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Author Topic: BP OIL SPILL  (Read 32983 times)
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cw618
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« on: May 04, 2010, 10:25:28 AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/30/louisiana-oil-spill-2010_n_558287.html

The catastrophic explosion that caused an oil spill from a BP offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico has reached the shoreline early Friday morning. The leak is currently releasing 5,000 barrels of oil per day, and efforts to manage the spill with controlled burning, dispersal and plugging the leak were unsuccessful Thursday. This oil spill is on track to become the worst oil spill in history, surpassing the damage done by the Exxon Valdez tanker that spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the ecologically sensitive Prince William Sound in 1989. Unlike the Exxon Valdez tragedy, in which a tanker held a finite capacity of oil, BP's rig is tapped into an underwater oil well and could pump more oil into the ocean indefinitely until the leak is plugged.

Here are the first photos of the preparations for the oil hitting coastlines, which pose a serious threat to fishermen's livelihoods, marine habitats, beaches, wildlife and human health.
lot of photos at above link

this is just........
im thinking the the well head, is going to have to be blown up, in order to stop
the flow, the sea life, the spill has already taken, and is going to continue to take, i think will be far greater than what an explosion or 2 would do.
i spoke to a geolegest friend, she thinks the same thing. they know where the oil
resivor is,so it will never be lost, if they ever need to get back to it

the slick is going to follow the gulf stream current, if the well cant be capped
and the slick picked/cleaned from the water, the impact, is going to be
unimaginable, and as soon as it rounds florida,i think its gone to the point,of
a lost controled oppertunity

gulf stream map
http://www.heatingoil.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/gulf-stream-map-1.gif


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cw618
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 10:10:26 AM »

http://industry.bnet.com/energy/10004288/gulf-oil-spill-the-seven-technologies-used-to-clean-it-up/?tag=shell;content

Seven Technologies Used to Clean the Gulf Oil Spill
By Chris Morrison | May 5, 2010

The oil spill at a BP drilling site in the Gulf of Mexico has morphed over two weeks from a horrific but localized accident to a full-scale environmental disaster. Following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, oil began gushing to the surface at an ever-increasing rate. In the worst case scenario, the daily outflow of oil is projected to reach as many as 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) per day.

That means the Gulf spill is becoming far larger then the Exxon Valdez spill, in which about 10 million gallons were poured into the ocean. Recovery workers have been hard-pressed to stem the flow, with the oil first reaching Louisiana last Friday.

Yet there are a handful of techniques for cleaning up the mess, both through working beneath the waves — an immense challenge, at 5,000 feet — and atop, once the oil has surfaced. Here are seven

Blowout prevention — Within the oil industry, it’s an accepted fact that oil drilling rigs and platforms are unsafe. Despite all safety precautions, there’s always the possibility of an accident that could potentially destroy the entire rig, just as happened with the Deepwater. But when that does happen, a separate device is supposed to prevent an oil leak at the bottom: the blowout preventer. BP’s bad luck was doubled when the BOP failed to activate. Deep-sea submersibles are trying to fix the device or install a new one to stop the flow of oil at its lowest point, but have failed so far.

Containment domes – These devices, also called coffer dams, are the second of the three major methods BP hopes will eventually stop the leak entirely. Starting with one this week, BP will lower three 40-foot tall containment “domes” over the leaking sections of pipe on the seabed. Some oil will still escape, but the plan is to suck most of it up through the dome (which is actually more of a rectangle). This idea also reveals the essential crudity of our deep-ocean technology: there’s nothing subtle about dropping just under a hundred tons of concrete onto a leaking pipe

Relief wells — Even if the above two methods are successful, BP will still work on a relief well over the coming months that, when finally completed, will divert oil away from the spill site. Drilling the relief wells is a more involved process than the original well, because the drill bit must work at an angle once it penetrates the seabed. The company says its relief well will cost it $100 million.

Chemical dispersants — Combating an oil spill by dumping thousands of gallons of chemicals into the ocean sounds like a bad idea, but the “dispersants” that BP is using on the oil, sprayed from planes and helicopters, actually aren’t that far off from common detergent. The dispersant works by breaking up the heavy oils, just like you see in commercials for dishwasher fluid. At the source of the leak, submersibles are injecting more dispersants into the oil as it jets out, preventing some of it from ever reaching the surface

Oil skimmers — Since some oil sits on top of the water, a clever skimming system can separate the oil to be siphoned away (and potentially even sold on the market like normal oil). Skimming devices can range from small to massive, but despite advances in the technology, none are large enough to deal with a Gulf-sized spill, at least without months of work.

Fire — One of the oldest technologies known to man, this sounds like a quick solution to the oil: we all know that gasoline, at least, will burn off quickly and even explode. But the “sweet crude” welling up is actually a thick, heavy substance that doesn’t always burn easily or evenly. The Coast Guard attempted to burn enough oil to prevent it from reaching the Louisiana coastline, but failed.

Booms and barriers – Although incapable of actually cleaning up the oil spill, “booms” are floating barriers intended to keep the oil from spreading too far. The Coast Guard brought plenty to the spill, but rough seas rendered them ineffective when waves began sweeping oil right over the booms. Other barriers, more akin to fences, are sometimes used close to shore.

Of course, even if all of these methods worked perfectly to clean the oil, simply tracking where it is at any given time is a challenge unto itself. My colleague Erik Sherman just wrote up a good overview of the remote monitoring tools that help workers figure out where all the oil is going.

But as Erik points out, the monitoring technology is far short of perfect. That’s even more the case for the cleanup technologies I’ve listed above; in fact, little has changed since the Valdez spill, which rewrote US oil-industry policy but didn’t produce much innovation. Given the public outcry so far about the Gulf spill, however, we’re likely to see a wave of new spill mitigation technologies in the coming years.

[Some pictures courtesy of BP]

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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 10:13:34 AM »

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2010/2010-05-06-02.html

BP Oil Washes Up on Louisiana's Wildlife Refuge Islands

HOUMA, Louisiana, May 6, 2010 (ENS) - Emulsified orange oil today washed up on the northernmost island in the Chandeleur and Breton Island chain, in one of the earliest signs that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill has touched land along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Breton Island and all of the Chandeleur Islands in St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1904, Breton NWR is now a nesting site for the Louisiana state bird, the brown pelican, just removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List last year.

Oil was seen at several other places along the islands on Wednesday by two teams of scientists who flew over the area, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association scientist Jacqui Michel told reporters during a teleconference today.

"That's the only shoreline oiling that we have been able to find," said Michel. "It is pretty amazing that we've had the oil in the water for this long a period of time and so little shoreline oiling."

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry told reporters today, "We are starting to see the first impact of oil in the Chandaleur Islands. This is a very serious spill, she said, but there is a very committed effort to work together to stop the flow of oil and mitigate the damage."

"We have sent a crew of 22 with clean-up materials and absorbent boom," to the Chandeleur Islands, St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro said in a statement. He says the parish has not been provided with enough oil containment boom material to keep oil off vulnerable areas like the Chandaleur Islands.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents discovered two dead gannets, possibly killed by the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill, on Wednesday. Gannets are large seabirds commonly found in Louisiana's coastal areas.

A determination has not been made on the cause of the birds' deaths, but agents confirmed that the birds were covered in oil when found near the Grand Gosier Islands off of Plaquemines Parish.

The agents gave the birds to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel in Venice, Louisiana who will be responsible for determining the cause of the deaths.

In Houston, Texas tonight Interior Secretary Salazar announced that new approvals for offshore oil drilling will be halted for three weeks until the Department of the Interior completes the safety review process requested by President Barack Obama. The department must deliver its report to the President by May 28.

The only exceptions to the new rule regarding permit approvals are the two relief wells that are being drilled in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

In addition, Minerals Management Service Director Liz Birnbaum sent a letter today to Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum confirming that MMS will not make a final decision on the requested permits for the drilling of exploration wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic until the Department of the Interior's report to the President has been submitted and evaluated.

Research by the Center for Biological Diversity research and the Washington Post expose have shown that the Minerals Management Service approved BP's drilling plan without any environmental review.

The agency "categorically excluded" BP's drilling, and hundreds of other offshore drilling permits, from environmental review using a loophole in the National Environmental Policy Act created for minimally intrusive actions.

"The three week time out is welcome news," said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, "but it is too little, too late. We need a permanent, nationwide moratorium on all new offshore oil drilling."

"President Obama should rescind his March, 2010 decision to open up Alaska, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast to dangerous, uncontrollable offshore oil drilling," he said

"If BP's disastrous spill had occurred in the Arctic instead of the Gulf of Mexico, the impact would orders of magnitude worse," said Suckling, "Salazar should immediate revoke Shell Oil's faulty permit. If he does not, the Arctic will be at risk of a massive oil spill as soon as this summer."

"This spill spells disaster for birds in this region and beyond," said George Fenwick, president of the nonprofit American Bird Conservancy. "The complexity of the Gulf coastline, with numerous bays, estuaries, inlets, marshes and creeks, will make cleanup extremely difficult. Impacts could last for decades for much of the habitat, and some species may suffer significant long-term population declines."

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is fed by oil gushing at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day from a broken wellhead on the sea floor about 51 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

The pipe was left uncapped by the fiery explosion aboard the oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 2O in which 11 crewmembers lost their lives. The rig sank on April 22 and is now lying on the sea floor about 1,300 feet from the wellhead. The rig is owned by the Swiss company Transocean and was leased by BP Exploration and Production, the party responsible for stopping the flow of oil and clean up the damage.

