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Government officials are not so sure

Deadline after deadline has passed, and the U.S. government is growing tired of waiting for BP's supposed relief efforts that don't seem to be working. After one failed attempt at a dome and a relief well that could take until August, BP executives are saying they have more options to explore, and that the governments efforts would not produce any different results.

"We won't quit until we get this job done," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer. "We're doing everything we can."

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said BP has "from day one, frankly, not fulfilled the mission it was supposed to fulfill" and "if we find that they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, we'll push them out of the way."

"In terms of not trusting BP, there's nobody--nobody--who is more devastated by what has happened and nobody that wants to shut this off more than we do and learn what happened so this never happens anywhere, to anyone, anywhere in the world again," said Robert Dudley, BP's managing director.

BP's next attempt at plugging the leak will be put to the test on Wednesday, where a thick, viscous fluid that is twice the density of water will be pumped into the core site of the leak. This will hopefully lead to the final stage of sealing the well permanently with cement.

Suttles said that if this attempt fails, BP's other options include placing an even smaller dome over the leak (for the third time), installing a blowout preventer, trying a "junk shot" (where rubber and other substances are used to plug the well), and the final solution being the relief well that could take up to 80 days to complete.

Two Obama administration officials went to Louisiana Monday to evaluate the response to the BP oil spill. In addition, Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will attend a flyover of affected areas as well as meet with BP representatives. Louisiana state and parish leaders, such as St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, demanded that the federal government allow them to "dredge up walls of sand to close the channels between the Gulf and coastal estuaries." 

"Either the Coast Guard has to side with its American citizens and protect its communities, or it has to side with a major world corporation named BP and betray American citizens in that process," said Taffaro.

In addition, Coast Guard Rear Adm. and federal on-scene coordinator Mary Landry said the barrier island project, which is a $350 million blueprint to repair Louisiana's barrier islands,  is still under review. Environmental and officials are reviewing the impact this project may have on "endangered and threatened species."

In response, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser pointed to an oil-covered pelican nesting ground and replied, "Is it affected now?"



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Not sure what people are expecting...
By AEvangel on 5/24/2010 2:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
The idea that the Govt would be able to do a better job at plugging this oil spill is really laughable since more then likely they would simply hire out the same contractors that BP is using for probably twice the $$. Also look at New Orleans, it's been how many years since Katrina and they still haven't cleaned up that mess and it's not located thousands of feet underwater.

At this time unless someone can show that BP was criminally negligent in their leasing of and operation of this Oil Platform. I'm not sure what the Govt thinks it can do.

quote:
"Either the Coast Guard has to side with its American citizens and protect its communities, or it has to side with a major world corporation named BP and betray American citizens in that process," said Taffaro.


What does this guy want the Coast Guard to do start shooting BP workers and contractors??

Unless someone can prove that BP is not doing all it can do to plug the leak or that they are saying they wont pay for the clean up, then really everyone just needs to take a step back and Let BP handle this mess.




RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By MozeeToby on 5/24/2010 2:54:55 PM , Rating: 5
Although nothing has been proven yet, there have been many accusations made by people who would have been in a position to make them. Accusations are coming in from the survivors of the original explosion and I can't imagine there won't be some kind of paper trail kept by someone (even just as a CYA if something happens).

Reports are the that safety systems were damaged during a test several weeks earlier and that management knew about this. Backup systems were known to be running on obsolete, uncharged batteries. Standard practice when deploying a temporary cap on the well (the cap that eventually blew and caused the disaster) wasn't followed (only 2 caps rather than 3, with no mudding in between them). No coffer damn was in place above the well head to be lowered if an accident happened (granted, it wasn't standard practice 2 months ago, Shell is currently scrambling to add them to their wells now just in case).

Mistakes were doubtless made, there are simply too many safeguards that are supposed to be in place to prevent this kind of disaster. The question is going to be figuring out what the mistakes were, who made them, and who is ultimately responsible for them.


By AEvangel on 5/24/2010 3:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mistakes were doubtless made, there are simply too many safeguards that are supposed to be in place to prevent this kind of disaster. The question is going to be figuring out what the mistakes were, who made them, and who is ultimately responsible for them.


I completely agree with the idea of an investigation to find out who and what failed if anything that resulted in this accident. An if someone is proven at fault then sue the crap out of them, but all this posturing by the Govt is pointless and is only done to keep the ignorant masses happy and feed the 24 hour news cycle.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By geddarkstorm on 5/24/2010 3:29:08 PM , Rating: 1
According to the communications from the rig (you can read some insight on gCaptain forums), they knew they were in trouble for three minutes before they exploded. Kicks from a well are normal, but this one obviously caught them by surprise, both when it happened and the power of it happening. There's probably some human error (because they didn't know what they were up against), but also a lot of nature just beating us upside the head with surprises. The fact this well is so hard to contain also attests that it might be more nature than man. I guess we won't fully know till months from now or whenever investigations are complete.

