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 At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf 
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Post At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Lord, please don't let this be anyone I know and please take care of these folks and their families.:heart

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

(CNN) -- At least 11 people were missing and seven were critically injured after an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.

The explosion happened about 10 p.m. CT (11 p.m. ET) Tuesday on a rig named the Deepwater Horizon. It was about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, said Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry.

At the time of the explosion, 126 were on board the rig, O'Berry said.

The Coast Guard said it sent helicopters from New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama, to help evacuate people from the rig and look for the missing. The Coast Guard also sent four cutters to the rig.

Several people were hospitalized, including at least two, who were taken to a mobile trauma center. :candle

The company that owns the rig, Transocean Ltd., said most crew members are safe.

"A substantial majority of the 126-member crew is safe, but some crew members remain unaccounted for at this time," the company said. :candle

The company describes itself as the "world's largest offshore drilling contractor," saying it has 140 offshore drilling units.

Transocean said its crisis teams are working with the Coast Guard and lease operator BP Exploration & Production Inc. to "care for all rig personnel and search for missing rig personnel."

"The names and hometowns of injured persons are being withheld until family members can be notified," the company said.

The Coast Guard released two videos related to the blast.

One shows an injured person being hauled into a rescue helicopter.

"The survivor is just outside the cabin -- take it up slow, take it up slow," a voice instructs as a basket carrying the person is winched up from the platform. A rescuer steadies the cable with his hand and stops the basket's spinning as the survivor reaches the helicopter.

The video shows a rescuer on the platform moving away from the basket after it lifts off.

The other clip shows a person being taken by stretcher off a Coast Guard rescue helicopter in New Orleans.

"Bring me two cots," an emergency worker shouts as the first stretcher is wheeled away from the HH-60 helicopter.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/21/oil.rig.explosion/index.html?hpt=T1

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Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:50 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Coast Guard: Oil rig workers still missing

Image

updated 3:25 p.m. CT, Wed., April 21, 2010


NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that 11 oil workers missing after a rig explosion off Louisiana have not been found, contrary to a report by a local government official.

"We're still searching," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Sue Kerver, noting that the Coast Guard is the lead agency for the search and rescue effort.

Helicopters and boats searched the Gulf of Mexico for any sign of the missing workers.

"We're hoping everyone's in a life raft," Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry said.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser had earlier said he received reports that the workers were alive and safe.

He had also posted online that he had gotten reports that "the life raft with the remaining people unaccounted for was found and all are being brought to safety."

Nungesser later updated his post with an apology, saying "we received third hand information that was believed to be credible."

The Coast Guard, for its part, lowered the number of missing to 11. It had earlier said 12 were unaccounted for.

Fifteen other workers were injured, including three critically, after the explosion that left the offshore drilling rig listing at 70 degrees and on fire.

"The oil fire is still burning and the cause of the explosion is under investigation," the Coast Guard said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "Initial indications show that this was not a terrorist incident." :roll

Most of the 126 people on the rig, called Deepwater Horizon, escaped safely after the explosion at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, O'Berry said.

'Burning pretty good'
The rig, about 42 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip, was listing heavily to one side.

"It's burning pretty good and there's no estimate on when the fire will be put out," O'Berry said.

O'Berry said at one point the fire was so large and intense that it was hampering rescue efforts, WWL TV reported.

The rig was drilling but was not in production, according to Greg Panagos, spokesman for its owner, Transocean Ltd., in Houston. The rig was under contract to BP PLC.

Kerver said the Coast Guard and the federal Minerals Management Service will work together to investigate possible causes of the accident.

"It's still too early to tell the cause," Panagos said. "Our focus right now is on taking care of the people."

The Coast Guard statement included a next-of-kin hotline number, (832) 587-8554.

O'Berry said Coast Guard environmental teams were on standby in Morgan City, La., to assess any environmental damage once the fire was out.

Rig floats using pontoons
According to Transocean's website, the Deepwater Horizon is 396 feet long and 256 feet wide. The semi-submersible rig was built in 2001 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard in South Korea. The site is known as the Macondo prospect, in 5,000 feet of water.

The rig is designed to operate in water depths up to 8,000 feet and has a maximum drill depth of about 5.5 miles. It can accommodate a crew of up to 130.

The rig is floated to drilling sites, and has pontoons and a column that submerge when flooded with seawater. The rig doesn't touch the sea floor, but sits low in the water, where it is moored by several large anchors.

Last September, the Deepwater Horizon set a world deepwater record when it drilled down just over 35,000 feet at another BP site in the Gulf of Mexico, Panagos said.

"It's one of the more advanced rigs out there," he said.

Panagos did not know how much the rig cost to build, but said a similar rig today would run $600 million to $700 million.

Transocean has 14 rigs working in the Gulf and 140 worldwide.

There are 42 deep water rigs either drilling or doing workovers — upgrades and maintenance — in depths of 1,000 feet or greater in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Minerals Management Service.

Since 2001, there have been 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries and 858 fires and explosions in the Gulf, according to the agency, which did not break down the cause of the deaths, the severity of the injuries, or the size of the fires and explosions. :candle

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36683314/

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Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:27 pm
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Families welcome oil rig blast survivors
Workers return to land as rescuers search for 11 still missing
The Associated Press
updated 7:52 a.m. CT, Thurs., April 22, 2010

Image

PORT FOURCHON, La. - Survivors of a thunderous blast aboard an oil platform off the Louisiana coast were being reunited with their families at a suburban New Orleans hotel early Thursday as the search for 11 missing workers continued.

About 100 workers had made it to a supply boat after Tuesday night's explosion, then were plucked from the Gulf of Mexico by Coast Guard rescuers. After a slow-moving trek across the waters, the workers finally made it ashore at Port Fourchon earlier Thursday where they were checked by doctors and brought to a hotel in suburban New Orleans to awaiting relatives.

"I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen anything like that," said a visibly tired worker, who declined to give his name as he got in a car to leave.

The rig, where exploratory drilling was being done about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, exploded late Tuesday, sending workers scurrying for safety. Seventeen people were injured in the blast and taken to hospitals, four critically, in what could be one of the nation's deadliest offshore drilling accidents of the past half-century.

Coast Guard crews in two cutters have been searching around the clock for the missing, said Coast Guard Lt. Sue Kerver. The air search, which had been called off for the night, resumed Thursday morning.

The rig is owned by Transocean Ltd. and was under contract to oil giant BP.

Authorities could not say when the flames might die out on the 400-by-250-foot rig, which is roughly twice the size of a football field, according the Transocean's website. A column of boiling black smoke rose hundreds of feet over the Gulf of Mexico as fireboats shot streams of water at the blaze. Officials said the damage to the environment appeared minimal so far.

Cause of explosion unknown
Adrian Rose, vice president of Transocean, said the explosion appeared to be a blowout, in which natural gas or oil forces its way up a well pipe and smashes the equipment. But precisely what went wrong was under investigation.

