BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Cementing the Well - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6818.

The Deepwater well has now reached a point where the mud inside the well is applying enough weight to the fluid in the formation that the flow of fluid, when such exists, is now from the well back into the rock. The well is sufficiently secure that, just before 7 pm CST Wednesday, Admiral Allen issued the following press release:

Based on the successful completion of the static kill procedure and a positive evaluation of the test results, I have authorized BP to cement its damaged well. I made it clear that implementation of this procedure shall in no way delay the completion of the relief well.

In his press conference Wednesday, Kent Wells described the steps to kill the well, and what is currently happening as the work moves toward sealing the well.

The crew is now running the drill pipe within the relief well, but must first run a test of the Blow-out Preventer (BOP). There is a regulation, which the other drilling rig did not follow earlier in the process, that is, no doubt, now being practiced.

The Transocean Development Driller II (DD II) working for BP, received one INC (Incidence of Non-Compliance) because it had not alternated between control stations for BOP testing. MMS regulations require that the regular 14-day BOP tests alternate between the BOP station on the rig floor and the remote station located at another site on the rig. On the DD II they conducted the BOP pressure testing only from the driller’s control station for the last two tests. They did perform function testing on the remote station, but the pressure testing was only performed using the driller’s station. MMS has ordered the rig to alternate control stations in the future. . . . . . in addition, as a condition of its drilling permit, the rig will be required to conduct increased testing of the BOP stack and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) intervention both on the rig and on the seabed.

I presume that it is this scheduled BOP test that is currently being planned. After it is over then the excess cement that is still in the casing will be drilled out. This will allow instruments to then move over the full length of the injected cement to ensure that the cement was placed properly (using a cement bond log – something that was controversially not done by Schlumberger before the well failure of the Deepwater Horizon). In addition there will be a leakoff test, to test the strength of the surrounding rock.

Simplistically, the pressure in the bottom of the well is slowly increased until the fluid in the well starts to penetrate the rock, shown when the pressure no longer steadily increases as fluid is added. This is then used to determine the weight of the mud that will then be used to drill the last section of the well (to ensure that the well pressure isn’t high enough to reach that pressure that will fracture the rock, and lose fluid to the formation).

With that in hand the well will start the short advances, then be surveyed, then advance again, to ensure that the relief well remains on target to hit the original well, first along the annulus, and then to penetrate through the production casing to allow a cement seal of the whole bottom section of the well.

The static kill was carried out with a flow rate of 5 bpm, and Kent Wells noted the success that was achieved.

We were able to watch the pressure continuously and (see it) gradually decline. We were able to watch as the – if you remember, I mentioned the word we injected for the injectivity test, base oil. We were able to watch as the base oil and then the mud actually hit the reservoir. We were able to see (the well) pressure up, and then we were able to see that pressure come back down.

And these were all very encouraging signs. And then what we kept doing is we kept injecting it as five barrels a minute, injecting more of the oil that was in the casing and actually mud, and continued to inject it into the reservoir for a period of time to try to get – make sure we'd cleaned out all of the oil that we could out of the casing.

And so we pumped for a number of hours. And then as we got confident that we'd actually got the well into a static condition, we actually increased the rate up to 10 barrels a minute, and then ultimately 15 barrels a minute, and we did that to give ourselves confidence that, if we chose to go ahead with the cementing procedure, that we could actually pump at higher rates, because that will give us a more effective cement job. And so that went well, as well.

So we spent some extra time yesterday pumping more fluid in, just to give ourselves more information and confidence. So by the end of the whole process, we had injected about 2,300 barrels of mud, and a lot of that was actually designed at just cleaning out the casing and making sure that we could move forward with the cement job with confidence, if we choose to do so.

In earlier posts I had worried that injecting cement after the static kill could cause problems, because the mud might require higher pressures before it would flow into the formation, and this could cause the well to fracture (see the leakoff test comment above). However BP had designed the mud so that it would flow into the rock, as they have demonstrated, and thus would be displaced by any cement that was injected into the well to seal it, as the Admiral has now authorized.

The cap itself can’t be removed, since the pressure balance is achieved at sea level, not at the sea bed, and the system is being maintained, with small injections of more mud (75 barrels at 5 bpm every 6 hours) to keep the fluids mobile and stop any settling.

Again the injection of cement is likely to be an ongoing event as I write this post – so we will see what the morning brings. If they do run the cement, it is likely, as Kent Wells noted, that after the injection they will run a positive pressure test to see if the seal holds against higher pressures (without letting mud flow into the well), and then perhaps they will run a negative pressure test to see if, as they drop pressure above the cement, any fluid from below the cement makes its way through the cement and up the well.

From the previous thread
Rockman Here is your previous comment http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6810#comment-694315

Bruce -- Even with the success of the top kill yesterday I don't think I would be very critical of Dr. Chu calling quits on the first attempt. If anything, I would be critical of them trying it in the first place. I think it was more of a PR stunt that risked making matters worse IMHO. With the hole in the BOP shooting most of the kill pill into the GOM and that fact that AFAIK there has never been a successful top kill on a flowing well I saw virtually no chance of it working.

So can we presume that you have no objection to asking Steven Chu to confirm or deny the report in the New York Times by the "technician" that Chu, against the unified advice of the drilling experts in BP's command center, ordered the top kill operation stopped when there were still two steps left to go?

I'd love to see him take ownership of that decision. Someone noted that the target audience of most political discourse is a sixth grader. I'd love to have a chance to play

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER, with Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Steven Chu.

You have said many times you are a geologist, not an engineer. I am an engineer, not a geologist. Steven Chu is neither a geologist nor an engineer.

A word of warning, do not stand anywhere near Chris Matthews, as he has already warned everyone what he would do if the heard about Chu's Nobel Prize again. The exact term of art for what Chris is likely to do is projectile vomiting.

BP will have the opportunity in court to make a claim that Chu hindered their ability to stop the wild well if they want to. But that aint going to happen because BP (and anyone else who understands the flow dynamics) knows Chu made the right decision.

But that misses the point. There is a finite probability that BPs drilling engineers were right, and Chu wrong. By taking ownership of the decision, Chu takes ownership of the consequences.

If BP have any sense (and any balls) they will be insisting in court that they are not responsible for any releases after the first date that the government told them to do something against their better judgement.

If you take the government high ball estimate of 5m barrels released, I'd expect BP to counter with a much lower estimate (prob 2-3m barrels) and then state that after xx/xx/2010 when the government forced them to do or not do X they are not responsible for the subsequent leak of xm barrels, or the consequences.

It's a lawyer game now, and I'd expect actions like the above to come back and bite the government.


BP may argue many things in court, but it is unlikely they will make silly arguments.

It is not a question of whether BP has balls. It is a question of whether you have any knowledge. You clearly don't. You don't know that BP's drilling engineers believed the top kill would work. You don't have any clue as to the flow paths in the well and/or BOP or any of the pressure dynamics involved. You are creating a scenario that it was Chu's fault entirely out of thin air. Arguments made from thin air don't carry much weight in court.

The Top Kill Procedure had a plan. If I recall it lasted longer than planned. All the evidence we have now is that it was a complete waste of time to even start that procedure. They could have been using the time to remove the riser, and moving forward with efforts to cap the well.

Bruce - I wasn't so much focused on who was calling the shots as my very low expectation of the effort. But you're correct: the lack of "who's really in charge" has gotten rather comical.

Rockman - There are two critical areas where your experience would tend to lead you astray. Most important is that at the prevailing hydrostatic pressure under a mile of sea water, the oil-methane solution cannot flash into the vapor state because the methane is in the supercritical state. The other is that they had a huge advantage over a normal top kill in that they had a bargeload of mud available with a built in mile of hydrostatic head. They could well afford to leak most of the mud out the riser in lieu of oil leaking out. In effect a "bloody" (i.e. muddy) Lubricate and Bleed operation.

Using a procedure just like the static kill, they could start pumping at a very low rate with a maximum pressure just a bit higher than the flowing pressure. The BOP had already withstood a higher pressure before the well was depleted by flowing for over a month. Try it for a while and see if the flowing pressure drops indicating mud going down the well. If it does drop, pump faster thereby lowering the pressure at the BOP!!!

Where's the risk?

As to being comical, I guess maybe in the sense that history repeats itself, the first time in tragedy, the second time as farce.

I am not an oil man, however the risk seems to me to be erosion - it sure looked to me that during Top Kill I the leak rate from the fractures in the riser bend was increasing, and rather dramatically the longer the pumping went on.


My apologies but I strongly disagree with both of your critical areas.

1) The reservoir fluids will certainly partly flash into the gas phase at sea bed conditions. Not only is this what you would expect but I believe we've seen it happening on the ROV feeds. And I'm not sure why this is important in any case.

2) They pumped for 3 days, using a total of 30,000 barrels of mud at rates of up to 115,000 b/d, and also pumped junk in an attempt to bridge the flow path. I'd say that was giving it a good shot. They only managed to increase the pressure at the well head from 4400 psi to 6000 psi at the peak rate. To succeed they would have had to get the pressure to above 8500 psi and hold it (ie provide an overbalance at the reservoir to force fluids back down the hole). They couldn't do this because the injected mud was simply blasting out the top of the BOP; with a more constricted flow path it might have worked.

I believe there is no way the mud would have settled to the bottom of the well under the force of gravity with the reservoir still flowing. Even under static conditions I think this would be a slow process.

The call to quit was probably a good one.

Big Nerd

Is it possible now that the well is "shut-in" (static - at least somewhat, as far as we know) that rhe contents at the top of the well is solid because the temp is colder? The sequence of the contents in the well would be: Solid (top), gas (middle), liquid (bottom).

When the new cap was placed and there was a somewhat regulated dynamic flow was apparently achieved, would there have been enough friction to keep the various contents stable? The sequence of the contents of the well would be: liquid and maybe a small % of gas on the bottom (because of the high downhile temp).

Going one step further back. At the time the blowout occured, it's probably safe to say the flow was not regulated, except for a bit of resistance in the BOP. Would the dynamic flow friction of the contents of the well cause the pipe(s?) to become "heated" and cause a majority of the well contents to become supercritical - causing and enormous amount of gas lift at a rate of speed that was too fast to react to?

Hi ZB,

1) I guess you mean just after the cap was installed? (ie not now that the well has been killed so that the wellbore is now hopefully full of mud and even has cement being pumped as we speak). If so then no, I'd expect this type of oil to have been liquid from top to bottom. There are however waxy crudes out there that would be solid at sea bed conditions. I have such a sample from a well we drilled recently on my desk at work; its like boot polish even at room temperature. Very tricky to deal with.

2) Do you mean that the cap was partially closed with the well still flowing at a reasonable rate? If so I'd think there was a good chance that there would have been some gas towards the top of the well and oil lower down. It would be less likely to be gas deeper down where the pressures are higher.

3) At the time of the blowout I doubt that thermal effects from friction were important. The pressure release would be enough to cause runaway gas expansion and violent ejection of the riser contents. Much of the expansion takes place over the last few thousand feet of wellbore/riser. Once a large kick gets past the BOP in a well like this the situation is generally grave.

You drilled a well on your desk???


I really need to get some help for that impulse control.

Anybody know a good shrink?

I originally typed that as "god shrink."

I really need help, period!!!!!

Do you really want us to agree with you?


No, if I were you I would either grab the biggest strait jacket you can find, and a couple dozen people to help, or run like hell!!

Remember the first half of psychotherapist, and heed the motto of my business, "We pot the fun back into dysfunctional!!"

I'm going to shut up for the night lest I draw snakehead back.


Curious to know why you find my questions odd.

I haven't claimed to be an expert, just someone asking questions.

Bruce - Never said there was a risk. Just that with the well not shut in there was little chance of the initial top kill working. Actually no risk at all since there was virtually no chance of them getting mud down the csg and thus no chance of a pressure build up. I don't think my first hand experience on a dozen or so top kills of my own wells have lead me astry at all. In fact, the reason I'm responding so late is that I just got back from doing a top kill on one of my wells that took a salt water kick at 4 AM this morning. Nothing to it since the well was shut in and the head wasn't leaking. The biggest risk I was exposed to was driving down the Interstate with all those speeding 18-wheelers. LOL.

The biggest risk I was exposed to was driving down the Interstate with all those speeding 18-wheelers. LOL.

"Pray for me I drive highway 90."

that's the old one.

"Pray for me I still drive highway 90."

that one is a little newer, but pretty old too, now

Fun WL - Last week I got off of I-10 to HW 90 to Morgan City.

...against the unified advice of the drilling experts in BP's command center...

There is no documentary evidence for that. You made it up, in other words.

The anonymous technician was reported to have said

“But having done all we had already done, I thought we should have completed the final two operations. He was not keen to listen. BP people said, ‘Let’s try these last two steps,’ but he said, ‘No, stop.’ ”

So who else besides the BP team (inclusive if its contrators such as Wild Well Control http://www.wildwell.com/) would you consider to be an expert? The members of the Scientific Advisory team, the Flow Group, Admiral Allen?

Since you like to quote the NY Times, why don't you drag out the part where he says something to the effect

that if he had understood geology and well technology better in the early days after the April 20 blowout, he might have urged a faster attempt at the top kill, which involved shooting mud and other gunk to clog up the damaged blowout preventer atop the gushing well. The delay, he said, might have allowed pressure to increase in the well, rendering the attempt fruitless when it was tried at the end of May.

I get the impression that you believe Dr. Chu is making his recommendations in a vacuum. If you have ever been in a decision making position which involved dealing with input from staff, then you know that more often than not you are receiving more than one recommendation from the staff below you, and if they are all unanimous in their opinion you are unlikely to buck that without pretty credible justification, or you're going to deal with lot of resignations.

As you have seen in this forum there have been several competing understandings, assumptions and suggestions at just about every part of the process. Dr. Chu has available all of those (with the possible exception of the conspiracists who seem to pop up here and there) because he has teams of highly experienced engineers and other personnel from a number of relevant companies, plus a blue ribbon group from several disciplines. So I think it very doubtful that he has anything less than the best information and presentation of options that he could ever want, or anybody else could believe he needs (with the possibility of clairvoiancy), plus the ability to easily make contact with any source in the world that he needs to fill in the missing pieces.

Dr. Chu has his considerable experience and intelligence available, up against which none of us would likely stand a chance if he had access for a few hours to everything we have had access to over our lifetimes (he would almost certainly be able to focus in on the relevant issues very quickly.

His job is not to be an expert in everything, his job is to receive the information, and any recommendations, then process that body of input, draw conclusions, and make recommendations which Admiral Allen can implement, unless he disagrees, again for very good and defendable reasons or there's going to be a riot.

I suspect you know from considerable experience that when we don't believe we've had an adequate hearing of what we think, we feel profoundly frustrated, and that often even triggers anger and various other consequences. Dr. Chu is where he is precisely because he listens, weighs the options with which he is presented and makes decisions, and there's no evidence that I'm aware of that he has gone wrong in that except before he became involved when he agreed to become involved.

And, if you think either Dr. Chu or Admiral Allen are swayed by political pressure I believe you're way off base. Neither of them would do anything but what they believe is in the best interests of all of the stakeholders.

If you believe that I'm wrong on any of this, based upon knowledge, not suspicion, or your "gut" sense, which I've addressed elsewhere in this forum, I invite you to present it. Regardless of whether I have any credibility with you, there are plenty of people here who want to know the truth regardless of what it is. They, and I believe I, will give you a fair hearing.

With the quote you cite here, if you think that Dr. Chu did not honor the preponderance of advice which he was presented before he made that decision, I think you're way off base. That's not how people work, and I have no reason to believe he's an exception to that rule.

David, if you've been following my discussions with Heiro, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of Zajonc (rhymes with science). Knowing that, you'll also know (or should) what Zajonc (and many others since) proved concerning the effects of Social Facilitation. To recap, when the task is simple, the presence of others improves performance, but when the task is complex, it IMPEDES performance. Going back to rooster strutting behavior isn't conducive to the kind of thoughtful analysis needed in complex and pressure situations. In other words, having a group "war room command center" was the WORST solution to the problem, because it by its very nature brings out the worst behavior in the group dynamic. Politics rules over competence in that situation, unless by a lucky miracle you find that exceptionally rare individual who can overcome the group dynamic while also having the requisite status.

Do I believe Chu succumbed to the strutting rooster syndrome? Of course he would, and will again. He is now a political animal regardless of his past scientific credentials. He had enough human decency in an unguarded moment to tell a NYT reporter that he wished he knew more earlier to make a better decision. The only lesson learned unfortunately is that there will be no next time, ie no further unguarded moments. ;)

@red and wide: Re the IQu of Chu -

Why do you presume Dr. Chu has no experience in handling the political? Are you unaware of the political storms around Lawrence Labs? Do you think Dr. Chu has never read a book, or talked to one of his academic acquaintances (you know, the ones who write the books) about administration and egos and roosters and leading and facilitating groups?

Yes, he's human. He's also smart, very smart. There's no reason to assume he's some kind of Asperger's.

Unless, of course, it's convenient to your thesis.

@ormnd, Either you can't read or purposely misinterpreted my statements entirely. Since I've seen you make posts here before, I have to assume you CAN read, so therefore misinterpreted.

He is now a political animal regardless of his past scientific credentials.

I was thinking of his LLNL time as political already, since he clearly couldn't have risen to a position of authority at a politically operated national lab without it. You're trying to turn this into tea party or something with no basis in fact. I suggest you quit. My points were addressed to the professional, when I want an amateur's opinion I'll be sure and look for yours. If you want to LEARN something, I recommend buying and reading the book I linked to above on group dynamics.

BTW, I'm smarter than you think and have had the good pleasure of spending time with all manner of brilliant people my entire life. I eschewed academia because of the advice of my own good friend in college, a Phd in physics who warned me about the battles of academia being so fierce because the stakes were so low. Chu's political career started long before he achieved his present office, but political solutions are not technical ones. Just because you can inveigle a majority by no means indicates that you have chosen the best possible path. Quite the reverse is often the case.


I made no comment on your smarts. However

Just because you can inveigle a majority by no means indicates that you have chosen the best possible path. Quite the reverse is often the case.

doesn't say anything until you make the case, which you certainly haven't.

So actually make the case you imply, that Chu is a political animal, whatever that means. Yeah, maybe you could define that term, which is broadly pejorative in the way you use it.

I'm widely read, too.

Ormondotvos>? The preceding few words were, "but political solutions are not technical ones". To be more accurate I might have said technically optimum. We are surrounded by political decisions that were "meant" to have a positive effect, but quite the reverse has happened instead. I shouldn't need to elucidate them here.

Since Chu rose through the ranks of academia, where the battles are fierce, he certainly learned his political Jiu jitsu. The very fact that he has arisen to a cabinet post indicates he has acquired political chops. As to pejorative, an animal in its proper environment is anything but. A political animal is just such a being, metaphorically speaking, a creature of its environment fine tuned to survive and even thrive there. Chu is a political animal ipse dixit, his very success getting and keeping his position proves it.

Nice circle.

Not being a sociologist, nor group psychology theorist, I'm not familiar with that perspective, although based upon my quick glance it appears to make a lot of sense. But would I be correct in my impression that what he is talking about is the difference between team behavior and what I would term, without any derogatory intent, mob behavior?

If so, then I would submit that it is unlikely to apply in this instance unless Admiral Allen and Dr. Chu are far more incompetent than they show any evidence of being.

Essentially, in this case, you are talking about levels of organization, Which involves teams working together on discrete issues, filtering the information available and presenting different possible options, the cost/risk analysis associate with each, etc..

At the next level up, which is directly reporting to Dr. Chu, the results of each team's analysis and resulting recommendations would be combined with information on related but discrete issues forwarded by other teams, then filtered, and recommendations would be made to Dr. Chu regarding the suggested options for him to consider

Thus, for example, ROV operations might be one team, supplies might be another, drilling might be another, etc. So at the first level, the drill team might present some options, say the top kill and/or the bottom kill, perhaps even with more than one iteration of each, and present those to the next level up where they are integrated with the results from another team who know that a certain kind of mud preferred by the drill team is not available, which might lead them to choose a different option then the number one recommendation of the drill team.

