BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Another Weather Pause - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6909.

The weather is currently holding up the proceedings at the Deepwater Horizon well site. The seas are some six to eight feet, which is apparently the height of the top 1/3 of all waves.

(There is a table that shows how it is affected by wind speed, duration and fetch, which last is the surface area that is being affected by that wind. There is also a site with a post on wind basics that explains the basics. So the underwater effort is likely to be put off for another two to three days (depending on how Earl behaves, though it's not supposed to get close, but it might. The current problems are more local to the Mississippi Delta).

So there will be a delay for at least a couple of days until the water settles down a little more. The problem is caused by the considerable length of the risers and cables on which the large steel structures sitting at the sea bed will ride as they are moved about. With the waves lifting and the swells rocking the vessels there are risks both from the changes in dynamic loading, and also in generating a pendulum effect as the weights sway. Much better to pause a little longer.

At his press conference today the Admiral described the plans for the next step in the process:

. . . the Discoverer Enterprise (will) remove the capping stack and then back off. (At) that point (the) Q4000 will come in and lift the blowout preventer (BOP) which will also (hold) the transition spool which was put in to accommodate the capping stack. And a third step will be (for the) Development Driller II, which is drilling a second relief well, (and which) will move in with the new blowout preventer, and put the blowout preventer on.

Once that blowout preventer is in place, the well will be in a position to withstand the pressures expected on the intercepts of the analysts by Development Driller III and the drilling mud that will be forced in there when that happens. All is in readiness, and at this point we are just standing by for a weather window.

In discussing the current thoughts on why there are three pieces of pipe in the BOP, the Admiral also explained where his concept of the the pipe being fragile was generated.

When we first were looking at the riser pipe, if you remember, there was a kink. And then we were looking to cut the riser pipe, and we made a shear cut. And then we actually unbolted the stub that was bolted to the flanges before we put the capping stack on. At one point, we actually saw two pieces of pipe.

The original presumption at that point, and this is a long time ago now, was that a part of the pipe had fallen down into the Lower Marine Riser Package, and it was alongside a pipe that was extending through the centerline down into the BOP. As we have gotten into the blowout preventer itself and taken a good look at it, we found out that that pipe is fragile, is broken into three pieces, and we no longer have a pipe that's suspended in the centerline.

So our assumption is, our original assumptions on the pipe – and at that time they actually might have been. These pipes are being subjected to a lot of different forces in there. If you remember, we've had the dynamic kill and the static kill. There have been a lot of different fluids that have been forced through the blowout preventer or the capping stack, Lower Marine Riser Package.

In general, we have concluded that the pipe is of extreme fragility. And while we could try and recover it, the pipe that we can get to right now is not connected to any pipe that is on the (center) line. It could extend out into the BOP. So for that reason we just foregone any more fishing experiments, and have gone directly to remove the blowout preventer.

If I understand this correctly the current thinking is that none of the pieces of pipe above the shear ram are being held by it, and that they are less consequential as a result. Whether that also means that the DP was actually sheared in half by the ram is a different question, but apparently not one that the current investigation is going to look at further at the moment.

It does, peripherally suggest that there may not be any pipe now below the rams. Because if the different treatments that have caused the pipe to break into these bits did so across the shear ram plane, then there may not be enough holding the pipe below the BOP and it may be long gone. The gamma scan that showed the DP was there was, after all taken very early in this process, and much has happened to the well since.

The Admiral also noted that the drop in pressure (from the anticipated perhaps 9,000 psi) when the well was finally shut in is now believed to be due to reservoir depletion.

Oh, and for those of you admiring the ability of those on the platform to fish, the Admiral noted that the team involved in those operations included BP, Schlumberger, Transocean, Cameron and Baker Hughes personnel.

Incidentally I also think there was another transcription error (I tried to smooth some earlier ones by interpreting the words transcribed with my own (in paren, within the quotes). In dealing with the question of whether the DP is still there, and if it is held in place with either hydrates or cement, he said:

The answer is I don't think we know. You know we think there may be a chance the pipe might have adhered to cement during the static kill process. We don't know that to a virtual certainty. But we don't want to try and pull the blowout preventer without having a contingency ready to deal with that eventuality.

So what we're doing is, we're going to life the blowout preventer. If it doesn't come off easily, we’re going to apply 80,000 pounds of lift. And maybe somewhat of a mis—we'll calling that the gentle pull. If for some reason that does not free the pipe then we will go in and mechanically open the rams and lift the blowout preventer out over the pipe, and then we'll share the pipe with the wellhead.

I believe that last ‘share” should be “shear” and will, actually, more likely be a saw cut.

And the small flow of bubbles from the stack, which the Admiral feels inconsequential, as earlier such flows proved to be, is still going on.

An update from the ROV watchers at the IRC #theoildrum chat

On Sunday a lifting device on a drillpipe was lowered from the Q-4000 (I missed this in yesterday's update). It will be used to lift the old BOP.

It will connect to the transition spool which, according to Adm. Allen, will stay connected to the BOP after the capping stack is removed. The two "arms" are likely to direct the device onto the target with the help of ROVs. When caught on video Sunday evening the device was only at about 2300 feet depth. To our knowledge it has not been observed since (video).

The Discoverer Enterprise ROV 2 made an unsuccessful attempt to fit a new handle to a valve of the connector that will be used to lift the capping stack. (video) It had earlier broken that handle (video).

The opening at the top of the capping stack continues to release a steady stream of droplets and an hourly burp (video). Asked by a chat participant in his last press conference about this Adm. Allen responded:

There is no flow of hydrocarbons from the capping stack. Occasional releases of gas bubbles and hydrates, along with some traces of hydrocarbons, have been observed from the top of the capping stack. Although the stack was flushed, there are likely residual hydrocarbons in remote areas that are being released.

There was no significant ship movement observed around the well. Average wave height at the BP Thunderhorse platform some 25 miles south of Macondo is still at about 5 feet.

With nothing else going on on the seafloor we were left to watch a biological survey done by the ROV 2 of the Development Driller II. It observed a crab eating lunch and some curious fish.



An older eight minutes ROV video from the Development Driller II. It shows ROV work and some interesting biological life at the seafloor. This weird creature has a magnificent dance performance at around 6:20 into the video.

9:10 Eastern time, a lot of sea floor eruptions from BP live feed Boa Sub C ROV 2, now blacked out.

BOA Sub C ROV 2 is currently doing "Sonar Sweeps". It sits on the ground and looks/sweeps into one direction. After a few minutes it rises up to change the direction it is looking/sweeping at. While rising every few minutes the propellers wash up silt from the seafloor. No "eruption" there.

After over three months of observation, one would hope that folks would learn what ROV-wash looks like.

Moon you seem smart, but I am beginning to doubt that. Why would boa be conduction sonar sweeps?? Are the Relief efforts not aware of the vehicles that are working around MC252?? Lets be honest and real as to why they are conduction sonar sweeps. They are looking for sea floor leaks and ruptures. This is the only reason for sonar sweeps taking place. I am beginning to think this site is full of shills for BP. Hence the reason not one person has brought up or spoken about the leaks discovered in the Biloxi dome. And all you idiots can talk about it the fake removal of the BOP from the well. Lets be honest, and are you so think to just write of the flow of bubbles from the stack?? If the well was killed there would be no bubbles, no hydrocarbons left, nothing!!!!

If you wanted to be honest - you would admit that you have no idea as to why they are performing sonar sweeps and are simply making stuff up.

I know exactly why they are doing the sonar sweeps guy. I suggest you look into fluid dynamics, densities, and behavioral patterns and you will have your answer as to why they are using sonar to locate and measure sea floor leaks. Why don't you look at the data the Uss Thomas Jefferson presented to us and then you can STFU...please!

Hey, cool your language.


it pales in comparison to the obnoxious thought-terminating sarcasm so widely employed here.

Angry insider? If you are, 1979, you have to bite the bullet and tell us your name.

"Have to" - Who else has bitten the bullet and revealed their names?

Would be nice if peeps would at least list their degrees held and name their alma maters.

I have. AA UWis BA Villanova grad work CU Boulder

i suppose degrees held AND majors would be even more helpful.

So you completed Alcoholics Anonymous at the University of Wisconsin? I hear it's a tough program.

Don't be a jerk. Man up and post your name and creds, or shut up.

joke not jerk - your ordering is unclear - is AA a reiteration of your name or a degree.

and i'm already manned-up

Forget it.

Jason Alexander, high school diploma, community college dropout, night toolpusher, started as a paint chipper and blew up the rig. Jimmy Harrell, high school diploma, OIM, can't remember who said what about testing the cement. Blair Manuel, high school diploma, mud engineer who spent three decades farming, brother is M-I Swaco project manager (salesman).

talk about a-holes and aversion!

So AA is? an associates degree? OK - that's cool - just not used to peeps listing associates degrees or that Universities issued them - thought it was either your name or something specialized - using a joke to ask for more detail - no offense.


Can't wait for Rockmann to reply to this post! I worked for people with degrees that couldn't find their azz with both hands. I don't think it takes a Masters degree to do the jobs these men had, nor do I think a Masters would qualify to make better assumptions under the circumstances. They do their job and follow orders from those who made the decisions and should have known better!

Arogance preceeds ignorance!

I agree. How did the topic of conversation even break into this or not. I have a degree from UCLA, but there are plenty of people out there that know a lot more than me. Another diversion on this thread just like the miners in chili, lets be serious, WHO CARES. If that bus load of miners had dropped off a cliff on a bus it would be old new. Just more distractions from those on here, that seem to either believe BP or are covering for them. I could really give a shit about the BOP and new cap. There is a lot of other stuff going on down there. Those that deny it seriously need to be looked into for credibility.

Hey Birch, no BA or MB or PhD here. Just the old school of hard knocks in the construction trade for me. Be that as it may, I can spell the country of Chile and not confuse it with a habanero. Geez.

GWS~I just had my beer go thru my nose I laughed so hard, but agree the school of hard knocks taught me everything I know.

Finance Texas A & M, however no degree-got preggers and decided to go for my NASD Series 7 instead as I had a child to support, so far it's paid the bills and allowed my kids to have what they need plus a bit more vs everything they want:) heh heh......now pass me the chiley pepper please.

mummsie: Heh. Heh. I know, huh. It's a heck of a thing, but I wouldn't do it different, ya know? Well, I guess I can't, at this stage of the game!! Oh well. Just the way of it. Oh, bye the bye, do they have a Prussian Blue for toe nail polish? I don't think it has the same ingredients as in Corexit. Pretty sure anyway! What the Hell do I know about anything, anyways? Heh. Heh.

lab -- Not that this discussion has much interest for me but I have a BS in Earth Sciences from the Un of New Orleans and a MS in geology from Texas A&M. And I was very fortunate to do my masters under a truly world renowned petroleum geologist, Dr R.R Berg, and did my thesis on a turbidite field in the SJ Basin of S CA.

So now do y’all give me more cred with that history? Well…you really shouldn’t. Just a WAG but I would say that 99% of what I’ve contributed to the BP discussion came from my 35 years working in the oil patch. We’ve chatted about the quality of the original cmt job and I mentioned the very best cmt engineer I’ve ever worked with. I would take any recommendation he made without hesitation. And he only has a high school degree...and from a rather crappy school at that. Similar to mine. BTW: when I started H.S. I couldn't completely recite the alphabet…another remnant of an inner city education.

So, as many might guess, I could really care less about anyone educational pedigree. Some of the biggest idiots I’ve worked with in the oil patch had PhD’s from Ivy League schools. Feel free to toss around credentials but I suspect they don’t mean much more to many others than me. I think we all can recognize sincere common sense/knowledge even when we might disagree with an offered position.

Just a little rant brought on by an 9 hr highway trip producing a sore butt.

I agree wholeheartedly.

A person may have several PHDs but if they've never dug a hole they don't know how to use them.

Come On People!!! OF COURSE i or altendorf or anybody else would/should include work experience/on the job education when we ask for credentials, but that's proved as good as giving your name away in this field and especially in this online age...

So Bend, did I miss something or have you posted yours?

moi? it's in the bio section but completely irrelevant to this subject matter.

my first ever post was about the bio section - making it a more typical fill-in-the-blank rather than a write-in only...though it appears it aint gonna get changed cause it appears that there's too many peeps in this forum that have nada to put under "education" and they're overly self-conscious about it. But i kinda understand.

i dunno - it's all just a frame of reference.


Higher education can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be an excuse for some to steal a paycheck. We all have a lifetime of education. All we need do is open our eyes and ears and it doesn't cost a dime. I believe every person has a specific purpose on this blue ball. Some achieve more than others, but everyone has purpose. I'm not well read like some here and I don't communicate well, but I try to learn something new each day. I do admire those with higher education if they strive to use it for the betterment of all. I do not like those that use it to belittle the masses and use the hard work of others to further their societal position or to impress.

You sir, have learned what many would be wise to learn... Have respect for others and give credit where credit is due. Don't take any BS, and don't give any! A real honest person!

Last week, I was visited by a supervisor (Metallurgist) that I worked for 12 years ago. He came all the way to Wisconsin from Sao Paulo, Brazil just to have brunch and say hello... that impressed me. He is more like a friend and always had mutual respect. He has worked all over the World and is fluent in five languages, can get by in two others. Highly educated, but like you, is a real personable human being with respect for others. Thank you!

Just being from Alabama and having degrees from Alabama gives me -100 out of the gate. Never mind that I worked with TOP people and graduated with honors. Never mind that I have succeeded in multiple fields with different degree paths. I just hope I am slightly fun to read. If I have done that and vented some of my own feelings, I feel like I have won the Pulitzer. I am easy to please. Write more. Please.

ROLL TIDE!! TFHG I knew that there was something about you I liked.

Bama not respected in anything??? Seriously?

Auburn very respected in Engineering, Architecture/Design, Veterinary Medicine, Swimming & Diving...

USA has...? Bob Shipp???

Actually Bama is repected in many areas. Here is a recent one.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –The public relations program at The University of Alabama is ranked second in the nation according to new rankings produced and published in PRWeek Magazine. UA is the highest ranked university that offers both graduate and undergraduate programs.

Consistent USA today top 50 public school.

But... My BS is from UAB (good engineering school) and I have a BA and an MLA from Spring Hill College. A good school too, but small.

Bama is also known for having a football program or so I hear. RTR. I am a UA football fan, as my family has been since the 19th century. Me and my brothers were the first in our family to go to college, much less graduate. In fact, we were the first generation to graduate high school. Dad got an Army diploma and mom got a citizenship diploma.

pretty impressive - #2 behind NYU...but also says that the propaganda/shilling tract within the school of public relations is generally considered TOPS.

What is up with this degrees and credentials held and real name nonsense? I thought anonymity was a hallmark of sites such as this. If I click on someone’s handle to check their bio and find nothing I am a bit perturbed. I gain no more insight into why that person may have posted something. On the other hand, if I find a bio how do I know it’s not a complete pack of lies? That person sitting behind his or her keyboard can become anyone. All it takes is a little imagination and chutzpah. All I can do is accept it tentatively and then verify as well as possible by applying reason and experience to what is written. And I’m keeping my bio pretty general until I’m sure the statute of limitations has run out.

I agree, Dave. I have nice pieces of paper with pretty seals on them, but most of what I learned in the classroom is obsolete now. Science has a habit of moving forward! My degrees got me my job, but 99.9% of my real world work is done by experience. I know what I'm doing because I've been doing it for a long time. And as I said once on here, some of us work for people who wouldn't like us talking out of school. That's my reason for not giving my real name. Are you sure your boss doesn't read TOD?

Caldwell Johnson of NASA only has a high-school diploma. See http://www.astronautix.com/astros/johdwell.htm His boss, Max Faget, only had a BS as I recall; his two doctorates were honorary. See http://www.astronautix.com/articles/maxilder.htm

Yet, we went to the Moon as a direct result of designs and work of these two men. Together, they made one of the most formidable engineering design teams I've ever heard about.

I have two doctorates and I employ another 130 PhDs. To a person, all of us shut up and listened whenever either of these two men entered the room and spoke. BTW, we all worked for and reported to these two men.

One of my favorite pieces of memorabilia I have is framed in my study over my desk. It is an autographed copy of the cover of the patent application wherein Max patented the "space capsule design." Patent Number(s): 3,702,688. It is my touchstone to remind me that what you do is far more important than the sheepskin.

"Jason Alexander, high school diploma,..." Wasn't Jason Alexander an actor on Seinfield?

Anderson, sorry. Today's just not my day.

No, he was the chief architect for Van Der Lay Industries. He drew the plans for the remodel of the Guggenheim.

BS Computer Science/Engineering Concentration UAB, BA General Studies, MLA Leadership and Ethics Spring Hill College with a Business College/IS concentration. I plan to pursue my PhD in Ecology soon. I also have enough hours for a BA Theology degree, but I feel no need to apply for it. To be honest the degrees mean something, but not much. I wonder what degrees the baby Einsteins had that blew the pooch on this one. Hayward was a PhD in Geology and had an MBA with comptroller experience. We would all have been better off with some Gulf Shores 6th graders IMHO.

BBA - Financial Accounting, National University
BS - Security Management, Bellevue University

In progress: Master's in Homeland Security

WOW!!!! A Masters in TSA that's pretty amazing. Am i supposed to take you seriously now????? Homeland security is worthless, that's why we all have to be body scanned right now.


You, too, pal. You're either an inept troll or are trying to convince people that your viewpoint is worthless. That's working, at least.

Hey guy I just responded to your snippy comment about the TJ. You are the true troll that is talking outta your ass. Peep the diagram I left you courtesy of NOAA...chump!

snakehead and all: Brich offers only lessons in anger mismanagement, the one effective response to which is your scrollwheel. Trust me on this.

Well, lotus, I assume that we have lurkers who are like-minded about this stuff. It's easy enough to trash his bs using the docs he claims he's using and then maybe someone else will fall off his wagon. As for me, I don't mind pissing him off at all.

I have been trolled by professionals. And you sir - are an amatuer.

Re: avonaltendorf

Asking for posters to prove their credentials is Ad Hominem. Why? Because you are attacking the posters instead of their idea. Ad Hominem attacks are against the code of conduct and purely trolling behavior. Also stalking by trolls is quite common on these large sites so asking for names is inappropriate. And shaming language like "man up" also doesn't add any value to the conversion. So these are the main reasons I've flagged your posts.

Also credentials are unnecessary. Try to understand that the beauty of forums like this is that intelligent people with diverse knowledge and research skills can come together in a discussion. These discussions are not solely dominated by credentialed oil insiders, but by people with ideas who can think clearly. This is keystone why the posters credentials are unnecessary. Math and science come with it's own credentials and proofs. Ideas can stand on their own.

