BP's Deepwater Horizon - Nearing Intersection - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6964.

Update, 11:15pm: The well intersection has taken place! Intend to proceed with the bottom kill.

According to Admiral Allen:

"I have received extensive briefings over the last 24 hours regarding the final effort to intercept the Macondo well. Through a combination of sensors embedded in the drilling equipment and sophisticated instrumentation that is capable of sensing distance to the well casing, BP engineers and the federal science team have concluded that the Development Driller III relief well has intersected the Macondo well. This determination was made based on a loss of drilling fluids that indicated communication had been established beyond the relief well, the pressure exerted against the drill bit as it came in contact with the well casing and, finally, an increase in pressure in the choke line of the Macondo well blow out preventer. While each of these indicators taken separately would not necessarily be conclusive, the aggregate data available supports the conclusion that the two wells are joined. It is also important to note that none of the measurements supported a scenario where the annulus of the well is in communication with the reservoir. Accordingly, we intend to proceed with preparation to cement the annulus and complete the bottom kill of the well. Further information will be provided as cementing procedures are completed."

Progress on the Deepwater Horizon well is going well enough that the Admiral considers it likely that the remaining work (other than plug and abandon) may be completed within the next four days. According to the transcript:

. . .just to summarize again, in the last 24-hour period we proceeded to go ahead and drill to the intercept. At the time we started drilling we estimated that we were 3.5 horizontal feet away and 50 feet away from the intercept. We drilled down (inaudible), we went through the drill string, we put in a ranging tool just to make sure that we wanted to calibrate what the ranging tool told us versus the equipment that now allows us to do some ranging measurements from inside the drill bit.

The drill string is now packed and it’s commenced drilling so the air at this moment as we’re speaking drilling that last 20/25 feet and they are almost touching the well at this time. That’s the report I got just before I came out here. When we do the intercept, which will be imminently I will say in the next 24 hours because they may elect to pull that drill bit back do another ranging run, which would add time. That’s the reason I’m not going to say it’s going to happen in the next hour.

Sometime in the next 24-hour period, we should do the well intercept. Once the well is intercepted, we’ll have to understand from the pressure differentials and the drilling fluids the nature of the annulus. Once that’s been determined decision, will be made on cement and then once it’s cemented the cement will have to adhere and be pressure tested.

That entire element from this morning I would estimate to be about 96 hours.

It is good that the remaining critical work will be done in this time. Right at the moment there are two Category Four hurricanes in the Atlantic (something that hasn’t happened since 1926). While both of those are likely to head North up the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Karl may turn into a Hurricane after it crosses the Yucatan, which may be some cause for concern because, when it re-enters the Gulf, it will be quite close to the offshore Mexican wells, where over 2 mbd is produced.

The possibility that global warming is causing an increase in hurricane intensity, if not overall numbers, is something that climate scientists continue to debate, but the possibility of another series of hurricanes of the likes of Katrina and Rita clobbering the oil supply/distribution network, regardless of cause, is something that the EIA has to consider, and that is the topic of the front page of the TWIP, this week. The EIA is introducing a Hurricane page, which will, on a hurricane specific basis, show the projected path of the hurricane, and the facilities that might be at risk.

On another topic, it appears that the trapped miners in Chile will have a lot of job offers when they get out safely. We can only hope that this comes sooner rather than later.

Answering myself, from this morning's end to yesterdays thread:


Interview with Feinberg. He is paid by BP AND he is an "independent administrator." He asks interviewer if she would rather have the taxpayers paying him.

Well, maybe so.

There is of course a subtle difference in semantics between being paid with money provided by BP and being employed by BP. It is only if BP has any say in how the salary money is spent that they have influence over Feinberg. If BP have the power to dismiss him, then there is an issue, but otherwise it is more a matter of BP having been stuck with the bill for his salary than him being paid by BP. Who does he actually report to? - i.e. what legal entity?

Or to put it another way, there is a difference between paid by, and being paid for by.

It would seem to me that BP dismissing Feinberg would be an action they would live to seriously regret.

Much like Nixon firing Eliot Richardson.

Sheesh. The little facility symbols on the map of Earl's path are so crowded together in many places along the coast it's impossible to tell what and where exactly they are in the area. The map is a PDF, so zooming in doesn't help. Couldn't they create a Google map, which would spread out the markers when you zoom in? Or is the PDF map just a sample to give you the general idea?

SL - Go here:


It's the Earl page and it's not a pdf so you can zoom. Plus you can select/unselect the various facilities to better see some of the stuff that's crowded out.

Thanks, Podman, but that doesn't help because the little symbols get bigger too, so they're just as congested. It's the same as zooming on a PDF. I want a Google-type map where the markers stay their original size as you zoom in, meaning there's more and more space between them the farther in you zoom. (New Jersey is the state I was particularly interested in, since I live on the Jersey shore.)

Edit: Being able to select the type of facility does help, but it's still crowded in New Jersey!

Off topic but I need help. Who thinks this does not pass the smell test? All the posters on al.com are saying this is legit. I say possible murder. Please comment.

Pell City case dismissed against son who killed his father; judge cites 'stand your ground' defense
Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 8:12 AM Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 8:16 AM
PELL CITY, Alabama -- A Jefferson County Criminal Court judge on Wednesday dismissed the case against Robert "Bob" Carleton, the 48-year-old Pell City man who had been accused of murdering his father, the Daily Home newspaper reports.
Circuit Judge Tommy Nail wrote that Carleton was entitled to have the charge against him dismissed by virtue of a 2006 change in Alabama law that makes Alabama one of 14 states allowing a “stand your ground” self-defense claim, according to the Daily Home report. Carleton had been accused of killing his 67-year-old father, William “Bill” Randolph Carleton Sr.


My response-

TinFoilHatGuy September 16, 2010 at 8:53AM
Ok folks let me explain some basic tactics and physics. Operation of weapons comes into play too. 'Standing your ground' is a stupid Hollywood move. If ANY type of vehicle is going to run you down, GET OUT OF THE WAY. Use the truck as a 'block.' If he is going fast enough it does not matter if you drop him cold, the ATV will retain momentum. You would still get hit and hit hard. If he is not coming that fast or is far enough away, then get the heck out of the way. It is the safest move for yourself. Also, what if you miss. It is a moving target. This man was possibly murdered IMHO.

A real life mystery. What say you?

I say this isn't your blog.

What on earth does this have to do with the topic at hand? Or TOD at all?

This is my first post. I've watched throughout this whole ordeal, you clutter every. single. thread. with off-topic crap.

Come on man, enough is enough.

Don't you remember when Prof Goose used to post this at the top of every thread:

"The Oil Drum is a special place. We strive to maintain a high signal to noise ratio in our comment threads. Short, unengaging comments, or comments that are off topic, are likely to be deleted without notice."

I always figured that they didn't have time to delete yours because of the sheer volume of A) your off-topic posts and B) "The ocean floor is going to collapse!" posts.

Why don't you have a little bit of respect for the place that has let you hang out, watch, and learn for the last five months.

It was one thing when the threads were already 400 posts long and mostly off-topic nonsense about methane volcanoes, but its winding down now, and this is a brand new thread. And here you come along on the third post and start talking about "oh man I think this dude got away I'm gunna write my senator!"

This isn't the place for it.

Rant over.

I say this isn't your blog.
What on earth does this have to do with the topic at hand? Or TOD at all?
This is my first post. I've watched throughout this whole ordeal, you clutter every. single. thread. with off-topic crap.
Come on man, enough is enough.

Hey Augustotse, mellow out.
Your rant is taking up as much space as his post. It's probably going to be another slow day, and this ain't your blog either.
Lighten up dude.



I basically gave up reading these threads because of his inane, boring, egocentric and most importantly, off-topic nonsense. He does not understand the concept.

Oh, foo. We have plenty of off-topic threads here, especially when technical developments slow down. Don't know why you're picking on TFHG when many of us start and/or participate in them.

I would say that we cannot make a real decision based on the limited information we have here. The rule of thumb is that a person is allowed to use lethal force in order to protect against an attack using lethal force.

BTW - In Iraq we were trained not to try to dodge a car coming at us. Our training was to shoot to either disable the engine or kill the driver - then get out of the way. But again we do not know enough about the situation to really comment on the tactics used in this case.

Ok no more off topic for a week. Activated, in a combat situation where the truck is filled with 200 kilograms of AMFO and your buddies or a command post is nearby. Yes, you take the truck out. Hopefully, you happen to have an M14 that day. Different from dad on his ATV.

You should have said the killer was a geologist and the killee was a company man.

this is ridiculously off subject and also ridiculously meaningless analysis on your part. It's obnoxious and I don't think it should be repeated. This is not your private blog for your own silly musings and this detracts from the useful value of this blog. I don't even care about what you posted only that you were so thoughtless as to do so.

Fine dude, my bad. Picture from last night in Orange Beach.

Kenneth Feinberg, adminstrator of the $20 billion gulf oil spill compensation fund, jokes during a town meeting in Orange Beach, Ala., Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010.… (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

I will believe your rather flippant: "Fine dude, my bad." When you no longer are posting off topic and irrelevant. I basically think that all you really care about is attracting attention to yourself in a way that amuses you and nobody else. You lack the comprehension to be meaningful.

Therefore, all further complaints about your off topic posts should be directed to the moderator, requesting the termination of your account. So, I ask my fellow members to consider that and act accordingly, rather than feeding your passive agressive behavior. I also ask the moderators to consider this and take action on their own if there is any further reason from you to do so.

I apologized and went on topic. You are beating this one too far. I am now inviting you get all to ban me forever. It matters not. I have as a courtesy remained on topic but you continue to harass me. Fine make me your project as I plan to go for a bike ride to record some photos of the local effected area. My statement was not flippant but rather an attempt to comply. Have a nice day.


[-] geoffreyf on September 3, 2010 - 10:18am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top
They should have a Sommelier for the team. Expert in uncorking high pressure and he would know to wrap a white linen napkin around the neck to avoid a nasty mess during the pull. When they are successful, the Sommelier can help everyone relax.
Comments can no longer be added to this story.

A sommelier (pronounced /sʌməlˈjeɪ/, French pronunciation: [sɔməlje]), or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, commonly working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food matching. The role is more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter.

Would that be a petroleum or peak oil Sommelier? Perhaps one employed by BP or TO. Get over yourself, you are no more of an inspiration than I. Perhaps I should report you, but that is not my style.

edit again: fixed grammar.

I have to agree with Swift L, many tend to go off topic while in a lull waiting for news or when lacking technical data to dicsuss. Flippant is one thing, downright rude is another - I have NEVER and will NERVER flag a post as inappropriate, I just assumed we all were adults and everyone is free to scroll by post/comments to bore them, offend them or piss them off.

Thanks for the miners story, HO. I'm pleased to see it includes a video starring cute little Esperanza (with whom I'm even more pleased to share a birthday). Now to spring Daddy Ariel!

Many happy, if belated, returns, lotus!

T'anks, SL.

LOTUS! You shudda tol' us! We could cudda-wudda had a party! Anyway,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (albeit late) and maybe later on we can clink to that AND to baby Hope.

Heh, Lizzy, I wuz bashful. But thanks, and yes'm, we'll clink some mo' if I know us.

Oooo, chonklit. My fave, comfy! I got the plates, you run get the forks -- oh heck, let's just all hop up there and get some frosting on our whiskers. Mmmwah!

Welcome back Bignerd.

