BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - How to Deal with a Dead Well - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/6628.

The Admiral confirmed, in his Friday press conference, that the negative pressure test on the Deepwater well held steady for 24-hours without any inflow of fluid into the well, or increase in pressure. That means that there is sufficient cement in the annulus to block a free passage from the reservoir, through the annulus, to the well head. In other words the well is killed. The problem now becomes something different.

As I mentioned yesterday the central section of the well, inside the production casing, is full of cement. The only path possibly available is up the annulus, above the bottom section where cement has filled it. The problem that is now faced is that no-one knows how much of the cement in the annulus was there from the original cementing of the production casing into place, and how much from the injection of cement during the static kill. If it is a relatively small amount, then there is a risk that this barrier may fail, with time, and oil under reservoir pressure can then flow up the annulus to the well head. And to help with the discussion, here is the picture that I have used before to illustrate the situation.

I would suspect that it is a relatively thick barrier – the original injection of cement into the well from the production casing was, if my memory serves, about half that required to fill the annulus to the previous cement lining injection. Given that this is 800 ft above the bottom of the well, then there is 400 ft of cement above the shoe in the annulus.

In a relatively close to surface operation, the flow of fluid across the bottom of that column might induce enough cavitation to eat back the cement by about 20-ft or more (Glen Canyon Dam, and Tarbela High Dam for eg) but with the back pressures in the well that would suppress cavitation, I don’t anticipate that there was that much erosion out of the flow path of the oil and gas to the bottom of the well. There could be enough erosion along the contact with the overlying sandstone, which would erode out the column over the height of the sandstone, (say 60 ft) but even with that there is likely at least a couple of hundred feet of cement in the annulus above the reservoir creating a seal.

But that leaves the problem of the up to 1,000 barrels of oil that may be trapped in the annulus, begging the question as to how it is supposed to have got there if the cement in the annulus retained its integrity above the reservoir.

To determine if that is oil, which would imply that the above supposition was wrong and that the well had no cement integrity in the annulus until the cement from the static kill provided some, the relief well has to intersect the original well. When it does so it raises two problems, only one of which I mentioned in the last post.

The one I mentioned is that with a cement plug in the annulus below the intersection if BP start to inject fluid into the annulus they don’t have an easy way of displacing the fluid already there. There is nowhere to push it, and no clear way to circulate it out with the relief well configuration. The logical path to push it upwards out of the well runs into a slight problem that the Admiral introduced today, which is that the part between the new stack and the old BOP (the spooling tool) is only rated to 7,500 psi. And there is no simple path for fluid to flow from the annulus up through the existing hardware on top of the rig into a pipe that could carry it to a vessel at the surface.

The one that I did not mention was that if the original cement has been removed over the full column of the annulus down at the bottom of the well, and only replaced by the cement injected during the static kill, then there is no way of knowing how thick that barrier is. Raising the pressure in the annulus to inject cement into it from the relief well could break that barrier (though it would also provide a path for oil in the well to displace downwards back into the reservoir and thus dispose of maybe 10% of the oil in the annulus., which still leaves the question as to how to displace the rest.

On the other hand if the relief well goes into the annulus and finds nothing but mud (from the pre-cement days when the production casing was installed) then the question becomes moot.

Says it all:

Return Of The BP Zombie Well
by Fintan Dunne, 14 August 2010 00:35amEST

It must be BP's relentless lying during the whole of this sorry episode that inclines me to believe Tom Breen and not Thad Allen.

Fine - you are using an incorrect news report based on Thad's briefing which you admit is not supported by what Allen actually said. But the incorrect report of what was said must be correct in your mind and Allen is lying.

Allen is getting more and more difficult to understand. It seems like he is trying to be vague--not to lie exactly, but not to tell the whole truth either, IMHO.

More like he is trying to dumb it down. When he doesn't give the version for dummies he gets asked to explain it over and over about 50 times.

Yeah, well. They still don't get it right.

Straw man. As in "A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position."


The question is who is the strawman, cavnar or allen

Allen has never stated that the well is "dead" and that's the launch point for the entire pantsload. "Cheap parlor trick" would have done as well as "straw man".

Wasting your time blogwhoring around here, Brother Dunne. Everybody sees right through you.

A few days ago the blog headline was "Oil Surging from Ocean Floor". The latest post is simply a continuation of the flimflam.


great word, "blogwhoring". kudos to you if it's your creation!

Blogwhoring, in word and in practice, is as old as blogging itself.

WTF is that all about??

"Oil industry veteran, Bob Cavnar was scathing in a comment on Daily Kos: "They risked completely uncontrolled flow to get it off the television."

Here's what Cavnar means"...

"Dang me. This sucker is over. Why can I do to keep my mug showing up on Olbermann's show until my book comes out?"

I believe you have quite correctly assessed the Cavner contribution.

Here's what Cavnar means: the troubled history of this Mocando well is well known to have included a number of so-called 'well control' problems during drilling.


Awesome journalism. Here, let me help you -

Is it the transition spool or the original flex joint that has the 7500 psi limit?

Morning jinn. Thanks for your comments, on the now closed thread, re my question about the capping stack. (Thanks also to rf73b, Acornus, Unconformity.)

If I can follow up ... Admiral Allen clearly said the transition spool (twice) in yesterday's briefing. He is prone to making errors, I know, but that is the equipment he referred to.

BTW You mentioned that they had absolutely no idea initially that they would shut the stack in but that's not what BP said their plans were. This is from their site:

>>Installing the sealing cap involves a multiple stage process with several vessels and remotely operated vehicles over an approximate 4-7 day period. The sealing cap has the potential to increase oil and gas collection capacity and should improve collection efficiency during hurricane season by allowing shorter disconnect and reconnect times. The new cap assembly should have a positive impact on future well kill and cementing procedures that will be part of the relief well operations. In addition, the new cap should enable testing of well integrity and, depending on pressure measurements, may be used to shut in the well.<<

So it seems that shutting the well in was in the back of their mind. And while I understand what you said about them being able to reopen the choke if pressures were in the 8000-9000 range that doesn't sound like a prudent engineering decision. It would not seem wise to chance overpressuring a piece of equipment. Besides ... if they did hit 8000-9000 how could they close the well in and move offsite in a hurricane? I thought that was the plan.

Dunno really. I am just asking questions because I don't get what's going on and something doesn't seem right to me. Thanks.

EDIT: Oops. I'll answer my own question regarding hurricanes. They wouldn't have shut the well ... they would disconnect and let the well flow and hopefully flowing pressure wouldn't exceed the 7500 PSI.

I don't think Allen said specifically the spool had that pressure rating. It sounded more like he was saying that limit came into play at the time they added the spool. At any rate I doubt the spool has that limit. The flex joint is supposed to be good to 15k psi in the straight position. In the fully flexed position it's pressure limits are considerably lower. A spool like that is often used at the wellhead and would typically would be rated above the 15k that the BOP sitting on top of it would be rated at.

The closing of the capping stack was to be accompanied by very close monitoring of pressure as they closed it in. The expectation was that they would be opening the valves within hours or days depending on the pressure they found. The actual pressure they found was actually just normal pressure. The one thing they very clearly didn't anticipate was a normal pressure reading.

If the pressure had been higher than the safe limit (now pegged at 7500 psi) then it would still allow them to throttle the flow to stay below the limit and collect whatever oil they couldn't shut in.

These were Allen's exact words as to the location and rating of the equipment in question:

>>Between the BOP of the deepwater horizon and a capping stack, if you’ll remember, we installed something called a spooling tool where we unbolted the phalange from the riser pipe. We put that piece in and then we connected the new capping stack to it. The threshold of pressure that that can stand is 7500 psi. So that is the weak link in the mechanical chain that connects the legacy blow out preventer to the capping stack.<<

yes I read that also. My interpretation is the weak link is the flex joint.

I also like the "phalanges" that the speech to text software creates.

LOL A phalange by any other name ...

I also like the "phalanges" that the speech to text software creates.

No biggie, but it's very unlikely it's speech-to-text software rather than just poor transcription by a human. If it were the former, you'd see many more and much worse errors from audio recorded in that environment with multiple speakers.

Edit: Also, some words that a human transcriber might stumble over would be more likely to be rendered correctly by software. Software should be able to detect that "flanges" was two syllables and wouldn't translate it as the three-syllable word "phalanges" (which is an obscure alternate spelling of "phalanxes" and likely wouldn't even be in its dictionary). The human transcriber unfamiliar with the word "flanges" is trying to give a phonetic approximation of what they're hearing without recourse to a dictionary and probably without noticing the difference in the number of syllables.

What's really annoying is that they can't take 30 minutes to have someone with English skills who knows the terminology go over the transcripts before they're posted. Maybe they need to put them up right away, but they should then post a revised edited version ASAP.

Probably outsource the translation to India or somewhere.


The Transition Spool Thad talked about is above the flex joint.

It had to made quite thin because there were two pipes sticking out from the BOP and the transition spool had to fit over them.

Therefore it is not astonishing that it is rated relatively low. But still - from an engineering standpoint the thickness of such a spool may not be the real relevant points - when such things rupture it is usually at a welding point. I'd trust that all the welding on this has been x-rayed and will be better than specs. So I wouldn't expect anything happen to the spool until some 10,000psi plus differential pressure between outside ambient pressure and inside pressure is applied.

>>So I wouldn't expect anything happen to the spool until some 10,000psi plus differential pressure between outside ambient pressure and inside pressure is applied.<<

I'm sure that is probable but it makes me wonder why Thad Allen is so concerned about it now. He is talking about the possibility of delays while they find ways to mitigate this risk.

>>We’re not ruling out anything at this point. It could be anything from accepting the risk and understand that we may not raise the hanger and then understanding how we – it would be possible to put something on to bleed off the pressure on the top. We could even put another blow out preventer on because we have sealed the well at this point. That would take a longer period of time and so we’re kind of walking through the risks and the time elements associated with that.<<

That's an easy one. Before they had nothing to lose. They had a gusher. If something gave out while closing the cap they would still just have the same gusher. Now they don't want to lose any ground that they have gained. They have multiple barriers they don't want to regress and lose one.

It had to made quite thin because there were two pipes sticking out from the BOP and the transition spool had to fit over them.

The ID of the spool is the same regardless of the 2 pipes. The only thing they did to accommodate the 2 pipes was to cut the tube that has the sealing rings at an angle and call that a "mule shoe".

>>It had to made quite thin because there were two pipes sticking out from the BOP and the transition spool had to fit over them. <<

The spool tube is supporting 80 + tons of weight. It's not "quite thin."

A 15,000 psi rated tube would have been thicker.

With the pressure levels and the other equipment in the bop stack we are talking here, a 7500psi rated tube IS "quite thin".

Engineering is relative ...

It just gets ever more confusing, the HC Collet connector is rated at 15,000 psi and given that the external seawater pressure is 2,300psi then we are talking at least 17,000 psi safe internal pressure at this depth.


Just about every press conference the maximum pressures at the cap are lowered and no explanation why for is ever given and never asked for by the "media".

The cap and everything that was installed around July 15 is rated to 15K as far as anything I have ever heard. It is the LMRP pressure capability that they installed the cap on top of that has always been a question mark.

As I understand it that particular model flex joint is rated at 15 Kpsi when it is straight. When it is flexed to the maximum 10 degree inclination it is only rated to 5 Kpsi. After the riser was cut off the flex joint was found to be permanently bent at some angle. I have heard differing amounts (3-12 degrees). They straightened the flex joint with jacks before installing the cap, but there is still the question of how much pressure can it stand.

Good point. That flex joint was never designed to be a swivel sea anchor for a 32,588 ton oil rig. I do not know the loading figures but it was not merely bent over at 3-12 degrees it also tethered the DWH rig from surface blow out to sea bed collapse. As Bruce Forsyth would say, "didn't it do well?"

The entire well did remarkably well. I completely convinced that anybody with an ounce of intelligence would have expected that something in that well would have given way given the forces involved. The fact that the well had integrity after all it went thru on April 20-22 was a miracle. In fact I believe that BP thought that it was so improbable that the well was still intact that BP didn't make any concerted effort to get that cap on the well. There attitude prior to July 15 was "this cap isn't really going to do us much good - it will just show the whole world how bad things really are"

Good point, but I was never clear about why there was so much concern about the integrity of the well, given the information they had almost immediately.

Do the casing and/or liner often get damaged in a blowout?

What part of

"was never designed to be a swivel sea anchor for a 32,588 ton oil rig"

didn't you understand?

Another apology!!

Apparently I failed to make it clear that I was referring to the below mud-line well, e.g.: casing and liner.

How much strength do you think the mud adds to the well? The well is not firmly anchored to anything solid until you get many feet down to rock. The casing and riser was what was holding the drilling rig which is as big as a battleship. How much do you suppose you can bend this well without it breaking?

Normally the drilling rig has a DP system by which its position and orientation in space is controlled so that the loads on the well are minimized. The well is not designed to hold the rig in position. It is not designed to have a huge rig tip over and sink while attached to the well. It is hard to understand how the well casing could not have been subjected to bending, twisting and tensile loads far in excess of what it was designed to handle. The only explanation for why the well wasn't damaged is pure dumb luck. The odds of it being damaged given the potential loads involved were extremely high.

Thank you.

Spot on Jinn.

I was recently pushing to see if we could re-use an exploration well as a development well on a discovery we've made.

The surface casing configuration is not quite what we would go for in a normal development well design, and I commissioned an engineering study to see whether it would be up for the job.

The well had taken much longer than expected to drill and the extended exposure time to rig/riser loading together with that required in the future to re-enter and complete with production tubing was enough to worry the specialists about fatigue in the wellhead assembly. Note this is from normal DP rig operations. There were huge safety margins built into the study, but despite our very strong feeling that the well would be ok, we canned the idea immediately. It will mean another high cost well, but even a tiny risk was seen by us as unacceptable.

The loadings imposed by the drifting and sinking rig will have been a very serious concern to BP in the days following the accident.

beagle - did this ever get clarified from previous closed thread?

Whatever it is, it was still recurring as of this morning (not continuous but episodic at an undetermined interval) but no more information I'm aware of.

See my comment down-thread at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6849#comment-701745

I watched it doing that on and off from 3 yesterday afternoon till about 3 this morning.Finally just gave up and went to bed when it never exploded.

Thanks to links to additional YouTube videos mentioned by user TOB down-thread at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6849#comment-701848 I am now thinking that this is not venting but vortices cause by (1) the large size of the ROVs; and (2) their blunt ends.

First see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSzBOyqXIY4

Notice how the video starts with a heavy water flow picking up mud and sediments, This could be caused by thrusters from an ROV passing nearby or even conceivably some sort of anomalous burst of current (my money would favor a water flow from another ROV).

Then notice how the vortices form out of the turbulence, become more coherent and then breakup. THIS DOES NOT LOOK LIKE VENTING!

Second, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNxLrVHtyAE

Basically the same thing but more context.

Third, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61OmaMVmFWY

Sped up to show formation of vortices.

Thanks TOB!

I'm ready to call BUSTED!

Based on the information in the additional videos, IMO, this is NOT venting but tornado-like vortices caused by water flowing around a very large ROV, becoming turbulent around its blunt face and resulting in vortices in the area of turbulent flow immediately in front of the ROV (where turbulence would be expected). This would also neatly explain their very intermittent occurrences.

Anybody have a better explanation?

