selling? Now that would be scary !!!

So you are saying these people knew ahead of time that BP would have a giant disaster?

Sounds VERY far-fetched.

Agreed. GS was probably doing that voodoo that they do so well.

Just curious Rockman or others "just what is the bottom hole temp of the originalwell/refief well?" What TYPE mud was used to drill the wells? Would the temp gradient be about the same from 5000' sea bottom as temp gradient from say Bottom of Inland Barataria Bay maybe 10' deep? Never worked in really "deep" water before being transferred to S Texas

p - a vague memory of around 240 degrees F. It was drilled with OBM...oil-based mud. MW was 14.0 ppg at the reservoir? Not sure how the temp gradients would compare

Passaloutre, just think about it, the earth is hot way down there, if the stuff in between is identical, then the gradient between "down there" and where the rock ends is higher when the point where the rock ends is cooler. In this case, we would expect the gradient to be steeper. This happens because the cold water at the mud line is colder than the average temperature in Louisiana. If it's 240 F at 13,000 feet, then it's 1.5 degrees per 100 ft. That's a tad higher than we see in soft Louisiana rock, I believe.


Well in case this goes wrong what was their plans b and c?

Halliburton's presentation to the Energy and Commerce Committee on 3rd June quoted the static bottom hole temperature as 210F.

A wellbore schematic called "3.1_Item_2_Macondo_Well_07_Jun_1900.pdf" also in circulation, source unknown, has the bottom hole temperature as 262F.

Take your pick....(!)

EPA second round of dispersant toxicity test data posted:


The results do not confirm the common statement that oil + dispersant is substantially more toxic than oil alone. Of course, the tests used only one kind of shrimp and one kind of fish. Corexit 9500A comes out fine compared to oil alone and to other dispersants.

I suppose the wave of near-hysteria about Corexit 9500A develops out of suspicion--"BP is trying to hide the oil," therefore whatever they use to hide it must be particularly dangerous and evil. The issue about dispersant use is that chemically dispersed oil might do more damage to sea life than plain oil, or then again it may do less damage; nobody knows which. There is no threat to human life or health that I've heard of.

I think people were just worried about the mixing or Corexit and oil and it's effects on life.

That is a very reasonable worry and it baffles me why it was never tested this way before since disspersants have been approved for a long time.

I havn't read the test results yet but will.

The test are mixed one side tells you that mixing corexit with oil not make it more toxic another claims that it'll atomize your cells and is very toxic. So your out of luck if you want anything conclusive.

Though most of the hysteria stems from the fact that everyone is so frustrated with BP that they'll buy into any other article as long as they claim to be working independently from them. Which isn't in itself a bad thing but just because BP says something doens't mean its false or a lie.

Oh yeah? Well I heard BP has been mixing Corexit with vast quantities of dihydrogen monoxide(DHMO).

I also heard that the low specific gravity of DHMO was instrumental in the blowout.

Monoxide? Where did you here this?
If this is true why do you think they are using dihydrogen monoxide on the oil?

To keep it cool.

DHMO cools and helps interrupt an ongoing chemical reaction of fuel, heat, and oxygen. H2O :)

I've seen videos of gigantic undersea plumes of this dihydrogen monoxide and there are reports of it coming ashore all along the east coast of Florida!

More to worry about :P?
No if they are trying to keep the oil cool than why is it still evaporating? I don't seem to understand the risk of the dihyrogen monixide so I can't conclude it's potenital effects.

Yes, but it's mixed with sea poo. I don't have the formula handy.

Sea poo?

Can't something conclusive come from this. What would Dihydogen Monixide do to the enviorment exactly and if it ends up being something bad can't we warn BP about it and suggest something more eco-freindly?

What would Dihydogen Monixide do to the enviorment exactly?

The damage it causes is horrific. It's a powerful greenhouse gas. It erodes soil and carries vast amount of nutrients and silt into the Gulf. It is a powerful solvent that carries heavy metal contamination all over the planet. In the atmosphere it can react with sulfates and nitrates and then fall from the sky as a strong acid. In stagnant pools it forms a breeding ground for all sorts of parasites and diseases.

The list of harmful effects is nearly endless.

And we are certain these are using Dihydrogen monixide, right?
Because that sounds like something we need be to concerned about, but it seems very few here are talking about it.

Dah, it's a hoax...that's embarressing.

Yes, but oxidane is even worse

Fool me once shame you, fool me twice shame on me. I'm not believing anything anymore unless it comes from the more educated memebers.

Hey, I got lots of educashun, and I fix my own pipes, so I know all about plumbing leaks.
Duct tape. That's all you need to know

I was keeping quite till the penny dropped.
There was a Scottish island council that kept a stock of bottled water for emergencies. The expiry date was reached and they needed to get rid of it. Well as it was out of date food product it was not permitted to be poured down the drain. In the end wast disposal regulations meant that it had to be disposed of by a hazardous chemical disposal company with a huge cost to the council.


A few years ago someone from our university's Occupational Health and Safety office came around and slapped a sticker on the sinks in my lab that said "DUMP NO CHEMICALS IN SINK"

They were not amused by my response asking about how to dispose of the water we use.

If I qualify in your view, I'll confirm that all the terrible effects of dihydrogen monoxide that have been listed are indeed true.

Inhalation hazard: death follows within minutes of inhalation.

Dermal exposure hazard: causes the skin to shrivel up and shed epidermal cells.

Ingestion hazard: causes urinary symptoms; strips ions from the bloodstream; can lead to death.

I think this story is true. I've also heard that runners who constantly suck from those bags of water on their backs can be at risk. But, then, I'd believe almost anything that sounds too strange to be false.

I've seen videos of gigantic undersea plumes of this dihydrogen monoxide and there are reports of it coming ashore all along the east coast of Florida!

I had great quantities of it falling from the sky around my house in Anchorage recently. Do you think it is the result of BP's use of it and coverup by BP, guvmnt, NWO, et al? ;-)

We had a terrible fall of it the other night. So bad it electrified the sky!

Now I feel like a fool, I mean I was trying so hard to soothe people's feelings. After all, I meant well, I think, didn't I.

And all this time this stuff has been hitting me in the face, but I didn't even recognize it as being so dangerous. Come to think of it it's even worse up here in the north country where it freezes in the winter and buries us so deep we have to actually plow it in order to get around.

Come to think of it, it killed some poor woman almost right out in front of my place a few years ago. She actually fell into it accidentally.

Now I wonder how many people I misled, and how many of them will sue me for malpractice.

Now I'm depressed.

Now what do I do?

I think I'll go eat worms.

Nonsense, freind eat the maggots they'll welcome you no matter how lowly you are.

Now you're getting it. Congratulations.


PS: Don't worry, sometimes others of us can't tell either.

And that stuff can kill you, no doubt about it. When it comes ashore, you can tell because the waves have foamy white crap all over their tops. Sometimes it even leaves a residue on the sand after it sinks in. Dig down a few feet even in dry sand, and you'll find it seeping into the hole.

Gobbet...I'm no expert...but I'm definitely more inclined to believe residents who are actually there on the ground, and what they are seeing, hearing, breathing, and experiencing. I'm not attempting to debate the toxicity levels of oil vs corexit vs oil and corext, etc. But it seems to me that these people are experiencing something quite different from the reality that you are attempting to portray. I'm not saying that you're 100% wrong in the statements that you make on this forum, because at this point I'm not too sure that anyone (including experts) has a very clear understanding of the longterm effects of what has happened. But you continually make statements as if they are absolute, unquestionable fact. I'm not claiming to be an expert, and I'm not sure whether you are or not, but as I said, I'm more inclined to believe the residents who are there.




