May 2010 archive

Supertankers To The Gulf: Update–skimmers coming!

New From TOD:


I got some good news for you. 6 sweep arms are under way. They will be deployed to local ships and operations will start somewhere between Wednesday and Friday. We got even more in stock (18 more).

For weeks now there are several companies (example: in the Netherlands that have offered to provide the sweeping arms oil from the surface of the ocean.

This system has indeed been proved all over the world to be effective in the past with other oil spills.

At first neither the US Gov. or BP had responded to our help we’ve been offering for so many days now.

Finally the US Gov. has really stepped in, they accept our help to collect the oil from the surface:…

It took me some time to figure out why BP or the US coast guard where not screamingly demanding the arms.

The reason is as simple as it is disturbing: US safety and regulations laws at first prohibited the use of these skimmers, due to the fact that they collect an oil/water mixture and separate the oil from the water. The water is then pumped overboard, of course with some petroleum particles still in it. US laws demand that all the oil/water collected must stay aboard on the ship, because it is unlawful to pump water with oil residue in the Gulf.

While at the same time it is lawfully to use a toxic dispersant to disperse the oil and thus prohibiting the ultimate collection of a lot of oil?!

So it was neither an engineering problem, a technical issue, a resource issue of men and equipment that prevented a effective response to the surface consequences of this massive spill. But it turned out to be solely a political issue.

Now it seems that when the separated water is being pumped back in the the Gulf but in front of the skimmers, it is again within US regulations.

I think I’ll make a lousy politician; I’m far to practical to understand this all 😉

For anyone interested in the sweeping arms, some info:

The skimmers are pretty effective in collecting oil from the surface of the ocean.

One ship with two skimmers can collect up to 250.000 liters of oil out of the water PER HOUR.

That is netto oil, so without the water. Their water cut is aprox. 30% in this system.

So, lets say 4 ships with skimmers, each collecting 250.000 liter of oil per hour, is 1 mil. liters times 24 equals 24.000.000 liters per day. That is 150.000 barrels of oil per day. Of course the floating oil layer has to be thick in order to get this kind of numbers. So easy on the dispersers pleaze!

Other facts about the oil collectors/sweeping arms:

Sweeping Arm

The rigid sweeping arm consists of 2 pontoons, which give the arm its floating capacity, and a bridge piece, for guiding the oil.

The inside pontoon (the one directly next to the ship) contains a pump for discharging recovered oil.

The design and dimensions of the pontoons give the rigid sweeping arm stability, even in rough seas.

The rigid sweeping arms are deployed directly next to the ship. When the vessel is moving forward, the oil will be guided between the ships hull and the rigid sweeping arm, to the oil collection chamber in the sweeping arm. The height of this oil collection chamber is hydraulically adjustable depending on the thickness of the oil layer. This feature means the amount of water entering the oil collection tank can be minimised to 30%.

The oil/water mixture is then pumped on board through an oil tranfer pump. This special pump has an impeller combining the properties of a screw pump with those of a centrifugal pump. This makes the pump suited for high viscous oils and at the same time, less sensitive for debris.

On board the vessel, the oil/water mixture will be separated through the difference in specific weight, whereafter the water can be pumped overboard. The recovery off spilled oil can continue until the tanks on board the vessel are completely filled with oil.

Recently, we have developed an interchangeable oil collection chamber equipped with a brush conveyor skimmer cassette and a pump. The complete oil collection chamber with brush conveyor skimmer cassette and pump replaces, in minutes, the existing oil collection chamber with the MSP 150 pump mounted in our rigid sweeping arm. The brush conveyor skimmer cassette can also be height adjusted using the same features as our existing oil collecting chambers.

Roger from The Netherlands

Lost next to Simmons’ talk of nukes and additional leaks, was Nick Pozzi’s proposal to use supertankers to pump, and centrifuge the oil water mix, or bring the lot to land to store the mix there. Seems reasonable.

Here’s the actual proposal:

Dear Captain Stanton,

Per your request this morning, this is to confirm our conversation with yourself, Mr. Nick Pozzi, and I.

My colleague, Nick Pozzi, has worked for over 40 years in the energy industry the majority with Saudi Aramco in the Middle East. During that time, Nick’s team was part of the first responders that successfully cleaned similar sized spills of sweet and sour crude with the best technology available from the late 1980’s thru the 1990’s when he retired.