BP is using skimmers, controlled burns and chemical dispersants in an attempt to control the oil spill. On Wednesday the company deployed a 40 foot-tall containment dome to the site and plans to maneuver it over the wellhead with remotely operate subs. Then pipes will be lowered to direct the flow of oil up to a drillship on the surface. If all goes according to plan this system could be operational by Monday.

BP also plans to send material down the pipes to plug the well, stopping most of the oil from spilling into the gulf. The company must also deal with a second, smaller leak in the piping from the sunken rig now strewn across the seafloor.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2010. All rights reserved.
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reference for ship in pic
86 meters = 282.152231 feet
http://ships-for-sale.com/dry_cargo_carrier.htm

67 meters = 219.816273 feet
http://ships-for-sale.com/container_ship_for_sale.htm
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 10:15:21 AM »

Gulf Coast oil spill (Updated: Thursday, May 6) and map
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2010/05/06/GR2010050605448.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050402980.html

After Gulf Coast oil spill, scientists envision devastation for region
By Joel Achenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The urgent question along the polluted Gulf of Mexico: How bad will this get?
No one knows, but with each day that the leaking oil well a mile below the surface remains uncapped, scientists and energy industry observers are imagining outcomes that range from bad to worse to worst, with some forecasting a calamity of historic proportions. Executives from oil giant BP and other energy companies, meanwhile, shared their own worst-case scenario in a Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers, saying that if they fail to close the well,the spill could increase from an estimated 5,000 barrels a day to 40,000 barrels or possibly even 60,000 barrels.

Three scientists in separate interviews Tuesday said the gulf's "loop current," a powerful conveyor belt that extends about 3,000 feet deep, will almost surely take the oil down through the eastern gulf to the Straits of Florida, a week-long trip, roughly. The oil would then hang a sharp left, riding the Florida Current past the Keys and north again, directly into the Gulf Stream, which could carry it within spitting distance of Palm Beach and up the East Coast to Cape Hatteras, N.C.

For the moment, the oil flowing from the blown-out well in what the industry calls Mississippi Canyon Block 252 is still many miles north of the loop current. A three-day forecast by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration does not show the oil and the current crossing paths. But Robert Weisberg, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida who has been monitoring the situation, said a new filament of the current is reaching toward the oil slick.

"The loop current is actually going to the oil, versus the oil going to the loop current," Weisberg said.

The crisis in the gulf is shot through with guesses, rough estimates and murky figures. Whether the oil blows onshore depends on fickle winds. This oil slick has been elusive and enigmatic, lurking off the coast of Louisiana for many days as if choosing its moment of attack. It has changed sizes: In rough, churning seas, the visible slick at the surface has shrunk in recent days.

The oil by its nature is hard to peg. It's not a single, coherent blob but rather an irregular, amoeba-shaped expanse that in some places forms a thin sheen on the water and in other locations is braided and stretched into tendrils of thick, orange-brown gunk. There may be a large plume of oil in the water column, unseen.

A BP executive said the company has had success in treating the oil at the point of the leak with dispersant chemicals sprayed by a robotic submarine. A federal fleet has fought high waves in attempts to skim or burn the oil. Rough weather has actually been a blessing, said Ian MacDonald, an oceanography professor at Florida State University. In heavy surf, the oil has been breaking up, and toxic, volatile substances have been evaporating.

"It chews up the oil; some of it sinks," MacDonald said.

The good news ends there.

"What remains forms what's called mousse, which is like chocolate mousse. It's an emulsion, which is an emulsion of oil, air and water, in a thick, gelatinous layer, and that's nasty stuff," MacDonald said.

No one is sure how much oil is spilling. An early estimate by the Coast Guard of a 1,000-barrel-a-day flow was upped to 5,000 barrels with the discovery of an additional leak, but officials now caution against giving any estimate too much credence.

Page 2 of 2
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050402980_2.html?sid=ST2010050405322
 
The oil so far has barely touched coastal islands and hasn't come ashore, but environmentalists are poised for a catastrophic impact that could last decades.

"It's going to have a ripple effect throughout the entire food chain, from the plankton to the fish that consume them, to the predators, like the pelicans and the dolphins," said Doug Inkley, a senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation. "It's like a slow-moving train wreck about which you can do nothing, or very little."

At a news conference Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said he had asked federal officials to look for ways to increase the Mississippi River's flow to keep the slick at bay.

"Let's make no mistake about what's at stake here," he said. "This is our very way of life."

The crisis began April 20 with an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon, a huge rig owned by Transocean and leased by BP. The South Korean-built rig, insured for $560 million, sank two days later; the riser, the pipe leading to the rig, collapsed. Three leaks have developed, the largest at the end of the drill pipe that extends from the end of the riser.

Robotic submarines have tried to activate a structure called a blowout preventer that sits atop the wellhead and has multiple tools for clamping the flow of oil in an emergency. So far those efforts have failed.

"It's really, really devastating," said Greg McCormack, director of the Petroleum Extension Service at the University of Texas. "On the political front, are we going to be allowed to drill in the deep water again? That's going to be more devastating to society than to the industry. We're going to have much higher oil prices because of that."

Few people have a more apocalyptic view than Matt Simmons, retired chairman of the energy investment banking firm Simmons & Company International and a 41-year veteran of the industry. Simmons, who will speak at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston this week, has been famous in recent years for warning that the industry is running out of oil. Now he sees a disaster on an epic scale as the pressurized subterranean reservoir known as the Macondo field, tapped for the first time by Deepwater Horizon, continues to vent into the gulf.

"It really is a catastrophe," Simmons said. "I don't think they're going to be able to put the leak out until the reservoir depletes. It's just too technically challenging."

He said BP's cleanup costs could ruin the company.

"They're going to have to clean up the Gulf of Mexico," he said.

Jindal's news conference Tuesday opened with an invocation from Randy Craighead, the pastor of a New Orleans area church. He asked for divine intervention.

"Father, we pray for a prevailing north wind," he said, "to drive that oil slick southward."

Staff writer David Fahrenthold in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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cw618
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 05:02:07 PM »

quoting my dingy self

Quote
im thinking the the well head, is going to have to be blown up, in order to stop
the flow, the sea life, the spill has already taken, and is going to continue to take, i think will be far greater than what an explosion or 2 would do.
http://scaredmonkeys.net/index.php?topic=7735.msg1126495#msg1126495

map
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2010/05/06/GR2010050605448.html

well from looking at the map at link, i think im reading the map correctly
there can not be, any bombing, explosions ect,of that area
all the little grey specs, are wells and derricks,see jpg too
there has to be, over 200, in the gulf, mind blowing, how much
oil we use


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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 04:31:09 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6430AR20100520?type=domesticNews&feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

Florida tar balls not from BP well
Wed, May 19 2010
pics and tar ball video at above link

video
http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=89098810&newsChannel=wtMostRead

(Reuters) - BP Plc said on Thursday it was siphoning off more of the oil gushing from its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well, but the energy giant faced "cover-up" allegations over its struggling response to the catastrophic month-old spill.

The oil plume escaping from the riser pipe has visibly declined today," BP spokesman Mark Proegler said after the company announced that a mile-long tube tapping into the larger of two leaks from the well was now capturing 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795,000 liters) per day of oil.

However, a live video feed of the leak, provided by BP, showed a black plume of crude oil still billowing out into the deep waters.

"It's just not working," U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, who heads the Environment and Public Works Committee, told CNN as she watched the BP video. The California Democrat denounced a "cover-up" of the real size of the oil spill.

The increased amount of oil BP reports being captured tallied with an estimate -- originally given by government and BP officials overseeing the spill response -- for the total crude leaking from the Macondo well that blew out on April 20. The resulting rig explosion killed 11 workers.

Proegler and other BP spokesmen made clear the increased containment, while an advance, was not siphoning all the escaping oil. "We're not claiming that we stopped it -- although that is our final objective. We're saying that this is what we're capturing now," he said.

DISPUTE OVER LEAK DATA

The U.S. government, grappling with a potentially huge environmental and economic disaster, said on Thursday it would not rely only on data given by well owner BP, but would make its own checks
per day or even more.

"The truth needs to be told ... At some point we need to stop all this cover-up," Boxer said.

With heavy oil sloshing ashore in Louisiana's fragile marshlands, heralding an ecological catastrophe, President Barack Obama's administration faces criticism that it has been too willing to accept BP's estimates of the gushing oil.

Popular anger against BP has risen, especially among Gulf Coast residents -- shrimpers, fishermen and tourism operators -- who fear their livelihoods will be devastated by the spill.

BP's shares, after initially falling in London trading, closed just over 1 percent up.

BP CEO Tony Hayward has been quoted recently by British media as playing down the size of the spill and its environmental impact.

"We're not depending on what BP is telling us," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told CNN.

Steve Wereley, associate mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University, said most independent estimates of the spill flow were "considerably higher than BP's."

"This is not rocket science," Wereley told a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday.

BP spokesmen said the original 5,000 bpd estimate was given by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Salazar said BP was responsible for damages so getting accurate data was essential. "It's a grave and a very serious situation and we're taking nothing for granted," Salazar told NBC's "Today" show.

Wildlife and environmental groups have accused BP of holding back information on the real size and impact of the growing slick and on the quantity and toxicity of dispersants being used against the oil, both above and below the water.

A BP spokesman said the company had received a letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking it to switch to other dispersants. "We are looking at what we can to do to comply," he said.

The spokesman was responding to a Washington Post report that said the EPA informed BP officials late on Wednesday that the company had 24 hours to choose a less toxic form of chemical dispersants to break up the oil spill.

The report, citing government sources, said U.S. officials worried about the environmental impact of the dispersants.

