Gulf of Mexico: Oil still leaking from well head

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remind remind's picture
Gulf of Mexico: Oil still leaking from well head

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remind remind's picture

"BP is demanding that Canada lifts its tight rules for drilling in the icy Beaufort Sea portion of the Arctic Ocean..In an incredible display of arrogance, BP is claiming that a current safety requirement that undersea wells drilled during the newly ice-free summer must also include a side relief well, so as to have a preventive measure in place that could shut down a blown well, is 'too expensive' and should be eliminated'.."

And watch the Harper government say "fine fine fine"



The chemical dispersants have kept the oil from rising to the surface, but it is a good thing?

The US govt. ordered BP to stop using it, but BP continued anyhow. It is not only that the dispersant is toxic - those plumes of oil beneath the surface are made up of small droplets now, not a cohesive slick. It could be much worse in that form, being mixed in with sea water and more likely to harm ocean life.

It might have been better to let the oil rise to the surface even though it would ruin more shoreline, at least there would not be those huge plumes of oil flowing around the Gulf currents where it will be pushed out into the Atlantic Ocean.


Etc - Some Numbers:

Number of reports issued by the U.S. Minerals Management Service documenting non-compliant offshore drilling operations: 150

Time period during which MMS said it saw "no discernible improvement by industry" in terms of safety: 7 years

Frequency with which MMS wants operators to have their safety programs audited: every 3 years

Number of letters oil companies have sent protesting the proposed regulations, citing the expense: over 100

Profits earned by BP in 2009: $14 billion

Number of oil spills of over 2,100 gallons that have occurred in the Gulf over the past decade: 172





remind remind's picture

But yet British Petroleu has petioned the Harper government to let our own environmental protections go, and indeed the Liberals have okayed the Bill that will do so, as seen over here.


And why aren't Canadcian environmental groups all over this, but are certainly carrying on about the Gulf spill.

What happened to proactive?

writer writer's picture "They want to fine us $4,300 for every barrel of oil spilled? Umm, we're not spilling barrels, the oil is going directly into the gulf. DUH"


For some days now, I have come to believe that this disaster will be the worst single event to befall this planet since the blessed event of modern humans graced this lucky globe--though much of the corporate info-tainment media (as well as socio-political oriented "progressive" media ) still treat it as just one-of-many big stories.

We shall see.

For a few, the penny seems to be tentatively dropping though the numbers and time-frame given in this story are unjustifiably optimistic:

Published on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by The Hill
Unchecked Oil Flow Would Cause Disaster ‘Heretofore Unseen by Humanity’

by Ben Geman

If BP fails to plug its ruptured offshore oil well, intense underground pressure would be enough to pump vast quantities of thick brown crude into the Gulf of Mexico for months, even years.

If even BP's backup plans fail, it would cause a pollution disaster "heretofore unseen by humanity," said one expert.

It is this rapidly accelerating realization that is giving BP's attempt Wednesday to cap the well new political and environmental urgency....



I'm not sure, Contrariana.  I think it will be a watershed event in terms of oil, that's true.  


But in terms of human and environmental degradation, I don't think the BP oil spill in the Gulf will prove as bad as what has been going on in Nigeria for decades.

Not to downplay what's happening in the Gulf.   It's worse than we know, and worse than we can imagine. 









I'm not a big Larry King fan or viewer, but last night I was surfing around and settled on Larry for a few minutes.


Jacques Cousteau's grandson was on, and he said that over the last few years,  BP has spent more money lobbying against propsed regulations than it would cost to conform to proposed regulations.


I'm not sure how that's arrived at, or even if it's true.

But it certainly would not surprise me in the least.

writer writer's picture

[url=]BP stops oil leak[/url] ... so far



In a new development highlighting environmental problems, all 125 commercial fishing boats helping to clean up the oil off Louisiana's Breton Sound were recalled after four workers reported health problems.

