BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Changeover Completed - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6921.

Note: The previous thread was http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6915.

Well, in one day the progress on the Deepwater Horizon moved significantly further towards the end. First the capping stack was removed from the well, and then, after a strong initial tug on the BOP, and transition spool, they were unlatched and moved away by the Q4000. As they left it was clear that there was no pipe, or hydrates under the BOP, though there was a thin film of a liner inside the BOP mount. This was then cleaned off, and a new gasket inserted. Once that was in place, then the new BOP (from the second relief well) was brought to the well, and lowered until it into place. (There is a Youtube video of the separation with the mount and BOP clearly separated by 3 minutes into the tape.)

Waiting for the new BOP

There was no drill pipe under the BOP, when it was lifted, nor any evidence of one or of any hydrates in the casing of the well itself. Thus some of the concerns that I had turned out to be unwarranted, but we did not know until the BOP was gone, what the conditions were likely to be. The next step in the process is to ensure that the BOP is working properly, and then the relief well will be completed at the beginning of next week.

With the "new" BOP in place.

That will likely be when we find out whether the annulus between the production casing and the well liner is full of oil or drilling mud. Given that a number of my concerns over the condition of the well have turned to be worse than the actual condition, I think I will hold off, at this time, on making any forecasts on that one.

A post for the previous thread about cranes.

Shark: Geez. If the first guy would have made that pick over the rear end of the truck, it probably would have been ok. Truck mounted cranes, for the uninitiated, are really bad. One has to know how to get set up right. Holy Cow!

Cranes don't just have a lift weight, they have to consider the extension and angle as well. I have never operated one , but I have used man lifts that are the same in basic operation. They have a gauge that tell you when you are exceeding reach and height and weight. How did these two guys make such a silly mistake?

I once watched a crane operator lift a weight that was too heavy. He lifted it clear of the roof 3 stories up, and the crane started to go over. This guy began letting the thing down in fast but smooth jerks, catching it each time. The crane rocked back and forth until he got the weight to the ground without losing it. Impressive!

Retracting his boom would have solved the problem without the jerks.
Edit, If he had the room to do so.

This was long ago. The boom didn't have any retraction feature. It was just an old-timey plain cable crane.

Raising the boom does the same thing as retracting it. Gets the load closer to the center of gravity.

He was probably booming it up all the while! I know I would have. Towards the end there, I said no to any hydraulic squirt booms or truck cranes. The only rigs I would run were lattice boom crawler cranes. Much mo bettah!

Shark: I don't know! There is usually a lift chart in the cab so you can see how much capacity you have at a certain radius for different boom angles. For truck cranes, it is usually more capacity over the rear. Follow me? The cranes have computers that will tell you what you are picking and shut the hoist drums down, if you exceed that capacity. I found I could put a dime under the over-ride switch on a certain make of crane, and go on with the pick. I knew the crane would do it, the computer just didn't know it! Don't tell anyone that little trick. Never killed anyone. Never Injured anyone. Never tipped one over. You just gotta know what you are doing. Your ass will tell you.

Agreed, I have red lined a few man lifts in my time, but the only person I put at risk was myself.I made sure that there were no people under me.

Yep. I know. Gotta think about this stuff, all the time. Right now, I am having a hell of a time cause I been CLINK CLINKING a bit much over the deBOPulator and reBOPulator things that went on today! Oh well. Cheers!

How did these two guys make such a silly mistake?

I'd bet they didn't account for the loss of buoyancy as the vehicles came out of the water. The effect would be similar to lowering the boom angle without pulling it in: a sneaky and steadily accelerating overturning force.

oilfield: Thats what I thought too! Things get a bit heavier when they come out of the water, full of ballast. eh?

I disagree, I think that they did not consider the added weight of the water, a slow lift would have probably worked as it would have let the water drain out.

Could be, if there was video we could judge the lift speed. On a second look, the first truck seems to get jammed against the seawall, that could make the vectors interesting, no?

Yeppers, did they not have the room to fully deploy the outriggers? That would be my guess.

"How did these two guys make such a silly mistake?"

The last picture in that video is 'shopped. Pretty badly too. Second truck probably did just fine. : )

Awww, you ruined all our fun speculation ;)

Haha. Sorry 'bout that.

Sorry to be the one to inform you but the photo sequence is a hoax. Toward the end the people have been moved around due to photo shop editing where the first crane that did go in was substituted with the second larger crane in digital editing.

I would like to add my belated congratulations to BP, Admiral Allen, Dr. Chu, and all the many unseen people who worked so unstintingly over the past few months to bring the DWH well under control, though their work is not yet completed.

I believe congratulations are also in order for all of the TOD contributors whose timely application of so much energetic body language and telepathic effort made the essential difference when it came to freeing the old BOP.

And my warm commiserations to all the CT's who's hopes have been dashed once again, although I have considerable confidence that they will have no problem finding other disasters looming precipitously, and in fact, I suspect that for them, this is only a temporary setback in this saga.

While my glass is only filled with med friendly apple juice, I raise it to toast all of the above.


I owe an apology to all those who were understandably offended, otherwise troubled, hurt, or angry about my comments yesterday.

What the hell'd you say!

They were ill-considered attempts to presume upon your willingness to listen to me while I took advantage of that opportunity, to meet my needs at your expense, under the guise of trying to be helpful regarding an issue which is too important to be approached in that manner.

What???? LOL - I think you were simply talking about what you know - topic NOT the problem BUT being off-topic of-ten - simply needed a heads-up.

Yeah. No worries here, Dave. Be of good cheer!

Lessee ... let's cheer Boots and Coots for shutting in a(nother) wild well ... and BP/US government/weather for not F*cking up the shutting in process.

Let's cheer BP for dumping tens of thousands of tons of toxic chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico besides the millions of tons of crude oil/methane they to allowed contaminate the same Gulf with their negligence and greed.

Let's cheer the survival - for now - of a predatory organization that can only meter - for a profit - the waste of its only product. Let's cheer imagination!

--- the reprieve is temporary. BP has no priority claim to a resource that belongs both to the 'People' NOW and People of the future. It's not BP's and the denouement will be either execution or suicide for BP. They - like GM and the rest - have dodged today's bullets. Tomorrow's?

Let's cheer the demise of BP, the dependent auto industry, the dependent political system. the dependent infrastructure constructors and all those who have given new meaning to the term 'Entropy'.

Let's wail about the lost wages of oilfield workers ... oops! There almost 20 million other Americans out of work, some are living in cardboard boxes. These cannot go elsewhere and get another high paying job in the oil industry. Why are these people unemployed? Because of peak oil and decline of inexpansive oil- to- waste. See "Let's cheer the survival", above ...

Let's raise a glass to a calamity that halted short of being a catastrophe. May the corporate apologists choke on their contrived 'success'.

I second your toast and completely agree. All my respects to those who contributed to a solution instead of just the carpers and critics...

And my warm commiserations to all the CT's who's hopes have been dashed once again

Oh HELL NO - maybe ADorf with his mild distrust - BUT today's success doesn't do damage to the multi-well theories, and/as it will just be incorporated.

In Fact, BKLim released a new study late this afternoon with AHiggins following shortly behind with his own addendums, and BOTH were absolutely OBLITERATING the discourse here on TOD.

Yes, it's all being faked to trick us into thinking there isn't a secret wellhead still spewing a billion barrels a day into the Gulf. Faked, just like the moon landings and the 'live' video on 9/11 showing 'airplanes' hitting buildings filled to the gills with nano-thermite. Snort!

You stepped on my Thomas Wolfe quote with your ill-timed post change, so here's another:

Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?

O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?

O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

Some of you will probably complain that this is off-topic but if you read the last open thread you'll see that it relates directly to the celebration of the removal of the BOP.


Somebody explain the perforated joint? Danged if it doesn't look like DD2 ROV1 is looking at a portapotty seat.

When people go off topic let us vote with our replies, Even if the topic is one we care about, we must ask if it is appropriate for TOD. There are many forums out there for many subjects. If it is not about oil or energy in any way, then perhaps we should not add to the thread. Do we want the admins to censor us? I post (kind of) off topic all the time and I think that would take away from the spirit of this site if the admins started deleting my posts. I also hate to wade through pages and pages of totally off topic content.

I also hate to wade through pages and pages of totally off topic content.

It's really the technical stuff that bogs the site down. I mean, it's hard. Sometimes there's math in it. You can't just zoom right through.

So I say, unless we want this site to be hard to read, let's get rid of all the ponderous crap and keep the candy. Who's with me?

I thought that this site was about technical stuff. Maybe that is why I am here? I guess I am mistaken, I will go back to EW and hear about Paris Hilton's latest drug bust. Or perhaps you should do that. I was referring to the umteen pages of psycho-babble from the last thread. It is not really babble, but I don't think that this is the forum for that.
PS link me to the candy part! :-)

Why can't we have both? Surely Paris has commented on the situation in the gulf? I know Brangelina has, and so has Oprah. Why can't we discuss their views on the subject? It would be fun and informative!

Here's the candy shop thing you asked for, shark (too sweet for my tastes).

Wait! There are so many more health issues to explore. I believe the eye thing was covered. Rheumatiz, hearing, joints....Here on the Weathered Oil Drum.

M Onan: Uh....OK!...I'm with you. Just asking to keep it real simple for uneducated ones like me. Thats all. So I can understand.

Good morning TODs. Did anything happen while I was asleep? Don't answer that, it will be much more funs reading the hundred odd new posts in the last thread. I see Thad's one million pound lift was a bit off target. Hey, that guy has done a good job; presidential material I say.

Big congratulations all around, it was TOD that did it; with a little help from the guys on the rigs. Don't forget that old mantra; "There is never a situation that is so bad, that a bunch of politicians can't make worse".

from previous thread

comfychair on September 3, 2010 - 8:07pm
You haven't been paying attention. Shear rams were cycled multiple times during the blowout, control panel indicated they didn't work. That doesn't mean they didn't chop the pipe each time they were cycled. And I may be wrong, but if there's no signal received that the shear rams worked, the LMRP disconnect is locked out. Shear rams cutting the pipe multiple times would explain the multiple pieces of pipe in the BOP.
Don't make me repost snakehead's bears-are-eating-the-sun picture.

paying attention to Whom??? hundreds of speculations and opinions - i didn't realize there was ever a FINAL conclusion??? THUS all the wondering and speculation about what we'd see???

BUT nobody has even addressed the "where's the pipe" questions???

Is it because it's so obvious? If so, then can somebody go ahead and verbalize it - Rockman??

Are you saying that apparently the BOP DID originally shear the pipe, retaining the top cut-off with the bottom cut-off falling to the bottom of the well (thus gone from our view of the top of the de-BOPed well-head) and then the rams retracted, letting the top cut-off fall down some, then getting sheared again and maybe jamming?

Until the BOP is examined we will not know. It is my understanding the the blowout or subsequent rig failure sent another piece of pipe into the BOP which caused it to fail when it tried the sheer operation. Was the sheer operation done at the time of the accident or later when the ROV's tried the sheer? I think that the BOP was in failure mode during the accident and any sheer operations were done later. You will (maybe) have your answer when they recover the BOP.