Louie, think of the GOM as one huge laborotory and the BP disaster a new scientific experiment with the peer review to come way in the future!

Well if you ask Gobbet, we're all in the clear...nothing to see here people, the oil's gone, never made it into the gulf stream, nature has taken it's course, all we have to do is shut down the well and everything is A OK! No questions allowed, BP and the Federal Gov't. are on the job...they definitely have the American people's best interests at heart...and of course they're telling us the truth!

Sarcasm much?
I don't think its as extreame as the side your mocking but I do think that with the well shut. We can focus our efforts on the clean up operation.

Yeah...I'm sorta cynical by nature...but this guy is just all over the place making broad-arching statements with no links to back up what he's saying...I can appreciate someone who is always looking for the most positive or hopeful explanations to some of the dire circumstances that are surrounding this event...but he's acting like there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to question what we are being told by the plethora of paid-off officials and experts...

If the American people take anything away from this disaster, it should be this:


If nobody has noticed thus far...BP is RUNNING the show...OUR Coast Guard, OUR Law enforcement, and OUR public officials are taking orders from a multi-national oil corporation! BP is, was, and always will be above the law...they own us...

On the flip side there would be an uproar if our governemnt dared to order BP around. Due to our society not liking interference.

Indeed...but our government is supposed to work for us...not multi-national corporations...and in this case they should be ordering them around, they are under investigation...

Louie, then maybe you ought to read his remarks with a grain of salt, or pass them up altogether. Trust yourself and your own judgement about the information that appears in these threads and I have no doubt that you'll reach the conclusions with which you'll be content. Your posts tell me you are more skeptical than cynical. Skeptic is good, imo.

I think the guy who makes Seabrat may have bribed CNN's Anderson Cooper (?) to throw a fit and quaver in front of the camera. We need to have this conspiracy theory checked out by the FBI.

I do not blame people for being angry. It is the amount here that makes it such an issue. Who cares about 500 gallons used out in the Gulf on an oil leak? But BP put 2 MILLION gallons of the stuff in the gulf, combining it with oil and making who knows what. At best, the effects are unknown. At worst, they have claims it is a significant health threat. Then, they did it over the protests of the local populations in the Gulf.

BP is apparently used to working in third world nations with populations who cannot fight back when their environment is polluted. This is still America. I sure would like to see justice done, for people in the Gulf and everywhere else BP has pulled this kind of stuff.

I hope we do make them pay for their greed, but that is however unlikely.
Hopefully the results and test from scientist can tell us about the after effects of this leak...

Be seeing legal spinoffs on this forever-or until the Rapture, whichever comes first. Halman-Wingate is handling a whistelblower suit and the scientist is speaking out. Will not help EPA credibility.

"...But weeks after use of Corexit 9527 was supposedly phased out, BP released data indicating 2-BE was still being detected in 20% of personal air samples collected offshore14—a finding that has not been explained. Frank Mirer, a professor of toxicology at Hunter College, comments, “It is implausible that this fraction of samples with detectable levels would be found if 2-BE were no longer being used. This calls into question the accuracy of dispersant usage information being reported.

The Gatekeepers: A Summary of Court Records in Civil Actions Filed by David L.Lewis, Ph.D., R.A. McElmurray,III and G. William Boyce. Land Application of Sewage Sludge (Biosolids): 1997-2010: [Document 108] pp 48-9
"...the concentrated nutrients that they need to degrade crude oil, would permeate plumes as they develop underwater. Once the plumes have developed, however, it is too late to treat them because they are too large and may be impossible to locate. Left untreated, some of the more recalcitrant components of the complex mixtures of crude oil and other contaminants in the plumes (e.g., compounds with high molecular weights) will remain largely unaltered for years or longer.Eventually, any non-biodegraded contaminants will find their way to deep currents and upwell years to decades later along the coastlines of North and South America, Northern Europe, Africa and elsewhere. Even trace levels of some of the plumes' contaminants may inhibit the growth of phytoplankton that drives the food chain in and around upwellings...."

Why EPA Wasn't Prepared for the Gulf Oil Spill
"...Understanding the bio-degradation rates and pathways of crude oil and dispersants is important to understanding the long-term impact of the Deepwater Horizon event on the environment. It is also needed to assess the economic impact this disaster will have on the fishing industry..."

I doubt this will happen. The stuff left behind will turn into tar balls or asphalt. It'll end up on people's feet. They in turn will use baby oil to clean it off, and the paper towel used to wipe the mess off will become hazardous waste sitting in somebody's garbage. This hazardous waste will go to a landfill, and it'll be buried by more garbage, and in 20,000 years and archeologist will dig it up and die from exposure to undegraded banana peels.

Here is proof the sea floor is leaking!


So? The Gulf seeps.

I saw that today. They did not seem to be to worried about it even though it is close to the well.

Well weren't they expected?
I mean initially they were small leaks of oil from the well head where the cap had been. But they quickly went away or weren't considered important.
Also, are they still looking for under water plumes and leaks in the sea floor or have they stopped that mission do to their growing confidence.

Confidence men. Quite. Pump cement through choke/kill lines to where?

Into the lair of the Giant Crab Monsters.

It's a test. Maybe it'll work.

"Several minor leaks have sprung near the blown-out well."


I'm having a hard time comprehending what that means. Is that from Thad Allen's press briefing of today (and is there a transcript)?

If minor leaks are springing up near the well doesn't that imply the well is leaking? And if the well is leaking doesn't that imply that the integrity test failed? And if the integrity test failed shouldn't it be stopped?

What am I missing?


Here's a longer quote from the same story:

At a news briefing Monday, the government's point man on the spill said several minor leaks have sprung near the blown-out well.

Engineers are working to repair the leaks, which aren't expected to delay the plugging effort, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

I could not find the transcript or audio of anything from Adm. Allen posted today. It will be interesting to see what he actually said. Unless it's a connector leak or something like that, it sounds like more MSM gobbledygook.

The writer is confusing weeping gaskets with HC eruptions from the seafloor; I've seen this in any number of articles. Allen gets asked about "leaks" at every press briefing, and he doesn't always manage to clearly granulate and deconflict the various injectivities.

Yes. Thanks Nubs and Gobbet. I just watched the video on CSPAN and Allen does indeed refer to the leaks on the containment device and the old BOP. Just plain bad reporting is the culprit again.

It will be interesting to see what he actually said. Unless it's a connector leak or something like that, it sounds like more MSM gobbledygook.

From the emailed transcript of the press briefing--haven't read it yet; it just came in--but I did a search for "leak" and this is all I could find (two separate comments):

I was advised just before I came in that there is a small leak on a valve on the Q4000 they are repairing right now. That will probably take a couple of hours to repair, so we're looking approximately now of starting the injection test sometime later on this afternoon.


When – first of all, we have several small leaks that are around the capping stack and blowout preventer right now. They're not consequential, and we are monitoring them. Nothing would indicate that we have a problem.

So it looks like the reporter got things confused.

I have felt all along BP will not use the relief well if this static kill works.

Allen says they will use it no matter what.

We will see how this headbutting turns out.