If you don't understand this, perhaps take a long look at "Norman Rockwell's - Freedom of Speech". That painting explains this without saying a word.

Well said and seconded.

1. I would be pleased if the mods deleted every post I made.
2. Absurd to suggest that I am naive about TOD or internet discussion lists.
3. Jaw dropping appeal to Norman Rockwell's "authority."

What on earth do you think? I have never ridiculed anyone here, which is far better conduct than many others. I use my real name and have to take the weight for it personally and professionally. It's been four months. The offshore oil business is in a world of hurt financially.

Astounded that you tolerate pap, crap, and adolescent heckling.

OK, I'll bite,

BA Art Practice UCBerkeley with extensive extra-curricular physics and engineering.
Patented inventor: www.ryanrodco.com.
Grandson of chief engineer Hubble Space Telescope,
Son of a Dentist.
I'm a 44 year-old entrepreneur and currently chipping paint--great product, bad economy...

Hex, I hate to deviate from the subject but since everyone else can drive me crazy with the possible positions for Chilean copper miners 4 months from now, I'll ask " How do you make that with a taper, which I assume it has?". And I guess if I have to ask, I probably can't afford one, but how much?
Keep your chin up, by the 2012 election we may be wish for paint to chip.

I don't mean to spam the site, just trying to defuse tensions by being human.
I read constantly and got distracted by this crisis; you can see why I side with the fishermen in the GOM.
About the rod, they are mold(s) and mandrel(s), complex tapers are possible as well as different shape cross sections, and complex layups. Each rod section comes out of the system finished in one piece.
I've got an experimental rod layup that only bends in the casting plane.
Stress and strain. Euler buckling. Grandpa and Dad taught me some, both gone now.
I only sell the 9 foot 5 weight trout fly rod at the moment.
Each one, hand-built, take me about 80 hours to build rod, bag, and tube, so I charge accordingly for my time, $1400.
I'd like to get the price down to $800 with a production run...
I have a garage shop with a 2-axis cnc Bridgport, TIG welder, two Lathes, diamond lapidary and grinding equipment, tones of hand tools, dental too.
Golf shaft guys showed interest ...

Hex I'd like to know more. I am a journeyman machinist and millwright. Very intersted in how the taper was produced. Don't worry I respect your patent and more importantly the ingenuity that went into it. It' is a facinating idea. And as a half ass fisherman I appreciate it even more.
If you don't mind I'm

Angry at the BS I keep seeing on this site. Some great technical talk about stuff that really does not matter. Keep an eye on that BOP and the cement jobs. Keep distracting people. The real questions that should be asked are why are there leaks showing on sonar scans on the ocean floor (yes I know how to read sonar and if you play the sonar scan in a time lapse you can clearly see fluid movement of the pings) and why are the leaks that were mapped by the USS Thomas Jefferson not being talked about....Hey MOON, why don't you answer that one for me!

If you want to know about the workings of a BOP this is a great site. If you want some truth about what is going on down there you will NOT get it here!

If you want to know about the workings of a BOP this is a great site. If you want some truth about what is going on down there you will NOT get it here!

We know that already. That's why we all read Godlike Productions - Conspiracy Forum:


I submit that the great technical stuff discussed here matters a great deal to those of us who come here to learn from each other. And those discussions are not coming from the guys who want to distract people, though to be sure we have enough of that type here. As for playing sonar scans in time lapse, that only works if the ROV is sitting on the sea floor. Otherwise they do bob around a bit and it's impossible to tell motion of the ROV from motion of the return. I can read sonar too, and I haven't seen anything like what you seem to be seeing.

Really you can. I was watching the sonar scan of a stationary BOA ROV. So Although I wish you were right... you are not. These were plumes rising from above the sea floor. We are at 5000 ft. There are no schools of fish, there are no seaweed clumps. It was a horizontal scan of the ocean floor from a stationary position. It should be a clear view looking from the sea floor up to 120ft above the sea floor, it was not!

Don't you see. That's what BP wants you to see. They're leading you by the nose with those ROV sonar scans. They're playing you for a chump and they're succeeding.............

Scientists find that tons of oil seep into the Gulf of Mexico each year.
Twice an Exxon Valdez spill worth of oil seeps into the Gulf of Mexico every year, according to a new study that will be presented January 27 at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

The USS Thomas Jefferson was scrapped in 1974. If you're talking about the research vessel, go find their reports at the NOAA site and read them. Be sure to come right on back with citations about sea floor leaks, okay?

I thought they wouldn't let them get close enough (5 miles) to do an accurate survey of the immediate vicinity? and all subsequent surveys are BP/Gov't "in house"?

Yup, that pretty much constitutes "the data the Uss Thomas Jefferson presented to us" re: sea floor leaks in the immediate vicinity. None noted anywhere else, as far as I recall. Dr. Jove apparently looked for some and didn't see any.

Did YOU read the documents. I am talking about the documents from their first trip into the GOM??? They mapped sea floor leaks. Are you really going to sit here and tell me different???

Maps of sea floor leaks from the Thomas Jefferson

I see Mapped leaks coming out of the Biloxi Dome. What do you see????

You mean,

4. Scientists observed several seeps of what appears to be natural gas in an area of known gas seepage, located to the southwest of the spill site


Actually what I saw when I looked at your link is Alexander Higgins trying to stir up hits on his blog. You probably ought to look at the official website for the TJ's June trip instead of Higgins' site. Isn't he the flamer who posted the "ROCKS WITH HOLES!!!" video?

4. Scientists observed several seeps of what appears to be natural gas in an area of known gas seepage, located to the southwest of the spill site

The original article that image was taken from clearly states that as well.

NOAA has said that the leaks on the sea floor graphed in the 3D model above “appear to be pre-existing seeps that occur naturally and are unrelated to the spill” and have labeled leaks as such in the Thomas Jefferson report.

But how NOAA came to determination the determination that these leaks on the sea floor are natural seeps needs to be questioned.

Where is NOAA's proof? Why the usage of the word "appears"?

Now lets fast forward and WHOI has mapped a 22 mile underwater river of oil and has verified that the oil in the plume is from BP's reservoir and is
not from a pre-existing natural seep

That 22 mile river starts... on the other side of Biloxi dome.

I find it very odd that the stream of oil from BP's well turns into a river on the other side of the Biloxi dome past the supposed pre-existing and natural seeps.

Well speaking of the devil. Is this a blog whoring visit due to a market downturn in doomsday scenarios, Alex?

What happened to the toppled-over BOP scenario?

I have a question. How can a plume be a river? They are very different.

ya see - that's all ad-hominem, appeal to ridicule garbage.

Why not address his post, prove he's being redundant and ad-nauseous and request that he's banned OR shut-up.??

You raise a good point.

My answer is that I know I know pornography when I see it. I swear i do. Besides, we have already been down this road with Alex before with leaking oil from rocks that were really metal junk from DWH and thruster wash. And toppling BOPs that never toppled. My response is based in part on empirical evidence, not on prejudice.

But I deserve some credit. I did address his post and I did ask a substantive question. How can a plume be a river? I'd like to know.

In hydrodynamics, a plume is a column of one fluid moving through another. Several effects control the motion of the fluid, including momentum, diffusion, and buoyancy (for density-driven flows). ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plume_(hydrodynamics)

1 a) : a natural stream of water of usually considerable volume b) : watercourse
2 a) : something resembling a river (a river of lava) b) plural : large or overwhelming quantities

Here we have a column of one fluid (oil) flowing through another (water) resembling a river.

The term "River" was taken from an article published on The Energy Report titled Underwater 'River' of Oil Confirmed in Gulf.

And just when things were looking up for the Gulf. . .a huge underwater oil plume has been discovered.

The hydrocarbon plume/river is 22 miles long, 1.2 miles wide and 650 feet high. It isn't pure crude, of course; it's more like a mix of oil and water.


People are calling it a plume, but it looks more like a river to me.

The river of hydrocarbons is currently headed southwest, towards Mexico's coastline. That could cause a nasty international incident in a few months...

Thank you for your response, Alex.

But your first explanation relying on definitions of a river actually demonstrates that you are misusing the term.

1 a) : a natural stream of water of usually considerable volume b) : watercourse
2 a) : something resembling a river (a river of lava) b) plural : large or overwhelming quantities

Here we have a column of one fluid (oil) flowing through another (water) resembling a river.

The plumes of oil that have been tested are notable for their lack of density and volume. They do not resemble a river. They resemble a cloud more than a river. Rivers and Plumes are inconsistent descriptions. One contrasts with the other. Something cannot be both a river and a plume. Using the term descriptively is inaccurate and misleading, and the key doomsday tell in this scenario. It is entertaining, though. I like the graphic depiction.

A river of lava would have considerably less volume than this which is 22 miles long, 1.6 miles wide and 600 feet deep.

There are many "rivers" in the world which are considerable of less volume.

gotta agree with syncro...would have to get my book of fallacies out but it's a common one - it's hyperbole but also alarmist in this situation, suggesting saturation, so it's just more responsible to force the masses to add plume to the vocab.

it continually amazes me how peeps charged with being CTs or even just alarmists aren't able to refrain from extremely basic errors in logic and argumentation - even peeps with seemingly good arguments otherwise.

i think willy wonka had a full-fledged chocolate river. maybe some lava rivers out there...

it continually amazes me how peeps charged with being CTs or even just alarmists aren't able to refrain from extremely basic errors in logic and argumentation - even peeps with seemingly good arguments otherwise.

Funny how you attribute the "basic errors in logic" on the "alarmists" when the term came from an analyst on The Wealth Daily in an article published on "The Energy Report".

And to bring up errors in logic and argumentation this cries of cognitive dissociation where as a psychological defense instead of addressing the issue at hand, the hub on a wheel, the argument runs around the rim and focuses on the spokes hence perpetuating an argument that will never end.

Whether we call it a plume, a cloud, a river or a lake is immaterial.

Let's focus on the HUB. Can we do that?

What happened to the toppled-over BOP scenario?

When you cap a fire hose that is whipping around it stops whipping around.

Given enough time that scenario could have played it which could explain why the Feds decided to take the high-risk decision of capping the well the the way they did.

Many factors play into the scenario.

Alex, go away. You have been outed already, you are just wasting time and bandwidth.

Quite the flock of turkeys landed here last night, Francis, Alex for only one. Mighty poor reading for awhile.

I was going to comment on that. Maybe things have gone too quiet and they feel the need to stir up a few more web hits. One suspects there are a few sock puppets amongst them as well.

stir up a few more web hits ... a few sock puppets

Wouldn't be surprised but can't imagine who'd seek more of such company.

Crike-a-rootie. Have you been talking to BK Lim? Sigh.

Why don't you look at the data the Uss Thomas Jefferson presented to us

The USS Thomas Jefferson?

Do you mean:
USS Thomas Jefferson (APA-30) the attack transport that was retired in 1949?
Or, perhaps:
USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618) the Ethan Allen-class ballistic missile submarine retired 1985?

Now, perhaps you mean the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson (Hull Number: S222, Call Letters: WTEA). Since NOAA is part of the Commerce Department and not the US Navy, its ships are not on the US Navy registry (thus NOT getting the "USS" designation).

Still, citing the TJ is a bit confusing because most of the "data presented to us" wasn't from NOAA or its scientists but only vast over-statements by the CT crowd (and, unfortunately, the tragic Mr. Simmons), unsupported by the cruise report. Since the science from the TJ is still undergoing peer review and unpublished, the last I heard, perhaps you have some prescient insight not available to the rest of us mere mortals.

As if you knew anything about these subjects.

Sorry - I will pay attention to people whose credibility on this subject is better than yous.

Go for it Fed Sheep! I could really care less.

If you could 'care less' - why do you keep responding to me?

Birch, you better have some facts to back up your insults or you are wasting everyone's time and patience.

Save the hyperbole and give us facts. If you have none just say so and no one has to waste any further time on your claims.


Use your brain and figure out why they are doing sonar scans. Earlier sonar scan detected sea floor anomalies. You just have written it off or chosen to ignore it following what ever Moon says. I have seen the sea floor bursts and I have seen plumes rising all the way up to 800ft. You may see some rov back blast from the props stiring up silt, but to say the sea floor and surrounding geologies have not been compromised is just closed minded and in my mind DUMB!!

I guess this is just video of an ROV prop blast. I suggest that the majority of people on here pull their heads outta their asses and start using your brains!! Seriously!!


I'm going to call BUSTED on your video.

"barich1979" (assumed to be Brian Rich) posted the video on YouTube. Is that you, Brich1979?

What you failed to disclose (and "barich1979" didn't disclose in the YouTube posting) was that the frame rate of the video (v=1BpyEqlnBgQ) was sped up. From the look the embedded time codes in the bottom right of the frame, the video was sped up (looks to be about 2x) to compress the event, enhance the effect and support the hair-brained conclusion.

Manipulated, enhanced or altered video should be disclosed; otherwise it isn't honest. In some forums, you could get away with these deceptions, but TOD isn't the place to try an pull this off.

Either this was done out of ignorance or it was a deliberate deception. Neither bode well for your credibility which was pretty well shot anyway by your combative approach.

Hi, bb,

"I'm going to call BUSTED on your video."

I've seen this sort of thing (only worse) a hundred times on the ROV videos directly (not on YouTube). There are a couple things to be wary of here. It's close to the ROV, could be caused by thrusters. And, I've seen images like this when eventually something being pulled comes out of the distance, a piece of machinery or another ROV, even a rope dragging along the seafloor, for example. But just last night I saw Olympic Challenger 2 photographing something very much like this, only a wider view. It went on for a good half hour, absolute havoc. Finally, OC2 started spraying it with something from a canister. Like magic, within 10 minutes the bubbles and turbulence disappeared. I checked back in about an hour and the turmoil had returned and OC2 was spraying again. I dunno. It's a mystery to me.

PS: Saw the same thing the night before last too. The hand writing on the canister said "DD2, B45" then later "DD2, B46". I assume B46 was the second canister. Any ideas what chemical they were using?

As in you past postings, I don't know what you are seeing and too many variables in this type of video to discuss details without knowing specifically what you saw at the time. You might want to join the IRC to get comments in real-time. The real video watching full-timers are there. If you see something, there is someone in the channel watching to chat with you in real time.

I pop into the real-time (both feeds and the IRC) a couple of times per day (down to about 30 minutes a day) and haven't seen anything out of the ordinary in the time I've been there. I'm not going back too often to the surveys and fauna studies because it is very boring and outside my interest. I only check in when there is tasking on the stack now.

Moon is doing a great job and saves me a lot of time.

I still am checking YouTube videos but it's all pretty much bunk.

Fraudulent video, posted by an advocate, particularly a CT hysteric, to make his point is still dishonest even if it "represents" or looks like what someone saw at another time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hoaxers out there in the wild; lots of unscrupulous people too who play fast and loose with the truth.

BTW, I go back to my original premise I’ve stated all along, if the sea floor is erupting, where is the evidence on the surface? Oil slicks and/or major HC in the water samples? The CT folks can’t have it both ways. If the sea floor is erupting, then it is indeed one heck of a conspiracy to hide this much HC from being expressed on the surface in a major way. No, I don’t believe you could hide it.


I was asking you specifically about what chemicals were being used. I thought you might be familiar with "DD2, B45." Just for clarity's sake, what I see is mostly what I "think" are methane plumes, with an occasional oil "seeps" But I'm not nearly as confident about the seeps. I've been wondering about whether the IRC shouldn't be where I spend my time. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try.

I don't have a clue about "DD2, B45" which means my speculation would be useless.

"BTW, I go back to my original premise I’ve stated all along, if the sea floor is erupting, where is the evidence on the surface?"

Well now, we can't give you the answer to that because cstars.miami.edu cut public radar satellite imagery on the 18th of Aug. Wonder why? I do, but no reply...

They aren't the only source of remote sensing imagery.

Also, a slick of this size wouldn't only show up in satellite imagery. Any fly over would see it and any news crew on a boat in the area would film it just like they did before the seal was shut in.

I saw your post yesterday about contacting them and asked for an explanation. Good work; keep at it. However, look at the other sources too.

I'd love to, in fact, you could make it easier if you posted a couple alternatives here yourself.
Kind of hard to see the GOM from Sunny California. Some links would be helpful.

NASA Modis images are still being posted on ERMA.


That should get you the 8/30 image - it's pretty cloudy out there this week.

I posted this yesterday as a link:

Parent Group: BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill>Satellite, Radar, and Aerial Images of the Spill>Radar Images [Potential Oiling Footprint - NOAA/NESDIS]
Layer Name: NESDIS Daily Composite is no longer being used for DWH Operations
Date Added to GeoPlatform: 8/29/2010 5:12 am
Shapefile: 20100825_composite1
Geometry: POLYGON
Additional Information: : ****This product is no longer being used for DWH operations and will be discontinued after August 25, 2010. The product will be reinstated if conditions warrant.**** The outline of oil is based on an experimental pilot product and should be used with caution. Date of Composite: August 25, 2010 Location: Gulf of Mexico Please see attachments for analyzed satellite Experimental Marine Pollution Surveillance Daily Composite Product & shapefile of anomaly. Analysis Summary: - A narrow stream of, what appears to be, oil was observed earlier extending to the east of the Saratoga Platform. This strand of oil, located to the southeast of the birds foot delta, is not believed to be from the Deepwater Horizon platform. Analyst: EVANS

Either you believe that they've stopped because there's been nothing that's shown up for weeks or that the absence of evidence is evidence that they're lying.

I know what you posted snakehead. I used it in my query to cstars. I wanted to know if what you posted influenced UoMiami reasearch.

There is at least a third option to your black and white logic:

I don't know what to think nor who to trust, but less info at a time of critical operations does not promote transparency.

There's an airplane at this moment flying across the Gulf from Orlando into New Orleans. Flight SWA1080. If significant oil is on the surface, it's inconceivable that no one would know or that there could be an unfathomably massive conspiracy of silence.

Irrelevant to my request. Are there cameras on board, published imagery available on the web?

And, if you have forgotten there was and still is a massive media blackout around the GOM event enforced by BP hired mercenaries and sadly the USCG.

I'm not suggesting the well isn't most sincerely dead.
I'd just like to be able to decide for myself without chartering a small plane.
Why should I care anyway? I've got my coast, y'all got yours.

massive media blackout ...Clank.

