BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Waiting for the Cement to Set - and Open Thread 2

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6824.

This is a second copy of this thread. The previous one can be found at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6818.

BP began pumping cement into the Deepwater well at 9:15 am CDT on Thursday and stopped the operation at 14:15 CDT, having thereby pumped cement into the well for a period of 5 hours. The intent was to fill the well and any wormholes and voids that had developed in the reservoir during the leak. The cement has to harden before it can be tested to insure that it has integrity.

During the process Admiral Allen held his press conference and commented that the wait for the cement to harden would likely be in the 24 – 36 hour time frame, after which the relief well will start to drill forward into the annulus. The process of going down, intersecting and then cementing the annulus, and then doing the same for the production casing is apparently further confirmation that the well flowed up the production casing, which implies a shoe failure, rather than the annular failure which was the predominant theory of failure earlier in the summer.

Note the Admiral’s comment on where the mud and cement from the static kill went.

Absent of what we've done in top kill, the assumption is you would have to go in, pump mud and cement into the annulus. But that hardens. So you've got that locked down. And you will come in and drill again into the casing.

Once we get in there we will know how much of an effect we've had with the mud and the cement from the top. That could shorten and make more simpler the bottom kill. That was one of the reasons to do it, and also reduce the risk of the bottom kill. Exactly.

However, the final confirmation will not come until the relief well finalizes the kill, which is still the plan.

I have stated over and over again, let me be perfectly clear. I am the National Incident Commander. I issue the orders. This will not be done until we complete the bottom kill.

With the well cemented shut, once the pressure tests are carried out to validate the seal will hold, then the well can be considered effectively sealed, even though it is going to take another two weeks (one week to intersect, check and cement the annulus, then another week to do the same for the production casing) before the fleet of ships can disperse, leaving the well itself to history.

At the same time the fleet of ships that has been capturing the spill will move closer to shore, as the last of the oil that flowed into the Gulf is likely to be more evident now at some distance from the well.

The latest distribution of how the oil has fared is shown in this pie chart:

There will continue to be a lot of controversy over these numbers. Some of them are based on actual measurement, some on models, and the residual is a catch-all covering the difference between the estimated flow and the volumes in the other slices of the pie. I would still like to see the inside of the BOP, presuming that it will at some time come to the surface, to see how much erosion went on, and thus whether there was a build in the flow rate or, as has been suggested by the Admiral, a higher earlier peak in the flow.

It is welcome news that the well can now, if necessary, be left without any further risk of oil leakage into the Gulf. Given that the possible storms are multiplying, and that we are moving into the more intense period for hurricanes, the relief felt by most at having reached this stage (assuming that the cement proves out, or is – if necessary – re-injected with a finer grade to ensure a seal if not) must be tangible.

Potential storms and Colin (NHC)

It will also allow me to start looking again at some of the other concerns that are developing around the world that are of concern as we stare into the tea leaves predicting the available fuels for our energy future.

Thad Allen stated that they found seepage far out; as far as I can remember. Then all of a sudden this magical drilling mud clogs up everything. I found this article: http://www.ktva.com/national/ci_15551773

The seep at 3km out was determined to not be from Macondo. You've missed a lot of info.

Who exactly determined that Snakehead? Was it NOAA? A combination of organizations?

I don't believe that that was ever made explicit. But if your angle is that it's a lie and it really is from Macondo, what would be the point of lying? Everybody wants the well killed, and as far as I'm concerned, the motivation for that doesn't matter.

OT: From the just closed thread, "If you like, sure."

If you're sincere, I must. Gotta p*** about it and see what appears. Will try for sometime Saturday or Sunday.

Good enough. You already know I'm skeptical.

Snake - actually I was seriously asking who had determined it...but since you bring it up...do you really think BP would want to admit that it was from the Macondo well if in fact it was? Of course everyone wants to see the well killed, but I'm pretty sure that has fuck all to do with BP's attempt at cutting it's costs as well as limiting it's monstrous amount of liability associated with this disaster. I have no clue whether or not those seeps are from Macondo, however, to question what BP's interest would be in lying about it if in fact they were seems, IMHO, a little naive. And quite frankly, the fact that you seem to have little interest in who determined what you so strongly believe to be true seems also a bit naive.

That's not a fair representation of what I wrote. So I'll write it again: I truly don't care what the particular motivation is as long as that well gets offed.

Thad Allen presented the info you're asking about. Who determined that it wasn't from Macondo and passed it on to him, I don't know. I do know that there's apparently nothing like the 55,000 bbls/day that we watched for months escaping into the Gulf now.

Indeed...and in regards to the well being offed, dido.

louie, when you say "dido," are we to understand "ditto"? Because if not, she and Aeneas may be upset witchew. Or at least very confused.

That's not a fair representation of what I wrote...

lol, how is that not a fair representation? You wrote "dido" and probably meant "ditto" (i.e. "me too" or "i'd say the same thing"). If you actually meant "dido" (a) it's confusing, and (b) lotus's "guess" is as good any...

yeah...I was just trying to be a smart-ass...see snakehead's comment upthread........and of course I meant "ditto," I was just tired when I posted it.

I knew that. I don't look anything like Dido.

Want to admit? No.

Would anybody be stupid enough to lie about something like this when there is a 100% chance that they will get caught? No.

BTW here is a quote from Admiral Allen on ths seep:

"On the 17th of July, that was the event that we noted that was three kilometers southwest of the wellhead that we now have attributed to be in place before this started, probably attributable to another well."


BTW - shouldn't we be viewing you as naieve when you would rather propose a rather dumb conspiracy theory instead of 30 seconds of research on Google?

Without going back through the threads - it was determined by some US government agency to be chemically different from the Mancondo oil.

So whats the threat level of that leak?

I have no idea what the threat level from that particular leak is. The Gulf seeps.

It's suggested that close attention be given to the dynamics of Macondo and Rigel.

Without dragging Lim into it again:

"...Admiral Allen: You caught me without my glasses. I think I can answer your question. I think we believe it might be attributed to what’s called the Rigl well, r-i-g-l. And we can follow up on (that)..."

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6637. Big Nerd and Lurking
"...According to this: http://www.halliburton.com/public/solutions/contents/Deep_Water/related_...

The Rigel prospect has a measured depth of 16,200 feet. Macondo was drilled to 18,000 feet (and change). 17 Hands is 11,750 feet and Na Kita Kepler is 17,660 feet.

I'm not a geologist... but it seems to me that 3 to 7 miles is not that far in strata that is as close as 340 vertical feet apart and that varies from impermeable to highly porous. The Rigel seems less of an issue... except they had to drill past (through?) that level with what is now a casing of dubious integrity.


"...Field development comprises one subsea well on MC 299 with tieback via approximately 21 mi of 8-in. flowline to the Rigel discovery well and subsea PLET in MC 252, with wellstream terminating at the existing Gemini subsea manifold in MC 292. From here, production flows to the Chevron-operated platform for processing in Viosca Knoll block 900. CalDive’s pipelay vessel Intrepid performed the flowline installation..."

http://www.rocksolidimages.com/library.htm provides well locator
rigel wells and bp

Rigel Well

Is it normal to have seepage near a well? How does that work with, say, environmental permitting, when there is so much natural seepage in the Gulf? Seems like it would be reasonable to permit some amount of release, or maybe in a normal situation there is no incidental leakage.

So many questions too few answers. I found this video: http://www.youtube.com/user/barich1979#p/u/7/1BpyEqlnBgQ

It's not a "large plume" and there's not a "large sea floor fracture".

If you think that video is interesting...check out this one:



Looks like BP's ROV's changed from WELL "B" coordinates to WELL "A" after Tropical Storm Bonnie....very interesting indeed.


There aren't two wells. There was a plan filed to drill two wells. One was drilled. One.

You mean I've been trickered?

There were only three shots; I repeat, three shots. You only heard three shots.

What is a "Lamber" coordinate? I've heard of Lambert, but I had understood the ROVs were working in UTM. Could this explain the discrepancies in coordinates? I'll have to plot that sometime, but until that happens or someone tells me what a Lamber is, I'll reserve comment.

I saw the video you're referring to. It begins with the presumption that Deepwater Horizon drilled two wells from one geoposition. It didn't. Without boring you, wells don't get drilled without an API #. There's no API # for the supposed second well. It's bunk.

I posted a question about natural seepage and several videos and an article got referenced under my thread by others pertaining to other subjects. Just want that to be clear.

Sometimes it gets messy. No worries.

Funny these conspiracy theorists and their 60 Minutes evidence:

"That well was abandoned and Deepwater Horizon had to drill a new route to the oil."

No No No No No...WHY are all of ya'll stopping there!!?? Keep Going...Next Sentence Please:

"It cost BP more than two weeks and millions of dollars."

OK OK - But kinda vague...Next Sentence:

"We were informed of this during one of the safety meetings, that somewhere in the neighborhood of
$25 million was lost in bottom hole assembly and mud."

Hmmmm??? $25 Million...? Is Rockman gonna tell me that a little ole' routine sidetrack cost them Twenty Five Million Dollars...AND Two Weeks...AND the HAMMER coming down on the crew...for causing a little ole' routine sidetrack...and THEN that hammer and subsequent speed-up ultimately leading to the death of 11 people...

A routine "happens all-the-time" Sidetrack caused all THAT...? OK...

johnebe, why are you (apparently) skeptical of the $25M figure?

A Lambert conformal conic projection (LCC) is a conic map projection, which is often used for aeronautical charts. In essence, the projection superimposes a cone over the sphere of the Earth, with two reference parallels secant to the globe and intersecting it. This minimizes distortion from projecting a three dimensional surface to a two-dimensional surface. There is no distortion along the standard parallels, but distortion increases further from the chosen parallels. As the name indicates, maps using this projection are conformal.

From Wikipedia: Lambert conformal conic projection

Yeah, but what's a Lamber? Didn't understand why a whole video had grown from a set of coordinates that weren't even spelled right (a few times) which detracted from the wild message being portrayed.

Oilmen are not known to win spelling bees or quibble about whether the letters þ and ð should have been dropped from the English alphabet.

All engineers think that the English language needs a serious refactoring to make it orthogonal. The great vowel shift 500 years ago has screwed things up for far too long. Leading lights like George Bernard Shaw long ago recognized this.

There is even a plan on how to do it.


cis is awsum! lmao! thainks for ce link, speaker! : )

Would definitely make watching "Wheel of Fortune" more fun.

Not all engineers; perhaps all the ones that fled to math because they had no talent or stomach for english.

DIY - hey...I recent that remork.

I believe it was Groucho who's response to that would be "I resemble that remark."

And to add an unmitigated cheap shot I would add that although it may "resemble (pun intended)" a quote from GWB &/or SP, it isn't.


That's their plan.

Look closer on page 3.

Geodetic Datum: NAD27
Reference Ellipsoid: Clarke 1866
Projection: Universal Transverse Mercador

You need to transform NAD27 coordinates to NAD83 and then to WGS84.

Or you have been fooled because you do not understand that how you determine a location will have an effect of what you determine your final location to be. The only way you can be sure that everybody has the same location is for everybody to be working of the same map datum and use the same method of determining location.

Another thing to remember is that BP was given permission to drill two wells - but only drilled one.

Another thing to remember is that BP was given permission to drill two wells - but only drilled one.

Hang On Now - Let Us be VERY CLEAR...

I was under the impression that the TWO wells were only an early PLAN...and that later, they were only permitted to drill ONE Well.

Was BP actually PERMITTED to drill TWO wells - Well-A AND Well-B, as seen in their widely circulated Initial Exploration Plan: Mississippi Canyon Block 252, OCS-G 32306 ...???

This is just a basic question about whether or not any hydrocarbons are normally permitted to be released to the environment due to a normal seepage scenario if the amount is so minute as to get lost in the "noise" and if this is a common occurrence.

Stackpole and others: Natural seeps are natural. They are not "permitted to be released" by anybody, because they just happen. The comments I'm reading here tell me some individuals believe oil seeps from the sea floor are somehow controllable by man. Most of them are not, nor is any party "responsible" for them - except for a God, if you believe in one, pick which one is responsible.

I've written several times about seeps found onshore, rather than offshore. When they take place onshore, they usually form tar lakes. The Tar Pit in California is the most famous one in the USA. Another very large surface seep is the lake in Trinidad, and there are numerous seeps forming lakes or tar accumulations in Venezuela, as well as in Africa, Russia, and elsewhere. A natural oil seep has been reported in Lake Baikal, Russia, which has the cleanest fresh water in the world.

It is also evident that when seeps are seen, there's oil underneath, which means oil companies over the years have a tendency to look very closely at the areas where seeps are found, and drill wells to get to the oil reservoirs from which the oil is escaping by natural means.

Hope this helps, because this discusssion about seeps and Macondo is getting a little surreal.

Yes, and I would add that natural seeps are a part of the ecology. That's why there are oil eating bacteria. You could think of them as nature's immune system, keeping something ready to deal with a nasty when it comes along.

You are ascribing purpose and forethought to evolution and there is none. The immune system exists in higher animals because those animals that evolved, by chance, its first predecessor survived better than their competitors who did not. The preferential survival of the animals that carried the genes for the immune system ensured the survival of those genes. Improvements were likewise selected for and survived and spread.

Oil eating microbes serve no higher purpose. They exist because they can and for no other reason. There is a food supply competed over only by other oil eating microbes. By evolving the means of deriving nutrient from this largely uncontested food source they survived better than those that depended on winning a competition for scarce food sought by others.

Aside from posting twice, I think you either didn't understand my comment at all, or else you're using it as an excuse to drag another religion-diss in here. My point was that every niche nature evolves is part of the ecology, and every living thing that evolves to use that niche serves a purpose by doing so.

Personally, I've been on the receiving end of "don't disturb the fuzzy-feathered screech bug" and I have to say I'm not in the tree-hugging camp. But I do see that the natural environment should be preserved as much as possible, and that would include not trying to stop natural oil seeps. We should just clean up our own mess and be thankful mother nature helps out with it.

Edit: And I'm "Pinkfud". I've used that nick since I first got online back when command line telnet was the thing. It has to do with Elmer Fudd, not FUD.


You and Nick are on opposite sides of a deep philosophical divide. You insist on assigning purpose to some aspects of nature. Nick does not believe that such assignment is appropriate and likely he also thinks it is unscientific.

You further respond to his assertions as if he did not understand you words. I think he understood and disagreed. It is a deep, and well known division, about which many weighty books have been written. I puzzled at your insistence of feigning ignorance of this. Ah, yes. Elmer Fudd. Humor. But your words and phrasing are a bit off, IMHO.

My sense is that you and Nick are reading too much into Pinkfud's comments.

I don't get the impression that Pinkfud is arguing that there is necessarily a higher purpose that is operating here, as you seem to imply, but that in the context of what precedes and follows the ability of an organism to adapt to its environment, often to its personal benefit, it not only finds a niche, but often fills what becomes a vital function, and any attempt by humankind to alter its role may have unfortunate unintended consequences.

This is a view that lies somewhere between the views that either the environment, or humankind, are sacrosanct, but suggests that it is in our best interest to be very cautious about altering the Humankind/Environment interface.

Am I getting this right Pinkfud or am I muddling things up?

You are ascribing purpose and forethought to evolution and there is none. The immune system exists in higher animals because those animals that evolved, by chance, its first predecessor survived better than their competitors who did not. The preferential survival of the animals that carried the genes for the immune system ensured the survival of those genes. Improvements were likewise selected for and survived and spread.

Oil eating microbes serve no higher purpose. They exist because they can and for no other reason. There is a food supply competed over only by other oil eating microbes. By evolving the means of deriving nutrient from this largely uncontested food source they survived better than those that depended on winning a competition for scarce food sought by others.

Asking about whether a certain amount of hydrocarbons would normally be released in a drilling process, and whether that is possibly permitted given the amount of natural seepage out there, isn't venturing into the surreal. I think some points got tacked on to mine that were surreal, but I'm trying like hell to parse things out. Thanks for your help.

Natural seeps are natural. They are not "permitted to be released" by anybody

I'll have a Bilder Burger with that please.


Define your terms, as in near. That one was two miles away.

The permitting process obviously has been compromised by expediency and politics. But beyond that, you're nearly a mile down and the best anybody can do is an educated guess that things should be okay or not. What's been missing up till now is a regimen to deal with unanticipated consequences.

Maybe that's why BP moved that herd.Methane offsets.Sorta like Owbowma's cap and trade.

That's President Obama, my friend. I think President Bush was by far the worst president in the nation's history, and I never stooped to nicknaming or insulting the guy the way some of you do. This nation really doesn't need this attitude some of you are displaying. You don't like the guy? Get ready to send a worthy candidate in 2012. Work very hard, and come up with something original, because the deficit I saw during the Bush years tells me the only Republican I can vote for is Ron Paul, and the GOP establishment hates him.

I did not insult the president back when we had one that I didn't vote for. That President did a lot of things I thought were dumb and said so in ways that I considered thoughtful. I did not call him a monkey, stupid or anything like that (though I must admit to thinking it).

Please do not insult President Obama. You may not like his policies but if you don't make intelligent debate points about them. You provided nothing intelligent or useful with your snide comment about Cap and Trade and your insult of the duly elected President of my country. President Obama is our chief executive and his authority and relevance, especially to foreign lands is not to be trifled with. Your comment is insulting and I ask you for an apology.

I personally have not formed an opinion about Cap and Trade. I would be most interested to hear how you propose to conserve natural resources and mitigate the effects of fossil fuels on the environment. If you have a better solution than cap and trade, I genuinely would like to hear it. If you don't believe in global warming then I'd like to hear why you think that glaciers that have been there longer than the human race are now gone ... is that a transient weather event? Please also take a look at Professor Gooses concept of good dialog and stick with it. I hope this helps you to do so.

If you don't believe in global warming then I'd like to hear why you think that glaciers that have been there longer than the human race are now gone ... is that a transient weather event?

BBC: Huge ice sheet breaks from Greenland glacier

Last happened in 1962, described as "cyclical" and I'm putting on my asbestos suit now in anticipation of howling and derision.

Getting the politics out of climate science would be a good thing. Grounded opinions instead of belief. Reliance on data that's analyzed by more than one independent group. More and better scrutiny of predictive models. Fat chance.

Good calving piece lotus. I wish the lack of glaciers today were not presented as support for global warming theories. Glaciers calving is an event that's been taking place for thousands of years. Global pollution is something more likely to prove a point and we have evidence.

I genuinely would like to hear it. If you don't believe in global warming then I'd like to hear why you think that glaciers that have been there longer than the human race are now gone ... is that a transient weather event?

I believe in global warming, in fact the earth has been warming for somewhere around 18,000 years. Are you aware of how the area known as Greenland got its name, "Green"land?

Are you familiar with cycles of global warming and/or global cooling?

How Greenland Gots Its Name

...a PR stunt by the first realtor. Iceland was green, Greenland was ice. Given the names, where would you go?
Eric was smarter than that, even. His first thought was "Redland", but he knew that wouldn't be a good thing during the impending Cold War.

