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Oils well that ends well?
July 15, 2010 2:02 PM   Subscribe

As of about an hour and a half ago, oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's broken well for the first time in 87 days. See for yourself. Previously.
posted by ND¢ (169 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
about fucking time
posted by zenwerewolf at 2:03 PM on July 15, 2010


*holds breath*
posted by dabitch at 2:05 PM on July 15, 2010


Hopefully, this will end well.
posted by Brak at 2:05 PM on July 15, 2010


Hopefully, this will end the well.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 2:06 PM on July 15, 2010 [37 favorites]


|This website wants to run the following add-on: 'Window Media Player'|

You monsters!
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:06 PM on July 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


There is a small evil part of me that is somewhat saddened by this happening.

I mean, I know I should be happy - that's terrific news, and no one can argue with that, but I took such great glee in utterly thrashing BP at every opportunity, and every time they tried and failed with another of these caps I got to point my finger and do my best Nelson ha-ha and say, "You fuckers can't get anything right! Fuck you!"

Except now they fixed it. I mean, obviously there's still plenty of outrage to go around - 87 days of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is a seriously bad thing, and BP handled it really poorly, and there will ecological and societal repercussions for decades to come, so, obviously, BP sucks... but, um, somehow, I guess I'm sad this is fixed? But also happy? It's what my therapist would call a conflict.

I kind of felt that way during the zenith of the war in Iraq - you know, almost a sense of vindication that things were going poorly, while still on some level realizing that the sooner the whole mess was over the better because people were actually dying day after day after day.

The end.
posted by kbanas at 2:07 PM on July 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


*golf clap*
posted by sswiller at 2:08 PM on July 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm trying to give the news a little while to firm up, before I completely un-cinch the knot that's been in my stomach ever since the flow started into the gulf. After all, it wouldn't be the first time reports of a successful attempt to stop the flow turned out to be premature.

Still, I'm actually hopeful this might be the real deal.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:08 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fingers crossed
posted by Cranberry at 2:09 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, presuming it's now Officially Over, what's the grand total of gallons of oil that leaked out of this thing?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:09 PM on July 15, 2010


Dude, that's fucked up.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:09 PM on July 15, 2010


Well ended.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:11 PM on July 15, 2010


Man. I hope this is real. And don't worry, kbanas, there is a *lot* of BP-thrashing left to be done.
posted by robstercraw at 2:12 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Come to think of it, I hope BP doesn't have its fingers crossed.
posted by Cranberry at 2:12 PM on July 15, 2010


1.26 million gallons a day, so somewhere in the range of a fucking shit ton.
posted by ND¢ at 2:13 PM on July 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Assuming the high end of the estimated flow rates (which from what I understand is basically where the latest estimates ended up), according to PBS's oil spill tracker the grand total is:

327,661,527 gallons of oil.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:14 PM on July 15, 2010


My calculations are that roughly 215 million gallons of oil have leaked into the gulf. This is using the 60,000 barrels per day figure.
posted by kuatto at 2:14 PM on July 15, 2010


As of about an hour and a half ago...

I disagree in 3 strength units short of the strongest possible terms with this phrasing for MeFi posts.
posted by DU at 2:15 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Glad that's over with, now we can go back to drilling and consuming.
posted by Nelson at 2:15 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Please, please, pleeeeeeeeease............
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 2:15 PM on July 15, 2010


> I guess I'm sad this is fixed?

Don't feel bad. Depressing news is a renewable resource.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:16 PM on July 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


BP are awesome, aren't they?
posted by Elmore at 2:16 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good. Now we can start getting definitive numbers on how much damage BP caused to this country so we can get every fucking dollar from them to pay for fixing it. Right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:17 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd like to say that I'm relieved. But I'm a pessimist. So I will sit in my dark little corner and continue to think of worst case scenarios. You know, so I don't jinx it.
posted by Splunge at 2:17 PM on July 15, 2010


I don't believe them. They can show me pictures. They can show me video. They can plop me into a submersible and take me on a tour of the site, accompanied by enthusiastically demonstrative hand gestures.

And I still wouldn't believe them.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:18 PM on July 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


The worst case estimate was around 4,000,000 gpd (or 90,000 bpd). The most recent estimates I've seen put the rate at possibly just higher than 80,000 BPD, which makes it closer to 4,000,000 gpd.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:18 PM on July 15, 2010


...how much damage BP caused to this country...

Excuse me, but they damaged the whole planet. I want some of this action too. Gimme gimme gimme.
posted by Elmore at 2:19 PM on July 15, 2010


I am glad the flow is stopped. I am sick at the damage already done and to come.

And I have finally made up my mind about deep ocean offshore drilling . . . hell no.
posted by bearwife at 2:20 PM on July 15, 2010


I think BP should have to pay to fully transition the US off of oil.

After all, for years now they've been claiming their name stands for "Beyond Petroleum." So I say it's time they put their money where their mouth is.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:22 PM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


robstercraw: "Man. I hope this is real. And don't worry, kbanas, there is a *lot* of BP-thrashing left to be done."

No, no, no! We should be moving on and looking forward.
posted by brundlefly at 2:24 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't get mad, but I slipped some Mentos and Diet Coke in there before they put the cap on.
posted by brain_drain at 2:25 PM on July 15, 2010 [26 favorites]


...during the zenith of the war in Iraq.

I think you mean nadir.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:25 PM on July 15, 2010


Yay but:

I still don't get why there weren't mobs with pitchforks at BP stations. Yeah, I know, they're franchises and all that but still -- where's the outrage? Where's the demonstrations? Where's the new environmental agenda?

I am still an Obama supporter -- I guess I'm more hawkish than most leftists, so Afganistan hasn't caused me to stop loving him.

And yet. Why isn't Obama out there, clamoring for an environmental agenda? Where is Rahm Emanuel with his whole opportunity in disaster paradigm? Is there a political reason/s?
posted by angrycat at 2:28 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


From CNN.com:

"BP cautioned that the oil cutoff, while welcomed, won't go beyond the 48 hours. Valves will open after that to resume siphoning oil to two ships on the surface, the Q4000 and Helix Producer, as government and BP officials assess the data and decide what to do next."
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:29 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Where is Rahm Emanuel with his whole opportunity in disaster paradigm?

Wait, that guy's still alive?
posted by enn at 2:29 PM on July 15, 2010


Right, so, 87 years of solitary confinement for oil execs then?
posted by pyrex at 2:30 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think BP should have to pay to fully transition the US off of oil.