BP PLC Senior Vice President Kent Wells said Monday that engineers may pump cement directly into the busted well through the failed blowout preventer via a surface ship, rather than wait for the relief well's planned completion later this month.

That idea isn't new — but BP has never before indicated it might forgo use of the relief well altogether in direct attempts to plug the leak.

"Precisely what the relief wells will do remains to be seen given what we learn from the static kill," BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said. "Can't predict it for certain."

Either way, Wells said, "We want to end up with cement in the bottom of the hole."

Cement in the bottom of the hole. Right. From choke/kill lines. Push 18,000 ft of oil + 18,000 ft of mud into the formation, followed by a couple hundred barrels of cement and another column of mud? And then what? How do you plug the top, unless a riser is attached and drill pipe pushed through the broken BOP?

Rubber nose, please.

It's almost as if history is being re-written.

Where before 8,000 psi was the expected pressure it is now the upper limit that the BOP can safely be subjected to.

Where before the Static kill would end the threat of another blow out, it is now just an "injectivity test".

Its interesting but I'd blame that mostly on the different reportings on things that were said. But Allen does seem to change his mind every so often. Anyway the static kill should begin sometime soon, within the next day what is our current mood for this operation?

I am watching the feeds and it might have started. There is some intense gauge watching going on.


A couple of questions I have on the idea of cementing and this 'static kill' (bull heading), I wouldn't think that going ahead with bull heading would be very smart as with the added pressure to surface equipment that has already had high flow through it not to mention the blow out its self why wouldn't they just continue with the RW and start a forward kill down the RW up the MW. At that point depending on the tools/junk/fish in the well run in a bridge plug of sorts in order to seal the majority of the formation, do negative pressure test on the MW in order to change out the surface equipment and than continue with fishing operation on the MW than run logs for the remedial cement jobs and than go for a proper abandonment or to produce it. Could anyone set me straight

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be fishing around in that Macondo well if I can avoid it. I don't think putting a bit of pressure on it will hurt - but I assume they put some kind of gizmo close to the blow out preventer to check wall thicknesses.

I bet we'll be second guessing the kill procedure for a long time, but I sure hope they know what they're doing. Wouldn't it be nice if they had a website with a decent set of sketches and the kill procedure so we could figure out for sure what they're up to?

It might be worth noting that putting cement into the ww at this stage doesn't stop you from going fishing later. That cement is going to be relatively soft for a long time, and you could wash over drill pipe in the bottom of the hole like jack the bear at this point. Cement does not equal no fishing later.

Personally, I want to see a solid cement plug in that well before the BOP is changed out, and I suspect we are going to have to change out the BOP before any other operations involving drill pipe and opening the BOP are permitted.

Messing around with the old BOP in place is not a good idea IMO.


Personally, I want to see a solid cement plug in that well before the BOP is changed out, and I suspect we are going to have to change out the BOP before any other operations involving drill pipe and opening the BOP are permitted.

Messing around with the old BOP in place is not a good idea IMO.

Agree totally. Plus I think there will be great interest to recover the old BOP for foresic analysis about why it didn't work in the first place. I seem to recall reading a thread long long ago that BP was being required to carefully document whatever modifications they did to the existing BOP, so as to have a better chance to figure out what happened (or didn't happen) in the intial blowout.

Donning my conspiracy theory hat, I can't help wondering whether cementing from the top might be the first step in abandoning the well in a way that will preclude the possibility of fishing out the drill pipe and whatever else is down there and inspecting the casing, etc to see what actually happened. But when I doff the conspiracy theory hat that idea sounds ridiculous, of course.

[-] [new] lotus on August 2, 2010 - 7:30am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Nope, I'm afraid you're the one peddling BS here. I'm a New Smyrna Beach local who discovered tarballs the first time I spread a beachtowel on the sand after moving here in 1982. Ours are from careless passing ships and always have been.

Bilge is bilge, yours or theirs.
Comments can no longer be added to this story.


Before you appoint yourself as the Bilge Judge, you should consider that 1982 was 28 years ago. Based on my best knowledge, there has been no reports of tar on our local beaches for the last 10 years and it is discussed amongst the locals here that the recent occurrence is not reported because people are concerned about property values. I have only recently seen it here, myself. Keep your bilge to yourself.

Again...more inclined to believe local people who are seeing and experiencing things of their own. Thanks Flip...

I understand that some people on here are trying to look towards the positive and not trying to cling to the worst-case-scenario...but come on...the apologists and skeptics on this forum who are attempting to undermine every report that comes along that contradicts what is starting to emerge as an "official story" are doing so with very little to back-up their claims. Is it just a coincidence that these sorts of reports are slowly starting to emerge? Maybe...then again, maybe not...I guess we'll have to wait and see how things actually play out over time, then we'll know who was full of bs and who wasn't...

There have been recent reports of tar balls at Coco Beach and the the Pineda Causeway which were confirmed to not be from the BP spill.


SF, if you copy the bracketed "new" signal and don't go back and edit it out (which is why I'm not replying directly, so maybe you'll still be able to do that), we all have to land on your comment every time we refresh for "news" from now 'til comments close on this post. Not a good way to win friends and influence people (but then, neither is the rest of your conversational style, so what the hey).

Too late. Well, I tried.

I just read Allen stating that the static kill may take 33-61 hrs. I thought it would be quicker? Maybe I wasn't taking notes properly.

After 61 hours, they will extend it. Then you won't know when it started or when it will end...

That's likely.
But we will know that their efforts were successful if the cement doesn't break up. Sort of like the cap, no loss of integrity so far and it's been there since July.


I love how the people who aren't paid off by BP are said to be presenting "anecdotal" evidence...so what is the evidence that CNN is providing us with???????? Rick Sanchez...what a goddamn tool!!!! It's so obvious what CNN and all the other stations are doing...where's the data? Where's your'e data Rick???

The WSJ reports that the top kill is near and BP shares rallied 2.5% today.
Ring the Lutine Bell!

Kent Wells, 7/30/2010 Technical Conference
In terms of the well integrity test, we continue to monitor pressure. It's currently at 6,961 PSI, building as we would expect, a well that has integrity to be building.

Kent Wells, 8/2/2010 Technical Conference
The pressure continues to climb currently at 6,989, increasing at a pace at less than 10 PSI per day, so less than a half a PSI per hour.


Well so as long as the pressure consistantly rises I'm good.
Now about this static kill, they need to pump mud equal or greater than the pressure right? But not so much that the line will bust?

The revised flow estimates have been released - and are at the higher end of the earlier ranges. Looks like they were able to get useful information from pressure readings at the new cap.

The scientific teams estimate that 53,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking from BP’s well immediately preceding its closure via the capping stack.

Recent measurements and modeling also show that, as a result of depletion of the hydrocarbon reservoir, the daily flow rate decreased over the 87 days prior to the well’s closure. Based on these measurements and modeling, the scientific teams estimate that, at the beginning of the spill, 62,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking from the well.

Overall, the scientific teams estimate that approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil have been released from the well. Not all of this oil and gas flowed into the ocean; containment activities conducted by BP under U.S. direction captured approximately 800,000 barrels of oil prior to the capping of the well.


Today’s improved flow rate estimate brings together the work of several scientific teams and is based on a combination of analyses of high resolution videos taken by ROVs, measurements and modeling of reservoir and well properties, acoustic technologies, and measurements of oil collected by the oil production ship together with pressure measurements inside the containment cap.