A total of 126 workers were aboard. Seventy-nine were Transocean workers, six were BP employees and 41 were contracted. The Coast Guard said the 17 taken by air or sea to hospitals suffered burns, broken legs and smoke inhalation. :heart

One of the deadliest U.S. offshore drilling accidents was in 1964, when a catamaran-type drilling barge operated by Pan American Petroleum Corp. near Eugene Island, about 80 miles off Louisiana, suffered a blowout and explosion while drilling a well. Twenty-one crew members died. The deadliest offshore drilling explosion was in 1988 about 120 miles off Aberdeen, Scotland, in which 167 men were killed.

Rose said the Deepwater Horizon crew had drilled the well to its final depth, more than 18,000 feet, and was cementing the steel casing at the time of the explosion.

"They did not have a lot of time to evacuate. This would have happened very rapidly," he said.

According to Transocean's website, the rig was built in 2001 in South Korea and is designed to operate in water up to 8,000 feet deep, drill 5½ miles down, and accommodate a crew of 130. It floats on pontoons and is moored to the sea floor by several large anchors.

Workers typically spend two weeks on the rig at a time, followed by two weeks off. Offshore oil workers typically earn $40,000 to $60,000 a year — more if they have special skills.

Working on offshore oil rigs is a dangerous job but has become safer in recent years thanks to improved training, safety systems and maintenance, said Joe Hurt, regional vice president for the International Association of Drilling Contractors.

Since 2001, there have been 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries and 858 fires and explosions in the Gulf, according to the federal Minerals Management Service.

Stanley Murray of Monterey, La., was reunited with his son, Chad, early Thursday morning. His son, an electrician aboard the rig, had ended his shift just before the explosion.

"If he had been there five minutes later, he would have been burned up," a relieved Stanley Murray said.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36683314/ns/us_news-life/

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Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:26 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
[iThis is Central Daylight Time.][/i]

Transocean rig sinks, says Coast Guard :candle

At 10:20 a.m. the Transocean Deepwater Horizon rig sank, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.

The vessel, which has been burning since about 10 p.m. Tuesday night was completely submerged, said the spokesman but the fire continued to burn.

The rig, located about 41 miles south of the mouth of Mississippi, is owned by Transcoean but leased by BP.

Transocean spokesman Guy Cantwell said the company is trying to confirm that report.

http://blogs.chron.com/newswatchenergy/archives/2010/04/transocean_rig_1.html

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Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:22 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Oil slick spreads from sunken rig

(CNN) -- A 1-by-5-mile sheen of crude oil mix has spread across the Gulf of Mexico's surface around the area where an oil rig exploded and sank, according to the Coast Guard.

"This is a rainbow sheen with a dark center," Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry told reporters.

Officials do not know whether oil or fuel are leaking from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig and the well below, but BP Vice President David Rainey said "it certainly has the potential to be a major spill."

A remotely operated vehicle is surveying the area and cleanup efforts are under way, Landry said. The sheen "probably is residual from the fire and the activity that was going on on this rig before it sank below the surface," she said.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has searched more than 3,400 square miles for 11 people missing since Tuesday's explosion set the rig ablaze. Officials are still unsure what caused the blast.

Aerial search efforts were scheduled to resume at first light Friday, said Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry.

Adrian Rose, a vice president for rig owner Transocean Ltd., told reporters that the missing workers may not have been able to get off the rig. :candle

"Based upon our reports from crew workers we met as they came in last night, they believe that they [the missing workers] may have been on board the rig and not able to evacuate. We have not confirmed that yet," he said.

The company is still investigating the incident, but Rose said conversations with evacuated workers when they arrived onshore revealed "really quite heroic stories of how people looked after each other." :heart

The mobile rig was about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, when the explosion occurred. There were no indications it was a terrorist incident, the Coast Guard said.

Officials said 126 people were on board at the time of the explosion. Of the 115 accounted-for workers, 17 injured were evacuated by helicopter from the rig. An additional 94 people were taken to shore with no major injuries, and four more were transferred to another vessel, according to the Coast Guard.

It was not known whether the missing workers were able to make it to one of the rig's lifeboats -- fully enclosed, fire-resistant vessels designed to evacuate people quickly.

The Coast Guard said calm weather conditions and warm Gulf waters increase the likelihood of survival for the missing workers.

"We're still searching, and there's still a probability that those crew members are alive," O'Berry said.

Carrol Moss told CNN affiliate WWL that her husband had been rescued from the rig. But before she got the call, there were some anxious moments, she said.

"The only thing I was thinking is how am I going to tell my kids that their dad is not coming home," Moss told the affiliate. "The worst goes through your mind. We were just blessed we got the call."

As rescue crews continued searching for survivors, a federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of one of the 11 missing workers.

The lawsuit claims negligence by companies connected to the oil rigs that caused the explosion. Transocean Ltd., which owns the rig, and BP PLC, which operates the license on which the rig was drilling, are named as defendants.

BP spokesman Tom Mueller declined to comment on the suit, and a spokesman for Transocean did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

The suit does not provide specific details about the blast, but says one man, Shane Roshto of Amite County, Mississippi, "was thrown overboard as a result of the drilling explosion, and his body has not yet been located." His wife, Natalie Roshto, is also named as a plaintiff.

Rose, the Transocean vice president, said Thursday that the company was "deeply saddened" by the incident. "Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family members and our employees."

Transocean's website describes the company as the "world's largest offshore drilling contractor and the leading provider of drilling management services worldwide" with 140 offshore drilling units.

The rig involved in the explosion -- a mobile unit that moves to different locations in the Gulf of Mexico -- had been drilling for oil in its current location since January, said Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for Minerals Management Service, the agency that regulates the oil industry in federal waters.

BP spokesman Mueller said dozens of vessels and aircraft were on the way to the scene Thursday afternoon, including equipment to minimize the environmental impact of any spilled oil.

BP says if necessary, it will drill a relief well in the area to help fight against any environmental damage.

"This is the kind of thing we drill for every year and plan for it, but hope we never have to use it. Today is the day we are going to use it. We are prepared and are moving," he said.

Jindal called for a Friday morning meeting to assess the potential impact of the spill, with input from state police, emergency responders and fish and wildlife officials.

"Obviously, our first priority remains the health and safety of our people," Jindal said. "We will work aggressively to mitigate any negative impact this incident could have on our land, air and water."

Up to 336,000 gallons could spill into the Gulf, based on the amount of oil the rig pulled out daily, O'Berry said. And up to 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel could also leak, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashley Butler said.

As cleanup efforts ramped up, government and company officials said they planned to get to the bottom of what caused the explosion.

"It's in our national interest, obviously, to know exactly what went wrong and to make sure something like this never happens again," Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes told reporters Thursday afternoon.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/23/oil.rig.explosion/index.html?hpt=T1

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Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:13 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Coast Guard may try to burn off some of oil spill

The Coast Guard is considering a controlled burn of some pockets of heavier crude oil within the sprawling Deepwater Discovery oil slick that pose the biggest threat to shorelines, officials said this afternoon.