From your post:

" I suspect they are being cagey about the composition for legal / pr reasons; they are perhaps trying to manage their response to potential environmental issues surrounding the nastier components of the crude. "

Very interesting point.

A couple of reasons I was asking about Zeta yesterday, one being that
(from one of the links provided yesterday)

" The ability of a liquid to carry material in suspension is a function of these minute electrical charges. As the negative charge increases, more material can be carried in suspension. As the charge decreases, the particles move closer to each other and the liquid is able to carry less material. There is a point where the ability to carry material in suspension is exceeded, and particles begin to clump together with the heavier particle materials dropping out of the liquid and coagulating.

Positive charged ions decrease carrying capacity while negative charged ions increase it.

Heavy Metals: As zeta potential decreases, the heavy metals generally come out first. "


I wuz wondering how that would possibly effect the behavior of the dispersed oil when reservoir brine was taken into consideration in the emulsion..


Those poor Chilean miners. I have another suggestion, besides cannabis and wine. The world's first underground rave party. Light show, disco ball. They should be practicing their dance moves for when they get out.


...anyways,..happy Thursday TOD'rs :)

Isaac - I´m not able to interpretate the data from this link and if it gives real facts about the compound of the Macondo-oil :


But this sounds to be a sample that we are looking for :

"I recently analyzed an oil sample collected by an ROV from the riser pipe at the BP Gulf oil spill site using GCxGC-TOFMS, a powerful multidimensional technique capable of characterizing complex samples that defy one-dimensional GC-MS."

Thanks,lol, I can't tell too much from it either, but he does say this:

" The reason I say most importantly is that many laboratories gearing up for seafood analysis as a result of the oil spill will focus only on the unalkylated (is that a word?) PAHs, likely because that is where most of the published toxicity information lies. Do the alkyl PAHs, which form the bulk of the PAH contribution of this oil, have equivalent toxicity? I don’t know, but I do wonder if they should be included in Gulf oil spill monitoring schemes, whether the analysis is for environmental or food samples. "


Interesting question, googleating brings up this paper:



A brief excerpt:

" Phototoxicity of certain PAHs was discovered when organisms which had survived lab exposures to PAHs died quickly after being moved
into sunlight. An increase in toxicity due to photo-induced changes is called phototoxicity. For certain PAHs, tests performed in the presence of UV or other solar radiation show greatly increased
toxicity to those same organisms at PAH concentrations below maximum solubility. "


...reminds me of the stuff you use to refinish asphalt parking lots, I took a 2 week job for spare cash years ago doing this, and was warned not to get the tar on my skin, boss man said something about UV reactive chemicals in the stuff we were using. Didn't know if there was any truth to that, but I chose to wear the disposable body suits .


Guess I got a lot of readin' to do, thanks.

Bruce got me on a Peggy Lee kick, Bonus track included:

Black Coffee


Just FYI, there are many peer-reviewed science publications on photoxicity of PAHs to sealife, so the phenomenon is relatively well understood. Haven't seen any commentary, though, on whether dead-sea dispersal of oil (to decompose in the dark rather than in the surface photic zone) was a least-bad trade-off of the dispersant injection at the wellhead. Maybe this was one argument used to convince EPA that the dispersant plan was desirable.

I'm so glad you posted that track, which all by itself redeems the musical culture of the 1950s.

As noted yesterday, The complexity of the oil, combined with the huge environmental changes ( reduction of pressure and temperature and dispersion into cold seawater ) is likely to overwhelm any effect of zeta potential change and similar esoteric properties of pure compounds.

The situation is highly dynamic, a homogeneous fluid is rapidly converting into different phases as it ascends from the reservoir. The phases are then being dissolved/dispersed into sea water which will result in changes based on molecule properties and contact duration - methane could remain dissolved in other hydrocarbons, slowly burp to the surface, or if in contact with water, form hydrates, a small quantity will dissolve in sea water.

The small aromatics ( benzene, toluene and friends ) will dissolve in the water, and the immiscible fractions will form insoluble globules with volatiles still dissolved in them. Those globules will bind/interact with Corexit as well as natural species and insoluble/soluble materials dispersed/dissolved in the seawater. Over time, wildlife will consume the more palatable forms, and the remaining materials will gradually oxidise to form harder skins that are less sticky.

The heavier fractions are very hydrophobic, so the ability of marine organisms to biodegrade them is limited. Inside the heavier fractions are some molecules that are ionic ( resins ) but most are large hydrocarbons such as asphaltenes, polynuclear aromatics ( PNAs ), etc. that do not easily biodegrade.

By using Corexit, the plan was to make the oil/Corexit globules as small as possible so the surface to volume ratio was very large for more rapid biodegradation. The Corexit dispersant/surfactant/flocculant molecules would also slowly biodegrade, gradually liberating more oil.

Any heavy metals will be present as metallo-organic species, such as porphyrins, and they will usually end up in the insoluble gunk ( eg tarballs ). They will not be to concerned about behaving according to electrical properties of ions of the pure heavy metals.

Bruce, here I was, inching along, so proud of myself for quasi-understanding, and then Ka-BLOOEY -- that last sentence utterly vanquished me. Could you take another run at it for us groundlings, please?

Zeta potential can be used for colliodal systems, but the problem is that the Gulf oil/sea water system is not static but very dynamic, so it's unlikely that any fine particles that are continually changing will produce measurements that are consistent and predictive.

The metals in crude oil usually derive from the original living matter, molecules like cytochromes, hemoglobin, chlorophyll etc. These large organo-metallic molecules consist of a metal ion in an organic structure, often linking via nitrogen molecules, eg chlorophyll has magnesium at the centre.

Obviously, the solubility of magnesium in epsom salts ( magnesium sulfate - which readily dissolves in water ) doesn't behave like the magnesium in chlorophyll ( which isn't readily soluble in either water or hexane, but is soluble in acetone and alcohols ).

The zeta potential of magnesium-containing species will depend on environment, and the colloidal behaviour predictions based on pure compounds aren't going to be very applicable to gulf oil pollution that is continually changing. Better to focus on other, more relevant, properties, such as solubility, particle size and surface area, volatility, density, interfacial tension, toxicity, etc.

If black absorbs radiation, and white reflects it, that behavior will be overwhelmed when coloured bread is tossed into an incinerator - it still burns rapidly. If you want toast, it's best to first reduce contact temperatures and/or residence time, as colour will only become significant after they are appropriately adjusted.

Thank you for this generous answer, Bruce. I could wish for a higher absorption rate on my end, but you did what you could to help, so I'm grateful.

Thanks again Bruce. I really appreciate you taking the time. I know Zeta's not really the only area of focus, I've just been stuck on it. I could swear I read somewhere that cavitation raises Z( but then again, I read so much I probably am getting things mixed up ). Hear anything about that phenomenon ?

Zeta potential is not a pure liquid property. In fact it is defined as the difference between the electrostatic potential near a surface vs. the bulk liquid.

As far as dynamic, yes at the point were the oil enters the ocean it is very dynamic. But when the oil is being digested and the flocs are being formed? Not so much. During floc formation zeta potential is quite important.


The main components of Corexit are dispersants, not flocculants, so I'm very dubious that zeta potential would tell us very much, other than the the oil and oil/dispersant entities are relatively unstable. There are more useful tests to invest in.

Page 6, and Figure 19 of the following provide some data ...

The T-P's Corps of Engineers levee armoring plans have state officials concerned is as much about the Bobbyberms as the levees. Shaw says it's done 6 miles' worth now, and Bobby's fixing to ask for another $60 million.

Serious question.

Why couldn't the blow have been caused by the drill string breaking and falling to the bottom, taking out the check valves and going down into the fresh cement? We did see a drill string break in this operation.

Serious question, and it was seriously answered in the last thread when you asked the same thing. :)

Thanks Comfychair, I missed it. Going back to read now.

Dalian fallout, and a different perspective

Oil Spill and a Brick Wall
Fishing companies imperiled by the July disaster have made no progress in challenging 'aircraft carrier' PetroChina
By staff reporter Zhang Ruidan

(Beijing) - Fishing communities in the Dalian area are reeling financially in the wake of China's worst maritime oil disaster – and struggling to find someone in power who will hear their plight...

So far, the victims have made little headway in their quest for compensation, which at least one Beijing lawyer has called a matter of environmental justice.

PetroChina officials have declined to discuss compensation issues – in sharp contrast to the strategy used by British oil concern BP, which has actively worked to compensate victims of a recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill...

Meanwhile, local police spoke with influential fishermen and warned against petitioning the government with damage claims.

BP will fight this with the big guns.

Plaintiff attorneys, led by Stephen Herman and James Parkerson Roy, would like documents, reports, analyses, leases, contracts, protocols, organizational charts, environmental samples, and all agreements and communications between BP and Feinberg Rozen, the law firm of Gulf Coast Claims Facility coordinator Kenneth Feinberg.

... and indeed BP would be foolish not to use the big guns, because you can be sure that there will be plenty of big guns on the other side, determined to "win". The adversarial system in action.

The fiasco is so pathetic, to get the truth check out my channel on Youtube, same username BeePeeOilDisaster you will be blown away, tons of inside info...


And that is all I got to say about that.


Well well, look who's the BP shill trying to hide the truth now!

That's the third time I have been called a BP shill. LOL LOL

BeePee :

I think the Rothschilds have been bringing this alien entity here through trans-dimensional wormholes:


They use these cubeships to travel between dimensions:


Keep up the good work, and keep us posted ;)

EDIT: Reminds me of a joke :

What does a zombie topologist say ?


Ok, sorry.

BeePee, buddy, welcome to TOD; I was wondering if you would show up here someday. Many of us here have been regularly following you work for a long time.

To be honest, I think you will find that most of us will interpret the ROV video feeds far differently than you.

You have a very unique take on events that is far different from my own. Our interpretations are so different that I don’t think we will ever be able to reconcile them. However, we need not be concerned about agreeing; I can appreciate your work and opinions for what they are. The body of your work speaks for itself in a way that is approaching art.

You have made an incredible effort to communicate your views and I know and appreciate how much work your prodigious output took. The effort has taken so much work that I, for one, am concerned about your health and well-being. Please take care of yourself and try to find some balance and peace in your life.

Welcome to TOD.

I'm glad that I live in California.
Fires, mud slides, earthquakes, etc....

Jerry Brown, Feinstein, Boxer, Pelosi, etc.

Ahnold, Mary Bono Mack, Issa, Lungren....

Sunny, not humid, goto the beach, mountains, desert in the same day.
I don't do politics here.
The real Shakeytown:
Press start

My town:
http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/ click for larger image.


Every single one of them are great politicians. That's a profession that I also consider one that can be honorable and is in those individuals practice. I would vote for each one if I was able. Whether you agree with them or not, what they say, the policies they promote are coherent. Reducing the size of government until companies like BP, PG&E, Financial institutions and so on and on run amok is not government for the people. It is government for Big business and duping individuals into supporting it. "Reducing taxes" is as deficit expanding (30% of the deficit is Bush tax cuts) as any other possible policy. This is not the Reagan years, what people don't spend in taxes, especialy the wealthy goes off shore as likely as not and does not "trickle down". It's a complex topic but listing those names as some kind of self evident, but ultimately meaningless, reference is pointless.

For what it's worth, Reagan wasn't afraid to raise taxes if the budget was getting into trouble.

See: The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982


The Sun
BP Under Fire Over Fish Kill

Scientists had previously cleared the oil company of any blame saying the horror was caused by depleted oxygen levels.