Since you hung up on me, I won't bother to point you to today's posts citing articles about Corexit, oil, tainted sea life, pissed off shrimpers and fishermen, mental illness, BP not paying its bills, etc. Hell, one might even think that some air passengers seeing oily sheen might be spreading the word.

there was and still is a massive media blackout around the GOM event

Yea, right. You lost me there.

Since the airspace is and always has been open above Angles 3 and 3k feet or higher would provide a pretty good view of the well site for an oil slick picture, do you really think that some bozo in the MSM is too lazy or too poor to spring for a couple of hundred bucks on an air charter to shoot the picture that would break the story wide open and win a Pulitzer and/or a Peabody?

Here is an opportunity for you. Catch a morning flight to MSY. When you deplane, hop over to one of the air charter services. Bring a camera. Get the air charter to pick up a couple of PoBoys for the GOM flight. Go shoot the picture and be back home by suppertime. It will make you rich and famous. You could be the first oil spill paparazzi.

If you shop for a good airfare, you could do the whole thing for about a thousand bucks.

Only way you'll know for sure anyway is to do it yourself; since those BP shills at UofMiami were obviously bought off ;-)

Agreed SH~I have to say I used to feel way behind the curve trying to learn all that I could about drilling, and oil etc here and I am so grateful to all the patient posters who have helped me, that being stated today I feel like a damn genius after reading here and the young one posting STFU every other post.

I was going for a swim today and went to the beach to check it out since I thought the really rough surf and storms we had for days might have brought in some weathered tar balls, I couldn't find any so dug in the erosion line as I have many times and couldn't find anything on MY END of the beach (not saying it isn't in areas that are part of the Nat'l Seashore (which is all but 6 miles of the Island at P-Cola Beach) where they don't allow heavy equipment. I gave it the old college try and dug all the way to my knee which I measured to be 20 inches and still no lines of buried oil. My assumption is the ninjas came in over night and made it invisible. The shells were tar/oil free and the crabs and birds were out. Too bad the sea grass was so bad or I would have gone for my evening swim. I am attaching a few pics.

Also BIRCH......I give a shit about the miners and I am sure their families do too, I can't imagine knowing my loved one or myself was going to be underground with the anticipation of having to wait until Christmas to be free, the feeling of having no control would drive me nuts and I would need alot more than anti-depressants, so your comment is YOUR view only, so pls don't try and speak for everyone about the trapped miners. I honestly think you'd love GLP, and I'm certain Jason Lucas would love to add new members of your caliber.





Edit~I need to learn to preview my post first.........sorry y'all:)

Nice effort, thanks for posting, but I fear you're only scratching the surface.
Sniff test, toe test, water looks clear test, makes me wonder if there are ANY scientists in the South.
Next time take a core sample before you leave convinced, that's what I'd do if I were there.

No doubt Hex, I am posting them and did on my FB to show that the entire beach here isn't layered in visible oil and tar balls as certain folks here on the Island represent to be the fact. I have personally dug down 6 holes in my area of the beach about 3-4 ft deep and so has UWF to find nothing visible. I called Dr. Snyder @UWF who is doing sampling sand, and water 3x per week on the Gulf in about 6-8 areas (none in the bay or sound) and is not paid by BP, also has a turn around of 24 hrs. I will say every now and then I find a few tar chips (about the size of my pinky nail at largest) while I am snorkeling, but the marine life has been normal, lot's of flounder, bait fish, rays and crabs.

I checked on getting the water test myself, but it was almost $500 for one sample to be run thru a gas chrom spectrm, and our surf is so rough that it's constantly changing so what may have been a valid test today may not be in 2 days, I do swim and snorkel in it all the time. I also have been talking with Dr. Snyder at UWF and compare his results to Florida DEP and the EPA site's figures. The sound and bay have more weathered oil that is visible than the gulf front, and they have had workers at NAS for almost 2 months cleaning and usually chest deep in the water pulling the tar mats out from the sediment.

With all due respect, beachmommy, that looks like a beach. I think one thing that goes on is that many people don't really think about what is in the sand normally. They just have fun at the beach. Now that "Everyone knows there is oil everywhere" we tend to see oil everywhere. A lot of the times, I think it is rotten sea weed and so forth. There are natural oils in the sea water, from algae decomposition.

This is not to say that the Oil is all gone either but just that a few pictures don't mean a thing to me.

I agree GF, apparantly not stating my position good tonight. I know there have been natural seeps and still are from ages ago, I even remember getting tar on my feet as a child off the coast of TX and I know there is alot of crap in the sand to be honest, too many that want to see oil, see it everywhere and more often than not it's algea, seaweed, etc., and many who hear it assume it's true to every situation.

What I have been trying to state the past few months to all the "world is ending and the GOM is dead ppl", is that there have been dead zones as far back as I can remember from agricultural runoff from the MS river into the GOM, but so many are out there begging for donatios to post photos of the same tidal pools everyday which naturally have sediment, sea grass and algae so they have a monetary motive to continue to perpetuate that the beach is covered in oil, so far it's been pretty profitable ~$8,000 in less than 2 months that we know of for one specific FB'er, so I try to post photos that show another side as any view can be skewed, and not one set of pic's/videos tell the entire picture, it's a gross exageration to state as a fact either way. We just don't have all the facts yet and I am not one of the glass is half empty folks. I prefer to try and find as many facts that are based on scientific evidence when posting anything as fact. Every now and then I will post pic's to show the flip side of what is being spread thru the net as fast as wildfire, and that is that we are doomed, the BOP is showing fake pic's, there are 2-3 wells, a tsunami is going to kill everyone when the methane from the well explodes, all the fish kills around the world are related to oil (frankly, most look like red tide to me and the water was 90 degrees just 3 weeks ago)and the earthquakes are due to the fractured earth from BP.........you get the point. It's a campaign of misinformation for $$$.

I see you found a nice clean area of the beach...

1) There are many news reports of BP admitting to covering up the fact they have been hiding the clean up of tons of oil in Pensacola.

2) Pensacola Gregg Publishes beach reports twice daily of the oil washing up on Pensacola. http://www.youtube.com/user/pcolagregg

3) Here are screen caps of his latest video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qjb_fQoy24

Hey look, pictures of a beach. I spent nearly the first half of my life on the beach not far from Pensacola and I don't see anything there that would have looked out of place 30 years ago and certainly wouldn't have impacted my ability or desire to build a fire and make some s'mores.

Or is there a secret code hidden in the pictures that only crazy people and scam artists can see?

Oh.. that's a good one... There have always been oil and tar balls staining the pristine white beaches of Pensacola like in these photos even before the BP Spill.

Where are tarballs and stains in beachmommy's photos of the perfectly clean white sand meant to deceive you into believing the beaches are perfectly clean?

Yep... the oil is all gone... nothing to see... move along folks... the emperor's clothes are so beautiful.

A bunch of foxes guarding the hen house.

I forgot personal financial interests makes many here unable to see the the damage being done to people, livelihoods, economic and natural resources along the Gulf coast.

Pretending that everything is okay isn't going prevent people from getting sick and having their lives destroyed no matter how much it protects your own personal career and bank account.

...says the guy spreading FUD and asking for donations at the same time.

"BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID!! oh, and hit that donate button plz! AFRAAAAAID! are you afraid enough to hit donate again? no? well, don't worry I'll have more posts up tomorrow"

The beach in your not-very-scary pics looks more like normal beach than beachmommy's pics do. Yes BP needs its nutsack nailed to the floor. Yes there was a lot of oil everywhere. Yes it makes me mad. No we are not all going to die, no it's not raining Corexit, no the venting oil simply did not have enough force to impart any significant (or even measurable) load on the BOP/wellhead. Actually that last one is so good I really wish you would talk about it some more, it's been a long time since I laughed that hard. Do it some more.

Seriously BB..... thats what you got. Wow... sped up a whole two times, there shouldn't be anything rising for the sea floor sea floor!! What do you not understand about that. It should be "All Quiet on the Southern Front." You, BP, and the other shills on this site are the only ones spreading deception. You are pathetic!

BB~No assumption, that's who it is, a quick glance at his FB page with friends and the "like" pages confirmed he's been reading the local CT FB page I speak of from time to time. The local is spreading paranoia and CT's non-stop while begging for money. Wonder if he's has a clue that GH or True Reporting is a internet marketer specializing in flipping domains, and making money off youtube clicks, google adsense and who wrote a book on his wealth of knowledge about making 6 figures off the net. Of course he's an expert in everything from bras, foreplay, lady's shoes to leprechauns and most of all making money of the net. PGI, True etc have a reputation locally that is less then "stellar", and bordering on the absurd. My biggest clue was the confrontational approach that permeates the pages he's friended and liked as he sounds "in his posting" just like the local who comments and post JUST like he does and deletes anyone who challenges him as to facts, bans them after telling them to pull their head out of their ass, or that they aren't "awake" and he can teach you.....after all he compare himself to MLK, Ghandi and JFK, so you were spot on as to the who Barich is. Good job and watch out for those mercanaries who have been busy spraying corexit in swimming pools and stalking Bob Naman:)


Kind'a sad but, then again, there have always been snake oil salesmen because there have always been pigeons to buy the snake oil. If there wasn't money to be made in this, snake oil salesmen would't exist.

This GOM crap is not very creative, though. All of their CTs are pretty weak and easy to see through. "You don't have to be smart, just minimally observant."

watch out for those mercenaries who have been busy spraying corexit in swimming pools

What mean, watch out? Don't you know that us BP shills, as a perq of the job, get to make extra money on the weekends as air-crew flying on the black helicopters. WE ARE THE MEN IN BLACK! Guess you missed the memo (or pointed your neuralizer in the wrong direction, again. ;-)

Glad the toesy pictures are back!

Perhaps someone here could give you the reason for daily, almost 24/7 sonar sweeps? If they're not looking for anomalies, leaks, etc., what are they looking for? TOD commenters, please, an answer would be greatly appreciated.

First, ROV do regular sonar sweeps as part of their best practices. This is normal and a regular duty.

What is new, beginning since the well was shut in, is that the ROVs appear to be specifically tasked to sonar sweeps to look for anomalies. Yes, this appears to be continuous. IMO, this is out of the "abundance-of-caution" thing so widely discussed. I think it is a pretty good bet that this tasking originated with the science team when the well was first shut in as a condition for allowing the procedure. This tasking originated with out of the conjectures at the time that there might be problems with the shallow casing and well integrity. A shallow rupture in the casing might have produced a stream of HC at the mudline that could be first detected with sonar.

BTW, being tasked to look doesn't mean that they will find anything. There is no harm in doing these sweeps and, since the government is spending BP's money, it doesn't really matter to the command what it costs.

Remember the "they" here is the NIC assumed to be taking guidance, if not orders, from the science team. I doubt that this is BP's call.

Most likely, IMO, they will continue until the hole is P&A'ed. That is just the way a government operates (kind'a like doctors over testing to avoid malpractice suits).

In more direct-speak, it is CYA stuff. They can say they are being virulent by continuing to look. When the well was just shut in (before the static kill and the cememnt) these were a pretty darn good idea. Now, it's a bit on an over-tasking IMO but it doesn't hurt anything and the contractors are making good money.

Edited for clarity.

The word is vigilent. I don't believe a word of that explanation. USCG study last year showed sonar useless for detecting anything except asphalt and heavy oil seeps, neither of which is present at Macondo. Nor was sonar particularly accurate. In a previous thread, it was mooted that sonar could detect seafloor terrain changes. Obviously they are monitoring how much how fast.

Routine best practice? Rubbish.

Thanks for catching my typo.

Believe what you will. As I stated above, sonar sweeps are a regular part of the routine of ROVs. The sonar screens have been shown occassionally in the feeds for some time, as least as far back as June when I started watching. What I did state, if you read what I wrote, is that since the well was shut in, the sonar sweeps are almost continuous instead of the routine sweeps.

Indeed, the sweeps were looking for major leaks at the time of the shut in when the shallow casing was in question. These type heavy flows could easily be detercted on sonar.

I made no claims about seafloor terrain changes.

As is often the case I see it a little differently than avonaltendorf.

I believe the word is "vigilant," but he's getting closer.

Sorry avonaltendorf, It was too good an opportunity to pass up, no snark intended, just a little teasing.

Otherwise bb, I agree with your read, as I outline below.

I believe the word is "vigilant," but he's getting closer.

David, That one had me spewing Ninkasi IPA on my keyboard. (I've been enjoying a pint on a beautiful summer afternoon.) And while we're teasing, I can't help but observe, David, that it has oft been said that brevity is the essence of wit, and that was one of your briefest posts ever :)

Do you have any idea how painful it is for me to use so few words?

"Do you have any idea how painful it is for me to use so few words?"

Poor David - I suffer vicariously with you !
But may be it´s a word of comfort to you : I prefers your shorter statements !

Through pain comes opportunity for growth, David. Keep on trying!

... And while we're teasing, I can't help but observe, David, that it has oft been said that brevity is the essence of wit, and that was one of your briefest posts ever :) ...

Um, oh well, as long as we're doing the correction thing, and a little teasing, the correct line is "brevity is the soul of wit." It's from 'Hamlet' Scene 7 (Act 2 scene 2, that is,) a speech by Polonius (a character who is, ironically, very long winded.)


Thought you might be interested in this article. I remember when it first came out and was big news in climate change circles. It says sonar was used to spot methane leaks in the underwater permafrost on the Siberian Arctic Shelf. It shows the methane bubbles, blobs, whatever you want to call them, trapped under the ice. They look similar to what we call methane bubbles in the videos, although perhaps bigger. Maybe they join together at the ice level? Also there's an image of what the upward methane flows look like. Pretty similar to what I, at least, see on the videos. I still don't know that methane leaks are dangerous in any way. Probably not. (Except for GW). But they probably tell geologists something important. Thad wanted to be immediately informed of any methane leaks (flows).


Sonar sweeps are not necessarily sub-sea, in fact I think (JMO) they are to map where everything is in relation to each other on the ever changing equipment movements. Probably, also double checking the compatts for precise positioning. I can only assume the ROV's need updated info. to help them locate things.


That's true. I'm just back from sonar googling. I ran into many articles about using sonar to chart things like lake bottoms from boats. But that seems obvious, no? I don't think your deduction about using sonar at seabed level is correct. At around the time when the well was static-killed, a seabed leak was discovered about a mile from the well head and I believe, I may not be right, a small leak near the wellhead. At that point Thad Allen directed BP to continuously monitor the area around the well site with sonar and seismic in regard to methane and oil leaks and to report any findings to him within 4 (I think) hours. So yes, the sonar is being used to detect methane or oil leaks.


I don't believe that the sonar employed on these ROV's could even see the wisps of oil leaking from the sea floor that I have seen. As for the leak 6 miles away, they don't have that kind of range and I don't think you were inferring that for clarification. When they have put their sonar display on the screen, even the "hard" objects such as the BOP don't display that clearly. When they did capture oil it was in rather large plumes like before the capping stack went on. These are just my observations and in no way are meant to be authoritative in nature.
Wish we had clarification from a ROV operator, but sometimes think they are having some fun with us such as when they purposely caused the "silt devils" by burning circles above resting ROV's on the seafloor (I personally saw them do this).


See this link I posted above for what methane plumes look like in the Siberian Arctic. They used sonar to visualize the plumes, although this is a drawing (I think!). Or, heck, maybe they just drew plumes the way they imagined they looked. This was shallow water btw.


Another bit of googling reminded me that right before the static kill, the science team was quite concerned about a leak that was discovered and Thad Allen then ordered BP to do almost constant sonar/seismic scans of the ocean floor with timely reports to him of any discovered leaks. So presumably sonar can detect leaks.


Powerful sonar on a ship designed for the purpose, yes. Gas and air bubbles give a good return and that is why fish show up very well because they get good returns from their air bladders.

I just see the sonars they use on ROV's more like "fish finders" with limited range and definition. They are used primarily by the ROV operators for situational awareness.

I really can't argue with you because my knowledge on the subject is very limited. You may very well be correct as to their use in this situation and I enjoy your posts. Thanks!

As it happens, I can read the sonar scans. Odd for a geologist I know, but we used sonar on a project once. I always spare a few moments on them when they are shown. I have yet to see anything interesting at all on those. Point sources on the seabed, hoses, sometimes the ROV's own tether, and clutter from various sources, but nothing else. If they are hiding anything there, it can't be very big.

According the link to the spec sheet that ROVMAN posted a couple of weeks ago, these sonars on the ROVs have two power modes: normal mode is 40 watts and also has a high-powerd mode of 400 watts so they are a bit more that fish finders. Fairly sophisticated systems. Granted, nothing to what a surface survey vessel could have but this size set at the seafloor does have its advantages too. My assumption is that they are using both for a more complete picture but it is an assumption on my part.

The ROV mounted sonars have a range of about 50 metres. Whilst they cannot detect small seeps, nor can they easily detect oil, they can quite easily detect the gas bubbles associated with an oil leak. It is common practise for an ROV to monitor drilling operations in zero visibility for oil/gas leaks by sitting some distance back from the well and performing a sonar sweep. This is called 'bubble watch'.

It is my interpretation that the sonar surveys are being performed as a precautionary measure looking for gas (and oil) leaks from the sea floor. As yet, I have seen no evidence to suggest that any have been found, apart from natural seeps of low volume.

I've posted a little further down about the capabilities of the ROV sonar. As for ROV pilots having fun with you, all I can do is state the following facts-

1. Some ROV pilots are aware of TOD.

2. Many ROV pilots just look at the pictures, but some have even learned to read.

3. Sitting inside a 20 foot container for 12 hours can get boring.

4. All ROV pilots have a sense of humour (natural selection).


Birch, obviously you don't know what I think, so you're not looking terribly trustworthy in how accurately you fling your accusations.

If you are wrongfully accusing and slandering me, you very well may be wrongfully accusing and slandering BP, not because you intend to be wrong, but because you are not careful and do not think before you shoot.

After what happened at Ixtoc, and given what it would do to BP if the same happened here after they abandoned the safer containment strategy for the shut-in strategy, the surveying proves nothing except that they are being as cautious as they can be. I am sure that was part of the deal going forward as BB notes.

The thing is, if there is a breach that surfaces through the seabed, i don't think there will be any hiding it. They will only be able to hide it for so long if at all assuming they would even try to.

I'm fine with raising concerns about leaks. They are logical and legitimate. So is being vigilant about BP possibly hiding of stuff. But you have to be careful not to get swept up in fear and loathing or you will come to be regarded as the boy who cried wolf, or worse. Especially with no facts. That video proves nothing. It is curious, but I would need more than that to become concerned that they were hiding a breach in the seafloor releasing HC.

