BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - The World Continues Drilling - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6827.

One of the questions I was asked earlier in the spill was, "Do you expect other countries to stop drilling in deepwater locations, because of the oil spill?" My response was, "Maybe a bit, in a few locations, but in general I expect the drilling to continue." The world has so much equipment that uses oil as a fuel, and so little in the way of good substitutes, that it is really difficult for governments to decide to discontinue drilling. Furthermore, if an oil company has debt, it needs to continue drilling in order to repay its debt. Even if a company doesn't have debt, stockholders expect dividends (often to make payments under pension plans), and this need to pay dividends contributes to the need to continue deepwater drilling. Even government-owned companies are under pressure to keep drilling, because governments often use their share of oil revenue to fund social programs.

Certainly there are theoretical reasons for not doing more deep-water drilling--concern about global warming, or fear of more oil spills. But the company that cuts back finds it difficult to support the amount of overhead it has with lower oil production, and the country that cuts back handicaps itself in terms of employment, tax revenue, and balance of payments. It is not a decision most countries are willing to take lightly.

When I look around the world, the only country (besides the US) that seems to have cutback on deepwater drilling is Norway. Norway banned the issuance of new deep-sea permits until the BP oil spill has been fully investigated. Drilling can continue in areas where deep-sea permits are already in place. This is a less severe cutback than in the US, since the US cutback applies to new drilling, including in areas where deep-sea permits are already in place. The Norway ban may have virtually no effect at all--this report indicates that the next licensing round is not until late 2011, and by that time the results of the US investigation will be known, so there may not be any actual impact of the supposed ban.

Elsewhere in Europe, there is generally no ban on deepwater drillng. The UK announced a announced a government inquiry into oil and gas drilling in the North Sea on July 17, but this is not a ban on drilling. European Union Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger has voiced concerns about deepwater drilling, but so far, this has not led to action. Italy banned drilling within five miles of its coast and 12 miles from protected marine areas, but this ruling is expected to have little impact on the most promising deepwater oil areas, which are off western Sicily.

There are many areas around the world where deepwater drilling continues. The financial report for DryShips, Inc. makes the following statement regarding ultradeepwater drilling:

"It is important to note that although the US Gulf of Mexico is an important area for deep and ultra deepwater drilling it isn't the only area for growth. West Africa and Brazil remain prolific in terms of discoveries and we are now seeing drilling in many new areas such as East Africa, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea, India and the rest of the Asia-Pacific.

The Financial Times reports:

While the US quickly ordered a deepwater drilling moratorium, others, including Australia, Greenland, Norway, Canada, Libya, China, Brazil and Angola, have not followed suit.

Australia, which had suffered its own major blow-out and spill just months before the Deepwater Horizon accident, was unmoved.

Martin Ferguson, Australia’s resources minister, said: “Shutting down the industry and putting the nation’s energy security, jobs and the economy at risk does nothing [to ensure safe oil exploration].”

So at this point, the US seems to be mostly alone in its moratorium on deepwater drilling. And because of the many economic pressures, even in this country, there is likely to be continued pressure to rescind the moratorium as soon as possible.


from the last thread:

"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...

Bring your facts and their citations, rather than surmise and guess, and you're more likely to get a reasonable response here. You may not get anyone to come out and play with you otherwise.

Bring your facts and their citations, rather than surmise and guess, and you're more likely to get a reasonable response here. You may not get anyone to come out and play with you otherwise

David, thanks, pretty much what I was going to say.

a citation that the Mississippi River Delta/Basin is some of the ripest water in the WORLD...oy vey...

john, you may have missed the commenting guidelines when you joined, you can read them here:

If you don't like the ground rules I'm sure you can find some other place to play.

that's grade school material in the US...sorry, my friend, i shouldn't have assumed you were american...

It is a fact that the GOM is one of the most methane rich areas in the world. I'm familiar with cathrate deposits in relation to their potential effect on global warming. This is a rather short article from Real Climate which discusses why cathrate deposits form and where they can be found globally.

"Sometimes the methane moves around in the earth, and collects someplace, forming what are called structural hydrate deposits. The Gulf of Mexico, for example, is basically a leaky oil field [MacDonald et al., 2005]. One implication of gas moving around and pooling like this is that the hydrate concentration can be higher, even to the point of what they call massive deposits, lumps of nearly pure hydrate. The second bottom line is that the hydrate can be found much closer to the sea floor, and even on the sea floor."


I would like to invite people from the oil drum to join my new live chat room to talk about oil depletion and what it means for all of us


Reposted from last thread.

[-] [gnu] M Onan Batterload on August 9, 2012 - 1:55am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

ROV watchers: Check this video out. WTF?

It was shot live, but all I see are some weird luminous blobs and no JG.

Comments can no longer be added to this story.

Now check this video out.


Monsters at the depth of GOM.

That is VERY cool.

Looks like BAU in the GOM. BP couldn't buy better PR (unless of course that's a mutant crab scavanging toxic eel).

Monsters at the depth of GOM.

Oh, my goodness. How utterly fabulous.

Anybody have any idea what kind of crab that is?

Is it at all strange that the light doesn't seem to bother it? I should think it would mess with its head a bit in terms of its sense of where it is, i.e., way down below rather than near enough to the sea surface for light to penetrate.

I'm almost as fascinated by the fact that the ROV operator spent so much time watching the crab as I am by the crab itself. That's an aspect of the human element I mentioned in an earlier comment that I can hardly wait to hear more about once the activity at the site is done with.

The original video is 54 minutes. I sped it up. Live is very slow at 5,000 feet depth.

Perhaps the light doesn't bother it because this species is blind? Just guessing. Wow, finding a whole dead minnow must have been a real bonanza for it. It didn't seem well equipped for chewing such a nice big chunk.

Looks like spider crab family.


Thanks for speeding that up Moon~it was so fascinating to watch that I uploaded your link to my FB (I gave you credit) for others to watch. I did that also with the "Methane Source Cow" photo and literally had others laughing so hard they for a moment forgot about their worries of the oil spill and around here that is a good thing as MStewart would say:)

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.

I think i'm gonna go out here off the end of my wharf and start drilling a well...

I will have NO API#...

Zero API#, ONE Well.

Cool. I like entrepreneurs. Make sure you maintain radio silence, leave all the engines off, turn out all the lights and keep everyone involved from spilling beans.

The absence of another API number is evidence that another well was drilled on the sly. I get it.

They went away after peeps explained that the document was "just a plan"

Someone NOW needs to explain the video...or NOT - i know, i know - it too is beyond tiring for me and Dr. Earle...

And thanks, I will try my best to do ALL the things you mention...i sure hope to hell i don't blow it up cause that would be a dead give-away...

I once called in while 50 miles offshore and got a fishing license AFTER i caught a limit of Amberjack (one)... Can i do that with an oil well...?

I don't see why not. But you might have to bring in two and give one to MMS or whatever they're calling it now.

john - One fact might help put your mind at ease. All drilling rigs, onshore and off, are required to have a well identification sign posted when they are drilling. Offshore the signs are huge so they can read by MMS/Coast Guard inspectors passing by in a chopper. The sign has the well name, operator, MMS lease number and the well's API number. I suppose if an operator could talk a drilling contractor into poking a hole without a valid permit it could happen. All the driller has to be willing to do is have the rig manager arrested, his $700 million rig confiscated and lose all rights to work in US waters. Wonder how much an operator would have to pay a drilling company to take such a risk.

oy vey...I'm NOT arguing the WELL, Rockman - i'm only commenting on the repeated poor ARGUMENTATION used by Snakeman...

Sorry john...wasn't following that close. Misunderstood your point.

Sorry john...wasn't following that close.

Obviously...cause your first point is nonsense within the context of the argument - i'm NOT saying I could build a well...and...IF BP was to undertake such a deception, they'd OF COURSE use the SAME sign 500 feet over...

Your second point is DEAD ON...

Prove to me right now that aren't two Eiffel Towers. I spent my time looking at stuff beyond whacko videos and ominous hints from other posters. There is no evidence of a second well anywhere except in the minds of people who want to believe there is one. If you want to just believe based on no evidence, party on. Or present some real evidence that there is.

I mean, really. Expecting someone else to prove the absence of something to your satisfaction and then complaining about the lack of a solid argument is pretty poor form, especially when you haven't tried to establish an argument yourself.

snakey, I recently figured something out. Playing whack-a-mole is only entertaining up until the point you realize there are an infinite number of moles to whack.

Traditional organized religion may be on the decline, but the desire to engage in magical thinking is still as strong as it ever was. People are just replacing magic deities with other equally invisible magic stuff.

Google [obama reptilian]. There aren't enough mallets in the universe.

I agree about magical thinking but there's also a widespread and alarming inability to be rational at will. I don't know if that's getting worse or not but it sure seems like it to me.

Not getting worse. Just 1- transitioning away from traditional stuff, which is for the most part 'known' and therefore more accepted as normal; and 2- like media feeding frenzies about shark attacks, we just have more access to the world around us than ever before with the tradeoff that that information is less relevant and gets more so every day (also, for some reason people are losing any inhibition to tell the world their every waking thought (see: Twitter/Facebook)).

"And now we turn to our Social Networking correspondent Dorita Jones. Dorita, so what are people saying about this story on Twitter?" -CNN

Playing whack-a-mole is only entertaining up until the point you realize there are an infinite number of moles to whack

Nevertheless, your Rocks series was easily in the neutron bomb class for effectiveness and was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. That mole never popped up again.

There is no evidence of a second well anywhere except in the minds of people who want to believe there is one.

There is no evidence of a second well anywhere except in the minds of people who want you to believe there is one.

Fixed ;)


Along those same lines,

BREAKING NEWS!! OCEAN FLOOR ABOUT TO EXPLODE Obama tells Students It's true I'm not American I come from KENYA


they are all really working for Queen of England and the banker NWO illuminati reptiles snakes

"BP" they are just the devil evil incarnate on this planet... liars to the sheeple and masses on what they are doing to this world..........

GOD said in the last days deceviers would wax worse and worse

decieving the masses

The Devil would send this world a strong delusion


the new BO is apparently worse than admiral Thad and Uncle Tony

they all follow the masonic oders from the queen of UK

they are all of the anunaki alien secret reptiles (Bible says The BEAST GOV who run the world at the end times)

their agenda is all about mk ultra mind fucking this planet...........

sorry they all lie at the top and work for the secret oder............

they are evil and only job is only to kontrol the sheeple


the oder ab chaos

The mark of the BEAST system (the whores of babylon)

the work of lies and liars

to decieve the sheeple of this world

in the end time most will be decieved

Jesus said this would all happen

Jesus please return soon and save those who know the time is now very close to your second coming...........


the Snake Families are a Colletive of Races, all bearing reptile origins and dna.
What they did was invade, and take over. We were the "Titans", the Watchers of Earth. With a 12 strand dna, and no reptile dna or reptile brain (sociopath). What they did was create an Avatar type body/vehicle, and they did that by breaking the dna code down to two strands, and splicing that dna with others such as their reptile dna. By placing a Reptile Brain, within the Avatar, they compromised the vehicle. Then they openly made contact with people (after erasing memory of the War) and set up systems of "Entrainment" with in the Social structure. This is why so many educated people become recognizable sociopaths. When the Reptile brain is deliberately hardwired by this entrainment, they are able to seize control of the vehicle. The person with in the body, because the mind is BLENDED, doesn't realize the thoughts are not their own. By the time the hardwiring is complete, they lack the 'will' to be able to control the harm they do. Not knowing it is the Reptile brain controling, they think it is their own fault....indeed by that time, they WANT the death and destruction.
This is why all the civilizations suffer through a golden age, and then 'descend' into savagery again and again. The Snake Families would infiltrate then set the nations to war against each other. Atlantis was fighting the Lemurians, at that time.....the third world country Greece, is the one that broke the tie with a deciding route of the Atlanteans.
But it was Sidney who destroyed(sank) Atlantis. There wasn't any choice. Sidney is of the Alliance*snakes are the Axis*
Atlantis is below the 2ND BP Platform in the Gulf.
Atlantis is now Rising.

The reason for this is to provide humanity with physical evidence to help them accept the truth of what has happened here, before the Veil is dropped and they traumatically remember everything.
The Divine Couple is returning. This is your 'heavenly Father', who is refered to as "One" or "The One". This is where the expression the Law of One comes from. This is who 'the Great Lawgiver' is. Inanna who is playing 'Lilith', and Enki who is playing 'Satan' to us are still here. The Bilderberg group is the cult of Moloch. The Moloch are a Raptor race of Owls *the Owlman of Cornwall* and Lilith is Queen of the Moloch. Any pic's of her as a human appearance, are war propaganda...she is a Reptile with Owl Wings, a snout, and Raptor feet. She absolutely does eat children...Reptiles eat Mammals. We were a food source. The El are the 'greys', and they do the implanting/chipping, and collecting of the 'harvested' human populations. That is why the bilderberg use an Owl statue...and this was the pact..agreement they made. They provide the Moloch with food *us* and the Snake families use their technology behind the scenes, like wizard of oz, to keep the Hybrids in Power. This is why no one has been able to arrest the Bilderberg or stop them, they are tampered with by the advanced mind control technologies. When that doesn't suffice they do other things...all behind the scenes. These are people, not gods, demons or angles. They are genetic Sociopaths, and this is what you see the group attendees become when they join. They do not know they are 'taken' at those meets. Its designed to make the population go after the other humans who are publicly and visibly bad, rather than the hidden Enki. He is hidding with in the group in a human disguise, just like the hybrids do.

[bold added]

My question about the Lambert coordinates seems to have brewed up a sarcasm storm. Is it meant to be intimidating or just condescending?

??? I answered your questions the best I could in the closed thread. I wasn't being sarcastic. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6820#comment-697087

The only argument that you offer is that two wells were NOT drilled because you SAY that two wells were NOT drilled.

Even if you were Kent Wells or Thad Allen, in turn, they are rebutting you over and over with visual evidence that they argue shows TWO wells...

johnebe, it takes thousands of people (99% of them not employed by the operator, e.g. BP) to drill an deepwater well, months of elapsed time, a 100,000 ton rig the size of a city block, helicopter and supply boat visits every few days, plus (perhaps lax) federal oversight. Oh and most of that flotilla is tracked by commercial organisations who'd notice if one went off the radar for three months. Do you really think that happened 50 miles off Houma without anyone noticing? Get real.

Isn't it more likely that someone who didn't understand what (s)he was reading misinterpreted a routine MMS document? Or made it up to get publicity and kicks? Or did the lizards hypnotize everybody?

All they need is stealth drilling rigs. oil companies have dozens of those, but it's impossible to prove it because they're invisible.

Damn, johnebe. Nevermind that the coordinates provided weren't for the well(s). Nevermind about API#s, coordinates and all the rest. Nevermind that the contention that there's a second, secret well, is thoroughly implausible. Nevermind that hundreds of people would have had to keep that big a secret despite the world's spotlight being full on, and that it stayed a secret until armchair sleuths with home computers and no oilfield experience busted the gig into the open. Where's the oil from BP's secret well? Or did they cap that one in secret simultaneously with well #1 getting capped and nobody noticed? What was it gushing, some of that Simmons Petro Special Blend that's heavier than water?

Go sit in the corner for 15 minutes and think about it.

There you go john: now for future referrence you know what a sarcastic snake sounds like. LOL. Dang snake...I think I just lost my PC to you (Patience Crown).

Ruby, believe Snakehead, he might have been terse, but he wasn't being mean. There are just too many foolish and, in this case, fraudulent videos and doomsday posts for folks here to stay cheerful and light all the time.

Obama tells Students It's true I'm not American I come from KENYA

I KNEW it. Our President is a Kenyan, not a snake person.

Thanks, snakehe...

much obliged

Anybody watching the crab eat that eel?

TY very much that is a great video.

I wonder how just changing the light a little at the 1:38 mark made the white stuff go away?

BP - That was a snake eating a john.

Looks like it's trying to pull off another hunk of meat.The camera is starting to film a little better than it was.

It's on Ocean Intervention III ROV 1

Got it. Stupid crab doesn't realize he's about to be killed by a giant eruption.

Shhhh! He might show up on here and join that crowd with first hand info.And tapes!!!!

It's lizard mind control, arrgh... he's about to hit the mother-lode, get the gas masks out!

Drilling is to proceed in water up to 4km deep off the south western tip of Australia
I think it will be tough to prevent drilling not only in the Arctic seas during ice free periods but on land in Antarctica. Think of the rigs as hypodermic needles for addicts, in this case oil addicts. Oil spills won't stop offshore drilling, only when refined petroleum fuel has the same EROEI as high volume synthetic fuel, say 2.

Why do you think the quality of the video feed has deteriorated so severely since the static kill?

Because the truth makes BP's stock go down.

The longer they can delay bad news the longer they have to counteract it with their feel good cute BP ads they are spending millions on.

the subject matter seems to wonder so,
Does anyone know of any other company in history that has done so much so quickly to fix an accident?

BP designed built tested and installed equipment (about 90 days)a mile down in the sea with ROV's (perhaps a task similar to going to the moon) while handling thousands of other tasks outside of their expertise, cleaning up the oil mess, etc...

