BP's Deepwater Horizon - Complete Sealing Expected Saturday - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6970.

Update: According to the Wall Street Journal, the cement has set, and BP is preparing to test the seal at 11pm Central Time. The test will take one to two hours. The results are not expected to be announced until Sunday.

BP issued a press release Friday, in which they said that the well would be sealed today, Saturday. Since no hydrocarbons were found in he drilling mud, no annulus kill is necessary, and the annulus cementing can proceed as planned.

After the annulus cementing, the next step will be the plug and abandonment procedure.

Quoting from BP's press release:

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.

BP pumped a large quantity of mud in early August at pretty high pumping rates prior to pumping cement. Where did that mud go?

I think it is a little too convenient that all BP has to say is they didn't find hydro carbons at one spot in the annulus and suddenly the whole issue of BP's well design is resolved in their favor.

There is a huge amount of forensic evidence that could come to light as a result of the RW intersect and if all the information that is revealed is "we didn't detect any hydrocarbons" and "we pumped it full of cement" there is something seriously wrong. That maybe enough to convince the simple minded, but it is hardly a complete and thorough analysis.


It was just a brief press release not an in depth analysis. I'm sure much more information was collected and will come out at some point - hopefully very soon. Thadmiral has to speak yet as well and a Kent Wells briefing with questions would be nice but he seems to have gone quiet in recent weeks. Whether under Thad's orders or by choice is not clear.

Also isn't the assumption also that DD2 pierced annulus from inside casing prior to pumping cement? Wonder what was found there?

Yes it was a brief press release (my point exactly), but most of the responses on TOD have treated it as complete and conclusive analysis. Hopefully that view isn't going to be shared by those who have the power to investigate.

Oh and no the assumption is not that they perforated the casing first.

The assumption is that if they perforate the annulus that would be part of the approved plan which was made public. So if the government says here is the plan BP proposed and that we approved and then BP does something different from what is planned what is the explanation for that?

How do you pump in cement into a sealed annulus - surely either the annulus was pierced or there is an existing hole somewhere they haven't told us about either? Thad has said no communication between annulus and reservoir and no leak through hanger seal. Also they needed to replace the BOP because they expected a pressure spike when the RW intersected which again suggests they believe annulus intact.

See MoonofA's previous posts and diagrams

First post so I have to say how much I've appreciated all the education I've received from the members. However, I'm still confused. MoonofA's drawing shows the intercept above the top of cement (TOC) yet published information is that it's at 17,977 feet. That's 737 feet below the predicted TOC and right in between two hydrocarbon bearing sand layers at 17,788 to 17,791 and 18,051 to 18,073. How could anyone expect to find mud here? Shouldn't they have found cement?

BP quoted Measured Depth (from DD3) - not Actual Depth.

Thanks, I wondered about that. Did they ever state the actual depth?


I've seen no TVD reported, but back on July 12th a BP graphic showed that the foot of the final liner (9-7/8") of the relief well had been set at 17,874' MD (17,120' TVD) and that there was 100 vertical ft yet to drill to reach the planned intersect depth. So the plan was for 17,220' TVD.

The intersect was at 17,977' MD, 103' MD beyond where they were in July. The included angle between the Macondo wellbore and that of the relief wellbore was as about 2.8 deg., so for all practical purposes they were parallel. That would make the TVD delta close to 103', and the intersect at 17,223' TVD, give or take.


Thanks ChuckV, it makes sense they would shoot for right above the predicted TOC and below the 17,168 shoe to create a clear path up the annulus. That would mean they went in with 11,300 PSI using 12.6 PPG mud.

How did you figure that pressure and mud weight?

The mud weight in the annulus on April 20 was calculated to be 14.17 ppg. The relief well mud weight would have to be higher than that for a pressure increase that was reported to have been seen in the Macondo well.

Sorry Jinn, I should have said. I used the intercept depth that ChuckV estimated above and the minimum mud weight that ROCKMAN estimated in a post yesterday. I'm sure they probably had additional safety in the mud weight.

Those are all good questions and you are reduced to guessing as to what the facts may or may not be that would give an answer one way or the other.

The question is why are these facts being with held from the public. If the casing was perforated why wasn't that included in the written document that was given to BP that told them what they were permitted to do and what they were not permitted to do?

IMO this destroys all credibility of the investigation. What's next are they going to start taking testimony in secret behind closed doors?

I presume that perforation is covered by directive 4)


4) Conduct any supporting activities in the Macondo well during relief well operations that are consistent with the relief well intercept and that can inform and aid the upcoming Plug and Abandonment procedure.

In any case they are going to pressure up to 15K psi at 11pm CDT tonight as a final test. Maybe we will hear more after that.

That would not be my interpretation. Those were steps listed in chronological order that BP was to have followed.

Step 4) follows step 3) which is the DD3 intercept of the Macondo well.

If all of this is eventually revealed and explained in a satisfactory way that's fine. But as far as I can see the best time to explain would have been before they did it and I can't see any legitimate reason to keep perforating the Macondo well a secret. Explaining it after the fact by definition makes it suspicious and explaining it after 100's of feet of cement are poured makes it even more suspicious.

But it is not a strict chronological order or (6) would follow (1)

In the number system I'm familiar with 6 does come after 1. Step 6 is a contingency if 2-5 can't be followed.

It also doesn't look like step 5 is being followed as written. It looks like the approved plan called for developing a procedure to inject cement into the annulus from the DD2. It clearly states the procedure should be cement flowing down the annulus using the relief well as an outlet for that flow of cement.

OK if they were going to inject cement into the annulus from DD2 how could they possibly do that without perforating the annulus?

Also how would they inject cement from DD2 into annulus "below the current level of cement in the central casing" unless they drilled out the cement?

I certainly agree there are questions that need answering but I would assume the intercept procedure (whatever it was exactly) was under the supervision of John Wright who seems happy enough to have a cigar.

jinn - Back in the loop again. Correct if I got it wrong. Thad said they knew they had communication because the higher MW (whatever that was...and certainly a good bit over 12.6 ppg)in the RW caused a jump in the choke line pressure. My first thought was that the csg seal must have broken since there was no com with the prod csg. But with the speculation that they did perf (which I agree if they did perf then something is seriously wrong by not disclosing it) the coming cmt job will displace what ever is in the annulus into the production csg. And that would be circulated out when they go in with DP to set the plugs. As I said earlier I don't take the lack of oil show/cmt from the intercept is meaning full: too easy to miss that small volume in the returns… especially if they drilled as slow as I suspect the did. But if they pump as much cmt as I suspect they will there will be a large volume of the annulus displaced. I would be looking very hard for that oil when the circ the csg prior to setting plugs.

Back to the same problem: the MSM’s apparent lack of ability to ask the right questions.