Brich1979 opined:

> fake removal of the BOP from the well.

If this is what you consider "fact", then in my opinion, you have insufficient intellectual elbow room to call anyone an "idiot".

Please this is all a stall and a game, keeping out eyes off of the real problems that cannot be fixed. I am sure you believe Thad Allen too when he says the MC252 reserve was depleted too.

I believe it may have been depleted by the ~170 million gallons that came out of it.

Odd, of course, to revisit Matt Simmons, but he had a good point initially about the DWH rig fire. Others including myself have speculated that there is another higher pressure sand below a thin shale section that could have been fractured by the DWH cement job. That would explain why the well came in so violently so quickly and burned so intensely on the surface.

Maybe 5 million barrels leaked before the cap was shut. The pressure numbers never seem to add up right for a depleted reservoir. But I'm not an engineer.

Someday in the distant future we'll see the stratigraphic column and a complete set of logs from mudline to TD. The other question in lost circulation zone(s).

What Simmons point are you referring to? He had a few and they evolved...

"Odd, of course, to revisit Matt Simmons, but he had a good point initially about the DWH rig fire."

I don't get the Simmons connection. The scenario of the flow coming from a deeper reservoir does not fit with Simmons line of bashing BP.

If the scenario is correct, it would exonerate BP on a vast number of counts. The incident would be determined to be a freak accident. Anadarko and Monex would not have a case for not paying their share of the liabilty which is a huge chunk of money that is now in limbo. Not good for the Simmons short position.

The casing and cement job prescribed for the known pressures of the 60' sand would be deemed adequate.

BP and the partners are liable for all costs associated with the blow-out but proving negligence would tough if the incident was an accident. Transocean, Haliburton, Dril-Quip and Weatherford would be off the hook.


Strange definition of accident in view of the bad well tests.

Existence of another slightly deeper and higher pressure pay makes sense geologically and explains the extent of gas fueling the rig fire that burned for two days (which was Simmons' question).

I don't think so. I've been over the seismic and what there is of the well logs. There's a third sand at 18250, but it's thin and probably not very permeable. Other than that, I see no evidence of a deeper reservoir within the depth of the seismic sections. Also, the pressure they actually got was not inconsistent with geopressure for the depth.

Seismic sections (plural). Where at? One line was used in a Kent Wells slide.

Speaking of seismic, did BP shoot some seismic around the well after the blow-out? I have not followed the sea floor operations too closely. I believe they conducted sonar surveys.

If they did a new seismic survey, a comparison with the original pre-drill seismic could show the amount of reservoir depletion.

Also, I wonder if they did a downhole VSP (Vertical Seismic Profile?) in conjuntion with the open hole E-Logs. The logging program lasted about five days which seems exceptionally long considering there was only about 1,000' of open hole to log. They must have been doing something extra.

The public seismic line shows the structure increasing in amplititude with depth.

I find the fact that they did not circulate the well for five days while logging surprising. The hole must have been in excellent condition and they must have been confident that they had the gas under control.

It's bazarre that no one mentioned a trip gas after this logging program during the hearings. I can't imagine a reservoir capable of producing 50 MMcfg/d not producing a massive trip gas after 5 days. I'm guessing a 30' flare that would have been noticed by everyone on the rig.


Absolutely snake.

We've been over this a number of times, but lets do the rough numbers once more as some people obviously missed it.

Two key bits of data that I assume no-one argues with :

1) Initial reservoir pressure was around 11900 psi (MDT measurement)
2) Capping stack pressure rose to around 7000 psi on shut-in

If the reservoir has not depleted, then the average density of the wellbore fluids has to provide enough head to balance these pressures. Taking a rough well depth (sea bed to td) of 13000 ft then the reservoir fluid at wellbore conditions would have to have a density of around 0.38 psi/ft.

Is this reasonable? No. The oil produced to surface, and reduced in volume by a factor of 2 due to all the light components flashing off into the vapour phase, and then left to sit in a stock tank, had a density of around 38 API which is only about 0.36 psi/ft. So even a wellbore full of stock tank oil won't do the job. And when you add all the gas back in to the liquid phase the density of the oil in the wellbore is actually much less, more like 0.26 psi/ft.

So with 7000 psi at surface, the likely pressure at td is probably more like 10400 psi. ie depleted by about 1500 psi. And conversely, if you accidently forget about depletion taking place and calculate what the wellhead pressure should be on shut-in you'd get around 8500 psi which is what BP expected initially.

Its possible that the wellhead pressure would continue to rise beyond 7000 psi. It might even eventually make it up to 8500 psi, which would mean that the reservoir hadn't depleted at all. Oil could still be flowing into the near wellbore area from further out in the reservoir, or flowing into high permeability units from poorer areas nearby. Geology is complicated and there are lots of reasons why the build up can be quite slow.

But I have to say from looking at the character of the build-up and the quality of the reservoir that it didn't look like it would do that. And if you model it (I did) it just so happens that for a reservoir with an in-place volume of, say, 150 million barrels (ie close to what BP have quoted for its size - with a recovery factor of 30% you would have 50 million barrels recoverable), and no attached aquifer providing extra pressure support, this sort of depletion is exactly what you'd expect.

There is no real mystery here. The degree of depletion is subject to uncertainty but I fail to understand why some people are opposed to it in principle.

You see, here was I thinking the Communist Party was dead in America; apparently not. Brich the Bitch has just proved me wrong.

I don't believe or reason that silt being thrust up from the ROV is what I saw. The ROV was sitting still for a long time--about 20 minutes-- viewing well ahead of itself. I don't believe it was thrusters at all. I watched for a long time. Then the feed blacked out.

And you are an expert on ROV operation - how?

A prop blast will cause the water and silt to swirl in circular directions. It will not cause the silt to rise in a violent way straight up in front of the ROV's camera.

Wrong; the viscosity of the water will abate the energy in the swirl from the props quite quickly; particularly at this depth.

This weird creature has a magnificent dance performance at around 6:20

Oh now that's some serious sea-boogie! Thanks, Moon. One of my cats is still talking about it and the moonwalking fishie.

Moon. Can't wait to find out what sort of chemistry, made the API spec'd drill pipe, so fragile it crumbles!!! I will go back through a few episodes of Star Trek and see if I can find out.

Finally something I know about! I think you're looking for the Romulan energy plasma. But there were other things too like metal viruses. Isn't that what did Blake's Liberator in too? So now this disaster is going to result in bugs that eat oil without consuming oxygen that will eat all the oil in the world, AND a metal virus which makes all our pipes crumble! Oh the humanity!

At least it will make removing the drill pipe from the BOP easier, if its not gone already it should just break off!

Don't have to go even that far, Newt. Consider Ice Nine, as elucidated by the great Dr. Vonnegut.

NEWTBERT. You must be British. Anyone who knows about Blake's Seven, - Doctor Who for grown ups - is my buddy. Did this series ever play in the US. When I call Alan von whatsit "AVON" that's where I got it from. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/classic/blakes7/intro.shtml

Only British in spirit, thank you though. Result of all the BBC TV I guess, starting with Monty Python. Blakes 7 was aired in the US in the very late 70's or early 80's at least on my local PBS station. Star cons were popular then, I even got to see the actor who played Avon at one, nice ending that, kinda like the Sopranos.

Those were the days, seeing Tom Baker for the first time, catching peeks before Dad changed the channel. He did watch the other shows though, UFO, the Prisoner, the Avengers, Space 1999, man nothing like those now. Still some sci-fi attempts on the BBC America channels where some Trek reruns are, and the Stargate spinoffs are OK bur not very deep. The return of Dr Who with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper had great writing I thought, watching them with my young Daughter was special, but it's gotten pretty silly again since. I got some good copies over the net before they aired here, along with the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Are the Sara Jane Adventures still alive? They only made it here on DVD.

UFO, Space 1999...I remember those!!! Every once in a while, I'll go dig through YouTube to find some fond memories. The outfits the girls wore on UFO were...memorable ;-) Pretty good story-lines as well.


Those were the days. Sarah Jane is still playing here in UK; the kids love it. UFO; Space 1999 are still playing on daytime TV. Did you get Joe 90?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/sja/ . http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=h-EwrNe8zpA&feature=related

Maybe ..?


...of course, nobody would have lied about the H2S concentrations, ...would they ?

One of the reasons I keep asking about cathodic protection of the DWH BOP stack is :

" A side effect of improperly applied cathodic protection is the production of hydrogen ions, leading to its absorption in the protected metal and subsequent hydrogen embrittlement of welds and materials with high hardness. Under normal conditions, the ionic hydrogen will combine at the metal surface to create hydrogen gas, which cannot penetrate the metal. Hydrogen ions, however, are small enough to pass through the crystalline steel structure, and lead in some cases to hydrogen embrittlement. "


I've noticed the Tower of BPisa, TOBP ( I'm tired of typing BOP ) is quite rusty, is that normal for them corrode so fast ?

Hydrogen embrittlement in a couple of months??? So what about the well casing?. The drill pipe spent most of its time in mud; oil or seawater. Romulan Warbirds are painted green to match Romulan blood (when oxygenated). I have not seen anything green down there. If anything, this is a Klingon conspiracy. I never trusted that Worf guy.


The Klingon C/T makes much more sense to me than their explanation! If Thad had said that the endeavor to remove the pieces of pipe was too fragile a risk to accomplish, I might have believed him!

From what I have read, in an operation where drillpipe is re-used, excess hydrogen is baked out of the metal at a certain temperature. One of the causes of accelerated hydrogen attack on certain metals, is lower temps, and stressed material. I don't know if drillpipe is normally supposed to be sitting in the middle of a high pressure flow of crude oil for a couple of months, and again, there remains the effects of cavitation and turbidity on the metal under duress. I just think that there was a fair amount of turbulence as the fluid passed through the "thang". Not that I am a CE, or anything like that, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand how weakening in metals can be accelerated under certain conditions.



We are talking about damage on a molecular level. Normal tempering will releave most hydrogen from hardened steel. We are talking micro cracking here. Any striation on the surface of metal will cause weakness and a point for failure. A scratch you can see visually on the surface would be more of a concern for fatigue failure.

I have only investigated one failure attributed to hydrogen cracking/embrittlement. It was a hardened bracket that was plated and was not subsequently tempered after plating. They started to fail after two years in service.

I question the time line because under that premice, high pressure pipeing would have to be replaced every 4 months at every refinery in the world. It is an important consideration, but not relivent to this situation IMHO.

I think it is more a question of how these pipes are held in the BOP and which one could be attached to the string below. Grab the wrong one and open the rams????? Since they can't really see if they are both caught or not, who wants to make that choice. Choose the wrong one... What are the ramifications (no pun intended).

Labtec, I understand where you are coming from, and have the utmost respect for your experience. I am still of the idea that some form accelerated degradation may have been taking place, for a variety of reasons ( Not to the whole DP, just the pinched area ). I'm sure in your years of examining materials in hindsight for possible weaknesses , you have seen some strange things, I know that I have. My experiences with engineering and design reminds me that there are always possible combination of elements and factors that cannot be anticipated during initial design, more often than not, failure is due to simple causes, ala space shuttle o-rings, or or wind, in the event of the Tacoma Narrows bridge, but also sometimes caused by the strangest of combinations. Hell, there have been more than a few times when I have gone to fix something, only to discover it was seemingly held together by nothing but grease and lint and duct tape .After watching that oil spew from the wellhead for so long, and knowing how turbidity and cavitation act on materials ( I have seen pumps destroyed in as little as a few months before, albeit not in the oil industry), and especially knowing now, that the flowpath was not clear, I still have my quandaries. And you bring up a good point too, regardless of whether the pipes are brittle from any type of molecular degradation, there is always the blunt fact that it's a pipe....that got half crushed, that possibly has a large amount of weight hanging under it, and like NOAM says, there's the possibility of a crack/s just from that alone. I'm sure they will be grabbing and securing those pipes as quickly as they are exposed.

I'm sure we are both curious what was happening, I know I will be following this long after it's faded from the front pages.

Just out of curiosity, what would be your conjecture for material embrittlement in this case ?


I guess it would depend on what they mean by brittle. It obviously has not lost all ductility as evidenced by how the piece reacted during the fishing expedition. The pieces sheared pretty cleanly... they obviously did not shatter. I suspect that this drill pipe is made from 4130 material or some variant. These pipe makers hold their chemistry's pretty close to the vest. The chromium content would add to harden-ability, corrosion resistance and refined grain. the molybdenum to the heat treated toughness and yield strength. Without knowing composition, it is hard to determine what could have happened in the past 4 months. Like most things we talk about here on TOD, it would only be speculation. You could very well be totally correct in your assumptions, but IMHO, I would have to see a micro sample on a metallograph and a bend test before I would accept any H2S theories. Way to many unknowns.

"I would have to see a micro sample on a metallograph and a bend test before I would accept any H2S theories. Way to many unknowns."

Yes, Lab, I feel the same way. Too many unknowns, alloy being the main,.. I'm going to continue to research this and some other things, purely for entertainment.

Thank you, and everybody else here, for taking the time to answer my questions.

Totally pointless and off track video below.


Hmmm, everyone seems to be ignoring a couple of things. The drill pipe has had a shear ram trying to cut through it and is hanging from the chewed up piece. That cut has been subject to severe abuse from oil, gas and sand blasting past it. The whole string has been sitting in the stream and probably battered about, stress fracture?


If the pipe is no longer stuck in the rams then is it possible that the rams would now completely actuate and they could then proceed with a testing of the original BOP's integrity and possibly forgo replacing it?

I doubt that the rams are in any sort of condition to seal anything. The seals are rubber and all that stuff blasting past will have taken its toll.



I spent 37+ years in metallurgy and their explanation makes no sense to me whatsoever!

Link to another hourly(maybe 90 min.) burp.
Web Cam: http://www.nps.gov/archive/yell/oldfaithfulcam.htm

NWS forecast 20 to 60 NM offshore.

The gamma scan that showed the DP was there was, after all taken very early in this process, and much has happened to the well since.

So why not run another gamma scan to be sure before lifting the BOP? Could this also reveal which portions of the BOP may have cement? If cement is impacting the BOP connection to the well in a way that could interfere with separation?

Exactly my thoughts. Just do another scan and remove all the uncertainty.

Bruce Thompson wrote:

As an aside, given that you gentlemen seem to be in agreement that the TOC top of cement is about where it was supposed to be, then the logical conclusion is that when John Wright finally does drill his relief well into the annulus between the open hole and the production casing, he will find cement that has had months, not hours, to cure.

Actually, the logical conclusion is that he will find the mud or whatever that went into the hole just ahead of the cement. His target is the area above the designed TOC and below the last liner. The relief well is paused at approximately 5 feet above the end of that liner, IIRC.

He can still light up his cigar.


Edit - On 8/9/10http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/853395/ they were at

Development Driller 3 is at a depth of 17,909 feet below sea level. That's measured depth the length of the pipe, true vertical depth, which is straight down from the sea level is 17,152 feet. They're in the process of going in about 30-foot increments of drilling, backing out, putting a wire down to measure the magnetic field around the casing, and moving forward. They've done this twice over the last 72 to 96 hours. They still have one more run to complete.

So interception point is about 17,250 feet. Nominal TOC is 17,300 feet. Expect to find 14 ppg mud.

Continuing our discussion of nitrated cement here is the NIST data for nitrogen over a range of 14.7 psia to 12,015 psia http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/fluid.cgi?Action=Load&ID=C7727379&Type=IsoTh...

Its volume decreases from 14.584 lbm/cu ft to 0.031037 lbm/cu ft or by a factor of 470:1 !!!

By contrast, the volume decreases from 0.031152 to .031037 when the pressure increases from 11,915 to 12,015 a difference of 100 psi. That is difference of less than 0.4% in volume.

The article "Predicting potential gas-flow rates to help determine the best cementing practices" has several caveats. "The most widely accepted cause of short-term gas migration..." "Long-term gas migration is generally indicated by flow at the surface through the annulus..." "There are two suspected causes of long-term gas migration...". It sounds like they have a hypothesis, not a settled science.

And they make repeated references to "gas" at pressure levels where nitrogen (and other gases when at atmospheric pressures) exist as supercritical fluids. See the nitrogen data in chart form here http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/fluid.cgi?T=100&PLow=14.7&PHigh=12000&PInc=1...

My impression is petroleum engineers don't study thermodynamics. But I would note that I was a thermodynamicist for Grumman Aircraft Engineering Co on the day their Lunar Excursion Module successfully carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the Moon (so what would I know!).

...the day their Lunar Excursion Module successfully carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the Moon...

Those were the days. Post WWII, pre-Watergate.


Yesterday I found a couple Halliburton patents on foamed cement that may assist in your pursuit. They are 7,013,975 "Foamed Cement Slurries, Additives, and Materials", granted March 2006, and 7,445,670 "Foamed Cement Compositions and Associated Methods of Use", granted November 2008. If you want to put your gas physics project aside for a bit, you can download them at these links:


The lists of cited patents in them could keep you occupied for the rest of the year.

Hmmm... Thermo at Grumman in the summer of 1969? You sure you weren't a summer intern?


Did we know that BP has put Vidrine, among others, on leave? To a truncated Bloomberg story, a T-P commenter added the full version, which far down includes this passage:

... The eight-member Coast Guard-Interior Department panel asked BP representatives on Aug. 26 to turn over a copy of the Bly report as soon as possible. The panel has been relying in part on notes from interviews BP conducted with employees involved in the Macondo well, including Donald Vidrine, the senior manager overseeing the project aboard the Deepwater Horizon on the night of the disaster.

Vidrine, who was one of the managers in charge of interpreting the test data on the well, was put on administrative leave pending the results of BP’s internal investigation. Other workers also have been put on leave, BP America Inc. President Lamar McKay told the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy Committee on June 15, though BP has not identified them.

McKay told the committee he knew of no one at the time that had been fired because of the disaster.

“If the investigation shows that people made mistakes that shouldn’t have been made, then certainly that would occur,” he said. ...

Wonder who and how many the others are.

Yes, I saw that too, Lotus. BP has to shake the gross negligence claims in order to recover 35% of costs from its partners. This is part of their strategy to do that IMO. Time will tell. But I expect BP to bury the knife as deeply as it can in the back of Vidrine and possibly Faluza and others (TO people) in order to accomplish that.

Gotta run...

BP has to shake the gross negligence claims in order to recover 35% of costs from its partners.

Are there some legal types here that can explain gross negligence vs. negligence as they apply to contracts? In which jurisdiction would a gross negligence clause apply here? I believe that could determine how negligence is defined. From what I understand so far it seems to me that it will be quite hard to pin gross negligence on BP.