"BP'S MESS"

Sheets of heavy oil came ashore in Louisiana's wetlands on Wednesday for the first time since the rig exploded a month ago. The marshes are nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish that make Louisiana the top commercial seafood producer in the continental United States. Fishing is banned in a large part of the Gulf waters because of the spill.

In Pass-a-Loutre, La., thick sheets of gooey brown oil swamped islands of marsh grass at the southern tip of a Mississippi River channel on Thursday.

"To see the extent to which it is oiled and and the depth into the island is stunning," said Maura Wood of the National Wildlife Federation's Coastal Louisiana Restoration Project.

The oil pollution covers only a fragment of the vast network of waterways, channels and islands that make up the Delta region, but environmentalists fear it is just the start.

"It's going to take a long time for us to recover from BP's mess," boat captain Richard Blink said. (Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Tabassum Zakaria, Vicki Allen, Tom Bergin, Tom Brown and Pascal Fletcher; Writing by Jane Sutton and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Doina Chiacu
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 11:38:42 AM »

live feeds of the oil spill, the first two are working well, but slow to load
just google bp oil spill live feed for more shots

Live video link from the ROV monitoring the damaged riser
http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html

 Local News > WKRG.com Live Oil Spill Cam
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wkrg
------------------------------------------
more info an vids
http://topics.nola.com/tag/oil-spill-gulf-of-mexico-2010/photos.html

another vid
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/live_feed_of_bp_oil_spill_in_g.html


BP shows Oil Spill Live Feed as slick scale estimates questioned
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULLHYmz98P0&NR=1
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2010, 11:57:20 AM »

im trying not to freak out, over this but the more i read, the more
my panick button wants to go off
found this little tidbit, so what is millions of gallons of oil doing to the gulf

in: Rubbish/Contamination
A single quart of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of drinking water. Interesting Ocean Facts
http://www.savethesea.org/STS%20ocean_facts.htm


Track the Gulf of Mexico oil spill movement in animated graphic
By Dan Swenson, The Times-Picayune
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/gulf_of_mexico_oil_spill_anima.html

more info
Graphic shows how leaking oil well could be plugged by 'top kill' method
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/graphic_shows_how_leaking_oil.html

How the Gulf of Mexico oil spill happened: a graphic presentation
http://media.nola.com/news_impact/other/oil-cause-050710.pdf
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/how_the_gulf_of_mexico_oil_spi.html

A timeline of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion and spill
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/a_timeline_of_the_gulf_of_mexi.html






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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2010, 03:52:31 PM »

i guess there needs to be a new way of shipping oil, maybe I don't know what I am talking about but CW you have done a lot of research on this. I haven't read much but I think you would be able to find a new way to transport oil, imo.
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 03:18:06 PM »

i guess there needs to be a new way of shipping oil, maybe I don't know what I am talking about but CW you have done a lot of research on this. I haven't read much but I think you would be able to find a new way to transport oil, imo.

folks all i can say is this is really important, and stay informed about this situation
in: Rubbish/Contamination
A single quart of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of drinking water. Interesting Ocean Facts
http://www.savethesea.org/STS%20ocean_facts.htm

when you do a search for your own research google this
...Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico...

the problem is not just a spill,that needs cleaned up now,or the way we ship it
it is a massive ongoing oil spill,that needs capped plugged
stopped somehow from flowing.read below,and check the links

JMO this situation is going to impact, every living being on this planet
for yrs to come, we may never recover from this, if the ongoing oil spill
is not stopped, check out how the oceans currents work, water is our life
if the oceans are destroyed,this pretty blue and green place called earth
and our home, will be.........
im not trying to be the bearer of a doomsday scenario, but its not looking
good, the key is to stop that flow, i thought it could be done by an explosion
or two but.... see this post,
http://scaredmonkeys.net/index.php?topic=7735.msg1128797#msg1128797

you should really research this yourself
we are in trouble here, and somewhere in my posts was a hint of a BP cover up
WTH, its time to work together not cover up or bicker


and i think it is 3 leaks now, ill have to recheck that info


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP Oil Spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, or the Macondo blowout)[3][4][5] is a massive ongoing oil spill stemming from a sea floor oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill started with an oil well blowout on April 20, 2010 which caused a catastrophic explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform that was situated about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the Louisiana coast. Eleven platform workers are missing and presumed dead; the explosion also injured 17 others. The gusher originates from a deepwater oil well 5,000 feet (1,500 m) below the ocean surface. Numerous estimates have been made for the amount of oil being discharged, ranging from BP's current estimate of over 5,000 barrels (210,000 US gallons; 790,000 litres) to as much as 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000,000 litres) of crude oil per day. The exact spill flow rate is uncertain – in part because BP has refused to allow independent scientists to perform accurate measurements[6] – and is a matter of ongoing debate. The resulting oil slick covers a surface area of at least 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2) according to estimates reported on May 3, 2010, with the exact size and location of the slick fluctuating from day to day depending on weather conditions.[7] In addition, on May 15, researchers announced the discovery of immense underwater plumes of oil not visible from the surface.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill

here is a good start,for trying to understand, what  this spill/and still spewing/flow and travel of the oil,is impacting and going to impact
 
Sylvia Earle to U.S. Congress: Cheap oil is costing the Earth
http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/05/cheap-oil-is-costing-us-the-earth.html

once it goes down the coast of fl and around the keys, it will
be in the atlantic

Gulf Oil Is in the Loop Current, Experts Say
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100518-gulf-mexico-oil-spill-loop-current-science-environment/

the spilling could destroy all of this
 
Florida Keys Reef Creatures Guide
http://frankosmaps.com/maps/product/Frankos-Florida-Keys-Reef-Creatures-Guide.html

Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100513-science-environment-gulf-oil-spill-cap-leak/

BPs spill of 2006
JMO, soon after that the polar bear plight,made world news
within one season the bears habitat, had a sharp increase
of food shortages, and ice flow,i think the spill had something
to do with that, i believe, bp is still on probation

http://newsjunkiepost.com/2009/06/18/justice-department-targets-bp-over-massive-2006-oil-spill/
-spill-cap-leak/

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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 08:03:48 PM »

The 1979 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico near Cuidad del Carmen of a PEMEX well released at least ten times as much petroleum as the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout has so far released.  This should provide some idea of the Gulf's recuperative capacity in the aftermath of massive environmental insult.  While it doesn't negate the gravity of the current situation, it does offer some hope for environmental restoration and recovery. 
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crazybabyborg
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 08:57:55 PM »

The 1979 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico near Cuidad del Carmen of a PEMEX well released at least ten times as much petroleum as the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout has so far released.  This should provide some idea of the Gulf's recuperative capacity in the aftermath of massive environmental insult.  While it doesn't negate the gravity of the current situation, it does offer some hope for environmental restoration and recovery. 

From your typing fingers to God's ears, Steve!

I know this is too simple to have not been thought of, but I keep looking at it and thinking that if they inserted a flexible sleeve down to and past the hole, that it should at least really reduce the amount of oil spilling out.
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2010, 08:44:19 AM »

http://www.al.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/
After BP inaction, Fairhope will deploy its own boom
By Russ Henderson
June 06, 2010, 7:09AM

Booms are loaded into boats in Fairhope, Ala., on May 13, 2010, as part of preparations to deal with the continuing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Frustrated by BP PLC's failure to do booming work it had promised, the Fairhope City Council voted Friday, June 4, 2010, to spend $625,575 to deploy two layers of boom in Mobile Bay from the Fairhope Yacht Club to the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort & Spa in Point Clear.
FAIRHOPE, Ala. -- Frustrated by BP PLC's failure to do booming work it had promised, the City Council voted Friday morning to spend $625,575 to deploy two layers of boom in Mobile Bay from the Fairhope Yacht Club to the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort & Spa in Point Clear.
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2010, 08:46:43 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100606/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill
Gulf containment cap closely watched in 2nd day

  By HOLBROOK MOHR and JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press Writers Holbrook Mohr And John Flesher, Associated Press Writers   – 3 mins ago

ON BARATARIA BAY, La. – A containment cap that sucked some of the oil from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico offered a small sign of progress for a region that has seen its wildlife coated in a lethal oil muck, its fishermen idled and its beaches tarnished by the nation's worst oil spill.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward told the BBC on Sunday that over the last 24 hours, the cap placed on the gusher near the sea floor trapped about 420,000 gallons of oil. It's not clear how much is still escaping — an estimated 500,000 to 1 million gallons of crude is believed to be leaking daily.

Hayward said he believed the cap is likely to capture "the majority, probably the vast majority" of the oil gushing from the well.

The next step is for engineers at BP PLC to attempt to close vents on the cap that were deliberately allowing streams of oil to escape the system so water cannot get inside. When water and gas combined in an earlier containment box, it formed a frozen slush that foiled the system.

The federal government's point man for the response, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said the goal is to gradually increase the amount of the oil being captured. He compared the process to stopping the flow of water from a garden hose with a finger: "You don't want to put your finger down too quickly, or let it off too quickly."
While BP plans to eventually use an additional set of hoses and pipes to increase the amount of oil being  trapped, the ultimate solution remains a relief well that should be finished by August.

The urgency of that task was apparent along the Gulf Coast nearly seven weeks after a BP rig exploded and the wellhead a mile below the surface began belching millions of gallon of oil.

Pelicans struggle to free themselves from oil, thick as tar, that gathers in hip-deep pools, while others stretch out useless wings, feathers dripping with crude. Dead birds and dolphins wash ashore, coated in the sludge. Seashells are stained crimson.

