Joined: 17 Sep 2006 Posts: 489 Location: A Wonderful World
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:48 am Post subject:
Many failures led to Gulf oil spill:
September 8, 2010, 9:15 pm
Human and technical failures by BP and other sides led to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the British energy group concluded in the results of an internal inquiry.
As expected, BP did not admit 'gross negligence' for the oil rig explosion in April that killed 11 people and caused the worst ever US environmental disaster, as it defends itself against possible multi-billion dollar lawsuits.
The report on Wednesday did however propose 25 recommendations designed to prevent a repetition of the explosion at the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20 that caused 4.9 million barrels of oil to leak from a well into the sea.
"No single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy. Rather, a sequence of failures involving a number of different parties led to the explosion and fire," BP said in a summary of the 200-page report.
The company said decisions made by "multiple companies and work teams", including itself, contributed to the accident which arose from "a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design" and communication breakdowns.
The four-month probe, led by BP's head of safety and operations Mark Bly, is viewed as key to how BP defends itself against legal proceedings involving the spill.
"This report likely does its job in providing ammo (ammunition) for BP in future court cases, where the avoidance of the charge of 'gross negligence' is critical," said Peter Hutton, an oil market analyst at NCB Stockbrokers.
In the report, BP also blamed the rig's owner Transocean and Halliburton, which had cemented the well.
"The investigation report provides critical new information on the causes of this terrible accident," said BP's outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward.
"It is evident that a series of complex events, rather than a single mistake or failure, led to the tragedy. Multiple parties, including BP, Halliburton and Transocean, were involved."
Hayward said key failings included a "bad cement job" at the bottom of the well that allowed gas and liquids to flow up the production casing.
Additionally, the results of a negative pressure test were incorrectly accepted by BP and Transocean, while the rig's blow-out preventer on the seabed failed to automatically seal the well.
Failures resulted in oil spewing out into the Gulf for several months, killing wildlife and devastating the local economy as tourists stayed away.
Under US law, fines could be as much as 4,300 dollars per barrel spilled, if negligence is proved. This means BP could theoretically face fines of up to $US21.1 billion ($A23.19 billion) for the 4.9 million barrels that poured into the sea.
The leaking Macondo well has now been secured but the disaster is being examined in a string of court cases and probes, including a criminal investigation being carried out by the US Department of Justice.
BP has already spent $US8 billion ($A8.79 billion) trying to contain the disaster and has forecast that it will eventually cost the group more than $US32.2 billion ($A35.4 billion) after clean-up costs and compensation are taken into account.
US lawmakers have accused the oil giant of sacrificing safety to improve its profit margin but Hayward denied this during a hostile grilling in Congress in June. Hayward subsequently announced he would quit the top job in October.
Joined: 07 Mar 2007 Posts: 554 Location: western pennsylvania
Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:06 pm Post subject:
It ain't over til it's over
New wave of oil comes ashore west of Mississippi River
Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010, 3:01 AM
Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010, 3:01 AM
Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune
A new wave of black oil suddenly came ashore west of the Mississippi River on Friday and Saturday, coating beaches and fouling interior marshes, according to anglers' reports. Ryan Lambert, owner of Buras-based Cajun Fishing Adventures, said about 16 miles of coastal beaches in Plaquemines Parish from Sandy Point to Chalon Pass were lined with black oil and tar balls. Meanwhile anglers returning to Lafitte told Sidney Bourgeois, of Joe's Landing, that new oil was surfacing on the eastern side of Barataria Bay in the Bay Jimmie, Bay Wilkerson and in Bay Baptiste areas.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries confirmed the following oil sightings in Plaquemines Parish on Friday:
Half mile of oil located in the marsh of an unnamed marsh island on the SW side of Bay Jimmy.
One-mile long by 20 yards wide area of tar patties located in West Bay 2.15 miles NW of Outlet W-2.
Large area of 6 foot to 12 foot diameter tar balls locate in Scott Bay .8 miles NNW of Double Bayou.
2500 feet long by 300 feet wide area of heavy oil sheen with surface oil droplets and submerged oil located offshore .85 miles west of the Southwest Pass East Jetty.
"It's just suddenly came up Friday and it's along the beach for mile and miles, and drifting inside in some spots, " Lambert said. "There were quite a few dead red fish on the beach, and just thousands of dead pogies (menhaden) inside the bays. And there a really big areas of sheen right off the beach.
"Everyone thinks this is over, but it's not - not if we can still get soakings like this." _________________ Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
Firm indications by Friday and assuming
no down hole problems then by Sunday
the well should be killed. Assuming no
down hole problems..... _________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
"I have received extensive briefings over the last 24 hours regarding the final effort to intercept the Macondo well. Through a combination of sensors embedded in the drilling equipment and sophisticated instrumentation that is capable of sensing distance to the well casing, BP engineers and the federal science team have concluded that the Development Driller III relief well has intersected the Macondo well.
This determination was made based on a loss of drilling fluids that indicated communication had been established beyond the relief well, the pressure exerted against the drill bit as it came in contact with the well casing and, finally, an increase in pressure in the choke line of the Macondo well blow out preventer.
While each of these indicators taken separately would not necessarily be conclusive, the aggregate data available supports the conclusion that the two wells are joined. It is also important to note that none of the measurements supported a scenario where the annulus of the well is in communication with the reservoir.
Accordingly, we intend to proceed with preparation to cement the annulus and complete the bottom kill of the well. Further information will be provided as cementing procedures are completed."
That bizarre comment from Thad Allen
prompted Bob Cavnar to respond:
BP Relief Well Bottom Kill - Finally
By eljefebob on September 17, 2010 8:00 AM |
....Well, finally, they've done what they could have done in mid-July:
intercepted the blowout well with a relief well, just above the Miocene
interval that caused them all of the hell in the first place. As expected,
they lost circulation when they intercepted, but Admiral Allen oddly
announced that there was no communication between the blowout zone
and the annulus of the Macondo well, even as he reported an "increase
in the pressure of the Macondo well blowout preventer." What?
Thad: If there is an increase in pressure of the kill line of the Macondo well blowout preventer after the relief well intercepted, THERE IS COMMUNICATION WITH THE RESERVOIR.
JESUS. After over 4 months of Well Control 101,
I would think you would get that by now.
The official BP account of events provides no basis
for any rise in BOP pressure, due the simple fact that
BP reported there is NO oil in the annular space:
Operations conducted bottoms up circulation, which returned the contents of the well’s annulus to the rig for evaluation. Testing of the drilling mud recovered from the well indicated that no hydrocarbons or cement were present at the intersect point. Therefore, no annulus kill is necessary, and the annulus cementing will proceed as planned. It is expected that the MC252 well will be completely sealed on Saturday.
But has the blowout damaged the underground formations
and accelerated the natural oil seepage channels to surface?
That's always been the big unanswered question. And it's
a valid question considering the loss of well pressure which
happened during the first 'top kill' attempt and the inordinate
delay in completing that bottom kill.
It's a question we are unlikely to get an answer to.
But he concludes that unless BP and/or the US Gov release full details
of the survey scans of sea floor seeps from before the blowout and from
recent surveys, then it will be impossible to determine the actual outcome.
The chances of that happening....... _________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
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