In 960, Thorvald Asvaldsson of Jaederen in Norway killed a man. He was forced to leave the country so he moved to northern Iceland. He had a ten year old son named Eric, later to be called Eric Röde, or Eric the Red. Eric too had a violent streak and in 982 he killed two men. Eric the Red was banished from Iceland for three years so he sailed west to find a land that Icelanders had discovered years before but knew little about. Eric searched the coast of this land and found the most hospitable area, a deep fiord on the southwestern coast. Warmer Atlantic currents met the island there and conditions were not much different than those in Iceland (trees and grasses.) He called this new land "Greenland" because he "believed more people would go thither if the country had a beautiful name," according to one of the Icelandic chronicles (Hermann, 1954) although Greenland, as a whole, could not be considered "green." Additionally, the land was not very good for farming. Nevertheless, Eric was able to draw thousands to the three areas shown in Fig. 15.

Here's what's really interesting about it. The neocons of the day said the people living there were green.

Chapter 37
There are also other islands in the Ocean of which Greenland is not the smallest. Greenland lies further out in the Ocean opposite the Swedish or the Ripæan Mountains. It is said that one can sail to this island - as to Iceland - in 5 to 7 days. Because of the saltwater the people there are green, which has given the place its name. Their lifestyle is like that of the Icelanders, except that they are more cruel and dangerous for seafarers because of their piracy raids. It is said that Christianity recently has reached even them.

Source: Adam of Bremen, "[Greenland in] Chapter 37" in Beskrivelse af øerne i Nordern [Description of the Islands in the North], (Copenhagen: Wormianum, 1978), 61. Notes: Original Latin text and Danish translation, with commentaries by Allan A. Lund English translation by B. Wallace Original tile: Descriptio insularum Aquilonis. Written c. 1075

How Greenland Gots Its Name

...a PR stunt by the first realtor. Iceland was green, Greenland was ice. Given the names, where would you go?
Eric was smarter than that, even. His first thought was "Redland", but he knew that wouldn't be a good thing during the impending Cold War.

I was familiar with it.

The point being there were inhabited farms there for a period of some 500 years by the Norse, dairies, farm animals, crops, etc

Until the area began to cool off again to the point that their farms became unsustainable and they found it too difficult to survive there.
Point being that the earth has gone through many cycles and will continue to do so.

Yes it was a ploy, to convince people to migrate, like that has never been attempted before, huh.


To investigate the possibility of climatic cooling, scientists drilled into the Greenland ice caps to obtain core samples. The oxygen isotopes from the ice caps suggested that the Medieval Warm Period had caused a relatively milder climate in Greenland, lasting from roughly 800 to 1200. However from 1300 or so the climate began to cool. By 1420, we know that the "Little Ice Age" had reached intense levels in Greenland.[15] Excavations of midden or garbage heaps from the Viking farms in both Greenland and Iceland show the shift from the bones of cows and pigs to those of sheep and goats. As the winters lengthened, and the springs and summers shortened, there must have been less and less time for Greenlanders to grow hay. By the mid-fourteenth century deposits from a chieftain’s farm showed a large number of cattle and caribou remains, whereas, a poorer farm only several kilometers away had no trace of domestic animal remains, only seal. Bone samples from Greenland Norse cemeteries confirm that the typical Greenlander diet had increased by this time from 20% sea animals to 80%.[16]

More relevant than the name "Greenland" is the name of "Vinland" given for the Viking settled areas of Newfoundland. One hypothesis is that these settlements died out because of the end of the MWP and the little ice age that followed.

However the Medieval Warm Period was probably not a global event like the current warming we are experiencing; it likely applies only to the North Atlantic. In addition current temperatures exceed those of the MWP by a good bit.

Because of these discrepancies drawing an analogy between the MWP and current warming trends is probably misleading.

not a global event like the current warming we are experiencing

For a couple examples of where the globe is not warming,




So nobody needs to worry about four decades of rising temperatures and rapid glacial decay in South America because a cold front blew in from Antarctica last month?


No, I'm just sayin'. You say "global warming" and lots of people picture uniformity and consistency that aren't there. In climatological terms, 4 decades could be a blip. Or not. I approach this pretty much like I approach everything else. I'm a skeptic. I'm skeptical about instrumentation, imperfect models, bad designs, bias and quasi-religious fervor. I'm skeptical when people have untested pet theories and want everyone else to put them into practice.

Personally I've never really grasped the reason for the CO2 obsession. Get rid of a lot of soot*, hope the sun behaves and then come talk to me about CO2 if you still want to.

*or not. Want an unclear picture? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

A little knowledge can be quite dangerous when it's applied. That's my view of what we have given the current state of affairs.

i know this will not get read since it's 6:33 pm and I just logged in but what the hay...My momma taught me not to bring up politics but since you did -- Obama's quite an intelligent guy and cap and trade policies can be a quite effective method of bringing the market to cleaner technologies. I'm a "saltwater economist" my friend and I'll go to the mat for Obama as well. Enough said -- from this point forward I'll keep my politics to myself if you will.

Well I won't post my educated guess due to the ripple effect one will create.

Oh, come on. If it's an educated guess it's more than a lot of us have. Bring it.

Near, as in clearly the result of construction. In this well or any other...I'm just trying to get a grip of how things work.

Stack - No amount of hydrocarbon leakage as a result of drilling activities is allowed. Even a 2 gallon spill has to be reported and subject to fines. Regardless of the regs a hydrocarbon seepage, especially NG, under a rig is dangerous and operators take it very serious. Many years ago I had a rig cut a shallow NG sand which leaked up outside the csg. That lowered the density of the water column so the rig lost the ability to float and it sank. No hands were lost but obviously not a good day.

Rockman, that is another interesting report from the field. It looks like Jerome Milgram got it wrong after all:


I was sorry that he gave up on the gas lift pump. The funding stopped, so he went on to other things. Not my idea of the right thing.

The more input we non-pros have to evaluate, the better we can make judgments.

The above is a very common error. Think!

If you don't know the field in the first place, what guarantee is there that you will evaluate properly the information you hear?

Random comments, no matter how informed, still have to be evaluated as to their value.

In a given set of a hundred comments, uninformed evaluator A will pick subset A of the comments; evaluator B will pick subset B of the comments.

Where is the proof subset A must be subset B? If no proof, the opinions will vary, but the peer review process of amateurs will NOT increase proximity to truth value.

Thank you.

Well, there you go again. First snakehead and now you.I won't know who to believe in a little while if ya'll keep coming up with logical explanations.
Guess my cow theory is wrong also.

I wouldn't discount the cow theory entirely. I saw the Monty Python documentary.

Whew! I was getting worried for a minute.

Actually I was thinking Phew! The herd was moved because of the mee-thane they were producing. The Prof's in NZ are doing an indepth study on this. I considered wandering over to the **better** BOP group study and present my ideas for a plug and play cattleleakteat converter.

my ideas for a plug and play cattleleakteat converter

HAY-ev mussy!

For the rare person with no knowledge about anything, you're right.

But many principles cross the divide between different disciplines. I've had a rather eclectic career, including engineering, literature, music, seminary, retail, management, independent contractor, and then was fortunate to find out what I enjoy and am good at - psychotherapist (I try to de-emphasize the first part since it makes people [including me] nervous).

What is remarkable is the overlap between all of those disciplines. The psychology of people doesn't change, decision making principles are the same, organization structure and management principles are the same, etc. That is why people can move so easily between different fields. What we were told in my freshman year in engineering school was that the vast majority of us would end up in radically different fields than we majored in. It was very true according to both my observations and my alumni directories.

What is different is the technical details, but those aren't needed in order to understand the broad principles and thereby be in a position to judge the value of input from various sources. Then there is tone, and style of presentation. But most of all, is what I'm being fed consistent with what else I know?

If someone cries, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling," and I look around me, I can pretty quickly determine that what he is telling me is likely not correct. The more willing I am to absorb information (not conjectures), the more I'm able to put together a pretty fair understanding of the truth of the matter.

In my practice I meet all kinds of people with all kinds of issues all the time, and I can tell within a few minutes, in virtually all cases, whether they are being forthright with me. Further, in every case, when I discover their strengths, I am able to converse with them in terms and using examples from their life, that help me communicate more effectively with them.

Finding truth is not rocket science. It requires diligence, healthy skepticism, an ability to shift perspectives from what we're accustomed to seeing, taking time to weigh conflicting ideas and information, and then a healthy understanding of ourselves, to know where we have to be extra careful in our conclusions.

Anybody without an axe to grind, and many who do have an axe to grind have been able pretty quickly to determine who is a reliable source of information on what subjects on this site.

I will grant you that us old farts may find it easier because of the great fund of otherwise useless knowledge we have acquired, combined with our experience. But in some respects the young whipper-snappers have an edge on us even if just in energy.

The more willing I am to absorb information (not conjectures), the more I'm able to put together a pretty fair understanding of the truth of the matter.

People are getting better at disguising their conjectures. Present case accepted.

what guarantee is there that you will evaluate properly the information you hear?

None. You have a guarantee?

How well must someone know a field before he or she can properly evaluate information relating to it? Can a geologist evaluate engineering information?

Can the perishing evaluate the message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18)?

>Can the perishing evaluate the message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18)?

I'm not exactly clear about what the message of the cross is. I'm perishing in the general sense but I'm unaware of anything that's acutely threatening, and I had a physical less than two months back. But I am familiar with Not Knowing, so let's proceed.

There are, as usual, various permutations.



Yesterday I drove from Atlanta to North Myrtle Beach, SC. I'm pretty sure I didn't cross into the Holy Land, but I did see a guy on the right shoulder of I20E dragging a 60% size cross, and he was wearing a brown sweatshirty monk's getup, hood up, and it was 97 degrees and as humid as you know what.

I've got a question for you snakehead, since you know nothing in many ways. It comes from a time in my life when I was very depressed. I had just heard that BP stabilized the macondo well without sparking an apocalyptic fart, and I thought... (fadeout to production number)

...with your reference to an "apocalyptic fart" AND the dude singing nude and on the toilet, I had 2:21 of grimaced expectation of a reckless & flatulent outro...thanks...

Calm down son you're babbling.

Are you trying to tell me that you suffered through my entire video only because you thought there would be a fart at the end?

Yep...cause it was actually quite nice...

The Late Night Show at this club is a hoot: seep-wranglers, Obama-obsessers, and now M Onan-in-the-loo-channeling-Skeeter!

Moomph, I forgive the poor beverage service for the entertainment.

PeeEss: Here’s the URL for that fake Congressional bill-reading at Onion-Span (which has a whole bunch of similar funny stuff. The Onion really is a national treasure).


Well thanks L, I had not noticed the time of the posts until your reference. I have been wondering if Dr. B. was hired by TOD or BP as the moderator/facliltator to keep a sense of balance here. It could be true especially after reading some of the comments.

That's not a cover. That's Skeeter Davis.

That's great. Neither the grant application writer, nor the grant application evaluator, nor the actual grant recipient need know anything.

But if you want to write about writing about something you know nothing about, you have to be an expert.

Be an expert and genuinely know the field.
A lot of blogs that are putatively about grant writing don’t appear to have much insight into the process of grant writing, the foibles involved, the difficulty of getting submissions right, and so on.

"I'm not exactly clear about what the message of the cross is."

Help is on the way! Stay tuned.

M - Yes...a geologist can evaluate engineering data. I do it all the time. And I often get it correct...or at least close enough for a geologic purposes.


If my car is not working, I do not become a mechanic. I hire a mechanic. If he/she works on the car, and it still doesn't function properly, I might give him/her another chance, but in the meantime, I do a little homework and check with other mechanics. If I find that my first employee appears to be acting outside of the accepted protocols of the field, I change mechanics.

If I determine during an investigation that a pattern exists, I will seek to determine the cause(s) of the pattern. Fortunately, with the amount of attention focused on Macondo there is a plethora of information available on line from all disciplines. If the data is out of my area of competency, I'll go to an expert for assistance, one whom I can trust, and then two more to be sure the first is correct-and that verification may not necessarily come from an online resource.

Unfortunately, many times "experts" cause the F***-ups: witness where we stand vis a vis MC252. It would be imprudent, possibly fatal, to rely on expert opinion in a blind and unquestioning manner.

That said, I can appreciate that petro specialists here are probably tired of intruders, and again I laud the infinite patience of the TOD fathers. We owe you a huge debt of gratitude and can understand if you wish to restrict the Board at this point. Just let us eavesdrop if you decide to do so.

Since we're on the topic of mechanics, any opinions on these data? There appears to be a viscous, dark substance (not fish feces or shark tooth bites if there are any adolescents preparing to make witty comments) floating around pieces of underwater machinery.




in response to this comment, I tried to post my reply just as they closed the thread down, so here it is.

where he is continually reassured that if he gets it wrong he will not be excoriated

It strikes me that relieving fear of excoriation by others may not entirely do the trick. No matter how much reassurance he gets, he knows he's going to feel like a real jerk if he gets it wrong, even if everybody else is patting him on the back and telling him he did the right thing to err on the side of safety. Self-excoriation can be the worst of all.

This is both a possible and likely reaction, depending on the sensitivity and/or the self-esteem of the employee.

But think about how a culture of safety would respond to such an event. They would see it as evidence of a flaw in their safety system which needs to be fixed. The result would be that the employee has thereby contributed to the improvement of the system, receiving praise, not just sympathy. Sounds pretty positive to me.

I'm just afraid...I don't generally speak out much.

I'm just afraid

Then you've found the right spot. Crap gets debunked here, and there'll be more technical info than you want to read. You may even laugh. Peace.

But think about how a culture of safety would respond to such an event. They would see it as evidence of a flaw in their safety system which needs to be fixed. The result would be that the employee has thereby contributed to the improvement of the system, receiving praise, not just sympathy. Sounds pretty positive to me.

Well, OK, but my concern isn't with the outcome after the wrong decision is made, but with how the fear of making a wrong decision might keep the employee from calling a halt when not doing so would turn out to be disastrous. I doubt the train of thought you outline would enter into the employee's calculations at that point. It's not an argument against a culture of safety, just a potential glitch that should be borne in mind.

You are not concerned about the outcome after a decision is made? That must be a nice rainbow colored unicorn world you live in.

Consequences are what really matter. If I think a decision will cause us to use "the pinchers" it is time to speak up!!! That is the time to take a risk and speak out.

Have you ever heard the expression "a stitch in time saves nine"? A guy who develops a reputation for "an over-abundance of caution" starts to be ignored (the boy who cried "Wolf"). A guy who is noted for reasoned debate, who then speaks out, will get attention quite quickly.

There are clearly times when immediate action is required. I doubt you understood what the Cameron lawyer did to the government's expert witness during the hearing, but he made it clear to the in crowd (and eventually to the masses at TOD) that the crew tried to activate the BOP after the first slug of hydrocarbons was already above it. That horse was out of the barn. Sitting around thinking or debating (or watching porn) the well was guaranteed to go HISS and it was time to RUN!

There is no substitute for quick, trained response to emergencies. That's why airlines use simulators and experienced instructor pilots and then get "Sully" Sullenberger in an emergency. He did not have too much time to make his excellent, experienced decisions that saved everyone aboard his plane while the passengers were thinking & debating & praying. That's why he was in the captain's seat.

Edit - This morning's New York Times has another Obama administration puff piece http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/us/politics/06memo.html?ref=us

What lessons Mr. Obama drew from the oil spill, he has not discussed much in public. No doubt had he to do it over again, he would have thought twice about announcing an expansion of offshore drilling just before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the coast. And he has said he wished he had moved more aggressively to clean up the regulatory agency monitoring oil exploration.

But Mr. Obama is not someone to be rushed into moving before he is ready. Asked once why he took a couple of days to express anger at large bonuses by a bailed-out Wall Street firm, he said, “Because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”


Procratinator-in-chief Of The United States

No doubt had he to do it over again, he would have thought twice about announcing an expansion of offshore drilling just before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the coast.

One can only hope that the reporter has a sly sense of humour. However, I'm not so sure. Otherwise the writer is an idiot.

There are some very tried and true rules in politics, and one of them is this: "never say anything unless it improves the silence." The modern taste for the sound bite and the media driven view of the second rate politician sees this rule broken more often than not. Personally I do not consider a politician that sprints to express an opinion or make a decision as anything more than being there to make up the numbers. Leaders or statesmen they are not.

You are not concerned about the outcome after a decision is made? That must be a nice rainbow colored unicorn world you live in.

Ack. Context, man, context. The outcome isn't relevant to the point I was making, which had to do with why someone might hesitate to risk erring on the side of safety. At that point, obviously, he doesn't know the outcome. He'd hesitate exactly because he doesn't want to be found crying wolf. The culture of safety may say, Go ahead, we'll back you up even if you do make a mistake, but there's a natural resistance to taking that risk no matter how supportive the culture is of doing so; the guy doesn't want to look like a doofus in his own eyes. Unlike Sully, in the crunch, he may not fully trust his own instincts and training.

But Sully's situation really isn't parallel anyway. He didn't have any safe choices; the horse was already out of the barn, the engines already dead. The plane was going to come down short of an airport no matter what he did. He didn't have a GAP (goose attack preventer) to activate.

Swifty: LOL! Now that is pretty funny right there! GAP!The engineer contingent here now has something new to turn their thoughts toward! Heh! Heh!

"He didn't have any safe chioces"? Return to LGA, go to Teterboro? His air traffic controllers gave him both choices. He decided on a third, onto the Hudson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZPvVwvX_Nc Bird strike at 0:26, splashdown at 1:39. Seventy three seconds from start to finish and live (or die) with the consequences.

He picked the only safe choice and every person on that flight lived to tell about it. There is a common term called "fatal indecision", AKA "a deer in the headlights". You know what happened to that deer.

The way to build decisively correct action, is to build true self-confidence, not self-esteem. But our culture is tending ever more toward a reckless reliance on politically correct self-esteem. And it creates helplessness, James Carville crying "we're dying down here!" Hell, you'd think he'd now enough Cajun to get such a simple thing right. James, if you are dying say

M'aidez!, M'aidez!, M'aidez!

"Deer in the headlights" is exactly what I'm concerned about. I don't think you're reading what I write.

As to Sully's "safe choice," it was marginally safer than the alternatives but in no way a sure thing at the time he chose it. Activating a (functioning) BOP, in contrast, is a sure-thing safe choice.

The way to build decisively correct action, is to build true self-confidence, not self-esteem.

Absolutely. But easier said than done, is my point. If a culture of safety doesn't understand the difference and doesn't figure out how to build true self-confidence, it risks a blinded deer in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I don't think I'm suggesting anything controversial here, just highlighting something that needs to be recognized and dealt with.

Not an expert or anything, but have found if you treat and lead people as humans, not as brutes, they respond by giving the best service within their power. I dunno, seems like a good starting point towards self-confidence.

To continue toward a consensus I offer this account of the events the night of the diasaster http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870411350457526472110198502... [If the link does not work it is because it is, or will become, a subcription item from the Wall Street Journal "There Was 'Nobody in Charge'" May 27, 2010, Douglas A. Blackmon et al]

In the minutes after a cascade of gas explosions crippled the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, confusion reigned on the drilling platform. Flames were spreading rapidly, power was out, and terrified workers were leaping into the dark, oil-coated sea. Capt. Curt Kuchta, the vessel's commander, huddled on the bridge with about 10 other managers and crew members.