Rockman, they didn't perf. The higher mud weight outside the casing put pressure on it and squeezed it. The slight casing contraction, with the inside being filled with a very low compressibility liquid, will be felt as a slight pressure bump at the top. This pressure increase can theoretically be estimated if you know the casing design. I assume they did run the estimate and concluded they were seeing the relief leak off into the Macondo annulus as they made contact.

edit: deleted

fd - thanks...never saw an absolute P increase and thought they meant something substantial. It just made no sense if they perf'd and never reported it. That would be a big day compared to all the quiet ones we've had lately.

I would be looking very hard for that oil when the circ the csg prior to setting plugs.


Of course, the contents of the annulus are important evidence and it certainly is possible to analyze it thoroughly. If it is not analyzed something stinks pretty bad.

I am not going to speculate about whether the pipe was perforated or not. It is pointless to make up evidence and then draw conclusions from made up evidence.

One way this can happen:

Cement is pumped at pressure and it breaks down the shale, fracturing it. A vertical fracture is created, and the fluid the cement is displacing and cement enter the fracture. When the pressure is released, the fracure closes slightly, but cement remains in the fracture plane, making a cement wall.

I think I've found a potential pathway for oil to be in the annulus and yet not be identified by the relief well, but I would need to skech it, and I don't know how to post a picture here.

I do hope non-industry readers understand only those who have a full education in petroleum engineering and/or have been in the industry for sufficient time can understand what goes on and how it is done. Before you tee off going paranoid, maybe the best thing to do is ask questions, rather than make statements you can't back up.

I'd be surprised if they used a high enough mudweight in the RW to fracture the formation. No need to and adds unnecessary risk of opening up flow paths which were not there before. Looking at the published completion diagram, the 9 7/8" shoe was tested to 16.0 ppg, and pore pressure was only 13.9 ppg. Plenty of safety margin there, especially when you're not drilling ahead and raising the circulating density. And the reservoir sand which is presumed to have flowed was underpressured wrt the shales, around 12.5 ppg. It probably had a much lower fracture pressure, and may have fractured when cementing the top kill, but that's now sealed off from DDIII's hole and the Macondo annulus.

I just finished reading the UK report on safety of TO's operations. It is a very good document. Very worth reading. It casts a different light on the headline comments. As you might expect the simple one line comments (i.e. bullying) as only part of a much more complex and wider ranging question, and concentrating on them dos neither TO nor the real problems justice. Indeed, if anyone wants to contribute to a thread about how good or bad TO's operations are, they should really read this document first. gCaptain's summary was OK, but again, far too simplistic and headline grabbing.


The report does suffer from a level of myopia that is accuses TO of in its safety culture. It concentrates on the rig workers and rig operations. It notes that there is essentially no safety culture of management. Only safety requirements on operations. Within the scope of the interviews they did, I guess that is inevitable, however there is clearly a gap in the report. TO needs to have a top down safety report. As so often, we see upper management quite sincere in their desire for, and support for, operational safety. But we see two deficiencies. Failures in implementation (often due to an overly paper driven process, driven by people not directly involved or responsible) and a missing of the woods for the trees - where the wider picture of system safety is ignored, with the assumption that safety is only a matter of single person accidents. Where dropped objects is a principle focus but major accidents and their causes (up to and including blow outs) are not considered.

Where dropped objects is a principle focus but major accidents and their causes (up to and including blow outs) are not considered

seems to be a nearly ubiquitous situation. Ergo, the celebration aboard DWH. No lost time due to personal injuries is the driver.

I can think of at least a couple of reasons for this state of affairs, but I'm certain there are others. Neither of these are rocket science, but I'll state them again:

Part of it is that it is that management thrives on "metrics" that can go into spreadsheets. These days there is an HSE component to bonuses, promotions, etc. It is easy to measure and track slips, trips, and falls. At review time, a manager can say "My team had XX% fewer lost time incidents in Q1." Because big incidents that kill lots of people and/or cause serious environmentat damage are relatively rare, it is hard to come up with a meaningful metric. Prior to DWH, would a manager say "On my watch, we reduced catastrophic blow outs from Zero to Zero"? For upper management, if it can't go into a spreadsheet, it didn't happen.

Another reason is that it is relatively cheap and easy to do things to reduce slips trips and falls. Just add more signs. Just bust people for not keeping a hand on the railing when walking down stairs (I've seen this happen, at a major oil company's downtown office). Another time, an oil company had a rent-a-cop with a radar gun in their parking lot in Anchorage! As far as I know they had never had anyone run over in that lot, but some manager no doubt decided that doing this would look good at his review, showing he was being proactive about safety. This kind of stuff isn't even pocket change to a large company.

On the other hand, the kind of things that reduce the likelihood of major catastrophes isn't necessarily cheap. Things like more robust casing designs for deep wells, or improved BOPs with more built in redundancy, or more frequent pigging of pipelines, or improved warning devices in refineries. Pretty soon you are talking real money. And real money does show up on spreadsheets.

So our manager is trying to plan his program. "Let's see, I by doing this, I can shave an average of 5 hours per well off of rig time...and it's only $5000 to buy that new personal safety video...yeah, I can fit it all in and still come in under budget." I'm not saying these are evil people. But they are human, and sometimes the incentives they are given are wrong. It's been claimed that since the PWS spill, Exxon has really pushed from the top down to change those incentives. The small amound of direct dealings I've had with them suggest that may be true. I certainly hope so, and I hope the rest of the industry falls into line. But then I started in exploration, so I'm a congenital optimist.

It would be interesting to get a TO executive to address the zero tolerance policy on safety breaches and how it affects a BOP that was due for recertification five years ago. That seems to be quite symptomatic of the failures of the safety culture. It seems that the zero tolerance policy only applied to rig hands, not to on shore managers, managers who may cause vastly more devastating accidents through inaction, or worse, through bonus driven incentives that lead to unsafe decisions.

In reality these problems are endemic across the entire planet. It is really difficult to get these things right, and it only takes a small amount of inattention for things to go badly off the rails. It is more a matter that TO were the subject of a high quality independent investigation. The vast majority of companies are never audited in this manner, and simply lurch along. BP is of course a good example. They would seem to have suffered from exactly the same problems, probably more so. But there isn't a report into them. To get it right requires a very rare breed of manager. Usually it requires a manager with real skin in the company, not one who is has a salary package with options and quarterly bonuses. As we so graphically saw, Hayward was not such a manager, merely exemplifying the me-too bonus and optioned manager that sees the position as a reward, not a responsibility.

Rust Never Sleeps?
question on the BOP sitting in NOLA.
is there a danger of rust developing inside the BOP?
I believe they wanted to inspect the shear rams for microscopic scratches to determine exactly what may have happened.
Rust might obscure that.
Seems like it should have been stored in a large water enclosure to keep it stable and free from rust.

