Tag: Oil Spill Disaster 2010

BP Live Feeds Hacked

I just grabbed this screenshot from the BP Live Feeds:

New Definitions for Success

Today BP has attached a LMRP Cap to the Riser, it sawed in half yesterday,  and in the process causing (according to them) a 20% increase in the flow — and the media has proclaimed this a qualified success, because they are now extracting 1000 barrels / day of oil water mix.

Now, the real amount of oil coming from the gusher is unknown, because BP and the US government have colluded to refuse to say. Despite the fact that it would be very easy for BP to stick a pressure gauge into it’s gusher, multiply by the pipe diameter, the possible maximum is an “unknown/unknown”.

So, the media has run with the figure of 12-20000 barrels a day as if this was the rate despite the fact that this is the governments estimated minimum value, not an upper/lower range!

Now Chad Allan (who might as well get himself a cheerleader outfit, with BP on the front, and a set of pom-poms, after announcing twice that top kill had worked oopsie) says not to get to happy about this success.  

Good advise.

So, taking the figure of 20,000 barrels per day x 20% we have 24,000 barrels per day – 1000 barrels of oil/water mix collected, and we now have: increased the leaks by 3000 barrels.  Of course if you use the figures of scientists not employed by BP or our government such as 60-100,000 barrels per day x 20% the loss from this action would be much greater.

So, I agree with Chad, best not to get to excited about this new success.  

Oil is Likely to Impact East Coast

“I’ve had a lot of people ask me, ‘Will the oil reach Florida?'” says NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, who worked on the study. “Actually, our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood.”

The computer simulations indicate that, once the oil in the uppermost ocean has become entrained in the Gulf of Mexico’s fast-moving Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida’s Atlantic coast within weeks. It can then move north as far as about Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with the Gulf Stream, before turning east. Whether the oil will be a thin film on the surface or mostly subsurface due to mixing in the uppermost region of the ocean is not known.

The scientists used a powerful computer model to simulate how a liquid released at the spill site would disperse and circulate, producing results that are not dependent on the total amount released. The scientists tracked the rate of dispersal in the top 65 feet of the water and at four additional depths, with the lowest being just above the sea bed.

“The modeling study is analogous to taking a dye and releasing it into water, then watching its pathway,” Peacock says.

The model simulations show that a liquid released in the surface ocean at the spill site is likely to slowly spread as it is mixed by the ocean currents until it is entrained in the Loop Current. At that point, speeds pick up to about 40 miles per day, and when the liquid enters the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream it can travel at speeds up to about 100 miles per day, or 3,000 miles per month.


NOAA Denies Plumes

From Huffpo (and elsewhere) :

NOAA Director Toes BP Line; Won’t Confirm Sub-Surface Oil Despite Evidence

No, no plumes.

Is Simmons Right?

I’ve called him a few names here, because of his nuke the well idea.

But he also said:

The main leak is 5 or 6 miles away.

And, that BP is chasing a mouse, while ignoring the tiger behind it.  He claims that this leak could not be the cause of as much oil as is being seen in the Gulf alone.

Now, BP has just said today that the reason the top kill did not work, is because of a leak way down in the well.  

Officials suspect that the mud could have been escaping from the well far below the ocean floor, possibly through a rupture disk, a built-in weak point in the steel pipe that lines the well.


A rupture disk.

These things are  put in the subsurface well to pop off and basically start leaking if the pressure reaches an overload point. Of course, BP is not saying what pressure the one’s in this well were set to.   But, it seems pretty likely that if they leak from the mud, they’ll leak from the oil. Even if they weren’t before-they might well be now after the mud. Seems like it would have to be a pretty big leak to stop a 30,000 horse power pump (the top kill mud pump) from filling the well.   If that’s in fact happening, oil would have to wind it’s way up, and certainly could be coming out at a point far distant from the well itself.  

