Tag Archive: relief



07.30.2010

After Tropical Storm Bonnie passed, operations to place a plug at the bottom of the relief well to maintain integrity resumed only to find that at the last 40-65 feet, a wall of sediment collapsed into the well.

Ret. Admiral Thaad Allen stated that, “this is not a huge problem”.  Yet, the lack of reassuring talk after this statement on whether or not this collapse had weakened the well’s integrity, left me feeling otherwise.

The next step for the relief well is to lay the final casing line which was to take place this Saturday and Sunday; however, this operation cannot commence until all of the debris is removed. This removal process is expected to take 24-36 hours.

Several weeks before, question after question were dismissed by BP and the federal government about the relief well failing saying that it was highly “unlikely” so the focus was not on a “back up plan for the back up plan”.

“Drilling back-to-back relief wells is a “belt and braces” approach, and “will assure ultimate success,” Former CEO Tony Hayward told reporters back in May.

If this is the forerunner of what we can expect as we near the drilling intersect, we need to start discussing the details of Plan K.

For if the relief well fails, we run the risk of introducing an additional 240,000 barrels per day into the Gulf of Mexico.

Failing to acknowledge the risk will not make it go away.

Hasn’t BP learned that by now?

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.

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07.16.10~

Top Hat #8

After 7 attempts at an oil cap to contain the crippling gush of oil;  the 8th containment cap may be the prodigal son. Watch a visual confirmation here:     http://www.ustream.tv/pbsnewshour

Currently, the pressure reads at 6745 psi  and has been climbing approx 2 psi/hour.  A disheartening number for the residents of the Gulf Coast who were hoping that the psi’s were in the 9000 range.

Normally, this low pressure would denote that the well board is compromised and oil will need to be released onto the 4 production vessels which was said by Coast Guard Admiral Thaad Allen to “have the capacity to hold 60-80k bpd”.

However, the general consensus seems to be leaning towards the belief the well has low levels of oil because it has been gushing for so long as opposed to stating that there is another, unfounded, leak.

It was felt that the continuation of testing should continue because the majority of the other factors were positive.

During the integrity testing , all the valves are closed which allows the oil to be fully captured.

The Gulf Coast residents can sleep easier tonight knowing that the testing will continue for at least another 24 hours

At this point in the game, any break from the oil is happily received.

Relief Well Progression

After a little over 24 hours of the subsiding of the drilling of the relief wells for the well integrity test, DD3 and DD2 have been put back into production.

As of this morning, the Relief Wells are nearing the end of the precision phase of the relief effort, using magnetic ranging to give direction to assist steering the drill bit towards the blowout well bore and have drilled within 14.8 feet laterally from the well with an angle of 1.9 degrees.

So close, yet so far away for us Gulf Coast residents who are waiting for the intersection with bated breath.

Once the ranging is completed, the next step for the Relief Well will involve the drilling of 24 ft to the casing point which is hoping to be completed, by the middle to end of next week (July 21-July 25, 2010).

The final drilling intercept to kill the well will be the last week of July, a positive jump from the initial completion date of mid-August.

A friendly note to my local friends~ Enjoy your rest tonight. You’ll need your strength for the next coming days.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


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.


BP to offer training in conjunction with OSHA and the Coast Guard.

Health, Safety and Environmental Training has been a key focus to properly prepare those interested in participating in shoreline clean up. The training is fit-for-purpose based on whether you are a volunteer, contractor or vessel owner. The Post-Emergency Spilled Oil Response Training Modules were prepared by Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), with review and approval provided by BP, Occupational Safety & Health Administration and US Coast Guard personnel.

The training is for those registered in the Vessel of Opportunity program or as a contractor who wants to participate in clean up. The non-contaminated beach clean up “volunteers” will receive a basic BP health, safety & environmental orientation which as been endorsed by OSHA and the the Coast Guard.

To be included as a volunteer, please contact the BP volunteer hotline at 866-448-5816. Your contact information will be gathered and you will contacted when opportunities arise in your area.

****If you are interested in assisting in shoreline oil spill clean up operations, and you live in one of the coastal states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida), you can request placement in a spill response course by emailing Horizonresponse@pecpremier.com.