I couldn't see the time stamp on the videos,but it looked like today in the early morning.If you look at the video feeds right now you can see ROV1 looks like it might be to the left of ROV2 and upwind. Look to the left of the ROV1 in the foreground and you can see the stacks in it's (not its) lights.That is how I could tell ROV1 was closer.You can distinguish the dual '58 Ford headlights on the ROV's next to the stack..I've tried to watch both on my two monitor feed and haven't seen ROV1 move,so that could account for earlier this morn. if it was parallel to 2 in order to stir up any prop wash.Also looks like that Rov in the third video must of had hyper drive.

I just noticed that I put the links in the wrong order. As noted in TOB's post (linked above), one of the videos was speeded up to compress time to show the vortex effect. The sped-up on is the first on mu list. TOB noted in the original post and it is note in the notes on the YouTube page.

Since there has been a reply posted, I can't edit my post to correct the order.

My bad.

I was well aware of the speeded up part,although there are a lot on here that wouldn't,unless duly noted.It's 3:42 A.M. now and I haven't seen the first vortex in front of OI III ROV2 (unless I missed it while watching a typical b movie at times on Sci-Fi)leading me to believe it has to do with it's sister ROV1 as I stated earlier this morning(last night?)Geez,I really need to get a life.

Know the feeling brother!

BP and bb, I've been enjoying the ROV vortex forensics, thank you both. The only thing I can think to add is that the camera lenses are wide angle (according to Shelburn weeks ago), so the facing ROVs are much closer than they look, hence the wild currents when a thruster cuts in.

It's 3 in the morning, I've been reading TOD for 4 hours, I think I need to get one of those "life" things, too.

I've seen that in the real-time views and I'm also puzzled. Venting,whether natural or man-made, shouldn't start and stop. The mud isn't coherent enough to let something build up, then release it and stop again. What is the object attached to the cable/hose bundle? The thing with a square hole in the end? Is it possible that something like a water jet comes out the hole from time to time? That could produce such effects.

Have a look at the YouTube videos posted above. I see sufficient water flow around the port side of the ROV (made visible by the mud in the water flow) to easily account for the vortices.

The cables going into the mud and the device you mention are indeed puzzling. Perhaps they are the reason the ROV is parked here. I have no clue what they are and why they are there. I don't think a nozzle this close would produce this the type of vortex though. Physically, the device could contribute the the distrupted flow around the port side of the ROV.

Thanks for the easy access of all the tornadic videos bb. I was surmising it was of ROV related origin vortex action until this particular one appeared; it looked very "seabed" in origin and the debris looked like bubbles for a bit. ROV's staying in a close proximity in constant motion would also explain the dishing/crater-like appearance of the silt/bottom-mud/sand. I figured someone with enough ROV experience would have seen this phenomena before, and why I asked. As far as the cable and crap on the Gulf floor, I'm surprised at the present scarcity. I think most of this may be beyond a 'doggie' bag and is now inert clutter, hopefully to be removed (just a hunch).

Thank you TOD for all the well founded objective and subjective input so far. As far as the GoM goes, I live on the coast in California; but, if this was my backyard, way of life and the place I called home, I'd be so angry my eyes would bleed like a frightened Horn Toad lizard. So, my heart goes out to all folks attached to the area and hope you are very lucky in a faster recovery than it may have seemed possible environmentally and economically.

To our Government and BP; pay more attention to published inquiry and release hard honest data and less 'spin' so shocked intelligence can avoid the conspiracy theory drama time trap. g

When the cap was installed, I saw several of these gas vortices, sans sediment, that lasted for around 45 seconds each, from the POV, they were inches from the camera . The ROV operator noticed them too, he panned the camera to look at it. An undulating silver snake dancing in the depths, it was beautiful really, and I was too stunned to capture the vid...dang.

If these vortices were propwash, they would not be monitoring them , let alone from the same spot. I don't think a vortice created from an ROV thruster could generate enough power to suck gases out of the mudline against ambient water pressure,jmnsho. I don't know if you guys read the papers on hydrate formations in the subfloor, that I posted the links to. Gas vents from the seafloor either when the mud and rock cannot absorb anymore gas, or there is a clear/semi-clear path.

I'm going to stick my beliefs that this venting was expected, I do not believe it is going to " blow out the seafloor ", gas would have to be completely trapped to from a " giant methane bubble ", although gas can be found in traps, one the size of Rhode Island seems highly improbable.

I do believe that it's possible different gases would travel differently due to their characteristics, some gas would be less prone to creep through rock pores, some would be more prone.

Some questions for the "Oil Patch" guys here, or anybody else who want's to poke it...

If different fluids/gases were co-mingling downhole, below a conjectured point of damage, would it be possible for them to separate from the fluid they are in ? If gases are what help provide lift to fluids ( gas-lift ) in a well bore, but they are possibly lost at some point in the bore due to damage( around the dogleg , or further up by the mudline ? ) would that ultimately lower pressures at the wellhead due to lost gas-lift ( ie: leaking gas )?..If there were any damage in the bore, wouldn't the gases be the first thing to escape ?

The graphics showing the drill string etc. really suck. They pretty much have all along. Sorry. It looks like somebody is trying to use "paint" or some such primitive drawing program to do what should be done in a CAD program. Over the years, I have met a huge number of geologists and engineers who can't draft their own figgers or maps - or who just won't try to learn. ~:)

is the shroud of Turin in there.....?


"In a Thursday morning e-mail to local government leaders, a U.S. Coast Guard official acknowledged that what had washed up was being classified as subsurface oil -- something that cleanup officials have been slow to acknowledge."

Slow to acknowledge? You mean like Saddam slow to realize (avoided the Hitler reference)? I swear our government could screw up an anvil. I would not trust the Feds to successfully fire a potato gun.

Edit= Would scale, cross hatches, and engineering fonts made you feel better? Blueline maybe?

Maybe you should ask for your money back. Nobody has seen the bottom of the well - so any picture of it isn't going to be perfectly accurate no matter how it is made.

It is a matter of time - I can do something this simple, that helps me illustrate the points I want to make in a short time, or spend some considerable amount more time in making a higher quality product, but at the cost of other activities. On the basis that what I generate provides enough information to illustrate the point that I am trying to make, I made a choice. The problem is possibly the textures that I am using, which don't give the contrast that would help, but the model is actually a 3-D one - I just photoshopped it to illustrate changing conditions, and used default textures for the steel and cement - being too lazy to generate my own.

No problem - just an observation. We're all short of time 'round here....

Heading Out, seems like a good time to express my gratitude for your graphics; I find them incredibly helpful. Your graphics work and writing are very much appreciated!

I second that, the quality of writing and graphics on the lead articles are outstanding. Improving the contrast in the graphics would make them even better.

Heading Out, You don't need to be apologizing to anyone on this site. If they can't understand what you put out, making it prettier isn't going to help them, they need a lot more basic studying on the subjects. IMHO


I agree, this is way out of my realm of what I understand, but HO post in a way that even I understand (in other words, he explains it in a way that a 10yr old could understand) if they have done any research/studying on the subject!

I think Dave is doing a marvelous job. He produces a new post almost every day (and some days, two!) And does a lot of other things too!


held steady for 24-hours

Most sources incl BP say "ambient pressure test" was 4 hours, not 24. I still do not like the wiggle room in ambient pressure which could mean anything, coupled with Allen's characterization of depreciable [appreciable] change of pressure. Rockman supposed they displaced the riser to seawater, which I doubt. Certainly they turned off the mud pump. So, did it gain or lose mud? How much? Reminds me of the sloppy negative test on DWH.

Another poster mentioned the conundrum of 7500 psi rating in flex joint or capping spool, which mocks the 8000-9000 psi hoped for when they shut in the well three weeks ago.

Above all, I think it's weird that BP won't show us the wellhead or BOP stack, and multiple ROV obssession with seafloor environment (ostensibly amphipoda) makes me wonder what exactly is being monitored and why. The sonar scan label is wearing thin, because ROVs with that cover story have been pointed at manifold hardware and (as I understand it) sonar only detects heavy oil and asphalt.

Again, the critical datapoint is whether they are pumping mud again.

Rockman supposed they displaced the riser to seawater, which I doubt

They could of tested by shutting the valve on the manifold on the seafloor, isolating the 5,000 ft of mud head, and cracking the choke on the upper BOP to bleed the pressure. Then shut the choke an look for pressure build.

Thanks, Rio. I must be dense. Bleed pressure and watch it build again tests what?

Maybe to be clear I should say, that you keep valve on manifold closed. If you have a pressure build it is coming from down hole indicating the well is not sealed. After the test they can just open the valve and reintroduce the 5,000 of mud head.

I doubt they just bled off the pressure into the gulf. There was a reference to hooking up some special equipment to lower pressure. I suspect they would want an accurate accounting of how much mud would be removed (and how much added back to restore pressure)

Maybe not, but my process of bleeding the pressure from about 3400 psi to about 2300 Psi might only take a few gallons.

"I still do not like the wiggle room in ambient pressure"

You don't like anything except yourself.

Okay, fine. Ad hom works.

What have you liked during this journey? That's why you've put yerself in the position of having to say, "Glad to write a full retraction and public apology to BP, just as soon as they detach and recover the old BOP. Meanwhile, what's this new chemical injection apparatus for?
Well, you actually didn't have to say that. If you follow thru, you'll be a real mensch.

No problem. If they detach and recover the BOP, my career is kaput. I've followed Macondo since April 20. Made incorrect interpretations of ROV pictures. I still believe BP is in trouble. Let's see what happens next.

I know BP is in trouble.
Look at this as an opportunity. If you're not gonna take up a career in building a peak oil homestead (it really is a career; ask Todd http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4979 ), take a look at health care. I'd say respiratory therapy, but I think nurses may replace them.

I still believe BP is in trouble.

I tend to agree that is a distinct possiblity. I have always believed the bottom kill is the best way to kill and cement the well and would not even think about removing the BOP until that is done and some more testing is done.

Not to mention the fact that simply writing "Glad to write a full retraction and public apology to BP" is pompous and full of yourself. BP doesn't give a fig for your "public apology" and neither I suspect do the rest of us here. If you like, a simple "I was wrong the whole time" plus *maybe*, if you're desperate to atone, an apology to TOD would be fine.

Edited: toned it down the tiniest fraction, and clarified pronouns since I see I had replied directly to an avonaltendorf post and not to Wharf Rat's reply to aa.

I once accused an editor of being pompous, about 40 years ago, when I was scufflin' around trying to get published. You're right. BP doesn't care, but shareholders and stock analysts do. I've missed two deadlines, waiting for a definitive resolution. Not good if I'm wrong and have to apologize, but I'm sort of prepared for that eventuality. Much worse if I'm right or even half right about mud losses.

Flagged you for being an ass.

I haven't been over to one of these BP oil gusher threads for a while, as the quality of the discourse was so bad. I see nothing's changed. Quacks with crazy ideas and cocksure industry supporters who know everything - everyone analyzing the paltry data that is released by government and industry hacks who could not speak a clear sentence (without obscure insider terms and anachronisms) if their life depended on it. Have fun.

Is it worse than the quality of the video feed?

I'd like a better video feed. I don't see the point in watching fat pixels swirl around in a compressed blue theme park. For one thing I think the animal survey is cool and I'd like to see what they're seeing a lot more clearly. Maybe it'd be easier to see what's rising from the sea floor, and telling a "vortex" from something else would be interesting. But beyond that, it wouldn't tell me squat. I couldn't draw any conclusions based on anything except a big event and even then I couldn't be sure about the cause. We do not know what was rising from the sea floor before top kill or static kill because the video has been crappy and most people had been looking at the stack and the ROVs, but most of all it's because there is no video from before the blowout to compare with.

If I were running this high stakes op with the possibility of another fat tail event in a situation that's unique and at -5000' to -18000', providing HD video from 10 viewpoints to the folks back home would not be high on my list of priorities.

Again, the critical datapoint is whether they are pumping mud again.


If they are holding pressure at 4200, then they are pumping mud to do that.

Most sources incl BP say "ambient pressure test" was 4 hours, not 24.

Links? Thad said 24.

. I still do not like the wiggle room in ambient pressure which could mean anything,

Ambient pressure does not leave any wiggle room. It is the pressure under 5000 feet of seawater. The pressure gradient of a column of water is about 0.433 pounds per square inch per foot - nothing wiggly with that.

Rockman supposed they displaced the riser to seawater, which I doubt.

So how did they do it in your opinion? I can not think of any better way.

Certainly they turned off the mud pump.


So, did it gain or lose mud? How much? Reminds me of the sloppy negative test on DWH.

If it kept ambient pressure there is no way it could have lost mud or mud being added. Any change of volume would also have been a change of pressure.

Another poster mentioned the conundrum of 7500 psi rating in flex joint or capping spool, which mocks the 8000-9000 psi hoped for when they shut in the well three weeks ago.

No conundrum there. The rating of 7500psi is the spec pressure differential between inside and outside of the transition spool (I likely can take much more before rupturing). The 8-9000 psi hoped for would have been inside with a 2160 psi ambient pressure on the outside. The max differential pressure would have stayed below 7000psi, well inside the specs?

Above all, I think it's weird that BP won't show us the wellhead or BOP stack,

I have seen the wellhead every day on this or that rov each of the last days. Just right now UHD30 is showing the HC connector of the upper stack with some white hydrate "beehives". No hiding there.

and multiple ROV obssession with seafloor environment (ostensibly amphipoda)

The biological research was a special mission two of the ROVs did for the Serpent project while there was nothing else to do: http://www.serpentproject.com/

The other sitting ROVs do sonar search, transfer signals from the pressure measuring compacts to the surface or are just parked.

makes me wonder what exactly is being monitored and why. The sonar scan label is wearing thin, because ROVs with that cover story have been pointed at manifold hardware and (as I understand it) sonar only detects heavy oil and asphalt.

No really - gas outbrake for example would distort the seafloor and push a up a mud-column. Sonar could see such a column.

Again, the critical datapoint is whether they are pumping mud again.

There is no place right now where any additional mud could go. The well is killed.

Are you still short BP stock?

BP said 4 hours "near ambient" test

If it kept ambient pressure there is no way it could have lost mud or mud being added. Any change of volume would also have been a change of pressure

Adm Allen said "no depreciable change." That implies some change.

UHD30 is showing the HC connector of the upper stack

I don't think so. Looks like the manifold.
Maybe I read the depth incorrectly.

In any case, I'd like to see the wellhead.

gas outbrake for example would distort the seafloor and push a up a mud-column. Sonar could see such a column.

True. Has it happened?

no place right now where any additional mud could go. The well is killed.

Cool. Are they pumping mud or not? Important question, I think.

My small $ put options are a hedge. Let's see what happens when they detach.

Adm Allen said "no depreciable change." That implies some change.

Per Merriam-Webster, "appreciable" (not "depreciable"; that's a transcription error): "capable of being perceived or measured."

In other words, if there was a change, it wasn't big enough to be perceived or measured. Doesn't imply "some change."

Fair enough. Straight answer about pumping mud would be great. If the pumps have stopped, that's proof the well is killed ("static"). Or they could detach the flexible riser hoses. Or show us the wellhead.

Straight answer about pumping mud would be great.


You have been given straight answers. It does no good.

There are minor leaks around the BOP . Some small amount of mud needs to be pumped every now and then to maintain pressure at 4200.

Kent Wells:

"And so since we've done the cementing procedure a few days back, what we've been doing is holding pressure on top of the cement plug, monitoring that pressure, and it's been holding relatively constant with the exception of the pressure we lose because of the bubbles that are coming out of the capping stack. Those are the bubbles that we've had there since the beginning, and they just continue to go on as a result. We lose a little bit of pressure each hour, but it's been very constant."

jinn, respectfully, if the cement is good they can detach the BOP. There is no reason to continue to pump and maintain 4200 psi, unless oil & gas are still coming in.

if the cement is good they can detach the BOP.