This undoubtedly represents TO's position and it's a legitimate concern. I've seen nothing about how the USG is handling the BOP other than they agreed to flush out the control pods.

I'm getting a vision of the BOP out there under tarps and bungee cords like a '72 Nova in my neighbors backyard, maybe some morning glories or ivy, and a hornet nest. Maybe they should hose it down with mineral oil or WD-40. Joke

A critical, but overlooked aspect, of the operations is that the rig did not have an intrinsic nitrogen foam capability and relied on a visiting party of Halliburton specialists. Those visitors had more effect on the blowout than the visiting party of VIPS.

THe USCG-MMS investigators took evidence from two lead cementers, one who was off duty when the cement was injected and had little to say, the other Vincent Tabler indicated that he had done a couple of surface jobs, but none at depth. He identified the nitrogen engineer as being Nathan Chaisson (who was interviewed later) and two hands, "Mike & Elmo". Much of his testimony related to centralizers and is therefore not pertinent to the blowout, and his experiences in the evacuation.

Nathan Chaisson indicated that he was not sure if nitrified cement was MMS approved for use at depth, but that such approval was "likely". He also indicated that the dry time per the lab report was not done at the time, but his understanding was that Gagliano (Halliburton) and Morrell (BP) were going to handle that aspect. The TO preliminary report notes that the negative test began 18 hours after the cement was pumped and the lab test report indicates that the test sample had ZERO COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH after 24 hours and needed 48 hours to reach a compressive strength of 1590 psi.

He also agreed that based on the Sperry-Sun logging he was shown, he would agree that there were not full returns, but that he had never seen that data while on the rig. He indicated that after the hole was flushed with first 111 bbls and then 150 bbls, he turned over operations to the drillers and only had real time data for the returns, and therefore could not make the comparisons necessary to confirm full returns. He offered the name "Katherina (sp?)" as having access to such data.

There was no questioning about the process of nitrifying cement, nor did the board did not get info on pre-foaming and post-foaming volumes, pressures or temperatures. The board has accomplished almost nothing in investigating the nitrified cement that actually failed.

". . .Much of his testimony related to centralizers and is therefore not pertinent to the blowout. . ."


Help me out.

How is it that centralizers were not pertinent to the blowout?


ChuckV: It seems the well blew out when hydrocarbons pushed through the cement downwards to the casing shoe, and penetrated the cement column located between the shoe and the cementing collar. If the hydrocarbons U-tubed to get into the well, then the centralizer issue is less applicable, because gas channels upwards.

I have read comments regarding the centralizer issue being dead, but I would need to see the the centralizer spacing - what was the actual spacing used versus the standard SPACING one should use in this case? I suspect those who said the issue was dead know the spacing was about right, or the model Halliburton runs doesn't really deal with hydrocarbons heading down to the bottom of the well then back up INSIDE the well. My guess is the cement setting time does become a more important issue.


Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. The reason for asking it though was solely to hear Bruce Thompson's answer.


As I seem to recall the Nitrogen cement was in the annulus, and the shoe track and bottom plug were regular cement. So it seems that there is no need to ask all these questions about it.

Much of his testimony related to centralizers and is therefore not pertinent to the blowout,

Come again?



You, from 17 September, regarding which politicians should eat crow:
For starters, the politicians involved would be any of those who used the term "centralizers". Or "gas flow potential".

I've already asked you today why the centralizers were not pertinent to the blowout.

You might as well also tell me why gas flow potential was not.


Bruce - Nice summary. But FYI: the rig doesn't carry it's own cementing system. All that equipment belongs to the cmt contractor. They usually keep the same equipment and cmt contractor from well to well. If an operator wants a different cmt contractor they have to swap out the cmt equipment.

But if they actually had no experience using N2 cmt at these depths I would take that as a huge red flag. It's not the depth directly but the pressure. And the compressibility of N2 at those depths had to be a critical factor in the cmt quality IMHO

Something I found slightly odd about the BP schedule of operations. It contained what appeared to me to be quite specific instructions about how to perform the cement job. What to pump when, when to release darts, nerf ball, how to operate the dart release equipment. About the only thing it didn't talk about was the cement mixing and pumping gear. I was surprised at the division of responsibility here. One got the impression that the cement company's responsibility ended the moment the cement hit the top of the drill pipe. More than that, the schedule was written by BP, not Halliburton. The exact volumes, spacer volumes, calculations of hydrostatic heads, all BP. So, what does a cement company actually bring to the party here? Or did they dictate the schedule to BP, who then repeated it to the rig managers? (One notes that the 21 centralisers were in the schedule - which suggests this is the case.)

I wonder about the separation of responsibility here too. Seems that maybe Halliburton suggested a cementing plan, BP accepted it, and BP took on responsibility for enacting it.

None the less, it is hard to see exactly what it is that a specialise cementing contractor brings to the party here. Was it always thus?

If I set up a computer room I specify the A/C and electrical supply. I pass the work on to sub contractors to meet that spec. I want a roof concreted I contract a company to do that, I give them the slope and they give me the slump. It is not uncommon to pass on to a subcontractor the specifics for a job, it is often what they are there for. Halliburton came up with a range of plans from probable fail to probable pass. BP went with the probable fail, like I over-rule the cement Co's recommendation of 14cm slump for my roof and go with 4 cm then wonder why the cement just slid off my roof. The electric installation team ended up with providing the right voltage at the tie in box, Mine took over from there. When the earth fault tripped and closed the LARGE works down it was their fault as they left an unacceptable voltage on the neutral. If I had popped the fuse by shorting earth to live it would have been down to me. There is always a take over point between different contractors. What does a "specialised cementing contractor" bring to the party, it is in the name.


Actually I have done a few computer rooms too - the nice blokes from Liebert and Chloride got paid lots of money. I don't miss worrying about things like that. This isn't quite what I was asking about.

Cementing is a process, one that is time critical, and critical of a range of parameters, including pressure, flow rates, and the like. When a cement job is in progress it is clearly a team effort, the rig hands still drive the rig. It seems that although we hear about Halliburton "doing a cement job" in reality they don't. They neither specify, nor control the operations. They simply hook up their mixing gear to the well and supply cement. After that everything is down to the rig crew. There is no in-the-loop control of the process from Halliburton. Perhaps I'm being overly naive, but something that seems as sophisticated as foamed cement at significant depth, I would want to hear a story about monitoring of the process, and active involvement from the Halliburton engineers to ensure the process went correctly. What happens when something doesn't go smoothly? Do the Halliburton guys just stand back and say, "well that's a shame, looks like you entire drill string is full of set cement."

If you have used Liebert and Chloride then you woulod know that is not how Haliburton would work.


