Saturday Oil Spill Summary – 81 Days In

While BP says they are making another attempt that could “permanently cap the well, and capture all of the oil”, let’s look back on the past few days and see what’s really going on.

Obama Rejected Again

On Thursday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals told the Obama Administration to take a flying leap where deepwater drilling bans are concerned.

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday rejected the Obama administration’s request to stay a lower court decision to lift a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the wake of the BP Plc oil spill.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, ruled about an hour after hearing arguments.
Its decision will likely prompt the Interior Department to quickly issue a revised moratorium order on deepwater drilling below 500 feet to address concerns raised by the federal courts.

If there is one thing the Obama Administration does well, is scramble. It seems they’re always trying to cover their asses or find an alternative solution with every single thing they put their grubby little hands on.

Once Again, Late To Their Own Party

How many stories have we heard about BP involving them dragging their feet?

Helix, the Houston-based owner of floating oil platforms and subsea wells, offered its Helix Producer I vessel in late April to help BP collect oil that has been gushing from the Macondo well since an April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers, Chief Executive Officer Owen Kratz said today in an interview. BP initially declined the offer, he said.

BP notified Helix June 10 that it wanted to lease the Helix Producer I platform to augment two other vessels that are receiving oil from the Macondo well, Kratz said. The delay meant Helix had to construct a collection tube from spare parts that will be plugged into a pipe just one-sixth the diameter of the main opening atop the well, he said.

The oil leak itself is the only thing quick and efficient that BP has done since April 20th.

Covering Up The Safety Excellence of BP

If it wasn’t for the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, BP would have been on-track to receive a 2010 safety commendation from the Minerals and Management Service! You go BP!

Shortly after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, we reported that the Minerals Management Service canceled its annual “Safety Award for Excellence” luncheon, which—rather embarrassingly—included BP as one of the finalists for a 2010 safety commendation. The SAFE event was never held, and MMS never did get around to announcing a winner.

Now Energy & Environment reports that the Department of Interior has scrubbed the evidence of BP’s finalist-status from its website.

I bet the staff over at the Department of the Interior are wishing they could whitewash BP’s entire existence from the minds of people everywhere.

Gulf Oil Spill Panel To Look At Root Causes

Don’t you just love that headline? Idiots I tell ya. It’s pretty obvious why the oil is spilling. Instead of looking at the cause, maybe they should focus on the solution?

The new presidential oil spill commission will focus on how safety, government oversight and the ability to clean up spills haven’t kept up with advances in drilling technology, the panel’s leaders say.

Oil Spill Workers Are Being Exposed To Some Nasty Stuff

Workers in the Gulf are being exposed to 2-butoxyethanol, and their lives are being put at risk.

In an under-the-radar release of new test results for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill workers, BP PLC is reporting potentially hazardous exposures to a now-discontinued dispersant chemical — a substance blamed for contributing to chronic health problems after the Exxon Valdez cleanup — among more than 20 percent of offshore responders.

They’re testing for more and more chemicals, but for some workers, it may be a little too late.

It just goes to prove, what you don’t know might kill you.

The Flyover by John L. Wathen

Here’s a longer version of a video I featured the other day. Pay attention people, this problem is NOT going away anytime soon.

 

No Freedom Of The Press On Federal Wildlife Refuge Property

Check out this video from Citizen Tube.

 

Apparently this same suspension of the First Amendment is being enforced near BP properties as well.

 

More Links You Should Read

As if I haven’t posted enough for you to read and digest tonight, you may want to look at these links as well.

More oil coming ashore near Mobile Bay

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt

Air quality poses risk to some people

78 Days Later: The DeepWater Horizon Oil Spill

Oil Is Not Hazardous

Oil in the water is making workers sick. Oil in your water, would make you sick. Yet, oil in a landfill is “not considered hazardous”.

Tons of oil-contaminated sand and debris arrived in a convoy of Waste Management trucks at Magnolia Landfill on Friday, a scene repeated at other landfills in the region.

Scott Hughes, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, said Friday that three landfills in the state — Magnolia, Chastang in Mount Vernon, and Allied Waste Services Timberlands in Brewton — had been approved by the agency to take oil waste scraped and cleared from beaches.

Various forms of oil — tarballs, mousse, patties and globs — continue to be removed from shorelines by heavy equipment and by crews armed with shovels and plastic bags.

Late this week, oil struck all 32 miles of Gulf-front beaches in Baldwin County.

Hughes said the waste is not considered hazardous, by landfill standards.

How long do you think it will be until someone announces the bags containing the oil have been breached and the ground water has been contaminated with… get this… oil?