Andrea Fleytas, a 23-year-old worker who helped operate the rig's sophisticated navigation machinery, suddenly noticed a glaring oversight: No one had issued a distress signal to the outside world, she recalls in an interview. Ms. Fleytas grabbed the radio and began calling over a signal monitored by the Coast Guard and other vessels.

."Mayday, Mayday. This is Deepwater Horizon. We have an uncontrollable fire."

When Capt. Kuchta realized what she had done, he reprimanded her, she says.

"I didn't give you authority to do that," he said, according to Ms. Fleytas, who says she responded: "I'm sorry."

So the one person aboard who acted quickly and surely was about as low on the totem pole as it is possible to be. The question should be why did she find her innner courage to act, rather than why did the others fail to do the same?

Going back to Sully, I have had a revelation. You'll note that his one TV commercial is for St Jude's Hospital for Children. And he calls those sick kids his heroes. Apparently, it takes one to know many. Everything that people offer as preparation for the moment of trial is likely to be lacking for any child; training, life experience, classroom learning. Kids go out every day with a profound lack of all the data, but they engage in their voyage of discovery. For a child to face a life threatening illness, and do it with a smile, is indeed a daily series of heroic acts.

The one thing that may best distinguish Miss Andrea Freytas from her coworkers is her young age. She has not forgotten or supressed all those lessons to call 9-1-1 if she gets in trouble. And therefore she set off the emergency response.


Transocean ought to make her its Employee of the Year!!

So the one person aboard who acted quickly and surely was about as low on the totem pole as it is possible to be. The question should be why did she find her innner courage to act, rather than why did the others fail to do the same?

Interestingly the two people who questioned the negative pressures test results (that we know about) were the "junior" Transocean Toolpusher (out of three) and the "trainee" BP Company Man (out of three). Both initially thought they were seeing well flow. More senior BP and Transocean personnel believed everything was fine (although they may not all have been direct witnesses to tests).

Also Subsea Supervisor Chris Pleasant attempted to initiate an EDS against the express orders of the Captain after consulting with BP Company Man Donald Vidrine (who concurred with EDS against captain's wishes). They literally pushed the button behind the captain's back. Unfortunately it didn't work.

Unfortunately, maybe it was too late.

Mr. Thompson - It is deeply offensive to me when someone blithly insults the President of the United States. I felt that way when Bush was, even though I did not vote for him and wish nobody else did.

Calling him the "Procrastinator in chief" is pointless. How do you think things might have benefited from a less thoughtful and faster response? I like this President, he doesn't shoot from the hip as much as the last and he usually gets things done as he wants them done. I'm proud of his work. I don't think the NY Times article is a "Puff Piece" either.

Now obviously we disagree but you provided absolutely no information to demonstrate your point of view. THat's my real issue with your comments. Landing an airplane is a completely different problem than sealing an oil well. A president and an airplane pilot are utterly different job descriptions.

Let's compare and contrast. First: The Ixtoc disaster was only 150 feet deep, within the range of hard hat diver. It lasted for 9 months. This one has been solved in 1/3 the time. Do you have some alternative physics here where somehow some Fantastic four team would have turned Reed Richards into putty to plug the well while the "Thing" squeezed the pipe shut with his bare hands?

Now we had Billy Nungasser president of Plaquemines parish who, with very entertaining vein busting diatribes proposed one outlandish bit of bad marine engineering after another as the cure to all that ails. Fortunately nobody died in an oil/water/vapor mix explosion on one of his porta potty vacuum boats and fortunately none of his sand berms became added mass for a tidal wave.

But maybe you could have gotten it done faster?

What I saw was a brilliant bit of administration. Setting aside 20 billion dollars and a process to distribute to those who were harmed far more effectively than law suits (ever note how long it took people to be helped after Exxon Valdez), organizing a science team to come in and focus the sealing project ... did BP seem to be in almost a hysterical denial at first? I think they were. Slowly ... cooly, the science and operations team got things on an even keel.

Please do not insult the President. It does nothing to help me understand your point of view as anything but rude. There may well be things he could have done better ... but let us stick with numbers and logic. Insults are only necessary if you don't actually know how it could be done better, or you don't care enough to explain it.

Much better said than I could have, so thank you.

I thought our last president was mistaken, and misguided at times, but I never questioned his motivation, even though I was and am still a critic of him and his policies, as well as those I believe took advantage of him. I enjoy clear parody as much as anyone, but when we demean, attribute negative motivation, etc. we aren't advancing the dialogue.

If you can contribute information or explanation which improves understanding that's great.

When you jump to conclusions based on virtually no, or at best ambiguous, information, or automatically attribute everything you see as either salvation or disaster, you are diverting attention from more useful subjects. Build a body of clear, unambiguous evidence (very difficult to do, as any researcher will tell you), carefully consider all the possible explanations, rather than simply proclaiming the first thing that comes to mind, then test your conclusions and see if they can predict phenomena in advance, then you may have something worth sharing with others.

Simple example, if you see what you believe is a hostile action and you start shooting right away, you may hurt or kill someone who is trying to help you, or someone who is trying to accomplish some other positive goal. Make yourself as safe as possible, then try to determine what is going on. Mistakes are inevitable, but hasty, illconsidered, preventable mistakes, are often counterproductive.

I also admire President Obama's thoughtful, reasoned, and deliberate, responses to most issues. He is far more likely to make sound decisions rather than decisions based upon panic, or flawed information. As we have seen most of his mistakes have come from over quick responses.

I can't take the moral highground, having called Bush more bad names than I can count, but I can say that I always had a grudging respect for the man. He was a master at dodging shoes, for example.

And there was this moment from the final Gore debate. Many Dems despise Ralph Nader for stealing votes, but Gore lost many more all by himself. He was pretty bad at picking running mates, for example.


No biggie, but it's Swift LoRis...

My apologies, that was laziness on my part. I knew I should check and didn't. That was rude. Thank you for your grace.

I disagree with you about the impact of the culture prior to the decision in question. Any person in a position to be immediately responsible for critical decisions of this sort is going to have been immersed in the culture long enough to see it work. I, and, I suspect, a lot of us, have been in versions of both cultures and can almost immediately determine what is ok and what is not ok.

While the organization is ramping up, it will require a lot of sticktoitivness to get it fully effective, and new employees may, depending on how traumatic their previous difficulties were, be able to adapt within a more or less relatively short period of time. But over time, if faithfully supported by management it will take deeper hold.

I have been interested in my forensic practice at how effectively a safe environment can transform people's attitudes. None of my forensic clients want to come to me (and many of the others don't want to either). But the forensic clients are mandated to come, so they're usually very skeptical, often downright hostile, see me as part of the system, and think working with me will not only not benefit them but will probably make their life harder.

In well over 50% of the cases they have radically changed that attitude after my first interview with them, and the rest almost always become much more relaxed after a couple of sessions. And you need to know these are people who have, almost always, been under somebody's' uncaring thumb for large segments of their lives.

They find it to be such a relief to feel safe, sometimes for the first time in their life, that they are able to explore issues that you often wouldn't pry loose from them any other way. And sometimes make dramatic changes even in other parts of their lives which are only indirectly connected with what we are working on.

I guess you've gotten the point that I not only believe in the culture of safety (and respect, by the way, because I believe that's an essential element) but have seen it in action, and know of examples where it has been incorporated in organizational cultures with dramatic effect.

We've all gotten a handle wrong at some point; don't worry about it.

I guess you've gotten the point that I not only believe in the culture of safety (and respect, by the way, because I believe that's an essential element) but have seen it in action, and know of examples where it has been incorporated in organizational cultures with dramatic effect.

I don't doubt that for a second. Obviously a culture of safety is preferable. But addressing the resistance to risking a wrong call--such as having activated the BOP when it turns out not to have been necessary--needs to be an explicit part of it.

BTW, I'm not at all sure what "forensic practice" means. Could you explain briefly?

I agree that addressing issues, and sources, of resistance are important. They must be a proactive issue for those who would establish a culture of safety. I address it specifically in my work, and invite them to test me on it, because most of them come from a culture where their safety is hardly a priority.

The way I use the term "forensic practice" is that my work is with people who have already been convicted of a crime, or are in the legal system (criminal or family court) in some respect.

I have to speak at least once a week, it's contractual, 800 words. And there's another publication with 8000 readers following me (or so I'm told) who expect me to speak calmly and authoritatively about Macondo and the oil business in general. I get it right more often than not. I speculate and stick my neck out routinely. I also back my opinions with investment trades, win, lose, or draw. I win often enough to stay in the game.

I couldn't do it as a corporate employee. I was one. I know how little opportunity exists in big companies to speak out, right or wrong.

Too often true, I'm sad to say.

And it's too often true in small business as well.

I used to work for a large oil company, and had to keep telling young engineers I was training they had to develop their careers for the time when they had to leave the company, because it was very important for them to speak their mind, but at the same time this would eventually lead to their demise - management in big companies gives a lot of lip service to open communications and listening to employees, but they usually react by nailing those who speak out to the wall, so they can be seen as examples of what happens to those who do speak out. I spent 35 years getting ready to be nailed to the wall, complaining when I had to, although sometimes I must confess I just gave up and shut my mouth even though I knew we were doing something wrongheaded. In the end, they nailed me, but I can live with a pretty clean conscience, and I never did get anybody killed or even hurt.

This is an issue BP must have in spades, and I've developed a theory to explain it. I think they are a company more known for their commercial skills, and their engineers are kept in cages. I also think the takeover of the Amoco and Arco organization must have put a lot of American engineers in a weird situation, Americans are used to being top dogs, and they fell into an organization run by Brits. Which means they were insecure as heck regarding their jobs. This may explain why all the major BP incidents took place in North America: the American engineers were so insecure and subservient, by the double wammy of being in a british company run by bean counters, that they were muzzled and unable to behave properly. Thus they may be excellent engineers, probably the cream of the crop, but they're not able to use their brains to their full extent.

Having spent a bit of time with BP guys in exactly the situation you describe, you have no idea how accurate your assessment is. The managing of the Amoco/BP merge was very poorly done, and I feel has more than a little to do with some of the broken safety culture.

Very large companies are strange places. You have to remember that BP is larger than a great many of the cities that people live in. I have seen other very large companies where the corporate philosophy of management produced overtly counter-productive and damaging behaviour in middle management. Yet the higher levels persisted with it, because from their performance metrics (which were similarly broken) they produced the right outcomes. Said company is a pale shadow of its former glory and most of us have a death watch on it.

The managing of the Amoco/BP merge was very poorly done, and I feel has more than a little to do with some of the broken safety culture.

This is why my first question when Dudley succeeded Hayward was "what does the fact that he's Amoco-bred tell you?" (Nobody bit.)

But some of us shy and quiet types saw it and grinned in appreciation....

lotus - The common joke at the time (which I assume Francis heard way too many times): how do you pronounce the name of the new BP/Amoco company = "BP"....the "Amoco" is silent.

Mr. Rockman:

And "Amoco" became even more silent after they took over what was left of ARCO. Heck,it just disappeared as did ARCO.


Thanks for you post man!

Americans are used to being top dogs, and they fell into an organization run by Brits. Which means they were insecure as heck regarding their jobs.

Poor Bob Dudley, he must be so miserable and insecure right now.

Oh wait ...

fd - You're "getting nailed" tale reminded me of a self instigated ambush I set up about 25 years ago. Details aren't important but it wasn't a safety issue but investor abuse. I knew management would take a very dim view of my position...they had already put me on notice. So I just waited till our next meet with the board of directors. When my time came to present I laid out that big turd sandwich and offered them all a bite. Planning ahead: Flew up on the company plane but had reserved a seat on a commercial flight back. Was pretty sure I wasn't going to be flying back with the bosses. Yes...it was a very good day to be a smart *ss. LOL. BTW they got busted (apparently due to some tip to the SEC) and were gone in a year.

Tip to the SEC? hmmm

Billy --Yeah...some unidentified source. The company sent me a notice of an impending subpoena for me. I sent them a note telling them how much I was looking forward answering questions under oath so I wouldn’t be subject to liable charges. Never heard back from them. The frustrating part was I unsuccessfully tried to get investors to file civil lawsuits but none of them wanted to deal with it anymore. Management walked relative unhurt. What really pissed me off was that we had a successful program. I hit 23 out of 25 wells. These idiots didn’t know the were going to make that much honestly. They thought I was running a scam so they decided to piggyback on my program. This was one of the most successful companies during the worst of times during the mid-80’s in the oil patch. An exploration company with a 90% success rate and they file bankruptcy. Idiots.

"Americans are used to being top dogs, and they fell into an organization run by Brits. Which means they were insecure as heck regarding their jobs"- I would say that the Cream of the Crop left the company and those that were not the "top dogs" stayed with all their insecurities and they were the ones who were easily pushed around by the bean counters (can you shave a dime out of the expenses?) leading to the shortcuts taken and the results attained.

Interesting point, and one I hadn't thought about before. Thanks.

Sure makes it look as if establishing a culture of safety was a pretty low priority.

In the prior thread, snakehead posted a link to a NatGeo article on - Much Gulf Oil Remains, Deeply Hidden and Under Beaches, here:

I ranted for a bit on the concept of “much” here:

then Lady-Li posted a couple of video links and a comment here:

”dissent555 - it´s up to you to determine if it´s "some" or "much" oil, that´s buried in the sand”

I disagree, Lady-Li. It isn’t up to me at all “to determine if it’s “some” or “much”. That been the problem with so much of the reporting from the media during this entire incident. People are running around spouting off figures for volumes of oil with little or no actual measurement to back them up. Pictures are not measurements. Pictures are not numbers. Will that oil still be there next week? Next month? Next year? These would all be interesting things to know about, but it will require actual measurement to determine the values and understand the longer term impact.

It’s time for these people to stop playing pretend scientist and to go out and do some actual science to back up their claims of “much” oil below the surface of the beaches.

Emphatically agreed.

Agreed. The lack of independent scientific involvement, measuring, and reporting (from the beginning of the spill, really) just boggles the mind —- especially as we move from the plugged well to future impacts.

snakehead if you're still on deck, please look at this slow oil seep

Okay, I see it. I don't know what to make of it, but I'm glad they're watching.

I trust posters here who have had experience. The gist is that if there were a true eruption, it wouldn't be subtle. But I'm glad they're watching.

Well, that's not quite the point. Let's suppose it's a slow seep as I suggest it is and you tentatively concurred. Further suppose there was no seep prior to drilling and blowout. That implies oil migrated through 2000+ ft of silty mud from the wellbore, either from the deep reservoir or a stringer sand or the coal measure where they stuck a drill and had to sidetrack. Conclusion that this well is not dead.

I'm a data junkie. It certainly seems plausible that increased pressure could cause side effects, and they could be visible as a bulge. It's obvious that they're monitoring. But that's where it ends for me until there's more data.

The absence of data does not justify drawing conclusions.

and so I didn't.

Is there a good word for "drawing a conclusion without data"? 'Opinion' seems too strong a word, as some opinions are well-formed and others are not. Maybe take a page from Stephen Colbert, and instead of 'truthiness', use something like 'conclusify' or 'draw a conclusini'. Hmm...

Law professors slap "Conclusory!" in red ink all over many first-semester 1Ls' exam bluebooks . . .

Look at the evidence, counsellor. That's gas (at this timestamp)

avon, I was answering gerryf4 re a word, and that's all. Your and my interests differ substantially.

Yes, the word for this is "assuming."

There are several things that you are overlooking:

1 The doomers did explain correctly that a damaged well bore would be like a leaky garden hose. As long as it is allowed to flow freely the leaks aren't very apparent but put a cap on it and it will squirt out everywhere. Capping the well and hiding extremely high pressure leaks is quite improbable. If the well casing was leaking somewhere anywhere near the mudline the extreme pressure would have by now eroded a path to the surface that would bring back to 50,ooo barrels/day leak. Even the minuscule leaks that were seen around the BOP after capping would eventually (given enough time) turn back into 50,000 bpd gushers.

2 Almost all petroleum deposits in the GOM (and most other places) are located in geology that tends to be self healing and self clotting with respect to leaks. The rock will fracture and bridge to seal off leaks. This is mostly because any oil or gas that isn't so situated geology has probably already leaked out over many millions of years. Thus any scenario that this reservoir has formed a new path to the surface from somewhere near the bottom of the well is also extremely improbable.

3 The theory that the well is leaking from some mishap in drilling that occurred months before the blow out is also improbable. That theory means that leak is really unrelated to the blow out and if it weren't for the blow out no one would be looking for that leak.

The question arises where did this extreme paranoia about the well bore leaking at some unseen location down in the hole come from? The Ixtoc well had a ruptured liner. That made that well much harder to bring under control. It was not unreasonable to immediately suspect this well also had also been damaged by the DWH being tethered to the well and bobbing around uncontrolled for a few days and then sinking. So it is not unreasonable that in the 2-1/2 months that it took to place a cap that the paranoia about leaks in the well bore grew significantly. At the point when the cap was dropped on the well it was still reasonable suspect there were leaks even though there was no real evidence that leaks below the mud line existed.

The simple fact is -> If leaks existed the cap would reveal those leaks. It was a moment of truth. The cap was put on and now the truth is known it isn't really reasonable to continue to believe in these leaks.

A good summary. Moment of truth indeed.

it isn't really reasonable to continue to believe in these leaks

What does reasonable have to do with this?
I for one await the 12th hidden methane bubble.

Back on June 6th I noted my concern on the pressure rating of the Flex Joint. I was so concerned that I faxed a note to Bob Dudley at BP noting that the risk was there if the FlexJoint was 5,000 psi rated. Also contacted Transocean and Oil states asking them to check the rating and tell BP if it was rated at less than 10,000 psi. Knew they couldn't tell anyone else. However, they had no excuse if they did not warn BP if thsi was an issue. So I have to assume that BP and Admiral Allen were fully informed fo the risk.

Now I am assuming that the 5,000 psi rating is good for 7,259 psia. I calculated that the shut in well should have been near 9,980 psia with virgin reservoir pressures reported by transocean/bp in their reports to the US House Committee) It appears the Admiral and BP got lucky. The pressure never went above 7,500 psi (9,759 psia at the subsea wellhead) which was probably the hydrotest pressure when the DH was built in '01. Can't rememeber for sure when ASME lowered the test for 50% overpressure to 40% overpressure. As an engineer we are taught to never rely on the overdesign but the reality is that it is there on day one but decreases over time. Not sure how fast the seal degrades in the Flex Joint based on the number of cycles it moved. Looks to me like the reservoir decline and near well bore pressure decline kept them below the 7,500 psi at near a maximum of 6,980 psi (or I assume this is 9,239 psia.) This would equate to about a 750 psi pressure decline. Not much for 90 days of open flow. I am guessing they knew this all along and that is why it took so long to finally cutting off the flow and killing the well.

Just thinking, should be able to predict the reservoir size and decline from these numbers......

I've seen the specs for that flex joint. It is rated for 15K psi if there is no bending load on the joint. The lower pressure rating applies when it is being flexed to the maximum 10 degree limit.