Francis - yes…a “team effort”. But the cmt hand is the man on the job. No cmt company ever decides what cmt to pump or what the procedure will be. But the cmt mix and the procedure are always generated by the cmt company. They make the recommendation to the operator’s rep and gets approval. That’s why Halliburton charges full price for a failed cmt job: they didn’t make the decision….just gave advice. The cmt company can be penalized if they give bad advice in the opinion of the operator: they don’t get to work for the operator on the next well. And no small penalty: if I replace Halliburton with BJ the Halliburton equipment is taken off the rig. If the next company using that rig wants Halliburton they have to pay for the equipment change out. Many operators will choose the cmt company that already has their equipment on the rig. The cmt hand may get some physical help from the drill crew but he makes the mix and he runs the cmt pumps.

Cementing, like most other jobs on a rig, are very experience dependent. That experience factor is shared across the board from everyone on the rig to everyone onshore. None of these decisions are done in isolation. The cmt company designs every aspect of the job and the operator signs off on every aspect of the cmt job.

Congratulations to John Wright et al.

Yep - Hearty congratulations are in order! NOT to the low life executives at Corporate BP that put profits ahead of safety, but to all the hard working hands that busted their butts to finally put this thing away. Nailed it on the first try! - Good job guys and hats off to Mr Wright & all the crew that made it possible!

USFWS is now posting daily and cumulative reports on recovered (live and dead) and released wildlife. In addition, there are maps showing the location of recoveries and a cumulative report by bird species, updated weekly.

Available at http://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/collectionreports.html

Incidentally, it looks as if the Free seminar to be held on Sunday for those interested in helping oiled birds is aimed at recruiting observers to assist in ongoing bird surveys, not to work with oiled birds directly.

So, 200+ dead pelicans found throughout the northern Gulf, only half of them visibly oiled. Of course there are many not found, and some still to die, but it looks like the spill's impact on the population will not be great. As I speculated yesterday, the abundant laughing gull had the largest mortality (gross, not percentage).

Exxon Valdez had a vastly greater impact on birds.

[DDIII OIM Rich] Robson said the pressure test will happen around 11 p.m. CDT and will take about half an hour. The test is the only way to ensure the well is dead.

Engineers will exert 15,000 pounds of pressure against the cement plug to make sure it won't budge and should know by midnight CDT if the seal will hold.

The crew plans to celebrate once the well is officially killed. "We're going to have a good meal together — prime rib," Robson said.

May I state how grateful we all are to the hurricane deities for playing nice while this was going on?

lotus - Who does Robson work for? The well has been "officially dead" for many weeks. Maybe he's not oil patch and doesn't know the difference between plugged and dead. I also suspect you know the well isn't "officially plugged"? That will happen when the have the last cmt plug in the prod csg.

Probably no big deal again...just sloppy terminology.


NYT: After 5 Months, Hopes for Stricken Well's Quiet Death

Ahem. Apparently this is another case of a headline writer's not reading the attached story -- which is all about chances of Mississippi Canyon Block 252's rebirth (especially via one of the relief wellbores).

USA scientists' super sniffer tracks oil spill contaminants and pollutants

USA scientists completed the first installation Friday of monitoring devices that will record and track the local effects of hazardous chemicals being released into the air by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or other pollutant sources. The device will be installed at nine other weather station sites in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

The data from the stations will be reported in real-time on the system’s existing Internet site and be available to the public.

Thousands of Twits retweeting: "Massive amounts of oil at bottom of Gulf of Mexico: Report"

...Twits retweeting...

That has a nice ring to it! A great turn of phrase.

I get the feeling that Joye is going to start regretting her blogging and publicity seeking actions soon. I'm sure she is sincere, but she has overstepped a point where scientists get uncomfortable, and this retweeting etc., of her less than carefully chosen words, is likely to eventually seriously tarnish her scientific reputation. It really shouldn't be thus, but it is, and likely will continue to be.

"It's like a slime highway to the bottom."

I wrote her a polite note and she seemed to be very kind and polite. But it was clear she realized she needed to be careful with her choice of words.

Thing about most twitters is that they don't have enough intellignce to check out what someone sent, but instead they just send it on down the line. Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

Yeah, "the truth is out there if you're willing to see." Or hallucinate.

How about this one?

Wow!!! Now I know the reason I didn't reach spontanious cumbustion all those late Sat. nights. I was praying to the white porcelin god uummphh instead of getting out my bible when I thought I was gonna die. I'm gonna have to look them up when the door opens.

WTF? "Reporter: 'Entire communities where they're vomiting blood' -- 'Massive, massive disasters'"

Well, here's a recent tip I found, from an amateur expert named Blash:

The Corexit solidifies the oil, causing it to fall heavily to the floor of the sea. The rain is full of the Corexit, thus so is our drinking water and vegetation (that means the FOOD in your and the farmers' garden/fields of FOOD). Guaifenesin does the opposite to mucus, of what Corexit does to oil, so there is reason to suspect Guaifenesin would be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of "Blue Plague"? Iam trying it out, and will be back to let you know.

Great, now they will have a massive influx of vampires.

Wait, if any guaifenesin gets in the Gulf, wouldn't it allow the oil to separate from Samantha Joye's "Siime Highway" and rise up to get us?

One massive giant hack.

That would explain the rumors about the disappearance of huge government stockpiles of Mucinex accumulated during the flu craze and why Corexit usage statistics haven't shown an increase. Men in black are spraying Guaifenesin into the Gulf at night.

This is my favorite thing anyone ever said on the internet.

Mucinex, Corexit, and Guaifenesin false flag black warfare is sure to ensue.

Only if everyone within 200 miles doesn't bleed out first, according to thousands of internet sleuths.

I heard the bleeders are being taken to the secret whale-carcass disposal facility in Bayou la Batre. Some say in unmarked white vans, others say Carolina skiffs from out-of-state.

Soylent Green is people! We've gotta stop them somehow! It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food. You've gotta tell them. You've gotta tell them!

Shakes head in wonderment at the morass of stupidity. Words just fail me.....

snake - Vomiting blood? Sounds like just a regular weekend in the French Quarter.



LOL ! Hope you had success with your problem well today RM .

Mike - Unfortunately no. Since we have a little dead time I’ll take the opportunity to pat my company on the back re: safe drilling standards. It started Thursday when I had the work over rig moving in. The well had 1,700 psi the day before. Suddenly it has 2,700 psi and is unloading muddy water. The BOP I had ordered was a 3,000 psi model. Some operators would have gone with it…300 psi less than spec. So I ordered a 10,000 psi replacement BOP. By the silence on the other end of the phone I knew my boss wasn’t happy with the delay. But he also feels the same about safety: don’t push to the limits. I don't know where the higher pressure came from. So that also means I don't know that I won't see another jump over 3,000 psi.