"These waters are my backyard, my life," said boat captain Dave Marino, a firefighter and fishing guide from Myrtle Grove. "I don't want to say heartbreaking, because that's been said. It's a nightmare. It looks like it's going to be wave after wave of it and nobody can stop it."

The oil has steadily spread east, washing up in greater quantities in recent days.

Government officials estimate that roughly 22 million to 48 million gallons have leaked into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers.

A line of oil mixed with seaweed stretched all across the beach Sunday morning in Gulf Shores, Ala. The oil often wasn't visible, hidden beneath the washed-up plants. At a cleaning station outside a huge condominium tower, Leon Baum was scrubbing oil off his feet with Dawn dishwashing detergent.

Baum drove with his children and grandchildren from Bebee, Ark., for their annual vacation on Alabama's coast. They had contemplated leaving because of the oil, but they've already spent hundreds of dollars on their getaway.

"After you drive all this way, you stay," Baum said.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Allen met for more than an hour Saturday in Mobile, Ala., agreeing to a new plan that would significantly increase protection on the state's coast with larger booms, beachfront barriers, skimmers and a new system to protect Perdido Bay near the Florida line.

At Pensacola Beach, Erin Tamber, who moved to the area from New Orleans after surviving Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, inspected a beach stained orange by the retreating tide.

"I feel like I've gone from owning a piece of paradise to owning a toxic waste dump," she said.

Back in Louisiana, along the beach at Queen Bess Island, oil pooled several feet deep, trapping birds against containment boom. The futility of their struggle was confirmed when Joe Sartore, a National Geographic photographer, sank thigh deep in oil on nearby East Grand Terre Island and had to be pulled from the tar.

"I would have died if I would have been out here alone," he said.

With no oil response workers on Queen Bess, Plaquemines Parish coastal zone management director P.J. Hahn decided he could wait no longer, pulling an exhausted brown pelican from the oil, slime dripping from its wings.

"We're in the sixth week, you'd think there would be a flotilla of people out here," Hahn said. "As you can see, we're so far behind the curve in this thing."

After six weeks with one to four birds a day coming into Louisiana's rescue center for oiled birds at Fort Jackson, 53 arrived Thursday and another 13 Friday morning, with more on the way. Federal authorities say 792 dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife have been collected from the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline.
Yet scientists say the wildlife death toll remains relatively modest, well below the tens of thousand of birds, otters and other creatures killed after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The numbers have stayed comparatively low because the Deepwater Horizon rig was 50 miles off the coast and most of the oil has stayed in the open sea. The Valdez ran aground on a reef close to land, in a more enclosed setting.

Experts say the Gulf's marshes, beaches and coastal waters, which nurture a dazzling array of life, could be transformed into killing fields, though the die-off could take months or years and unfold largely out of sight. The damage could be even greater beneath the water's surface, where oil and dispersants could devastate zooplankton and tiny invertebrates at the base of the food chain.

"People naturally tend to focus on things that are most conspicuous, like oiled birds, but in my opinion the impacts on fisheries will be much more severe," said Rich Ambrose, director of the environmental science and engineering at program at UCLA.

The Gulf is also home to dolphins and species including the endangered sperm whale. A government report found that dolphins with prolonged exposure to oil in the 1990s experienced skin injuries and burns, reduced neurological functions and lower hemoglobin levels in their blood. It concluded that the effects probably wouldn't be lethal because many creatures would avoid the oil. Yet dolphins in the Gulf have been spotted swimming through plumes of crude.

The prospect left fishing guide Marino shaking his head, as he watched the oil washing into a marsh and over the body of a dead pelican. Species like shrimp and crab flourish here, finding protection in the grasses. Fish, birds and other creatures feed here.

"It's going to break that cycle of life," Marino said. "It's like pouring gas in your aquarium. What do you think that's going to do?"
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2010, 08:57:48 AM »


Plaquemines Parish coastal zone director P.J. Hahn lifts an oil-covered pelican which was stuck in oil at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay, just off the Gulf of Mexico in Plaquemines Parish, La., Saturday, June 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)



People walk near the dark brown stain of beached oil in Gulf Shores, Ala., Saturday, June 5, 2010. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster has started washing ashore on the Alabama and Florida coast beaches. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2010, 09:01:03 AM »


Oil slicks move toward the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., Saturday, June 5, 2010. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster has started washing ashore on the Alabama and Florida coast beaches. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


An oil-covered pelican tries unsuccessfully to fly off a post at Wilkerson Canal where it meets the north shore of Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La., Saturday, June 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

More photos at link.....   http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gIXWYBTpLtSayJtg41LKXpxSxVPAD9G5PA780
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2010, 01:33:14 PM »

I'll be updating on this thread and JSM's what is TRULY happening from a local's point of view. As I posted yesterday the BP workers (all but two) spent the 6+ hours I was on the beach under a tent shooting the breeze while locals and Island Authority officials cleaned up the beaches Sad  Granted when CNN, FOX, AP etc cameras are rolling whil Jimmy Buffet walked the beach with the governor they got out from the tent and actually worked, but the moment they were gone, back to the tent.........so sad because we have been told to not pick up the tar balls and let the workers do it, however if we listened to that our beach would still be littered instead of clean. It warms my heart to see even the tourist and small kids with their parents and locals out there with small shovels working all day to keep the beach clean. Today I am going out with the camera to document the "inaction" and upload them to Youtube and send to Fox News. At this moment the officials from BP are inland meeting (well, let me re-phrase that-they are getting their @ss chewed out by locals) so we shall see if it makes any difference, also the storm yesterday cleaned up what was left so I'll go search for tarballs myself because there have to be some out there, and pick them up while documenting the "paid worker" doing nothing. I personally had to take the tarballs I collected yesterday to the bums sitting under their tent to dispose of them.

Also, I am furious as this oil is easy to contain by the use of super tankers like the clean up of the 93 Persian Gulf oil spill, the tankers cleaned up 800 million gallons and still salvaged 85% of the oil. One has to wonder WHY the Federal Government has done jack chit to contain this spill, but I think I am beginning to figure that out. The dispersant used to break down the oil is toxic and made by Nalco, just google that with oil spill and look at the ties with NALCO to Gore, Soros, Rezko, University of Chicago and one has to wonder if it's more profitable since the stock price has increased big time since the use of the toxic dispersant is being used at mass proportions, so WHO profits from NOT containing the oil????? Follow the money and that's where the answers will be found. This is a Federal disaster and should be handled that way, obviously BP is to blame, but so is MMS the regulatory division of the government that regulates offshore drilling, and knew 6 wks before the spill that the well was unstable and hard to control, it should have been shut down ASAP at that point and I have to wonder why it wasn't...........could it be the political donations from BP to the Obama campaign??? Sounds crazy I know, but no crazier than the lack of inaction by the federal government in obtaining fire booms in the first days which can burn 75,000 gallons an hour, or the use of the SuperTankers that are able to hold over 1.4 million gallons and this is a KNOWN way to contain it, and has been submitted to BP and the Coast guard to help, so WTF didn't they jump on this instead of allowing the fragile ecosystem of the marshes and estuaries to be destroyed for decades to come (Aganda-cap and trade comes to mind)


http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/bp-oil-spill-cleanup-costs-060410




Forget the president's latest Friday-afternoon jaunt to Louisiana. Here's the news that really got buried headed into the weekend: Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister had his first substantive and detailed talk yesterday with Coast Guard officials in Louisiana regarding the viability and importance of deploying supertankers to the Gulf in an effort to recover the oil in the water before it ruins any more coastline.

Hofmeister has been extraordinarily tenacious in pursuit of this idea, and hopefully this breakthrough signifies serious movement toward action.

After all, it is not as if BP would have trouble finding supertankers to clean up the Gulf.

In all the world, there are 538 VLCC's, or Very Large Crude Carriers. The English, especially those in the shipping trade, sneer at the term "supertanker" that we Americans have popularized for these massive vessels. "It's a bad tag," a wise young tanker broker in London told me this morning. They prefer instead to describe the ship's line and its DWT, or dead weight tonnage, because those things convey more useful information. Pardon me, but I prefer the term supertanker, because in the Gulf of Mexico we've got a super problem. Anyway, VLCC is a little dry.

In any case, as of this morning, of these 538 supertankers dotting the oceans of the world, 47 were basically inert, being used for something the young English broker called "floating storage." That is, they were full of crude oil, going nowhere. And half of these are full of Iranian heavy crude, which for various reasons no one seems to want. The point of this being that we've got a glut of crude on the market at the moment, and it is cheaper to store the oil on 47 of these tankers than sell it. This phenomenon is what is known in the petroleum business as a "contango," where the delivery price exceeds the market price that you can get for the oil.

Which is all to say that were BP to get supertankers into the Gulf of Mexico to pursue a suck-and-salvage strategy (which The Politics Blog has written about extensively) to get the oil out of the water before the worst of it comes ashore — or before it contaminates the sea floor — it is not as if the company would have a difficult time finding tankers. In fact, it's not as if it would even have to divert tankers from its own fleet, and remove them from their regular runs picking up and delivering oil.

That's where tanker brokers come in. The young English broker at EA Gibson shipbroking that I spoke with, as well as the very helpful tanker broker I spoke with from Simpson Spence & Young on Long Island, broke things down. It is a special knowledge they have, and many calculations go into determining what the services of one of these vessels is worth, but chartering a tanker isn't rocket science. And yes, diverting a tanker from commerce to cleanup will cost BP a premium, but that cost is nothing compared to the ruination of vital coastline and of whole economies. I mean, look at the size of this thing.