Rear Adm. Mary Landry, commander of the Coast Guard's District 8, said the spill -- now estimated at 600 miles in circumference -- had moved closer to shore. At its leading edge, it is just 20 miles from Venice, La. :huh

The process called in situ burning would remove oil from the water's surface, but could also spawn other environmental issues with air pollution.

Coast Guard officials said the burning could start as early as Wednesday and that if employed would not be visible from shore.

Meanwhile, BP is spending $6 million a day on a sweeping effort to clean up and contain the expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused when the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon rig sank last week, a top company official said Tuesday.

But as of this afternoon, the British oil giant still had not been successful in plugging a leaking well on the sea floor that is spewing up to 42,000 gallons of crude per day. The leaking well was discovered Saturday after the Deepwater Horizon drilling exploded and then sank last week. Eleven crew members are still missing and presumed dead. :candle

http://blogs.chron.com/newswatchenergy/archives/2010/04/bp_spending_6_m.html

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Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:36 pm
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
State of emergency declared as oil spill nears Louisiana :shock:
By the CNN Wire Staff

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday in preparation for the arrival of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that was expected to reach the coast Friday.

The U.S. military may be called on to assist authorities scrambling to mitigate the potential environmental disaster posed by the spill that's expanding toward the Louisiana coastline, officials said Thursday.

At a White House briefing, federal authorities, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, pledged a robust response. Napolitano said she has designated the leak a "spill of national significance," meaning officials can draw down assets from other areas to combat it.

A command center already is open in Robert, Louisiana. A second will be opened in Mobile, Alabama, Napolitano said. She said she will travel Friday to the Gulf Coast, along with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson.

"Everything's on the table," as far as options under consideration, said David Hayes, deputy interior secretary.

The government has reached out to the Department of Defense and asked whether it could provide expertise or assets in addition to other tactics being deployed, Napolitano said.

The Coast Guard had hoped to conduct another controlled burn of the oil slick Thursday, but sea and wind conditions were preventing it, Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara told reporters.

"As soon as there is an appropriate window, we will continue the controlled burn activity," she said.

President Obama has called the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to discuss the spill, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Gulf Coast braces for an oily mess

Officials said late Wednesday the estimated amount of oil spewing into the Gulf from three underwater leaks after last week's oil rig explosion has increased to as much as 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, a day -- five times more than what was initially believed. :shock:

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, and search efforts have been halted for 11 missing workers.

Rear Adm. Mary Landry told reporters late Wednesday that the increased estimate is based on analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"This is not an exact science when you estimate the amount of oil," Landry said, noting there are a lot of variables in calculating the rate of the spill.

"However, NOAA is telling me now that they prefer we use the 5,000 barrels a day as an estimate of what has actually leaked from this well and will continue to leak until BP secures the source."

Some 250,000 gallons of oily water have been collected from the scene, she said.

BP is the owner of the well, while Transocean Ltd. owns and operates the rig.

"I do not disagree with the admiral's estimate that it could be 5,000 barrels a day -- it's clearly within the range of uncertainty," said Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP, who joined Landry at Wednesday's news conference.

Top operations planners briefed Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday morning in anticipation of the possible request for assistance from the Coast Guard, said spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

Mullen was told the weather is worsening, and the oil is set to reach the Louisiana coast Friday, Kirby said. Wind patterns out of the Southeast over the next few hours are increasing the likelihood the oil will come ashore. :censor

"This is just prudent military planning," Kirby said. "This thing is not getting better."

Military planners on Wednesday night began examining options to provide assistance to the Coast Guard in cleaning up the spill, said James Graybeal, a spokesman for U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Northern Command is responsible for coordinating and providing military assistance inside the United States.

The military could put a ship in the Gulf to support and resupply other vessels in the region or provide aircraft to help map the spill.

The military also may offer to establish a supply base along the coast to stage equipment and other supplies for the Coast Guard and the overall cleanup effort, according to a U.S. military source. The military has larger bases and the ability to stage equipment for a longer-term operation, the source said. In addition, the U.S. Navy has booming equipment it can use.

Officials are trying to get resources on land, place booming equipment around the spill and have personnel ready to go when the oil reaches land.

Drilling a relief well -- a second well drilled up to a mile or two away that would enter the leaking well at an angle to help plug it -- takes time, Swanson said.

The first rig to be used for drilling the relief well will begin drilling about a half-mile from the leaking well Friday, NOAA said. However, the relief well will not be complete for months, it said.

In addition, a collection dome will be deployed to the seafloor to collect oil as it leaks from the well, NOAA said. "This method has never been tried at this depth before," it said.

Another burn of the oil is "certainly an option," the Coast Guard's Swanson said. "We utilized it yesterday. We were able to do a test burn, which was successful, and we're going to see if we can do that today, pending good weather."

BP and the Coast Guard corralled part of the oil slick using a 500-foot, specially designed boom and then set it ablaze. The flames were expected to destroy between 50 percent to 90 percent of the oil in that section, and winds were expected to blow the resulting cloud of smoke and soot out to sea, Lt. Cmdr. Matt Moorlag, a Coast Guard spokesman, said before Wednesday's burn.

The oil spill has the potential to become one of the worst in U.S. history, the Coast Guard's Landry said earlier. :censor

The head of BP Group told CNN's Brian Todd in an exclusive interview Wednesday that the accident could have been prevented, and he focused blame on rig owner Transocean. :popcorn

CEO Tony Hayward said that Transocean's blowout preventer failed to operate before the explosion. A blowout preventer is a large valve at the top of a well, and activating it will stop the flow of oil. The valve may be closed during drilling if underground pressure drives up oil or natural gas, threatening the rig.

"That is the ultimate fail-safe mechanism," Hayward said. "And for whatever reason -- and we don't understand that yet, but we clearly will as a consequence of both our investigation and federal investigations -- it failed to operate.

"And that is the key issue here, the failure of the Transocean BOP," Hayward said, describing the valve as "an integral part of the drilling rig."

A Transocean spokesman on Wednesday declined to respond to Hayward's comments in the CNN interview, citing pending litigation against both companies.

However, Transocean Vice President Adrian Rose has said its oil rig had no indication of problems before the explosion.

Asked whether the accident could have prevented, Hayward said, "All accidents can be prevented -- there's no doubt about that."

At least one of the victims' families has filed a lawsuit against BP and Transocean, accusing BP specifically of negligence.

"The responsibility for safety on the drilling rig is with Transocean," Hayward added. "It is their rig, their equipment, their people, their systems, their safety processes."

He insisted that, despite reports to the contrary, BP has not resisted attempts at tightening safety regulations. :whistle

"We welcome tighter safety regulations. But we'd like them to be applied in a way that makes them practically impermeable." :huh

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/29/louisiana.oil.rig/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

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Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:53 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Gulf Coast fears 'disaster' as oil slick creeps ashore
By the CNN Wire Staff


Venice, Louisiana (CNN) -- Gulf Coast residents smelled a calamity Friday as the oil slick caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion floated toward Louisiana.

The Coast Guard was conducting a flyover Friday morning to see if oil had reached the state's coastline as federal, state and local officials scrambled to avert a natural disaster threatening to surpass the Exxon Valdez disaster 20 years ago.