There Is No Clean Water

The farther out you travel, the more oil you find. Is there any clean water remaining in the Gulf of Mexico?

 

Corexit May Be Damaging Our Food Supply

Check out these two videos, then check your own backyard.

 

 

Oil Is Seeping Into Lake Pontchartrain

Because of the ineffective leadership in the White House, this beautiful body of water is at risk.

For the first time since the accident, oil from the ruptured well is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain, threatening another environmental disaster for the huge body of water that was rescued from pollution in 1990s to become, once more, a bountiful fishing ground and a popular spot for boating and swimming.

Five Million Buoyant Particles

Check out this research from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

 

Fire In Your Throat

What happens if you don’t use a respirator down near the Gulf?

 

Mr. Sandman, Bring Me The Truth

Is BP trucking in sand to cover up the truth? Sounds like a sand job to me.

 

I wonder what would be happening right now if the Obama Administration had actually started working in the Gulf rather than the golf course two months ago.

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Day # 70: The Flow Of Oil Continues

Take one busy day, add several errands to the mix, and stir it all with a small dose of spotty DSL service and you get one very quick post this evening.

The never ending flow of oil coming from the DeepWater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico coupled with the never ending flow of incompetence coming from the Obama administration in Washington, D.C. is producing the single worst catastrophe the United States has ever seen.

 

While I take the night off, read the following links. You may find them quite interesting.

The Well From Hell – An interesting read which touches on each of the scenarios that people have been speculating about.

Panic Brews – Sometimes silence is not golden. In fact, right now silence is fueling speculation that there is much, much, more to the story.

What If It’s Already Too Late?

I’ve just about had it with all the news about the oil spill. In fact, after my post tonight, I don’t want to hear another word about it until BP and the Obama Administration get off their collective asses and start doing something, anything, to stop the leak and start cleaning up the oil that has already poured into the Gulf of Mexico.

There is a lot of news out there, and all of it sucks. There are bright spots, like the news that Kevin Costner and his group got the green light to start using their centrifuges to pull oil from the water. Of course, it’s not really a bright spot because it took 2 freaking months for someone to give the green light for that idea. Just think… If Costner had been given the go-ahead when he offered his help in the first place, 90% of the oil that has leaked from the blown well would have been contained. Have you seen the gulf lately?

 

Here’s a secret for you. I really don’t give a rat’s ass whose fault this is. BP was wrong to take shortcuts on safety. Our government was wrong for not making sure they adhered to safety standards. Our current president was (and still is) wrong for trying to pass the buck when it comes to sealing the well and the clean up. As of right now, I don’t care about them. None of them. We’ll have plenty of time to point fingers and assign blame after we get past the initial problem.

You remember the initial problem don’t you? The well is still blown. Oil is still pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 60,000 barrels of oil are leaking into the gulf every day! Don’t worry trying to do the math, the total is well over 145 million gallons of oil. Do you have any comprehension of how much damage that is causing?

 

I know many of you will think I am just venting, but I am tired of the finger pointing. I am tired of the inaction on the part of our Commander in Chief and most of all, I am tired of all the lies. Honestly, at this point, tired doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about everyone involved.

Did you know that severe problems started on the DeepWater Horizon oil rig back in February? Did you know that BP, the Minerals Management Service, and the Obama Administration were all very much aware of those problems two months before the well blew?

BP Plc was struggling to seal cracks in its Macondo well as far back as February, more than two months before an explosion killed 11 and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

It took 10 days to plug the first cracks, according to reports BP filed with the Minerals Management Service that were later delivered to congressional investigators. Cracks in the surrounding rock continued to complicate the drilling operation during the ensuing weeks. Left unsealed, they can allow explosive natural gas to rush up the shaft.

On March 10, almost six weeks before the explosion, a BP executive emailed the MMS’s drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, telling him, “We’re in the midst of a well control situation.” Six weeks!

Now there’s word that things might just be worse than anyone, within the government or otherwise, is telling us. There may be no way to stop the flow of oil from the top.

First of all…set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc….forget that, it won’t be happening..it’s done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

You remember “Top Kill” don’t you? That was the operation where BP tried to pump tons and tons of mud into the well in an attempt to seal it. Top Kill failed and with it, our best chance of sealing the well from above. So what does this mean? If we cannot stop it from the top down, how do you think we would go about stopping it?

It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot…the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?…the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?…it doesn’t leak so bad, you close the nozzle?…it leaks real bad,
same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off…or tried to anyway…but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks “down hole”. I’m sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed…because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.

The article quoted above, from The Oil Drum, is well worth the read, because they explain everything in common sense terms. Once you read the entire article come back and finish. I can wait.