The key to the success of the overall operation is that each of these teams, at each of the levels has only as many members as can effectively work together.

I agree that if you threw all of the people involved into one room together without any structure you would have the kind of chaos that you normally see in mobs, where they might produce an action, based upon the intentions of the most dominant member or members, but the action would not be well planned (what? nobody brought a rope?).

As for the prima donna factor, having worked for a few, and been accused of being one myself, at times ("other than these", he proclaims, in a shout loud enough to be heard over the groans and boos), you can run into those (see also Congress and any other place where soapboxes are available), but regardless of whether the top person is a prima donna they would not select a prima donna for these positions. I have not seen any evidence that any of the three in charge of this operation are prima donnas.

Geez -- did I miss it? YOU were there? You know who did what in detail beyond speculation? Labeling Chu's behavior - strutting cock? You were there? And that is why you have time to post here instead of providing expert advise.

Why as the war room command such a horrible mistake? Looks like we are closing on a solution to this. Maybe it could have been faster if you were there calling the shots, right?

Don't worry Elie, I've been recording the evidence we now have that all these people have been eavesdropping all over the place, and passing that information to the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service, and Homeland Security (because of the possibility that these might be extraterrestrial aliens who have crossed the border illegally).

They assure me that there will be some middle of the night knocks on some doors.

By the way, I left the Thought Police off the list for fear that they might target me!

Dave ~(:<))-<=<

Michelle, strutting cock? Too Freudian for me to touch, but I thought David handled it elegantly.

Had you read the book, you would have understood the reference to primordial behavior exhibiting itself in group environments. I assumed, since David has confessed to being "a shrink" that he was at least passingly familiar with the concept, not to mention that the page in the book I linked to begins to discuss it.

@David, you quickly jumped to the mob metaphor and got stuck there. The tests were anything but. A little further reading might be helpful for you. Perhaps you can make a trip here or at least peruse some of their material. As I said before Zajonc was the best. Your laundry list of ways to do things right means you have a very strong intuitive grasp of group dynamics even if as you claim you didn't study it. Not too late. ;)

Now I wasn't present at the "command center" nor would I have been inclined to go if invited. I HAVE been in pressure cooker emergencies before and when I was in charge I didn't allow group dynamics to overcome situational dynamics, since the goal was to solve the problem and ONLY to solve the problem. I also kept the team focused on problem solving tasks and specifically refused to make command decisions for them (even though I was in command). I didn't let everyone congregate in one place but kept them apart as much as possible. My mantra was, "Fix the problem, not the blame". In this crisis, we had the reverse. We may never get the whole story on this, even if guilty should the guilty parties remain in power the others may be disinclined to blow whistles.

Interesting points. Thanks.

I'm not proud of this, but like a lot of clinicians, I feel very uncomfortable when the issue of research based practice is addressed, obviously because I'm not sure of how I would measure up, and at this stage of my life I'm not sure how I would handle finding out.

In some respects that's odd, because my impression is that I am at, or very near, the cutting edge of my kind of work. But then I've always been a devout coward, so maybe it fits. Thanks for listening (and don't let me know if you aren't). My therapist is off for two weeks.

Anyway, back to the subject, I'm fortunate in many respects. I do a lot of very challenging group work, so though I haven't really studied the formal theory about groups, my own approach serves my purposes well. But I've also had the opportunity to be at nearly all levels of several organizations, and both large and small business. Since I'm reasonably curious, and observant, and have a strong craving to understand everything that I observe, I continue to profit enormously from my exposure to a variety of disciplines.

All of this was to lay the groundwork for observing that I agree with your mantra. I always see blame and its siblings as useless concepts first because they are about history, and the history can't change, second because they are usually employed to make a big issue about how it's "their" fault, often to take the spotlight off ourselves.

I am far more interested in helping myself and others take responsibility for their actions. As I tell each of my clients in their intake interview, we need to ask three questions, First- what happened, including not just the event itself but what led up to it, including what they were focused on at the time. Second - why did it happened, to gain understanding, not fix blame, and, Finally - to take responsibility for our actions, which means demonstrating how we can keep from doing, not just that, again, but doing something which might look different, but involves the same roots.

So I agree with the idea of fixing the problem not the blame.

Take care,


Your comments are very insightful, wise.

I guess I find it hard to understand how some have the expectations that they do to solve complex problems in strictly linear and completely concrete ways. We are humans, not Gods. Just psychologically handling a large problem and chunking it out within groups of humans with varying personalities and skills/abilities is not trivial. The nature of the problem is also, as it was in this case, a huge factor with uncertainty and just the sheer scope of the moving parts to be known requires enormous confidence, organizational skills and maturity.

I find in my work where I have to use groups to solve problems, just having everyone staying on task and keeping the information sharing among the members up to par is not trivial.

I have enormous respect for all the people who worked on this from Chu through the oil personnel to scientists, engineers and geologists, the coast guard and even politicians. Mostly, this stayed pretty low key with only a few hysterics from the paranoiacs. That is a pretty cool accomplishment (though poor Admiral Allen, Chu and Obama will get little if any credit).

This is a very good point:

up against which none of us would likely stand a chance if he had access for a few hours to everything we have had access to over our lifetimes (he would almost certainly be able to focus in on the relevant issues very quickly.

I had the good fortune to work for a Nobel level biophysicist/neuroscientist at UW Seattle for a year or so, as a design electronic technician, back when it was difficult to get low-noise transistors. My job was to design low-noise amps, using transistors I obtained from a friend in Silicon Valley.

It was amazing how fast Dr. Hille picked up serious electronics, learning in days what I'd taken years to learn. Then, when we socialized, he wanted to listen to live jazz, which he read up on, and listened to, so that when we went to a Sonny's, a top-flight club, he was immediately in tune with the other connoisseurs at the table.

Dr Chu is not like you and me. Some people are smarter than others, contrary to the bullshit thrown by the Tea Party on one side, and the politically correct on the other. Refusing to acknowledge that fact is a major cause of social strife.

We have, for instance, no qualifications on voters, politcians, legislators or corporate heads. Why is that?

Yeah, I'm an elitist. You got a problem with that?

Bruce, I dislike quoting The NYT, a disreputable rag. Nevertheless, accurate quotation is better than misrepresentation.

It is pretty clear what Chu was saying. He said If BP had tried the top kill in the first few days they might have been able to successfully plug the BOP with junk before it became eroded and the flow became much higher.

If the junk shot had been successful at plugging the flow thru when there were narrow restrictions in the the BOP then the mud pumping would have had a chance to go down into the well. But after a month the pathway(s) in the BOP had been so eroded there was no chance any more of the junk bridging at some narrow point.

In short what he is saying is that the "top kill" was already a hopeless cause by the time he got dragged into it.

Dr. Tad Patzek, the chairman of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas (#1 or #2 Petroleum engineering program in the country) is one. Dr. Paul Bommer, Senior Lecturer at the Cockrell School of engineering at the University of Texas is another. Bommer is also one of the members of the Flow Rate Technical Group and the only petroleum engineer in the group.


But neither are licensed engineers. In order for them to give an expert engineering opinion outside the classroom they had better be licensed or they are in violation of the law. What are their credentials that they were professional students and got Phds and have done research projects. Too much like the rest of the scientist on the governments team. I would challenge them all to pull out the SPE textbooks like Applied Drilling Engineering and just do the calculations. Back up their opinions with calculations and I might listen to them. I asked Dr. Patzek to back up his opinions expressed in the BBC reporter Hillary (who was biased as heck) CNBC report with calculations. Guess what. No response. No calculations to support. Read his testimony to Congress. All I see is a hand out to get funding for a bunch of unneeded research for his department at UT at our expense.

I did my own calculations and my calculations showed that BP's casing was sufficent to withstand the pressures. The failure was obviously a poor cement job with too much drying retardent added to the foam cement to offset the slow injection rate and the higher formation temperatures. Sure the flowiing temp might have been only in the 160F range but once it stopped flowing it would heat up to the reservoir temp of 260F rapidly, and possibly higher due to curing reaction. Read the Transocean preliminary investigation report and the compressive strength on the foam cement for a width equal to the area to be filled in the annulus between the wellbore and the 7" production casing. No strength after 24 hours, just slightly 1/2 strength (1,560 psi)after 48 hrs. Normal drying time is 6-8 hours. MMS regulations mandates waiting 12 hours. Testing was run within the 24 hour window. Most probable cause was the uncured cement in the 7" production casing and the float collar lifted and caused the blowout. Too high a pressure in the annulus that was filled with 14 ppg mud and placed with a full column of 14 ppg mud to the surface. Would have been seriously overpressured with respect to the formation. The TOC was not run up to the 9 7/8" intermediate to allow a relief for the mud as it heated up and expanded after it was placed. Keeps the production casing from collapsing. Lessons learned form past deepwater failures.

Problem is nobody can apply first principles anymore. Just do the calculations. Set up your own spreadsheet. Then you'll see for yourself that there was not enough pressure to lift the casing seal on the taped casing string like soem theorized. Not sure the area of the Dril-Quip metal seal area on the seal for the 9 7/8" prodcution casing seal but the casing hanger it was in was designed for 15K. Its not moving. It is not enough area to support the positive weight of the casing which did not have enough density difference to become buoyant. Simple Archimedes principle calculation.

I also contacted Dr. Chu's office in Washington yesterday at 3:00 PM. I requested that they seriously consider reworking the well with an rig and overshot tool to fish out the severed drill pipe and the float collar that is most likely in the lower BOP stack. If they could clear the well so that a wireline could be run down the well, a cement bond log would now show whether only the cement from the formation down to the bottom of the well, the float collar and the internal cement in the production casing in the well was all that failed. That would have proved that the cause for the blowout was the foam cement in the bottom of the well. Not the cement in the annulus from the formation up to the top fo the completion. It would have also proved that BP's casing design was sound. I guess that is not what the Dept of Energy wants to prove because they let the cement job proceed and hide all the evidence.

Bruce: Like you, I still have questions and would like to know about that time as I do not believe they would have tried top kill without decent parameters for success from Wright et al. It is hard to say on one hand Chu is conservative, then on the other say he allowed a stunt. Despite all of BP's mistakes that may have led to the disaster they have thrown or been forced to throw an awful lot at this, such as the second relief well, Berms, mega dollars in an addition research grants, multiple backup plans. As Salazar stated in a hearing BP did not refuse any requests and have been proactive in many respects regarding payments to states, flying materials in getting all experts involved early etc. (This does not excuse anything they have done in the past or on Macondo). IMHO, all of this will come into play when discussing fines.
Clearly, Allen needs to be seen as the boss. Any time that BP even suggests something the team might be thinking about Allen comes out and says this is the way it is going to be "I am the great and wonderful Oz".
Lots of folks jockeying for position. Add all the politics from congress, governors, and other state officials, and it is amazing things haven't been more SNAFU'd than they have been.
To his credit, as I have posted before, I think Chu has been low key. The administration keep spouting off about his Noble Prize to impress the electorate of his/their competency. I am more impressed with some of the university engineering Profs he brought with him.

The buck stops at the Oval Office. They only started the top kill after Obama had to go on TV to shut up Carville's bleating "We're dying down here".

I'd give Allen some slack. First of all, the people of New Orleans owe him and the Coast Guard people under his command a parade for the outstanding work they did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Second of all, he works for POTUS and if the command comes down from POTUS through Chu, he would be much inclined to follow orders, especially given that he had been led to believe that Chu was the great technical Wizard of Oz.

Bruce: I concur and would agree that Allen has done a good job in a tough position. He has been the best person to be point man.

During his interview this morning on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Allen was asked whether he would be stepping down from his position as Incident Commander after the well has been finally declared dead. He said that discussions were underway about the appropriate transition strategy, but seemed to imply that a hand-off to Navy Secretary Mabus' Gulf ecology recovery group (or whatever that new group is called) may not be far off.

Bab Cesca rants about the USG's "nothing to see here, move along" PR pitch http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/the-bp-disaster-continues_b_6709...

Jerry Cope and Charles Hambleton, The Crime of the Century: What BP and the US Government Don't Want You to Know, Part I: "The Gulf of Mexico from the Source into the shore is a giant kill zone." [Note: disturbing photos] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/the-crime-of-the-century_b_6629...

Jeez, some of this stuff makes me embarrassed to be a greenie.

Over the Gulf from the Source (official term for the Deepwater Horizon spill site) in to shore there is virtually no sign of life anywhere in the vast areas covered by the dispersed oil and Corexit.

. . .the bottom of the ocean is covered with crude. . . .

The writer believes that a school of rays would never travel near the surface unless there was no oxygen further down. "Vast windrows" of dead whales, turtles, and porpoise have been hauled off in the dark by "unmarked white vans." The beach at Gulf Shores is littered with corpses, but only at night, and they are whisked away by the hazmat crews to heavily guarded dumpsters.

So if things seem to have turned out not as badly as I expected, that must be an optical illusion created by evil conspirators. True-believer paranoia isn't the exclusive property of the right wing.

The ERMA site's layer for NESDIS radar imaging reports "no oil observed" for August 3.

The theory that I've held for a long time, and seems to get reinforced periodically, as on this occasion, is that, as is generally accepted, political opinion is on a continuum between the two extremes, but, in my view, that continuum is wrapped around a cylinder where the extremes on each end of the continuum are actually contiguous, so they resemble each other more than then they resemble any other part of the continuum.

This first came to mind when, during the cold war some people equated communism, especially as it was being implemented in the Soviet Union and China, etc. with the liberals in our society. Everything I knew about communism suggested to me that, however it was originally intended by Marx, its practice in the present revealed an almost exclusively conservative bent.

In any case it does not surprise me that there are extremists on the left and the tight who are just as committed to their ideology as each other, and neither of which wants to give credence to any truths which cast a shadow on, or reveal cracks in, their ideology.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk,Jr. and E. B. White.
Cheap paperback and very useful reference.

That would cramp the anti-authoritarian part of my personality.

Ben Raines reports that the Alabama seafood samples all passed the sniff test--lab test results are pending.


Goodness knows how they found fish and shrimp to be tested, out in that watery waste devoid of life.

The article correctly points out that all this relatively good news does not mean the Gulf ecosystem is as good as new. Very likely there has been damage--whether moderate or massive--to plankton, to eggs and larvae of shrimp, crabs, and fish, and to who knows what else. There may well be noticeable declines in some populations in the future. For example, experts fear that this year's spawn of bluefin tuna will be decimated, and all the bluefin in the whole Western Atlantic spawn exclusively in the area of the spill. The eggs float to the surface where they could have been killed by surface oil.

Please note: they aren't testing the seafood for dispersants.

The writer is an idiot. I live on the Gulf Coast. I've seen schools of rays skate the surface just for the fun of it, for years before the oil spill. I've seen them fish at the surface as well.

I don't doubt that there is oil on the bottom - I've seen pictures of it, know divers that have touched it. When they do this kind of stuff, they dilute the effectiveness of the message and the credibility of the movement.

I like this part -

The oceans are empty, the skies tinged yellow by evaporating oil and toxic dispersant devoid of birds, dogs mysteriously have no fleas, and in an area usually besieged by mosquitoes, there is little need for repellent, and the usual trucks spraying are nowhere to be seen.

wow. "skies tinged yellow by evaporating oil and toxic dispersant" ??

my hyperbole meter is pegging ...

"Pegging", such an interesting choice of words. )

Yeah, well. It is HuffPo. They don't seem to care about scientific (or otherwise) credibility any longer.


Since we a little time to wait for the cmt results perhaps we can take a look at the politics involved and the continued economic impact on the economy of Louisiana. The following should irritate everyone whether you're for or against offshore drilling. It's about our govt playing all of us for fools. Not much in the news these days about the Deep Water moratorium the feds have been trying to implement. Way back in the beginning I pointed out that there was no need for an official moratorium if the feds wanted DW drilling to be suspended for a time. They could achieve the same results administratively if they so wanted. I'm going to skip the details of the permitting process...way to long and not important to understanding the lie.

The easiest way to show how the politicians are playing is to not even look at the DW situation. Let's focus on the shallow water (less than 500' water depth) drilling arena. The feds said they weren't going to impede drilling in those areas. Right! here's the publicly available numbers: shallow water drill permits approved in the three months prior to the BP blow out = 56. Permits approved in the 3 months after the blow out = 4. And 2 of those 4 were for wells to be sidetracked out of existing holes and thus weren't really new drills. An interesting point from the below article: "On top of that, one operator was told directly by a BOEMRE employee that he could not offer the slightest measure of flexibility in considering their permit application, as his job would be on the line if it came to light."

Forget the dishonest aspect of the situation. let's focus on the economy of Louisiana. The economic impact of the DW moratorium has already been covered in some detail: a loss of $12 - $15 billion in cash flow to local service companies (remember: the oil companies aren't losing any money by the moratorium) and as many as 40,000 lost jobs. But there are almost twice as many shallow water rigs in the GOM as there are DW rigs. We haven't begun to see the additional economic toll this will have on La. there is a time lag to consider. The shallow water wells drilling today had received their permits anywhere from 3 to 12 months before the BP accident. I can only guess but we should see the shallow water slump begin to slump in the next couple of months. And when the feds eventually start granted permits to pre-accident rates the turnaround will be very slow. Just like the DW rigs the SW water rigs are not just going to sit there and wait. There is an even greater demand overseas for shallow water rigs than DW rigs. Can't offer a guess but some percentage will be shipped overseas. And they won't be back for years.

Again, even if you're opposed to all offshore drilling you should be a tad upset at your govt for not being upfront about it. And, IMHO, this isn't even much of a PO issue. Sure, we'll lose some future production but that won't be the critical impact. It's going to be the economy and well being of the people of La. The neighbors to the eats, Alabama and Mississippi are well known for being two of the poorest states in the country. La. would rank right down there with them if it were not for the oil industry. everything has a price that must be paid. If we want to protect the offshore environment at all cost so be it. But it would be fair if the govt were honest and told the folks in La. that they were going to bear the brunt of that cost.



But don't hold your breath waiting for honesty. Election day is two months off. Imperative #1 is getting re-elected and it preempts all other concerns.

I think people are way to easily influenced by the names given to events. As I understand it there is no moratorium. One arm of the government prohibited new DW drilling and another arm of the federal government overruled it. Clearly the government is concerned that they will be crucified if there was another DW accident while this one was in the clean up process. What they did covers their ass without actually having a moratorium.

I'm sure that MMS (or whatever they are now called) is being very careful not to permit anything that will blow up in their faces while their activities are being so closely scrutinized. After the scrutiny evaporates it will be business as usual.

As for the economics. It is destined. This will have a huge impact despite whatever the government or oil industry does. Investors are going to take their money elsewhere no matter what is done. The service companies that you are concerned with have all seen a significant drop in their stock values and that will continue. If anything the government is working hard to overcome investor fears, but their is nothing really they can do. If the government relaxes regulations that won't make investors feel that their investments are more safe. And if they get tough with regulations that won't help either.

Investors are going to take their money elsewhere... If the government relaxes regulations that won't make investors feel that their investments are more safe.

Retail investors have been withdrawing money from mutual funds. Big outflows. Younger people have stopped contributing to 401k. It's a secular phenomenon, has nothing to do with Macondo or the drilling moratorium. Mom and Pop don't trust the stock market. They've moved to cash and bought government bonds.

Pension funds have so much dough that it's spread everywhere and can't be sold, short term profits or losses notwithstanding, because of the "weight of money" problem. Liquidating a big position moves the market. Funds are in oil companies like BP to stay. It's the principal reason US and UK governments think BP is too big to fail, because it would hurt pension funds.

Commodity traders and bankers like oil short term and long term because it's the juice that fuels everything. That's why really goofy oil & gas scams prospects are bankrolled and bid sky high on no profits and huge political risk. GOM and Canada are safe bets.

