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Posts Tagged ‘BP oil spill’

Sick of Oil Spills

Posted by feww on July 18, 2011

BP Alaskan pipeline at Lisburne field ruptures spilling methanol and oil onto the tundra

Up to 4,200 gallons of a mixture of “methanol and oily water” was spilled after a rupture which occurred on Saturday, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said.

Lisburne comes under the management of the Greater Prudhoe Bay Unit and was reportedly undergoing maintenance work.

Prudhoe Bay oil field (PBOF), located on Alaska’s North Slope, is the largest oil field in North America. It’s operated by BP and its partners ExxonMobiland ConocoPhillips Alaska.

Covering an area of about 86,000 ha,  PBOF was initially estimated as containing about 25 billion barrels of crude. The field is located about 640 km north of Fairbanks (1,050 km north of Anchorage), some 400 km north of the Arctic Circle (1,900 km from the North Pole).

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Gulf of Mexico in BP Crosshairs

Posted by feww on June 24, 2010

Oil in GOM: 4.2 Million Barrels and Rising

Undersea remote control vehicle (RCV) damages the ruptured wellhead’s “vent system”

Oil gushed unhindered from BP’s ruptured wellhead after an undersea RVC collided with a makeshift vent system placed above the wellhead to capture some of the crude from the world’s deadliest oil spill. [Watch this space.]


Oil Continues to gush out of the BP’s Black Death Oil Well at a rate of about 69,000bpd (±16 %).

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BP Oil Spill: Turtles Are Dying

Posted by feww on May 19, 2010

More Turtles Are Dying Than Before Oil Leak: Experts

At least 156  dead or dying sea turtles have been found along the U.S. Gulf Coast since April 30, some 10 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded.

This number of dead or dying turtles that have been washed up along the coasts of Alabama, Florida Louisiana and Mississippi is greater than the number of dead and injured  turtles that that we expect to see this time of the year, said Dr. Michael Ziccardi, a veterinarian and  director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network in California.

“The toll among sea turtles has been steadily rising since the deep-sea well ruptured last month, and the stranding count began to reach an unusually high level in the past week,” Ziccardi was reported as saying.

In Gulf of Mexico: A Waiting Disaster

Moderators introduced the Thunder Horse platform, the world’s largest semisubmersible facility, as another likely candidate that might cause another oil spill mega disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Which of the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Wells Would Leak Next?


Located 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans in Mississippi Canyon Block 778 in a water depth of approximately 6,050 feet (1,844 meters), the Thunder Horse platform is the world’s largest semisubmersible facility. British Petroleum received approval from the Minerals Management Service to debottleneck the topside production facilities to 275,000 barrels of oil and 220 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of March 20, 2009, production was approximately 260,000 barrels of oil and 210.5 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day from seven wells. The Thunder Horse Field is the largest producer in the Gulf of Mexico. (Image courtesy of BP America Inc.). Source: DOI, MMS Report. Mississippi Canyon Block 778 could turn out to be another “Challenger” of deepwater oil production.


In 2005 Hurricane Dennis forced the crew to evacuate Thunder Horse, which was later found listing when the crew returned.Source: USGC.

The Atlantis

Blog Moderators have since learned that the U.S. government has decided to investigate another big BP oil rig, the Atlantis.

Atlantis PQ is believed to be a BP plc/BHP Billiton joint venture deepwater semi-submersible oil platform which is located over the Green Canyon Atlantis Oil Field in Gulf of Mexico, about 300 km (185 mi) south of New Orleans.


The Atlantis PQ oil and gas production platform is the  deepest moored oil and gas extraction facility in the world producing about 200,000bpd.  BP is the majority shareholder with 56 percent of the oil field while BHP owns the remaining 44 percent. Image is a BP copyright and is included here for educational purposes.

Growing Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico


Nearly a month after a deadly explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the damaged well on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico continued to spill oil. In the weeks since the accident occurred, the oil slick has periodically drifted northeast toward the Mississippi Delta and reached the the Chandeleur Islands. On May 17, 2010, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image, a large patch of oil was visible near the site of the accident, and a long ribbon of oil stretched far to the southeast. Image and [edited] caption: NASA E/O. Download large image (1 MB, JPEG) Click image to enlarge.

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Posted in environment, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill satellite photo | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Gulf of Mexico: A Waiting Disaster

Posted by feww on May 13, 2010

SAVE HUMANITY!
CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLES!

