Updated:Saturday’s Oil Spill Govt Press Conference vs Concerns over Corexit in UK media

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

website for Saturday’s Deepwater Horizon Response Press Conference


5/15/2010 video by your govt and Lt Scott Sagisi of JPASE

This is the government’s version of what’s going on with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Saturday.  

The following is a partial transcript.  Everyone was speaking very quickly today, where they were repeating phrases that didn’t add much meaning, I left it out, a few phrases are transposed in order.  Salazar starts out strong like somebody had a Come to Geebus talk with him, tries to sound like Winston Churchill before his Dunkirk of the Tar Balls, then reverts to mumbles.  Adm. Landry is concise, and by God, if a Tarball breaches her boom deployment she’s gonna have they Navy and Coast Guard rendition that thing so fast it’s never going to know what hit it.  BP’s Suttles.  I think everybody would like to smack Suttles by now, but are holding back.   He did acknowledge Mother Nature was cutting them a break, which was interesting.  

Sec of the Interior Ken Salazar says the President (of the US)  told him to give the following message:

To everybody involved in this effort,

We shall not rest,  we shall not take a day off, until we get this resolved.  We have been on this problem now going on 25 days.  There are many different fronts,  we are fighting them on all fronts.

We are resolute in our effort to do everything we can, to bring this problem under control.     Tomorrow afternoon with Energy Secretary Chu we will be pulling together the best of scientists to take a look at the different options on the table to kill this well.

Secretary Chu’s leadership , along with the Dept of Energy labs, and US Geological Survey, all of whom have been focused on this issue with the command center in Houston,  

gives us hope that whatever option is given to kill this well, will in fact work, and we’re looking forward to that tomorrow.

Today, visited in Louisiana, Ft Jackson Wildlife Center, to see wildlife resources. Dept Interior has 33 WLRefuges and 7 Nat Parks units along the coast Gulf of Mexico, have responsibility to do, we will continue to do everything we can to protect the valuable ecological resources along the gulf coast.  Continue employing every ounce of effort at Interior to deal with this issue.

This disaster is creating huge problems for everyone who lives along the coast. we feel the pain, we are frustrated, and we want to make sure that at the end of the day, no stone is left unturned relative to the effort that is concentrated on this matter.


Rear Admiral Mary Landry:

thanks for the leadership of everybody, their support,  appreciates everybody’s attention to this.

We did employ sub sea dispersants , did  3 tests before we did this decision.

I want to assure everyone we did not  employ this tool lightly, it will be analyzed and monitored, strict monitoring protocol right now,  it’s just one tool in our tool kit.

We have other tools as well, skimming, burning,  weather challenges us (Saturday) (did not allow that but will be resuming in a day or two after the weather changes per other speaker )

thanks to EPA’s Lisa Jackson, NOAA Dr Luchenko  (during decision making process on using dispersants)

National Fishery Service

the fishery folks are really trying to mitigate impact on commercial and recreational fisheries. Keep people informed what fisheries are open.   We will not rest,  We are committed to bring this to a resolution as the American people and the Gulf coast residents rely on us  to bring this to closure. thank you


Doug Suttles of BP  

I just completed one and a half hours flying over the sea (scene) it appears the application of the subsea dispersant is working. The oil in immediate vicinity of well and the ships is diminished from previous observations, in addition our efforts to fight this offshore appear to be working.

There is oil on the sea, it’s quite dispersed across the region across the area shown on the map.

23 days since the rig sank and the release began.

Thankfully, very little impact on shore, partly due to our efforts, partly due to Mother Nature.

We’re in the process of running the riser insertion tool (tube), method to contain the flow, doesn’t stop the flow, hope to have it inserted by sometime late tonight.

The tool (tube)  is back on the seabed, had to pull it yesterday to make some adjustments, to be able to connect it to the pipe work to the ship,   begin that operation tonight.

1st relief well, we’re currently running the riser and BOP, tests should be done on that soon.

2nd relief well should begin its drilling activity tomorrow.

Weather not condusive (sic)  today to skim or burn oil,  expect to change next day or so.

17,000 people working on this effort

2 million feet boom deployed

650 vessels (boats)

4 states, massive efforts, thanks for their efforts

That’s part one.  Yup, Secretary Salazar feels your pain and is frustrated.   Suttles has flown over it,  and his friends have capped one busted pipe end after 25 days of this petrolvolcano crap.  Landry has 650 boats and thousands of people trying to scoop the shit up and not run into anything while coordinating bay area commercial traffic.

Oh, there’s a part two.  Time for the MSM.  You can compare this to the Sunday am versions.