But now I can’t kill the flow with the fluid weight I have so I can nipple up the BOP so I can pull the tubing out of the hole. So I order heavier fluid…more time/money. So we pump the heavier fluid last night and think we killed the well. This morning we blow the NG down and the well is dead. But I can hear the well gurgling…there is still NG bleeding in. And now I have gas bubbles coming out of the base of the well head. Dig it out and find the surface csg now has pressure. So I have the hands button up the well and back off. A well barely dead and NG leaking around the well head. Not all that scary and no chance of a blow out. But a blown valve can do a good bit of damage to the human body.

So I shut down the ops and send everyone home. We’ll order very heavy mud for Monday morning and kill the well for good. Then we can repair the well head and nipple up the BOP. And no one in the company is very happy about the time/delay. I'll get picked on Monday about the delay for sure. But no one in the company is willing to risk the hands to save $20,000+. The only good news was that now I get Sunday off and take my daughter to the movies. LOL.

It’s great to work for folks in the office who don’t forget there's flesh and blood out on the rig. To bad some folks at BP didn’t keep that in mind.

Rock, even though I'm not an oil patch guy, I am an engineer who has had associated situations in another discipline, and can recognize what you have done. It is tough to keep to one's principles on the job when you know you are being "judged" by the higher ups and could be potentially risking one's job. So I would like to extend my complements to you on a job really well done!!!!! At least five "atta-boy points".


It's good bein' good. You can do things like that,but man,look at all you had to eat.Been there,done that.

Many of us are still "Old School" and have graduated from the "School of Hard Knocks". And we all have had our mentors. Alot of what we are seeing is the results of the Boone Pickens hostile takeover era and hammered prices of the late 1990s. The results were forced sales & mergers, layoffs, early retirements, and people that have left due to the hills and valleys. I don't care how many dollars our fellow Geo Pickens donates to OSU, he has done more damage to this industry than BP.

In the patch if a person is not learning something new every day, then you are probably incompetent. The majors, who everyone considers the industry schools are probably lacking those old crusty mentors. Most college grads have not turning wrenches growing up. This results in not having the seat of the pants feel when things are happening in the field. Big picture probably the greatest contributing factor to the incident.

I appreciate your comments though this whole event. You have represented the field section of the industry well. The bright side is in the beginning there were alot of silly questions on this forum. But those interested now have a gross or better understanding of the industry. People interested in learning from outside the industry reading the forum are using correct terms & understand the required sequences. Even Thad now sounds half-way educated.

You, moderators of the drum, other fellow industry posters, & non industry posters have done a great service to the country. And that is presenting facts, question the validity and answering questions which has not been done as completely in any other media. Thanks to all. -KSUGEO-

Rock good luck with your well (we all have our crosses-lol)

It’s great to work for folks in the office who don’t forget there's flesh and blood out on the rig. Too bad some folks at BP didn’t keep that in mind.

That's what happens when culture is set to the tune of beancounters' spreadsheets and stockholder value: @$10M, cheaper to self-insure. We're really sorry. Here's a check, move along now.

Re yesterday's brief thread about bbl for barrel. A simple, quick resource for petroleum history is...

The 42-gallon oil barrel is one of the popular articles..

[Edit] The article on the history of ROVs back to Howard Hughes is also a fun read.

I'll never be able to put that down. I can't wait to get snowed in this winter.

Here's the pretty good NYT story link that Gobbet quoted from yesterday. It's the best article I've seen on the Valentine study.

One wrong inference on yesterday's thread was this:

We've got 4.9 million bbls and recent estimates that 2/3 was ng. That would mean 1.6+ million bbls of oil.

The Valentine study estimated that 2/3 of the biodegradation was of dissolved gases. However only 40% of the flow from the wellhead was natural gas liquids. Thus the inference of only 1.6+ million bbls of oil spilled is based on a false assumption.

Good point. I winged the average bbls/day number anyway (I used 40,000), was just attempting to indicate that there's a huge amount of money involved, enough for BP to pitch the "we could have stopped it earlier" claim.

Heh, you're right about that.

According to this reporter, oil-eating microbes are so last week, and the whole thing is maybe just government propaganda:

Remember the mighty oil-eating microbes, aka marine bacteria, that commentators from the White House on down hailed as a major natural weapon in combating the Gulf oil disaster? Well, the recent discovery of thick layers of oil on the Gulf floor, in addition to the detection of massive underwater oil plumes, aroused some suspicion that the work of the Gulf microbes had been a bit overhyped. Now a new study finds that the microbes may have mainly consumed gases seeping from BP's busted well, as opposed to the actual oil that leaked into the Gulf.


NRD, my similar thread below was a coincidental cross-post, not a hijack attempt.

Gobbet: Ref Dr. Samantha Joye, read the material she posted - not the garbage being said in the blogosphere. There is no such thing as a layer of oil on the seafloor. Period.

The "massive underwater oil plumes" are not so massive either. I suggest you go to the government response site and look at the information, it's just a slightly contaminated layer of water, with oil in the parts per million to parts per billion range.

fdoleza, I was mocking the reporter. Sadly, this "blanket [sheet, layer, etc] of oil" stuff as a version of Joye's finding is all over the place, not just with zany bloggers. Joye shouldn't be calling this mostly organic material "oil." It is feeding the folklore.

She appears to have a personal hypothesis about sedimentation that comes out in her comments to reporters. I did a bit of looking on Google Scholar and did not find it elsewhere. It is that the oil-eating bacteria secreted vast amounts of slime which sank and captured bits of oil along the way to form the loose brown sediment. She said use of dispersant caused more oil to be captured in this way--surely she has little or no evidence to support that claim at this point. But mentions of dispersant cause reporters to perk up their ears.

She doesn't mention an established biological route of oil deposition that is in the literature. That is, plankton fecal pellets play a big role.

It is feeding the folklore.

Oh god, it's the great "plume" controversy all over again.

Why don't we stop smearing researchers by loose association with nutwads on the internet who misinterpret their words?

nutwads on the internet who misinterpret their words

Scientists Find Thick Layer Of Oil On Seafloor : NPR

I read it a long time ago. What's your point? Reporters can't be nutwads?

These are Joye's quotes from the article (bolds mine). Clearly, she's not referring to raw crude:

1 "I've collected literally hundreds of sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, including around this area. And I've never seen anything like this."

2 "It's very fluffy and porous. And there are little tar balls in there you can see that look like microscopic cauliflower heads."

3 "The organisms that break down oil excrete mucus — copious amounts of mucus."

4 "So it's kind of like a slime highway from the surface to the bottom. Because eventually the slime gets heavy and it sinks."