But officials from Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish — where the fish were found — claim traces of oil can be seen in the photos.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser called for "extensive testing" to be carried out on the dead fish.

Mr Nungesser said: "We can't continue to see these fish kills.

"We need some additional tests to find out why these fish are dying in large numbers.

"If it is low oxygen, we need to identify the cause."

We keep reading where all these areas and fish kills are supposedly being tested for oil, but does anyone know if they are posting their findings anywhere or are we just supposed to take them at their word? I've checked all the Departments of Wildlife and Fishery sites for AL, MS and LA and can't find a single thing about these results. Curious minds would like to know.


West Beach Pass - oil in the water.
I don´t want to speculate on the credibility of this video.


That is some filthy nasty stuff but I am sure someone on here knows someone that would chew that stuff like gum.

Looks pretty credible to me. The first guy he was asking questions was way too evasive imo.

Yeah the english guy did not want to talk about it.

If people are going to freak out over thoroughly weathered, solid tar balls, they might as well move to Hawaii, because that stuff is going to be in the northern Gulf for decades. And if the guy isn't afraid to hold the tarballs in his hand, he shouldn't be afraid to swim in the water. Significantly water-soluble compounds are long gone from the tar.

Everyone with half a brain should understand that tar is the long-term residue of the oil, and if authorities say there's no oil, they don't mean there's no tar. So the guy should stop making an ass of himself and annoying people who are trying to do useful work.

Gobbett, it is not the guy in the video who is making an ass of himself. It is one thing to hold a bit of stuff in your hand for a few minutes. It is another to swim or eat fish from water with that in. Just like I use paint thinner to clean my hands after painting and then wash it off. I do not take a bath in paint thinner. Area of body exposed and time of exposure are not trivial matters.

Two senses of "in the water":

A. There is a tin can in the water.
B. There is salt in the water.

EPA samples from coastal areas have shown no elevated levels of petroleum compounds in the water for weeks. The soluble compounds that dissolved into the water have been biodegraded. The dispersed oil droplets have been biodegraded. The degraded residue of the surface slick and the dispersed oil have mostly been sedimented as tar or floc. I wouldn't want to swim in an area with a lot of floc. I would happily swim in an area with firm, very weathered tar balls on the bottom. They are "in the water" in the same sense as tin cans. They are not releasing significant amounts of toxic solubles into the water.

Well you shift your argument. I thought the argument was about holding something in your hand being different from swimming in it. Now your argument is that he had tar balls and tar balls in the water is akin to tin can in the water vs salt in the water. If you will look at 2:50 on the clip where he has a glove on he picks up goop near the shore that stains his glove and compresses in his hand. Perhaps earlier he only pick up harder stuff because he knew better than to pick up the goop without a glove. So to ask the question he asks, would you want your kids splashing around in that stuff. Small kids sit near shore, kids of all ages run and splash and usually get stuff in their mouth and even eyes in the process. If what he handles at 2:50 on is what you call "floc" you have already answered that question. You wouldn't want to swim in it. Perhaps you didn't watch the whole clip.

I would like to see the EPA sample the stuff he holds up. Bet the EPA is very very careful about where they take samples. IMO most of the government agencies designed to protect citizens have begun to fail us. Certainly the MMS failed big time. Guess we have to watch out for ourselves and I sure wouldn't swim in that water no matter what the mayor or the EPA said.

At any rate no reason then if it is safe for the Brit to answer the question about whether he would let his child swim in it. The failure to answer is damning.

If the Brit doesn't know squat about the toxicology of very weathered oil, which is quite likely, then it doesn't matter whether or not he thinks it is dangerous. He is just a guy getting paid to pick up tarballs.

I would be leery of black soupy stuff, but that's not floc. If you read TOD, I'm surprised you don't know about what we've been calling floc.

The Brit or Aussie can answer a simple question - would you let your child swim in this. I could answer that without knowing anything about the toxicology of weathered oil. I would just look at that nasty muck and say no - even if it was safe it was pretty nasty looking stuff and I use the old adage "better safe than sorry" for such situations. The reason he couldn't answer was because he was hired by BP and the other BP folk who were under the tent wouldn't say a word because they would be fired by BP if they did.

I doubt that he is just a guy being paid to pick up tar balls. He (the one who answered questions) wasn't wearing the green vest all the others were wearing. He was no doubt a supervisor. As such he knew what he could and couldn't say as opposed to those in the tent who said nothing.

I have been away from TOD for about a week. Before that time I didn't see floc mentioned although I read many comments about tar balls, weathered oil etc. Perhaps it is more in discussion now that the well is capped. I saw discussion about dispersed oil, droplets etc. but not floc. Sorry, I don't read every post. But this started because you had a flawed argument that you have now appeared to drop, ie that because he held something in his hand that meant that it wasn't dangerous for someone swimming. You have since made somewhat improved arguments, but you haven't convinced me that I should let my kids swim in that stuff that he pulls out of the ocean's edge with a gloved hand that is not tar balls.

By the way have you thought of getting a job in BP's PR department. You would be a great asset for them.

A quick search of Google show that the word "floc" has been indexed by Google on 26 TOD "nodes" or treads, most of them in the last five weeks.

Oh, the ultimate argument/insult, you disagree, so you must be a BP shill. Geez..

Sorry, I can't reply right now. I got to go cash by BP check ;-)

Ox, why is it that if anyone disagrees with someone, the "BP shill" term is used?

But this started because you had a flawed argument that you have now appeared to drop, ie that because he held something in his hand that meant that it wasn't dangerous for someone swimming...By the way have you thought of getting a job in BP's PR department. You would be a great asset for them.

Oxidated, Gobbet never shifted his argument: tar balls are not a significant source of water soluble toxins. He just kept trying to explain it to you. Your inability to understand Gobbet's plain english is no reason to accuse him of bias; if you have read his prior posts you should know he often mentions bad effects of the spill.

You also need to read the warning label on paint thinner more carefully, repeated skin contact can lead to defatting the skin and dermatitis. (Same warning as Corexit 9500, BTW.) Use a dab of hand cleaner instead.

MSDS here: http://www.parkscorp.com/PDF/MSDS/SOLVENTS/PaintThinner.pdf

Thanks, brat.

I mention the paint thinner because I intend to point out that I am not over reactionary to "toxic" substances because I know that occasional use or ingestion of most toxic substances is not the problem, just as holding a bit of stuff in your hand for a few minutes is not the same as swimming in it. Thus if I get something on my hand like oil based paint I will use paint thinner carefully and quickly but then wash it off well and not freak out about dermatitis. Maybe two or three times a year I use paint thinner and have for 40 years. I do not have dermatitis and although I well know paint thinner is not safe, I also well know that the degree of exposure is determinative for most toxins. One glass of wine a week won't give you cirrhosis of the liver.

If you had followed all of the arguments (and looked at the whole video) you would have seen that at minute 2:50 and on the stuff that is being picked up is clearly NOT tar balls. What's more when scooping up that stuff the guy who made the video wore gloves. I imagine in the first clip he was careful to pick up more solidified stuff and didn't crush it in his hands as he did when he had on gloves.

This all started with an insult. Gobbet "So the guy should stop making an ass of himself and annoying people who are trying to do useful work." I don't hand out insults to people who don't use insults, but if a person uses an insult I figure they are fair game.... I probably would not have even addressed the original comment if Gobbet had not insulted the man who made the tape, who IMO seemed to be a sincere resident concerned about his, his families and his communities health. He could have called him misguided, uniformed but he said he was making an ass of himself.

Sorry, Oxidated, I forgot that you are never wrong.

the Brit is an Aussie, by the sound of him. And not a PR guy either.

I know this guy, worked with him for about a year. He is like me but a little more whack. He does care but there is some missing days and months in his life. Not too long ago. The kind of thing folks have to drive 100 miles to go get him and bring a little cash. He is a very nice guy and he would not stage anything, but he would highlight it. Maybe Gregg light? Maybe Gregg non-Alcohol is better, Cros quit drinking.


A product of American schools. Raised by teevee, very high self-esteem.

I Googled [tarball s'mores] and a Facebook page for Links on "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency" popped up.

Make sure to check out the comment by Ed Hino.

Alas, so did AH's attack on TOD.

Wait, was that mine? About the s'mores?? Did I get quoted by the Oil Truthers and nobody told me??!


Somewhere around 50 thousand square miles of the Gulf is still closed to fishing according to Jane Lubchenco head of NOAA.

From what she said yesterday it appears they are testing fish in the closed area and they must be testing bad.


We continue to monitor the movements and the (inaudible) of oil especially beneath the surface. And we are doing so in collaboration with our academic and research institution partners. We are indeed seeing a number of encouraging signs, a reflection of this is that we have re-opened almost 40,000 square miles of the Gulf to fishing.

As you will recall at the heights about 37 percent of the Gulf was closed to fishing in federal waters. We have been nibbling around the edges opening up more and more area. The area that remains closed today is at 16.5 percent.

So we're making good progress and sampling very, very carefully making sure that areas that we are opening is, in fact, safe to reopen and that the seafood is free of contaminants. We're also releasing rehabilitated sea turtles back into the Gulf, individuals that were recovered some of which have been rehabilitated in the lab and are now able to released into a Gulf.

Do you give the fish a passport so they can travel?

FYI - (inaudible) = "fate", according to my notes.

SPECIAL TO NOAM: Hope you're out of the way of Karl!


Thanks, the worst of it will have blown out by the time it gets to us but I am expecting more rain. We lost 3 important bridges in previous rains so that will be watched closely. The big issue is the east coast of Mexico. They have been hammered twice already and have experience severe flooding. Thousands were made homeless and have been looked after and fed by the army. Karl is going to hit these people again, hard.


Fingers crossed for them, NOAM, but I'm glad to hear you're well inland. Good luck with those bridges.

The 24 hour period is up that Thad talked about yesterday.

The drill string is now packed and it’s commenced drilling so the air at this moment as we’re speaking drilling that last 20/25 feet and they are almost touching the well at this time. That’s the report I got just before I came out here. When we do the intercept, which will be imminently I will say in the next 24 hours because they may elect to pull that drill bit back do another ranging run, which would add time. That’s the reason I’m not going to say it’s going to happen in the next hour.

Sometime in the next 24-hour period, we should do the well intercept. Once the well is intercepted, we’ll have to understand from the pressure differentials and the drilling fluids the nature of the annulus. Once that’s been determined decision, will be made on cement and then once it’s cemented the cement will have to adhere and be pressure tested.


So now we have this.


Subsea operational update:

* The MC252 well has been shut-in since July 15; there is currently no oil flowing into the Gulf.
* The DDII has pulled its diagnostic tools out of the well and is standing by for the relief well intercept by the DDIII.
* The DDIII is currently conducting a ranging run. Upon completion of the ranging run, a decision on the next steps will be made.

Updated Sept 16 at 11:30 a.m. CDT

News Flash - they have intercepted the annulus

Just got a news alert on the rock hammer telegraph, from a friend of a friend of a friend....of a friend. The relief well has intercepted the outer annulus. That's all I know right now. Hopefully there will be some official word soon.

Any updates, A_g?

Not that I've heard. I truely don't know the origininal source....I'm up here in Alaska after all.

A friend of mine heard if from a service company hand this morning, about 10 AM our time (about 1 PM Houston time). Apparently the service compnay guy knows someone down there. I keep hoping the powers that be will make some sort of announcement.

I hope it's true, it is about damn time!

'Kay, thanks. Sho' is!