The crew members aboard three separate vessels working in the area "reported experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains," the unified joint command centre said.

It raised new questions about the risks of working with the thick gobs of oil washing up on shores here and the toxicity of tens of thousands of gallons of chemical dispersants used by BP to break up the slick.

After reviewing the disaster that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig, a White House aide said Mr Obama would extend for six months a moratorium on offshore oil drilling in deep water.

He also will delay planned oil exploration projects off the coast of Alaska until after a review by a presidential commission.


After BP officials admitted there had been a litany of failures and warnings signs in the hours before the explosion, the New York Times reported that the company chose a casing for the well that was the riskier of two options, partly because it made "the best economic case."

Citing a BP document, the daily said the concern with the method BP chose was that if the cement around the casing pipe did not seal properly, gases could leak all the way to the wellhead, where only a single seal would serve as a barrier.


I was watching Rachel Maddow last night and she had a great piece on the 1979 oil spill in the GUlf.  That well was only 200 feet below sea level not 5,000.  They could not plug the leak until other wells were drilled.  Every single thing being tried today is the same as 31 years ago when they didn't work in shallower water.  They have no new technology to deal with spills only new technology to drill deeper.

I loved the various descriptions of the same procedures.  The current Top Hat maneuver was called the Sombrero in 1979.  If it wasn't so fucking destructive the irony is like a Monty Python film.

writer writer's picture

The top hat was a while ago. The current one is known as a top kill. Some news is making it out like it has worked. It hasn't worked until they've got the pressure to zero and the cement down. So far, the leak has stopped.

Let's hope.


Yes we can hope that this time it works. They tried the same "top kill" with a different name in 1979.  it is junk science based on desperation not planning or for thought and we are reduced to praying that a long shot will win.  

BP got out of their environmental reviews in the Gulf just as they are trying to in the Arctic. They said the changes of a blow out were so remote that they didn't need to be looked at.  The American regulator is a corrupt organization with a revolving door between the industry and the government agencies supposedly providing over sight.  The Maddow show even had some e-mails from one of the inspectors of this very rig when he was trying to get a job with BP.  He was negotiating for a contract and benefits with the company he was regulating.  That is called corruption.


I am watching LIVE VIDEO of the spill, and it appears to still be gushing out. It had looked like the flow was stopped earlier, but it isn't now.

Live Video LINK>


So what about Canada's Arctic? Are we going to try to stop them from drilling for oil there? There allready are a few wells in those delicate waters, but should there be more?

Because the Americans, where they have juristiction in Arctic waters, have just announced a moratorium on new wells. Doesn't PM Harper do whatever the Americans do - or was that just when Bush was President?


From CBS - Quote:
The Obama administration is suspending proposed exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

In March, Obama and Salazar canceled a planned 2011 lease sale in Alaska's Bristol Bay, where oil development was proposed by the Bush administration. They canceled four scheduled lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas and said no additional leases would be offered there until more scientific data are collected.

An administration official said Salazar believes that fisheries, tourism and environmental values in Bristol Bay make the area inappropriate for oil and gas drilling.

Shell, which has leases in both the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, had sought to begin drilling five exploratory wells in those areas this summer. Salazar's announcement means those wells will not be considered until 2011.

- end quote

writer writer's picture

I'm seeing close-ups of machinery right now.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC just reported that the spill is now officially two to four times what BP claimed, and is by far the worse environmental disaster in US history, far exceeding that of the Exxon Valdez, and BP says today it will possibly be two more days before it can evaluate the 'top hat' experiment. Obama has changed regulations, and says this is completely BP's responsibility.

Boycott BP.

remind remind's picture

So boom boom how did the Drs visit go?

Thanks for the update was not on the noon news here....

Have been boycotting Shell and BP for decades, everyone needs to start using a Rhoades Car.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC Newsworld is interviewing a commander (Admiral Thad Allen) who says the US Army Corps of Engineers is gearing up to do a massive dredging project, and the Corps are also being asked to build islands and barriers against the spill.