I recommend everyone start biking to work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on July 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


My downstairs neighbors might get pissed if I start riding my bike from the bedroom to the living room every morning.
posted by twirlip at 2:37 PM on July 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Lets hope this holds and the Gulf can finally begin to recover. I do wonder if this is going to lead to a permanent ban on deep sea drilling off the Gulf Coast. I fear that when petrol prices start to rise again post-recession, people will have forgotten how bad this was and drilling will simply restart.
posted by atrazine at 2:38 PM on July 15, 2010


OH NO NOW WHAT WILL ALL THE POOR PELICANS DRINK
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:39 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just in case anyone was wonder what 50,000 barrels of oil would look like: this chap did a video of them falling over.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:39 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


*golf clap*

*gulf clap*

posted by mazola at 2:39 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


...during the zenith of the war in Iraq.

     I think you mean nadir.


Sadly I think he meant zenith.
posted by mazola at 2:43 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


In related news: US Senate committee to hold hearing on BP-Lockerbie
"The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Thursday it has scheduled a hearing for July 29 to look into circumstances surrounding last year's release of a Libyan prisoner linked to the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The committee said it will ask officials of BP Plc to testify, following reports that the British-based oil giant may have lobbied British officials to release the prisoner so that it could reach a deal with Libya on an offshore oil project."
No way, BP would put profits ahead of justice and the "small people." No fuckin' way.
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


So, now....

They need to pay $50 and pick up their garbage, right?
posted by mikelieman at 2:45 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


BP to drill for Libyan oil despite Lockerbie furor.
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on July 15, 2010


Isn't this a test to see if there are any other leaks? So if pressure builds up, it's a good thing. If it doesn't, it means there are other leaks along the line.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:46 PM on July 15, 2010


Are people really this dumb? Why yes, it seems they are. If you ever need proof that the stock market is laughable and the average person should stay along way away, this will cement that. Or should it be cap that?
posted by Keith Talent at 2:48 PM on July 15, 2010


at least something good finally came from all those Ayn Rand books.
posted by scody at 2:50 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kind of felt that way during the zenith of the war in Iraq - you know, almost a sense of vindication that things were going poorly, while still on some level realizing that the sooner the whole mess was over the better because people were actually dying day after day after day.

You're like a neocon talking point come to life!
posted by vibrotronica at 2:50 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


"BP cautioned that the oil cutoff, while welcomed, won't go beyond the 48 hours. Valves will open after that to resume siphoning oil to two ships on the surface, the Q4000 and Helix Producer, as government and BP officials assess the data and decide what to do next."

Ummmm, why?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:52 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Assuming the high end of the estimated flow rates (which from what I understand is basically where the latest estimates ended up), according to PBS's oil spill tracker the grand total is:

327,661,527 gallons of oil.


About 8 million barrels then. World daily petroleum usage is about 80 million barrels, give or take, so the entire 87-day spill represents what the human race consumes in about 2.5 hours.
posted by daveje at 2:55 PM on July 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Not exactly time to break out the Champagne.

It's, however, time for being cautiously optimistic.
"Now begins a waiting period during which engineers will monitor pressure gauges and watch for signs of leaks elsewhere in the well. The biggest risk: Pressure from the oil gushing out of the ground could fracture the well and make the leak even worse.

... The cap is designed to stop oil from flowing into the sea, either by bottling it up inside the well, or capturing it and piping it to ships on the surface. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man on the disaster, said it is not yet clear which way the cap will be used. The answer could depend on the pressure readings over the next two days.

Even if it works, the cap is not a permanent fix, and not the end of the crisis by any means. BP is drilling two relief wells so it can pump mud and cement into the leaking well in hopes of plugging it permanently by mid-August. After that, the Gulf Coast faces a monumental cleanup and restoration that could take years.

... Steve Shepard, Gulf Coast chairman of the Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club, said he was still skeptical about the news. 'I think it's a little premature to say it's definitely over. They've gotten our hopes up so many times before that in my mind I don't think it's going to be over until Christmas.'"
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Saxon Kane: "From CNN.com:

"BP cautioned that the oil cutoff, while welcomed, won't go beyond the 48 hours. Valves will open after that to resume siphoning oil to two ships on the surface, the Q4000 and Helix Producer, as government and BP officials assess the data and decide what to do next."
"

Capping it for 48 hours is not capping it.

If this is a successful and permanent thing, and that's a big IF, maybe they should stop drilling their relief wells?
posted by graventy at 2:59 PM on July 15, 2010


I still don't get why there weren't mobs with pitchforks at BP stations.

Gotta love it!

The National Organization of Marriage (NOM) "kicked off their 23-city hate-a-palooza tour in Maine yesterday." From where do you think they get their gas to fuel their tour bus?
posted by ericb at 3:05 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Glad I bought BP stock at nearly its low a few days ago - I have no plan on supporting BP as an investor, just taking the money and run once it inevitably recovers some its value. All you skeptics don't realize it's Boots and Shoots doing the work, they have a 100% success record stopping oil leaks, never failed, ever. One rarely finds gimee's like this. Another sure sign - Gulf Oil spill fades as issue - public negative sentiment has bottomed (burned) out.
posted by stbalbach at 3:05 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apparently, this puts a top-kill back in play. But since the first relief well is so close, I imagine they will continue with the bottom-kill operation. Like others have said, this is more of a cause for guarded optimism than it is a complete sealing of the well.
posted by malocchio at 3:07 PM on July 15, 2010


Wendell?
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:08 PM on July 15, 2010


Another sure sign - Gulf Oil spill fades as issue - public negative sentiment has bottomed (burned) out.

Isn't that a sure sign of fucking public stupidity?
posted by angrycat at 3:12 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


If this is a successful and permanent thing, and that's a big IF, maybe they should stop drilling their relief wells?

No, they'll still have to drill the relief well to close the well off permanently. This is just to stop the leak until that can occur.
posted by atrazine at 3:19 PM on July 15, 2010


Isn't that a sure sign of fucking public stupidity?

I am bullish on public stupidity.
posted by mazola at 3:20 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company's political action committees - $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:28 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


... and the Prez is poised - as early as Monday - to sign the most comprehensive Wall Street Reform since the Great Depression. But, you know, Obama is a socialist-fascist-corporatist-BP-capitalist shill. Whatever. It must be awfully damn difficult to be beholden to so many Illuminati-like puppet masters simultaneously while deflecting the collective poutrage of the INTERNET LEFT and INFANTILE RIGHT.

Arguably on-topic: this seems like good news and an even better argument for more stringent federal regulation of off-shore drilling. Unless, of course, you are a Tea Party Freedom Lover who thinks the Free Hand (job) of the Market suffices to fix Everything (save for immigration, Wall Street, health care, manufacturing jobs, education ... )

Here is hoping this sticks. And that we learn from our (i.e., their) mistakes.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:31 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


On preview: *facepalm*
posted by joe lisboa at 3:31 PM on July 15, 2010


and the Prez is poised - as early as Monday - to sign the most comprehensive Wall Street Reform since the Great Depression. But, you know, Obama is a socialist-fascist-corporatist-BP-capitalist shill.