Gulf of Mexico is a powder keg waiting to explode anytime, engulfing the region in a ball of fire

Gulf of Mexico is a natural asset, a life guarantee, but it’s being stripped of its natural services, turned into an industrial cash cow and bled to oblivion by unscrupulous money men.

It may be painful to live without too much fossil fuels, and the fattest “energy dinosaurs” would suffer most,  but the price you pay for continuing on a high-energy path is much dearer—you shall all perish.

Which of the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Wells Would Leak Next?


Located 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans in Mississippi Canyon Block 778 in a water depth of approximately 6,050 feet (1,844 meters), the Thunder Horse platform is the world’s largest semisubmersible facility. British Petroleum received approval from the Minerals Management Service to debottleneck the topside production facilities to 275,000 barrels of oil and 220 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of March 20, 2009, production was approximately 260,000 barrels of oil and 210.5 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day from seven wells. The Thunder Horse Field is the largest producer in the Gulf of Mexico. (Image courtesy of BP America Inc.). Source: DOI, MMS Report. Mississippi Canyon Block 778 could turn out to be another “Challenger” of deepwater oil production

Why are the Moderators so concerned about additional oil leaks in GOM , after all it’s not as if offshore drilling is a new trick, right?

Here are some stats from the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS), the body [that should be] responsible for offshore drilling regulations and safety enforcement [sic.] Every time the number of deepwater operations is doubled, the probability of “accidents” increases by about 4 folds.

The MMS says since the early 1990’s, leasing, drilling, and production (pumping oil from the well) has moved increasingly into deeper waters.

  • As of 2008/09 approximately 7,310 active leases operated in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM)
  • About 4,240 (58%) were in deep water.  (The actual numbers vary day to day, figure are approx.)
  • In contrast, there were only 5,600 active GOM leases in 1992, and only about 27% or 1,510 of those leases were in deep water.
  • In 1992 only 3 rigs drilled in deep water, compared to 31 rigs in 2008, and 77 operated in 2010, of which at least 47 are in commercial production.
  • Deepwater oil production rose by 786 percent and gas production increased about 1,067 percent from 1992 to 2007.
  • Seven deepwater fields became operational in 2008 including Thunder Horse, the largest daily producer in the GOM.


Gulf of Mexico – Oil and Gas Production. Between 1987 and 2007 pumping oil out of the deepwater fields increased by about 20 folds. Source: MMS. Enhanced by Fire-Earth. Click image to enlarge.

A Chilling Forecast

Based on the frequency of recent oil spills, the rate of rise in drilling deepwater wells and a number of other related factors, Fire-Earth Moderators forecast at least 10 more oil spills could occur between now and December 2011.

Five of the forecast leaks/spills could occur  in and around the U.S., with at least one of them in GOM. One or more of the spills could turn out to be cataclysmic. SEE: https://feww.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/fire-earth-forecasts-10-major-oil-spills-to-end-2011/

Recurring Nightmares

Oil spills share two common features with nightmares:

  1. They keep on recurring.
  2. They become more frightening each time they recur.

“Energy Security,” Doesn’t Mean Life Security


The pink in the picture are pipelines! Does the underwater jungle of pipelines create perception of energy security or life security? Image source: MMS. Click image to enlarge.

Drill Baby, Drill in Deepwater Gulf

The federal inspectors said they completed examining 30 deepwater drilling rigs that are prospecting for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but reported no safety problems.

“Throughout our inspections, no deepwater facilities have been shut-in due to safety concerns,” said John Romero, spokesman for Minerals Management Service (MMS), the Department of Interior branch responsible [sic] for offshore drilling safety .

Romero said that his department at MMS  will soon begin inspecting 47 deepwater production platforms that are already pumping crude oil commercially.

“These inspections may take up to a month to complete,” he said.

Future is Black, Future is Sticky, Future …

What are the chances that the rigs and oil platforms in GOM continue operating without “safety problems,” for another week, month, or a year?

What happens if an earthquake strikes the region, or an underwater landslide occurs near one or more of the wells?

Do BP, MSS, NOAA or anybody else have any disaster-prevention plans to deal with earthquakes, landslide and other “unexpected” natural hazards?

NO! Of course, not.

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Posted in deepwater drilling, Deepwater Horizon, gulf of mexico, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster – Expecting Different Results

Posted by feww on May 11, 2010

Doing the Same thing Over and Expecting Different Results?

BP Keen to Be Seen Doing Something, Regardless of End Result

BP executives and their counterparts from Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co, will appear before Senate panels investigating the disaster. It’s not known whether DOI and MMS personnel as well as certain senators and congressmen who rubber stamped BP drilling  would ever be questioned.

