Category: Marshal Impact



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?”

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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.


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.

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