Well, here's a thought. When the BOP finally came loose, it came with a big lurch like it had really been stuck on something OR suddenly got lighter. Could it be that the DP was actually there, broke or pulled out of the ram, and just sank into the goop in the casing?

Hmmmm. I am not sure what I saw before all of Q4000 went blank. But the BOP was on the bottom by the depth shown (4995) and there was a shot of what looked like drill pipe pulled in two like taffy. The floor hands stood around for a while, then left. Now it's all dark .

If the drill pipe was stuck, why would it sink when it came free of the BOP. Nothing overflowed or splashed out from the well head when the extra volume went in the well. Well head seal was probably stuck but decided to give up and go up with the BOP it new and loved. Pink we now need to concentrate on that hole you mention up thread.

No paedophilia today please.

Yes, the well was full to the top at first. If anything went down, you're right, it would have overflowed. I hadn't thought about that. I still don't know what the hole is or why it's interesting. Sometimes I think those ROV pilots just fixate on some object and then go have coffee or whatever.


Maybe some of their "punking" us???????????

(Why are they watching that hole type thing)

ROVmen: "That ought to keep em busy for a while"

Don't worry it's been moved off site with my apologies to all of you.

I watched the "deBOPulator" video a couple of times and when it popped loose, there was "crap" falling/flowing out of the bottom of it. As it moved a few feet away from the well head, there was a bit of "crap" overflowing the wellhead pipe sticking up. (I thought it was a little funny how when the BOP joint seperated, the ROV jammed it into reverse to back away).

IF the DP was stuck in the shear ram of the BOP AND stuck to/in something down below (3000+ feet) when they lifted and it released itself (broke off or just let go) at the shear....then there would only be about 30-40 feet of DP (above the well head) falling into the hole.

How much mud/crap would be displaced from the well head with 30-40 feet of DP falling in?

EDIT for clinking compensation

It is conceivable that the inertial forces generated when the BOP popped free would put enough tension in the drill pipe for the shear ram to finish its job. Try cutting a piece of thread with a pair of scissors with no tension on it. Then repeat, with the thread held taut.

Locking the pipe with the pipe rams throughout this event would have lessened the tension in the drill pipe simulating the slack thread. The pop would have tautened the pipe, resulting in the successful cut. Maybe they should have opened the pipe rams earlier!

It would be interesting to find out if they still have microphones listening to the well. They should have heard the pipe hit the TOC of the cement plug after its fall. TOC is at 13,000 ft, bottom of pipe was at 8,500 ft, so it would have fallen 4,500 ft.

Speaking of pipe - anyone, please identify for me the large pipe with 2 small pipes clamped on either side that is being shown by DD ROV 1 titled "LMRP Unlatching Ops". This one is vertical. There is another one laying on ground that was shown by OC30 over at the "junkyard/storage" area. Thanx.

I'm hoping they will displace the well with clear brine and send a camera all the way down before they P&A.

Maybe we could get a betting pool together on where the drill pipe ended up. I'll bet it's under 2000 feet of cement just to get things started.

that's 3000ft of drill pipe at the bottom of 5000ft of cement?

i've forgotten how we know there was 3000ft of DP in the well.

The BP well schematic shows there was 3500 feet of drill pipe used to inject the spacer fluid and cement.

PINK. The DD2 Rov 1, is showing that there are multiple holes in that section of Riser. Assuming that is the Riser that is attached to the new BOP on the well head. Why would you need a riser with holes in it. Does this mean they are not intending to do any circulation, down a new drill pipe into the well, and back to the rig?

Beats the heck outta me. I too saw that's what the pipe is when he finally pulled back far enough. The holes look kind of rough-cut, made with a saw and not machined. Good to know it confuses someone else too.

BeePeeOilDisaster has the answer.

That face looks like Rin-Tin-Tinfoilhat to me.


Science unravels why we see faces everywhere

More than a decade ago, Diana Duyser of Hollywood, Florida, received a religious message through an unlikely medium — a grilled cheese sandwich she had made herself. As she gazed at the brown skillet marks on the surface of the bread, a familiar visage snapped into focus.

"I saw a face looking up at me; it was the Virgin Mary staring back," she told reporters in 2004. "I was in total shock."





Maybe vent holes in case they had to deal with a flowing well. Blocked up pipe of the holes so it doesn't go to the platform.


"I'm hoping they will displace the well with clear brine and (...)"

ACK! Let's not tempt fate.
I say leave the mud and run a logging tool down to check for any cement outside the 7" on down to 5,000' above the bottom where cement is supposed to be - and if they run into steel 3,500' before reaching that depth then we'll surely know.

But my bet's also on it being buried under cement.
"The mule shoe knocked the long drill string down the hole (...)"

Hey, that was my idea but I am with you on it being entombed. All that flow probably broke it off if it hadn't come off when cut.


Ben -- Thanks…I like starting the day off with an easy answer. The answer: I don’t know if the rams cut the DP one or more time. I don’t know where the rest of the DP is. I don’t know if any of the DP is stuck in the bottom cmt.

There you go…glad I could help. LOL. I’ll let the BOP lawyers worry about those details. Here’s what I think is critical at the moment: Most important it doesn’t look like DP will get in the way of the new BOP. Next step GIH with drill pipe and see how deep they can get. If they can get to top of cmt cleanly or by fishing out any DP the BIG QUESTION is what next. They could run various logs to determine where cmt is behind the csg as well as csg condition. They could pressure tests various intervals of the csg. Or they could just simple set the required cmt plugs and permanently P&A the well.

I would vote to set the plugs ASAP. Might not make the lawyers and CT folks happy but that's not my concern. Right now the well appears to be stable. I've learned that stability is often an illusion (similar to how the BP folks felt just before the well blew out): the sh*t just hasn't hit the fan yet. Time is seldom your friend in the oil patch. Set the plugs and test them and get the P&A done. They only extra step I might consider would be to perforate and pump more cmt behind the shallow section of csg to kill any possibility of an underground blow out.

BTW: Not to be a kill joy but I haven't cheered, clinked a glass or even smiled yet. Been doing this too long. Get the plugs set and tested. Then I'll relax and smile.

Rockman - You mean sometimes things happen outside the design criteria?


Bruce -- Yep...just color me the perpetual worry wart. Long ago I developed an aptitude for operations even though I'm a geologist. That got me more involved with “problem wells” which led to more experiences which led to me often being “volunteered” to deal with problem wells. I like to fancily compare myself to some of the top heart surgeons. They actually have some of the worse track records since they tend to get the most difficult cases. At least that’s how I try to explain to folks why I’ve been involved in many more little drilling nightmares than most. And sometimes folks actually buy into that BS. I view a well like many seamen view the sea: never ever turn your back on it. A very ugly fatal accident early in my career set an attitude about safety I’ll never be able to set aside.

Rockman, with a quality BOP on top, it makes sense to run a ton of diagnostic logs, tag top of cement, etc. If the annulus is holding up ok, and the top of cement looks fine, then all they have to do is set a permanent packer on top of cement and they can take their time doing whatever they got to do to get the information they need. What I don't get is what's the relief well for, if they got the well sealed tight. It may be better to set a plug on bottom in the relief well, complete it with sensors, and just use it to listen for a few years. I don't think they'll hear much, but who knows?

It may be better to set a plug on bottom in the relief well, complete it with sensors, and just use it to listen for a few years. I don't think they'll hear much, but who knows?

Eh? What would a plugged well have to say, fdoleza?

fd -- I agree about the RW. They can GIH with DP and perf the csg and see if the annulus is hot or not. That would be a straight forward and safe as it can be done IMHO. Using the RW just adds more complications. I agree that with good fluid in the hole the risks should be small. But my position is strictly bottom line ops: plug the well and get off ASAP. Of course, the feds and lawyers have good reasons for more evaluations. But if it were my well I would cuss them out and slam my hard hat on the deck. And then I would run whatever logs/tests they wanted. LOL. Hey...I am a consultant who only gets paid when he's working.

As a scientist, I always want more data. However, I work in a field were photons aren't likely to bite your a$$. I can always afford more study because I have zero safety risk doing one more experiment, one more test and one more measurement. This isn’t true with this well. We’re one more “Oops” away from an undesirable outcome. As much as I would like to know what happened in the well, I think I'd vote with RM to P&A (even with more plugs than called for) right away.

Of course, this means a whole new round of, "What is BP trying to hide?" and “Why P&A now when we could get some real answers?” Of course, the CT folks would get new life with all-new conspiracies around the P&A and what might be hidden, but I think safety trumps the increased noise level (even if some of it is irksome noise.)

This is similar in some respects to the “static kill vs. produce-and-measure-flow” argument. Many people feel that BP pushed for static kill to AVOID a topside measurement. While a measurement might have been nice (for limited purposes), I can find no fault in killing the well when an opportunity presented itself even if a topside measurement was never produced.

Same here. As much as the curious side of me would like data and answers from tinkering with this well, kill this thing as dead as you can make it NOW! Ssome people will second guess and/or want to do it another way and we can expect this; but, I would go with caution. Just my single vote from an industry outsider.

However, I do think that TPTB will opt for some in-hole study. Hope it is done safely. If so, I could live with it but think it better to play it safe.

I'm ready for it to be P & A myself, and you're right he CT's will think something is amiss if they do this, but I'm ready for it to be over.

FYI~jusr checked out a link on Alex Higgins, so many of us made the "news" over there (RM, fdozela, Ben Dover, undertow etc)!! Never thought my feet/toes would get so much coverage....

BTW: Not to be a kill joy but I haven't cheered, clinked a glass or even smiled yet.

Rman, yeah, it's a relief to have the well quiet for now, but it seems a bit early to celebrate. I haven't heard a weight-challenged adult female singing yet.

I don't know - I heard Kirstie Alley was hanging around....

I am quite confused as to the reasons for the holes in the lowest section of the riser system on top of the new BOP.
Anybody here has some ideas why they went to such lengths to do this ?
They must have raised the whole riser system and replace that section with the perforated one before they picked up the BOP from the relief well.

We've been discussing that upthread. My theory is, it's a new drilling technique. If you let the mud blast out all over the place, no one can tell if you have a problem or not. Seriously, it looks like everyone is stumped by that question.

I dunno, but I'm sure a real engineer will be along shortly with the facts.
But my theory in the meantime is, even if the drill pipe could withstand the pressure down there and not scrunch up like an aluminum beer can it might be too buoyant to get it to the bottom, or at least make it more difficult to stab the BOP on the wellhead. They did leave the choke&kill lines (laying there on a comfy pallet) for any emergency injection or collection purposes, and I assume also the manifolds and floating risers are still there in place. They can trip out and back in pretty fast with hole-less pipe for finishing up with the plugging.

I recall now that the pipe above the capping stack was also perforated when they placed it, so there's probably a similar discussion way back there.

Perhaps the holes in the DP are insurance against the well starting to flow before the new BOP was in place. Allowing flow to pass through the assembly like when the capping stack was installed in July.

QUAK. Good thinking. (when you say DP, do you mean Riser). There do appear to be kill and choke pipes strapped to it. There would be a mud booster pipe as well and an umbilical for the BOP control gear. Risers normally have flotation coating to reduce submerged weight. This one does not appear to have that feature; but this is a big muscle rig.

Good idea but for that to work, they would have to flow methanol down the pipe to aviod hydrates forming.

Talk about conflicting reports...