The BOP did actually engage, it just wasn't able to completely prevent the flow, yet still diminished it down (the fire that destroyed the rig was far, far more than 5000 barrels per day; probably a whole order of magnitude above more). The BOP has a PSI rating of 15,000, so it's interesting it can't stop this well. The robots that went down were trying to hydrolically jack up the BOPs strength to finish closing the well, and that failed too.

I'm hopeful the synthetic mud will work (its what was holding the well at bay the whole time Horizon was there till it was replaced with sea water right before the explosion).


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By MozeeToby on 5/24/2010 3:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
According to survivors of the original explosion, the BOP had a hole punched into it from a test a few weeks earlier.

"...during a test, they closed the gasket. But while it was shut tight, a crewman on deck accidentally nudged a joystick, applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force, and moving 15 feet of drill pipe through the closed blowout preventer. Later, a man monitoring drilling fluid rising to the top made a troubling find."

"He discovered chunks of rubber in the drilling fluid. He thought it was important enough to gather this double handful of chunks of rubber and bring them into the driller shack. I recall asking the supervisor if this was out of the ordinary. And he says, 'Oh, it's no big deal.' And I thought, 'How can it be not a big deal? There's chunks of our seal is now missing,'"

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/16/60minute...


By geddarkstorm on 5/24/2010 3:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
That's interesting, if true.

But remember, the BOP isn't acting like a seal. That's not how they work. The BOP actually has rams and cutters that, when engaged, smash down and sever the well pipe, blocking up the well. It's those cutters that have 15k psi strength behind them. The BOP's failure was being unable to completely collapse and block the well pipe, only crimping it to some extent (enough to greatly slow down the flow). If the pressure of the well was greater than the BOP's rams, that would explain the failure. Also, the fact it was a freshly cemented well could also have hindered the BOP's strength.

The seal they are talking about here sounds like some seal that sits around the pipe when its inside the BOP. I'm not sure how the loss or presence of that would affect things, other than (I'm just speculating) it could hold the pipe steady. And, without that seal from the sounds of it, if the pipe ruptured deeper under ground, and a fissure cracked up where it enters the BOP, oil possibly could leak directly past and out the BOP. However, that's not what we see. We see oil actually still coming out of the collapsed riser only, meaning pipe integrity is intact.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By MrBlastman on 5/24/2010 3:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
The picture of the BP guy kinda reminds me of Crispin Glover. An image pops into my mind of Willard and all his rats gushing out of that well, all over the Gulf.

How hard can it be to plug a hole? Just drive a few barges out there full of boulders and drop them over the hole and hope that enough of them eventually land on it, plugging it.

Sure, it is random and sounds stupid, but sometimes simplicity is the most elegant of solutions.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By clovell on 5/24/2010 3:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the hole is pretty far under the ocean. I'm pretty sure they thought of that.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By MrBlastman on 5/24/2010 3:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
About 5000 feet or so. I wonder what the random distribution of 10,000 lb rocks (or bigger) would be on the seafloor from the side of a ship assuming a crane-based delivery system to minimize the randomness of rolling... I suppose, the only other variable would be the angle of the list of the ship but that could be compensated for on the housing of the crane where it attaches to the ship much like an Abrams tank stabilizes its barrel on the roll.


By geddarkstorm on 5/24/2010 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
Err, that would be a very bad idea. The well isn't a simple "hole in the ground", and the oil would just leak around any rocks you threw at it, without even slowing down. In fact, the rocks would make it nigh impossible to then contain. You can't bury it, it needs to be "jammed" shut, using its own pressure against it.

Remember, this thing's got a mile of ocean sitting on it, that's a frick ton of pressure, and it's still leaking 5000 barrels per day with a BOP that's mostly contained it (the rig fire was estimated around 25,000 barrels per day, and the destruction of the rig triggered the BOP's deadman switch. In fact, the BOP's action nearly stopped the flow for almost a day, which was why the Admiral originally said there was no leak of oil. It started up again, probably overwhelming the BOP's 15,000 PSI rating, and preventing it from completely shearing the pipe shut. This also explains why the robots failed to close the well).

This isn't the first well to leak, or the first rig accident. We have decades of experience behind us. But working at nearly a mile under water isn't helping either.

If you want to see what the leak actually looks like, in real time, go to http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?strea...


