Tag: pressure test

BP Gone Fishin’- Drops Giant Pipe Into Seafloor, Manages to Miss Wellhead- Yay Team!

This video courtesy of the BP live webcam addicts at the Oil Drum.  http://www.theoildrum.com/node…

When we last left our ongoing story of why The Brightest Minds in Govt. Science were giving BP permission to keep  ****ing around playing with their broken oil well, instead of completing the Bottom Kill cementing, BP was observed to be moving Giant Tools towards the Macondo 252 Deepwater Horizon oil well again, then Adm. Allen had to give out matching narrative after a few news cycles as to what the fooking h*ll they were really doing.

We’ll do the bottom kill when we’re ready, Harry.  – Adm. Thad “Patton” Allen  

They wanted to look inside the old BOP, and go fishing and pull the old drill pipe out of the well bore. Bottom kill, schmottom kill, the Lawyers need evidence to sue each other for the next 2 decades.

So far, they took the very top lid off the new BOP and Stacking Ram they mounted on the old one,  and peered inside, and noticed that the brand new BOP and 3 blade Stacking Ram had 1 Shear Ram that was stuck in a half open, half shut position so they couldn’t get down and look into the other parts.

Yes, their brand new BOP toy wasn’t working already.

Okay.  No problemo.  Just spend a week trying to jimmy the the thing open again.  

BP Friday: Did You Remember to Flush Before Glossing ?

Because the Original is always so much better than anything I could ever hope to make up:

The Further Adventures of Macondo 252, Oil Well of Doom

Hit the theme music:

If I had to do the same again, I would, my friend, Fernando !  

Remember this, back in June on the 23rd ?

BP oil spill,riser pipe,BOP stubb,drill ship,Discover Enterprise,Discoverer Enterprise Gas Flare,Methane Gas Flair

Uncapped BP Well before installation of new blow out protector assembly.

And then in July, they finally got a new spool, cap n stack and a spankin’ new Blow Out Protector on the thing to cap the well and shut it off almost 3 months after it blew ?  And everybody went Halleleujah ?

BP Bottom Kill Stalled Out During Shrimp Cocktail Party Season

You are so going to love this.  Another in the series, Macondo, Oil Well of Doom.

I have wrestled an image from the balko puter onto photomucket.  Look what I found on the BP webcams this evening.

BP oil spill,bop tool

What the bleep is this on Rov Enterprise 2 cam  Tues evening Aug 17th ?

Check the official BP twitter feed.  http://twitter.com/BP_America    

As part of a #BP tourism grant, Gulf resort giving free night’s stay and $250 gift card: http://bit.ly/bV9XKC

about 4 hours ago via HootSuite

Retweeted by 5 people



That’s not a Motel 6.  WTF.    

Friday:Couldn’t Even Wait for the Cement to Cure

This week in Trickle Down Oilonomics:

First, remember this ?

Riser Pipe Cut,BP oil spill,BOP plume   Screen shot from June 1, 2010 of ROVs cutting the old riser pipe off the old top of the BOP, showing the underwater plume.

Two months later:

Tues,  Aug 3, 2010,  BP pumped drilling mud into the capped Macondo 252 Deepwater Horizon well from the top.


BP announces Static pressure stabilization from  Mud Pump into well a success on Wed Aug 4th.


Federal Government and NOAA’s Lubchenco & team of expert scientists announce rest of oil in Gulf of Mexico is naturally biodegrading. Oil is disappeared !    As of Wed, Aug 4th.  https://www.docudharma.com/diar…

BP oil spill,pie chart,Oil budget calculator tool,oil all gone pie chart by NOAA

From Plume to Pie Chart, 6/1/2010 to 8/4/2010.  In Amerika, Oil Spill Cleans You !  

Except that 650 miles of shoreline in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida remained oiled, and 57,539 square miles, or 24% of the Gulf of Mexico, is closed to fishing, per their own press release.  http://ht.ly/2loZg

BPravda Today

BPravda Today

Macno Nc4e3aet !