ETA: Hurricane season in the Gulf begins next week, pundits are trying to guess how hurricanes will affect the surface spill, if at all.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
remind remind's picture

Ohhh andy, opiates boom boom.....  :D


No news here  for another 90 thanks for thew update and BP wants to do the same to Canada's coast line eh.....and it and Shell to the BC watersheds.


They will never get them built in time is this the wake up the people require?


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The only thing  absolutely true in the news today is the hurricane season in the Gulf starting up next week. However, no one (so far) is predicting what it will do to the spill and efforts to clean it up.


What If The Oil Spill Can't Be Fixed?

"It's entirely possible, even likely, that we're going to be stuck helplessly watching as this well spews oil into the Gulf for years. What if there's nothing we can do? Because some mistakes just can't be undone..."


No shame. 

Coast Guard Grounds Ships Involved in Oil Cleanup After 7 Fall Ill; BP Reportedly Preventing Fishermen from Wearing Respirators

JUAN GONZALEZ: In Louisiana, seven fishermen involved in the cleanup of the BP oil spill were hospitalized on Wednesday after reporting nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains. The crew members were working aboard three separate vessels. The fishermen were likely exposed to both the leaked oil and chemical dispersants. As a precautionary measure, the Unified Command has ordered all 125 commercial ships helping with the cleanup in Breton Sound, Louisiana to return to land.

For weeks, cleanup crews hired by BP have been reporting health issues, but their complaints have largely been ignored. As recently as Tuesday, BP spokesperson Graham MacEwen told the Los Angeles Times he was unaware of any health complaints among cleanup workers. BP has refused to provide respirators to many hired fishermen, and the company has reportedly threatened to fire workers who use their own respirators on the job.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I was watching CBC Newsworld just now, Carole MacNeil (one of my fave CBC anchors) was reporting on the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis.


I had my eye treatments this morning, tomorrow I go for X-rays to determine if a cyst is cancerous or not. The laser eye treatment this morning was to provide a "release valve" by way of a laser so liquid from inside my eyeball could drain. I've been having trouble with lightning flashes and 'floaters'.  The Dr. explained the hard gel inside my eyeballs (both of them) is melting (consequence of aging) and the liquid needs to be drained off. I asked for a  shot of morphine to help me relax during the treatment  but the doctor said "no, you will just see a bright light and a pinch on your eyeball".  I have to go back in another month for examination to see if the treatment needs to be repeated. The treatment has no effect whatsoever on whether I need  glasses or not.

ETA: X-rays showed cyst is benign - no cancer. Yayy!


Merely capitalism at its finest moment.  It is the share holder profit that needs to be protected first and foremost. Workers and the environment are secondary concerns right after profit.  The absurdity of the system is highlighted in the fact that because of the spill the price of oil went up and now BP is making more profit than before they polluted the Gulf. 

Don't forget there is still a cap on the amount of damages that an oil company can be required to pay for clean-up so so far no risk to their overall capital.  Buy now and secure your retirement income with BP stocks. 

remind remind's picture

where is the rage?


seriously i wanna know, why are people so obliv ious?


Is it the indoctrination , or really operant conditioning of bells buzzers and beeps?


is it a lack of caring about anything other than oneself and immediate circumstance?


Are stock portfolios really that important?


....disassociation with one's world?


Are minds too dulled by a toxic poisons to grasp the enormity of what is happening?


What.... seriously....what in the hell are people doing tolerating this crap and the rest of the corporate shit be shoved upon us?


is it a lack of caring about anything other than oneself and immediate circumstance?

Spot on. Capitalism exists at street level as well.

remind remind's picture

Why do they not understand that their immediate circumstance is threatened by tolerating this crap?


