Tag Archive: recovery

I went to an oil spill Q &A last night with local officials and I was chosen to ask three questions. My questions are in bold and the answers are below.  Feel free to post a comment!

1. Has there been talks about putting oxygen down into the sea floor to help the animals and/or to break up the oil faster via the algae growth?

Answer: NO. It was apparent to me that they are not concerned with the oxygen level (poor, innocent, animals!) as they are more with the lack of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Another problem with the oxygen, is that they are not sure how they could get oxygen down at that depth and a lot of the oil would already be on the sea floor. To me, it’s an obvious answer~ set up a pipe that is suspended mid sea and anchored into the sea floor with oxygen being released from the top AND at the bottom. When I offered that solution, that is when I was told that they were not so much worried about the oxygen than the lack of nitrogen and phosphorus. ūüė¶

2. Does the Corexit dispersant have a smell to it? If not, how are they testing the seafood – since it appears that they are only sniffing the fish and looking for oil? (Dispersant is toxic as well).

Answer: The dispersant normally does not have a scent. There have been no real ways to test for the toxicity of the seafood in relation to the dispersant. (This is VERY concerning to me).

3. With the dispersant being biodegradable, is toxic rain a concern?

Answer. (Long pause). No. (No real further clarification, from my standpoint).

***I have to be honest when I state that I believe that toxic rain IS a very real possibility and will be continuing to look into it further.

If YOU have any questions regarding the oil spill, clean up efforts, wild life rescue, hurricane influenced actions and/or anything else, please send me a comment here and Ill do my best to answer it or find an answer to it.



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.

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

Today, I attended a teleconference with the Department of the Interior, BP and the US Coastguard.

I went into the conference with mixed emotions because I was hoping that the new riser insertion tool process would be successful and confused as to why I have not heard ANY news about it today.

After a comment of how there was only 25 minutes allowed for this teleconference due to time constraints, there was at least 15 minutes of general comments that anyone who was even remotely aware of the situation could have read on my blog.

BP has been hammered for the past two days as to why they are catering to Corexit alone and not allowing other alternative sources of *already approved EPA dispersants* who have been tested to be “less toxic” to be ordered.

It was said several times that “logistics” is a big factor. That is, the company closest to them, who has been pre-approved by the EPA, with the most amount of¬† dispersant on hand was the main determent in their selection process. The second determent was which dispersant they felt comfortable using in “large quantities”.

Allow me to translate.  BP and the Govt are catering to Corexit because they have used them for years and not even giving consideration to already approved EPA companies who can get the most dispersant to them with the lowest toxicity rate.

Noticing the uncomfortable and unsettling silence in the room, Suttles was quick to mention that there is a “new alternative”, Sea (C) Wrap 4, that is being looked at. That’s it. Not a lick of information further.

Funny how Sea Wrap can also be written like C-rap, and read as CRAP, which is exactly what BP is trying to feed us.

Another question was taken and clarification was asked about why the riser insertion tool that was attempted yesterday failed.

After much hemming and hawing, Suttles stated that as BP attempted to connect the drill pipe to insert the riser insertion tool, the frame bent so they had to pull the frame and tool back to the surface in order to re orientate the frame.

When asked if it was due to the pressure or temperature of the water at 5000 feet was the cause of the bending of the frame, Suttles replied, “No, that this was purely a mechanical failure, the insertion tool is back on the seabed and will attempt to connect tonight “.

Another call was taken asking for elaboration on the “mechanical failure”;

“As you can imagine, it is rather difficult mechanical act of taking a 5k foot long string and connect it into pipe.¬† Once we insert the tool into the pipe,¬† we will attempt to exclude the water so that we wont have the hydrate problems.

[chirp,chirp- chirp, chirp]

Then the question and answer session was over.

In conclusion, he mentions that “all information will be up at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com”.

Based on my experience with that website, Im not holding my breath for answers.

As information comes available for the REAL reason for the mechanical failure and elaboration on the new dispersant, Sea Wrap 4, I will be updating my blog with the utmost speed and dedication.

Please check back for frequent updates as this is one of my missions in life to discover what is REALLY going on so that we dont make the same mistakes in the future. Our children’s future depends on it.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.

Five “tar balls”, each about a half-inch in diameter, were found over a 3.5 mile stretch of shoreline off of Perdido Key in Escambia County.¬† The state reported these tar balls as a very minor incident and could not confirm that they were related to the oil spill.

However, according to Visit Florida as of Saturday, 05.15.2010 at 11:30 am CDT, there have been “no reported tar balls” on the beaches of Florida.

How can this be?

As a native Floridian, I have ran across naturally occurring tar balls that have washed up on our shore from time to time resulting from the minute amounts of oil/gas that being released from the sea floor which hardens over time.

Additionally, many “untrained eyes” can mistakenly see tar balls when in actuality, they are seeing something completely unrelated.

Case in point, when I went down to Okaloosa Island (in NW Fla) for a beach vigil a week ago. “Locals” were walking down the beach when suddenly somebody pointed out, “Oh no! There’s a tar ball!”. They stood over it and gawked in horror.

As they walked away, I walked over to the “tar ball” and picked it up, I flipped it over to examine it more in depth– only to find out that it was merely a broken off piece of concrete. You can see the “tar ball” for yourself in the pictures below. For redundancy’s sake, this is NOT a tar ball.