If your point is they couldn't put a valve stack on until the pressure subsided enough for the flex joint limit - that is plain absurd logic. Without a valve stack they have no idea where the pressure is. With a stack they have complete control. They can throttle down the flow and observe pressure. If the pressure goes higher that what they consider safe then they don't go any farther. They would still be miles ahead in terms of controlling the flow, capturing oil and determining the integrity of the well.

I have never seen and explanation why the quick disconnect that is right below the flex joint failed to work on April 20 or why it couldn't be manual released later by ROV. If LMRP had been unlatched and lifted off, dropping a new valve stack on the connector hub would have been a fast and easy next step.

If there is no mechanism to manually release the LMRP latch then there Damn well should be. If the LMRP could have been unlatched and lifted off this could have been shut in by the end of April.

So I'm catching up on posts and come across this gem posted by my314tin on the closed thread...

Fishing the Subsea BOP.

That is one of the funniest, most evocative, pieces I've read in quite a while, made even more amusing by the fact that I wouldn't have even recognized many of the words 100+ days ago.

A couple of my favorite lines:

Rigs in the Gulf of Mexico frequently have to bustle with twist currents

By angelic the earlier steps to initiate for the disconnect, two potentially benevolent problems were avoided.

Perhaps the angelic reference is connected to what clearly must have been the emergence of an angel from the seafloor earlier this evening.

Courtesy of OI2

May we all encounter only benevolent problems in the days ahead.


Blown into that shape by ROV thrusters? Doubt it. Dug by ROV manipulators? No rational purpose. Deformed by oil and gas upwelling in the silty mud? Yes.

"Blown into that shape by ROV thrusters? Doubt it. Dug by ROV manipulators? No rational purpose. Deformed by oil and gas upwelling in the silty mud? Yes."

Caused by somthing -- say a piece of steel from the destroyed rig or from ongoing operations -- falling to the seafloor?

It could be the tippy top of the Hollow Earth People's Superdome.

Check out this guy....this is comical....


That's the guy who has uncountable hours of video of deep sea steel eating fire worms, including their nest.

Some funny stuff...it's not what you know that's dangerous....it's what you think you know.....I'm sure some gentle soul...or gentile in my case, will convince him to look up "marine snow" or "microbial sulfur mats" or...anything really....in the meantime...I am eagerly awaiting Cheech's next video.

I won't even mention this guy's predictions about the "frange transition spool"..or any of the other stuff......>facepalm<


Poor soul probably had trouble getting his shorts covered. All that competition from the millions of traders who followed his advice and bet on those frange bolts snapping off.

He laid out some comical debates on the investors board for 3 or 4 weeks...but "BeePee oil disasters" Youtube videos, takes the cake with the " My blob video with light adjustments"...." I can see what looks like VEINS, man1!...and they are PULSATING!!!..I have been collecting all the different speculations and theories for the past 3 months, my own included, but this man is pure comic genius.

agreed. his videos are hilarious

No, seriously,..if you squint really hard, after he points out the blob (possibly a piece of detritus stuck to the outside plexi bubble of the ROV..ahaha ) and he ,thankfully for the viewers, points out the parabolic wave system and..something something..membrane....egg-sac something....the vein system....and the huge blob-like organism on the floor with a crust-like covering .."....you can see it....just look really hard...really hard..you can see the veins pulsating.....hey pass that over here ,man.



faceintree | July 30, 2010
EVIL DOESN'T LIKE TO BE EXPOSED. I'VE RECEIVED SEVERAL VERIFICATIONS THAT HAVE SHOWN ME THAT I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK!! AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ALL THAT THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF YESHUA (the real name of Jesus). No need to run in fear from these 'things'. They flee at the mention of HIS name!!! Why??? HE has power over them!!!

Video of the poster's CRT screen. You can see their faces. No, really. Wait - maybe that's the poster's reflection.

These people can vote and drive. Now that's scary.

LMAO~This is exactly the type of ppl I have to deal with here, those that swear the floor of the GOM is going to explode and are writing Jesse Ventura for help because they beleive they are too close to the truth and are "marked men", the fact they vote scares me more than anything..........well, except reproducing.

Same area today and yesterday. I believe in angels in the biblical sense of messengers or harbingers. Not so cute if you think about it in those terms. BTW, the 2 brighter areas in 1 above the emerging angel are rov lights, snap taken just as event was ending. Hark the Herald Angels sing.....


Friday 8610

Thanks for the pictures...though angels in the biblical sense are described as cosmic horrors...but what is this picture of exactly? Who took it?
But to me it looks sort of like silt or a trail of dirt being knocked up.
But is it just me or all these pictures from the ROV feeds starting to look like people? That formation of gas/silt/ect. looks humanoid in appearence.
Hopefully it's not just me.

At mytie and rainy's find, my jaw dropped at "BP recently had to disturb a respective subsea fishing difficult in 6,838 ft of souse in the Gulf of Mexico."

Souse? Dey got 6,838-foot-deep souse down dere? With angels running around in it? No wonder this took so long! (For more on souse and other Southern delicacies, see here.)

May we all encounter only benevolent problems in the days ahead.


Haven't run across the word "selah" in a long time.

One of my father's favorite sermons addressed that word and its richness. He was quick to trot it out whenever we moved to a new charge.

Glad you enjoyed that, Dave. I use it sparingly and (though not churchly) am sorry I missed your dad's sermon. If it weren't so OT here, I'd love to hear the highpoints.

Sounds like you're assuming I listened.

A prophet is without honor....?

Ooops, you're right. I forgot about "preachers' kids" . . .

Ya' know lotus there are family of origin issues I think I have dealt with until I read your posts. Picking the bristly hair off the hogs head isn't something you volunteer to do. Is this good enough?; is asked many times before you pass inspection and I don't care how cute Ms Piggy may be, prepping the hogs head is a lot of ugly.

Golly, mytie, I'd a-hushed if I'd a-knowed to. Sorry about that. (Never have tried souse myself, nor had the sous-chef assignment in prepping it.) I'll stick to oysters and stuff like that from here on out, promise.

Actually, that looks very much like the imprint left by a ray. They like to settle into the silt and, if they are startled, can leave a print like that.

However, I don't know if Rays go that deep.

Angel or stingray settling on the bottom, then swimming off? Or maybe it was an angelic stingray, or an angel disguised as a stingray, or a stingray disguised as an angel or maybe it was a manta ray disguised as a devilray?

Could that be the hole left by cutting loose drill pipe from a prior capping encounter and landing on the seafloor like a dart and pulled out here recently?

Check out the hydrate storm being filmed by the Oceaneering ROV. I don't know how to analyze the rest of things in the frame. Anyone know what the tall object is on the right? Another ROV? Also, I know the videos can play tricks with one's eyes, but there are two large areas that look like gushers, particularly on the far right.

Nepeta, a gusher is what blew up DWH. We watched video of ~55,000 bbl/day gushing from Macondo for months. There are plenty of blowout gusher videos available via YouTube. Those aren't "gushers".

You're right, of course. But what would you call a REALLY big, continuous discharge from the ocean floor? Gusher isn't the word to use. Gusher has a generic meaning also, of hitting oil, in a positive sense. The DWH was destroyed by a blowout actually, which resulted in oil gushing from the seabed. Anyway, the ROV is now making marks in the seafloor with its hand, so his camera isn't pointed ahead. Sorry, I have to learn to screen-save. I must have watched this scene for twenty minutes, came here, and it switches to something else. The ROV is still in the same location though.

Google [screen capture]. No matter what OS you're running, something useful will be there.

They're watching what they're watching for a reason. I'm not assuming that everything is just A-OK. Obviously I hope it is and they do too.

I'm hitting the sack.

Just saw a cyclone of clathrates erupt from "the angel." They are so screwed. Forget the ~55,000 bbl/day. Think about 2000-3000 ft of silty mud charged with gas and oil.

is that you Matt...???

again, remember that Simmons was never speaking of Tsunamis or atmospheric gaseous methane clouds traveling 60 miles inland... He was talking about a Hurricane passing over and lifting up a four hundred foot deep by 120 mile wide area of dissolved methane and methane clathrates and slinging them 40-60-80-100 miles inland...

Maybe someone could speak about whether a hurricane would actually suck the water from that depth...and then the actions of the dissolved methane and methane clathrates IF a Hurricane WAS able to bring them up from those depths that cause their dissolution and clathrate formation...and IF the timing of it all COULD be a concern...??

During a 7/24 press briefing with the Admiral, NOAA head Lubchenko said that a "a hurricane may turn up the first 100 or so, the top 100 or so yards of the ocean. And so in this case [tropical storm Bonnie] it will be considerably less than that."

Not much chance of pulling hydrates or methane deposits from a mile down.

Lubchenko has consistently been the only official connected with the spill response to occasionally counter some of the wilder claims, such as rainstorms of oil or significant amounts of oil hanging out on the seafloor.


Hurricanes do indeed cause upwelling in the water column, and depending on the strenght and duration of the storm (i.e. how long it spends in one place), it could bring water from 100-200m up to the surface. (That's why storms, aside from the surface turbulence, tend to increase biotic activity in their wakes: they bring nutrients up from the depths for near-surface organisms to feed on.) The nonsense about methane clouds is just that--nonsense.

To the extent that methane might be dissolved in the water, some would escape into the atmosphere if ventilated at the ocean surface, but in nothing near the concentration needed to combust, or even be poisonous. You'd get more methane in the air by walking through a swamp.

Me too. 'Nite.

Would someone please tell me which time zone this site is in? On my screen here in the UK nepeta's post says August 7, 2010 - 8:09am and he is going to bed.

Like any sensible forum, this site is not in any time zone. The servers could be anywhere. You set the time display to be your own personal time zone. It is 6.33pm here. Something that will make it quite easy to work out where I am. But you see all times in your time zone, not that of the poster.

(All serious computer operating systems use UTC as the internal representation of time, and store all information tagged that way. On display they then translate the time to whatever timezone you need, and apply daylight saving corrections as needed. Toy operating systems use local time, and have a great deal of trouble coping with time zones or summer time.)

Thanks Francis. I guess central Australia. This message posted 10:31 am Saturday, British Summer Time (GMT + 1).

Due to this catastrophe, I NOW know of Australians John Clarke & Bryan Dawe - Thanks BP...

In case you missed it: http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201006/r578178_3617033.asx

They do these bits every Thursday night on a news/current events show called The 7:30 Report

They're getting closer to the stack ... http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:45683.asx

"If it blows than wouldn't that just knock tons of mud up into the sea, I don't understand exactly what happens in an
underwater methane explosion..." snakehead "Yes, you're correct. In the highly unlikely event that a "methane explosion" occurred..."

So were talking here about a methane explosion external to the well...? Wouldn't that also probably uproot the current FrankenBOP from the wellhead...? So would the current cement job withstand it...?

and if someone doesn't mind confirming...the above methane explosion being unlikely, the "blowing" that we are concerned about is that these methane pathways, evidenced by the bubbling, erode into oil pathways...???


just the cement holding...?

bubbling a sign of cement failure...???

hmmm...i was thinkin bubblin maybe from cement success...then causing methane to find new pathways...revealing worse, no-way-in-hell seal-able well...

No, no, no. I'd diagram it for you but I'm too lazy. Think of the Gulf as a full digestive tract with an infinity of outlets. Then BeePee comes along and jabs it with a 3.5 mile long finger. Or something like that.

These are the laws of physics used by the Warner Brothers in their half-hour segment, which came to be known as "Looney Tunes":

1. A body will remain in place or in motion in free space until it notices its situation.

2. Whenever a body passes through matter, it leaves a hole in the object the exact shape and size of the body itself.

3. Any mutilations, disembowelments, decapitations, or other normally fatal wounds, when inflicted upon tomcats, are impermanent.

4. When punched, any alligator will fly up into the air and return to the ground as a purse.

5. Holes are movable.

6. When stabbed with a sharp object such as a sword, a character will invariably be propelled upward.

7. It is impossible to to not make a wrong turn at Albuquerque.


The new cap they had ready in case they need it is at the surface.

That is a good sign.

a little boring until you get to the 2:30 mark but if those are thrusters, they're having issues. Note at the end that 2 or 3 other ROV's come over towards him.


Very interesting video. Mine are boring - look more like the 4th of July in slow motion....large quiet fields of many gas bubbles and junk emerging from the floor. Hypnotic, but, alas - boring.

A serious question here - how much distance can a ROV travel horizontally from it's mother ship? It would be helpful to know where some of this action is taking place.

So if the well is cemented why do we still see so much leaking from the sea floor. The following video is an excellent example.

There is no ROV active and it's clearly coming from the sea floor, continuously! So if the well is dead, and this seepage haven't been seen before - not what I have observed - where does it come from. I can't believe this is a natural seep by coincidence.

If there has been seepage into the strata outside the well it will take quite some time to reach the surface. It is after all anything up to 13,000 feet down. Similarly, even if the well is killed it will take at least that amount of time for any surface seeps to stop, and probably significantly longer. If any seepage found some intermediate strata to pool into, these little surface seeps could run for months after the well is killed. The seeps will not stop like a tap.

I have been watching these incidents as well.

It's kind of a no-brainer that oil and mud would get squeezed out through any cracks, wormholes, etc etc, when they started this whole process. So to see oil, gas, mud, etc, is not a surprise. Also, there are unpredictable deep-ocean currents, " thermoclines " that can rapidly sweep along the ocean floor, and provide violent localized turbidity. Another reason sub-sea structures are usually required to have an anchoring system of cable tie-downs.

I also expect that we would see some venting from the floor when they start the cement injections from the bottom. Cement plug on top....oil and mud trapped in middle.....cement injected from the bottom.....wouldn't that squuuuuuuuueeeeeeeze it all out, either to any "formations, sandplays, etc" or out through any substantial leaks in the wellbore..?

Thermoclines don't sweep along the ocean floor, isaac. The thermocline is a stable feature between 400-500 m depth, where the water temperature decreases most rapidly from surface values (29-33C, generally, in the Gulf) to the colder, deeper value (~5C). The thermocline is well below the depth stirred by storms, so it doesn't fluctuate up and down. It's a very consistent feature. Shallower, lesser thermoclines do occur in summertime, where the sun heats the top ~50 m or so, and there isn't enough wind to mix the water deeper than that. One hurricane, or extended windy weather will erase that as a feature.

Bottom currents in the area of the Macondo well--deep but not half as deep as other parts of the Gulf--are typically 20-30 cm/s, and can spike as high as 50 cm/s. That's enough to move sediment around but not create a storm. Along a steeper slope, you might see some form of turbidity current, but those are due to gravity, not ocean currents.

" Thermoclines don't sweep along the ocean floor "

Not necessarily 100% true. A thermocline could be considered a mix of chemoclines, pycnoclines,haloclines, to ultimately be considered a thermohaline current...constituent in a major system.


I have also read studies of occasional unpredictable deep sea currents in the deep-water OCS,similar to a supercell, I'm sure I could dig them up for you , if you like, :)

...but I do understand your points


Not that any of the locations are in the G.o.M...


The thermocline is distinct from thermohaline currents. The Gulf Stream is a western boundary current, intensified by compression against the North American shelf (the Yucatan Current is a similar WBC). Western boundary currents are part of wind-driven, not density-driven (i.e. thermohaline) systems. Beneath such a warm, narrow, swift current, the thermocline does indeed deepen, reflecting the stream of warmer, lighter water. FYI, the anticyclonic eddies occasionally pinched off in the GOM also have deeepened thermocline signatures. In the North Atlantic, the Gulf Stream splits off from North America around Cape Hatteras, and continues northtward and eastward as the North Atlantic Drift, an inertial jet (not density-driven) which carries it east of Greenland, where the warmer water evaporates. What is left is cold, very salty, and dense enough to convect to the bottom of the ocean, becoming North Atlantic Deep Water.

This is a true thermohaline current, a function of the water's density. There is no such current in the Gulf of Mexico, because evaporation does not occur intensely enough anywhere. The thermocline is in fact an extremely stable feature of this sytem, one of the most stable features about it.

The mean flow of the deep Gulf of Mexico is rather slow and weak, in cyclonic direction. Most of the deep system's energy is in the form of eddies, and the occasional cross-shelf jet associated with the shelf canyons.

There is no doubt that there are undersea currents faster than we have realized, with causes we do not know. However, in the absence of actual current measurements, the best means we have of divining the presence of those currents is via bedforms: channels, dunes, ripples, stratification. The Mississippi Canyon is roughly oriented toward the MC252 site, and rapid currents do occasionally sweep down them. However, these cross-shelf jets are fairly rare.

Set's it straight , thank you .

How did BP pump 2,300 barrels of mud, then 200 barrels of cement into the bottom formation? How much bentonite and barite were in that mud, and what is the permeability and porosity of the payzone? Thirty five years ago I mixed many tons of gel and weight material into mud, and can not imagine such large volumes going into the sandstone formation. There had been no lost circulation problems down there before.

Kent Wells tried to skip the question of hydrocarbons going up outside of the casing, but the Washington Post reporter persisted and Mr. Wells said others with more knowledge than him would have to answer that. After all the pressure observing, study and pumping in the last three months why don’t the experts share with us what is known? Is it possible BP’s well design or installation procedures were improper, and HC did flow up outside of casing? Would BP be attempting to hide something from the government? If successful this could save BP seven billion dollars in oil spill fines.

If the RW intersects 7” casing annulus in the original cement, or the static kill cement, how will it be possible to pump more cement? If annulus intersection is above cement, and into mud or oil, would squeezing RW cement breakdown upper formations, crush casing, or pop in weak pressure link pieces? Are there check valves in the 7” shoe and float collar that gave way (plus lower soft cement) when mud in riser was replaced with seawater?

How soon can the government force the operator BP to reveal what is known about hydrocarbons flowing up outside of casing? Kent Wells said cap (3 ram stack) showed “well had integrity” (it held pressure), but that does not mean HCs did not flow up outside some casing during the blowout.

Doing my (partly speculative best to answer each para in turn:

1) I presume they used a clear fluid which didn't build a filter cake, bromide and formate can go above 13ppg, e.g. see http://www.carousel-sp.com/product/index.html

2) I'd have though the cement would have to fracture the formation. However the well has probably been sanding so there could be a 200bbl cave at T.D.

3) Can they circulate up or otherwise recover the annular fluid and test for HCs? Or shut in and find what pressure it stabilises at - should be different for isolated annulus vs. connection to reservoir. Doesn't seem easy to inject cement into a sealed annulus - maybe they wouldn't. Or perhaps use the burst disks to let the fluid out. They're designed to leak before the casing breaks due to annular pressure increases. Well would then pressure up inside production casing above cement plug so perhaps have to bleed off through choke line. Ask a driller!

4) Govt is looking over BP's shoulder every step. BP have no special knowledge and will find out at the same time as Govt. Lots of people thought they knew the well had blown out behind casing, maybe BP did too, but supposition isn't fact. Still possible I suppose but looking unlikely based on mud/cement volumes pumped. Unless the positive pressure from above somehow reseated the casing hanger and sealed a previously leaking annulus. Underground blowout or leaks to shallow formation now looks like a non-starter, ROV washes, natural seeps or leaky old wells miles from Macondo notwithstanding

If the RW intersects 7” casing annulus in the original cement, or the static kill cement, how will it be possible to pump more cement? If annulus intersection is above cement, and into mud or oil, would squeezing RW cement breakdown upper formations, crush casing, or pop in weak pressure link pieces?