The primary equipment that was used to remove the crude from the Arabian Gulf was Super Tankers. The Super Tankers were used to store everything, run thru on-shore three-phase separators and sent to on-shore tank farms for additional clean up using centrifuges. The more the oil spreads the more tankers will be needed. Nick would be willing to provide a conceptual non-technical drawing to visualize this process.

This process not only cleaned up the ocean but it saved the local environment, minimized shoreline damage, and recovered approximately 85% of the crude oil. (Nick may be required to get permission from Saudi Aramco thru the Houston, Texas office in Sugar Land to provide you with any further details as to what information he is allowed to disclose to you regarding the various projects that he worked on.)

Nick does not know what the appropriate channels are to effectuate this process but feels, if asked, the Saudi Government may be willing to assist as he believes, that with the right calls, tankers could be on the scene in 2 days.

Please feel free to call Nick or I, if you need any additional information or have any questions.


Jon King

Nick Pozzi

Read more:…

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Open Family


Unpluggable Leak In Gulf Between You And Wall Street

Twenty months after the financial meltdown of 2008, the U.S. congress is moving ahead with its financial system reform. In the following weeks, the Senate and House bills will be combined. While many details are still to be ironed out around issues like derivatives and consumer protection, it is clear that the legislation will not break up the massive banks that are blamed with the crisis. President Obama says the legislation will ensure the U.S. taxpayers never again bailout Wall Street, but Public Citizen’s David Arkush says that until the banks influence on Capitol Hill is broken up or countered, there is no way to guarantee an end to bailouts.

Real News Network – May 29, 2010

Banks still the powerhouse in DC

David Arkush: Bank lobbyists outnumber reform lobbyists 11 to 1 on derivatives legislation alone

Democratic and Republican Scum-Bags for US Senate from Illinois

WashPo says…

The Republican candidate for President Obama’s old Senate seat inaccurately claimed to have received the U.S. Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year award for service during NATO’s conflict with Serbia in the late 1990s.

The New York Times is even more euphemistic about this lying shit-head.

Mark S. Kirk, the Republican candidate seeking the United States Senate seat once held by President Obama, has acknowledged that his official biography incorrectly listed a prestigious military award that he never received.

Incorrectly listed? Inaccurately claimed?

“I was the Navy’s intelligence officer of the year in 1998” is how this shameless skank described himself in a Congressional budget hearing in 2002.

But in reality it was only Kirk’s unit which receved a citation from the National Military Intelligence Association, and “the citation does not mention Kirk and instead designates the entire Intelligence Division Electronic Attack Wing at Aviano,” and although the same NMIA awards many individual citations every year, none of them went to Kirk.

This wasn’t an inaccurate claim or an incorrect listing. It was a lie about the only and unreal distinction on this chump’s résumé, but if the Times and Post started throwing around words like “liar” in Washington, there’s a small chance idiotic voters might look around for a better alternative to major parties which habitually nominate liars like Mark Kirk and stooges for organized crime like the Democratic contender for the US Senate from Illinois, Alexi Giannoulias.

Regulators have seized the Chicago community bank owned by the family of Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee seeking the Illinois seat once held by President Barack Obama.

Giannoulias touted his experience as a senior loan officer there as a key credential in his 2006 bid for the treasurer’s office, though once elected he downplayed his role there after reports emerged of dubious loans and financial dealings with organized crime members and convicted political fixer Antoin Rezko.

Now Giannoulias claims that all those bad things only began to happen after he left the bank to run Illinois State Treasurer in 2006, and…

He clung to that position to deflect questions about the bank’s dealings with questionable characters, including two organized crime figures who borrowed $20 million from Broadway from 2004 to 2006.

And what state wouldn’t be delighted to have a state treasurer or US Senator whose family bank was in bed with the mob while he was a senior loan officer?

But maybe Giannoulias didn’t know anything about anything! Maybe he’s an idiot, instead of a crook!

He’s said that as VP he oversaw all of Broadway’s lending–but he’s also said he was really just the guy who serviced the bank’s loans–overseeing things like billing and payment collection– while more senior officers, including his older brother Demetris, negotiated the deals and made the final decisions. When I pressed him to specify his job descriptions at each stage of his employment at the bank, he laughed.

“You have to understand that it was the family business–I did everything there,” he said.

And now for the good news!