I wouldn't go so far as to agree with your tantrum and call him a socialist-fascist-corporatist-BP-capitalist shill, but I do wonder if campaign donations, among other considerations, have hampered the President's ability to do much about the situation that affects long-term, positive systemic changes.

The one human being in a unique position to affect those positive changes -- for example, by addressing the corruption caused by energy companies doing whatever they want -- seems so far to have behaved as much like an observer as the rest of us, to our collective detriment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:41 PM on July 15, 2010


At first I was pleased for them but then I realized I was falling victim to some variant of Stockholm Syndrome. So screw 'em.
posted by sourwookie at 3:42 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are people really this dumb? Why yes, it seems they are. If you ever need proof that the stock market is laughable and the average person should stay along way away, this will cement that. Or should it be cap that?

That was very predictable. The market was pricing in the worst case scenarios, because there was no certainty at all, and the market dislikes uncertainty. There is still a lot of risk but not nearly as much uncertainty, as each barrel leaked could represent a portion of a fine. As soon as a cap was successful, the stock would pop, no doubt, as it's a leading indicator. Note that it just went up to about $39. 10% sounds like a lot, but they were up close to $60 when the leak started, and they've still lost over 1/3 of their market cap since then - that's likely more than they will have to pay in most scenarios, so the stock may be considered "cheap." IMO it's way too early, but this is market psychology.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:43 PM on July 15, 2010


If this is a successful and permanent thing, and that's a big IF, maybe they should stop drilling their relief wells?

No, it's not permanent. The relief well is a necessity.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:45 PM on July 15, 2010


This isn't over until this whole world stops sucking at Oil's greasy black poisonous tit.
posted by ColdChef at 3:51 PM on July 15, 2010 [13 favorites]


Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

Yeah, and I believe the banks gave the Dems more money than the GOP last time, too. The problem is the big lobbies always back the "winner" these days, or the person they think has the best chance. They used to back one party or the other for a while, but now everyone's for sale. It's not unique to Obama, but the fact that he made a big deal out of getting rid of this sort of influence is problematic for him politically. And personally, it's just disappointing but not too surprising.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:52 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't go so far as to agree with your tantrum

Darling, if you think that qualifies as a tantrum from me, well then ...
posted by joe lisboa at 3:53 PM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


OH NO NOW WHAT WILL ALL THE POOR PELICANS DRINK

I have it on good authority that they eat cell phones.
posted by mrnutty at 3:54 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am cautiously optimistic. Nothing like this has ever been tried this deep, and I congratulate everyone who has been working on this for a job (hopefully) well done. I still am not convinced that the relief wells will work definitively, but hope they do. The Gulf (and all of us) have suffered enough for BP's foolishness, and I most sincerely hope that our government will not suddenly become all friendly and "let's let bygones be bygones" with them if and when this leak is well and truly plugged. There are DECADES of clean-up to be accomplished (and paid for) and if we let BP off the hook, even a little, I think I'll just give up on America and move somewhere else. Seriously. I have this sickening feeling that they will wind up getting away with murder.
posted by Quasimike at 3:57 PM on July 15, 2010


saulgoodman wrote: "The worst case estimate was around 4,000,000 gpd (or 90,000 bpd). The most recent estimates I've seen put the rate at possibly just higher than 80,000 BPD, which makes it closer to 4,000,000 gpd."

Do you have a citation for that? I'm not disagreeing with the possibility, I'd just like to see such estimates, since I haven't been able to find any that didn't look like the nutjobbery that's been going around on this issue.

Also, as others have noted, this isn't permanent. Presuming the pressure test is fully a success, there should be little to no more major spillage in the Gulf, although there will still be plenty of flaring. Closing down the valves isn't sufficient to abandon the well anyway. They have to put in cement plugs to permanently cap the well.

I'm sure there's a lot of discussion within BP and the US Government as to what the best course of action is from here, as until a week or so ago, it wasn't really considered likely that they'd be able to shut in the well.
posted by wierdo at 4:15 PM on July 15, 2010


Weirdo: you're right to be dubious. I could have sworn I came across reports citing new estimates of flow rates in excess of the 60,000 bps mark, but my searches aren't supporting that, so it seems likely my memory's playing tricks on me.
posted by saulgoodman at 4:40 PM on July 15, 2010


I'd love to see more information about the continuing environmental impact of this spill. There just isn't much info out there.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:43 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apologies -- genuine -- for the derail. Carry on, friends.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:49 PM on July 15, 2010


I'm opposed to deep-sea drilling as well, but this makes me wonder. Now that we've gone through pretty much a worst-case scenario and learned how to deal with it, wouldn't the next disaster be easier to contain?

How many of you would support this kind of drilling if we required that relief wells be drilled concurrently with the main well, and that oil drillers be required to keep a supply of these containment caps on hand and ready to go. Would drilling like this be rational if we could reasonably expect to contain it within a few days?
posted by heathkit at 5:31 PM on July 15, 2010


I don't know why anyone thinks they'll ever vacation down there again. Which is the least of it, compared to what it's going to do to the ecosystem.

Where do they all that oil is going? Where do they think it went? Down the drain?

It'll be there for fifty years.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:34 PM on July 15, 2010


KokuRyu, I had the opportunity to sit next to a marine biologist on a flight from Minneapolis to Seattle last night, and we talked about this disaster. He said, quite bluntly, that this is a catastrophe on such a uniquely enormous scale that we don't have enough information or experience to begin to guess at the impact to the planet. It's not just unprecedented; it's unprecedented to an unprecedented degree.
posted by KathrynT at 5:34 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I recommend everyone start biking to work.

Considering most bikes consist of materials made out of oil, I suggest everyone start walking to work...barefoot.
posted by LeavenOfMalice at 5:36 PM on July 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Marine Biologist: Corexit Being Sprayed by Coast Guard

Marine Toxicologist: Oil/Corexit Mix Caused Heart Palpitations, Liver, Kidney Damage and Bleeding From the Rectum
posted by homunculus at 5:40 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I have no plan on supporting BP as an investor, just taking the money and run once it inevitably recovers some its value.

Um, you're doing it wrong.

Sure, invest if you like, but don't pretend like you're not supporting them. That's the whole point of issuing stock. They get to use your money, if they do so well it'll have a return. You support them, in return they give you back some profit.

You should look into Big Tobacco next. They are expanding into developing markets at an alarming rate. Don't worry, you won't be supporting them, you'll just be raking in some cash from all the kids too dumb to not smoke cigarettes!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:55 PM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Robbing New Orleans to Pay for BP's Spill
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on July 15, 2010


I wonder if Jindal now wants to spend money on something called "oilwell monitoring"...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:09 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is the 87th comment in a thread that mentions the number "87".

