Archive for May, 2010



05.27.2010

The “top kill” effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, said Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, who is heading the federal response to the spill said, said on Thursday morning.  “The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting.”

Once engineers had reduced the well pressure to zero, they will begin pumping cement into the hole to plug  the leak of the blow out preventer.

As of this point; however,  neither government nor BP officials had declared the effort a success yet, pending the completion of the cementing and sealing of the well.

The first ship containing 50,000 barrels of the mud mixture reportedly ran out early Thursday, although a second boat was on the way. Coast Guard officials and BP engineers on the scene said they were hopeful the process could be labeled a full success once cement was pumped in to fully block the pipe within the next few hours.

Allen said one ship that was pumping fluid into the well had run out of the fluid, or “mud,” and that a second ship was on the way. He said he was encouraged by the progress.

“We’ll get this under control,” he said.

Meanwhile, United State Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt, chair the Flow Rate Technical Group, declared this morning that the flow rate was that of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day (approx 18 million to 28 million gallons of oil)- a far jump from the latest revised estimate of 5,000 barrels per day.

That would make the 36-day leak by far the worst in U.S. history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez disaster, which spilled 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took another boat tour of the oil spill area Wednesday and later repeated his call to get federal permission to dredge sand and create barrier islands to protect inland estuaries.

Louisiana officials say they can’t wait any longer, as more oil seeps into delicate marshlands in Pass a l’Outre.  “We don’t need to see a repeat of some of the situation we’ve seen recently,” Jindal said at Cypress Cove after surveying the damage for about four hours.

He said if BP and the Coast Guard don’t come up with a solution to removing marsh oil by Saturday, officials will move forward with their own action plan. “Our way of life in coastal Louisiana depends on it,” Jindal said.

Plaquemines Parish President Bobby Nungesser said that if nothing is done by Saturday at 8 a.m., officials will bring out a suction machine to gather excess oil. He said the spill will have the impact of the past four hurricanes in the area. “Once again we were dealt an untruth,” Nungesser said. “How much more are we going to put up with?”

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


05.24.2010

BP Chief Operation Officer, Doug Suttles, stated that there have been 30 miles of marshes that were affected with 15 miles of the the affected marshes having “significant” amounts of oil in which required “several” clean up teams.

EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson confirmed this statement by indicating that, ” The oil is really piling up” and is “more convinced now than ever that BP/TransOcean/Halliburton has a BIG job in front of them.”

Officials stand by, helpless, while oil rolls into the shoreline wetlands and coats the stalks and leaves of plants such as roseau cane – the fabric that holds together an ecosystem that is essential to the region’s fishing industry and a much-needed buffer against gulf hurricanes. Soon, oil will smother those plants and choke off their supply of air and nutrients.

In some eddies and protected inlets, the ochre-colored crude has pooled beneath the water’s surface, forming clumps several inches deep.

Pelican eggs were glazed with rust-colored gunk in the bird colony, and thick globs floated on top of the water. Nests sat precariously close to the mess in mangrove trees. Workers had surrounded the island in Barataria Bay with the booms, but oil seeped through the barrier.

Meanwhile, in Barataria Bay, in southeastern Louisiana in Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish,  orange oil had made its way a good 6 inches onto the shore, coating grasses and the nests of brown pelicans in mangrove trees. Just six months ago, the birds had been removed from the federal endangered species list.

Over time, experts say weather and natural microbes will break down most of the oil. However, the crude will surely poison plants and wildlife in the months – even years – it will take for the oil to dissipate.

Since the existing oil is hard to clean up, it appears that efforts have shifted to preventable measures.

Talks are now being held to utilize several chain of sandbag berms, reinforced with containment booms, that would skirt the state’s coastline. In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers also is considering a broader plan that would use dredging to build sand berms across more of the barrier islands.

Louisiana Governor Jindal has utilized the sandbag berm concept that protect the marshes behind Elmers Island, LA.
“You can see this is heavy oil. We tried to stir this up, This isn’t light oil. If this land bridge wasn’t here, this oil would go right through, and there’s nothing to stop it from getting into those wetlands,” said Jindal.

Despite the urgency of the matter, the request- which has been put in over 2 weeks ago- is still awaiting approval.  Governor Jindel has concluded that matters needed to be put in his State’s hands and wisely authorized this action to take place. In addition to this action, Governor Jindel also urged the federal government to approve their request to dredge sand off the sea floor to build more berms to protect the wetlands.

Extreme measures have been discussed; such as setting the marsh on fire or flooding the marsh in an attempt to push the oil back. However, these measures could do more harm than good.