BP oil spill,pie chart,Oil budget calculator tool,oil all gone pie chart by NOAA

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Because the original documents are always so much better than anything I could hope to make up:


August 4, 2010, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response, Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center

Federal Science Report Details Fate of Oil from BP Spill

WASHINGTON – The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed using chemicals –  much of which is in the process of being degraded. Much of this is the direct result of the federal response efforts.

A third (33 percent) of the total amount of oil released in the Deepwater Horizon/BP spill was captured or mitigated by the Unified Command recovery operations, including burning, skimming, chemical dispersion and direct recovery from the wellhead, according to a federal science report released today.

An additional 25 percent of the total oil naturally evaporated or dissolved, and 16 percent was dispersed naturally into microscopic droplets.  The residual amount, just over one quarter (26 percent), is either on or just below the surface as residue and weathered tarballs, has washed ashore or been collected from the shore, or is buried in sand and sediments.  Dispersed and residual oil remain in the system until they degrade through a number of natural processes.  Early indications are that the oil is degrading quickly.

These estimates were derived by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI), who jointly developed what’s known as an Oil Budget Calculator, to provide measurements and best estimates of what happened to the spilled oil.   The calculator is based on 4.9 million barrels of oil released into the Gulf, the government’s Flow Rate Technical Group estimate from Monday. More than 25 of the best government and independent scientists contributed to or reviewed the calculator and its calculation methods.

“Teams of scientists and experts have been carefully tracking the oil since day one of this spill, and based on the data from those efforts and their collective expertise, they have been able to provide these useful and educated estimates about the fate of the oil,” says Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.  “Less oil on the surface does not mean that there isn’t oil still in the water column or that our beaches and marshes aren’t still at risk.  Knowing generally what happened to the oil helps us better understand areas of risk and likely impacts.”

The estimates do not make conclusions about the long-term impacts of oil on the Gulf.  Fully understanding the damages and impacts of the spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is something that will take time and continued monitoring and research.

Dispersion increases the likelihood that the oil will be biodegraded, both in the water column and at the surface.  While there is more analysis to be done to quantify the rate of biodegradation in the Gulf, early observations and preliminary research results from a number of scientists show that the oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill is biodegrading quickly.  Scientists from NOAA, EPA, DOE, and academic scientists are working to calculate more precise estimates of this rate.

It is well known that bacteria that break down the dispersed and weathered surface oil are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico in large part because of the warm water, the favorable nutrient and oxygen levels, and the fact that oil enters the Gulf of Mexico through natural seeps regularly.

Residual oil is also degraded and weathered by a number of physical and biological processes.  Microbes consume the oil, and wave action, sun, currents and continued evaporation and dissolution continue to break down the residual oil in the water and on shorelines.

The oil budget calculations are based on direct measurements wherever possible and the best available scientific estimates where measurements were not possible.  The numbers for direct recovery and burns were measured directly and reported in daily operational reports.  The skimming numbers were also based on daily reported estimates.  The rest of the numbers were based on previous scientific analyses, best available information and a broad range of scientific expertise.  These estimates will continue to be refined as additional information becomes available.

BP oil spill,texas coast,achalafalay bay

7/9/2010 Gulf of Mexico  6 days before the leaking well was capped. photo NASA

67% of this is going to go away all by itself, naturally, according to the finest scientific minds available. Image from NOAA and the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center.

Senate Performs Successful Top Kill For BP

This is going to be a mish mash of various links relevant to today’s oil spill news, Tues Aug 3, 2010.  I took one look at the amusing picture of the moonshine still on the open thread and saw instead the Blow Out Protector on the Macondo Oil Well of Doom.

I was trying not to laugh my arse off about a certain fp diary at a certain blog yesterday which was a repeat of a certain breathless Washington Post article announcing that The Oil Spill Was Really BIGGER than they all thought according to the “new” government figures.