In theory if the 7" production casing was cemented properly to the rock formation surrounding it then they should find no cement where they are drilling in with the RW. According to the RW plan the annulus they will be drilling into was cemented above and below where they will intercept.

Mississippi announced yesterday afternoon:

All state waters in Mississippi will open to commercial and recreational fishing as of 5 p.m. today, DMR officials said this afternoon.

The move re-opens all territorial waters including those south of the barrier islands to finfish and shrimp fishing that were part of the cautionary closures because of the oil in the Gulf from the BP Deepwater Horizon. ...

Due to a more complex testing process for crab and oyster, these fisheries will remain prohibited in the closed areas. Crab and oyster tissue samples are currently being tested, and as soon as data indicates they are safe for consumption, additional areas will be opened for these fisheries.

I have some questions :

1) Are there any current data about methane in air and water nearby DWH ?
And where to find this measurements ?

2) Could it be, that BP had drilled through a methane hydrates field ?

3) If yes - would they have realized that for sure ? What would have been the consequences ?

4) If there is no methane hydrates field, where does the methane gas come from ?
Is it mixed with the hot oil in the well ?

I'll take a stab at answering your questions, I'm sure there are more knowledgeable folks here that will squash me like a wet prune tho'.

Some of what I know about hydrates and their formations.

Hydrates form in the cooler layers above the reservoirs and all the way up to the surface. Methane in the reservoirs can come from either methane gnomes...no,no...lol,joke....biogenic sources( microbial) or naturally ( then you get into the 2 theories of how oil is made, I'll skip that, I thinks it's both together ). Methane is held in a trap in the form of a super-critical fluid as well. but anywho...chemosynthetic communities evolve in the strata to take care of this "free gas" that filters up through the rock layers. Hydrates can also have up to 7 different structures, and be formed by quite a number of various gases. It wouldn't seem that they have encountered any in this area..but you never know about honesty these days...when Ken Wells said the other day ,that the methane they were seeing around the wellhead was biogenic....I thought about the fact that the application to drill said there were no chemosynthetic communities within 1500' of the wellhead site...


From what I understand...about -1% of what's involved...when they are drilling through hydrate pockets, there is a factor of friction that will determine whether the friction from the drill head will provide enough heat to start the hydrates dissociating to a gas. There's a safe rate of drilling, and a not-safe rate, all different for different hydrates, Methanol, found in crude itself, can dissociate hydrates at a disproportionate ratio, ie: a little methanol will dissociate a large amount of hydrate,( why they used it in the first cap) but this is also determined by P/T. The D.O.E. has a ton of info on hydrates, and hydrate research on the OCS if you are interested. Here's one :


Here's one from the MMS.


Here is a video of the BP rig, the Actinia, in Vietnam, 1993.
A rather large pocket of hyrdates was hit while drilling...quite...what's the word I am looking for....unsettling...


*disclaimer* The above entity may or may not know their *sshole from their elbow.

1) Don't know

2) Very unlikely - enough hydrates to call a 'field' would stick out like a sore thumb on a routine shallow hazard survey and they'd have drilled the well somewhere else

3) They probably would not have noticed. None. Hydrates are like ice at sea floor conditions. That's why they're there and not in the water column. Remember how they froze up in the original Top Hat?

4) Decay. Bugs eat the organic matter in the mud, washed in from the Mississippi and fallen from above. They fart methane. The well doesn't have oil in it any more, just mud and cement. OK there are probably a few barrels trapped in the cap above the injection point, enough to fill a bathtub or two.

Just saw Isaac's post, OK heat (or methanol) could release them but still, anything big enough to sink a rig would leave a huge hole at the seabed. Or is all the ROV footage faked by James Cameron with a dummy BOP?

Pretty sure Actinia wasn't hydrates. http://adropofrain.net/2010/06/bp-blowout-actinia-1993/ tells the same story I heard years ago, they were deep (10,000ft in that link), well below shallow gas hazard zone and the gas did not come from the sea bed as it could be seen on later seismic. Probably an underground blowout which refused to stay underground.


" In February 1993, the well being drilled by the Actinia encountered shallow gas and blew out, damaging the BOP and causing the rig to list by 15 degrees. The slick of ejected liquids measured up to 2 km wide. Reports state that the blowout subsequently killed itself, possibly by bridging. "

It says " major release ".


After watching the videos in the link below, especially " the Devil's Cigarette Lighter ", hoo boy....I would not want that job. Kudos to you guys for taking those risks for us all.



1. There is normally a considerable amount of methane dissolved in the surface water and also mixed in the atmosphere; molecules exchange between the air and the water. Samples by research vessels showed normal concentrations in the surface water over the wellhead. For this, search youtube for "Samantha Joye" and watch the 4-segment press conference from July. She is a top expert on the role of methane in marine environments. Methane in the air would be at normal levels because it's thought that no gaseous methane bubbled to the surface. As you must have noticed, there was no concern about the atmosphere exploding around the City of Ships. Instead, the methane released from the well dissolved in the seawater, mostly at a depth of 2/3 to 1 mile. The plumes of dispersed oil (clouds of tiny droplets) at that depth are also plumes of dissolved methane. The oil and gas are being eaten by microbes as long as the oxygen holds out. Breakdown products are water and CO2. The only danger of the dissolved methane is that oxygen depletion could harm the deepsea animals.

4. 40% of the hydrocarbons in the reservoir are natural gas. 95% of the natural gas is methane. Yes, it is "mixed with the hot oil in the well."

This is a small concern of mine, since it seems now that all these microbes and dissolved methane are displacing a lot of oxygen in the gulf which brings me to my next quetion on how fast it would take for the phytoplankton to return to a healthy level.

agramante and others are better qualified to answer your question, but my first thought is that there would be little or no phytoplankton below 1000 meters because there is little or no light. Life at that depth is based mainly on dead matter raining down from above. The general answer to your question would be, it depends on how widespread is any zone of severe depletion. These deep layers do not mix much with upper layers, so they would take a long time to recharge with oxygen. However, if any depleted zone is fairly small, I think it would be recharged readily by mixing horizontally with undepleted deep water. There is a lot of dissolved O2 down there.

At first I want to thank you for the answers !
Please don´t put me in the corner of "conspiratorial thinking" - I just want to learn for being prepared in the north sea, lol.

I disagree a little bit with Gobbet saying :
"The oil and gas are being eaten by microbes as long as the oxygen holds out. Breakdown products are water and CO2. The only danger of the dissolved methane is that oxygen depletion could harm the deepsea animals."

From links below :

"This crude is reported to have a very high methane content," wrote one smart reader, noting that one of the greatest risks related to methane (composed, by the way, of one carbon atom to every four hydrogen atoms, CH4) is that as bacteria break it down, the metabolism process can involve sulfates in the water and lead to formation of the much more poisonous gas, hydrogen sulfide (two hydrogens for every one sulfur, H2S).
Hydrogen sulfide is water soluble in contrast with methane.
It can cause hazardous pollution situations in both the atmosphere and the water environment.
Its proportion in the composition of natural gas and gas condensate, as previously mentioned, sometimes reaches more than 20%.
Pollution by hydrogen sulfide can lead to disturbances in the chemical composition of surface waters.
This gas belongs to the group of poisons with acute effects.
Its appearance in the atmosphere and hydrosphere can cause serious economic damage and medical problems among local population.

Thus, toxicant concentrations that do not cause any effect under low temperatures can become lethal with increasing water temperature.

Another critical environmental factor that directly influences the gas impact on water organisms is the concentration of dissolved oxygen. Numerous studies show that the oxygen deficit directly controls the rate of fish metabolism and decreases their resistance to many organic and inorganic poisons.

Especially dramatic situations developed in the Sea of Asov as a result of two large accidents on drilling rigs in the summer-autumn of 1982 and 1985.
These accidents caused long-term releases of large amounts of natural gas into the water accompanied by self-inflaming of the gas.
During these events, the levels of methane in surface waters exceeded the background concentrations up to 10-100 times.
The air samples also showed very high concentrations of methane.
These accidents drastically disturbed the composition and biomass of the water fauna and caused mass mortality of many organisms, including fish and benthic mollusks.



By reading some stuff about methane I found this theory about the blow out :

"One of the theories of the BP disaster is that a chemical reaction, perhaps triggered by the compounds used for sealing cement around the drill hole, caused rapid heating, converting hydrates to a soaring building up gas, which rocketed up the pipe to the rig."

Could that be ?
What are the other theories about the pressure building so fast ?

Lady -- first, if you have the time, research the physical conditions under which MH exist. You’ll find that they couldn't exists at the depths of the reservoir. FYI: the bottom hole temperature was over 240F.

As far as “the pressure building so fast” it didn’t. The reservoir pressure was 11,900 psi and had been for millions of years. What happened suddenly was that pressure being released up the well when the heavy mud holding it back was removed. The speed at which the oil/NG moved up the well was the same as if it had been completed and put on production. This is why blow outs happen so fast. And, unfortunately, why death comes so quick.

"You’ll find that they couldn't exists at the depths of the reservoir."

Oaky doaky, Rockman, I know that (since a few weeks, lol).
My consideration is : Is it possible, that there is a MH area in the superior layers ?
And could it be that the annulus is damaged (material defect) in this section and the hot oil from below is melting the MH.

"What happened suddenly was that pressure being released up the well when the heavy mud holding it back was removed."

Sorry for my inaccurate english !
What removed the mud ? The fact, that BP changes it with water ?
That takes a little time, I think. They should have realize the possibility of a sudden release of pressure, or not ?
Aren´t there any measurements during the exchange ?

LL, I think Rockman is distracted by thoughts of Beachmommy and Blue Bell ice cream, but maybe I can help.

Yes, there is MH in the upper sediments, but probably not a lot. From a good Wikipedia article, "[methane clathrates] typically are found at low concentrations (0.9-1.5% by volume) at sites where they do occur". Article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate

If the annulus was leaking into shallow sediments, we would probably have seen spectacular evidence by now, especially if it melted a lot of MH. The lack of evidence so far is boring, but good.

Yes, the mud was removed by BP and their subcontractors pumping seawater into the well. Yes, they should have realized the possibility of a sudden release of pressure. Yes, there are measurements taken during the exchange, but none of us (not even Rockman) knows why they were not paying attention to the mud return just before the blowout. Most of the people who knew the answer to that are dead.

Hey now OB~I'm not the only one who uses BBIC to lure RM:) I do appreciate all the well informed posters here that help us out with our non-stop questions though.


Yes, there is MH in the upper sediments, but probably not a lot. From a good Wikipedia article, "[methane clathrates] typically are found at low concentrations (0.9-1.5% by volume) at sites where they do occur"

are you kidding...the western GOM is some of the ripest waters in the WORLD...And NOW - the possibility of a fractured-to-hell formation bubbling up methane gas which could be forming it's own massive formation of clathrates ...500 feet deep and miles and miles wide...

LL~I apologize for not responding so late, but I typed out a long response and the thread was closed. Re: Gregg, I will say that IMO he started out with pure intentions but once the hero stats started it went too his head and he's made its turned into more of a conspiracy site than anything else. I could ask do these photos (mine) lie? The first couple are from last weekend and the others from the two times P-Cola beach was hit, once on June 4th and then again on the 23rd. I took photos of a womann cleaning the beach with a seashell as many including myself were doing and most of the dark you see was sea grass not oil. My problem with those selling conspiracy theories such as Lake Simmons, 200 million dying in Tsunamis and toxic clouds killing millions inland is that many that read those FB pages never do any vetting of the source and when it turns into a vocation for padding your wallet I must examine motivations of those doing so...I breaks my heart to see ppl so scared that they are paralyzed with fear and unable to make clear decisions. I am also including some links with the pic's that are quite eye-opening IMO about the specific person you were asking about. All I ask is you look and consider motive of those posting their theories as fact and supposition as scientific evidence.

Last wknd:




June 13th.......a week after P-Cola beach's first hit with tar balls:




June 8th........a few days after the first hit:



June 23rd....the day we were hit the worst:



June 16th....only seaweed visible:

June 6th.........first hit wth tarballs, can you see the tiny tb's in her seashell?


Link to ONE of his net sites about making money off of the internet:

Gregg Hall is a fulltime author and internet marketer living in Navarre Florida. He has been involved in a number of industries and has traveled extensively as well which gives him the knowledge to write on a broad range of subjects.
From being a bodybuilder for over 30 years to running automobile dealerships and other businesses, Gregg's life experiences have equipped him to create articles and content on a broad variety of topics of interest.
Gregg is currently developing many of his own products and membership based websites. He is alo getting more into domain name acquisitions to add to his growing portfolio.

How to Make Money Online - The Secrets Behind Site Flipping Which You Should Know! Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
Do You Want to Make Money Online? Find Out Where to Get Information to Make Money Online! Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
How to Make Money Online - A Few Tips to Help You Choose Where to Start Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
Making Money Online - Is it Really That Easy, and How Can I Get Started? Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
Domain Flipping - The Beginner's Basics to Website Flipping and Making Money Online! Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
How Can I Make Money Online Working From Home? Flip Websites and Find Out! Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
Website Flipping - How to Start Flipping Websites and Begin Making Money Online Internet-Marketing 11/10/2009 0
Website Flipping Basics - The Easy Way to Make Money Online! Internet-Marketing

Those ar a few of his article out of thousands and I hope you understand why I look at his motivation, although I did find his review of Jimmy Choo & Vera Wang shoes to designer handbags interesting to say the least LOL

These were funny too:


Take A Look At Some Exercises For Ladies That Can Help Improve Your Sex LifeLack

Learn To Use Foreplay To Enhance Your Sexual Relationship

Sorry for the extremely long post, I am just trying to point out how vastly different 2 ppl living a mile apart view the damage to the Island and the fact he seems to be an expert on everything, but doubt he's an expert in drilling, marine biology or geology if he's writing crap like this.

Painted toes, +10.

Jeez, I thought for a second that was a mutant crab or something. Pretty toes instead.

June 6th.........first hit wth tarballs, can you see the tiny tb's in her seashell?

What seashell? :)

LMAO at both of you! The toes are mine and I love blue so why not paint the toes blue and Rio, I know the seashell may be small but it's there, can't imagine how you missed it:))

Off to the beach myself. Y'all have a great day.

Hello beachmommy - beautiful blue toenails in the blue water ! Yours ?

About Gregg : Quite busy, this man - I didn´t know that.
Sometimes popularity gets to somebody's head...

For me (living in Germany) it´s difficult to imagine, what really happens down there at the GOM.
Are the plants really dying after toxic rains ?
How much oil lays under the beaches ?
How many animals are impacted ?
What are the health effects to people ?
Are people furious or desperate or sad or apathetic ?

So many questions ! I try to figure out between doomers and spin doctors.

LL~Thank you, yes the toenails are mine and the water is ~ mile west of where he films his tidal pool, hard to believe the pic's can be so vastly different isn't it.

Yes GH is quite busy and most don't know this information because they don't bother to vet anything and obviousy since you live in Germany it would be much harder, but anyone else could have done it as I did in a google search that brought up way too much info and a check of the clerk of court records. Sadly it is true as we have witnessed, so many are letting ego's come before truth.

I'll try my best to answer your questions but with a disclaimer since I am not really qualified to answer all.
Toxic rain - no clue, my plants and trees are fine and my sega palms are spreading rapidly, flowers that we are able to grow in this enviroment are growing fine.

Oil under the beaches-Of course their is oil under the layers of the sand in many, many areas, much due to natural tidal action of the high/low tide cycle and storms in the GOM and that is perfectly normal, I have never seen sand dumped on the beach here in P-Cola but it could have happened other places, I just can't comment on what I don't know as fact.

Animals-I have 3 cats and 3 dogs and the youngest kitten goes to the beach daily so I can wear him out, I rescued him when he was abandonded and weighed only 2.5 ounces so he has no other kittens to play with and bounces off the walls if he doesn't get enough exercise, and he has been on the beach the entire time, even as soon as his eyes opened, he also chased me in the water once and he's healthy as far as I or the vet can tell.

Health effects of people-again, I can only tell you what I personally know. I along with my family have been very healthy except for allergies now and then as we are all somewhat allergic to sargassum (sp) grass that is in the surf from time to time. I, along all of my family swim and play in the water and live ~100 ft away from the Gulf, I snorkel for hours when it's not too rough and I have been fine. I did an experiment one day with a bunch of friends after the oil spill, we had been out on the beach and in the water for hrs and I said "what's that odor"......there was none actually, I just wanted to see how many would smell it when it was mentioned, and it was 100%, so I believe SOME of the symptoms could be psychosomatic. Granted those working on the actual clean up sites, spill site etc probably do have many more problems, but the clean up workers here have mainly been sick from heat exhaustion (well 100% of the ones I know about personally) and dehydration. More than anything it has been mental stress due to conspiracy sites screaming doom and gloom, FEMA death camps and mass evacuations along with the others I mentioned last night.

Locals are generally very aware of what's going on and just wanted the well dead, some are mad as hell at BP, but it is what it is and I as so many others here see no need to rant, rave and scream as what's done is done and the focus should be on learning from this disaster and cleanup. There are those that are desperate because they do believe anything and everything bad they here, but in general the locals do NOT support GH in case you haven't noticed, but most know his reputation........he does have some friends that are local who support him but in general extremely few, most if not 90+% are not from this area.

I do agree that there is so much spin and BS going on that it's hard to know what to believe, but you found TOD somehow like I did, and this is where I started my journey of seperating the BS from the truth. This forum is by far the most technical but also they will explain info you don't understand in a way that's easy to digest. If I can help in any other way just let me know:)

Do you rinse your kitten down after it has been in the sea? ISTR excess salt is bad for kittehs due to their concentrated urine. Check with your vet. One heck of a sandbox though:)


I did, he got a bath all the time back then....now he's learned how to clean himself finally (among other things we had to do for him, the bath was the least gross IYKWIM).

He defintely loves the beach, and has learned to stay out of the water, although he does try to wrestle the dogs and one is a St. Bernard, I think the kitten is a bit confused and doesn't realize he's a cat!

IKWYM, fortunately I have volunteers here that help with kittens, they sometimes need a little coercion, especially when it comes to post meal clean ups by licking, but they are pretty good ;) Oh, don't worry, if he is wrestling the St. Bernard then he KNOWS he's a cat. He just wants to get at the brandy and prove world dominance.


The desperation of the CTs for the disaster to find new life generates in me a very unusual juxtaposition of two emotions: amusement and disgust.

CTs on this thread? I've only seen most people asking questions.

There is also the polyanna crowd, almost exclusively non-industry people. They were the first to dismiss any evidence of seeps or leaks, even ones that were later confirmed.

I've seen a trend of people who seem desperate to not appear to be part of the methane bubble/tsunami crowd that they start by dismissing every concern.