If the marshes are drier than average, setting the marsh on fire could burn the vegetation to its roots, essentially wiping out the entire marsh.

Likewise,  flooding  could wash away the natural barriers that provide protection against  flooding from hurricanes and other disasters — much like hurricanes Katrina and Rita washed away marshlands in 2005. State and federal officials spent millions rebuilding the much-needed buffer against tropical storms.

The future for the Louisiana marshes look bleak with the majority of the response concentrated on preventing the oil from entering with very little focus on absorbing the method.

“Just the compaction of humanity bringing equipment in, walking on them, will kill them,” said David White, a wetlands ecologist from Loyola University in New Orleans.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


BP today announced a commitment of up to $500 million to an open research program studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon incident, and its associated response, on the marine and shoreline environment of the Gulf of Mexico.

“BP has made a commitment to doing everything we can to lessen the impact of this tragic incident on the people and environment of the Gulf Coast. We must make every effort to understand that impact. This will be a key part of the process of restoration, and for improving the industry response capability for the future. There is an urgent need to ensure that the scientific community has access to the samples and the raw data it needs to begin this work,” said Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive.

The key questions to be addressed by this 10-year research program reflect discussions with the US government and academic scientists in Washington DC last week. BP will fund research to examine topics including:

  • Where are the oil, the dispersed oil, and the dispersant going under the action of ocean currents?
  • How do oil, the dispersed oil and the dispersant behave on the seabed, in the water column, on the surface, and on the shoreline?
  • What are the impacts of the oil, the dispersed oil, and the dispersant on the biota of the seabed, the water column, the surface, and the shoreline?
  • How do accidental releases of oil compare to natural seepage from the seabed?
  • What is the impact of dispersant on the oil? Does it help or hinder biodegradation?
  • How will the oil, the dispersed oil, and the dispersant interact with tropical storms, and will this interaction impact the seabed, the water column and the shoreline?
  • What can be done to improve technology:
    • To detect oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the seabed, in the water column, and on the surface?
    • For remediating the impact of oil accidently released to the ocean?

BP already has ongoing marine research programs in the Gulf of Mexico. Building on these, BP will appoint an independent advisory panel to construct the long term research program. Where appropriate, the studies may be coordinated with the ongoing natural resources damages assessment. The program will engage some of the best marine biologists and oceanographers in the world. More immediately, a baseline of information for the long term research program is needed. A first grant to Louisiana State University will help kick start this work.

“LSU has a significant amount of experience in dealing with the oil and gas industry and deep knowledge pertaining to the Gulf of Mexico across numerous topical disciplines. The first part of the program is about obtaining and analyzing samples and assessing immediate impacts. Other areas of importance will emerge as researchers become engaged and the potential impacts from the spill are better understood,” said Professor Christopher D’Elia, Dean of the School of the Coast and Environment.

Subsequent awards will be controlled by the independent advisory board.

Notes to editors:

  • BP has been collaborating with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography since 2004 in a program aimed at gaining a better understanding of the environment and hazards in oceans, including marine electromagnetic research. The focus of oceanography efforts has been loop currents in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In 2008, as part of the Deepwater Environmental Long-term Observatory System (DELOS), BP installed the world’s first system designed to monitor deep-sea marine life. DELOS is supported by Texas A&M in Galveston, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, University of Aberdeen, National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and the University of Glasgow.

Further information:

BP Press Office London +44 20 7496 4076
BP Press office, US: +1 281 366 0265
Unified Command Joint Information Center +1 985 902 5231
www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com
www.bp.com/gulfofmexico

Dear God~


God, if you can hear me, there are people out there that understand the implications of drilling~ esp. in such great depths and we speak on behalf of the population that we are SORRY for our greed and our manipulative manner.

I speak on behalf of the People who are willing to stand up and say NO MORE; that we will do EVERYTHING in our power to put a stop to any addtl drilling and to start think creatively for our energy solutions.

Please forgive us for our sins and forgive us our trespasses as this is YOUR Earth and we are merely creatures who are BLESSED to be living upon it.

Please help us learn the error of our ways and to help contain the spill and the associated gases so that our wildlife does not suffer and the good and innocent people along the Gulf coastline can bounce back from this man made, greedy, selfish and bottom dollar faulty logic.

Please God, help me help the Gulf of Mexico and all of her innocent creatures who reside in it, who feed off of it and who reside next to it.