David Fry yesterday: "Key action still remains in higher commodity markets energy in particular stimulated by a still weakening dollar and the enigma (low yields) of bonds."

A lot of the people who have been cutting back their 401K contributions, and a lot of the people who have withdrawn money from retirement accounts, are not doing so because they distrust the stock market - and why should they? the Dow is up 30% since January 2009, after all - but are motivated by the fact they they are either on reduced hours or out of work altogether. People who bought shares in 2007, thinking they were investing for retirement, are being forced to sell out at a loss, with penalties piled on top.

Some did not invest a high percent of their 401k in the market or lightened up during the 2007 run up and have done okay.

wk, if you had $100K in a 401K and it was down 50%, and is now up 30% are you money ahead? People left the market for good reasons. The buy and hold crowd is no more, the market is ruled by millisecond trading computers flipping constantly. I don't trust it whatsoever, and the government's new Dodd-Frank bill scares me (and what's left of the market) even more. No one even knows what those 2000 pages entail, because the elements identified in it have not even been defined. Nope it is a mess, hiding money under a mattress is looking better and better.

even if you're opposed to all offshore drilling you should be a tad upset at your govt for not being upfront about it.

I'm having trouble sorting this out; I'd love some clarification. What's the political payoff for the Obama administration? The RedState post refers to its "green agenda." Another post by the same writer insists that the idea the spill is an environmental disaster has been way overblown:

The Obama Administration has seized upon the dire predictions as an excuse to shutter the domestic offshore oil and gas business for the foreseeable future, and admits to doing it without regard to the economic impact.

Obama got beaten about the head and ears by environmentalists (including my congressman) for proposing to open up offshore drilling three weeks before the DH disaster and pummeled unmercifully after it for his poor judgment.

Was he only kidding before the spill about opening up offshore drilling? Did he and Salazar plan to make it too difficult to implement while pretending to give it a green light? Are they now using the environmental disaster meme to play both ends against the middle? Or have they done a 180?

And again, what's the political payoff? According to the most recent polls, the majority is now against offshore drilling. Why would the administration want to pretend it isn't going to get in the way, especially with the looming threat of Democrats losing congressional seats in November?

I'm thoroughly confused!

And again, what's the political payoff? According to the most recent polls, the majority is now against offshore drilling.

Answered your own question.

Rockman wrote "even if you're opposed to all offshore drilling you should be a tad upset at your govt for not being upfront about it" which is the puzzle.

Not being upfront is exactly the way lose votes. Why are they hiding the effective killing of offshore drilling with not a peep in the press about the tactic? This just seems doubly idiotic. They are seriously annoying some people, probably losing a significant part of their voter base in the affected states, and making zero political capital with others. Lose lose, and that, at this stage of the election cycle, is really puzzling. These guys are as pro as it gets when it comes to electioneering, or at least one thought so.

In the Gulf coast states they've got the economic debacle but they've also got the $20B candy, which could be taken away. Everywhere else except Alaska, they'll campaign with "The Moratorium".

Answered your own question.

Er, no. Rockman's point, as I understood it, was that the administration is pretending to have given offshore drilling a green light while actually making it very difficult to obtain permits. If it wanted to pander to public sentiment, it wouldn't try to hide the fact that it's actually clamping down on drilling.

It's not a presidential election year and campaigns will be local. What ROCKMAN drew attention to will be an issue along the Gulf. Definitely dicey there for the fall election. But folks there are now depending on $20B of help from BP/USG. Everywhere else in the lower 48, they'll be able to point to how they've stopped offshore drilling.

Everywhere else in the lower 48, they'll be able to point to how they've stopped offshore drilling.

Not if the administration is hiding that that's what it's doing. ???

These are local elections. There won't be much of a national message, particularly this year when Obama's approval is ~40%. And the GOP can't pitch drill, baby, drill nationally.

Snake: I concur. Everything going on now (just look at the package of aid in congress)is for November votes from the base.

In the beginning of the GOM spill, considering the timing of the announcement that offshore drilling would be opened followed so soon by the Macondo disaster, I suggested to my wife that perhaps it was a Obama Administration stunt gone wrong. It was them that somehow damaged the BOP that was supposed to be able to be shut down after only a short while - but later enough to generate anti-drilling sentiment amongst the US citizenry.

Did anyone else think such a paranoid thought?

[Donning my conspiracy theory hat]
Too paranoid, even wearing hat. If you blamed it on Greenpeace, maybe.
[Doffing hat]
Back to reality.


Just read the Ron Paul link. Reading the comments there I found out something interesting. Under the comment 'I know someone who works at BP', I read:

"The rig represents the cutting edge of drilling technology. It is a floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 ft water depth. The rig is not moored; It does not use anchors because it would be too costly and too heavy to suspend this mooring load from the floating structure. Rather, a triply-redundant computer system uses satellite positioning to control powerful thrusters that keep the rig on station within a few feet of its intended location, at all times. This is called Dynamic Positioning."

I thought that was pretty fascinating. So could the rig have been blown up by a SAM missile by say Russia, using a surrogate like maybe Korea or Iran? Russia had much to gain in all this. Look, they already got the big prize-Tony Hayward. I've wondered why the MSM never ran with the fact that Doug Suttles was the former President of BP Sakhalin Inc. (later merged with TNK-BP), where he was responsible for BP's activities in Sakhalin, Russia, and its joint venture with Russian oil company Rosneft.

Any thoughts on whether or not anyone thinks that's significant?

The conspiracy theory hat is unbecoming on you. I wish you'd take it off.

Actually Nubs,

The thing made me think of it was way back at the very beginning of the incident, Obama made a spooky speech in the Rose Garden, where he talked about swat teams and using all manner of response, including potentially the Department of Defense. At the time, my mouth dropped open. I thought it was a very weird thing to say unless there was some sort of sabotage.

Ok. hat is off again. Maybe I am not remembering correctly.

"swat team" in this case doesn't mean what you think it does. It was used in the oil industry sense. Experts but not with guns.

Oh, got it now. Thanx.

I suppose the timing would have been a bit bad for him to call it a "Tiger Team".

Not what I would call a "Tiger Team".


Actually in this case "swat teams" probably does mean men with guns. The UK government has run drills to train military special-forces teams to handle a terrorist hijacking or attack on offshore oilrigs. They are good targets for such an attack -- isolated, stable with large amounts of supplies such as food and water, easy to defend by a relatively small number of assailants, very high value, very "visible" in the media for publicity purposes. There is no permanent security force on board a rig, no police, probably no firearms (or very few) even in American waters. All in all, if terrorists can get onto a rig in sufficient numbers then they could be a serious threat.

In the context, undertow's read seems more likely to me.

Especially since not long after that he asked Dr. Chu to gather what could be termed a swat team of scientists and other relevant disciplines.


SWAT teams' target deep-water BOPs

A "SWAT team" of US minerals Management Services (MMS) inspectors are checking blowout preventers (BOP) across the Gulf today following reports that the crew of the Deepwater Horizon unsuccessfully tried to activate the BOP before evacuating.

And if you fancy a job as a trainee reporting to Transocean's SWAT team


Train and prepare for a future assignment on a rig as a Subsea Supervisor. Training will be approximately a 1 year program. Advancement will be dependant on individual.

- Submit daily activity reports to SWAT Manager.

I'd actually like to do that, but I suspect the trainee pay would leave me a bit disappointed. Not to say unable to pay the bills - heh.

tow - Actually most of oil pacth are packing...especially when driving thru S La late at night. LOL.

Actually most of oil pacth are packing...especially when driving thru S La late at night. LOL.

Shhhhhh, we not supposed to talk about that openly

I've got just the right vehicle for that. The downside is that it gets <.002 mpg so you'd have to stop and refill a lot.


The trail of mistakes by BP engineers and BP/Transocean operators that led to the disaster is fully documented and clear as day. The only thing arguable is which of these mistakes were the most critical ones. Why would we need to bring Obama, Greenpeace, or Russia into the chain of causation?

I think that was Bob Dudley, not Suttles.

Suttles was also in Russia

Doug Suttles bio.

SL, It seems the focus has turned toward blame the current administration vs. holding the true owner of this particular disaster accountable.

Industry has a poor record on pollution especially the oil industry. I say especially the oil industry because they hold the spotlight for the major pollution disasters. I'm here for the technical knowledge and I have learned more than I expected regarding energy. When oil company politics are discussed I am not naive in my understanding as to where the blame will be directed if oil profit slumps or expenses increase.

In regard to my government being up front IIRC the last president who was up front with America is considered to be the worst president in history by the conservative right. For him to be considered the worst in history his proposals on energy were parallel to PO, TOD topics and protecting the environment. The current situation and comments do seem confusing but politicians tend to create these situations with knee-jerk reactions.

I have no way of knowing if opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling was intended to pacify the industry or if the six month moratorium was to pacify the voters but neither was well thought out. In the big picture politicians have little to no experience on the true nature of any industry. If their breakfast was strained spinach that's what they know today and tomorrow it will be grits. Protecting the environment at all costs is a radical position especially if we address how we are individually responsible for pollution. To simply state; protect the environment, is more appropriate to achieve the balance desired and this is something BP hasn't done. OTOH......

It was rather thoughtless to expect the oil industry in the GoM to pause for six months while politicians play monopoly.

Swifty - From what I read of the polls there was no political payoff. OTOH I’m not sure President Obama was looking for a payoff. I think he felt he had to react in some decisive way. I obviously don’t agree with his choice but it wasn’t an easy position for him to be in. I really don’t think his advisors were up for the task.

As far as “The Red State” I don’t read it. The green comment was foolish IMHO. But someone sent me the link and it was the only source for the stats I had. That’s the problem I find with most of the left/right rags: they can have some good data but then they mix in the trash.

Also, I’m not sure what polls you’re reading but everyone I’ve heard off shows the majority still favor offshore drilling. To be honest I’ve been surprised at that. Most folks will tend to tell pollsters what they think the politically correct answer is instead of what they really feel. Again, I don’t ascribe any particular ulterior motives…I just think they made a very bad choice in relatively good faith. And that includes shaking the MMS up so badly at the moment. Not that they didn't need to be keelhauled eventually but the time to come down on a fireman for his bad habits is not when he's inside a burning house try to save lives. You can fire his butt after the last flames are tapped out. If the economic fall out escalates as I suspect there will be political price to pay. Even the La. Dem politicians are up in arms. And I do think it’s going to get worse then most expect and, more importantly, the stats a year from now will likely point fingers directly back at the govt.

If the economic fall out escalates as I suspect there will be political price to pay. Even the La. Dem politicians are up in arms. And I do think it’s going to get worse then most expect and, more importantly, the stats a year from now will likely point fingers directly back at the govt.

There seems to be this prevailing attitude and I have seen it expressed many times in this forum, that somehow energy is not going to affect the economy as a whole.

They seem to think it will only affect the exploration companies or the oilfield service companies.

They are not ready for what comes next, when the retailers begin to hurt, along with the non-oilfield service industry, transportation, farmers, food industry etc.

It all runs downhill.

Some seem to be longing for that $10 at the pump, like they are some above it all.

Wonder how they will feel when the wolf finally arrives at their door?

$10 at the pump would hurt most peoples pockets, but surely it would also provide an incentive for Americans in general to change habits away from the SUV/gas guzzling cars? There are quite a few countries where fuel prices are edging towards $10/gallon, in the UK its £1.16 a litre roughly equates to $8/gallon. Yet this change hasn't caused social or economic collapse, yes sure it has caused fustration and anger, especially since a large percentage of that cost is tax (lets not even go there) But one benefit is a higher percentage of the cars in the UK are small engine high MPG cars.

I know and heard many an argument about I wont put my family in anything less than a 5* crash rated car, well there are a fair number of 4/5* crash rated cars in the european markets oddly enough made by GM / Ford, so out of interest i looked up the average MPG rating of an average car in European markets such as the 5* Euro NCAP rated Ford Focus, the US version lists MPG up to 35mpg Euro Version 42+ and thats for the petrol version the Diesel is 70+ mpg, its purely down to engine size, and what sells in each market.

The cars and technology are there, it is about social acceptance or maybe it doesnt appeal to the manly senses to drive a small car and make a serious environmental statement?

Back to the subject of this thread.. Maybe Rockman or one of the other experts here can answer, how can they test there is a good cmt job with drill pipe stuck in the hole and such concern over well head pressure due to the unknown state of the BOP? What regulations apply for the number of cmt plugs before a well can be considered P&A. I have not seen much on how they intend to go about this

Rock -- you are exactly right... the shallow water "de facto moratorium" exists. Here is a good link to permits that have been issued:


NTL-05 is the safety requirement for drilling contractors -- basically certifications that BOP and other equipment works. Third party engineering companies have to certify (previously MMS did this - but this is their cya political bs).. all GOM shelf drillers are essentially certified. NTL-06 is requirement for operators to complete their exploration plans with heavy emphasis on environmental. Only TWO new exploration drills have been approved and BOEM (previously MMS) is paralyzed because they don't want to approve APD and then have a problem. It is a political mess. Operators submit plans and BOEM says -- sorry not what we need - but won't provide guidance. Operators are working on a template to help with completing the calculations such as maximum discharge in the event of a blowout, etc...

Sorry to vent - but more and more of shallow water rigs are being idled and each of our rigs have 50-60 people who won't earn pay.

Sorry to vent - but more and more of shallow water rigs are being idled and each of our rigs have 50-60 people who won't earn pay.

I know it exists, we had a project scheduled to start the middle of July out of Cameron, that they now tell us is probably pushed back to the 4th quarter. The rig was available, but no permit. They were told they were going to have to resubmit under the new regs.

The operator that had the rig is apparently taking the rig back for a couple of projects they have that doesn't involve drilling a new well.

The company that owns the rig has a lot of idle rigs right now and just posted a 2nd quarter loss.

This sure seems newsworthy - we should spread the word. I'm forwarding this to whomever I can.


If there were more people like you in the oil industry, I don't think we would be in this position today.

I wish we could put a moratorium on BP, but I don't know if that is possible.

I think the "best" compromise is probably tighter regulations, more inspectors etc.

I would think that by now, after 3.5 months, they would have the regulations ready.

Regs have been written, but the Senate minority refuses to allow them to come to a vote.

Trust me ag: there have more than enough regs in place for years. But the industry will never do what needs to be done voluntarially. Enforce the rules...that't what needs to be done. The industry has an excellent record doing what it's forced to do...really. Companies will rarely cheat when they knows someone is watching.

I wish we could put a moratorium on BP, but I don't know if that is possible.

I think the "best" compromise is probably tighter regulations, more inspectors etc.

Their permitting process should require extra scrutiny at the very least.

Another good idea for BP, would be to have an independent 3rd party on board looking over their shoulder, knowledgeable in the API standards and practices with the clout to shut them down when they don't follow them, or it looks like they are getting out of line, cutting corners and what not.

If they are given a permit at all in the GOM.

TFG -- Thanks. But there are a lot more like me in the oil patch then many would believe thanks to BP. The problem is that most are never heard from/about. I have a dozen drilling consultants working for me on a regular basis. And none would have made the mistakes BP made. And the majority would walk from a job if they were order to do so.

Here's a for instance: Quick...name the last major drilling disastor caused by a US oil company. Tick tock tick tock...and the answer is???

I have a dozen drilling consultants working for me on a regular basis. And none would have made the mistakes BP made.

I know my dad was amazed at the mistakes they made.

He threatened more than one drilling engineer who didn't want to listen when they were calling shots from the office, without knowing all the facts of the matter.

His response was, you can get someone else out here to run this the way you want it done, but I am out of here, so have me a relief in the morning. They usually wanted to listen after that because of his reputation. Especially on stuff like cutting the mud weight back, when a well is trying to kick, and the balance is already that close. Or not wanting to run and set pipe at the casing point. More than one geologist tried that one, "just drill kelly down."
Or "drill 30 more feet." He had to kill a well in the basin one time just because of that, drilling 30 more feet. Like he told them it was time to run pipe. Some people have to learn the hard way.

And the majority would walk from a job if they were order to do so.

Poignant comment, Rockman. I don't know anything about how the industry works, but I'm still scratching my head over Halliburton doing what BP told them to do, when their own engineer predicted dire consequences. Would walking off the job have affected Halliburton all that much?

count -- That's the difference between consultants and service companies. A consultant is his own bosss...he decides who he works for. The service hands work for their company. The company calls the shots. They walk that line between doing stupid things and not. But remember their out clause: they just make the recommendation....the operator makes all the final decisions.

RM, in posts on previous threads I seem to recall that you had indicated that you thought that every operator was now being extra careful as a result of the spill. (At least that's my recollection of what you said?)

I'm curious what your take is on Heading Out's note at the beginning of today's thread that seems to indicate that even the rig drilling the RW has been out of complience with BOP testing? What do you think about this?

Hi AG,

I'm monitoring activities on 2 deepwater rigs drilling elsewhere in the world right now, have been for months, and I can tell you I have NEVER seen so much TLC being applied to BOP testing and other areas of rig maintenance.

I sincerely hope it continues.

I'm monitoring activities on 2 deepwater rigs drilling elsewhere in the world right now, have been for months, and I can tell you I have NEVER seen so much TLC being applied to BOP testing and other areas of rig maintenance.

I sincerely hope it continues.

Me too! These days I mostly work in the office on planning dev wells. The feedback I get has been that all the operators up here (BP, Conoco, Chev, ENI, Pioneer, etc) have been extra extra careful. That's why I was surprised to read HO's comment.

I too hope the care continues!

There was a real step change after April 20th.

We plugged and abandoned a well in early May. Set cement plugs... displaced riser to sea water... there must have been 100 pairs of eyes watching the pressures.

We are spending days on maintenance that I suspect might have otherwise been left for the rig move. Its certainly racking up the down time, but its a step in the right direction.

We plugged and abandoned a well in early May. Set cement plugs... displaced riser to sea water... there must have been 100 pairs of eyes watching the pressures.

We are spending days on maintenance that I suspect might have otherwise been left for the rig move. Its certainly racking up the down time, but its a step in the right direction.

It doesn't pay to cut corners.

But then hind sight is always 20/20 too.

With BP's record they need to have an independent 3rd party standing over their shoulder with the clout to tell them NO when they are going too far. (and someone who won't take payoffs to look the other way)

This concurs with what friends/family working on rigs have told me too. New policies, all erring on the side of super safety. Good news, indeed.

I agree that it's important to consider the economic impact on LA and neighboring affected areas, and my sense is that they have modified some of what they would like to do because of that factor.

As this incident has shown, they need to also consider the risks of "business as usual."

If I remember correctly the moratorium that President Obama implemented was to apply only until Companies already drilling in the GOM, and those proposing to drill in the GOM, demonstrated that they had a sound and viable procedure in place in case of a disaster such as this. The implication that I inferred, whether it was stated or not, was that new wells would only be held up till those conditions were met, and that existing drilling would continue after a testing of equipment which I believe has already been done.

As for MMS, whether the word was passed down from above or not, if I were an MMS employee involved in the permit review and approval process, I'd be treading very, very carefully right now and make sure only squeaky clean permits were approved anywhere.

Then again, comparing existing rates of approval against prior rates, appears to not factor in the apparent reality that the culture, which previously existed at MMS, was somewhat less than fully diligent.

Again, it my sense that risks and benefits are being weighed pretty carefully and that President Obama is working very hard to try to meet as many of the concerns as possible yet avoid rolling over for any of the interest groups concerned.

I admit that some of my conclusions are based upon my finding these considerations and actions consistent with understanding of the decision making process of individuals, but, so far at least, that part of my contributions has received relatively little push back. ~(:<))<=<


comparing existing rates of approval against prior rates, appears to not factor in the apparent reality that the culture, which previously existed at MMS, was somewhat less than fully diligent. Again, it my sense that risks and benefits are being weighed pretty carefully and that President Obama is working very hard to try to meet as many of the concerns as possible yet avoid rolling over for any of the interest groups concerned.