Yup absolutely true. And you, or BP, or Transocean might have said the same thing on April 20 -> "If the cement is good we don't need no stinking BOP"

If you see my comment at the bottom, they are talking about replacing the BOP with the one from the DD2 before the bottom kill is executed.

That Allen briefing Aug 13: "We could even put another blow out preventer on because we have sealed the well at this point."

von Altendorf, why are you incapable of informing yourself before making again and again stupid statements here? No reputation to lose anymore?

If they detach the BOP, my reputation tanks and I'm out of a job. Might turn out that way. But I believe there is a hole in the casing and BP is pumping more mud than can be accounted for by small leaks in the top stack or spool flange. Take a look at this screenshot. I believe there is a plume of drilling mud coming up around the wellhead. Not thruster silt. Not a storm of amphipoda. Not a lighting artifact. Image greyscale was stretched to see darker tones, but no color correction, no Photoshop cut and paste moneybusiness.

"avonaltendorf" now filed under Idiot, Troll

B, you have a long and much deserved track record of diligent reporting and analysis at MoA. I'm not going to quarrel with you, but allow that I post here in good faith under my real name. Idiot perhaps. Not a troll.

Are you legally prohibited from adding "BP is going to zero, SELL SELL SELL!!" to the end of all your comments?

Not that I think that would be a bad thing ('bad' in the context of right and wrong, which I'm not sure you even comprehend as relevant, not 'bad' as in 'I will personally lose money'). Trying to spin things to make the outcome for yourself better when it's all over, and the unintended but beneficial side effect of scaring people who think you know something about the mechanical aspects of the oil business, should make you at least a little ashamed. I guess the $$$ makes it easier to ignore silly things like guilt and shame, though.

I don't think BP is going to zero. Don't put words in my mouth. They blacked out public feed from 4 of the 5 ROVs at the wellsite stack. If I'm wrong about mud leaking up around the wellhead, fine, I'm wrong. But it seems congruent with continuing to pump to maintain 4200 psi, which is inexplicable if the well is in fact killed.

Baiting me and impugning my character is really cheap, comfy.

I guess you missed the tour of the BOP in the real-time. Here is the YouTube video of the last one I have seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUs9sCxNCqk

Also, they have to pump to maintain 4,200 psi. With the pumps off, it would be somewhere around 800 psi less with just the mud in the column. As previously noted, pumping to maintain pressure doesn't necessarily mean they are pumping any significant amount of mud down column. No, I don't know why they are maintaining the added pressure. Read into it what you will.

Whoaaaaa. Who said BP is goin to zero?

Nobody. Most analysts have a BUY rating, citing free cash flow.

I cannot tell from your photo but if this is the ROVs from Ocean Intervention III, I don't think they are near the wellhead.

See the discussion on yesterday's thread at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6846#comment-701201

Ocean Intervention III is about 600 meters northwest of the Q4000.

As I recall, these work class ROVs have between 1,000 to 1,600 feet of tether from their cages so 600 meters (approx. 2,000 feet) seems to be too far to lower an ROV and have it motor over to be close to the wellhead. Therefore, my guess is that the ROVs are reasonably close to the ship's location.

Since the low bit-rate of the video and the lighting of the scene make it difficult to read the ROV coordinates, we can only go by the ship's location for now. I've asked and nobody seems to be able to read the ROV coordinates either which, indeed, would be more definitive.

My guess since yesterday is that this venting location isn't close to the wellhead. If so, it seems like a pretty far distance laterally for drilling mud to migrate from a casing leak. Also, the same argument can be made for leaking HC from the well too. Finally, the venting is very intermittent which doesn’t seem to support any leak-from-the-well theory either. BTW, by intermittent, I mean that I have seen the posted YouTube videos showing the venting but I haven't caught one in the real-time feeds yet (but I only check one every hour or so.)

Yes, something does appear to be venting but darned if I can figure out what it is or make further sense of it.

Please note that I just posted a comment at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6849#comment-701922

I'm revising my opinion about call this "venting." I no longer hold this opinion. See my comment up-thread at the link.

I captured your screen capture and blew it up several times. That pixelated greenish stuff is still a mystery unless it really is melting pixels, but the object on the left is clearly the thumb, first finger and part of the right wrist of a giant golden arm. One can only speculate what it may mean, of course, but I'm now considering that it may be left over from an adventure film or that BP drilled into the site of an ancient civilization, possibly Atlantis.

I'm calling BS on that.

Positive test is inferior to negative test in determining cement status. Best way to test if well is sealed is negative test more or less like negative test they did on April 20... only done right this time.

1) Close cap stack choke and kill valves. Close BOP choke and kill valves.

2) Open cap stack kill valve (test port on top exposed to seawater) far enough to bleed cap stack pressure down to ambient.

3) Close cap stack kill valve and watch cap stack pressure.

4) If cap stack pressure remains at ambient, then well is sealed. If pressure starts climbing, well is not sealed. No explaining it away this time. If pressure climbs, well is not sealed, end of story.

Rockman supposed they displaced the riser to seawater, which I doubt.

So how did they do it in your opinion? I can not think of any better way.

I can, see my post above. My method is easier and allows them to reintroduce the 5000 ft of mud head immediately if necessary.

How about 2 lines one with mud and one with seawater. A manifold with valves and controls so that a smooth transition in pressure can be seen in the line going to the well.

How about 2 lines one with mud and one with seawater

Already have the line with mud connected via a manifold to the BOP (choke line as I recall). I guess you could run another line from the floor to the surface and fill with seawater, but I really don't see much point since you can use the existing head by just cracking the choke (the one on the newer BOP) and very little mud or oil and gas would escape.

The stated point of the test was to find out what they can about the annulus. The amount of fluid that came out of the well to lower the pressure is going to be related to flexing of the production casing which is related to the pressure on the outside of the production casing. The pressure on the outside of the production casing is related to whether the space surrounding the production case contains oil or mud.

Those facts coupled with a statement that some special equipment was installed to lower the pressure suggests that maybe they set it up to get a precise volume measurement. Cracking a valve to a line filled with sea water to the surface will tell you precisely how much fluid came out of the well.

Thanks, Jinn. At last, a possible explanation of how they might infer what's in the space outside the production casing. Or maybe I missed this discussed before. It seems like it involves assumptions about the compliance of the casing, etc. Is this a standard procedure?

I'm only guessing. They have more info than I do.

But I think it is pretty clear they can't know everything. if they knew everything about the well and reservoir this wouldn't have happened in the first place. They have a duty to guess what is the worst possible thing that can possibly happen at this point and then be prepared for that to happen. Whenever they do that it makes people very nervous.

People seem to want BP to act like they did on April 20 "Hey guys let's have a party. this well is completed and we are going to be moving on a few days"

Yes, we're guessing and engaging in virtual ambulance chasing, which is kind of undignified, especially for folks like me who know almost nothing about drilling deep holes under the ocean and have no vested interest in these things beyond what everyone has in our shared energy future. OTOH, it seems to me that the rational folks here, which includes a good fraction of the regular posters, don't expect an instant solution, a crave a doomsday ending or the hope that situation drags on forever.

But now I'm starting to sound like (non)Dr. Brown, and he's already got that niche cornered on this ship of fools ;)

Those facts coupled with a statement that some special equipment was installed to lower the pressure suggests that maybe they set it up to get a precise volume measurement. Cracking a valve to a line filled with sea water to the surface will tell you precisely how much fluid came out of the well.

The line of seawater would be one way, or perhaps the "special equipment" mentioned was some other way to measure the volume accurately.

FYI - Never "supposed they displaced the riser with sea water". I think I was speculating on the different pressure regimes that might be developed. But then again I throw out so much crap sometimes I'm not sure I always understand me.

How to bring the well/bop to ambient pressure while measuring possible overpressure outflow:

Helix Producer has a free standing riser line to the CDP manifold.

Q 4000 has a riser to the CDP manifold.

The CDP manifold has connections to the choke and to the kill line of the old bop.

Fill the Q-4000 risers with mud, fill the Helix Producer riser with seawater. Close the valve on the bop that had the q-4000 mudline connection. Open the valve on the bop that has the seawater riser connection.

There you are at ambient pressure in the well. Measure displacement from overpressure in the well by measuring returns on the seawater riser.

If returns are too much or pressure increases too much close seawater-line valve, open mud-line valve.

(There are more complicate and likely safer ways to do this when using the cross-lines in the CDP manifold, essentially forming a u-tube between Q-4000 and the Helix Producer. With a u-tube through the CDP manifold one could actually construct any pressure on the well between 100% mud vs. 100% seawater in the relevant riser by pumping seawater and mud between them and opening the right valves to the bop on specific pressure points one wants to test. The general principle is the same - exchange the exposure of the bop/well between two risers with different pressure in each of them.)

Ok, couple of more stupid questions then I'm done.<-- (lie)

I am adrift on a sea of speculation in a boat built from assumptions, I have one oar, and am spinning helplessly in a circle, please help me .

IIRC, it was general consensus there was a considerably amount of produced sand in the oil. I am reading here at the Drum that a sandstone formation/s is believed to be at the bottom of the bore. So did all this "produced sand" come from that formation ? How large a void would have been excavated( I see 60' mentioned )after continuous production for 3+/- months ? Large enough to accommodate 200 barrels of cement ? Cement would pack the external walls of any type of cavity ? How thick would that be ? I know I may not understand how these things happen..are "barrels of cement" reggie barrels, petro barrels,..etc. I am trying to visualize a stack of 200 barrels of cement, which foams to some degree(?) and how much surface area this would cover at a depth of ..idk...6".Or does this cement potentially invade any leaks and seal them ? (in theory)If there were a void/cavity created around the area of the bottom of the borehole, would this complicate drilling more in the immediate vicinity ? Are they drilling this relief well over the top of a possibly large eroded space ?

Another interesting abstract.

" A model for fluid-injection-induced seismicity at the KTB, Germany "


As far as possible leaks up the annulus, I have been asking people for a couple of weeks now, where this trapped fluid is supposed to go when fluid injections from the bottom relief well start.

On another few subjects, I thought some of you might find this paper interesting, it's something I found while researching possible bio-remediation in the G.o.M. This one left my head spinning.

"Population Genomics and the Bacterial Species Concept"

" In recent years, the importance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacterial evolution has been elevated to such a degree that many bacteriologists now question the very existence of bacterial species. "


Then there was the subject of the " white things " and how they appear to move.

When the 3-ram cap was installed, I/y'all observed hydrates forming around various small leaks on the capping assembly. One of the more bizarre things I observed was gas bubbles rising out through a leak, and then careening off at a 90 degree angle after hitting the hydrates. Odd I thought , so I asked a friend, this is what he said.

"Presumably the hydrate formers pickup water quickly and become more hydrophilic, they would bounce off of presumed hydrophobic oil. It may be worth looking at the surfaces of some of these things and see how they can segregate under various forces. Hydrophilic/phobic drives many things- for example protein folding that makes enzymes works can be driven by this. Pressure gradients through various size pores of course select on size, and I wouldn't ignore electrochemical issues too. A field will orient polar molecules, induce dipoles and get net-neutrals to migrate. Electrophoretic separation if you will. Interesting, but a couple of lidar hits on the different blobs would be a lot more informative. "

So in addition to marine crustaceans and marine " snow ", there is that to consider too.

Reading this site made me think of a great Woody Allen quote, I might have read it here to begin with :

" Scientists are like the Mafia, they only go after their own kind "

Issy - Luv the Woody line. I've notice the same in our TOD family expecially while were sitting on our thumbs waiting for the next phase.

Re: where do the fluids go? There are limited possibilities. First, assume they don't pressure up over the frac gradient. If they did the fluid would go were ever the first fracture developed. Stay below FG and you're left with filtrate invasion. Mud (or cmt for the most part) won't flow into a reservoir...particles are too big to flow into the rock. But the particles will plate on the bore hole wall (build "mud cake" and the filtrate (mud minus particles) will be injected into the reservoir if the pressure is greater than the formation pressure. This tends to be a relatively small volume. Another leak point would be thru a weak cmt shoe. And a hole in the csg is another possibility.

But if there's no leak point when they pump they won't pump much before they hit an unacceptable injection pressure. It's can be amazing how little volume is needed to hit a high pressure. There might be 2,000 bbls in the system but pump 10 gallons in a non-leaking well and the effective pressure can jump from 8,000 psi to over 12,000 psi and hit the frac gradient in less than a minute. This how you yest the leak off point (LOT) of a cmt job.

Ok, I understand, thanks for that, some of what I've been reading about the fluid dynamics involved in your business, is quite interesting.

Since you work in this field, I'd like your 2 bits on this, if you would.

Is there any possibility that they initially used any engineered fluids like Halliburton's DeepQuest when they were drilling this well ? I remember reading a deckhand's account of some apparently random fluids that were pumped "downhole" before the final loss of control.


Issy -- they probably didn't use those types of fluids at the drilling/csg run phase. They're run during the completion phase which would have been a couple of years or so away. But there's a long list a special fluids used during drilling and csg runs. I haven't seen such details other than they foamed the cmt used on the production csg run.

Deleted a really dumb question.

rainy -- In theory they could jet those fluids out with nitrogen but I doubt their planning that. They can use anything from sea water to weighted heavy fluid (probably a clear brine if they went this route). But until they can go in hole with drill pipe they can't displace any of the fluid in the csg above the cmt plug. The only other possibility for that is for the RW to breach the annulus and be able to displace up it. But maybe that's what he means: replace the BOP and GIH with drill pipe and do a conventional plug and abandon. It would make sense to displace the csg with a heavy brine sufficient to stop flow by itself as well as spotting the additional shallow cmt plugs.


Allen did include flushing the area in the well above the cement plug in his list of areas to be flushed, but then I'm not clear on how they get fluids in and out of the capping stack, LMRP and BOP either, unless they are planning to go in the old BOP choke/kill lines and out the cap lines or vice versa. (wonder if Allen is mixing up work that will be done as part of the P&A with the pre-bottom kill preps.)

(btw, I edited my original question away because I realized that leaving any "empty" space anywhere at that depth and pressure wouldn't exactly work.)

I think it might've been yesterday or the day before where he referenced a "closed system" but, regardless, today he said that the fluids would not go into the environment. Also, he said that they were using the Q4000 for it.

Isaac - perhaps you could venture into this new topic of magnetics and how such a factor would influence the stability of the formations with forced introduction of reactive polar opposites. Very, very interesting - even if only in a speculative manner. Thanx.

Interesting question, I lack the math skills to really explore possibilities too much. I've learned some very interesting things about hydrates. The " careening bubbles " seemed odd to me, my friend's response to my questions made us both wonder if cathodic protection was being used, or if that would have anything to do with what we saw at all..It would seem that there would need to be some transfer of mass to occur to send a bubble on a horizontal trajectory ...what I don't understand is why they continued to travel like that instead of eventually losing momentum after a couple of inches and gradually arcing back into a vertical trajectory.... Some of the research from the D.O.E. I'm trying to wrap my brain around, say's there are 7 different crystalline structures that hydrates can form, but it seems to be a whole hell of a lot of math concerning gradients of: formation inhibitors( I guess electrophiles...chloride ions like sea-salt, sub-floor brine..? methanol I know for sure ) P/T, the type of gas, density of formations are related to geology/pore sizes of substrate, that to me means basically that hydrates form where they can, when they can. Some of the studies I have read reveal possible cycles of lower level sub-floor dissociation and reformation of hydrates at higher levels, generally culminating in venting to the ocean by way of pyroclastic vents, methane seeps, some just forms large pieces of hydrates that seem to just stay where they are.. another indicator of the variations of physical qualities of hydrates,ie: some seem to be more buoyant than others..

now as far as possible far-out theories of dissociation of hydrates...how about ultrasonic waves ?