The session, at any rate, is expected to be highly theatrical, staged to appease the people.


A euphemistic, watered-down 72-Hour Trajectory Map of the Oil Spill in the Gulf? Is it our imagination, or NOAA making the maps look less life-threatening? Click image to enlarge.

Small “top hat”

BP says it aims to lower a small “top hat” dome, the size of an oil barrel, over the leak and siphon up the oil from the leak to a tanker 1.5km (~ 1 mile) above the sea floor.  The original massive metal box, the “big top hat” was too big and that’s why it failed to work.

“There will be less seawater in the smaller dome and therefore less likelihood of hydrate formation,” BP CEO, Tony Hayward, told reporters at in Houston.

Fire-Earth says unless the “top hat” can couple [leech] onto the point(s) at which the leaks are occurring , so as to prevent any build up of crystallized gas hydrates in the vicinity, it’s unlikely to work, and could run into all kinds of additional complication.

In other words, for any “solution” to work, it should be able to siphon up more than 95 percent of the oil that is being leaked, or it’s unlikely to succeed. 

Pointing the Finger of blame

A BP executive is blaming Transocean for the blowout because the blowout preventer, designed to prevent the an oil leak, failed to work.

Transocean in turn is blaming Haliburton,  a third company involved. It says the blowout preventer did not cause the leak, but two other failures occurred, the well’s  cover and the cement that was used to seal it.

Halliburton had reportedly finished cementing the well-cover less than a day before the explosion occurred, which also killed 11 people, the said BP executives says in a written testimony to the Senate investigating panel.

What about other deepwater drilling in the Gulf?

Meanwhile federal inspectors completed examining 30 deepwater drilling rigs prospecting for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but reported no safety problems, Reuters said.

“Throughout our inspections, no deepwater facilities have been shut-in due to safety concerns,” said John Romero, spokesman for Minerals Management Service (MMS), the Department of Interior branch responsible [sic] for offshore drilling safety .

Romero told Reuters that his department at MMS  will soon begin inspecting 47 deepwater production platforms that are already pumping crude oil commercially.

“These inspections may take up to a month to complete,” he said.

Dispersant Sink

There’s now nearly as much dispersant sprayed over the Gulf of Mexico as that awful orange-colored fire retardant chemical over the state of California. The problem is the dispersant used in the Gulf is even deadlier than the fire-retardant.


A U.S. Air Force chemical dispersing C-130 aircraft drops an oil dispersing chemical into the Gulf of Mexico as part of the Deepwater Horizon Response effort, May 5, 2010. U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz.

Recent Documents

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Posted in Deepwater Horizon, environment, gulf of mexico, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Texas Coast Attacked by Oil Spill

Posted by feww on May 10, 2010

Image of the Day:

The Big Oil State Under Attack

The spill is moving west toward the coast of Texas, according to various reports.

Geologist from Hell?

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward has admitted that the ruptured oil well could continue gushing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks, even months, before it could be brought under control.

The Deepwater Horizon wellhead is now gushing oil at an estimated minimum rate of 5,000 bpd. Some experts believe, however, that the leak is bleeding at 25,000bpd [nearly 4,000,000 liters per day] or 5 times the official estimate.


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico is seen an aerial view of area off the coast of Mobile, Alabama. Handout photo was taken from a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft on May 6, 2010 and released to media on May 9, 2010. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard.


The trajectory shows the actual and forecast oil spill movement for the 3-day period 9-12 May. Click image to enlarge.

Fragile ecosystems on the coast wetlands of Texas could be devastated by the BP oil spill


Texas bays and Gulf waters are home to thousands of fish, shellfish, birds and other animals, all of which depend on the coast’s diverse habitats for food and shelter. Humans, too, share the coast, building homes and ports, harvesting seafood and enjoying the many kinds of recreation the coast has to offer. Credit: University of Texas.

Who Needs Wetlands, Swamps …

What’s the big deal about coastal ecosystems? Do they actually do anything for us?

Here’s a partial list valuable goods and services produced by coastal Texas wetlands; environmental quality functions and socioeconomic values (after Tiner 1984 and Hefner et al., 1994). [Source: National Wetlands Inventory Report.]

