...Figuring out this is going to kill the oceans:
Oil spill creates huge undersea 'dead zones'
Clouds of crude and chemical dispersants have formed in the Gulf of Mexico and oceanologists fear these could have devastating effects on the food chain
By Emily Dugan
The world's most damaging oil spill – now in its 41st continuously gushing day – is creating huge unseen "dead zones" in the Gulf of Mexico, according to oceanologists and toxicologists. They say that if their fears are correct, then the sea's entire food chain could suffer years of devastation, with almost no marine life in the region escaping its effects.
While the sight of tar balls and oil-covered birds on Louisiana's shoreline has been the most visible sign of the spill's environmental destruction, many scientists now believe it is underwater contamination that will have the deadliest impact. At least two submerged clouds of noxious oil and chemical dispersants have been confirmed by research vessels, and scientists are seeing initial signs of several more. The largest is some 22 miles long, six miles wide and 3,300 feet deep – a volume that would take up half of Lake Erie. Another spans an area of 20 square miles.
Energy expert: Nuking oil leak ‘only thing we can do’
BP 'totally in charge of the news' about oil leak, energy expert says
As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.
One prominent energy expert known for predicting the oil price spike of 2008 says sending a small nuclear bomb down the leaking well is "probably the only thing we can do" to stop the leak.
Matt Simmons, founder of energy investment bank Simmons & Company, also says that there is evidence of a second oil leak about five to seven miles from the initial leak that BP has focused on fixing. That second leak, he says, is so large that the initial one is "minor" in comparison.
Simmons spoke to Bloomberg News on Friday, before BP announced that its latest effort to plug the leak, known as the "top kill" method, had failed.
"A week ago Sunday the first research vessel ... was commissioned by NOAA to scour the area," he said. They found "a gigantic plume" growing about five to seven miles from the site of the original leak, Simmons said.
Simmons said the US government should immediately take the effort to plug the leak out of the hands of BP and put the military in charge.
"Probably the only thing we can do is create a weapons system and send it down 18,000 feet and detonate it, hopefully encasing the oil," he said.
His idea echoes that of a Russian newspaper that earlier this month suggested the US detonate a small nuclear bomb to seal the oil beneath the sea. Komsomoloskaya Pravda argued in an editorial that Russia had successfully used nuclear weapons to seal oil spills on five occasions in the past.
Live Science reports:
Weapons labs in the former Soviet Union developed special nukes for use to help pinch off the gas wells. They believed that the force from a nuclear explosion could squeeze shut any hole within 82 to 164 feet (25 to 50 meters), depending on the explosion's power. That required drilling holes to place the nuclear device close to the target wells.
A first test in the fall of 1966 proved successful in sealing up an underground gas well in southern Uzbekistan, and so the Russians used nukes four more times for capping runaway wells.
Simmons also told Bloomberg that the idea to use radical measures like a nuclear bomb to seal the leak is probably not being contemplated by decision-makers "because BP is still totally in charge of the news and they have everyone focused on the top kill."
Asked by a Bloomberg reporter about the risks involved in setting off a nuclear bomb off the coast of Louisiana, Simmons argued that a nuclear explosion deep inside a well bore would have little effect on surrounding areas.
"If you're 18,000 feet under the sea bed, it basically wont do anything [on the surface]," he said.
Joe Wiesenthal at Business Insider says the idea of using nukes will be getting a lot of attention now that the "top kill" procedure has failed.
Next, the so-called "nuclear option" is about to get a lot of attention. In this case, of course, nuclear option is not a euphemism. It's the real idea that the best way to kill this thing is to stick a small nuke in there and bury the well under rubble. ... By the middle of the coming week, it will be all over cable news, as pundits press The White House hard on whether it's being considered and why not.
The following video was broadcast on Bloomberg News, Friday May 28, 2010.
They're talking about this oil volcano lasting for MONTHS
Fury and despair as BP admits oil could leak for monthsObama administration warns that the most environmentally disastrous spill in US history may continue until August
An uncontrollable fountain of oil could gush into the Gulf of Mexico until August, the Obama administration warned today, as BP conceded it was moving to a containment strategy after failing to plug the well at the centre of the most environmentally disastrous spill in US history.
As anger and despair grew in the coastal communities of Louisiana, BP began preparations to cut a leaking drill pipe on the ocean floor and attach a containment cap intended to capture at least some of the 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of crude spewing from its Macondo well every day.