Part 2 of Saturday’s 5/15/2010 Press Conference


5/15/2010 Part 2 JPASE Press Conference, with Salazar, Landry, Suttles, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, video fr your govt, by Lt. Scott Sagisi.

This is a partial transcript, some words were left out.  Question and Answer time.  

Notice how nobody is using numbers like gallons of oil or barrels of oil possibly coming out of the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon, as now that there is video available, the geeky people have been measuring the rate of flow, estimating the pipe diameters, and multiplying merrily away, and coming to the conclusion that somebody has been severely underestimating the amount of oil leaking per day.  Really underestimating.  We’ve gone from 1000 barrels to 5000 barrels to perhaps 30,000 to 60,000 barrels a day.  With 42 gallons per barrel, that’s  1,260,000 gallons to 2,520,000 gallons a day which could be leaking, with those last numbers. That much, times 90 days, could be 226,800,000 gallons of oil.

Soon we could be chanting “We’re Number One!” again.  

Q from Serious Reporter who may have been reading fringe blogs:  Can you tell us about Cement job problems on the Deepwater Horizon ?  any independent testing ?

BP’s Suttles:  my only role is to deal with the response.  not involved in that aspect, not supposed to comment on that.

Q.  Gov Jindal has concerns we can only see oil on surface, where is the oil underwater, is that being modeled or are we just waiting for it to wash ashore,  are we going to see more tarballs, what’s the plan for that  ?

Sec of State Ken Salazar:  we want to be transparent for the entire nation,  any info we have we make available, difficult to measure oil where it’s dispersed or washed out to sea already

Rr Adm Mary Landry: we’re working with Gov Jindal,  what we are seeing on the shoreline is tarballs, ribbons of emulsified oil, we have teams ready to respond to that spill and clean it up.   We try to take info we know and take pictures that we can translate to pictures on these coastlines, explain those pictures on the website and

we have a good handle on the oil we’re dealing with, at the source,  in the water columns and on the surface. Take a look at the websites, so everybody understands the state of the oil.  we are pushing this info out, to allay people’s concerns that there are looming massive amounts of oil that are unknown to anyone,  that’s not the case.

Q.  to Suttles, about the dispersants,  are you ordering more dispersants that are less toxic, than the Corexit, why not using ?

BP’s Suttles:  first let me talk about what the dispersants do,  what they do they break the oil into smaller droplets so the microbes in the water eat the oil, accelerates the process .  have another product,   See Grath 4 (spelling?)   2nd product will start to use.   we have to be able to supply in sufficient quantities.   subsea use =  less amounts needed

R Adm Landry:   Corexit and others are approved by the Feds pre approved ahead of time .  new applied products, we are trying to actively engage with those offers for studies , special team for that,  workding w/ science labs such as LSU, but  pre approved commodities are being used now caution to get ahead of ourselves that hasn’t been analyzed

Q.  to Suttles what went wrong w/ the insertion tube today?

Salazar leaps in to answer:  there was an effort to put it in last night.  that did not work latest I had fr BP latest that it will be done tonight .  these are essentially flow mitigation measures, to stop the well from flowing, that is the kill effort, which will be this week. the 3rd effort,  the relief wells won’t be drilled until August .  hope all these efforts, overseen by the smartest people on the planet, under Sec Chu’s leadership can bring this incident under control.

Q.   didn’t hear an answer what happened to the riser down there, can Suttles answer that ?

Salazar:  I’ll let Doug answer that, but I’ll say this, we get an update every am what exactly is going on, BP has missed deadlines, reflects reality they are operating under conditions that are very difficult, exact reason, as to what the riser insertion didn’t work,  

Suttles:  agree with what Sec just said.  challenging conditions 5000 feet of water

the insertion tool sits in a metal frame, when they attempted to connect to it, the frame shifted, so they had to bring it back and re – adjust it, reorient the frame, now back on the seabed, as we speak they will attempt to make the connection.

Q.  so difficult to work 5000 feet  under.  was it the  temperature or pressure problem  ?

Suttles. no. the mechanical.  5000 foot long pipe, insertion tool technique, a mile long stab into,  trying to exclude the water so we won’t have the hydrate problem this time.

Okay, that’s it for them.

For a good British news article on this, go here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…   5/16/2010  The Guardian UK

Louisiana Oil Spill:  Toxic Chemical Fear over BP’s Clean Up Efforts  

Carys Mitchelmore, an environmental chemist at the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science and a co-author of a 2005 US National Academies report on dispersants, told Nature: “No one will tell you using dispersants won’t have an effect. You’re trading one species for another. The long-term effects are really unknown. The dispersant has inherent toxicity. And these oil droplets tend to be the same size as food particles for filter-feeding organisms.”