Basically, these guys told us that per day, these tankers earn their owners roughly $45,000. If you were to approach one of these brokers looking to charter, on behalf of their owners they would ask a premium, maybe $1,000,000 per day, according to the broker from SSY. Negotiations would bring that down to something more acceptable to both parties, this broker said, and he also indicated that as a premium it wouldn't be unusual for the ship's owner to ask for and get ten times what it normally earns on its daily runs.

So for argument's (and BP's) sake, let's say that when BP charters the necessary tankers (and they will have to, eventually), the tanker broker makes them a deal for $450,000 a day. And let's say that BP orders up six tankers, and for a problem the size of the one they've created, these supertankers and their pumping and storage capacity are needed for six months.

At that rate, six supertankers for six months comes to $494,100,000. Round up and call it a half-billion dollars. On the ghost of Lord Browne, we are here to say that that will be the best half-billion BP every spent.

Obviously, these are the roughest of calculations, as today's rate won't necessarily be tomorrow's rate, but you get the idea. And again, a drop in the bucket compared to the bankrupting settlements they'll otherwise have to pay for destroying whole coastlines, economies, and ways of life.

And, gentlemen, that just accounts for supertankers. There are thousands and thousands of smaller-capacity tankers that are certainly more plentiful and might even save BP a buck. Or if they get more ambitious about cleaning up the Gulf, there are even a handful of ULCC's, or Ultra-Large Crude Carriers, on earth. At 400,000 metric tons, they're even bigger than the supertankers.

But what becomes clearer by the day is that this solution, which would be difficult under the best of circumstances, gets harder as the oil in the water migrates and changes in character (thanks to environmental conditions and a million gallons of dispersant).

There is no time for further study or more data. Enough smart people think this idea is feasible and is not technically that challenging to merit trying it immediately.

The other efforts to mitigate the oil — burning, skimming, dispersing — have failed or are failing. Unless someone comes forward with a better idea, now, the only alternative to the tanker solution is to watch the worst of the oil come ashore, and say goodbye to so much



http://renergie.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/bp-is-not-the-only-responsible-party/


BP is Not the Only Responsible Party
Posted on May 25, 2010. Filed under: BP,Deepwater Horizon,Dispersants,Federalize,Oil Pollution Act,Oil Spill,Responsible Party,USCG |

BP is Not the Only Responsible Party

By Brian J. Donovan

May 24, 2010

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Coast Guard has named both BP (owner of the well) and Transocean (the owner and operator of Deepwater Horizon) as “responsible parties” in the oil spill that resulted from the explosion on April 20, 2010 and subsequent sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 22, 2010. Cameron (the company that manufactured the blowout preventer that failed to function after the explosion) and Halliburton (which performed drilling services like cementing) may also be found to be legally responsible. Since April 20, 2010, “BP is the responsible party” has been repeated so many times by President Obama, Secretary Salazar, Secretary Napolitano, Admiral Allen, and NOAA Administrator Lubchenco that it has become the truth. The truth is, in addition to Transocean and possibly Cameron and Halliburton, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are also responsible, although not legally liable, for heavy crude oil entering the Louisiana wetlands and the loop current.

Recently Renergie, Inc. submitted unsolicited proposals to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), the Governor of Louisiana, and the USCG for the purpose of: (a) collecting the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with three Panamax crude tankers; (b) separating the oil and water onboard the tankers; and (c) transporting the separated crude oil to a shoreside facility. The three tankers employed by Renergie, Inc. would be capable of collecting 1,419,000 barrels of the BP oil spill; and, via a series of  onboard skid-mounted three-stage oil/water separators, be able to separate a combined total of 432,000 barrels/day of the BP oil spill.

To date, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has not responded.

The Office of the Governor of Louisiana forwarded Renergie’s proposal to BP and the USCG for their review.

The USCG response, sent via three emails, stated, “The Coast Guard is not currently hiring contractors.  BP, the responsible party, continues to handle all contracting requirements.” and “Unfortunately, the Coast Guard does not currently have a mission and is not hiring contractors. However, if BP requests names, I will recommend and forward your company.” As the BP oil spill continues to wash ashore in Louisiana, USCG futher explained, “I am the POC for unsolicited proposals for the Coast Guard. A valid unsolicited proposal must be an innovative and unique product or service that is not commercially available to the Government. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.603 provides the specific criteria that must be met before an unsolicited proposal can be submitted. It appears that your product better fits the description of a commercial item offer, which is therefore not suitable for submission as an unsolicited proposal. We appreciate your interest in U.S. Coast Guard requirements.”

This article briefly discusses how MMS, NOAA, and USCG have abdicated their responsibility; reviews current oil response efforts; presents an overview of the Oil Pollution Act; and suggests a viable strategy for moving forward.

MMS

Background
The MMS, a bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the federal agency that manages the nation’s natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The agency also collects, accounts for and disburses an average of $13.7 billion per year in revenues from federal offshore mineral leases and from onshore mineral leases on federal and American Indian lands. The MMS is comprised of two major programs: Offshore Energy and Minerals Management (OEMM) and Minerals Revenue Management (MRM).
OEMM
The MMS plays a key role in America’s energy supply by managing the mineral resources on 1.7 billion acres of the OCS. The OCS is a significant source of oil and gas for the nation’s energy supply. The approximately 43 million leased OCS acres generally accounts for about 15 percent of America’s domestic natural gas production and about 27 percent of America’s domestic oil production. The MMS’s oversight and regulatory framework are meant to ensure that drilling and production are done in an environmentally responsible manner, and done safely.

The offshore areas of the United States are estimated to contain significant quantities of resources in yet-to-be-discovered fields. MMS estimates of oil and gas resources in undiscovered fields on the OCS (2006, mean estimates) total 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of gas. These volumes represent about 60 percent of the oil and 40 percent of the natural gas resources estimated to be contained in remaining undiscovered fields in the United States.

MRM
The MRM collects, accounts for and distributes revenues associated with offshore and onshore oil, gas and mineral production from leased federal and Indian lands.

How MMS Abdicated its Responsibility
MMS fell well short of its own policy that safety inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows. Since January 2005, MMS conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records. Under a revised statement recently given to the AP, MMS officials said the last infraction aboard the Deepwater Horizon occurred in August 2003, not March 2007 as originally stated.

The inspection gaps and poor recordkeeping are the latest in a series of questions raised about the agency’s oversight of the offshore oil drilling industry. Members of Congress and President Obama have criticized what they call the cozy relationship between regulators and oil companies.

NOAA has said on repeated occasions that drilling in the Gulf affects endangered species and marine mammals, but since January, 2009 MMS has approved at least three huge lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 drilling plans. MMS records also show that permission for those drilling projects was granted without getting the permits required under federal law.

Earlier AP investigations have shown that the Deepwater Horizon was allowed to operate without safety documentation required by MMS regulations for the exact disaster scenario that occurred; that the BOP which failed has repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since regulators weakened testing requirements; and that regulation is so lax that some key safety aspects on rigs are decided almost entirely by the companies doing the work.

MMS set aside requirements for documentation outlining what companies would do if a “worst-case scenario” spill were to happen. This documentation, which includes the disclosure of blowout scenarios and response plans, is required by law before exploratory offshore drilling is approved.

Reacting to the latest disclosures, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said while he applauded Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s remedial actions, it seems “MMS has been asleep at the switch in terms of policing offshore rigs.” He said the committee, slated to hold hearings May 26-27, will examine these issues “in the context of what our offshore leasing program will look like in the future.”

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by AP, the agency has released copies of only three inspection reports, from Feb. 17, March 3 and April 1. According to the documents, inspectors spent two hours or less each time they visited the massive rig. Some information appeared to be “whited out,” without explanation.

MMS also routinely overruled its staff biologists and engineers who raised concerns about the safety and the environmental impact of certain drilling proposals in the Gulf and in Alaska, according to a half-dozen current and former agency scientists. These scientists said they were also regularly pressured by agency officials to change the findings of their internal studies if they predicted that an accident was likely to occur or if wildlife might be harmed. In a September, 2009 letter, obtained by The New York Times, NOAA accused the MMS of a pattern of understating the likelihood and potential consequences of a major spill in the Gulf and understating the frequency of spills that have already occurred there. The letter accuses the agency of highlighting the safety of offshore oil drilling operations while overlooking more recent evidence to the contrary. The data used by the agency to justify its approval of drilling operations in the Gulf play down the fact that spills have been increasing and understate the “risks and impacts of accidental spills,” the letter states. NOAA declined several requests for comment.

“You simply are not allowed to conclude that the drilling will have an impact,” said one scientist who has worked for the MMS for more than a decade. “If you find the risks of a spill are high or you conclude that a certain species will be affected, your report disappears and they find another scientist to redo it or they rewrite it for you.”

Another biologist who left the agency in 2005 after more than five years said that agency officials went out of their way to accommodate the oil and gas industry. He said, for example, that seismic activity from drilling can have a devastating effect on mammals and fish, but that agency officials rarely enforced the regulations meant to limit those effects. He also said the agency routinely ceded to the drilling companies the responsibility for monitoring species that live or spawn near the drilling projects. “What I observed was MMS was trying to undermine the monitoring and mitigation requirements that would be imposed on the industry,” he said.
NOAA

Background
The mission of NOAA is “to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.”

On NOAA’s website, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco further explains, “NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it. NOAA’s mission touches the lives of every American and we are proud of our role in protecting life and property and conserving and protecting natural resources.”