In the Light and the Love of the Lord, I am Denise M. Haywald (Anahata R. Broen). Amen. xoxo


Catch me LIVE on “Down the Rabbit Hole” at 900pm EST (800pm CDT) where I will be discussing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the current recovery efforts. You can tune in by going to this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/augle. Pls tell your friends- the more people who are aware of the situation- the better!… Hope to catch you on the flip side! xoxo Denise


05.19.2010

CENTRIFUGE SEPARATOR

Kevin Costner has gone on the record to present a centrifuge for separating oil and water which BP will be testing by the end of next week.

To see a video of Costner’s centrifuge machine and explanation of idea, please click below:

GALLONS COLLECTED

600,000 gallons of oil have collected as of date.  4 controlled burns of surface oil have been completed- 1 lasted over an hour. Today, a burn lasted over two hours. Mother nature has been kind and favorable in this effort.

GOVT ASSISTANCE TO GULF STATES

$700 million has been granted to the Gulf States to emphasize the recreational value and help boost the fishing and tourism industry. Florida has been granted $25 million of the financial aid to Florida’s website, http://www.visitflorida.com/ and local tourist development councils will work in conjunction on how best to emphasize their natural resources.

HOT TAP RECOVERY EFFORT

Working on option to place another blow out preventer on top of the faulty blow out preventer as well as an option of a valve on top of the BOP where the riser exits. Two more pressure tests need to be completed before determining whether or not these two options are a viable recovery effort.

LOOP CURRENT

Overflight showed that there is light sheen in the loop current with heavier impact estimated very within 10 days.  Keep in mind that the loop current runs slow, is subject to change and is relatively far from South Florida.  These factors will allow the light sheen to dissipate, degrade or weather before it makes impact with Florida.

“I would have no reason to suspect any subsea oil within the loop current”, states NOAA’s Charlie Henry. “Im pretty confident in our observations.”

The bulk of oil is AWAY from the loop current. That oil is not in the immediate threat of entering the loop current. There are a lot of eddys, areas of warm water, that move the oil.  There are also chances that other eddies will form and move the oil away from the Gulf Stream.  NOAA will model and monitor the loop current daily.

MARSHAL IMPACT

There is more oil impact in a harsher condition than previously anticipated present on the Mississippi Delta region.  People are working towards protecting the marshes and mitigate the impact.  Unfortunately, nothing further was elaborated on the protection strategies.

RELIEF WELLS

Continuation of the first relief well will start today. Likewise, the drilling of the 2nd well will start today as well.  The wells are not expected to become operational until mid August 2010.

RISER INSERTION TOOL

“Performing well. We are very encouraged. We think this is a a sustainable operation now”, states BP chief executive, Doug Suttles.  The current flow rate is estimated at 3000 barrels of oil per day and about $14 million cubic feet of gas per day. Monitoring the plume subsea, about half of the volume that is coming out of the riser is estimated to be gas.

SUBSEA OIL PLUMES

NOAA still stands by the statement that people have “elaborated” on the subsea oil plumes. Charlie Henry from the NOAA states that the oil plumes that people are thinking of and whats been detected on the Pelican vessel on Sunday are two totally different things and it is important not for people to confuse the two.

Basically, they had detected hydrocarbons in different straits of water.  They are under the impression that these hydrocarbons are from the small droplets of oil that did not rise from the well and “other sources”. There is not oil appearance, the water is clear.   NOAA is still waiting on data to confirm information.

TAR BALLS IN CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS

Tar balls have washed ashore in Corpus Christi, Texas and are in the process of being analyzed. The Coastguard feels that these tar balls will not be associated with the oil slick; however, they are taking precautionary measures and have been staying in close contact with the state of Texas throughout the oil slick ordeal.

TAR BALLS IN KEY WEST, FLORIDA

The Coastguard lab in Connecticut confirmed that the tar balls are NOT in relation to the oil spill.

TOP KILL  RECOVERY EFFORT

This procedure is the next line of action to stop the gushing of oil at wellhead.  The reason for the delay in the top kill procedure, the hydraulic control of the choke and kill lines had to be reestablished and access to that choke and kill line needed to be reinstated to allow high pressure fluid. In addition, the yellow control pot that manages the choke and kill lines had to be retrieved and recalibrate from the wreckage.

Fluids that are used in this process are environmentally sensitive with drilling muds that can be discharged. Unfortunately, nothing was further stated regarding the specifics of the drilling muds.

All steps are moving forward and officials are optimistic to have the top kill effort be operational Sunday, possibly Monday.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has apologized after posting a Twitter update Wednesday morning that tar balls had washed ashore on Destin beaches.