PLEASE NOTE:: This course is not a guarantee of employment but provides credentials needed to be hired for spill cleanup work by BP contractors.

For more up to date information, visit http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.


Last Thurs, I was on a teleconference between the Department of the Interior, Coastguard, NOAA, EPA, BP and Transocean.  I put in for a question and I was selected first.

I felt BP should explain their reasoning behind that as OUR residents should be benefiting from those new jobs, not somebody else’s bank account out of state.  I asked Mary Cocklan- Vendl- (BP shoreline and response and BP Richard Sanener- BP shoreline technical advisor from the UK the logic behind this decision; specifically Santa Rosa County,  for the jobs that were being created were being outsourced to 3rd parties and NOT being given to our residents like initially promised. Much like the clean up after Hurricane Katrina.

A silence filled the room and then Mary replied, “We are employing SCAT (Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Techniques) employees to clean up the beach line. I then asked, when is the training going to be offered for the residents who are wanting to help with the clean up recovery. She said, “It is not. The SCAT group will ensure consistency, plans and managing boards for consistent data management.”   In response, I asked about the 4 hr hazmat training classes that were offered and why would residents be directed to that class, if that class was not even applicable to the oil cleaning and wildlife process.

Again, another silence filled the room. She then said, “I am not qualified to answer that question- the best way to find out information is to go to our ENVIRONMENTAL hotline at 1-866-448-5816.

I objected,  “That is the call center for your hotline and they only record information- They cannot offer clarification. They will not be able to help me which is why I posed *you* the question. Then a male voice spoke up and said, “or you can call 866-366-5511.

Then my call was disconnected. 0.0

I called the # ending in 5511 and it rang until a voice mail picked up saying I reached “American Office Products”. I left a msg and then another msg yesterday asking for a returned call. I still have yet to receive one.

In the meantime, I contacted the general call line again and raised holy cane saying that the BP official gave me this number and I want to talk to somebody who knows something. It took 28 min (literally) of convincing that I was who I said I was and that my intentions were pure. (I told them I wanted to help BP look better in the eyes of the media).  Then I was connected to a supervisor.

Karen (who was “not allowed” to give me her last name) answered and I asked her why are our local jobs, that were promised to us by BP, being given to a 3rd party? Also, what is going to happen to all of the volunteers in NW Fla who took the 4 hr hazmat training to help the oiled wildlife and that Santa Rosa County is in the works of offering hazmat training to assist.  Why would this training be given, if it is not applicable to the oil spill? Further, will people be allowed on the beaches with their hazmat certificate?

After much hemming & hawing, she replied that only SCAT officials will be allowed for clean up and wildlife assistance. That HAZMAT training was not specific enough. That they are drawing from the hazmat training class and supposedly tapping for higher interest within that knowledge pool.   (Side note:: I dont think this is happening. I think BP is trying to cover up the damage of the oil spill so they are contracting people to come out and report what “needs” to be reported.)

Obviously, I was not thrilled with that answer. So I kept pushing until she broke and she gave me the direct number for BP and told me to call to get through to the reception area and then asked for the aforementioned people by name. I left a msg and another follow up msg for both parties and will continue calling around that facility on Monday until I get another directory path.

Also, another problem surrounding that is the toll free number given by BP for an “oiled animal rescueline” that I am trying to get answers too is WHY are checking messages on an hourly basis? Time is of the essence when a bird is covered in oil and developing hypothermia because the body cannot retain the heat.  This appears rather heartless to me and I feel that messages needed to be checked more frequently.

The State of Florida is now taking control of the recovery wheel and pushing for more cleanup money. As the initial amount of $25 Million will not even be CLOSE to the amount of money that our counties will need to effectively rid the oil from our shorelines. Congressman Jeff Miller has put in a request for $1 Billion dollars to assist our State and is awaiting approval.  If our State is only given $25 million, we will risk a County bankruptcy for the recovery process will cost much more than that.  Escambia county just spent $1.2 billion dollars to buy booms to cover their shorelines, so this is a reasonable. How ironic since Unified Command stated that they would honor all “reasonable requests” yet denied our request for booms.