The Green Party candidate for the US Senate from Illinois is not a liar or stooge for the mob, and instead worked his way out of poverty with a career in journalism beginning at the tender age of 13!

LeAlan Jones, the 30-year-old Green Party candidate for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois, is as angry at injustice as he is at the African-American intellectual and political class that accommodates it. He does not buy Obama’s “post-racial” ideology or have much patience with African-American leaders who, hungry for prestige, power and money, have, in his eyes, forgotten the people they are supposed to represent.

“How much money did the American economy lose because of the derivatives and the credit default swaps?” he asked. “There have been only two men prosecuted for that level of crime, Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford. How much is the drug industry worth in the United States? It is not worth $45 trillion. How many African-American and Hispanic men are incarcerated for being the same kind of capitalist? If we swap dope for derivatives there wouldn’t be a Wall Street because they would be behind bars. If we prosecute derivatives the same way you prosecute dope, which is not different in how it undermines a family, Wall Street wouldn’t exist.”

But who wants to waste a vote on a guy like LeAlan Jones, when you could vote for a Democratic scum-bag or a Republican scum-bag instead?


LeAlan Jones for US Senate from Illinois!

Docudharma Times Sunday May 30

Sunday’s Headlines:

Gloom grows as BP’s ‘top kill’ effort fails

Korean War documentary, ‘Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin,’ debuts


Gulf Coast Fishermen Fear Disruption of Their Way of Life

Red Dawn is being remade, but China ousts Russia as America’s new enemy


Keep working: Europe cracks austerity whip

MEPs spend nearly £5 million on foreign fact finding missions

Middle East

Gaza flotilla delayed after mystery faults hit two boats

Israel key to NPT conference on banning nukes


India’s Communist party faces defeat in its West Bengal heartland

Starving and deluded – yet North Korea is ready for war


10 million face famine in West Africa

Tribal king of platinum paid for facilities to be used by England’s World Cup squad

Latin America

Jamaica violence: Former prime minister fears indefinite martial law

Late Night Karaoke


Your political careers

–cross posted at Daily Kos

You, the 535 members of Congress – I’m talking to you.  You, President Obama, I’m talking to you too.  And you, the people who think the futures of you in Congress or you, President Obama, is so deathly important that you have to be defended to the death, I’m talking to you, as well.

Your political career is not more important than the Gulf.

Your political career is not more important than the killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Your political career is not more important than the thousands or millions of people who will die between now and when Health Insurance Reform is supposed to clean up the country.  And your political career is not more important than a public option to ensure all people can get decent affordable Health Care.

The Insurance Companies are not your constituents.  The People are.

Your political career is not more important than those of the thousands of honorably serving GLB veterans serving in the military.

Your political career is supposed to be about the People.

There are people who care more about your political career than the species that will die in the Gulf.  There are people who care more about your political career than the lives lost and the livelihoods lost and to be lost because of the excrement smearing of a whole section of the planet by soulless people who don’t give a shit if the whole world dies, as long as they can have their creme brulee and if they can continue to party with bigwigs in Washington.

There is one word, and only one word, for those who care more about any one of you than any one of these things.


Gulf to Become a Dead Zone ?

It’s scary stuff. But from the NZ Herald, come the best article I have seen in the MSM:

“It’s the biggest environmental disaster of our time and it’s not even over yet,” said the marine toxicologist Dr Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute based in Maine. She has been diving among the damage and is horrified by the contamination caused by BP’s continued use of dispersants. “The dispersants have been used at such a high volume that it’s unprecedented. The worst of these – Corexit 9527 – is the one they have been using most. That ruptures red blood cells and causes the fish to bleed. With 800,000 gallons of this, we can only imagine the death that will be caused.”

In previous spills, oil rose to the surface and was dealt with there, but due to the use of dispersants – as well as the weight of this particular crude oil and the pressure created by the depth of the leak – much of the oil has stayed submerged in clouds of tiny particles. At least 800,000 gallons of dispersants were sprayed at escaping oil in a frantic attempt to keep it offshore, but it now seems this preventative measure has created a worse disaster. The chemicals helped to keep the oil submerged and are toxic to marine life, resulting in unprecedented underwater damage to organisms in the Gulf.