Which was as big as the government knew all along, from April 23, 3 days after the blowout, when they were doing estimates based on BP’s internal documents that weren’t released yet, and then the government and BP have colluded since then to lie their a$$es off about.   NOAA released a chart of the potential leak impact on the coast line back in April with the higher number.

3 months minus 5 days times 50,000 to 60,000 barrels a day.  Duh.  As if BP Tony hadn’t mentioned 60,000 a day back in June in front of Congress, either.

Yes, they really do think we are THAT stupid.

BP Oil Well to be CAPPED during Weather Evacuation

For the past several days, everyone has been speculating on what would be done with the unfinished relief wells and new but ever so slightly oozing sealing cap and 3 ram stack assembly,  should the relatively calm Gulf coast weather turn on them.   Today’s the one week anniversary of the BP oil well successfully being turned off.

Previously no decision had been made, with hints that the well might have to be opened up again, if they had to abandon the Macondo Canyon 252 site because of a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

Per Admiral Thad Allen’s latest press briefing this afternoon, ongoing, they are planning to leave the broken BP oil well capped if they have to evacuate the area because of an oncoming weather system.    


The relief well that is farther along, and only about 4 feet horizontally from intersecting the old Deepwater Horizon wellbore, with just a bit of casing to put in at the very end for the last 100 feet they still have to drill,  has received a temporary plug, called a “storm packer ”   which they stuff down it 300 feet below the sea floor.

Picture of the storm packer plug here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node…

gulf of Mexico storm,storm,tropical depression,tropical depression #3,storm Bonnie

Tropical Depression #3, not looking real organized yet.

Here’s the storm that will be named “Bonnie” if it gets organized.  Right now, Bonnie is still Tropical Depression #3 with a “high” aka 50% or greater, probability of going to cyclone status within 48 hours, and a projected storm track to head possibly for the Louisiana Delta.   T.D. #3 is over land right now, which is keeping it milder.  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo_a…

Here’s a live, updating, easy to load satellite link to watch “Bonnie to Be” which is currently the leading edges on the very right hand side of this image, Thurs, July 22, at 1:35 pm PDT.   ( pic was taken 2:45 pm local )


Here’s that NOAA cafeteria page of every possible weather graphic you’d ever want to see for New Orleans/Baton Rouge, loads more slowly   http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lix/?n…

Adm Allen to hold delayed Press Conference at DOJ

The Federal Government has been sort of quiet the last 24 hours.

Today July 20, 2010  10:00 am CST

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen’s press briefing has been postponed until this afternoon. Details will be provided as they become available.


then a bit later,

Today July 20th 2010 11:31 am CST

Updated Media Advisory

Media briefing to provide update on ongoing Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill response efforts

Where:   7th Floor Conference Room

Department of Justice  

950 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington DC

When: Tuesday July 20,2020    3:30 pm EDT


Guess they want the DNC Villager Pundits, WAPO, and the Beltway to have a front row seat, and the locals in Louisiana, not so much.

I’m sure they won’t announce anything too exciting, but it will be in time for this evening’s news and and they will be reporting from in front of the Dept of Justice in DC, which makes a nice backdrop.  

Headline from Nola.com David Hammer of the Times- Picayune   BP did not suspend drilling operations after reporting leaking blow out preventer


Well site leader Ronald Sepulvado told a Marine Board investigative panel in Kenner that before he wrapped up his stint as BP’s top man on the rig four days before the April 20 accident, he reported that one of the control pods on the blowout preventer, or BOP, had a leak.  

He said he told his supervisor in Houston, BP team leader John Guide, and assumed that Guide would notify federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service. According to investigators, that never happened.  

Federal Regulation 250.451(d) states that if someone drilling in federal waters encounters “a BOP control station or pod that does not function properly” the rig must “suspend further drilling operations until that station or pod is operable.”  

Asked if that was done, Sepulvado said it wasn’t.

Oh, and about the old, original, and now officially leaky BOP-  it was serviced in CHINA before being put on top of the well.   Story originates in the British press, of course.