UPDATE: Statement from National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen on Relief Well Intercept

"I have received extensive briefings over the last 24 hours regarding the final effort to intercept the Macondo well. Through a combination of sensors embedded in the drilling equipment and sophisticated instrumentation that is capable of sensing distance to the well casing, BP engineers and the federal science team have concluded that the Development Driller III relief well has intersected the Macondo well. This determination was made based on a loss of drilling fluids that indicated communication had been established beyond the relief well, the pressure exerted against the drill bit as it came in contact with the well casing and, finally, an increase in pressure in the choke line of the Macondo well blow out preventer. While each of these indicators taken separately would not necessarily be conclusive, the aggregate data available supports the conclusion that the two wells are joined. It is also important to note that none of the measurements supported a scenario where the annulus of the well is in communication with the reservoir. Accordingly, we intend to proceed with preparation to cement the annulus and complete the bottom kill of the well. Further information will be provided as cementing procedures are completed."

Question: Why did the DDII see increased pressure on the choke line? It should have no communication with the annular outside the production liner long string.

Possible answers I can think of:
a. The production liner long string was broken all along
b. The casing hanger seal did not seal as it should have done
c. DDII had earlier blasted holes into the production liner long string to create a U-tube with the Relief Well but the public was not told about this

(The last point is what I had suggested to do several days ago)

Score one for the rockhammer telegraph!. I'm truely happy. It is about damn time.
Time to drink an glass, or two, or three....hope I make it to work tomorrow!

We have been clinking down thread.....come join us A-Geo! I'm on my second patron already:)

And a big score for Mr. Wright!

Question: Why did the DDII see increased pressure on the choke line? It should have no communication with the annular outside the production liner long string.

Possible answers I can think of:
a. The production liner long string was broken all along
b. The casing hanger seal did not seal as it should have done
c. DDII had earlier blasted holes into the production liner long string to create a U-tube with the Relief Well but the public was not told about this

Just a guess; because the annulus is now connected to a full column of circulating mud, pressure outside the production casing has increased and the casing has been compressed slightly. That would give, I think, a transitory pressure change in the Macondo well.

Some thoughts on the subject of making guesses:

We do know the production tube and hangar seal had integrity enough to handle the various pressures that were applied after the static kill and cementing.

We do not know the magnitude of the lost drilling fluid or pressure changes that Allen reported - they may have been just barely enough to detect that something happened or they could have been much greater. One could make more accurate guesses if you have some idea how much drilling fluid was lost and and something about the pressure changes seen in the Macondo choke line.

If the annulus was sealed space and still had the original mud content you would expect very little lost drilling fluid and very little change in pressure in the Macondo well.

If the annulus was sealed and filled with oil and/or gas you would expect more lost fluid and a greater change in pressure that would be seen higher up in the Macondo well.

It really upsets me that all along Thad has talked about going into the annulus to get the possible oil out of it with the RW.

Wasn't that one of the main reasons for going ahead with the RW?

Then he doesn't even bother to say what was in the annulus.

Any ideas why he failed to tell us what was in it?

Gee, you must upset easily, QUS.


" Any ideas why he failed to tell us what was in it ? "

3 words..fluffy...white...paws


Thad just doesn't want to have to explain all this.


Hopefully, He didn't say only because that conclusions has not yet been reached.

What is found in the annulus will be important in determining what failed down in the hole on April 20. From what we have been told so far, it is a pretty good guess that the RW did not find the annulus to be filled with solid cement.

Hopefully, He didn't say only because that conclusions has not yet been reached.

Or didn't want to contradict himself? BP has done it for him now.

BP didn't arrive at a conclusion until they had done a bottoms up.

Still interesting that information came from BP first and not Thad.

They kind of thumbed their noses at him too, he said finish he bottom kill and they said no kill needed.

I don't understand why they would have a loss of drilling fluid. Wouldn't the annulus be full of mud if not oil?

Because the annulus was at lower pressure than the RW?

If the pressure from the relief well is greater than the pressure in the annulus (likely it would be at least a little greater) then it would take some mud to pressure up the annulus.

But it would be interesting to know how much was lost.

I did not realize the mud would compress.

I hope they tell how much mud was lost.

No oil in annulus according to BP


Release date: 17 September 2010
HOUSTON - BP today provided an update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico. BP continues to work with the guidance and approval of the National Incident Commander and in cooperation with the federal government.

Subsea Source Control

Relief well drilling from the Development Driller III (DD3) re-started at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, and operations completed drilling the final 45 feet of hole. This drilling activity culminated with the intercept of the MC252 annulus and subsequent confirmation at 4:30 p.m. CDT Thursday. Total measured depth on the DD3 for the annulus intercept point was 17,977 feet.

Operations conducted bottoms up circulation, which returned the contents of the well’s annulus to the rig for evaluation. Testing of the drilling mud recovered from the well indicated that no hydrocarbons or cement were present at the intersect point. Therefore, no annulus kill is necessary, and the annulus cementing will proceed as planned. It is expected that the MC252 well will be completely sealed on Saturday.

Once cementing operations are complete, the DD3 will begin standard plugging and abandonment procedures for the relief well.

The Development Driller II continues its work to gather additional data from the MC252 well and try to determine the location of the drill pipe that was originally in the well at the time of the accident. Subsequently plug and abandonment activities will commence in accordance with the approved procedure.

Information on the subsea operational status is updated daily on BP's website, www.bp.com

John Wright agrees and has smoked his cigar http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/17/us/AP-US-Gulf-Oil-Spill.html?...

''I am ready for that cigar now,'' John Wright, who led the team drilling the relief well, said in an e-mail Friday to The Associated Press from aboard the Development Driller III vessel.

Wright, who is not a BP employee but is working on a contract basis, had told the AP in August that he was looking forward to finishing his mission and celebrating with a cigar, a dinner party with his crew and a trip somewhere quiet to unwind with his wife.

Now when do the politicians eat their crow about channeling up through the annulus????

There was not a single analysis done in May that I remember thatdidn't say it was channeling up the annulus. BP, Halliburton and Transocean all released preliminary reports saying the most likely cause was flow up the annulus. All of the major oil companies sent their spokesmen to testify before Congress and they all agreed it was flow up the annulus that was the most likely scenario.

So which politicians said the blowout was caused by "channeling up through the annulus"?

In the original BP presentation flow up the annulus was possibility 2. Flow up inside production casing was possibility 1, I note.

I'm sure BP has been hoping from the beginning that the failure would not be flow up the annulus because that would make the long string and no CBL look bad.

But i seem to recall they were calling failure the annulus as the most likely flow path.

Remember a BP spokesman claimed that the top kill probably failed because of a rupture disk in the 16" casing. That is evidence that they thought the flow was in the annulus

Remember a BP spokesman claimed that the top kill probably failed because of a rupture disk in the 16" casing. That is evidence that they thought the flow was in the annulus

Because they couldn't say "top-kill failed because Chu wouldn't let us ramp the pumps up in time" (as Bruce might say).

For starters, the politicians involved would be any of those who used the term "centralizers".

Or "gas flow potential".

Jesse Gagliano from Halliburton is running for office?


So what they are saying here is there was not mud, oil or gas in the annulus. It was just an empty space?

So what they are saying here is there was not mud, oil or gas in the annulus. It was just an empty space?

Well, you got two out of three:

"Operations conducted bottoms up circulation, which returned the contents of the well’s annulus to the rig for evaluation. Testing of the drilling mud recovered from the well indicated that no hydrocarbons or cement were present at the intersect point."

BP is a miserable corporation.

The Four Noble Truths

See number 1.

LOL LOL How true.

Bad link, dissent?

The Four Noble Truths

oops. try this one lotus (an actual(!) link).

Ah, much better, dissent -- thanks.

bear - And do have a link to support that wild accusation???

No, I don't have any concrete evidence to support this view Rockman. I asked for someone to post a video which would supprot it though.

This is a qualitative observation. Based on everything I have read and seen on tv, I believe the inference I used to reach this conclusion is reasonable.

I anticipate something to this effect: "dont believe everything you hear in the news" or "MSNBC and the liberal media don't know anything". That might be correct, but that is a much wilder accusation to base an opinion on/discredit something than my reliance on the entire news/journalism profession.

bear - I doubt many of us would require such a link. Perhaps I should have put an "LOL" after my commment. We might disagree on the exact qualification but given where BP is today it's difficult to describe them as an unfortunate victem of circumstance.

Poor BP, I'm sure they felt miserable getting grilled in front of congress and parliament.
Well that's my shilling ;-p

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
...suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering.

Redundant statements are redundant.

I can't find this video, but someone please post it if you can. It's basically a BP executive giving his apologia speech, then he is at a loss of words when the interviewer asks him to explain the number of BP safety/environmental/regulatory violations in comparison to the rest of the oil companies.

I'm sure I read that they are related to the additional scrutiny refinery operations have come under since Texas City (other companies weren't being watched so closely). In fact incredibly BP had one of the best safety records of all companies in recent GoM operations which is why they were about to be given an industry safety award in Houston (hurriedly cancelled) and why there was a party with TO and BP execs on the DWH the night of the disaster.

Was there drinking at this party?

I can't find a full video on Hayward's apology speech in front of congress. My apology. But here's what I have, includes others you may be interested in.

BP Chief Under Fire
Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, faced the anger of lawmakers as he appeared before a Congressional hearing to apologize for the oil spill.

BP CEO Tony Hayward: 'I'd Like My Life Back'

After a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told reporters he cares about the small people living along the Gulf coast.

A Message From Tony Hayward
(my apology, again ;-p)

And then there's Representative Joe L. Barton's apology to BP.
And Barton's apology for his apology to BP.

Science News
Gases dominate Gulf’s subsea plumes
Microbes are degrading easily-digested hydrocarbons first, a study finds
By Janet Raloff

The plumes of oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico’s depths this spring and summer in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout were actually only about one-third oil, scientists estimate, with the remainder consisting of natural gas.

Research reported online September 16 in Science found that in June, marine microbes were primarily feeding on propane and ethane in the oil plumes.

Great find, snakehead. Wow.

“We estimate that there’s about two times as much gas sitting in those subsurface plumes as there is oil — and there’s about a million barrels of oil in them,” says David Valentine of the University of California, Santa Barbara, speaking by phone from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationresearch vessel in the Gulf.

Chemists had been trying to estimate how much oxygen might disappear as microbes began degrading BP’s spilled oil. It now turns out oil is only a tiny part of the issue. “Probably 66 to 75 percent of the oxygen loss — maybe even a bit more — will ultimately come from bacterial metabolism of the gases,” Valentine projects.

Y'all are quick--very impressive. Went to my institutional library and found this in Sciencexpress, the online prepublication source for Science. The reference is
David L. Valentine, et al. Propane Respiration Jump-Starts Microbial Response to a Deep Oil Spill. www.sciencexpress.org, 16 September 2010, 10.1126/science.1196830, pages 1-9.

The sampling dates were 11-21-Jun, so a bit later than the published WHOI (early June) and BerkeleyLivermoreLab (late May) studies. Has a colorful contour plot of the (at ~1100 m depth) dissolved-oxygen anomaly and corresponding methane-concentration plot along a sampling transect.

From measurements and estimates, the authors predict that roughly two thirds of the ultimate microbial productivity in deep plumes will arise from metabolism of natural gas. And they predict boom-and-bust cycles of bacterial succession beginning with propane, ethane, and butane consumers, followed by the consumers of various higher hydrocarbons and methane.

