BP

Wednesday Open Thread: BP Gulf Blowout Anniversary, New PA Fracking Disaster Edition

  • Posted on: 20 April 2011
  • By: Open Thread

It's the first year anniversary of the BP blowout on the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, but this isn't the way most people expected it to be remembered:

Gas Drilling Emergency in Bradford County

Officials said thousands of gallons of fluid leaked over farm land and into a creek from a natural gas well in Bradford County.

Now there is a massive operation underway to contain the spill of drilling fluids.

The rupture near Canton happened late Tuesday night, contaminating nearby land and creeks.

The blowout happened on the Morse family farm in LeRoy Township outside Canton, a farming community.

Chesapeake Energy officials said a piece of equipment on the well failed.

Now a major response is underway to stop the leak of frack fluid and get control of the well.

[...Click for full story...]

One year ago today marks the date when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig experienced an explosion that led to a "gulf gusher," spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of any claims to the contrary, the facts remain that these things happen and will continue to happen...both at sea and, as proven by this latest incident as well as the ongoing heroic blogging efforts of TXSharon at BlueDaze.

Isn't it about time we did something to regulate tighten the quality standards of the equipment and operations that have enormous potential for such disaster?

As you chew on that for a bit, keep in mind: This is an Open Thread. Your thoughts in comments are always appreciated.

Sections: 

Can you dig it?

  • Posted on: 22 September 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Now what could this mean? TV crew stopped from taking samples from polluted Florida beach. Pat Gonzales, US Fish and Wildlife (to WEAR ABC 3 reporter taking a sample from polluted beach): "You can not come out here and do your own investigation if you're looking for oil product." WEAR ABC 3

Is the government protecting the sovereign state of BP? Is a pattern emerging?

It seems so. In addition to chasing off WEAR-ABC off the beach, federal officials discouraged scientists from taking samples in the Gulf, other federal officials confiscated samples gathered by scientists at LSU, and state officials refused to test fish for pollution claiming they'd seen no oil in the area in question. Who benefits?

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Another Day, Another Spill, Oil Apocalypse Edition

  • Posted on: 28 July 2010
  • By: Open Thread

From DingellDem on DailyKos, the bad news:

__________

More than 800,000 gallons of oil spilled into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River on Sunday and Monday.  The oil is a part of the eight million gallons that traverse the area each day en route from Indiana to the major refinery town of Sarnia, Ontario.  A Canadian company, Enbridge Inc., owns the pipeline.

Battle Creek Enquirer

For those who don't know, the Kalamazoo River flows 166 miles across southern Michigan.  The river has its origins in the south-central counties of Hillsdale and Jackson.  Eventually, the river reaches Lake Michigan at Saugatuck.

Kalamazoo River: Wikipedia

__________

More information available over there in Dingeldem's piece or in this one by Brainwrap.

As for our existing, already-unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico,

__________

At the well site, crews working on the ruptured, but capped, oil well have once again connected through the relief well to existing underwater equipment, BP said Tuesday.

The workers had been forced to disconnect their equipment and retreat from the well site late last week, when Tropical Storm Bonnie loomed as a potential threat. But when Bonnie lost power, workers returned to the site over the weekend.

BP said it planned to test the blowout preventer on the well later Tuesday, and then run casing pipe later this week as a prelude to the final shutdown.

__________

Let's hope things go right and the thing gets properly capped. The Gulf Spill is enough of an oil apocalypse on its own.

This is an Oil-Free Open Thread.

BP Pressure Tests To Continue Today

  • Posted on: 17 July 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

The efforts to fully cap the gusher continue with tests to ensure that the existing cap is holding, integrity is good and that there are no other leaks.

From CNN,

__________

Critical test to continue Saturday in fight to contain oil spill
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 17, 2010 3:18 a.m. EDT

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- BP will continue crucial testing Saturday to determine whether a new containment cap will keep stopping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

On Friday, the containment cap left some, including President Barack Obama, cautiously optimistic after it seemed to stop the massive flow of oil.

BP officials were still analyzing tests on the containment cap Friday and were uncertain about whether there was a leak in the well.

Thad Allen, who's overseeing the government's response to the oil spill, said Friday that pressure was rising in the well. That was a sign that the well was holding and that the leak that had been spewing oil into the Gulf for nearly three months could be contained.

But pressure readings had not reached the optimal level.

[...more...]

__________

So far, so good.

Sections: 

Drilling relief wells

  • Posted on: 22 June 2010
  • By: Unenergy

The shutdown of the drilling operations is expected to have a substantial impact on the Louisiana economy, as the 33 rigs contemplated in last week's shutdown order probably employ 7,590 people, and each of those is believed to support four other jobs on land.

The Interior Department has released a list of 17 companies with deepwater drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico that are affected, but it has not disclosed the names of the prospects, rigs or locations, saying the information is proprietary
Source

And of course today

Judge Blocks Drilling Moratorium
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.Source

Sections: 

The Sovereign State of BP - Down for the Count?

  • Posted on: 16 June 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

British Petroleum has operated as though it were a sovereign state since its inception.  When they blew the well at their Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, it never occurred to them that they would have to take orders from anybody.  But that may change largely due to their inability to stop the flow of oil after nearly sixty days of gushing.

President Obama was clear in his speech last night.  If any entity is going down as a result of the catastrophe, it will be BP.  Today, Obama meets with BP's Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg, and the man he told the chairman to fire, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.

Two sovereign states will collide.  The outcome is a foregone conclusion.

The Five Flawed Choices of the Oilpocalypse?