The Guardian UK,  Sunday July 18, 2010

Blow out preventer was sent to the Far East at BP’s request rather than overhauled in US

There is no evidence that the significant modifications to the blowout preventer (BOP), which were carried out in China in 2005, caused the equipment to fail. But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.

This week David Cameron will travel to the US to meet Obama and other politicians where he will stress the importance of BP to the UK economy. Business figures such as Lord Jones, the UK trade ambassador and former CBI boss, criticised Cameron for not being sufficiently supportive of the company last month after he said that he “understood the US government’s frustrations” over BP’s failed attempts to stop the leak.

A government adviser said that Cameron and Obama shared common interests over the crisis, and that both wanted BP to survive the incident.   BP accounts for over a tenth of all share dividends paid by UK companies, and pension funds rely on the income it generates. Politicians in the US want BP to make enough profits to pay potentially billions of dollars in compensation and damages arising from the spill.

BP needs cash.  BP having garage sale, raises $1.7 billion.  Announced today.

BP to sell assets in Vietnam and Pakistan to pay for oil spill    Tue Jul 20, 2010

(Reuters)  http://www.reuters.com/article…

As British Prime Minister David Cameron sought to defend the energy giant before meeting President Barack Obama and U.S. senators, the energy company outlined its latest plans to raise money.

Exactly three months after an explosion on an offshore rig killed 11 workers and caused millions of barrels of crude to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, BP announced it would sell its Vietnam pipeline and upstream assets as well as its Pakistan assets.

Pakistan ?  Isn’t that where we’ve had the CIA droning along looking for the Taliban lately ?  US  Secretary of State H. Clinton just announced a $1.5 billion aid package allegedly for domestic infrastructure for Pakistan yesterday….

Oh, now we get it.   Sleight of hand !  

If you thought “Top Kill” was dead, guess again, it might be back.  Only now with the well wearing a sealing cap and ram stack on top, which has temporarily stopped the leak, they’re calling it a “Static Kill” or “Bullhead Kill.”

Upstream Online  Jul 20, 2010


(Kent Wells of BP ) Wells characterised the second attempt as a “static kill” because the cap provides a closed system that has back pressure to pump against rather than the first “dynamic kill,” attempt, which essentially was pumping contest between the vessels on the surface and the producing reservoir.

It is the first time BP has talked about trying a second kill operation before the relief wells intercept the Macondo bore.

Wells said scientists realised it might be possible when pressure in the capping stack did not build as high as expected.

Because of the low pressure and the closed system, crews would not have to pump at as high rates and pressures as they did during the first attempt, Wells said.

This is important because BP was worried that high pressure could cause some of the components of the well to fail, he explained.

Even if the top kill is successful, BP will still finish the relief well to ensure that the Macondo bore is shut and stable.  

Kent Wells of BP also claimed in the above story that the tests show the wellbore is likely not damaged.  Pressure is at 6811 psi – pounds per square inch, and rising at about 1 psi per hour.

Oh, and the U.S. House of Lords, aka “the Senate,” is going to try to put the Kerry- Lieberman bastard love child energy bill on the floor of the Senate during the last week of July, before August recess, for a vote.   The phrase they are using is “utility only.”  This means the bill focuses on carbon emitted by utilities and not on manufacturers and industrial sources.  Currently Lindsey Graham and Olympia Snowe, the reasonable bait and switch Republicans, like the “utility only” approach.  You know what that means later.   Anything for those 60 votes because only in America is 51 not a majority, and since the election of Barack The Constitutional Law Scholar O’Bush in the year 2000, only the Senate writes legislation, and the House takes it or goes fish.  Wait, there are no fish anymore….    Maj. Leader Reid of Nevada noticed he was up for re election, and decided to put this turkey on the floor July 26th.   It’s not that opponent, nutcase neoconservaflatearthfundi Sharron Angle is a great candidate, it’s that she has the full bore power thrusters of the Oil Industry/Pentagon warhawks funding her, and the swiftboaters are just getting warmed up.  