People along the Louisiana coast caught a whiff of the wafting smell of oil and feared an environmental nightmare of greater scope than when the Valdez tanker ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989 and spilled 11 million gallons of oil.

"There's certainly immense potential consequences," said LuAnn White, director of the Tulane Center for Applied Environmental Public Health.

"This is a disaster," said Dean Blanchard, who runs a wholesale seafood business in the region. "We definitely need some help."

Officials are trying to keep the oil spill from damaging sensitive coastal wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico.

President Obama is sending three top officials to Louisiana on Friday to inspect efforts to contain the 120-mile oil slick creeping toward the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will travel to Louisiana on Friday, the White House said.

The three will conduct an aerial tour of the area and discuss cleanup efforts with federal, state and local officials. They also will meet with officials from oil company BP, which owns the ruptured well where oil continues to leak.

State and federal agencies have strung miles of floating booms -- inflatable or foam barriers -- around the leading edge of the shoreline to contain the spill. Nearly 175,000 feet -- about 33 miles -- of floating booms have been deployed in the region, with about a half-million more feet expected, federal officials said.

A handful of federal agencies have recovered more than 18,000 barrels of an oil-water mix and had deployed nearly 100,000 gallons of dispersant, which breaks up oil, as of Thursday evening, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Efforts to shut down the well have failed so far, and more complicated plans may take weeks, officials said.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday declared a state of emergency ahead of the oil slick's arrival, warning that it covered as much as 600 square miles of water.

Ten wildlife refuges in Mississippi and Louisiana are in the oil's likely path, with the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area at the tip of the Mississippi River likely to be the first affected, Jindal said. :candle

Wildlife conservation groups have said the oil could be a disaster for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coastal areas.

Wildlife threatened by oil spill

The latest forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed the leading edges of the slick reaching the Mississippi and Alabama coasts over the weekend and stretching as far east as Pensacola, Florida, by Monday.

The oil well was ripped open by an April 20 explosion that sunk the drill rig Deepwater Horizon, leading to the presumed deaths of 11 missing men.

The Coast Guard on Wednesday raised its estimate of the amount of oil the damaged well was pouring into the Gulf to 210,000 gallons a day -- about 5,000 barrels.

An effort to burn off part of the oil slick Wednesday destroyed about 100 barrels, said Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP. But the technique "clearly worked," and larger burns are planned when weather conditions make them possible.

"We believe we can now scale that up and burn between 500 and 1,000 barrels at a time," Suttles said.

The well is leaking from three points, BP said. Under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act, passed in the wake of the Valdez spill, the company is required to foot the bill for the cleanup. :mrgreen:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/30/louisiana.oil.spill/index.html?hpt=T1

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Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:31 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Drilling Process Attracts Scrutiny in Rig Explosion
By RUSSELL GOLD And BEN CASSELMAN

An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history, drilling experts said Thursday.

The process is supposed to prevent oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor. Cement, pumped down the well from the drilling rig, is also used to plug wells after they have been abandoned or when drilling has finished but production hasn't begun.

In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn't known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.

Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force. When cement develops cracks or doesn't set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.

Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.

Federal officials declined to comment on their investigation, and Halliburton didn't respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal.

According to Transocean Ltd., the operator of the drilling rig, Halliburton had finished cementing the 18,000-foot well shortly before the explosion. Houston-based Halliburton is the largest company in the global cementing business, which accounted for $1.7 billion, or about 11%, of the company's revenue in 2009, according to consultant Spears & Associates.

Growing worries about potential lawsuits and other costs of the oil spill in the wake of its rapid spread led investors to clobber stocks of companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon well Thursday.

Halliburton fell 5.3% to $31.60 and Cameron International Corp., which built the blowout-prevention equipment that didn't stop the explosion, dropped 13% to $38.70, both at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The timing of the cementing in relation to the blast—and the procedure's history of causing problems—point to it as a possible culprit in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, experts said.

"The initial likely cause of gas coming to the surface had something to do with the cement," said Robert MacKenzie, managing director of energy and natural resources at FBR Capital Markets and a former cementing engineer in the oil industry.

Several other drilling experts agreed, though they cautioned that the investigation into what went wrong at the Deepwater Horizon site is still in its preliminary stages.

The problem could have been a faulty cement plug at the bottom of the well, he said. Another possibility would be that cement between the pipe and well walls didn't harden properly and allowed gas to pass through it.

A 2007 study by three U.S. Minerals Management Service officials found that cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14-year period. That was the single largest factor, ahead of equipment failure and pipe failure.

The Halliburton cementers would have sought approval for their plans—the type of cement and how much would be used—from a BP official on board the rig before carrying out their job. Scott Dean, a BP spokesman, said it was premature to speculate on the role cement might have played in the disaster.

Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia. The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing; Halliburton declined to comment on it.

Elmer P. Danenberger, who had recently retired as head of regulatory affairs for the U.S. Minerals Management Service, told the Australian commission looking into the blowout that a poor cement job was probably the reason oil and natural gas gushed out of control.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572504575214593564769072.html

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Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:16 pm
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
A friend of mines boyfriend just left with his crew from Port Lavaca Texas today. They are planning to be there for the next year doing clean up. His company has an environmental cleanup contract with some government alphabets. We may go down to do some work as a home school project just volunteer for a couple of days , we love pelicans, they may need our help. BB, hows about a road trip we could pick you up on the way?

Another thing didn't those webot boys make a prediction about not having fish to eat last year? Just remembered that. This is going to hurt the people in many ways too in a lot of different industries. The government is the only ones with work for the our of work fisheries industry, but I bet tourism will be effected also.


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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
This sure is a HUGE MESS that will take years to clean up, in some cases the environment may never recover...

We seriously have to re-think our reliance of fossil fuels in this world.

Alternatives are out there we just need to educate..

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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
L2L wrote:
This sure is a HUGE MESS that will take years to clean up, in some cases the environment may never recover...

We seriously have to re-think our reliance of fossil fuels in this world.

Alternatives are out there we just need to educate..


Exactly what I want disclosure for . I think free Tesla type technology for us all would be a great stimulus

Barb


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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
barbarian wrote:
L2L wrote:
This sure is a HUGE MESS that will take years to clean up, in some cases the environment may never recover...
We seriously have to re-think our reliance of fossil fuels in this world.
Alternatives are out there we just need to educate..


Exactly what I want disclosure for . I think free Tesla type technology for us all would be a great stimulus
Barb


I totally agree but fear we will NEVER see it in our lifetime :shakehead

I look to solar power for the interm and am working on it for my home in stages as it is VERY expensive.

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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Quote:
BB, hows about a road trip we could pick you up on the way?


Oooh, barb, the little flower is always up for a road trip! ;)

Yep, some of the Vietnamese shrimpers my church has helped build homes are headed over there, too, at least for a couple of weeks. Shrimping season begins mid-May, I think.

Money is money, ya know? ;)

These folks live on the edge as it is.