I stumbled across some research published by the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics. on 5/25/2006

" Kinetics of convective crystal dissolution and melting, with applications to methane hydrate dissolution and dissociation in seawater "

Youxue Zhang , Zhengjiu Xu

Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1063, USA
Received 25 February 2003; received in revised form 15 May 2003; accepted 22 May 2003


EDIT: Whoops, wrong link, this is the the one I was referencing. You'll have to register for a free trial account to read it, sorry.

" Promotion of Methane Hydrate Dissociation by Underwater Ultrasonic Wave "

Hikaru Miura, Makoto Takata, Daisuke Tajima1 and Kenichirou Tsuyuki1
Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Science and Technology, Nihon University, 1-8-14 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8308, Japan
1Kajima Technical Research Institute, 2-19-1 Tobitakyu, Chofu, Tokyo 182-0036, Japan

(Received November 30, 2005; accepted February 21, 2006; published online May 25, 2006)


...so....sh*t....idk, it would seem that hydrates can have many properties, and probably as a result, respond to an even wider parameters of stimuli....they are definitely one of my major areas of interest, hopefully I will start school again, for the first time in 22 years, and they might become an eventual area of focus for me.

so I'm off to read up on sonar.

Thanks again for the informative post " Heading out "

I'd like to have a go at "produced sand".

By definition, any reservoir is porous and permeable. It has little voids in it, and the voids connect to each other. Obviously, any porous formation, be it loose sand, sandstone, or a carbonate, will have little mechanical strength. When you drill a well into it, there are several forces that start trying to destroy the formation.

The most obvious force is the flow itself. It wants to dislodge grains from the wellbore face. Those grains flow into the well and are a problem because they will erode equipment. But unseen forces are even more important. These are based on the drawdown effect. As the well produces, the fluid has a hard time refilling the reservoir from farther away. So you get a pressure differential that provides a lateral stress acting toward the well. That changes the compressive force on the reservoir from purely vertical to a cone-shaped vector. Also, the fluid that is removed from the rock was helping support the formation against the compressive force, and as it flows out, the rock itself has to bear the load.

All these things combine in a natural effort to destroy the reservoir. It's one of the reasons why wells are drilled through the reservoir: By cementing a liner in place and then perforating it, you get a support effect that helps keep the face from crumbling and acts like a mine timber to keep the reservoir layer from crushing.

Could a void form? I would say yes, in the special case where this well ran wild for so long. But nature hates voids! If there's one there, it won't be for very long. I suspect any void that does exist began caving as it formed, and probably isn't more than a couple of feet across. I suppose it could accommodate a huge amount of cement though, because it would be cylindrical around the well, not spherical.

Thank you PinkFud.

[EDIT] The following is meant to be more quizzical then anything, just trying to understand some things.

It starts the process of erosion. As it erodes the cavity it invades, it creates a randomly shaped chamber, which creates random fluctuations in density and pressure in the fluid column. The fluctuating pressure causes cavitation, which in turn excavates the other faces along the fluid column .

Flow in pipes is really determined at the smaller level by what's called face tension/friction. Particulates in the oil, dissolved gases/vs non dissolved gases, etc, etc, all seem to come into play.

For an object with a smooth surface, and non-fixed separation points — like a sphere or circular cylinder — the drag coefficient may vary, this I'm sure you know already.

Oil is a binary fluid , binary fluids are actually understood very little in terms of fluid dynamics, very unpredictable increases of density and such....2 different things together....emulsions are binary fluids...like salad dressing.

One point we seem to be missing in this discussion is that the flow is almost certainly mass-flow-rate limited. Assuming down well pressures that are in the range of what is being talked about seriously , a normal shock wave may well be forming in the pipe, or will at some point; by "normal" I mean at 90 degrees to the flow.

The long pipe run helps contain this because the boundary layer friction losses show up in the flow as a reduction in pressure and the pressure difference is what allows the formation of the shock wave, which is what limits the flow rate. As the total pressure (static plus dynamic) at the well head exceeds 5,100 psi, we can expect to see a shock wave form in the pipe.

As the pipe run is eaten away below the seafloor, and a plenum of sorts is created by eating away the rock around where the pipe used to be, the situation is created for a sonic flow through the pipe. I.e., the oil is flowing through the pipe at Mach 1 (as determined by the temperature and kinematic viscosity of the oil).

I'm not an oil guy and have never had need to figure out the kinematic viscosity of Hi-E crude, nor do I know the temperature at which it is exiting the well. Worse, this is a mixture of high pressure methane gas intermixed in the column with slugs of liquid crude, so it may not make much sense to determine what the mass flow rate limit of the crude would be through the well head without also figuring the mass flow rate limit for the methane, to say nothing of the harmonic oscillations of the pressures within the pipe as the liquid slugs "bounce" on springs of compressed methane which could easily result in local pressures as high as 200Kpsi, exacerbating the cavitation problems.

So what exactly could occur by allowing a HP/HT well to run uncontrolled, then crimping the aperture it flows from, then again un-restricting the flow. Wouldn't this have some repercussions downhole ?

Correct me if I am wrong please, but fluid in a well bore coming from a reservoir would naturally reach a critical point in the bore, where the total weight of the fluid in the column works against the pressure from the reservoir..( a fluid head ?) Is it the increasingly larger casings to the surface that negates any flow problems from this ?

A bit of news on the science front:

The Florida Institute of Oceanography Council has selected 27 research projects examining the vast impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico for funding from $10 million provided by oil company BP.

The projects were selected from 233 proposals submitted by researchers at the 20 FIO member institutions and reviewed by top scientists from around Florida.

The article has a link to the list of approved projects, many of which address questions discussed on TOD. Last one on the list interests me because it could answer some questions about remediating damage to salt marshes, where some of us think the damage from this event may be most severe.

I haven't seen what's being done in other states.

Good news, NRD, not least this part: "All data gathered in the projects will be made available through a centralized and public database now being planned. BP will play no role in any of the research efforts."

Based on your experience, when do you suppose we might begin seeing some of the data, then the full reports?

lotus: Too long to be emotionally satisfying. :~)

The projects will take whatever time was proposed (maybe as long as 1-3 years for field work, analysis, writing). Then 1-2 years for the peer review and publication processes. It's conceivable that interim reports will be required and posted, but this would be quite unusual and would more likely describe activity than results.

Even so, given the 3-year hold on contracts direct to BP, and the even longer DOJ hold on federal scientists' work, this and other academic work will probably be the leading edge.

That's about what I figured, NRD. Thanks. Oh well, we're yet young . . .

Regarding peak oil and global warming:

This may save the day
New solar-powered process removes CO2 from the air and stores it as solid carbon

Looks interesting but we can't put too much faith into any one thing. If we are to combat the after effects of PO and Global warming we must use a variety of methods. But we need to find a balance between them. Why? Because too much of everything will over complicate things, such as the eletric grid.
Though this article reminds me of the proposed plan to pave roads with solar panels. Except it isn't as "out there".

What say you guys?

Hey, checked the dehumidifier. 2600 MXN vs 6000 MXN for a small split A/C. DeH 5.2A @ 110V A/C 1k2W.


MXN= Mexican Peso? Prolly not.

Well it is in use around here :)


Actually it was a serious question. I was trying to figure out what you were talking about.

Kingsford would use the process to make charcoal briquettes. I guess at least it would not really ADD to the total then, just keep recycling what we have now.

It would recycle what we've already burned, reducing the CO2 in our air.


@TFHG or anybody else who lives along the GoM: "Millions Of Fish Wash Ashore In Gulfport" T/F?

Nevermind, old story being given a fresh date by the conspiranauts. The CT blogs are filled with tales of zillions of dead fish hitting Atlantic Ocean beaches as far north as Massachussetts.

It's interesting to note that the fish in both the Gulfport and the Massachussetts incidents (and again earlier this week in New Jersey) were all the same type. I believe they are called menhaden and are prone to oxygen depletion. I read it was likely caused by abnormally warm waters ... but I am not a scientist.

Menhaden, yeah. Little silvery darts by the millions, fast food for predators. They keep to shallow water. Makes sense.

snakehead, per my pal on the Biloxi/Gulfport paper (the one who turned me onto Ben Raines): They did find some dead menhaden (bait fish) in one local canal back in early or mid June, I think it was, and another bunch washed ashore on the beach in mid-July (thousands, not millions). "Low oxygen" was the call both times. As TF and b'mommy have been saying, they really could use a little storm or two to ruffle the too-hot, too-still water around there.

snake - Don't follow much MSM but here's my rather cynical view: Has the MSM avoided showing us pics of "millions of dead fish" to not distrube folks or inflame the public's opinion of BP/the govt?

A show of hands, please.

There may well be millions of dead fish out in the deep of the GOM. But I would think we would be inundated with videos of frontend loaders scoping up such carnage along the beaches. Unless they were using those stealth frontend loaders developed by Halliburton, if course.

The Sun Herald did have photos of the canalful of menhaden, but I don't know about the beach batch (after my friend explained that this is a pretty-much annual occurrence, I paid less attention).

It is annual, at least here in Texas. I believe it was three or four years ago the marinas and shores of Galveston Bay pretty much looked like those pics of the menhaden - although the fish were larger. Three or four inches, as I recall. Ghastly.

Sometimes it's red tide, but most often it's oxygen depletion. It's been hotter 'n Hades this year, and the water temp in Galveston Bay is hitting 89-90 degrees. The shallow waters off Galveston were 87-88 last I checked. It has to be warmer in the marinas. The mullet are starting to swim with their heads out of the water - some people I know don't start worrying about hurricanes until they see mullet heads and dead fish. That's when they know the water's warm enough to support a Cat 5 all the way in. ;)

some people I know don't start worrying about hurricanes until they see mullet heads and dead fish. That's when they know the water's warm enough to support a Cat 5 all the way in

Oy. novice, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to think Ma Nature is setting us up for a terrible September er sumpin'. It's just been too damn quiet so far.

I follow a guy from Houma who has his own blog on WeatherUnderground. He does his own analysis, and is darned good. He's understandable for weather non-geeks, answers any and all questions and is pretty good at anxiety reduction. He's been in the swamps all his life - knows the signs as well as the science. Here's his take (comment #196):

One system or the other, we'll probably have TS Danielle designated by this time a week ahead... after we get (ex)TD 5 outta the way by late week, all eyes will be on the very strong, well-organized ELY wave / deep low pressure system coming off Africa that already has appeared impressive since it was over Nigeria days ago. TD / TS formation should occur soon after, perhaps by Friday. Very easily should become our next hurricane... And long range GFS guidance shows another wave behind to develop, perhaps giving us two strong tropical cyclones to track coming across simultaneously, with earliest notions of impact from 1st being toward SE coast (or Bermuda) - usual caveat, that's almost two weeks away. But the African wave train / Atlantic MDR is waking up, right on time in the heart of the season.


In other words, that "sumpin'" you speak of could be right around the corner. Whether it's for the GOM is still an open question, but we're pretty good at growing our own.

Well, I hope something jes' plumb irresistible to lows sets up shop in the North Atlantic and invites all of 'em to come up thataway to party. Mhh.

Thanks for the DocNDswamp tip, too.

Afternoon Snake~I saw the "nevermind" but thought I'd pop in anyway, I have seen the plethora of pic's and articles on the CT's sites, we did have about 40+ dead crabs wash up last week and UWF came out to gather some, I was told and tend to believe it's due to oxygen depletion from the extremely warm water, it has to be 90+ where I live. The good news is the last storm has cased extremely rough surf (red flag in fact) for a few days so hopefully the water was churned up not only here but in other spots in the GOM.


@TFHG or anybody else who lives along the GoM: "Millions Of Fish Wash Ashore In Gulfport" T/F?

No dead fish but plenty of landsharks. No tourists either. Oil spill: Realtors want BP reimbursement for lost Gulf business

Better check the rovs. That wasn't silt. s/s later.

Three cams. Skandi on 2 of them. I had to contrast that piece of equipment to bled out to get the area arrowed to come up, but it looked as though there was dark matter coming up below it. I get tired of this dancing around the freakin' word "oil". Is that a jelly fish or tube worm getting battered? I hope its not The Eel, or should I say I hope it's not hurt if it's alive. Shows there's substantial force behind all that sonne et lumiere.

BTW-the reason the albums appear to have multiple s/s of same thing is because I use the h/m/s function to time/date stamp with vlc s/s. This allows for documentation as does including s/s from alternate cameras when recording.
Nothing to see here folks. Yeah, right!

The third one down is clearly a fetal pig.
It's very clear. You can see it.

And I see a baboon's face in the top one.

Calling Dr. Brown. Please bring the Rorschach materials ;)

Sorry, at the moment I'm trying to heal from self-inflicted wounds (see below).

PS: You folks just have to keep sticking it to me by reminding me that I'm not a doctor, don't you. `(:<))-<=<


I thought you had to be a Doctor to train to be a Psychiatrist?


You do.

Psychiatrists do psychoanalysis.

Psychotherapists, oddly enough, do psychotherapy, and aren't allowed to do psychoanalysis, because we aren't qualified.

What's the difference? When you think of psychoanalysis, think Freud, Jung, symbolic meaning, id, ego, superego, etc.

Psychotherapists are aware of all that perspective (just don't try quizzing me on it. I still don't understand how I passed my comprehensive exam), but use any, or several, of a variety of techniques, such as insight oriented, client centered, cognitive/behavioral, and (for the really brave practitioner), paradoxical therapy, etc..

Psychiatrists, because they are also MDs, can also prescribe medications, unlike psychologists and psychotherapists, so in many practices prescribing and monitoring med use constitutes the bulk of their work.

(just don't try quizzing me on it. I still don't understand how I passed my comprehensive exam)

Now, why do I find that worrying?


Perhaps because you should? `(:<))-<=<

Then again, If you want to take it even further, my favorite form of lying is by telling the truth.

So, in that case, am I just making an observation there, or trying to persuade you that I'm just being modest by citing that fact?

Have fun!

clearly a fetal pig

There's your methane source, right there.

"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half; crazy all for the love of you..."

Last scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Also a 1965 Life Magazine Cover. It is sourced from an unretouched photo of a real fetus. I still do not what in the hell Kubrick and Clark were saying.

Random stupid question.

When using the image of a fetus, do you have to acquire informed consent from the subject first?

Not sure but here is my source link and the link referenced the Life cover.
I would think until birth or even adulthood (majority), the consent of the mother and/or father would be needed.

My apologies, for not making it clear that it was not a serious question!

I guess this is my week to backtrack `(:<))-<=<

Just plugging the link. It is a good one. 17 Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped. It is a good article. Sorry for the digression but Stanley Kubric and Arthur Clark play here IMHO.

Today's weather in the GOM

Methane clouds! Ruuuuuuun!!!

They aren't red though! Or are they plumes?

-Rene Magritte

Random, but somehow this seemed relevant.

Yeah. Nice!

Wow! Rene Magritte. A personal favourite. Nice.

omg that cloud in the lower lefthand quarter of the screen looks like the beakfaced, bucktooth demon born from the well in BP Gives Birth to Tribulation Judgment," by PropheticSeeker (tinfoil hat tip to snakehead for the link).