"Mariner Energy said there were seven active production wells on its platform, but they were shut down for maintenance shortly before the fire broke out. A crew was on the platform painting and sandblasting when the fire occurred, a company spokesman said Friday."


compared to...

"Jindal said Friday after a highway opening in Denham Springs that investigators told him tentatively that they had learned a contract employee on the rig had accidentally shut valves that stopped the oil at the time of the accident. The worker “actually hit a switch that he wasn’t supposed to, so that there wasn’t oil flowing at the time of the fire because he had hit that switch,” Jindal told reporters."


I take it Jindal is a politician. They compulsively have to jump in front of a television camera to show they are in the know and have all the answers. I suppose if he said "I haven't got a clue what's happening"; he would be pilloried in the media and hounded out of office.

Going back a while, the top annular (I think it's called, a big rubber do-nut) seal that close off the well if no drill pipe is in BOP, was said to be damaged by being closed when the drill pipe was in BOP and the drill pipe was moved (By mistake) and caused the rubber to be damaged.

I know the drill pipe was in the BOP when the blowout happened but does anybody else remember this annular seal being damaged, so now it's on the surface we should find out

So now we are over the BOP problems, we now have to start worrying about the intercept.

How many tries will it take to hit the casing?

Has it been decided that the intercept only has to go into the annulas and pump mud then cement, I thought originally that they then, had to come out wait till the cement set, then drill through to the well tube and cement that as well i.e. have they decided the top kill is good enough for the well tube?

Are any small cameras going down to the intercept(inside the relief well drill pipe) and will we see the view?

Annular is used when drill pipe is in the BOP to seal the annulus and grip the drill pipe. One of the annulus rams has scraper blades on it to clean the drill pipe.

Just watched again the Youtube vid of the BOP coming off, does the BOP connect to the well head with some sort of latching device only, no bolts at all?


Yes, hydraulic


Alabama AG, Governor At Odds Again Over Oill Spill

Montgomery, Alabama - The tense relationship between Alabama's governor and attorney general has taken another stinging twist.

Attorney General Troy King has accused Gov. Bob Riley of trying to compromise litigation against BP over the Gulf oil spill. Riley, meanwhile, has hired a law firm to deal with the BP issue and claims the price is much cheaper than King had planned.

Meanwhile, according to a Boston Globe/AP headline writer, Failed oil valve removed at BP site

And perhaps more good news from NY Post/Reuters,

Gulf still oil-right with tourists: poll

Eighty percent of the 450 travel-franchise owners questioned in the poll said there was no impact on their autumn Florida bookings and 90 percent said the same about Louisiana.

More bad news for oystermen:

DMR samples oyster reefs for second day


DMR staff took boat tours Wednesday and Thursday to allow oystermen, dealers and processors to preview the condition of the oyster reefs off the Pass Christian harbor prior to the start of the season. Dozens of empty oyster shells dredged up Wednesday had fishermen concerned about the fate of the season.

“A lot of the samples today were disappointing as well,” Gordon said Thursday after exploring an area farther out in the Sound.


Toxicology reports keep coming back negative and oysters aren't making it. Meanwhile, I see more and more alarming reports from enviro activists and scientists (in addition to the totally whacked out CT stuff) about long term effects, substances not being tested for, etc. And then there's the heat this year. Over in LA, Jindal seems to have produced a death by fresh water event. This picture isn't going to clear up soon.

Alarming reports from activists are generally one small step up from CT'ers. Psuedoscience at best.

BTW, on the pseudoscience front there is an interesting interview with Simon Singh on Wired:


Mr. Singh was sued under British Libel Law by the British Chiropractic Association for pointing out that many if not all claims for efficacy of the practice are to put it succinctly "balderdash". After a long court fight and personal expenditure of $200,000 he won the case.

In the fairly short article he takes a variety of shots at MSM science reporting and a variety of pseudoscience beliefs.

I find it extraordinary how people are willing to accept such in their lives.

Morning, tiny. Thank you, Booby I mean Bobby "Freshwater's the ticket!" Jindal.

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Long time oyster fisherman Luke Harris of Pass Christian opens up an oyster that was dredged aboard the Department of Marine Resources' vessel The Conservationist during a tour of the oyster reefs on Wednesday, September 1 2010. Officials with DMR took oyster tongers, dredgers and dealers on a tour of the reefs to give them a preview of the upcoming oyster season. "I think it's going to be a short year," said Harris after seeing some samples that showed substantial new growth and many that showed dead oysters.


The part I bolded brings up the dilemma we mentioned the other day: how long will various species need to re-establish themselves before it's safe to start harvesting again?

It takes approximately 18 months for new oysters to become legal harvesting size IIRC.

BTW, I don't think Jindal's freshwater release has anything to do with the oyster reefs outside Pass Christian. Will double check when fiancee wakes up.

Thanks, tiny. D'you reckon they'll have to be careful about over-harvesting for at least 2-3 years after that?

I think they need to establish the cause of these deaths before they can go about rectifying the situation. If it's due to the oil spill then they need to confirm that and get their claim in, otherwise the taxpayers will end up paying for the restoration of the reefs. They will probably have to do a lot of replanting jobs after they make sure the habitat is viable. They will most likely limit bag amounts and the number of licenses given out. Only time will tell for sure. These are just my thoughts and opinions.

Here is a map of the oyster reefs that the sampling was done in:

they need to establish the cause of these deaths before they can go about rectifying the situation


Thanks for the map. ('Fraid I didn't know how to read it worth a toot, but it's fun to look at anyhow.) What is "tonging," I been meaning to ask.

Pearl River is the main river flowing into this area. Whenever the Pearl River hits flood stage they close the oystering down. The rain we got in the beginning of the year played hell with the opening and closing of the reefs. Things finally settled down weatherwise in April, which was the last month of the season.

Think about tonging like using a huge pair of gardening rakes to scoop up leaves. Same concept, exchanging oysters for leaves. My fiancee prefers tonging over dredging and is hoping the tonging area fared a lot better than the dredging areas.

Add: Link to picture of tonging rake

Aha. Thanks for the info, tiny. Fingers crossed here for all the areas.

I don't think Jindal's freshwater release has anything to do with the oyster reefs outside Pass Christian

Maybe not, but since the Pass is practically in Louisiana, I'm kinda hoping it did (and maybe reefs farther east won't be quite so wiped-out). Of course, it could also be the unusually hot water or something else. I'll be interested to hear what your fiance thinks.

Good morning and thanks to Isaac, MOB, and snowcomet for the treats on the last thread! Wow, snowcomet, what memories.

Did you see, a few weeks ago, someone (rainy? snakehead? SL? Gobbet? one of our good "finders") brought in a new YouTube of Pete Seeger's tribute to the Gulf. He's in great voice and fine shape, to judge by that, so I hope you caught it.

Isaac, Asheville is one of the spots high on my to-visit list, but so far I've missed NC entirely, dang it. Sure sounds wonderful.

Did you see, a few weeks ago, someone (rainy? snakehead? SL? Gobbet? one of our good "finders") brought in a new YouTube of Pete Seeger's tribute to the Gulf.

'Twas Gobbet, here. Gobbet's comment referenced an entry in Andrew Revkin's NYTimes dot.earth blog featuring contributions from various experts concerning the long-term future of the Gulf ecosystem, plus two videos of Seeger's new song about the spill, one from a benefit concert for the Gulf, and the other from a more intimate club venue near Seeger's home.

Oh good. Thanks for that, SL.

I'm deeply envious of anyone who's had the opportunity to be around Pete Seeger. I've been madly in love with him ever since I was in junior high and he came to the school to do a concert for us. Finally got a chance to shake his hand and thank him, at least, a few years ago after an open-air performance he did at a Sandy Hook environmental event, while he was waiting on the dock for the ferry back to Manhattan. I've never intruded on a celebrity like that before, but I simply could not pass up the opportunity. Had to restrain myself from kneeling to kiss his feet.

You funny, SL.

NOTE TO ALL: Sometimes embedded links, although they look fine, turn out to be unclickable when you hover the cursor over them. This is the result of not having gotten the HTML code quite right (I tend to forget the equals sign or one or the other of the quote marks).

Once you've finished typing your comment, if you click the Preview button underneath the comment entry window, you'll see your comment as it will appear. But an embedded link will look perfectly normal even if you've left something out of the HTML, so you need to hover the cursor over it to see whether it's actually clickable. If the cursor doesn't change to a little hand with a pointing finger, something needs fixing. (Never hurts to right-click and Open in New Window to make sure the link goes where you want it to go, either.)

Good advice, SL. I usually do the HTML code first, check it out, then plonk the URL and text into it (for a comment with more than one embed, I can C&P the basic code as many times as needed, then fill in the particulars).

Lotus-Asheville is great, it's one of those towns people just keep throwing money at. Even with the economy in such "bad" shape, I am still turning jobs down on a regular basis. We'll see how it goes this winter,but I am expecting next year to be great too. Hope to see you here sometime, you can look me up through my "whacko/CT" blog if you choose.

Isaac, glad to hear of a prospering town somewhere. If I ever get to head that way, you bet I'll look you up!

Rowan to move two Gulf of Mexico rigs to Middle East

Oil & Gas Journal

Sep 3, 2010
Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Sept. 3 -- Rowan Cos. Inc. said two of its jack up drilling rigs are expected to leave the Gulf of Mexico late this year for work in the Middle East under contract with Saudi Aramco. The plans were outlined in a recent document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission...

Rowan has nine jack up rigs in the gulf subject to new safety regulations and information requirements applicable to shallow-water drilling operations. These changes, outlined in Notices to Lessees from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, follow the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill from the Macondo well.

New Prediction Tool For Oil Spill Spread, Other Contaminants, via Medical News Today:

Prompted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has come up with a new way of predicting how contaminants like oil will spread. He was able to forecast several days in advance that oil from that spill would wash ashore in particular parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

"We predicted where the oil was going to go," says Igor Mezic, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara who studies fluid dynamics. "We were able to do 3-day predictions pretty accurately."

"Pretty accurately" here means within a few feet. Pretty amazing.

Thanks Acorns,

Do you know if an annular seal would be used to stop the flow of oil when well has become a production well?

Also when a well becomes a production well do they fit a different type of BOP

95 -- Producing wells are not equiped with BOP's per se. They do have other safety control features built into the well head and pipeline systems. Thus if a well starts leaking oil anywhere along the production path they can use control lines from the remote gathering facility to shut the well in.


Offshore production well should all have Sub surface safety valves (SSSV)that are the true fail safe valve. Usually require 5000psi hydraulic pressure to remain open. No pressure, valve closes. The SSSVs are located several hundred feet below the seabed, therefore if the platform blows up, the valves can still operate.

This is apart from the valves on the tree.

Sorry for not being able to help yesterday, but it is hard to write at 30,000ft. Good to see all went well. If the drill pipe fell before the cement was pumped, then I suppose we will have steel reinforced cement! A first for the oilfield.

Thanks pusher. Not a first for me: I've left my share of DP cmtd in a junked hole. I'm sure you have too.

It's going to be interesting to see who wins the debate: the folks who want to log, sqz, etc (and build a case/lawsuit) and those who just want to set the plugs and get off this bitch ASAP. You might imagine my vote: after 35 years of ops not going right I need a very good reason to RIH with anything. More like an driller than a geologist, I know. But I've learned the hard way.