How NOAA Abdicated its Responsibility
A. Allowing MMS to Grant Permission to Oil Companies for Drilling Projects Without the Permits Required Under Federal Law

NOAA has said on repeated occasions that drilling in the Gulf affects endangered species and marine mammals. NOAA knew that MMS was granting permission for drilling projects to oil companies without the permits required under federal law. “MMS has given up any pretense of regulating the offshore oil industry,” said Kierán Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group in Tucson, which filed notice of intent to sue the agency over its noncompliance with federal law concerning endangered species. “The agency seems to think its mission is to help the oil industry evade environmental laws.”

B. Failure to Accurately Estimate the Amount of Oil Being Released

It has been estimated that approximately 5,000 barrels a day (bbl/day) of oil is being released into the Gulf of Mexico. Repeated endlessly in news reports, this figure has become conventional wisdom. However, the 5,000 bbl/day estimate was hastily produced in Seattle by a NOAA unit that responds to oil spills. It was calculated with a protocol known as the Bonn convention that calls for measuring the extent of an oil spill, using its color to judge the thickness of oil atop the water, and then multiplying. Alun Lewis, a British oil-spill consultant who is an authority on the Bonn convention, said the method was specifically not recommended for analyzing large spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico, since the thickness was too difficult to judge in such a case.

Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University who is an expert in the analysis of oil slicks, said he had made his own rough calculations using satellite imagery. They suggested that the leak could “easily be four or five times” the government estimate, he said. Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry.  A computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving. Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 bbl/day.

Dr. MacDonald believes NOAA  had been slow to mount the research effort needed to analyze the leak and assess its effects. Sylvia Earle, a former chief scientist at NOAA and perhaps the country’s best-known oceanographer, said that she, too, was concerned by the pace of NOAA’s scientific response.

The government has made no attempt to update its estimate since releasing it on April 28th. “I think the estimate at the time was, and remains, a reasonable estimate,” said Dr. Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator. “Having greater precision about the flow rate would not really help in any way. We would be doing the same things.”

Scientists have come down hard on BP for refusing to take advantage of methods available to measure the oil. The New York Times reported that BP was planning to fly scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to Louisiana to conduct volume measurements. The oceanographers were poised to use underwater ultrasound equipment to measure the flow of oil and gas from the ocean floor when BP canceled the trip.

An accurate measurement of the flow of oil could change the way people remember this spill and their opinion of BP.  Once the leak is plugged and the oil is dispersed throughout the Gulf, who’s to say for certain whether BP’s blown well gushed 5,000 or 80,000 barrels of oil a day? By allowing BP to obscure the spill’s true magnitude, NOAA seems to agree.

C. Failure to Track and Monitor the Massive Oil Plumes Beneath the Surface

NOAA, whose job it is to assess and track the damage being caused by the BP oil spill that began four weeks ago, is only monitoring what’s visible - the oil slick on the Gulf’s surface – and currently does not have a single research vessel taking measurements below.

The one ship associated with NOAA that had been doing such research is back in Pascagoula, MS, having completed a week-long cruise during which scientists taking underwater samples found signs of just the kind of plume that environmentalists fear could have devastating effects on sea life of all shapes and sizes.

Frank Muller-Karger, an oceanography professor at the University of South Florida who testified before the House Energy Committee, said that testing for oil beneath the surface should be a top priority. “I think that should be one of our biggest concerns, getting the technology and the research to try to understand how big this amorphous mass of water is, and how it moves,” he said. “It’s like an iceberg. Most of it is below the surface. And we just have no instruments below the surface that can help us monitor the size, the concentration and the movement.”

“The fact that NOAA has missed the ball catastrophically on the tracking and effects monitoring of this spill is inexcusable,” said Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska marine conservationist who recently spent more than a week on the Gulf Coast advising Greenpeace. NOAA officials “haven’t picked it up because they haven’t looked in the right places,” he said. “There have to be dozens of these massive plumes of toxic Deepwater Horizon oil, and they haven’t set out to delineate them in any shape or form.” Steiner said, “NOAA is not only failing to fully measure the impact of the spill but, if they rationally want to close and open fisheries, they need to know where this stuff is going.” “And truly, they really need 20 or 30 vessels out there yesterday,” Steiner said. “And I think they know that. And so all the spin – that they have this under control, that there’s no oil under the surface to worry about – they’re wrong, and they know it.”

D. Conflict of Interest in Sample Testing

The question is whether a lab paid by BP can provide an unbiased assessment of the environmental damage from the BP oil spill.

Local environmental officials throughout the Gulf Coast are feverishly collecting water, sediment and marine animal tissue samples that will be used in the coming months to help track pollution levels resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, since those readings will be used by the federal government and courts to establish liability claims against BP. But the laboratory that NOAA officials have chosen to process virtually all of the samples is part of an oil and gas services company in Texas that counts oil firms, including BP, among its biggest clients. Pursuant to OPA, BP is paying for testing the samples, which simultaneously gives BP control over this process. Some people are justifiably questioning the independence of the Texas lab.

USCG

Background
The USCG is one of the five Armed Forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. The USCG protects against hazards to people, maritime commerce, and the environment, defends our maritime borders, and saves those in peril. It responds quickly to disasters to restore the nation’s waterways. It promotes resiliency of the Marine Transportation System. When called upon, it defends the nation at home and abroad alongside the other Armed Forces. In the heartland, in the ports, on the seas, and around the globe, the USCG is Here to Protect, Ready to Rescue.

The USCG is the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and inland waterways, along the coasts, on the high seas, and in other regions where our nation’s maritime equities are at stake. As such, the USCG protects our nation’s vital economic and security interests throughout the maritime domain, including the marine transportation system, our natural and economic resources, and our maritime borders.

The USCG provides the primary federal maritime presence to enforce laws, secure the maritime border, conduct response operations, protect the maritime environment (“by responding  to oil and hazardous substance accidents and reducing their impact on the marine environment”), and ensure the resilience of the Marine Transportation System that is vital to the U.S. economy.

How USCG Abdicated its Responsibility
USCG Admiral Thad W. Allen, National Incident Commander, said during a recent visit to Mississippi that he saw no reason for the government to assume control of operations from BP. “BP is the responsible party. They have to be in charge and they have to be accountable and we have to conduct oversight,” he said. “Personally, whenever I have problem I call (BP CEO) Tony Hayward” on his cell phone, Allen said. LOL~So, the government trusts BP........this is absurd considering what they government KNEW 6 wks prior to the spill, and has to see nothing is really working at this point.

USCG responses to unsolicited proposals clearly state,
(a) “The Coast Guard is not currently hiring contractors.  BP, the responsible party, continues to handle all contracting requirements;” and
(b) “Unfortunately, the Coast Guard does not currently have a mission and is not hiring contractors. However, if BP requests names, (USCG) will recommend and forward your company.”

Although USCG has completely abdicated its responsibility, one has to admire the forthright and transparent manner in which it has done so.
  WHY?????

OIL SPILL RESPONSE

USCG
The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, more commonly called the National Contingency Plan (NCP), is the federal government’s blueprint for responding to both oil spills and hazardous substance releases. The NCP is the result of our country’s efforts to develop a national response capability and promote overall coordination among the hierarchy of responders and contingency plans. So where the hell is the federal government other than finger pointing????

Secretary Napolitano has declared the Gulf Coast incident a “spill of national significance.” A spill of national significance (SONS) means a spill that due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary coordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge.

Admiral Allen has explained that the USCG has established four operational priorities:
(a) stop the flow of oil from the well; (b) attack the oil that is in the sea with all available means – mechanical skimming, dispersant delivery, in-situ burning; (c) protect the shoreside resources by deploying boom around the resources; and (d) recover and mitigate the impacted areas.

BP
Source Subsea Control and Containment
In its May 20, 2010 update report on subsea source control and containment, BP stated, “Subsea efforts continue to focus on progressing options to stop the flow of oil from the well through interventions via the blow out preventer (BOP), and to collect the flow of oil from the leak points. These efforts are being carried out in conjunction with governmental authorities and other industry experts.

The volume of oil being collected by the riser insertion tube tool (RITT) containment system at the end of the leaking riser is estimated to be about 3,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil. The oil is being stored on the drillship Discoverer Enterprise, on the surface 5,000 feet above.

BP also continues to develop options to shut off the flow of oil from the well through interventions via the failed BOP. Plans continue to develop a so called “top kill” operation where heavy drilling fluids are injected into the well to stem the flow of oil and gas, followed by cement to seal the well. Most of the equipment is on site and preparations continue for this operation, with a view to deployment in the next few days. Options have also been developed to potentially combine this with the injection under pressure of a variety of materials into the BOP to seal off upward flow.

Work on the first relief well, which began on May 2, continues. The DDII drilling rig began drilling the second relief well on May 16. Each of these wells is estimated to take some three months to complete from the commencement of drilling.

Surface Spill Response and Containment
In its May 20, 2010 update report on surface spill response and containment, BP stated, “Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea. Over 930 vessels are involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. Intensive operations to skim oil from the surface of the water also continued. Some 187,000 barrels of oily liquid have now been recovered. The total length of boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil reaching the coast is now more than 1.9 million feet. In total over 19,000 personnel from BP, other companies and government agencies are currently involved in the response to this incident.”

BP’s surface spill and containment strategy primarily involves: (a) the use of dispersants; (b) skimming the oil from the surface of the water; and (c) deploying boom to prevent oil from reaching the coast.

Dispersants: An Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind Strategy
To date, 785,000 gallons of oil dispersant has been applied by BP since the April 22 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, an unprecedented application and for a duration and at depths also without precedent.

Dispersants break oil into droplets that decompose more quickly. But scientists worry that extensive use of the chemicals in the BP spill is increasing marine life’s exposure to the toxins in oil. Environmentalists consider their use effective for ridding surface waters of oil but say when the toxins are broken down and become embedded on the sea bed they pose a significant threat to marine life.