I'm continually impressed with the speed of online peer-reviewed publication--we're seeing the data from some authors is as few as 2-3 months!

Thanks for these details, NRD. I have a simple mind, and every once in a while, I just have to sit back and say, "Whoa. What a world, that hath propane-, ethane-, and butane-eaters in't!"

What jazzes me is the biodiversity story--these unnamed, unknown-to-science life forms that provide precious services to the human economy (here, by decomposing some of the spilled hydrocarbons before reaching our seafood or real estate) free of charge. Behold the biosphere!

Now, these bugs are patentable. We could culture them in the lab and store them in engineered form as "superbugs" to be sold for application to future spills. The only problem is, they wouldn't be any more effective than the natural microbial consortium in the water. But there's a sucker born every minute, so we probably could sell our new superbug company to some rico who isn't too smart & retire to the islands.

Suits me, I'm in!

Now there's a thought. And I know the first recipient for those little surgeons.
Pisscolagreg.Maybe that would put a stop to his "woe is me" collection scam.
Send more money mom, the game is easy.

Add all that to lotus's b'day and Esperanza's birth and we definitely Cause for CLINK! I think.

You betcha, girl, I'm parched! To Esperanza and all our other blessings: CLINK!

Think I'll toss it out the window before I hit the donate button .

Interesting link, and LMAO @ the nicname-very original but the collection effort will go on from what I am hearing, others asking for $$ to support the "truth" or a version of the truth anyway.

I haven't been able to check in much today but did read about the ranging runs so they are obviously close, have there been any updates?

NRD--I see in the supplementary materials (which are open web) that they calculated oxygen demand. In the article, did they make a prediction of hypoxia or no? It looks like the methane, which is the biggest HC fraction by far, will be around a long time, so maybe diffusion will save the day.

If the government flow estimate is high, then the BOD estimate will be too high, maybe by 25%. Of interest is their estimate that ~1/4 of the oil was suspended deep (in popularized article). I haven't seen another estimate of that.

From the abstract of the full article:

From 11 to 21 June 2010, we investigated dissolved hydrocarbon gases at depth using chemical and isotopic surveys and on-site biodegradation studies. Propane and ethane were the primary drivers of microbial respiration, accounting for up to 70% of the observed oxygen depletion in fresh plumes. Propane and ethane trapped in the deep water may therefore promote rapid hydrocarbon respiration by low-diversity bacterial blooms, priming bacterial populations for degradation of other hydrocarbons in the aging plume.

What is meant by "priming"?

What is meant by "priming"?

Serving 'em light hors d'oeuvres?

G: if you want to email me, I'll send you the report. humphrey at ufl dot edu


Based on the cumulative discharge estimates through
Aug 1, 2010 (5) and a gas-to-oil ratio of 3000 ft3 barrel–1 (at
atmospheric pressure), 1.5×1010 moles of natural gas were
potentially emitted to the deep water over the course of the
spill in addition to the oil.

(5) is reference to the NOAA/USGS 3-Aug-10 "Oil budget" report.

What the heck does lead author David Valentine mean by this:

"It's hard to imagine these bacteria are capable of taking down all components of oil," he said. "These stories about superbugs taking down all the oil — it's more complex than that."

Nobody said anything like that. The Terry Hazen group said their bug was taking out the alkane fractions, nothing more. Now we have a fake "he said, she said" for the reporters to feature.

NatResDr or anybody who has read the new Science article, on what grounds is the Valentine group saying bacteria are not eating much oil? The Hazen group showed that they were eating oil. They incubated samples of the deep water on shipboard at 4C and observed what happened. The bugs ate the alkanes really fast.

I can't provide an answer that harmonizes the Hazen and Valentine studies, but here's relevant info from the Valentine study. A basic point is that this study does not address the whole set of components of the crude oil--just the gases. So they simply did not address your question.

First, V et al. identified that there were multiple plumes containing the gases methane, ethane, and propane in several directions and depths, indicated a more complex pattern of plume transport than I'd been aware of previously (you can visualize much of this from the Science Supplement contour plots).

Second, V infers from low gas conc in shallower water vs deeper water (below 800 m) that most of the natural gas emitted was dissolved at depth and remained there (or was partitioned as gas hydrate).

Third, previous research from oil seeps indicates that biodegradation proceeds most rapidly for propane, slower for ethane, and slower still for methane. V's measurements led to estimates that 58% of the oxygen anomaly could be linked to propane and another 12% to ethane. After these two gases are substantially decomposed, respiration rates would be expected to drop, and the remaining 30% of the oxygen anomaly would be attributable to other hydrocarbons (including methane) and perhaps also to some complex and poorly-known biomass-respiration dynamics).

Fourth, V made some assumptions that enabled them to estimate the total oxygen anomaly caused by the total hydrocarbon spill at depth, but the unstated details make this undecipherable to me. They said about 15% would be due to propane and ethane and about two-thirds due to metabolism of natural gas (so presumably the difference of about 50% from methane, butane, etc.).

Perhaps it's helpful to understand that scientists routinely work on "least publishable units" that they can complete quickly and get into the publication pipeline. Complex problems are cut into bite-sized pieces that enable rapid publication. We are starting to see these, and our interest is fed, but we will not be sated until the harder, longer-term, more integrative work comes out.

That may be a very contorted article.

I found a post that says Valentine's measurements were taken in a 24 hour period on June 16th directly over the well. This is shortly after the modified loose-fitting cap was attached to BOP.

Oh, in the same article I found a new definition for the word plumes. PLUMES is an acronym coined by Valentine. It stands for Persistent and Localized Underwater Methane Emission Study.


Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

BP's Shock Waves
How the oil giant's catastrophic spill in the Gulf could trigger another financial meltdown


It was sickening enough when British oil giant BP set new standards for corporate scumbaggery in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, turning the Gulf of Mexico into its own personal toilet and imperiling entire species of wildlife in an attempt to save a few nickels. But with the Gulf geyser finally capped, there's still a way for BP to cause an even more unthinkable disaster: an AIG-style, derivative-fueled financial shitstorm. If the company decides to declare bankruptcy — a very real possibility with these bastards — it could trigger chaos in our casino system of finance, underscoring the insane levels of leverage and systemic risk we have left in place, even after the global economic crash of 2008.

The real scumbaggery is this kind of rabble rousing journalism.

I've been lurking here since long before the whole DWH mess. And this is the one thing that I had to register for because, quite frankly, this guy is an idiot.

You'd expect this sort of stupidity from a random blog or something. What pisses me off is not so much that he writes crum like this, but because he writes crum like this and people read it and think it's truthful. It's not, and it's all wrong. First of all, he doesn't understand how credit default swaps work. He seems to believe that trading pre-existing CDS can create liabilities and obligations out of nothing. A reference CDS has a single obligation. Increasing CDS prices do not expand the liability like the article insinuates. The liability was always there and the only difference is that it is now going to another party.

Moving on - BP is not going into bankruptcy. No way, no chance. That argument could have been made in the middle of June. Not today. Even if you decided that BP was going to declare bankruptcy just for funsies (if a judge even accepted the case given the rapidly falling liability scenario valuations), BP failing on its (rather small) bond portfolio is not a big deal. There is more than sufficient liquidity in the market (especially after the fed's quantitative easing campaign) to cover any outstanding CDS (especially given that most of the money would ultimately be recovered anyways given BP's huge asset pool).

Then, even better, he goes on to talk about CDO/CSO's. He makes it sound like BP makes up 18% of the CSO market - which is utter bullocks. BP is a reference entity in 18% of the CSO market. CSO's are baskets of securitized debt obligations which means that they take bits of risk from many different groups of default risk liabilities. Ergo, BP may make up 1% of the 18% of CSO pools - meaning their real exposure in the CSO market is around .2%. And that's being generous.

Anyways, sorry for the rant. I'm not a huge fan of overly complex derivative instruments (figuring out where risk exists becomes close to impossible), and I realize that they are currently Public Enemy #2 (behind BP, of course), but they are not as evil as they are made out to be. Anyways, I guess this is why this idiot is writing for Rolling Stone.

Agreed. It's crap.

Good grief.

"Did the BP spill kill the Gulf sea floor?" I guess the fine jouralist who assembled this didn't watch any ROV feeds.

This is in an online rag called "THEWEEK" and stars S. Jove.

snakehead, where'd you find that v to substitute for the y in Joye?

It won't the last typo I make.


The article links this decent NYT overview of environmental damage, which I had not seen.


Ah, yes, more awesome journalism from our crack media -

Did the BP spill kill the Gulf sea floor?

Oil 2-Inches Thick Found On Gulf Sea Floor

Why? Because there just haven't been enough exclamation points and out-of-context photographs published since April 20th.

Jane Lubchenco the NOAA administrator the very next day admits there is oil on the sea floor. http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/898775/

She fails to say how much they have found, where or how thick the layer is.

We would have probably never known about the oil on the floor if not for Samantha Joye telling us.

I thank her.

I have no problem with scientists doing their job.

I have real problems with (alleged) journalists failing to do theirs.

We would have probably never known about the oil on the floor if not for Samantha Joye telling us.

Well, right here, for weeks, we've been discussing fluffy brown sediment like Joye found. It remains to be seen whether analysis shows hers to be different from what Ed Overton studied in mid-August, but it sure looks similar.


As I've posted repeatedly, an estimated 20% of the Ixtoc oil ended up as sediment, some as tar, some mixed into organic goop as is probably the case discussed here. The residue that resists biodegradation goes to the bottom. It will break down some more until it is buried.

I thank Dr. Joye for her work too, but I don't think she should be calling this material "oil," when nobody knows exactly what it is. It is some result of the spilled oil interacting with bacteria and plankton.

Jane Lubchenco calls it oil.

Yeah, but the question is, given all the things you should know from reading all the sources we've been citing, would you in a careful moment call it "oil" or "what's left of the oil?" And since no one to date has offered a chemical analysis of the oiled sediment that we all predicted would result from the spill, why would you want to jump to a particular conclusion about the meaning of the observed, unsurprizing sedimentary event?

I am not jumping to the conclusion, the head of NOAA is calling it oil. Don't you think they have done test of it? Not like it was just deposited yesterday.

Look at the jar and read the description. There's some amount of oil in it, but to characterize it simply as "oil" is equivalent to looking at a car and saying that it's rubber and paint.

Recall that the Department of Justice has ordered all federal scientists not to publish (without approval) until all relevant legal issues have been resolved. I think they have tested it and will not report the results for a long time. Maybe a university scientist will report results, but not if he/she has declared it to be oil and then it turns out to be residue.

"our crack media"

- truer than you know. Probably explains a lot.

Front page of cnn.com a little while ago:

Boy walks 2478 miles for homeless
This year's hot holiday toy will be ...
A social media burger joint
Black farmer rides tractor to Capitol Hill
Jennifer Hudson: 'I lost 20 more pounds'
What to do when body parts fall off
Fake pill improves sex drive in women
Five new video games for guys
Australia warns tourists of drowning
Renting an island not just for the rich
Jurors cry over gruesome images
Cops: Naked woman steals cab
Pot-smoking 2-year-old? Tonight, 8 & 10p ET on HLN
Anna Nicole photos with baby released

The enormous, 380-ton blowout preventer that failed to stop the spill is sitting on a pier at a NASA facility in New Orleans but can't be moved inside a nearby hangar because the sheer weight of the device would destroy the road leading to the shelter. ...