The installation of a new containment cap and the subsequent well integrity testing procedure provided the opportunity to calculate the flow by measuring the pressure at the top of the well as the choke and kill valves were manipulated after the main containment valve was closed to trap hydrocarbons.

U.S. Scientific Teams Refine Estimates of Oil Flow from BP’s Well Prior to Capping

Good to hear we have a more accurate reading. Now let's see what this means in the bigger picture.

BP ain't gonna like those numbers.

They don't like anything really, but no matter we have new data we can use.

So, victory for the Plume Modeling Group, who had high estimates in the first round, were outvoted, and may even have been asked to keep quiet about their worst-case estimates.

Several smart people here thought the flow must have increased over time by erosion of obstacles reducing back pressure within the old BOP and riser. That sounded plausible to me, but not apparently to the study group.

I just hope the study group has the data to back up the conclusion that the leak was greater than 53,000 bopd from the start.

If it wasn't, *why*?

If you're asking why I hope that they have the data to back up this high a number, its because if BP can knock down their estimate as unrealistic, especially at the beginning of the spill when the riser was still attached, then they might be able to discredit the scientific estimates in general. Kind of like what the anti-AGW advocates have done with some success to the analysis of global warming data.

I don't know, but it seems more than plausible that the size of the flow increased over time via erosion. I don't want this to become another tobacco settlement, when any lawyer who could inflated figures and broadened liability to increase their fees. And I'm no fan of BP; I just think that keeping it real is important. Whatever BP pays, it'll be a negotiated amount anyway.

Agree 100% that keeping it real is important. And I'm certainly no fan of BP, either.

The tobacco settlement seems like a great example of our bizarre judicial process.

It seems proper that the tobacco industry should pay a hefty penalty for all of damage that their advertising, especially the advertising aimed at children, did to so many people. On the other hand, I grew up during the 50's and 60's and well remember that it was widely known that tobacco was bad for one's health and in particular that it caused cancer. Granted, few people read the original scientific studies (e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Doctors_Study), but my peer group was aware of the risks, and I always assumed that anyone with half a brain knew that they were taking a risk when they smoked. So it seems bizarre that someone could win a court case based upon the argument that they "didn't know" that tobacco was harmful to one's health.

Is gross exaggeration the only way to get justice?

When I was a kid, cigarettes were called "coffin nails."

I have no inside information whatsoever.

I don't dispute the plausibility that the actual flow rates increased over time due to erosion, or decreased over time due to depletion of the pressure from the natural gas. That's science and engineering, and most folks here have better understanding of the particulars for this well than I do.

I have a different hypothesis for the changing public estimates of flow coming from NOAA, the pattern of the estimates always lowballing the rate and the estimates monotonically increasing with time and accumulated data.

The final decision on flows and fines will be a judicial process, and not a scientific process using strictly the best estimates available at the time of the trial.

In the face of uncertainty, NOAA needed to _always_ error on the side of low-balling. If they ever overestimated the flow rate, the first time the estimates decreased there would be an immediate pr campaign attacking their credibility based on the erroneously high interim estimate, which would have at least some effect on the eventual judge & jury. If they erred by the same amount on the low side, they can simply state that "with more and better data, our new best estimate is...". They are in a much better spot by always being cautious and having estimates monotonically increase as better data are amassed. This lowballing makes it much harder for a lawyer to attack the credibility of the estimates.

The same hypothesis applies to the existence of sub-surface plumes or clouds of droplets.

This concept of asymmetric loss functions (that being wrong by the same percentage in opposite directions has very different costs) appears in contexts such as property appraisal and setting fishing quotas. I know for a fact that a number of NOAA fisheries folks are familiar with this concept because I learned it with them in Bayesian statistics. I'd even bet a quart of BBIC that Jane Lubchenco knows it too, although that's a sporting bet I might lose.

Again, this is just my hypothesis; I have no inside knowledge, and I'm obviously not a lawyer. I do have some training in decision making in the face of uncertain estimates.

Seems like Wereley was pretty close way back when.

$16 billion fine if deemed negligent, on top of $5 billion out-of-pocket so far, $20 billion compensation to Gulf Coast economic "victims" and maybe $4 billion lost production. Grand total $45 billion, not counting civil payout for wrongful death, injury, job loss and disability.

"This is the smoking gun we've been waiting for, where BP finally admits in writing the true magnitude of this spill could be at least 53,000 barrels a day," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts.

The figure comes from documents Markey received during the committee's investigation into the Gulf oil disaster.

Although a statement from Markey touted the figure as "BP's first admission ... that the spill could be so large," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles estimated the flow from the well at 53,000 barrels per day during a June 6 interview with CNN.


53,000 barrells a day, that's it? What was their original estimates I vaguely recall it being only slightly lower.

On the contrary, they started at zero, went to 1,000, then 3,000, the 5,000, and some estimates were that it was somewhere around 100,000 to 150,000.

The most reasonable high estimate seemed to be 60,000, with it having increased over time because of erosion inside the BOP.

We can settle for 65,000 barrels per day. It isn't some ridiculous amount like 150,000 barrels but it's more than BP's measily 5,000.

The earlier flow rate technical group estimate was 35,000-60,000 bpd. Both Wells and Allen have said that they thought it was likely at the lower end of that range. (at least I remember Wells saying that and I think Allen did too.)


Wow, Markey's a real sleuth. First he cops DougR's post and bases his questions to BP on it. Now he's puffing out his 24K chest, having at last found the "smoking gun". "Smoking gun"? What the hell does Markey think all that oil that gushed out was? And

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles estimated the flow from the well at 53,000 barrels per day during a June 6 interview

I'm beyond tired of being embarrassed by our Honorable Gentlemen whose first and pre-emptive priority is getting (re)elected. Bunch of ass-hats who become enriched on a poor Congressman's salary and I'm coerced into paying these clowns.

[end rant]

I guess it's not possible that like a lot of people here and throughout the country he might miss something now and again, and with so much coming at him he might draw some wrong conclusions occasionally. It's not like BP, or the rest of us, for that matter, are either error free or defenseless.

Being judgmental about others often has a way of backfiring.

1. I'm paying his salary. Granted, it's a fraction of what he gets out of his life as a public servant, but still.
2. You're talking to the wrong guy with that "don't rock the boat" jive.
3. Is it just that you'd rather not have to hear about it because it's upsetting, or do you think that it's all pretty much okay?
4. Please do not even attempt to roll out a "we're all at fault" or equivalent statement on me.

1. So are the rest of us.

2. Missed - I'm always rocking the boat, and I was hardly suggesting that you not rock the boat, there are plenty of people ahead of you in that line if I ever go that way, which I doubt. There is such a thing as healthy skepticism, but there's also UNhealthy skepticism. Calling that out is not the same as telling someone not to rock the boat.

3. Why would it be upsetting to me, especially since it has nothing to do with me? And what gives you the impression I might think everything's ok, especially since I don't? Transmitting cautions about attacking someone is not necessarily the same as defending the person being attacked. It is perhaps more often an attempt to protect the attacker, if only from embarrassment.

See, all of those missed. So what might be my motive for making that comment?

I believe we all deserve a little bit of slack occasionally, perhaps even you and me. One of the things that I have discovered in my work is that people don't intentionally hurt other people just for the sake of hurting them, unless perhaps they're an anti-social personality, and I have some doubts about that.

If I don't give others slack, I can't reasonably expect them to give me any, and that sets too high a standard for either of us to meet. There are just too many variables in play for anyone to have a handle on all of them.