Environmental Quality Functions

Water Quality Maintenance

  • Sediment Trapping & Stabilization
  • Chemical & Toxicant Trapping
  • Nutrient Absorption & Cycling

Hydrologic Functions

  • Groundwater Recharge/Discharge
  • Saltwater Intrusion Prevention
  • Flow Stabilization

Primary Production/Energy Transfer
Ecosystem Stabilization
Biological Diversity
Biogeochemical Cycling
Fish & Wildlife Habitat

  • Invertebrates
  • Fish & Shellfish
  • Reptiles & Amphibians
  • Waterfowl, Wading Birds, Shorebirds & Other Birds
  • Furbearers & Other Mammals
  • Endangered & Threatened Species

Socioeconomic Values
Products

  • Finfish & Shellfish
  • Forage & Hay
  • Timber
  • Food Products
  • Fur and Other Wildlife Products
  • Aquaculture/Mariculture

Recreation & Nature Tourism

  • Fishing & Crabbing
  • Hunting & Trapping
  • Nonconsumptive Fish & Wildlife Uses
  • Boating & Swimming
  • Camping & Picnicking
  • Hiking, Trail Walking/Jogging
  • Visual Aesthetics & Photography

Water Supply
Wastewater Treatment
Flood Control
Erosion Control
Storm Buffering
Education & Scientific Research
Cultural/Archaeologica

Shrimp Harvest


Shrimp Harvest could soon be a painful memory. Credit:ESTUARINE SYSTEM
TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT

Is that all wetlands do? Well, not quite, but it’ll do for now!

Did You Know?

Since 1990, BP subsidiaries in the US have been convicted 3 times, including two felonies, for committing environmental crimes in the states of Alaska and Texas.

BP’s worst disaster, prior to the ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico,  occurred  in 2005, when an explosion ripped through its Texas City refinery near Galveston, killing 15 employees, and injuring at least 180 others. The toxic plumes released during the blast forced thousands of nearby residents to stay indoors for a period of time to avoid serious harm.

In a subsequent investigation, BP was found responsible for the blast and it pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Clean Air Act. BP was fined $50 million and sentenced to 3 years probation. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) fined BP $87 million after its inspectors found 270 standing safety violations that BP should have fixed but hadn’t, as well as 439 new violations.

Official Site of Deepwater Response Unified Command

The Official Site of Deepwater Response Unified Command is posting photos and charts on its Flickr site. The majority of the photos are taken by employees of government organization, US Coast Guard and Navy personnel. Yet, for some inexplicable reason each and everyone of these photos, charts, and graphs carries a copyright notice. Could someone from the command explain why?

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Posted in energy security, gulf of mexico, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster: Satellite Photo – Update May 8

Posted by feww on May 8, 2010

Already, the Gulf oil spill and the subsequent application of dispersant have caused incalculable damage to seafood

Oysters, shrimp, crabs and other shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico generate at least $6.5 billion in revenues annually.

“It [oyster] is not only the economic engine of this region, it is a real indicator of the environmental and ecological health of the Gulf Coast area,” said Jamie R. Clark, former head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and executive VP of  Defenders of Wildlife, a local conservation group.

NOAA Fishing Restriction News UPDATE:

NOAA has expanded commercial and recreational Fishing closure in oil-affected sections of Gulf of Mexico.  The closed area restricts fishing in about 5 percent of the Gulf waters. The earlier closure, which came into effect  last Sunday, covered  less than 3 percent of the Gulf of Mexico federal waters.  The fishing restriction will remain in place until May 17, NOAA said.

Oil Spill Reaches Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana


Light tan streamers snake across Chandeleur Sound in this detailed natural-color satellite image from May 5, 2010. The streamers surround Freemason Island and arc through Chandeleur Sound west of the Chandeleur Islands. The image is from the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.

The Chandeleur Islands are low, sandy barrier islands that are constantly being reshaped by storms, wind, and waves. Together with the Breton Islands to their south, they form the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. A variety of seabirds and shorebirds inhabit the islands, including the endangered brown pelican, least tern, and piping plover. Thousands of brown pelicans and other shorebirds are currently nesting on the islands and sea turtle nesting season is approaching, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Image and Caption: NASA E/O. Download large image (3 MB, JPEG)

Trajectory Forecast

Mississippi Canyon 252 -NOAA/NOS/OR&R
Estimate for: 0600 CDT, Monday, 5/10/10 — Date Prepared: 1300 CDT, Friday, 5/07/10


This forecast is based on the NWS spot forecast from Friday, May 7 AM. Currents were obtained from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico, Texas A&M/TGLO, and NAVO/NRL models; and HFR measurements. The model was initialized from satellite imagery and analysis provided by NOAA/NESDIS obtained Thursday morning, and Thursday/Friday
overflight observations. The leading edge may contain tarballs that are not readily observable from the imagery (hence not included in the model initialization).
Click image to enlarge.