That would be my sense too. Very tough needle to thread, and even tougher to make clear to the public.

I, too , am deeply concerned about the fact that the economy of not only Louisiana, but the US itself is dependent on our country's ability to create its own energy and free itself from the bondage attached to foreign energy. Yet it seems that all energy venues, clean and otherwise, are currently being thwarted in ways like some of which you mention in your comment above, the result of which will continue to put us at the mercy of rogue governments like China and Russia.

That being said, I love nature, love animals, love sea turtles, the whole nine yards, but there is stuff being done in this country that is truly bizarre in terms of putting animals well being above peoples'. My theory on last week's fatal grizzly bear attack in Yellowstone is that it was caused by increased competition over food sources coming from the wolves. According to a friend in Oregon, the elk herds have been drastically reduced in numbers, yet big bull trophy elk are being sighted more frequently. Same with the grizzly bears. Only the biggest and strongest and most aggressive will survive under pressure from wolves.

I recently watched a show on the education channel about a developer in Wyoming who had bought land, and received the permits required to build wind turbines that would supposedly give energy to every home in Wyoming. At the last minute, he was told he could not proceed because of the sage grouse which has a habitat there. See:


So the thought that went through my mind was whether or not the grouse could be relocated to an area that doesn't have such fabulous wind quality, in much the same way as the sea turtle hatchlings were just relocated to a safer place.
In the end, the current administration says it is for clean energy, but is really doing nothing to help this country produce it- using a game hen as an obstacle for instance.

There are a lot of bills flying around here in Florida to give the panthers more space to roam. Personally, I'm not all that comfortable with having a panther in my back yard, the cougars and gators are bad enough. As it is, the wild boar around here are traffic hazards and keep tearing up the ground. So eventually something's got to give, and I supect it's gonna be us people. Where will all the people end up? Dunno but it sure can give the conspiracy folks some food for thought, especially if you throw in a little Corexit to drink with your water.


Do humans have a right to be taken care of first, before all other species?

Depends on your religion. In mine, we are supposed to be good stewards of the earth, which includes the animals. Sadly, we've made a mess of that, which is good reason for the animals to be pissed.

I'd much rather see that decision be based on natural law. Many religions tend do a really really bad job when it comes to biology, ecology and the environment, primarily by establishing the idea of human exceptionalism rather than the idea of humans as part of the world.

One could even argue that our problems in that area are due to the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the adoption of faith as a way of making decisions even when it is obvious that the answers should be driven by methodological naturalism.

Speaker: I concur with your last statement. Well put.

I'm not sure why this keeps getting brought up.
Though I agree with Speaker's assessment I have this odd feeling that he was aking a jab at faith.
We should work toward living a reasonable life in this world instead of straining it, with over population, hunting, and building. But I wonder what kind of things we would need to give up, that question I asked was never answered.

Taking a jab at faith? Not particularly in that comment, but I have been known to do that. Faith can oh so easily become blind. In fact it is almost implicit in the definition of faith that it will be blind. Thus I don't like the idea of faith as a guiding principle. I was born with a brain and taught by some very enlightened teachers how to use it. I'll stick to that until there is reason to do otherwise, and somebody telling me to 'have faith' hasn't been a very convincing argument to adopt an alternative view so far.

So I'd rather put my trust in skepticism than faith.

As far as giving things up, this universe and most particularly the Earth we are bound to is finite. We are governed by the laws of Thermodynamics. While the idea of growth without bounds has worked so far sooner or later it will stop working. All this is leading to a very rude and shocking awakening that there is no Santa Claus (aka natural law governs the universe, not faith). The real question is not about giving up something, but whether we are going to have a hard landing or a soft one. The worry is not whether we will have to give up some things but that it may already be too late for a soft landing.

There is a very nice lecture on the topic that all people of your age should be aware of.


And here is a plug for an organization that I am interested in:


Speaker:I the near future I will be off to places that will keep me from reading TOD for a while. I want to thank you for the well reasoned and informative posts especially on the biological issues of the spill. You have really helped in my understanding of many areas. Like so many others you have made this place a good place to come to seek some understanding of the key issues relating to this disaster.

I come here because there is much to learn here. There is no need to thank me because I am taking away far more than I am contributing.

Your contributions are most welcome. So give yourself more credit, we can all do better with a little more wisdom. I know I could.
The video was also pretty informative, I have another fifteen minutes to view but all I can say is that it was easy to understand. Though I would say that Bartlett's calculations are somewhat faulty because he's basing his information on past information only with no regards to any potential changes in population growth rates and demand for energy.
But I'm glad you showed be the video, I'll gather what I can from it.

Thanks, but I want to hear a further explantion for your comments regarding, a hard land vs. soft?
Because really, I want to do good, but you make it sound impossible (or difficult). I'll also be sure to watch the video as soon as time permits.

Soft landing will be very difficult because of the billions of people living in the undeveloped world. They want to have a standard of living like ours.

At the same time the population of the world continues to grow.

The resources don't exist to consume the way we do now on a long term basis, let alone bring up the impoverished and growing number of billions in developing nations to our way of life.

There are two possible courses of action - intelligent management of population and resources to bring the two into line, or not. The not course will lead to famine disease war (hopefully not the thermonuclear kind) genocides and maybe a Dark Age with a big population crash due to disease+famine. The intelligent management course means reducing world population using family size laws plus restructuring the world economy to emphasize the steady state.

Considering on what we have seen so far through history I'm betting on not for a while and then maybe an enlightenment that not doesn't work after a dose of prolonged economic collapse, hyperinflation, famines and all that.

There are many article on this site describing the details of this, where we are today and where we are likely to be going.

The road ahead will indeed be a difficult, but not impossible. Though, according to the US census, the populations in developed countries are actually decreasing, though you may hear that the United States is growing at 3 million per year, I've heard it's due to immigration. If we follow that premise then we can see that with less people we have less demands for energy.

Though that "not" scenario got me a little down. Especially since you mentioned that the enlightment won't work. I've also read three articles dealing with our situation, and plan on reading many more.

World population is growing at unsustainable rates.


While the developed world is not growing, the total is rapidly increasing. Soon that will stop. If man does not control it nature will.

I've heard, 80 million are born each year around the world...but you wouldn't happen to be the kind of person who would enjoy to see eighty percent of them die off would you? Just out of curiousity.

Here's a link that may help you visualise this
Also check out the pages in Wikipedia on population and its growth. Not that the 1 billion population that I talked about has only been exceeded in the last 200 years.


No, I would not. It would be much better if we had one child per family for a while. Say the next 80 years.

I would make that that 1 natural birth per family to allow for multiples. Sue everyone involved in IVFs with big multiples.


No, I would not. It would be much better if we had one child per family for a while. Say the next 80 years.

Good luck trying to convince the Muslims on that one.

...according to the US census, the populations in developed countries are actually decreasing...

Hiero, the U.S. census does not say, never has said, and never will say anything about populations in developed countries.

Population has been declining in Russia for years, if that be considered a developed country. Any others, though?

I was mistaken I forgot the name but it was site projecting the entire world population and they had entries for quiet a few of them. Most European countries are seeing a decline in population.

There are plenty of sites that show population growth by country, here's one. Note that it has a pulldown menu, there are lots of other ways to rank countries on the site.

A growth rate of less than 2.1 will ultimately lead to a population shrinking, which you'll see on the graph is mostly industrialized countries. The Muslim countries with their 4 wives per husband are running at a pretty high clip, with population doubling ~ every 20 years.

Without getting into multiple wives territory, I'd just like to note that the fastest growing religions are Islam and Latter Day Saints.

That site helpfully notes that the population growth rates presented can be positive or negative, and puts Russia at 0.47% CIA World Factbook says population growth rate is -0.465. Criminintily.

How do you reach the startling conclusion that a hefty positive growth rate "will ultimately lead to a population shrinking"? That's some nifty arithmetic.

Most European countries are seeing a decline in population.

Heiro, you would do the rest of us a worthwhile service by substantiating that. I don't feel like going country-by-country through the CIA World Factbook.

Thank you, sir.