However, the question still remains, “How can we best assess Florida’s future damage that is caused to our small coastline businesses, the fishing and the tourism industry?” Hopefully by relying on the past year trends of condos, hotel, local tourist attraction revenue and calculating inflation into the equation, Florida can determine the answer on how to best help the struggling bystanders of this man made, careless oil spill in our beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


05.04.2010

Another teleconference was held, in which I participated in, with the Department of  the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),  U.S. Coastguard, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), British Petroleum (BP) and TransOcean.

Satellite imagery shows that the former 3,400 sq. miles oil slick has been reduced to  2000 sq mile. While at first this may seem reassuring, it is important to realize that the oil is pooling; that is, the oil remains under the water.

It has been claimed that the blowout rig did not have any fire boom on hand  which would have enabled a controlled burn of the oil slick. To compensate for the lack of supplies, the government fire boom from an Illinois-based manufacturer.

Ever since the 1989 Exxon Valdez  oil spill, the “In-Situ Burn” plan produced by federal agencies in 1994 calls for responding to a major oil spill in the Gulf with the immediate use of fire booms. Those fire booms were not available.

A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour.  That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.  Further, the lack of a response for 8 days allowed the oil to spread further. Even more so, when the storm front rolled through a few days ago and all controlled burning was halted.

However, these response efforts have not stopped the oil slick from presenting  a threat to our coastline.

12 shrimp and 10 response boats have been following the oil sheen as it nears the coastline of Chandler, Louisiana. As of this point, no oil has made contact with the shoreline and it is said that the weather will keep the oil at bay for 3 days.

The stalled recovery efforts resumed activity this afternoon. Oil skimming, overhead dispersant, subsurface dispersant (one of the same with the only difference being the altitude/depth in which it is applied) and controlled surface burning have received the all-clear to assume the offensive position to battle the spreading of the oil slick. Further, 100 barrels of oil were burned in the initial response effort.  Due to the calm weather, officials are confident that oil can be ignited at a rate of 500-1000 barrels a day.

Additionally, the second blowout valve will be operational by the end of the day. However, this will not stop the oil flow altogether- instead, it will only stop one of the leaks, leaving the other 2 leaks exposed until further recovery efforts.

The next line of response to stop the flow of oil, a first time recovery tactic, a 70 ton concentrate and metal structure coffer-like dome which will extend t0 5,000 under water. This response has been effective in shallow waters; however, the response is unknown when submerged in greater depths.

The first containment chamber has been fabricated and is set to leave the dock by 12p CDT.  The containment chamber is expected to be operational within 6 days. No mention was made to the fabrication of the second containment chamber.

Alabama is capitalizing on the extra days of calm weather to install Hesco containers around West End Public Beach, the far west side of Dauphin Island.

The containers, metal cages lined a green absorbent, will be filled with C.I. Agent, a biochemical substance designed to solidify any oil that comes into contact with it. The solidified oil is then easier to remove and the green absorbent can be replaced to capture additional oil.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said the material is actually a wall that will protect the north shoreline.

“It presents a physical barrier as you can see. There’s some elevation to it so it can withstand a little bit of wave action. But essentially it will absorb an oil sheer that comes in there,” Collier said.

Additionally, private contractors in Alabama have been building a massive sand berm along the Gulf-facing shore on the western half of the island.   The berm will stretch for miles along the narrow island to prevent oil from flowing over the top of the island.

Meanwhile,  Gulf Cost residents are lining up in droves to volunteer and to help pre clean our beaches.  There was a massive clean up effort of approximately 1,000 volunteers rushing to clean up the shorelines. Similar efforts remain in effect; however, it was stressed to avoid picking up above the high tide line.

The Audubon Society warned that there many eggs right above the high tide line that blend in with the sand and could be accidentally crushed.  Additionally, it was asked to not remove any natural debris as that could provide a housing shelter for animals.

The oil sheen is not expected to make landfall for another 3 days. Use this time wisely to prepare a defense and a proactive stance against the looming oil slick.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.