After their experience with the washpipe the other day, I do not think they will be doing to much fishing for drillpipe. I would say a perf and squeeze, set plugs and recover well head. Most of the information they would need will be in the wellhead anyway. If there is nothing leaking there, then it is down hole, and the in under 5000ft of cement. Nobody has shown any signs of spending time to gather evidence.


Spotlight Shifts to Shallow-Water Wells

... Mariner operations alone have reported several dozen incidents, including 18 fires, from 2006 to 2009, according to federal records. Although no one died, there were at least three dozen injuries, including one that paralyzed a worker. Several others suffered severe injuries, and some received burns and broken bones. In May 2008, a Mariner rig briefly lost well control and partly evacuated the crew while workers frantically worked to shore up operations.

In addition, since 2006, Mariner Energy has been involved in at least four spills, in which at least 1,357 barrels of chemicals and petroleum flowed into the gulf, according to federal records.

Patrick Cassidy, Mariner’s director of investor relations, said that the company only seriously got into the offshore drilling business in 2006 with its acquisition of properties of the Forest Oil Corporation. “Since Mariner has been operating there, we have steadily improved our performance,” he said. “The performance yesterday is indicative of the improvement. There were no injuries, no spill, and the fire was extinguished.” ...

How does Mariner's record strike you, Patch veterans? Sounds pretty accident-prone to me, but maybe that's common-run?

lotus - For just 4 years it doesn't sound too good to me. Granted, they've bought old worn out fields which can run your risks up. Still if I were CEO I would have a short company stand down after this last incidence and start shaking some folks up...shake them up really bad. The acquistion game tends to follow two tracks: get production up ASAP and cut over head. Can get rather dangerous if you don't stay focused on safety. I follow the carrot and stick approach: keep safe and you'll get a nice bonus. Screw up and have an accident/hurt someone and I'll beat you to death with that stick.

I'd guess there is a muddy situation as to which CEO should stand up. I read Apache bought Mariner back in April. I'm also surprised NY Times didn't mention Apache.

Here's another article I found that mentions fire's impact on deal:

One excerpt says:
"The fire is not expected to affect Mariner’s production levels this year, and the pending deal with Apache Corp. is expected to go on as planned. Apache will acquire Mariner Energy for $2.7 billion. The deal between Apache and Mariner Energy was struck on April 15th this year—five days before the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion."

brit - Since the deal hasn't closed the heat would be on Mariner management. And if I were Apache management I would use this last accident as renegotiation leverage and demand an environment and safety audit. As others have said: you don’t want a good crisis to go to waste.

Mariner Energy has been involved in at least four spills, in which at least 1,357 barrels of chemicals and petroleum flowed into the gulf

I read that and thought, Gee, that ain't much, especially if it was spread over four different spills. Then I wondered whether the public (e.g., moi) will begin thinking of smallish spills as inconsequential given the size of the Big One. Somebody needs to help us gain a sense of proper proportion. Assuming the only acceptable amount of spill is zero, at what point--what spill size--do we need to stop saying, "Well, it could have been worse" and start howling in outrage?

Another thought: A Hercules Offshore official is quoted as saying,

“But once the facts are understood fully, this will be treated as an industrial accident that could have occurred at a gas station around the corner. It’s just bad timing.”

So far, it sure sounds like this will be the case (unless the weird report that the wells were shut in before the fire started in the crew quarters turns out to have a more sinister import, and the fire did have to do with unsafe drilling operations). But if folks with anti-drilling agendas manage to inflate this incident sufficiently before the facts come out, and then are shown to have made a fuss over nothing, it doesn't bode well for the public perception of future incidents that are directly related to unsafe drilling operations. So the folks who have such an agenda might be well advised to STFU for the time being to avoid stepping on their own toes.

For outfits which have had significant incidents in the past, I would be interested in whether they seem to be learning from them and improving their record over time.

But I would want to have some assurance right now that they are taking safety seriously, and I could see some kind of regulation that requires a stand-down and mandatory training after a specified magnitude and/or number of accidents in a specified time period.

IF it costs companies more to ignore safety than to adopt safe practices they will get better. A milder version of Rockman's carrot and stick approach.

Swifty -- Might be news for a few days but I doubt it has legs outside the truly committed (on either side of the fence). As you point out the problem for the anti-drill folks is that this wasn’t a drilling op. A variety of folks in the middle might lean toward some drilling cut back. But I doubt many would want to stop production. More likely the feds will try to tighten up the rules/increase inspections and fines. Safety of old producing facilities is very cost dependent. The margins aren’t nearly as high as a successful wildcat. Thus saving a few thousands $’s here and there is important. And for some operators more important than safety. Not a pretty fact but it’s the truth. I’ve worked with more than one of those types.

swifty - In the oil patch we think about the accident pyramid. I'm sure you can picture it: small insignificant incidents with the next level up being a little worse. Eventually you get to near misses and then serious injuries. At the top are fatalities and environmental nightmares, of course. The object is to see the pattern developing and stop the progression. ExxonMobil won't let the pyramid climb above near misses before they'll stand down an operation and start fixing whatever is wrong. Fuss at them, retrain them or run them off. Any manager that does react properly at the right time can kiss his career track with XOM over.

Sounds to me like Mariner is farther up the pyramid than XOM or I would allow.

Sounds to me like Mariner is farther up the pyramid than XOM or I would allow

This is reassuring, Rockman. Quite a lot of carnage in their four years' worth, I thought, especially the 18 fires. Seems aBout time they had a hard looking-at from outside.

Of course I dunno whether Apache is any better, but would this background perhaps explain why Mariner was for sale -- insurance getting too pricy, maybe?

Hey - has anyone heard of a ETA (Estimated-Time of-Arrival) of the BOP (Blow-Out-Preventer) to the SOG (Surface-Of the-Gulf)? ;-)


SFNYTBFTNC (So Far Not Yet Today, But Follow The News Closely)


jk - Early on I think Thad said 24 to 48 hours. That sounded rather slow but from other posts it sounds as though they are pulling that slow.


They stopped early on the Q4000 last night. When I looked about an hour ago, they were welding on what looked like the track for the pipe torqing machine. Not sure though, but that is what it looked like.

This was reported by AP not long ago:

"The device was about 500 feet from the surface and likely wouldn't be hoisted onto the deck of the Helix Q4000 vessel until about 7 p.m. EDT, said BP PLC spokesman Neil Chapman. Darin Hilton, the vessel's captain, said crews have to wait for icy hydrates to melt off the contraption before it can be brought aboard."

hydrates to melt off the contraption

AP certainly has mastered the technical lingo.

The quote is attributed to the Q4000's captain, so must be oil rig jargon, eh?

BTW, "contraption" has an interesting disambiguation page at Wikipedia.

The quote is attributed to the Q4000's captain, so must be oil rig jargon, eh?

Well, it ain't a direct quote. I suspect a paraphrase...

"contraption" has an interesting disambiguation page at Wikipedia

Huh. The only entry on the list (other than the one for Rube Goldberg) that has anything to do with the actual meaning of the term is for the title of an episode of Rocko's Modern Life (a Nickelodeon TV series), "Fatal Contraption," in which Rocko has to deal with a possessed food processor. (Which may not be that different from the Deepwater BOP, come to think of it, except in scale.)

My dictionary dates the word to c. 1825 and says it's "perhaps a blend of contrivance, trap, and invention." I think that means they haven't a clue where it comes from.

In any case, it's just a fabulous word qua word.

My dictionary dates the word to c. 1825 and says it's "perhaps a blend of contrivance, trap, and invention."


500' more to go ... they seem to be serious about pulling atm.

Two Well Higgins, are you lurking here or did you stroke out completely? That's quite a tour de force you've posted on your please pay me, Your Ad Here blog.

“Of course top kill failed with all of the explosion happening on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico"

That feeble, plaintive whizzing sound that you hear is the air draining out of the CT's mylar ALARM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! balloons.

Nah. They may have to give up pretty soon on the exploding sea floor/two well/lake of oil stuff, but they still have Corexit.

Or anything else they dream up.

Also, they can milk "exploding sea floor/two well/lake of oil stuff" for months to come. Nothing is based in reality to why should facts get in the way of a really good story.

You guys better be careful, might end up in one of the thousands of secret Obamunist FEMA Death Camps that everybody knows about.

I'm not sure if this is a complement or not - but that comment supports the theory that he isn't an idiot, is indeed a blog whore, is deliberately making stuff up, and is thus smarter than the average CT. (Not that having a slightly higher than room temperature IQ is exactly special.)

And I see he manages to have a go at me as well. Mr Higgins I queried the suggestion that the Schlumberger guys refused to do a test and then ran for their lives - I did not "debunk" that a CBL test was not performed. We know it wasn't because BP sent them home. The Schlumberger guys were sent home when the well was considered static by all concerned.

Still if Higgins wants to class me along with "Art Berman, Rockman and many supporting actors (Rocdoc, PinkFud, Quaking, CraigWcoop & others)" as A BP shill then I'll class him as a money grabbing, lying B&stard.

According to Higgins, Peak Oil is a hoax and TOD is a hoax site run by oil companies to drive up the price of oil. Where's my cheque? - someone must have forgotten to pay me (yet again!).

From his webshite

Top Story

The Oil Drum Exposed — BP Shills Promoting A Conspiracy Theory To Drive Up The Price Of Oil

While many respect the technical analysis of the crowd at The Oil Drum most don't realize they are a bunch of BP shills promoting a conspiracy theory to drive up the price of oil with an agenda to protect their own financial and career interests.

Dammit, 'tow, ya made me waste two seconds of my beautiful life reading Alexander Higgins! FIE!

LOL..... Well, I guess I'm honored to be included in such esteemed company!

If Higgens classes me as a "supporting actor" to Rockman, I'll take that as a massive compliment.

Observations from the #theoildrum IRC

Note: This will likely be the last of these observations comments as most visible operations will soon come to an end.

At 13:20 CDT the old BOP was lifted off the wellhead without any problems (video by Rocky P). No pipe was hanging from it and we were disappointed that all those shiny new tools we had seen coming down will not be put to use. The BOP was hauled away by the Q-4000 and is currently coming up to the surface. At 7:45 CDT it had another 825 feet to go. Video: Dawn on the Q-4000 while lifting the old BOP

(During the deBOPulation the hookload on the Development Driller II was some 850klbs. This suggests that the information in the media about a BOP weight of 450 tons were widely off the mark. The hookload without BOP was some 300 lbs. The additional 550klbs are only 275 short tons. Under water steel has about 85% of its weight on the surface. BOP's real weight on surface is thereby some 320 short tons.)

At first the wellhead looked rather nasty. Some people even saw Tony Hayward's face in there.

But soon ROVs came by and gave it a thorough cleaning by washing the mud out of it. After the cleaning a tool was used to smooth the inner connecting surface of the well head (picture) it left some mysterious stripes (picture).

The "ReBOPulator" Development Driller II came in with the new BOP hanging from its riser. The new BOP then fell off and dropped next to the well head (video).

Oops, wrong well.

At 20:30 CDT the new BOP landed without any problems on the Macondo well (video by Suzie Conley).