Michael Underhill, the Justice Department's attorney in the civil lawsuit, told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier that a steel pad needed to be put in place to make sure the device doesn't collapse the dock where it's sitting ...

Unbeliveable! How long ago did they decide on Michaud as the destination of this thing? When they made that decision, didn't they give any thought as to whether the infrastructure was adequate?

Yeah, let's put the lawyers in charge, that's the ticket! Let the thing rust while we get around to holding a hearing. If the dock collapses, we can just put the contractor in jail, that'll fix things.


Is this the invisible hand of Slide Rule Chu again?

An abacus seems more like it.

Yeah, an abacus, because he's Asian. Good one, Teabagger.

PS: What makes you (any of you) think you know better than NASA? Michoud is one of the largest manufacturing plants in the world. Do you really think the failBOP would be in better hands at a TransOcean facility?

That's ok, I know Asian guys with an abacus that could kick BPS's tail if he had an HP 35S.

Abacus also has this incredible ability to perform the roots of the numbers, it is used to calculate square roots and cube roots but this needs high amount of proficiency in the use of abacus.

Yes, I am half Asian, but that was not too bad. BPS is ok people. He should try to not use it again.

BPS is ok people.

Sure, if you like internment.

Charlie couldn't intern me, I doubt very much you could.

He was fighting for the 'good' guys at the time. The old man (my dad) was in theater during that conflict too. Think Gran Tarino.
Walt Kowalski: [to Su] Get me another beer, Dragon Lady! This one's running on empty.
We remember how it ended.

Charlie couldn't intern me, I doubt very much you could.

I think you got MOB's snark bassackwards, BP.

Maybe. All I need is to see that word that he used. We didn't get the kind of treatment that guys like TFHG got when they came home.

BP, I think he was referring to WWII, and a fear of the effects of racial prejudice. Whether that's an appropriate response to you, I don't know.

I am sorry the government didn't treat our troops better when they came home from 'Nam. Y'all deserved better.

Japanese interment was wrong. The enslavement my mother was born unto in Korea during pre-WWII era was much, much worse. No one but mommy knew so no problem.

Whether that's an appropriate response to you, I don't know.

It wasn't a response to BPS; it was a response to TFHG, who said BPS is "ok" after BPS made that crack about Chu.

I guess I was thinking of Michelle Malkin, an Asian American Teabagger who wrote, "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror".

I guess I was thinking of Michelle Malkin, an Asian American Teabagger who wrote, "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror".

God, how I wish you were making that up! I had this naive thought after the Civil Rights victories of the 60's that America was going to turn its back on racism. "Give it a few more generations", one of my Creole friends said, a couple years back. Sure seems to be rearing its ugly mouth much more openly these days though.

God, how I wish you were making that up!

Yes, but she's just a blogger (an anchor-baby blogger bigot, say that 10x fast).

Mr. Paladino, on the other hand, just became the GOP/Teabagger candidate for governor of NY.

Again, I have a bigger bitch than Malkin although she is hot. M Onan, if I choose to understand where BPS is coming from it is because he is just like my dad was. Sorry if I pulled the race card, but it is my life and it is what happened. If you choose to be sensitive about my folks and air your opinion, then I am not so sensitive and understanding about it too and I dang sure can air as well. I would love to have a Carville/Matlyn kind of thing going with Malkin, but actually I would prefer Ann Coulter. You know why that Carville/Matlyn relationship works? Because they are older and know that they are propaganda whores, and have made bank doing it. They do not argue shop at home. I am at home. YOU are ok with me too. You got to have much than that to rile me, I regularly post about race on al.com, an Alabama site. I have had death threats over this kind of stuff. I have responded the same to some of them but I must admit I have had responses deleted too. Get over yourself, you are not the Asian ambassador to America.

Edit: Maybe you need to listen to this Korean kid. http://www.youtube.com/user/jwcfree#p/u/4/kzyFBlNRohs

Get over yourself, you are not the Asian ambassador to America.

Xin loi.

But I don't like bigots, and it has nothing to do with you, and I don't care what you think about it, not here or at the famous al.com, where you must be an even bigger scatterbrained pest than here at TOD.

Seriously, take your lithium. You need it.

PS: Ann Coulter is a man.

PPS: Listen to this Canandian guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD3bGEFxGC0

Well,(pun not intended} I have bought and sold 6 companies in the last 33 yrs. and if I didn't prepare for all of the snafus that are associated with owning a business I would be broke. Was this a last minute decision,or did they know that they were bringing it there? Did someone ask how much it weighed and if so, could the facility handle it? Yeah, I know better, and you would be the first to go if I bought the company you work for, because apparently you were not prepared either if you can defend this Chinese fire drill.

Business tycoon, combat veteran, smarter than NASA, and too good for Onan.

Here, you're only as good as your posts, Teabagger.

PS: Boasting when attacked is a sure sign of weakness.

Boasting? When I question the competence of an organization to handle a piece of equipment that holds the fate of whether or not 11 men operated it correctly?
Can you imagine if it crashed through the floor? All the defense would have to say is, well, it worked fine before you dropped it.

If only you had demanded the same level of competency from BP as you do from those having to clean up after its disaster.

What a wonderful world it would be.

If only you had demanded the same level of competency from BP as you do from those having to clean up after its disaster.

Spot on.

Great comment ONB. You must be one heck of a TeaCupper. Probably proud to be one of the best at bag holding.

As to questioning NASA?
Didn't NASA scatter some material all across Texas?

I'd rather have the BOP and LMRP sitting somewhere that it will not collapse the dock it is sitting upon. The govt. can provide all the security for it in any location.

Probably proud to be one of the best at bag holding.

There's a Bagholder party? I'm not a member, so no.

You Teabaggers, on the other hand, swell with Teabagger pride. Look at Breitbart and Malkin.

Yes, it will be so much better when the teabaggers take over.

We can chuck the theory of evolution and science, too. That will solve a lot of arguments. And academic freedom is a quaint, liberal idea that has outlived it's expiration date. (Teabagger VA attorney general recently subpoenaed university records of a professor over his climate research, but a judge quashed it.)

Some people joke and call them The American Taliban, but i think the future of America is to be found in reading the tea leaves.

Freedom Is Slavery.

And scientists have created mice with human brains.

"They are -- they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they're already into this experiment."

- United States Senate Republican Nominee for the state of Delaware, Christine O'Donnell (the Tea Party candidate)

Next thing you know, they'll be demanding equal time in classrooms all over the country for the teaching of abiotic oil theory (because the Earth aren't old enough fer fossil fuels).

Ignorance Is Strength.

Also, since we're on a roll: http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2010/09/shorter-tea-party.html

Ah, good ol' d r i f t y, such a scamp. Thanks, comfy. (TF, if you think manbearpig can write, check out this guy. Haw!) (He's prolly off his meds too, but for him, it works.)

Spider-pig-spider-Pig--dah-dah-dah...you know the rest

"a steel pad needed to be put in place to make sure the device doesn't collapse the dock where it's sitting"

It was sitting on a steel plate, the barge! Why not put the barge up there on pipes, put the BOP back on it and wheel it into the shop?
But I suppose we'll be waiting on them to build tracks. Good grief, let's get this show on the road.

Boy, this is a major shock; a real red-face moment.

Everybody has known it was head to Michoud since late August when the federal court ordered failBOP delivered there: http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/OilSpill/Orders/08262010_Order.pdf

Nobody bothered to check the roads from the pier to the MAF? Or, get the suitable heavy-load equipment there?

As I recalled the NIC recommended Michoud to the court but I could be wrong. Only going off memory on this point.

How heavy are the external fuel tanks they've been dealing with for the last twenty or thirty years?

I'm trying to find it now. Must be lighter than I think.

Serveral versions, each getting lighter.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_external_tank

Last version, Super Lightweight Tank (SLWT) was only 58,599 pounds empty weight (not counting its craddle and mover.)

The first version, the Standard Weight Tank (SWT), was last flown on STS-7 and weighed approximately 77,000 pounds empty.

Edit: can't find a good source on the individual weight of the BOP and LMRP assemblies but I think they are 360,000 and 240,000 pounds respectively. Take those numbers with a grain or two of salt.

Kind'a a major "oops" if they didn't plan on this weight.

However the Michoud facility was where the first stage of the Saturn V (the S-1C) was built. They weighed 288,000 pounds.

The Shuttle SLWT is built from an aluminium/lithium alloy. They are not kidding about getting the weight down. Since the tank goes with the orbiter right to orbit, every pound of tank mass is mass you didn't get to take as payload.

Darn light, I got a tour back in 96. The nose piece is built of aluminum sheets about 1/4 thick at their edges, around an eighth thick over most of the panel. My engineer buddy told me the skin is proportionately thinner than a 2 liter pop bottle.

The Michoud facility has had a lot of big, low density stuff in it over the years. Looks like they are a little slow in adapting to our 760,000 lb little friend.

Aerospace, meet the oilpatch!

Total utter nonsense:

1. The BOP has less than 300 tons in total.
2. The BOP is now in two parts with less than 200 tons each
3. The Michaud Faciliy produced and delivered the 100+ ton Saturn V stage - so it can handle big weights
4. There are hundreds of these modular transporters available at the Gulf coast that distribute weight during transport.
5. Transocean wants to make noise as they would have liked to dissect the BOP at their own facility.

Maybe it is as simple as they expected it to come with a suitable base.


I'm pretty sure NASA probably doesn't have a high pressure water tank facility capable of pressuring up the BOP to 15KPSI (or anything remotely close to that) internally safely though.

Maybe they'll send the BOP into orbit yet :-)

Does Transocean have such a facility? I was under the impression that the Transocean plan was to send it back to Cameron in Texas and work in partnership with Cameron on coming up with a nice set of results that fitted their mutual agenda. Sorry, did I just type that? I meant work in partnership in a rigorous scientific manner to find out the true cause of the failures of the grossly unserviced system.

Perhaps we could take some money from the BP fund to build the test facilities that we need at Michoud, which I understand is about to have a lot less external tank work now that we've decided that manned spaceflight is something only our competitors should engage in. I suspect that doing so won't take too long nor break the bank, especially if we buy the equipment we need as a US Government single bid contract from Cameron. Perhaps BP can even sue and get some of that money back if it turns out that others were also at fault.

Now the Mexican states of Veracruz, Quintana Roo, and Tamaulipas have sued BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and Cameron too (in federal court in San Antonio).

lotus - Mexican lawyers have to eat too, ya know.

Num-num, Rocky.

Good one, Rock!

Since they have been hammered by 2 storms plus the recession plus all the news talk about the drugs war they are likely to have a tough time proving it was all due to BP.


lessee, what did Mexico tell Texas about damages and clean up from their Ixtoc 1 blowout ...

..... oh yeah, now I remember.


"by asserting sovereign immunity" (IOW, "wha?, we no entiendo, wha?")
Mexico's national petroleum company Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX)
spewed oil for 9 months and 22 days

Update: Hurricane Karl expected to hit Mexican oil hub, possibly as major hurricane
published: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 12:47 PM Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 1:06 PM
Poza Rica, while slightly inland, houses important pipelines and natural gas- and oil-processing plants operated by the state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos. Pemex said it had no immediate plans to halt production at the plants because of the storm.,

Storm hits petroleum plants, not a shutdown. I think this is On Topic enough.
I think this must be a inland facility with no direct port access or it is not a threat to it. Does anybody know?


Not halt production with a Cat 2 in town? Sounds nuts to me, but I know nawthink.

Major is 3+. The U.S. National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as major hurricanes.