News and Updates:


Two lines of oil booms are set up around one of the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana May 7, 2010 as seen from a plane used by the environmental group Mobile Baykeeper and Southwings to look at the damage caused by the oil spill.  Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder. Image may be subject to copy right. Click image to enlarge.

Oysters, shrimp, crabs and other shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico generate at least $6.5 billion in revenues annually.

Oyster, high on the list of seafood gourmet, “is also the backbone of marine life along the U.S. Gulf Coast and among the most vulnerable creatures now threatened by a giant oil spill.”  More at Spill could devastate U.S. Gulf Coast oyster reefs

BP says its best chance is to use the giant dome to contain and pump out the oil spill.

The 98-ton steel monstrosity has been lowered to the seabed about 1.5km below the surface with the container suspended over the leak . The is conducted using remote-controlled devices.  “It will hover there until they are ready. They hope to lower to sea floor today, but they need to finish prepping the surface,” the Unified Command Center late update said. More at Containment dome suspended just above U.S. Gulf leak

Robots have fail to shut the valves on the leaking BP oil wellhead. BP said it has abandoned its efforts to close valves on the failed blowout preventer using underwater robots. “We’ve essentially used up all those options,” Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP US said.  “We don’t want to do anything that would make the situation worse.”  More at Robots fail to close valves at leaking BP oil well

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Posted in fishing restriction, gulf of mexico, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Louisiana seafood | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

GoM Oil Disaster – UPDATE May 7

Posted by feww on May 7, 2010

Can you hear me, Major Tom?

Ground Control to Major Tom: Your Gulf Coast’s dead, there’s something wrong

Planet Earth was blue, and there’s nothing we can do!

This is Ground Control to Major Tom: We’ve really fucked up, can you go round another hundred thousand times?

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Observed From the International Space Station


Astronaut photograph from May 4 provides a different viewing perspective on the ongoing spill in the Gulf. The image is oblique, meaning that it was taken from a sideways viewing angle from the International Space Station (ISS), rather than from a “straight down” (or nadir) view, which is typical of automated satellite sensors. The view in this image is towards the west; the ISS was located over the eastern edge of the Gulf of Mexico when the image was taken.

The Mississippi River Delta and nearby Louisiana coast (image top) appear dark in the sunglint that illuminates most of the image. Sunglint is caused by sunlight reflecting off the water surface—much like a mirror—directly back towards the astronaut observer on the Space Station. The sunglint improves the identification of the oil spill. Oil on the water smoothes the surface texture, and the mirror-like reflection of the Sun accentuates the difference between the smooth, oil-covered water (dark to light gray ) and the rougher water of the reflective ocean surface (colored silver to white). Wind and water currents patterns have modified the oil spill’s original shape into streamers and elongated masses. Among the coastal ecosystems threatened by the spill are the Chandeleur Islands (image right center).  Astronaut photograph ISS023-E-32397. Caption: NASA.  [Edited for brevity.]


An aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, May 6, 2010.  Handout via Reuters/Daniel Beltra. Click image to enlarge.

BP says it will “pay all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs [sic.]”

Attorneys general from five Gulf coast states have written BP asking the company to explain which claims it will pay from the Gulf oil spill and what its intention are concerning how the payments are made.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King said the five attorneys general were  seeking detailed answers about the company’s promise to “pay all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs.”

“We don’t know what is a legitimate claim. That’s lawyer speak at a time when we need straight talk and clear answers,” King told reporters at a news conference.

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Posted in environment, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Gulf of Mexio | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gulf Oil Disaster: Why Obama Was Slighted

Posted by feww on May 6, 2010

BP Granted ‘Categorical Exclusion’ From Enviro Safety

When Our Reader Called Obama: A Serious Self-Hater, Google Promptly Buried The Reasons!

Had the U.S. regulators NOT exempted BP drilling in the GoM from a detailed environmental impact analysis, the deadly explosion and ensuing oil spill disaster might have been averted.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) granted BP exploration a “categorical exclusion” from a full environmental impact analysis, which is a basic requirement under the National Environmental Policy Act, “according to documents made available by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group,” said a report.


A shrimp boat takes part in a cleaning operation for oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, east of the mouth of the Mississippi river, near the coast of Louisiana, May 5, 2010.  Credit: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace/Handout via REUTERS

BP’s project was promptly approved in April 2009 by the MMS, the U.S. Interior Department branch that is responsible for managing fossil fuels and all other resources on the outer continental shelf.