5 "We have to [chemically] fingerprint it and link it to the Deepwater Horizon."

6 "But the sheer coverage here is leading us all to come to the conclusion that it has to be sedimented oil from the oil spill, because it's all over the place."

7 "It's starting to sound like a tremendous amount of oil. And we haven't even sampled close to the wellhead yet."

Bonus quotes - Name the BP advisor responsible for the following quotes:

1 “Some of the detergents that are typically used to clean-up spill sites are more toxic than the oil itself, in which case it would be better to leave the site alone and allow microbes to do what they do best.”

2 “There are newer dispersants, such as the Correctix 9500 that have not been tested by EPA, and can have toxic effects on specific marine life."

3 “The untreated coastal areas were fully recovered within five years of the Amoco Cadiz spill. As for the treated areas, ecological studies show that 30 years later, those areas still have not recovered."

Give up?

Edit: Added a couple of missed quote marks.

I don't have time to play tonight. The interviews Joye's allowed apparently haven't helped restrain the usual catastrophization of whatever morsels of fear can be ferreted out. There's been no apparent effort to reel them in. Her job isn't to follow up and correct inflamed impressions. But.

Net net net: has added to the panic, remarkable since no crises are supposed to be able to abide beyond six weeks.

Jane Lubchenco should find her balls, in my opinion. And spill whatever beans she's got.

Maybe later.

So Hazen is "BP's advisor"? Did you unearth some previously unknown personal contract between Hazen and BP? Writing off Berkeley Lab as tainted? Contrasting Hazen's interviews with Joye's? Or what?

"I expected to find oil on the sea floor," Joye said Monday morning in a ship-to-shore telephone interview. "I did not expect to find this much. I didn't expect to find layers two inches thick. It's weird the stuff we found last night. Some of it was really dense and thick."

Some folks issue a clarifying statement when they believe they've been taken out of context. Some don't.

Net Res Dr: No way 40 % of the wellhead flow was 40 % Natural Gas Liquids. In the industry we use NGL to mean ethane, propane, butane, and the pentane plus we capture in a gas plant - if we use the widest range of components I've seen. In some places the ethane is left out of the "NGL" because it's not commercial to take it out of the natural gas.

One suggestion for people who are discussing this point: please try to use reference pressure and temperature and also describe exactly what you mean by gas, oil, and natural gas liquids, because you guys are confusing each other quite a bit.

While they were collecting through the riser, the proportion was usually running 2000 scf of gas to 1 barrel of oil. It was also said that the HC mix was 40% gas by weight. Of course, that includes methane and not just NGL as fdoleza explains the term.

A few weeks ago, some of us discussed the 40% figure and many of us felt that figure was way too high. At a minimum, we would need more information concerning its basis.

I did a crude calculation that used BP's numbers for captured oil and flared gas for 1 day.
From a quick web search, I assume 1 cubic foot of NTP methane weighs 18.8 grams and 1 barrel of API-35 oil weighs 134,771 grams. I have no idea how accurate these assumptions are.

The weight of methane is 36,700,000 * 18.8 = 689,960 kg
The weight of oil is 16,830 * 134,771 = 2,268,196 kg
Total weight is 2,958,156 kg
Percent of total that is methane is 689,960/2,958,156 = 23.3%

Others felt my crude calculation gave too high a percentage and was more likely 10-15%. I always knew my calculation used NTP which may be incorrect. I see now the gas constant may be incorrect because I assumed all gas was methane.

Edit: The percent goes up a little to 28.3% when I substitute methane gas for a mix of methane, ethane and propane using 76.3%, 13.2%, 10.5% by weight. These percentages are calculated from a NY Times article quoting metric tons of each.

Bringing over a subthread from yesterday about the latest research report on the deep hydrocarbon plumes:


There is, I believe, some confusion there about the government's flow estimate. The estimate was 4.9 m barrels flowed and 4.1 m barrels spilled. The estimate is for oil only and not oil + gas combined.


Many people here agree that the flow estimate is too high because it assumes maximum flow from the beginning and ignores the certainty of erosion in the BOP and riser as well as the possibility of channeling having improved communication within the reservoir.

An issue in the thread was media accounts suggesting that bacteria in the plumes were consuming gas fractions instead of oil fractions. NatResDr wrote: "There is no reason to think that only one process can happen at a time--multiple processes can happen, each at their own rates, and one would have to study them to find out." I had some comments/questions about that.

Would not the most easily cracked HC molecules provide the largest net energy return and support the most rapid multiplication of bacteria? So that if bacteria are attacking oil droplets, those that favor the simpler alkanes could bloom first and perhaps crowd out those that specialize in tougher molecules? The latter would have their chance after the alkane-eaters have finished with the droplet, and in such a case there would be a rough succession of species and target fractions.

But, in the case of dissolved materials as opposed to droplets, it seems there would be a simultaneous attack on all the fractions. However, again, the easier fractions to crack, like propane, would be broken down most rapidly, for the same thermodynamic reasons--less work required to get at the carbon, more energy available for building biomass.

Is that correct? As usual, I'm trying to understand something I haven't been trained in.

Bringing over another point from yesterday, I said reporters were mistaken to say that the government oil budget of Aug. 4th claimed 3/4 of the oil was "gone." Somebody asked why that is false reporting. The answer is that the oil budget makes no claim about how much of the oil was gone (see link above).

Many people here agree that the flow estimate is too high because it assumes maximum flow from the beginning and ignores the certainty of erosion in the BOP


Is this a fact? I haven't read the document closely but from what I saw it assumes the flow was not maximum flow for each day of the 87 days.

WASHINGTON – Based on new pressure readings, data, and analysis, the U.S. scientific teams charged by National Incident Commander Thad Allen with determining the flow of oil from BP’s leaking well have refined their estimates of the oil flow prior to the well being capped on July 15. Today’s estimates, which draw heavily on recent oil reservoir modeling and on pressure readings of a closed system, are the most accurate to date and have an uncertainty of plus or minus approximately 10 percent.

The scientific teams estimate that 53,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking from BP’s well immediately preceding its closure via the capping stack.

Recent measurements and modeling also show that, as a result of depletion of the hydrocarbon reservoir, the daily flow rate decreased over the 87 days prior to the well’s closure. Based on these measurements and modeling, the scientific teams estimate that, at the beginning of the spill, 62,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking from the well.

Overall, the scientific teams estimate that approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil have been released from the well. Not all of this oil and gas flowed into the ocean; containment activities conducted by BP under U.S. direction captured approximately 800,000 barrels of oil prior to the capping of the well.

U.S. Scientific Teams Refine Estimates of Oil Flow from BP’s Well Prior to Capping

Odd that it assumes the max flow even during the very early days when the flow appeared to be lower.