And in related news Enbridge is applying to build a pipeline across northern Albertta and BC to pump the dirtiest oil on the planet to Kitimat to run tankers through Hecatet Strait one of the most hazardous marine areas for shipping in the world.  Here is the EnBRIDGE they are selling.  Given that the spill in Alaska is mere decades ago we have at least 300 years before any other spill could be expected. This would be funny if it wasn't so perverse.


Based on the projected tanker traffic volume (71 condensate and 149 oil, for a total or 220 tankers per year), and the expected routing split, it is estimated that with mitigation (primarily the use of escort tugs) an oil spill has the potential to occur once in 350 years and a condensate spill has the potential to occur  once in 890 years (i.e., a spill is very unlikely to occur). The return period (time frame in which one event is expected) for each segment is included in Table 3-1. 


The volume of hydrocarbon released in the rare event of an accidental spill will depend on the type of event (grounding, collision, fire/explosion, foundering) and the size of tanker involved.  The mitigated return period of spills of 5,000 m3 and above has been estimated to be approximately 550 years, while the return period for spills of 20,000 m3 will be approximately 2,800 years. The return periods for extremely large oil spills, exceeding 40 000 m3, has been estimated to more than 15,000 years. 


In addition to the mitigation measures that are adopted to reduce the risk of an incident, it is planned to implement a first response capability (increased response capacity and improved response mobilization time) which would mitigate the impact of a spill in the unlikely event that a tanker incident occurs




This will have to bankrupt BP. No oil company is so rich that it can expect to clean up a disaster of this magnitude and still be in business after. The damage to the fishery down there and the claims BP will be paying out for possibly decades, not to mention how this will affect ocean ecology around the world. If there's any justice at all, BP will not survive this.

I think people concerned need to be vigilant in focussing responsibility where it lies. Already we hear strains from right wing corners about "government responsibility". This will not be put on the backs of citizens.

Isn't Gulf of Mexico an earthquake zone?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The former head of Shell spoke to CBC yesterday and repeated the mantra that the Gulf has been drilled for 50 years, with 700 drill platforms, and this is the first spill of major significance there in that time. But he overlooked the fact that it only takes one major spill like The DeepWaterHorizon's to cause a catastrophe that will have lasting effect for decades.


As for BP, the company made a record $5.6 billion in pure profits just in the first three months of 2010. BP made $163 billion in profits from 2001-09. It has a long history of safety violations and slap-on-the-wrist fines. It's a very long way from bankrupty, if ever.


writer writer's picture

It's also a flat-out lie, unless 10,000 - 30,000 barrels per day for close to 10 months isn't significant:

On June 3, 1979, the 2 mile deep exploratory well, IXTOC I, blew out in the Bahia de Campeche, 600 miles south of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The IXTOC I was being drilled by the SEDCO 135, a semi-submersible platform on lease to Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). A loss of drilling mud circulation caused the blowout to occur. The oil and gas blowing out of the well ignited, causing the platform to catch fire. The burning platform collapsed into the wellhead area hindering any immediate attempts to control the blowout. PEMEX hired blowout control experts and other spill control experts including Red Adair, Martech International of Houston, and the Mexican diving company, Daivaz. The Martech response included 50 personnel on site, the remotely operated vehicle TREC, and the submersible Pioneer I. The TREC attempted to find a safe approach to the Blowout Preventer (BOP). The approach was complicated by poor visibility and debris on the seafloor including derrick wreckage and 3000 meters of drilling pipe. Divers were eventually able to reach and activate the BOP, but the pressure of the oil and gas caused the valves to begin rupturing. The BOP was reopened to prevent destroying it. Two relief wells were drilled to relieve pressure from the well to allow response personnel to cap it. Norwegian experts were contracted to bring in skimming equipment and containment booms, and to begin cleanup of the spilled oil. The IXTOC I well continued to spill oil at a rate of 10,000 - 30,000 barrels per day until it was finally capped on March 23, 1980. Keyword: Boom, Corexit 9527, skimmer, manual removal, volunteers, blowout, fire, evaporation, blowout preventer, relief well, submersible..