That's all.
posted by Wataki at 6:22 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, I retract that apology. I do not want to cede rhetorical or philosophical points for daring to call the poutrageous e-left out and/or onto the carpet for lacking an actual battle plan, save for a MY FICTIONALLY MASTURBATORY VERSION OF JIMMY CARTER WOULDA DONE SHIT DIFFERENT whine-a-thon. You are part of the problem.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:23 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait what? Jimmy Carter masturbation telethon? What channel?
posted by ND¢ at 6:36 PM on July 15, 2010


Jimmy only masturbates in his heart.
posted by angrycat at 6:46 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


poutrageous
panties

two words that make my skin crawl. maybe it's the 'p?'
posted by angrycat at 6:47 PM on July 15, 2010


Jimmy only masturbates in his heart.

... onto a solar panel made of Baby Boomers.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:48 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


BP: so then, the oil gushes out, killing dolphins and covering birds, devastating the coast. I mean, just wrecking it. We put a plug in the hole, stopping the spew, and then bow.

AGENT: That's a hell of an act. What do you call it?

posted by zippy at 6:49 PM on July 15, 2010 [15 favorites]


The one human being in a unique position to affect those positive changes -- for example, by addressing the corruption caused by energy companies doing whatever they want -- seems so far to have behaved as much like an observer as the rest of us, to our collective detriment.

Except for:

1. Canning the head of Minerals Management Service and appointing a new chief with experience in investigating corrupt organizations.
2. Reorganizing the MMS.
3. Setting up a compensation fund with a special master.
4. Declaring a moratorium on deep water offshore drilling.
5. Setting up information clearinghouse websites.
6. Coordinating cleanup efforts through the Coast Guard.

But yeah, other than that I guess he hasn't done much.
posted by electroboy at 7:19 PM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Here in Key West, people are weeping with joy. At bars. With pints.

In places not in the middle of the ocean, it may be a cause for celebration this. For us, it is like the bad man stopped killing mama.
posted by Mike Mongo at 7:24 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


people weren't comprehending when i told them. of course it didn't help that i was stopping people in the hall at work & shouting across the street to the femaleman, 'THEY STOPPED THE LEAK! THEY STOPPED THE LEAK!' they had no idea what i was talking about until i said, 'bp.' then you could see the understanding wash over their faces.

i wanted to make a big sign & stand out by the road that said, 'honk if you love the fact that THEY STOPPED THE LEAK!'

i just hope people don't think it's over now, because there's a metric fuckton of cleanup & remediation to do.
posted by msconduct at 7:58 PM on July 15, 2010


oh & thanks to the mods for letting this thread stand. i know we've been on oil spill overkill but this really might be the beginning of the end. i hope the universe doesn't crush my soul & the cap keeps working.
posted by msconduct at 8:07 PM on July 15, 2010


Sure, invest if you like, but don't pretend like you're not supporting them. That's the whole point of issuing stock. They get to use your money, if they do so well it'll have a return. You support them, in return they give you back some profit.

They don't get to "use your money". The company already exists, and the stock already exists. All you are doing is buying a piece of the company from someone else in exchange for its future earnings.

Of course, buying stock increases demand on the stock, which increases its price. This is a positive signal to the board of directors, and increases the value of their holdings, but this is reversed when you sell, so on balance it probably has no effect.

Honestly, your suggestion sounds like the topic of this thread. Not buying stock in companies that engage in questionable practices seems like pointless moral posturing. On the contrary, by buying a stock that is irrationally depressed, you are reducing market inefficiency, which brings economic stability. Anyway, whether or not you buy, other traders will ensure that the stock hovers around its correct market value. A better idea if you really disagree with their business practices, would be to push for legislation to proscribe them, which is direct and effective.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 8:52 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not buying stock in companies that engage in questionable practices seems like pointless moral posturing.

My feeling is Nelson Mandela would disagree with you.
posted by Mike Mongo at 8:58 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


BP speeds up asset sales "after" Gulf oil spill (scare quotes mine).
posted by Nabubrush at 9:07 PM on July 15, 2010


Not buying stock in companies that engage in questionable practices seems like pointless moral posturing.

My feeling is Nelson Mandela would disagree with you.


The other thread suggested that personal intervention does not have the same effect as cooperative intervention. Similarly, the disinvestment from South Africa was not effective when undertaken by a handful of nations, but only yielded results when it was undertaken by a cooperative that included the Western powers.

That cooperation was organized by the UN, and similarly, I think that if we are going to cooperatively try to alter the business practices of oil giants, we are going to need to do it legislatively.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 9:11 PM on July 15, 2010


And, yeah, the cap'll come off as soon as they're satisfied (through the buildup of pressure) that they don't have oil migrating away somewhere else. Then they'll finish the relief wells and permanently abandon the well.
posted by Nabubrush at 9:13 PM on July 15, 2010


Sure, invest if you like, but don't pretend like you're not supporting them. That's the whole point of issuing stock. They get to use your money

Couple of issues here. First, he's not really investing, he's speculating. We sorta forgot that there was a difference about twenty years ago, leading to a lot of unrelated problems, but there is.

Also, I think you seem to be confused about how stock works. Yes, when a company issues stock, it raises capital. But then they get traded around and around on the various markets, and the company doesn't get a cut. There are some indirect ways that an increase in a company's stock price can help them, but it's not as though if you bought 100 shares of BP @ $28 that BP Plc. became $2800 richer. (Best analogy I've heard was to buying a used Metallica CD — Lars Ulrich doesn't make any money off of that, and the original transaction in which he did make money is over and done with, so if you want the CD, buy it.)

I suppose that you could make a case for the argument you're advancing if the asset in question was BP bonds rather than stock, because they would at least represent a loan in some defined amount being made to BP for a certain amount of time with a promise to repay, but even then it's a pretty thin connection if you buy the bonds on the secondary market for speculative purposes.*

There are DECADES of clean-up to be accomplished (and paid for) and if we let BP off the hook, even a little, I think I'll just give up on America and move somewhere else. Seriously. I have this sickening feeling that they will wind up getting away with murder.

Sadly, have to agree there. After the Valdez spill, Exxon never fully cleaned up the spilled oil — apparently there are places where you can still go and find oil residue, and will for years — and they ran a case all the way up to the Supreme Court in order to get their punitive damages reduced to a paltry sum. After Ixtoc I, Pemex claimed sovereign immunity in order to dodge claims. The history on these sorts of things is not good.

What BP is doing now, it is doing for PR purposes; the moment they think the public's attention has waned, and that the narrative is where they want it to be ("it's over, change the channel"), I completely expect them to slink away and try and find some way to leave the bill. That is pretty much par for the course with oil companies, if the public lets them.

* And my understanding is that the modern bond market is all intertwined, price-wise, with the CDS one, and that's basically just betting; it's like two guys in the stands at the Kentucky Derby putting some money down between themselves on whether a particular jockey will fall and get trampled — it doesn't affect the outcome of the race, although it may provide some insight into what people think the odds of a particular outcome are.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:58 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Considering most bikes consist of materials made out of oil,

Say, what?! What sort of bike do you own? I've never owned a bike that wasn't 90%+ metal, by weight.