Is it just me or do you think MSM is blowing a whole bunch of smoke on this? In some ways, it reminds me of hurricane-hype!!!

Seriously, I heard on CNN or MSNBC this morning that the slick could go up the East Coast? :roflmao

Sounds to me like somebody has an agenda against off shore drilling. But that just may be me. :dunno

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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
a few excerpts from above posts

Quote:
Transocean's blowout preventer failed to operate before the explosion. A blowout preventer is a large valve at the top of a well, and activating it will stop the flow of oil. The valve may be closed during drilling if underground pressure drives up oil or natural gas, threatening the rig.


Quote:
it ( the blowout preventer valve) failed to operate


Quote:
a collection dome will be deployed to the seafloor to collect oil as it leaks from the well, NOAA said. "This method has never been tried at this depth (15,000ft) before,"


Quote:
The scrutiny on cementing (used to prevent leaks around the pipe) will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig,


Quote:
Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia.


Bluebonnet
Quote:
Sounds to me like somebody has an agenda against off shore drilling. But that just may be me
BB, you get the gold star.

NOW some quotes from a thread started by ICE at GLP. I don't know him, I don't go there enough, but from many posts it seems that he is a credible source of info, IOW he wouldn't post what he knew to be lies. The following is info he says he got from his son:

ICE
Quote:
My son who would not lie to me talked today with the primary rig engineer . I just got off the phone with him and what he told me is not good.

They hit oil at 15,000 ft! I had no idea they drilled that deep. They capped the well and was preparing to move the drill rig and bring on the production rig. They don't know why but they lost pressure control and as they lost control they lost all ground works at the BOP valve. As the gas oil mix hit the air it exploded. No bomb and No attack! There is a massive 90 degree piece of pipe and the major hole is in that 90.

There are 2 pins in the BOP valve that when you pull them the valve is forced closed and will not re-open. Both of those pins have been pulled by the remote subs. They both failed. (I wonder why? Couldn't have anything to do with Halliburton cuold it?

There is no plan B except to drill 2nd well to remove pressure. He said 30 days is very best on stopping this flow of oil.

I just got off the phone with my son and that is what I got.


More from ICE:
Quote:
this means the Gulf will just about shut down. the mouth of the Mississippi River shipping??
Florida will lose one complete season on the Gulf 41% of all seafood in USA. say this blows out? say this oil flow continues for 60 days?


What is going on beneath the surface:
Image

Jonny Blaze
Quote:
what happens when a cat 4 or cat 5 bears down on the gulf in, lets say, three months from now? The logistical challenge of getting all the elements in place for the dome plan will be large, but manageable…but what the heck do they do when a cat 4 or cat 5 is bearing down on the drill site with the dome channeling operation going on?

Not only will a hurricane toss the spill all over the place and compound the cleanup, but it could cause a temporary but significant interruption in the dome stop gap measure.

If the sidetrack fails and/or a hurricane bears down on the gulf this year…BP could be bankrupt by as early as this winter.

Hmmm.... BP bankrupt will benefit whom? other oil companies. This oil spill will (already is) raise the price of oil products - gas.

Quote:
Louisiana State University professor Ed Overton, who heads a federal chemical hazard assessment team for oil spills, worries about a total collapse of the pipe inserted into the well. If that happens, there would be no warning and the resulting gusher could be even more devastating because regulating flow would then be impossible.


I think we have some dots here; anyone want to try "connect the dots"?

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Sun May 02, 2010 8:25 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
This was posted by an AC at GLP. It is from Peoplenomics, George Ure's subscription website.


Quote:
This was on George Ure's site this a.m. If it's already been posted, I apologize:

2. A reader who is an engineer of considerable experience says watch this one evolve carefully because it is destined to continue to grow and he shares this long (but worthy explanation why:

"Heard your mention of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, and you (and most everyone else except maybe George Noory) are totally missing the boat on how big and bad of a disaster this is.

First fact, the original estimate was about 5,000 gallons of oil a day spilling into the ocean. Now they're saying 200,000 gallons a day. That's over a million gallons of crude oil a week!

I'm engineer with 25 years of experience. I've worked on some big projects with big machines. Maybe that's why this mess is so clear to me.

First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.

When the rig sank it flipped over and landed on top of the drill hole some 5,000 feet under the ocean.

Now they've got a hole in the ocean floor, 5,000 feet down with a wrecked oil drilling rig sitting on top of is spewing 200,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean. Take a moment and consider that, will you!

First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions to accomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor? There just is no way. No way.

The only piece of human technology that might address this is a nuclear bomb. I'm not kidding. If they put a nuke down there in the right spot it might seal up the hole. Nothing short of that will work.

If we can't cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?

We're so used to our politicians creating false crises to forward their criminal agendas that we aren't recognizing that we're staring straight into possibly the greatest disaster mankind will ever see. Imagine what happens if that oil keeps flowing until it destroys all life in the oceans of this planet. Who knows how big of a reservoir of oil is down there.

Not to mention that the oceans are critical to maintaining the proper oxygen level in the atmosphere for human life.

We're humped. Unless God steps in and fixes this. No human can. You can be sure of that.


---------

Good NOAA map there too. Sorry, it requires a membership.

[link to http://www.peoplenomics.com]

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Sun May 02, 2010 9:09 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
ok, it was an accident due to failure of the cement perhaps? and who delivered the cement?




(warning f bombs!!)


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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Great video Barb thanks :roflmao

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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
rutsuyasun wrote:
This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.



if that's the case, what's to say a second drilled "relief" hole will not result in the same disaster? ...ending up with TWO failed holes?


Sun May 02, 2010 11:06 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Genesis wrote:
rutsuyasun wrote:
This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.



if that's the case, what's to say a second drilled "relief" hole will not result in the same disaster? ...ending up with TWO failed holes?


Gen, That is exactly what others I've read are saying about another hole - plus it would take months to get a rig set up and drill another hole. And the collection dome is at risk of weather interference, and will take a long time to get into place. Meanwhile, the oil keeps on gushing........ Follow the money.....

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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
A few excerpts from the most recent article. The article in its entirety can be read here:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/201 ... pill_N.htm

Urgency increases as oil spill grows


Quote:
BP spokeswoman Marti Powers said the company has brought in 1.2 million feet of boom to spread across the Gulf Coast and will bring in more, as needed. About 275,000 feet of boom already has been placed offshore, according to the Coast Guard.

Garret Graves, the head of the Office of Coastal Activities for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, said that amount is insufficient because Louisiana alone has 30 million feet of tidal shoreline. Heavy waves have broken up many of the existing booms. BP is "clearly overwhelmed," he said.


Quote:
The company also created controversy by initially asking fishermen who participate in oil cleanup and prevention efforts to sign a waiver that included a confidentiality agreement.....The waiver also was aimed at preventing fishermen who signed it from filing legal claims against BP once a 30-day period had lapsed....."Requiring the volunteer responders, already victims of the oil disaster caused by BP, to potentially lose or in any way limit their claims against BP ... is unconscionable,".....Powers said late Sunday that BP no longer was requiring fishermen to sign any waivers


Quote:
SkyTruth, a group that investigates environmental incidents, used satellite imagery and Coast Guard aerial photos to estimate that the damaged well is gushing about 1.1 million gallons a day — five times the current estimate from the Coast Guard. John Amos, the group's president, said it derived the figure with the help of the oceanography department at Florida State University.