May the good Lord bless the BP employees [bottom to top] and the subcontractors (fishermen and thousands of others) that worked 24/7 to help our nation while our leaders at act like cry babies (and worse)

Now that is getting delusional.

Has any company in the gulf killed eleven people and created a mess like this?

Those thousands of other tasks were outside their expertise because they were to cheap to plan for such a thing.

Stick some off the shelf goodies together and call it similar to going to the moon?

What an insult that is to the people in the space program.

Let's just hope the FBI has all the BP employees (bottom to top) and the subcontractors targeted that are responsible for the murder of those eleven people and charges will be filed soon.

Yes they have, the company was called Occidental.

Thank you Acornus, I have read about that disaster but never had seen that set of videos. I watched them all.

I did say in the gulf though.

Accepted; but please keep in mind that OXY, as it is now called, was never prosecuted in the UK. No OXY management was ever pilloried in a UK Parliamentary Committee. They were blacklisted in Europe and only go offshore ankle, deep, in Qatar and Libya nowadays.

Hi Acorn
Acornus, you have done well to to bring this to the attention of all TOD participants. Thank you.
Still thinking...

Harrowing viewing, Acornus, but thanks for it. R.I.P.

Gee, that's a well-done program. Thanks.

What an insult that is to the people in the space program.

Quantum, that brings to mind something one of my NASA buddies used to say: "The thing about rocket science is, it isn't rocket science"

Deleted - postd in the wrong place

"Stick some off the shelf goodies together and call it similar to going to the moon?"

Yeah, it's so easy that the other four super-majors want 18 months to build their own. One example - the LMRP cap is the size of a large house or small apartment block. Next time one gets built in your neighbourhood, see how long it takes. Not just the shell, all the way from breaking ground to ready-for occupancy. Actually you should include demolition and site preparation.

Hats off to the heroes who've worked their butts off for three months for very little thanks and a lot of abuse. Whatever happened in the blowout didn't involve them and they're to be congratulated for fixing it. Even if they do work for the same paymaster (that's the law, remember? - operator is 100% responsible for recovery and cleanup).

They are taking 18 months so they can fix a blowout in a shorter time then the 4 months it has taken BP.

They all should have done this long ago when they started drilling deep but like normal profits over road safety and the environment.

Since when is simply doing your job heroic? They were getting paid for it right?

How in the world have they been abused?

"They all should have done this long ago" Before the two space shuttle disasters.

Stick some off the shelf goodies together and call it similar to going to the moon?

It's not like going to the moon but not all the parts are off the shelf, for example the transition spool had to be designed to cope with the sheared drill-pipes protruding from the flex joint. Designing and constructing that part and then planning, designing, constructing, assembling and testing the whole capping stack assembly is probably not something you do in a few days or weeks. Particularly when this has to be coordinated with the parallel design and manufacture of many other pieces of equipment for other contingencies and the scheduling of dozens of large vessels to ensure that sea-floor manifolds and vessels with the right equipment are available in the right place to connect everything up to perform any of the possible range of required operations.

So why didn't they just unlatch the HC connector that is underneath the flex joint and drop a new BOP onto the Hub. That could have been done in a week.

Even the route of unbolting the riser flange could have been done in much shorter time.

The containment contingencies that were going to be needed and used along with the new valve stack may have taken months to assemble, but that is no excuse for the delay in installing a valve stack.

Adm. Allen said in May that they had ruled out putting a valve stack on the well because they believed the well lacked integrity. That assessment that the well lacked integrity from all evidence available appears to have come from BP engineers. Had they known the well could be shut in earlier - they more than likely would have shut it in much earlier. They had BOP's available on site ready to go. They didn't need to build a special cap to shut in this well at much earlier date.

So why didn't they just unlatch the HC connector that is underneath the flex joint and drop a new BOP onto the Hub. That could have been done in a week.

Maybe because ...

Had they known the well could be shut in earlier - they more than likely would have shut it in much earlier.

Maybe they could have used one of the relief well BOPs, but maybe that also would have needed a lot of planning. Maybe they don't have a lot of experience at adding a BOP to a damaged runaway BOP of uncertain condition where there are drill pipes clamped in the lower BOP and an outflow of oil & gas obscuring their view and probably a shortage of the sort of tools that can do jobs at depth that are normally done at the surface. Maybe the coast guard were reluctant to allow the diversion of a relief well BOP, maybe BOPs are expensive items that are rarely left idle and so tend not to be available at a few days notice and which take time to be transported and prepared.

All in all, it may be that they did what they could, as soon as they could, given what they knew at each stage.

Which HC connector do you mean? BOP diagram

Cameron's HC connectors are hydraulically actuated. Presumably the fail-safe condition is to remain connected (thus containing any flow) in the case of hydraulic failure? Maybe the hydraulics of any HC connectors at the base of the riser became inoperable when the rig sank?

Which of the parts of that diagram is the EDS connector that they were trying to activate?


Above the Blind Shear at the junction with the LMRP is where it disconnects I believe.

Which of the parts of that diagram is the EDS connector that they were trying to activate?

From http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/BP-Blowout.Preventer....

Emergency Disconnect System (EDS)
• Designed to close programmed rams and disconnect the LMRP from the
BOP stack
• The EDS system can be set for multiple scenarios (i.e. with or without drill
pipe in the hole, running casing, etc.)
• Typically tested at surface by initiating the signal with no hydraulic
pressure on the system to ensure the program is working as designed.

So I guess between the part labelled LMRP and the part containing the shears and rams. But this just a guess.

There is a connector beneath the flex joint that is the same type of connector that they added on top of the flex joint connect the 3 ram stack. It is a standard connector so any 18-3/4 BOP valve stack could be dropped on and latched to the hub if the LMRP had been unlatched. As far as I know there has been no investigation as to why the EDS failed. And nobody in the press has ever bothered to ask why they didn't unlatch the LMRP and drop a valve stack onto the connector hub.

A successful emergency disconnect (EDS) would have involved snipping the drill pipe and lifting the LMRP off the BOP. That would have saved the rig from sinking. If the BOP was still gushing oil after The LMRP disconnect the next step would have been to drop a valve stack on the hub where the LMRP connected and shut in the well. If the LMRP latch can't be released by ROV operators then obviously that is a serious design flaw. Removing the LMRP and dropping a valve stack on the waiting hub would have ended this in a week.


Could be wrong but I think it is this coupler http://www.coopercameron.com/content/products/product_detail.cfm?pid=280... which is higher rated than the one you linked above.

Which HC connector do you mean? BOP diagram


First of all rotate the image in your link so the BOP is right side up. The connector in your link is at the bottom of the LMRP right in the center of the image. You can see the dotted outline of the connector hub on top of the valve stack just above what is labeled the "blind shear".

In that configuration the entire LMRP is unlatched. In short the procedure would be to close the rams on the drill pipe shear the drill pipe, release line pressures and unlatch. The smaller pipes have small connectors that unlatch also. That is a simplified version of the procedure that allows a disconnect in an emergency. If it is a more leisurely disconnect you remove the drill pipe first.

With the LMRP removed, another valve stack could then be dropped onto that hub.

The simple fact is whenever it was done, putting a valve stack on this well could have gone one of two ways.

1) it could shut in the well, as in fact it did.

2) Or, it could reveal that the well can't hold pressure and the valve would need to be kept open and the flow would need to continue. If a cap had revealed the well can't hold pressure it would still be flowing to this day. If the well was leaking below the mud line even the relief wells might have trouble stopping it and the flow of the well could have continued for many months longer.

I think BP could have capped this earlier, but they were afraid of what they would find out when they installed the cap so they delayed until they were in a position to assure the public that a leak down hole was something they were prepared to handle also. Remember they were prepared to and supposed to be be capturing 60-80 Kbpd right now according to the plan. That's millions of dollars of equipment that they set up to accomplish the task of capturing the flow that that was never used.

As it turns out is there was no leakage down hole. There was nothing wrong with the casing.

There was really only one way to find out if the well was sound or whether it had ruptured down below and that was to cap it.

You might say "If they could have done it earlier they would have done it earlier". That logic only works if they have a crystal ball and they know what the result is going to be. But in this case they clearly don't know what the result is going to be.

What if they strongly suspect that the cap is not going to do much beyond revealing bad news. What if BP is convinced that the only thing a cap is going to do is reveal the well is ruptured below the well head and that news is going to send BP stock spiraling down even farther?

Something more delusional is the Fed's response to the 12 dead and 31 wounded at Fort Hood, the death of a rancher in Arizona, and the death of a recruiter in little Rock. Those were not accidents and there is no one to sue with deep pockets. I don't see a moratoriam on Immigration all though there is equal potential for disaster, like maybe more than almost 3,000 souls next time.

I don't see a moratoriam on Immigration all though there is equal potential for disaster.

What utter hooey.

A moratorium only lasts until control of the situation is acceptable not likly now or on 9-11

Actually, the Fort Hood shooting had more to do with overextended army tours and a war perceived to be against Islam itself, than immigration policy. Xenophobia is not the answer. 100% of Caucasians in this country are descended from immigrants.

Best I can gather, the Ft. Hood shootings had most to do with somebody losing his mind.

Best I can gather, the Ft. Hood shootings had most to do with somebody losing his mind.

They certainly didn't have to do with the shooter being an immigrant. He was born in the U.S.

Actually - the person who did the shooting had never deployed - so blaming too many overseas tours is not accurate. Major Hasan was instead the son of Palestenian immigrants who became radicalized. He wanted to become a doctor (for the prestiege and money) and signed up for a military scholarship to pay for it.

The real scandal here turned out to be the fact that we were handling Muslims with kid gloves and as a result failed to boot Hasan out even though there were numerous signs that he could not be trusted.

Major Hasan's actions were a classic case of 'lone wolf terrorism.' He attacked soldiers at a 'one stop' processing center (where soldiers's make sure their immunizations are up to date, financial records are correct, etc. before deployment) which was a symbolic target to him as he believed that the US should not be fighting extremist Islam.

I didn't realize that he had given a statement.

Or did you interview him or grow up with him.

I didn't realize that he had given a statement. Or did you interview him or grow up with him.

Apparently you didn't follow the story very closely. There was plenty of evidence from his previous behavior that he didn't believe the U.S. should be fighting Islam. For example, from a Boston Globe article in February on the Pentagon's report on the shootings:

In one classroom incident not previously described by the Army - which parallels another episode around the same time that has received press attention - Hasan gave a presentation in August 2007 titled “Is the War on Terrorism a War on Islam: An Islamic Perspective." But the presentation was “shut down" by the instructor because Hasan appeared to be defending terrorism. Witnesses told investigators that Hasan became visibly upset as a result.


Do you want me to start listing the number of times that people have been sure they heard or saw something that turned out to be the exact opposite?

We each bring our own biases, shaped by our personal history, to every experience. We have a distorted perception of everything we experience. Most times it doesn't matter.

There is a psychiatric diagnosis called Conduct Disorder which is often invoked to describe the behavior of youth. It is very useful because it serves as a way of understanding that their behavior is simply a consequence of that disorder, and is treated appropriately.

There's only one catch. There is a far too little attended qualification to that diagnosis. If the behavior is a response to the environment, it doesn't apply. So if my dad is beating me, or even totally ignoring me, my disruptive behavior may well be a way of coping with that, and rejecting inappropriate treatment of me. In fact, it may well be a healthy coping mechanism, and often, once the beating or ignoring stops I'm fine.

I had a client who was sent to the psychiatric center for his uncontrollable and very disruptive behavior. Inpatient, he was a model patient for all 6 months he was there. When the 6 months were up it was determined that he was safe to go home. 6 months later he was back at the psychiatric center. What's wrong with this picture?

If I'm a child and have been sexually abused, depending on the circumstances, I may express the confusion and/or pain that I am experiencing through significant shifts in my behavior. When you remember that children have a limited vocabulary and limited experience, it makes sense that they might not be able to label, let alone describe their experience of the abuse. When the roots of the behavior are not identified by adults, but rather are attributed to "the terrible twos' or "just wanting attention," or sometimes even punished, you might be able to imagine the confusion and torture a child might experience when those all powerful (from the child's perspective) "gods" upon whom they are dependent for their very life and well being, fail to protect them.

I don't know Major Hasan, but I can guarantee you, based upon a lot of experience, that anyone qualified who gets to know him in a non-judgmental way, will come to understand the logic behind his actions, and therefore be able to help him understand the point at which he stopped trying to fix the problem, and started to BE the problem.

His actions are wrong, but we don't help anyone by just writing them off as acts of a crazy person or a terrorist. When we do that we lose the opportunity to draw what little benefit we can squeeze from the tragedy, and perhaps help make the future a little bit better than the past, in both our own lives and those we touch.

His actions are wrong, but we don't help anyone by just writing them off as acts of a crazy person or a terrorist.

I fail to see what any of this comment has to do with mine (assuming that's what you intended to respond to). I didn't "write him off" as anything. Activated05b said Hasan believed that "the US should not be fighting extremist Islam." You sarcastically inquired whether Activated had interviewed or grown up with Hasan, given that we don't have a statement from him directly. I simply pointed out that we have, as I said, plenty of evidence that he didn't think the U.S. should be fighting Islam based on the documented history of his past behavior.

I was responding to the thread, via a response to your observation about the "documented history of his past behavior," and my suggestion that behavior does not always mean what we infer it to mean when we observe it, let alone receive second or third hand reports of it.

My point was that we can't always believe what we see, let alone what other people report that they see, especially when we're using that information to infer the motivation of the actor, because the behavior often doesn't mean what we believe it means, and in fact often means exactly the opposite.

This whole part of the thread seemed to focus on Major Hasan as a "lone wolf terrorist." and my point was that I don't believe we have enough information, especially from our impression of his motivation to determine his real motivation.

All we know at the moment is that he is accused of killing and wounding many apparently innocent people, and, if he is found guilty of that, he must be held responsible for those deaths and injuries and have appropriate consequences imposed. Speculating about his motivation may be fun, but it doesn't contribute anything to our understanding of what happened, let alone the broader implications of the case.

I would argue that everyone deserves our respect, no matter what they have done.

Speculating about his motivation may be fun, but it doesn't contribute anything to our understanding of what happened, let alone the broader implications of the case.

Again, I wasn't "speculating about his motivation," nor was I suggesting that we disrespect him. I was making the simple point that he is known for a fact to have publicly opposed the U.S. fighting Islam, because you seemed to think that was a speculation rather than an established fact.

My father used to say, "Don't let your mind be so open your brains fall out." That same "We can't always believe what we see" kind of thinking is what's behind many of the nutcase conspiracy theories about what's going on in the Gulf.

I'm not explaining this well, so I'll desist.

Edit: Deleted duplicate

"I don't know Major Hasan, but I can guarantee you, based upon a lot of experience, that anyone qualified who gets to know him in a non-judgmental way, will come to understand the logic behind his actions, and therefore be able to help him understand the point at which he stopped trying to fix the problem, and started to BE the problem."

You are assuming that the issue was a psycological defect or emotional problem. What about a socially inept person of Muslim faith who had no moderate religous influence?

Maybe you should look at terrorism as a cult-like behaviour than a psycological issue. I suggest that you pick up a copy of the McGraw-Hill Homeland Security Handbook by David G. Kamien and read the following chapters:
Chapter 5 Al Qaeda: Terrorist Selection and Recruitment
chapter 10 The Psycology of Terrorism: Future Directions and potential Implications for Counterterrorist Policy

BTW - I have done something I suspect that nobody else has done. I have literally looked a terrorist in the eye. (And if we ever let that guy out of Gitmo alive - then whoever is President needs to be impeached.) As it was I felt that taking the guy alive was a bad idea.

Didn't need to. Instead I simply followed the story.

Here is a link to a Powerpoint presentation that discusses the guy.

Activated, more than anything else, I think this case shows -- horribly -- how broken the US Army has become -- not in "handling Muslims with kid gloves" but in being so stretched for psychiatrists (and other doctors) that they couldn't let go of even one as clearly unfit for duty as Nidal Hasan.

Back in November Daniel Zwerdling got hold of a 2007 memo (2-page pdf) about Hasan that Walter Reed’s chief of psychiatric residents sent to the credentials committee. It describes the kind of across-the-board f*ck-up who, outside of maybe only Army medicine, would be unemployable.

As for Islam, it was merely his avenue for releasing his demons, not the demon itself.

I agree. We professionals really aren't very good at policing ourselves, but that probably goes back to the culture of safety issue.

Note that in the memo he was a CAPTAIN, so the Army brass "solved" the problem by promoting him to major

I guess if we're comparing this to BP (the topic of the TOD thread?) we'll have to see if there is an incriminating memo of someone who was Peter Principled out of his skill set. I have a few candidates in mind, but will wait a bit more to see the investigation results.

"The real scandal here turned out to be the fact that we were handling Muslims with kid gloves"

Yeah, right. So it would be better if all Muslims were watched real closely? Then every time a Muslim had mediocre performance reviews he could be "booted out" and that would cure his melancholy. Or at least when he went on a murderous rampage it would be someone else's problem.