Yeah, but it doesn't need to be a major to warrant battening down, eh? Dang.

Agree, the stuff in Mexico can stand a cat 3? I am sure the risk offshore is different, but they close the land refineries and such when a storm hits around here. Maybe that is more of a power outage problem. Would these Mexican plants be generator powered from their own fuels. Is that in part due to the lack of reliabile power in that part of the world?

Power cuts, no problem, we have plenty of experience there. Mind you, when we do have a power cut the traffic jams disappear, no traffic lights - no hold ups, the roads flow freely. (biggest traffic hold ups occur when they put a traffic policeman on to control the traffic) When we had hurricane Kenna they deliberately turned off the power to reduce damage during the storm.


That would explain a lot of things if Homer edited in there.

I don't think the Homer_Simpson_Hurricane_Scale uses "Category". Instead they use the term "Case". For example a "Case 4 hurricane" would require 4 cases of Duff beer to make it through.

Landfall is not expected to occur before Friday evening and the track has been trending south. The current landfall is well to the south of Posa Rica so there is no need for them to worry yet.



This may be of interest (regarding the production casing float collar mechanizaton):

From page 5, Production Casing Operations, Casing Procedure

Instruction 3.

2" ball is caged inside float equipment, don't drop a ball.

Instruction 4., eighth bullet:

Do not circulate liner greater than 5 bpm, unless required, as it will convert autofil equipment.



There's your answer, Rockman --"Underbalancing", it's the new paradigm. (<--oxymoron?) "It helps save completion costs."
Sorry syncro but when the offshore engineers testify this is SOP (not standard safe operating procedure, but approved by the mms/gov), BP will walk. Standard defense in medical malpractice suits - if all the other doctors down the street do it, then it is acceptable.
I'm not an expert BUT, I did stay at Holiday Inn, with a laptop and read TOD :-)

You can't change the laws of physics, though, mainerd. Nor can you change MMS regs. Nor can you change all the literature on worst and best practices, including MMS reports.

And if what you say is true, then i guess the oil industry and MMS subverted the law, and subjected countless crews and GOM residents to unacceptable levels of risk.

By all accounts, MMS might actually have been capable of that.

But given the care with which BP has tried to hide this issue, which was apparent in the witness preparation and coordination , and the dog that didn't bark in the BP report, I think your source is probably wrong.

Yeah, Thanks for the link.

I was looking for that document during that discussion and couldn't find it.

The problem is there were some changes made from that document (4/15) and the day the cement job was done (4/15-4/20).

Hopefully now they know roughly when and where the failure occurred there will be an accurate accounting and time line to what was actually done during the cement job.

Oh man, I can see the P-R comment thread now . . .

But,but,but it's for the chilldrun'.After all,it has been workin' for obumbles for the last 18 months.
How many stimulus's have the teachers received and when asked,most school districts report no new hires,just freeing the money that would have been spent to spending on hiring and bonuses in other areas.

Nice to see Governor Bob Riley with his gun firmly to the childrens' heads.


...BP officials partially blamed the lawsuit filed against the company by Alabama Attorney General Troy King...

...Riley blamed King's lawsuit for the school budget cuts...

BP and Riley get what they want, and they get to blame King for it. That puts even more pressure on King to drop the lawsuit which is also something BP and Riley want. When the lawsuit is dropped or dead by other means, BP will reward Riley and vice versa, count on it.

I hope Congress expands off-shore drilling & the prospects in Alaska. Every single oil company besides BP should be able to bid on the permits. The three-strikes and your out rule should apply to the oil industry, BP has utterly failed it in astonishing fashion.

Dude you can write too. Good point. Not enough discussion on future near domestic prospects.

I hope Congress expands off-shore drilling & the prospects in Alaska. Every single oil company besides BP should be able to bid on the permits. The three-strikes and your out rule should apply to the oil industry, BP has utterly failed it in astonishing fashion.

Interesting idea there mbp.
Should it also apply to filling the tank at the self serve stations? Spill some on the ground, and do it three times, then you are banned from the Self Serve pumps and have to go Full Service. That would help reduce pollution and increase employment. Win, Win for a TeaCupper, right?

For goofuses driving off with the nozzle it should be one strike and banned.

Transocean, US resolve dispute over key evidence

Bottom line, USG agrees to flush the control pods on the BOP to prevent further corrosion before investigators analyze it.

Thanks for the folo, snakehead. Anybody, what will they flush it with -- just water or a special sauce?

Good old 9527A. Probably they'll just have to haul a bucket or two of water up from the river and the Corexit will come with it, now that it's killed all the fish in the Gulf. Amazing stuff. Jumps 30 miles inland into swimming pools and everything. And that's after a busy summer killing alligators in Bolivian rivers, zotzing millions of fish headed along the New Jersey and Massachussetts coasts, and breaking the loop current. It's the juice.

[ed] Fixed the typo.

It's even made it into the lake I live on.
In KY.


U.S. pledges thorough search for remaining oil in gulf

"Lubchenco promised that scientists would do "everything it takes for as long as it takes" to find the oil and restore habitat.

She also said that "we really do need the best scientists in the country" to account for the oil, learn what its impact would be on marine life, and guide actions to restore the region.

Recent findings of oil on the bottom were important, and looking for oil in the sediment would be a key part of future research cruises, Lubchenco said."

We'll know in a year or so.
"Project Duration 10-18 months"

We'll know in a year or so, you will know after we leave office.

Wow, the industry shills are out in force tonight.

Which one LOL LOL

LOL. Bookmarked.

One of my favorites!

i earlier singled out snakehead as one of the shills. perhaps i'm being unfair. so i edited. nonetheless, i think there's a surprising amount of pro-bp sentiment on this board. how is that possible? their two engineers on the rig have pleaded the fifth in all hearings, or called out sick (which is itself sickening). there are mountains of documentary evidence and testimony to show that the company was criminally negligent, that it overruled the safety concerns of workers, that it cut corners and that it did shoddy work. and we don't need to rehash bp's hundreds of previous safety violations, fines, and felonies, unparalleled in the industry -- plus its general douchebaggerery, which included referring, in a company memo, to the workers later blown away by the texas refinery explosion as little piggies deserving of less-than-fail-safe housing.

and then there's the MMS corruption, encouraged by the oil companies; the failure to receive proper environmental permits, which the nyt reported may have rendered deepwater and other rigs illegal; etc etc etc.

there are so many outrages about this spill that compiling them all is simply impossible.

then these pro-bp people want us to believe that the impact from the largest oil spill in history (excluding iraq) is negligible, nothing the bacteria can't take of in weeks, look! it's disappeared from the surface -- ignoring at least one study, in which bp participated and which found that about 2% of oil from deep-water leaks actually surfaces. and still there's a daily stream of reports that negates the polyannas.

the most pathetic spectacle is the gnashing of teeth about the drilling moratorium. please. it's preventing deep-water drilling, and only deep-water drilling, at a time when there is no certainty about the efficacy of government regulations or the so-called fail-safe devices that are supposed to stop blowouts.

What's wrong? Find out your solar panels won't charge your little electric car?

The problem is that the free range goats and chickens cannot be trained to run in that little wheel so that the thing can be charged at night. Perhaps, if they are a large family, the children can be put to good use and get fit at the same time.

You can't train a free ranging goat to do anything.Trust me.
I just had to go off when she brought up that environmental stuff and DW and shallow water rigs. God Almighty,I have grandchildren,does she think that all we want to do is kill this planet?
Damned hoot owls are killing each other and they blame the loggers.

We don't have any shills here but we do seem to attract more than our fair share of trolls though.

I can tell from your rant that this is going to come as a complete surprise to you, but most of us just want the truth. BP is not the anti-christ and "general douchbaggerery" pretty much sums up your post.

The vast majority of the ones you would dismiss as shills would agree 100% with at least the first half of your comment, and have said so repeatedly. Yet, when they fail to stand with you on the rooftop and shout about how we're all now full of toxic heavy metals because it's raining hydrocarbons, you kick them square in the balls and call them shills. Amazing.

Feed your straw-man argument to the horses. I have never said that it's raining hydrocarbons, or that there are toxic heavy metals in our bodies.


Who knows if they are shills, hacks, etc. They are chicken shits though. Every one of them. And if they are not British, then they are loyalist-tories.

BP has done so much harm to the Gulf of Mexico and the economy there. And these guys are freaking apologizing for BP. Give me a break.

The systematic denial of any scientific news about the GOM which is adverse to BP, combined with the glorification of any scientific news positive to BP, is simply disgraceful

Bullshit, hype, playing to fear and trolling for hits based on pseudoscience and leaps of faith is not "scientific news". End of transmission.

I find your lack of faith ... disturbing.


Gasoline spill that each country will experience things, is something we need to be resolved, because the gasoline leak not only pollute the environment, but also the loss of resources.

Report: Fracking chemicals in NE Pa. water wells
DIMOCK, Pa. – A private consulting firm says it found toxic chemicals in the drinking water of a Pennsylvania community already dealing with methane contamination from natural gas drilling.

Environmental engineer Daniel Farnham said Thursday that his tests, which were verified by three laboratories, found industrial solvents such as toluene and ethylbenzene in "virtually every sample" taken from water wells in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County.


Was that no more fracking discussions here? If so, I will flag.

Hi Everyone. Oil Spill Cleanup related. We did a "Local Heroes" focus on a Citizen Reporter, "Pensacola Gregg." He follows beach cleanup and it's a great story about what's happening on the ground in affected coastal cities. You can watch it, if interested, here http://www.savergulf.com/our-local-heroes.html

This is a joke? If not, I'm am out of here. Others can answer. Thanks all.

But he's so humble.

No Joke.....looks like they left something off though

I need donations to move off the same beach, any help is appreciated ROFLMAO



Don't vet your stories very well do you or do you just have low standards?

Is this pick ONLY one or can I choose all of the above:)

Sorry, used wrong Boolean; "or" should be "and" ;-)

Thanks for the update HO about the RW intersecting Macondo.......MSM has caught up finally
Relief well has intersected blown-out BP well

That's 41 for 41 for Mr. Wright!!! Well done.

Is it too early to clink???? Awe hell no, it's never to early!

Clink-er-ino here! (but I don't need much of a reason when it come to ANY good news from this well ;-)

Clink back mommy.

Clinking with everyone, but mostly John Wright atm......FYI Tin, you left out a few observations from your expedition to P-cola Beach??? What did the water (besides algae) look like, sand, sea life etc?

Normal with no observations of tarballs or any petroleum. I think i found the right camera with lights. It is pricey, but I think I can get a deal on one.
With high powered light maybe $300? It is a mask too. What about just a lipstick underwater camera? I will keep looking.

And we did snorkel to the bottom and look in the natural depressions and move the sediment. Granted, I know it is around but it's not all over the beach as some seem to rant over and over.

What is a lipstick camera??

A camera a little bigger than a tube of...

With lights mounted there you will get a lot of backscatter from anything suspended in the water. That will affect both the camera and your vision, especially your vision as they are so close to the eyeballs. Flash/lights need to be as far from the lens as possible for underwater use.


Maybe 5 inches distance between light and camera. Enough?

Edit: Accidentally wrote pornography.

Thats not big enough to count ;) If there are suspended particles in the water it will be like driving through a snow storm. Most photographers keep the lights maybe 10"-12" or more away from the lens. Take a look here
Find your local dive shop and have a chat with them especially if you can snag one of the instructors.