  • Posted on: 14 June 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Just came across a post by emptywheel at Firedoglake who has put up a letter the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Henry Waxman has written to BP regarding the decisions made by BP leading up to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

BP’s Well Failure Due to Effort to Save $10 Million?

It lays out five choices which BP appear to have made which, had they taken a different route, one which did not appear to be focused on saving time and money alone, the destruction in the Gulf of Mexico may not have happened.

Sections: 

Deepwater Chernobyl

  • Posted on: 10 June 2010
  • By: Unenergy

A while ago I watched a documentary on building the sarcophagus which encloses the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster site. I have unsuccessfully, tried to find that documentary as my recollection runs that the radioactivity released from the Chernobyl site was only able to be stopped by burying the reactor core in sand, concrete and an outer shell called a sarcophagus.

There seem to be parallels with the current Deepwater Horizon disaster in that we are witnessing once more that man is capable of unleashing uncontrollable forces in his pursuit of energy. Forces he had no contingency plan to deal with. Forces capable of devastating economies, destroying livelihoods and killing wildlife by contaminating the environment to such an extent that even people find they have to move away rather than suffer.

That the only way that we have to fix it once that bottle is uncorked, was to just bury it in concrete. In Russia the reactor core was covered in sand then concrete. In the Gulf of Mexico disaster, first mud was tried, but once the relief wells are drilled, it will be likewise be filled with concrete.

Based on this I went looking for supporting evidence to back up this initial premise, and am astounded by what I found.

Sections: 

Why does Ken Salazar still have a job?

  • Posted on: 10 June 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

That one is easy to answer. Because President Obama hasn't fired him and Salazar refuses to resign in shame. (Image)

The real question is what is so wrong with President Obama that he keeps Ken Salazar on as Secretary of the Interior?

Salazar should have given Obama a strong heads up about the major risks of offshore drilling before any policy change was made. He should have done a thorough review of the Department of the Interior with some serious attention to the problem agency key to exploration and drilling permits. The department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has a long rap sheet as a problem agency. Salazar knew this.

So why is this guy still around?

"I don't ever remember doing this" - Rig Survivor

  • Posted on: 8 June 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Rig survivors: BP ordered shortcut on day of blast

BP official wanted workers to replace heavy mud, used to keep the well's pressure down, with lighter seawater to help speed a process that was costing an estimated $750,000 a day and was already running five weeks late, rig survivors told CNN.

BP won the argument, said Doug Brown, the rig's chief mechanic. "He basically said, 'Well, this is how it's gonna be.' "

In the CNN interviews, the workers described a corporate culture of cutting staff and ignoring warning signs ahead of the blast. They said BP routinely cut corners and pushed ahead despite concerns about safety.

Remember 60 minutes had the interview with Mike Williams where he suspected this was the case.

Jed wrote about it here:

Sections: 

Open Thread - BP, The King Of Torts And Healthcare

  • Posted on: 1 June 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Via MSNBC, a report that I read this morning in Bloomberg Businessweek and might be worth your eye contact for a few moments.

The tort lawyer and the BP oil disaster.

By Ken Wells
Bloomberg
Businessweek

Fri., May 28, 2010

Daniel Becnel Jr., speed dialing over a speaker phone, places a call to a lawyer for a defendant in the British Petroleum-Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill.

"This is the king of torts calling," he says when he reaches the attorney's executive assistant.

"Oh," she says. "Then it must be Danny Becnel."

Becnel, adjusting his gold-rimmed glasses, nods appreciatively from his mahogany desk strewn with an impressive pile of legal papers. It's from here, in a French colonial-style office in Reserve, La., population 10,000, that he orchestrated the filing of the first federal lawsuit eight days after the Apr. 20 blowout, and where he tracks the legal squadrons gathering to sue BP and its contractors for claims that experts say could add up to a half-a-trillion dollars or more. About 110 suits have been filed so far, according to Becnel, and dozens more appear to be on the way.

I am trying to remember which party is always talking about tort reform - except when they are calling it a government takeover of healthcare - and who would benefit from it the most? It is not like keeping caps on Big Oil's disaster costs low has helped stop any disasters as evidenced by the history of BP and other repeat offenders. This is part of why I have always viewed the idea of tort reform in healthcare that the GOP, mostly, has pushed for as an invitation to even greater healthcare disasters when healthcare remains in the hands of the private sector profiteers.

When you cap Big Oil's responsibilities for disasters at a mere 75 million dollars  - as the GOP and some Blue Dogs have fought to keep in place - it destroys the free market's and the government's ability to hold the worst offenders accountable:

Sections: 

Is BP even working to plug the correct part of the leak? Video - experts ask each other 'why not?'

  • Posted on: 28 May 2010
  • By: luaptifer

This video clip of a Dan Ratigan segment is worth understanding better than I do, at the moment.

400 million gallons = 40 Exxon Valdez

  • Posted on: 18 May 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Exxon Valdez spilled an estimated minimum 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of crude oil.

Why BP Won't Measure the Oil Spill

Independent scientists analyzing the slick set the estimate at 25,000 barrels a day, and once BP released the underwater video, they calculated flow rates as high as 80,000 barrels a day.

From a comment in that thread :

at 80k barrels a day, this very well could become the most massive spill in history - EASILY. That's 3,360,000 gallons a day for 90-120 days (assuming the other wells they're drilling do what they think they will - which is another assumption they're making). That's 403,200,000 gallons, dwarfing the Persian gulf war spills in the early 1990s.

A couple of things with this estimate approaching almost half a Billion gallons of oil.