Quote:
Smith, the environmental lawyer, said he worries the spill's magnitude could cause health problems for both emergency crews and Gulf Coast residents.

People in New Orleans could smell the oil on Thursday,....."If you can smell it, you're being exposed," Smith said. "Everybody's talking about the damage to birds and fish, but nobody's worrying about the people."

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Sun May 02, 2010 10:51 pm
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
This is a long article, but the site is "Pure Energy Systems News" and the author appears to have some considerable expertise. Considering the MAJOR global catastrophe this is, I think it warrants our closest attention. We also need to project the consequences that will affect the economy, ecology, fuel sector, food supply and human life.

Paul Noel
for Pure Energy Systems News

I really do think that the situation is getting further and further out of hand.

By yesterday morning, the nature of the crude had changed, indicating that the spill was collapsing the rock structures. How much I cannot say. If it is collapsing the rock structures, the least that can be said is that the rock is fragmenting and blowing up the tube with the oil. With that going on you have a high pressure abrasive sand blaster working on the kinks in the pipe eroding it causing the very real risk of increasing the leaks.

More than that is the very real risk of causing the casing to become unstable and literally blowing it up the well bringing the hole to totally open condition. Another risk arises because according to reports the crew was cementing the exterior of the casing when this happens. As a result, the well, if this was not properly completed, could begin to blow outside the casing. Another possible scenario is a sea floor collapse. If that happens Katie bar the door.


Possible Fix

I do not see any good possibilities from humans further fracturing the rock particularly at higher levels. That is the cap rock that is holding the deposit together.

I do see a possible use of explosives for favorable outcome. If a properly sized charge were applied in a shaped fashion around the drill pipe at some distance from it say 5 feet or so it is entirely possible that an explosive charge could pinch the pipe off similar to a hydraulic clamp. The resulting situation would vastly reduce the spill. Once you clamped off the pipe much more substantially say down to 1 foot or less opening the resulting pipe could be charge cut above the location and a tapered pipe fitted to it to collect any leaking oil. The end result would be to contain the spill and dramatically control any leaks because drill mud could then be entered into the pipe fitted to the exterior. In the end, the pipe could be controlled that way. The size of a charge to do this would be a few pounds not megatons.

A nuclear detonation carries the real risk of giving us the full doomsday scenario on this well. I just don't like doing that. There is no coming back from the brink when you do that one. If it works, which I see as unlikely, great. If it doesn't work, there is now a maybe a hole 1/4 mile across leaking oil. That looks worse than any possible outcomes otherwise.


Oil Deposit Capacity

The BP people are not talking, but this well is into a deposit that easily could top 500,000 barrels production per day for 10 or 15 years. Letting that all go in one blast seems more than foolish.

The deposit is one I have known about since 1988. The deposit is very big. The central pressure in the deposit is 165 to 170 thousand PSI. It contains so much hydrocarbon that you simply cannot imagine it. In published reports, BP estimated a blow out could reach near 200,000 Barrels per day (165,000) They may have estimated a flow rate on a 5 foot pipe. The deposit is well able to surpass this.

The oil industry has knowledge of the deposit more than they admit. The deposit is 100 miles off shore. They are drilling into the edge of the deposit to leak it down gently to be able to produce from the deposit. The deposit is so large that while I have never heard exact numbers it was described to me to be either the largest or the second largest oil deposit ever found. It is mostly a natural gas deposit. That is another reason not to blast too willy nilly there. The natural gas that could be released is really way beyond the oil in quantity. It is like 10,000 times the oil in the deposit.

It is this deposit that has me reminding people of what the Shell geologist told me about the deposit. This was the quote, "Energy shortage..., Hell! We are afraid of running out of air to burn." The deposit is very large. It covers an area off shore something like 25,000 square miles. Natural Gas and Oil is leaking out of the deposit as far inland as Central Alabama and way over into Florida and even over to Louisiana almost as far as Texas. This is a really massive deposit. Punching holes in the deposit is a really scary event as we are now seeing.


Rig and Pipe Info

The pipe is a fairly rigid pipe and sticks up out of the Blow out prevention device for some distance before it bends over and kinks off. The distance is not long but is enough to do what I suggested. Explosive forming of metals is a standard technology and under water it is easier. The charge focuses very predictably.

Imaging a long straw that is 1 mile long and has kinked over in several locations. This is about what you have. I have seen the submarine photos from early on. Just a really big straw. It has about a 1.5 or 2 foot diameter drill pipe in the center with about a 10 inch hole down the center. I am not exactly sure on the drill pipe size. The casing here is very thick steel. It has to handle massive pressures.

The rig is quite some distance away from the well. It may be a 1/4 mile or more away. It sort of bent over and then kinked the pipe as it went down.

I guess the size here sort of bends the imagination. This rig has a deck area of about 3 to 4 acres. It had a crew quarters on board that had about 120 people in it. (Imagine a big hotel here.) The hotel on the rig was about 4 stories high. You just cannot imagine until you see these rigs how big they are. If you want to see one go to Mobile Bay. Gulf High Island 2 and other rigs in the area can be seen clearly for 90 miles from Pensacola Florida. The towers go up 1100 feet. You can take the ferry right between two rigs if you go from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island. There is no comparison to these rig anywhere in the world. They are the biggest ever built bar none.


Controls That Should Have Been In Place

By the way, I am not against drilling it, I am just against doing so without proper controls.

1. The rig that was drilling was not a US Flagged rig. That means US Inspectors were not allowed on board the rig to inspect it. As a matter of National Security under the GATT the USA has a right to demand US Only in various technology. The USA should never allow a foreign flag vessel to drill for oil in the US Economic Zone (200 mile limit).
2. Acoustic automated shut of devices should be required.
3. I think US Federal Inspectors should have to be resident on and inspecting rigs like this 24/7.
4. I think that the drilling should be required to do some smaller holes that deliberately miss the main deposit that test the structure before main drilling operations happen.
5. Careful procedures should be in place to set up wells before they hit the main deposit. The well casing should have to be inserted well before the drill hits the deposit and it should have to be cemented in at least 2 weeks prior to finishing the hole down to the oil or gas. This is to give the cement time to set. The casing should have ridging to make this cement have a tight wedged grip on the miles of rock around it. This is required because the lift pressure on a pipe in this case could easily reach 20 million pounds of lift. This is an insane amount of up pressure. Even at 70,000 psi it would lift about 140 million pounds. (almost 64,000 long tons!)


Haste from Economic Pressure

I suspect that the series of disasters we have seen in mines around the world and in the USA regards coal and oil are the product of pushing the crews and developments too fast due to the high economic pressures. This happened the last time (Sago and others) when the economic pressure started rising.