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By frobizzle on 5/24/2010 3:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What does this guy want the Coast Guard to do start shooting BP workers and contractors??

No, not the workers or the contractors. The management? Might not be a bad idea!


By mattclary on 5/24/2010 4:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Bet you after the first one or two were strung up, we would get a resolution pretty damned fast.


By 3minence on 5/24/2010 3:13:25 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure what the Coast Guard has to do with this. Certainly they have a huge role to play in the cleanup, but as far as I know they have nothing to do with regulating how platforms are run. Lifeboats on the rig? Yes. Actual day to day platform operations? No. That is the agency that Obama recently ordered split.

People need to throw stones at the correct people.

And if I'm wrong please feel free to correct me.


By Smilin on 5/24/2010 3:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

I think BP is doing everything that can be done. It's not like they are unmotivated or something.

My only complaint with them is on the leak estimates. I know an accurate estimate is impossible but their current estimates are so far from reality that I think they are being deceptive.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By alphadog on 5/24/2010 4:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but what if stopping the leak costs more than reclaiming the leak and oil therein? What does the fiduciary responsibility to shareholder drive towards?


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/2010 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ah, but what if stopping the leak costs more than reclaiming the leak and oil therein? What does the fiduciary responsibility to shareholder drive towards?


They are still spending millions ALONG with the millions they are losing to TRY and stop the leak. Think for a minute. So they are wasting millions upon millions, that will never be reclaimed, to pretend to stop a leak that they could have stopped last week or earlier if they "tried harder"??


By alphadog on 5/24/2010 5:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
They could be giving it the "ol'college try" just for PR's sake. Else, they'd have to go on a protracted campaign like Toyota and that costs millions too.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By Nfarce on 5/24/2010 9:12:26 PM , Rating: 5
The Coast Guard agrees with you and others here RC77 who apparently got downrated by Obamabots...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37313425/ns/gulf_oil_s...

I'll tell you what - I'd trust BP any day to clean up the mess than the incompetent lawyer wretches running Washington whose first "all hands on deck approach" (words of that incompetent Napolinato) after the accident was to line up lawyers. Now here we are over a f**king MONTH later and only this week the Obama administration decides to establish an investigative panel - while oil-soaked salt marshes in Louisiana start their deterioration. Good by Gulf Coast shrimp, oysters, and seafood.

And where the hell are all the environmentalists? If Bush were president and an entire MONTH went by with oil spewing thousands of barrels a day, you don't think the DNC main stream media and Democrats wouldn't be raising holy hell and calling for heads?

Change we can believe in!


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/24/2010 10:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And where the hell are all the environmentalists? If Bush were president and an entire MONTH went by with oil spewing thousands of barrels a day, you don't think the DNC main stream media and Democrats wouldn't be raising holy hell and calling for heads?


Bush didn't play the blame game. Even when things went to hell around him and he could have taken an easy out, he didn't.

Until Obama runs out of scapegoats, they'll always be plenty of opportunity for him to deflect blame on someone else.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By hyvonen on 5/25/2010 2:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, I see; it was Obama who blew up the rig.
Sorry I missed that small detail - thanks for clearing that up for me.


By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/2010 9:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ah, I see; it was Obama who blew up the rig.


Hey Bush put thermite bombs in the twin towers and also exploded the flood wall in New Orleans, don't forget ! :P


By rett448 on 5/26/2010 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
I broke the dam!


By alphadog on 5/25/2010 9:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
> Bush didn't play the blame game.

Ah, yes, one of the newest Republican memes. It's funny how you can easily spot the manipulated Republicans and Democrats, because they just repeat the ideas spouted by party propagandists that gets moved through channels like Fox News and Daily Kos.

No, he left the Blame Game to the old dogs, who could do it better anyways, like Cheney, Rove, etc.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By alphadog on 5/25/2010 9:34:00 AM , Rating: 1
Here's the Republitard strategy: if Obama does something, scream "Socialist powergrabber!", and when he sits back and let's laissez-faire market economics take care of the world's pains, scream: "Do Nothing President!"

It's a win-win!


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/2010 9:59:31 AM , Rating: 1
I love how you guys can't stand your own medicine that we all had to put up with for the last 9 years. If you don't like to see a President dragged through the mud, then maybe you shouldn't have done it yourself? Your post describes the EXACT blue print the Democrats used against Bush.


By knutjb on 5/25/2010 10:30:08 AM , Rating: 2
The quote that's missing from Ken Salazar is where he said government has to keep its boot on BP's neck. If that image doesn't disturb you what will? This does conjure up Brown Shirt tactics.