To clarify I should say CTs and energy industry haters. Both have been around in larger numbers since this spill. They have gotten the mask pulled up a little lately, but one can read between the lines. I've been coming here for quite some time before this incident. As for Macondo, I prefer to let the evidence tell me the story.


You mean non stockholders in a company that murdered 11 men and caused billions of dollars of damage in the gulf?

Yeah there are some of us here.

And guess what, we don't trust BP like you do.

And can you describe the specific action that was comitted by a named person what meets the legal critera for 'murder?'

Oh, I get it. The fact that you have no evidence to bak up your claim proves a conspiracy - right?

"And guess what, we don't trust BP like you do."

I don't trust BP or anyone else I don't know either, but that has nothing to do with wild claims not supported by evidence (I'm not accusing you in particular of making same). And BP is just one company, there are many operating in the industry. You got a beef with BP, fine. Flail away.

I don't care much for people who wish the disaster was worse as that might serve their political purposes.

I prefer to let the evidence tell me the story

And what exactly is the evidence? BP pumped mud and cement. Pressure in the BOP stack should be zero. It's not. There's a visible oil leak at the riser swivel/cap seal. This has been explained away as (a) pressure to help cure the cement, or (b) a positive test. The latter makes no sense, if the former is true. Adding pressure proves nothing. What you want is a negative test. Stop the pumps and see what happens. The pumps have not stopped.

Then there are the seeps that BP has been monitoring. Drops of oil and little wisps of gas, sometimes not so little upward flurries of white clathrates. This has been explained away as silt and mud blown by ROV thrusters. It's not. I'm talking about observed seeps when nearby ROVs are quiescent and light brown silt clouds blown by thrusters have settled. Where is the oil and gas coming from?

Finally, the evidence that you, me, the government, and BP themselves need to consider is annular pressure. Kent Wells said no one knew. It was a matter of interpretation. The relief well program will continue. Why? This has been explained away as "belts and braces." Two seals (cement and cap) are good. More seals are better.

Rubbish. They have no idea where the mud and cement went.

avon -- I don't know what's leaking from the cap. Could be oil/NG. But at last report they still had 13 ppg mud in the lines to the cap. That would mean the mud is at least 1,000 psi greater than the water pressure. The cap should be leaking mud from any conduit there. And it will continue until that heavy mud is displaced. That doesn't prove there is no oil/NG leaking but does show there's at least one other source for something to be leaking out.

Ooops. One last niggle. There are four ROVs inspecting the stack. Their feeds have been blacked out for the past 24 hours. Why?

Rockman, I respect and defer to your experience and good judgment. Is 13ppg mud lighter than seawater? (no) Observed leak droplets are bouyant and float upward.

avon - No...seawater is around 8.5 ppg density. So if it's floating and not just jetting up under pressure it wouldn't be drill mud.

Is there no way in hell we can't keep this catastroophe going? It's gotta seep! It must seep! Something bad is happening somewhere. We must stick together and observe and comment.

Later boyz, see you at the next Hurricane of Doom.

Who said anything about something bad happening? I just asked about what appears to be oil seeping out of the stack and wondered why as I thought it was filled with drilling mud.

quote: Who said anything about something bad happening? I just asked about what appears to be oil seeping out of the stack and wondered why as I thought it was filled with drilling 's mud. :unquote

It's been mentioned before that the BOP is filled with the same oil/gas mixture it was filled with before the static kill began.

At the moment, and for many past moments, we have no idea what pressures are in the kill & choke lines. Whatever it is it's apparently enough to continue to force oil/gas out of post-blowout BOP leaks.


What I see near the top of the LMRP is maybe 1 small bubble of oil every 30 seconds that rises up. Prior and during initial phase of top-kill this location was bubbling what looked like tens to hundreds of drops per second.

The only other visible "leak" from any equipment we have been shown is at a connector on the pipe connected to the riser to the Q4000 and the BOP Kill line. It has occasionally leaked wisps of mud and cement as far as I can see (but not oil at least in this phase - may have occasionally leaked oil earlier on before top-kill as it was used to produce the oil to Q4000 at one point).

According to a comment on IRC the cloud of coloured fluid seen just before top-kill was hydraulic fluid pumped to the yellow control pod. No return line is in place for the hydraulic fluid so it was vented. If so I guess that explains why ROV operators seemed to expect it.

"CTs on this thread? I've only seen most people asking questions."
Doncha love the meme JAQing around. It too often substitutes for thought.

"There is also the polyanna crowd, almost exclusively non-industry people. They were the first to dismiss any evidence of seeps or leaks, even ones that were later confirmed.

I've seen a trend of people who seem desperate to not appear to be part of the methane bubble/tsunami crowd that they start by dismissing every concern."

If the WW is not fully plugged, Thud Allen / BP will so advise. Until then, chill out.

Methane tsunami! Where does this crap come from?

Yesterday Mark Schleifstein of the Times-Pic pulled together in one article all the many moving parts of the Gulf recovery effort. An overwhelming eyeful.

Skandi 1 is now looking at a tiny leak on the stack. It is too slow & grainy for a good screen capture and my video program still flips things.

I have 2 questions.

1. Why does BP often show feed that is so grainy? Obviously they are interested in viewing something, but the public feed is crap. Do they think that we are stupid enough to believe that they are looking at these grainy images?

2. What are the possible explanations for the current tiny leaks?


2. What are the possible explanations for the current tiny leaks?


Not sure what leaks you are referring to. There is still pressure inside the BOP. If they are conducting a positive pressure test there is more pressure.


The lower arrow and dark spot is where it leaks from.

Not to belittle the info conveyed, but those look like MEGAshark bites.

Who's the rope for?

This is wreckage?

I think that handle is in his tool box.

There is still pressure inside the BOP

How much and why?

This stuff was not coming up like this last night in front of the ROV.


There are 4 ROV's with feeds watching the sea floor now.

Approximately 3400 psi because there is 5000 ft of 13.2 ppg mud attached to the BOP. There is approximately 2200 psi on the outside of the BOP because it sits in 5000 ft of seawater. Therefore there is approximately a 1200 psi differential from the inside to the out side of the BOP.

If there is damage to the seal you will have a leak. It could be mud or residual oil or natural gas that was bi-passed during the static kill process. Since the mud was pumped into the bottom of the BOP and there was nowhere for the oil and natural gas in the BOP to go it remained in the BOP.

I don't know how much volume the BOP holds, but I suspect it might take some time to empty the oil and natural gas at the rate of the leaks I have observed. After that it should leak mud until the mud head is removed.

I suspect it might take some time to empty the oil and natural gas at the rate of the leaks I have observed

Morning, Hank. I haven't been observing them (knowing I don't know what I'd be seeing), but from what you experts say, sounds as if the neighborhood microbes are apt to polish off those snacks long before they could make so much as a sheen on the surface. Suits me.

I would say it is pretty minimal compared to what we were seeing before the cap was installed. My old Triumph motorcycle used to leak more oil than that. After I sold it I had to start oiling my garage floor by hand. :)

Rio: Heh! Heh! Sounds like something I would do! I love to watch floor-dry work. But then, I love to watch this newly planted buffalo grass come up! Hell yes!

5000 ft of 13.2 ppg mud attached to the BOP

I don't like that number. It would be 12,240 psi at the reservoir before they pumped cement, i.e. ~5,000 psi above observed pressure in the well, plenty of head to squeeze mud into the reservoir and wherever else it found a path in the liner or casing. Now comes the cement pill. If it was followed by 13ppg mud, that would push the cement all the way out of the pipe and continue to flow mud downhole, true?

So, are the pumps running now? More 13ppg mud being mixed and pumped?

It would be 12,240 psi at the reservoir before they pumped cement, i.e. ~5,000 psi above observed pressure in the well,

Observed were? The only observed pressure at the reservoir I am aware of is 11,900 psi measured with a logging tool. That is hardly 5,000 psi below 12,240 psi. If you mean the pressure measured at the BOP during the pressure build up test after the cap was installed you need to add hydrostatic head of any fluid in the hole to correlate reservoir pressure.

Thanks, I forgot. Plus ~4,900 psi at 30 API. Very slightly overbalanced, but they pumped to increase effective pressure. And the question remains, what was the situation when the entire column was filled with 13.3ppg mud? More overbalanced.

On Friday, Admiral Allen said "They've put a layer of fluid on top of the cement and then put more mud on top of that to press it down to help add pressure to help cure the cement." Lots of unknowns. What fluid, how much?

Since I'm rambling, how does one perform a negative test now? Circulate and displace to seawater through choke/kill lines?

Since I'm rambling, how does one perform a negative test now? Circulate and displace to seawater through choke/kill lines?

They will eventually do that, but I would not displace until the RW cement job is done. For a quick easy test negative test they could shut valve on the manifold that they pumped the mud through thus isolating the 5,000 ft of mud head. Might have to open the choke on the new BOP a bit to release pressure.

On Friday, Admiral Allen said "They've put a layer of fluid on top of the cement and then put more mud on top of that to press it down to help add pressure to help cure the cement." Lots of unknowns. What fluid, how much?

Not sure, but I assumed it was same as they used for the static kill.

I beleive he was refering to pressure to hold the cement in place while it cured, ie prevent it from comming back up the hole, rather than make it cure faster.

Read your post too fast. Fluid on top of cement would be a spacer to isolate cement from mud, maybe 20 bbls or so. A cementing expert could give more info.

So, are the pumps running now? More 13ppg mud being mixed and pumped?

No, the well is static.

Thank you for an informative and non smart-*ss answer.

I try to explain in a way that laymen can understand. I know that all the talk about pressures and hydrostatic heads within all the plumbing of this well can be hard to visualize sometimes to some. Those of us with actual experience sometimes take some things for granted and don't go into enough detail about what we are talking about.

deleted, double post

@ Cheryl Rofer from previous thread:

The oilpatch guys can correct me on this, but I've always understood that petroleum refers to everything, gas, liquid, and solid, in that carbonaceous stuff that we mine for liquid fuels and other useful things, and I use it when that's what I mean. As we see here, oil tends to mean, in common parlance, the liquids only, although when used in the oilpatch, I think of it as shorthand for petroleum. Add in natural gas liquids, particularly when used by people who probably don't know what they're talking about, like reporters, and you've got major confusion.

I think the generic term for oil plus gas is hydrocarbons. Certainly the first scientific reports of underwater plumes referred to "hydrocarbon plumes" which morphed into "giant plumes of oil" in the MSM, when in fact they were mainly plumes of dissolved methane. And, as you point out, it caused major confusion.

Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked on Galveston Island in 1519. His diary mentions tar deposits on the beaches

The Karankawa, who had contact with de Vaca, used asphaltum for lining pottery and baskets, body decoration, etc. There are some reports they chewed it like tobacco. I've not found a good source for that, but there's no doubt the tar was around and useful in de Vaca's day.


The oil possibly came from all the "GALLEONS" the Spanish lost in in the Gulf.

novice - FYI: the Karankawa also ate Spaniards. No accounting for taste, eh?

The P-R's tidings of Things Not Working:

VOO-do or don't? BP disputes claims it will shut down Vessels of Opportunity soon

BP oil spill claims meeting leaves many frustrated: 'I got the same answers I seem to be getting every time' (with photo gallery)

When the smoke clears, I can envision this sort of thing as a permanent part of FEMA's assignment (if FEMA were to become an agency that knuckleheaded administrations can't mess with, which I'm not sure is possible).

One possible explanation is tha BP is focusing on the claims that are easy to process first and putting off the hard ones for later. If you can process three 'easy' claims in the same amount of time it takes to process a 'hard' one - you help three times as many people by doing the easy one first.

Another thing to remember is that people's frustrations may be based on unrealistic expectations also.

I was not reading TOD immediately after the blowout and fire. So, I missed the discussions about what happened and how. I understand the mud from the riser had been displaced with sea water, probably to the bottom of the suspended drill string about 3000 feet below the sea floor. As I understand, this lighter column of sea water lowered the overall pressure in the wellbore and allowed the kick to start. Once the kick started, it fed on itself as gas spaces further decreased the pressure in the well. The "percolator" effect then cleared the remaining mud and allowed free flow of hydrocarbons up the casing. This all depended on the bottom cement job leaking somewhere and allowing the flow.

There have been references to eyewitness statements that the "hose blew off the swivel" or something to that effect.

My question is; could the original blowout been through the suspended drillpipe and not through the annular space around it?

Some possible causes:

A relief valve opened somewhere on the mud circulation system allowing backflow up the drill pipe.

The hose blew off the swivel joint. (or was "knocked" off by subsequent water hammer)

Some valve was opened or pump started accidentaly allowing the backflow to start.

Some other reason besides these.

If the gas/oil started escaping this way and started the fire, the leak from the annular seal on the BOP could have come later

What is the expert opinion on flow path of the initial blowout?

EJB - Maybe a more common example would help. You have a scuba tank with 300 psi in it. You’ve got a 2” tube (this is the casing coming up the well) sticking in it. Inside that tube you have a ½” tube (this is the drill pipe). The pressure at the end of both tubes is 300 psi. The hydrill hose that blew would be like a check valve on the DP. The annular preventor on the BOP should have served that same purpose to seal off the casing flow. We know the blow out came thru the DP. We guess it also came thru the casing too.

Either way, all thru one conduit or the other or both. But I suspect the nightmare would have played out the same no matter what. With almost 12,000 psi reservoir pressure a 5 ½” drill pipe could have flowed enough volume to take down the rig.

Thanks Rockman. I was thinking that the BOP could have been functioning properly at the initial time of the blowout - the annular seal was holding but there could have been a flow path through the drill pipe that started the disaster. If that was so, the BOP didn't fail until the signal was sent to the shears to sever the drill pipe and close off the flow completely. After the riser was cut, and even before, the flow was coming out both the drill pipe and around it. They stopped the flow from the drill pipe when it was laying on the seafloor. Then it started again after the saw and claw job.

The blowout either started by a BOP failure or some failure or event up on the rig. The BOP does not prevent flow up the drill pipe with just the annular seal closed. Is that correct? Drill pipe reverse flow is prevented on the rig under normal circumstances? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It's probably a moot point but I would like to know.

I don't know. "Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit!"

Or, was the drillpipe lying on the seafloor? I don't spell or grammar check, so have a little mercy.

I may not be communicating my question very well. Let me pose it as a multiple choice question.

The INITIAL explosion and fire on the DWH rig was caused by:

A. A kick coming up the DP.

B. A kick coming up the annular space.

C. Both A and B at the same time.

D. None of the above.

Is the answer known to any degree of certainty?

According to this, it started through the drill pipe.


"The first extremely unusual event relates to the TIW valve. The gas was able to escape through the drill pipe because the TIW valve had not been shut. This is normally the valve that would be shut first. This is Drilling 101; a basic practice. There may not have been time to shut the TIW, this cannot be determined with the known information. However the TIW valve cannot be shut once the fluids start moving through it; it must be shut prior to this."

If this is correct, I have my answer. What's the TIW valve?

I'm off to the great outdoors. It's too nice out to stay around here, talking to myself mostly anyway. Good day.

Just a comment that much of what is speculated on in that document would now appear to be incorrect based on testimony of Dr John Smith (Expert testimony on well control and how he interpreted telemetry from DWH up to explosion) and results of top-kill. No major casing failure now seems to be suggested and the crew were aware of a problem and began to take action at 9:30pm - 20 minutes before the explosion.

That's my understanding at this point from what I've heard anyway.

EJB - T.I.W. is really a brand name which stands for: Texas Iron Works. The Valves on drilling rigs in the drillstring are often refered to as TIW Valve. More often the Safety Valve which is used on Work-over and Completions of well and/or work done through the Christmas Tree is also refered to as a TIW type valve. They all are used for pressure control.

Exactly EJB: the shears have to cut the DP and seal off the hole. Just about every failed BOP I recall failed the same way: the shear didn't shear.

"BP blowout preventer on Gulf oil well to be replaced, Allen says"

What could possibly be accomplished by putting a BOP on a well that's been bullheaded and bottom killed?

Thank you, snake. Good catch. A link would be nice.

snake - I think the stated plan now is to go in hole with drill pipe and spot more cement plugs in the shallow sections of the casing. That's the standard MMS reg. Another MMS reg: you cannot go in hole with drill pipe without a functioning BOP inplace.

Thanks, ROCKMAN.


Too bad Allen couldn't have given such a reasonable reply. His reply to the question of why BP wants to replace the BOP was that the government wanted the BOP for evidence.

Which simply proves that Allen reads TOD, and felt the need to counter all the "they're going to cement the BOP in" CTs. :-(

It probably is simply some evidence of the mindset of the government workers now that the crisis is pretty much over.

Jeez, nepeta, what was un- or less reasonable about Allen's reply? His applies as much as the regulations Rockman cited, and the two explanations have no conflict.

My apologies for repeating a question that I asked yesterday and also if it has already been answered. Is is not possible that the drill pipe is still hanging from the shear rams in the old BOP? If so, how does one go about removing the old BOP without dropping it into the hole? Can the BOP be unbolted, lifted and the pipe set in slips and then either cut off or broken out? Between its weight and the corkscrewing when it impacted down hole, it ought to be capable of damaging the 7" casing.

There are more rams in the BOP than the shear rams. I would bet that one of the lower rams can be activated to hold the DP whilst the shear rams are opened. The annular preventer may also be pressed into service to do this I would imagine. Complicating things, the forensic guys are going to want to do minimal operation of anything that they do not have absolute control over, and an ability to measure. So I would expect an excruciatingly drawn out process.

Francis - I think the official thought is that the DP is stuck in the BOP. I don’t think they can open the rams. If they could they could have gone into the well with drill pipe more than 2 months ago and killed it. But if they can unlatch the BOP and the DP falls in the hole: no big deal. They put a new BOP on and GIH with fishing equipment to recover that section of DP. Fishing DP out of a cased hole is relatively easy. After that they should be able to spot as many cmt plugs as the rules require.

Not to mention that if the point was to avoid dropping the pipe while removing the BOP, eventually you have to open whatever rams might be holding the pipe to free the old BOP. Unless things have changed a lot since the last time I closed BOP rams, they don't open so swell with weight hanging on them. I am also not so sure that dropping the pipe would be such a harmless thing to do. Many years ago I fished out a string that had been dropped and it looked like a giant champagne bottle opener all corkscrewed. Admittedly that was in an uncased hole, but it isn't clear to me that the dropped DP couldn't split the casing or maybe pop a collar.

Rock would the worst case scenario be the bottom of the DP now cemented into the 9 7/8 casing, and the rams unable to retract in the BOP? Now how do you remove the BOP without endangering the cement?

Looking at the numbers, and barrels of cement pumped, I don't think the cement got up to the DP if it is intact and still crimped in the BOP.

I guess you have to trust these top down, and bottoms up cement plugs when you separate the BOP and leave the well head open for a few hours.

Moose - No big problem. There's a method to run insdie the DP and do a mechanical or chemical cut and free it. Don't think that's been done at this depth and situation. Just cost a lot of time and money. But it would be BP's money so I don't care. They might be able to unlatch the BOP and part the DP by pulling up on it. Either way once the BOP is gone and a new one installed they can re-enter and more easily get out as much of the DP as needed to set the proper shallow cmt plugs.