Here's a good article about bacterial degradation of oil and oxygen depletion, from Chemical and Engineering News. It's well-informed but written for lay readers.


I wish someone would offer an educated guess about rates of biodegradation. As a not-so-well-educated guess, it seems to me that bacterial metabolism + photolysis must have removed roughly 35-40% of the oil that has vanished from the surface slicks, because I can't see how other mechanisms would account for that fraction. If so, they must also have made a substantial dent in the oil dispersed in the warm upper layers of the Gulf.

A scientist interviewed for the article points out that biodegradation in the depths will proceed much more slowly because of the low temperatures slowing metabolic processes. Also I suspect all the dissolved methane down there might be tempting the bugs to eat dessert before dinner.

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the article, as well as a couple of others linked from that page.

Agreed, this is really terrific.

Linkhopping 2x from that article is this very good one about this year's near-record GOM dead zone. The article includes maps showing the area affected, which Lotus asked about yesterday:


There is even a brief mention of plankton poop, which was discussed yesterday here:


It seems fecal pellets contribute to the dead zone by increasing the biological oxygen demand on the Gulf floor. Elsewhere I've read that the dead zone occurs mostly at a depth of 30-60 feet.

Admiral Allen on his presser just said that there will be more testing and a request letter to BP for various risk mitigation plans.

The RW is currently 3.5 x 50' away from its target and won't move forward until he gives the go ahead, at which point it will take about 96 hrs for interception. The bottom kill will be executed, he says.

He asked BP for risk mitigation plans? Here's hoping they farm that out.


he also mentioned the possibility of replacing the BOP before the bottom kill; they would bring it over from the DD2.

the word of the day was definitely "pressure".

keep an eye out on the daily kos, that guy was asking some pretty serious questions (and, for some reason, he got through at least three times -- perhaps Thad planted him).

btw, the BOP sitting on DD2 was loaded on along with the BOP for RW2 before it left port to begin work on RW2. It was brought out for possible use if the top kill had been successful.

I thought Allen's comments yesterday on the BOP removal/replacement as part of the ultimate P&A process interesting. After mentioning that it would be done under the direction of the Dept of the Interior (where BOEMRE resides), he added

Where that sequence will take them, I would defer to them, but it will most likely involve removing a blow out preventer, potentially storing that on the bottom floor for some period of time so it can be brought to the surface under the right supervisory conditions and under a chain of evidence and I think the plans right now are to move that to the Coast Guard base at the (Nassau michau) facility outside New Orleans and store it there under a chain of custody.

Doesn't sound as if Transocean's reported wish to have a week or so for it to study the BOP in place before it is removed is likely to be granted.

thanks Snake for making my day.

I find it incredible that they chose to go down this path of endless testing when the relief well was touted, by many, to be the safe, sane and logical thing to do. John Wright was 40 for 40 as I recall.

I'm not in the business so I have no authority to comment but it seems to me they are making it up as they go. Don't understand why the relief well wasn't their primary objective after July 15.

thrasher -- I don't recall anyone saying the RW would be "safe"...just the mostly reliable method to kill the blow out. In fact, there is no drilling op more dangerous than insecting a blow out hole. The only adavantage they have is that they know it. Sorta like the difference in walking thru a minefield: very dangerous if you don't know it's there and still pretty dangerous when you know it is.

Thanks ROCKMAN. I defer to you and retract the word safe.

Being as how you are knowledgable about these matters in your opinion should the relief well have been expedited or is all this testing a good thing?

I understand that the well isn't flowing oil so they have the luxury to "make safe" but it seems to me like they are spinning their wheels. I get the distinct feeling they aren't telling us something (and I am in no position to figure out what that is.)

thrasher - Hundreds of times I've stared at the end of a 5 1/2" piece of pipe sticking out of the ground and tried to convince myself understood the details of pressure transient analysis, reservoir flow mechanics and equipment integrity going on 2 or 3 miles under the ground. The science is as complex as any you can find in any industry. But we are often working without anywhere close to the details we need to make good decisions. IMHO you test until you're 100% sure. And then you test again. And when you're 100% sure again you dismiss the results and assume you've got it all wrong. And then you start your evaluation all over. And then, with the final analysis, you'll typically have a wide range in conlusions by "the team". Sorta like that old Ross Perot line: measure twice...cut once. Except it's more like test twice (or more) and don't kill someone.

I agree about the "not telling us everything". But as frustrating as it is I can't beat on them for taking as much time as they do. Every time I give one of my hands orders to do something I always end it with the same order: "And don't kill anyone". Every time. Throwing away a miscut piece of lumber is one thing. Burying 11 hands is quit another.

Fair enough. Thanks for taking the time to respond ROCKMAN.

In all honesty my problem is that I believe the well still doesn't have integrity and is indeed leaking out into the ocean floor somewhere. I can't prove it but I can't convince myself otherwise. So I suspect them of trying multiple things to deal with that while not sharing it with the public.

LOL I'm paranoid but sincere.

Peace from Alberta Canada.

In all honesty my problem is that I believe the well still doesn't have integrity and is indeed leaking out into the ocean floor somewhere.


You could be right but it seems very unlikely. I don't think they could successfully pull that off. If it is leaking it is going to eventually show. If vast amounts of oil start washing ashore months from now or even years from now the first place people are going to look is around this well.

The way I look at if this thing blows up BP better hope it kills us all. If they only kills half of us BP is in deep shit. They can't be that dumb. They know they will be hanging from lamp posts with barb wire nooses around their necks if they mess this up.

"They know they will be hanging from lamp posts with barb wire nooses around their necks if they mess this up."

Like killing 11 and creating the biggest spill ever provided any disincentive.

If they aren't hanging from lamp posts for that, i doubt screwing up their evidence disposal strategy is going to make much difference.

thrasher - I agree with jinn below but OTOH I'm not big on coincidences. I still refuse to watch the ROV's but can't avoid the discussions. The other what if is if the vibrations of the blow out well might have liberated shallow hydrocarbons in the near surface sediments in the immediate area. If it is leaks from the reservoir then all the more reason to follow the MSM regs and set the shallow plugs. That would solve that problem if it does indeed exist.

Take a chill pill thrasher and lose the paranoia. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. With a fleet of ships and a massive pumping of Corexit, they still couldn't stop massive slicks forming early July, visible to all, and washing up on shore. That stopped a month ago, and any leak that's left is 99% smaller, 99.99% smaller or non-existent.

With 50,000bopd spewing into the Gulf, urgent action was called for. Now it's stopped, or almost stopped, it's time to take things slowly, carefully, and not make any mistakes that undo the good work. Sure, be prepared to go in all guns blazing if there's a sudden deterioration, but it's not Hollywood, sometimes, slow, quiet and boring is good.

Take a chill pill thrasher and lose the paranoia

"...We've also asked BP to provide us an analysis of the risks associated with the annulus and any risk associated that might cause communication between the reservoir and the annulus.We've also asked them for options on how we could conduct some kind of a pressure relief procedure – relief valve or something like that..."

Uh, guys, this is NOT normal (not photo shopped or gimped either). Forget the Rorschach kit, may be dealing with DSM 301.81 on the board today, Dr. B.

Rockman, I've been reading your comments since the early days of the craw and the dsaw, and I've finally figured out why I enjoy them so much - even when I don't understand a lick of the tech stuff. You obviously know your stuff, but just as obviously you're a good man. If I were thirty years younger, I'd be honored to work for you.

I'll second that, and add rock solid (apt screenname!), and nearly unflappable.

Thank you for all of your contibutions.

novice - You must be pretty freaking old then. LOL. Most of my senior hands are 60 or older. If I can get around my locations on crutches I'm sure you could keep up.

I'm hitting over 60, but your senior hands have those years of experience. I'd need to start at the bottom of the heap and work my way up.

On the other hand, I've been working outdoors and running my own biz for 20 years so I do have that going for me. And I can keep my mouth shut despite being female! LOL

novice -- work with a few old broads like you from time to time. They do well. Pretty hard core as a rule but that's the only way they can deal with all the *ssholes in the oil patch. But yep...experience is the key. Look at me: two busted knees and MS but I'm on the job because I have experience in ops most geologists don't. I rarely go on the dril floor these days...too much of a distraction for the hands. But I'm a professional watcher. That's what amazes my wife: I'm well paid to "sit and watch". My experience allows me to see what others miss. I can see problems/accidents before they happen. I now the dumb mistakes hands make before they make them. My value is as much what I don't let happen as what I recommend to do. A very recent example: just this Saturday morning I finished drilling a shallow well. My boss wanted to drill deeper. Fine but at 4 AM I shut the driller down and ran the whole rig off. I'll get another one to finish the hole. Why? They had a bunch of young hands with almost no experience. Just a matter of time before one was hurt/killed. I'll let another operator hurt one of them...not me. Probably cost my company an extra $20,000 to swap out drilling contractors. No problem for my boss or owner. A cheap price to pay for a good night's sleep.

Directive to BP here.

Dear Mr. Dudley,

After the results of the Post Cement Pressure Test#3 (near ambient pressure test), and in response to BP's request to consider foregoing the relief well, the government scientific technical team has determined that the benefits of the bottom kill procedure outweighs the risks. On that basis, the bottom kill will go forward pursuant to a future directive. At this time, to determine the best method to mitigate the risks of the bottom kill I direct BP to:

1. Provide me a plan for a pressure relief system to prevent excessive pressurization of the Macondo well stack (capping stack, LMRP and BOP), including any necessary containment option. Contingent upon approval of this plan, this system will be installed before the intercept of the DDIII relief well.

2. Maintain full readiness of the relief well(DDIII) to resume intercept of the Macondo well when directed.

3. Provide me a plan for an ambient pressure test and analysis to assess the stability of the the well during the period of time after the removal of the current Macondo well stack and its replacement with a new BOP package.

4. Before the current BOP stack is removed, prove to my satisfaction that the Macondo annulus does not provide a potential pathway for hydrocarbon flow; or, if the potential for flow can't be proven, identifying the conditions under which flow could occur and the risks of those events occurring.

A curiosity question....since the static kill I haven't seen any mention that I can recall as to what type mud is being used in the BO well. Did they pump Oil Base Mud, which was used in the original operation or did they go with Water Base Mud to test injectivity and then displace the cement with?

I do not understand why they did not expect this. With the relatively low pressure rating of the cap, it is more understandable why they wanted to do the Top Kill. The lower well integrity was sufficient to do a Top Kill, but that integrity was never completely verified. I think we all know it was questionable, no matter what they told the sheople.

So they got themselves a different kind of mess now. If they cannot fix it with the one relief well, they better get busy with the other. Whatever it takes them to plug that well completely, they better do carefully. And with an emergency response plan in place.

Doomsday scenarios aside, that Gulf floor is not so stable that we are out of the woods yet.

Figuring in weather stops [and the seeming constant inability of Allen & Wells, ZLc., (Zero liability corp.) to be unable to get out of each other's rhetorical way or to find their own annuluses with a flashlight and a map,] we will most certainly still be doing this kabuki well into September.

Drama over by Halloween, maybe?

Snipped from above:
Kent Wells:

"And so since we've done the cementing procedure a few days back, what we've been doing is holding pressure on top of the cement plug, monitoring that pressure, and it's been holding relatively constant with the exception of the pressure we lose because of the bubbles that are coming out of the capping stack. Those are the bubbles that we've had there since the beginning, and they just continue to go on as a result. We lose a little bit of pressure each hour, but it's been very constant."

Can someone answer this in simple terms:
Why are they are holding pressure above the cement plug again?
As another kind of test? Just to make sure that plug is good?
Is it is or is it ain't?

They're just keeping their thumb on the bottle as an added precaution or is there really another problem developing here?

Thank you.

There seems to be some confusion here. According to Thad they are not maintaining a positive pressure test - they are continuing with the near ambient test. Here's some extracts from the most recent transcript


We're going to continue the – what we call the near ambient pressure test, that is testing the pressure currently in the blowout preventer and the capping stack and we're going to continue to take pressure readings off of that.

...Everything having to do with the events of the last 24 to 36 hours is trying to exclude any low probability, high consequence events, account for any issues that may arise.

...While we are waiting for the current analysis to be done, they will take Q4000 and actually start flushing out the rest of the system, including the capping stack, lower marine riser package and BOP and that area above the cement plug that's currently in the well, to circulate all base oil and everything out of there completely so it is clean before we start.

...Thad Allen: We're not ruling anything out. There is one alternative could be to replace the blowout preventer before we do the relief well and the bottom kill. That would mean we would remove the current capping stack, the lower marine riser package and the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer.

...But if we were to do that, then what we would do is, we would bring the blowout preventer that currently is being used by Development Driller II, which is drilling the second relief well. That blowout preventer would be brought over and placed on the well. So what you have is a single blowout preventer that is capable of withstanding the pressure if the annulus were – if the pressure in the annulus were to be so great that would unseat the seal at the top, it would go into a blowout preventer that could handle that.

...Q: Thomas Davis: Thanks – I guess we're getting all on to you today. About that – yesterday there was a report out that there was some transmission between the annulus and the BOP when you went to zero pressure and the pressure increased (and your statement was that the pressure did not change depreciably) [Reference to the incorrect Washington Post report].

A: Thad Allen: I have no knowledge there was a transmission between the annulus and the BOP. I will go back and check, but there was no transmission to my knowledge.

..,Nancy MacKenzie: Hi, Admiral. Thanks for taking my call. I was wondering, it seems on the ROV feeds that there seems to be more activity on the seabed and I was wondering if you all have noticed or recorded any more anomalies?

Thad Allen: We get a report every morning from BP about the last 24 hours. In fact, I sat in on a call this morning and they indicated no anomalies and that was either from visually from the ROVs, acoustically from the geophones or any other sensors they have down there, including any variation in temperature or vibration.

That – there's a standard report for every 24 hours, it's given at the – like, the morning brief by the BP engineers in Houston, but we continue to see some gas bubbles from some of the flanges on the capping stack and blowout preventer, but they're very small bubbles and there's some hydrate formation. That's attributed to the leakage around some of the flanges and some of the gaskets. But in regards to an integrity of the well itself with the sea floor, we have seen no anomalies.

Thumb on the bottle. Just in case.

I called BS on Kent Wells this time. See my earlier post.

This days-long positive test thing is nonsense in my opinion. They can do a negative test which is far more indicative of cement and well status, and might take 2 - 3 hours if they really wait around for that gauge to move.

Dragging on day after day with this positive test stuff gives me a growing feeling they're hiding something. Don't have a clue what it might be, and not going to speculate.

rf - I agree about the neg test being better but I'm not sure it's possible. I'm so confused about the info they're putting out I can't tell if they can back of the mud weight/pump pressure off enough to put neg pressure on the bottom hole. Damn frustrating to say the least. Just a few bits of data and most on TOD can do the calc now.

Rock I don't know of any way they can displace mud with seawater below BOP the way a neg test would normally be done, so they'd have to go with mud on top of cement this time rather than seawater, meaning they technically can't get it down to ambient, but they could still do a neg test with mud weight factored in. Gauge doesn't have to go to 7k, any pressure rise at all would indicate well is not sealed, get on with relief well.

And they might as well stop whining about the casing seal, there's not a damn thing they can do about it now. They should have set the damn lockdown sleeve right after cementing prod casing, and pay the $200k or whatever for an extra drill string round trip. Cheap bastards.

Edit: That is after doing cement bond log, finding out cement job was all f***ed up, drilling out shoe track, re-cementing, running another CBL, make sure it's right this time, then setting lockdown sleeve.

RM, excuse me for not saying hello earlier. I was posting between my 2 minute billing increments.