The Feds ARE just as responsible for the clean up as BP is, only they waited 9 days to think about doing anything. Then then only gave us lip service. Yes the Coast Guard did respond but not for the mess just the accident.

It took place in Fed waters because environmentalist didn't want them close to shore. If this accident had been in a few hundred feet, or even on land, it would have been stopped in a couple of days. Our ability to operate at a mile is limited. BTW you can't see a drilling platform from shore if its more than 4 miles away.

Put your head in the sand if you want but you are politically blinded if you don't think Obama holds no skin in this game. Bush did not have the right legally to take control in LA and may have broken several laws when he did send in the troops. The laws places the Governor and Mayors in charge for such disasters. This occurred in Fed waters, not state waters which only extend 3 miles out.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By alphadog on 5/25/2010 11:03:02 AM , Rating: 2
"You guys"? Lol. You are really amusing.

Just because you're a paranoid extremist doesn't immediately mean I am on the other extreme. (Hint: Not all is black-and-white. There are more centrists and moderates than there are far-whatever. We're just not as noisy.)


By clovell on 5/25/2010 12:01:14 PM , Rating: 1
Wha's amusing is how you guys devolve the argument into a 2-party pissing match. Obama is doing a few hairs more than jack shit about this, and here we are bitching about BP with half-assed theories about how they're really not trying when they're already executed some possible solutions, are in the process of executing more, and also in the process of developing more just in case.


By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/2010 5:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(Hint: Not all is black-and-white. There are more centrists and moderates than there are far-whatever. We're just not as noisy.)


aka. People with loose ideals, no moral compass, quick to stay neutral or choose the wrong side, fast to change their stance for fear of looking unpopular.

You people are honestly just Liberals in sheep's clothing. You aren't fooling anyone. If you can sit through what's happened for the last year plus and NOT be outraged, then I think it's time to rethink your position. And don't call others "paranoid extremist's" because they are more informed and aware than you. Besides, I rather be called a paranoid extremist than a blind fool looking through rose colored glasses. Hopeless optimism and blind faith exposes how weak you really are as a person.


By clovell on 5/25/2010 11:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
BP is fully aware of the coming environmental and punitive damages it will have to pay for. By not getting this leak fixed NOW, they're losing far more money each day than they would if they simply walked away.


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By hyvonen on 5/25/2010 2:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'm flabbergasted by your complete mistrust of the Government while exhibiting blind unwavering trust of Big Companies.

The Big Companies are out to maximize shareholder value. At least the Government has some incentive to try to help regular people.


By karielash on 5/25/2010 9:50:36 AM , Rating: 1
I don't have much faith in big industry...

But...

Have you seen the US Senate lately?


RE: Not sure what people are expecting...
By MrBlastman on 5/25/2010 10:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
The Government has zero incentive to help regular people. None. They have EVERY incentive to LIE to regular people so they get their votes.

That is about it.

Why?

Simple:

Regular people don't have millions of dollars to lobby Washington with. Washington listens to where the money comes from. If someone offers them cash, they take it and do the deed.

It is a _very_ simple concept. If you think politicians are looking out for YOU then you really need pinch yourself so you can wake up. The only person looking out for you is yourself, not any of the scumbags that are in Congress (or the White House).

The Government, at least, right now, is all about looking out for themselves and benefitting their pockets the best way that they can.


By AEvangel on 5/25/2010 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Government, at least, right now, is all about looking out for themselves and benefiting their pockets the best way that they can


That is so true...and I wouldn't shorten yourself to right now....they have been that way for the last 150 years.


By AEvangel on 5/25/2010 10:30:02 AM , Rating: 2
Here is your proof it's all the Govt Fault it's not capped.

quote:
The EPA’s Carol Browner: BP does have the technology. They’re the ones who understand how the robots work; they’re the ones who understand how the vessels work. But that doesn’t mean we’re not bringing to bear our best talent and doesn’t mean we’re not in charge. We are in charge, and they take direction from us when we need to provide that direction.


So they EPA has been in charge from day one then?? I guess we can blame the Govt for the delay since according to the EPA they are in charge.


By clovell on 5/25/2010 12:03:07 PM , Rating: 1
Talk is cheap and bullshit is free, dude - you want to get a bead on someone? Watch what they do.

BP is as far from blameless as heaven is from hell right now, but they're the only ones DOING anything.


By karielash on 5/25/2010 9:39:07 AM , Rating: 1

It's not a utter total and complete fuckup yet, there is still more the politicians can do to make it one, so lets get it over and done with, put one of those snake-oil Senators in charge of things and then we can kick back with a six pack and watch them turn a crisis into a total disaster...


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