Working from the pressure readings taken July 15, they estimated the flow on that day as 53,000 barrels. Since the pressure was down from BP's reading taken months ago, they inferred depletion of the reservoir. They ran some kind of depletion curve and estimated the flow on April 22 as ~62,000 barrels.

But it doesn't make intuitive sense that 62,000 bbl/day flowed at the beginning nor does any data (size of slick, etc.) that I'm aware of indicate that it could have even approached that, nor do several interim estimates indicate that. There'll be a negotiated total flow amount but the USG better come to the table with something more realistic or lots of leeway to move down or be prepared for an nearly interminable fight in court.

Agreed, I think the number is a negotiating position-- the lawyers got their way in that part of what must have been a committee meeting from Hell.

Remember, they could only collect 8000 bbl/day through the riser insertion tool in late May--surely the holes in the riser bend weren't pumping 50K+.

My thought when I first saw it. While the flow potential into the July path at April reservoir pressure no doubt would have been >60,000 bopd, most of that path did not exist until bits of pipework were hacked off and those that were left had ever-widening holes eroded in them. The BOP shear ram photo is the nail in the coffin of any assumption of constant flow path. Are we really to believe that those semicircular holes were eroded a few days into the spill and after that they stayed unchanged?

Only thing I don't get is that one of the previous posts from someone with a legal b/g said that negotiation is not a formal option. The govt can either impose an unacceptably low fine of a few hundred $ per bbl, or leave it in the hands of a judge to act as assessor. Once that happens the parties can no longer negotiate.

I don't think the public would be satisfied with a fine of a few hundred $ per barrel, say a billion $ in total. Will a judge be swayed by claims made previously in press releases, not under oath? Or can (s)he call witnesses to testify under oath what they really think?

It may have been me that you are thinking of who posted about the options. I'm not a lawyer, and not even a US citizen, I was merely quoting from the act. The act places the decision as to the per bbl fine in the hands of the court. The act provides for three options. Pursue a fixed fine for the entire incident. Pursue negligence ($1000/bll cap), pursue gross negligence ($4,300/bbl) cap. The act specifically provides that the court may take into account a lot of things in deciding the actual amount - including how much effort was expended to ameliorate the damage, and whether there was an financial gain to be had from deciding to discharge oil. (Clearly much is aimed at deliberate discharges that are attempts to avoid costly disposal fees and the like.)

What I don't know, and would really like to hear about is what the reality is of how such a court operates in the US. If there is a negotiated position, and the government and BP go into the court with a clear and agreed position, how much notice will the court typically take of that? Clearly the act provides the court with freedom to ignore such a position, but in practice I would imagine there is considerable precedence to guide a reasonable guess as to how it might actually unfold. (Anything from - courts generally disdain such agreements, right through to courts generally are pleased to go with such agreements.)

What I also feel, is that this isn't a normal prosecution. There is so much money at stake, and a lot of political skin involved, not to mention international relationships, that I don't believe that the executive branch will feel like leaving things alone. Since the EPA is the agency that the act requires to pursue the prosecution, and the EPA reports to the executive, there is ample scope for things to be guided.

Hi Gobbet - I'm not even going to guess at the question of flow and total hydrocarbons released. It's my belief that nobody will ever know that number (or how much was gas and how much was liquids) to more than 20%. I'm waiting for BP and the government and probably a few independent players from the universities to come up with their numbers and then fight it out.


It's your other question that intrigued me. I'm a chemist, not a biologist, although I've read widely. NatResDr knows more about this, and she/he can correct me as appropriate.

It's not thermodynamics that drives bacterial selectivity of substrates (what they eat), except in a very general way: it has to be something they can get energy out of. What drives their selection is their "digestive enzymes" or whatever they use to metabolize the substrate. That ultimately depends on how and where they evolved and what was available for metabolizing.

I agree with NatResDr that everything is happening at once. Even in chemistry's simpler systems, that usually is the rule. The whole world is like that. As you note, some things might happen faster than others, so that some bacteria might bloom and die, leaving the field to others who can metabolize what's left. Plus there will be organisms living off the bacterial bloom. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of that going on, so presumably the various bacteria and their predators are operating in sync.

Most hydrocarbon molecules have similar energy content, within the not-especially-thermodynamic range of bacterial selectivity. So there won't be preferences for one or another on that basis. There may be a slight preference for the hydrocarbons that are more reactive, like the more branched, although methane seems to be going like hotcakes, and it's one of the less reactive.

The tarry stuff is the hardest to break down - as much a matter of how many carbon atoms per molecule as anything else. If bacteria bite off one carbon, there are still a lot more before it's not tar.

Hope this helps.


Thanks, I'm always glad to see one of your posts, always informative, clearly explained, and beautifully written.

I don't think our posts are quite connecting, though, so I probably didn't make myself clear. I understand that each microbe species is pre-adapted to break down some hydrocarbon fractions and not others. Methane specialists have evolved even though methane is hard to crack, because there is plenty of methane in the Gulf environment and it is an energy source. My idea/question was, would the species that specialize in cracking tough molecules be less efficient metabolizers than species that have softer targets? Would that lead to differential reproductive rates? In the case of oil droplets (more than dissolved fractions), would differential reproductive rates cause a succession of dominant microbe species and the sequential elimination of corresponding oil fractions?

would the species that specialize in cracking tough molecules be less efficient metabolizers than species that have softer targets?

I'm not sure that one can make a generalization on this. One thing that bugs do to metabolize more difficult molecules is to metabolize something tasty and energetic along with their broccoli, so to speak. Or sometimes a couple of different species live together and hand the molecules back and forth as they do their different metabolizations. (Is that a word?)

For bacteria, reproductive rates will depend on temperature, other nutrients they may need, and probably other things. I think there might be a succession, but it could be masked by other things.

And I'm at about the limit of what I know (or think I know).


Thanks. I'm trying to visualize the bacterial tag team in the ring.

That's a very wide range, Gobbet. I have been trying to make heads or tails of it for months, like you.

They seem to be very dependent on each other to provide, as Cheryl says, the necessary catalysts for digestion. What I wonder, is if, even if the food they prefer to eat is present( shorter chain fractions), are the necessary catalysts present that are needed to digest them present as well ? Is it possible for the breakdown to stall at some point because of unavailability of necessary catalysts ?
I was hoping NatRes could chime in too, if not too busy :)

Tiny foraminifera shells can help assess recovery after oil spill


(More interesting than it sounds.)

Thanks Gob, This is particularly interesting to me because this is the type of work (sampling and analyzing and taxonomy on "bottom things")my daughter does in the GOM estuaries. If you see any followup info on this, I would really like for you to post a link. Thanks.