"Given the experience of the past million years or so, what possible hope can the sane man have for the future of mankind?"

~~~~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.~~~~

Start caring.
I mean obviously you're concerned for our future otherwise you wouldn't be here. And there are plenty of people who want to help and are helping. And it for these reasons why I have hope for mankind.

For anyone, How long do they plan on waiting after the cement is finished? In regards to the relief wells.

To be honest, Heiro, I too have hope for mankind. I was just quoting the late great Mr. Vonnegut to emphasize that, as a species, we are a little on the slow side in our ability to change our bad habits.


But I wonder what kind of things we would need to give up, that question I asked was never answered.

The answer is a question:

Do you need it or want it?

You must answer that in accord with the width and wisdom of your feeling of empathy with all or part of humanity.

Your children will tell you if you were right.

NAOM-Thanks for the link but I'm still sort of sad to see that we need to loose so many people.

Speaker- I'm just messing with you but I swear to only have one child, and if I'll encourage him to go out and see the world if he is lonely.

And finally, you. Though it still depends on what things need to be given up. Cars? I can do that, I can also use boats as oppose to air travel. Though I seriously want these things; the internet and tv. I'm not sure if they'll dissappear but these inventions are what make the world so much more wonderous. A simple search unlocks all the knoweldge of the world, I can talk to children in China in an instant. I can keep contact with distant family any time I want.

So yes I do not need these things but I will miss them. I am also curious if this implies we won't be able to go out an see the universe.

We do not need to loose people in the sense of pushing them off the cliff. The world has a number of people that it can comfortably support, the population needs to be adjusted to match. The population level at the start of the 1800s was far more sustainable than our rush for 9b and by returning to it the quality of life can be improved rather than the quantity. The best way is population restraint with keeping to 1 birth per family until the population reaches that level or it will happen in the way you do not like. It will happen though. If we start early on changing you can still have all the things and contacts you want such as your electrobling. If we delay and delay, well that will be quite another story. Study well here so that you can educate your friends. Me, I am reading up some solar info in another window and, hopefully, I can get tomorrow morning organised so that I can order 2 sheets of glass for a solar panel I need to build.


Wasn't the population at the start of the nineteenth century around one billion. That's pretty low, I still think keeping it around two billion is more preferable. Though you may be right that even that number is a lot for the earth. My vision for the future however just encourages families to have less children, because world wide famine always ruins my day.
I'm also looking at sites to help build panels along with gardening I need a new hobby that isn't posting here the entire day.

You could do worse. The internet is essential, not optional. Videoconferencing replaces air travel. Libraries, television, no longer needed. Children learn what they are interested in, if guided properly.

Wish I'd have had the internet!

As much as I enjoy technology, I don't like it to the point where I won't even consider getting out of my chair and go visit someone far away in person.
Though I don't see why you don't want to have libraries and telivision anymore, they serve as a source of entertainment.

And how can you post here without an internet?

Heiro, global population was greater than two billion when I was born in 1941, but less than 2.5 billion. Global population is now heading to 7 billion. We won't see two billion again any time soon.

Which is my problem here because if a collapse where to happen than there would be a massive die off unless we can prevent that by making efforts to reduce our population in a humane way, mostly by putting pressure on our own countries to stop reproducing at an expotential rate. But I am also seeing a trend happening in emerging economies. When previously poor-er countries become more developed they'll need more resources which will result in a larger population and so on.

I don't want to see a die off. So I want to learn as much as I can so I can deal with the situation if it comes. But I want to know if I can potentially put my hope in three things, (1) Limit population and make efforts to reduce it, (2) develope newer substantial technologies, (3) reduce the need for demand.

Actually, when countries become more developed they tend to have lower fertility rates. There are a lot of correlations: higher income, better education for women, and greater participation of women in the workforce all are correlated with lower fertility.

From The Economist, 10/29/09 (unfortunately the article requires subscription but you may be able to find it in your library):

Macroeconomic research bears out this picture. Fertility starts to drop at an annual income per person of $1,000-2,000 and falls until it hits the replacement level at an income per head of $4,000-10,000 a year (see chart 2). This roughly tracks the passage from poverty to middle-income status and from an agrarian society to a modern one. Thereafter fertility continues at or below replacement until, for some, it turns up again (see article).

The thing you have to be concerned about when the inevitable population leveling or decline happens (it's already happening in much of Europe and would be happening in the US if not for immigration) is the effect that declining fertility rates will have on the amount of work you have to do during your life. Declining fertility = aging population, which means (a) people have to keep working longer in their lives, and/or (b) each person who is working is supporting more and more retirees.

I'd much rather see that decision be based on natural law.

Intelligent good stewardship, including that prescribed by religion, will do precisely that. They aren't mutually exclusive.

Many religions tend do a really really bad job when it comes to biology, ecology and the environment, primarily by establishing the idea of human exceptionalism rather than the idea of humans as part of the world.

It seems to me that this is changing pretty rapidly, especially among the liberal flavors of religion, which view environmentalism as the basis of good stewardship. Even a portion of the evangelical branch of Christianity has recently adopted environmentalism as one of its primary causes.

See here, specifically under "What about nature worship?"


The religious language may be offputting--it sure ain't my cuppa--but look at the imperatives it lays down. For example:

Indeed, one cannot fully worship the Creator and at the same time destroy His creation, which was brought into being to glorify him. Worshiping the Creator and caring for creation is all part of loving God. They are mutually reinforcing activities. It is actually unbiblical to set one against the other.

Take a peek at what's in the back issues of Creation Care magazine (PDFs). There's an article on bees that discusses colony collapse disorder, for instance. The whole approach, it appears to me, while it's motivated by religious belief, is strongly natural law-oriented in terms of action.

The 900 pound gorilla in the room is population growth. Religious views on this are incompatible with natural law views as to what must be done.

When we start seeing Orthodox Jewish, Islamic and Catholic leaders advocating effective policies towards achieving appropriate population sizes maybe there will be less ground for criticism of religious views towards the environment.

Without that I think the environmentalism you are describing is futile and empty.


Catholicism, Islam and Mormonism all advocate large families.

Presuming there's no God, which I do, what would be the reasons for this, considering population overshoot as a fact of natural law?

Well just to educate you a bit on the subject. The reason why they are commanded to go out and multiply is because they were originally small in numbers. This stems back into the Jewish tradition when the israelites weren't very large in size so they were encouraged to have families so they can work the lands and defend themselves against invaders.

This way of thinking was passed down to the other religions that followed and the reason why it is still encouraged today is likely out of tradition. Sort of like the pork thing, it wasn't the cleanest thing back then but now its not. People just like keeping tradition.

This isn't likely to make you change your mind of these groups of people. But to be fair, I wished good ol' Benerdict would encourage families to have less children.

That would be the difference between faith and evidence, closed and open traditions.

Take yer pick. You can see the results when rulers of churches ignore changes in reality.

Hmmmm. Which side are you on? Evidence or blind faith?

Depends on what you mean by that, I'm not the religious type but I care for them like I would any other person. Which means I try to understand as many point of views as I can.

But I agree that church leaders, imams, ect. should promote smaller families. Though I don't know what this has to do with the issues of faith, this whole discussion began ebcause I felt you were taking cheap shots that weren't needed.

Anyway how well is the cement holding? I've checked AP and they didn't have anything about it other than an article saying, scientist give gulf waters a "C" grade, prior to spill.

Setting aside for the moment the "truth" that I am effectively, if not literally, defrocked, I will don my clerical garb and venture the opinion that they have no faith in the immutability of truth, therefore they believe that they have to pass their "truth" on to other generations, since they retain so much devotion to it, and perhaps even help their "truth" to grow by providing ample progeny to receive the "truth."

Or, maybe they just like sex as much as the rest of us do, but have an aversion to condoms.

I thought you were a protestant minister, you seemed pretty critical there.

But pushing that aside, it appears the link provided at the bottom of this page depicting the a small leak has shown that said leak is no longer there.

I doubt that it would enlighten anyone to become privy to my spiritual journey, so I won't bore you with that, but, to correct the record, I was never a minister, I got "defrocked" before being "frocked," when I flunked out of seminary (one of my proudest memories actually).

But since I'm addressing you again, remember, humans are both remarkably resilient (with at least two exceptions - see below), and resourceful.

They are not resilient when they become chronic, or perhaps more accurately, professional victims.

Nor are they resilient when they exceed the critical mass of either pessimism, or skepticism, because they thereby lose connection both with their humanity and their connection to reality.

At the same time they become very vulnerable if their optimism impairs their capacity for critical thinking.

To paraphrase something I alluded to earlier, If I were the devil, I would get on the phone or internet, or whatever, and call you. Then I would say "Heiro, this is God (or substitute whoever's name is your current reference point) speaking, here's what I want you to do...!!"

There's a difference between skepticism or pessimism and critical thinking. In the latter you test whatever concept you're contemplating against whatever else you know about the universe, and see if it contradicts or fits in with what else you reliably know.

A number of people have taken an interest in you here and given you far better advice than I could ever give you, I would compile their contributions and keep it in a folder labeled essential advice, or something comparable, and refer to it whenever you get down. These people believe in you. Don't listen to me, just absorb whatever information you are gathering at the moment, and allow it to percolate around in the back of your brain, then integrate it with whatever you know and move on. It will be an exciting journey.

I envy you and your progeny, you will see a lot of things that I won't even dream of. That's really my most deep regret about my mortality.

Again I'm not sure why this keeps getting brought up, I didn't even want a discussion on anything biblical.

But I already have this board saved onto my favorites, perhaps I'll jot down some notes when I have time.

Though my problem isn't really pessimism but apathy, because if I hear that things can't be change, a voice at the back of my mind just tells me to give up. But I won't. Though you shouldn't eveny us young people, you grew up when things were exciting and new. To me modern life is typical, but you were around when we first started geting all these new advancements. Not to say I won't enjoy the same, but I do fear losing what I grew up with.

Hiero, as the youngest one here, you've been sort of "adopted" by the TOD posters. Hillary Clinton said, "It takes a village to raise a child". Unfortunately even if she was right, the days of villages raising children in the modern era are long gone. But the Internet is a new kind of village, better in many respects, worse in some. There will be conflicting memes vying for your attention. Many of those will be of hopelessness and despair, and David is right to have you ignore them. Best to keep an open mind and a sense of humor. The old folks here aren't kidding when they say they'd trade places with you in a minute. Youth is all about possibilities, age is all about regrets. The perspective is obvious, old people are much closer to the exit than the entrance. It is good we're not immortal here, or think of the mess the planet would be in.

I'd recommend you taking all the good psychology classes or self-reading you can handle on the subject. The signal to noise ratio is pretty bad, pop-psychology has a deservedly bad rep. As an honest psychology prof told me once, "If it weren't for the statistics, there would be no science at all in psychology". That's why I recommended Zajonc before. I'm certain your local library will have books on him or about his work. Understanding group dynamics in a world that is going to be overrun with group-think is an important tool. Think of flocks of birds or schools of fish suddenly veering one way or another and imagine mankind doing the same intellectually. Read some of the great futurists, they are not all dystopian. Charlie Stross and Vernor Vinge come to mind. We won't get to live long enough to see a singularity, but you might.

Life may be like an all you can eat buffet, but you don't HAVE to eat everything. By all means take a tiny taste of as much as you can, and don't be afraid to spit it out if it don't taste right. You got burned a bit on the DHMO, but it was an incredibly valuable lesson on critically examining what you are told. Best not to be a fish gulping in that hook. Better yet to be the voice that can warn the other fish away from the hook.

I don't resent my youth but I did wish that I could have lived a full life in the consumer culture. Mostly because it made globalization slightly more possible.
Though I'm not really interested in phycology, but if I must for others sake and my own I'll take it. But I'll try to ignore the group-think portrait you painted, that is if you are refering to a mob mentality.

As for the future, I want to see it as optimistic but I'm not sure. It doesn't have to be gloomy, but most will see it that way. But what do you mean by "singularity", are you possibly talking about a black hole?

Now can we please stop mention the Dihydrogen Monoxide incident, it was funny but now it's just embaressing.

Heiro, you don't need to become a therapist, just learn enough to understand what makes people tick and behave the way they do. Then you can dispassionately deal with them instead of getting caught in their emotional maelstrom.

Singularity Sky is a great SF read if you like SF. Vinge started the whole thing with his Marooned in RealTime and Peace War stories and his 1993 essay on the coming singularity.

“ Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. ”— "The Coming Technological Singularity" by Vernor Vinge, 1993

If you read his books, you'll realize the "human era" ending isn't necessarily a bad thing. Whether he's right on the timing remains to be seen. I've been involved in computers my whole life, from when I was younger than you and had to build one from scratch (not like today, or even during the home-brew era, but LITERALLY from scratch starting with a CPU). Of course I later had S-100 computers and most every kind since then. The progress has been astounding. Vinge isn't so sure about AI anymore, but it could happen, just not on that time horizon. Or who knows, maybe it will? Would be cool to see it. This book is more near term, a future you well could see and experience.


But that is to vague, does he mean we'll surpass our humanity and become something more/less? Or that we will die off...that is not something to look foward too. But I'm unsure about artifical intelligence, why do we need them? Though I'm sorry you guys had to build your computers from scratch, I often forget how convient and good I have it...but according to most it might not last, it isn't a bad thing but it's inconvient.

And I would feel akward when I have (a) child(ren), because usually you'd think that the next generation will be much better than yours. But, if we do indeed lose the conviences of modern life, than I can't realy envy them and I mean this in a humorous way as I have no idea how life will be like for them.

Best to just read the books and see for yourself. There can be deep thinking in SF if you have the right author, get past the "adventure" of it and see the underlying philosophical implications.

Imagine what people living during WWII thought about the future for /their/ children. Didn't turn out all that bad, might not for yours either.

Batterload +100 on that one. ROTFLMAO

I'd prefer it if you outlined the deep "philosophical" concepts before I embark on such a venture. Just so I don't get the wrong message.
Though I blame this mostly on the misconceptions of the time, I always imagined life after World War II as being rather optimistic, soldiers returned home and just wanted to return to their families and live a normal life. Though the threat of nuclear war was always looming overhead it was nonetheless was a time when things were finally looking better.

But I still don't understand what the implications of the future hold especially the future outlined by the Olduvai Theory and Malthusain Catostrophy.

"During" WWII they didn't know how it might turn out. Europeans were literally shell-shocked and most of the continent was in ruins. Things were pretty bleak if you weren't an American right then. But everyone rebuilt, and things obviously improved. We also had a baby boom world wide as the genetic impulse caused all the nearly dead to worry about leaving progeny. Fertility actually goes UP in danger situations. All very primal.

I don't want to tell you the philosophy, better to discern it on your own. What I thought the author was saying may well be different than what you'll think.

Malthus has been wrong for a long time, because he never could account for technological advances. Of course we have folks who want us to go back to 7th century "glory days" and stay there. Then Malthus wins. Both paradigms assume BAU (business as usual) and overlook external events and advances that can change things. Every light bulb in my house that COULD be fluorescent already is. The law has changed so over time the biggest consumer power use (incandescent lightbulbs) will go down by a factor of 10. And that isn't counting LED replacement bulbs, another factor of 10. It will be a race and a challenge, it always is. That's the joy and the sorrow of it. The threat of nuclear annihilation has diminished considerably for me since I was your age. I had a friend who gave up, he was convinced Reagan was going to nuke the Ruskies so he just gave up on life. Now he's a broken man in his 50's with LOTS of regrets.

Which is where my hope lies that technological advances and human ingenuity will solve the impending crisis if it comes. But is your freind alive to this day, he didn't commit suicide did he?

And I'll have to wait on that one, I already purchased a book and my parents won't buy me another one until next month. But I really wish you'd tell me the message, I wouldn't want to open up the book and find out it's counterproductive to my optimistic attitude.

He's still alive, but sad. He's just starting things he should have done decades ago. He really believed like the song, that it would all be over so why bother? Therefore he didn't progress, but regressed.

As for the books, they probably have them in the libraries where you live and they'd be free that way. Over time you could buy them for yourself if you want to read them again and help out the authors. One of Stross' books is available for free here accelerando, just download it and have fun. But we'll miss your posts if you get buried in reading it. ;)

I spent a lot of time walking areas of London in the early 80s. There were still many bombed out buildings then, 40 years later.


Hiero, as the youngest one here, you've been sort of "adopted" by the TOD posters.

Probably not the best place to be linking Woody Allen, widely.

Without [population growth policies] I think the environmentalism you are describing is futile and empty.

Well, you weren't speaking of population growth in the comment I was responding to; you were speaking much more broadly of environmentalism in general.

But it's a good point. OTOH, I think "futile and empty" way overstates the case; well begun is half done, as they say. Once minds have been opened to the need for caring for the environment, it's going to be hard to keep out information about the urgency of the need for population control.

I'm not particularly concerned about Orthodox Judaism, simply because it's a pretty small group (only around 15 million Jews in the world population, and the Orthodox are a smallish percentage of those). And there seems to be a trend among Catholics--especially in the U.S., but elsewhere as well--to take the dictates of the Church less seriously. Islam permits birth control, as I understand it, so in that case it would seem to be a matter of raising consciousness about the environment, and then about the role of population control in that regard.

I guess what I'm saying is that a positive, receptive attitude to the movement that's already taking place is more likely to advance concern for population growth than one that's dismissive because it hasn't yet emerged in all religious quarters.

Swift Loris said :

"The religious language may be offputting--it sure ain't my cuppa--but look at the imperatives it lays down."

In my opinion THESE are the most stupid words in the bible :

1. Mose 1.28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Because these words gave the Christians the legitimization to rule over the entire world !
I think, we have to come over this - as a first step to a better understanding of nature.
And that means : Be part of the world and not subdue it.

Because these words gave the Christians the legitimization to rule over the entire world !

Not sure what version of the Bible you're quoting from there; it doesn't include a Book of Mose. The words you quoted are actually from Genesis, and they were addressed to Adam and Eve. So whatever legitimization they gave, it was given to all humankind, not just Christianity.

The Creation Care Web site I mentioned, which is that of a Christian evangelical organization, is very clear that Christians are to care for creation, not destroy it. So they don't understand "subdue" to mean "destroy" or "damage."

Lighten up, Swifty. "The First Book of Moses, Commonly Called Genesis" in my various bibles.

Lighten up, Swifty. "The First Book of Moses, Commonly Called Genesis" in my various bibles.

OK. I can't recall ever having seen it called that, especially in a verse citation. Apologies to Lady Li on that point. Thanks for cluing me in.

My theory on last week's fatal grizzly bear attack in Yellowstone is that it was caused by increased competition over food sources coming from the wolves.

Grizzly bears are omnivores, and a great deal of the food they consume are tubers, berries, etc. They will prey on elk, etc, and do scavenge, especially just after emerging from hibernation when well-preserved winter-killed elk carcasses are available. Their prominent claws are used mostly for digging, not killing.

I've seen no scientific claims that grizzly numbers are being negatively impacted by the relatively small number of wolves in the greater yellowstone ecosystem.

Grizzly bears only rarely prey on humans, the fatal predation attack which I presume you're discussing points to a possibly sick bear, or a bear that became overly acclimatized to being around people and/or their camps. Not food competition.

According to a friend in Oregon, the elk herds have been drastically reduced in numbers, yet big bull trophy elk are being sighted more frequently.

I'm also from Oregon, so if that's some indication of authoritative knowledge, I'm your friend's equal (it's not, of course).

Reduction of the elk herds has been a *positive* benefit of wolf reintroduction, as the numbers were thought to be much too high. In particular, the riparian areas along the Lamar river had been almost stripped of vegetation, primarily willow, a favorite elk food. Even better, the introduction of wolves has modified elk behavior, they no longer sit fat and sassy along the river and other areas with willow but rather move around much more frequently, which distributes the effects of their eating.

Without doubt, wolf reintroduction has improved the yellowstone ecosystem.

Same with the grizzly bears. Only the biggest and strongest and most aggressive will survive under pressure from wolves.

The largest impact on other predator populations has been on coyotes.

Predictions made by knowledgeable scientists before reintroduction were that introducing wolves would either have no effect on grizzlies or a slight positive impact due to grizzlies taking over (mostly) elk carcasses killed by wolves.

And, indeed, there has been a *positive* impact, rather than the negative impact you believe in:

Fifty-eight wolf-bear interactions have been recorded in YNP. Most interactions occur at wolf kill sites, where control of the carcass is hotly contested; typically bears win the encounter even though outnumbered by wolves. In one case a bear held 24 wolves at bay. Although fully capable of killing ungulates, especially in spring, grizzly bears now appear to seek out wolf kills and are often successful at driving wolves from carcasses.

Here's the paper: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/intermed/inter_mgmt/ystone_wolves.asp

It's a good read if you're interested in a summary by scientists who are actually *studying* the impact of wolves in Yellowstone, though it's a bit old (2002).

DH, thanks for the read. I will check it out. Just want to say that I am a peaceable kingdom of the branch kind of person, who is looking forward to the day that we'll all lie down together with the lion and the lamb in peace, love and harmony.

Please be more persnickety about how you report on what you read, see, or hear, paintdancer. I don't know what was in the TV show, and I didn't research the wind farm projects referenced in the article, but nothing in the article indicates that the developer bought land for the projects. If he had bought land, ESR wouldn't normally be a problem. Haven't you ever wondered why almost all wind projects in the west, with its massive tracts of public land, are built on private land? A major reason is that the projects can be done without Endangered Species Reports.

(Another reason is that transmission corridors tend to be more accessible from private land.)

I'm not saying the developer didn't buy land, just that the article didn't say anything about that.

paintdancer, no reason to attribute the bear incident to competition from wolves, unless you have evidence. If you have knowledge of that, good for you, and I would be glad to see evidence, but most deaths from bear attacks have nothing to do with competition from wolves. They are caused by nitwits who invade bear country without being duly careful.

I'm not entirely sure I agree, Rockman. The moratorium applies to drilling which is underway, whereas permitting applies to proposed projects. I don't doubt that there are quieter ways that the government could've stopped offshore drilling, but this is politics. In a high-profile emergency like this, there is of course going to be a "Look at me!" aspect to what the administration does.