Interestingly the lowest part of the DDII riser is perforated. This probably to allow the BOP installation even if the Macondo well would have flown and without risking a blowout on the surface. But using this perforated riser will prevent the DDII from intervening into the well with a drillpipe, for example to perforate the casing and cement the annulus, as no mud can be pumped through the central riser in its current configuration.

The DDII has now unlatched the Lower Marine Riser Package from its BOP, probably to change out the perforated riser.

The Discoverer Enteprise hauled the Capping Stack up and away towards the surface. It was last seen by me at a depth of some 640 feet.

Overnight BOA Sub C Rov-2 installed a geo-sensor on one of the pipes at the well head. It is connected to a data transmitter packet. This sensor will likely to be used to listen in when the relief well intervenes the annulus.

Additionally tools, lines and hoses currently are collected and put into waste bins to go back to the surface.

There is still a fleet of some 25 skimmer ships about five miles north of the well. Average wave height at the BP Thunderhorse platform some 25 miles south of Macondo is now down to 1.6 feet. Visuals from above the surface show a blue sky and a calm sea.

BOA Sub C Rov , aka Millenium 37, driven by Dennis Smith and Vinvente Lopez had its 600th dive. Congratulations! (picture)

The old BOP seen from afar with UFO like ROVs circling it while mysterious things are happening to the seafloor.
Video by TOB

On July 17, the Associated Press wrote:
"Meanwhile, a glowing globe appeared on the sea floor as bubbles swirled around. BP didn't explain what they were doing, and to a viewer, it was like watching a foreign film without subtitles. "

We called this the "Mighty Orb!!!".

But it is just a white metal plate on a stick. A ROV navigation help at the well head.

Lesson: Don't trust the media on glowing globes or other issues. Learn the facts yourself and go with those.

Video: Dawn on the Q-4000 while lifting the old BOP

Spectacular video. But dammit, WHAT ARE THEY DOING? Even at 1/32nd of the apparent speed, it seems like they're hauling up the BOP faster than I would have assumed. And why, after having removed several sections of pipe, do they put one of them back on??

At the end of the video they put a hose on the drillpipe to again flush the BOP. "Don't want no hydrates on my deck," captn sasz.

They RIH with a Stand of pipe that has a TIW valve on the top, Time for a smoke break ? so this way there are no returns. Its just hanging in the sea however so perhaps they flush the DP with fresh water?? Hanging out offshore with nothing but standby time...very slow..The cementers in europe where the rigs social directors!

TIW = Texas Iron Works. Just so weuns on this side of the Sabine River get our little bit of credit


The reason why the VX gasket in the well head is stripped, is to make it easy for the ROV to see if a gasket is installed or not. it is just one of those oilfield traditions.

The hole in the riser on the other hand is a strange one. As I understand it the DDII came straight off RW2 and did not bring the BOP to surface. That would mean they were drilling with a holy riser(pun intended), and would not be able to monitor returns. It would be good for drilling loss circulation zones, but you would have to be very confident of no pressured zones. It would not help in a blowout, unless there was some way of holding the 2500psi from the sea water at the rig floor.

Work on RW2 was suspended weeks ago, at the depth at which they would have begun angling towards the WW. The explanation given at the time was that they were on hold while RW1 continued to allow for the modification of their drill path if RW1 ran into trouble.

Does anybody remember when drilling ceased? If it was before one of the hurricane alerts, they may have just kept all of the pulled riser on board, thus allowing for the placement of the holy riser joint at the beginning of the new string they lowered to pick up their BOP.

(A number of the boats out there have been on standby status for weeks - wonder how the crews spend their time. Just looking at the complexity of the machinery on the Q4000, I'd guess there is a lot of maintenance work to keep guys busy.)

Rainy~A friend of mine is the cpt of one of the boats, the K-7 IIRC (I have photos so should prolly look to be sure) and they are playing cards, and posting on FB, pretty bored I am hearing. He does have some incredible photos from the DWH site and since I had never seen many pic's of offshore rigs I was amazed at how it looks like a small city out there. Not trying to bore anyone with all the random pics I post, but here are a few in the form of a slideshow so if anyone is interested they can click on view all images, if not I'm not wasting space:)


Thanks mom. Nice to see what the City looks like from sea level.

The Viking Poseidon sure has an intimidating shape.

Any word on when they will start releasing some of the ships?

YW Rainy~ The VP sure does, alot larger than I expected from the other photo's I had seen. I guess seeing them in proportion to his boat puts it in perspective. I don't know for sure about the release of the ships, but I will ask him and get back to you.

Fantastic pics!! Thanks for sharing.


I think so too, he has hundreds and I just picked about 20 ish to post. I was fascinated to see things from his perspective and ask questions. He actually had corexit on the boat and since everybody and there dog think they have seen corexit in the water I was glad to find soemone who could tell me what it looked like before going in the water and in the water. He told me it was like clear dish detergent.

He must be one of those black-clad mercenary thugs, then.

Many thanks for the album, just terrific.

LOL~Shhhh, I can't tell everything :) Maybe he's after Naman too!

YW Gobbet

Thanks, MoonofA, for your yeo-person's service on behalf of us knowledge, experience, bandwidth, and time, challenged devotees of the Gulf Suspense Ordeal.

I, for one, have profited greatly from your dedicated hard work.

Thanks again,


Standing O for the MoonofA Movie Studio!

Moon, you and accomplices have done such great work, I'm sorry to see the end of it (though the end of the Macondo well's threat is 100% welcome). Like SL, I dunno what to make of the last bit of dawn footage -- does it suddenly run backwards, er whut?

Anyhow, your daily shows have been wonderful, so deep thanks and congratz to the whole crew!

Great summary, Moon ...

and an important Lesson: Don't trust the media on glowing globes or other issues. Learn the facts yourself and go with those.

Thanks for all of the clarity that you have given.

Is the "glowing globe" a Secchi disc?

I was wondering about that...I thought they (Secchi discs)could only be used with surface light.I think they would use something like a nephelometer at that depth..? Don't even know if they make one..

Hi Toolpush, after the bottom kill and well is abandoned, what will be left on the sea bed?

I assume a BOP is useless without a rig to supply hydraulics?

That tube we saw in the ROV videos taking the new BOP, is that tube cemented into the wellhead/sea floor, will that stay behind?

Anybody watching the live feed Q 4000 Moon Pool below deck?

Is it 10am at present CDT, the drill pipe doesn't seem to be moving there is a black mark about 1/3 up from sea that doesn't move?

Why is it called a Moon Pool?

What are those half funnels are they to guide into the BOP when it is pulled out of the water?

Well...as of about 11:10am EDT, the Q4000 feed from the weatherdecks has gone dead. There was a feed from the Moon Pool as well??

Before the feed went out, there was interesting activity on deck. They had suspended lifting the DP, craned over a basket with items they were lifting up to the well deck & they were welding them...no idea what they were.


no, wait...top-side feed back going again. No one there, though. Almost 11am local - lunch break?

My guess is that the welder - the guy in gray - is making a "box" outline to hold the platform the failBop will sit on once recovered. Picture of bop stand here.

btw, a viewer on #theoildrum noticed that the cargo ship C Freedom moved in along side the Q4000. A ride to shore for the bop? or a regular supply run?

What are those half funnels are they to guide into the BOP when it is pulled out of the water?

There is an index pin assy. above the connector to the failBOP/LMRP. They will get snagged by those funnels to ensure the failBOP/LMRP comes up straight through the moon pool onto the deck.

Why do they have a "moon roof" in a car? ;^)

So that people walking around the top of the car won't fall in the water!

I always thought it was the "Moon Roof" for another reason....drive-by moonings. Ahh...I long for my younger days already.

Dang 95...you make me repeat the same silly story. Long ago when they put a coonass crew on a rig with a moon pool for the first time they thought it was a swimming pool, got neked, and went for a dip. Thus the term "moon" pool was born.

Make you??

You're so transparent.

Everyone knows you love the excuse.

You didn't happen to be one of the crew that night did you.

If you were I'm sure you were the first one in!

No david....too much Blue Bell ended my skinny dipping days long ago.

My guess is I might have been a bit ahead of you in that regard although with different ice cream.

About 40 years ago, I was doing some rock climbing (long story), and already my fellow climbers were talking about me "oozing up the rock."

Needless to say perhaps, I was unique among them, so I made sure they tied in when belaying me.

I'll never forget the look on a guy's face once when I peeled loose and pulled him off the ground after falling only a couple of feet.

I wish dem BlueBells would try dis-here Banana Caramel Pecan (since I dasn't risk owning an ice-cream machine of my own).

[Did have a photo here but decided not to be that mean to our good Rockman.]

glad that first occasion didn't lead to it being called a shark-pool.

I've found the time on Live feeds Boa ROV 1 is that the depth on top right "DPT" my picture not very clear but does 1322 seem right would that be feet under the sea?

DPT not changing and nothing happening on Moon pool top side?

Anybody know whats happening.

Looks like a nice sunny day on the Gulf or is every day sunny this time of the year? (except when Hurricanes come)

I think Thad or Dr. Chu should order BP to buy all the rig hands a beer.

This would be an appropriate beer, and in my biased opinion, the ROV guys deserve a bottle of the champagne:

World's 'oldest beer' found in shipwreck

First there was the discovery of dozens of bottles of 200-year-old champagne, but now salvage divers have recovered what they believe to be the world's oldest beer, taking advertisers' notion of 'drinkability' to another level.


"It seems that we have not only salvaged the oldest champagne in the world, but also the oldest still drinkable beer. The culture in the beer is still living."


All the cargo on the ship -- including the beer and champagne -- is believed to have been transported sometime between 1800 and 1830, according to Juslin. He said the wreck was about 50 meters deep (roughly 164 feet) in between the Aland island chain and Finland.

The cargo was aboard a ship believed to be heading from Copenhagen, Denmark, to St Petersburg, Russia. It could have possibly been sent by France's King Louis XVI to the Russian Imperial Court.

"Champagne of this kind was popular in high levels [of society] and was exclusive to rich groups -- it was not a drink for common people then," Juslin said.

Experts estimated the exclusive bubbly to be worth tens of thousands of euros per bottle. The value of the beer has not been determined.


He said the cold sea water was a perfect way to store the spirits, with the temperature remaining a near-constant 4-5 degrees Celsius (around freezing temperature in Fahrenheit, or 32 degrees) and no light to expedite the spoiling process.


I have it from a usually reliable source that the authorities are denying the claims of some that both the champagne and the beer are laced with high levels of Corexit.

12:10PM EDT - Lunchbreak/meeting is all over...back to work on the Q4000!!!

12:30 PM CDT - Deck empty ... after-lunch siesta.

Now that the BOP will be examined, would it be possible to use Bernoulli's equation to calculate flow? If we know the pressure differential above and below the BOP, and can now find the cross sectional area of flow through the restriction of the BOP, couldn't the BOP be considered a type of orifice plate?


The example assumes a laminar flow - not sure if it would work with a turbulent flow.

Isn't Bernoulli's equation only for non-compressible fluids and compressible fluids at very low speeds ? I think there is a derivation of the equation that is used....My math skills are crap, to say the least, but I was wondering if any other TOD'ers addressed this subject, given the fact that between all the pro's here, they pretty much have most of the relevant data.