BP is using the dispersant “Corexit 9500.” While Corexit 9500 is on the EPA’s approved list, BP is using this dispersant in unprecedented volumes and has been using it underwater at the source of the leak, a procedure that has never been tried before. The EPA has acknowledged that “much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants.” Moreover, of all the chemicals approved by the EPA for use on oil spills, Corexit 9500 is among the most toxic to certain organisms. It also is among the least effective in breaking up the kind of oil that is prevalent in the area around the spill site, EPA tests concluded. Corexit might also be contributing to the formation of large undersea “oil plumes” thousands of feet below the surface.  Again, who profits from the use of NALCO???

Sylvia Earle, the National Geographic’s explorer-in-residence and former chief scientist at NOAA, stated that “the instructions for humans using Corexit warn that it is an eye and skin irritant, is harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed, and may cause injury to red blood cells, kidney or the liver.” “People are warned not to take Corexit internally,” she said, “but the fish, turtles, copepods and jellies have no choice.”

Earle further states, “We don’t know what the effect of dispersants applied a mile underwater is; there’s been no laboratory testing of that at all, or the effect of what it does when it combines with oil a mile underwater.” One problem with breaking down the oil is that it makes it easier for the many tiny underwater organisms to ingest this toxic soup.

Pursuant to NCP Section 300.310, “As appropriate, actions shall be taken to recover the oil or mitigate its effects. Of the numerous chemical or physical methods that may be used, the chosen methods shall be the most consistent with protecting public health and welfare and the environment. Sinking agents shall not be used.” Sinking agents means those additives applied to oil discharges to sink floating pollutants below the water surface. The question is whether BP’s dispersants are “sinking agents” when they are applied a mile underwater at the source of the well leak.

Carl Safina, president and co-founder of Blue Ocean Institute, a New York-based conservation organization, believes BP’s dispersant strategy has more to do with PR than good science. “It takes something that we can see that we could at least partly deal with and dissolves it so we can’t see it and can’t deal with it,” he said. It’s not at all clear to me why we are dispersing the oil at all,” Safina said. “It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind strategy. It’s just to get it away from the cameras on the shoreline.

Skimming
Since April 22, only 187,000 barrels of “oily liquid” have been recovered by BP. This equates to collecting a total of only 19,000 to 28,000 barrels of oil. BP  states, “over 930 vessels are involved in the response effort…” By now, BP should realize that small boats are used for small oil spills, but large ships must be used for large oil spills.

The three tankers employed by Renergie, Inc. would be capable of collecting 1,419,000 barrels of the BP oil spill; and, via a series of  onboard skid-mounted three-stage oil/water separators, be able to separate a combined total of 432,000 barrels/day of the BP oil spill.
ONE HAS TO ASK WHY isn't this being done??????
Boom: Public Relations in Open Water
The use of the boom strategy is nothing more than “public relations in open water.” Deploying boom may be an effective containment strategy in the calm waters of rivers, lakes, or municipal swimming pools but, as has been demonstrated over the past month, in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico the boom will be breached.

THE OIL POLLUTION ACT OF 1990

Pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), for an offshore facility the total of the liability of a responsible party and any removal costs incurred by, or on behalf of, the responsible party, with respect to each incident shall not exceed the total of all removal costs plus $75,000,000.

However, this limit on liability “does not apply if the incident was proximately caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct of, or the violation of an applicable Federal safety, construction, or operating regulation by, the responsible party, an agent or employee of the responsible party, or a person acting pursuant to a contractual relationship with the responsible party.”

OPA broadened the scope of damages (i.e., costs) for which an oil spiller would be liable. Under OPA, a responsible party is liable for all cleanup costs incurred, not only by a government entity, but also by a private party. In addition to cleanup costs, OPA significantly increased the range of liable damages to include the following:

• injury to natural resources,
• loss of personal property (and resultant economic losses),
• loss of subsistence use of natural resources,
• lost revenues resulting from destruction of property or natural resource injury,
• lost profits resulting from property loss or natural resource injury, and
• costs of providing extra public services during or after spill response.

OPA Section 4201 provides:
(c) FEDERAL REMOVAL AUTHORITY
(1) GENERAL REMOVAL REQUIREMENT
OPA Section 4201(c)(1)(B) amended Section 311(c) of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to provide the President with three options:
(1) perform cleanup immediately (“federalize” the spill);
(2) monitor the response efforts of the spiller; or
(3) direct the spiller’s cleanup activities.


OPA Section 4201(c) further provides:
(2) DISCHARGE POSING SUBSTANTIAL THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH OR WELFARE (A) If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a size or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources, and the public and private beaches and shorelines of the United States), the President shall direct all Federal, State, and private actions to remove the discharge or to mitigate or prevent the threat of the discharge.
(B) In carrying out this paragraph, the President may, without regard to any other provision of law governing contracting procedures or employment of personnel by the Federal Government -
(i) remove or arrange for the removal of the discharge, or mitigate or prevent the substantial threat of the discharge.

Oil spill response authority is determined by the location of the spill: the USCG has response authority in coastal waters, and the EPA covers inland oil spills. As the primary response authority in coastal waters, the USCG has the ultimate authority to ensure that an oil spill is effectively removed and actions are taken to prevent further discharge from the source. During response operations, the USCG coordinates the efforts of federal, state, and private parties. USCG response efforts are supported by NOAA. NOAA provides scientific analysis and consultation during oil spill response activities. Assistance can include oil spill tracking, cleanup alternatives, and knowledge of at-risk natural resources. Moreover, NOAA experts begin to collect data to assess natural resource damages during response operations.

A VIABLE STRATEGY

A viable strategy would be to establish three operational priorities: stop the flow of oil from the well, collect the oil that is in the sea, and restore the impacted coastal areas. Each task should be assigned to the entity with the most expertise in that particular area.

I. Stop the Flow of Oil from the Well
BP should perform this task. BP has in-house technical expertise and the ability to assemble a team of outside engineering and offshore oil & gas experts to cap the well. The only viable permanent solution is to drill a relief well. Hopefully, either the “top kill” or “junk shot” procedure will stop the flow of oil while the relief well is being drilled. MMS should merely monitor BP’s efforts.

II. Collect the Oil that is in the Sea
USCG should perform this task. Pursuant to OPA Section 4201, and given that the BP oil spill is a “discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare,” President Obama should federalize the collection of the oil that is in the sea. This could be done without having to federalize the operational priority of stopping the flow of oil from the well.

(1) Timecharter Crude Tankers to Collect the Oil
This would involve the following 3-step process: (a) collecting the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with three Panamax crude tankers; (b) separating the oil and water onboard the tankers; and (c) transporting the separated crude oil to a shoreside facility. Three Panamax tankers would be capable of collecting 1,419,000 barrels of the BP oil spill; and, via a series of  onboard skid-mounted three-stage oil/water separators, be able to separate a combined total of 432,000 barrels/day of the BP oil spill. Since April 22, only 187,000 barrels of “oily liquid” have been recovered by BP.


(2) Discontinue the Use of Dispersants
BP has been using dispersant in unprecedented volumes and has been using it underwater at the source of the leak, a procedure that has never been tried before. The EPA has acknowledged that “much is unknown about the underwater use of dispersants.” Moreover, of all the chemicals approved by the EPA for use on oil spills, Corexit 9500 is among the most toxic to certain organisms. The volume that is being used is creating a toxic soup that is more dangerous than the oil spill. As noted above, BP’s dispersant strategy has more to do with PR than good science. It takes something that we can see that we could at least partly deal with and dissolves it so we can’t see it and can’t deal with it. It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind strategy
. Again, if they stopped the use of dispersant, all those Chicago thugs would not profit as much since these are sold by NALCO

(3) Reposition Skimming o the Northern Edge of the Spill
BP claims, “Over 930 vessels are involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.” USCG should immediately reposition several skimming vessels to the northern edge of the spill to mitigate the oil damage to Louisiana’s wetlands.

(4) Expand Coordination with NOAA
NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration should provide better scientific analysis of the incident. NOAA’s assistance should include an accurate measurement of the flow of oil from the well, oil spill tracking and monitoring (both surface and underwater), the collection of test samples and data to assess natural resource damages. Accurate information is crucial to our understanding of the true rate of flow, to improving our ability to gauge the amount of oil currently in the Gulf, and to preparing for the impacts this spill may have on our environment, fisheries and coastal communities.

(5) Deployment of Research Vessels
USCG should direct NOAA to immediately deploy 20 research vessels to identify, track and monitor the massive underwater plumes of oil in the sea. The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface. Depending on the depth of the plume, USCG could deploy a tanker to collect the underwater oil before it either reaches shore or enters the loop current.

(6) Discontinue Deployment of Boom
BP claims, “The total length of boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil reaching the coast is now more than 1.9 million feet.” The use of the boom strategy is nothing more than “public relations in open water.” Deploying boom may be an effective containment strategy in the calm waters of rivers, lakes, or municipal swimming pools but, as has been demonstrated over the past month, in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico the boom will be breached. The use of boom in the Gulf of Mexico is a waste of time, money, and manpower. Since containment is not possible, all available resources should be used to collect the oil.

III. Restore the Impacted Coastal Areas
EPA should perform this task. Again, pursuant to OPA Section 4201, and given that the BP oil spill is a “discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare,” President Obama should federalize the restoration of the coastal areas impacted by the oil. This could be done without having to federalize the operational priority of stopping the flow of oil from the well.