Yes, the tires are made of oil - but they're a tiny amount, I imagine each tire consumes a couple of gallons of gas to make.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:32 PM on July 15, 2010


1. Canning the head of Minerals Management Service and appointing a new chief with experience in investigating corrupt organizations.
2. Reorganizing the MMS.


Symbolic actions, certainly, and well overdue — but let's see how this goes.

3. Setting up a compensation fund with a special master.

Has BP paid out a significant portion of claims, to date? I believe some people have issued fairly strong criticisms along these lines.

4. Declaring a moratorium on deep water offshore drilling.

Wasn't this moratorium overturned in a federal court?

5. Setting up information clearinghouse websites.
6. Coordinating cleanup efforts through the Coast Guard.

I'd group these two together if only because the Coast Guard has created a "safety zone" around the coast and gulf to keep journalists and photographers out. So whatever information we're getting is being filtered clean, to a degree.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:42 PM on July 15, 2010


Calling Obama a spectator is probably a bit harsh. I'm just a bit upset that BP is probably going to walk away from this intact, for the most part, while people buy stock and validate BP's business model.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 PM on July 15, 2010


I hear you, Blazecock, but the average American doesn't validate BP's business model by buying or not buying their stock, they do it at the gas pump, at the grocery store, at the thermostat, at the lightswitch...

Their business model is validated by Oil-Fired Western Industrialized Civilization; a few stock sales here and there are like the dust specks on the ceiling above the smoke from the candles on the icing on the cake. Or something like that.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:15 PM on July 15, 2010


Assuming containment holds, there's still years, of work ahead on the abatement and monitoring side. That work has been going on in the background, separate from the main response effort, but is now going to become really important. How much damage, how long to recover, how much cost---NOAA and the states put a price tag on every fish, as they say---liability and "how clean is clean" is the next phase.

But containment is a huge first step. No more new spill every day! That means no more dispersant application, probably as of right now. That means stopping the soot from entering the water column from the controlled burns, though they may have to burn for a few more days. That means the workers on Grand Isle and Venice can clean a beach and not have to clean it again at the next tide, well, maybe in a couple of weeks or so. That means that the bluefin tuna and turtles may have a chance.
posted by Anonymous 5$ Sockpuppet at 11:26 PM on July 15, 2010


Blazecock Pileon wrote: "Has BP paid out a significant portion of claims, to date? I believe some people have issued fairly strong criticisms along these lines."

Feinberg doesn't take over the show until next month, from what I gather. He's been talking a good game. It'll be interesting to see if things go as well as he claims they will once he takes over.

Kadin2048: It doesn't matter where you buy your gas, BP gets paid the same either way. I guess they might lose out on some franchise fees if a bunch of BP-branded retailers go out of business, but it's not as if that's where they make all their money. No, the oil they pump is the same as the oil anybody else pumps. The gas they refine is the same as the gas somebody else pumps. In the pipeline, the spacers go in between different types of product, not each company's oil or gasoline or whatever.

(Incidentally, I cringe at the word fungible now after making the poor choice to watch Rachel Maddow repeat it over and over again one evening)
posted by wierdo at 12:21 AM on July 16, 2010


And yet. Why isn't Obama out there, clamoring for an environmental agenda? Where is Rahm Emanuel with his whole opportunity in disaster paradigm? Is there a political reason/s?
What is it with people who keep thinking Rahm Emanuel shares their views on whatever issues? I mean, the guy wasn't even a universal heathcare supporter before he got his new Job. And Obama announced support for offshore drilling (all up and down the east coast) before the BP disaster struck. Maybe Rahm is busting balls and maybe he's getting what he wants.

Rahm never even campaigned as much of a liberal, always as a centrist.
and the Prez is poised - as early as Monday - to sign the most comprehensive Wall Street Reform since the Great Depression. But, you know, Obama is a socialist-fascist-corporatist-BP-capitalist shill.
eh, most observers think that the Financial Regulation bill is pretty much a sham compared to what people were talking about before it passed. It really does nothing to either break up the banks or reduce the systematic risk they pose. The consumer protection stuff is good (if mind boggling that it didn't exist prior)
Considering most bikes consist of materials made out of oil, I suggest everyone start walking to work...barefoot.
Uh, I don't think aluminium and steel come from oil. Rubber maybe, plastics make up only a small percentage of a bike (and could be replaced easily with natural ruber if you were really paranoid). The amount of oil you need to dril to make the plastic that goes into a bike is minute compared to how much you need to run a car. The goal isn't "zero oil" it's simply to vastly reduce the oil that's burned.

If we stopped using oil as a fuel, the small amount left could be synthesized from plant matter, I bet.
posted by delmoi at 12:40 AM on July 16, 2010


Also, whether or not investing in a company means supporting them, of course it does. It raises the price and although the money doesn't flow directly to the company, the company can always issue new stock. The higher the price of the stock, the more money they would get with the new issue.

In stock market terms, they essentially have a call option on their own stock at $0. You can look up the prices of real options on BP stock, and you'll see that the value of calls goes up as the price goes up.

For a more concrete example, one of the reasons AIG was able to get a AAA rating on it's credit default swaps was that it was always assumed they could just issue more of their own stock if they needed to pay up. Of course, when things got messy, AIG's stock completely tanked making recapitalization via the stock market impossible

When you buy stock in BP, you make the stock price go up, you make the company less likely to go to bankruptcy because of the intrinsic value of their ability to issue new stock.

---

Finally, if you want to gamble on the outcome of the spill, the appropriate action is to short BP (by selling short or getting put options) That way when the stock goes down you make money. I had thought of doing that but never did. Now that the price popped today, it would be a good time to try it.
posted by delmoi at 12:47 AM on July 16, 2010


MSNBC July 15: Matt Simmons still says BP covering up MASSIVE HOLE miles away, cap test is "absurd"
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 3:33 AM on July 16, 2010


Wow, dude is still as nuts as ever.
posted by wierdo at 3:51 AM on July 16, 2010


Yeah, I guess it gets you on the TeeVee, but nothing I've seen supports anything he says there. In fact, the monitoring data that I've seen to date suggests that all of the oil in the deep water contains dispersant, meaning it came from the top of the well head and no where else.
posted by Anonymous 5$ Sockpuppet at 5:18 AM on July 16, 2010


i just hope people don't think it's over now, because there's a metric fuckton of cleanup & remediation to do.

This is what most worries me. Already, I hear Kai Ryssdal on marketplace talking about how now maybe we can finally start to "move on."

In reality, the disaster for many of the Gulf states hasn't even started.