I do recall reading (though I don't have an exact source) that the then-MMS was going to become more rigorous in its permitting. I don't see it as dishonest in the least that they're approving projects at a lower rate than before. Especially given the length of time it takes to mobilize equipment to drill a well, yes, it does have the effect of a time-lagged moratorium, and it will very clearly have an economic impact which will last for years.

But if you subscribe at all to the idea that development was too aggressive, and safety concerns were not sufficiently addressed over the last decade, then a slowdown was inevitable. I'm no oilfield pro, and I've only done a little reading on the subject, but I can accept that shallow-water (<500') and deep-water drilling have significant differences in equipment, so it's not necessarily fair to lump them together in all respects. Still, given the headlong rush to drill and develop over the past decade, and the scale of the present disaster, taking an overly cautious regulatory approach now can be seen as a matter of prudence, not dishonesty.

ag - Didn't have time to expand my thoughts as I would have liked this morning. But the hiatus of approved permits is a moratorium. It just won't be felt for several more months. These are not proposed wells...these are planned wells that have been budgeted and companies were waitin for contracts to be let. Right now shallow water drilling is being done on permitted wells. When those run out in a few months there will be very few wells to be drilled. I really down't think there's going to be a big rush of approved permits in the next couple of months. Companies started cancelling their shallow water driling rig contracts over 6 weeks ago.

Again, I'm not making an argument for more offshore drilling. I'm just pointing out there is a potentially much bigger negative financial impact heading to this already suffereing region. It would seem only fair for the country to be aware of this.

redstate.com (and therefore I assume yourself) has an axe to grind here.

You ignore the loss to the Gulf economy created by the spill.

You ignore the fact that BP has said it will compensate for workers unemployed due to the moratorium.

You focus on job loss to oil workers, not on the harm their work could cause if the BP event was repeated. You fail to consider that the resources of the GOM belong to all americans, we all get to decide through our government. IT IS NOT THE PRIVATE RESOURCE OF GOM OIL WORKERS TO EXPLOIT FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT, regardless of how much they genuinely might need to do that.

I think it is fairly obvious that for any number of a variety of reasons, the government regulatory mechanism is disasterously disfunctional and so is any internal industry regulation. Neither Transocean nor BP appears to have used sound judgment in making their pre-disaster decisions. One can speculate on the reasons for all this disfunction, which administration caused it and so on, but I think it is a stretch to ask people to believe that deep water drilling is being properly overseen or managed. This was not an "act of god" but an act of negligence.

Until there is a reasonable plan for regulating drilling operations, assuring that sound principles are followed, I think there should be a moratorium. I imagine that the industry is working to get these engineering principles established and, with the moratorium in place, I suspect they are working quite hard at it ...that's the right solution.

Letting the moratorium up and taking the fire from the industries feet is how we got into this mess. More than seeing MMS fixed, I want the industry to show us all how this is done right and then stick to those principles. I think we are moving on that course quite quickly.

You ignore the fact that BP has said it will compensate for workers unemployed due to the moratorium.

This is factually incorrect. In point of fact BP specifically said they were NOT responsible for the unemployed due to the moratorium. I won't even bother to post a link because you'll educate yourself better trying to prove me wrong on this. BTW out of "the kindness of their hearts" BP did agree to giving $100M to help those unemployed, which compared to the $15Billion in one state alone... you do the math.

I'm not trying to push one agenda over another. Like Rockman, my business interests are actually better served by the moratorium. But another part of me wants to keep the story straight, and the players honest. In the emotion of the spill people keep conveniently forgetting the 10's of thousands of successfully drilled wells with NO SPILLS. There are likewise 10's of thousands of competent conscientious engineers, technicians and other workers directly and adversely affected by this moratorium. If United airlines has a plane crash, should all the other airlines have to stop flying?

Actually, when planes crash, other planes of that type are OFTEN grounded. But I'm no professional, so ignore my comment.

Ormon, while I have not been able to find any material on the ratio of all airplane groundings to airplane crashes (I'll continue to look), the most memorable grounding was the 2008 grounding of the MD80, caused when whistleblowers in the FAA cited the lack of safety compliance and coziness with airline(s). Where has this been heard before? Because of the blackbox in airplane crashes are almost all recoverable, the FAA can almost know prelimenarily the cause of a crash, whether mechanical or pilot error - though the final conclusions with all the details may not be known for months and sometimes years.

Anyhow the following a link to all the fatal commercial jetliner crashes since late 1960s, by model, airline, fatalities, etc. Has a whole array of other material related to air safety, including the 2008 grounding of the MD80. http://www.airsafe.com/by_model.htm

Widelyred said :

"In the emotion of the spill people keep conveniently forgetting the 10's of thousands of successfully drilled wells with NO SPILLS."

According to NOAA the GOM had :

15 Oil Spills
11 Hazardous Release
87 large vessel groundings

May be this is enough !

There are ~3700 active wells in the Gulf and ~27,000 inactive wells. Is there a time frame for the 113 incidents/accidents you're citing?

Snake, it is entirely possible (likely) that she's not referring to a SINGLE well incident. The spills could have come from tankers, barges, even tug boats. The hazardous release and groundings likewise have nothing to do with drilling. One gallon is legally enough to report a spill, maybe less depending on the substance. Falls under the figures don't lie category...

Her perspective is any discharge for any reason. First we drill down to apples v apples, then we ask for the raw number of tanker voyages, etc. (which we wouldn't get back, but if we did) and add those in. Then a moderately unfoggy picture emerges.

Not a good analogy. Even a fully-loaded 747, on its own, couldn't cause anything like the environmental damage that one blowout well has. The plane would have to hit a dam or something else to cause a lot of collateral damage to even be comparable to this. The World Trade Center was taken out by two airplanes--and look at the effect that's had on airport security, to say nothing of the rest of our society. That attack was no ordinary plane crash--the planes were weapons against an even bigger target. (And all flights were indeed grounded for a week afterward.)

A tanker spill doesn't end all oil trade. But this incident has been an order of magnitude (or two) worse than a tanker spill, so it shouldn't be surprising that the governmental response has been much more drastic.

Forgive my profound ignorance, but where does the "$15 Billion, in one state alone," yet, come from? According to a report from something called the American Energy Alliance, which, I take it, is an oil-industry booster,
“The Six-Month Moratorium on Offshore Drilling Activity will Cost More than $2.4 Billion in Economic Activity Nationwide, and $1.8 Billion in Gulf communities.” (Full non-disclosure: I haven't read the whole report.)

I was also under the impression that the moratorium applied to 33 exploratory wells, which is what was reported, and to delays on new permits for awhile. Surely, doesn't most of the wealth and petroleum production and associated jobs flow from the thousands of unhindered producing wells rather than those about to be drilled?

And maybe it's not such a terrible thing in the long term if some drilling activity is put on hold awhile. The oil's still going to be there next year. It might even be worth more by the time it's tapped.
Just possibly the moratorium might have its intended short-term effect, which was to review safety procedures and revise them where necessary. I wouldn't mind, either, if a few of the brave good people who man these rigs were not killed by sloppiness and corner-cutting in the future.

geof - Obviously you are new to the party here and haven't bothered to read my post history. You know nothing about me. I've ignored nothing. But I forgive you my child.

BTW: The industry didn't screw up...BP did. Prove me wrong: name the last company that caused a major oil spill in the GOM or anywhere else in the country. And don't say the Valdez...that was the shipping industry...not the oil/NG exploration industry.



I have to take issue with the

"BTW: The industry didn't screw up...BP did. Prove me wrong: name the last company that caused a major oil spill in the GOM or anywhere else in the country. And don't say the Valdez...that was the shipping industry...not the oil/NG exploration industry."

Take a global view on things and it becomes a lot less clear, practises in the Oil industry haven’t always followed the best and safest methodologies, I am not saying that you do not follow best and safest practises, as I don't know you personally, but I am sure you would admit not everyone does and mistakes do happen. When you look outside your own back yard and take a global view then you have to consider the Niger Delta which by anyone’s measures is an awful mess. The Nigerian government estimates there were over 7,000 spills, large and small, between 1970 and 2000; the vast majority more than a few barrels, average that out that’s 200+ spills year. Exxon Mobil has one of the worst records there too.

I am not suggesting the Moratorium should go on long term, but a better understanding of what exactly went wrong and why IMHO is the correct way to go. I asked few Site managers and drilling engineers I know from Chevron and Shell could this have happened to them, most reluctantly agreed it could easily have been any of the companies working in the GOM, the worst of it is, it’s taken lives and a hell of a mess to refocus attention on maintenance, testing and safety procedures in offshore work. Having said that oil exploration is a risky business it is how those risks are measured, assessed and evaluated to make the right decisions so that accidents like this don’t happen too often. The loss of lives on the DWH has probably focused most rig workers on making sure things are done right than any number of inspections could ever have done. I will add I carefully missed out “never” for the simple reason when you are pushing limits of technology and human knowledge with deeper and deeper exploration to feed an insatiable appetite for oil that is the consumer, the likelihood of another event is likely...

sec -- OK..let's take a global view. There was a time when the US military would readily kill native Americans. So this would be an indictment of today's military? What happens in Nigeria is done with the approval of the Nigerian govt. Just like it works here. Is there a drilling moratorium in Nigeria right now? We're talking about drilling in the US.

Again, back to my simple point regarding "the industry being at fault": BP screwed up...not the industry. Name the last major spill in the US caused by drilling for oil/NG? Also, in shallow water drilling, we're not pushing the "limits of technology and human knowledge". We're essentially doing it the same way it's been done for about 30 years.

And once again I'm not saying there should or shouldn't be a moratorium with all drilling. I'm saying there should be an honest acknowledgement of the potential financial nightmare it will generate for the folks in La. Don't forget that the folks in the fishing/tourism industry that have been crippled would be looking for financial help from the neighbors/kin in the oil industry. And given the additional lost revenue to the state it will be all the more difficult to provide assistance. IOW are the US tax payers ready to send a $30 billion bailout to La?

Recall that a couple of weeks ago, NYT reported on the safety investigation of DWH that Transocean commissioned Lloyd's Registry to do in March and April. In a follow-on story today, the same reporter reveals that DWH wasn't the study's only focus -- it also covered Houston headquarters and three of Transocean's 14 other Gulf rigs (Marianas, Discoverer Clear Leader, and DDII), and in fact, meant to overview their entire North American operations.

Now, credit to RIG for commissioning such a safety review after unidentified, unnumbered "previous incidents and near-hits experienced throughout the organization" (Lloyd's phrase). But even the comparatively-few details these NYT stories provide about one company's unfixed problems prove to my satisfaction that the Gulf drilling fleet needs way more beady-eyed attention than it's received in years.

No doubt about it, this has knock-on effects on the coastal economy and all the people it comprises that aren't in any way fair. But all this sweeping-under has lifted the rug several inches off the floor by now, and God only knows what's breeding under there. Good to see you insiders reporting evidence of act-cleaning-up -- but only industry insiders and the TOD community sense that; the rest of the country expects the government to demand it in plain and binding English that they can see for themselves.

You're right, Rockman, the innocent bystanders of the coast shouldn't bear this brunt. The drillers should. But how to arrange for that is above my (no-)pay grade, so who's got any ideas?


You're failing to consider the people in Mississippi, Alabama and even Florida who drive to Louisiana to work offshore. Texas has a lot too. But 68% of Louisiana's economy is petrochemicals. Life as they know it will never be the same.

And a relative that works as a driller said he already knew of rigs that had departed for overseas.

joree - I know I somewhat slighted my cousins across the stateline but I figured those toothless red necks wouldn't be up early enough to read my post...AT LEAST THE ONES WHO COULD READ.

Actually I was trying to rush out of the office to one of my wells in trouble and had toover emphasize my point some. Some of the best drill crews I'v worked with are from those little Miss. towns.

I wouldn't post this here under normal circumstances, but some friends in LA have gotten caught up in the methane-bubble-causes-earthquake hysteria making the rounds.

This video seems to show business as usual - thrusters stirring up the seabed, etc. Also, I suspect the movement is ROV movment. I think this was discussed earlier on TOD, but I can't find the thread. Anyone seen this one, or have comments?


This feels like a variant on the methane-bubbles-are-going-to-cause-a-tsunami-and-wipe-out-NOLA theme. I'll go search for those methane bubble threads myself.

In the manipulative video you linked one ROV is sonar-and video-watching the seafloor while another ROV passes above it. The ROV above pushes up the silt and GOM snot.

Nothing to worry, but tell your friends to be really afraid of subsea monsters like this one caught on camera this morning: http://de.tinypic.com/r/c442b/4

Watch 'til the end, the orange monster bites.

In the video liked to above, the ROV is simply taking off from the sea bed. It is possibly returning to its cage as it appears to begin following its tether. Absolutely nothing to worry about.

These videos are being posted by people who are either pretty stupid, or plain malicious. Either way I really wish they'd stop.

*Edit* I mean the people who post videos with such titles or commentaries ought to stop, I'm not referring to those people who post links to them here asking for help with clarification of what they are seeing.


Are you seeing any evidence of a seep from Ocean Intervention?

Dated May 29. Carry on.

Even funnier the ROV mission title is "Plume Monitoring". Bit of a give away that if they were trying to hide it. The guy who posted the video is currently suggesting that we are all going to die from solar flares and "chemtrails" or something tonight. The well must be yesterday's news.

10 hour power outage today prevented me from replying. The narrator doesn't see a riser or BOP. Assumes crevice--NOT Macondo. Date doesn't matter if true. Snakehead: Perhaps you should change your name to "Johnny-on-the-spot" as you are often the first to pounce when any non-mainstream thoughts are introduced.

Sorry. I thought a May 29 video showing oil spewing into the GoM from an unclear location might not have much relevance on August 5 after the flow from Well #1 has been stopped and satellite images don't show accumulation of oil on the surface.

On the other hand, I think NOAA's precise percentage of oil that's just not there any longer is hogwash.

What else do you have?

Not a thing. Just wondering if this piques anyones interest enough to comment.

You're aware that that video is from May, right?


Thanks, rovman, & thanks to all who responded. I'd already posted a caution on a couple of blogs, but having a "sense" of what was going on certainly isn't the same as real knowledge.

This site's been invaluable through this unfortunate situation, and I intend to keep learning once all the excitement's over.

With the cementing process about to start from the top, this raises an interesting question: how much of the origional drill string (which is still stuck in the BOP) is down the hole? Are they planning on cementing it in place? If they are injecting the cement from the origional kill lines at the base of the BOP, the cement will go down hole around the outside of the drill string...correct? So they need to make sure they get the cement injected down below the end of the drill string (which is how far?) to ensure a complete seal - or...if they are injecting from the top through the BOP, the cement will go around *and* through the drill string solidifying it in place. Am I thinking this through correctly or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance,

The drill string was 3000 feet below the mud line. before the accident but who knows where it is now.

They may not know the answers to your questions. Prior to pushing mud down the well it would appear that they had extremely limited knowledge of the flow paths inside the well and BOP. They don't know where and what cement failed or what valves failed in the BOP. The pumping mud and measuring volume and pressure from that has given new info but probably not enough to answer your questions.

There was earlier speculation that the bottom cement plug might have come loose and acted like a piston to drive the drill pipe up.

Seems unlikely to me, since, unless they had already dropped the drill pipe, it would have been forced up through the casing, and I am not aware of any indication that it did. I have been under the impression that the drill pipe, when it was partially sheared by the ram, essentially stuck in place rather than being severed. That would suggest it is still hanging from the original BOP, but their imaging should have determined that.

I don't remember whether there has been any report that they've tried to retract the shear ram, or even if it is capable of being retracted, but when they placed the new assembly on top, the drill piping was still sticking out of the casing above the old BOP.

In any case, unless the drill string has dropped, I'm not sure of how that would affect the cementing process. I would expect that they could cement just below the BOP, take the BOP off, and replace it with the new one that I suspect they still have available, or can get, drill out the old string, fish it out, or just let it drop to the bottom of the hole, then go in with a new drill string and place cement at any level they want to, at least as deep as the top of the original drill string.

The vent that is created by that process could also serve to help them place the cement at the bottom through the relief well, so that they wouldn't have settle for cement below the entry point for lack of an ability to remove the mud above that cement process.

I would suspect (I do a lot of that, especially considering that I am an eternal optimist about everything else but my own endeavors ~(:))-<=< ) that decisions on those steps will await further developments though. They have to consider a lot of variables at each stage regardless of the steps they have taken up until that decision point. To brief the public in advance on any but bilateral decisions would probably be more confusing than helpful, I would guess.

I just got off the press call with Thad Allen -- he did reference the drill pipe but only said that the science team had had discussions regarding whether it was still intact. He didn't give us the gift of the answer to that question.

Video of today's briefing by Allen carried on C-SPAN: http://www.cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/08/05/HP/A/36641/Coast+Guard+Admir...

From BP website:

Release date: 05 August 2010
HOUSTON - BP today started pumping cement into the MC252 well at 09:15 CDT (15:15 BST) as part of the static kill procedure. All operations are being carried out with the guidance and approval of the National Incident Commander and other government officials.

The aim of the procedure is to assist with the strategy to kill and isolate the well. This procedure will complement the ongoing relief well operation.

1000 bbls of mud unaccounted for yesterday, another 2500 today?

Heading Out concluded up top:

However BP had designed the mud so that it would flow into the rock, as they have demonstrated,...

[Note from syntax police: for clarity, a comma is required after however]

I'd like to have Rockman's take on that, and/or hard data on the mud.

From a naive non-oilperson's perspective, it seems that using "mud" that easily enters the rock stretches the definition of the "static condition" that BP claims to have achieved, given that it would continually need to be topped up as it sinks under its own weight. It only makes sense as the prelude to pumping in cement, and implies that the Unified Command accepted that BP would perform a top cement job if the mud pumping were successful. Nothing surprising here, just a thought.

[Edit: I'm assuming that the (mud density) x (column height) exceeds the pressure below. If it were exactly in balance, it would still be at an unstable point.]

It was interesting to read Kent Wells' description of the cementing process in HO's post. Did he finally answer the question on everyone's tongue by saying that the mud used to kill the MC well was especially designed to easily flow into the rock formation, thus allowing its displacement by cement pumped from the top? I hope so.

I have another question. Many ROV scan watchers noticed, during and after the static kill process, what appeared to be an increased leakage of oil at various places in the wellhead, contrary to what we would expect. Is it possible that, with a production casing full of heavy mud and an annulus still full of oil and a theoretical open avenue between the two, the mud is trying to seek its own level by travelling back up the annulus; thus attempting to displace an equal volume of lighter oil (in the annulus) upward?

That being said, what would stop them from opening a valve on the BOP with access to the annulus (possibly connected to a suction line to the surface) and continuing to pump mud down and up until the production casing and annulus were both full of mud?

And if that were possible, could you then begin pumping cement down until it too returned up the annulus, thus plugging both spaces with cement?

1000 bbls of mud unaccounted for yesterday, another 2500 today?


What do you mean unaccounted for? Kent Wells gave an accounting for all the mud they used in his last briefing. They pumped considerably longer than they needed to in an attempt to clear out pockets of oil that were not directly in the flow path. And then they tested higher pumping rates to see if they were possible. He explained faster pumping rates would help with getting a good cement plug.

Or they kept pumping with no way to discern where it went. Forcing oil back into the reservoir I accept (sort of), but it doesn't make sense to me that tapered production liner and casing are undamaged and patent. Suppose the liner, casing, cement and hangers are undamaged. Why the big rush to pump mud and cement down from the top?

Why the big rush to pump mud and cement down from the top?

During one of his recent briefings, Allen said that the threat of the current hurricane season leads them to want to get the well closed in as quickly as possible. (those are my memory of his words - not his exact words.) That implies they thought top-down offered a potentially speedier option than the RW, since DDIII might have to disconnect again due to a storm before it finishes intercepting and cementing the well from the bottom

It is not a big rush. But it sounds like they want to do the cement before they drill the last leg of the relief well. I haven't heard a clear explanation of why that is but it sounds like it is based on their current belief that all the flow is or was in the production casing (and probably up the drill string thru the BOP).

I assume if the production casing is intact and cemented they will have more definitive answers about whether their current assumptions about flow are correct. when they penetrate the well bore with the relief well.

But the main reason is any well is supposed to have multiple barriers. With the cap there was only one barrier. With cap, mud and cement there will be 3 barriers. The more barriers the less chance of anything going wrong. And it is possible the relief well could be delayed by weather again.

They can pressure test to confirm that it is sealed and with the relief well they then have an opportunity to add another 4th barrier of cement that they will have some confidence is extra added on protection.

Maybe no way for you or I to tell where the mud went, but the people keeping track seem to have a pretty good idea. In Kent Wells technical briefing yesterday he implied that they were very confident the mud went exclusively down the production casing. They know exactly how much mud the casing holds. They know exactly how much base oil they had put into the well in the injectivity test before the mud was pumped. As they pumped at 5 bpm the pressure steadily dropped until the known amount of base oil hit the reservoir and then following that the mud column hit the reservoir. They could see when these events occurred on the pressure curves that they were monitoring and that confirmed their belief that it was only going to the reservoir and the only path is the production casing.

They continued to pump mud after the mud was going into the reservoir as a test in preparation for the cementing.

Maybe someone could clear up something for me.
The pumping of cement is said to have started. The cement will displace the mud which now fills the well. The mud will go into the formation. It must go somewhere.
Do they have enough info to know when the well is filled with cement?
Volumn, pressure etc.


Yesterday Kent Wells evaded the questions concerning the details of the static kill mud and cement pumping. Where are these pumped volumes going? Lets see a picture of riser, BOP, wellbore, annular spaces and formations with the newly pumped mud and cement in place. What is really happening? How will the relief well proceed after the Q4000 cements from the top?

What has been learned about hydrocarbons flowing up outside the wellbore? With all the monitoring and analysis of the static and dynamic pressures what has been determined about downhole conditions? Will cement fill up space outside well bore? How much mud can be pushed into the bottom pay zone? Wish BP would cut the BS and tell us what they know.

I think the rush to cement that well is to get the pressure off the BOP stack asap. Remember, when they diamond cut the riser off the top of the LMRP, they cut off the drill pipe also. I did not see the removal of the old riser bolted flange so did not see if the drill pipe was still sticking out of the LRMP. Did any of you?

I assume that the drill pipe is still present; running through the LMRP and the Transocean BOP below it. Unless; they managed to get it to release from the cluster of valves (LMRP and BOP), and spear its way to the well bottom

I am also assuming that with the Cap Stack now bolted to the top of the LMRP, they have a route for cement to go down the drill pipe; the production liner and the casing annulus outside the liner. I can't see from the ROVs, if the Choke line is fitted for well pressure control and circulation back to the rig; or just the Kill line. What say you?