At about 10:30, the federal agency reported that a cleanup crew had been dispatched to the unspecified scene. The Log immediately checked with city, county and wildlife officials to verify the report. But all said they had not recieved any word on the find.

An hour later, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tweeted that “Sources have verified that news about tarballs on Destin Beach was mistake in our daily report. Apologies for the inconvenience!!”

This report on the tar scare comes from the Northwest FLorida Daily News’ Tom McLaughlin.

There are not, repeat not, tar balls washing up on beaches in Destin.

That much has been confirmed by Okaloosa County Emergency Manager Randy McDaniel.

A tweet stating “Tarballs have hit Destin Beach in FL. A cleanup crew has been deployed” appeared this morning on a twitter account belonging to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast.

The post came “via Hootsuite.”

McDaniel said he had been informed about the tweet and said he had called the Florida Emergency Operations Center and requested assistance in getting the “erroneous information” removed.

Jim Burkhart at the Fish and Wildlife Service disaster operations desk in Atlanta was originally at a loss for where the tweet had originated, but by noon had determined its origin.

“It came out of a report out of one of our mobile command areas,” Burkhart said. He identified the command post as being in Mobile.

Burkhart was later able to determine that the report had been made by a group of Fish and Wildlife officers who were called to “somewhere near Destin” in response to a report of a bird covered in oil. The officers did not find the bird, but did find what they believed to be “oil balls on the beach” and collected the material to take back for testing, Burkhart said.

It is doubtful the material was tar balls, Burkhart said.

“What they actually picked up I don’t know,” he said. “I think we’re making a lot of something out of nothing.”

He apologized on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for any inconvenience the erroneous report might have caused.

No reports of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill entering Florida waters have been confirmed. Winds from the southeast have been pushing the massive spill westward from its Louisiana source, weather officials say.

Continue reading for the city’s latest emergency update.

(Information from the City of Destin)

The City of Destin is open for business!  East Pass is open to marine traffic!  Our sugar-white sandy beaches have NOT been affected by the oil spill.

Here are today’s updates:

The City of Destin’s Public Services crews will be attending Hazardous Materials Awareness and Wildlife Response Training Classes this week.  Courses have also been scheduled for Okaloosa County residents and will be held Wednesday, May 12- Saturday, May 15th.  If you are interested in assisting in shoreline oil spill cleanup operations, you can request placement in a spill response course by emailing Horizonresponse@pecpremier.com.  As you know by now, shoreline cleanup volunteers must have training, including hazardous materials training.  Only volunteers who have been trained and provide appropriate certification are allowed to assist.

Oil containment booms have been deployed in the East Pass.  The booming will not be extended into place until oil actually threatens the coastline.

(From Okaloosa County Emergency Management)

No potential landfall of oil in the Okaloosa area is expected through Thursday.  A Local State of Emergency has been declared for Okaloosa County and will run consecutively with the Governor’s declaration for the next 60 days. A citizen information line has been set up to ensure the most current information is available to all residents. To listen to the current recording please dial 311 option 8, to report any oil spill you notice in your area or affected wildlife call 311 option 0, this will connect you to a live operator.

Source:  http://www.thedestinlog.com


1. Can they clarify with any potential issues with the well board, as of today’s teleconference~ they stated that they have “not made a final decision yet. Have they made a final determination as to what pressure the casing, downhole and BOP can confront?

2. Can they elaborate more on the “shelf life” of the materials out to sea, when they start to become “weathered”- will they provide another environmental hazard that we should take into consideration?

3. Incredibly important~ what are their protection methods of the marsh and coral beds since they cannot use harsh dispersant or else it would wipe out the fragile ecosystem.

4. When are they expecting the results from NOAA on the subsea hydrocarbon count? (If found, that would mean there are oil plumes under the surface that satellite is not picking up.) How are they going to determine that it is “merely” the oil being dispersed from the wellhead or something more serious, such as the dispersant weighing the water down and causing it to sink.

5. What type of drilling fluids are they using for the choke n’ kill lines of the top kill interaction? Has there been EPA testing on these fluids so that they do not cause a new environmental concerned if leaked?

6. Other than logistics and “comfortableness”, why will BP not look into other already approved EPA dispersants that are considerably less toxic. Coretix 9500 and 9527A have a toxicity level of anywhere between 1/10 and 1/100 of that of oil.