There have already been signs of impacts to the Gulf food chain. The seafood industry in the Gulf will likely take years to recover, to say nothing of the tourism industry. And no doubt, the real estate market in this region--already one of the regions hardest hit by the real estate collapse--will continue to see prolonged impacts. And since state government in Florida, for example, is funded in large part through property tax revenues, that probably means continuing state revenue declines and loss of services, which causes even more economic hardship as state jobs and contracting work dry up.

As for what happens to BP in the long run, I doubt very seriously this will end without some kind of criminal charges brought against them, even if this latest effort does ultimately stop the leak. By the accounts of many in the industry--and this view has been supported again and again during congressional investigations--BP's cost cutting measures played a major role. The DOJ has already launched a criminal investigation into BP's actions leading up to the spill, and I don't think the whole "looking forward" thing will apply in this case, as this incident didn't occur as a consequence of official policy under the previous administration. I'm pretty sure Obama really only ever meant to invoke the notion of "looking forward" rather than aggressively pursuing prosecution over the previous administration's policies because he sees it as necessary and consistent with established historical precedent not to revisit previous administration's policies. After all, we didn't prosecute FDR or members of his administration for interring Japanese Americans during WWII either, though that might arguably have been the just thing to do.

Similarly we didn't round up and arrest all former slave owners--even those who committed the worst acts of cruelty under the old system--after the emancipation.

Now, if I'm wrong, and we don't see still stronger measures taken against BP by the time this is all over and done with, then I will reconsider my view of the administration. But they've made a lot of progress on a lot of fronts. DADT has already been repealed as standing law, and will likely cease to be even official Pentagon policy within a year. The financial reforms weren't perfect, but did go a long way. Same with the health care reforms. The administration has staked out a courageous and politically risky stand against Arizona's popular but anti-democratic immigration law. There are obviously a lot of areas where serious improvements remain to be made (CIA drone strikes being one obvious example). But we're continuing to withdraw from Iraq on schedule and will be completely out of the country as scheduled in 2011 (we're not even keeping any major bases there as many skeptics feared, from what I understand). And in another several months, we're scheduled to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan.

The Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is doing everything short of actively discouraging hiring among its members, ostensibly on the grounds that there's too much uncertainty in the economy due to the administration's regulatory and tax policies--but that's really just politics because they don't want to see a recovery under this administration. Much of the media, too, as a proxy for the business establishment interests that fund the industry, has done a good job muddying the waters about the real politics at play here (ignoring fine distinctions between the role that different levels of government authority have played in the response efforts, for example, largely ignoring how Republican politicos like Jindal in Louisiana have deliberately been playing politics in their conduct of the response efforts, leaving available resources unused in order to point the finger at federal failures to score political points, as has been well documented by ProPublica and others).
posted by saulgoodman at 7:03 AM on July 16, 2010


Well, this is obviously a good sign. Let's hope that the well bore is OK and they can just keep it shut off. They ought to put like, 4 blowout preventers on top of the one they got in there now, just to be safe.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:45 AM on July 16, 2010


The Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is doing everything short of actively discouraging hiring among its members, ostensibly on the grounds that there's too much uncertainty in the economy due to the administration's regulatory and tax policies--but that's really just politics because they don't want to see a recovery under this administration.

Lucikly the very greed these people worship will lead their members back into the economy anyway. As recovery continues, companies will want to get in first and make money over competitors.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:46 AM on July 16, 2010


Re: bikes - don't forget the oil that gets burned to get that frame to where you are. Barring those of you that live next to foundries, of course.
posted by Nabubrush at 10:56 AM on July 16, 2010


Well folks, looks like we doomsayers still have a little chance left at being proven right...

Inconclusive results from test

Apparently they need 8-9k PSI to show that there's not a leak elsewhere, right now it's at 4-5k. Half of what they need. They're gonna continue checking and if it doesn't rise to the level they need, then it appears there's another leak elsewhere that's preventing full pressure, at least that's what I gather from reading the article.
posted by symbioid at 11:14 AM on July 16, 2010


Steve Shepard, Gulf Coast chairman of the Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club, said he was still skeptical about the news. 'I think it's a little premature to say it's definitely over. They've gotten our hopes up so many times before that in my mind I don't think it's going to be over until Christmas.'

It's surprising sometimes to find out who still believes in Santa.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:16 AM on July 16, 2010


Apparently they need 8-9k PSI to show that there's not a leak elsewhere, right now it's at 4-5k.

CNN (and your own link) reports 6700 PSI and rising. It's still early, though.
posted by malocchio at 11:20 AM on July 16, 2010


Good discussion of the pressure issues at the Oil Drum. The "missing" 2000psi may be the reservoir repressurizing after the blowout. Of course, it may also indicate that the original well casing has failed and the oil is leaking into the surrounding rock. The submersibles have been monitoring for that and no upwelling in the surrounding seabead has been observed so far.

I think there is reason to be optimistic. I saw an eel swimming past the BOP this morning. Chordate swimmers usually flee water that tastes polluted. I really hope they've capped this thing.
posted by Anonymous 5$ Sockpuppet at 2:31 PM on July 16, 2010


Test results from well not as hoped
"Pressure readings from the cap atop BP's busted well are less than ideal, but the crude will remain locked in while engineers look for a possible leak."
posted by ericb at 4:33 PM on July 16, 2010


'Super skimmer' a giant bust in cleanup.
posted by ericb at 4:45 PM on July 16, 2010


Just think how much better off we'd be if President McCain was in charge...

Because, after all, folks -- that was the choice.

Fucking politics, how does that work?
posted by warbaby at 10:09 PM on July 16, 2010


When you buy stock in BP, you make the stock price go up, you make the company less likely to go to bankruptcy because of the intrinsic value of their ability to issue new stock.

You're right, delmoi.

I think my other point that without a concerted effort not to invest in unscrupulous companies, there will always be traders who will invest, make money, and then reinvest. Not investing doesn't stop them. If anything, they just make more money.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 1:31 AM on July 17, 2010


BP Oil Spill: 'Mystery Plumber' May Be Brains Behind Containment Cap
posted by homunculus at 8:54 AM on July 17, 2010


Oil Cap May Be Removed Today, Well Pressure to Low
Posted by Mobile Tribune on July 16, 2010 at 5:00pm
View Mobile Tribune's blog
The U.S. Coast Guard announced today the new oil cap that has been keeping oil from leaking from the top of the Macondo Deepwater Horizon well, will likely be removed today due to low pressure readings. Low pressure in the well is an indication oil is escaping from somewhere else. Although robots have not been able to detect any leaks - according to published reports - there could be leaks from the sea floor itself that have not been detected. News yesterday that the new cap had stopped the gusher, spread throughout the region and country and many took it as a sign the worst perhaps was over. BP has stated all along however, that the relief well scenario is the best possible option. Two relief wells are in construction and may be completed by the end of July or the deadline mid-August 2010.

posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:01 AM on July 17, 2010


The "Well Integrity Test" Is a Sham: "This Bet Is Against The Citizens Of The United States Of America Being Smart Enough To Figure Any Of This Out"
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:07 AM on July 17, 2010