BTW, in case you didn't notice, the entire first episode of Max Headroom is on YouTube in six segments. Apparently it is not part of the recently released DVD collection. Well worth the watch. I'd forgotten how the TV reporter got in trouble over the Blipverts. It's actually quite pertinent to much we complain about in the MSM today. More sci-fi coming true? No wonder it ran for only a season or so on American TV. It must have been rather alarming to those who, in the late 80s, were well into planning for the corporate coup.

Development Driller 2 ROV 1 is drilling into the wellhead.

For some reason they are trying to clean out that pipe leading to the valve that has been leaking all along and is still leaking.

They have not shown the leak at the base of the well since the intercept that they had been watching 24/7. In fact when they have looked at the base it has been on the other side of the well.

Not sure what that means. My guess is either the leak at the base stopped or got worse.

What I watched going in was a hole saw to cut into something.

They are showing it now
The leakage is around the same magnitude


Reservoir in Gulf May Still Be Used
Published: September 18, 2010

While BP plans to permanently abandon its stricken well in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving little more than a plug at the top, it may yet make use of the reservoir of oil and gas that the well tapped into.

Experts say that there are no technical or commercial reasons why BP — or another company if BP is wary of the political or public-relations repercussions — could not eventually produce oil from the formation, which BP once estimated contained about 50 million barrels of oil. The well spewed only about one-tenth of that amount, according to government estimates.

Of course they won't abandon it. Call it part of the Desperation Oil Piggy Bank. When it's time to "break open the Piggy Bank" they'll also be in the process of looking under any large rocks they've looked under before, "just to get a few more drops"...

Referencing another thread here on TOD, "somebody" or a small collection of "compartmentalized" somebodys, does have a really good idea of "how much and where" then they have a good look at that hypothetical "last barrel" then the crowd that want's it, then back to the barrel again. They don't like the answer, and they know "the crowd" REALLY isn't going to like the answer, so "The Answer" for the bearer of bad news is not to deliver it at all...The oily version of "don't ask don't tell".

I think it'll be a long time - if ever - before BP drills into MC252 again.

Snake - BP doesn’t have to drill the field to develop it. They can sell it or farm it out (essentially a sublease) to another company. Unless the feds yank it away BP still owns the lease. Also, the field may extend onto two offshore leases owned by two other operators. These two companies tried unsuccessfully (fortunate for them, eh?) to negotiate themselves into the well. I don’t know if the two offset lease positions are located in a position where development could continue.

If the field is still commercial to develop and if BP wants to avoid the attention, they could farm out their interest to the offset leaseholders. That way they still gain revenue but no more press attention regarding that lease. And, perhaps, most important, they wouldn’t be doing the drilling.

Rockman, I figured that's already been under discussion since they're selling off lots of other stuff. Possibly other interests that they have in the GoM as well.

Hey - did you get your well shut down?

snake -- No...the damn thing is busting my balls. See my note to mike above.

Third fish kill reported in Plaquemines

"Officials in Plaquemines Parish are reporting a fish kill in Bayou Robinson – the third such fish kill in the parish in recent days."

From the previous thread:

brit0310 September 18, 2010 1:07am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread

Oh, sweet spot with me. I enjoy reggae very much. I was in Holetown, Barbados celebrating New Years Eve/Day a few years ago.

I love reggae. That particular song came from a Putumayo compilation that also contains "Breaking up," by Barbados native Arturo Tappin. Unfortunately, I can't find a playable version of it on the internet.

I did find this by Arturo:
It's not reggae, though.

I also found this, by a another famous Bajan:
It's not reggae either, really; I just wanted to post it (and post it and post it and post it).

Nice interview with a couple of the guys from one of the crews drilling in Chile, after they enlarged their hole to 12".

Team plots next step in rescuing miners.

They're taking a day or two off from drilling before beginning the expansion to 28" so that larger items can be lowered to the miners.

Just what is HOS Achiever ROV 1 spraying?

Digging For Oil On The Gulf Islands National Seashore
Saturday, September 18 2010, 08:23 PM EDT


GULF ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE, FL - If you're going to the Gulf Islands National Seashore this weekend... You might want to leave the shovel and sand pale at home.

The fed says B-P workers can't dig more than 6 inches in the sand to look for oil.... and as Channel 3's Dan Thomas found out... You can't dig at all.

Dan Thomas/dthomas@weartv.com: "We had come out here to the National Park to show you just what exactly is in the sand, lower than 6 inches. We wanted to use the shovel and give you a look but apparently, that's illegal."


Many of us are still "Old School" and have graduated from the "School of Hard Knocks". And we all have had our mentors. Alot of what we are seeing is the results of the Boone Pickens hostile takeover era and hammered prices of the late 1990s. The results were forced sales & mergers, layoffs, early retirements, and people that have left due to the hills and valleys. I don't care how many dollars our fellow Geo Pickens donates to OSU, he has done more damage to this industry than BP.

In the patch if a person is not learning something new every day, then you are probably incompetent. The majors, who everyone considers the industry schools are probably lacking those old crusty mentors. Most college grads have not turning wrenches growing up. This results in not having the seat of the pants feel when things are happening in the field. Big picture probably the greatest contributing factor to the incident.

I appreciate your comments though this whole event. You have represented the field section of the industry well. The bright side is in the beginning there were alot of silly questions on this forum. But those interested now have a gross or better understanding of the industry. People interested in learning from outside the industry reading the forum are using correct terms & understand the required sequences. Even Thad now sounds half-way educated.

You, moderators of the drum, other fellow industry posters, & non industry posters have done a great service to the country. And that is presenting facts, question the validity and answering questions which has not been done as completely in any other media. Thanks to all. -KSUGEO-

Rock good luck with your well (we all have our crosses-lol)

Illness from spill unknown still

Such a swift and violent reaction to benzene exposure, attorneys and medical workers said during interviews, is rare but not unheard of, particularly if there is some unknown sensitivity or underlying condition.

They said Matherne’s plight raises disturbing questions about what the future holds for oil-spill workers who might have been sickened but don’t know it or who might develop exposure-related illnesses later.

Plans are under development to monitor the long-term health of spill workers, but no provisions so far have been made for meeting costs of doctors and medicines if they are needed once deadlines for claims and lawsuits have passed.

Oil spill is far from over for those who live, work along the Gulf


Still a battleground

'It's far, far from over'

Oil bubbles to the surface of beach

Threat still remains

PR & semantics.

Old or new, oil will be here for a while

The guy from BP had called to sternly object to the note I ran in Sept. 11's newspaper under the headline "More oil comes ashore." The lead sentence read, "A new wave of black oil came ashore west of the Mississippi River on Friday and Saturday, coating beaches and fouling interior marshes, according to anglers' reports." The item went on to report new oil in Bay Jimmie, Bay Wilkerson and Bay Baptiste.