People do hurt others intentionally, of course, but, in my experience, it's always because they believe that other person has hurt them.

Unfortunately humankind often misses the mark when we try to express our anger. We often direct the expression of our anger not towards the person who has hurt us (usually because there is something that forestalls us, adding frustration and even helplessness to the grievances), instead we tend to direct the expression of that anger towards someone who is both available and vulnerable.

When I walk in the door and kick the dog (sorry paintdancer), or yell at the kids, or at my wife, rarely is it because I'm really mad at them, although I can often persuade myself not only that I am, but also that they deserve it, yet is that behavior consistent with my love for all of them, and my desire to see them happy in and of themselves, and with me?

Is it not far more likely that I'm mad at someone or something else - the flat tire, the trooper who stopped me (I rarely punch troopers), or my boss, or that person who just cut me off in traffic, with none of whom I have a chance of resolving that anger?

I rather doubt that you know Rep Markey personally, and odds are low that he has done anything to directly harm you, but he does appear to be handy and vulnerable, so perhaps we're on the right track in discerning your motivation. There are a lot of possibilities for filling out the picture, but I'll just cite a couple possibilities as examples, not necessarily expecting to touch on the most cogent one or ones.

It's possible that he reminds you, via either his appearance or mannerisms, of someone, against whom you have a legitimate beef. Or, it could be that you don't like his politics or something like that, and your frustration at seeing your views not prevail or perhaps even be adequately heard, at least in your perception, might make him an even more eligible target for you than I would be, for example. Or it could be because of a number of possibilities, but it's very unlikely to be because he either forgot, or was never told, of the discrepancy you cite (I'm assuming you're correct).

So why did I get involved in this? I could say it's because it's who I am, and that would be true, at least in part. But I would expect that I, like many others in this forum, have a pretty good handle on a certain form of expertise, and when I see someone who might benefit from my sharing that, and might be receptive, I'm often impelled to follow through on that opportunity. Sometimes I don't get it right, so to the extent I've offended you or hurt you, I hope you'll let me know, even though you certainly aren't obliged to, because I don't believe that you deserved to be either harmed or offended against.

I rather doubt that you know Rep Markey personally, and odds are low that he has done anything to directly harm you, but he does appear to be handy and vulnerable, so perhaps we're on the right track in discerning your motivation.

Or perhaps Snakehad has good cause to be pissed off at Markey. FWIW, Markey has a long history of this kind of showboating, and in my observation he often plays rather freely with the facts, inadvertently or otherwise. There's far too much misinformation and confusion floating around as it is; when someone with a big megaphone insists on adding to it, it's extremely annoying on its own terms, not because one is projecting one's annoyance at something else entirely onto an innocent party.

"People do hurt others intentionally, of course, but, in my experience, it's always because they believe that other person has hurt them."

I tend to agree with this comment. In my experience in working with employees issues (HR) - I have found that many times people confuse intent vs impact. The only thing I know is how someone impacted me - I don't know what their intent was... I can assume that they intended to impact me - but I've found that most times - people simply read too much into the other person's intent based on how they feel they were impacted.

Markey cites letters Suttles sent to the Coast Guard on July 6 and July 11, saying that they should "assume flow rate of 53,000" barrels of oil spilled per day when determining the amount of dispersant to be used for cleanup.

and BP later claimed that they were only repeating the estimate the government was using. They have been very careful never to offer up one of their own, even though more than one reporter has attributed the numbers to BP.

btw, it was Chu's scientific group that required the placement of measuring devices in the new containment cap. Bet BP is sorry he won that battle.

They could have stuck a flow meter in that well at any of those times they had it uncapped but Allen said they were to busy to do it.

It does seem to follow a pattern at the moment of Honorable Senators and Representatives trying to find something pin on BP even when the slightest investigation shows how sensationalistic the comments are or factually inaccurate..

The latest comments doing the rounds on the news wires..

Democratic Congressman Edward Markey, chairman of the House energy and environment sub-committee, wrote that instead of complying with the EPA's instructions, "BP often carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it".

Just how sensationalistic is that?

Even though Thad Allen flatly denied this is the case..

Then there is the most sensationalistic of all the accusations leveled agaisnt BP of directly lobbying for the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, even though there is no evidence of this and the majority of the documents relating to his release are publically available show that this wasnt the case. Although BP did raise the PTA with the UK goverment, the libyans were already aware from previous PTA discussion that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was never going to be considered for a PTA release. BP never approached the Scottish goverment which they would have had to have done since devolution of judicial powers.

Which delightful Senator is going to next accuse BP of selling Nuclear technology to the Iranians and North Koreans? It has got that level of silliness.

Trying to link BP to this stuff is disrespectful to the guys on the rig that died by moving focus away from finding how and why this happened and putting in place sensible measures to try and make sure it doesnt happen again.

I don't think Allen denied that at all. He said the paper work would show what was done.

Why did BP even care or talk about Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi to anyone?


I dont believe BP ever directly mentioned Al-Megrahi to the UK or Scottish goverments, they are on record of mentioning the PTA (Prisoner Transfer Agreement) to the UK goverment, as it was brought up by the Libyan's that it was or could negatively affecting business deals between the UK and Libya.

But that is no different to issues raised by Exxon over there 2009 deal with Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation.

Trying to link BP to this stuff is disrespectful to the guys on the rig that died by moving focus away from finding how and why this happened and putting in place sensible measures to try and make sure it doesnt happen again.

Secr3t, you haven't lost sight of the forest. Add in the 15 at Texas City.

Job 2 is amassing enough funds to get re-elected. Getting re-elected is Job 1.

Run for Congress. Keep it real. You'd have my support.

PS: I don't want to hear from a therapist I haven't hired about how what I think is dangerous and unfair and we're all imperfect, ad nauseum.

...I don't want to hear from a therapist I haven't hired about how what I think is dangerous and unfair and we're all imperfect, ad nauseum.

If you don't want to hear from said therapist, then why not excercise your freedom to scroll on by? Just as (truth be told) I sure there are some who like your comments, while others ignore them.

Oh really? Now I wonder what you're afraid of or trying to hide.

Just kidding!!!!!

Perfectly expected:

Oh really? Now I wonder what you're afraid of or trying to hide.

This, too:

Just kidding!!!!!

Got your number. Carry on.

It has become painfully obvious that Malarkeys a scumbag along with all the others that will not be satisfied until BP is hung by the neck until dead and then drawn and quartered until the last drop of blood is gone.

Disclaimer: can't stand BP but don't want to see them dead.


Ditto. I don't want to take them in and have to feed them along with me. Let em' work like the rest of us and keep people employed!!!

I sincerely doubt that your taking BP or anyone else "in" is in the cards.

Remember the old Marxist proverb, comrade Shareholder "One who doesn't work, doesn't eat". Fancy hearing it from a well-known capitalist, such as yourself!

If the Gov't bleeds them dry,just who do you think is going to replace the paychecks that BP hands out for the work performed by those who are currently employed by them. I'm already paying for "One who doesn't work, doesn't eat".
And just who will get the billions in fines that people like the polititions are drooling over? You,nor I, will. If this was a union controlled company like GM or Chrysler,the talk would be more on the line of,how can we keep them afloat.

Who should pay but NOT BP, who has made hundreds of billions cutting costs and taking risks for many years?

Why should the taxpayer ALWAYS pick up the tab when BIG BUSINESS screws up?