TFHG, you won't be able to look around and stay oriented while keeping that mask camera pointed at your subject. And close-ups mean pushing your face right next to the subject, instead of a hand. It is cool looking, but it could be clunky to use.

How deep are you planning to dive? If it's not much over 10 feet you might want to start with a less expensive waterproof digital, then move up after you get some experience.

I'm on my third merlot! Clinks all around!

Glad you joined us A~Geo....I can't do 3 patron shots of I'd miss work next week, two is my limit unless I want to lose my car again:)

To JW and keeping a 100% record!

Tomorrow morning will be rough, but that's OK. A toast to Mr. Wright. Clink!

No doubt, but well worth it......I can sleep it off on Sunday after the wedding>

TFHG~very interesting camera, I have never seen one like that before.

Rockman, if you are on, I hope you are temporarily suspending your abstinence from BBIC, if not something stronger. This is an occaison!

I'll wait till the cement sets and then for a couple weeks, I think. Then I might toss down a shot. It's good the well's going to die, but damn.

Just wanted to clarify my clinking...I know it's not dead, but I was clinking to the fact that JW was successfull in the intersection:) Now, off to nurse my patron hangover

You apparently don't know what you don't know!! The well died when they filled the production casing with cement a long, long time ago.

The New York Times has an AP story stating that your hero Mr. Wright smoked his cigar YESTERDAY!


''I am ready for that cigar now,'' John Wright, who led the team drilling the relief well, said in an e-mail Friday to The Associated Press from aboard the Development Driller III vessel.

Wright, who is not a BP employee but is working on a contract basis, had told the AP in August that he was looking forward to finishing his mission and celebrating with a cigar, a dinner party with his crew and a trip somewhere quiet to unwind with his wife.

"I am ready for that cigar now"

Boy, I bet that sounds good out in the City of Ships.

I am going to follow Rockman's lead on that and wait till the cement has cured, several layers of it. I recall that the original blow out occurred when they rushed after a cement job. Don't want that to happen again.


Ok then I invoke the 5 o'clock somewhere rule and wait for this several layers of curing that will take approximately until Monday correct?

I'll join y'all in that clink, raising a shot of good scotch to Mr. Wright and his crew: Well done.

edit: well, it's not quite done, but hitting a one foot target from 3 1/2 miles off on the first try deserves some praise.

It is also important to note that none of the measurements supported a scenario where the annulus of the well is in communication with the reservoir.

Can't wait for more details!

Going to bed with on topic observation.
1. Tarballs did not come off my boots with Simple Green and a hard brush. Scraping and hot water works OK. It would laugh at Corexit IMHO but maybe not kerosene. I could not test that easily without polluting.
2. The local car wash man said no notice of dirtier than usual cars. Must be the Corexit hot wax process, it has been 90 degrees lately.
3. Some of the Hooters girls got $15K checks. I got bupkis so far.
4. The economy is well below same time last year.
5. Folks are moving. I am.
6. Everyone locally feels the well IS dead.
7. Every feels we will be seeing some minor oil for a year or two. No one knows how bad the sea life and land life has been impacted. We are still trying to figure out the economic impact.
8. Folks have good hope for the future and are holding hope for no big storms.

The video above by Crosby is OK, but I will try to get underwater shots. He ranted too much IMHO. I need to teach him how to get the interview, but you won't learn much from that Commonwealth guy. That West Pass project was a city of Gulf Shores deal. No fed conspiracy there, just a local one.

-Breaking News-

The unbiased experts at The Oil Drum have reached a consensus. Oil evaporates when exposed to the weather and the sun. It just goes away! You can disregard all the basic rules of science concerning gas, liquids and solids. Save yourself a buck big-oil, no need to fool with nonsense like environmental clean up planning after this scientific break through.

Yes and no. You also left out microbial action which is a much different mechanism than evaporation. Some things you need to think about son. Your average poster here is probably as well versed as the man/woman that taught you science. Of course, industry has a role in the cleanup, but that does not mean that the citizens, government, and you and I do not have a role either. Hopefully your role includes evidence next time you post. You were doing so good. Go back to the domestic oil exploration subject and you will be helping again IMHO. Try to find some recent numbers from the past month. Yes most here are aware there is still oil in the local environment. I live less than 10 miles from you near the beach on the lagoon fed by the West Beach pass Crosby videotaped earlier. I am concerned, but it is a long list. This concern is somewhere the middle of the concern pile.

Tin Foil Hat Guy, if you mean that the government, the citizens, and you and I should help pay for the cleanup, you are burdening us with the costs of BP's reckless behavior. How do you justify that?

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and private business crashed 75%, you didn't hear mom and pop store or average Joe say, well I hope Washington has enough in the bank. When your neighbor's house burns to the ground are you glad it wasn't yours? Of course we all have to help fix this. And guess what? Whether or not you want to you already have. When was the last time you saw a BP employee take a paycheck and give it for cleanup. I am sure we all pay anyhow. WTH is wrong with you people?


You have used up your quota of tolerance with me with your drive-by trolling. Or, don't you understand what is being discussed here? Wouldn't you be happier at GLP?

I don't care about your sense of manners on internet message boards. Frankly, I think it is laughable when people talk about 'netiquete'. It's pretty lame.

Do you think face-to-face etiquette is lame?

from TOD Reader Guidelines: Commenters on The Oil Drum are considered guests and should behave accordingly. The staff reserves the right to delete comments and suspend accounts whenever we judge it in the best interests of our mission. Below are some guidelines that commenters are expected to follow:

1) When citing facts, provide references or links.
2) Make it clear when you are expressing an opinion. Do not assert opinions as facts.
3) When presenting an argument, cite supporting evidence and use logical reasoning.
4) Treat members of the community with civility and respect. If you see disrespectful behavior, report it to the staff rather than further inflaming the situation.
5) Ad hominem attacks are not acceptable. If you disagree with someone, refute their statements rather than insulting them.

MBP, you may not care about manners, but most of us on The Oil Drum do care. If you don't like the rules here, go play somewhere else.

The Guidelines are here: http://www.theoildrum.com/special/guidelines

BTW, you lost your quota of tolerance with me the first time you posted.

Great Report mbp.

TeaCuppers are the best at finding that sort of information. I've been reading posts here for many months and did not see the one you are referencing. Could you post a link to it showing that someone considered an expert wrote that? I'm interested in reading the followups. thanks.

Actually, we've stated the fact that volatile fractions (not all of the oil) evaporate at the water surface. We've stated the fact that some other fractions are decomposed by microbial activity, reducing to water, carbon dioxide, and some simple compounds of nitrogen. We've stated the fact that the evaporated petroleum gases will break down further in the air, and through photo-oxidation will create smog and greenhouse gases. We've stated the fact that the carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, contibuting to global warming.

Anybody know why the preview thumbnails on http://bp.schmorp.de/ quit updating yesterday?

Scientists investigating oil spill unsettled by calls from federal commission
by Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Posted on September 16, 2010 at 6:27 PM
Updated yesterday at 6:38 PM


NEW ORLEANS-- Some independent scientists, who have been looking into oil spill contamination in the Gulf of Mexico, said they have received some unsettling phone calls from the federal government.

The calls came from attorneys, on behalf of the National Oil Spill Commission. The scientists said their questions seemed designed to cast doubts on their findings.


Another huge fish kill hits lower Plaquemines
Associated Press - September 16, 2010 10:04 PM ET

POINTE-A-LA-HACHE, La. (AP) - Thousands more dead fish have been found in Plaquemines Parish


Atlantic bluefin tuna may become endangered, thanks to Gulf oil spill
Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 8:15 PM Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 8:53 PM
Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune


"The Atlantic bluefin tuna was already devastated by overfishing prior to the Gulf spill, but afterwards, we've been very concerned that the spill impacted its spawning season," said Center for Biological Diversity attorney Catherine Kilduff. "There are only two known breeding grounds for the tuna. Any eggs touched by oil would die, and adults in the Gulf of Mexico were already stressed because they're in its warm waters for spawning -- and the pollution could have affected their behavior and their success for reproducing."

Even the death of a single year's eggs could have a devastating effect on the species, Block said earlier this year, because the bluefin is at the top of the Gulf's food chain, and just growing to sexual maturity takes as long as 10 years.


Yes, this is potentially a big deal. I haven't seen any research findings about the actual impact, but it seems inevitable that lots of eggs and larvae would have been lost. I guess somebody is sifting through piles of zooplankton samples and counting the tuna. I hope they have a good baseline.

One thing that's slightly encouraging, the bluefin normally spawn in an area to the west of the spill as well as right in the spill area, so hopefully part of the year's spawning class made it.

I very rarely post Youtube videos, but this one I would like to share. It was taken in Ocean Springs, MS, yesterday, September 16th.


This is why I'm not in *clink* mode.

The video seems to show the two modes of oil residue. Early in the vid we see a brown material that could be the floc sediment we have discussed and that Samantha Joye has been talking about. It is probably mostly organic matter with some tar and possibly other oil products included. Then there are patches of tar balls still releasing a slight sheen.

Nasty. The MS coast wasn't hit badly by the slick (yes, I know about the Waveland episode), but MS waters seem to have collected more than their share of residual gunk.

Coastal team to revive Gulf oyster reefs, marshes

By Kelli M. Dugan

SPANISH FORT, Ala. — In a bid to help a “disempowered” community reconnect with its ravaged Gulf Coast habitat and rejuvenate struggling coastal economies, an environmental coalition launched a five-year plan Tuesday to build 100 miles of oyster reefs and 1,000 acres of marsh wetlands and grass beds.

WOW. That's the kind of ambition you like to see. Power to 'em!

tiny, are your fiance and friends in on this?

They worked the oyster relocation program back in April. After that experience, I'm not sure that they would do it again. It will depend on who is actually doing the work, which company got the contract to rebuild the reef and so on. The guys here Bayou La Batre have certain opinions on the company that usually gets the work and it's not a good opinion. JMO


George Orwell called...he wants his future back when we are done with it.

HuffPo, usual disclaimers apply.

Riki Ott, Corexit rash: Bio-Remediation or Bio-Hazard? Dispersants, Bacteria & Illness in the Gulf

The guv of Alabama would have Ken Feinberg to know that his work is "unacceptable" so far.


You don't say? 25 days and still waiting....

Karl and his 120-mph Cat 3 winds are wheeling smack into Veracruz this morning. What say you, Pemex?


Oceana scientists research oil spill effects on sharks

Now scientists will be going shark fishing next week to see what effects, if any, the nation's worst oil disaster has had on those creatures.

"I think the picture is still cloudy,'' said Michael Hirshfield, the chief scientist at Oceana, an international conservation group based in Washington, D.C. "One of the things we know is that death is not necessarily immediate. There can be slow deaths and slow problems.''...

Hirshfield is especially concerned with a species known as menhaden – a fish that people don't eat but everything else in the Gulf does, from snapper to grouper to blue-fin tuna, among other species. Menhaden take in a lot of water through their bodies by filtering out smaller food particles.

"It will be a year or so until we know,'' the chief scientist said. "Its purpose in life is to be eaten. If there is an effect on it, we may not see it until next year, and it could ripple through the food chain.''

There's still hope.


GW at ZH: "As ABC, CBS and NPR note, huge quantities of oil are blanketing the ocean floor, killing virtually all of the sealife which lives there."

I would not want his karma.

The Oil Truthers will be there (credit: comfychair).

Did you see the Strangelove bit:


I caught that on teevee. Uncanny, like he was channeling Sellers.

Bon mot.