“Dispersants… are toxic to marine life, so there are trade-offs to consider,” David Pettit of the Natural Resources Defence Council told the Washington Post last week. “And just because humans can’t see oil on the surface doesn’t mean it’s not still in the water column, affecting marine life from plankton to whales.”

Another toxiciology expert, Dr William Sawyer, who has made a presentation to the US lawyers representing environmental and other interests after the spill has added to the concern: “The dispersants used in the BP clean-up efforts, known as Corexit 9500 and Corexit EC9527A, are also known as deodorized kerosene,” he told the group. “With respect to marine toxicity and potential human health risks, studies of kerosene exposures strongly indicate potential health risks to volunteers, workers, sea turtles, dolphins, breathing reptiles and all species which need to surface for air exchanges, as well as birds and all other mammals. Additionally, I have considered marine species which surface for atmospheric inhalation such as sea turtles, dolphins and other species which are especially vulnerable to aspiration toxicity of Corexit 9500 into the lung while surfacing.”

And here.  Interesting that the article writer picks up the “Churchillian language” that the various spokespeople, such as BP’s CEO Tony Hayward, are trying to inspire the oil bomb blitzed American public with.   But out of that 17,000 people that Suttles cited to be working on the spill, proving their commitment to the response,  only 2,500 are from BP, and the rest of the 14,500 are either US military or locals.


BP Fights to Stop the Gulf of Mexico Spill and Salvage its Reputation  5/16/2010

Some 400 miles to the west, at BP’s US headquarters in Houston, Texas, the third floor is a makeshift crisis centre. Five hundred staff from BP and other companies are directing efforts to stem the estimated 5,000 barrels of oil spewing each day from the stricken pipeline on the seabed.

The atmosphere on Wednesday night in the dimly lit “mission control room” – a reference to Nasa, which is also based in Houston – is tense. Half a dozen engineers huddle in front of one of eight video screens on the wall. It is beaming live images taken by one of the 12 robots trying to fix the leaks on the seabed. A metal claw is grabbing at a mess of wires around a yellow pipe on the blow-out preventer (BOP), the vital piece of kit which is designed to shut down a dangerous well, but inexplicably failed. An engineer explains that the robot is attempting to reinstall the “brain” of the BOP so that it can reactivate the locked valves to cut off the flow of oil.

Hayward claims not to have read any newspapers or watched the news since he flew out to the US two days after the accident to oversee the operation: “I do not want my judgment to be clouded by what is being written about me.”

He can’t be blamed for wanting to stay focused. He needs to: some estimate that the spill could cost BP $23bn (£18bn) and tarnish its reputation for years. He flew out to the US two days after the accident, and has only been back to the UK for 36 hours to pack more bags. He promises to remain in the US until the spill is fixed.

The Observer met him on Wednesday evening, at the end of a typically long day. His first meeting had taken place at 6am, when he led a tour of the Houston crisis centre for US interior secretary Ken Salazar and energy secretary Steven Chu. Most days he also tours the dozen or so staging posts and command centres dotted around the coast. Hayward, who stays in a nearby hotel, said most nights he slept five or six hours each night, but added: “Some nights I’ve not slept very well. Not [because I was] worrying but thinking how we can stay ahead of it [the spill].” One BP colleague said: “He has balls of steel.”

Pity he didn’t have a specific plan for a failure at the wellhead or a functioning Blow Out Preventer.


Updated Sunday 11 am PDT, 1800 GMT

The Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Info Center twitter’s page http://twitter.com/Oil_Spill_2010

is giving updates on the “Riser Insertion Tube Tool Progress”  and the link here http://www.deepwaterhorizonres…

claims that they have managed to insert the rubber flanged Tube into the broken riser pipe laying on the seafloor for a while,  and successfully sucked some of the oil and gas up to the ship Enterprise.

Deepwater Horizon Incident

Joint Information Center

ROBERT, La. – The Unified Area Command for the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to advance multiple subsea options to contain and ultimately stop the flow of oil from the MC 252 well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Overnight the Riser Insertion Tube Tool was successfully tested and inserted into the leaking riser, capturing some amounts of oil and gas. The oil was stored on board the Discoverer Enterprise drill ship 5,000 feet above on the water’s surface, and natural gas was burned through a flare system on board the ship.

The test was halted temporarily when the tube was dislodged.  While this is disappointing, it is not unexpected given the challenging operating environment.