Once these harmful substances enter the food chain, almost nothing will escape their effects. Forests of coral, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, game fish and thousands of shellfish could all face destruction. What happens next to these underwater clouds – or plumes as some scientists have called them – depends largely on the currents they are caught in. If they do eventually rise to the surface, they may end up on the shoreline months or years from now, causing a second wave of destruction to delicate wetlands.…

Greek contagion spreading to Spain

   Discussion of the economic crisis in Europe has been largely confined to Greece and how it effects the Euro. All that changed this week.

   It all started with the Spanish banks at the start of the week.

 CajaMurcia, Caja Granada, Sa Nostra, and Caixa are joining together in a SIP (System of Integrated Protection), which will combine bank reserves and result in a firm worth €100 billion, according to Cotizalia.

  This comes after yesterday’s announcement that four banks, Cajastur, Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo, Caja Extremadura, and Caja Cantabria were merging under a similar agreement.

  All of this started with the weekend’s €530 million bailout of CajaSur, and is sure to continue as Spain tries to sure up its banking sector under IMF pressure.

 Sudden mergers of major banks, following a major bank bailout, is very suspicious. The markets noticed, and two days later the Spain’s central bank was forced to act.

Larger Leak Several Miles Away? 120,00 Barrels Per Day?

Energy expert: Nuking oil leak ‘only thing we can do’

Daniel Tencer, RawStory, Saturday, May 29th, 2010 — 7:18 pm

As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.

One prominent energy expert known for predicting the oil price spike of 2008 says sending a small nuclear bomb down the leaking well is “probably the only thing we can do” to stop the leak.

Matt Simmons, founder of energy investment bank Simmons & Company, also says that there is evidence of a second oil leak about five to seven miles from the initial leak that BP has focused on fixing. That second leak, he says, is so large that the initial one is “minor” in comparison.

Simmons spoke to Bloomberg News on Friday, before BP announced that its latest effort to plug the leak, known as the “top kill” method, had failed.

“A week ago Sunday the first research vessel … was commissioned by NOAA to scour the area,” he said. They found “a gigantic plume” growing about five to seven miles from the site of the original leak, Simmons said.

Simmons said the US government should immediately take the effort to plug the leak out of the hands of BP and put the military in charge.

“Probably the only thing we can do is create a weapons system and send it down 18,000 feet and detonate it, hopefully encasing the oil,” he said.


Asked by a Bloomberg reporter about the risks involved in setting off a nuclear bomb off the coast of Louisiana, Simmons argued that a nuclear explosion deep inside a well bore would have little effect on surrounding areas.

“If you’re 18,000 feet under the sea bed, it basically wont do anything [on the surface],” he said.

Joe Wiesenthal at Business Insider says the idea of using nukes will be getting a lot of attention now that the “top kill” procedure has failed.

Next, the so-called “nuclear option” is about to get a lot of attention. In this case, of course, nuclear option is not a euphemism. It’s the real idea that the best way to kill this thing is to stick a small nuke in there and bury the well under rubble. … By the middle of the coming week, it will be all over cable news, as pundits press The White House hard on whether it’s being considered and why not.

video broadcast on Bloomberg News, Friday May 28, 2010.

Saturday,Day 39, BP’s Suttles admits it’s scary that Top Kill flunked, Here Comes LMRP CAP

Turned on the tube, there’s a live press conference with  Rr. Admiral Landry and BP’s Spokesperson Doug Suttles.

Top Kill is officially Not Working.  


“We’ve tried and it scares everybody that we haven’t succeeded in getting this stopped.”

No. Kidding.

Admiral Landry.

Obviously we’re very disappointed in today’s announcement.

We will continue with a very aggressive response posture (to get this under control)

Have directed BP to to move forward with the next option, LMRP.  

(added later quote) The real solution has been and continues to be the relief well.  

Mmm, hmm. Yes.

They think that if they can get a good seal over the top, the LMRP  Cap, lower marine riser package Cap, might work, which is the option they are going for next.

This is a newly engineered object, different than what they have used before, which is going to go on top on what they have, with a sort of seal, not a mechanical seal, but a “sealing device” and methanol injection for antifreeze,  that Suttles says “should” capture a lot of the oil.   Will not be a tight fitting may not completely seal off like a flange.

Pipe will be cut with a large crimping device and a big saw to get it ready for its new LMRP CAP.   (this is not being done for the pathetic little “top hat” device they lowered to the marine floor, never to be seen again. this is a new thing.)