Why are folks like yourself ALWAYS extol the virtues of the free market, unless some company you have a share in has to pay for its own screwup, when you are miraculously transformed into socialists, who want "the masses" to pick up the tab?

And why is it, when that argument fails, you always bring up "the poor workers" who would be "out of a job", when you never cared for them or their wages before?

It sounds like hypocrisy to me...doesn't it to you?

Look pal, I was replying to this "It has become painfully obvious that Malarkeys a scumbag along with all the others that will not be satisfied until BP is hung by the neck until dead and then drawn and quartered until the last drop of blood is gone.

Disclaimer: can't stand BP but don't want to see them dead".

Do you want them dead? Cause'if you do,then you and I are going to have to pay for a lot of "the poor workers"!!!

Who should pay but NOT BP, who has made hundreds of billions cutting costs and taking risks for many years?

Your exagerations of profits are not worthy of much note. However, it should be noted that, should the profit rate be 5% of sales, consumers were satisfied with Trillions of dollars of goods and did not have to stand in line with a ration coupon to get them. It is not something that a government control advocate would appreciate, no ration coupons.

Why should the taxpayer ALWAYS pick up the tab when BIG BUSINESS screws up?

The taxpayer always is the first in line to get 35% or more of any profits that a business generates, without ever contributing anything to the venture. How much better should it get? They also get one third of the profits of the pet rocks. Did the Taxpayer every send out a check for a dry hole? Only in USSR. Whether they actually drilled it or not. Just like Green energy not delivering energy.

Remember the old Marxist proverb, comrade Shareholder "One who doesn't work, doesn't eat". Fancy hearing it from a well-known capitalist, such as yourself!

Now that is news. Marxists believed that what a person was entitled to eat was attributable to how much they contributed?
I remeber it as:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

Pravda could not have mistated it better than you have. Congratulations.

Yup. I read that book and it looks like someone at 1600 has too.Only he believes it.

Oh God...really? I'm no fan of Obama, but really? Do you really think he has some socialist agenda? He marches to the orders of the real owners of this country, just like Bush did, just like Clinton did, just like every GODDAMN POLITICIAN in this GODDAMN country does...Republican or Democrat...IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!! But hey, who knows, maybe that's what the PTB are actually trying to achieve...all I'm sayin is that Bush set the stones for Obama to have the amount of power that he does...because they're all part of the big club...and we ain't in it...well I guess I can't speak for everybody here...but I know I'm not.

If that estimate is based on the well having effectively full integrity and they have trouble doing the kill because of a lack of integrity in the well, I guess that will go up.

I heard estimates of 80,000 and even 100,000 BPD tossed around when the well was blowing.

Injectivity test delayed until tomorrow...

Static Kill Injectivity Testing on MC252 Well Expected Tuesday
Release date: 02 August 2010
During final preparations to commence with the injectivity test, a small hydraulic leak was discovered in the capping stack hydraulic control system. The injectivity test, previously announced to take place today, will be rescheduled until the leak is repaired.

It is anticipated that the injectivity test and possibly the static kill will take place Tuesday.


Don't believe everything he said.

Here is the tape http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/08/02/HP/R/36339/Allen+Defends+Oi...

At about 2:00 he describes the pressure sensors measuring the internal pressure at the BOP & capping stack. There are three types, acoustic, analog gauges and LED.

At 3:40 he says the pressure is not to exceed 8,000 psi.

At 4:30 he says they will use 13.2 ppg mud.

At 6:15 he says they expect a "slow pressure decline".

At 16:00 he indicates that ultimate success would be a pressure reading of "zero".


1) The minimum pressure they will achieve is equal to the static head of 5,000 feet of 13.2 ppg mud or 3,452 psi (using Rockman's reliable formula 5,000 x 13.2 x 0.052). This is clearly not zero!! He has set himslef up for a replay of the well integrity test target of 8,000 to 9,000 psi by using an unrealistic target number. The test is going to be performed with mud in the choke line. The static pressure due to the mud is 3,452 psi. Even if they stopped the flow, the "slow pressure decline" would also stop as there would be no more mud being introduced to continue the process. It cannot reach zero.

2) Adm Allen is sticking by the idea that the relief well is the ultimate solution. But if they did ever start pumping mud from the RW into the WW where would the oil and gas already in the well go to? Another "where did the oil go" mystery anyone? Perhaps down the memory hole? Obviosly, the sensible solution to relieving the increased pressure at the BOP due to a bottom kill would be to bleed off the oil as the mud rises.

So we are back at Lubricate and Bleed.

I wonder if the bozos on the Scientific Advisory Committee will ever get that through their thick skulls?

I for one don't believe anything the guy says b/c

1. He has no idea what he's talking about anyway.
2. He's shilling for BP about half the time.

... he indicates that ultimate success would be a pressure reading of "zero".

Well, he didn't get the pressures quite right. Not the first time he has been a little confused about details. Unless I missed it, they have never stated explicitly what a successful kill condition would be, but if it means that they could open the choke line to atmospheric pressure at the surface and there is no flow of material up or down, then maybe he meant that the pressure would be zero psig at the top of the column of mud.

But if they did ever start pumping mud from the RW into the WW where would the oil and gas already in the well go to?

They've never been very clear about how the bottom kill would work, but I've been assuming that they would have to open the capping stack and let the well flow while they were pumping mud up from the bottom.

EDIT: I'm pretty sure that ROCKMAN and others have talked about the need to let the well flow during a bottom kill.

You're right about letting the well flow, but you don't have to let it flow freely.

Pump 1 bbl into the relief well, release 1 bbl from the top of the ww.

The gas content in the ww well bore complicates the numbers, but what you are trying to do is stop any new flow from the formation entering the ww during the bottom kill operation.

Lots of other options too, like deliberately pumping some kill mud into the formation at the start of the bottom kill.


Yes, and if they REALLY wanted to avoid spilling any more oil into the GoM during a bottom kill, couldn't they collect the oil displaced by the rising mud using the choke or kill lines on the BOP? Of course, that seems like an awful lot of added complexity just to collect a couple thousand barrels.

I would absolutely expect them to collect all the oil at surface. You're going to have to be very careful because of the gas in the fluid column in the ww, but if they do get the ww killed from the top first there may not be so very much gas to worry about.

That said, its no worse than the production operations they ran for weeks collection oil at surface...


1.)Wells said it a bit more precisely in his briefing earlier today.

So then the second phase is what I call the static kill, and that's where we'll actually be pumping the heavy drilling mud into the well. It will go down and push all the oil that's in the well back into the reservoir. And when we've done that, we'll have hydrostatically controlled the well or killed the well, where as opposed to the sealing cap happened to hold back all that pressure, we'll be using the mud to hold back a lot of the pressure.

And, in fact, if you came all the way – I'll talk later and show that if you come all the way back up to the surface at the Q4000, you will essentially see zero pressure at that point.

8/2 Wells briefing transcript here.

2.) The Oil&Gas below the point of interception would be driven down into the reservoir. The amount above it .. don't know if they could circulate it out with lighter weight mud or take it out the top later. BP and USCG both seem to be determined not to release any more oil to the sea unless they are forced by events to return to containment mode.

Adm. Allen doesn't do oilfield for a living. The Kent Wells briefing this afternoon made pretty good sense however.

The injectivity test will use base oil. The test description matches normal industry practice and sounds just fine from here.