Technicians have fully inspected the system and have re-inserted the tool.

The tool is fashioned from a 4-inch pipe and is inserted into the leaking riser, from which the majority of the flow is coming. While not collecting all of the leaking oil, this tool is an important step in reducing the amount of oil being released into Gulf waters.

The procedure – never attempted before at such depths – involves inserting a 5-foot length of the specifically-designed tool into the end of the existing, damaged riser from where the oil and gas is leaking. In a procedure approved by federal agencies and the Federal On Scene Coordinator, methanol will also be flowed into the riser to help prevent the formation of gas crystals, known as hydrates.  Gas and oil will then flow to the surface to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship.

The Enterprise has the capability to separate the oil, gas and water mixture safely and eventually store or offload the recovered oil onto another vessel.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.

The diameter of the outside riser pipe is about 21″, the diameter of the inside drill pipe is something like 8″,  that leaves what, about 13″ of slop, probably less because the inner dia of the riser is smaller and bent up, but they’ve managed to stick a 4″ pipe into it.  They are discussing this over at the Oil Drum, but just by eyeballing it before I let the pros do the math, this is going to be able to cover  maybe 1/6 to  1/8 of the available space where the oil and gas is leaking out.   http://www.theoildrum.com/node…  “threading the needle at the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill site”  

But it’s a start !  

Here’s a BP diagram of it.  I darkened and sharpened the contrast up to show detail.  

Oil Spill,Nature,Climate,Tragedy,BP Oil Spill 2010,Gulf of Mexico,Riser Insertion Tool

5/16/2010  Diagram from BP, showing the “riser insertion tool” process.  Not to scale. Note the ship is floating nearly a mile above.   extra color and contrast done from original download pdf.

Satellite picture of Gulf of Mexico yesterday, 5/15/2010, day 25 of the oil rig explosion and failure.

Saturday morning, 5/15/2010,  Gulf of Mexico, day 25 of the BP Oil Spill, terra modis vegetation showing biomass, clouds are white, ocean blue, shore vegetation green, coastline drawn in pink,  evaporating petroleum distillates and oil sheen is brownish streak.  Surface winds were out of the east southeast yesterday, pushing the mass north and west from the top to bottom of the Gulf from Louisiana to Mexico.  extra color contrast added by ARC, picture by NRL Monterey

BP Oil Spill 2010,Climate,Nature,Tragedy,Gulf of Mexico,Oil Spill,Gulf of Mexico Satellite Picture

More story links for today.  NY Times has a link about scientists finding more huge plumes of oil, not able to be seen from the surface.  One called it a “shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface. Multiple layers, 3 or 4 or 5 layers deep in the water column.”   It is causing oxygen levels to drop in the Gulf.   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05…   the link is available thru the Huffpo here


Oil from a blown-out well is forming huge underwater plumes below a visible slick in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists said as BP wrestled for a third day Sunday with its latest contraption for slowing the nearly month-old gusher. One of the plumes is “as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots,” the New York Times reported. “The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.”

BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.

“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.”

Let’s all call them out on this nonsense now about how they haven’t a clue about the flow.    


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  1. …. pipe that is inside the big pipe, a mile under water, using unmanned remote controlled robots and a “framework,” without getting it wet, at thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure at zero degrees. Which has thousands of gallons of oil and methane hydrates shooting out of it.   What could possibly go wrong.

    A while back I made a quip about just because you are the smartest person in the room, doesn’t mean you know how to fix the plumbing.  I had no idea.  

  2. The toxic effects of dispersents on marine wildlife aside, has anyone commented on the chances of the chemicals bonding in water vapor?

    Toxic rain?

    FYI, NOLA.com has an interactive chart of incident reporting:


  3. ….. and they manage to Tube Up 1/6 of that to the Enterprise with this handy “insertion tube with rubber diaphragms” with a weenie 4″ pipe,   that’s 1/6 x 40,000 =  6,666 barrels of oil per day.

    I just frightened myself so badly I may need to call a priest.

    I can’t make this stuff up.  It writes itself.

  4. with next quarter’s profits rather than the five-year or ten-year outlook, may well be shooting themselves in the foot in a manner that I don’t think has been covered in much detail yet.

    If the adverse impact on Gulf Coast beaches, as well as those of Florida and the Eastern Seaboard are as horrific as they might be, how many will use the products provided by Big Oil to visit those locales, whether by plane, car, rail, or some combination of the three?  

    I really don’t think that a populace that remains closer to home is what they have in mind. But, again, I’m sure they haven’t thought that far ahead.

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