Rather than trying to apply Bernoulli, it might be better to use brute force in the form of a finite element model of the flow path inside the BOP.

Unfortunately the properties of the oil/gas coming from the well may be too complex to convincingly model, especially if there are phase changes going on inside the BOP. You've got pressure and temperature gradients, turbulence, short chain alkanes coming out of solution, etc, etc, etc.

If you really want to know the flow, the only way may be to retro-fit the old BOP with lots of sensors, drill the cement out of the bottom of the well, replace the BOP on the wellhead, displace the mud with seawater and let 'er rip.

Even then, there is the problem that the current geometry of the BOP may not be the same as it was earlier, especially with regard to whether the DP was hanging in the shear rams until recently.


I had a read a few comments about the unpredictable nature of pressure and had such an experience a few days ago. Co-workers and I gathered for a monthly luncheon to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, awards and what not. About twenty of us loaded up our plates with barbecued chicken, cole slaw and corn on the cob from a table in center of kitchen, then on to counter top on far side of room for soft drinks or iced tea.

At the drinks counter, Annie couldn't open the liter of Diet Coke. She turned to Rob and he kindly offered to open. Rob squeezed and grimaced but also couldn't get cap to turn. Rob says, "Jeez, this cap is really stuck tight." Burly Barry, weighing in at 200 lbs or so, says, "C'mon, how can you not remove the cap? Let me have at it." Barry squeezes and grimaces but the cap remains stuck. Barry embarassingly says, "I can't get it loose!" So Rob says, "Let me try again." and he pulls a knife out of his pocket and starts sawing the detachable ring below the cap. After a minute or so, the ring is removed. Rob squeezes the cap and grimaces but it still remains stuck. Rob says, "Darn it, I'm gonna get that cap off!" and he starts sawing base of cap with his knife.

Then, BOOOOOM!!! and CLICK!!! against the ceiling and TAP!!! against the floor. Everyone is staring at Rob and he says, "Whoa, caps off!" and impishly grins.

One thing that happens all the time in production ops. Pressure, if it doesnt come off easy..there is a problem. So many incidents have occured by people just not recognizing the hazard. Get a bigger wrench, just a couple more turns.. on and on. Many people hurt and not just by HiPressure. I once worked on a Hi Pressure Gas well 12K it would wash the bleed valve every time we depressured. The company man, thought we could just operate the master valve to pressure up our PCE. I wouldnt do it without a pressure truck to equalize above. Was one of those "Pincher" comments, needless to say I never worked for this guy again even though I probubly saved the operator the cost of replacing the 15K master valve.

Hmmm - interesting. As of 12:25pm EDT, on the Q4000, they have stowed the yellow crane located beside the main boom/crane which was used to remove the last lifted piece of DP removed from the string to place it on the stack. Surely there must be more DP to be lifted & removed before the BOP is at the surface...right?

Speaking of which, once the BOP is at the surface, I presume those deck plates at the base of the main lift/crane will need to be removed to open up the moon pool & lift the BOP clear to the weatherdecks?


Shift change!

Mark how would you allow for the restriction of the bent over riser and the broken end of riser for a good part of the escape time, and what proportion was gas to crude?

Yeah, for the total there is that! lol - It would presumably only work for the period after the riser was cut off. Any rates/volume before that would have to be "estimates". (WAG?)

As for the O/G ratio, I believe that is known. (2000cf/bbl?)

Do hydrates remaining in the BOP pose any fire/explosion hazard when brought to the surface?

Nubs, they have hooked up a hose to the top of the drill string that I'm assuming is to flush out anything remaining with sea water during their lunch break. WAG

If they make on board, yes ... potentially. However, the usual precautions will mitigate the risk.

Hydrates disassociate into methane which, at certain concentrations can be explosive.

Hydrate "ice" itself will burn. See the nice picture at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Burning_hydrate_inlay_US_Office_Naval_...

Does anybody know why the BOP is not being lifted for a couple of hours, my vid say 100ft, is that what most people agree with.

So it's just below the surface.

I think that altitude refers to height off the sea floor, and the meter pegs* at 100'.

ROV2 shows the top of the stacking cap (sic) at 448', and ROV 1 shows the bottom of the BOP at 506'.

*Note: last week I wuz 'splaining to my college-age son about the origin of the expression "to peg the meter", as in "the Citizenre website pegged my scam-o-meter".

The concept of a meter with a peg to stop the needle from going too far off scale is evidently unfamiliar to his digital generation.

As is 'wrapping the needle around the stop'. Been there. Done that.

Back in the day, it was quite hard to convince one's self that Ohm's law was more than an approximation. Those old Simpson 260 meters never agreed with themselves scale to scale, let alone another one on the next bench.

Ahhh, the old Simpson 260. Was happy to replace those with nice digital multimeters.

I recall being shocked when a well-respected biophysicist (Bertil Hille) talked about the history of Ohm's Law and mentioned that Ohm's Law just an approximation. Here's someone else's quote from the web:

While Ohm's law is a useful relationship, it does not have the far-reaching impact of F = ma or the law of universal gravitation. V/I = R does not work for all materials; and for any given material, R is not constant, but varies with temperature of the material. Nevertheless, Ohm's law provides a useful first-order approximation that relates how current passes through components in a circuit and how voltage is distributed across those components.

Ohm's Law is like the Ideal Gas Law (PV=nRT), it is only exactly correct in the nonexistent ideal case.

They took our Simpson 260's away about 1980 or so out west. They were replaced with a fancy (at the time) FLUKE 8060AA True RMS meter that was rumored to be $4k MSRP at the time. Nice meter but the old analog needle swing was still preferred for some applications.

Ohm's law can only be correct in the lab. :)

BP: Crews lifting key device from Gulf face delay

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO — BP crews faced delays Saturday as they slowly raised the 300-ton blowout preventer that failed to stop oil from spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, taking care not to damage or drop a key piece of evidence in the spill investigation.

The device was about 500 feet from the surface and likely wouldn't be hoisted onto the deck of the Helix Q4000 vessel until about 7 p.m. EDT, said BP PLC spokesman Neil Chapman. Darin Hilton, the vessel's captain, said crews have to wait for icy hydrates to melt off the contraption before it can be brought aboard.

In the meantime...

WHO: Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander

WHAT: Teleconference to provide Operational Update on Ongoing Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill Response Efforts

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, 3:00 p.m. EDT/2:00 p.m. CDT. The call-in number is (866) 742-3130 for domestic callers and (706) 643-1612 for international callers. Conference ID # is 99407193.

Maybe someone will inquire about the holes.

And the goop in the wellhead.

Maybe someone will inquire about the holes.

Nobody needed to ask.

Allen said in his summary of operations that the perforations in the riser, were, as surmised here, a safety measure in case of any discharge from the well. That riser is now being replaced [the lifting of it and the LMRP were visible on the DD2 rovs.]

Next steps involve:

- a trip to shore for failBOP and the LMRP [I think he said on the Q4000.] The LMRP will be separated from the BOP as or shortly after they are raised. [that explains the need for the second square red stand that floated by yesterday]

- Since responsibility for the formerly WW is in the process of transitioning to BOEMRE, representatives of BOEMRE and the science team will confer on what should happen next on the now-secured well. There is some overlap between the steps necessary as further control measures and the formal P&A requirement. [I didn't hear him include BP in there, but he may have.] Those discussions will lead to a decision on when work on the RW will resume.

- new BOP is designed to hold 16,000psi (he thought)

Thanks for the update, rainy! So that's why everybody's disappeared from the deck, huh (didn't think it was just that passing shower awhile ago).

Aha, now they're busy again. (Or at least out there milling around.)

Half a dozen of them standing around and staring into the hole, oh-err.


EDIT: The iron maiden is back in action, they seem to be lifting 90' at a time by the change in ROV depth. About 3 lifts to the surface at that rate.

I guess that explains the work stoppage. I wouldn't think it would take *that* long for the 'icy hydrates' to melt off in upper-80 deg water but...

Yeah, seems likely that the hydrates all melted while the contraption was being brought up. Still, smoking should probably be discouraged.

I'm curious, do they allow oil rig workers to smoke on board?


... The failed blowout preventer will be taken to a facility in New Orleans [the AP story rainy linked says "a NASA facility in Michoud, La."] for testing, a U.S. federal judge ruled yesterday. ...

Federal investigators plan to look at the blowout stack to find out why it wasn’t able to prevent the explosion. The accident killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Transocean Ltd., which leased the rig to BP, and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a partner in the well, objected to the U.S. having sole control over the blowout preventer and its testing. The companies asked a New Orleans judge to allow them to help decide what happens to the equipment and how it’s examined.

Cameron International Corp., the maker of the blowout preventer, previously lost a bid to delay removal of the equipment. The company said plans risked losing or altering material evidence, and it asked to postpone retrieval to allow photographing and recording of conditions. A delay would interfere with continuing well-control operations, the judge said in denying the motion.

I assume this last sentence refers to Cameron's motion, not the Transocean/Anadarko one(s), since federal judges don't usually spit out rulings overnight.

In the world of simple folks, would I say that a new Corvette that I plow into a brick wall doing 50 mph failed?

Is it a failure of design, implementation, operation, maintenance, or imagination? The BOP may not have 'failed'. The only thing we know for certain is people failed. How they failed is still being investigated.

Some random links.

Feds release sharp photo of CRAWed riser section with two pipe sections inside:


At Bayou La Batre, AL, the Nature Conservancy (my fave conservation group) uses federal stimulus money to build an oyster reef/marsh-protecting breakwater:


Perdido Mullet Festival will serve freshwater catfish; more foot-shooting in my opinion:


Looks like the Q4000 is back to lifting the DWH BOP.

Of interest in LATimes:

Salazar: Arctic oil drilling must wait

... "If you look at the Chukchi, nothing, or very little, is known about the reservoir pressures that will be encountered. We know that it would be very difficult to mount the kind of oil spill response that has been mounted in the Gulf of Mexico. And so because those questions are very much part of what we have been dealing with, it also seemed necessary for us to say, until we have answers to some of those central questions, we're not going to allow the drilling of the exploration wells," Salazar told reporters in Anchorage at the conclusion of his trip.

A new poll of regular voters, meanwhile, shows deepening concern for the potential hazards of offshore oil operations, especially in the Arctic, a fragile environment whose ecological balance is little understood, and where an oil spill in a remote, icy sea could be nightmarishly daunting to clean up.

Support for offshore drilling in the Arctic has slipped substantially since last September, according to surveys conducted by David Binder Research, dropping to 46% this year from 58% who in 2009 either strongly supported or somewhat supported new offshore operations.

A total of 70% expressed some level of concern about the risks of offshore operations, up from 52% in 2009. Three-fourths of those polled said it was very important that emergency response capabilities that can handle a blowout be in place before drilling, even if it delays operations or increases costs. ...

More there.

Sand shark has arrived and they are digging holes all over the beach, my GUESS is to see what areas need more cleaning since west of the pier it tends to be worse than east. Was happy to see no visible lines of tar/oil under the sand in the holes I peered in. And article from PNJ on WHY beach clean up workers can only dig 6 inches:

BP is poised to begin deep cleaning of sandy beaches as it shifts from oil spill response to restoration and recovery, a BP spokesman said Friday.