I have two questions for you, if you would be kind enough to comment, because i am confused:

1. Why did they pump cement? It was with the "hope" that it would obviate the need for the RW bottom kill, wasn't it? There would be no other reason to pump cement, would there?

2. Would they have been better off just maintaining hydrostatic balance until the RW intersect, and let it do the cementing? Now they have to still go in and do the RW, and it is a more complicated/risky process as a result, or so it seems.

3. Do you think if they had gone with RW bottom kill on Friday as initially planned (back before they shut in the well) that it would be over by now?

I ask, because it looked there for a minute like they were going to call off the RW if they could get sufficient verification that they had in fact killed it from the top. But now, they are going forward with the RW, so it did not work, or they cannot verify that it did.

syncro, I am sorry to intrude. They pumped cement to avoid measuring flow.

I believe a very strong case can be made that that is why they shut in the well the way they did and instead of going with collection as planned and ordered.

But I'm not sure they would need to cement from the top to defeat measuring flow once it was shut in. Cementing from the bottom would do the same thing.

So it would seem that they either thought they could do it and thereby obviate the need for the RW, or possibly they thought they better do it because of well integrity concerns? I have no idea. With the RW so close, they did not have to do it. They could have just maintained hydrostatic balance and finished it off with the RW. If the RW ran into problems, then they could have tried cementing from the top.

But now that they have tried cementing from the top and have failed to obviate the need for the RW, I'm curious what compelled them to take the risk in the first place since it now seems to have complicated things. I am assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that a bottom kill was always more of a sure bet, with better control over where mud and cement are pumped, and better ability to verify WW condition and sealing.

Howdy syn. Sorry for the late reply...fell asleep in front of the cumputer again. Ignoring ulterior motives, the first reason to pump cmt would be extra safety. In theory once they had the flow killed with the heavy mud they could have replaced the BOP and go in hole with drill pipe and do a conventional plug and abandon. Perhaps the biggest uncertain was annular communication. But isn’t clear to me how cmtg would help there.

It will only be over when they replace the BOP and go in hole with drill pipe and spot the shallow cmt plug(s). Besides being required by MMS regs it also would solve concerns over shallower csg leaks. Just my opinion but making sure the annulus above the reservoir is sealed by cmtg with drill pipe entered from the top would be a better idea than the bottom cmt with the RW. But that might not be possible if the top of cmt inside the csg is above the open annulus.

RM, i am always pleased and amazed when you take the time to answer my questions, so your apology is way out of line.

I guess i'm not being clear. Or maybe they're not being clear. Or maybe i'm expecting too mcuh. But I don't understand the logic behind what they have been doing given the results. Maybe there's just not enough info being made available to make it make sense.

I guess I'll keep watching until I figure out a better question to ask.

"Sorry for the late reply...fell asleep in front of the cumputer again".
You too? Hell I can sit here in this high backed rockin' computer chair in the mornin' with a cup of coffee in my hand and zonk out.Know the feelin',comrade in geezerdness.

The 16 inch casing of this well was fitted with bursting discs in case high temperature over-pressured the annulus - possibly solid with incompressible fluid - when the well was flowing for production. I have not seen mention of the possible state of these.

Remember also that there was much discussion about the number of casing centralisers to be used at the bottom of the well. They used less than half of the recommended number. This raises the possibility of mud not being displaced by cement where the casing is very near or touching the well bore rock wall. Possible gas path created.

Also, this well suffered an unplanned "sidetrack" when the drill bit got stuck in the 13 inch section of drilling - the conspirator's mistaken second hole. They lost a drill bit and the sonic logging tool which had to be chopped off down hole. Vertical drilled well, now not quite so vertical.

Swift Loris:

From yesterday's now closed thread.

"Are you aware how passive-aggressive some of your comments sound? E.g., "I regret if my replies are disconcerting you." This in response to someone's (quite reasonable, IMHO) objections to a lengthy critique from you of the commenter's approach. The more appropriate, more neutral term (again IMHO) would have been "annoying." "Disconcerting" implies a greater level of upset than was evident and suggests that, as a therapist, you were able to discern that your critique was more penetrating than the commenter cared to acknowledge."

As with syncros's response, your point is taken, thank you.

As with many "helper" types, I have a tendency sometimes to put my needs ahead of the ones I have persuaded myself I am trying to help, so that I end up, figuratively speaking, helping little old ladies across streets without checking first whether that's what they want to do.

My title and training don't immunize me from that behavior, and passive aggressive behavior is a pretty good flag. So again thanks to you and synchro for calling that to my attention. I haven't yet counted up all the personal ground rules that I violated, but let's just say I'm not proud.

Time to learn and move forward.


Time to learn and move forward.

If I may take the liberty of making one more observation: I think perhaps what occasionally gets you fouled up is that you've taken on what amounts to two identities or roles here, therapist and ordinary Joe; and behavior that wouldn't seem out of line for the latter* sometimes sneaks into your behavior as the former, where it feels as if you're taking unfair advantage. It can't be easy to keep the two roles strictly separate. Maybe it would help to take a second or two and mentally sort of step into a phone booth and change costumes, as it were, when a transition from one to the other is called for.
*Passive-aggressive expression is pretty standard, in my experience, on forums that frown on outright flaming. (I've been known to indulge in it myself.) It may not be the ultimate in mature behavior, but it can release a bit of steam without unduly raising the overall temperature. And passive-aggressive combat can be very entertaining, as well as quite witty.

Good points again.

Thank you.

The problem that I confront is a self-imposed one, challenging, perhaps a bit quirky, but, nevertheless important to me.

I made a decision back early on in my present "incarnation," that if I wasn't prepared to live it, I shouldn't advocate for it. And since my core values now are built on respect for others (as well as myself), trust of others, and a commitment to always challenging my own perspectives, these occasional diversions from that ethic are somewhat unsettling.

Fortunately I don't require myself to be perfect (with good reason), and use these experiences, as President Obama would say, as teachable moments. I believe in the maxim, "good judgment comes from experience, which comes from bad judgment." These are opportunities for me to be reminded of how important it is to continue to be faithful to those values.

So while I try to minimize my deviant behavior (in any sense of the term), I value it as an opportunity to learn how to make the future better than the past (and considering the number of missteps, I ought to be approaching perfection `(:))-<=< ).

Thanks again,


Carry on, then!

From the previous open thread:

Sigh. I shouldn't buy in here.

Sorry for drawing you in, Francis.

This "odd argument" isn't really about silverware. It's about whether or not information posted by Activated05b can be believed.*

Recently, he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information because they are statistically more likely to betray their country than non-homosexuals. He supported that claim with a vague reference to one of his offline homeland security textbooks (he's working on his master's in homeland security, he says). Of course, no one could directly challenge his interpretation of those statistics, if they exist at all.

This time he misrepresented information from an offline source that you have access to. Thank you for taking the time to debunk it with an actual quote.


It's been so long since I've been flamed I feel left out. So here goes: homosexuals aren't a security threat. It's the women in the biz that are dangerous. Why? Because there are three basic ways to spread secrets quickly: telephone...telegraph...telewoman.

Fire away! We old dinosaurs can take it.

I'm out on my own recognizance at the moment, so I won't try to touch that!


Heh! Heh! I know, huh.

So they say, but don't be fooled. They spread OUR secrets around because they like to watch us squirm, but they have no trouble keeping THEIRS from us. If there's one thing scarier than the old boy's network, it's the old girls' network. They're so much better at it.

+ 100 !!

...three basic ways to spread secrets quickly: telephone...telegraph...telewoman.

You forget that women are telepathic - you don't have to tell 'em anything. They already know, if it's something bad you did, so you might as well just give up and get it over with.

They've even been known to communicate their displeasure from beyond the grave via the disapproving stare of a pet :)

Edit: Added link and block quote; syntax

Too funny...and true.

The 2 fastest ways to get a rumour around in a company: tell the receptionist, tell the telephone operator.


It's been so long since I've been flamed I feel left out.

You weak-kneed rock-licking sexist mummsie-saying wannabe reservoir engineer.

I've got a great big gemmoglyptic bowl of Blue Bell here, and you can't have it. Ahhh ha ha ha ha ha.

(best I could do)

I knew there was sumpin' I've been missing.Ohhh,it's hard bein' oolllddd.

In my opinion, MOB, you have also misrepresented what A065b had to say about security clearance vetting. He made no blanket assertion that HE thinks no homosexual can be trusted.

He reported what was thought AT THE TIME when homosexuality automatically was sufficient to deny or remove a clearance. Whether the statistical justification used AT THE TIME had merit, I am skeptical. Certainly the Cambridge Five was a very big deal to anyone in the vetting business AT THE TIME. On the other hand, I'm not aware of any such allegations about Aldrich Ames, or the Walker Ring, or the Rosenbergs. I do find his account of what was thought AT THE TIME to be credible.

As I read it, his position was only that it was a mistake to exclude from consideration any and all "associated behaviors", as current law is alledged to do.

FWIW I received an extended background investigation and held a TS clearance for my final 2-1/2 years in the Air Force in the 70's, but have no insider knowledge of the vetting criteria.


You couldn't be more completely wrong. Did you read the thread?

Activated said (bolds mine):

US law forbids considering homosexuality and any associated behaviors as part of the 'whole person' concept used to approve or deny a security clearance.

This law was the result of blanket denials of security clearances to homosexuals based on historical statistics. (A very percentage of people who illegally transfer classified information were also homosexual. Since they tend(ed) to do this at a rate significantly higher than their representation in the population being a homosexual was considered to be something that increases the security risk for a person with access to classified information.)

IMO - we are leaving ourselves a huge security hole by failing to include homosexuality and secondary behaviors related to that homosexuality as part of the 'whole person' concept used to determine a person's level of security risk...

MoonOfA replied:

...The reason for that was that the society was not yet able to accept homosexuals. Decades back outed homosexuals would be shunned by the society. This made closet homosexuals prone to blackmail...

Activated responded:

You are incorrect. Homosexually was considered to be an issue because of the number of homosexuals who illegally divulged classified information.

The decision that homosexuality cannot be considered to be a factor in security clearances was based on political concerns - not security 'best practices.'

In determining whether or not to grant a security clearance you have to consider the entirety of a person - arbitrarily leaving out a particular aspect of personality due to political concerns does nothing but place political correctness above real national security issues...

Later in the same thread, Lotus accuses him of bias and Activated writes:

What you call 'bias' - I call an unconcern about political correctness.

AFAIC, the thread speaks for itself (here's the link again).

And the point of my comment was that Activated has a tendency to make bold claims, citing offline books as evidence, but when asked for documentation, he answers with:

...I am not willing to dig through my old security references...
...I am not going to look up from my collection of books on medevial history...
...One of these days i am going to have to organize my library so I can find books...
...I could not find my copy...

So if I "misrepresented what A05b had to say," at least I did it honestly. Anyone can read what I posted and poke holes in what I wrote, even such as you. And such as.

Did I read the thread? Gosh, why would I ever think of doing such a silly thing as to inform myself as to what I was about to comment on?

Of course I read it. As I said, IN MY OPINION, you read more into his statements than what was actually there.

It is a fact that society has oppressed people because of their sexual orientation. In considering whether or not an individual can be trusted to protect the secrets of that society, wouldn't it be prudent to evaluate whether that oppression has led that individual to become estranged from that society, to become resentful or vengeful? That's what I take away from his "IMO" remark.

As to his declining to provide the documentation you requested, so what? There's lots of stuff that I've learned over my life that I don't even have the books for anymore. If I share one of those things you can take it or leave it, I'm not going to spend a lot of time chasing down proof of some obscure point. I've no reason to doubt his memory of a statistical justification appearing in some security vetting manual some time ago. But what purpose would be served by providing a cite? It's unlikely that such a source would provide the data that would allow the conclusion to be attacked.

Anyway, thanks for providing me with the chance to make the point in my third paragraph. I wanted to make it when I read the thread the first time, but either the thread had closed or I got scared off by it having degenerated to "homophobe" accusations.

I would have been content to let it be, but I could not let "Recently, he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information" stand without protest. As you said, "the thread speaks for itself", and I do not see the thread saying that, no matter how many times I don't read it.

I stand by my belief that "he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information" is a serious misrepresentation.


I apologize, first for the late reply (I had to go to the store for emergency supplies), and second for being snippy in my last comment (I had gotten it into my head that you were A05b's sockpuppet).

I stand by my belief that "he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information" is a serious misrepresentation.

A05b said that the gay security clearance denial was based on historical statistics showing that gay's tend to turn traitor at a rate significantly higher than heterosexuals. He refused to provide those statistics when asked.

Given the chance to admit the possibility that those statistics (assuming they exist) are the result of the vulnerability of closeted gays to blackmail, A05b declined, repeating his earlier undocumented assertion that statistics show a disproportionate number of gays leak classified information.

At no point did he back off that claim. He instead seemed to congratulate himself for being politcally incorrect.

In other words, he believes that gays are disproportionately traitorous, apparently based on the stats alone (they would have to be great stats; I wish he'd share them).

It is a fact that society has oppressed people because of their sexual orientation. In considering whether or not an individual can be trusted to protect the secrets of that society, wouldn't it be prudent to evaluate whether that oppression has led that individual to become estranged from that society, to become resentful or vengeful? That's what I take away from his "IMO" remark.

I don't know how you get that from A05b's comments. He never said anything like it.

You say you wanted to make those comments yourself, on the original thread? Do you realise what a slippery slope that puts you on? Blacks have been oppressed - should race be considered in the vetting process? How about gender? Or don't you think women have reason to be resentful of society? How about injured veterans?

And I apologize for replying sooner than I probably should. (PUI :-)

That second quote block is what I concluded, triggered by Activated's comments. If he wants to concur, fine. If he chooses to step aside, fine. If he doesn't notice it, fine. If the thread closes, fine.

The bottom line is that "he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information" is a serious misrepresentation. He did not say that, that's a fact. You can not point to any such language in anything he actually said. That might very well be YOUR interpretation of what he said, but so what? Is there some reason that your interpretation should be accepted over mine? Did you live in the time when Kim Philby was KNOWN to have disappeared behind the Iron Curtain? Did you live in the time when nobody knew if it was the Cambridge Two or the Cambridge Twelve, or The Cambridge Brigade or whatever? Do you have any idea who Martin and Mitchell were (may they rot in hell)?

All I'm saying is that the man made a reasonable point, and I was pissed when he caught a bunch of BS about it.

Then I got REALLY upset when somebody (you) said "he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information".

Put up or shut up, Batterload. Show us where he actually said that. Straight up and down - did HE say that or did YOU.

Since I said above that the bottom line is that "he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information" is a serious misrepresentation, I'll repeat it here, since you've avoided addressing that point.


"Blacks have been oppressed - should race be considered in the vetting process?" Yes, CONSIDERED, as to whether that oppression has f'd an individual's head up enough that he or she can't be trusted to not reveal our nation's secrets for whatever reason their oppressed mind can conjur up. For most individuals, that consideration should take about a New York second. For Sgt. Hasan Akbar (formerly Mark Fidel Kools of Watts) perhaps the consideration should have lasted a bit longer. (Suggested questions: have any of your parents ever converted to Islam? What are your feelings about how Muslim converts are accepted in the United States? How, since you were born in LA, did you come to have the middle name of a Communist dictator? etc.)

"How about gender?" I'm in favor of gender. How about you? I wouldn't trust Medea Benjamin to keep a US national security secret any more than I would Hugo Chávez. I WOULD trust her to not short me on the amount of vanilla she pumped into my frappe at whatever Starbucks she could manage to get a job at. (Yes, I made that up. I have no idea if a frappe gets vanilla, let alone having ever set foot in a Starbucks) Does that make me a gender-biased individual?