Wilberforce correctly anticipated this this morning.   Where I disagreed is that this was happening this am,  is that it is going to take at least 4 days to set up, per the Coast Guard and Suttles, right now.  Landry is saying now, more like 4 to 7 days, because people remember the smaller number, and they hit glitches in trying to execute this, she emphasizes this is cutting edge technology.  They are using the data they gather from the “sippy tube” other end of the broken pipe to help design this.   That is currently what is being shown on the live feed and what was being shown earlier today.  I’ve seen then playing around with cutting on this end before.

I thought they would be too timid and/or cautious to try actually cutting the mess on the top of the BOP, because this will release a huge amount of oil that is currently restricted, which they then must be able to get this new cap securely attached, unfrozen inside,  to capture, but they are going for it. This is letting more of the Genie out of the bottle, and he’s not going to go back in easier.

My intrepretation is that they fear the well casing is not in very good shape and they want to start siphoning asap in case the relief well fails or the vital structures of the well fails, which Adm. Landry said was a possibility earlier this week.  A major hole blow out is only good for the movies.  In really, that is a catastrophe which will be unstoppable until all the oil and gas have leached out, which could take….. years.  

Suttles is also still bullsh*tting people on the Corexit, says the monitoring shows no toxicity.  Says breaking the oil up into tiny droplets will allow the microbes to eat it more easily.  

More like it’s keeping under the surface and swirling around in the Gulf in vast swarms.

Suttles: 12,000 feet deep in the relief well, counting 5000 feet of water, best forecast for the relief well is early August.

This is still a very dangerous and risky operation, and if you are in the habit of praying, start doing it.


edit update, here’s a picture from Beyond Pathetic of what I shall be calling Oil Hat Sucker #3

BP Oil Spill,LMRP CAP,Top Cap #3,Climate,Nature,Tragedy,Gulf of Mexico,Oil Spill,Gulf of Mexico Satellite Picture

We had the containment “outhouse” box that froze shut, the sippy tube stuck up its bum, the drill mud top kill that didn’t, the junk shot that wouldn’t clog the petrotoilet, and the the forlorn little cap that they sunk down there and never used.  And now,

Introducing BP’s Oil Spill LMRP Lower Marine Riser Package CAP,  aka Oil Hat Sucker #3.    

Which is going to use a pressure gasket with no hardware casing, as a fitting on a 12,000 pounds per square inch oil and methane gas wildcat well 5,000 feet under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

As the spoof twitter bpTerry of spoof twitter bpPublic Relations said yesterday, “I just bought a magic wand, and I’m going to start waving it. ”


second update.

fixed spelling in blockquote, added sentence by Landry which clarifies the relief well is the way they expect to finally get this under permanent control.   Suttles reiterated that the other oil gathering devices, the caps,  are to test and implement and prevent as much oil as possible from getting loose in the Gulf and washing ashore, while this solution is worked on.

BP’s Tony Hayward is quoted by CNN as being “disappointed”  top kill failed.   Yeah, we are too.  Especially since it was more of a test round and you never did cap off the sippy tube open end.

The CNN guy is so excited he just said the Top Tail Method did not work to kill the well. You could see him wondering if he should correct himself, he just went on.


Making a difference

Stephen King, in one of his books on the field of horror fiction, was asked about the political import of all the 50’s movies that featured scary monsters created from radioactive fallout.  King’s response was that there was no politics at all.  Spooky radioactive stuff was simply part of the public consciousness, a throw-away, and the question was simply whether the monster should be a sea creature or an insect or a giant lizard.

Today, if you look at popular movies for the past 40 years, there is a constant theme that if you know evil government secrets, the government will kill you.  If you expose a secret military operation, the military will kill you.  If you can reveal corporate wrong-doing, the corporations will kill you.  If you know of illegal police operations, the police will kill you.  Government officials, corporate officials, military officials, are all routinely portrayed as ruthless seekers of profit and power who will stop at nothing to achieve their ends.

Jaws.  A local government leaves people exposed to a giant ravenous shark rather than hurt the local tourist business.  This was a shock?  Did people react to Jaws with, “No, we can’t imagine them doing something like that”?  No.  Of course not.  The exciting part was whether the heroes could kill the shark before it ate them.

Now there’s this oil leak

The left leaps into action.  The oil companies are evil.  The government is corrupt.  Obama is a tool of BP.  So fucking what?

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