7. Further; in a teleconference a few days ago- they spoke super briefly on another dispersant being considered “Sea Wrap 4”. Can the elaborate on this method, the toxicity level and also if this is a considerable option or should be read in the manner of C-wrap or “crap” which many people feel BP are giving us. ;) <– okay, the question may be a little harsh; I just get a kick out of the misread. lol

8. On a serious note; can they elaborate more on the HOT TAP method for this could be disastrous to our Gulf if they do not find the blockage and/or dislodge the slight block that is already there.

9. In today’s teleconference, they talked about doing something of the hot tap nature but apply another blow out preventer; not just another valve. Can they elaborate and is the risk minimized if another BOP is simply placed over instead of having to severe the pipe completely?

10. How are they going about managing “burn out” of the employees? In what manner are they rotating and what are the qualifications are the job?

11. What is the logic of BP in selecting qualified volunteers who have completed either Module 3 or Module 4 training. How many employees have hired in each state and how many more employees are they intending to hire in each state as of this point.

12. What was their conclusion from the meeting late last week which discussed the 2010 hurricane season (on June 1st) and potential impacts (hurricanes- spreading the oil further inland or sinking it) and the heat (it gets over 100 deg here in Fla) and its ability to dilute the oil which would spread it faster than anticipated? What are their proactive measures?

13. How are they tracking the movement of the loop current and is there any way to safeguard the intersection of the loop current and the gulf stream?

14. How confident are they that they 2 relief wells being built (and supposedly operational by mid August) will relieve all pressure of the current well? Do they have any back up methods; to stay on the safe side?

15. How can you drill so deep in the Gulf yet not have any equipment/technology available to contain any spill or mishap that might happen at this depth?

16. What kind of green materials and technologies (such as oil-sorbets made from recycled materials) is BP using to best insure the clean up is environmentally conscious?


NOAA stated on 05.17.10~ that the oil plumes subsea were “grossly exaggerated; some are even false.”  NOAA is currently testing the water for hydrocarbons which would be related to the oil droplets subsea.  They have yet to give an estimated time of completion for the water testing. When can we expect to have that completed?

ALSO; I would like NOAA to confirm in what manner are testing the water samples for not only hydrocarbons but residue from the dispersant; as my fear is that Corexit 9500 & 9527A are causing the oil droplets to become heavy and sink; which is why they may be seeing less oil on the surface. However, satellite imagery can only detect so deep into the water.

ADDITIONALLY; In what ways are they tracking the loop current~ that is; the loop current does not move in purely one direction based off of one factor.  Further, how they are tracking the light oil sheen that has entered the loop current as of today on the surface AND subsea?

FURTHER; In what manner are they tracking the loop current and is there is any way that the connection between the loop current and the gulf stream can be separated.

FINALLY; In what manner are you preparing for hurricane season that starts June 1st? How are you planning on forecasting the oil spread in relation to any passing through hurricanes AND how many hurricanes (% of bad ones can we expect for the 2010 hurricane season?


KEEP IN MIND:: That the loop current has a VARIES of condition and even though it connects to the Gulf Stream; the oil may not necessary enter the Gulf Stream. PLEASE. Let’s not lose focus on the situation at hand.

++++++++++++++++++++++

NOAA’s latest observations indicate that a small portion of the oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the form of light to very light sheens.

In the time it would take for oil to travel to the vicinity of the Florida Straits, any oil would be highly weathered and both the natural process of evaporation and the application of chemical dispersants would reduce the oil volume significantly. However, the oil may get caught in a clockwise eddy in the middle of the gulf, and not be carried to the Florida Straits at all.

Oil entrained in the Loop Current would require persistent onshore winds or an eddy on the edge of the Loop Current for it to reach the Florida shoreline. If this were to occur, the weathered and diluted oil would likely appear in isolated locations in the form of tar balls.

The Coast Guard has confirmed that the tar balls collected yesterday in the Florida Keys did not originate with the BP oil spill.

Both the location of the Loop Current and location of the oil slick are dynamic and constantly changing. NOAA tracks the location of the surface oil daily through analysis of satellite imagery, observer over flights with helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, as well as advanced sensing technology on aircraft.

The Loop Current is an area of warm water that comes up from the Caribbean, flowing past the Yucatan Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it generally curves east across the Gulf and then flows south parallel to the west Florida Coast, as it flows between Florida and Cuba it becomes the Florida Current as it moves through the Florida Straits, where it finally joins the Gulf Stream as it travels up the Atlantic Coast.

We also continue to assess the contingency plans in potentially impacted areas, and we are working with our state and local partners, as well as BP, as the responsible party, to pre-stage boom and other resources as we have been from the beginning of this response.

Source: www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.