The Hill 7/13/2010

Jeff Bingaman (D, NM) amendment

It would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the utility and potentially other industrial sectors by 17 percent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2030.

It would mandate that electric utilities participate in a cap-and-trade program by 2012 but allow manufacturers and other industrial sources to elect to “opt in” to the program. While some manufacturers who do not participate would not receive free emission allowances to offset higher electricity costs, local distribution company allowances would go to residential consumers and certain industrials regardless.

“New Mexico”  means this bill will be full of goodies for the nuclear industry, which, because of its toxicity of the fuel and security concerns, is about as right wing as any segment of industry can get.  More Homeland Security money, anyone ?

Opt – in.   Yeah, sort of describes the entire Democratic administration so far, electing to “opt in” to the issues concerning the liberals whenever there is a need for a catchy buzzphrase or to get elected.

Should be fun !  

Updated: Seep?! Govt To Order BP Well TURNED BACK ON After Test Ends

Outrageous.  Our U.S. Government is ordering them to resume oil bombing the Gulf.

BP oil spill,sealing cap,stack cap,stack ram,leak stopped,leak capped

It’s only cute the first time. screenshot ROV Skandi cam and 2 ROVs checking out the new top of the seal cap and stack assembly that was installed over the old well BOP

BP’s Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well, which was successfully turned off last Thurs July 15 at 1:20 pm PDT after 86 days of uncontrolled gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, will be turned back on to start re gathering oil and gas, as soon as the pressure tests are done, according to today’s Bloomberg.com.

BP oil spill,Gulf of Mexico,Yucatan peninsula bp oil spill,franklin eddy

Haven’t we seen enough of that at this point ?  This was the Gulf of Mexico the day the new cap was placed over the BOP, 7/12/10 before they started cranking it down slowly. photo NASA


BP had been considering whether the positive test results would allow it to keep the well sealed, stopping the flow of oil until the leak could be permanently plugged. Allen has said consistently that it was “likely” the government would choose to use BP’s new, tighter-fitting cap to resume capturing oil after the tests.

More Oil Spilling

While the company eventually plans to reach collection capacity of 80,000 barrels a day, more than the estimated size of the leak, reopening the well would lead to some oil escaping to the sea before the vessels are connected, Wells said yesterday.

“Thad Allen wants to do containment because they want to find out what the real flow rate was,” Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of Petroleum Geoscience Programs at the University of Houston, said in an interview yesterday. “Unless they do something like that, they’ll almost never be able to prove what the true flow rate was.”

Pressure inside the well had risen to 6745 pounds per square inch by Saturday.  Originally BP said they wanted to see 7,500 psi to say that the well was safely intact, yesterday, they fudged that a little in a press briefing around 29 hours along and said at 6745 psi “there is no evidence that we don’t have well integrity.”   Bloomberg quotes BP’s Kent Wells as saying “we feel more comfortable we have integrity.”

The area around the well has been very closely monitored since the test started for seismic disruptions and seafloor disturbances, and sonar has been deployed on surface ships circling the wellhead seafloor area from above.

Once reopened, oil and gas would be sucked up by a new, untested riser cap that would be placed on top of the new ram stack assembly that was installed over the old BOP, and by the Q4000 sucking the oil out of the old choke/kill pipes routed through a special manifold, and the Helix Producer.  A new riser pipe tower with a connection on top that can be detached more quickly and easily has been built on the sea floor to do this.   The problem with using oil processing ships on the surface to flare off the natural gas that comes along with this oil,  is that they still must be disconnected and moved offsite during hurricanes.

BP oil spill,sealing cap,stack cap,stack ram,leak stopped,leak capped

Here’s a screen shot grab I took on 7/12/10, from Skandi cam,  when the new sealing cap and stack assembly (left) were being lowered past the new floor riser pipe tower (center) on its journey down to the BOP.  I tried to sharpen it up a little but it was still pretty murky down there at that point.  But after watching the webcams for hours, it was exciting to see it finally go past something recognizable.  There are several ROVs all hovering around this in the background tracking the cap with their headlights.