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Ha, he overlooked that one.


A gusher of this size will affect fisheries in many other areas, not to mention tourism and all related industries. The damages will be far-reaching and long term. The clean up cost just for the Gulf will be in the billions. And then every other area affected.There will be huge, long-term damages to pay.

If their pockets are deep enough, great. I don't see how it's possible, but better that they're around to compensate than to disappear from public accountability.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Oh, I think Obama should take over BP completely, and sell it off until all the Gulf bills are paid, there's enough other oil companies to pick up the slack from BP's demise. That doesn't seem to be in the works.


Obama’s Missing Moral Narrative

Crises are opportunities. He has consistently missed them. Today was a grand opportunity to pull together the threads - BP and the spill, Massey and the mine disaster, Wall Street and the economic disaster, Anthem BlueCross and health care, the Arizona Immigration Law, Don't Ask, Don't Tell - even Afghanistan. The press threw him fastballs straight down the middle, and he hit dribblers every time.

It's not that he said nothing to tie them together.  But there was no home run, no unifying narrative, no patriotic call to the nation on the full gamut of issues. Instead, there were only hints, suggestions, possible implications, notes of concern - as if he had been intimidated by the right-wing message machine.

unknowncanadian unknowncanadian's picture

Looks like Canada might be next.  Harper will let them drill anywhere. 


Next? Canada's already got a good head start. 



jas wrote:

A gusher of this size will affect fisheries in many other areas, not to mention tourism and all related industries. The damages will be far-reaching and long term. The clean up cost just for the Gulf will be in the billions. And then every other area affected.There will be huge, long-term damages to pay.

If their pockets are deep enough, great. I don't see how it's possible, but better that they're around to compensate than to disappear from public accountability.


I believe that BP will pay just like Exxon did after the Valdez disaster.  Exxon paid a small fraction of what the damage was and only after a decade of litigation.  Yeah capitalism!!  And don't forget the American law that limits oil companies liabilities it is still on the books and that is only 75 MILLION.  The damages are estimated to be in the billions given the lost tourism and fisheries etc.  I certainly hope that BP would be made to pay but so far I tend to think it will be like Bopal or Alaska.  

remind remind's picture

Yep, I agree kropotkin, and that Canadians will let them do that here too, is infuriating...all they have to do is threaten world wide monetary issues and people comply....and allow things they never would have..just 15 years ago even.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

BP Public Relations Twitter Account


  1. @bpTerry just asked a scientist why there are so many crows in the south. Turns out they are seagulls. It was AWKWARD. #bpcares via Twitterrific
  2. If you've ever wanted to take a dump in the ocean, now is your chance. #whynot? #bpcares via Twitterrific
  3. What a gorgeous day! The ocean is filled with the most beautiful rainbows! #yourewelcome #bpcares via web

Kaspar Hauser

remind asked, "Where is the rage?"


I honestly think it's been drowned out by despair, grief, and fear. This is how disaster capitalism works, isn't it? 


Speaking of which:


remind remind's picture

Have you seen the new commercial by Shell selling us how 'green' natural gas is, compared to coal,  in order to try and get people on side to allow the extraction from the coal beds?


It is sickening and if our environmental NGO's were not co-opted they would be getting ads out combatting this lie by Shell.




Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Next desperate idea coming up!



Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture




This is very bad news.   I checked in on CNN this afternoon, to see how it was going,  At that time, they were still hopeful.



Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Energy expert: Nuking oil leak 'only thing we can do' Surprised



ETA: CBC is reporting the next step likely will be a 'containment dome' with a hose sucking the oil to a ship above. But that has never been tried at this depth.


The nuke option should have been in the planning stage from day one.

Obama prefers to let business proceed with its "solutions".

The BP relief wells may be complete in August. (hurricanes willing).


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