Negligence is the failure to use ordinary care to prevent a foreseeable harm. Ordinary care is the care an average person of average intelligence would use under the circumstances (look both ways before crossing the street).

Gross negligence is more than that, but less than intentional conduct, such as intentionally harming someone. Generally it is reckless conduct. Consciously disregarding a know risk that you know can produce harm. Getting in your car knowing that you are intoxicated above the legal limit would be an example of gross negligence, even if you try to drive extra safely.

But the terms 'gross negligence' and 'criminal negligence' have no set definitions. Each state or jurisdiction will have their own definitions. And some are used only in certain contexts, such as environmental crimes or cases involving hazardous activities.

By defeating gross negligence, you also defeat claims requiring more culpability than gross negligence, such as punitive damage claims. I think BP's strategy might be to to concede negligence (not necessarily explicitly) and to focus its defense efforts on staving off the claims based on gross negligence (contract) and reckless disregard (punitive damages), whether they arise from contract, statute or common law (and whether criminal or civil). The reason for adapting such a strategy would be that their best chance of defeating the claims based on gross negligence and more may require that they adopt a factual scenario that involves admitting their own negligence. The dead hands could be helpful in this regard, as could Rockman's box.

The law is going to be extremely complicated on this because there are so many different laws that are applicable and so many jurisdictions that are involved. In addition, the contracts between the parties will have some relevancy as well, such as on the indemnity claims and the sharing clean-up expenses. In Texas there are laws that further constrict and govern application of such agreements. It's going to be impossible to make accurate generalizations going forward unless they are limited to a particular claim.

Edit: added one word
Second edit: Clarified next-to-last paragraph

Thanks Synch, for the tutorial. Speaking of jurisdiction, what state, if any lays claim to the Macondo tract, or is it considered federal territory or what? .

Federal Outer Continental Shelf. Pollution of state waters and economic harm to fishing, tourism etc is a separate cause of action in state courts.


Thanks! Very informative.


Synch....you should have billed someone for that!! Great descriptions and quickie analysis and I believe you're right on the money....One question though, what is "Rockman's box"?

Speaking of Rocky....where has he been lately....thought sure he might try to "clear up" the garbage that was going on up-thread but I imagine he didn't think it was worth his time...and all of us that have learned so much from him over the past few months know that he has the patience of Job; and then some!!

tahoe - Sweating my old butt off on a workover in S Texas. Off the grid except for early/late. Back behind my nice air conditioned desk tomorrow...thanks goodness...getting too old for this crap. LOL.

Did drop a little rant up top re: credentials.

Thanks for all the thanks.

Taking responsibility (which would mean admitting at least negligence...or the facts necessary to imply negligence) would be a smart strategy for BP for lots of important reasons aside from possibly being the most viable legal strategy for minimizing total losses from damage awards and fines.

By putting the $20+ billion up, they have more or less done that already anyway with regard to claims that go through the fund. Liability is admitted. No one has to prove it.

BP's level of cooperation, etc., fits into calculation of the spill fine. And it will fit into the determination as to whether BP can continue in the future to operate in the US. Denying all responsibility is probably a non-starter.

BP saw what happened when Tony H. tried to downplay the spill. It blew up in his face. They can ill afford a risky legal strategy bucking for total exoneration that might do the same thing. And whatever position they take, it is going to have to be the one they use consistently across all of the claims/fines, whether civil or criminal. You can't take one position in the civil cases, and another in the criminal or environmental cases, even if it might otherwise be advantageous to do so.

As for Rockman's box. Rockman very perceptively predicted to a T what would happen when the OIM took the stand. The OIM is the top Transocean dog on the rig. He has final responsibility for the safety of everyone on that rig, and final say in what is or is not done in terms of operating the rig. He can say no to BP. But in the real world, that sometimes is not a viable option for a variety of reasons. The company man runs the show.

As a result, the OIM cannot really pin responsibility for the disaster on BP even if he believes is at fault, as he apparently does. But as OIM, he allowed a procedure to go forward that he knew was dangerous. He was so concerned about it that he all but figuratively spit in the company man's face in responding, "I guess that's what we got them pinchers for" when the company man told him that's was the way they were going to do it despite the driller's concerns for safety. And after the blow out, the OIM was heard yelling something along the lines of, "Are your f-ing happy? I told you this was going to happen."

Nevertheless, at the hearing, he downplayed everything. He testified that there really was no argument or disagreement, that everything was done properly and safely, etc. The same thing BP is saying. That's because he was locked in Rockman's box. If he implicated BP, he implicated himself as OIM, responsible for the safety of everyone on the rig.

Edit: cleaned up some sloppiness in next-to-last paragraph

As a result, the OIM cannot really pin responsibility for the disaster on BP even if he believes is at fault, as he apparently does. But as OIM, he allowed a procedure to go forward that he knew was dangerous.


Except there is no evidence that supports that theory. The evidence says that the OIM let the process go forward because he didn't know it was dangerous. And the same can be said for the BP company men. None of these men thought they were putting the rig (and their own lives) in danger.

"I expect BP to bury the knife as deeply as it can in the back of Vidrine and possibly Faluza [sic] and others (TO people) in order to accomplish that."

Concur. Decision to view neg test as successful and proceed with riser displacement involved several people most likely. My guess would be BP company man (Vidrine), TO Driller (???), TO Toolpusher (Anderson?), TO OIM (Harrell?), perhaps others.

That decision should be the focal point of all investigation imo.

I would suspect that BP is walking on eggshells regarding this issue and wants the 'official' finding of which people are a fault to come from outside the company. This way they will not be accused of 'scapegoating.'

If I were a manager at BP I would be aware that nobody will believe anything put out b=y the company so it is better to have findings of fault and responsibility come from somebody else.

Bringing over a link by Snakehead from the previous thread.


It shows a thick aggregation of grayish floating material that the law firm Stag Smith had tested in a Colorado lab. They say the test found it was Macando oil with three dispersant ingredients. It was found in Mississippi Sound on Aug. 9.

I'd point out that this material seems different from the floc that Ben Raines reported on previously, in that the floc sinks.

Why wasn't this find made public so the material could be studied by more than one lab? Legal tactics on all sides are obscuring the search for truth.

I'm surprised that oil this degraded can be linked to the Macando well. Are there fraction ratios that remain stable even after the oil residue is reduced to something that looks like sewage?

The article doesn't identify the "three...major ingredients" that were detected and implies that Corexit itself - but not which flavor - was found. Which makes me suspect that not providing specific information is tactical.

after the oil residue is reduced to something that looks like sewage

Exactly like the sewage I saw on that beach south of Naples (described here some days ago). Yuck.

Here are other alarming news :


"The shore of the Gulf of Mexico east of Oyster Bayou contained visible oil on the vegetation along the shore line.
Soil in this location contained Carbon Disulfide, 378 mg/kg Hydrocarbons and six Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) (0.222 mg/kg).
The oiled vegetation contained 2.3% Hydrocarbons and 31 PAHs (0.554 mg/kg) that corresponded strongly to the PAHs in the Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil spill.
Samples of Blue Crab and Fiddler Crab contained 2,230 mg/kg hydrocarbons.

Oysters sampled from a reef on Oyster Bayou in Atchafalaya Bay contained 8,815 mg/kg Hydrocarbons."

So - who is telling the truth ?
The state Department of Marine Resources :

"...our Mississippi oyster tissue samples have undergone rigorous testing, and have been proven to be well below levels of concern for hydrocarbons," said Dale Diaz, fisheries director for the state Department of Marine Resources."


Or Walton Dickhoff :

"The levels that we see are pretty typical of what we see in other areas, Puget Sound or Alaska," said Walton Dickhoff, who oversees testing at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.
"Most oyster testing is just beginning, so stay tuned, although the FDA recently cleared some from Alabama that contained less than a quarter of the total PAH limit of 66 parts per million."


Are there any official test results from NOAA made in Oyster Bayou ?

Note the third graf:

What a release

GULFPORT — Four endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles were released Monday after being healed at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.

Mississippi first lady Marsha Barbour helped release the turtles — which had been caught by fishermen in May and June — back into the Mississippi Sound. Of the four, three were treated for hook wounds after being caught at local piers. The fourth had been in what officials said was critical condition after being revived on a shrimp boat.

IMMS President and Executive Director Moby Solangi believes since Mississippi waters didn’t have as much oil as other states, more wildlife sought refuge from the crude here. He said officials have spotted more marine life near shore this year than what’s typical and they’ve helped many more turtles than they normally do. Most years, the Institute treats between one and three live sea turtles, but IMMS officials said they have rescued and rehabilitated over 40 this year. ...

Maybe some of Alabama's shrimp have run to Mississippi, tiny?

They aren't finding any over there either as far as I know and from what I've heard and read......

Shoot. Any word from Florida shrimpers y'all know?

Came across this video this morning about seafood in Pensacola, can't find a date on it though:

Oil lingers in Pensacola-area waters
Oil concerns expressed by local seafood industry insiders


In the closed thread, lotus wrote:

I must have described the move wrong, SL. Can you let your arms hang in front of you, holding your wrists and the backs of your loosely-made fists so they touch? Then move one hand to curl its fingers around the other fist? This will bow your shoulders forward automatically.

I can do what you describe above, but you had said "elbows crossed with the hollows facing in," and if I do the above, my elbows are about 6 inches apart, not crossed.

Try my maneuver from this revised description: Put your right hand on your left shoulder next to your neck; then put your left hand on your right shoulder next to your neck. Your elbows should be one on top of the other, pointing straight down. Now bring your hands down a bit so they clasp your upper arms just beneath the shoulder joint (your elbows will move away from each other some and will be pointing diagonally inward rather than straight down) and pull your shoulders in, letting your back round as much as it's willing to.

You can pull your shoulders in the same way without using your hands, but you can get them a little further in if you pull in with your hands on your upper arms.

We could probably beat this particular dead horse indefinitely, but since neither of us, thankfully, is going to have to fit herself into a tiny cage, maybe we should leave it lay where Jesus flung it (as my grandmother was wont to say).

Yepper, I understood your good clear instrux all along. Surprised to hear that your elbows stay 6" apart, since my right one rests on top of the left when I cup my left fist with my right fingers. Hm.

I'm very small (5'2", not heavy), so would have no trouble fitting into the rescue capsule without contortion -- and sure would switch bods with one of the over-sized miners for an hour if I could.

"...maybe we should leave it lay where Jesus flung it..."

You've got me thoroughly stumped.

There's a website based on this phrase, but it doesn't explain its etiology.

I can understand that it's an invocation to let go, in somewhat more colorful and charming form, but I can't imagine what connection it has to Jesus (please keep in mind though that I flunked out of seminary, in part because I flunked kneeling).

You'd do me a great favor by helping me "leave it lay where Jesus flung/flang it!"

I flunked out of seminary, in part because I flunked kneeling

Not to worry, Dave, my best friend flunked kneeling too. Only she flunked it with the nuns in Cincinnati (cuz her wee li'l knees creaked). So Marilyn's been a recovering Catholic since first grade, holding the record among my acquaintances.

You'd do me a great favor by helping me "leave it lay where Jesus flung/flang it!"

In its original form, it was "Leave her lay where Jesus flung her!" I had never thought about tracking down where it came from, but when you asked, I contemplated it and figured it sounded like something that would be said at an old-fashioned revival meeting. Then I did a Web search for the "her" version and found this.

Good guess, huh? Not a subscriber, so I can't read the complete article. From the brief quote, it appears to have been an incident from real life. This story may have been where my grandmother got it from, unless it was standard at revival meetings when someone collapsed in religious ecstasy, in which case my grandmother may have heard it in situ, as it were.

I'm a bit discomfited by the fact that the article apparently focuses on African-American revival meetings and may have been racist in tone. My grandmother wasn't a racist in the sense we understand the term today--she wouldn't have tolerated any form of discrimination--but attitudes were very different in the 1930s; stereotypes weren't seen as offensive (e.g., Amos 'n' Andy). Anyway, unless I can discover that the injunction in question wasn't peculiar to blacks, I think I need to leave it...er...stop using it. (Gee, possibly it would be offensive to devout Christians as well. My Political Correctness apparently stands in need of correction.)

Interesting side trip; glad you asked!

I'm glad I asked also.

Thanks for tracking it down.

Maybe it's more a sign of decrepitude than anything else, but I was looking a lot farther back than that.

Makes a lot of sense though. I just never would have guessed, coming from a less dramatic religious background than that.

I don't see a political correctness issue here, although I'm hardly an expert on that, in spite of my focus on issues of respect vs abusive behaviors.

I could imagine that knowing the etiology might affect the types of situations where it seems appropos though, in the sense that it would only apply to the behavior of people, not broader opportunities.

Thanks again.


I was looking a lot farther back than that.

OK, I had a rush of brains to the head and searched for just "where Jesus flung," found oodles of hits on various versions of the saying (several followed by "as my grandmother used to say"!). None of them seem to cite anything more specific as to origin. It's obviously fairly commonly used, so I gather my grandmother didn't get it either from The New Yorker or an actual revival meeting (her folks were strict Presbyterians), and that it probably wasn't specific to African-American revival meetings after all. So who knows where it started? (Not biblical, at any rate; Jesus is reported to have had a habit of lifting women up, not flinging them down.)

Someone had previously stated that the bubbles are most likely from decomposing hydrates within the stack. Seeing as that post is now over 12 hours old, a new question arises.... Why are we still seeing bubbles?! OLY Rov 2 Feed.


MoonofA, the same site exactly now, with funnel looking motion at right on Boa Sub C ROV 2. How do you interpret it? It looks identical to 9:10 this am; now it is 11:10 Eastern.

This could be a lively press conference.

Subject: MEDIA ADVISORY: Nungesser - Allen Press Conference
WHAT: Nungesser-Allen Press Conference
WHEN: Tuesday, August 31st around 1:00 pm
WHERE: Myrtle Grove Marina
161 Marina Road
Port Sulphur, LA 70083

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser will meet with National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Admiral Allen will tour the Plaquemines Parish marsh then meet privately with President Nungesser. After the private meeting, President Nungesser and Admiral Allen will hold a press conference at the Myrtle Grove Marina.

Seemingly right after my first post, the OLY ROV 2 moved away from the bubbles and is now staring into the depths. weird.

Bubbles and belches be damned. They need a gas sensor in the stack.

Another observation. There is an antifreeze leak. Secret Squirrel ROV is investigating. Visible on Skandi, moved close to the stack.


UPDATE: Secret Squirrel was Mill37, glimpsed on intermittent feed. He's being coy about the leak, showing us the wrong side of the collet. But it's visible.



That has to be the most succinct comment I've ever seen.

I could use some of that, if you have any to spare.




I'll use it.

Was it Augustine who said in a slightly different context, "just not quite yet."

A fine "point"


I have a friend who can produce instantaneous puns anytime anywhere, but yours beats any of his hands down, let alone my feeble attempts.

Ping Lady-Li when you come online

1) re C130s used for spraying, photos and reports from others say the planes were DC3s not C130s. C130s not used for spraying.

2) Chilean mining Co going bankrupt was to be expected, now I wonder where the boss has got an aeroplane ticket to?


1) re C130s used for spraying, photos and reports from others say the planes were DC3s not C130s. C130s not used for spraying.

quick somebody let Stuart Smith know ....

(per link upthread)

Where did c-130s come into this ? They returned home on June 4. 2010.

Hah, NAOM - now I´ve found your ping and I´ll give you my pong :

1)May be Mr. Smith is not able to distinguish a C130s from a DC3s, because he is a lawyer...(I wouldn´t be able too, lol).

2) I gravely hope, that the Mexican Govt. will not allow anybody who is responsible for the miners to leave the country.
And I also hope, that these poor guys will get their money !

2) errrr, Chile, Chilean Government.
Latin American countries do not have the same welfare ethos as Europe.


Sorry for the error, NAOM - I´m a little bit tired. Better to go to bed...

A lawyer should know that knowing the difference makes all the difference. Credibilty=0.
Where did the Mexican government enter anything?

MODS please!!! Separate Chilean copper miners and other irrelevant matters form the Macondo matter!

Ms Lady-Li had the point about Mexico/Chile pointed out at 6:07pm and acknowledged at 7:02pm so why pick up on it at 11:16pm? If you don't like the topics discussed then go off and write your own blog.


gotta agree with midget - probably a copper mining forum somewhere out there...some of us have to concentrate more than others.

I actually saw a Widespread Panic concert inside an old copper mine in Delonagha, Georgia back in 198?...

lol - nevermind...

Here's a very good article on the science on the transport and fate of the deep-sea oil plume:

Now you see it, now you don't. According to news reports last week, the plume of oil in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico is no more. But just days earlier, the subsurface plume had been proclaimed a long-lived menace.
This week, the multi-agency Unified Command , which is coordinating response efforts to the Deepwater Horizon spill, will be holding a series of meetings with academic scientists to develop a sampling plan to assess the oil remaining in the Gulf. "That is leaps and bounds above anything I've seen up to this point, and a sign of a more concerted response," says Valentine.

Thanks, NRD. Good to hear they're going for more coordinated effort.

Woot, just switched to the Ent 1 and something big and spotty swam between it and the pichup head. Anyone catch it (about 1-2 min before this mark)?


Whale shark? Just got a quick look.This looks like head/mouth in center view..or a pile of seajunk.
BP Oil Spill

Maybe, I only caught a glimpse as it disappeared off camera left.


Edit: PS I wonder if marine biologists are learning anything from ROV pics of the sealife?

A whale shark dive was measured to 1286m depth, per Brunnschweiler 2008, so they can do it if they want to. Can't imagine why they'd want to--no plankton down there.

A marine biologist is directing the ROV biological survey at Macondo. Very cleverly, this guy got the oil companies in the Gulf to agree to use spare ROVs for this purpose.


Just wanted to get on TV/Internet????????????

A marine biologist is directing the ROV biological survey at Macondo. Very cleverly, this guy got the oil companies in the Gulf to agree to use spare ROVs for this purpose.

Newsletter for the ROV operators:

Still fixated on the possibility it was a whale shark. Did it look like this?

As I said, I only caught a glimpse, that was why I was hoping one of the video stars had managed to grab it. All I can say,with certainty, is that is what the spots looked like though I do think that it may have been a whale shark.


Did it look something like this ?