But the ability to shut the well down completely again during the next tropical cyclone or hurricane instead of letting it spill unchecked into the Gulf of Mexico has not been discussed publicly.

So far we have dodged a weather bullet, in that the first hurricane to cross the Gulf this season, Alex, went across the southern Gulf from southeast to northwest and missed the Louisiana delta area entirely.  While the current forecast this morning from NOAA  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo_a…   says a tropical storm is unlikely in the next 48 hours, as hurricane season progresses anything could happen.  And that means more oil spewing into the Gulf, as much as 80,000 barrels a day of oil,  even if the reconnect times would be faster this round-  if everything new works and goes to plan.

Poor Macondo Can’t Get It Up, Can We Just Give Him Cialis & Be Done With It ?

The Further Adventures of Macondo, the Misbehaving Well.

Oh, Macondo, you were supposed to save us, and now look what you’ve done!

Can you hear the drums, Fernando ? I remember long ago another starry night like this

In the firelight Fernando, You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar

I could hear the distant drums , and the sound of bugle calls were coming from afar

They were closer now, Fernando, every hour every minute, seemed to last eternally.  I was so afraid Fernando, We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die

and I’m not afraid to say, the roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, they were shining there for you and me, For Liberty, tho we never thought that we could lose, there’s no regret,  if I had to do the same again, I would my friend, Fernando  

Friday:  The First Family puts on their color coordinated summer outfits in muggy DC,  and marches dutifully to the helicopter for the obligatory New England Summer vacation in Maine.  They will be staying at the Holiday Inn in Bar Harbor on Mt Desert Island, which was last visited by a President while in office 100 years ago,  when William Howard Taft showed up.

President,Maine,weekend getaways,Acadia National Park

Enjoying a stroll today at Acadia National Park in Maine, Properly Attired for the Neighborhood.

A small earthquake hit Washington DC, this morning.  The 3.6 magnitude rattler was the largest recorded within 30 miles of the nation’s capitol since 1974.  There were no reports of damage from the 2.0 aftershocklette.

DC earthquake,2010 July DC earthquake

Matt Simpson’s Prediction Comes True at Last.

The House of Congress adjourned the day before, and scheduled its next meeting for lunchtime on Monday, July 19, 2010.  The Senate also adjourned at 6:33 pm Thursday, and vowed to return next Monday afternoon, whereby they will take up the Jobs Bill. Or the Energy Bill. Or something.

Gov Manchin of West Virginia will have appointed a new Senator by then to fill the seat left vacant by the loss of Senator Byrd.

And thereby complete the Entire Remaining Agenda of the First Term of the Obama Administration in 12 Days.  Yes, By God, West Virginia.  

Almost heaven. Life is old there. Older than the seas, Younger than the mountains, Blowin’ like a breeze. Take me home. To the place. I belong.  

Or at least get the polling numbers up.

(sssppst, those polling numbers….  didja fire the old one yet ? )  

Home. If home foreclosures continue at the current rate this year, in 2010 there will have been a million homes lost to the banks, more than the 900,000 homes lost to foreclosure in 2009.  The usual amount is about 100,000 homes a year, before the mortgaging/bank financial meltdown started.  7.5 million homeowners are in some sort of payment problem.  The 3.2 million jobless people who had their unemployment benefits expire because of lack of Senate action so far this month   become the targets of the self righteous, who ignore the higher “unofficial” unemployment rates of 15 to 20% in places like Republican Tea Partier’s Wally Herger’s district in the rural north of California, and tell them to get off the couch, stop eating chips and sodas, and learn to live on subsistence income.  Because the system shouldn’t reward the lazy nor punish those who succeed. It is 107ยบF degrees in Redding this afternoon, this Friday.  Not using air conditioning is the new patriotic.