The oil company, which has come under withering attack for its handling of the crisis, acknowledged there was "no certainty" of success in the effort, which will take four to seven days and which some experts say could make the leak worse.
A White House adviser said the US government was "prepared for the worst" after efforts to halt the leak by pumping mud, golf balls, tyres and other debris into the well were halted without success yesterday.
Carol Browner, the administration's energy czar, said there may be no solution until two relief wells being drilled into the oilfield by BP are complete later in summer. "There could be oil coming up till August when the relief wells are done," she said. "This is probably the biggest environmental disaster we have ever faced in this country."
Schlumberger, a oil service company that judges the safety of deep ocean oil wells LEFT the rig before it blew!
Rumor Schlumberger Exits Deep Horizon Hours Before Blowout
Posted: May 14th, 2010 by: h-1
This may or may not be the story ROCKMAN referred to (read down a bit for the quotes I included towards the end of the posting) in the current oildrum Deep Horizon blowout thread.
AlanfromBigEasy on May 14, 2010 – 3:06pm Permalink | Subthread | Comments top
Story circulating in New Orleans
With appropriate caveats:
BP contracted Schlumberger (SLB) to run the Cement Bond Log (CBL) test that was the final test on the plug that was skipped. The people testifying have been very coy about mentioning this, and you’ll see why.
SLB is an extremely highly regarded (and incredibly expensive) service company. They place a high standard on safety and train their workers to shut down unsafe operations.
SLB gets out to the Deepwater Horizon to run the CBL, and they find the well still
kicking heavily, which it should not be that late in the operation. SLB orders the
“company man” (BP’s man on the scene that runs the operation) to dump kill fluid down the well and shut-in the well. The company man refuses. SLB in the very next sentence asks for a helo to take all SLB personel back to shore. The company man says there are no more helo’s scheduled for the rest of the week (translation: you’re here to do a job, now do it). SLB gets on the horn to shore, calls SLB’s corporate HQ, and gets a helo flown out there at SLB’s expense and takes all SLB personel to shore.
6 hours later, the platform explodes.
Pick your jaw up off the floor now. No CBL was run after the pressure tests because the
contractor high-tailed it out of there. If this story is true, the company man (who
survived) should go to jail for 11 counts of negligent homicide.
AlanfromBigEasy on May 14, 2010 – 8:01pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | [Parent subthread ] Comments top
This story did come from within the industry. I agreed to keep the source(s) confidential.
This is almost exactly what ROCKMAN was hinting out, and he further noted these guys won’t say this in public now for fear of legal reprisals, but they certainly will say it under oath.
If true, things are going to be very very bad for BP, since that makes this event not only avoidable, but deliberately done almost, at least the decision to not stop, if this report is true, was deliberate.
Keep in mind that BP was celebrating the completion with high ups at the day the blowout happened, which would give credence to the idea of the BP supervisor not wanting to stop the well just when the top brass were on the rig. Human all too human indeed…
ROCKMAN has been hinting that the causes here were human error all along, but he since his sources I assume are company insiders, he can’t say more. But this might be the explanation…
ROCKMAN on May 14, 2010 – 8:49pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | [Parent subthread ] Comments top
The “ordered the company” is the one part that doesn’t fit at all. No matter the disagreement a subcontractor will never order a coman to do anything. He might refuse an order or he might tell the coman to go screw himself. I seen and done both. But never gave one an order. Perhaps it was a misinterpretation. Perhaps the SLB gave the coman an ultimatum. That I’ve seen first hand a number of times.
But soon we’ll be able to judge the validity of this story. Now that the MSM has the smell of blood we should be seeing SLB in the spot light very soon. They’ll have to respond in some form. Any form of confirmation will be solid gold proof IMHO. An absolute and clear denial would offer the same. SLB would never cover-up such an event. NEVER for a variety of reasons. A “no comment” will be subject to interpretation but could make me assume some level of truth to the story
As I responded to another TODer I consider the story 100% true or an absolute lie. No room for anything in between IMHO.
[[Update]]Part of this story has now been confirmed, that is, Schlumberger was on the Rig but was sent back 11 hours before it blew.
However, this is still early in the information phase, and as nola notes:
BP spokesmen did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the decision to send Schlumberger home without conducting a cement bond log or on the cementing schematic Probert gave the Senate committee. And Halliburton didn’t respond to questions about the accuracy of Probert’s diagram.