Because then I know what it was ;)

WOW. Looks like a sperm whale. I bet you have the only video of a whale bumping into equipment a that depth. Looks like he wanted lunch and thought you were a squid..or was unable to detect the the lines. Sure seemed suprised and headed up to surface suddenly.
Whale sharks are filter feeders..with big white spots--can be 30 and more feet long. Huge. The grainy video.in the center..that does look like the mouth..and faintly spots.
Wonder if engineers need to put anti whale devices on rigs..kind of like the whistles on cars to chase away deer (NOT serious). But you can hear the accident report!

Well then brace yourself , because I have another :


This one is from a Canyon ROV ,

So the bet is off ,

Looks like another Sperm whale

Looks like another Sperm whale

Gawd. I'm imagining the psychic shock of the ROV operators who've been obsessively pissing around with little bits of machinery when suddenly that enormous hunk of pure NATURE invades their video environment.

Yep, they have all that complex and expensive gear,it is so much trouble to do that job then that whale passes them completely at ease as if to say 'look what I can do'.


Who d'ya reckon did the louder ooin'-and-wowin' -- the ROV guys or the whale returning to its pod hollering, "Youse won't believe the dandy backscratcher I found today"?

This is a great example of deepsea video. Its NOT BP DWH..but look at all the stuff, and swirls and "snow". Kind of "day in the life". You should post examples of "normal". Great footage.

Sperm whale at rig BOP, 900 m, Perth, Australia:

Thass a HOOT, Mainerd -- thanks!

Interesting article here:

Psychologist Warns BP Oil Spill with Have Long-Lasting Impact

A prominent social psychologist says feelings of anger, depression, and helplessness are already apparent in many people whose lives were impacted by the BP oil spill. What’s more, Deborah Du Nann Winter, PhD, told the peer-reviewed online journal Ecopsychology that those and other psychological impacts of the spill are expected to be long lasting. ...

The source interview (5-page pdf) apparently occurred during early summer when there was no end of the flow in sight:

... I think [says Winter] all that anger projected toward the oil companies and toward the President is a way of masking the really unfathomable and profound despair that is just under the surface as we watch this catastrophe unfold. There is a deep sense of helplessness—As Seligman’s classic "learned helplessness" experiments demonstrated, when you put people or other organisms in situations where they have no control, they eventually give up and stop responding altogether. I think we can expect a lot of depression and withdrawal and lack of functioning from people in the Gulf especially, but also people across the country and the world who can identify or feel concern about the situation in the Gulf. ...

Actually, most of the conversation concerns Peak Oil and Winter's hope that this uninvited consciousness-raising will bring the US along more quickly in the right direction than would have otherwise happened. Dang, how I'd love to feel more sure of that . . .

LOTUS. Fear not, this will not have a long lasting influence. Within a year you will have wondered what all the fuss was about. If you are worried about peak oil then, start thinking about building a lot, and I mean, a lot more nuclear power plants. Use the oil you have for non-energy uses. Nuclear power plants can be used for desalinating seawater to potable water. Nuclear power plants can be used for generating hydrogen from seawater, to replace natural gas.

Mill37 is now monitoring the bubbles. Intermittent feed.

I'd like to invite consideration of some theories about three issues, mostly in order to address the commonality in them regarding the approaches we sometimes employ to address issues.

1.) Considerable concern has been expressed in some quarters about emissions from the open connector above the old BOP.

Anybody who has had any contact with either mud or oil is aware that they are very tenacious materials, and in most commonly found circumstances are relatively viscous fluid.

In this case we have a pipe extending nearly three miles below the mud line, which has, alternately, contained both oil and mud.

When cementing a well, it is my understanding that there is always concern about contamination of the cement with either mud or oil, because it may impair the bond between the concrete and the pipe. If I remember correctly, one of the ways they normally approach the achievement of the cleanest possible surface for the cement bond is to send a piston-like device down the well immediately ahead of the cement to scrape any residue off the inside of the pipe. Since in this case the damaged BOP prevented optimal access to the pipe, I suspect that they were unable to employ such a device. Thus, at least in part, the careful and extensive pressure testing after they placed the cement to kill the well.

The result is that there are likely to be significant amounts of oil still clinging to the inside of the pipe throughout its length, and likewise in the BOP, because, although they have flushed it as well as they can, significant parts of it have not been amenable to the use of a pressure washer, or a scraper.

Thus I can imagine a continuous migration of oil residue up the pipe (perhaps carrying mud with it), collecting below the ram until there is a significant enough accumulation to escape the ram, and emerge at the open connection as an intermittent but repetitive "burp."

Assuming that the team is aware of this, they might not consider it to be of concern, but want to monitor it for any changes that might warrant further investigation, and it might not occur to them that some people might not accept their downplay of it as a concern.

2.) About the sonar scanning ROVs. Think of them and the ROVs that are monitoring the open connection as guards. We post guards around sensitive installations, not because they are being actively attacked, but to detect problems early enough so that an appropriate response can be set in motion. It seems likely that the sonar scanning ROVs, and indeed all of the ones which are mostly just observing, are serving the same function, and therefore are not, as has been suggested in some quarters, indicators of an undisclosed disaster taking place under either our or the team's noses.

3.) As for the "fragile" pipes. As I have observed before, Admiral Allen is not a trained orator, but is brave enough, nevertheless, to act as his own spokesman and thus attempt to improve transparency.

The manner in which I interpreted his comments on the attempted retrieval of the pipes is, that as long as they thought that one of them was attached to the drill pipe below the hole, determining that it was, indeed, attached would provide important information. When they were unable to retrieve the pipes, they discovered in the course of those attempts that none of the pipes were attached to anything else.

It is conceivable to me that their attempt to retrieve the pieces of pipe might have inadvertently broken the section off which, up till that time, had been still attached to the sections of drill pipe below, and since it had already been partially sheared by the ram, it could, indeed, be considered fragile at that point regardless of its integrity through the remainder of the pipe.

All of these proposed theories, no matter how plausible they might be to me, may in fact, be wrong, and perhaps even way off base, but they are demonstrations that the way they have been previous characterized by some in doom and gloom terms is not the only perspective from which they can be viewed.

The manner in which various observers have responded to these events is, to me at least, instructive

Many people in a crowded theater will not yell fire, even if they observe that a fire has started. Instead they will call the attention of other people around them to the fire and suggest that people calmly evacuate the area. They know that if they yell fire they will probably cause a panic, and many more people may, as has been demonstrated before, be killed by being trampled to death, than die in the fire.

When we have information from which we want others to benefit, the manner in which we present it is important. If we urgently scream it from the rooftops, criticize and otherwise denigrate those who are attempting to address the issue, label everyone who doesn’t immediately accept our information as stupid, and question the intellectual and moral integrity and motivation of everyone, we shouldn’t be surprised if we get a mixed response.

Some will believe us and will gather in a corner with us and feel superior to everyone else who differs from their view.

Some will believe us, and panic, often directly or indirectly hurting others who are thereby consumed more by the panic behavior than the identified concern.

Others will sooner or later label us as kooks, and dismiss our message as worthless, in spite of its accuracy and potential benefit, or lack thereof.

The observation that “those who don’t contribute to the solution are part of the problem,” may be a bit harsher than I would wish, but it does suggest that only those who contribute to the solution can be credited for any solution.

If we have useful information, it is always appropriate to share it with others respectfully. If, in addition, we can suggest a direction to resolution of problems we can contribute even more. If, in fact, we can actually solve problems, that’s even better. But those of us who only see and communicate problems are unlikely to be of long term benefit because they only sow confusion, and fear, which usually impair the problem solving process.

Anyone can find problems, only a few of us can find solutions. We all have a choice as to which we would rather do.

We all would like to be heroes. But when we try to be a hero at someone else’s expense and/or without considering whether they want our help, some of us call that abuse, no matter how well meaning it may be portrayed as being. Helping little old ladies across streets when they don’t want to cross rarely earns us brownie points.

There is a charming little book by John Ciardi entitled “The King Who Saved Himself From Being Saved” to which I would commend your attention because it illustrates this behavior far better than I ever could.

Thus I can imagine a continuous migration of oil residue up the pipe

without pressure, wouldn't it migrate downward?

Gawd. Oil is bouyant, less dense than seawater. Can't migrate down.

figured any water would be absorbed or displaced by the cement or curing cement.

Disregarding context, this brings up the cement again.
The foamed cement was known to need 48 hours to cure properly.
BP pressure tested (Note that "tested" in this case means "destroyed") the cement after 10.5 hours.
What cement?

Case closed.

The conclusion is what? Don't observe, don't seek confirmation or review by others?

Try reading it again (yes I know it's long) and if you still wonder how I would answer your question, ask it again.

I believe the answer is there in plain language.

Thanks, DEB, for that and many other informative posts. Please keep it up.

David E. Brown,
What I found of “The King Who Saved Himself From Being Saved” was an interesting poem.

One excerpt is:
"And enough palaver! I’m here to do Some slaying, and here I stay. Till I have slain your Giant in two. So bring him on I say!”

What a hoot!

I linked to it, thinking, "that's great that it's on the web, I didn't know that it was available there."

Just as I completed that thought I scrolled down and found that I'd been there before and registered a comment.

Sometimes I surprise myself.

Perhaps that's why I feel so comfortable with the thought of challenging my own perspectives.

Thanks for that,


PS: The illustrations are great. It's too bad they aren't there.

Could someone please explain the implications of having even a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny leak passageway from the reservoir through the well and out the top of the stack.

Could the BOP still be replaced?

And how would this effect the relief well bottom kill?

My totally uninformed guess is that it wouldn't affect that, but they might want some remedial action to prevent it from increasing before plug and abandon is completed.

If so, then what are the concerns of aaltendorf and other leak watchers? That it will erode...or simply that a tiny tiny tiny leak renders the statement "The well is dead" to be technically untrue?

That seems to be the key question. The only foundation I've been able to discover for the concerns they are expressing and the type of "evidence" they are presenting is a psychological one in which given certain premises it becomes easy to see the internal logic, but in that case it's only triggered by external reality in the same sense that PTSD experiences are, not revelatory about the inherent significance of the events themselves that they are experiencing, and the rest of us are puzzling about.

I don't doubt their sincerity though. They clearly believe what they believe they see, and are unable, apparently, to challenge or otherwise test their beliefs.

It is really simple David.

Common knowledge tells us little leaks turn in to bigger leaks usually.

When a little leak starts erupting like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQVimib5ipg , you start wondering what is going on and trying to find answers to it.

By the answers Allen gave in his press conference today you can tell he has no clue this is happening on the well. He says there are no hydrocarbons being released and he does not know where that idea came from.

Allen's nonsense http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/id/232078

Don't you find it strange they have been spending thousands of dollars parking a Rov on top of that stack watching it 24/7 since these eruptions started?

What I don't understand are the people that try to pretend it is not happening.

Quantum, Consider the alternate school of thought. The guys on the other team are knowledgeable and smart and have direct access to the necessary information, and given their demonstrated erring on the side of extreme caution are being transparent. Maybe they have looked at this carefully and come to the conclusion that it is not a leak, somehow, from the reservoir. There are plenty of other fluids down there to leak. e.g., What would leaking oil from a packing gland around one of the cylinder shafts look like. They might know about such a hyd. leak because of the leakdown pressure on a hyd. gage that you are not privy to. But how different would that material look from oil down the pipe? Maybe the burst are when something repressureizes. The point being I'm betting on them being on top of it and us not having all the info. Allen is a very smart cookie. You don't become an Admiral in the Coast Guard by sitting around with your thumb in your ear. There are plenty of others wanting your position so you pretty much have to be at the top of your game. And then there are all the advisor's, not only from Gov't but from competing oil companies, keeping things honest. The CT stuff on every other post is really getting old. Good technical people stick to facts and don't spend a lot of time speculating on rumors and random raw, don't know where that came from, data. Yes, there are times we need to be suspicious of our government, I mentioned that in a previous post. But this is one where I'm going to put my money on the Admiral. Given the visibility on this well etc. I think it would be nearly impossible to hide anything.

So No I don't think it is simple. And yes it is right to wonder where the tiny little bubbles might stem from. And yes it is right to listen to answers from Allen, and I've noticed that when he gets stumped he tells the person he will post the answer on the JIC (I think the acronym is correct). Now in my mind as long as the answer does get posted, then Allen gets one more "atta-boy" point for forthrightness and transparency.

Awildduck, I really have thought about it like you suggest.

I believe BP is worried about it because they parked an ROV over it and are watching it 24/7.

I don't think they want to talk about it or acknowledge because there is nothing they can do about it now and are just keeping their fingers crossed waiting for the waves to settle down so they can take the BOP off and put a new one on and finish killing the well.

I believe they have that ROV sitting there so at the very first hint of a larger leak they can shut the well in with the topping stack because they can not wait till it is full blown because they have removed the choke lines which allowed a gentle close.

Quant, I agree that they have their ROV sitting there just to make sure nothing is changing that they aren't aware of. It is just not obvious that a leak in the capping unit is = to a leak from down below, so the money has to be placed on it being something local and not from the RES. The only other petrol source is, I believe, the seal at the top of the casing, that they are worried about upon lifting the BOP. I would have to believe that if they thought they had significant leak to the res. that they would not be discussing BOP removal. So I'm going to stick with my guess that it is not oil from the res by any path. My other disclaimer is that I'm not in oil so my opinion on the effluent source is pretty worthless. On the other hand I'm casting my lot with the Admiral and Company.

well maybe then if some of the seemingly learned would OFFER that it's maybe leaking and OFFERED what would thus be the implications...OFFERED that the sea floor may be leaking or "if it were" and the implications, rather than a continual stream of "no no no no no no"

I dunno - I'm not schooled in argumentation theory but the methods here leave me queasy.

I don't think you have been reading close enough Mr. Dover. The folks here at the Drum have entertained my questions quite politely, concerning a wide range of subjects. I don't think anybody here disregards different possibilities or scenarios based solely on their not being shown certain ROV feeds, but more by the basis of what's probable VS what's unlikely to happen.

Could someone please explain the implications of having even a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny leak passageway from the reservoir through the well and out the top of the stack.

There would be several reasons for some concern. From a very general perspective, it would mean that there is something about the state of the well that is not understood. Added uncertainty is unwelcome. More specifically, a continuous leak would suggest that there is some place where the pressurized well fluids are close enough to the inside of the production casing for some hydrocarbons to squeeze through some crack or seal. If its at the top, it might be a weak spot that could break due to the mechanical stresses that may occur when they attempt to lift off the old BOP and whatever my be hanging below it.

On the other hand, what's the worst case scenario? Even if the wellhead were to be completely trashed and oil started spewing out as before, the relief well is poised for a bottom kill. This would be a PR disaster for BP and the US gov't, and it would add further injury to the GOM, but its hardly a doomsday scenario.

There is a lot of smart folks on this site engaged in a very high level of mental masturbation about the Macondo well and its aftermath; I have learned a lot from some of you, thanks. After 50 years of exploration and production work, including six years as a well control hand for the best blowout company in the world, I have learned that it is never too late to learn something new, that a fella should never assume he knows too much about the oil business because it will show you two seconds later you don't know squat, that sometimes things are actually what they appear to be and instead of worrying yourself plumb to death with the what-ifs' you ought to just go have a beer and call it a day. A lot of you smart people that need answers for everything about this blowout are simply not going to get them. Its dark down there in that well and hard to see, the ocean deep and vast.

BP got this well on the hip back in mid July. Its stuffed with cement and dead; they gotta get the drill pipe out of the hole anyway, its all flowcut to hell, start pulling on stuff and lets see what happens. I personally do not believe this well is going to erupt out of a man hole cover on Burbon Street next week. John will stuff it in the butt in a few days and maybe that will finally start to calm everyone's paranoid fears about the woulda, shoulda, couldas, but I doubt it, not if Keith Olbermann has anything to say about it.

BP's response to this blowout, to get it partially contained, capped, then killed and cemented, under these new, subsea circumstances, has been an engineering accomplishment of great magnitude. Nobody else could have done it faster, or better. Most Americans cannot accept that because they know nothing about the complexity of controlling blowouts, on dirt much less in 5200 feet of water. Any rational man or woman in the oil industry however must feel some level of pride for BP's response. Now those guys sitting over the well are worn out and getting sloppy looking, letting the feds run the show; it needs to be over, soon. Americans need to be angry at something and I hope in a few weeks they can go back to watching Jerry Springer or cage fighting on television, instead of ROVs and streaming videos.

Because it is going to be alright, all of it. If you want BP belly-up, so be it, you'll probably get that, at least in North America. They're exit plan I am sure includes all the toilet paper in their retail outlets. In the mean time the sun is up and the water is green. The redfishing off Venice this last weekend was as good as it gets. On the half shell, with lemon and butter, ummm good...and the big, sweet shrimp straight off the boats boiled to coon-ass perfection. Last I looked I am not bleeding from my ears and my toes aren't glowing lime green. There were BP people everywhere twiddlin' their thumbs, reading paperbacks, standing on the beach and sitting in their boats looking for oil that simply is not there anymore.

Remember the good men that died on that rig floor, that have died on all rig floors, please. Blowouts are an inherent evil of the oil business that we have been dealing with, successfully, for 110 years. Brave men fix them, mama nature lends a big, soothing hand to putting things back right; we learn from these kinds of incidents, we get safer and we carry on, with our heads held high.

Very eloquent.

Thank you much.

Thank you, sir. You happen to be one of 4 or 5 that contribute to this site that I have learned from and from whom I believe has an appreciation for understanding that is not clouded by suspicion, mistrust and fear. I believe many of your premises to be well thought out and should be, I hope, a tremendous help to the general public that does not otherwise understand. I commend you for that. If someone such as yourself had been a point man for BP from day one perhaps Americans would not be so confused about it all. And not so angry.

When we first began dealing with blowouts in 1915, and stopped simply gawking at them, the learning curve was steep and tenuous. Great men like Kinley and Patton, later Red, Boots and Coots and Joe, spent hours and hours sitting on upside down 5 gallon buckets figuring out what to do, picking and probing at wells, searching for ways, trying rediculous stuff, building this and that right there on location, failing, backing up, starting all over again from a different angle, always figuring out a way. Never quitting. Many, many blowouts over history were so complex and difficult they blew for months, even years before they were capped.

On this well, the first subsea blowout ever, BP was breaking new ground, learning as they went along. I think they made a plan to cap the well to the annular/riser connection within weeks of the blowout, it took as long as it did to build the stack, to amass the plumbing system and manifolds, to set up the diverter plan; it could not have happened any sooner than it did. In the mean time, while they were getting it all set up, the containment steps were hugely successful. Whatever they did to screw the pooch that caused the mess I cannot pass judgement on yet and would not anyway with the understanding that by the grace of God there go I. Their response however, at sea and on the beach, is something this country should feel fairly fortunate about BP being at the helm. CNOCC or TOTAL would have hauled ass within a couple of weeks. With all respects to Anadarko, they won't even pay their share of the bills.