"Here is the MMS Rules on P&A:"

here's another excerpt from the same page. "...The well is either not dead or they are still pumping on it, as oil and gas are still coming out of the leaks. Mud is not...."

So is the black goop on Hero's screen mud or oil?

Change of subject. Bloo-Be-Gone worked, all nice and yellow again.

Was there a back pressure valve near bottom of DP string?

Between the top of BOP stack and the surface does the drill pipe when drilling or making a trip come thru the same line as the drilling mud return line?

Maybe a little clearer about what I am asking.When the bit is pulled thru top of BOP stack is there any fluid communication from the top 5000' DP to well annulus?

I can speak to the way I personally saw it done on land when I was in the field. Any expert that wants to correct me or add something, please do.

“Was there a back pressure valve near bottom of DP string?”
I don’t know in this specific case, but in general the answer would be no. They can control back pressure with the mud pumps since that is where mud is normally pumped through the DP. Sometimes they need to reverse circulation meaning mud flows backward through the DP. Unless a down hole back pressure valve was controllable from the surface it could create problems.

“Between the top of BOP stack and the surface does the drill pipe when drilling or making a trip come thru the same line as the drilling mud return line?”
I’m not sure what you are asking. From right above the BOP back to the surface there is a rather large riser pipe that is not designed to withstand a whole lot of pressure. The top of the riser is usually open to (and at) atmospheric pressure. The DP is inside the riser annulus. Mud that is pumped down the DP ultimately returns to the surface through the riser annulus. At the surface the mud is at atmospheric pressure and flows back to the mud pits for recycling back into the hole. It is a closed loop that cannot contain a sudden pressure increase. Normally what you call the drilling mud return line would be the riser pipe. There are at least two other ways for mud to return. Lower on the BOP stack high pressure hoses are connected: choke line and kill line. Either one or both can be used as a mud return line. If you have the pumps connected to the DP and you begin to lose control of the well you can close the appropriate BOP rams, open the choke line through a manifold system behind it and let the mud return to the pits through that. Now you still have a closed system, but it is able to handle high pressure while still being able to pump whatever fluids you need to regain control. Maybe they have changed, but it used to be that if the well was under control, when they tripped the hole the DP was open to atmosphere at the top.

“Maybe a little clearer about what I am asking. When the bit is pulled thru top of BOP stack is there any fluid communication from the top 5000' DP to well annulus?”
See above for my answer to this one. I believe I read that when the well blew out there was no bit on the DP. As I recall they call that going in open ended.

If you need a primer or refresher on well drilling you can start from the TOD homepage and drill down (is that a pun?) from the Tech Talk link to the oldest articles, I believe going back to 2005. There are a ton of excellent lessons there.

Hope this helps!

"From right above the BOP back to the surface there is a rather large riser pipe that is not designed to withstand a whole lot of pressure."

What do you call a "whole lot of pressure" Like 5000' of 13.5 mud hydrostatic pressure at top of BOP stack? That is about 3000 psi?

I am very familar with the hookups where the BOPs are close below the rotary table, KB height. But never worked on wells in water over 40' or 50' deep. Did work one 60 day hitch on the GLOMAR Challenger tho. WE were coring the bottom of the ocean for Scripts Howard. We cored in the Atlantic at 19000' No preventors just went in ran wire line core barrel Pulled cores Dropped a little cement in hole and movin on.

Caught no Russian Subs?

Oh that's right, you can't talk about that part can you?


"What do you call a "whole lot of pressure" Like 5000' of 13.5 mud hydrostatic pressure at top of BOP stack? That is about 3000 psi?"

I did not do a good job with that one and I apologize. Pressure is a lot less than you state because the only pressure that the riser sees at any depth is the differential pressure between the Mud weight inside and the seawater outside the riser. With 13.5 pound mud, at 5000' that is about 1300 PSI. In absolute terms I would call that a whole lot of pressure, but relative to the typical pressures seen down hole it is not. I did not make that distinction.

My hands-on experience was on land and barge rigs with the typical short riser hookup you mentioned. By the time I got offshore I was a manager and sent engineers and their crews out to the rigs. Things like BOPs, risers, and drilling muds became not so much a part of my job anymore. Obviously, it led to my careless writing.

I had no idea about your experience or knowledge around drilling rigs. I misread your questions thinking that you must be inexperienced. I responded with that in mind. Please accept my apology for my error.

Gas from seafloor, pretty good show at the moment (in wide shot)

Panned and tilted to cigarette smoke right in front of ROV. When he looks at the wide shot of seafloor again, you'll see the main attraction. Somebody burn a video! (I can't)

I saw no gas in that video.
I saw some small fish swimming by.
I saw some kind of current or something right up from under the ROV which is probably from its props.
I saw another ROV in the distance.

Gas rises faster than anything moved in that rather boring video.
Even Hydrates are perkier.

Its almost like a Hollywood plot , the bubble region has moved towards the ROV and even BENEATH it :


(if I'm dramatic , thats how I feel about it )

Right now , all stop , silence ,

I know what that means when I'm watching a movie ,

but here ?

(gas coming out of the cracks , bottom even got lifted at one time ,it suddenly stopped and the bottom row of the camera got darkened as if a chunk of oil had settled and sealed the cracks)

Looks like a boat wake to me.

Anybody seen any cigarette boats down there?

Must be intermission, time for popcorn. That ROV has been parked 18+ hours at that location. Five minutes ago there was a very impressive venting of gas. Just a few oil droplets now. Terrain is changing shape slightly.

They are monitoring the BOP now. I still see oil coming out of the BOP...

That location was leaking like a shaken champagne bottle just before top-kill - now just the very occasional bubble. There will still be a small amount of oil/gas trapped at the top of the BOP/stack which is under a certain amount of pressure as the well is balanced to 0 psi with denser than water mud to surface not sea-water.

You folks who insist on posting links to and commenting on the ROV cams here in the forum should try the IRC channel if you really want to discuss what you see in real-time.

Open thread.

Yeah, but you'll find much more receptive colleagues there. Here, hysterics over ROV views bore most of us.

Excellent advice, sivadselim, and I hope they take it -- for everyone's sake.

Whats the IRC channel #?

.............if you're looking for live chat to talk about the ROV/LMRP video, etc., and are IRC capable, go to freenode, the channel is #theoildrum (google MIRC and download it; Hit the lightening bolt and fill in your info; select the server as "freenode" (it is in the server list), hit connect; when connected type /join #theoildrum) or you can get there just via a browser: http://webchat.freenode.net / Just enter a nickname and #theoildrum in the boxes; then when connected type /join #theoildrum).

Simplest way to access


enter chosen nickname and #theoildrum (you need the #) into "channel" then hit connect.

Normally info is at head of the threads but not there at the moment I see. Realtime discussion of what is being shown on ROV cameras there.

Nope, it's the main tent for me. Painted toes, politics, religion, oceanography.

Difference is on that channel any questions you ask or links you post are seen instantly by everyone as posted. No delay until someone next reads the page. Doesn't mean you can't post here as well if anything significant.

I posted shots ,
next time I'll try video

I have no problem with ROV-watchers posting here. Video, however, will crash the site. So please don't.

Thats oke ,

I've got it on Youtube :


Your screengrab stills at 13:20 local time were great. This video only has "cigarette smoke" (drilling mud maybe) much later starting at 15:05 local time. Is there another video of gas eruption 13:15 to 13:25?

I've got some extra screenshots ,
but the event made me install a videograbber only afterwards , alas.

I thought TOD quit promoting the IRC channel a long time ago.

ON August 6, 2010 - 5:37pm M4570D0N posted the following reponse to one of my comments

@ Deepwater Engineer,

Your comment in the previous thread(here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6815/695600) about the credentials of Dr. Patzek and Dr. Bommer confuses me. You claimed neither are licensed engineers and questioned as to whether they even had any experience outside the classroom. This confuses me because it only takes 3 seconds to pull up information from google.

Since Bommer is on the FRTG and has a greater impact, let's go there:

"Paul Bommer
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D. Petroleum Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Bommer joined the faculty in 2004 and teaches courses in drilling, production, artificial lift, and facilities. He received his Ph.D. in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas in 1979 and formed Bommer Engineering Co. soon thereafter. He spent twenty-five years in private practice specializing in drilling and production operations and oil and gas appraisals.

Dr. Bommer has published articles in several fields including solution mining, beam pump design, and well log analysis. He is the author of one book. He has served as an instructor in petroleum related courses at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston at Victoria, and at Bee County Community College. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute, Pi Epsilon Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, and Tau Beta Pi.


So, he is licensed, and he has 25yrs of out-of-classroom industry experience operating his own engineering company. You are correct that Patzek is not an engineer and his resume is much shorter with respect to non-academic settings, but you're completely inaccurate about Bommer.

M4570D0N was correct in that on further review Dr. Bommer is a licensed engineer in the State of Texas in Petroleum Engineering. For that gaff I owe Dr. Bommer a public apology. Therefore Dr. Bommer I apologize. I had checked for licensed civil engineering registration for all the governments elitist team and had not found any licensed. Forgot to check for Petroleum Engineers.

However, Dr. Bommer is not the one that made a public spectacle of himself by offering an "expert opinion" to the BBC correspondenet in her psuedo-documentary that was run on CNBC about "BP In Deep Water". Dr. Patzek offered an opionion to the public he probable cannot support with calculations his conclusions. The simplistic diagram posted by the UT Cockrell School of Engineering which showed a simple cartoon animation of the production casing being lifted by the failure of the cement up the annulus was false and misleading. The currrent results from cementing in the well from the top have pretty much debunked that theory. However, because of the BS that the School of Engineering was putting out, if Bonnie had turned into a hurricane the governmnet was considering opening up the well again to let it flow because of concen that the casing wsa not intact. Sound engineering and calculations would have debunked that theory but the elitist academians did not appear to be listening to the practical engineers. Got any questions look up the SS15 Subsea Tree in Dril-Quips website. It has diagrams and animations on how it works. The area that a lifting force would have had to exert it force to cause it too rise is too small for the effective weight of the suspended casing to be offset and liftes even with the negative pressure test and subsequent displacement with seawater down to below 9400 ft in the production casing. My calculations show it was not buoyant. Pipe + Drill pipe steel volume weighted to much. Basic Archemedes principle.

Look up "Ivory Tower" in Answers.com. It has a revealing discussion that explains a lot about how the Deepwater Horizon response was handled by the government officials (direct form academia) and their selection of technical advisors.

R.I.P. http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:44838.asx blacked out

Ooops. Back on with the matinee gas show.

I thought they stopped all the leaking??

I'm seeing some serious seepage.

I thought they stopped all the leaking??

From the sea floor? No.

So now what are they trying to do?


How long has this been going on. I have watched it for about a half hour.

You can see the oil building up on the camera lens.


I know it is murky, but can anyone explain what is going on in video feed from Hos – ROV 2?

Too funny. I caught him spraying dispersent.

Had a crazy idea about "cigarette smoke" - it's drilling mud.

That's likely.
But where are these reports of seepage coming from, haven't we established that the seafloor seeps all the time?

Typically heavy oil from young shallow degraded reservoirs. That's how tar balls in Florida were correctly identified as not from Macondo. What we're seeing in and around the wellsite is altogether different. If I'm right that drilling mud is start to come through, it augers for annular breech.

Cool, good footage.,.
Reminds me of geothermal areas, and mud pools.
(- just underwater, and different compounds)

It does show what positive pressure does, combined with fractured geology.

All this also probably helps BP 'talk down' oil volumes and damages, as the Gulf has been doing this for millenia, and has a steady supply of feedstock for natural cycles.

So did they or did they not fracture the ocean floor? I'm hearing reports of natural seepage. Or could they use the natural seepage as a scapegoat not to pay more fines. We will never know due to the secrecy.

I don't think so...but I can't be sure. Last night, one poster has sent us several videos depicting the so called leaks, and we dismissed them as shadows. Which I think they were, especially since the quality of the video isn't the greatest out there.
But I'd give the conspiracy cover ups a break, sometimes I think we should just appreciate that they are taking full responsibility and are getting this under control like promised. But that isn't to say that critisism isn't allowed, but that we shouldn't undermine their efforts every step of the way.
BP knows what they're doing.

You dismissed this as shadows???????????????

I think it is funny skandi is sitting right in front of a piece of equipment the whole time and supposed to be doing sonar sweeps.

So did they or did they not fracture the ocean floor?

So what does that mean exactly?

Is the 'ocean floor' a place or a sheet or a layer or what?

What's it made of?

How thick is it?

What's below it?

How is it joined to the stuff below?

Can a find a piece of 'ocean floor' in a museum or a shop?

Do we have 'ocean' then the 'ocean floor' and then X metres below this layer a huge lake of oil and gas?

Is the Earth built like an egg with dry land and the 'ocean floor' acting as a breakable crust above BAD THINGS?

By the way, I was chopping some wood today and my axe nearly split an atom.

Several inches of silt, then 2000+ ft of mud, progressively more compacted and less water. The mud is conformable but will shear and fracture. In the same sequence there are swirly sand and shale turbidites from the most recent shelf collapse.

The realization that the oil and gas that caused the blow out flowed up thru the production casing rather than thru the annulus is very significant.

Two, very important conditions exist in the annulus that are worthy of emphasis.

1) If the cement job went as planned, there is 500' plus of cement in the annulus above the reservoir. When cement cures, since it is a solid, it has no intrinsic hydrostatic effect. In other words, cement is like a toggle switch....It's either good or it's really bad. If the cement works, the reservoir is isolated. If not, the reservoir is not isolated and the hydrostatic pressure is reduced. Essentially, 500' of drilling mud that kept the reservoir in balance before the cement is pumped exits the drill hole.

2) Cementing is a one shot deal. Once the pumps are shut down at the end of the cement job, the fluids that are in the annulus above the top of the cement can't be changed. What's in the annulus stays in the annulus.

Compare these two very big strikes against annulus to the conditions inside the production casing at the time of the blow out. The five hundred feet of "non-hydrostatic" cement that existed in the annulus was not a factor inside the casing. The fluids inside the casing were balanced to the reservoir pressure plus a cement plug was spotted inside the casing near the reservoir level. Prior to displacing the riser and the upper portion of the well below the mud line with seawater, a heavy mud pill was spotted inside the casing to compensate for the lighter seawater.

The theory of the day is the shoe failed. The flow from the 60' Macondo Sand traveled ~150' down the rathole annulus and then comprimised the shoe that had been tested and then blew out the cement plug inside casing plus overcame the reservoir balanced fluid in the casing plus the extra ~150' of fluid in the rathole. Isn't that a little wierd?


There are 5,000 feet of cement inside the casing, not 500, located from the bottom up. That's about 300 barrels of cement. The other 200 of cement went into the formation. This situation indicates the annulus is not compromised. The relief well mission is to cement the annulus.

I wonder how long that would take to harden? They did say they were going to monitor the well for several days to see if the cement hold right?
As for relief well number two, why would they abandon it, if they already started they might as well finish, besides there is no kill quiet like an overkill. Cementing it twice from the bottom is sure to do the trick.

What about the immense pressure?

What about the immense pressure?

What immense pressure?

I usually try to not be a smart a$$, but sometimes I can't resist. Anyway pressure is relative, but from my experience in the oilpatch the pressure in this well would not be defined as immense.

In any case MMS` regs call for several cement plugs at various depths to abandon the well.

CCT - Rio was being a smart *ss...just like me. It's an oil patch thing maybe. LOL

Pressures: the 11,900 psi reservoir pressure in the BP well is just considered moderate. The highest I've ever dealt with personally was 19,000 psi. But the pressure, regardless of its level, wasn't the problem. It might sound odd but historically most blow outs have occured at pressures less than the BP reservoir. More than a few hands have died in blow outs under 2,000 psi. If the blow out had happened at 6,000 psi instead of 11,900 psi it still would have exploded, 11 hands would have died and the rig sunk. The only significant difference might have been a lower flow rate of oil/NG into the GOM.

I wonder how long that would take to harden? They did say they were going to monitor the well for several days to see if the cement hold right?
As for relief well number two, why would they abandon it, if they already started they might as well finish, besides there is no kill quiet like an overkill. Cementing it twice from the bottom is sure to do the trick.

Heiro - I don't think they'll P&A RW2 until they have the blow out well completely P&A. And I think the plan is to replace the damaged BOP with a new one and then re-enter the well with drill pipe and spot a number of cmt plugs inside the csg in the conventional manner. That would be the best way to make sure the well is permanently sealed.

My ears picked up when I heard some mention fishing stuck drill pipe out hole. I spent 36 years working at popping caps and prima cord retrieving stuck drill pipe,casing tubing even sucker rods. WE have a tool that will tell the exact Free Point of a stuck string of pipeBacked off DC for Shell at Bruni WEbb County around 23000' Temperature was big problem Over 500 degs. WE were having trouble melting solder out of our tools. Running a Slumbrger Teflon line.Don't know if Shell ever got bottom section of hole logged


"There is 5000 feet of cement inside the casing, not 500'"

The 500' of cement that I was referencing is the amount that the MMS requires operators to have above a reservoir in the annulus of production casing. This is the amount BP was shooting for with the original nitrogen cement job before the blow out.

Yes, there is now about 5000' of cement inside the casing but that was pumped yesterday.

The theory of the day is the shoe failed. The flow from the 60' Macondo Sand traveled ~150' down the rathole annulus and then comprimised the shoe that had been tested and then blew out the cement plug inside casing plus overcame the reservoir balanced fluid in the casing plus the extra ~150' of fluid in the rathole. Isn't that a little wierd?

Is it still so weird if the negative pressure tests blew the cement job? Plus it didn't really overcome the reservoir balanced fluid. The fluid was displaced with lighter seawater after the blow-out had occurred.

I must have walked into the wrong part of your conversation but this blowout is the one that occured on April 21rst right and not some new blowout that I haven't heard about?

Ok so they stopped the oil from gushing we all know that. Now we have to deal with the seafloor fissures. That's what they aren't telling us about.

The well was obviously flowing at 5:55pm according to Dr John Smith telemetry analysis. Everyone concerned (BP and Transocean) somehow convinced themselves there was another explanation and that everything was fine. They then missed the signs for the next 3 hours 35 minutes and continued to displace with lighter seawater making the situation worse. For reasons not yet known flow meters were only recording intermittently which confused things further. However according to Smith there were no excuses for not spotting the flow with the info they had. At 9:30pm the flow was finally spotted and the BOP was shut at 9:31pm (in his opinion from telemetry). Between then and the explosion actions to control a kick were taken. At 9:47pm catastrophic surge to surface begins. 9:49pm telemetry from rig is lost.


"Is it still so weird if the negative pressure tests blew the cement job? Plus, it didn't really overcome the reservoir balanced fluid. The fluid was didplaced with lighter seawater after the blow-out had occurred."

Not as I understand it. A heavy mud pill was spotted inside of the production casing prior to seawater displacement to compensate for the lighter seawater. It is true the annulus fluid became underbalanced with the seawater displacement of the riser but that becomes a moot point if cement in the annulus held.