Not sure why you are assuming the choke line is going to be full of 13.2 at the start, doesn't sound logical. Likely they will switch to mud after the injectivity test has been evaluated and start the kill process from surface down. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the line from surface to the wellhead is filled with base oil before any pumping into the ww is done. That way we have a relatively homogeneous fluid column from surface to the reservoir which may help once the test and kill fluids start to reach the formation.

At 8000psi at the wellhead, they are allowing 1000psi of headroom above the current shut-in pressure to get above the frac gradient and establish reasonable injection rates. Kent is quoted as doing the injection test at 1-3 bbls/min, possibly more if its available within the 8000psi pressure envelope. This should do nicely. We'll see.

Lubricate then bleed is not necessary and not particularly appropriate to this situation. That's just an opinion of course.


Not sure why you are assuming the choke line is going to be full of 13.2 at the start, doesn't sound logical. Likely they will switch to mud after the injectivity test has been evaluated and start the kill process from surface down.

Yes... Allen refers to the use of 13.2 mud during the static kill process, not the injectivity test.

So after the preparations and the injection tests are complete, the injection test findings will be evaluated. That will probably take several hours. And then they will initiate at that point what has been called the static kill.

The reason I'm differentiating all this out, the static kill is not a monolithic thing that will happen today. It is a potential of one part of the diagnostic tests that are being done. It is not an end in of itself.

And what they will do is they will start pumping mud at a very low rate. This is mud that weighs about 13.2 pounds per gallon, and they will pump it in at, first of all, one barrel per minute, and then raising to two barrels per minute, and then they will slowly pump that into the blowout preventer through the choke line.

Allen 8/2 briefing transcript here.

Mmmmm. Allen can be a little scary.

I think Kent Wells got it much closer.

First they do an injectivity test with base oil.

That injectivity test starts by pumping very slowly, looking for how well the formation will take fluid. You will have the overpressure limiters on the pump unit set to whatever the correct surface pressure is to ensure you deliver no more than 8000 psi at the wellhead.

There is a very good chance you will have to go over the frac gradient in order to get decent injection rates. See linked PowerPoint, graph on page 33 is a good example...

Once you have established injection into the reservoir, take pressure readings at 1 bbl per min, then 2 bbl per min, then 3 bbl per min. If you can make it work within your pressure limits, you may go faster than 3 bbls per min. Hard to say at this point.

Once you have your injectivity test results, plug them into the kill model on your computer and make sure everything ties together.

Once everyone is happy, change over to pump 13.2 mud and commence pumping at your selected rate. Watch werry werry carefully for pressure fluctuations you didn't forecast.

Keep all you fingers tightly crossed.


Mmmmm. Allen can be a little scary.

Yes, he does sort of conflate the incremental, stepped pumped rates of the injectivity test with the static kill, doesn't he.

But what is really scary - to me - is that I have listened to him enough this summer that I unconsciously translate into what I think he means.

Today was unusual in that Allen spoke after Wells - Kent often has the chance to tidy up after Allen later in the day. Then again Wells doesn't have to also deal with irate parish presidents who perceive abandonment when they see the removal of defective boom (it sank) or the replacement of oiled absorbent boom with clean boom.

Wells: back up to the surface at the Q4000, you will essentially see zero pressure

Mud from the surface to bottom of well. And then? Can't remove the BOP stack.

Next stage? If everything went smoothly on the kill, move to cementing.

Mix and pump 300 bbls or cement or so, then displace with 13.2 so the leading edge of the cement is inside the formation. You are going to have to be careful on this, because in most circumstances the cement is going to be quite a bit denser to the point we may have some lost circulation issues if not compensated for.

Let it set up, then do your positive and negative pressure testing to ensure you have a good seal.

Not clear on what is next, depends how good your pressure tests were and your appetite for risk.

Could still do something from the relief well if necessary, could attempt to manipulate the stack (although I don't like this idea), or if we're feeling really brave, could move straight to swapping stacks.

Don't know...


I'm sure this makes sense to someone else, but not moi. Pump cement into choke/kill lines followed by more mud to push it downhole to the bottom?? past 3000 ft of broken drill pipe?? Presupposes pushing a hell of a lot of oil and mud into the reservoir, no way to cement a top plug unless the bottom plug tests good, and if it does that stops RW from doing a damn thing.

Clown shoes for everyone.

Who cares about it being choke and kill lines? Seriously, get over the path, it doesn't matter at the top of the well aside we're going to get a little contamination in areas we normally wouldn't want to contaminate.

It does matter that the cement, just like the kill mud before it, flows down the leak path and chokes off the reservoir. Everything else is just a distraction that has to be handled to get the main job done.

Yes, we're going to push probably two or three thousand barrels of mud into the reservoir. Just like any frac job, except this one is going to be much more gentle and we aren't injecting proppant and wanting the fractures to stay open. Drilling mud isn't all that different from frac fluid at the end of the day, they are both designed to carry solids although obviously the composition is different.

We're going to generate some deliberate lost circulation, then heal it later. Not such a big deal, it happens all the time just not in this exact circumstance.

Time to smell the coffee. There aren't a hell of a lot of really good choices here. Even the relief well operation can be fraught with problems ranging from establishing communications with the ww onwards. Everything is a less than optimal compromise.


You'd think that we would have good choices since we have the well capped.
Though about your assessment, are you saying this will work or its a faliure in the making. Again, my knoweldge on engineering is atrocious. The shades of night are falling fast and reading this enitre board has made me feel less aware.

jtf, rainyday, avon,

I love it when you talk dirty. :-)

Fair enough. No good choices. John Wright must be spitting curses. I have a lot of respect for the 500 hands on the service boats and drill vessels, floating above a pressurized gas bomb. No respect for Hafle, who's directing this "validity test" from a nice safe office in Houston.

Strong suspicion that BP sees the relief wells as future producers. Someone way up the food chain assured them that BP would keep the lease, just play ball a while longer. Cement it any way you like and "get 'er done."

I certainly hope the oil reserves can be produced and recoverd. Why would it be necessary to not use the oil that has been discovered, even if a fairly small amount? Proceeds go to the population of the Gulf and they can probably use the money. It would be very shortsighted, IMHO, to never produce the reserves. Maybe it is only energy and we can just buy it from the Nigerians anyway. Why hire Americans to produce American oil in America when the Nigerians will do it? It seems clear to me. I want Africans to prosper. I would hope that we want African Americans to prosper first though.

Isn't the point of the kill to cement the well?
But I hope this works. It's getting late and I need rest.

Lubricate and Bleed is the safe, gentle thing to do. I do not know why they would do other than safe, gentle and slow, especially as they have taken sooo long to get this far. I note that Bruce Thompson and myself have been on about this since mid-July. I myself got a bit pointed about them ignoring the top kill potential about that time.

Now, as others, I get worried about the cavalier attitude (like going to 8000 psi and 'pushing') often expressed in press conferences. It would be easy to cut through the garbage if they would publish the top kill (static kill or whatever) test procedure they must have written, distributed, reviewed, edited and approved by now. Why should this not be part of the public record?

Why are they wedded to a front of words from a few, who believe themselves good at this (getting the press off their backs), with the odd powerpoint, with generic cartoons, thrown in occasionally, that are all devoted to the ideal of just giving the great ignorant public something to harmlessly chew on. My god! If they told us what they were really doing we might actually be able to intelligently critic it (in other words, 'HELP'). As Melissa T said at the end of My Cousin Vinny, "What a (expletive deleted)ing disaster".