Ray Melick, working at Unified Command in Mobile, told the News Journal that process is in the works, but he does not know exactly when BP will shift into that phase, which is being called Phase III.
And digging deeper than 6 inches to clean BP's oil out of the sand on Escambia County beaches won't happened until BP gets a federal waiver from the Department of Interior, Melick said.
"It's an archaeological issue," Melick said.
The cleanup might disturb cultural sites protected by the national historic preservation act, he said


Awful lot of bubbles coming up in the moon pool. Could someone explain? Looks like there's a "poof" of yellow-brown-white when they hit the surface. Can't really know the color for sure, They never calibrate color.

Wave action? Have you ever seen what happens around pilings on a pier in the surf line?
Splashy and bubbly.
I think it is just normal turbulence.

Hey - a link to this moon pool video stream, please...


Static wall of feeds with 60 sec? updates:
http://bp.schmorp.de/? Just select the one you want.

Georgianne Nienaber tries to interview the Mobile chemist, Bob Naman, who had the exploding-flask video and is now claiming ninja mercenaries are still spraying Corexit 9527 for BP.

The latest news out of Orange Beach is that ACT Laboratory found a component of Corexit in Cotton Bayou. Actually, the "news" from TV station WKRG was that the "chemical dispersant Corexit" was found in Cotton Bayou. First off, there are several chemical components of Corexit and you cannot test for "Corexit" as such. Reporter Debbie Williams said, "She (a resident) got samples and sent them to chemist Bob Naman in Mobile whose tests results show 13 point 3 parts per million of the chemical dispersant Corexit."

What was found, and it was found by "a lab in Ohio," according to Naman's receptionist, was 2-butoxyethanol, a component of the outlawed Corexit formulation EC9527A. Now we cannot confirm this, because Naman will not let us view the test results or contact the "lab in Ohio." We called him twice from the meeting with activists at the Holiday Inn Express and were told he was at a funeral and that he would call us back later in the afternoon. This was on Thursday. On Friday, he still had not called, so we drove to his office and lab, which was locked at 8 AM. So we took a few photos to show we tried and were about to leave when his receptionist pulled up. We asked to come in and were allowed, but she did not seem too happy about it.

There are some problems with the article, but it has some interesting stuff. In a video interview, the Orange Beach city engineer, Mrs. Kit Alexander, comes off very well, and the mayor not badly.


Poor Naman. A few weeks of blog fame and now this.

Next thing you know some BP shill of a reporter will go after Dr. Tom Termotto.

Great article Gobbet~maybe he's in hiding?

IIRC he was also the one who tested the swimming pools and found corexit......made me think the owners of the pool used too much windex when cleaning:)

Good catch, Gobbet (and yes, I see what you mean about both this new Nienaber effort -- not my favorite reporter, you may recall, though she does slightly better here -- and Alexander and Kennon). I keep remembering that awful tide at Orange Beach

so can't blame them a bit for their wariness. But Naman just gets hinkier every time we hear of him, eh?

[Photo credit: royalquietdeluxe.blogspot.com]

They're pulling the DP again

Yup - 380 ft & counting down.

They seem to be having problems with the latching attachment that grabs the end of the DP. They changed a portion of it a little while ago and now the lift tool is down on the deck and lots of folks are looking at it again. ?

EDIT: Nevermind, it's moving up again. 341' and counting......

Yup - 380 ft & counting down.

Where are you getting this, please?

Likely from the Q4000 Rov 2 video feed

Pausing for another methanol flush?

Great minds think alike?

Yes, looks like another flush. :)


Wish a "methanol flush" could de-schmutz my house that good . . . I'd be heavy into methanol.

Could be effective in ........Montana? :) Just put a hose up near the
peak of the roof and 'spritz' now and then.

Where are you getting this, please?


Thanks, guys. Over on the right, where it says "235.(something)," right?


Pulling up again now--yikes, looks like 94 feet.

Not only that, you can see that the water is blue, it's within reach of sunlight. You can see the shadow of the Q4000 (I assume :-) above it.

Of course, this could be like the moon landing. I think James Cameron created all these ROV feeds. It's just a theory. I even saw a Navi crawling around.

All the Q4000 feeds just went down...

Sure hope they come back so we can see the end of this saga. CLINK!


Broken the surface, now for the interesting bit.


I'd imagine that now we wait a bit. I would think they are putting divers over the side to put safety lines on it, maybe hoist lines or whatever to help manage it's transition to the weather deck.

Can FBI agents dive? Nobody is going to get near that BOP without surveillance being nearby.

Guy was just lowered to the deck in a sling-type thing.

Given they were supposed to have a full video and photographic record of the recovery I would have expected there to be divers in the water but I have seen no sign. I would have thought they would have hoisted directly for the last bit but I guess they have a plan. Someone went up the string on a hoist, don't know what that was about and there seems to be a big junta going on.


Stopped again. Q4000 ROV2 no longer monitoring--it's going back down.

Guys on deck keep wandering up to cluster around the moon pool, then wandering off again. Are they nervous?

and looks like the blue-shirted Feds have arrived on scene.

Q4000 feeds down again.

I don't see how they can fit that thing in the back of an Escalade.

off topic:

Where's the donation link?


That's odd ... it used to be upper left iirc.

Like Professor Goose, it seems to have mysteriously disappeared.

Yeah, the link to it in the FAQ is now forbidden, too.

I don't know, but I will ask about it.

The removal is temporary. After some changes are made, it will be back up.

I posted this before but I'll give it another try;

Once the BOP is at the surface, I presume those deck plates at the base of the main lift/crane will need to be removed to open up the moon pool & lift the BOP clear to the weatherdecks?


I believe the whole fenced area over the pool slides away (one set on tracks is visible on the upper right of the open area.)

Plates are lifted to form a slot for the pipe to pass through. (See the small section of gate along the back fencing at the base of the lift?)

Ahh, OK - that makes sense. Thanks!

Expect to see Tony H riding on its back, shouting:

“Thou damned whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

Naw, he's too banal.

Shouted in the most banal voice, of course ;-)

Oh, okay then. Maybe. Doubt he's much into Moby Dick and littychure.

Faw! I (like a dummy) refreshed the moon-pool cam, and now it won't load! (Talk about banal.)

lotus, the feeds for all the Q4000 cameras are going in and out, in and out. Chances are it'll be back in a couple of minutes (crosses fingers).

I'm sure they are busy re-directing the feed so the feds get the first relay point. Surely they aren't going to refuse us access. :(

More likely, "Give me my life back!"

You're right!!

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Sj4t6dEms&feature=related

Peck's Ahab speech starts about 5:35 (m:ss).

Not exactlly Melville but a good movie.

Just a guess, the boys-in-blue on deck must be management or the feds getting ready to jump on the BOP with 'Do Not Cross - Crime Scene' yellow tape to make it official ;-)

DOHH!!! - just lost the video feed again :-(

I'd been wondering when the Men in Black would appear. Lost vid feed again for all 4 Q4000 feeds. I didn't get to see the Men in Blue at all -- yet. You don't suppose they will disallow us from seeing the legal takeover, do you? I am SO ready to clink! Lizzy

It's like coitus interruptus.

I want to see the "PERP Walk"

You know the CTs are going to come up with some elaborate tale of a BOP kidnapping or switching. The faulty BOP will mysteriously reappear atop the Simmons' well.

Just sent another guy up top.

aaanndd, he's back down. Can we get this show on the road?? I gotta leave in 45 min.

C'mon folks, get a grip! ;-)

What could a forensic examination of the BOP possibly tell them at this point that couldn't be legally refuted on the basis that the evidence has been disturbed? There's no "black box" in that thing, is there?

The broken rubber annular? The non-functioning pod?

What I'd be interested in is what erosion or lack of it suggests about the flow rate history, but that's not going to help the federal lawyers.

At every critical moment the Q4000 feeds are blank. Say what you will, Von Altendorf is right about the blackouts.

That only works as an explanation if you ignore all the screw ups, bad PR images, and critical moments that were not blacked out. TPTB simultaneously omnipotent and incompetent? Cognitive dissonance much?

snake - WARNING: PURE SPECULATION: originally we heard that the BOP was modified by the Chinese but TO didn't have the right plans. I wonder if the BOP exam might reveal it doesn't even match the plans they have now. Also, what else might they find? A couple of years ago I was on crappy Russian drillship off of Africa. They pulled the BOP to the surface to inspect a pod they were concerned about. Took on main valve houing off and what did they find? Nothing. The housing was empty. IOW NO VALVE IN THE VALVE HOUSING. IOW spitting at a kick would have been more effective than activating this BOP.

Life can be full of little surprises.

I missed something somewhere along the line. DDII is retreaving a LMRP from Macondo well 252. Did they have a problem?

They needed to replace the riser used for lowering the BOP. Perhaps the LMRP was special purpose too.

Thanks for that rainyday!

Do a search for perforated riser and go up. You will see a post from Adm Allen's update (via rainyday)? that explains it perfectly.

Here is the update from that briefing.....

Maybe someone will inquire about the holes.

Nobody needed to ask.

Allen said in his summary of operations that the perforations in the riser, were, as surmised here, a safety measure in case of any discharge from the well. That riser is now being replaced [the lifting of it and the LMRP were visible on the DD2 rovs.],

Now that the criminal BOP is in the hands of the authorities, perhaps some humor?

This is old, and may have already been posted, but I, for one am ready to lighten up.

BP Spills Coffee

Just thinking back a bit and comments about blackouts and other BS. Strange how people perceive things so differently. I heard of people almost frozen in terror at the prospect of some of the disinformation that was spread around the Gulf.

Just wonder what would happen if our governments around the World were to concur that we are being visited by those not of this World. Would we deal with that any better as a whole than some of the perceptions spread around during this event?

See Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds for one answer.

Would be a total disaster, mass freakout. Not necessarily all terror of annihilation, although there'd be plenty of that, but mind-blasting cognitive dissonance, even--perhaps especially!--among those who have "known it all along."

Kinda like the panic over AGC in the 70's and now AGW in the 90's? :)

The C/T folks would have to dismiss the official acknowledgment that ET exists as yet another wrinkle in the conspiracy.

Yup. The soundstage/coverup version to keep us from discovering the *real* truth.

I guess I don't see it that way. Hysteria and fear of the unknown yes, by some. The thinkers would accept the fact if proven and deal with it. I think an advanced race would be very subtle and we may not even know they were here among us.

Okay enough weirdness!

I only hope the first human transmission intercepted in deepspace isn't a 3 stooges rerun.

Much worse, most likely. Google "War of the Worlds radio broadcast" Much to read there about how people act when....

Anybody remember Rod Serling's story about similar topic? Need a TV trivia expert.

Meaty -- but inconclusive -- story in LAT: Oil-dispersant effects remain a mystery

My god how many breaks do Q4000 people take?

At this rate BP won't have anything to worry about, d*mn drillpipe 'll rust through and send failbop to seafloor first.

We've had the deBOPulator, the reBOPulator, and now failBOP. What we need now is BOPulation control (and also the BigBOPulator).
Edit to fix link.

Don't forget all the ladies in the house:



My god how many breaks do Q4000 people take?

They are probably waiting on final approval and just realized that person is on vacation. :)

Dinner seems to be over now...