During his interview this morning on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Allen said that the consensus of BP and the science team was that the drill pipe remains suspended from the old BOP.

If that is the case, that would seem to mean that there is no way to directly inject cement into the drill, since the top of it - which was visible projecting out the LMRP when the riser was unbolted - is above the point where cement is being pumped into the old BOP choke or kill lines. Allen said that it was important to know the location of the pipe since it affects how they do the cementing. I assume that means they have to pump at least 3,000' of cement down the well to be sure the bottom of the drill pipe is encased - but Allen did say that explicitly.

Let's suppose that's correct. There's 3000 ft of drill pipe suspended from the BOP. To encase the downhole end, you'd have to pump 10,000 ft of cement. And why do such a thing? except maybe as a cover story for pumping cement into the annulus and lost circulation zones?

Sounds like a dang good reason to me to pump the BOP full of cement and therefore making it impossible to bring it to the surface for inspection.

There's 3000 ft of drill pipe suspended from the BOP. To encase the downhole end, you'd have to pump 10,000 ft of cement.

Why would you need to pump cement 7,000' beyond the end of the drill pipe to ensure it was sealed?

It's 13,000 ft from the BOP to the bottom of the well.

True, but if for some reason they can't fill the entire 13,000' they only need to get an adequate distance below the end of the drill pipe - 3,000' - to ensure that that path - as well as the casing - are closed off. If they had decided the drill pipe had likely fallen out of the BOP, then they might have had to fill a greater distance in the liner to make sure the drill pipe wasn't able to channel HC upward.

Closing off the end of the drill pipe and getting cement into the bottom of the well (and the annulus if necessary) are different goals.

Why is everyone working out how much cement is needed to reach the bottom of the drill pipe? If there is no oil flowing up the casing because the bottom is plugged there will be no oil reaching the pipe!


I can't answer for anybody else, but I was thinking about it because of Allen's comment this morning that it was important to know where the drill pipe is. The only reason I could think of for his saying that was that they want to be able to know that they've pumped at least enough cement to cover the down hole end of it. That would give them more confidence in the state of the well at the end of the top-down cementing in the one-two weeks before the RW has finished its job. If they are blocked from pumping an adequate amount from the top, the HC would still have a path to the cap if the HC somehow breeched the down hole mud during that period.

Obviously once they've also gone in from the bottom and either done additional cementing - whether in the liner or in the annulus - there should be no chance of any oil reaching the pipe from below.

Maybe it's because they don't want to cement the bottom of the pipe? Wouldn't that make it much more difficult to fish the pipe out later, which there's a chance they'll want to do? Don't mind me, I have little idea what I'm talking about on this subject.

That's a terrible thought, avonaltendorf, but it's consistent with the dynamics of the last going-on-four-months.

You guys catch this? Just got back taking one of my critters to the vet. I love to watch the rovs and the animals interact. God, that is such a beautiful world la-bas. What a privilege to have been able to glimpse it.

I don't believe BP or TPTB that things are just dandy, but I sure pray that these little guys will be alright-they deserve much better than what we've given them.


Yes, I saw him several times. Once the ROV operator followed him with the camera for a while. Is that some sort of eel? Really neat.

Nah, sorry, didn't have my line down there.


I assume that means they have to pump at least 3,000' of cement down the well to be sure the bottom of the drill pipe is encased - but Allen did say that explicitly.

should have read

I assume that means they have to pump at least 3,000' of cement down the well to be sure the bottom of the drill pipe is encased - but Allen did not say that explicitly.

What ever became of the two drill pipe debate? Does this factor in at all?

Thanks, and an early afternoon TOD hug to all of you. :)

Scaled pipes

(credit to TOD member FMagyar for the fancy photo)

Sassy. I am guessing here but try this for a theory (where is Rockman when you need him). Is it possible that they "park" logging pipe strings in the riser. Or, other strings of pipe for well measurements? To save having to pull 18000 feet of string out of the hole?

I don't think so, but there are certainly those out there (pretty much EVERYONE) who know a lot more about this than me.

The whole thing stuck in my mind because I remember BP (Hayward?) saying it was "impossible" for there to be two drill pipes in the hole; I never did hear the official reason why, although I did hear the conspiracy theory about it. :)

One pipe flattened splits at the seam, makes a figure 8.

There is no doubt there were two pipes in the riser, BP even admitted it.

I was commenting on the picture. (pi*D)

I believe the drill pipe is seamless spring steel. I can't imagine that it would deform that way.

Is it even possible for a drill pipe to go through those gymnastics in a 20" (or smaller) diameter pipe?

One pipe flattened splits at the seam, makes a figure 8.

This has puzzled me since I first heard it. I've never seen oil well drill pipe, but in mining (where drill pipes are called drill steels), they certainly don't have seams. The ones my Bucyrus-Erie 9R used were 30 feet long, 5-1/4" outside diameter, about 1-1/4" wall, and had cone threads for connection. Bloody heavy and no seams. I would be amazed if one of those could be bent into a figure-8 in a confined space. Is oil equipment that much different?


BP seems to be letting the story of two drill in the riser run, rather than the idea of the casing travelling up into the BOP.

The joint on the right is the one that interests me. It has actually been folded into itself, indicating that it was not a round piece of pipe when it was cut by the CLAW. The wall thickness also looks more like casing than drill pipe.

I do hope we actually get to find out what happened and BP do not manage to cement all the evidence in place, never to be seen by man again. BP are referring to pumping the cement down the production casing, indicating they believe/want us to believe the casing is intact. Leaving a shoe failure as the most likely cause. I just do not get that warm fuzzy feeling to me.

This keeps coming up. There is no mystery. There are two pieces of drill pipe. When they removed the tophat after it had been sitting there for a few weeks they expected that they would have two ends of pie sticking out. They were prepared to tie them together to avoid them jaming into the new flange fitting when it was bolted on. However it seems that the mess of gunk, tar, and clathrates that formed under he tophat held onto the loose end of pipe and lifted it out of the BOP as the tophat was removed. Later it dropped out of the tophat. It could not possibly have dropped into the BOP - the shear rams are almost completely closed, and the only opening is the gap inside the not quite severed drill pipe.

There remains the question as to how the pipe broke. It would have been nice to have had the broken end - as the other end will have the imprint of the breaking mechanism on it. It is maybe just possible they might be able to find it in the mud with a metal detector.

I watched them take off the bolted flange and there was only one pipe in the well sticking out. It was assumed the 2nd pipe fell down into the BOP or well somehow. That is why they did not have to use the strap they were going to use to tie the two pipes together to fit the new piece on.

Good info Quant. Now we are getting closer to the truth. I don't think there is room to get two drill pipes through the BOP.

If two pipes would not fit through the BOP then the extra pipe would have had to come from above that stack and not from below.

One thing that was strange to me was in the mock up of the stack and two pipes in it that BP did the one pipe looks smaller then the other one but that just might have been the camera angle. It was the picture of the two guys standing by the stack measuring.

Hi Acornus,

The id of the BOP should be something like 18 inches.

There should be no problem getting 2 drill pipes side by side there.

It was assumed the 2nd pipe fell down into the BOP or well somehow.

or that the piece of the 2nd pipe that remained in the riser after it was reduced to a stub, was short, loose, and blown out the top at some point, either at the time of the cut before the initial containment hat was lowered or during the later period after the riser stub was unbolted and the flow was unconstrained.

As I understand it, a subsea wellhead does not have any flow path between BOP and the annulus just below wellhead, if nothing unexpected has occured. I believe casing lockdown rings (at least one of which BP didn't use) are supposed to make sure no below wellhead connectivity ever occurs to annulus.

Perhaps someone can explain actual details I don't understand. Once surface casing is set and cemented, is the second deeper casing drilled, set and cemented, and a casing hanger attached to that double cemented casing, then BOP bolted to the casing hanger?

I beleive 20" can be run through a BOP. How about larger diameters? I'm pretty sure 30" won't fit through a BOP.

How is some flanged piece of steel the BOP bolts to actually attached to surface casing? Welded, or something else? Is casing hanger what actually gets put in first, or something else?

Or am I totally off base here?

Hi Ham,

You are right, you have no access to any of the annular spaces from the wellhead.

The casing strings are hung off profiles within the wellhead housing and individually sealed.

The BOP latches to the top of the wellhead using a special connector which matches a profile on the wellhead. It can be latched and unlatched without having to mess around with bolts.

BOP id is around 18 inches.

One thing bothers me a lot about cementing the well from the top after this "static kill". As I understand it, the mud weight was chosen so that a full 18000' column from sea level to reservoir is needed to balance the reservoir pressure. But that means that the well head is at a pressure about 1000 psi above ambient at the sea floor. This is presumably why there are still leaks at the BOP and CAP; it also means that if the Q4000 were to have to move off station we'd find the well really wasn't "statically killed". (We'd then be relying on the CAP to provide pressure, though a lot less pressure than before the static kill.)

Presumably this is why they want to move ahead with cementing -- that will relieve all pressure from the cap and presumably would allow complete disconnect from the BOP + stack. But it seems to me that the safest way to kill a well permanently is to fill the well with oil heavy enough to balance the reservoir without the additional 5000' from seafloor to sea level, *then* cement at top and bottom. This would require 14+ ppg mud rather than 13+ ppg mud.

Does this make sense? More important, what would the normal process for closing off a deepwater well be? Mud weight that balances the reservoir in a column all the way to sea level, or mud weight that balances from a column just to the sea floor?*

(*To be clear: when I say "to the seafloor" I'm allowing the pressure of the 5000' water column, just not the higher pressure from a 5000' mud column.)

This is presumably why there are still leaks at the BOP and CAP

There are no known remaining leaks at the BOP or Cap. The last bubbly spot at the top of the LMRP stopped suddenly quite some time ago last night (and well before they started pumping cement).

Thanks for replying -- though that was a minor part of my post.

My question is still: what's the normal procedure for killing a deep water well: Do you put in mud weight that will balance the reservoir when the column extends to the surface (but which won't balance the reservoir if you lose the extra 5000' of mud), or do you use a heavier mud that will balance the reservoir all by itself (without the extra 5000' of riser)?

comments at The Drillers Club

They have been most likely pumping through the rupture disks in the 16", the 6,989psi shut in pressure plus injection pressure is far above their rating, and above the rating of the 16" itself. The mud is probably going out into a loose sand somewhere between, the 16" shoe and the 22" shoe. There is plenty of it, this entire well was plagued with lost circulation and ballooning.

The primary reason they never got to a full wellhead pressure is these lost zones, there is a big one right beneath the producing horizon, and the oil is being injected into it, because it has a lower pore pressure than the producing zone.

They lost over 3,000bbl of 14.1ppg mud to that zone.

The gas sands directly above the oil zone have a 13.6ppg pore pressure, they are not going to kill that zone with 13.2ppg kill mud mud, which is what they purportedly pumped.


With the burst disks and multiple liner hangers, and no cement up into any of the liner laps this POS well could be flowing subsurface into a multitude of locations.

I just checked the ROV feeds and the flex joint flange, annular flanges and the CTX connector are still leaking, at about the same rate they were leaking before they started pumping on the well. As well as gas bubbles coming up around the 28" conductor, and out of its "Closed" cementing valves.

Again "Dead" wells don't leak against 5,000ft of seawater head.

You may trust BP but I don't, they have been caught out in too many lies and misinformation starting on day one with the well depth, and what pipe is in the hole.

They are lawyered up to the gump stump, and the lawyers are calling the shots on information to the public, hence the numerous ROVs down there with blank feeds.

They feed poor old Thud Allen buckets full of crap every day, and he not knowing any better just parrots it. Allen is a great Coasty, but DNS about drilling or well control. And neither do any of Obamas scientist genius', there is not one single member of any of his teams and commissions that have ever stepped on a rig, let alone drilled or designed a well. I have spoken with some of them, and they don't know a pumpjack from a drilling rig.

I find it interesting that the skeptics focus a lot on the inexperience of the scientists here.

As I recall it was "experience" that produced this situation.

Of course lots of experience does not always lead to good decisions, e.g.: complacency?

But then again, how many of the "experienced" people who are involved in these situations know everything about everything upon which their decisions have an impact?

There is an art to managing risk with incomplete information.

I had the sense that BP had groups operating on multiple strategies simultaneously. The 'top cap' took many weeks to build, and they were trying other 'faster' solutions hoping they'd work, but always had plan B, C, D etc, all going ahead.

I also had the sense that the decisions by Chu and others were attempts to minimize risk. The top kill was stopped out of concern that it might make things worse.

I think anyone who's managed a technical operation knows too well that feeling of trying to tiptoe through the various potential nightmares when you don't have enough information to be confident. Even more so when you're dealing with remote problems like something 5000 feet down, or a crippled spacecraft orbiting the moon.

In your years of experience, have you never encountered liars?

On June 22, 2009, BP engineers expressed concerns that the metal casing the company wanted to use might collapse under high pressure.

“This would certainly be a worst-case scenario,” Mark E. Hafle, a senior drilling engineer at BP, warned in an internal report. “However, I have seen it happen so know it can occur.”

The company went ahead with the casing, but only after getting special permission from BP colleagues because it violated the company’s safety policies and design standards. The internal reports do not explain why the company allowed for an exception. BP documents released last week to The Times revealed that company officials knew the casing was the riskier of two options.

Though his report indicates that the company was aware of certain risks and that it made the exception, Mr. Hafle, testifying before a panel on Friday in Louisiana about the cause of the rig disaster, rejected the notion that the company had taken risks.

“Nobody believed there was going to be a safety issue,” Mr. Hafle told a six-member panel of Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service officials.

“All the risks had been addressed, all the concerns had been addressed, and we had a model that suggested if executed properly we would have a successful job,” he said.

Mr. Hafle, asked for comment by a reporter after his testimony Friday about the internal report, declined to answer questions.

BP’s concerns about the casing did not go away after Mr. Hafle’s 2009 report.

In April of this year, BP engineers concluded that the casing was “unlikely to be a successful cement job,” according to a document, referring to how the casing would be sealed to prevent gases from escaping up the well.

The document also says that the plan for casing the well is “unable to fulfill M.M.S. regulations,” referring to the Minerals Management Service.

A second version of the same document says “It is possible to obtain a successful cement job” and “It is possible to fulfill M.M.S. regulations.”


In your years of experience, have you never encountered liars?

ROFLMAO! Cuts right to the heart of the matter. Other creatures have suffered consequences for people being too lazy to question patent discrepancies in information relayed to them or failing to observe patterns of malice on the part of players in this drama. We have the right to make bad judgments for ourselves, not for other beings. And that particular ethical obligation is even more incumbent upon "the elite". Noblesse oblige, ya know?

Remember that catchy little slogan "Jesus is coming and boy is He pissed"?


Don't forget "Jesus is coming, look busy."

"Jesus just left Chicago....and He's bound for New Orleans....."

The three men I admire most - the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost - they caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died. And they were singing...

I'm not an expert so I'm open minded. After all, it was experts who built the Titanic and amatuers who built Noah's Ark. :)

Ok, Ok, I was trying some humor. Anyway, still a fascinating site. I think HOS needs to consider engineering studies and career.

I'm not an expert so I'm open minded.


Block>I think HOS needs to consider engineering studies and career.

Science and Engineering with a post-grad degree in law. HOS shows some moxie, and that will serve him/her well, provided it's effectively tempered.

Want any more opinions? :-)

Interesting diagram of the well.
And this is the kit they were using according to tha above diagram.

Coincidence? 13.3ppg synthetic OBM 11-7/8" Liner @ 15,103' MD / 15,092' TVD

Help me out avonaltendorf, I looked at the well diagram and could not make heads or tails of it, what are you suggesting and what does the MD and TVD mean. Thanks!

MD = measured depth, how much drill pipe
TVD = vertical depth to bottom
(correct term is SSTVD = subsea total vertical depth)

Wells corkscrew a little, even when you plan to drill them vertical. Macondo had a sidetrack which extended the MD a few feet longer than TVD. No big deal.

I thought it was coincidence that 13.3 mud was used in drilling at 11,000 ft to balance the pressure of shale formation at that depth. Grasping at straws to explain where the mud and concrete might have been pumped yesterday and today. I'm skeptical that everything is going into the reservoir.

Avon, as an outsider here, with no education about this stuff, if you're skeptical about the amount of mud and cement going into the reservoir, then does that means you think it is escaping below the sea floor into the rock formations or sub-surface shale or whatever? That would confirm what some folks were afraid of, that the casing blew out somewhere, most probably in a spot that cannot be seen by either the naked eye or ROVs. It would explain the pressure not going up to the first expectation levels when the cap went on. So my question is this, if this is true, then can the crust hold the pressure, or will it continue to be undermined and come up through the sea floor? And will the smoke and mirrors continue, or will the evidence become obvious before BP does a cakewalk out of there?

I am uneducated in these matters, but it seems to me that a lot of mud went into there, and that there is still a lot of bubbles and stuff coming up from the surface that cannot all be attributed to natural seeps and silt and ROVs walking around.

Thanks for your help in helping us layman understand the ramifications of all this.

13.3ppg synthetic OBM

I am not quite sure what "synthetic" oil base mud is. In my day oil base mud was an emulsion of crude or diesel and salt water. I wonder if they might use a heavy brine in leu of saltwater to make this mud have flow properties to more easily enter the formation ie not require barite.

How about some discussion of the government's mass balance or oil budget.


4.9 million barrels flowed
4.1 million barrels spilled

On TOD, many observers seem to think this figure is too high, in that it assumes a 62K bbl/day flow from the beginning, decreasing to 53K at the time of closing the valves because of depletion in the reservoir. The thought is that the nearly-closed BOP shear rams and the crimp in the riser pipe would have sharply restricted the early flow, which then increased because of the apertures eroding, and later declined because of depletion.

As a side note, many media reports have, as usual, confused the estimated flow total with the spill total.

The report's estimate of what happened to the oil:
(a) 25% captured or removed
(b) 24% dispersed
(c) 25% evaporated or dissolved
(d) 26% residual in the Gulf or ashore (light sheen and tarballs).

Some thoughts about these categories:

(a) I would have excluded the captured oil, but they included it in order to beef up the fraction dealt with by "doing something."

(b) "Dispersed" (as opposed to "residual") begs the question of how much of the dispersed oil is still in the Gulf. A lot of it has probably been biodegraded, but some (or a lot) remains. It's interesting that they attribute only 1/3 of the dispersion to the use of chemical dispersant.

(c) This category seems illogical, in that the evaporated fraction is long gone from the Gulf, whereas the dissolved fraction (like the dispersed) is in the water, subject to an unknown degree of biodegradation so far. What the evaporated and the dissolved parts have in common is they would both represent light, volatile fractions of the crude. Perhaps the team just doesn't have a clear idea how much of these fractions dissolved in the water and how much made it to the surface, where it would quickly evaporate. Would this particular crude have only 25% light fractions? That's less than I would have thought.

(d) Since "residual" doesn't include dispersed and dissolved, 26% seems surprisingly high. It would be mostly tar. Is the heavy fraction of this particular crude likely to be more than 20% of the mixture?

Concur. If you look at the categories, even as they are presented, the oil that still remains in the GOM includes all of (b) and (d), plus part of (c). A pointless exercise.

Also, the difference between dispersed and dissolved is basically irrelevant.

However, not all the dispersed oil and dissolved fractions remain in the Gulf. A lot of it, and perhaps most of it, has been oxidized by bacteria. Half-life under these conditions is said to be in the range of 2-4 weeks for some fractions.

Damn you're good, Gobbet.


"...While the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has been capped, experts claim up to 75% of it is still in the water.

The White House was accused today of spinning a government scientific report into the amount of oil left in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP spill which had officials declaring that the vast majority of the oil had been removed..."

I would only add that to parse this one would like to know how the liquid-phase methane emerging from the wellhead was accounted for. Does someone have a reliable estimate of the proportion emerging as nat gas liquids? My recollection was a high percentage, around 30 or 40%. This should have been one of the starting points in constructing the "oil budget." Presumably all this either dissolved and biodegraded or surfaced and evaporated.

Does this mean we can break out the champagne bottles and celebrate?

Won't count the chickens till their hatched, but I'm stocking up on adult beverages for celebrating tomorrow assuming all goes well while the cement cures.

No YOU can't ;) In any case remember when they didn't wait on cement long enough before, plus they were planning to use the RW to check the annulus.


I think if he is mature enough to have kept up here, he is mature enough for a celebration drink.

I just heard a sound bite on NPR by Thad Allen that said they were "now" doing a squeeze. "Now" is in quotes because the sound bite wasn't live so I don't know when it was actually recorded.

Thanks lotus,

I hate to hear/read non-technical people giving technical breifings.

When I posted this last evening **widelyred** inferred I was influenced by conspiracy sunglasses.


After reading the NYT article I still have the same views; they "BP" can't guarantee their cement job. The don't know if cement is in the DP which also answers some questions about the whereabouts of the DP. Remember folks they banded the DP prior to installing the spool. The DP is still jammed in the BOP rams and it wouldn't be logical to open the rams and allow 3,000' of DP to fall to TD and hit the plug.

Contrary to what **widely** may think their is a logical, practical approach to solving this disaster and plugging the well. I am going with what I have learned here, my experience and the plan present by BP. Any reference to pumping cement (providing a guarantee)in lieu of dealing with a hurricane risk is a moot point. This excuse has been used on to many occasions to date and the only time they choose this avenue is to cover a deviation from plans.

PS. I hang around oil industry engineers and inspectors so I have a license to make these comments. Some of them are very intelligent and.....

Just looked in on the live feeds. None shows the BOP and cap BSkandi Rov 1 might be looking at it but from a distance. Call me suspicious but if everything is fine and nothing is leaking wouldn't they want us to see that. Also shouldn't at least one ROV be monitoring the BOP?

I was just going to get around to that, but I imagine them using a similar excuse as to when they plugged the well with the cap weeks ago. The ROV are probably busy or need to get out of the way so the robots there can have more room to work.

Aren't the ROV's the robots. I am not aware of any robots other than the ROV. per wiki "A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is a tethered underwater robot." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remotely_operated_underwater_vehicle
Since several screens are blank I presume that if they are watching the BOP they are doing so with those ROV's - and just not showing us. Or they have another or several ROV's whose viewing screens they are not showing to the public.

Some of them have been brought up. There is not so much work down there so there are less down there. The working frenzy is over for now.


Yes I gather that would be correct, but the question still is - don't they have one still watching the BOP and cap? I would think they would until the relief well kills the thing for good. Instead they seem to have ROV's watching dials, the ocean, strange objects on the ocean floor. Wouldn't you think they would aim one at the BOP???

Hi Oxi,
These wonderful machines are puppets not robots. Be advised.
cheers ga.

One more remark, then I'll shut up for a while. How much cement?

HOUSTON - BP today completed cementing operations at the MC252 well at 14:15 CDT, as part of the static kill procedure. Monitoring of the well is underway in order to confirm the effectiveness of the procedure.

BP Completes Cementing Procedure on MC252 Well.

NAOM: Why is everyone working out how much cement is needed to reach the bottom of the drill pipe? If there is no oil flowing up the casing because the bottom is plugged there will be no oil reaching the pipe!

Here is my take on the drill pipe, and also the upper leaks.
The drill pipe is squished, but presumably not closed entirely.
That means the (1000? 3000?) ft of DP have mostly oil, and the top end of the DP, will have higher pressure, because inside the DP is low-weight oil. (even tho the mud-top pressure is nominally balanced)