Obviously, I don't know what caused the blow-out. The broader point I was trying to make is that an annulus blow out is easier to explain than a blow-out that flowed up the production casing.

I think it's possible that the cement job was fine and is still intact and the cause of the blow-out is a deeper, higher pressure reservoir below the bottom of the Macondo Well. Fluids from this deeper reservoir blew out the shoe and caused the incident. Just a theory which I admit is a little far fetched but it does explain some inconsistencies.


I think it's possible that the cement job was fine and is still intact and the cause of the blow-out is a deeper, higher pressure reservoir below the bottom of the Macondo Well.

Point to note though is that the oil flowing after the blow-out has been analysed and is identical in chemical signature to the known Macondo reservoir which they intended to produce.

Not as I understand it. A heavy mud pill was spotted inside of the production casing prior to seawater displacement to compensate for the lighter seawater. It is true the annulus fluid became underbalanced with the seawater displacement of the riser but that becomes a moot point if cement in the annulus held.


That is not the way it was explained by the MI-Swaco mud engineer at the MMS/USCG hearings. The heavy spacer was simple used because it was surplus mud lying around. They couldn't legally dump into the gulf unless they used it. If they used it as a spacer then they could dump it overboard since it was a water based mud. That was what they were in the process of doing when the well blew. Dumping the returns into the gulf meant they weren't able to accurately determine the volume of returns.

Dumping the returns into the gulf meant they weren't able to accurately determine the volume of returns

Testimony of multiple witnesses was that it was physically impossible to bypass DWH flow-meters even if dumping overboard due to rig's "plumbing", therefore that was not the reason flow not recorded. That did leave open the possibility that flow-meters were switched off or otherwise disconnected though. The key witness, mudlogger Joseph Keith (named in testimony of OIM and Senior Toolpusher), who may be able to answer this question, did not appear when called for reasons not reported.

Testimony of multiple witnesses was that it was physically impossible to bypass DWH flow-meters even if dumping overboard due to rig's "plumbing", therefore that was not the reason flow not recorded.

I didn't say they bypassed the flow meter.
As Dr Smith explained the flow meters are inherently inaccurate when they are measuring flows of differing and basically unknown consistencies. He believed the spacer was mixing with sea water and the flow meters were reading considerably lower than was actually being returned. Had they known the returns were higher they might have seen that there was a problem.

But the point was it is incorrect to say that they were using a heavier mud spacer to compensate for the lighter seawater. The spacer was simply some surplus water based mud they had left over. It was a much larger quantity than would be usual that they were looking for a way to dispose of legally without paying someone to haul it away. That may have been a fatal mistake because it messed up their negative test and it messed up their accounting of the flow.

I didn't say they bypassed the flow meter.

Dr Smith believed initially they had bypassed the flow-meter based on lack of returns in telemetry. It was then put to him that testimony was that was physically impossible. He was then asked the curious question: "Are you aware this information may have been displayed elsewhere?" He did not know the answer to that question.


At approximately 3:45PM EST there was a take over of the relief wells by the government and special ops. Apparently the takeover was not peaceful and multiple casualties were noted.

As I speak, Morgan Freeman has taken over the control room of RW1 and is in charge of the operation with Bruce Willis overseeing operations on deck. RW2 was quickly taken over by the team of Steven Segal and Sigourney Weaver and immediately shut down. There are additional reports that Sylvester Stallone has commandeered a harrier jump jet and is providing close in air support.

This all started last night as the result of a private dinner between Sean Connery and Tony Hayward. Sean noted that prior to dinner he thought he observed Tony inhaling methane from a tank. While confronting Tony, Sean reported that Tony's eyes went from blue to red and finally a brilliant orange. It was with the emergence of lizard like scales on Tony's hands and face that Sean realized he was confronting an alien and quickly dispatched him with his Walthers PPK. This led to the discovery of an alien plot to release methane in our atmosphere in preparation of taking over the planet.

4:55PM EST Sigourney and Steve have boarded deep water craft and are on their way to destroy the mother ship.

This explains the sitings for years of UFO's entering our oceans. It was also discovered that British Petroleum is an anagram for Bishtri Reopetlum which translates to Earth Takeover in the aliens language. Their plan was to replace our atmosphere with methane (these creatures breathe methane).

Gov. Schwarzenager and Harrison Ford are reportedly upset that they were not called in on the action. I'll keep everyone posted if more news of the operation comes my way. Anybody else who has connections and more news of this operation please post it.

My word...it all makes sense now!
Also Meisje, they're shadows, the quality of the video is bad so the contrast appears less natural, thus making the various shades harder to define. This gives the illusion of the floor being raised.
Now I'll be sure to tell everyone that Tony Hayward is actually an alien.

Haha thanks for the good laugh!!

Such a laugh is needed in times like this.
Now I'll ask again but can we celebrate now? Or is that too premature, I mean I bought some tasty clams and have been dying to eat them.

HoS: I've been celebrating for days, started in Italy, continuing in Colorado. Never wait to celebrate!

at 0:19, do you see the round things? I'm not talking about the shadows in general.

That's what I'm talking about the contrast in the light make it look raised and cracked.


you are talking about those two round bubbles?

I'll say this again, I'm not sure what those are exactly. The quality of the video is bad, so I can't exactly take an informed stance on what those are.
So let's just stick around and see what our experts have to say, as of now they don't appear to be worried.

I doubt if company men are ever worried in public.


Would you care to explain to those of us who aren't as concerned as you why we ought to be, what those Cocoa Puff/Milk Dud things are, and what it all means based on some kind of known data?


Can I call you snake for short? Snakie, heh heh!

You said this in another thread: "I'm a data junkie. It certainly seems plausible that increased pressure could cause side effects, and they could be visible as a bulge. It's obvious that they're monitoring. But that's where it ends for me until there's more data."

Well, I've given you some data, that's all. Data in video... I don't think you can have "known data" without first recording it.

You also said: "They're watching what they're watching for a reason. I'm not assuming that everything is just A-OK. Obviously I hope it is and they do too."

I think they are and I'm still not sure they do.

Well why do you want to prove that BP is corrupt so bad? Let's say you're right and those are methane bubbles which will wipe out the gulf coast, are you happy?

And when I said experts I was talking about posters like Rockman who is usually the first to keep us on the right path. Without him man of our newer posters would have no idea what to believe.

btw- I never said anything about methane, cracks, or any of that BS. Yesterday I posted a clip asking what it was, today I see someone called it shadows.

I simply wonder what they are.

If you would like to see another example, watch:

Sorry for putting words into your mouth.
As for the link, I just see shadows with the occassional bubble emerging from the sea floor which is actually natural.

You are about to be terminated for leaking this information. The shapeshifting aliens in charge are not pleased.

Oh come on, your post is about 1/2 disinfo. There can be no doubt that Cameron is involved at a high, high level. I saw that blueosity last night. Think The Abyss x Avatar. And that raised area is clearly a landing pad.

Okay, the jig is up. I waited and watched and caught them spraying dispersent again. First, here's view of the problem area. Hydrates and oil plume. No thruster silt.

Same ROV about 15 min later, spraying dispersent at it.

Somebody has got to talk to them about that. To much dispersant's is not good and I don't see why they need to keep using it.
This is also sort of getting on my nerves...I thought we could celebrate now, but BP is still working on the well, how long will this take exactly and for anyone who cares, why is the screen cap green?

Edit-Thay cloud formation or whatever it is, looks strange. Kind of like a face...

The gulf of mexico is a 20 billion dollar industry. So of course they are going to say everything is fine.....

According to the BP Operations and Ongoing Response page they haven't been using any dispersants. The numbers are the same for all days in between the two listed.

Operations and Ongoing Response – August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 05 Statistics


Surface dispersant used: 1, 072,514 gallons
Subsea dispersant used: 771,272 gallons
Total dispersant used: 1,843,786 gallons

Operations and Ongoing Response – July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29 Statistics

Surface dispersant used: 1, 072,514 gallons
Subsea dispersant used: 771,272 gallons
Total dispersant used: 1,843,786 gallons

Here's the ROV feed. When it gets out of hand, they spray.

They don't want to lose the gulf: Maritime Shipping

The Port of South Louisiana (New Orleans) and the Port of Houston are two of the ten busiest ports in the world by cargo volume. Out of the top ten sea ports in the United States 7 are located on the Gulf of Mexico.

They don't want to lose the gulf

Yes, I'm certain you're correct about that. What is it that makes you think the entire GoM is in immediate jeopardy?

Might be interesting if we knew where it is or when it was. If we had a clue what we're looking at.

Have you tried posting at ConspiraciesR-uS?

I gave you the feed. Here it is again.

There is no conspiracy as yet. Just silence. Are they pumping or not? That's a direct question someone will have to put to Kent Wells. Are they using dispersant or not (in small amounts)? Is there any evidence of gas or drilling mud escaping to the seafloor especially 300-500 ft south of the well?

Eventually those questions will be asked or obviated by cessation of pumping and therefore seafloor venting. Or, at least that's my theory. I can be wrong. Perhaps it's an independent system. Maybe there are no seafloor leaks or clathrates floating upward.

But I'll tell you what I know for sure. The public has been blocked from seeing the BOP stack for 24 hours after cement, despite 4 ROVs working there.

What is the BOP stack again, Avon?
I must have missed something last night but you've been bringing up the stack quiet a bit and I'd like to know what it is.

Quite a large stack. The Deepwater Horizon BOP sitting on the wellhead, a riser flex joint, a spool connector bolted on top, and a custom 3-ram miniBOP that "capped" the flow.

Under Mandate to Get Results, Minerals Service Led Way Into Deep Water

In the NYTimes magazine tomorrow, a history of the MMS, focusing on Chris Oynes, who headed the MMS's Gulf office for many years before resigning in May. Excerpt:

...The clash between the agency’s environmentalists and engineers dominated a project meant to guide the agency into the deep-water age, a two-year study of new risks called an environmental assessment. Published in 2000, it framed the agency’s approach for the next decade. It reads like a document at war with itself.

It counted 151 well blowouts in the previous 25 years, about one every two months. It said a quarter had led to spills. It questioned the effectiveness of chemical dispersants and cited the difficulties of drilling relief wells. In noting that a deep-water blowout could take up to four months to control, it all but forecast the BP disaster: “Of particular concern is the ability to stop a blowout once it has begun.”

Then it quickly silenced its own alarm bells, casting spills as a “very low probability event” and noting that companies had “speculated” that deep-water blowouts might cap themselves (because of loose sediment on the ocean floor). It saw no need for new safeguards or an environmental impact statement, a more rigorous review that would have included public debate.

Why not do one, just to be safe?

“I’m sure industry would have been very nervous,” Mr. Oynes said, explaining that it took “some hand-holding” just to do the assessment. “If you start talking about an E.I.S., their alarm bells start going off a bit stronger: ‘Oh my God, what is going on here?’”...


There are frequent "red tide" algae blooms[17] that kill fish and marine mammals and cause respiratory problems in humans and some domestic animals when the blooms reach close to shore. This has especially been plaguing the southwest and southern Florida coast, from the Florida Keys to north of Pasco County, Florida.

In June 1979, the Ixtoc I oil platform in the Bay of Campeche suffered a blowout leading to a catastrophic explosion, which resulted in a massive oil spill that continued for nine months before the well was finally capped. This was ranked as the largest oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico until the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

In July 2008, researchers reported that the dead zone that runs east-west, from near Galveston, Texas, to near Venice, Louisiana, was about 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2), nearly the record. Between 1985 and 2008, the area roughly doubled in size.[18]

There are 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells beneath the Gulf. These have generally not been checked for potential environmental problems.[19]

In the NYTimes magazine tomorrow

Sorry, not the magazine; it's a long article in today's paper.

Read this about the Mexico oil well blow out.....


So any opinions now??

Disaster that never was: Why claims that BP created history's worst oil spill may be the most cynical spin campaign ever
Last updated at 10:31 PM on 6th August 2010

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1301002/BP-oil-spill-W...

Obviously Mr. Jones has some axe to grind; I suspect it's BP's. He couldn't have written this piece if the well hadn't been capped.

The people are being misled...sadly.

I'm missing your context.

"Cynical spin" indeed. Pot, kettle, black.

This guy has some kind of saw on his left hand.

Might get interesting. LOL


Wow what are they up to now? Did you read the article about Ixtoc I oil spill that media hasn't reported on yet? They only reported the one in Australia haha.

Rockman~I have a ton of BBIC for you if you are here........ I need a question from someone qualified to answer, so all you oilman help if you can refresh my memory. When Wells was talking about mud going into the formation, did he mean resovoir or rock or combo of both?


Spread the wiki document about the Mexico oil blowout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixtoc_I#Aftermath

Sorry~is that a response to my question? If so, I already know everything posssible about Ixtoc 1, it was where I started researching right after the DWH explosion ....Thanks anyway

Good article comparing the Ixtoc spill to this one. Wish I could post the graphic, too (that was in the newspaper, of the two wells) but don't know how to post pics.

The article came out in June but it had really good info, so I am re-posting here. Hope no one minds. (since someone brought up Ixtoc).


Incidentally, I just watched a documentary called "The Cove". It is a must see for all the sea life activists here!

In the movie, the guy (Ric O'Barry) who discovered Flipper has a change of heart about dolphin captivity when Flipper (Catherine) commits suicide in his arms, as he realizes the level of intelligence of these beautiful animals . He is now an activist for taking dolphins out of captivity, and especially for exposing the mass kills that have been committed annually in Taijii, Japan.

Recently, there have been reports of large mammal bones washing up on shore. I am wondering how many dolphins have died as a result of this tragedy. This is so sad, and David Jones is an a***hole for writing that article.


mummsie -- Given they pumped a mud weight insufficient to fracture the rocks I assume he meant it was injected into the reservoir. That originally didn't sound right to me assuming the were using a "bridging" mud....fine particles in it that wouldn't allow (via mud cake build up) much fluid entry. As I understand it now they used a non-bridging mud that wouldn't form cake and thus easily inject into the reservoir. But there's still a possibility they did frac some. Even though a 13.2 ppg mud wouldn't frac the rocks they could increase pump pressure to raise the ECD ( effective circulating density) above the frac gradient of 16.2 ppg. I don't think they've said they did this. But haven't said they didn't either.

That was my assumption also that they meant resovoir but I'm by no way qualified to speculate on anything except tonail polish at this point :) Next question, would the cement also go into the formation ?

BBIC headed your way RM, only after I attend the local Buchwhacker Festival later tonight.......mandatory for all Islanders!

The reservoir is one of many formations in the column of rock that was drilled by Deepwater Horizon. Nor is there only one sandstone reservoir in that column of rock. The one people talk about as "the reservoir" is the 54, if I remember that designation correctly without checking my notes, which is where the Macondo drilling program was halted because of Lost Circulation (of drilling mud) and they attempted (and obviously failed) to cement a bottom plug at 18,320 ft below sealevel.

BP was permitted to drill to 20,000 ft because there are several sands and shales below the one that people call "the reservoir." Some have speculated, including me, that the Deepwater Horizon cement bump and subsequent blowout may have breached a thin shale and connected the next reservoir sand below. No one really knows much about the deeper formations, because they weren't drilled and logged. A well log detects what kind of rock is being or has been penetrated.

Formations are sequences in geological history. The deeper you go, the older the event -- high water, low water, big dump of sand, big dump of organic mud that became shale, and so forth.

In short "the reservoir" is one of many formations penetrated by the well.

Thanks Avon~most of that is over my head - I was wondering IF they soemtimes use the words formation meaning resovoir and vice versa, I'm asking mainly because Wells stmt that 40% of the cement went into the formation.

Mummsie, a reservoir is an oil-rich part of a formation, not all formations hold reservoirs. In context though, "the formation" could refer to the major reservoir in a well, just as "the beach" can have a different meaning for someone with blue toenails vs. someone wearing shrimp boots.

Thank you OB~ That was exactly what I was so curious about.......and is it just me or is there some blue toenail polish fetish or something going on here today, I've worn it for yrs and never had anyone even notice until today LOL?


Mummsie, maybe the Corexit in the water makes the blue more intense ;-)

LOL~no, that is the color always.....I love aquamarine/turquoise colors and have to express myself somehow, so on the toes it is!

Fetish? Painted toes? Blue?

Where do I sign?

So you too have the toe fetish thing going on tonight? I've posted several pic's of my toes in the water to show how clear it is here, and not one comment until tonight.

To sign up, send me your email and I'll send you a contract to fill out......j/k of course:)

I ain't no qualified but I would understand this as meaning the reservoir as in 'the oil bearing formation'.


TX NAOM~I thought I read that on an earlier thread, but wasn't sure.

Avon , check out the feed. It's a shitstorm down there right now.

3.4 earthquake in Texas today. Now that's weird.

Fric and Frac= Thud and Wells.

Night folks.

Can/will anyone comment further on the point raised by dougr yesterday on thread http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6818#comments_top August 6, 12:13 pm about the Lambert coordinates? Are the coordinates of the sealed well BP displayed July 18, 2010 on an Associated Press news video-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXAnCyZrMJs --compatible with the location of Macondo Well B? The coordinates are about 1202774.79 and 10431659.62? If they are not, how might that be explained?

Would anyone like to comment on this video--the music is a bit much---but beside the point: http://beforeitsnews.com/story/128/600/A_Tale_of_Two_Wells_Bps_biggest_c...


Well location A, X: 1202803.88 Y: 10431617.00
Well location B, X: 1202514.00 Y: 10434194.00

The DougR post you're referring to was about the positions of ROVs, not the well itself.

Drilling a well requires an API#. There is one and only one API#. The drilling was begun by Transocean Marianas. It was damaged by a hurricane and drilling was abandoned in November 2009. Drilling was re-commenced in February 2010 by Deepwater Horizon. At that time the API# received a -01 extension to reflect the second attempt, but the location was identical.

The video you're referring to begins by assuming that two wells were drilled. That's wrong and the video is intentionally misleading.

What I meant to say is: is that ROV position I listed compatible with viewing Well B in that AP video where I believe it is right next to the well--or near enough to see the other ROV filming it?

First, I don't have a clue how far the ROV is from the well. Second, even if I did, I don't have a handy coordinate calculator in my head or at home. It seems like you're trying to find a reason to 1) believe there's another well or 2) believe that there isn't. So let's just get right down to it.

There is one well and we know the coordinates. It's entirely plausible that Chu and company would send ROVs off to look at the sea floor around the position of the undrilled well location. In fact, they've been so meticulously careful that it makes sense that they would. BP had already identified it as a potential source of oil and it's not very far from the drilled well. The concern would be that bullheading the well might cause flow through the substructure. So they sent the poor overworked ROVs off to look. That's my interpretation. But even if they had a different reason, it's clearly not because there's another drilled well there, because there is no other drilled well. One API#, 60-817-41169, one well. To propose the existence of a second drilled well that didn't have an API# would be lunacy.

You know about Ockham's Razor? It's your good friend when there are so many charlatans out there trying to make their videos go viral.

ROV watchers: Check this video out. WTF?

It was shot live, but all I see are some weird luminous blobs and no JG.

Sure. But I can smell the clathrates after I expand the meta.