"How about injured veterans?" What about them? I happen to be a veteran myself. As far as I'm concerned, my country satisfied their obligation when I was able to exhaust my GI Bill benefits just $5K short of a degree (which I got thanks to a loan from my Mom, which I paid back). There are injured veterans in prison for life without parole. If you were in charge of vetting security clearances, would you issue a decree that because a candidate for a clearance is a vet, you can't consider his criminal history?

How about Bonnie Parker - would you decree that consideration of how she responded to the pressures of life can not be considered as to whether or not she should be trusted with knowledge of how Ft. Knox would respond to a robbery attempt by Goldfinger?

What, exactly, Sir, is the slippery slope that your last paragraph supposes I'm on? Perhaps it is you, Sir, that is on such a slope. Or maybe it's not a slope, but the bottom of a hole that you just keep digging deeper as you ponder why your view of the sky keeps getting smaller.

I got REALLY upset when somebody (you) said "he told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information".
Put up or shut up, Batterload. Show us where he actually said that. Straight up and down - did HE say that or did YOU.

I love it when you talk dirty to me, A05b. But I never put quotations around it. First person rebuttals are encouraged.

And you are truly naive. Do you think there were no homosexuals with security clearance in the what, 42 years that Eisenhower's Executive Order 10450 was in effect? You worked with them, you ate with them, you probably showered with them, and it is in the best interests of this country that we accept them once and for all.

You can do what you want.

Now, what on earth would lead you to think I and Activated05b are the same person?

Second, OF COURSE there were homosexuals with security clearance ever since security clearances were invented.

I have no objection to that.

No doubt I have worked with them, etc. No problem. In my day, the biggest objection was to thieves. Liars probably placed second - they could cost you your life. Add one more to your list, I probably trusted one of "them" with my life a time or two.

All I object to is that you said "he [Activated05b] told readers of TOD that homosexuals can't be trusted with classified information", and he said no such thing.

Why won't you address that?


I have addressed it.

You haven't accepted it yet.

There's nothing more I can do at this time.

FH and MOB, maybe a little data will help y'all find some common ground. If I interpret correctly, MOB got suspicious because Activated didn't back his talk with citations. I did, too, so I dug up a 1995 GAO report on security clearances and homosexuality, here:

The document calls into question Activated's assertion that there is a historical link between homosexuality and spying. From section 6:

...sexual orientation seems to
have little bearing on the motives behind acts of espionage. A 1991
study by the Defense Personnel Security Research Center concluded
there is little evidence to suggest that homosexuals are security
risks. Six of the center's 117 recorded espionage cases between
1945 and 1991 involved homosexuals. In these six cases, the study
found that fear of having one's homosexuality disclosed was not the
motive for disclosing the nation's secrets. Instead, the motives
appeared to be the same as in most espionage cases: primarily money
and secondarily resentment.

Given that Activated's claim doesn't stand up, it seems fair to question his motivation in bringing the issue to TOD as MOB and others have done. I wonder if FH thinks this moots discussion of the semantics of MOB's statement. What I mean is, if Activated had been simply reporting the facts, FH might have a point about misrepresentation. But if Activated was spinning the facts, he becomes the author of the claim that homosexuals can't be trusted, and MOB is representing him fairly.

My point is that A0b did not make that claim. He only claimed that, at some point in time, TPTB were making that claim. Gosh, I think that I even expressed doubt that the claim could be backed up, and I'm happy to see that in 1995 TPTB did indeed repudiate the claim that their ancestors had made.

The way I read the thread was thar A0b never took ownership of that claim, he only reported that some earlier authority had made such a claim.

A nuance, yes. But he took a bunch of undeserved stuff, IMO, because readers were unable to discern that nuance.


Of course you are right, oilfield. If A05b invented the statistical proofs, he's nothing but a troll.

I didn't attack A05b until Francis confirmed that a book A05b had referenced didn't say what A05b said it said.

MOB, no, he's not a troll. Activated has contributed some good things here. He does require an extra helping of salt sometimes, though. But so do a lot of other folks on TOD.

In an about-face, NOAA, FDA to test seafood for dispersants.

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Amid undying criticism over the large-scale use of Corexit in the Deepwater Horizon response, NOAA and the Food and Drug Administration are developing a lab test to detect traces of the chemical dispersant in seafood. The test, they hope, will finally put to rest concerns that poisons from the compounds used to break up the oil will linger in the food chain.

“They don’t expect to find dispersant in fish but are operating out of an abundance of caution,” says Christine Patrick, a spokeswoman for fisheries programs at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. “It’s because people need more reassurance and confidence ... (which are) not as controllable as you would hope.”

"Controllable"--what a terrible choice of words.

But this ticks me off. They are giving in to rumors and hysteria. People who believe the rumors aren't going to believe the test results anyway. If seafood doesn't contain elevated levels of PAHs--the dangerous and persistent oil fractions that they are testing for--how could it possibly contain dangerous levels of Corexit ingredients, which are less toxic and less persistent? And Corexit was applied at a 1:50 or less ratio to oil.

It's interesting how the focus of the megathreat folklore migrated from methane to Corexit.

Yes, agreed. One reason: weeks after the EPA toxicity studies put this in proper perspective, newspaper reporters keep framing their stories as about Corexit rather than about weathered oil. Asking "is this Corexit?" when the correct question is "what is this?" Ignorance by the barrel.

"Corexit Killing Fish In Massachusetts! Don't Eat The Fish!"
"Dead Fish Washing Up Everywhere Due to BP Oil Spill and Dispersants"

"COREXIT KILLS MILLIONS OF FISH AND ALLIGATORS IN BOLIVIA 8-7-2010" video, elicited these comments:

Cheney and Bp GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL this may warrent a few exicutions actually.

well its not a lie that BP has killed millions of fish and alligators and dont forget the poor mantis. If you have stock in BP maybe you should consider burning it and if you by any of there products maybe you should consider doing the same with them.

@19Punkprincess85 Wait until the news reports read.
Corexit Kills Millions Of Men, Momen, & Children.

I think I'll be stocking up now on vodka, ammo and Corexit.

I have a different take on this.

Testing for Corexit is part of the GRAND MAGIC SHOW.

Look at this hand where we are testing for something we know will not show up.........

Don't look at this other hand where we have a quarter of the Gulf of Mexico shut-off to fishing and we are testing catches of fish from it everyday and they are flunking the tests.

Let's not talk about that, let's talk about stuff we know is not true.

Someone at some point is going to ask why do these fish keep testing contaminated with oil if the oil is all gone?

This guy has some good ideas
Juan Enriquez on TED

Juan Enriquez wants to grow energy

My take on it is not so much growing oil, but using biology to improve recovery rates. About 20 years ago in in cooperation with the Univ. Of Okla and some DOE funds, we did a study using microbes to selectively plug a water flood project I have a working interest in to recover some of the oil that may have been bypassed by the flood. Anyway we could not see that it worked, at least in our flood.

In the GOM deepwater drilling operations how much TIME does BP spend in comparison to other operators on the following procedures?
- wait on cement
- circulating bottoms up
- run in and out of hole
- lost circulation & kick problems
- observing well flow
- testing BOP
- well logging
- others

How does BP compare with other operators on amount of cement, casing, centralizers used on comparable wells? How many close calls does BP experience on well control situations compared to others. Suppose these close calls are ill defined, subjective and covered up industry wide. A comprehensive study of the daily rig drilling reports would show how BP operates in comparison to it’s competitors.

What incentives do BP company men have in saving rig time as compared with other operators in GOM? Have the two BP company men onboard DWH during blowout been subpoenaed and testified yet? Has it been proven that BP reduced rig time, materials and services in place of safe operations for profit? What is the status of all the investigations, and when will the drilling moratorium be lifted?

Of course the “pressure tests failed to prove” anything. How can Thad Allen say there are 1000 barrels of oil in the annulus, what depth, between which casings? Static kill was a good way to get it trapped somewhere up there. RW might circulate it up to DD III.

Considering the many dozens of different places in casings, cement jobs, hangers, flow through passages, rupture discs, seals, packers, lock downs, pay zones in communications, washed out wellbore areas and many other significant unknowns that can only be guessed at, it is impossible to just measure internal BOP pressure and pump times and volumes to determine status of the Macondo well. The present or past flow routes, annular diameters, mixing of muds, cement, spacer pills and oil/NG, and how these fluids can go in and out of different sandstones are huge unknowns. This real world situation can not be mathematically modeled due to the many unknowns.

Once the RW finishes it’s work and the old BOP is replaced, the Macondo’s 7” production casing needs to be drilled out and wire line logged. Lets find out what happened, and be done with all this guessing

[We interrupt this thread for an announcement from the Grammar Polizei:

The apostrophe after "it" forms the contraction of "it is" thusly: it's.
If you don't intend to use the contraction, omit the apostrophe in all cases.

If you can insert the words "it is" when you're about to use the apostrophe-s, then it works; if not, it does not.

Too many people don't know this, but even those who do still make the error. Its misuse makes written communications appear sloppy and calls into question the integrity of the writer's work.

It's = It is.
Its = Its.

Das ist alles.]

A well dressed man gets thrown into the drunk tank. He sits by himself in the corner. One of the drunks staggers over and asks, "What are you in for?" The well dressed guy replies, "Sir, in proper English one does not end a sentence with a preposition". The drunk looks at him and says, "What are you in for, a@@ho@@?" :~}

My, this seems to be a slow evening at TOD.

[We interrupt this sub-thread for a breaking conundrum from the Usage Department]

If you can insert the words "it is" when you're about to use the apostrophe-s, then it works; if not, it does not.

It is what it is.

It's what it is.

It is what it's.

It's what it's.

Its = its says nothing. If you want to make this clear to people "its" is the possessive form of "it". In other words its = belongs to it. Why this is confusing to people is that in other cases the possessive does use the apostrophe. As in Mary's blouse, or the cat's claws. The other pronouns form the possessive in equally confusing manner - belonging to him is his, belonging to her is hers with no apostrophe.

Languages change all the time which is why reading the KJV of the Bible is so strange and reading the Canterbury tales in the original language is difficult. Who knows how its and it's will end up.

As long as the reading is understandable I see no need for the language mavens to exhibit their superior skills at a language they are attempting to freeze in time. Save your criticisms for your English Class. We are here to understand what is going on in the world of fossil fuels not perfect our language skills.

I kinda enjoyed your English class though.

Now you've done it. You've opened up a case for ebonics to come into the discussion.

What utter nonsense.

Couple videos about the vortexes that form around the ROV.


The next one is shown at high speed, clearly showing how dust accumulates in the turbulence of the ROV until it forms a vortex, eventually lifting fine silt off the sea bed.


(I went with catchy names for fun.)

And did this one for laughs:


Here is last nights close up inspection of the BOP and 3-RAM Leaky.


The pure white "Beehives" are quite lovely.

I don't think these mudnadoes can be explained by turbulence caused by the ROV's sitting in a current.

In this video you can see the power of these things an and how high up they form.

Watch the eel.


Quantum, you're right, the eel isn't being tossed around by the small currents on the bottom. But it is caught in a turbulent flow of water, because you can see it pretty clearly. And the light in the center of the screen is from another ROV facing Ocean Intervention III ROV 2, which I guess is OI III ROV 1. Seems to me that the most likely source of the strong currents in the vid are ROV 1's thrusters, which are close enough and powerful enough to produce these flows and eddies.

I don't have a clue why they are turning them on and off on a parked ROV, but the idea that the operators are messing with us is amusing.


Thanks for those... I look at them all for the laughs. These ROV operators are having way too much fun with the CT crowd. They burned a lot of band width on those vortices yesterday!

Thanks, TOB!!!

See my use of your links up-thread at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6849#comment-701922

First-BOP-View doesn't show the BOP or wellhead. If you happen to catch a feed inspecting either one, please say so. Thank you.

Here are a couple Isopods filmed by the ROVs


Bathynmus Giganteus, fascinating the way it crawls, hops and swims.

Here is the shark which visited MC252.


All have been posted at #theoildrum.

Bathynmus Giganteus, fascinating the way it crawls, hops and swims.

As long as it doesn't do so on me, please...

Closeup views:



They eat 'em in Taiwan. The flesh is like crab or lobster, according to Wikipedia.

unconformity,-- It is with pleasure you have taught me to be more careful with my sloppy spelling. You left out the terrible grammar in the 5th paragraph, 1st sentence, plus others. I am 67 years old and dementia is setting in so please give me a break. What one says should be more important than how he says it's.


Oil tanker suspected in penguin-killing slick near Rio


todfan~I wouldn't wory bout it Im 40ish anbd mi gramer sucx. Figi luvs tu chastcie me fore my speling nd gramtaical erers:)

Frankly, my accounts couldn't care less how I spell or my grammar.....many other things on the top of their list for my qualifications, none are grammar of spelling, some shouldn't even be on the list, but I digress. I won't complain as long as we have continue our profitable relationship:)

Wow, musmmie,You wluod be better off bniyug yoesrulf a dogarn inetsad of tniyrg to tpye.Eehtir taht,or do you're tnipyg wlihe you are lses bsuy.
VerStehen Sie Was ich meine?

LOL~BP shareholder, it was prolly that 3rd bushwhacker........although I was dead serious about the ability to do my job having jack shit to do with proper grammar or spelling:) As long as I can talk on the phone, trade, and work the BBERG terminal while keeping a great relationship with my acct's, it's all good.


FWIW, I've seen a couple of demonstrations that, as long as the first and last letters retain their positions, and the number of letters doesn't change, you can scramble the middle letters of all the words in a random fashion and the text remains readable by a significant percentage of the population.

The industry experts on here, in their condescenion & smug comments, are perplexing to me. If the well is totally killed then why do you folks read these threads? If the non-industry folks annoy you so much, then why read their posts, much less respond to them? The only explanation I can think of is that some of you are frustrated with the whole situation and aren't entirely sure what's really going on, but you really want to believe this disaster is over-it's your profession. Most reasonable people would simply ignore all the "conspiracies", but the reactions to people speculating about the integrity of the well "down-hole" or the integrity of the sea-floor almost seem to be defensive. I'm not an industry expert, but this much is obvious...

BP is acting extremely sketchy. It was sketchy when they low-balled the flow rate, but that was different. They were trying to reduce their liability, as it will be assessed on a per-barrell spilt damages scale according to the statute (forget the name of it). That wasn't ok, but it was understandable considering that most corporations would do the same thing to protect their shareholders.

What they're doing now is troubling. They still have all their assets out there, which can imply that the situation is very serious. Yet, they are disclosing the least amount of information than they have at any point, even while the government has been voicing more and more concern over the past week. They have done a 180' on the relief wells, which has always been their trump card. Every other day there is some new minor leak on something. The pressure readings have been inconsistent (didn't they have to attach new gauges right after the first set for the integrity test failed?). And the seaps from the sea-floor... I can tell the difference between chicken salad and chicken s***, and those aren't sea critters or natural seaps, they're too close to the blown out well and too intense to be a natural conincidence. Then the methane gas levels in the Gulf...There are lies, dang lies and statistics. I'm putting my money on the 90% of academics & scientists who say they are through the roof instead of NOAA and BP, who have a vested interest in this whole thing going away. If this well was actually killed, then BP would be dancing all over the place and touting their engineering miracle. But they are not. Their message control says everything, like their latest commercial "you may have heard that the oil stopped flowing in the Gulf". There is no artful way to claim victory over your disaster while the crisis isn't over yet.