It was the 87th day since the pierced earth in block 252 of the Macondo prospect in Mississippi Canyon, nearly a mile under the sea, had bled out all the ancient dead liquified souls that it had held for eons, and covered it, shifted it back and forth by wind, strangled it in its carbon and sulfur stench, and mired its living things in tar and fed the swimming things the liquid toxins.  People of the coastal Gulf waters watched with cynical eyes as the British Petroleum company and the government told them that first they had shut it off, and then they would wait and see, and then maybe they would turn it back on, after all.

Pressure readings after 24 hours were about 6,700 pounds per square inch and rising slowly, Allen said, below the 7,500 psi that would clearly show the well was not leaking.  He said pressure continued to rise between 2 and 10 psi per hour.  He said a seismic probe of the surrounding sea floor found no sign of a leak in the ground, one of the major concerns because oil erupting into the surroundings would be harder to contain and could weaken the well before it is plugged for good.  The news came at the dinner hour on Friday, just as it always does.  

The slow deflation of optimism continued.

All the miracles of modern technology, 4 billion dollars and 3 months later, and still couldn’t get it up.


Said from the start if pressure didn’t rise to 5- 6K PSI, no well integrity & 7,500 + PSI, we would absolutely have integrity.

-Kent Wells

BP_ America

Official BP    


Maybe there is a blockage in the well.  “The pipe integrity’s still there, It’s just getting around obstacles,” said one geology professor at Columbia.

A few hours earlier, another one at the University of Houston named Don Van Nieuwenhuise had tried to say that the well had merely lost power over the time it has been leaking.  But in another source he says

“There’s a couple of weak points at 9,000 feet, and one at 17,000 feet, that they might be particularly interested in looking at watching in the seismic. ”


Another telegenic oil wonk, Rob Cavner, of Houston, put it thus:  

“they are just sitting there circulating on the bottom at 17,840 (feet).  Just sitting there. Wells claims they are doing that for “safety reasons” during the well integrity test. What ? …. what the hell are they doing ? They now have an ability to capture all the oil and stop this massive pollution of the Gulf, as well as measure it. We have great weather to get the relief well completed. We already know without the “well integrity test” that they have severe damage to the BOP and other surface equipment and casing. If that were not true, it wouldn’t have blown out in the first place.”


“As soon as they do capture all the flow, then a real, measurable number will be in front of the public, and that’s the last thing BP wants, since that number will then be used to extrapolate environmental damage, hence per barrel fines that will likely run to the tens of billions anyway.”

   So just call Dickie’s cardiologist, would you ?

But for those who need help before a heart is available, or for whom a transplant is too risky, we have a gizmo called the left ventricular assist device, a $200,000 item. The LVAD is a cumbersome almost-artificial heart that requires the recipient to wear heavy batteries, a shoulder sling with various parts, tubes going through the chest and into the heart and abdomen, and other substantial inconveniences. It helps push a portion of the heart’s blood forward, doing the work the failing ventricle no longer can accomplish. Once used only to stabilize people awaiting heart transplant, it now is referred to, not ironically, as a “destination therapy”-the exact intervention that you want, not the half-assed loaner you are stuck with till the real McCoy arrives.

Six years ago, the doctor and medical historian Howard Markel, writing in The Atlantic, assembled seven fancy cardiologists and discussed Anonymous Patient C’s medical history with them; all were surprised that he was still puttering along, and even more surprised to then be informed that he was at the time their vice president. Stated most simply, he should have died long, long ago. Most people with his heart, his weight and sedentary habits, his history of cigarette smoking and who knows what else already have heard the bell toll. But not Cheney-pointing out that, though useful to define national trends, population-based statistics are completely useless for predicting the fate of an individual. The extremely unlikely happens every day, all of the time:   Just as it’s the rare person who wins the lottery, or is struck by lightning, or rolls snake eyes 50 times in a row, so too does a bad guy with a worse heart beat all the odds to stay alive.

So too does a destructive national energy policy, with a bad deepwater oil well, beat all the odds to stay alive.