Regarding the "puzzling" pressure readings, there appear to be two scenarios: either "the reservoir that is the source of the oil could be running lower than expected three months into the spill. Or there could be an undiscovered leak somewhere down in the well." Every bone in my body tells me it's the latter, that this test was little more than a PR stunt, and that much of metafilter and the world has fallen for it twice in one month.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:15 AM on July 17, 2010


Funny, every bone in my body tells me the low pressure is due to depletion.
posted by wierdo at 11:57 AM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gulf water sample "explodes" when tested
posted by homunculus at 8:37 AM on July 18, 2010


Official: Seep found near BP's blown out oil well
By COLLEEN LONG and HARRY R. WEBER (AP) – 3 hours ago
NEW ORLEANS — A federal official says scientists are concerned about a seep and possible methane near BP's busted oil well in the Gulf of Mexico
Both could be signs there are leaks in the well that's been capped off for three days.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement about the next steps had not been made yet.
The official is familiar with the spill oversight but would not clarify what is seeping near the well. The official says BP is not complying with the government's demand for more monitoring.


**

Also, from a few days ago: Dispersants are extremely toxic, merely hiding evidence of oil, and making clean-up workers sick.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 5:39 PM on July 18, 2010


That's interesting in light of the decision to allow BP to continue the pressure test and that the pressure in the well continues to increase.

With all the craziness being tossed around by formerly reasonable people, I'm skeptical of the veracity of AP's source, but it is interesting news nonetheless.
posted by wierdo at 5:55 PM on July 18, 2010


The plot thickens:

Admiral Allen's latest letter to BP confirms "a seep."

One of the ROVs has taken a sample and brought it to the surface. It is presumably in the lab by now.

I don't think this bodes disaster, but they haven't tested the collected gas yet.
posted by wierdo at 6:38 PM on July 18, 2010


Each day, another way to define worst-case for oil spill (washington post - 6/23/2010) Official: Seep found near BP's blown out oil well (ap) posted by kimyo at 8:23 PM on July 18, 2010


kimyo wrote: " Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, said additional leaks are a possible source of deep-sea plumes of oil detected by research vessels. "

Yet he has no evidence of that. We must have tossed out occam's razor when I wasn't looking.

Even if the "seep" turns out to be methane from the well and not decomposing gunk on the bottom, there's not all that much to worry about, given the pressure at the wellhead is still slowly rising. There is no major leak, if there is even one at all.
posted by wierdo at 12:56 AM on July 19, 2010


kimyo wrote: " Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, said additional leaks are a possible source of deep-sea plumes of oil detected by research vessels. "

Yet he has no evidence of that. We must have tossed out occam's razor when I wasn't looking.

Even if the "seep" turns out to be methane from the well and not decomposing gunk on the bottom, there's not all that much to worry about, given the pressure at the wellhead is still slowly rising. There is no major leak, if there is even one at all:
It’s not unusual for bubbles of gas to seep from the seabed, Darryl Bourgoyne, director of the petroleum engineering laboratory at Louisiana State University, said.

“It could be a leak, it could be biogenic gas, gas created by bacteria,” he said. “It could lead to opening the well if they’re very, very cautious.”
-- BusinessWeek

If the tests confirm that the gas is from the well, I'd hope they'd return to collection. It's simply not worth the risk to keep this thing shut in in that case. If not, it doesn't really matter either way.
posted by wierdo at 1:09 AM on July 19, 2010


BP Clashes With Government Over Re-Opening Capped Well
posted by homunculus at 9:06 AM on July 19, 2010


Even if the "seep" turns out to be methane from the well and not decomposing gunk on the bottom, there's not all that much to worry about, given the pressure at the wellhead is still slowly rising. There is no major leak, if there is even one at all:

Unfortunately, I think you might be the one making claims now without presenting evidence for them this time. In particular, the highlighted section above. As much as we might wish it had all turned out to be crackpot stuff, this latest development really does seem to open up the real possibility of further leaks below the seabed. As of this morning, the pressure had risen only 14 psi in the 24-hour period between Sunday morning and Monday morning.

Even BP's lowered-expectation estimate was that if at least 7,500 psi wasn't reached, this result would indicate a breech in the pipe below the surface. By all recent reports, Allen has said that testing could continue for an additional 24-hour period, and then BP would need to open the cap and begin putting its collection process back into effect. Many of the reports I've seen indicate there has been some tension between the government and BP over this matter (with BP possibly hoping to avoid uncapping the well so that it remains impossible to accurately determine the flow rate).

The following is a relevant passage from McClatchy's reports on the developing story:
BP announced overnight that the pressure, which was 6,778 pounds per square inch Sunday morning, had risen to 6,792 psi by 3 a.m. EDT Monday.

Allen's statement was his third in 24 hours that indicated tension between government officials and BP over the containment cap test. On Sunday, just a few hours after Dudley had told reporters BP would like to keep the containment cap sealed indefinitely, Allen issued a pointed statement saying that there was no agreement to do that. He followed that with the letter to Dudley in which Allen demanded that BP inform him within four hours if any new leak is discovered and provide a written explanation of its intentions for the containment cap.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:44 AM on July 19, 2010


I'm starting to think it's getting to be time to just arrest the company's executives. Don't break up the company necessarily, and don't remove any key personnel running the response operations on the ground. But arrest whoever's calling the shots on BP's side, and put our own command and control structure in charge of the operation (don't replace the technical folks, just make them answer to our guys exclusively, instead of both our guys and BP's), because it's next to impossible to believe they are operating in good faith anymore. They now seem far more interested in minimizing their liabilities for the spill than in pursuing the best course of action or honestly confronting this ongoing crisis.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:53 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


More from ProPublica:

BP’s Broken Well Is Still Releasing Oil, but From Where?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:26 AM on July 19, 2010


Yet he has no evidence of that.
the plumes exist. more than one research vessel has found more than a handful of absolutely enormous oxygen-depleted areas. some of these have been confirmed via chemical tests to be from the macondo well.

in your bones, though, i can see how this doesn't qualify as evidence. it doesn't support your argument and therefore must be discarded.

Spill containment tops 14k bbls, subsea plumes confirmed (houston chronicle 6/8/2010)posted by kimyo at 11:56 AM on July 19, 2010


Gibbs: BP's ruptured oil well leaking from top (msnbc) Oil seep near BP well could mean trouble for relief well plans (mcclatchy) posted by kimyo at 12:47 PM on July 19, 2010


BP says seepage unrelated to Macondo leak-spokesman (reuters) in any case, it's only a 'seep', so how bad could that be? it's not like they're calling it a 'spill', now, that would spell trouble.

we now return you to your regularly scheduled rov-tv show.

ps: apologies to hp laserjet p10006 (my favorite kind of laserjet!) for double posting.
pps: if boots and coots are running the relief well operation, why do we need bp?
posted by kimyo at 1:12 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good news. Now which of these "plumes" (I hate that word, because it implies a high concentration of oil, when in fact the concentration is very, very low) are from the well and which are from seeps, as many that were earlier linked to the BP Gusher turned out to be?