“Kieran Suckling, the environmental group’s executive director, said the incident showed the Obama administration’s support for increased offshore drilling had obscured Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s pledge to reform the MMS.” he report said.

“Instead of protecting the public interest by conducting environmental reviews, his agency rubber-stamped BP’s drilling plan, just as it does hundreds of others every year in the Gulf of Mexico,” Suckling said.

“The Obama administration has recognized that there should be more oversight of how agencies use categorical exclusions,” an official at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a White House agencysaid.

“That is why CEQ issued draft guidance in February 2010, that addresses the need for monitoring the use of categorical exclusions to ensure that they are being applied in a way that meets their intent.”

MMS has since admitted that up to 400 exploration projects in the Gulf have been granted categorical exclusions!

Corruption, Sex, Cocaine

BP could have demanded the first-born babies of every third family along the coast line and the MMS would have probably accommodated.

“Speaking of the MMS, ProPublica reminded us that it recently faced a scandal when an investigation discovered ‘a culture of ethical failure’ at the agency. The report found that some MMS officials ‘frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.’ Another recent investigation found that MMS has withheld data from its own staff involved in environmental analyses and that ‘some of its own scientists have alleged that their findings have been suppressed’ – an allegation which the Department of Interior ‘generally agrees’ with,” said a report.

Just How Much Damage?

About 40 percent of the lower 48 states’ annual commercial fishing is caught in the Gulf Coast, a report says, which is worth $2.4 billion to Louisiana alone. “Right at the beginning of the shrimping season, losses are at least $8 million a day. [A] professor of socioeconomics at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University, says the region’s catch is expected to fall by hundreds of millions of pounds, costing hundreds of millions of dollars.”

72-hour Trajectory Map of the BP DWH Oil Spill


Click image to enlarge.

Cumulative Trajectory Map


Click image to enlarge.

Just how terrible is BP’s legacy of pollution in the U.S.?

BP was responsible for the largest oil spill to-date on Alaska’s North Slope, writes Craig Welch of Seattle Times, and “faced criminal charges for intentionally dumping hazardous waste near Prudhoe Bay and was excoriated by Congress for a string of oil-pipeline leaks on the tundra.”

“BP’s policies are as rusty as its pipelines. I’m even more concerned about BP’s corporate culture of seeming indifference to safety and environmental issues. And this comes from a company that prides itself in their ads on protecting the environment. Shame. Shame. Shame.” Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told BP executives during a heated September 2006 hearing,  Welch reported.

Where Next?

BP technicians, welders and seamen have constructed 98-ton 40x24x14 feet steel monstrosity called a “dome” or “chamber” which they intend to lower over the ruptured undersea oil well which has been gushing tremendous volumes of  crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The barge carrying the massive metal box, painted in morbid white, arrived at the source of the oil spill about 65km (410 miles) off the Louisiana coast earlier today. The oil giant intends to lower the metal box some 1.5km below the sea surface, place it on the ruptured wellhead and then pump the oil out through a pipe placed on top of the box. Will it work? BP says they have never tried it at that depth!

Meanwhile, drilling has already begun for a relief well (May 2), BP reported, but it could take up to three months, before it can be tested.


PORT FOURCHON, La. – Crewmen aboard the motor vessel Joe Griffin guide a cofferdam onto the deck as the ship prepares to depart Wild Well Control, May 5, 2010. The chamber was designed to contain the oil discharge, that was a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident, before it reaches the surface. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley.
Click image to enlarge.

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BP Won’t Pay – Oil Spill Update May 5

Posted by feww on May 5, 2010

BP Won’t Pay for Economic Damage

The Behemoth Didn’t Become an Oil Giant by Meeting Its Obligations or Paying Damages

Furthermore, the system has been set up to protect the big oil, as Fire-Earth have said previously.

Here’s what Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) had to say after he met  with Tony Hayward yesterday:

He asked tony Hayward: “‘Will you be responsible for the economic damages”‘

Tony Hayward replied: “That’s something we’ll have to work out in the future.'”

Nelson has recently co-sponsored new legislation to raise the $75-million cap on oil companies’ legal liability for economic damages to $10 billion, retroactively.

“Just minutes before, in front of the same bank of television cameras outside Nelson’s office in the Hart Senate office building, Hayward had said, ‘BP is taking very seriously its responsibility. … All legitimate claims will be paid.'” NYT reported.