Front Back

Further, the Coast Guard, BP and MMS at 2:00pm CDT yesterday to state that all reports of tar balls east of the Mississippi River are actually clumps of *algae* (right) that has been mistaken to be tar patches.

However, it is important to note that the reports of the testing of the “tar balls” in Escambia County have not been released as of yet– so it is possible but with my analysis of the currents and wind patterns of the past few weeks, I am garnishing my bets on that tar balls in Escambia County are not “probable” at least not at this point.

Below is a picture of tar balls that have been collected from the Timor Sea spill off the coast of Australia last year.

Tar balls are fragments or lumps of oil weathered to a semi-solid or solid consistency, feel sticky, and are difficult to remove from contaminated surfaces.

If you observe any evidence of oil on Florida’s coastline, report the incident to me and Ill get to the bottom of it, one way or the other and report back.

Please keep in mind that many things can look like tar balls so PLEASE be 110% confident that what you are witnessing is in fact a tar ball before calling it such. Florida’s tourism industry is already being affected enough as it is.

For what it’s worth, my Perdido Key friends are reporting that the waters are beautiful and are cleaner than ever thanks to all the pre-landfall clean up effort! Additionally,¬† there are no reported oil sheen off of Florida’s coastline and no additional “tar balls” have been found.

The weather at Perdido Key, FL is reported at 84.5 degree Fahrenheit with slight cloud coverage. The only thing that looks to be harming¬† Florida’s coastline is a chance of showers tomorrow.¬†¬† Enjoy the¬† beautiful weather, white sandy beaches and breathtaking emerald coastline of NW Florida. I know I am!

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.

Option F, the riser insertion tool effort,  is a brand new  recovery option that will utilize remote controlled submarines to insert a narrow 6-inch diameter tube into the main leak in a 21-inch thick riser pipe subsea at 5000 feet.

Essentially, a piece of pipe with a rubber sealing device and flapper system is pushed into the spewing riser as far as possible to stop the gushing oil and funnel it to the surface for collection.

The riser insertion tube is intended to prevent leaking hydrocarbons from contacting seawater and forming methane hydrates, which created a problem with an earlier large containment dome that had to be set aside on the seabed on May 8.

In tandem, a “top hat” containment chamber has been fabricated, shipped and sitting at the bottom of the sea floor.

However, if the tube works, officials said, the smaller dome won’t be necessary.

“It’s one or the other,” said BP spokesman Mark Proegler. Both devices are designed for use at the end of the existing riser.

First things first, the insertion tube will be put into motion on Friday morning with a turn around time of 24-48 hours. If this effort fails, then another look will be given into the top hat even though there are concerns that hydrate gas crystals will form much like that of the large containment chamber. If this effort is successful, it is merely a temporary fix.

Proegler described the procedure as a stopgap measure to limit the oil’s spread until engineers attempt a more permanent solution next week, when they plan to shoot material including golf balls and shredded tires into an array of valves on top of the blowout preventer.

Hopefully, Recovery Option F will stand for fantastic because failure, at this point, is no longer an option.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.

After much frustration and irritation with Unified Command, the State of Florida has decided to take control of the State’s proactive measures in protecting our shorelines from the threatening oil slick that resulted from an oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010.

Governor Charlie Crist issued an executive order creating the “Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force” (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Task Force” which will facilitate efforts by Florida businesses and industries recovering from the loss of business and revenues due to the Oil Spill.

The Task Force will take on the task of:

– Coordinating the state agencies efforts to assist small businesses and industries.

– Monitor BP’s efforts in providing financial relief to impacted businesses and industries, including but not limited to the claim process.

– Coordinate processes and efforts to gather economic loss data and industry economic indicators.

– Ensure through a marketing plan, that the vitality of the business and tourism industry continue to prosper.

– Develop a web site to disseminate information and to communicate with businesses and industries.

The Task Force will be compiled by appointment of the Governor. Membership of the Task Force shall reflect a broad spectrum of interested parties such as the:

– Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development

– Secretary of the Department of Children and Families

– Director of the Division of Management

– Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Commission

– Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation

– Governor’s Director of the Office of Policy and Budget

– Executive Director of the Department of Revenue

–¬† A representative of Visit Florida

–¬† A representative of the Small Business Administration

–¬† A representative of the League of Cities

– A representative of the Association of Counties

– A representative of a local Chamber of Commerce

– A representative of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

– A representative of the National Association of Charterboat Operators

– A representative of the seafood industry

The Task Force can also call on other State agency, department, division, or office to supply such data, reports or other information that is necessary to achieve its objectives and requests specifically for the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and the Commissioner of Agriculture to cooperate with the Task Force and provide it with such information, personnel, and assistance as necessary.

The Task Force will also ensure Florida continues marketing Florida as a tourism destination and provides information to Florida businesses and industries in coastal areas, including the fishing, wholesale trade, tourism, retail and manufacturing industries.

The Task Force will be required to send in a monthly report to the Governor outlining their non- compensated support efforts.  The meetings will be noted and open to the public.

As a life long Floridan, I applaud the Governor and supporting cabinet’s stance to take recovery matters into their own hands. If we waited for BP, ahem, Unified Command, to organize our State’s efforts- our proactive intention would turn into an after-the-fact effort resulting in catastrophic loss for animals and businesses alike.

I am proud of my fellow Floridians for standing up and coming together in this time of need. Together, we CAN make a difference!!

Source: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files/authorizations/exec_order_10_101.pdf