I'm of two minds about transparency. It gives the chattering class fodder for speculation and hysteria, since these things get reported before tests have been run to verify where the oil/gas came from. But less than full disclosure sets a bad precedent.
posted by wierdo at 4:01 PM on July 19, 2010


EPA Whistleblower Accuses Agency of Covering Up Effects of Dispersant in BP Oil Spill Cleanup
posted by homunculus at 9:01 AM on July 20, 2010


BP photoshops fake photo of crisis command center, posts on main BP site
posted by homunculus at 11:36 AM on July 20, 2010


(nola.com) (former shell oil president hofmeister on hardball/msnbc) (skytruth)the area indicated is quite large, roughly 10-20 miles wide and more than 100 miles long.

Senior EPA Analyst: "Government [Agencies] Have Been Sock Puppets for BP In This Cover Up" (washington's blog analysis of the democracy now article posted above by homunculus) still no update from dr joye. (1 month) still no report from the most recent trip by the 'thomas jefferson' (simmons claims crew members required hospitalization)
posted by kimyo at 2:02 PM on July 21, 2010


before tests have been run to verify where the oil/gas came from
why do you represent this matter as unsettled? some of the plumes have been confirmed to originate from the macondo well. weeks ago. it is not an open issue.

"plumes" (I hate that word, because it implies a high concentration of oil
again, weeks ago, noaa presented 'plume' oil concentration measurements of 0.5 - 2.0 ppm, methane concentrations 1 million times normal.

the issue is not if we call them plumes or clouds or fairy unicorn farts. the issue is: can 1ppm prove deadly to marine life? the answer is yes. multiple science teams, multiple reports of wide swathes of oxygen depletion.

can we please deal with the problem at hand instead of playing in bp's pretendland?

remember this gem?: BP CEO disputes claims of underwater oil plumes (al.com 5/30/2010) (some very interesting rumors going around that macondo 252 well 'b' (the one that took down the deepwater horizon) was actually a relief well for macondo 252 well 'a' (which blew out 2/10/2010). again, just rumors at the moment).
posted by kimyo at 8:41 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeeeeahh, a blowout at ~4000ft. In the GoM. Where you have to drill 14,000 feet to hit a decent oil-bearing sand.

BTW, the "water changes color" because of the sheen on the surface. It reflects light differently, producing an apparent color change.

kimyo wrote: "why do you represent this matter as unsettled? some of the plumes have been confirmed to originate from the macondo well. weeks ago. it is not an open issue. "

I see what you're doing there. You're ignoring the "plumes" originating from natural seeps and trying to pin it all on BP. Yes, some of the submerged oil has been linked to the BP Gusher. Many, if not most, of the reports have turned out to be sourced from natural seeps, from what I've read.

BP deserves to get tarred and feathered for the stuff that's their fault. They do not deserve it for stuff that isn't.
posted by wierdo at 10:10 PM on July 21, 2010


For your viewing pleasure (taken from a comment at TOD): An oil seep
posted by wierdo at 10:11 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeeeeahh, a blowout at ~4000ft
what are you referring to here?

BTW, the "water changes color" because of the sheen on the surface
from the skytruth post i linked: the author is clearly not talking about sheen. you can see the difference if you look at the photograph.
posted by kimyo at 3:14 PM on July 22, 2010


john wathan discusses toxic rain, shows oil accumulated on his aircraft after a 7/19/2010 flight. (he did not fly thru smoke, nor precipitation. suggests that oil is already in the atmosphere, states that his opinion is not scientific, includes emails from people sickened by rainfall)

pages 24 and 25 of the noaa ship thomas jefferson's report ('leg 2' - 6/3-6/11/2010) (pdf) clearly show 5 'seeps' emerging from the seabed west-south-west of the deepwater horizon. 2 of the seeps are much larger than the others.
posted by kimyo at 4:23 PM on July 22, 2010


I was referring to speculation that the MC252A has anything to do with anything.

The darkened color of the ocean is indeed sheen. It's hard to see except at certain camera angles.
posted by wierdo at 6:12 PM on July 22, 2010


BP Cleanup Workers Gone Wild
posted by homunculus at 6:22 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The darkened color of the ocean is indeed sheen.
john amos' bio is here. is it your experience in reading satellite photos of oil leaks that allows you to dismiss his conjecture? can you support your conclusion? ie: does anyone else agree with you?

it sure would be nice if you were right. shame you never support your statements aside from 'i said so, that's why.'

the sheen is west of the (potentially) oxygen-depleted area he refers to in his post. he has discussed sheen dozens of times in regard to deepwater. this is the first post in which he discusses the visual observation of oxygen depletion.
posted by kimyo at 6:23 PM on July 22, 2010


Apologies if someone already posted this.

Jesus christ.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2010


Technician: Deepwater Horizon warning system disabled
posted by homunculus at 8:59 AM on July 23, 2010


Experts: Health Hazards in Gulf Warrant Evacuations (truth-out.org) USF: Underwater oil came from BP well (wtsp.com) posted by kimyo at 1:53 AM on July 24, 2010


From kimyo's first link:
Computers used to monitor and control drilling operations intermittently froze, to the point that the problem became known as "the blue screen of death," Williams said. Despite attempted repairs, the issue remained unresolved at the time of the blowout, Williams said.
I don't want to leap to any conclusions here . . .
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:21 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't want to leap to any conclusions here . . .
you know, i think you're on to something. if there is a company as evil than bp, it is microsoft. (need i say more than 'windows me'?)

last night's episode of 'the it crowd' has possibly the best vista riposte ever.
posted by kimyo at 1:11 PM on July 24, 2010


BP chief executive Tony Hayward will get an immediate annual pension worth about £600,000 ($930,000)
posted by homunculus at 8:38 PM on July 26, 2010


That'll teach him.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:22 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ugh, $930,000 per year?
posted by dabitch at 10:49 AM on July 27, 2010


Mainstream Media Helps BP Pretend There's No Oil
posted by homunculus at 12:21 PM on July 29, 2010


Scientists Find Evidence That Oil And Dispersant Mix Is Making Its Way Into The Foodchain
posted by homunculus at 6:39 PM on July 30, 2010


Video: 'The Oil Crisis Is Not Over'
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on August 8, 2010


The BP Cover-Up: BP and the government say the spill is fast disappearing—but dramatic new science reveals that its worst effects may be yet to come.
posted by homunculus at 2:54 PM on August 10, 2010


BP Spill: Catastrophe, Sure. Disaster? Nah.
posted by homunculus at 6:03 PM on August 14, 2010


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