The economic pressures on the energy prices are stunning. Everyone is trying to keep their economy going. You can measure the economic output of a nation directly with the energy consumption day to day. The USA dropped its energy consumption in the current downturn (depression) by about 24%. It is now rising again. We are about 19% down and rising. The current situation is that the developments in oil/gas and coal are not keeping pace with what is going to be the demand shortly. They cannot even hope to meet the demand.

This is why I said that Alternative Energy is the only hope.

They can push the pedal to the metal (figuratively speaking) and there is not going to be a speed up much. Since human demand is going to force increases in supply towards 3 times the current level in less than 30 years, we are looking at a big hole with no hope of fixing it.

Air pollution world wide is reaching levels that are at the limits of the environment to take the demands. This increase in energy has to come from somewhere else.

Nuclear power doesn't have the potential. It turns out to run out of fuel in about 30 years. Worse yet solving the problem with nuclear doesn't do anything but boil away scarce fresh water supplies. All combustion does this. The only solutions are ones where the energy comes from somewhere else. Solar and Wind are good options. As you are also aware, the hard core alternatives are there in magnetic power etc. This has to come.

The alternatives to drilling US Waters for oil if we solve this with oil are to depend more and more on hostile powers for oil. Funding your enemies is insane. Drilling in US waters risks ever increasing threats of what we have going on right now.

The collapse of rock structures is even more scary. Mexico has one entire state that is being held up by nitrogen injection wells that would sink if that gas is released. This is not funny stuff. I know I get punched by the "know nothings" out there with political agenda, but I will risk it. If you will note the Oil and Gas people pretty much don't say anything against me. They know. I have been to some of their events and they actually like what I have to say. They cannot say it for fear of their jobs.

If one estimates the cost of a barrel of oil from the Middle East, the US Armed Forces cost added in would drive it to about $2000/barrel. If people paid this at the pump they would be demanding what I say with force so high you couldn't hear anything else. If you factor in the cost of spills and such domestic oil probably costs $500/barrel or more. This is just insane.

# # #

Paul Noel, 52, works as Software Engineer (as Contractor) for the US Army at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He has a vast experience base including education across a wide area of technical skills and sciences. He supplies technical expertise in all areas required for new products development associated with the US Army office he works in. He supplies extensive expertise in understanding the Oil and Gas industry as well.

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Mon May 03, 2010 6:06 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Report from the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald - err Mississippi newspaper.

Folks, I've looked all over the reports today and, frankly, I find hysteria over this spill. This isn't refined crude like the Exxon Valdez - it is raw crude coming out of the Earth, itself.

The bat $hit crazy lefties are ALLL over this. :noway

I have to say that I agree with Sarah Palin - yeah don't fall over on that one. :mrgreen:

The fact of the matter is that the US has to drill offshore and drill now.

We, the people, of the US are the ones responsible for this mess. How?

Have you cut your oil footprint? Hmmm? Didn't think so.

Are you willing to give up your gas guzzler for a wimpy "smart car?"

Are you willing to build more Three Mile Islands?

Are you willing to turn your AC up to 80? How bout turn that heater down to 50?

Are you willing to return to 55 mph speed limits on interstates?

Are you still willing to let environmental catastrophes happen in places like Nigeria and Angola and just turn your heads?

Do you realize that this nation's oil consumption has quadrupled since the 80's?

Wake up! We have to get our oil consumption down and do it now! The security and economic prosperity of this nation depends on it!


Taylor expects spill to break up naturally
Saturday, May 01, 2010
By DONNA MELTON

GULFPORT — U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor on Saturday said people shouldn’t be so scared about the massive oil spill in the Gulf; he said after flying over it, “it’s not as bad as I thought.”

Taylor said the oil could break up before reaching Mississippi shores.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said he is putting his focus on finding a way to contain the crude that continues to spill each day from the uncapped well in the Gulf.

Taylor flew over the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig Saturday along with Department of Marine Resources Director Bill Walker and Rep. Jo Bonner of Alabama.

They viewed the spill from the extended ramp of a Coast Guard twin-engine plane 1,000 feet above the water.

“At the moment, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be,” he said, shortly after returning from the three-hour tour.

Taylor told a group of reporters waiting at Atlantic Aviation he was less concerned about the spill after witnessing its movement firsthand.

“This isn’t Katrina. It’s not Armageddon,” Taylor said. “A lot of people are scared and I don’t think they should be.”

He described the spill as a light, rainbow sheen with patches that look like chocolate milk.

He did not see any traces along the Louisiana shore, near the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana or the barrier islands in Mississippi.:huh

He said the closest he saw oil was 20 miles from the Louisiana marsh and that it was further than that away from the Chandeleur Islands and even further from the barrier islands. :popcorn

It’s breaking up naturally; that’s a good thing. The fact that it’s a long way from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, that’s a great thing, because it gives it time to break up naturally,” he said.

Walker said the sheen could collect on beaches and in estuaries, but it will evaporate within a week.

Walker’s plan is to let any sheen that makes its way into the marshes evaporate naturally.

“That’s what we will probably do, is leave it alone and let nature take its course,” he said.

Any residue on public beaches would be scraped away with a front-end loader, he said.

Wicker talked about the spill Saturday while attending the ribbon-cutting of the Fontainebleau Community Center/Emergency Shelter.

“I think initially our reaction is to try to stop the flow and get the oil cleanup done,” he said. “Questions will come also. But my top priority and the priority of the federal government is to stop the flow of oil and protect our wildlife.”

Wicker said he anticipated congressional hearings about the spill and wondered what the spill meant for the future of offshore drilling and energy use.

WLOX-TV contributed to this report.

http://www.sunherald.com/2010/05/01/2146383/taylor-expects-spill-to-break.html#storylink=omni_popular

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Mon May 03, 2010 7:17 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Whoa! Check this out!

The pics are AMAZING!!!


Fishing Trip of a Lifetime

We left there in a hurry to make it to Deep Water Horizon before dark. The water was like glass.

My radar got stolen off my bought before this trip so we planned on getting to a floater before dark and staying/fishing till sun up the next day. We got to Deep Water Horizon at sunset and began catching more tuna. These jelly fish were floating everywhere.

It was pretty cool to see them literally SAIL! When we drove at night the jellyfish would glow as they passed under the boat by the thousands. The tuna bites were starting to slow down so we drove right up to the rig to try to catch bait. No bait, but we found more tuna under the floating rig. Around 10pm the entire center of the rig started rushing water downwards over all the pipes... I've never seen such an event take place. I looked at my friend who previously worked offshore, and he said that's BOP something another and the rig took a 'kick!' I thought the rig was sinking and that was their way of bilging... But nope! Methane gas began BLOWING out of the West side of it and the noise of the thrust was louder than anything I've ever herd (except for a sonic boom I herd once, and what I'm about to tell you next) My eyes began to burn and that friend I was telling you about earlier began to SCREAM, "GO, GO, GO, GO, GOOOOO!" I positioned my compass North and put the gears in WOT! At approximately 100 yds from the rig it Exploded! Puts a new meaning to explosion. We hit the deck and continued North @ WOT, Blind because the moon was at quarter crescent and I had no radar.