So the mud has to (slowly) push the oil out the top of the DP, which explains the small oil-like leaks still seen.

It also shows why getting to below the DP matters - there is still a oil pathway. The RW cement will block this, but a Top cement should really get past the DP, if flow blockage is the objective.

So the mud has to (slowly) push the oil out the top of the DP, which explains the small oil-like leaks still seen.

There appear to be no "small oil-like leaks" from the BOP/Stack - or at least there weren't the last time we got a good view. The last of the leaks stopped live on Skandi 1 last night.

However it would be nice if they'd give us some better ROV imagery than they've given us for the last few hours so we could see for ourselves again.

How slowly would this be?

If the pipe is open at both ends then (assuming 3000') there's about a 1280 psi difference (3000 ft * 0.052 [gal/ft*in^2?] * 8.2 lb/gal -- assuming 13.2 ppg mud and 5 ppg oil) between the pressure of a pipe full of oil and the pressure of the same height of casing full of mud. The differential pressure gradient would be about 0.052 * 8.2 = 0.43 psi/ft -- about the pressure gradient of normal water. I have very little intuition about how fast oil or mud flows through pipes but it seems that ought to be enough for the pipe to fill pretty quickly.

On the other hand, if the drill pipe is closed at one or both ends, then it isn't really a flow pathway -- though I guess if the pipe ran through the cement you'd worry about it corroding (and therefore opening) at either end.

Merging the two press releases:

BP today started pumping cement into the MC252 well at 09:15 CDT

BP today completed cementing operations at the MC252 well at 14:15 CDT, as part of the static kill procedure. Monitoring of the well is underway in order to confirm the effectiveness of the procedure.

So, 5 hours of Cement pumping, but no volume or depth mentioned ?

Nope... and no indication of how they knew when they were done.

Here's hoping some informed reporters participate in Wells's briefing tomorrow.

rainy - All cmt jobs end when one of two points are reached: you pump the volume you has planned or you can't push any more cmt down. Many cmt jobs end because no matter how high the crank the pressure they can't push anymore down.

Now that they have the beast pretty well choked if not entirely killed, I will impart to you wisdom from the comfort of my Lazyboy recliner:

1. Blew themselves up
2. Had no emergency response plan
3. Improperly used dispersants
-a. Used Corexit 9527 for a month before switching to 9500
-b. Released Corexit into the atmosphere off planes and ships
4. Failed to implement innovative cleanup technologies

1. Fired Tony Hayward
2. Hired others to handle it

A big Whoot! Whoot! for the Blue Dolphin & Co.

Who do you think deserves the most credit for turning this mess around?

Who do you think deserves the most credit for turning this mess around?

The ones who put $32,000,000,000 of their money into the job whilst those around them hid behind their lawyers?

Do they keep cameras down there to monitor "killed" wells to make sure they don't come back to life when no one is looking? All these "wells" that are capped off, waiting for some tanker to come pump oil up... do they have monitoring systems to make sure a cap doesn't pop off or something?

Just wondering....


I imagine that there is a legal agreement stating that BP did not have to release the video feeds from the BOA Sub C(Mill 36 & 37). Those ROV's have drive numbers in the 500's whereas the ROV's we are allowed to see have dive numbers under 50. They seem to be doing any inspecting with the Sub C. We may get a fly over with the Skandi, but no detail.

As far as BP is concerned, you are done viewing this event.

Well, I doubt that there is any point in showing the Boa videos when they have been hauld up on deck.


Boa 1 & 2 are both feeding pix from the bottom

Q4000s are caged/recovered

Viking Poseidon blacked out
Olympic Challenger blacked out
Discovery Inspiration blacked out

Don't think for a minute BP isn't monitoring the stack.

BP "official feed" from Enterprise 1 is an insult to our intelligence.

Skandi Rov 1 is now showing rather substantial leaks from the seafloor, quite a few of them. What's coming out is black rather than brown. (Wish I knew how to make screen shots!!!)

Vista has a function called "snipping tool" -- much easier than the old [prt sc]

Screenshots using prtscr do not work until you disable using overlays in your mediaplayer

Just went back to watch the video. What I saw is gone...

If you're using a Mac, just hit command 3 for the whole screen, or command 4 to be able to select part of the screen. Someone else will need to help you with any other system.

Thanks, David. Unfortunately don't have a Mac.

Alt-print screen. Paste into an image editor. Even Paint will work.

What happened on the cement top static kill? Where did the cement go, how much was pumped, at what BOP pressure? Is the new cement outside the 7” casing now? Is the well intact above that? Do the knowledgeable industry people outside of BP’s command center know condition of well and pay zones? The public would like to have the meaningful facts, not just the slippery stuff we are getting from BP public relations/legal departments. We are tired of mushroom treatment.

Why bother with the relief well if Macondo has been completely cemented? What do the relief well people think of the cement job from top? What does most recent seismic information show? Can cement be seen with seismic maps?

I think they said they plan on turning the relief wells into productions wells after this is all over. But tongue in cheek, they should build another set of relief wells over that one in case the BOP fails again.

I know I just told you not to listen to me, but now I'll tell you to listen to me (see, I can be volatile also)!!!

BP has already announced that they are NOT going to use either relief well or the original well as production facilities. I suspect that's in part because it could very well (no pun intended) become a publicity nightmare, but before this all happened they didn't plan to produce this well right away, and I doubt that it's likely that they would change their minds, especially now.

I'll be sure to add that to my note collection...but I wonder why they decided to just abandon the well. They could have made a lot of money but perhaps this is a good thing, somehow.

Also not be a fear mongerer or anything but what do you guys have to say about this, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100805/ap_on_re_as/as_china_us_carrier_killer sory if its a bit off topic.

I don't want to start up a flame war, but I'd say that this a direct consequence of loosening restrictions and looking the other way when US businesses wanted to sell high tech stuff to China and the Clinton administration opened the gates. In fact I know for a fact that it's a consequence and it's not the only one.

Are you kidding? Bush deregulated. One of the first things he did was fire all the scientists. By about the sixth year he was in office, the EPA was disassembled into a shell agency that kept registries like the one Corexit is listed on. He needed to make the regulatory agencies stupid enough to allow his buddies to do what they wanted. Then he created the whole oil industry in his own image. Did you ever wonder why nearly all the faces during this mess are white males? This mess is a tribute to George W. Bush. Then we got this next goofball who does not have a clue. He's too busy trying to cut deals for a new bunch of crooks to take care of the countries business. Blaming the Clinton administration is just lame. BP, Bush and Obama are in line first. China my @$$. This was American made.

SaveFlipper, I'm no W fan. I describe myself as "post-political" and I retired myself from those A Team v B Team wars several years ago. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the oil industry or lax regulation in general. This has to do with the direct transfer of military applicable high technology to the PRC because of political expediency during Clinton I and my knowledge about what happened and why. It gave the PRC a 10 to 20 year boost. And believe me, at that time the players were not all "white males".

Blaming the Clinton administration is just lame.

Nope, it's accurate.

One example

Two American aerospace companies damaged U.S. national security when they provided Chinese space engineers with technical rocketry data that could have assisted Beijing's ballistic missile program, a House committee concluded yesterday in a classified 700-page report.

The panel's report is the most comprehensive review so far of evidence that Hughes Electronics Corp. and Loral Space & Communications Ltd. shared sensitive U.S. technologies as they pursued commercial relations in China. The committee's findings appeared to include detailed criticism of the Clinton administration's policy of loosening high-tech export restrictions as a way to promote trade.

Panel Faults Space Aid to China. (Dec 31, 1998)

Republicans and Democrats differ mainly on social issues - both are focused primarily on keeping corporations and investors happy. (and given Obama's response to yesterday's ruling on CA's Prop 8, I'm not too sure about the social issues.)

Thanks for backing me up, rainyday. Most of this stuff never made it to the hearings. Some of what did still hasn't seen the light of day. As an example, without naming names, advanced ATM technology was sold off. It was known beforehand that it would jump the PRC's fly-by-wire missile technology by at least a decade. But apparently it was worth it for the campaign contributions and who knows what else.

And don't get me started about the Islamic Bomb. Directly related.

[ed: typo corrected]

I am in the business, though I don't and never worked for the two companies that are mentioned (Loral and Hughes).

Generally, I find that we tend to overestimate the "help" that was this or that technology that was either legally shared or stolen by other countries.

It comes from a position of assuming that our technology is so FAR ahead of anything anyone can do out there, that when we share a great idea called "bolts" (for example) - that just "jumps" our adversaries' understanding of the problem decades forward.

I don't know what exactly Loral has shared, but I frankly doubt it was anything earth shattering. Fly by wire has been made all over the world for many years, it is frankly very old and Chinese could have reverse engineered it, if they really wanted it, or developed it themselves. It is easier to buy, but don't kid yourself, almost anything we do here can be replicated in other countries with resources. Neither am I clear if they shared too much, or was everything cleared ahead of time.

I find most of these anti-Clinton attacks to be lightly based in fact and are standard issue political propaganda. From the time he was elected GOP has relentlessly worked to de-legitimize him in every way possible, culminating in his worthless impeachment. GOP is doing the same thing to Obama. It is an interesting phenomenon - basically, the Republican party does not accept a Democratic president (any Democratic president) as a legitimate President of these United States. It is not politically feasible to come out and say it, but GOP's actions are that of essentially disloyal opposition - from the moment a Democratic president is elected, the party works day and night to unseat him, impeach him, destroy him in any and every way possible, country be damned. Right now, a team of well paid lawyers are looking for any opportunity to impeach Obama. They are scouring his past and present, digging up any disgruntled supporters, looking at all records with a magnifying glass, to find any reason, any transgression, any opportunity to remove him from the presidency - just like they did to Clinton. The GOP noise machine works overtime to convince the low information white Republican supporters to fear Obama and all people with foreign sounding names and non-white skin color - witness the embarassing spectacle over the Muslim community center near Ground Zero and the continuing sickness over Obama's birthplace. This is just standard operating procedure for the GOP - no matter if it destroys the fabric of our society.

Above post is a good example. The author suggests that Clinton has committed treason - sold sensitive "secrets" to the enemy, in exchange for "contributions" and "who knows what else." Treason is an offense punishable by death. So the author, quite casually, calls for the execution of a Democratic president, who in his opinion is a traitor to this nation. How can one possibly accept an actual, honest to goodness, secrets selling traitor as your President? Well, you can't! How can you accept as your President a man who had his lawyer killed in the White House (V. Foster), then dragged out to the park? Well, you can't! How can you accept as your President a man who was born in Kenya (that' where "birthers" claim Obama was born)? You can't! How can a man who is a reincarnation of Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler and Mao Tsedung (as the Tea Party claims), be your President? Impossible!

Well said.

GOP Congressman reflects:

Inglis acknowledges he's intimately familiar with extreme politics. He was part of the GOP gang that went after Clinton and impeached him for the Lewinsky affair:

I hated Bill Clinton. I wanted to destroy him. Then I had six years out [after leaving Congress in 1999] to look back on that, and now I would confess it as a sin. It is just wrong to want to destroy another human being and to spend so much time and effort trying to destroy Bill Clinton -- some of it with really suspect information. We went on and on about Whitewater. We had talked about the strange things about Vince Foster's death. The drug dealing at Mena airport. So in the six years I was out, I looked back and realized, "Oh what a waste."

When he returned to the House in 2005, Inglis, though still a conservative, was more focused on policy solutions than ideological battle. After Obama entered the White House, Inglis worked up a piece of campaign literature -- in the form of a cardboard coaster that flipped open -- that noted that Republicans should collaborate (not compromise) with Democrats to produce workable policies. "America's looking for solutions, not wedges," it read. He met with almost every member of the House Republican caucus to make his pitch: "What we needed to be is the adults who say absolutely we will work with [the new president]."

Instead, he remarks, his party turned toward demagoguery. Inglis lists the examples: falsely claiming Obama's health care overhaul included "death panels," raising questions about Obama's birthplace, calling the president a socialist, and maintaining that the Community Reinvestment Act was a major factor of the financial meltdown. "CRA," Inglis says, "has been around for decades. How could it suddenly create this problem? You see how that has other things worked into it?" Racism? "Yes," Inglis says.

As an example of both the GOP pandering to right-wing voters and conservative talk show hosts undercutting sensible policymaking, Inglis points to climate change. Fossil fuels, he notes, get a free ride because they're "negative externalities" -- that is, pollution and the effects of climate change -- "are not recognized" in the market. Sitting in front of a wall-sized poster touting clean technology centers in South Carolina, Inglis says that conservatives "should be the ones screaming. This is a conservative concept: accountability. This is biblical law: you cannot do on your property what harms your neighbor's property." Which is why he supports placing a price on carbon -- and forcing polluters to cover it.

. . .

"We're being driven as herd by these hot microphones -- which are like flame throwers -- that are causing people to run with fear and panic, and Republican members of Congress are afraid of being run over by that stampeding crowd." Inglis says that it's hard for Republicans in Congress to "summon the courage" to say no to Beck, Limbaugh, and the tea party wing. "When we start just delivering rhetoric and more misinformation...we're failing the conservative movement," he says. "We're failing the country." Yet, he notes, Boehner and House minority whip Eric Cantor have one primary strategic calculation: Play to the tea party crowd. "It's a dangerous strategy," he contends, "to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible."


del, dupe

Mauisurfer, I'm not a Republican or a teabagger and I'm not trying "to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible" or any other basis. In fact I find aspects of right wing quackery highly alarming.

I thought that impeaching Clinton over Lewinsky was the single most stupid political move in the US in decades. And I'm glad you brought up Mena. I know for a fact that that story was fabricated out of whole cloth. I know that on a first hand basis and on the best second hand basis that it's possible to have.

I stand by my post.

To anybody else, if you're going to attack on a political basis, you're wasting your time.

For clarity's sake, I wasn't referring to Loral or Hughes or the basic mechanics of fly-by wire.

Dmitry, I've enjoyed reading your posts. But not only is this one wrong in several respects, it's so far over the top in making assumptions that I'm wondering what you're trying to do and why.

I have to laugh when people want to blame any one party or admin for this kind of stuff.

Every president and every congress for years has allowed this kind of mess. Then there are the businesses who will happily sell out the technology of our country for a buck. Seldom does anyone get around to blaming them.

I've seen people defend the very businesses that do this kind of stuff, but cry about the politicians who allow it.

Same with domestic issues. If the government has a program or a contract and the people or the contractors over-charge or cheat the system, this is your fellow citizens doing this, not the government.

People were angry at the Pentagon and the government over the $400 toilet seats, and rightly so. How many ever knew the name of the company that cheated your government by charging that? Where was the anger at your fellow individual citizens who made the decisions to bill your government that much?

It is easy to hate the government for giving the banks trillions, but where is the outrage at the thousands of your fellow citizens who helped create the mess? It isn't just the guys at Goldman, it is every real estate agent who told people property would keep going up at a ridiculous rate. It was every appraiser who brought in ridiculous over values, every local banker who wrote a ninja loan knowing he could re-sell it? Every co-worker who lied to get more house than they could afford.

Until we realize how much of the problem is with the behavior of the people, blaming the government will get us nowhere.

The government passed Gramm/Leach and set up things to allow this kind of criminal financial fraud, but we the people chose to participate in it.

MMS was corrupt, but that does not excuse BP from being inept.

It is the same story with most of the problems we face.

Generally I'm in complete agreement. However, although "Every president and every congress for years has allowed this kind of mess" is undeniably true, I believe fervently in assigning specific blame for specific deeds, just because I am who I am, but beyond that, because it's the only possible way to begin to stop this destructive crap.

gmf - much agreement with your premise re: behavior and results. snakehead - "post political" - like that, may have to borrow it. Fitting description of myself.

The two parties are more alike than different. They benefit from the masses arguing amongst themselves over the mostly perceived differences. BAU prevails. The main goal is to keep TPTB the TPTB. Someone will probably come along to argue how different the parties really are. And so it goes...

Hell, I didn't trademark that. Take it; it's yours. It was just the best thing I could come up with when people wanted to know if I was D or R and insisted on knowing who I'd be voting for.

Privatize the profits, socialize the debts, re-election at all costs. It doesn't matter to me if it comes in chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or butter brickle.


I didn't mean to say that the individual presidents or members of congress should not be held accountable for their actions, but more to point out the lack of substantial difference in any of them.

I think we need to look long and hard at them and each other for the mess.

You might like to take another look in detail at that $600 aircraft toilet seat project sometime -- it was a limited-quantity manufacturing run (less than sixty pieces, as I recall) of an item that had to be made to fit an awkward space with nothing off-the-shelf that would do the job. The last time they were made was back in the 1960s when the Orion P3 airframes were coming off the production line and there were no more spare seats left. The new manufacture seats had to meet airworthiness regulations with respect to the materials used in case of fire and the possibility of toxic fumes. I'm just amazed the makers could deliver the seats at that low price -- they must have lowballed the estimates.


Anything for a buck (yen, whatever).

Cue the lawyers.

Transocean gets 249 lawsuits, claims over oil spill

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, August 5th, 2010 -- 10:59 am

Blah blah blah ... "'We are evaluating all claims and intend to pursue any and all defenses available,' it added in its quarterly report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Transocean in May filed a petition in a US court to limit its liability in the spill to 27 million dollars.'"



Now for something completely different, black silt and AGC pixelation?

Show us the damn stack!

The longer they go without showing it the more I think something is up.

What better way to show everyone it is dead then by showing all the leaks have stopped on the BOP.

Does anyone know how large the area of this video feed is?


As discussed in an earlier thread regarding the tools/methods for detecting the blown-out well from the relief well. Here is a simple description for us electron rather than rock centered types.


A radio signal (an electromagnetic signal) is send from a port a few metres above a "vector magnetometer" in a drill string instrumentation package. The signal makes the blown well casing act like a passive antenna that broadcasts a return signal detected by the vector magnetometer, a directional antenna.

I think someone earlier suggested that a signal was injected near the BOP near the sea floor.

Someone up-thread asked how the BOP was attached to the casing. I found a neat animated video of how Total(SA?) constructed a well off the west coast of Africa. There are 9 segments to the series and shows how it was put together including the role of ROV's and all of the hoses that are draped all over the BOP. It also shows the fancy interlocks holding the different components in place. Someone spent some time and money on this video and it really helped me (a non oil patch person) understand how these wells are constructed.

I will also say that this animation is NOT the same design of the DWH but a really good reference.

They start with the "spudding" and finish with the manifold placement (which I think is designed for producing a well).

The most interesting part I found in this series was the "ROV friendly" rigging shackles.


Really shows why things take time to do and illustrates the steps. Thanks.


Nice little crap storm tonight, ain't it.

Indeed - though I'm not sure what we're seeing in this feed? The quality isn't all that spectacular.

This is the spot on the seafloor that 'swells up' and then dimples pop open releasing, I guess oil, judging by the cathrates in the mix. Everytime the video sort of stops for a second is when the swelling collapses and starts filling again. This is the most active I've seen it yet. These aren't little burps.

Everytime the video sort of stops for a second is when the swelling collapses and starts filling again

I see what I think is a key frame transmitted approx every 7 seconds with compression effects building to distort the image in between before the reset. This problem has been common with these feeds.

To seal or sell? BP has options on remaining oil

"Since sending filler into the runaway well via the relief hole would render it useless and unprofitable in the future, BP's apparent reluctance to do so raises suspicions it might be thinking about using the site later for commercial purposes, and BP isn't talking."


Construction of sand berms continues on Louisiana coast
BP has agreed to pay up to $360 million, in $60 million installments, for the federally approved project constructing six berms totaling about 35 miles...

The state's request for 18 more berms stretching 80 miles has not been approved.

So far, BP has paid $120 million to the state for the project, which as of Thursday had constructed about 4 miles of berms and has placed 6 miles of berm material in offshore preparation sites.


A spokesman for the Corps of Engineers said Thursday the dredging permits will remain in place at least as long as the oil crisis remains a declared emergency.

"At this time the National Incident Commander Admiral Allen has not declared an end to the emergency response for the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge," said Ricky Boyett with the Corps. "If and when he does, the Corps has the authority to revisit any issued emergency permits."


Is the silt that fine on the sea floor that it would blow it around like this? Note that the photo on the left is about 22 hours older.


Yeah, I'm bored. :)

Sassy. If you are bored; and, assuming things are going well at the well, have a look at the following from your Congressional Committee.


Particularly, the report from Transocean at the bottom of the list.


We have lots of hours of speculation ahead of us, as this lot moves into the courtrooms for the next decade. The original BP submission to the above committee is at (big file):-


Yes. If you were so inclined you could drink it like a smoothie.

You realise that's the leaky connector on the line from the Q4000 for production and top-kill? As such it's had oil, mud and cement through it. The muck around it build up as the connector leaked slightly.

The original explosion, it is conjectured, was caused when heat was applied to set the well's cement seal, expanding the methane hydrates into gas that shot up the riser pipe and ignited.

What We've Learned from the Gulf Spill
Wall Street Journal
Michio Kaku
July 20, 2010

Considerable methane fluxes to the atmosphere from hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico (pdf)
Evan A. Solomon1 *, Miriam Kastner1 , Ian R. MacDonald and Ira Leifer
Nature Geoscience
Published Online: 5 JULY 2009 | DOI: 10.1038/NGEO574

Hydrocarbon seeps are ubiquitous along continental margins, and hydrocarbon gas is emitted to the water column as bubble plumes from focused vents within the larger seep sites...

...Previous studies at other basins have indicated that bubble plume CH4 emanating from water depths >200 m does not reach the mixed layer because of bubble dissolution and oxidation during ascent...

...The extent of CH4 consumption by aerobic oxidation in the water column and the atmospheric methane flux from six plumes were assessed at three GOM seep sites from depths of ∼550 to 600 m. Sites GC 185 and GC 234 are seeps containing gas hydrate outcrops that breach the sea floor. Perennial bubble plumes escape from gas vents within and adjacent to the outcrops. GB 425 is a mud volcano at ∼600 m depth. Hydrocarbons are discharged in a steady stream from its centre, and the bubbles are not oily...

...The results of the submersible sampling of deepwater hydrocarbon plumes show that the GOM is not only a region where much of the CH4 escapes aerobic oxidation in the water column and reaches the sea surface from depths >500 m, but also that diffusive fluxes to the atmosphere above these plumes are among the highest reported so far...

Has the Admiral by authorizing the cementing , not insured himself of a LONGER stay at the site than without it ?

Because will it now not be more difficult to judge the bottom kill on its success by not measuring the pressures at the top ?

For now we have a subsurface seepage that has been increasing linearly since the static kill ,so probable INDUCED by the static kill.
But how to be sure that a bottom kill will have stopped any internal fracturing other than to wait till it stops to see wether it is just a residu or not ?

Not cementing would have given an instant measure of the bottom kills efforts to plug the flow

My guess is that the seepage and sonars of the external flowpaths induced the crews into cementing

But the seepage has still been increasing since



BP and the government is still not showing the condition of the leaks on the BOP.

You would think they would be proud and want to show the leaks have stopped.

My only conclusion is the leaks have not stopped.