They broke the starter rope on the go kart and can't get it out of the way!

They broke the starter rope on the go kart and can't get it out of the way!

Surely when they are spending $M per day on rent, they can afford a spare Briggs n Stratten. :)

While the crew and the feds are having dinner (I assume) on the Q4000 and nothing is doing, I just had a lovely Experience with HOS ROV1. It's been on deck for a while, attended off and on by a couple of guys who washed its face and twiddled with this and that.

Then they turned it so the camera was facing the Gulf, and for a few minutes there was a perfectly gorgeous view of the sunset, just sparkling ocean and sky, with the sun right on the horizon.

Then they pushed it over the side, and I got to ride it down through a layer of beautiful greenish-blue water that was absolutely teeming with small critters. Then the light faded slowly as it continued down.

Quite a picture Loris, Thanks!

Yup, that was a good ride, wasn't it, Swift?

I am still waiting to clink, but my spaghetti is almost done and I am impatient. Think they wait for Admiral Thad to say "Go," or what? He said it would happen at around 7:30, didn't he?

Do they KNOW how many people across the globe are tuned in to see this? Maybe not so many. Maybe we are all just WEIRD!

Maybe we are all just WEIRD!


Anybody who tries to lie to us about there still being live fish in the GOM must be a paid BP shill! BUSTED!

The Q4000 has to be the most stable platform out there, yet it keeps losing it's video feed?

It's staring up!

She's coming up noow, I think!

That thing is a monster, like something you'd meet in a nightmare.

Taking off some pipe--that just about has to be the last bit no?

The BOP is awash!

Stopped again. More C. interruptus.
Edit: a musical interlude while they wait for cover of darkness.

That was awesome Nubs.

Star Wars fan..?


Star Wars fan..?

Oh, that's excellent!

I'm a Flanders & Swann fan, sort of. Only ever owned one album, and played it until my roommates threatened to break it.

Star Wars fan..?

Thanks. That was better than the original.

been watching the Q4000 feed for a while and this song keeps entering my mind while watching them work


GREAT!!! Made it back juuuuust in time. Looks like they are ready to move the drill floor out of the way for the final lift...no?



Lots of conversating. Somebody just went to make a phone call to the beach. Came back. We're going to do it OUR WAY!

Uhhhh Mr. President, Israel just nuked Iran.

Not NOW, I wana see this BOP come up.

The drill floor is moving out of the way...they *just* may do this tonight ;-)

These guys are REALLY trying my patience.

AARRRGGG!!! Video feed is down again - just as it was getting good!! I guess ol' BP's servers just can't take the traffic for the event :-(

(sigh...) back up (for now)

Update - I guess they are getting the drill floor ready with pads/blocks to land & secure the BOP on.

Doing a bit of welding...

Yeah, I wonder if those federal guys know enough not to watch that. I've had my share of arc-burns in my day - I actually have a small blind spot from that. Feels like your eyes are full of broken glass.

Not to worry. They wear dark glasses, all the time.

Won't help much. I got my blind spot at the coal mines. I'm a pretty good welder myself. One day, a chute that coal slid down developed a crack, and I decided to just fix it myself. Bad decision. I did a beautiful job on the chute, but didn't realize the polished metal was reflecting the light under my hood. It takes a few hours to find out you've clobbered yourself. I couldn't see for days, and now I have that permanent little dark area. It only bothers me when reading fine print though.

We were training (playing) with some Willy Pete (white phosphorus) grenades in the Storm and I scorched my eyes just a little. Luckily, the spots I got went away. Very nasty stuff.

My favorite part is when a blob of slag burns through the top of your shoe, and melts into the top of your foot for however long it takes to get the shoe off.

Oddly enough I'm itching under the eyelids right now. Just a quick brazing job last week, couldn't find the goggles, so I stacked 2 pair sunglasses and squinted. Took longer than I planned, so I'm feeling a little raw and foolish, but no blind spots.

Laying down a tarp??? So the BOP doesn't leave marks on the drill floor??


They're going to bag it and tag it, I'm sure. :)

Evidence ya know. The federales cannot let any incriminating evidence fall out the bottom. After all, they got some necks to stretch over this deal.

Ahhh...the BOP stand

"...Oh No - we covered up the support blocks! Where does this go!?!?!"

I was not watching closely and haven't seen a video of the real thing, but I thought I saw the new BOP being put onto the wellhead at the end of this HBO documentary today:
If that really was video from within the last 24 hours, I'm impressed at what the media can do when it tries. Pay cable media anyway. Did anybody else catch that?

OK...we're now in prime time

What the fook is that thing?

Didn't you see my remark above - that's the BOP stand ;-)

Not until after I'd posted... The bottom of the BOP has to fit in that tube?

Right. All of the folks are manning the front rail so the time looks close for the main event...

And heeeere it comes!!!

SL: The pipe in the center of the stand is an H4 connector just like the well head. They can latch the BOP onto it and then the stand will move with the BOP. The 4 posts are just to stabilize everything.

The BOP doesn't look like it's centered over the connector.

Where's a ROV when you need one?


The BOP keeps swinging back and forth...maybe they can get some momentum going and have it swing out just a little bit more till it's right over the connector, then drop it REAL QUICK!

I would use the pipe rack. Run a small cable to it, then use the rack's hydraulics to pull the BOP into position. That's the direction it needs to go.

Jeez, I was kidding, but it looks like that's what they did. They got it down! Snug as a bug in a rug. Whew.

I think they just rebalasted the floats on the platform to get it to line up. It was three to four feet off the mark when they started!

Added: Now all they have to do is break it all down!

It's almost on deck!

Now we can see how large the BOP is. Gawd!

Hmmm...look like the BOP is not squaring up with the stand. Kinda reminds me of a Monty Python skit...

Chapman: Trouble at mill.
Cleveland: Oh no - what kind of trouble?
Chapman: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
Cleveland: Pardon?
Chapman: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
Cleveland: I don't understand what you're saying.
Chapman: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.
Cleveland: Well what on earth does that mean?
Chapman: *I* don't know - Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

Just substitute BOP for beam & BOP Stand for treadle.
Sorry - couldn't resist :-)

Boom! NObody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Yeah, methinks some muscle work will be needed now. Glad it isn't me that has to supply it.

They aren't having power problems, are they? I keep seeing the lights dim for a split-second.

Well, there's the (non-existent) BOP lean. They jacked flexjoint off center to make cap stack (more or less) level, but didn't remove jacks before this lift.

Lots of close-up camera shots now, for documentation, I assume. Man, that is one unbeautiful hunk o' junk. Wish they could get a distance shot that would show the whole monstrous thing.

All those close ups are really nice but I agree, a long shot would be great!

...and that's the name of that tune. Now they can head to Louisiana to have a French Connection special done to it!

Great job guys! Congrats all around. There was rejoicing throught the land!
Pictures for Facebook! etc...

Statement from National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen on the BOP

"The damaged Blow Out Preventer (BOP), along with the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap, have been removed from the Gulf of Mexico and are currently on board the Q4000. The BOP is considered evidentiary material, and is now under the supervision of the Deepwater Horizon Criminal Investigation Team and FBI Evidence Recovery Team."

and the next steps, from today's briefing,

When they are ready to bring the Blow Out Preventer into the Q4000 it will be raised by a very high derrick on deck. Once it is secured on deck they will accentually at that point lift the Lower Marine Riser Package off with a crane on the Q4000 and hold it in the air while the Blow Out Preventer is moved laterally off to the side and secured. Once that is done the Lower Marine Riser Package will then be deployed and secured on deck.

Once secured on deck, the Blow Out Preventer Lower Marine Riser Package will then be transported by the Q4000 closer to shore where both Lower Marine Riser Package and Blow Out Preventer will be transferred to other vessels for transfer to the area where the Blow Out Preventer will be taken into custody and at that point will be part of the evidence material that’s been required by the joint investigative team, and this whole thing has been done under the supervision of the Department of Justice.

Hope the Feebies have a big enough warehouse to put it in. Not to mention a way to get it there. I'll bet that's the biggest single piece of "evidence" they've ever dealt with. I also wonder who they will have examine it. Seems like it would have to be someone who understands it, and that would mean someone who has an interest in it. Who other than Cameron really knows what it's supposed to be like inside?

I think this is where they're taking it ... NASA does big too.. and ironic in a way, since Michoud is associated with the Columbia tragedy

End of era: Shuttle's last fuel tank goes to Cape Canaveral

By Robert Block, Orlando Sentinel Space Editor | July 7, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — Early Thursday, NASA and Lockheed Martin will throw a party at the Michoud Assembly Facility as workers roll out the giant orange fuel tank to be used in February by the last scheduled space-shuttle mission: Endeavour's final journey to the International Space Station. The celebration will recognize more than three decades of tank work at the Michoud plant near the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

In reality, it also marks the end of a unique industrial craft. Each 158-foot tank is welded and then sprayed — initially by big computer-operated guns — with a blanket of Styrofoam-like insulating foam.

Both the BOP and LMRP are to be transferred to Michoud in East New Orleans for the investigation.

Pinkfud, they are taking it to my backyard, the Michoud Assembly Facility (as PhilMB noted). They just shipped out the last Shuttle main tank in July, so there ought to be room for it as long as it doesn't take up more than 2.5 million SF. Right on the Intracoastal Waterway with its own port. Originally built for WWII ship construction, home of the Saturn V booster, soon to be producing wind turbine blades.

Official website here: http://maf.msfc.nasa.gov/index.html

Aerial pic here: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/michoud/maf_aerial_2.html

Great job Q4 crew (despite all your d*mn breaks), mission accomplished, head for home, hold your heads high, we're proud of ya, Yee haaaaaa!

Q4000 lands the Deepwater Horizon Blowout Preventer.

"just doesn't seem right without a cloud of hydraulic fluid" said one observer.


Not just yet..........they weren't happy with something so it's off again.

I can't believe that happened right when i was busy posting this image! Back to work!

I can't believe that happened right when i was busy posting this image! Back to work!

Wait--they lifted it off the stand again?? Or is that a rerun of earlier footage? Where did the stand go?

It's undersized - they're throwing it back in the moon pool.

It's undersized - they're throwing it back in the moon pool.

(belly laugh) Well, the heck with it, then. It's Bed Time Kate for moi. Sleep well, y'all.

Nite Loris,
We'll hang in here for another hour or so MST.


1) Tested positive for Corexit contamination
2) Failed sniff test for oil
3) Only had catch and release permit
4) Combination of above


Yes, they did lift it again. Something didn't fit quite right, I guess. I would insist on absolute perfection before I would allow it to be moved. Safety is as big with me as it is with Rockman.

They didn't like the orientation of the stand. Guess it has to be aligned to the stars before the Feeebies will accept it? :))

Undersized makes more sense.

Catch and release?

They forgot to put teflon tape on the stub...

How many rolls do they need?

One. It's the oilfield, remember? The roll is ten feet tall and weighs 5 tons.

There is an interesting article in NY Times about Synthetic Genomics and Dr. Venter:

One excerpt says,
“Designing and building synthetic cells will be the basis of a new industrial revolution,” Dr. Venter says. “The goal is to replace the entire petrochemical industry.”

The article doesn't say much about timelines or how much surface area would be needed to grow enough synthetic cells to match current petrochemical production.