Update: BP Now Denies: Efforts to End Flow From Well Are Over

Update II:

Crazy. Not quite sure,maybe this will still prove to be true, but I think Bloomberg got Thad Allan’s statement confused; and it spread like wildfire on all the business news sites, and zero hedge, and a bunch of other places-and me to you. Ha.

Bloombers’s headline:

Efforts to End Oil Flow From BP Well Over Until Relief Wells Are Finished

By Jim Polson – Jun 1, 2010

Doesn’t quite match the story:

BP Plc has decided not to attach a second blowout preventer on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts to end the flow are over until the relief wells are finished, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Thad Allen, who spoke at a press conference today.

I think what this may mean is they’ve decided against a BOB on top of a BOP, but are still going ahead with the cervical cap thing–dsepite the fact that the sheer rams failed to cut it–presume they’ll try a saw.

Stay tuned: BP now denying this story:

UPDATE II: BP spokesperson John Curry denied reports of any problems with the Lower Marine Rise Package, which begins drilling today.

Reports that BP had canceled all rescue plans were based on a headline from Bloomberg: Efforts to End Oil Flow From BP’s Leaking Well Are Over, Coast Guard Says. While BP is ending efforts to halt the flow, it will continuing efforts to capture the flow.

Here’s what you need to know about the Lower Marine Rise Package –>

UPDATE: Reached by Business Insider, Coast Guard rep Elizabeth Bordelon denied rumors that it’s discontinuing attempts to attach a new blowout preventer and stem the flow. Meanwhile, the AP is also reporting the same thing, that Thad Allen called the process ongoing. We hope to have a definitive adjudication shortly.

Original post: This is based on headlines now via The Fly On The Wall and ZeroHedge… According to Bloomberg, BP has decided to abort its plan to attach a new blowout preventer.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com…


BP Plc has decided not to attach a second blowout preventer on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts to end the flow are over until the relief wells are finished, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Thad Allen, who spoke at a press conference today


They have resumed drilling relief well #2.

They are also going to try to collect some of the oil via the connectors they installed for the ‘top kill’.

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: http://www.koseq.com/) 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: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p…

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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.


BP: Just Cut the Riser?

An update:

Yes, what they’re doing is cutting away parts of the riser, to make way for cutting it off for the 2nd cap.


It appears BP has just cut into the riser pipe with a robot.  Junk and oil is flowing all over the place right now. This means they have given up on the junk shots / top kill and moved on to a very risky plan–apparently they are going to try to attach another BOP to the top.  This means that oil will flow at a much higher rate, until they are successful.  How they are going to be able to see what they’re doing now that they’ve cut it, or attach the new BOP (scavenged from relief well 2) with all that pressure going out, no one seems to know.  

Of course, this might not be what they’re doing-but it looks that way. The other possibility is that they are trying to attach the 2nd cap (LMRP) to the riser, but they wouldn’t have needed to stop drilling relief well 2 for that, or take it’s BOP.

Also, the robot dropped it’s saw.  

Top Kill Has Failed: Update 4: Junk Shot Fails

Update 4: it appears they’re doing one junk shot after another, at least they were on Friday, each has failed so far to lodge enough material to restrict the flow very much if at all.

Despite Obama’s (public) orders, they have stopped drilling one of the relief wells.   Which means this could all come down to one relief well attempt months from now.

Update 3: again as should be obvious to anyone watching the feed, the junk shots have failed:

But the technician working on the effort said that despite the injections at various pressure levels, engineers had been able to keep less than 10 percent of the injection fluids inside the stack of pipes above the well. He said that was barely an improvement on Wednesday’s results when the operation began and was suspended in its 11th hour of operations. BP resumed the pumping effort Thursday evening for about 10 more hours.

“I won’t say progress was zero, but I don’t know if we can round up enough mud to make it work,” said the technician. “Everyone is disappointed at this time.”

Frankly, I think they knew this was never going to work from the start, and it’s a bunch of theatre and gamesmanship with Obama that we’re seeing.