Cheers, ERD

I must have missed the discussion on lube and bleed. What is it?
Ayway for those watching live feeds what's going on?

You can archive myself and Bruce Thompson and fdoleza (he wants to use brine) and, of course, Rockman has discussed it. For starters, this is a bit of the post where I, an outsider, discovered about it. That was around July 20th after Rockman had commented on the difficulty of getting oil to flow back into the reservoir (as it is something of a rock honeycomb that will close up once oil flows out of it).

Then again, the third alternative, the top kill requires an extra pressure spike to get it going..

Researching this a bit further I came across the following in Wikipedia.

Lubricate and bleed

This is the most time consuming form of well kill. It involves repeatedly pumping in small quantities of kill mud into the well bore and then bleeding off excess pressure. It works on the principle that the heavier kill mud will sink below the lighter well bore fluids and so bleeding off the pressure will remove the latter leaving an increasing quantity of kill mud in the well bore with successive steps.

Now in this specific case we have two BOP’s one above the other where the kill and choke lines (and other ports) of each might be used together to inject mud through the lower old BOP and collect oil/gas that it displaces upwards to the new BOP. After a time mud will come out at the top rather than oil/gas. When that happens the system can be closed for a time while mud drops down the bore. then the cycle can be repeated. In that way, because of the two BOP’s, the time involved in this ‘lubricate and bleed’ process should be reduced, and it can be fine tuned as the process proceeds.

Consequently, if this is a practical procedure, mud can be introduced without a pressure spike and once beyond the critical point where the wellhead pressure starts dropping the injection rate can be increased and no bleed-off will be required.

I have found Wikipedia a good source for basic oil drilling info.

So much to consider.
Well I'll be getting some sleep. In the mean time I can only hope nothing goes wrong while I slumber but is anyone here anticipating anything? We seem to have a mix reaction here. Those who say this static kill is a faliure and those who are confident in its success. We'll see.

LOL...isn't sorta humorous how drastically different people's opinions are? People on both sides make statements as if they are the know-all, see-all, when for all we know they really know fuck-all...that seems to be the one topic on here that not too many people want to discuss...that we are in un-charted waters here, as far as I can tell anyway...and trust me, that's not saying much...but on the other hand, people can say as much as they want about how far-fetched Matt Simmons' claims are (which by all logical accounts they are), but he might just be right about the fact that we can't shut this thing down by conventional means...just like you said Heiro, we'll see, we will see.......as much as I never thought I'd hear myself say this, all we can do at this point is hope and pray that the people working to shut this thing down have the knowledge and expertise to do so.

Your methodology and conclusions are wrong. The pressure will drop as the kill fluid is introduced inside the well. I believe you forgot the idea is to fill the well with the kill fluid?

Which network will have Matt Simmons on for an interview tomorrow?
If Matt Simmons is not available, who will they call?
Will it be someone who advised Secretary Chu, the man in charge, to stop the top kill several months ago?
This is going to get interesting.

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EPA Response To Enbridge Spill In Michigan

Photo: EPA's newest research vessel, the Mudpuppy II, has been deployed to Lake Morrow to collect water and bottom sediment samples to help document and assess whether contaminants have reached Lake Morrow. Reporters and government officials have been aboard to see the Mudpuppy II on its first-ever deployment. (click for larger image)

EPA is directing and monitoring all aspects of oil spill cleanup and containment efforts over 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River. EPA issued a field order outl

path: Public ~> Energy
Related Link: EPA Notice of Disapproval
originally posted: 2010-08-03 01:32:24

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Feds: Enbridge wasn't aware of oil spill Sunday

Justin Hinkley The Enquirer August 2, 2010
Federal investigators said today theyve confirmed there likely was no Enbridge Inc. truck in or around the oil pipeline leak site, hours before the company reported the leak.

Marshall and Marshall Township firefighters responded after 9:25 p.m. July 25 to several 911 calls of a petroleum smell near where on Mo...
path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-03 01:20:02

The company was first notified of a leak at around 11:16 a.m. Monday and technicians responded about 11:30 a.m. Those technicians confirmed the leak and began booming the creek, Nicholson said. Investigators said they still were months away from a possible cause of the leak.

That don't sound right to me. Curious how no one, as yet, has ruled out sabotage...

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Enbridge -- August 2 Evening Update

We have committed to the people of Calhoun County that we will make things right. One of the ways we are doing this is by setting up a community office in Battle Creek that will have a claims component to it. It will be accessible to everyone in the community and very easily reached. Additional details on the storefront will be shared this week. The office will be open long after the cleanup is complete. We know we will have ongoing questions from residents and we will be there to answer them...
path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-03 00:50:47

Enbidge -- August 1 Afternoon Update

No oil remains on the river. Sheen only remains upstream of Battle Creek.

Approximately 10,000 barrels of oil have been removed from the waterways and spill site.

The focus of our work continues to be the clean-up of the site and our top priority is the safety of the workers and residents in the area. The clean-up workforce now consists of approximately 730 employees and contractors on site.

There are now 79 vacuum trucks, 48 skimmers, 19 tanker trucks, and 43 boats assisting with t...
path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-03 00:48:05

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Susan Hedman of the Environmental Protection Agency displays an absorption boom at the meeting Monday night at Marshall High. (AL LASSEN/Battle Creek Enquirer)

Freep dot com -- Michigan oil spill investigation focuses on pressure alert

Posted: Aug. 3, 2010
U.S. says probe is preliminary; Enbridge mum


The reports of foul-smelling air near Marshall began to filter in on the evening of July 25. Residents made 911 calls, and firefighters scurried to find the source of the odor.
In the aftermath of what would turn out to be a massive oil spill, Enbridge Energy Partners, the company responsible for the leak, has said it was not able to confirm it...

But on Monday, National Transportation Safety Board investigators revealed that an Enbridge alarm had gone off around 6 p.m. that Sunday evening, about 19 hours before Enbridge reported the spill.

"This is just a preliminary investigation, and we still have a lot of work to do," said Matthew Nicholson, the lead investigator with the NTSB. The U.S. Department of Transportation oversees pipelines through its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Enbridge officials, who have responded routinely to news media inquiries during the last week, declined to talk about the NTSB announcement Monday, citing the investigation.

To the surprise of some residents, the hour-long meeting did not offer a chance to vent publicly to officials. Instead, the public was ushered into large rooms where environmental and Enbridge officials answered individual questions and heard concerns.

In another development Monday, the chairman of a congressional committee that oversees pipeline regulations sent Enbridge a letter asking for maintenance plans, corrosion reports, maps and more as it looks into the spill.

U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, also sent letters to the EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation requesting reports and correspondence related to Enbridge.

path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-03 02:11:25

Amazing to see, the latest ERMA map is almost totally clear of anomalies. Analyst's note: "Latest CSK-2 image over the region shows a few small slicks in Barataria Bay and near Grand Isle, LA. Very light winds this morning made for increased difficulty observing oil especially further from the coastline. There is some uncertainty about the origination of this oil in Barataria Bay due to the close proximity to the Mud Lake oil spill."

Latest map: http://gomex.erma.noaa.gov/erma.html#x=-90.42000&y=28.03000&z=7&layers=5...
Compare it to the map from July 28: http://gomex.erma.noaa.gov/erma.html#x=-90.42000&y=28.03000&z=7&layers=5...