CONCLUSION

The blowout of April 20, 2010 aboard the Deepwater Horizon was clearly preventable. The fact that the BP oil spill has been allowed to reach coastal Louisiana is inexcusable. BP’s surface spill response and containment efforts would be comical if they were not so devastating. The  environmental and economic damages suffered by victims of the BP oil spill will be enormous and on-going. The livelihoods of all persons whose businesses rely on the natural resources of the Gulf Coast are at risk. Commercial fishermen, oyster harvesters, shrimpers, and  businesses involved, directly or indirectly, in processing and packaging for the seafood industry will experience the end of a way of life that, in many cases, has been passed down from one generation to the next.

BP should remain in charge of stopping the flow of oil from the well. Pursuant to OPA Section 4201, and given that the BP oil spill is a “discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare,” President Obama should federalize the collection of the oil that is in the sea and the restoration of the coastal areas impacted by the oil. Both of these activities could be done without having to federalize the operational priority of stopping the flow of oil from the well.

Under OPA, BP, as the responsible party, is liable for all cleanup costs incurred, not only by a government entity, but also by a private party. In addition to cleanup costs, OPA significantly increased the range of liable damages to include the following: injury to natural resources, loss of personal property (and resultant economic losses), loss of subsistence use of natural resources, lost revenues resulting from destruction of property or natural resource injury, lost profits resulting from property loss or natural resource injury, and costs of providing extra public services during or after spill response.

Pursuant to OPA, trustees for natural resources can collect “the cost of restoring, rehabilitating, replacing or acquiring the equivalent of the damaged natural resources.” Such resources include land, fish, wildlife, wetlands, groundwater and drinking water. If a resource can’t be rehabilitated, the defendant has to provide something of equal value, for instance by creating a new wetland.

Given BP’s documented violation of federal safety regulations aboard the Deepwater Horizon, e.g., using an improper cementing technique to seal the well, failing to adequately test and maintain blowout prevention equipment and drilling deeper than BP’s federal permit allowed, there will be no limitation on BP’s liability.

However, now is not the time for finger pointing or litigation. It is now time to implement a viable strategy.

APPENDICES

References
EPA: http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/lawsregs/opaover.htm

Marine Log: http://www.marinelog.com/DOCS/NEWSMMIX/2010may00011.html

MMS: http://www.mms.gov/

National Contingency Plan

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov/

Oil Pollution Act of 1990

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/05/how-responsible-is-us-government-for-gulf-oil-spill/

USCG: http://www.uscg.mil/

About the Author
Brian J. Donovan is an attorney and marine engineer with over thirty-four years of international business experience.

Mr. Donovan, a member of The Florida Bar, The U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida and The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, holds a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law (where he was recipient of the “Global Law & Practice Award” as the outstanding graduate in the areas of International Law and International Business Law) and a B.S., with honors, in Marine/Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Mr. Donovan, with deep family roots in southern Louisiana, has first-hand knowledge of the catastrophic devastation of the Louisiana Gulf Coast caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He fully appreciates that the damage caused by Katrina and Rita may pale in comparison to the massive and potentially unprecedented environmental and economic impact of the BP oil spill of April, 2010.

UPDATE No. 1

Oil Flow Rate Estimates

On May 27, 2010, USGS Director Dr. Marcia McNutt announced that the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) has developed an independent, preliminary estimate of the amount of oil flowing from BP’s leaking oil well. Based on three separate methodologies, the independent analysis of the FRTG has determined that the overall best initial estimate for the lower and upper boundaries of flow rates of oil is in the range of 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day. Measurement of the flow of oil is extremely challenging, given the environment, unique nature of the flow, limited visibility, and lack of human access to BP’s leaking oil well. As the FRTG collects more data and improves their scientific modeling in the coming days and weeks ahead, they will continue to refine and update their range of oil flow rate estimates, as appropriate.

UPDATE No. 2

Undersea Oil Plumes

On May 15, 2010, The New York Times reported that scientists are finding enormous oil  plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. Researchers from the University of Georgia, University of Southern Mississippi, University of South Florida and Louisiana State University have added to this preliminary body of evidence suggesting that some of the oil – no one knows what proportion – is dissolving into the water and forming huge plumes of dispersed oil droplets beneath the surface. This is worrisome because it raises the possibility that sea life, including commercially important species of fish, could be exposed to a greater load of toxins than conventional models of oil spills would suggest. The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.

UPDATE No. 3

Dispersants: An Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind Strategy

Pursuant to NCP Section 300.310, “As appropriate, actions shall be taken to recover the oil or mitigate its effects. Of the numerous chemical or physical methods that may be used, the chosen methods shall be the most consistent with protecting public health and welfare and the environment. Sinking agents shall not be used.” Sinking agents means those additives applied to oil discharges to sink floating pollutants below the water surface. The question is whether BP’s dispersants are “sinking agents” when they are applied a mile underwater at the source of the well leak.

Invisible Threat

On May 28, 2010, Reuters reported that the toxic dispersants applied underwater by BP may work their way up the food chain.

David Hollander, a University of South Florida oceanographer, headed a research team that discovered a six-mile (10-km) wide “oil cloud” while on a government-funded expedition aboard the Weatherbird II, a vessel operated by the university’s College of Marine Science. “We were collecting samples down to two miles (3 km) below the surface,” Hollander told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Hollander said the contaminants – which could eventually be pushed onto the continental shelf before shifting slowly down towards the Florida Keys and possibly out to the open Atlantic Ocean – raised troubling questions about whether they would “cascade up the food web.” The threat is that they will poison plankton and fish larvae before making their way into animals higher up the food chain, Hollander said.

The underwater contaminants are particularly “insidious” because they are invisible, Hollander said, adding that they were suspended in what looked like normal seawater. “It may be due to the application of the dispersants that a portion of the petroleum has extracted itself away from the crude and is now incorporated into the waters with solvents and detergents,” he added. He said dispersants, a cocktail of organic solvents and detergents, had never been used at the depth of BP’s well before, and no one really knows how they interact physically and chemically under pressure with oil, water and gases.

Roughly 850,000 gallons (3.2 million litres) of dispersant had been used by BP to combat the Gulf oil spill as of May 27, 2010, including 150,000 gallons (570,000 litres) released below sea level. BENEFITS NALCO


Sorry for the long post, but people deserve to know the facts !



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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2010, 01:37:05 PM »



 
Feds Knew Early Spill Was Worse Than They Let On: Reports
11:04 pm
June 3, 2010
By Frank James
Information is emerging that points to the federal government knowing more about the severity of the BP oil spill from the earliest stages of the disaster than it initially let on to the public.
For instance, ABC News reported Thursday evening that the Coast Guard and other federal agencies had access to BP's videos of oil spewing from the broken well on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. But for some reason federal officials didn't force BP to make it public. Neither did it communicate the magnitude of the leak to the public, according to the ABC News report.
An excerpt from the ABC News report:
But inside the unified command center, where BP and federal agencies were orchestrating the spill response, video monitors had already displayed hours of footage they did not make public. The images showed a far more dire situation unfolding underwater. The footage filmed by submarines showed three separate leaks, including one that was unleashing a torrent of oil into the Gulf.
BP officials said they made all the video available to federal officials.
"The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning," said Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. "It's always been here from the beginning. They had it."
Coast Guard officials told ABC News that BP refused to allow them to release the more startling images, arguing they were proprietary. But at the time, the agency was doing little to convey to the world what the images were showing. Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry was sticking with estimates, calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which put the spill's size at about 5,000 barrels a day for several weeks. Coast Guard officials said they were focused on the response, and advised the public not to worry about just how much oil was pouring into the water.
Meanwhile, the Center for Public Integrity reported that the Coast Guard knew very quickly after the accident happened on April 20 that it had the potential to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
An excerpt:
Coast Guard officials grasped the potential threat of a catastrophic spill within hours of the explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, estimating that 8,000 barrels a day of crude oil could possibly gush out of the well in the event of a complete blowout, according to Coast Guard logs.
Over the first three days of the crisis -- long before the public heard of a leak -- the minimum estimate for a total well blowout ballooned eight-fold and the president was warned by his top aides that a major spill larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez might be coming, according to the documents and interviews...
Then there's this stunning piece of information:
... By April 23, the Coast Guard logs include a new estimate that a full blowout could result in a spill of 64,000 to 110,000 barrels per day, the logs show.

The federal government didn't give the public any inkling that these sorts of numbers were possible.
Why not? What was the problem with giving the public the worst-case scenario? If nothing else, it would have allowed the public to be prepared for the worst.
As the ABC News story reports, there was an incentive for BP to downplay the amount of oil being put into the ocean by their gusher.
Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, said the apparent suppression of the tapes prevented an independent analysis of how much oil was spilling, a move that might eventually save BP millions, since federal fines are based on $1,000 a day per barrel.
The difference between a spill of 5,000 barrels a day and 20,000 barrels a day is $15 million a day. "It clearly tells us why they drug their feet to release these tapes," Nelson said. "I guess they were hoping that they could get it under control and this whole problem would go away."
So BP's incentive for low-balling the estimates on the spill are readily apparent. But what was behind the federal government's decision to be less transparent than it could have been?
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"If two theories explain the facts equally well then the simpler theory is to be preferred''
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Brandi
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2010, 04:17:43 PM »

http://info.publicintelligence.net/BPGoMspillresponseplan.pdf

BP's spill plan: they knew where it would go, that ecology would never recover, "No toxicity studies" on dispersants

Above link is to pdf of 583-page "BP Regional Oil Spill Response Plan for the Gulf of Mexico" that I found.

Interesting reading, indeed.
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2010, 05:56:08 PM »

Déjà vu ... 31 years ago!

A must-watch!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37368377#37368377
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