Oil Companies, the Big oil, are the most powerful entities in the world. They carry more megatonage than the entire US and European nuclear arsenal put together. They are also “bomb-proof.” As was the case with Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, they tell the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of government what outcome they are seeking, and that become law. [We stand to be corrected-Fire Earth Moderators.]

Readers will recall that the oil lobby easily persuaded the Legislator to nix the legal requirement for an acoustic device that, in all probability, could have activated the blowup preventer and that is required by law in other countries.

Exxon is the largest multinational corporation in the world, BP is the 4th largest corporation and the third big oil:

  1. ExxonMobil (US)
  2. Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands/UK)
  3. BP (UK)
  4. Chevron Corporation (US)
  5. ConocoPhillips (US)
  6. Total S.A. (France)

How bad will the spill be tomorrow?


Cumulative Oil Spill Trajectory Map. Click image to enlarge.

Trajectory Forecast

Mississippi Canyon 252 – Estimate for: 1800 CDT, Friday, 5/07/10
Date Prepared: 2100 CDT, Tuesday, 5/04/10  –  NOAA/NOS/OR&R


This forecast is based on the NWS spot forecast from Tuesday, May 4 PM. Currents were obtained from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico, Texas A&M/TGLO, and NAVO/NRL models and HFR measurements. The model was initialized from SLAR data obtained during a Transport Canada overflight Tuesday AM and afternoon overflight observations. The leading edge may contain tarballs that are not readily observable from the imagery (hence not included in the model initialization).


MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of a portion of the oil slick
on May 4, 2010. The oil might drift into the path of the Loop Current, which carries warm water from the Yucatán Peninsula across the Gulf of Mexico and toward Florida. The current had the potential to spread oil to the shores to Mississippi, Alabama, the east coast of Florida, and the Florida Keys. Meanwhile, the Pentagon approved the deployment of as many as 17,500 National Guard soldiers to assist with cleanup efforts, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, well operators considered drilling a relief well—a diagonal well intersecting the original that could be filled with mud or concrete to block the oil. Image and caption: NASA [Caption edited by Fire-Earth.]


A platform is surrounded by the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead at the mouth of the Mississippi river May 5, 2010.  Credit: REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace/Handout.


A platform is surrounded by the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead at the mouth of the Mississippi river May 5, 2010.  Credit: REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace/Handout

How did this one die, the oil spill? No, she died from dispersant poisoning!

A dead fish is seen on the side of a road in Venice, Louisiana May 3, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Oil Spill Attack on America – UPDATE May 3

Posted by feww on May 3, 2010

We’re dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster—Obama

“The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states.

“And it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home.” Mr Obama added.

We know that, Mr President. Why aren’t you doing something about it?


Deepwater Horizon Trajectory Map May 2. Click image to enlarge.


Projected oil trajectory for May 4. Source: NOAA/DOI. Click image to enlarge.


BP’s Mississippi Canyon 252 oil leak- NOAA forecast for location and size of oil spill, May 3. Click image to enlarge.

NEWS and UPDATES:

“NOAA is restricting fishing for a minimum of ten days in federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida’s Pensacola Bay. The closure is effective immediately,”the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.

“The scenario is a very grave scenario. You’re looking at potentially 90 days before you ultimately get to what is the ultimate solution.”  Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. [Could you say that one more time?]

Gov. Robert Riley has ordered the National Guard to construct barriers against the oil slick drifting toward Alabama because, he said, about 80% of  boom laid down off the gulf coast had destroyed  by  rough seas.

When asked why there was no plan to deal with the disaster at the oil well,  BP PLC Chairman Lamar McKay said it “seemed inconceivable” that equipment installed to avert a blowout would fail.

Seafood Quality

“Although crude oil has the potential to taint seafood with flavors and odors caused by exposure to hydrocarbon chemicals, the public should not be concerned about the safety of seafood in the stores at this time.” FDA said in a statement Dated April 30, 2010.

Just How Many Birds Are Out There in the Coastal Marshlands


No one told the birds to stay behind the boom line. Then again, it makes precious little difference because the waves easily push the oil over the boom and deposit the stick stuff on the beaches. Further, Gov. Robert Riley of Alabama says about 80% of  boom laid down off the coast have been broken down. Image credit: Sean Gardner/Greenpeace handout/via Reuters. Click image to enlarge.

Oil Stats:

  • How many Active Platforms in GOM? See image below.
  • How Many Active Leases? There were 7,310 leases in March 2008.
  • How Much Crude Oil  in the Damaged Well? Up to 250 million BOE [Fire-Earth estimate.]
  • GOM Oil as a Percentage of Total US Output: 25%, deepwater operations account for 18% (2007).
    [If you are reprinting Fire-Earth data published here, please quote source in case clarification is needed.]


