Oil Leaks From Gulf Seabed Cracks Around BP’s Well Site?

Crossposted from Antemedius

BP has a collection of ‘bots’ or ROV’s, remotely operated vehicles, tethered underwater robots operating in the Gulf of Mexico near the blown out Macondo Well site, while they attempt to either plug the leak or at least find ways to recover and siphon off the leaking oil.

Sitting on top of the well pipe projecting from the seabed is the BOP, or Blow Out Preventer, the large steel 450 ton apparatus that you may have seen in various photographs and videos from BP’s Live Feed as they recently cut off the top of the riser pipe that ran from the BOP to the Deepwater Horizon platform before it burned and sank.

There has been much speculation lately that the well bore is damaged below the seabed and that oil is leaking out of the well into the seabed underneath and around the BOP.

Keeping in mind that the BOP weighs 450 tons it would seem that if the seabed is becoming saturated with oil leaking through it that is only a question of time before the seabed will no longer have the structural strength to support the weight of the BOP and that it could fall off the top of the well pipe it is sitting on, releasing an uncontrolled and uncontrollable flow of oil into the gulf with no way of plugging or stopping it.

BP denies that oil or gas are leaking from cracks in the sea floor on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

This video was recorded from the Viking Poseidon ROV 1 on June 13th, 2010, and appears to show bursts of oil leaking from cracks in the seabed.

BP’s live feed from the Viking Poseidon ROV 1 is here, with the disclaimer ” Please be aware, this is a live stream and may freeze or be unavailable from time to time.”


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    • Edger on June 14, 2010 at 03:08

    more cheerful to say…

    • sharon on June 14, 2010 at 03:35

    so filled with angst between this and a friend’s truly frightening situation.  never have i felt so helpless.

  1. will hamper the efforts of elite sociopathic assholes in their goal of world domination for their own sexual gratification.

  2. It’s pretty clear there’s a sub surface leak at this point-either from the rupture disks or from failed casing.  There are three 16″ rupture disks by the way.

    Now, there are people that claim that this particular video shows cracked broken equipment from the well that has fallen and is leaking residual oil,  and/or that the vid is just showing the jets from the ROV stirring up the bottom.  People will make up their own minds on that, especially with this low res vid (bp has hi res)

    My opinion, as someone who has walked on the gulf bottom, and seen the way the soft silt reacts (though never in depths or areas like this) is that those things are unlikely to be the cause, especially the way it looks from .04 to .26 .  The bigger bursts after that, I dunno, could be either wash as the rov goes over or a big puff from below.  I will say that the first one does correspond to more/faster  movement from the rov. I don’t think they would have intentionally brought the rov in close enough to stir up sediment either.

    So,  I’m not totally sure, but I’d say that this is in fact another leak from below.  

  3. …. off the damned wellpipe.  

    What is the difference between being saturated with seawater already and oil ?

    Do you have any idea of the scale of the thing ?  If it didn’t go off when the rig fell over and the riser twisted like spaghetti, it’s not likely to happen at this point in time unless BP does something else criminally stupid, which is not likely because now the Brits are mad at them for effing up their pensions and dividends.

    There’s some drama oil troll spreading that all around the tubes. Probably works for one of BP’s competitors and is laughing its butt off.  

  4. I know the new terms are necessary to understand the actualities, my brain is maybe overloaded.

    All I know is the Gulf is being destroyed and that the alliance of government and big oil are the culprits, going back many decades, not just Bush/Cheney.

    • melvin on June 14, 2010 at 17:19

    If BP and/or Obama want to salvage some last shred of credibility they need to address the questions this video raises, yesterday, not repeat the plume denial that made Lubchenco and everyone else look like an idiot.

    • Edger on June 14, 2010 at 17:24


    On May 31st, the Washington Post noted:

    Sources at two companies involved with the well said that BP also discovered new damage inside the well below the seafloor and that, as a result, some of the drilling mud that was successfully forced into the well was going off to the side into rock formations.

    “We discovered things that were  broken in the sub-surface,” said a BP official who spoke on the  condition of anonymity. He said that mud was making it “out to the side,  into the formation.”  

    On June 2nd, Bloomberg  pointed  out:  

    Plugging the well is another challenge even after BP successfully intersects it, Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor, said. BP has said it  believes the well  bore to be damaged, which could hamper efforts to  fill it with mud and  set a concrete plug, Bea said.

    Bea  is an expert in  offshore drilling  and a high-level governmental  adviser concerning disasters.

    On the same day, the Wall Street  Journal noted  that there might be a leak in BP’s well casing 1,000 feet beneath the  sea floor:

    BP PLC has concluded that its “top-kill” attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.

    The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP’s findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.

    On June 3rd, The Canadian Press quoted the top government official in charge of the response to the oil spill – Admiral Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard – as pointing to the same possibility:

    The failure of the so-called top kill procedure – which entailed pumping mud into the well at high velocity – suggested “there actually could be something wrong with the well casing, and there could be open communication in the strata or the rock formations below the sea floor,” Allen said.

    On June 07 blogger bmaz in a post at the FireDogLake.com site noted that Florida Senator Bill Nelson said to Andrea Mitchell in an MSNBC interview that the BP well bore and casing integrity may be blown at the well site that the Deepwater Horizon rig was drilling into:

       Oil and gas are leaking from the seabed surrounding the BP Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC. Nelson, one of the most informed and diligent Congressmen on the BP gulf oil spill issue, has received reports of leaks in the well, located in the Mississippi Canyon sector. This is potentially huge and devastating news.

       If Nelson is correct in that assertion, and he is smart enough to not make such assertions lightly, so I think they must be taken at face value, it means the well casing and well bore are compromised and the gig is up on containment pending a completely effective attempt to seal the well from the bottom via successful “relief wells”. In fact, I have confirmed with Senator Nelson’s office that they are fully aware of the breaking news and significance of what the Senator said to Andrea Mitchell.

    On Friday June 11 recently-retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister said that the well casing below the  sea floor may have been compromised:

    [Question] What are the chances that the well casing below the sea floor has been compromised, and that gas and oil are coming up the outside of the well casing, eroding the surrounding soft rock. Could this lead to a catastrophic geological failure, unstoppable even by the relief wells?

    John Hofmeister: This is what some people fear has occurred. It  is also why the “top kill” process was halted. If the casing is compromised the well is that much more difficult to shut down, including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other risks as well.


    Hat Tip To “George Washington” at ZeroHedge for much of this.

    • melvin on June 14, 2010 at 17:26

    Instead of a solid week now bitching about Obama’s failure to secure a Tony nomination for his role in the Guld response, tell us how much fuel is used by Air Force One flitting around from one useless photo op to another. Ever hear of video conferencing?

    • Edger on June 14, 2010 at 17:44

    In an interview with Politico.com’s Roger Simon on Friday, Mr. Obama likened the effect upon the national psyche of what may become the largest oil spill in history with that of 9/11.

    “In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11 . . . I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come,” Mr. Obama said in an Oval Office interview Friday.

    The president said he would make a “bold” push for a new energy law, directing the United States on a course away from its current dependence on fossil fuels. He told Politico that while he couldn’t predict whether such a transition would be achieved within his lifetime, the disaster in the Gulf indicated that now is the time to begin the transition and invest in what he called “a new way of doing business when it comes to energy.”


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