Update 2: Thad Allan is now claiming the Junk Shot is working ‘Oil flow is stemmed’–but he said that yesterday, and it was an outright lie.

He said that overnight, workers pumped what is known as “junk shot,” a mix of more substantial materials, like golf balls and shredded tires, into the well, and he said they would follow with more mud later Friday. The junk shot serves as a “bridge,” he said, for the mud injections, to strengthen their ability to counteract the leaking oil.


Update 1: CNN is reporting that the 2nd attempt– with ‘Junk Shot’  has started. However, there is no indication of that on the live feed at all.


The top kill has not succeeded in reducing the pressure enough to inject concrete.  They have ‘temporarily’ stopped–as anyone watching the live stream could have figured out.

New York Times:

Setback Delays ‘Top Kill’ Effort to Seal Leaking Oil Well in Gulf


BP had to temporarily stop its effort to plug the well when engineers saw that too much of the fluid they were injecting into the well was escaping along with the leaking crude oil.

Word is they are going to try the junk shot. Maybe, then another top kill attempt?

I worry they’re gonna blow this thing up.

The leakage rate is significant (I calculated earlier that it was around 17,000 bd, which lies within the newly reported range of 12,000 to 19,000 bd, and may have been higher than BP were actually anticipating. (Though the leak may also have increased a little as the mud was injected at higher pressures). The operation has already used all the mud on one of the supply boats, and has moved to the second (there is a third standing by so they won’t run out). The concern, however is now with the volume of cement that will be required for the seal.

The high volume that is leaking would require that additional amount to the volume needed for the seal itself, and that may be closer to the available capacity of the system that they have in place, or the supplies that they have on site to achieve the seal. If that is the case, one can understand the desire to at least partially plug the leaks in the BOP, and to wait until the mud column fully balances the pressure in the oil reservoir before starting this phase of the operation.

Until this point in the operation the volume of cement required to create an effective plug has not been seen as an issue.

– The Oil Drum

Dispersants: Part II

From Climate Progress.org

Chemically dispersing oil spills “solves the political problem of visible oil but not the environmental problem,” Robert Brulle, a 20-year Coast Guard veteran and an affiliate professor of public health at Drexel University, told me. These dispersants “do not actually reduce the total amount of oil entering the environment,” as a 2005 National Academy of Sciences report on the subject put it.


I spoke to Carys Mitchelmore, one of the writers of the toxicity chapter for the NAS report. She explained that dispersants are “a molecule that looks like a snake. The head part likes water and the tail part likes oil.” The dispersant “pulls the oil into the water in the form of tiny droplets.”

And that means subsurface creatures – from oysters to coral to larval eggs – that might never have had significant exposure to the oil are now going to get a double whammy, getting hit by the oil and by the dispersants. Worse, the oil droplets are now in a form that looks like food (e.g., the same size as algae) to filter feeders like oysters, which otherwise may only have been exposed to the far lower levels of dissolved oil components found under a typical oil slick. The droplets can also clog up fish gills.


Clean Water Act: Fines up to $4300/Barrel

Ever wondered why BO and BP (the smelly twins) are refusing to admit the real figures on the oil spill?

Just out of sheer spite?


(Reuters) – Just how many barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon spill is a billion dollar question with implications that go beyond the environment. It could also help determine how much BP and others end up paying for the disaster.


A clause buried deep in the U.S. Clean Water Act may expose BP and others to civil fines that aren’t limited to any finite cap — unlike a $75 million limit on compensation for economic damages. The Act allows the government to seek civil penalties in court for every drop of oil that spills into U.S. navigable waters, including the area of BP’s leaking well.

As a result, the U.S. government could seek to fine BP or others up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the U.S. Gulf, according to legal experts and official documents.


I’ll bet Kenny Boy will be all over this, to get them to pay up– to the max.

Err, Right?

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