NOAA map of
the northern Gulf of Mexico showing about 4,000 active oil and gas platforms (July 2006). Click image to enlarge.

What GOM Oil Sill Looks Like (close up)


Gulf’s crude stream. Image credit: Chris Graythen, Getty Images. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

Quote for the Day: “Buffett ‘n’ BP”

In the same way the Artifact of America (Oracle of Omaha) is staunchly defending the Wall Street Gangsters, Goldmn Sachs for their self-indulgence, he should defend the pirates of the Gulf, BP, for their greed—Blog reader C.B.

The damage is not just about birds and fish, it’s also about people. Blog reader KBD

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‘I Hate BP, Bog Oil, Obama, US Lawmakers, Oil Lobby!’

Posted by feww on May 2, 2010

Image of the Day:

Oil Covered Northern Gannet Isn’t Amused

How would you feel if your air, water, food, soil and home was destroyed by greedy corporations, ineffective government and really nasty people all around?

“There’s enough oil out there that it is logical to think it will hit the shoreline. It’s just a question of where and when. Mother Nature gets a vote in this.” U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said.


A Northern Gannet bird is covered in oil, from a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, at a Clean Gulf Associates Mobile Wildlife Rehabilitation station in Fort Jackson, Louisiana April 30, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria. Image may be subject to copyright.

Latest Development, News and Quotes:

  • If the lawmakers had NOT pandered to the wishes of the Oil Lobby, allowing their clients to operate without an essential safety feature, a  sonar device that is deployed at drilling cites as a last resort to shut down the flow of oil from an underwater well, this disaster, in all probability, would have been averted.  While the law in Brazil and Norway requires oil companies to deploy such devices near the oil well, the the US regulations do not require oil companies to operate one.
  • A “sheen” is approaching the Louisiana coast, Allen has confirmed.
  • “The company, BP, seems to have been slow to ask for help, and, on Friday, both federal and state officials accused it of not moving aggressively or swiftly enough. Yet the administration should not have waited, and should have intervened much more quickly on its own initiative.” A New York Times editorial on Saturday.
  • BP is ultimately responsible!” Said President Obama.  [We know that, but so are you and the government for allowing BP to do this, Mr president.]
  • “This oil spill threatens not only our wetlands and our fisheries… This isn’t just about our coast. It’s about our way of life in Louisiana: our shrimpers, our fishermen, our coast that makes Louisiana a sportsman’s paradise. …This oil spill threatens our way of life. ” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal warned. [Could you rephrase that to: More drilling in the Gulf threatens the collapse of Louisiana, neighboring states and the whole country? IF you want more proof just wait!]
  • “Satellite images analyzed by the University of Miami suggest the slick has ballooned to an area the size of Puerto Rico.” A news bulletin said. [Note: Puerto Rico is the 169 largest country in the world with an area of about 9,100 square kilometer  (~ 3,500 sq miles).
  • “We need to have something out there. Once it gets into the marsh it is too late. Once it gets behind these islands, through these little canals, you will never clean it up.” The president of Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish area, Bill Nungesser said, warning that the oil pollution  could result to catastrophic harm to the area.
  • The Gulf of Mexico nightmare enters a new phase—the first stage in the collapse of the Gulf states may have begun. —Fire Earth


NOAA Forecast of the Oil Spill for May 2, 2010. Click Image to enlarge.


NOAA Forecast of the Oil Spill for May 3, 2010. Click Image to enlarge.


Unified Command releases an image showing booming locations as of May 1, 2010. Creative Commons License. Click image to enlarge.

Continued …

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Just Before the Oil Attack …

Posted by feww on May 1, 2010

Image of the Day:

Sunset on the Louisiana Coastline , Just Before the Oil Attack


Freeze frame from a Reuters news video. Feel free to print the photo and send as postcard to the BP CEO:

Tony Hayward, CEO
BP Plc
International Headquarters
1 St James’s Square
London, SW1Y 4PD
UK

Feel free also to use strong language to describe your emotions to Mr Hayward …

Don’t forget to send copies of the photo to those of the lawmakers who pandered to the wishes of the Oil Lobby, allowing their clients to operate without an essential safety feature, a  sonar device that is deployed at drilling cites as a last resort to shut down the flow of oil from an underwater well.  While the law in Brazil and Norway requires oil companies to deploy such devices near the oil well; the law in the US does not require oil companies to operate one.

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