Thank you again, sir.

Whoa...i think mutual mental masturbation might be illegal. Be careful guys.

On this well, the first subsea blowout ever, BP was breaking new ground, learning as they went along.

No true, Mikey. Ixtoc, GOM, 1979. 30 years earlier.

I think they made a plan to cap the well to the annular/riser connection within weeks of the blowout, it took as long as it did to build the stack, to amass the plumbing system and manifolds, to set up the diverter plan; it could not have happened any sooner than it did.

Not true, Mikey. They could have and should have done much better. Had the industry not been so bone-headed and greedy, they would have done something after Ixtoc so that it would not take weeks of oil gushing before they could respond. Thankfully, they are not finally doing that now.

In the mean time, while they were getting it all set up, the containment steps were hugely successful.

Again, not true. The containment efforts were lame. A whale of joke. I blame MMS for not forcing the industry to do better. I blame the industry for being too greedy and arrogant for not doing better. The only successful things about containment was corexit.

Their response however, at sea and on the beach, is something this country should feel fairly fortunate about BP being at the helm. CNOCC or TOTAL would have hauled ass within a couple of weeks.

BP did better than fleeing the job site so we should be happy? But the other operators will high tail it and run away if the same thing happens? Okeydokey. I guess one can hold their head high in a mug shot.

As an expert on masturbation from various perspectives, I can assure you that mental masturbation is not illegal if it's done in the privacy of our own homes, if it's done in public its illegality depends totally on the nature of its graphic and verbal expression.


I'll comment on the rest of your post below.

Yes, eloquent in a whitewash sort of way, the kind of eloquent whitewash I would expect to hear from Obama or some other politician.

Fortunately some of us are less moved by emotion and more moved by facts.

Who is Jerry Springer?

When the ROV feeds are done I hope to be able to watch the trials of the BP president and vice presidents.

Maybe other drilling companies couldn't have thrown the money at this blowout like BP did. Maybe that is why they plan out longer and better the wells they drill and use safer practices.

I think other companies could have killed this well a lot faster. BP made some mistakes along the way.

Believe me, QuantumUS, you don't want to know who Jerry Springer is. Amazing that you're even more culturally out of touch than me. (Grin)

What are these "trials" of which you speak?

That. Was. Awesome.

There is a lot of ... folks on this site engaged in a very high level of mental masturbation about the Macondo well and its aftermath

And you're one of them, Mikey. That was one heck of a slap on your back for the biggest oil industry FU in 110 years.

No, sir, I am not one of them. I will not engage with you, be certain of that, nor will I debate with you that this BP blowout was not anywhere close to being the biggest screw up in the history of my industry in 110 years, not from a loss of life standpoint, length of time to control or even an environmental standpoint. It got the most primetime television exposure, for sure.

I have no connection or particular empathy for BP, only with rational thought. You may specualate until the cows come home, not with me. If you are gigging my former profession and the brave men that worked in it, that risked their lives saving the world from from hundreds of millions of barrels of oil spilling into the environment, I will not dignify that remark in anyway. You don't deserve it.

...this BP blowout was not anywhere close to being the biggest screw up in the history of my industry...

Was? It's not over yet, mikey.

And I guess it's a pretty big screw-up if brave men have to risk their lives to save the world from it.

If you are gigging my former profession and the brave men that worked in it

I think it is pretty crass to invoke the deaths of the crew in defense of BP management decisions.

Those crew members who have spoken up paint a dramatically different picture than the heroic, rosy and sentimental fiction you provide.

Be careful not to tar every bp employee, manager, decision and achievement with the same brush. That does everyone a disservice and both portraits are incomplete.

Thanks for pointing that out. I have made the same point in the past that BP employees are another sub-class of victims of the spill for this very reason.

Of course, my remarks pertain to the particular decisions leading to the blowout. And any BP policies, culture or attitude that may foster and encourage such defective decision making.

BP's safety record and prior violations/convictions, worker's deaths, etc., are very relevant. They demonstrate a persistent problem with safety that goes back years and has killed 26 Americans now.

I do not think industry glorification is in order or productive any more than blind demonization is.

The industry would be well served by displaying some humility about now rather than bragging about how great they are and how thankful Americans should be.

sync, for the most part I agree with you. Your last point about industry hubris, in this specific case, hasn't been exhibited IMO and in fact there have been a few signs that the industry is already moving forward without a great deal of fanfare (e.g. XOM / COP et al contributions to developing a new containment system, revising safety regulations, etc.).

I realize that regardless of their intentions, many/most will view things like that with skepticism, nevertheless, I believe they will forge ahead and real progress will be made. I believe this because I've been part of Mikey's world and seen / been part of the catastrophe/humiliation/investigation/study/innovation/pilot-test/improve/implement/monitor/refine cycle a number of times.

From an industry standpoint, what can appear at times as bravado, bragging and arrogance is most often just confidence that the problems can be understood, overcome and prevented in the future and that that future will be better.

Again, from an industry standpoint, the vast majority of the bragging and arrogance I've witnessed and experienced is company-company; not unlike team-team in sports.

Craig, thanks very much for your comments. However, i was not referring to the industry in the last paragraph, but to Mikey's boasting and self-congratulatory bragging.

The industry as a whole is too smart to act like that and has not. Tony H. came close a few times and BP paid a real price for it.

edit: corrections

"Results of sampling performed by the Lower Mississippi River Keeper in the Lower Atchafalaya Bay area on August 2, 2010

East of Oyster Bayou, LA:

Soil: 378 mg/kg Hydrocarbons and six Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) (0.222 mg/kg)
Oiled vegetation: 2.3% Hydrocarbons and 31 PAHs (0.554 mg/kg)
Fiddler & Blue Crab: 2,230 mg/kg hydrocarbons
Oysters: 8,815 mg/kg Hydrocarbons
Results of sampling performed by the Lower Mississippi River Keeper in the Mississippi River Delta on August 3, 2010

Mouth of Pass-a-Loutre:

Sediment contained 71 mg/kg Hydrocarbons and 14 PAHs (0.8713 mg/kg)
Muscles: 6,900 mg/kg Hydrocarbons and seven PAHs (0.386 mg/kg)
Oysters: 12,500 mg/kg (1.25%) Hydrocarbons and two PAHs (0.063 mg/kg)
Sandy soil: 29 to 38 PAHs (3.7259 to 3.934 mg/kg)
Soil from vegetation behind beach: 0.4 to 1.16 % Hydrocarbons, and 20 to 40 PAHs (49 to 189 mg/kg)"


Unfortunately, without a frame of reference I have no idea what the significance of this information is.

When I get a blood report they list normal ranges for each reading, so, even though I don't necessarily know what it means if my potassium levels are low (actually I know that low potassium inhibits the ability of muscles to effectively receive electrical commands from the nerve system), I at least have indications that it might be wise to investigate that issue further.

Here are two EPA sediment samples from Marsh Island, very near Oyster Bayou, that were taken in May before the oil arrived.


The LA coast was not exactly pristine-- there were measurable amounts of many PAHs at around 1 ppB each in the sediment, and 8 ppM of diesel range + oil range hydrocarbons (not comparable to total hydrocarbons in the other report).

Over on the Bird's Foot, west side, there were some pretty bad sediment reports from before the slick arrived. This one (May 2) has B(a)P, considered the most dangerous PAH, at 60 ppB*; nickel at 17.5 ppM, near the chronic hazard level; and oil + diesel range HC at 108 ppM. Sorry these are not the same categories as used in the linked report, but you can add up the total PAHs if you want to.


EPA allows only 0.2 ppB of benzo(a)pyrene in drinking water.

Thank you.

Remember the good men that died on that rig floor, that have died on all rig floors, please. Blowouts are an inherent evil of the oil business that we have been dealing with, successfully, for 110 years. Brave men fix them, mama nature lends a big, soothing hand to putting things back right; we learn from these kinds of incidents, we get safer and we carry on, with our heads held high.

Like the brave man Jason Anderson who was so worried about how things were going on this well that he began educating his wife on how to take care of things at home without him.

On previous wells drilled with the same rig, Jason Anderson, a 35-year-old employee of vessel owner Transocean Ltd., had been able to convince BP representatives to eschew shortcuts that he believed would compromise safety, his father said. But in the eight weeks preceding the disaster, BP stepped up the pressure and overruled safety objections, Billy Anderson, 66, said.“My Jason told me he had argued BP down a few times on previous wells when they wanted him to speed things up and make changes that were unsafe,” Billy Anderson said yesterday in an interview at his home near Blessing, Texas, about 110 miles southwest of Houston. “But the last two times he was home he said they were putting more and more pressure on him and he was worried.”
Blowouts may be an inherent evil, but less so if shortcuts aren't taken. This brave man died because he could not slow BP down and stop the shortcuts.

When something is dangerous shortcuts should never be taken. BP was convicted of felony in the Texas Refinery fire and rather than learn that shortcuts should never be taken they took them on this well and more brave men died. They have blood on their hands from both incidents and given that corporations are now fully considered people in this country I say give them the death penalty.


What you characterize as unjustified skepticism, is really nothing more than good old American common sense. Sure, we aren't experts. But we still have enough intuition to know when something just doesn't pass the smell test.

The parties you want us to believe are the federal government and a multi-national corporation, both of which have conflicts of interest and a horrible track record of candor throughout this disaster.

Forget about the merits of every skeptics concerns because, yes- there are baseless accusations being made every day, but that does not discount everyone's concerns as illegitimate.

Whether it is the use of dispersants, ecological damage, claim payments, well or sea floor integrity; there is simply too much 'circumstantial evidence' out there right now to believe everything the perpetrator of this disaster is saying.

Thoughts and prayers for those that died should not be forgotten, everyone is in agreement on that. I hope this is not being used as a diversion from some of the issues that are still in play- that can still cause us harm but that we can do something about.

I understand and appreciate your wish to understand everything that happened, sir. I also understand the general loathing that people have had toward my industry in general and now especially have towards this horrible event and the entities that may or may not have caused it.

If two people with equal education and experience offer opposing opinions of a given situation I suggest to you that most of the time the opinion that people will saddle up to is the one they want to believe, regardless of facts. Nothing BP or my industry can say to calm America's fears about this well or its aftermath matters because people chose not to believe it, not to trust in it. They want, actually need to believe the worse about BP, that the well will never be dead, that the sea food will never be the same, that vast plumes of dispersed, sunken oil will forever wander the loop current in search of clean, white beaches to foul. I do not care a poka dot glove about BP and see and hear those men that perished on that rig floor in fitful dreams. I care about my industry and in order for us to carry on supplying America's energy needs, loathed or not, some sense of trust must be re-established in our ability to do so.

It is hypocritical of Americans to wave their fingers in my industry's face for the risks we have to take, now, after this accident, when 4 months ago nobody cared bean dip where their gasoline came from as long as it was cheap and without guilt.

A woman replying to my comments previously implied that BP cut corners on the Macondo well with malice in it's evil heart and that those were in charge, I assume the engineers and the district managers, corporate officers should be put to death for what happened.

I think there is little else for me to contribute here, thank you, sir.

I agree, Mikey, before all this, no one cared where the oil/fuel/plastic/etc.. came from except the people in the industry (alot of people*).



Don't forget that you fired the first shot. You opened your post with the statement that a lot of us here were just masturbating. I can't resist a challenge like that!

You also over-stated your case and made some bold factual mis-statements that sure sounded like a blanket exoneration of the industry, one that is not warranted.

So if you got rougher treatment than you expected, that's why. I don't think anyone sucker punched you.

I hope you'll hang around. It sounds like you have a lot of interesting inside perspective I'd love to hear. But get your facts straight if you don't want to be challenged. And calling people jerk offs, even politely, will surely elicit return fire!

IBMikey,You said, "If two people with equal education and experience offer opposing opinions of a given situation I suggest to you that most of the time the opinion that people will saddle up to is the one they want to believe, regardless of facts. Nothing BP or my industry can say to calm America's fears about this well or its aftermath matters because people chose not to believe it, not to trust in it. They want, actually need to believe the worse about BP, that the well will never be dead, that the sea food will never be the same, that vast plumes of dispersed, sunken oil will forever wander the loop current in search of clean, white beaches to foul."

For many of us, that statement is inaccurate. BP lost the right to our individual and collective trust when they lied right from the start about the flow rate. I myself became suspicious of BP after they were caught in lie upon lie. Had they been more forthright and honest from the beginning, I would have never given them a blank check for trust, but I would not have distrusted them like I do now. They handled this dishonestly. The same goes for the US government, IMO. I do not believe BP duped them. The Government US and BP are perpetrating this charade together.

IBMikey - I´ve put some of your sentences into another context :

"There is a lot of smart folks on this site engaged in a very high level of mental masturbation about the Chernobyl disaster and its aftermath;
I have learned that it is never too late to learn something new, that a fella should never assume he knows too much about the nuclear business because it will show you two seconds later you don't know squat, that sometimes things are actually what they appear to be and instead of worrying yourself plumb to death with the what-ifs' you ought to just go have a beer and call it a day.
Because it is going to be alright, all of it."

Would you have written these words in the context of Chernobyl ?


I sincerely hope that you won't surrender and abandon us because I believe we can all profit from your input, even, perhaps, those of us who instinctively bristle at even an indirect defense of various players in this disaster.

I know that you have received some excessively harsh responses, none of which I consider to be on the mark, let alone deserved.

I would like to propose a truce and suggest that we all take a deep breath and consider that perhaps all of us share some important common views and values, to wit:

1.) I believe that all of us recognize that this was a major disaster, which nobody deliberately planned, nor wanted to happen.

2.) I believe that all of us can recognize how tragic the loss of life triggered by this explosion was and is, as well as the undeserved pain that has rippled out through the families and friends of those killed, as well as their co-workers, and others engaged in the same kind of endeavors around the world. In fact we will all pay a price in pain for this, if only in our increased sense of mortality and and vulnerability.

3.) I believe that all of us hope for the speediest possible resolution and abatement of further danger that still needs to be undertaken in order to confine the physical manifestation of this disaster to the history books.

4.) I believe that we all want to know what happened as well, especially so that appropriate measures can be undertaken to prevent anything similar in consequence or magnitude, even if very dissimilar in overt appearance, from ever happening again.

5.) I believe that all of us want prompt and appropriate recompense for anyone who was injured by this disaster.

6.) I believe that all of us want to contribute in a positive way to the swift and complete resolution of all of the remaining issues regarding this disaster.

7.) I believe that we all want people from all walks of life to continue to take the unavoidable risks that are needed to ensure that all of civilization achieves the highest possible standard of living.

8.) I believe that all of us want to encourage the mitigation of risk for those who are prepared to risk their lives not just for their own benefit, but for the benefit as well of their families, their business or organization, and indeed, the rest of civilization.

9.) I believe that all of us want both commercial interests and governmental entities to work together for the betterment of all to whom they have to account.

10.) I believe that, while we all want responsibility to be assigned to all those individuals and entities which had a significant role in creating the atmosphere, making the decisions, designing the procedures, and executing those procedures, and that appropriate, but not excessively harsh consequences be levied upon all responsible parties.

If we can agree on even most of those points, then we ought to be able, in good faith, to discuss some of the details about the who's and the what's in a relatively calm and respectful manner. We all believe that we want to be respected. What better way to achieve that than by being respectful of others.

And yes, I believe that has to start with me. I just hope that others will be able to help me fulfill that intention.

Thank you, again. I believe that constant, never ending speculation about matters in life that we basically have no control over is a form of mental masturbation but I should not have otherwise stated it that way, admittedly. The people that need to know about this accident, what caused it, how to respond better to the next one, will know. Come mid term elections most people in this country, that are now 1st stringers on this site, will have forgotten about all this and be on to hating something else.

Open minded debate is a great thing, closed minded hate and contempt, an unwillingness to learn, even if one is not hearing what they want to hear, I have no time for anymore. I am defensive of my industry and I resent, deeply, being insulted and berated by mean spirited people who otherwise don't know come here from sic 'em about the oil business and well control, who think some how their set of "facts" are absolute truths because they hear them on MSNBC. I have been laboring in this industry since I was 8 years old, and I have seen my share of dead men on rig floors, including friends. To suggest I was using this tragedy to defend BP at the expense of those men who perished on the Horizon, is, well, I can't even describe it. I called no body names and my humility I was quite clear on, I believe. I was simply wanting to engage people in a different, more positive way of looking at the current status of the well. 99.9% of the people in this country still think this well is going to cause the sidewalks in Cleveland to buckle and MY experience tells me that is unfounded, needless fear. My intentions were to create trust and reassurance in an amazing industry that has provided the energy it took to make this country great for more than a century. That trust is just as contructive to our energy future as this contant, hateful bickering and second guessing everything and everybody involved in this blowout. Actually, more constructive.

It is an angry country we live in, the proof is in this puddin'.

Keep up the good fight, sir.

Speakin of puddin, don't get any of that mental masturbation on ya..........

How in the hell did I miss that one??? Does mental masturbation make you go blind too......just checking since I already need reading glasses as it is

You two should get a room already!

99.9% of the people in this country still think this well is going to cause the sidewalks in Cleveland to buckle and MY experience tells me that is unfounded, needless fear. My intentions were to create trust and reassurance in an amazing industry...

Well, I applaud your good intentions. But you use an awfully broad brush, Mikey, and insulting and demeaning the people you claim you want to create trust and reassurance in is not a winning strategy.

So, would you displace a riser and 3000' down hole with seawater before setting the top plug, or without hydrostatic balance in the hole, with the bottom cement the only barrier, and with a straight shot from reservoir to the rig floor?

Do you think the new regs requiring two barriers below BOP before displacing make sense?

Why do you think Harrell said, "I guess that's what we got them pinchers for"?

P.S. Do the roles of OIM and Company Man, and their respective authorities need some tweaking or clarifying? What about the inherent conflict of interest for the CM (safety vs. profit) and the de facto conflict of interest for the OIM (concerns about career and job security in standing up to CM).