We just had another mass workplace shooting here in Hartford, CT. (We've had more than one.) The guy's wife said he was a victim of racism. The thing is, he never complained and he could have. He was a Teamster. I did a stint as a union officer once, and believe me, handling discrimination complaints is a big part of what we do. Mostly they're groundless, sometimes they're not. But you keep tabs on it. You could make a case that big companies and the military treat all minorities with kid gloves, although that's not how minorities see it. But maybe having some sensitivity to racism and sexism and other isms is a good thing. It's part of the price we pay for past wrongs.

I kind of wish every douchebag with a grudge didn't find it so easy to acquire a couple of 9mm Glocks and mow down everyone in sight. But a weapons ban wouldn't work well, either. Look at the guy who flew a plane into his local IRS office. Maybe Dr. Brown here could theorize about why some of our intensely lonely and alienated citizens turn into psychotic mass murders instead of just committing suicide in a solo act like they used to. How did going out in a blaze of glory get to be a fad?

IIRC the shooter KILLED his union officer, shortly after being showed a video of him stealing from the company, the REAL reason for the firing. But by all means why wouldn't the wife and mother play the race card, it seems to trump all logic and reason in this country and apparently can be "played" on any hand for any reason.

"Yeah, right. So it would be better if all Muslims were watched real closely? Then every time a Muslim had mediocre performance reviews he could be "booted out" and that would cure his melancholy. Or at least when he went on a murderous rampage it would be someone else's problem."

Nope - but if any non Muslim had done the things he did he would have been kicked out. When another Muslim US military officer started calling out the guy as a radical - then maybe people should have paid closer attention.

Have you been following this case at all?

"100% of Caucasians in this country are descended from immigrants."

Assuming "this country" means the US, 100% of all humans are immigrants, charming tribal legends aside.

thanks all for thoughtful insights and mostly positive comments...

having worked at Fed, State, and city level it is difficult to avoid the political talk (delusional is kind way of putting it)...

it seems warm seas of the GOM (known for beach tar-balls and significant oil seeps) is our (and BP's) best friend...perhaps the scientists will learn how fast the remaining highly diluted oil is consumed by bacteria -- by year's end?

(What an insult that is to the people in the space program)

what about all those astronauts that those people in the space program killed?

the astronauts understood the risk; 1:50 chance?
respect them for their bravery certainly
respect those who go to war...do they understand the risk? (as a Vietnam Vet I was lucky? perhaps so to most astronauts)
transferring to an oil accident is not an insult to anyone
accidents happen, perfect we are not...

Got to fix the set.

Badly photoshoped a high res image (diver) into a low res picture.

Just look at the pixelsizes ...

Having watched the ROV videos daily since they started I am sure that the quality of the video feeds hasn't changed at all. Some feeds are worse than others but that depends on the equipment of the ROVs in question and hasn't changed at all.

Funny we used to see pictures of the BOP and stack and now most of the time all I see is murk. You call that not changing????? Yesterday for a brief period I saw the connection joint. It was leaking. Then that went away. I would call that not bad quality, but rather cover up.

oxi - Not a very good coverup IMHO. Wouldn;t it be a better plan to show videos of a nice stable non-leaking BOP? They have hours of that. Not showing any video only invites speculation. If NASA could fool the world into beleiving we landed on the moon a fake BOP shouldn't be much of challenge, eh?

So Rocky since not showing any video of the BOP and cap invites speculation why are they not showing those pictures? Seems like a better thing to aim their ROV's at than most of what they are aiming them at. Why have they stopped watching? Especially since for a brief period I saw them once again looking at the BOP and small leaks were showing. They just happened to look when a few leaks appeared and then stopped looking because that leak stopped? Please give me a convincing scenario to explain this.

One scenario is the ROVs are actually performing useful work as decided by people paying their bills, whatever it is we may be seeing.

oxi -- Just a guess that perpetuates the idea that BP's PR folks aren't to smart: I'm pretty sure there's an operational charge per hour that the ROV's operate. Maybe just another case of BP penny pinching. If so not very smart INHO. But I think most would agree that BP PR lacks quit a bit.

I thought maybe something was wrong with my computer.....LOL

Edit: Topic is video feed quality

Next thing you see will be Sid parking the Northwestern over top of him.

It looks as if they are injecting dispersant into the seabed...

Gail, thanks for the overview on deepwater drilling bans. I think the quick decision on the ban is evidence that America is not governed as one big happy family, but to some extent as an empire with exploitable internal colonies. I can't imagine the President shutting down a major part of a regional industry in Michigan or New Jersey without putting on a big show of consultation with their governors and Congressional delegates. In Louisiana we didn't get that, we got fiat.

I'm sure other states have their own similar problems, but here in la Louisiane, one of the richest states in resources, we are pretty tired of being ordered around by clueless Yankees (and we're not so happy with the clueless Southerners, too). The give and take of a healthy state/federal system is broken here, and the BP spill is a good example, reminding folks of the federal failures of Katrina and the continued insane loss of wetlands. Our state government isn't perfect, for sure, but I can't imagine even Bobby Jindal (who thinks looting south Louisiana to enrich north Louisiana is his mission in life) continuing to dump Mississippi mud off the continental shelf.

I'm not saying states should become fiefdoms, picking and choosing laws at a whim (Texas comes to mind, pretending the EPA doesn't apply in their fine state), and federal authority isn't always a bad thing --that civil rights stuff was pretty good, if a little late. I'm just saying that rearranging the deck chairs in DC, changing MMS to OEM, isn't enough. If we want a safer offshore industry and a restored coast, we need people with local experience and local accountability working with the feds and within national standards. Jindal ought to be pushing as hard for that as for his $360 million sandbox.

We want better protection for our people and our environment, and we need money to pay for it. It's galling and corrupt to be told we have to wait until 2017 for a decent share of offshore revenue. Louisiana will have lost around another 280 square miles and several towns by then. Louisiana ran itself very well before the US took over in 1803; given resources and respect, we will again.

It may not be all that different now than when Twain ranted eloquently about the short-minded thieves of Congress: "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.". But how are we to recover economically and environmentally when we are reduced to bowing to and begging from Washington? From the Corps of Engineers to FEMA to the MMS to the drilling ban, folks here suffer because the rest of the country likes their earmarks and loves presidents who act like kings.

Well sorry..

Closed, you posted in the wrong place, you might want to Edit/delete and repost in another spot.

Hey Gail, you're actually an Acturial which by definition says that you:
1. relating to calculation of risk: relating to the statistical calculation of risk or life expectancy for insurance purposes

Source: http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861583537/actuarial.html
Source: http://www.ourfiniteworld.com/

I noticed in the second link TOD and Gail were prominently mentioned.

Regarding "Corn-Based Ethanol: Is This a Solution?"
"Over at The Oil Drum, Gail has just penned an exhaustive and, we think, invaluable post clarifying the perceived benefits and disadvantages of using corn-based ethanol as an alternative to fossil fuels." - Treehugger


So the risk assessment is trading off the potential benefits with the negative consequences. But a qualitative view of this trade-off is not enough, you also need probabilities associated with the positive and negative. What I think is important and I picked up elsewhere in this thread, is that we have only one good way to access the benefits in regarding how much more crude oil we can expect to extract. Without this number describing the potential positive benefits, we are simply gambling for hypothetical spoils.

ob, I call this is a righteous comment and thank you for it.

Did you see Swift Loris bring to the last thread Jason DeParle's article on Chris Oynes' 21 years at MMS? As it turns out, that story is Louisiana's as much as Oynes':

... For decades, Washington and Louisiana were joined in the quest for red-jacket days, and the minerals agency was expected to provide them. Washington got oil and royalty fees; Louisiana got jobs; and the agency got frequent reminders of the need to keep both happy.

Seldom do regulators work in a place so dependent on the industry they oversee. From the top of Louisiana’s tallest building (One Shell Square) to the bottom of its largest aquarium (with a sunken rig), oil saturated the state’s culture long before it covered its marshes. …

As Congress debated the landmark 1978 law that governs offshore activity, Louisiana officials argued for a light federal touch.

“We have 20,000 oil wells off the coast of Louisiana, and we have been drilling out there for a quarter of a century,” Senator J. Bennett Johnston, a Democrat, said on the Senate floor. “The so-called danger from oil spills has simply not been proved. Not only has it not been proved, it has been disproved, and we need to get on with that drilling.”

Elsewhere in the country, the law requires companies to submit detailed proposals for offshore activities, called Drilling and Production Plans. In the gulf, it specifically forbids them. Though the minerals agency invented an alternative (a Development Operations Coordination Document), it provides for lesser levels of review.

Born of competing national concerns, the law outlines competing goals. One passage calls for the “expeditious and orderly development” of offshore gas and oil. The next adds a codicil: “subject to environmental safeguards.”

While Mr. Oynes said he gave the mandates equal weight, many subordinates thought that he — like his adoptive state — favored one word.

“Expedite,” he would say. ...

And, boy howdy, did they. Now, of course, your pols are howling “Expedite!” over the challenges the Times-Pic laid out on Friday: rewriting the rules, reviewing environmental concerns, fairly compensating those affected by oil companies' carelessness, determining how long and what kind of government response makes sense (or is even possible), etc.

Granting you Louisiana's huge stake in this, I nonetheless hope Congress has learned a lesson here and will seek out and listen to advice wiser than Bennett Johnston's, Mary Landrieu's, Bobby Jindal's, and Billy Nungesser's. (For y'all's sake not least.)

A magnificent rant. I'm in awe and still applauding.

"...exploitable internal colonies..." There's the perfect descriptive phrase. I thank you for that, and for the comment generally, which I intend to pass on to a few folks who have been feeling some of the same frustrations without the ability to articulate them so well.

Local control of federal money is always two-edged sword. Louisianans may be some of the world's finest people (Laissez les bons temps rouler!) but, um, also has a long history of official corruption, inefficiency and incompetence. Do they spend federal dollars more wisely than they spend their own? Was their fast and efficient response to Katrina the envy of the world? And what the hell have they been doing with all that oil wealth? It wasn't the federal government that turned the southern half of the state into one big Superfund site.
Given the fevered calls from local officials for one or another misconceived remedy, is it a huge wonder that federal officials want to wait for some kind of evidence that the money would do some good?
People want their damage claims settled by BP or the Feds right away, like today. Guy says he owns a shrimp boat or a restaurant or a motel and demands an immediate cash payout of what he says he's lost this whole season. Can he prove it's his boat? Can he document the loss? If not, why the heck should anyone write him a check? Then there's a boatload of folks in the cash economy who don't pay taxes and have no records. Yes, their income has disappeared and they want help right away. Should the federal gov'mint just hand out checks? Maybe, maybe not.
But I do wish all those people who demand and get federal aid--state officials and individuals alike--wouldn't blame the federal government for all their problems.

Good points

I imagine a shrimp or oyster buying house could make a nice piece of change writing backdated receipts, or a whole set of books, to prove lost business for their friends with those untaxed and unrecorded receipts, presuming the IRS isn't looking over BP's shoulders at the payout stub.

Everybody's ranting about a $20 billion fishing economy. I wonder if the IRS has been getting taxes from half that. Or less?

More jobs, at the IRS... help that ol' bayou economy!

I wonder if the IRS has been getting taxes from half that.

More like 'Is the IRS taking a closer look at many businesses in the area?'.


A statement by Kent Wells at the technical briefing from August 6th on the question of how much cement was pumped into the well:
"We pumped just a little over 500 barrels of cement down the casing. We talked — I think it was roughly about 200 barrels into the formation and the rest remained in the casing."
So how can cement vanish into the formation when the well isn't perforated? Or did I miss some news where BP declared a broken well?

Asgard, the same way oil shows up at the surface when the well isn't perforated. I haven't been watching the Kent Wells presentations, but it's easy to assume the cement used the same path to get in the oil used to get out. And if anybody has any doubts about cement getting into the formation, it does it by fracturing the rock. Today, there's a very thin cement wall somewhere down there. It's in a vertical plane. If they think it's in the reservoir they probably think the well blew out the casing shoe. And this means they had a lousy cementing procedure.

I think you are on the money with this theory. Asgard; follow this link and click on to float collar and U-tube definitions. There was a problem with the U-Tube measurement before the well kicked. If the cement was dodgy, as they flushed the mud out of the well with seawater, the drop in static head pressure did for the cement job http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/Display.cfm?Term=float%20joint

We have exactly one source of information: BP. The guys that caused it in the first place. No one knows a fucking thing about the wellbore.

Clogging, I don't think that's a fair representation of the situation. Everything done to the well is reported in daily reports, and those are available. The materials delivered to the rig are logged, as is the personnel, fuel, water, etc. What we don't know is the well status just prior to and after the blow out, because nobody has had access to the well itself.

To me it's a huge surprise to see the way the well apparently blew out via the casing shoe, because this means it blew out the cementing plug.

I'm not an expert in casing and cementing, so I wonder, when they run the plug, how do they expect the mud and cement to stay unmixed if the plus is meant to bump in a 7 inch casing shoe, but there's a section of casing with 8 1/2 inch ID (more or less) halfway down?

I'm not an expert in casing and cementing, so I wonder, when they run the plug, how do they expect the mud and cement to stay unmixed if the plus is meant to bump in a 7 inch casing shoe, but there's a section of casing with 8 1/2 inch ID (more or less) halfway down?

I have wondered the same. Perhaps they use a plug within a plug, smaller plug comes out at point ID decreases.

This discussion brings to mind something I hadn't thougth of. I assume that they use drill pipe to lower casing strings to the wellhead and then cement though the DP. How do they deal with the difference in ID of the DP and casing when running plugs?

To me it's a huge surprise to see the way the well apparently blew out via the casing shoe, because this means it blew out the cementing plug.

Cement does weird things. I've placed plugs before, spotted through tubing during P&A operations usually, and then gone back in the next day and they were gone. Vanished. Couldn't find them. I should note, I wasn't REQUIRED to go back in the next day and look for the things...so imagine what might happen if I hadn't...I would have just assumed it was where it was supposed to be and moved on with operations and the next plug uphole.

Hardly analogous to deepwater GOM, but it taught me to be more than careful about this particular aspect of drilling, recompletions, squeezing and P&A. We use these things all over the place, and you really need them to do what they are supposed to do.

The author of this post gave a realistic appraisal of oil drilling world wide.

The last thing an addict gives up is their "harpoon" (hypodermic needle for injecting heroin, etc.).

Civilization is woefully addicted to several "drugs", oil is said to be one of them.

Governments really have no plan to deal with the problem except various forms of triage.

The poor will receive poor triage, the rich the best triage money can buy, but in the end it is still only triage.

Yeah, doomsday.

The blood of their "savior", oil, which flows through the toxic blood veins of the god Oilah to fuel the weapons systems targeting millions of people around the world, ready to deliver nuclear winter at the drop of a hat, now covers birds, fish, ocean, beaches, the air, and marshes.

Might as well go out and buy a Veyron and kick it till the end.

an addiction or merely mankind's use of another of God's (or nature's to the nonbeliever) gifts ...
Please review the natures mechanisms for dealing with what nature has created:

"Twice an Exxon Valdez spill worth of oil seeps into the Gulf of Mexico every year,
according to a new study that will be presented January 27 (2000) at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Antonio, Texas....The wildlife have adapted and evolved and have no problem dealing with the oil ...Oil that finds its way to the surface from natural seeps gets broken down by bacteria and ends up as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. "

An easily readily scientific description of the natural degradation mechanisms of oil in the marine environment.
"Complex processes of oil transformation in the marine environment start developing from the first seconds of oil's contact with seawater. The progression, duration, and result of these transformations depend on the properties and composition of the oil itself, parameters of the actual oil spill, and environmental conditions. The main characteristics of oil transformations are their dynamism, especially at the first stages, and the close interaction of physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms of dispersion and degradation of oil components up to their complete disappearance as original substances. Similar to an intoxicated living organism, a marine ecosystem destroys, metabolizes, and deposits the excessive amounts of hydrocarbons, transforming them into more common and safer substances."

From popular mechanics --- for the layman.
"As soon as oil hits water, the ocean begins its deconstruction. In fact, the marine environment handles oil much like a human body handles alcohol: destroying, metabolizing and depositing the excessive compounds —in oil's case, hydrocarbons—then transforming the compounds into safer substances"

good scolarly article on the role of photochemical and bacteriologic degradation of oil in seawater
"... differences between distribution for the 2nd day and the 8th day should be considered as caused mainly by light and bacteria activity. Several days were enough for degrading the oil film,which covered natural seawater in the great scale- mainly low molecular compounds disappeared almost completely."
Most interesting is there oil breakdown timespan is measured in daya and not years ...

Sarcasm, right?
Anyway I just logged back in and I want to know what are these talks about sediment deposits and clathrates that were going on last night, should I think anything of them? I think it was John who first mentioned them.

So is BP still waiting for the cement to finish, or this finally over and we can finally celebrate. Though, someone here once told me that it's never to early to celebrate, I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch.

Party whenever you can, Heiro, but I'm holding off on my post-Macondo celebration until Thad Allen says, in so many words, "That's it, it's dead."

That's what I'm waiting for.
But really what are clathrates and should I think anything of them? As for the well, is the cement still drying or are they going to do a bottom kill?

I could tell what I know about clathrates, but others here know much more, so I'll stick to your other two questions, the answers to which are "yes" and "yes."

It be easier if I wasn't left to second guessing. So I think anything about the clathrates or not? Is this another problem that needs to be overcome? If it is a problem, than after it's taken care of is there any more?


Subsea operational update:

* The MC252 well has been shut-in since July 15; there is currently no oil flowing into the Gulf.
* The pressure testing following the cementing operations indicates we have an effective cement plug in the casing which was the desired outcome.
* The relief well being drilled by the DDIII continues to progress towards intersecting the annulus.
* We anticipate the next update will be provided at around 10am CDT on August 9, 2010.

Updated August 8 at 10:30am CDT

They will continue with Static Kill for insurance (or over-abundance of caution) as they've always said they will.


Does it ever bother you that you often ask people what you should be thinking, or whether you should be worried about something you've just read (usually after you've already started worrying about it before you fully understand it)?

When danger looms, part of the time there is sufficient time to gather more information, and make a studied determination as to how best to respond. Part of the time we have already acquired skills and understanding sufficient to deal appropriately with the danger. Part of the time we don't have time to evaluate and develop a considered response, so if we aren't already prepared we're toast, and; part of the time we're already toast before we're aware of the danger anyway.

I suppose the lesson to be learned is that if there's time to worry about it, there's almost certainly time to deliberately gather enough information about whether it's a true, as differentiated from an apparent, danger, and then make a considered response. That means worrying is only delaying your appropriate response. Panic rarely helps anything unless you are in imminent physical danger. Then it can trigger adrenaline and endorphins which can help us run or fight, but sometimes it overwhelms our processing ability and we just freeze.

Also, it sounds like you're asking someone to recapitulate the whole discussion of calthrates. Have you read those posts yet? If not, do you really want someone else to do the work for you?

It seems to me that of the visitors to this site, only a few are really qualified to discuss any given issue. For the rest of us, lurking silently (is that a redundant repetition? :<)), and absorbing information until we get to the point where we are beginning to have a fundamental understanding at least sufficient to ask reasonably apropos questions seems like a good course of conduct.

Walking in on a tv show late, then asking someone to tell you what is going on is usually not only unnecessary but rude, because it asks them to interrupt their enjoyment for your sake. It's the same here.

When we've gathered enough information to be well ahead of the average newbie, then perhaps its ok for us to answer questions, IF we're sure of the facts.

And try tackling one issue at a time, you might make more progress.

Jumping in where I prolly shouldn't, but some worries are thrust upon us from hearing innacurate scenarios about the DWH and circumstances that came after, that is what brought me to TOD-I was seeking answers that even after I had researched still didn't understand due to the very technical nature of DW drilling. I hope no one is offended by my silly questions I asked as an outsider to the oil indusrty. Once I got answers from those qualified it confirmed my theories, and I quit stressing and now try to help others do the same.

Just my 2c for whatever it's worth:)


I know I'm a pest, but I want to gather as much information as possible.
And I don't see why you keep saying I'm worried my expression as I we speak is rather unfazed. I only ask in a clinical tone. And I've read on it, I just don't know what to think about it, are we doomed? Perhaps not, but it doesn't hurt to know.
And I was again being rather bitter with the water issue as well. Since that is another thing we have to deal with, but it can be done I have faith in that.
So again sorry for being a pest.

Heiro - Pest....hmm. Maybe. You and everyone else who ask all those dang questions. After all I come here to share my thoughts with knowledgeable oil patch folks. No...wait...that's what I have at the office.

OK...sarcasm off. I bounce in and out of TOD to answer those questions. I've put up with some obstenant folks with their paranoid/silly questions. In that universe Heiro isn't too bad IMHO. LOL.

I'm here doing my little bit out of a very important obligation. And as much as I enjoy TOD and the folks here that obligation has nothing to do with them. So they can ask me all the pesky questions they want. It serves my purpose well.

Well I guess I'll have to say thanks for telling me that.
I'll be sure to keep my questions to myself after all Google is my freind, right. If I never need an answe I'll look it and not bother the experts here unless it's withing your feild of knoweldge...

Heiro, Heiro, Heiro,

Don't nip at Rockman, he's supporting you. And he's the least likely contributor here to take offense or criticize you.

He was mocking my complaints, and telling you that your questions don't bother him.

If you nip at anybody, nip at me. I deserve it far more than he does.

Speaking of which, if you have taken on the burden of the whole world's future, it will crush you in a second. Find a field that you enjoy and are good at, not one that you believe needs to be rescued.

No matter what your field, do the best you can, and try to help your children do better than you have, because you will make mistakes. Trust in the process of evolution. If our existence as a whole makes the world a better place, then we will survive, if it doesn't then we may not survive, and no one person can make a difference.

And that's not a depressing view, that's a liberating view, because you can do anything you want, knowing that whether President of the Universe, or emptier of wastebaskets you can make a valuable contribution to humanity.

Liberating? It is only that if your world view of evolution subscribes to the former and not the latter. But, since a large majority of the human population is self-hating I guess our we can expect a die off. Which means there isn't a thing I can do. But, my insistance on me tackling the world's problems comes from the fact that I'm the only young man on this board asking what can be done to help. I don't see any members of my young generation coming here to ask what do they need to do for the future so why trust them?

Hiero: You're talking too much, and editing too little. Calm down.

Will do, perhaps I can try some of that relaxing tea?

I disagree, if there's no hope then we're free of obligation or risk, what's more liberating than that.

When we can consider alternative, and sometimes even diametrically opposite, perspectives, we can often see positive options that we never would have dreamed existed. Barriers become challenges, failures become experience and contribute to learning, etc. Try it out, you might like it.

Well can you list a few?
I don't think we're hopeless but it's hard to resist falling into that camp when faced with a myriad of challenges. But since you subscribe to that form of thinking tell us how we can fix some of the problems.
But in the end it's all about perspective and how you react to it.

C'mon, Heiro, cut it out now. You've been heckling people for days with "TELL ME HOW TO SOLVE THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS -- RIGHT NOW!!!"

It's really getting old. Folks have taken time to give you their best advice, and obviously you've slid right past without taking in a bit of it. If you really think we've got anything to offer you, you'd go back these threads and c a r e f u l l y ponder the recommendations you've received, then try your best to apply them. Quietly. In private. Where you can think.

And I apoligize for that.
But I can't go back and change what I've said now can I? I've taken some notes and after I collected enough I'll make a decision. You get experience from mistakes and now I know my attitude isn't appropiate, but forgive me again for trying to justify myself but I just want to take in as much knoweldge as I can and within a short period of time.

It's really getting old.

I concur. Enough already. It's all take and no give.

He already said what needed to be said. No need to make it any more clear.

I am not a he. Do NOT apologize again. Just scram and go put in some work on your writing and thinking skills.

beachmomy and heiro.

Questions are not silly because of ignorance, we ask them to relive ignorance, so they are a vital part of the learning process, just like mistakes are a vital part of developing good judgment. But one of the best ways to really learn is to ask questions of yourself, kind of a cheap person's Socratic Method, and figure the answers out for yourself, especially by using some of the great reference sources that have been identified here.

But even that wasn't the issue I was addressing. When we ask very broad questions, such as "should I worry?" the expectation that anyone could reasonably answer that question is somewhat unrealistic. Even a relatively focused question such as "do I have a piano hanging from a rope over my head?" poses problems. I could pretty confidently answer that the odds are that there isn't, but if you want a more definite answer that's pretty tough without putting a lot more work into it than I am willing to devote.

I am of the belief that the more esoteric a question is the more appropriate it is to ask it in a forum like this, because it requires specialized knowledge that most of us don't have. When someone asks me why parents beat their children, I can give you a pretty comprehensive and accurate answer (though usually overlong, because that's how I do things even though I can also give you the short but still correct answer, "because they are available and vulnerable") because that's within my skill and knowledge set.

But when we ask questions that are too broad or could easily be answered with a little research, I think we're being disrespectful of those who have been so gracious as to share their knowledge and time with us.

And Heiro, I don't see you as a pest, I see you as a hungrily curious young man, which is great! Bur you will be better served if you don't become dependent on the opinions of others. You can, and will be better served by developing the information gathering and processing skills, the insights, and critical thinking, as well as other relevant skills, that will give you the confidence to say "we need to push that button right now, even when others disagree.

Also, Heiro, if you check back through your comments you'll find a high ratio of sentences where you have invoked very depression laden words like doom, gloom, worry, etc. Even when you try to turn upbeat, somehow you have a way of often pulling the rug out from under that mood with the end portion of your contribution. You might want to ask yourself why.

Thanks again for your contribution Dave.
Though I'm not sure how I can convice you that I'm not gloomy a all. When I say those words I'm often bitter and sarcastic. Sort of like, "Oh another thing I have to "worry" about..."
And I'll think about my questions before I ask.

Now we only have to get DavidEBrown to edit HIS answers.

Dream on!

Edit: Unless you mean this way to add stuff. Didn't you see my earlier confession that I'm a charter member of the "why use one word when 47 will do" club?

Then KarmaDave spoke about my "economy of words," and I chose to interpret it literally rather than
ironically or sarcastically.

For the rest of us, lurking silently

I hardly find your posts silent. They are much too wordy and lengthly for analysis and thought, Are you a supreme court justice?

I was referring to my early tenure here when I was more low profile, but probably not by much. But it is certainly true that many people lurk here to get their bearings before commenting.

I agree that my posts are wordy and lengthy. I often tackle fairly complex issues and choose the words I believe I need to convey my message. I, no doubt, could use a good editor, but I hope you don't mind if I don't choose you, do you? I doubt that much of my prose would survive your red pencil.

Well, I stayed out of that, err, discussion as my BS detector had so totally pegged. The doomsters are trying to have one last push for web hits before their window of opportunity is passed as people realise the scenarios they are hyping are not happening.

As for celebration, I'm with Lotus.


I was going to eat clams but I'm having second thoughts, the guy selling them said they were safe but I'm to sure.
Though I tend not to dismiss anything because being open minded means considering every possibility, even the ones you deem unlikely. The clathrates discussion appears to have been talking about the frozen hydrates underground which according to another doomster from a far away forum is a bad thing.
I don't believe everything I hear, but I will consider it.

Not to mention a loss of income via donations that are set up and are not NPO's......once the window passes their cash cow will dry up unless they are able to hype other aspects of this disaster, and sadly I am already seeing that start. But, they (doomers) are still saying we are watching fake ROV footage and the invisble oil is still gushing 120,000 bpd and still posting fake videos that they are hyping as proof that the sae floor is getting ready to explode. I have to admit sometimes I read there for chits and giggles (sick I know).

Sick indeed.
And what kind of money can they make by hyping the other aspects of this disaster?
Well we wil just have wait and see what happens, but I really wish things would move along faster.
Anyway is the spill crisis over, I read on wikipedia (I know, foolish!) that the spill lasted from April 21rst-August 8th, today, and I haven't read anything on the paper that declared the spill to be over they are still waiting for the cement to cure.

The one I know for certain took in about $5000.00 in 10 days, payable directly to him, not a charity or NPO. I don't think by any means it's over, the oil is no longer gushing but the clean up will last for yrs. I also heard they are going to start drilling on the RW tonight so as a layman I "assume" it has cured. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Off to the beach to enjoy another beautiful day, and will catch up here later. Have a great day y'all!


You're right, but we should be thankful that the well is dead or dying. The clean up effort will take a while but it can be done that much I'm sure of. And enjoy the beach if you're going to the gulf than that be even better those poor people need something to smile about.

I just saw this post HOS~I am extremely thankful about the well at this point and cautiously optimistic about killing it for good, and I guess you missed a bunch of my post early on, but I love on the Gulf (well, about 100 ft away) on Pensacola Beach, so I wouldn't go anywhere else since I just walk out the back door, cross the street and I'm wet! Sad, if you looked at my pic's you'll see the beach is almost empty. Granted where I live is more private since it's all residential and nowhere to park except the church and the elementary school lot a few blocks down so it's always quieter here than the public beach, but even the public beach is has had only about 1/3 of the average summer on the beach this yr., but the Bushwhacker Festival was this weekend and did bring in about 10,000 over the weekend who drank too much and had to "get a room". I smile everyday I wake up, I learned a hard lesson last yr and know it can always be worse, if this is what I have to handle from the disaster then I'm ok with that, so many others have it so much worse than we do here.


mummsie: Are you going to bring back pictures of the toe.......er....beach?? Heh! Heh!

GW~if you insist! These are from a few weeks back, I have yet to replace the batteries in the camera but if it makes you feel better I'll oblige :)







Any further toe needs can be sent to my email on my bio, and for a small fee I will take care of LOL!!

Seeing the dead sand crab reminds me to ask, are the sand crabs and sand fleas present in normal numbers? Other sea critters?

That photo was from early June, but we went thru a time when the water was too rough to snorkel. It was from a few days before Alex to about 10 days ago, since then I have seen an what appears to be a normal amount of marine life. Yesterday the dolphins were playing and feeding just before the sand bar, and today I was snorkeling and saw alot of minnow type fish and followed them to find more bait fish, then al of the sudden I didn't realize how far out I was and I was in a huge school of fish that were about 2 ft long, I decided I didn't want to be part of the food chain and came in closer to find two really curious fish literally within an inch of my mask and they were all over me, it was so strange as it was like they were attracted to something like the color of bikini etc., I've never experienced such curious fish as there. The crabs have been pretty abundant and I found a huge blue crab last weekend and caught him in the net to examine closer before letting him go, the sandfleas I am used to seeing earlier in the season so I can't really answer that question as acuratly as the others and of course I am no scientist, so this is all from my perspective of what "my normal" is.

We did have one bad day last week when about 40+ dead crabs washed up in one spot and UWF was out here to take them back and try to determine what happened, they had no oil and the biologist stated he thought it was due to the very high water temps we've had lately, the water has been 92+ where I am, and we have had no strong depressions that churn up the water, so his speculation was possible oxygen depletetion due to a variety of issues from the water temp, no water being mixed up, among other things that were over the top of my head. I will call and find out this week to see if he has any results .

High temperature may well send up the rate of metabolism which could make them more sensitive to low oxygen. Can't remember what temperature does for dissolved oxygen. Big school doesn't sound like bacarudas more likely what gets eaten. Fish are attracted to colours so the bikini may well be responsible especially if it resembled the size and shape of fish. Blue nail varnish wouldn't suit me though and I'd get some really odd looks around here;)


Warmer water = less dissolved oxygen can be retained. That's why freshwater brook trout die if the water warms to around 70F.

Mummsie: Heh! Heh! Geez.

Aw just James P. Dandy, if it ain't teeners wid ADHD or short-sellers rampant, it's toe fetishists. Wot next will befall po' ol' TOD?

(Blue-nailed tootsies are okay, mommy, but I'm into the water pix m'self. Thanks!)

LOL ~I asked that last night, what's up with the sudden interest in toenail polish fetish? I use my feet as markers to show size sometimes of tarballs, crabs, coral etc., and also to show how clear the water is, the one from yesterday was in about mid-thigh water and you can see them plain as day, and if I ever get off my arse and get an underwater camera I could show youo how clear it is at much deeper depths , plus all the marine life I can see when I snorkel.

Gawjussest water I ever saw in my life. Sure is good to hear that the critters seem to be in good shape, so thanks for the report.

I agree we are very blessed here in the redneck riveria (although most think the water is nasty from MSM reports), but clearly it's as beautiful as ever, and I am always happy to report the "critters" are still out in what appear to me to be normal numbers.

Update for you lotus on the critters ...I only came in because there was a storm coming in and finally we had a good one, I took wild baby kitty out for his exercise to the beach after and the rays and baby sand sharks were everywhere which is norm at this time of day, never thought I'd be happy to see so many sharks:) Next time I snorkel I am leaving the "bling" off, I'm thinking that's what might have attracted all the fish possibly.

lotus and mummsie: I just knew I was in for it after I posted that! Geez. Blue is my favorite color. You gals missed my point entirely! Gonna go get beer now. No Blue Bell for me.

(I kid, GWS. I kid. Happy beer. Spot o' Scotch & water here.)

I'm just messing with ya GW~I was in a silly mood so didn't mind......I'll delete it if you wish:)

No worries here! Not now, anyway! Carry on.Heh! Heh!

Everything from Baptists, eatin' chicken, and arguing with idiots. I was about half way through today's posts when I started thinking of one of my favorite redneck comedians; James Gregory. His Uncle Robert's life ambition is to own a two story mobile home. JG: They don't make em' Uncle Robert. UR: Well they ought to; for folks with money. JG: I don't care how many degrees you got hangin' on the wall you kain't argue with that.


So I though since the riviera was getting back to natural this was a good place to post a tidbit.

Edit: Yes I know Baptist's and eatin' chicken are synonymous.

I don't mean to get off topic and I'm sure this has been discussed already but can anyone tell me if this is an actual alternative to cleaning up oil and how effective it really is?

Nature will "for free" deal with the residual at-sea stuff --- the marshes can also be treated using natural means ...
This paper provides an excellent scientific description of a useful natural process ...

Coastal Marsh Recovery and Oil Remediation after In-situ Burning: Effects of Water Depth, Oil and Marsh Type

From this article:
"In-situ burning effectively removed floating oil from the water surface, with about 99% destruction efficiencies in (total petroleum hydrocarbons) in terms of mass balance. This high destruction efficiency prevents the hydrocarbons from potentially contaminating adjacent habitats and penetrating the soil when the water recedes."

when I first read the title "Coastal Marsh Recovery and Oil Remediation after In-situ Burning: Effects of Water Depth, Oil and Marsh Type", I imagined that the experimental design involved burning actual oiled marshes "in-situ" and assessing before and after measurements of the many species that exist "in-situ".

From Wikipedia "In biology, in situ means to examine the phenomenon exactly in place where it occurs (i.e. without moving it to some special medium)."

The experiment referenced took place in a 6 meter diameter burn tank and in a greenhouse. The experiment measured the effect of burning three species of marsh grass. The marsh grass sod was removed from its natural state and placed in buckets which were submerged in water and 40 millimeters of crude oil. The oil was burned for 700 seconds and the buckets were then moved to a greenhouse.

The strength of using a laboratory type of experimental design is that it controls variables and reduces uncertainty of the findings. The weakness of the design is that the conclusion is limited in its real world application. There is always a tension in experimental design between controlling of variables and generalizing the findings. This is not a bad experimental design. It addresses a specific set of questions about a very complex ecosystem.

The findings of the experiment referenced are that three species of marsh grass, will survive burning when the oil covered water is 10 centimeters or deeper. Shallower water raises the temperature of the soil high enough that it damages the reproductive organs of the the marsh grass. (There are some variables to the conclusion presented in the study.)

The findings of this experiment provide a piece of the puzzle. The experiment does not address long term effects on the many other species that spend some portion of their life cycle in the coastal estuary. The findings cannot be generalized to areas of coastal estuary larger than a bucket. Effects of burns of more than 700 seconds, or oil that is thicker than 40 millimeters can be estimated from the findings, but the estimates carry less certainty. I think this study is weakened by a title and conclusion that over-reach the actual findings. The findings are indicative of further inquiry and in that way the study was successful.

Very nice comment. A bullseye!

Posted by Gail the Actuary on August 7, 2010 - 10:26pm
Topic: Environment/Sustainability
Tags: deepwater horizon, oil spill [list all tags]
One of the questions I was asked earlier in the spill was, "Do you expect other countries to stop drilling in deepwater locations, because of the oil spill?" My response was, "Maybe a bit, in a few locations, but in general I expect the drilling to continue." The world has so much equipment that uses oil as a fuel, and so little in the way of good substitutes, that it is really difficult for governments to decide to discontinue drilling. Furthermore, if an oil company has debt, it needs to continue drilling in order to repay its debt. Even if a company doesn't have debt, stockholders expect dividends (often to make payments under pension plans), and this need to pay dividends contributes to the need to continue deepwater drilling. Even government-owned companies are under pressure to keep drilling, because governments often use their share of oil revenue to fund social programs.

It makes more sense to me that our oil revenue fund social programs, esspecially renewables infrastructure development. Of course here in America that's a longshot, given today's politics and corporate influence. However, I believe one day it will come to pass, as needs will be.

It's insane, imo, to place control of our most vital national security resource in the hands of nationless corporate entities. Let the people benefit directly from the oil, cut out the BP, Exon, Shell, etc. middlemen with no allegience, except to profits and growing dividends.

At some point Americans are going to have to decide if they wish to keep the fox guarding the henhouse. I say we need a well-trained guard dog on duty 24/7.

I don't agree badly needed infrastructure development is a "social program", but I agree with your thinking.

I don't think any oil company can face the unlimited liability that now exists for deepwater. A US National Oil Co needs to form, nationalize deepwater assets, and become an equity partner with deepwater operators.

The last time we did that PROPERLY was when we dug and built the Panama Canal, wasn't it?

The government cant run what it has now, and you want it to run our oil needs?

Are you Hugo in disguise?

ham - We have an organization that has nationalized deepwater assets...it's the MMS. The offshore oil/NG reources already belong 100% to the US or state govt's. And by equity partner do you the govt pay for some of the drilling costs? Any time the fed govt wants to drill a well in the OCS at its own expense it can. It has had that option since the inception of the OCS. Right now, when they lease to an oil company, they retain only an over riding royalty: on average 1/6 of the gross revenue. How succesful would such an effort be? Might not be a fair comparison but consider the profits made by FedEX and UPS vs. the US Post Office.

Remember: many of the major oil/NG resources around the world are developed by national oil companies.

And by equity partner do you the govt pay for some of the drilling costs? Any time the fed govt wants to drill a well in the OCS at its own expense it can. It has had that option since the inception of the OCS. Right now, when they lease to an oil company, they retain only an over riding royalty: on average 1/6 of the gross revenue. How succesful would such an effort be? Might not be a fair comparison but consider the profits made by FedEX and UPS vs. the US Post Office.

Equity partners share both reward and 'risk'. The 'risk' problem is what I foresee as slowing if not stopping private co efforts in deepwater. What Board of Directors is now going to bet the company in GOM deepwater?

A US Nat. Oil Co would forego royalty and participate at whatever % it desired. Could it be 100%? Sure, but I'd think even govt dunces are smart enough to know they'd never equal the private sector in successful exploration, drilling, and development efforts.

What Board of Directors is now going to bet the company in GOM deepwater?

Probably the Directors of only a very few of the smaller companies, like Shell and Chevron.

I say that only half sarcastically because (1) there is almost certainly quite a lot of oil and gas still to be found in the sediments of the outer CS in the GOM, (2) those particular companies have had success in the past decade, and a lot of their geologists and geophysicists spend a lot of company time working on E&P in that region, and (3) there is a lot of accumulated knowledge among the professional scientific staff at the majors in regards to deepwater prospects and that knowledge can reasonably be expected to lead to future production successes.

Personally, I don't expect any of the major GOM players to cut back on their E&P efforts in the region, other than whatever restrictions are placed on drilling by government moratoriums etc. in the coming months and years.

Remember, when Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, his answer was "Because that's where the money is." Why do the majors drill in the Gulf of Mexico? Because that's where the oil is.

There is an other consideration I think needs to be made besides the amount of untapped oil... what about the needs of future generations? If we honor and respect what we are doing, it can only be because we also have calculated, to the best of our ability, those needs.

In 100 years technology will advance, probably making deep water much less of a challenge than it is today. Of course over the course of the next 100 years we could also destroy the earth's ability to sustain life outside of a plastic bubble...

Try not to accentuate the negative, my freind. Have faith that good things will come.
Though I wish I read the above post more carefully, I guess we don't have to worry about the amount of untapped oil. Maybe, it's for the better.

That's good advice. Yet we can not ignore the trends; especially populaton growth and the 3 billion additional people expected to arrive by 2050...

I don't think that will come, because there is no way we can support that many people and with the way the economy is going families are starting to have less and less kids, quiet a few people I know vowed never to procreate. Though I'm concerned mostly for emerging economies because they all want to live like the west has been these fast fifty years. Which means that they'll start having lots of children and most won't die off in their early years.

But I hope they follow China's example and instead of forming a subhurbian car culture they'll stick with high speed trains. Luckily, CA is finally starting to take that route.

Uh...... HUH?

Hamm: My apology offered. I didnt comprehend your post rightly. A couple of gals downthread made me go get beer and drink it!

Hey~I hope you aren't referring to me......I;d have made you do a few shots of patron, not beer GW:)

ham -- I think the citizens now understand what part of the risk they've been sharing. They might not have been investing directly but have been risking the environment. Now that we're talking about it, the feds could participate as an equity partner without having to do the work themselves. It doesn't happen often but an onshore mineral owner can lease his rights for an over riding royalty but also require an opportunity to invest in the well. For instance the MMS could lease a block for its standard 1/6 royalty and still require the operator to let them invest in 20% of the drilling cost. The feds would still need a staff to evaluate each deal but that's all. The company would still operate and do the actual drilling. The feds could even contract the prospect evaluation to third part experts.

OTOH imagine if the govt owned 20% of the BP blow out right now.

bookmark image

Raw Story -- Job Of Collecting Evidence Against BP May Go To BP

Friday, August 6th, 2010 -- 6:18 pm"I think they would do something in front of their own mother if they could," says one attorney for plaintiffsSpill investigators want to find undersea evidenceUnderwater crime scene: Gulf investigators want to gather evidence a mile beneath the seaJEFFREY COLLINSAP NewsAug 06, 2010 17:20 EDTNow that BP appears to have vanquished its ruptured well, authorities are turning their attention to gathering evidence from what could amount t
path: Public ~> Gulf Oil Disaster
originally posted: 2010-08-08 07:00:48

The only real 'evidence' is the BOP. Since this was made by Cameron and owned/maintained by Transocean - there is no real reason for BP to object to it being recovered. And in fact - any evidence that a design flaw or imporper maitenence caused the disaster is in BP's favor because they can then get somebody else to accept part of the blame and assume part of the financial responsibility.

The rest of the evidence burned and sank on the drill rig. Transocran's insurance company (who now own the wreckage) have no incentive to recover the remains becuase the cost of recovering it would exceed the remaining value of its components.

And I don't expect to see a bunch of 'ambulance-chasers' ponying up money from their own pockets to recover it.

Certainly there are theoretical reasons for not doing more deep-water drilling--concern about global warming, or fear of more oil spills.

Or the big gorilla in the room, the fact that we do have theory concerning how many more reservoirs we can expect and the sizes of those reservoirs.


We understand what the probabilities of actually getting a certain amount of additional oil are and then balance that against all the risks inherent in the extraction activity. This sounds kind of obvious but I am at a loss to understand why we don't seriously look at it from this angle.

You bring up Norway. Well, Norway has perhaps the best publicly available accounting of historical production numbers of any oil producing region -- it certainly puts the USA to shame. As should be obvious in any kind of predictive analysis, good data go together with a good theory and you can start to see the hand-writing on the wall. Wouldn't you think the Norwegians perhaps see this?

Or the big gorilla in the room, the fact that we do have theory concerning how many more reservoirs we can expect and the sizes of those reservoirs.

No....we don't have a theory...you have some partial information which you assume represents reservoir size...rather than economic recoverable volumes from some reservoirs and only THOSE compartment sizes.....a mixed population of partial economic sizes dependent on water depth at the least....and because of this you can't even say its the gorilla in the room. It might be a donkey....a midget donkey...or a squirrel...because the particulars of the data matter.

You never did point out the article supposedly published in Mathematical Geology, which I believe is called Mathematical Geosciences now.

I am willing to debate you on topics but not when you always use the 20 Questions approach.

I am willing to debate you on topics but not when you always use the 20 Questions approach.

Pick a topic. And no problem on the reference, but I'm not running to the office to get it today.

Selections from today's Press-Register editorial page:

From 'narratives of anxiety' to the beginnings of a partnership
... Given our earlier pointed criticism of BP, readers may be surprised to hear us now say some positive things about the company. We’re not ready to sing “Kumbaya” just yet, not until there’s convincing evidence of a fast-tracked, comprehensive recovery program. We’ll be watching every step.

But during that meeting [with the guv and Bob Dudley], I was reminded of this inescapable reality: If BP fails, there’s no back-up plan. Without BP, we’re toast. That means we need BP to not only survive this crisis, but to be a strong, effective collaborator with the communities and the people of the Gulf Coast as we work toward renewal and recovery.

Let that partnership begin.

The Loneliest Journey
HOW DO WE MAKE people in Kansas care about the lasting effects from the Gulf oil spill a year, three years, a decade, maybe even longer from now?

... According to Bill Finch, senior fellow at the Ocean Foundation and the Press-Register’s gardening writer, rehabilitation will require a sustained generational effort. We are in the midst of a "severe ecological rearrangement," as Finch has called it. ...

A Risk Worth Rewarding
IT’S A matter of risk and reward. The Gulf Coast states assume all the risks of offshore drilling, but the entire country enjoys the rewards in the form of petroleum products and royalties.

Not exactly fair, is it? [So don't make us states wait seven years to start sharing the drilling royalties.]

Where did the Coast Guard of Katrina go?
... After Hurricane Katrina, admirers wondered aloud if there was a way to bottle the traits that made the Coast Guard’s response work so beautifully, and apply them to other disasters.

In the 3½ months since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, it has become obvious that if there is a way, no one has discovered it.

Like the rest of the Coast, Mobile emerges from its trauma with thoughts running in all directions -- but a general tone of "Time to start the fixin'!"

Reports reveal that BP is sinking all the oil with Corexit
jamescfox | August 07, 2010

Boat ride with T-Boy
We took a boat out on August 2nd, 2010 to look for signs of Oil and the use of Corexit. We also gathered samples for testing. At first glance, one could easily accept the party line that most of the oil is gone...we took a closer look and spoke to people on the ground. What we found is disconcerting.

lotus: I live in Wyoming and I care about the Gulf coast. I have kept my social circle informed, thanks to all here at TOD, throughout this whole thing. Even when they were not so keen to be informed! The thing I have impressed upon them is that the real effort is just now beginning! It will be a long haul and row to hoe. I also keep them aware of water issues, which is a precious thing out here. I find a lot of people to be quite apathetic about that issue, both here and elsewhere.

Oh, GWS, thanks for spreading the word (I still think friend-to-friend is the most-likely persuasive). The general ignorance and apathy over water have worried me for a long time too. Most folks have no idea, do they? I actually fear that this century will see more water wars than oil wars before it's over (and hope I'll be over before that goes fullblown).

Oh come on, may to brighten our future.
Now I'll have to research water distribution and borders along with the various rights along with the PO crisis and dozens of other things.
But anyway what's the pressure for the well, is it still dropping, has it reached zero yet?

It reached zero during static kill at the top of the head of fluid (on the surface). The pressure on the BOP is not 0 relative to the seawater surrounding it as the drilling mud from the surface to the BOP is denser than sea-water.

lotus: Yeah. I agree water will become of more bitter contention than crude in the future. I always tell my friends I can find a way to live without oil, but I cannot live without water! and the rains are few and far between out here. Even in a good year! Dont waste it!

Well since it's a concern, I'd like to know more about it. I'm here to learn and share knoweldge, and it be nice if you had a solution to this problem, is it due to lack of rainfall, is it due to feirce competition between states/nations for resources in the oceans?

The first I have no idea, maybe a rain dance will do? The second could be solved by tighter regulations on ocean waters and some diplomacy.

Get learning those dance steps, youse going to need them and I am afraid that much of the diplomacy is going to be gunboat diplomacy. Water is a BIG problem. Underground aquifers are being used up, glaciers are dying and so will their water supply, climate patterns are shifting, rivers are being used up till dryout point, etc etc. It is going to require a whole raft of measures, not just 2 or 3. Many 'solutions' simply move the problem from 1 area to another. It will take a holistic approach that is sensitive to a changing world.


Again that's not making this any easier. But it can be done, it's just going to be a very unpleasant experience. But seriously give an answer, because in addition to all the problems our generation is going to have to solve this is a very important one. But I'll probably fail, too much to work with and not enough answers.

Young man, there few things in this life that are easy. Most things are unpleasant. Drinking beer is both pleasant and easy, it dont make alot of progress toward solutions. The biggest problem is ourselves, that is, we get cold feet right out of the gate! Like it or not, we are going to have to deal with this. Sooner or later. I prefer sooner. Break down the problem into simple parts and get to work! Do something, even if its wrong! Mistakes, usually, can be made right again. I never got fired for doing something, but knew damn well I would for doing nothing! Stop watering your lawn so much as a start!

I get it.

And I can just leave my whining to myself because it won't make anything better. But really, what can I do? Now that I am aware of about eight different crisis that my generation will have to work through do you mind telling me more things I'll have to take care of as a citizen? Come on, go ahead. Are we going to run out of food in several years, as well?

Myself? I can only do so much, since I am being advised to go into sociology, become an civil engineer, learn a thing or two about economics, and several other things. Luckily, I'm not alone. As for my grass, why not just let it die? I'll take fewer showers to concserve water...since anything I do consumes our water resources.

And I prefer things being done sooner, but the problems you have listed cannot be done entirely on a local level. Since everything from the PO to the water is mostly an international effort.

Now I'll go read a dozen or so books on how to deal with this "water crisis" along with my other studies...

Good! No more whining. Thats a good start! Complaining and whining are two different things! Glad to know you appreciate the responsibilities of being a citizen. Thats good too. Yourself? I found what my great passion was early on and pursued it. I believe I became quite good at it. It has been fulfilling and rewarding, at any rate. I have been very fortunate in that regard alone. I am trying to kill this Kentucky blue grass that the previous owners had here, so I can plant an indigenous prairie grass. I dont want to go spraying Roundup all over in order to do it, so, it takes awhile. That damn stuff is quite resilient, so it will take some time. I will stay the course though! I will kill it! Your generation will face some daunting problems, to be sure. However, you have more knowledge, better tools, and of a higher caliber than any generation before! Dont get cold feet. Kill the grass and plant a vegetable garden, right there locally. Right where you live. I still have to shower up. Still gotta brush my teeth. Still gotta wash the dishes. I try to think about the best way to conserve water and get the most from it where I am. I dont take it for granted. In hindsight, I should have made my studies my priority, but, I couldn't wait to get out there and work with the old breed of construction hands that I grew up with. I have been careful to advise my kids not to do that. It was a different time in history. Be of good cheer! Do contribute, no matter how small! And dont get cold feet!

My "passions" GWS are an entirely different matter. I won't pursue them because my efforts are needed in helping my generation with their problems. As for you analogy, very nice. As far as knoweldge and resources go they only they only take you so far you need time and effort most of all. And just to say I contributed a bit, we can provide households and/or establishments with their own small "private" water supply which will pressure families to use their water smartly. That can be done on a local level, but I have no idea how to solve the bigger problems with these "Water wars" you speak of. Hopefully some intelligent young man can get into office and take care of that.

Research also points out that damns cause quiet a bit of problems for the river.

What you need is real life problem/challenge to deal with.
Such as getting your girlfriend pregnant.
Could be the next Albert Einstien.

We had a big drought, in the UK, a few years back(and I wont say how many). I was working shifts and the water seemed to be on while I was working and off when I was home. The bath was not usable as there was water stored in it. Wash water (clothes, vegetables, you) went on the plants. Actually you have to pour that water down the drain now as they survey gardens and if they look green they prosecute under the hose pipe ban and use of waste water is not considered a defence. When I came off shift for the weekend it was straight up to my girlfriend's, as they had no ban in their area, I was amazed to see fountains. Fast kiss then 'Can I use your shower?', needless to say that was rapidly permitted. I used to do a lot of camping, when you have to carry your water you get frugal with it.

Where I live we have good water supplies, at the moment a bit too much as we are in the rainy season. I used to visit one village where they had to carry all water a few hundred yards from the river - they used it carefully.

Yep, do that reading and thinking. Take your time to formulate clear concise questions but remember there is no single answer.

What am I doing? Car use is restricted. I am sitting in the breeze, in shorts, so I don't use air conditioning. I am using my laptop for web browsing as it uses 1/10th the power of my workstation. I have some solar cells, a deep cycle battery and high intensity LEDS to play with. I have just ordered glass for the first panel and components for the charge controller. Now, if you will excuse me, I must go and rig up that battery operated light.


Hiero, there is no answer, only questions.

Seriously, water, electricity, oil etc it is the same. People say solar(substitute wind, dams, bio, cloud harvesting) is the answer others say it is not. The reality is that it will need a whole load of different things put together and we need to be flexible. Man has long assumed that the earth is a constant and tried to keep on going as if nothing is changing.

For example, you and I live on a small stream and you are downstream of me. I build a dam to provide water for my new vegetable garden, putting green(so I don't have to drive my SUV to the golf course to practice), wash my SUV etc. You find you have no stream water for your garden or flushing your toilet. What happens next? Do you steal in the night and break my dam? Now, what happens if we are in 2 different counties or states or countries? It is complicated, there is no simple answer.

We produce too much CO2 so there is global warming so the icecap and glaciers on a mountain melt away so there is no thaw water to supply the river that supplies the villages and fields below. A village elsewhere builds mist traps to gather water along their mountain tops so the drier air does not rain somewhere else. Check out what has happened to the Colorado river flowing from the USA to Mexico. Check out the Aral Sea and why it has happened.

Remember what people here are saying about electricity. Sources such as solar and wind are variable in different places at different times so production moves around. That is totally contrary to the BigCo model of building a fixed plant that will produce at a constant rate. Water will need to do the same but there is no grid system for that. We have assumed the rains will fall exactly the same for ever and that river will always bring the water - wrong. Like electricity we need to work on the best use side such as not using drinking water to flush our toilets, water the garden and wash our clothes.

Unlike oil there is no shortage of water only of will to use it well. What can you do? Learn then apply that learning to changing that will. Keep on asking the questions, people are willing to give you time because you are asking and learning. Don't get depressed, the first stage in solving a problem is to understand that problem, that process may not be easy. To solve the problem you need to start breaking it down into the parts, which you cannot do without the first stage, then start to work on those parts. If you step back, avoid all the 'shudda dun it mi way' crowd, and look at the process BP has applied to the GOM disaster then you will understand how big problems are solved.


Is there anyone else here who has something to say to me :P?
Alright you compared water to the grid. Which is rather creative on your part, since like the grid we need to figure out a network the uses all our proposed methods. Using your stream scenario we can see that each party is only thinking for itself and as a result they are leaving less and less for those who need the water as well. Which is why some diplomacy is needed.

Anyway I'm a bit hesitant to suggest digging canals. Though they may be needed.

Big concrete pipe is more efficient. Less water loss. I really liked digging the couple canals I worked on! Oh well.

Well if you insist...
Canals are both good and bad, it can potentially solve the water rights issue because it leaves the guy who owns the river from the north with his share of the water and the guy from south gets his share from the canal.That's a good thing.
What is bad is that when resources like water become more available it encourages people to spread where that resource is. So you now have a third village near the canal which is drying up the stream even faster.
That is why people need to learn smart growth and giving families their own "private" supply like I outlined earlier may help with that, though it can also make things far worse.

Canals can also be used to bulk transport goods, they can also affect micro climates. An interesting thought for water distribution.


Well, my experience is that the feller on the tail end of the ditch always gets less, while the guys upstream get most, if not all, of their allotment. Historically, all population centers have gathered around water. We humans got to have water, yeah?

That's actually one of the leading causes of the debate between on whenever or not we should split CA into several states. That way those northern californians can tax us Souhern Californians for using their water. And I can see that happening with many other states and countries which may ignite those water wars we all dread.
But the fact that populations tend to form around water is why I was hesitant to suggest digging a canal. We don't want a third village do we?

Well my system for figuring this all out is probably educating everyone about the importance of using water "smartly". You don't waste all your drinking water on plants or toilets. Then again, I'll bring up my "personal" water supply suggestion. This can help families regulate how much water they use and pressure them to have less children which in turn solves a bunch of other problems that comes with over population.

So it looks like we don't need to know how to attain water more efficiently but how to use it more smartly. Which seems like a reasonable goal for my generation.

NAOM: The golfers are going to be SO MAD! Heh! Heh!

Stories from today's Sun Herald:

Worst-case scenario is for oil to last years
BILOXI — A worst-case scenario for the Gulf region, now that the initial wave of oiling is over, is that the effects will persist for years.

Stopped after 172 million gallons entered the Gulf, according to the government estimate, the gusher is the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. More than 11 million gallons of the oil were burned, and untold amounts sunk by 1.8 million gallons of dispersant. Scientists believe 44.7 million gallons remain unaccounted for.

“If you consider the volume, we could see re-oiling for years to come,” Ronald J. Kendall, chairman of environmental toxicology at Texas Tech University, told the New York Times earlier this month. ...

Coast wants involvement in restoration plan
OCEAN SPRINGS — While Coast residents had the ear of Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus, they shared with him their fears and frustrations brought on by the nation’s worst man-made disaster.

Mabus, former governor of Mississippi, is hosting a series of town hall meetings from Texas to Florida over the next few weeks. On Saturday, Mississippians got their shot to air their concerns. ...

Mabus won’t know what that plan is until he’s heard the thousands of voices pleading for help. And though Washington will get the first look at it, it’s the folks on the ground on the Gulf Coast who will put it into action, if Mabus has his say.

“It can’t be a plan that starts in Washington,” he said, “or it’s not going to work.” ...

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame ... said the president chose correctly by putting Mabus in charge of the restoration plan. “He’s got the right sensitivities about the communities,” he said. “He’ll make sure that the plan is built from the local level up.”

Gulf seafood industry tries to shake an oily image
... As BP PLC closed the books on a defining week in its battle to contain the oil, with engineers finally forcing the surging crude underground with a torrent of mud and cement, people along the Gulf Coast began looking to the future - including the fishing industry, which has a tough sell despite tests showing the catch seems safe to eat.

"We have a huge perception problem," said Ewell Smith, director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. "We have lost markets across the country, and some of them may be lost for good." ...

It took Alaskan seafood five years to overcome such skepticism after the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, Smith said.

"And remember, Alaska happened when people only had the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts," Smith said. "We've had 24-your news and Internet coverage showing the oil spewing across the Gulf for months." ...

Well, yeah. But my impression is that things have moved along as well as they have this summer because "officials" (corporate and governmental) have nowhere to hide. (That, and the meteorology department cooperated for once.)

Regarding "re-oiling for years to come," per first link, does anybody know anything about this? After a few weeks or months, it would be only tar, right? In the short run, would dispersed, partially degraded oil reconsolidate and rise to the surface in a thick film?

Hi, Gobbet. Cheryl or another chemist will have to confirm this, but if I correctly understand what she/they have said before, partially-degraded oil can't reconsolidate. (Thass all I think I know about that.)

The article seemed concerned more with dispersants' unknown but possible implications for the food chain than with future waves of oil per se. Of course, whatever's hidden under beach sand that future storms may set loose could be hardest of all to track.

I'd question whether there is enough oil buried on the beaches to be "set loose" to any extent. I'd expect on surfy days the falling tides will expose patches of tarry sand from time to time, and for a long time.

People on the Louisiana coast seem obsessed with the idea of oil "sunk to the bottom" by dispersant, although, as far as I know, dispersant doesn't sink oil to the bottom. Many people believe that the surface oil is disappearing because BP planes sneak out at night and and "sink" it. These ideas come up over and over in interviews with fishermen and other folk.

Many people believe that the surface oil is disappearing because BP planes sneak out at night and and "sink" it. These ideas come up over and over in interviews with fishermen and other folk.

Jeez. (All I know to say.)

And the US government isn't half charging BP through the nose for the hire of the modified Stealth B-2s to drop Corexit from :-)

Yeah, dang it -- call the Inspector General!

(Um, but whose? Interior's? The Pentagon's? Hmmm.)

That article is pretty vague. I take it to be saying that bad things could still turn up, but this is like a lot of what we've been hearing - prove me a negative. Tell me that the world isn't going to blow up in a giant methane bubble. Prove that there aren't two well sites.

Lotus and Gobbet have it pretty much right, as far as I can see. It looks to me like the dispersant did its job and broke up the oil, didn't sink it, dispersed it into little globules that can spread out so that little critters can get their (figurative) teeth into it. And it's seemed to me that on a molecular scale, the dispersants themselves have lots of places for those critters to get a bite of (functional groups, in chemical parlance). But I'm not a biochemist, and those details can be important.

I'm really, really getting tired of the game where someone thinks up (or finds) some dumb idea and then requires everyone else to disprove it. That's not an argument. It's also not an argument that if we can't trust BP (or fill in the blanks with another disliked entity), then anything is possible. And it's not just here at TOD, by a long shot. Seems like a look at the old rhetoric text might be in order for a lot of people...

Now the Times-Pic's turn:

Oil spill plugged, but more oiled birds than ever are being found
... [W]ildlife officials are rounding up more oiled birds than ever as fledgling birds get stuck in the residual goo and rescuers make initial visits to rookeries they had avoided disturbing during nesting season.

Before BP plugged the well with a temporary cap on July 15, an average of 37 oiled birds were being collected dead or alive each day. Since then, the figure has nearly doubled to 71 per day, according to a Times-Picayune review of daily wildlife rescue reports.

The figures for sea turtles have climbed even higher, with more oiled turtles recovered in the past 10 days than during the spill's first three months. ...

Drilling ban goes to court again this week
Marine services and shipbuilding companies that benefit from deepwater oil drilling will face off against the federal government in court again Wednesday over the government's ban on offshore drilling.

The U.S. Department of Interior, which issued a new drilling moratorium on July 12 after the original was struck down in court, has asked U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman to dismiss the case brought by Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC. The Interior Department argues that the rule that was the subject of Hornbeck's original complaint -- the first moratorium -- no longer exists.

Hornbeck counters that the new moratorium is basically the same as the old one "in an effort to evade judicial review," but offers new justification for the policy after the fact. ...

Scientists think Gulf can recover from massive oil spill
... It's too soon to know the full effects of the BP oil spill disaster. But to get a sense of where the Gulf has been and where it's going, the Associated Press surveyed 75 scientists about the health of the Gulf of Mexico before the spill. On a 0-to-100 scale, the scientists graded its general health a 71 on average. That's a respectable C, considering 100 would be considered pristine and untouched by civilization. ...

The first two are the T-P's home-baking, but this last is an AP story full of details making the point that species come back faster than habitats.

Good moorning. I'd like to have some help, please. Gas is leaking from the seafloor, especially evident since the top cement was pumped. The presumption of course is that ~1000 bbls of mud and cement went into the reservoir. I'm not convinced, but let that go for right now. How to explain gas and white clethrate erupting from silty mud on the seafloor?

Today's feed http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:30948.asx

Is it reasonable to say that this is produced by organic decomposition in the first couple hundred feet of unconsolidated silty mud? If so, why is BP monitoring it so intensely?

Oil droplets and "cigarette smoke" not part of this question. I just want a reasonable explanation for the methane.

I've been waiting for someone to bring this up, but I want to know what all that smokey stuff is. But I can say that BP is monitoring it intesely because that's what the ROV's are for.

By the way, what sites are you all getting your ROV links,
my links are showing zilch/nada since about 10 last night.



Woerm, I think it is just temporary.



as of 1pm Central Time a lot of them are now back on line.


I see things moving by left to right, but they don't seem to have any buoyant forces acting on them.

Resolution isn't really good for identifying things so small.

I don't know what it means but there is a clue in this video to what the white stuff is.

This video is sped up but I was watching the event happen in real time.

At the 1:38 mark there was a real storm of white stuff hitting the crab and all the ROV did was change the lighting it was using and the white stuff disappeared. In a split second you could not see the white stuff anymore.


Thanks, Quantum. An important point. rovman maintains that there is no soup of methane clathrates. See this discussion about ROV lighting and fragments of mud.

Not everything can be explained away as thruster silt.

Thanks, I had failed to mark that discussion.

"Not everything can be explained away as thruster silt."

Unless it is thruster silt.

Your logic avonaltendorf is faulty.

As is your posting behavior.

How slow must one be to post a link to a live TV feed one watched some time ago and then ask other, who look at that live-stream in a later point of time, about things one saw hours ago.

BTW- how do you visually differentiate between "clathrates" and pieces of seafloor mud?

Rovman talking about another video here says if the scene is very well lit, silt and mud will show up as dark spots.

That very well lit crab scene and the ROV cutting some of the lighting to make the white stuff disappear seems to say the white stuff we are seeing in the video is not silt or mud so it might very well be clathrates.

"I think your 'clathrates' are just bits of mud and other particles. Remember that the cameras automatically adjust their gain to compensate for the varying light levels. If the scene is predominately dark, as it was in that clip, any particles, be they mud, plankton, whatever, when they pass in front of the lights will look very white. If the same scene is brightly lit, such as when the view is of the sea floor, the same particle passing in front of the camera will look very dark."


gerry, left and right soup doesn't matter, it's the stuff shooting out from the seafloor periodically. You have to be patient. It's sporadic.

avon, I have seen bubbles going up, but can't find any info as to what level is normal. I haven't looked at any of the archived video on youtube to see if it was happening during the blowout as well.

It may not be exactly applicable, but i found this in referencer to Baltic Sea. Has some information but probably what everyone already knows.

Shallow Gas
Vast amounts of methane are formed in Baltic Sea sediments during the sub-surface degradation of buried organic matter. The methane accumulates in the seabed below the sulphate zone and, as methane is poorly soluble in seawater, methane bubbles may develop at a depth where the methane concentration exceeds saturation. The depth and extent of such shallow gas formation depends on the rate of methanogenesis, the thickness of the methanogenic deposit, and the hydrostatic pressure and thus the water depth.

Methane bubbles may be trapped in soft clayey sediments or rise towards the sediment surface. In most sediments, such rising methane bubbles dissolve again when they penetrate up into the sulphate zone where sulphate dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane takes place. However, occasionally methane bubbles also reach the sediment surface and escape from the sea floor in a diffuse or eruptive manner.

Methane seeps are observed mostly as plumes of gas bubbles rising up through the water column, recognizable by acoustic survey. Such plumes are observed in several areas of the Baltic Sea and may be responsible for an extensive methane flux into the seawater.


Good post. Visually, what do we have to compare what we're seeing to? Anybody here who has spent significant hours looking at any other patch of -5000' real estate in the Gulf or in any other ocean?

I'd bet that this is the most extensive surveillance of a relatively small undersea area ever, and they have a 3D survey to go along with it.

Thanks, gerry, that's what I was looking for.

One other factoid. Last night, Scandi splashed an ROV to take up station at 3,100 ft, looking down at the BOP stack, ostensibly monitoring the COMPATT sonar installation. Let's discuss the sonar question some other time. What I want to report is that the clathrate soup extends about 2000 ft vertical in the water surrounding the BOP stack, which I observed while the Scnadi ROV deployed.

It can't be "leftover" methane from previous leaking. Current would have pushed it away weeks ago. This is recent and cutting visibility.

It's coming to get you. It's right outside your door.
Hold your breath and pass the jello.

Okay, fine. Nevermind. I was looking for info about biological methane in the first couple hundred feet of silty mud. Party on, Rat.

Vonaltendorf, you really should explain that you are short BP stocks and are trying to drive the price down by broadcasting all of these bizarre rumors and anti-factual nonsense here. Really, your posts are nothing more than demented noise here and your methods are transparent. Perhaps the SEC would like to look into your allegations? Is not rumormongering for purposes of stock gain against the law?
Posting nonsense is totally insane: http://seekingalpha.com/author/alan-von-altendorf/instablog
It's also a waste of space and peoples' time here.

Is not rumormongering for purposes of stock gain against the law?

Yeah. Enforceable by the inept, disinterested and newly non-transparent SEC (thanks for that, Congress). However, on his blog, "Disclosure: Oct BP puts @ 20" covers the basic requirement.

Yum (she said, eatin' the juicy morsel over the sink).

He must be set to lose a bundle if he is coming here posting that nonsense.

Desperate comes to mind.

I took that position two months ago. Posting here under my own name. Reporting what I see. Acknowledged rovman's explanation of silt and mud. I read carefully and consider that others have more knowledge and professional experience than I have.

Why no ROV feed of work close up to the stack?
Why no technical info about testing cement?

If biomass in silty mud is causing gas eruptions, then it's explained to my satisfaction. Why BP has it under surveillance for days on end, I dunno. The "cigarette smoke" vent doesn't make much sense unless it's drilling mud seeping through the casing.

Call it nonsense because - why? - you believe vague BP announcment Friday that they are encouraged by the positive test of cement. No details. No ROV pix of the BOP stack.

Thousands of feet horizontal and vertical "soup" impairing visibility.

Let me ask a question if I may.

What if the ROV's have nothing that needs to be monitored very closely?

So they point at something and everyone becomes alarmed and says what's wrong with that?

So they point it at nothing and everyone becomes alarmed and says what are they looking at, and why?

So they check out a leak on the BOP and conclude it hasn't changed significantly, so they pan away, and everyone becomes alarmed and asks why aren't they monitoring that leak?

So they turn them off and everyone becomes alarmed and asks what they're trying to hide.

So they turn them on and point them at the bottom, and start looking to see what they can see, and they find a few bugs or tiny fish scooting around on the bottom and leaving trails in the silt and everyone says look at that methane, or whatever. Or people become alarmed and "see" a dome, or a crack, or minuscule droplets floating up or see white clouds of "methane" that disappear when the contrast is changed.

What would you suggest they do?

And don't tell me that they should tell you what they're doing because that would encompass too many exchanges like, "well why did you take a break then, and were you sure your replacement was fully briefed? What, you had no replacement? What kind of a half-assed operation are you running?"

Occam's Razor

You forgot to mention that if they had all the ROVs looking at the well head all the time, and nothing seemed to be happening, then the doomsday conspiricy folks would say it's all fake, staged in James Cameron's swimming pool in Hollywood.

Let it be in the record that I completely support avonaltendorf's statements concerning what he sees in the video feeds. There's no question whatsoever in my mind about methane hydrates being emitted through funnel-shaped formations on the see floor. My question is why there are so many of you who disagree. Do you watch the videos? Whether this methane discharge is a normal sort of consequence from the blown-out well, I don't know. It's quite possible that the methane poses no danger. It would be interesting in my estimation to find out exactly why this well, or more accurately, its being top-killed, has increased methane hydrate appearance. Certainly BP is making no secret of the methane situation by posting its video feeds but unfortunately isn't providing information either. For a primer on cathrate (clathrate) formation see my link to Real Climate at 2:57AM on this thread.

Ed by nepeta - typos

Do I detect a sense of urgency about persuading us? If so, why?

I haven't looked at more than a sampling of the videos, because I haven't been persuaded that they have any significance beyond the remarkable ability of the human brain to create something out of nothing and/or what are essentially random markings. And several people here who I respect don't see any significance in them either.

That is, in my field, why projective testing can be so valuable. I wish I had taken a course in it, but I got enough exposure to the technique to know it can be very revelatory. When we see meaning in random markings of the Rorschach, or make a story out of a thematic apperception image, or draw a tree, or a house, or a person, and then a person of the opposite sex, we reveal a lot about ourselves which can be very helpful in our understanding of why we do the things we do.

Try it sometime, its fascinating.

If any of them become predictive, then perhaps you will be able to laugh at all us fools, and we will hang our heads in shame for being unbelievers.

Go easy on him David...because he's probably doing this out of the good in his/her heart. And I don't mean that in a sarcastic manner what so ever.
But yes, try to take a easy here, we have experts watching these videos' non stop and if they were concerned they'd tell us. Analyze every video carefully, but don't watch them trying to look for something, otherwise you might trick yourself into believing it's there. Just see what's going on and if you have any questions feel free to ask...but don't ask the same question to much. :P

Very calm, very reasoned, and somewhat positive.

Good job Heiro, and the dig in the last phrase was very apropos and heard.

Who said there was no agreement! What I was thinking was being done while I typed.

Let it be in the record that I completely support avonaltendorf's statements concerning what he sees in the video feeds. There's no question whatsoever in my mind about methane hydrates being emitted through funnel-shaped formations on the see floor. My question is why there are so many of you who disagree.

1) I'll make a motion that your support for avonaltendorf be entered into the record. Do we have a second? Actually I think the process is automatic but here at TOD it's called archive.

2) I don't think anyone here with technical experience will disagree with you on the release of methane into the floor of the GoM. Is it OK for the methane release to be a natural process and in no way connected to the DWH blowout? If this isn't agreeable with you then I don't expect you will get much support. Actuall it's really OK for you to be right and they don't have to be wrong for you to be right.

3) Why agree? Why disagree? Is it really important? It was snowing down there when the O/NG was puking from around the MM gasket. Before I swing to far left or right I think Dr. D.E.B. (if you address him directly) might address O/C behavior.

Sorry to interrupt. I now believe they are pumping mud and have been for some time. The blackout of video feeds from three ROVs at the stack is purposeful. I believe there is mud blowing out at the wellhead, and the ROVs at the scene are looking at bubble inclination bulleyes.

I am very sorry to say such a thing. I realize that my personal reputation and the reputation of my firm are at stake. I did not expect and do not enjoy relating this hypothesis.

Forget about long or short. I think they're in trouble.

What is it that you're seeing that makes you think that they're pumping mud?

With my whole heart, I want to be wrong, look foolish, have to recant and apologize. Probably resign from Seeking Alpha. Sky's the limit on this one, and honestly would prefer big personal loss rather than be half-right or worse. Let's see how it progresses Monday and Tuesday.

I wish my eyes weren't so bad but from what I can tell it's a blueish hue and several lights. What makes you think they're pumping mud?
Anyway, thank you David, I'll be sure to make more reasoned post.

I've been looking at that and can't make anything out really. The water appears to be clouded but I can't tell what it's from or even if it really is because the resolution is lousy. They indicated today that the cement job worked. If it had failed it would surprise me a lot that we weren't seeing some rather frenetic activity. Which we aren't.

As long as it's understood that I have dibs on the couch, and you ignore any snoring sounds I'm making.

I've started a new school of psychotherapy and I'm still working out the kinks.

The advantage to you is that you automatically get a discount.

My rates for anyone from TOD will be only 150% of my normal rates (loud applause for my generosity).


PS: Thank you to all of you who believe that I deserve a promotion (deafening silence!), but I'm NOT a Doctor of anything, unless you know something I don't (one can always hope!).

PPPS: But I can't prescribe meds for schizophrenia, even though mine is in remission.

I am licensed though and if you give me enough time, I may be able to locate it for you.

PPS: I'm happy to take on OCD clients, as soon as I've check to make sure the back door is closed and the stove is turned off. Except in exceptional circumstances I can usually do it after about 42 tries (Life, The Universe, and Everything - "Goodbye and thanks for all the fish".

Is that the book you're writing? Seems interesting, I'll be sure to make it the heart of your retirement plan afterall royalties are a good source of wealth. Hopefully, you didn't write the book on us...

Anyway does Allen give updates on how much oil was collected anymore? All I remember was an article a few days back, saying most of the oil has been eaten by microbes and I want to know what has become of it since.

No, that's from Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

If I wrote one it would most likely have my epitaph as the title, He Thought He Meant Well!

Happy Sunday everybody.

I have had some questions about this too. I was told by a supposed " pipelne engineer " that normally a static kill would work at the point that the weight of a column of mud in the wellbore would do the job, ie: gravity works, as more mud was pumped in, that less pump pressure would be needed, and that at that point of a true hydrostatic equilibrium, you could literally saw the BOP stack off at the seafloor and see nothing flowing...but that would be established in the wellbore, and not from sea-surface to a certain point in the wellbore. If they were continuously pumping small amounts of mud during the pumping operation, I did read that here, and they also said that they lost around 200bls of cement to the first area of damage...they established around a 5k' long column of cement...? With mud or engineered fluids on top of it ? So that leaves a fluid column of around 13k'(-/+) of oil in the wellbore...?
Can this oil become saturated with more gas ?
What happens when they start pumping cement in from the relief well..?

Is this diagram way off center...?


Is the intent to fill the entire original bore with cement?

If that is the intent, where does this oil get squeezed to ?

Twinkies or Ho-Ho's ?

A little Kliban and Bach to lighten the mood..?



Diagram way off centre, cement is in the bottom 5k' + formation not top. Oil squeezed into the formation.


Bach to lighten the mood..?

Somebody's going to have to scrape me off the ceiling. What a performance! Any idea what group that is? The trumpet is miraculous.

As the commenter says, "BACH!!!! RULES!!!!"

Woo, SL, beeg thanks for reminding me to come back for the Bach (hit only the Kliban link earlier then got distracted).

Even beeger thanks to Isaac, MrPolitischUnkorrekt, the trumpeter & colleagues, and good ol' JSB hisownself. W00T!

Now scuze me, got cats to dance . . .

Isa -- If I understand the plan correctly they'll replace the damaged BOP with a new one. Then they'll be able to re-enter the well in a conventional manner with drill pipe. They could then pump as many new cmt plugs inside the ccsg as the regs require. The fluid in the csg will be displaced upwards as the cmt is pumped deeper. This is essentially what BP was trying to do when the well blew out. Except they first displaced the heavy drill mud prior to trying to set the top cmt plugs.

Presume there is circulation occurring outside of the well casing; can it be that hot fluids are raising the temperature of nearer surface clathrate hydrate deposits and liberating the methane?

As I understand it, part of the consequences of installing the cement plugs they put in earlier, and are putting in now, is to interfere with circulation in the annulus (although, again, as I understand it the rock walls of that space are sealed as they drill, by the kind of mud they use". The earlier ones were installed as they went down with the casings, and increasingly it appears that they are gaining confidence that they are still intact. That's why the speculation about the shoe is so significant.

Clathrates are hard, icy material. Please explain how they form 'soup'.


Equal bouyancy to seawater. Anyway, nevermind, all ROV feeds offline now.

I wonder why.
Anyway here is a new article, nothing new appears to have been revealed but it gives a nice summary on what is going on, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100808/ap_on_re_us/us_oil_spill_hopes_and_f...

That is a good article. Most ominous sentence, to my mind:

Pundits debate what will happen to oil-industry reform efforts if the spill contributes to a change of guard on Capitol Hill and in the White House.


One seemly has to ask what the motivation of Alan van Altendorf is when is spreading dumb rumors and frightens people all around with doomsday stories about the Macondo well.

To find out one can look at his "stock talk" page at SeekingAlpha.com. There, for example, he says on July 13 (http://seekingalpha.com/author/alan-von-altendorf/stocktalk):

"Added to my BP short position Oct puts @ 20, sold SLV, new position short TSLA Dec puts @10"

On July 15 avonaltendorf "stock talked":

"still short BP, no change in outlook, cap test is not a permanent fix"

Okay, Alan is short BP and even more short BP. He hopes to profit in case the BP stock price sinks. Spreading rumors and doomer talk about the Macondo event may well help him to achieve that. Or so he hopes.

Let's stop wasting our time with his nonsense.

A guy who post live video feed links as "proof" of what he fantasizes to have seen on them some time ago probably doesn't have his mind straight anyway.


Good night work, Moon.

Mod that one up


Meanwhile BP stock continues to climb.

A greedy "short" and his money are soon parted.

Bernhard, you're a clever man and a critical thinker, you've done a lot of original reporting and analysis, so I'm not going to quarrel with you. I post what I observe. I use my real name.

The links are time stamped. What others think, see, or say is up to them.

I use my real name

Not that it really matters, but sort of.


Are there little labels on those that tag them as methane and or calthrates?

I know I need new glasses but I can't see the labels, let alone read them.

I just heard on the news that they could start drilling again on the RW as early as tonight, so does this mean the cement has cured? Also, how long does it take for cement to cure in this specific set of circumstances.



BP's spokesman Thad Allen said today:

"At the well head, I'm not sure there's any oil company that could have done anything more than they did," Allen told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "The technology that was needed to be brought in for other parts of the world, was [brought in]. It took a long time to engineer it. It took a long time to install it. But, ultimately, it helped us put the cap on and control the well. So I give them fairly good marks there."

The main problem BP has is it's touchy feely problem with the American people according to Allen:

"But Allen added that where the energy giant's performance has been lacking is in having a human touch.

"What BP is not good at: they're a large global oil production company. They don't do retail sales or deal with individuals on a transactional basis. Anything that's involved, that has been a real struggle for them," Allen said.

He added, "It's something they don't naturally have a capacity or a competency in their company and it's been very, very hard for them to understand. And that's the lens by which the American people view them and that's the area where they need to improve the most."

I guess rubbing elbows with all those billions of dollars has blinded Allen to the fact that BP has been drilling oil in deep water in the Gulf with no thought to blowouts and buying the technology for dealing with them for years now.

But what the hell they get a good grade for having billions of dollars to get the right equipment in there by 4 months time.

I see a cushy high paying job with BP in Allen's future.


All his references are to post-blowout.

I suspect he would have plenty to say about pre-blowout if it were within his job description, but it's not. So he's leaving that to others, as he should.

Yes, I would say BP lacks a bit of a "human touch".

For example: After the 2005 explosion at their Texas City plant, just down the road from me,the company not only was fined, it was placed on probation - told to clean up its act, or else.

From April 6 to May 16 of this year there was a malfuntion in a hydrogen compressor at that same plant. Some 500,000 pounds of pollutants, including 17,000 pounds of benzene, were released. The release wasn’t made public until June 4, when a report was given to Federal regulators. Even Texas City’s Emergency Management Coordinator was kept out of the loop. State officials were notified, but BP also had agreed to notify Texas City of such incidents as a part of their probation, and they didn't do it.

Now, the town is understandably furious, and they’re lining up to join another class action suit against BP. Even if you make allowances for ambulance-chasing attorneys, residents hoping to make a quick buck and people who are just mad at BP generally, there’s enough substance here to make the suit a threat. Already, lawyers representing victims of the 2005 blast have said a court should revoke BP’s probation based on a complaint by OSHA that BP has failed to comply with safety agreements it made after the 2005 explosion.

The company, of course, denies OSHA’s claims, and a hearing is scheduled for later this month. From what I've read of the on-site monitoring, guidelines for self-reporting to the EPA and such, BP may have something to argue. On the other hand, the decision not to keep a town you've already damaged informed of such events is just - well, unbelievable.

It’s one thing for an accident to happen. It’s another to keep skating on the thinnest ice possible, calculating the odds of falling through, but it's something else entirely to drag other people through the ice with you.



Thanks for the news, novice. Got any corporate law expertise in the place at the moment? What happens to a corporate felon if its probation gets revoked?

They have to hold their annual meetings in Maui because they can't leave the country `(:<))-<=<

No corporate law expertise here, but two more cups of coffee and a little time unearthed the BP statement made when the original agreement was reached in 2007.

Many news accounts don't have it quite right. The suit being filed asks for revocation of the original plea agreement, in which BP Products North America pled "guilty to a felony for failing to have adequate written procedures for maintaining the ongoing mechanical integrity of process equipment at the Texas City refinery and for failing to inform contractors of the hazards related to their occupancy of temporary trailers in the vicinity of the refinery's Isomerization Unit."

BP also agreed to a $50 million fine and three years' probation. In addition the plea agreement required, as a condition of probation, compliance with all terms of the September 2005 Settlement Agreement with OSHA and the June 2006 Agreed Order issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. As I understand it, those "terms" included the stipulations about informing Texas City officials of any future incidents.

In exchange for all this, the Justice Department agreed not to bring additional criminal charges against BP Products in connection with the March 2005 explosion. My assumption is that if the plea agreement gets revoked, additional charges would be possible, and perhaps additional penalties. Whether the probation would be extended or amended, I haven't a clue.

In the 2007 BP statement about the settlement I've linked, there is this delightful bit of good news:

BP America is in the midst of a comprehensive effort to improve its safety culture and to strengthen and standardize process safety and risk management programs at all BP-operated facilities.


Thank you, I just got a great idea!!

I'm a forensic therapist. They've broken the law, so they're prime fodder for my program!!

Hey, maybe I can get rich after all (I might even be able to afford McDonald's at least once a week).

I'm goin' t'go revise my fee schedule as soon as I stop drooling (hope I can - stop drooling - that is).

Edit for afterthought - I suppose you'll want a royalty on the proceeds?

I suppose you'll want a royalty on the proceeds?

Naw. Just make a swing past BurgerKing instead of McDonald's one day and pick me up one of those crowns. ;)

Thanks again for more great sleuthing, novice.

"More penalties" sounds like a good guess. Dudley, the CFO, and the board are gonna have a heckuva time keeping BP viable (but then again, I don't imagine any of the three branches of the US Gummint wants to sink 'em entirely -- too costly for us that way).

yw, lotus ~

BP, the gift that keeps on giving. I mean - ROVs may come and ROVs may go, but litigation goes on forever ;)

He added, "It's something they don't naturally have a capacity or a competency in their company and it's been very, very hard for them to understand."

I'm impressed that Allen is so clear on this. I wouldn't have expected it of him.

BP Says Tests Show Cement Plug on Macondo Well Is Working
August 08, 2010, 12:56 PM EDT
More From Businessweek

By Katarzyna Klimasinska

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc said the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is effectively plugged with cement poured last week. The company continues to drill a relief well as the last step to ensure that the source of the biggest offshore accidental oil spill in history never leaks again.

The Macondo well, which spewed an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude after an April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, was filled with mud and cement from the top in a process called static kill after BP capped the gusher with a stack of valves on July 15.

“The pressure testing following the cementing operations indicates we have an effective cement plug,” the company said in a statement on its website today.


FSU Global Tropical Cyclone Activity
2010 Activity Updates

June 2010 was the busiest June in the Eastern Pacific in terms of ACE for the past 30-years...but...

Global TC Activity remains at 30-year lows at least -- The last 24-months of ACE at 1090 represents a decrease from the previous months and a return to the levels of September 2009...Since Hurricane Katrina and the publication of Emanuel (2005) and Webster et al. (2005), global tropical cyclone ACE has collapsed in half.


I bet all of his haters are hoping that the food is contaminated.
But now that we're just playing the waiting game till Thud Allen, says this is over how do we pass the time?

I hope it's to BP execs.

Wel I doubt it will hurt Tony Hayword word has it that he's extraterrestrial.

Actually, it's to folks he likes:

Obama, pros to face off in pick-up basketball game

As seen by Faux

Obama plans to poison NBA in false flag "EatdaGulf" hoops exhibition...

Yah. No doubt Breitbart'll be on it by sundown.

With shots of Corexit for chasers.

A gallon straight up, no chaser for DAVID JONES of the Daily Mail.

He sure has an axe to grind. I would say his pension was heavily based on BP stock.

With a windex chaser?

Notice it doesn't say where from the gulf the seafood is from. My guess is from the Key West area. JMO

Tnx for posting, Acornus. I worked on the Piper A very briefly while it was being built in the winter of '75/'76. It was the most impressive job site I'd ever seen. There were - I was told - 4'000 pteople working on the rig at the time. There were 2 semi submersibles alongside providing logistical support. One - where we bunked - was strictly a floating boarding house with 16 man trailers stacked to the clouds. Although the food was the usual 24/7 availability, each sub-contracting company had strictly enforced 20 minute windows - 3 a day - in which the hands would wait on a long, rapidly moving line with their trays, simply to pick up their chow and head back to their bunks to eat. In addition to the incredible skills I witnessed displayed by the supply boat captains and the crane operators, my most vivid memories of that site include looking over the railing at the water far, far below and seeing the seemingly gentle up and down rhythm of the swells. It was only when I glanced at the "depth markings" painted on the pontoons that I realized those gentle swells were actually going up 30 feet and then down 30 feet ... 60 foot peak to trough. Rough, rough environment up there in the North Sea. Once again, thanks for the post.

Can anyone explain what is going on in video feed from Ocean Intervention III – ROV 1 right now. Is the "leak" from the lower right where the darker area is? Is this a leak?

If anyone can speak to the reddish-brown in right hand mid lower corner where there appears to be spewing, I would greatly appreciate it. Is this a color effect of the lighting or something else? Once again this is Live feeds from Ocean Intervention III – ROV 1.

Is there a way to tell how much area is being viewed or the coordinates of the rover from info on the screen? I notice the formatting differs among rovers.

Am I the only one who sees this?

Yes indeed.

This footage of a rogue wave hitting the Dunbar platform makes my neck hairs twitch a bit...


Yike, just that wave's more than the depth of water we normally dive in!!


makes my neck hairs twitch a bit

A bit? Woof, I've always thought of the North Sea platforms as some of the most daunting places on earth to winter, but between this video and the three-parter on Piper Alpha -- yowza, I may have nightmares tonight.

NOAM, how deep do you dive? What's the average airspace between the sea surface and the lowest horizontal structure of this rig? IOW, how big was that wave? Mercy, bignerd!

How deep, um, well for fish spotting around here 10'-20' is best but we generally stick to a 60' limit to deal with those who have the basic c-card and that is about the edge of the Canyon for a quick look over the edge into the black abyss. For experienced divers, with the appropriate cards, we roll into the canyon and go down to around 100-120'. I don't do tech so that's my floor though the canyon just goes on down and down, probably around 2,000-3,000' around there. I don't know the airspace, bignerd would know that, but I tried to estimate the wave hight from the size of various structures. My estimate was that it could leave me high and dry at 60 and worried at 120. You really don't want a discussion of the effects of that rapid a change in pressure to a divers body - really.

That wave was really quite tame. On some of the Scottish islands they have found rocks on the tops of cliffs. The only source of those rocks being the sea below. Those cliffs being 200'+ high!


I think the surviving engineer at the end of the third Piper A vid said he jumped about 100 feet into the sea. The Dunbar is probably similar in dimension, so prob a 60/85 footer. As regards the rapid pressure and disorienting effects on a diver in those conditions, I lost a buddy and his partner doing structure inspection while wearing scuba in rough surge conditions in the North sea. Tough, tough place to work.

My sympathies to you and their families. Work diving in the North Sea is something I would not like to do at all. People who live in calmer climes don't realise that near hurricane conditions are so frequent there.


I looked for how well the pytoplankton communities in the gulf are doing and I couldn't find any conclusive articles since the last report weeks ago.
Though I would think that the communities near the gulf curent are preforming well, since that area doens't appear be suffering as much as the coast in terms of how much oil was spilled. Though reading this webpage, http://www.childrenoftheearth.org/Kid's%20Entries/phytoplankton.htm , got me thinking if the phytplankton community thrived more in the winter than summer. Since we have all these talks about oxygen depletion I thought that it may be possible that gulf can see a slight rebound in the winter of this year. Since that is when the waters are cool, which brings the phytoplankton their needed nutrients and thus they can produce oxygen.

We get a surge in the winter, when the water is cold enough for the whales to come in, so much so that visibility is down to a few feet. That stuff is fish food and the breeding season takes note of that. When the water warms up and the whales leave to plankton clears and the water is clear - except that the visibility is still low due to the trillions of fish fry in the water.


And that's good, right?
When winter comes the plankton will be able to eat their nutrients which is good for the water because plankton produce oxygen. Meaning less dead zones and more fish. Though, I don't expect the gulf to spring back to a healthy level for another three years, maybe even more.
Anyway are you planning to have some gulf seafood when Allen announces the well is dead?

What is it? Ongoing floor disturbance.


and on methane bubbles
from www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/7/291/2010/osd-7-291-2010-print.pdf

The smokey substance appears to be coming from the surface of the sea floor I don't see any cracks where it is seeping from. So I'll assume it's just dirt or silt. As for the bubbles can you show us where they are coming from? Are they from the well, the ground, or are they just floating around? Though I don't think that the apperance of methane bubbles, if that's what they are, is a dangerous sign. Since methane is found in the ocean after all.


Sorry-I'm s/s the whatever it is going on on the floor so I didn't take time to describe the second graphic, which is from the referenced publication dealing with measuring hydrate flow through video tools as opposed to seismic measurement. I thought it was interesting since the imagery presented by the authors is similar to some of the "blobs" we see through the rovs. I got sidetracked this morning by the comment that we don't have comparison data for what we see through the rovs' cameras and that's one of the publications that can be located online. The subject of measuring hydrate flow literature makes for slow reading but it's very interesting.

And yes, I'm sure silt a component of the display, but why is it behaving the way it is?

No worries. I should have researched the picture before I said anything. But how are they measuring the hydrate flow? As for the silt I'm not too sure it just appears to be moving like smoke, the other silt storms I've noticed, tend to move more akin to how dust flows in a trail. Sort of like when you're driving on a dirt road.


After looking at the board today I'm scared to stick my neck out but I'll bet they're using the video/optical measurement in addition to the acoustical/seismic measurements. The hydrate problem is just too important to leave to chance, and I may not like the way BP operates, but I do respect their technology.

The silt event lasted from about 5:42 to 6:16 which is the longest I've been able to document. I usually don't worry about exact time because I know that there are rov watchers with maxed out machines that are doing videos of what's going on. I get torn between the geological phenomena and these moppets-which justifies ormondotvos's view of non-petro-professionals, I admit ;)

You have captured a picture of an emerging Amphipod (mud dwellers). They have been emerging (to feed?) by the thousands around 6:00 pm CDT each day raising clouds of silt. The ROV's have seemed to have taken an interest in them the past few days. I have a link to a paper on this particular species attributed to this area of the GoM but can't figure out how to post it.

Just copy the address from your browser bar and insert it in a comment.

Here is the link to the paper on Mississippi Canyon Amphipods.


What would it look like if one of those very large eels was rooting around in the mud looking for food? Isn't that where those eels find all their food? Isn't it pretty clear there's stuff to eat down there, based on what that giant red crab was doing last night?

Ocean Intervention III ROV 1 has three other ROVs in view at times. I was thinking they might be using the lights from the distant ROVs as a turbidity watch. If something stirs the water between them it would dim the lights even if it was not close enough to see on camera. An underwater visibility meter. Maybe they are just loitering, waiting for a real assignment.

I even saw a couple of mystery lights. Reminds me of watching for the Marfa Lights.


Here's something else from www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/7/291/2010/osd-7-291-2010-print.pdf.
Automated gas bubble imaging at sea floor – a new method of in situ gas flux quantification

"...Unpublished observations at bubble streams indicate that the gas flux at deep-sea bub-
ble ebullition sites can vary according to the tidal cycle. Therefore, it is the objective to upgrade the Bubblemeter so that it can operate autonomously over a period of several tidal cycles. Video sequences should be taken at intervals of about 2 h or less in order
to obtain sufficient samples within the tides. The system is intended to cycle between
a recording, data transfer and stand-by mode..."

If the rovs are using optical system to measure hydrate flow then they would have to remain focused on one area for multiple cycles which would explain why they seem "fixated" on a given area.

Kinda slow right now so want to share a quick story about safety protocols. Really a compliment to my company man on one of my wells in La. right now. Not that he reads TOD...too busy woirking. But wanted to share a little insight into what’s been referred to as “safe drilling practices” from time to time. We pulled the drill pipe out of hole to change drill bits. As SOP the tool pusher closed the BOP once the DP was out. No biggie…the well hasn’t shown any signs of wanting to kick us. But then they couldn’t open the BOP when they wanted to go back in: the accumulator that powers the BOP had a hole in its line and thus couldn’t function the BOP. A less safe operator might not have closed he BOP in the first place. An even less safe operator might have gone into the hole and drilled after discovering the BOP wouldn’t function. He could have had the welder repair the line while we drilled ahead…without a functioning BOP. Costing us about $2,000/hr while we wait on repairs. Doesn’t please my owner/partners but they wouldn’t chew me out for not taking the risk either. Just one of those “sh*t happens” moments in the oil patch.

This is a good example of safe drilling practices. No one had to be told what to do. No one even gave a thought to taking a chance to save $10,000 or $20,000 even though there didn’t appear to be much of a risk. I’ve got excellent hands. Let’s me sleep comfortably at might. Many of us know how to drill safely. And we do. BP could take a few lessons from most of us.

You need to link oil terminology on the main page for those who need to know what all those acronyms mean...:D
Also whatever happened to that BP engineer who used to post here on the oildrum? Anyway sleep soundly tonight, tomarrow is a big day. It also the day where we can possibly throw a party to mark the end of this disaster. That is however, if they finish the relief wells. But I wouldn't worry, since there doesn't appear to be any forecasted hurricanes this week to disturb the effort.

Actually they have a lot of many threads and Lord knows I needed a refresher, I found a good source from just googling oil terminology, IIRC one source was from Sschlumberger (sp)....I hated to keep asking for the same info, so that one I could figure out myself, the other techy info I need help from RM, NAOM, Rio etc to explain it to me like a 3yr old, and am grateful they have the patience they do.

Rockman~where should I send your BBIC?

Thanks mummsie but I'm still on the wagon: about to get my 4 month token. LOL

Wow RM~ you have a lot more willpower than I do, every night about 11ish I sneak into the kitchen and get a huge bowl of ice cream.......good job though:)

Congrats Rockman -- I got a few (12) years under me belt but still taking it short term. Life is good...

I built an Abbrevia, emailed the editors, but got no response.

I could dig it up & submit it if peeps want...


Having the blinds closed when changing the bit really helps, especially when people decide to drop the bit down the hole. It is much easier to fish from just below the rig floor than a few thousand metres.

A proof of short cuts don't save time!

Pusher - You've probably seen the same things I have: a 5 gallon tub over the kelly or a piece of card board. Already had junk in the hole. Left a piece of the bullnose off the reamer in the hole this morning. Didn't need anymore problems with this hole: been trying to make the last 100' for over a week.

In the early fifties I roughnecked and ran a rig for 5 years for old Richardson and Bass. We drilled our own wells with our own rig. They were top of linecompany Safety and proper procedures were stressed. And we did not realize they were being stressed. That was just the way R&B DID THINGS. We drilled what was then the deepest well in the world back of Pt Sulphur La. 22570’ in 1954&55. Steam drilling barge. We had a hole cover plate that went in the rotary as soon as bit came through the rotary. The blinds were just closed as automatically I did not realize at that time how many rigs did not operate like that. I worked 36 years for a Wireline Service Company which specialized in pipe recovery jobs. I had the chance to see a lot of how different drilling contractors operated. Amazed at how many Free Point and Back off jobs we went on that the rig did not know the exact ID and OD of the bottom hole assembly. Especially the ID of drill collars At R&B we measured everything and drew a diagram of it. I was also amazedat how much sloppy operating some Operators including some “majors” tolerated Of course in thsoe bygone days crews had a chance to work together long enough to really have good "teamwork"

"BP could take a few lessons from most of us."

Indeed. And not just BP. I finally took the two hours to read:
Part 3-The Macondo Well

The Summary of Potential Blowout Factors starting on page 38 is daunting.

tv - I've kidded about it before but most of the oil patch feels as I do: the BOP is NOT the last line of defense. It's the WORSE line of defense. You have to do everything possibile to avoid using the BOP. There's a simple rule: if the BOP is functioned you run like hell unless you have to stand your post. Run like hell, don't look back and pray.

Very early in my career, a wise old geezer said "Son, if yur ever headin' to the rig, and you see people runnin' towards you, DON'T wait till they git to ya to ask what's goin' on. You turn around and start runnin' too. If they catch up to you, then you can ask what's goin on!"

I don't get out to rigs much these days, but when I do I always keep that advice in mind!


Reminds of a story where a derrick was blown off an offshore platform and the crew were legging it. The driller was asked, "was he scared", His reply, "hell no, but I passed a few roughnecks on the stairs that were".

True story

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Freep dot com -- Oil spill may choke river life for years

Posted: Aug. 8, 2010
Oil spill may choke river life for years
Some animals rescued, but habitats' future bleak

MARSHALL -- The oil spill that dumped up to a million gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River is expected to cause long-term damage to at least a 30-mile stretch of once pristine marshes along the river, destroying habitat for resident geese, ducks, frogs, herons, muskrats and swans for possibly years to come.
path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-08 19:49:08

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BattleCreekEnquirer -- Ruptured oil pipeline shows lengthwise rip

David Runk Associated Press August 8, 2010
A ruptured section of pipeline that spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River had a lengthwise rip that likely was less than five feet long, a company official said Saturday.

path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-08 19:13:20

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Enbridge -- August 8 Afternoon Update

The failed pipe section from the spill site was transported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) lab in Virginia yesterday evening.

We now have approximately 50 feet of pipe exposed on either side of the removed section. Under the guidance of the Office of Pipeline Safety, we and they are examining those two sections inch by inch.
path: Public ~> Energy
originally posted: 2010-08-08 18:59:47

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Enbridge -- August 7 Afternoon Update

The clean-up continues at the leak site and along Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. Crews will continue to work over the weekend.

There is currently 140,000 feet of absorbent and containment boom deployed at 37 locations.

An approximately 50-foot section of pipe where the leak originated was removed yesterday and is being prepared for shipment to Washington, D.C. for examination by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Workers are expected to begin welding replacement pipel...
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originally posted: 2010-08-08 18:55:52