The switch board went black for unknown reasons; therefore I had no running lights either. The flood lights in the rear did work. The rig continued EXPLODING. A very large crew boat was tied to the rig as it blew and the ppl began rafting to that boat as it floated away slowly. I got on the radio to try to help and they told me to stay away for safety. The rig blew a few more explosions after that and began to burn down. Some of the rig began dripping into the water and the platform tilted in and turned RED HOT. As bad as we wanted to save ppl, it wasn't the case here. I tried going in to be a hero and my posse wasn't having it! Maybe they were right...

The guy who predicted the explosion was terrified of what would happen next and would not allow for us to get any closer than a mile. He told me things about air rising from the pipes below, and how the pipes could be below us since they run at angles under water, and how the explosions would continue. I think he knew what he was talking about and made us all worry...

We stayed a mile off the fire and searched/listened for missing ppl for 4 hours. We saw nothing. 20 or so commercial liners eventually brought Medics and oxygen for survivors. Helicopter came for search and transport. All the other facts you probably already know about; via News. The 11 missing people in 'mind' I hope slipped away in a safety boat, but in reality I doubt they are alive. This is a sad thing to say, but if you would have seen the explosions you wouldn't believe anyone of the 126 would have survived it! I pray for all of them and their families! We left at morning to make our way in, we were 60 miles offshore and gas was running low. We stopped at Elf on the way in and filled the ice chest.

http://www.mudinmyblood.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6104

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Mon May 03, 2010 11:42 am
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Post Re: At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf
Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?

By JOHN M. BRODER and TOM ZELLER Jr.

WASHINGTON — The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad — no one would dispute it. But just how bad?

Some experts have been quick to predict apocalypse, painting grim pictures of 1,000 miles of irreplaceable wetlands and beaches at risk, fisheries damaged for seasons, fragile species wiped out and a region and an industry economically crippled for years.

President Obama has called the spill “a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.” And some scientists have suggested that the oil might hitch a ride on the loop current in the gulf, bringing havoc to the Atlantic Coast.

Yet the Deepwater Horizon blowout is not unprecedented, nor is it yet among the worst oil accidents in history. And its ultimate impact will depend on a long list of interlinked variables, including the weather, ocean currents, the properties of the oil involved and the success or failure of the frantic efforts to stanch the flow and remediate its effects.

As one expert put it, this is the first inning of a nine-inning game. No one knows the final score.

The ruptured well, currently pouring an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the gulf, could flow for years and still not begin to approach the 36 billion gallons of oil spilled by retreating Iraqi forces when they left Kuwait in 1991. It is not yet close to the magnitude of the Ixtoc I blowout in the Bay of Campeche in Mexico in 1979, which spilled an estimated 140 million gallons of crude before the gusher could be stopped.

And it will have to get much worse before it approaches the impact of the Exxon Valdez accident of 1989, which contaminated 1,300 miles of largely untouched shoreline and killed tens of thousands of seabirds, otters and seals along with 250 eagles and 22 killer whales.

No one, not even the oil industry’s most fervent apologists, is making light of this accident. The contaminated area of the gulf continues to spread, and oil has been found in some of the fragile marshes at the tip of Louisiana. The beaches and coral reefs of the Florida Keys could be hit if the slick is captured by the gulf’s clockwise loop current.

But on Monday, the wind was pushing the slick in the opposite direction, away from the current. The worst effects of the spill have yet to be felt. And if efforts to contain the oil are even partly successful and the weather cooperates, the worst could be avoided.

“Right now what people are fearing has not materialized,” said Edward B. Overton, professor emeritus of environmental science at Louisiana State University and an expert on oil spills. “People have the idea of an Exxon Valdez, with a gunky, smelly black tide looming over the horizon waiting to wash ashore. I do not anticipate this will happen down here unless things get a lot worse.”

Dr. Overton said he was hopeful that efforts by BP to place containment structures over the leaking parts of the well will succeed, although he said it was a difficult task that could actually make things worse by damaging undersea pipes.

Other experts said that while the potential for catastrophe remained, there were reasons to remain guardedly optimistic.

The sky is not falling,” said Quenton R. Dokken, a marine biologist and the executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, a conservation group in Corpus Christi, Tex. “We’ve certainly stepped in a hole and we’re going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn’t the end of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Engineers said the type of oil pouring out is lighter than the heavy crude spilled by the Exxon Valdez, evaporates more quickly and is easier to burn. It also appears to respond to the use of dispersants, which break up globs of oil and help them sink. The oil is still capable of significant damage, particularly when it is churned up with water and forms a sort of mousse that floats and can travel long distances.

Jacqueline Savitz, a senior scientist at Oceana, a nonprofit environmental group, said that much of the damage was already taking place far offshore and out of sight of surveillance aircraft and research vessels.

“Some people are saying, It hasn’t gotten to shore yet so it’s all good,” she said. “But a lot of animals live in the ocean, and a spill like this becomes bad for marine life as soon as it hits the water. You have endangered sea turtles, the larvae of bluefin tuna, shrimp and crabs and oysters, grouper. A lot of these are already being affected and have been for 10 days. We’re waiting to see how bad it is at the shore, but we may never fully understand the full impacts on ocean life.”

The economic impact is as uncertain as the environmental damage. With several million gallons of medium crude in the water already, some experts are predicting wide economic harm. Experts at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi, for example, estimated that as much as $1.6 billion of annual economic activity and services — including effects on tourism, fishing and even less tangible services like the storm protection provided by wetlands — could be at risk.

“And that’s really only the tip of the iceberg,” said David Yoskowitz, who holds the endowed chair for socioeconomics at the institute. “It’s still early in the game, and there’s a lot of potential downstream impacts, a lot of multiplier impacts.”

But much of this damage could be avoided if the various tactics employed by BP and government technicians pay off in the coming days. The winds are dying down and the seas are calming, allowing for renewed skimming operations and possible new controlled burns of oil on the surface. BP technicians are trying to inject dispersants deep below the surface, which could reduce the impact on aquatic life. Winds and currents could move the globs of emulsified oil away from coastal shellfish breeding grounds.

The gulf is not a pristine environment and has survived both chronic and acute pollution problems before. Thousands of gallons of oil flow into the gulf from natural undersea well seeps every day, engineers say, and the scores of refineries and chemical plants that line the shore from Mexico to Mississippi pour untold volumes of pollutants into the water.

After the Ixtoc spill 31 years ago, the second-largest oil release in history, the gulf rebounded. Within three years, there was little visible trace of the spill off the Mexican coast, which was compounded by a tanker accident in the gulf a few months later that released 2.6 million additional gallons, experts said.

The gulf is tremendously resilient,” said Dr. Dokken, the marine biologist. “But we’ve always got to ask ourselves how long can we keep heaping these insults on the gulf and having it bounce back. As a scientist, I have to say I just don’t know.”


Leslie Kaufman contributed reporting from New Orleans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/us/04enviro.html?hp

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Tue May 04, 2010 6:55 am
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