 

What if the fissures are leaking more than we think? What if the cracks are expanding due to the intense pressure of the oil and hydrates trying to escape? What happens when these leaks expand and increase the flow of oil and other substances into the gulf?

The damage to the Gulf of Mexico is already reaching irreparable levels. Endangered wildlife, carefully balanced ecosystems, and critical breeding grounds are all being destroyed. The loss of life will be unmeasurable, and we may never see things “return to normal” in many coastal areas. Just to be clear, I’m not even talking about the economic and environmental toll this will have on humans yet. Without even factoring humans into the equation, except the fact humans were responsible for this in the first place, the losses will be so tremendous that the world will never be the same. Ever.

It’s bad. It’s really bad. So what happens next? What happens if the “worst case scenario” actually happens? If I have learned one thing since 2008, it’s that the “worst case scenario” is more likely to happen than not. So what is next?

What happens next might just surprise you. I might even scare you. It should scare you. It scares me.

 

Geologists warned BP that the Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig might have been sitting directly over a huge underground reservoir of methane. Documents support the findings that a huge methane deposit is down there.

According to worried geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the damaged well head.

Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic submersibles working to repair and contain the ruptured well. Smaller, independent plumes have also appeared outside the nearby radius of the bore hole itself.

According to some geological experts, BP’s operations set into motion a series of events that may be irreversible.

Is methane leaking from the fissures around the well head? Is it possible that this incredibly large methane lake could escape and make its way above ground? What would the release of that much methane do to the marine life in the gulf? What would it do to the men and women working in the gulf?

With the emerging evidence of fissures, the quiet fear now is the methane bubble rupturing the seabed and exploding into the Gulf waters. If the bubble escapes, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will instantaneously sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists measuring the oil plumes’ advance will instantly perish.

As horrible as that is, what would follow is an event so potentially horrific that it equals in its fury the Indonesian tsunami that killed more than 600,000, or the destruction of Pompeii by Mt. Vesuvius.

Make sure you read the entire article quoted above, especially if you live in Florida. They make a serious argument that Florida just might not be the place to be if the methane erupts into the Gulf of Mexico.

Could this really happen? Could a tsunami take out the entire state of Florida? After reading several sites, in addition to the ones listed above, I believe it is indeed possible. But will it happen?

I have no idea. I don’t know what to believe anymore. I’ve heard so many lies, I don’t think anyone knows. No one involved with BP or within our own government has told the truth since day one.

 

It seems to me they were all working on the cover up two months before the rig even exploded.

An internal memo from BP states that 100,000 barrels per day could be leaking into the gulf. It seems they increase their estimates every other day. I don’t believe anyone knows, for certain, how much oil has leaked, is leaking, or will leak into the Gulf of Mexico.

I do believe, however, that I know what caused the explosion in the first place. Negligence.

I believe the operators of the rig, the management at BP, officials at the MMS, members of President Obama’s administration, and President Obama himself were all negligent when it came to matters pertaining to the Deepwater Horizon rig and they all must be held accountable, but not until we stop the leak and clean up as much of the oil as possible.

Until then, they need to stop pointing fingers, stop passing the buck, put on their gloves and starting getting some work done… Before it’s too late.

A Bleak Outlook

How far do you think the oil in the gulf will spread?

 

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. I had a headache most of the day, and I am knee-deep in preparations for the Douglas County TEA Party tomorrow night.

There’s Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

Isn’t it funny how fingers keep pointing, but nothing is being done? The following quote comes from an article in the New York Times titled, “Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of Rig“.

Internal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far earlier than those the company described to Congress last week.

The problems involved the well casing and the blowout preventer, which are considered critical pieces in the chain of events that led to the disaster on the rig.

The documents show that in March, after several weeks of problems on the rig, BP was struggling with a loss of “well control.” And as far back as 11 months ago, it was concerned about the well casing and the blowout preventer.

Did BP know there were safety issues? The answer to that question is obvious. But what isn’t so obvious, is what did the government know about these safety concerns.

Oh sure, members of Congress are probably clueless about what was really going on with that oil rig, but how often were government inspectors on that rig? How often did government regulators give the all clear so oil could be pumped through that faulty well casing and the blowout preventer?

I’m not saying BP isn’t at fault. I just find it rather coincidental, and ironic, that the well casing and the blowout preventer failed and caused an explosion of that magnitude just hours after government inspectors left the rig.

As we sit back and watch the live feed of oil spewing from the ocean floor and wait for someone to come up with a solution that works, we need to remember there is plenty of blame to go around. If we’re going to point fingers at BP because of their internal documents, then we better make sure we save a few fingers for the government regulators and inspectors who knew exactly what was going on.