Saturday Dawning:

Break out the champaign for brunch, darlings!

BP announces at its only press briefing of the day that :


[13:39] “You’ll see bubbles on the 36″ casing”

[13:39] “This is quite normal. First piece of pipe put in down to 500′. Build well on top of that”

[13:39] “There are 6 or 8 valves around this piece of pipe, it’s quite caution. But we’ll go take a sample and make sure it’s not gas from deeper down in the riser”

[13:40] ahh

[13:40] “Could be nitrogen or biodegrading methane”

[13:40] “As the well cools down, that’s probably what caused those bubbles”

Next technical update will be tomorrow (July 18) at 7:30 am CT. Any other updates btwn now & then will be announced.

about 2 hours ago via web   http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

At this point, there is no evidence that we don’t have well integrity. -Kent Wells

about 2 hours ago via web   http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

The longer integrity test goes, the more confident we get & the test will end when it is the right time to make that decision. -Kent Wells  

about 2 hours ago via web    http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Continuing to progress with long-term containment options as planned. -Kent Wells

about 2 hours ago via web    http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Bubbles you see on the 36″ casing on one of ROV cameras is normal. Being cautious, going down to double check & get a sample. -Kent Wells

about 2 hours ago via web    http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Well integrity test continues, with pressure currently at 6,745 PSI, building at approx 2 PSI per hr. -Kent Wells

about 3 hours ago via web  http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Every 6 hrs we’re going to look at the info & keep making decisions at that point on what to do going forward. -Kent Wells  

about 16 hours ago via web   http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

  ooh la lah, Le Weekend Sans Fin.  Est il droit pour vous ?  Toute l’heure peut etre le bon moment avec BP.                  

Breaking: BP Claims Well Shut Off During Test

BP is claiming the oil well has been successfully shut off for now during this pressure test.

If you pray, pray.  

I’ll add more in a minute.  Staring at webcams.

Pressure will build up quickly, so they may turn it back on to release pressure so things don’t go to hell suddenly.

This is unlikely to stay the same status for much over an hour, at the most.

fastest webcam captures


update 1.  Well monitoring is taking place. So far, pressure steady.  A sudden drop indicates a breach somewhere and they would re open valves to let oil flow out rather than blow a hole somewhere else in the well, equipment, or well bore.

Update from twitter:  


 Update: NO OIL FLOWING INTO THE GULF #oilspill  

7 minutes ago via HootSuite

New well cap would allow oil flow regulation in case of hurricane – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

We were no happy with the redundancy in BP equipment, asked for more – Adm. Allen #oillspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Will drill relief wells about 10 feet at a time, pause for testing each time – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Relief well about 100 feet above proposed intersection point – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Integrity test will inform how we’re going to perform relief well digs – Adm. Allen  

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Integrity test also important in predicting relief wells’ success – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Much of equipment has been designed and engineered for the first time – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

We don’t think there’s a problem with well bore – Adm. Allen #oilspill  

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Consistent low pressure reading would indicate leak, stop testing again – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

Test scheduled to run for 48 hours, in 6-hour increments – Adm. Allen #oilspill

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

We are ready now to restart integrity testing – Adm. Allen

about 5 hours ago via HootSuite

apparently the last thing they shut off was blowing quite a bit of plume out nearer the bottom and that was pretty spectacular in appearance, I had thought something popped off somewhere as I had watched.

Government live video feeds here.  



bird cleaning station

skandi rov 1 leak monitoring

skandi rov 2  leak monitoring

olympic rov2 leak monitoring

update 2  here’s a screengrab picture I just took of skandi cam looking at the top of the ram stack.

BP oil spill,sealing cap,stack cap,stack ram,leak stopped,leak capped

The top of the new cap and stack. Thurs July 15, 2010,  1:20 pm PDT.  No leaks.  Oil has been stopped from leaking during this pressure test .  Skandi  Rov cam was swimming around stack taking different views.