Hey, Mikey, I'm with you. Willingness to keep learning is the key. Tough, sometimes, since everything I learn means something I thought I knew, I didn't. Few things are as galling as ignorant certitude, especially being taken to task by folks who don't know diddly about a topic we have spent a lifetime trying to master. We can't help gravitating toward people who are telling us what we want to hear, but we should try to resist the temptation.
People worry too much. But they're encouraged to. Doomsayers from left and right encourage people to fear the worst, to see enemies where there aren't any. And the media is all too willing to perpetuate the hoax. To me, doomsayers are the douche-bags of the world because they profit from spreading ignorance and fear, two things we don't need more of.
When will people learn that demonizing (or deifying) makes us dumber, not smarter? Even some folks here who should know better grouse about BP holding back crucial information about, say, what's going on downhole. I don't have to know BP well to know that they don't know what the f*ck is going on down there but that they have a heck of a lot of people arguing behind the scenes about what is probably going on, that the opinion is not unanimous, and that the less BP airs its experts' collective confusion the better.
Anyone with any experience with a great big company knows how hard it is to get it right. Is your corporate management a bunch of geniuses? No? Contrariwise, are they evil people who deserve to go to jail? Maybe some we could name come close, but probably not most, right? All I'm arguing is for thoughtful people not to attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

If this is the best that we can do about the "inherent evil" of deepwater blowouts I submit we should not be doing deepwater drilling at all. Really.

And I'm glad the seafood you are eating is tasty, Mikey, but has there been enough water sampling and fish testing to be sure it's safe? Not yet, I'd say:



The oysters have yet to recover from Ixtoc. The herring have yet to recover from the Exxon Valdez. "Mama natures big, soothing hand" can be slow, and can sometimes slap us back really hard.

And you wonder why USGBP raises our ire? Pardon my French, F*CKERS.


I cannot find any other source for this news other than the Yahoo report. Not to minimize Yahoo, but there are way too many inexperienced reporters out there working for various internet sites. Many like sensationalism. If this news about Pensacola and the photo is true , it is sad, because it makes me think of Matt Simmons all over again. But I would think it would have been plastered all over Florida papers by now if the beach really looked like that! So until I see more legitimate sources, like the Coast Guard themselves being quoted, I am going to reserve judgment about the veracity of this news. Too many nuts out there on sites like "Beforeitsnews" , The Examiner, EUTimes, etc, trying to scare the pants off people.

Quantum and Lady-Li,

Thanks for setting me straight. I stand corrected.

At what is the Olympic Challanger looking right now ?
The old BOP lying on the ground ?


My Olympic Challenger feed isn't active at 5:18pm. That's what always happens!

Is this the pipe? Was wondering what it was..has joints. Interesting sea floor stuff.

JEC - exactly that´s what I mean.
The Rov did a long flyover. It´s very long and I don´t think it´s a pipe, because it has sections that looks quite different.

Looks like the old riser with itsflotation jacket.


For once I agree with catnip, oh, please see my ping further up.


NAOM - catnip is an other name for Nepeta, right ?
Please don´t joke with me, because my bad English doesn´t allow me to taste the niceties of american humor. LOL.

Did I understand you right : You are not seeing the Olympic Callenger right now ?

I work myself through the thread...and when I find your ping, NAOM, I´ll answer (if I´m able to).

Nepeta Cataria/Catnip/Cat Mint
OC back on now, was off for a short while earlier. Many ROVs have been having maintenance trips.


Good for you and Lady-Li...

I recently came across this amusing short history of the gallon and related archaic units of measure. It was a fun read up to the point where it said:

...the fledging USA made a decision on the size of the gallon (and the bushel too). The standard US gallon would be the "Queen Anne" wine gallon, of 231 cubic inches (3.785 litres).

The story goes on to say:

The "corn gallon" or dry gallon was used in the US until fairly recently recently for grain and other dry goods, being 268.8025 cubic inches, one-eighth of a Winchester bushel.

along with many many other amusing factoids, but the first quote is what matters here.

According to this version of history, a conscious decision to use the girly-man Queen Anne gallon is the reason why the US gallon is 27% less than the British imperial gallon (4.55 liters (litres?)).

I grew up believing the story that the small size of the US gallon was due to British merchants selling the gullible colonists short, not a conscious decision as the above passage implies.

Another cherished myth debunked?

Nubs. Do you still use the term "fifth". I understand that was a fifth of a US gallon?

Yes, whiskey is still sold by the fifth in the US.

For the US, a Fifth = 26 fl oz
For the Brits, they get 6 x 26 fl oz to their gallon

Not bad, an extra bottle of booze for every gallon bought, sound good to me!


Those white things come out of the black organism and they swim along with it like body guards. It leaves a dark colored trail of some type of substance that resembles oil... It is shooting that white stuff everywhere...I have never seen anything like this.

Includes footage of aliens, fire and everything. Also


Looks like a comb jelly (ctenophore) , strangely lit. The flashes of light are not fluorescence or luminesence; they are produced by refraction of the illuminating light by rows of tiny hairs. See also this

Does anyone know what Oly – ROV 2 is doing with a pipe? Methanol xkid recovery?

That is the drill pipe that fell apart as they were lowering it. He has declared himself king of the Rov's.

Now that was funny! King of the ROV's, indeed.

that's a bit from Steven Wright's upcoming album...pretty damn funny.

Alright damnit, this has gotten to the point of downright bullshit- a joke to be called objectivity...

Someone posted a question about seafloor cracks & possible methane gas/oil leaks. Several industry experts, and a moderator I believe, just dismissed it out of hand as conspiracy talk.

Forget the detailed/technical talk crap on here for a second. If this is such a damn conspiracy, then why the hell has BP and the United States government both talked about seafloor leaks? Why has Thad Allen admonished BP, and told them to monitor these seafloor anomalies better? This is not THE basis for believing something is going on down there- but it's certainly a reasonable basis to be concerned.

Note: I can't find the comment right now because they are not listed in the order that they were posted, but it's in this thread.

Well, Man, I think the reason people are getting short-fused about it is that it's been done to death on here. Yes, there are seafloor leaks. Millions of them. On every continental shelf in the world. Allen only wanted the identified ones watched to see if they have any relationship to the well. It's prudent, even if nothing is found.

As for seafloor cracks, try filling a fish tank full of sloppy fine mud, then make a crack in it. It doesn't stand. The seafloor there hasn't got the cohesion to allow that. Nor will it hold any accumulation of gas - the gas would steadily bubble through. Also, the first 950 feet of seafloor at that location is a clathrate stability zone. Gas coming from a deep source normally would become methane hydrate and stay put before it even got up to the zone where it could escape. The gas that does come up is from shallow sources, and it tends to come in bursts because of the mechanical stirring done by the ROVs and the hoses being dragged around, etc.

The important thing to watch is: Gas coming from a reservoir through any kind of actual leak will NOT come in bursts. It would be a steady stream, likely increasing over time because of channeling. Anything that pops up for a few minutes then goes away cannot be a real leak. It's just a disturbance of top layer stuff.

Someone posts a big hand-wavy thing about seafloor leaks every day.

It's incredibly annoying but hey, let's do it again.

I think it boils down to this. Gas is leaking through the cement up to the top of the stack, currently being monitored. Numerous sightings of throbbing mud, hardened and raised seafloor, lots of floating snow. All of which has been denied or ridiculed or explained away, both officially and here at TOD. Sonar is "abundance of caution."

It is conceivable that BP will succeed at detaching the capping stack and BOP, replacing it with another to plug & abandon the well to API-MMS specifications.

How this is possible with a drillpipe cemented in, I do not understand, nor do I think anyone else does, officially or otherwise. They are hoping to lift the BOP far enough off the wellhead to saw the drillpipe (!) or discover that there is no drillpipe to cut because it fell down the well. If there is any x-ray, nuclear, or pressure data establishing the existence of a pipe extending below the mudline from the BOP, I don't know. Technical briefings ended a long time ago. Admiral Allen doesn't seem to know a great deal about current ops.

But suppose we're all pleasantly surprised. The well is killed from below by the relief well and cemented at the top to API-MMS specs. At that point, seafloor leaks elsewhere (if any) either cease or are disregarded. There are a lot of seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.

No need to discuss the risks of removing the stack and BOP. We'll see soon enough what happens, if they permit the public to see it, as Admiral Allen directed in a letter to BP.

I'm not sure if we're allowed to advocate suicide on this board but if we can you should kill yourself.


Typical. Anything goes except rational discussion.

Here's an inteview of Dr. Hazen with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:

One excerpt says:
"It looks like they can basically - we calculated this half-life, okay, so half of the oil being degraded in a certain period of time, and another half of the remaining being degraded, because there are some components that don't degrade as fast. But, you know, in as little as two or three days, we see half-lifes in that order."

For the biologists out there, the new microbe is related to Oceanospirillales.

There is still lack of information concerning which components of HC this microbe biodegrades but the news from Dr. Hazen is very positive. Let's hope for the best!

Say what you will, why is the feed from BOA sub C 1 so out of focus/pixellated that you could barely see a quart can of Quaker State floating out?

If JIC/ animal fat are concerned about credibility this would NOT be. They either love feeding the CTs or there is something to hide.

That's Millenium 37 on Boa 1 feed. Blacks crushed, very high contrast, no detail. I think it's deliberately positioned facing North so that liquid "bubbles" falsely appear to be falling down, carried by current under the ROV which is obviously higher than the yellow stack connector. A flickering halo of gas is visible.

All this was crystal clear yesterday and earlier today, of course.


Hilarious Avon, nearly spilled my coffee.

Simple Question for the Experts:

Do you think BP is afraid to drill the relief well?

BP is cowering like schoolchildren.

Relief wells are so frightening they can barely make twenty billion dollars this year.

Another rubbish answer, gassy. As much goodwill as a toad.

BP Plc is setting up BP America for Chapter 11, selling upstream US assets.

Is BP afraid to drill the relief well?

It's a fair question, probably the most important one, and maybe the only one worth asking anymore given the lack of information available. What does your gut instinct say industry folks?

My instinct says no. They'll finish the RW as soon as the powers that be give them the go-ahead.

My gut says.....

BP knows the flow path was via the shoe at the base of the casing. If this is the case, the relief well got de-prioritized since it's purpose was to stop the flow thru the annulus.

Yes, they could punch the relief well down and spot some cement in the annulus but they can do a more thorough job from the inside of the casing. I think they will drill out the cement in the inside of the casing. Run a cement bond log which will locate the exact top of the cement in the annulus from the original cement job.

At the cement top, they will perforate the casing and squeeze cement into the annulus (Stage one). Again run a cement bond log to find the cement top, perforate and squeeze in stage two. This process will continue until the entire annulus is cemented from top of the original cement top to the sea floor. This degree of precision is not possible with the relief well. It's not complicated and will go fast. You want to squeeze the new stage before the old stage has a chance to cure so the two stages will mix.

When the entire annulus is cemented, a cement bond log can be run confirm they have a good cement job from bottom to top. If flaws are found in the cement, additional cement can be squeezed.

Once the annulus is deemed safe from the top of the original cement job to the surface, they should drill out the cement in the casing down to the reservoir level, of course, with very heavy mud. Since they are drilling inside of a cased hole, lost circulation won't be an issue. As they proceed to the bottom of the well, they can stop periodically and run bond logs to evaluate the condition of the annulus. Addition cement can squeezed as needed.

Once the entire annulus is sealed from the casing shoe to the sea bed, the entire inside of the casing should be filled with cement again in stages. This is more cementing than is required for normal plugging but not extreme in my opinion considering the circumstances.

I really think the relief well is a non-issue at this point but it won't hurt to have it as a safety while the plugging is proceeding. Maybe they could do one ceremonial plug with the relief well but it would be half-ass. You need to run bond logs to ensure the quality of the cement. The bond logs can only be run from inside the casing.


NU. I am with you. My mates familiar with oil drilling said exactly the same as you. They added that TO will probably cut off the well head assembly for BP to recover; and the production casing hanger assembly with it. And put a "dustbin lid" on top after final cementing. They reckon the relief well intercept would be a step backward at this point.

Off topic, but there was a shooting at the BBIC Sylacauga, Alabama plant.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 11:06 AM
A pre-dawn shooting at Blue Bell Creameries in Sylacauga appears to be a murder-attempted suicide, authorities said today.
Police received a call of shots fired about 4:20 a.m. in the parking lot near the intersection of West Fourth Street and North Anniston Avenue. Officers arrived to find two people inside a car there, said Capt. Chris Carden.


Holy crap. That's can't be a good sign, TFHG.

Something's going to break on that well now, I know it.

You guys have been eating too much. Poor folks are getting despondent because they can't keep up!

I hope the white house doesn't get wind of it, they're liable to commence with another long drawn out operations take over and investigation, and then there'll be a lot of sad sacs around here waiting on production to resume.

Now hold on there Admiral. The temperature of the flow was what, around 240 degrees. And then after removing the broken riser the water temperature was what, around 40 degrees. Nope, I'm not a metallurgist but I don't think that would cause the pipe to be brittle.

Here's my presumptions of what happened.

Two strings of pipe in the riser and BOP. One long and one short (short string fell out of the lazy suzy and down the riser during the rumble).

The diamond saw cut the shorter pipe even shorter, so you then had a shorter short piece (round shaped smooth cut end looking up) inside the BOP, alongside the really long string extending into the riser.

The big claw shears cut higher than the diamond cut thusly made an even shorter piece from the top of the originally shortest piece (which is now the medium length piece).

So you then had a very long string, a medium length piece, and a short piece (oval shaped rough cut end looking up).

The mule shoe knocked the long drill string down the hole (yup, I'd say that thar piece of evidentiary value is now well preserved in cement), and then the shortest piece took its place in the center line (oval shaped rough cut end looking up).

If the fishing tool had bumped the long string during that fishing trip it would've fell out of site because I don't think its oval shaped end would've hung up on the rams. No way a long string that heavy would only fall just a little ways, so, the piece now in the center line is the shortest pipe.

I hope I'm wrong, I'd like to see the big power saw in action. You could have them cut down the flagpole. After all they did make short work by not having to deal with drill pipe dangling from the BOP :-D

Drilling the escape tunnel in Chile - I understand that the rock that will be drilled is very dense and difficult to drill, but I am curious as to why the cuttings have to fall instead of being removed as the hole is drilled. The petroleum industry drilling set-up removes cuttings as the borehole is drilled, using the drilling fluid to flush cuttings to the surface. Why can't a drilling set-up like that be used to drill the escape tunnel for the miners trapped in Chile? I am concerned that the cuttings that fall into the mine cavity will be too much for them to remove to clear the path to the tunnel, and since the cuttings won't hit bottom until the bore intersects the tunnel, they will all come down at once. Sounds like a "cave in" or "collapse" situation to me, and that too much depends on the trapped miners' ability to move all of that rock out of the way before the escape capsule can be lowered to allow them to escape. And why would it take 3 hours for the escape capsule to be hauled to surface for each guy? I guess I am just curious about the logistics and mechanics of this method of rescue, but I sure would like to know if those cuttings could be removed as the drill advances rather than caving into the mine at the end of the hole.

Thanks Acornus. This still doesn't explain why they can't bring cuttings up using a different kind of drilling machine. 3 tons of cuttings for these miners to remove seems like an awful lot, and "time outs" will have to be scheduled for that removal before drilling resumes, further slowing the process. And where are they supposed to put 3 tons of cuttings down there where they are trapped?

Another source I read says the miners will have to move 3,000 tons of cuttings to clear the path to the rescue borehole. The "numbers" from the news reports are all over the place, but whether it's 3 tons or 3,000 tons, I can't imagine dredging those cuttings out of the way and putting them aside at the bottom of the hole.

The drill they're using is the only one they could get that can make a big enough hole. They didn't have a choice. The miners can move the cuttings with no trouble at all. Routine day's work for them. And they have plenty of room to store them. (Not saying any of this is easy, just that it's all workable).

Chira. Following is a quote from our Sky News TV.

"Andres Sougarret, the engineer in charge of drilling, said: "The miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls."

That could amount to between 3,000 and 4,000 tons of rock, work that will need crews of about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.

The men have basic clearing equipment, such as wheel barrows and industrial-sized battery-powered sweepers, Mr Sougarret said.

The hole is expected to end up several 100 yards from their living area in the mine's shelter, giving the men room to manoeuvre and store the rocks, he added.

Once drilling begins, the team will have to decide whether to fit the wider hole with metal casing, often used to seal a hole and prevent collapses in the walls."

Yeah, and adding to that, the cuttings won't be big. More like sand and gravel than the usual mine rubble these men deal with. They may actually be able to park wheelbarrows under it and collect most of it without having to shovel. Seriously, I've moved material this way and it's hard work but they can do it.

I doubt it will be necessary to case a hard-rock hole. Should stand just fine.

Good detail about some of the miners and how they've organized themselves here:


Thanks to Acornus, Pinkfud, and Lotus for informative and reassuring answers and information for my questions and concerns. My visualization of the cuttings is the stuff from the small pilot hole coming down first in pretty much one big heap when the pilot hole drill breaks through into the mine cavity. Then the cuttings from the big hole will be coming down through the pilot hole as much as possible, but also probably some large cuttings that won't emerge until the breakthrough of the large hole at the bottom of that hole. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the cave-in instability of the geologic area won't be a factor in this rescue drilling operation. Now please think about why they need ~3 hours to pull up the rescue capsule from that depth for each miner's evacuation.

You're welcome, chira. This is the first I've heard of 3-hr trips -- are you sure? Everything I've read said one hour.

MOON. Interesting picture you posted, of the lifting tool. It appears to be fitted with alignment horns, but I am unsure what sockets they are going to align with? I assume that on the bottom of this gizmo, it has a standard H4 hydraulic connector. So put me right if you think otherwise.

We have a hydraulic unlatch-able H4 on the bottom of the DWH BOP. We have an H4 between the BOP and the LMRP. We have an H4 on top of the new spool piece that is bolted to the LMRP riser flange. We have H4 on top of the capping stack, which will connect with the new lifting tool.

I think I read up thread, that the Cap stack will come off first. The spool piece; LMRP and the BOP will then come off the well head in one string. What say you?

No, here's the plan.

They will attach the tool and TRY to unlatch the capping stack. But the mechanism will fail. Then they will spend several days futzing with that. Then they will decide to take the LMRP with the stack. But that mechanism won't work either. Then..... (I hope not, but given the track record so far...)

PINK. Should we, god forbid, ever be trapped in a Chilean mine together. Please don't sit next to me.

It's an open thread, so System turns greenhouse gases into fuel

A Californian company has filed a patent for a technology which it says allows CO2 and natural gas to be converted directly to gasoline. Carbon Sciences' Gas to Liquids (GTL) fuel technology is based on a chemical catalyst that converts methane and carbon dioxide directly into gasoline. The gases can be sourced from natural gas fields or coal-fired power plants, landfill gas, municipal waste, and even algae. The company says it could have the system ready as soon as next year.