This never should have happened. BP was more than negligent, they were reckless. I want this to be over. Thank God the oil is degrading, property values shouldn't be totally destroyed. But I don't think I will be able to deep-sea fish down there for 10 years, at least catch anything alive. I agree with the person who succintly posted on here a few days ago "they've been playing us the whole time, they're afraid to drill back into that well". Nothing is fine, something is still going on down there and a lot of you are willfuly turning a blind eye to it.

Very well said mbp64. The "official sources" of information are being too cagey, circumspect and obscure, underscoring their history of being undeserving of any trust. Yet the smug and condescending faction here behave as if these sources speak as gods. And that dynamic is obvious to all. There is little effort put forth by those you refer to as "industry experts" here to challenge BP and their "government spokesmen" on their cagey, circumspect and obscure information. This website, after all, is proven to have enough visibility but it seems to mostly be used as if it was just another BP commercial spot on TV...or as an ego boost for the smug and condescending. What a waste.
What BP needs to see is that they are under the microscope of literally 10s of millions of people. And that the way they're going about filtering and distorting information to the point where there's no reason not to completely distrust them will only serve to build a massive wave of anger towards them. Then they'll stop playing us.
But, like I said, so far this website, which could be used to actually effect that change, is being wasted.

Very well said dougr. I see you've been a member here for quite some time. Your statement means more to me than anyone else's thus far.

There are three credible and continuing discussion forums about Macondo: gCaptain (professional mariners), Drillers Club, and The Oil Drum. If BP is under the microscope anywhere it's in the oil industry that directly and indirectly employs those millions you mentioned and fund managers who have to make judgment calls affecting tens of millions of retirees. They all want BP to succeed. In fact, so do I.

The internet is a cheap night out compared to shop talk in Houston, London, and Wall Street. At the moment, BP looks good. Government looks good. But the GOM drilling moratorium is a serious problem that won't go away until Macondo is killed stone dead and the fleet of service boats and drilling vessels stand down. Litigation doesn't matter. That will bumble along for a decade.

I don't think public opinion matters, either. People want cars and gasoline, as much or more than clean beaches and sport fishing on the Gulf Coast.

The Oil Drum draws all kinds of comments. People with strange ideas have to share the platform with others, many with unassailable technical knowledge, others with warped humor, hostility, or simple questions. All you can do is speak your piece.

yes yes, dougr.

no no, adorf, gCaptain forum is pretty dead for about a month now - excellent job by BP/Gov't shillers wearing people down, though also a great deal of malaise with the current lack of transparency. People having to speculate on what they should be speculating on.

How about creating threads where ONLY people who publicly identify themselves and their qualifications can participate?

How about creating threads where ONLY people who publicly identify themselves and their qualifications can participate?

Sexually offensive screen name, member for 5 days 7 hours, no bio info posted. Very funny.

STFU - it's peeps like you that make this place such a burden...

FYI: TOD's decent reputation is from technical information in the TOD postings - NOT from the commentaries - Duh...

How about creating threads where ONLY people who publicly identify themselves and their qualifications can participate - other than oilfield brat. Would need to rewrite the "bio" section and include some standard fillable questions...

no bio info posted. Very funny.

It is funny, coming from somebody who wants to ban anonymous commenters, or at least segregate them.

I was going to defend you, BenDover, until you called for segregation, because I thought your screen name was not sexually offensive, like oilfield alleged, but a reference to Ben Domenech, who is often called Ben Dover on lefty blogs.

But I guess not, so blome.

Yet the smug and condescending faction here behave as if these sources speak as gods. And that dynamic is obvious to all.

There is a smug and condescending faction here, and also an anxious and suspicious faction. At the extremes are what I like to call the doomers and shroomers, because it rhymes.

I used to think it was worse to be in the doomer group, because the shroomers are so boring. The doomers at least put out a lot of hilarious material, although they don't get to laugh at it themselves.

But now I realize that it's worse to be a shroomer, because they have no sense of humor. They also seem to lack cognitive empathy. No doubt they're borderline autistic, just as the the doomers are at the edge of sanity.

Most of us are just waiting and hoping. One of us are drunk on white russians.

It's a matter of perspective. And what objectives are in the mix. Is it naive to think that the only objective in play is killing the well in the safest, surest manner possible?

Yes, I think it's naive to think so.

There are other practical objectives in the mix besides killing the well. There a lot of psychological objectives looking for satisfaction also. Those are the dominant ones.

dougr -- Well...I guess you got me. I must confess the "little effort put forth" by me on TOD to challenge the circumstances is shameful. The only excuse I can offer is that there is so much Blue Bell ice cream out there and so little time. I just couldn't cover all the bases.

Everybody loves you Rockman, nothing was directed at you. Some of your colleagues on here though are totally unreasonable. They are taking the "move along, nothing to see here" approach, even though all the quantifiable things we can observe don't pass the smell test. Qualitatively, there is no basis whatsoever to believe much of anything BP says. They have consistently failed to shoot straight with the public. So much for self-governance within the industry. That could be said of any industry to be fair though. Didn't BP say something along the lines of "nobody anticipated the failure of the BOP, this is cutting edge technology with a near perfect track record". Despite the fact that A.) they damaged the BOP while drilling the first well according to 60 Minutes and, B.) BOP's are nowhere near close to fail-safe, more like 60% of the time according to some folks on here. I'm just tired of the BS, it seems like folks in your field are more concerned with protecting their own than calling out BP for blatant mishandling of this situation. It's not over and I have family & friends down there, I think a lot of people know this is still a potential time bomb.

Not wishing to defend BP especially, but I think these statements about BP miss the wider picture, and by doing so make the long term situation worse.

There is no reason to believe that the rubber removed from the annular preventer made the unit unsafe, and no reason to believe it had anything to do with the accident. I regard that aspect of the BOP failure as little more than a media beatup. Worrying about it diminishes the impact of things that are important.

The second point is vastly more important, and something that should not be left alone. But this isn't a BP issue, it is serious widespread problem. The MMS commissioned the report that came up with the results, and yet decided not to proceed with any action. Every player in the GOM, not just BP, was aware of these results.

My worry, is that this constant harping on BP, something that has become something of an act of faith, will divert attention from where it is needed. BP is not some incarnation of evil. It is a big dumb corporation with some significant and serious cultural and management issues. These put it at greater risk of causing a serious accident, but not vastly more so than any of the other players. I could very easily have been a different company that caused an identical accident. Don't lose sight of this.

There seems to be a consistent idea that BP is ruthlessly and cynically manipulating the current efforts, and that anything they say can't be trusted. My view is that this ascribes a level of competence and managerial control that would beyond even the tightest run companies, let alone the sprawling trainwreck that is BP middle management.

I guess this is my take on the world in general. We get lawyers, who see the hand of their own kind in the proceedings, we see oilmen, who see the hand of their own kind at work too. We get conspiracy theorists who see conspiracy in every move and every word. Me, I have always studied and looked on large structures and the manner in which they operate,and the interplay between them. A large and difficult technical problem, with political and legal drivers makes for a very interesting and very messy situation. My take is simple. It is very unlikely anyone ever had a total picture of this accident, and until it is done and well researched, no-one will. The best leaders are those that can make good decisions in the face of imperfect knowledge. And that is very hard. It is why you put a senior military officer in charge. Monday morning quarterbacking is for fools.

Something I do find very strange. Of all the nations on the planet, the US seems to have citizens that are both the among the most proud of their nation, and the least trustful of it.

pig -- You suffer the same fate we all do when we use generalizations: if there are exceptions we lose credibility. There have been some difference of opinions between us oil patch hands on TOD but mostly on tech issues. I really can't recall one who was much of an apologist for BP but I do finfd those folks easy to forget. But there have been some on TOD for short periods. They usually don't last long. Your choice but one of the great values of TOD IMHO is that you can toss someone's exact words, via the archive, right back in their face.

OTOH we're all tired of the BS and lack of details offered. To be honest I've never paid much attention to anything BP has said. Even though there is much we don't know in adequate detail, there's been enough to hammer BP and the rig personnel from just a few days after the blow out began. And you're correct: the danger won't be completely over until the well is plugged and abandoned as per the MMS regs.

As always one of TOD's great values is that all are allowed to express themselves here as long as they aren't abusive in the process. When anyone sees a posting they take issue with they can jump right into the debate. Being critical of a poster is one thing, being critical of the collective TOD is a losing ploy from the beginning because the collective TOD covers the entire range of positions including yours and dougr. You two are TOD and thus we are y'all you also.

"What BP needs to see is that they are under the microscope of literally 10s of millions of people. And that the way they're going about filtering and distorting information to the point where there's no reason not to completely distrust them will only serve to build a massive wave of anger towards them. Then they'll stop playing us".
Don't you realize that every research vessel that can be commandered,hijacked,stolen or whatever are out there literally running over each other in order to get grant money that the Obowma Admin. will gladly hand out out of BP's pockets.Hell,they probably have spies aboard BP's ships to check on their underware to see what might have gone wrong today compared to other days.Doncha' think?

Baloney. Since this thing started I've had exactly one face to face conversation about it, and one on a Yahoo group. Most folks really don't care, and if there's anything that would give BP an excuse to ignore what little public curiosity remains by simply dismissing questions as the ravings about BOP stacks falling over and lakes of crude, it's the stuff that came from Chicken Littles like you, DougR.

But A05b, there will be conspiracy theorists always .

If conspiracy theories are a good excuse for the government or corporations to dismiss the concerns of the people as a whole, they will always be used for that purpose.

Edited for clarity.

Please lead us through the analysis that led you to believe that he and I are the same person.


I thought it possible.

I wanted you to deny it.

You denied it.

Mission accomplished.

If you are lying I expect the moderators to ban you.


Maybe you should lurk less and post more. If you want to get someone's attention and question their condescension or smugness, you need to jump in and complain when it's happening. Aiming a broad brush of criticism at "the industry experts on here" is a slap in the face to all the folks who keep their posts helpful and respectful, and it doesn't touch the folks who are annoying you. The minority of people on TOD who are consistently smug and condescending, like Dougr, won't see themselves that way unless you catch them in the act and call them on it by name.

Pig -- Confusing questions….what have I missed? As one of the “industry experts” to whom you refer...smug? I’ll let the TOD folks make that judgment. Totally killed? Because a totally killed well can blow out and return to dumping 50,000+ bbls of oil every day into the GOM. The danger won’t be eliminated until the well is properly plugged and abandoned. Annoyed by non-industry folks? Again, you must be referring to some site other than TOD. My focus has always been on these folks. They are the prime reason I’ve burned 100’s of hours posting on TOD. It been a very serious obligation for me.

Sorry….have to slid off now…my “bind eye” commands me. And to reply to your response I know is coming: yes…I don’t take you or your comments seriously. Normally I would just focus on the folks with note worthy comments/questions. But when you make such obviously incorrect statements with regards to my history on TOD it was just too juicy a pitch to not swing for the fences with.

manbearpig54; dougr,

Somebody please apologize to Rockman right now because I don't want him to go to sleep.

If he's lkie me, he's got tsohe cat npas dwon to a scneice.

BPS - So true. Came of the rig Saturday morning at 0400 and my internal clock is so screwed up from my power naps that I fall asleep in the afternoon and wake at 0200 Sunday ready to go. Has the dog very confused. Fortunately the wife is use to it and just works around me.

M - Thanks but no apologies are required. I've been a petroleum geologist for 35 years. If someone telling me I'm wrong about something and it bothered me I would have changed careers long ago. LOL. But I do think that taking a shot at the TOD collective is an odd gambit given that we range from one end of the spectrum to the other. And that would include any regular that's making such claims. Of course a troll can roll in and lay one but most here already know to dismiss them right off the bat.

Gail has a good thread going on the oil pipeline and I had a crazy idea. Any pipeline folks would be appreciated to comment.

Anyone willing to help counter the effects of the "Grim Reaper" and theorize about what Matt Simmons would be saying right about now....

he'd be saying they're trying to avoid the "judgement day" of implementing their "sham" relief well that has almost ZERO chance of success.

in his last few interviews he made it a point to give props to the "real hero" on the rig: the helmsman...who stayed at his post and drove the rig away from the well and out of harms way and saved many many lives.

I'm not sure how that jibes? In testimony, i heard that they lost all the engines pretty early on.

So whether or not the rig was really still attached to the BOP or not, with no engines, are there still procedures the helmsman can do to navigate?

Looks Like both the Hos Rov's called cabs.

Skandi ROV 1 has a shot of a ROV hovering next to the stack and two more ROV's in the background,yet none of them are showing a feed.
Herrreee weee goooo!!!

The feeds we don't see are ROVs Millenium 36 and 37 operating from the Boa Sub C (not to be confused with Boa Deep C). We never see these feeds and never have. Thad's been asked about these feeds but we still don't get them.

Perhaps they sometimes carry some of Dr "Fu Manchu" Chu's possibly "sensitive" DoE/DoD equipment? Or perhaps BP and Thad have mixed up the two Boas and have forgotten about one of the ships. But that doesn't seem likely.

In any case the lack of these feeds strongly feeds beliefs that BP/US Government are hiding something.

The feeds for Boa Sub C were visible in the famous BP Photoshopped Control Room picture. Hi Res Original untouched at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpamerica/4816204905/sizes/o/in/set-7215762...

The Mission title of Mill 37 may read "Aco***** Monster" but more likely "Acoustic Monitor" :)

I have tried to follow the threads here over the past couple months, because I live on the gulf coast and have been very worried. Most of the time, I cannot understand the technical conversations here, though I do continue to try.

I just glanced over the past dozen or so comments and it is troubling that at this point in time there is still so much confusion and doubt and controversy over whether or not the Gulf is still a catastrophe waiting to happen. I must admit that if I had the resources, I would move from here.

Since I don't, I caught this troubling article this morning in which a Louisiana State University cancer specialist said the following:

"Long-term exposure to low levels of PAHs is the cancer problem.

Lungs (inhalation) and liver/multi-organ (ingestion) are top cancer risks from PAHs.

PAH compounds become MORE of an issue as oil weathers and breaks down… concentration increases."

As an artist whose favored medium is oil, I have observed how toxic oil paint becomes as it breaks down. I use the most eco-friendly solvent I can buy (Gamsol) to clean my brushes. I am wondering if anyone can tell me if a solvent like Gamsol is similar to Corexit? It seems to produce the same result which is to separate the oil and break it down. I have a metal canister that has a strainer inside the unit about at the half way mark, in which you swish around the brushes to get the paint off. Then you just wipe the paint brush dry with a rag. The oil paint settles to the bottom of the canister. After about a month , it becomes necessary to get rid of the brownish orangey disgusting goop at the bottom of the canister, as it builds up inside the canister. The solvent rises to the top and looks completely clean. It is only when you remove the strainer and look at the bottom of the canister that things get really ugly. I also have noticed that after a while I get pin-hole sized leaks in my metal container and at that point I need to go out buy another one. (Not cheap either- around $39 for a decent metal brush cleaning canister).

So I am just wondering if the Corexit works like that , too. If so, then the bottom of the GOM would be extremely toxic , I would think. And although the Gamsol looks nice and clean and clear when it rises to the top after the sediment goes to the bottom, I still wouldn't want it in my water column or near anything I might eat.

I hope this isn't another stupid question, but is there anyone here, who can tell me if the Gamsol/Corexit comparison is relevant or not? In other words, does the same thing happen with the crude and the Corexit and if so isn't the residue extremely toxic?

The link to the observations from the Louisiana State University cancer specialist is here, if anyone wants to read the whole thing: