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Louisiana deep oil drilling disaster
Relax, people....; the damage to the company and the industry may be averted.


BP May Manage Damage to Company From Spill, CEO Says (Update2)

May 03, 2010, 12:52 PM EDT

(Adds estimated costs beginning in 14th paragraph. See {EXT4 <GO>} for more on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.)
By Stanley Reed
May 3 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, the owner of the ruptured well spewing thousands of barrels a day of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, may be able to manage the damage to the company and the industry, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said.
“It all depends on how successful we are with our response,” Hayward said in an interview in Houma, Louisiana, yesterday, when asked how bad the fallout will be. “If we deal with the situation in a way that minimizes the environmental impact, it will cause some debate. If the environmental impact is serious, as a consequence there won’t be much if any extension of offshore drilling.”
The oil spill caused by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig last month threatens what President Barack Obama said yesterday may become “an unprecedented environmental disaster.” The April 20 accident, which killed 11 people, came at a time when Hayward appeared well on the way to turning BP around by improving the company’s safety record and profitability.
The U.S. Coast Guard has said it is impossible to estimate how much oil is gushing from the well from at least three locations 5,000 feet (1.5 kilometers) below the surface. Obama viewed the Gulf coastline and got an hour-long briefing yesterday on how the slick is fast approaching the Louisiana coastline.
Winston Churchill
Hayward, 52, who said his recent schedule has left him feeling tired, repeated a phrase he says is from Winston Churchill. “When you are going through hell, keep going,” Hayward said over a fish and pasta dinner at a restaurant in Houma, near where BP has its main base for fighting the spill.
Hayward has improved BP’s safety record after a series of accidents including the deadly March 2005 Texas City refinery explosion that helped bring down his predecessor, John Browne, whom he succeeded three years ago. Hayward also brought delayed projects such as Thunder Horse in the Gulf online.
As an indication of improved performance, BP said April 27 net income more than doubled in the first quarter to $6.08 billion from $2.56 billion a year earlier. Earnings excluding gains or losses from holding inventories and one-time items beat analyst estimates.
BP fell 10 percent in London trading last week, the biggest weekly drop since October 2008, reflecting investor concern that the costs of containing the spill will escalate. The shares closed at 575.5 pence on April 30. Crude oil for June delivery rose 84 cents to $$86.99 a barrel at 12:23 p.m. today on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Thunder Horse, Atlantis
BP has pushed ahead with exploration in the Gulf of Mexico when other companies backed off. Its discoveries include last year’s Tiber find in the Gulf, which may have 4 to 6 billion barrels of oil in place. The 35,000-foot well, the deepest yet, was drilled by the Transocean Ltd.-owned Deepwater Horizon.
BP now produces about 450,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent in the Gulf of Mexico, about 12 percent of its total. Oil from such sites as Thunder Horse, the second-largest producing field in the U.S., and Atlantis, is among the most profitable in BP’s portfolio.
These advances have also boosted U.S. energy production. For the first time in years, the nation’s oil output is rising, with the deep-water Gulf of Mexico contributing about 1.2 million barrels a day of new production. The U.S. produced 5.48 million barrels of oil a day in 2009, the most since 2003, American Petroleum Institute data show.
Angola, Brazil
BP’s offshore operations include Angola, and in March it acquired Brazilian deepwater assets from Devon Energy Corp. in a $7 billion deal.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the well is spewing 5,000 barrels of oil a day. At that rate, the volume of the spill would exceed Alaska’s 1989 Exxon Valdez accident by the third week of June.
BP’s cost for the spill may reach $8 billion should the leak continue at that rate for the two or three months it may take to drill a relief well, Neil McMahon, a London-based analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. wrote in an April 30 note to clients.
“The cost for BP will be heavily influenced by how much oil reaches the Gulf Coast,” McMahon wrote. Louisiana’s $2.5 billion fishing industry and $3 billion in tourism revenue on Florida’s Gulf Coast are at risk from oil pollution, he wrote.
‘Apollo 13 Exercise’
Hayward is betting on a multi-phased approach to stop the spill and limit environmental damage. BP technicians are still trying to tweak the blowout preventer that failed in the initial phases of the Deepwater Horizon accident.
They are working on valves and injecting hydraulic fluid 5,000 feet below the sea surface in what Hayward said is like an “Apollo 13 exercise.”
BP is also preparing to place a cofferdam over the damaged well so as to funnel oil to the surface to a separator vessel. That operation could start within a week. BP is also preparing to sink two relief wells into the reservoir. Once those are completed, heavy drilling mud will be injected into the reservoir to kill the stricken well and eventually cement it up.
BP has assembled a flotilla of 100 ships to skim off oil and lay booms. It has an air force of six planes spraying dispersants. BP is also signing up fishing boats for the effort -- 700 so far -- and training thousands of volunteers on what to do in case oil hits the beaches. BP has arranged for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to supply them with gloves and tools.
Heavy winds and high seas have hampered BP’s efforts so far, making containment operations difficult. Hayward says the whole effort is costing about $7 million a day.
Detergent Method
BP is experimenting with injecting dispersal fluid at the point of the leak, a method Hayward thinks shows great promise. So far, the detergent-like fluid, which mixes with the released oil and gas and creates a washing-machine effect, seems to be working well, Hayward said. No oil seemed to reach the surface yesterday.
Hayward plans to maintain his presence in the U.S., returning to London only when necessary, such as to visit his wife last week after an operation. In Houma, he stays at a Ramada Inn, along with many of the people working for BP on the spill.
Noting that he has spent his first three years as CEO restoring BP’s fortunes, he said: “My task for the next three years is to put this event behind us.”
--With assistance from Jim Polson in New York. Editors: Kim Jordan, Tina Davis.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stanley Reed in London at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Oil Slickonomics

May 3rd, 2010 Via: The Big Picture:
Three scenarios lie ahead. They rank as bad, worse, and ugliest (the latter being catastrophic and unprecedented). There is no “good” here.
The Bad.
Containment chambers are put in place and they catch the outflow from the three ruptures that are currently pouring 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf every day. If this works, it will take until June to complete. The chambers are 30-foot-high steel configurations that must be placed on the ocean floor at a depth of one mile. This has never been done before. If early containment is successful, the damages from this accident will be in the tens of billions. The cleanup will take years. The economic impact will be in the five states that have frontal coastline on the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The Worse.
The containment attempts fail and oil spews for months, until a new well can successfully be drilled to a depth of 13000 feet below the 5000-foot-deep ocean floor, and then concrete and mud are injected into the existing ruptured well until it is successfully closed and sealed. Work on this approach is already commencing. Timeframe for success is at least three months. Note the new well will have to come within about 20 feet of the existing point where the original well enters the reservoir at a distance of 3.5 miles from the surface drilling rig. Damages by this time may be measured in the hundreds of billions. Cleanup will take many, many years. Tourism, fishing, all related industries may be fundamentally changed for as much as a generation. Spread to Mexico and other Gulf geography is possible.
The Ugliest.
This spew stoppage takes longer to reach a full closure; the subsequent cleanup may take a decade. The Gulf becomes a damaged sea for a generation. The oil slick leaks beyond the western Florida coast, enters the Gulfstream and reaches the eastern coast of the United States and beyond. Use your imagination for the rest of the damage. Monetary cost is now measured in the many hundreds of billions of dollars.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Randall Amster

Peace educator, author, and activist
Posted: May 2, 2010 05:10 AM

Black Gold -- the Lifeblood of War

Speculation has been running rampant among certain sectors of the web-world lately about the true origins of the massive oil spill that has engulfed the Gulf and threatens marine, plant, animal, and human health in a region already beset by natural disasters and toxic industries. Unwilling to accept the mainstream media version of the story (namely that it was the result of off-shore drilling activities) and suspicious of the timing of the calamity (namely that it occurred right on the cusp of Earth Day and during a period of political contentiousness over drilling), this faction has surmised that the "trigger event" in this instance may have been (choose your favorite) either: an attack by the North Koreans; an act of homegrown eco-terrorism by leftwing environmentalists; or something to do with Venezuela, China, and/or other Communist (machi)nations. With little more than a hint from an online Russian source, the theory of a North Korean attack in particular has been gaining virulence among certain fox-trotters.

Here's a great overview of the argument from the self-avowedly conservative Dakota Voice:
"Rush Limbaugh pointed out that the explosion occurred on April 21st, the day before 'Earth Day.' He also reminded us that Al Gore had previously encouraged environmental nutjobs to engage in civil disobedience against the construction of coal plants that don't have carbon capture technology. 'Eco-terrorists' exist and have done millions of dollars worth of criminal damage. Fire is one of the main tools of their evil trade. I'm not claiming the Deep Horizon was bombed by eco-terrorists, although I don't believe it's out of the realm of possibility. But, it would take some serious money and ability to pull off an attack like that, so I would tend to think much bigger than college hippie eco-wackos with some money-backing -- a foreign government, perhaps. Of course, before I could finish writing my thoughts here, I just heard Michael Savage posing the same questions. He also said there is a theory on a Russian website that claims North Korea is behind this. The article claims that North Korea torpedoed the Deepwater Horizon, which was apparently built and financed by South Korea. Torpedoes would make sense for the results we see.... There are a number of international 'suspects' who might want to do something like this. They range from Muslim terrorists to the Red Chinese, Venezuela and beyond. Remember that China and Russia are drilling out there, as well, and they would benefit from America cutting back on our own drilling."
The article at the root of this savagery appears on the site, and is titled "US Orders Media Blackout Over North Korean Torpedoing of Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig" -- which pretty much eliminates any suspense about the gist of it. The piece is attributed to one "Sorcha Faal," who either exists or does not depending upon whether you believe the link arguing a bit too strenuously that she in fact does. The article cites as its source, without further attribution, "a grim report circulating in the Kremlin today written by Russia's Northern Fleet," and argues that "the reason for North Korea attacking the Deepwater Horizon, these reports say, was to present US President Obama with an 'impossible dilemma' prior to the opening of the United Nations Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons set to begin May 3rd in New York. This 'impossible dilemma' facing Obama is indeed real as the decision he is faced with is either to allow the continuation of this massive oil leak catastrophe to continue for months, or immediately stop it by the only known and proven means possible, the detonation of a thermonuclear device."

In other words, all of this was designed to force Obama to use a nuclear device to seal the leak ahead of an upcoming conference on nonproliferation. Ingenious! James Bond is alive and well, apparently. Missing from the calculus (along with good sense, credibility, and verifiability) is any explanation of why the logic of this scenario will automatically result in Obama deploying a nuke, and what exactly would be gained by him doing so except (by implication) making the U.S. look like hypocrites at the negotiating table. Those dastardly cowards! Everyone knows that we don't need any help from foreign entities to hypocritically attempt to force others to hold to international standards that we will ourselves proceed to flagrantly ignore. I mean, duh.

Hey, I'm all for a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy/gal. We certainly ought to question the "consensus reality" version of any major event communicated back to us by the corporate media. And we can logically surmise that the government keeps us on a "need to know" basis under the rubric of a closely-held "national security" ethos. So there's always reason to dig deeper, ask hard questions, check with non-U.S sources, and formulate one's opinion independent of the herd. But in this case, the impetus for the tale is so vague and thinly rendered that it strains the limits of credulity, yet it still seems to be gaining traction each day. In fact, there are even more solid reasons to suspect that this miserable episode -- which will inflict more suffering on an already-battered region -- was contributed to by the activities of a certain homegrown corporation and not any eco-nuts or commies. While the premise is thus wholly wrong, the conclusion that this was a putative act of war might actually hold water. To wit:

Oil and War: Are there any two concepts in the realm of geopolitics more closely associated than resources and warfare? Oil in particular, as the primary lubricant of the global economy, earns special status as a sine qua non of our profligate lifestyles and simultaneously as an overt security interest that triggers our military mobilizations. We know about Iraq of course, and Afghanistan to a lesser extent for its strategic pipelining location, but don't overlook places such as Venezuela, Central Africa, and the Caribbean shelf around countries like Haiti as potential sites of future conflict over Black Gold. Indeed, it might be said that wherever there's oil, there's war -- or at least the seeds of conflict over a dwindling commodity that draws the interest of governments and corporations alike. The past decade has shown, and our national security documents reflect, that the U.S. will essentially do anything in its power to control as much of the world's remaining oil supplies as it possibly can, either through direct intervention or by proxy. There's nothing light or sweet about any of this; it is almost wholly crude.

Drilling and the 'War on Terra': Without overly editorializing the point, since at least the advent of industrialization it appears that humanity has made a Faustian bargain that renders us the enemies of the earth in order to survive. Notions of complementarity and sustainability have been supplanted by consumption and separation instead. The cruel joke is that our willingness to continually flout nature's laws leaves us in a perpetual state of scarcity and requires a regular doubling-down on the very same logic that made things scarce in the first place. Thus, in order to extend the life of the petroleum economy and provide the massive energy inputs that we rely upon, we have to drill deeper and deeper to procure the substance at ever-increasing energy costs in the process. This literal sense of "diminishing returns" is compounded by the attendant toll exacted on our collective health via fossil fuels, as well as the concomitant stratification of wealth and power that subverts any pretense we still hold of democracy. Massive spills and other calamities are part and parcel of this normalization of a warlike attitude toward nature (and thus ourselves), and are blithely considered little more than business as usual by the ruling elites, as intimated in an article on "All this is the result of dangerous and unnecessary offshore drilling, yet in a statement Friday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the explosion was no reason to give up plans to expand offshore drilling. 'In all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last,' Gibbs told reporters."

Halliburton IS the War Machine: Finally, we come to the most likely culprit in all of this, and a sure sign that indeed this is an act of war. Wherever Halliburton goes, so goes the war machine, and vice versa. From no-bid and no-account contracts in Iraq (and post-Katrina New Orleans, by the way) to a massive corporate presence in the Gulf region, these folks seem to have an acute capacity for making a buck on cataclysms of all sorts. Perhaps more to the point, they appear to be at the nexus of most disaster zones, including the erstwhile Bush Presidency and now the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. As a recent article in the Huffington Post notes:
"Giant oil-services provider Halliburton may be a primary suspect in the investigation into the oil rig explosion that has devastated the Gulf Coast, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though the investigation into the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon site is still in its early stages, drilling experts agree that blame probably lies with flaws in the 'cementing' process -- that is, plugging holes in the pipeline seal by pumping cement into it from the rig. Halliburton was in charge of cementing for Deepwater Horizon."
The Los Angeles Times subsequently reported that members of Congress have called on Halliburton "to provide all documents relating to 'the possibility or risk of an explosion or blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the status, adequacy, quality, monitoring, and inspection of the cementing work' by May 7." A YouTube video (which is actually mostly audio) more bluntly asserts that "Halliburton Caused Oil Spill," and notes the fact -- confirmed by Halliburton's own press release -- that its employees had worked on the final cementing "approximately 20 hours prior to the incident." Interestingly, one commenter on the YouTube video notes how "that would conveniently explain the North Korean story; [Halliburton] may have leaked this story to the press to divert attention away from alleged negligence." Wouldn't that just be the ultimate? Halliburton spawns the calamity but pins it on North Korea, and then the nation goes to war whereby Halliburton "cleans up" through billions in war-servicing contracts. It's almost too perfect, and might be funny if it didn't seem so plausible. (The only thing funnier is picturing Dick Cheney in the role of Exxon Valdez fall guy Joseph Hazelwood.)

But hey, there's no need to get conspiratorial about all of this. And what's happening in the Gulf -- now spreading into the Atlantic -- isn't funny at all. Indeed, war hardly ever is, and that's what we've got on our collective hands here, in one form or another. As Isaac Asimov once said, "It is not only the living who are killed in war." Cherished ideals, future generations, hopefulness, the earth itself -- all are among war's many casualties. The sooner we recognize the sense of pervasive warfare in our midst, embedded in the flow of our everyday lives, the sooner we can intentionally turn that essential corner toward peace, as Martin Luther King, Jr. alluded to in his Nobel speech:
"I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality."
Waking up to war may in fact be the first genuine step toward peace, both among ourselves and with the environment.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oil Spill: Here's the Inside Scoop

The Gulf oil spill is much worse than originally believed.
As the Christian Science Monitor writes:

It's now likely that the actual amount of the oil spill dwarfs the Coast Guard's figure of 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, a day.

Independent scientists estimate that the renegade wellhead at the bottom of the Gulf could be spewing up to 25,000 barrels a day. If chokeholds on the riser pipe break down further, up to 50,000 barrels a day could be released, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration memo obtained by the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register.

CNN quotes the lead government official responding to the spill - the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen - as stating:
If we lost a total well head, it could be 100,000 barrels or more a day.
Indeed, an environmental document filed by the company running the oil drilling rig - BP - estimates the maximum as 162,000 barrels a day:
In an exploration plan and environmental impact analysis filed with the federal government in February 2009, BP said it had the capability to handle a “worst-case scenario” at the Deepwater Horizon site, which the document described as a leak of 162,000 barrels per day from an uncontrolled blowout — 6.8 million gallons each day.
Best-Case Scenario

BP is trying to perform a difficult task of capping the leak by using robotic submarines to trigger a "blowout preventer" 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. Here's a photo of the robot trying to activate the switch on April 22nd:

[Image: 4551846015_412a4c11c3.jpg]
If successful, the leak could be stopped any day. Everyone is rooting for the engineers, so that they may successfully cap the leak.

Already, however, the spill is worse than the Exxon Valdez, and will cause enormous and very costly destruction to the shrimping, fishing and tourism industries along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Florida. It will be years before good estimates on the number of dead fish, turtles, birds and other animals can be made.

The Backup Plan

If the blowout preventer can't be triggered, the backup plan is to drill another well to relieve pressure from the leaking well.

Here's a drawing prepared by BP showing the plan (the drilling rig on the left will take months to drill down and relieve pressure from the leaking rig):

[Image: 4558745875_9f56707074.jpg]
Here's a graphic from the Times-Picayune showing the same thing (and accurately showing that there are currently 3 leaking oil plumes):

[Image: beneaththeoilslickjpg-26ae69ad5b2d305c_large.jpg]BP will also attempt to drop concrete and metal "cages" over the leak sites, to try to buy time by collecting oil in the cages, and then draining oil away in a safer manner. As AP writes:
BP PLC was preparing a system never tried before at such depths to siphon away the geyser of crude from a blown-out well a mile under Gulf of Mexico waters. However, the plan to lower 74-ton, concrete-and-metal boxes being built to capture the oil and siphon it to a barge waiting at the surface will need at least another six to eight days to get it in place.
In addition, BP is using chemical disperents to try to break up the oil plumes as they arise (the dispersants are highly toxic). Worst-Case Scenario
As the Associated Press notes:
Experts warned that an uncontrolled gusher could create a nightmare scenario if the Gulf Stream carries it toward the Atlantic.
This would, in fact, be very bad, as it would carry oil far up the Eastern seaboard.

Specifically, as the red arrows at the left of the following drawing show, the Gulf Stream runs from Florida up the Eastern Coast of the United States:

[Image: 32.jpg]
[Click here for full image.]

How could the oil get all the way from Louisiana to Florida, where the Gulf Stream flows?

As Discovery explains:
Many ocean scientists are now raising concerns that a powerful current could spread the still-bubbling slick from the Florida Keys all the way to Cape Hatteras off North Carolina. These oceanographers are carefully watching the Gulf Loop Current, a clockwise swirl of warm water that sets up in the Gulf of Mexico each spring and summer. If the spill meets the loop -- the disaster becomes a runaway.
"It could make it from Louisiana all the way to Miami in a week, maybe less." said Eric Chassignet, director of the Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University. "It is pretty fast."
Right now, some computer models show the spill 30 to 50 miles north of the loop current. If the onshore winds turn around and push the oil further south: "That would be a nightmare," said Yonggang Liu, research associate at the University of South Florida who models the current. "Hopefully we are lucky, but who knows. The winds are changing and difficult to predict."
Imagine the loop current as an ocean-going highway, transporting tiny plankton, fish and other marine life along a watery conveyor belt. Sometimes it even picks up a slug of freshwater from the Mississippi River -- sending it on a wandering journey up to North Carolina.
The Gulf Loop Current acts like a jet of warm water that squirts in from the Caribbean basin and sloshes around the Gulf of Mexico before being squeezed out the Florida Strait, where it joins the larger and more powerful Gulf Stream current.
Oceanographer George Maul worries that the current could push the oil slick right through the Florida Keys and its 6,000 coral reefs.
"I looked at some recent satellite imagery and it looks like some of the oil may be shifted to the south," said Maul, a professor at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. "If it gets entrained in the loop, it could spread throughout much of the Atlantic."
In fact, new animation from a consortium of Florida institutions and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts a slight southward shift in the oil over the next few days.
A graphic from the Discovery article shows what the Gulf loop current looks like:

[Image: gulf-loop-278x225.jpg]
The Gulf Loop Current enters from the Caribbean basin,
moves around the Gulf of Mexico and
exits out the Florida Strait, where it joins
the more powerful Gulf Stream current.
Naval Oceanographic Office

In a worst-case scenario - if the oil leak continued for a very long period of time - the oil could conceivably be carried from the Gulf Stream into world-wide ocean currents (see drawing above).

I do not believe this will happen. Even with the staggering quantity of oil being released, I don't think it's enough to make its way into other ocean currents. I think that either engineers will figure out how to cap the leak, or the oil deposits will simply run out. It might get into the Gulf loop current, and some might get into the Gulf Stream. But I don't believe the apocalyptic scenarios where oil is carried world-wide by teh Gulf Stream or other ocean currents.
Changing the Climate

There is an even more dramatic - but even less likely - scenario.
Specifically, global warming activists have warned for years that warming could cause the "great conveyor belt" of warm ocean water to shut down. They say that such a shut down could - in turn - cause the climate to abruptly change, and a new ice age to begin. (This essay neither tries to endorse or refute global warming or global cooling in general: I am focusing solely on the oil spill.)

The drawing above shows the worldwide "great conveyer belt" of ocean currents, which are largely driven by the interaction of normal ocean water with colder and saltier ocean currents.
Conceivably - if the oil spill continued for years - the greater thickness or "viscosity" of the oil in comparison to ocean water, or the different ability of oil and seawater to hold warmth (called "specific heat"), could interfere with the normal temperature and salinity processes which drive the ocean currents, and thus shut down the ocean currents and change the world's climate.
However, while this is an interesting theory (and could make for a good novel or movie), it simply will not happen.
Why not?
Because there simply is not enough oil in the leaking oil pocket to interfere with global ocean currents. And even if this turns out to be a much bigger oil pocket than geologists predict, some smart engineer will figure out how to cap the leak well before any doomsday scenario could possibly happen.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Ed - thanks for posting those articles.

It could well be that standard Halliburton incompetence and shoddy work caused the original blown machinery/concrete. Then, Halliburton leaked these preposterous those-evil-North-Koreans-did-it tales, hoping Faux News et al would run with such nonsense. Nonsense which is of course potentially profitable for the permanent War Machine...

I really like the War On Terra line. :burnout:

I'm stealing it.
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Jan, I think you are entirely right. Some of it apparently comes in from that old source of "trial balloons and other airborne garbage", Sorcha Faal. And it is getting moved along by the usual sources. As Yogi Berra once said, "You can see a lot by just watching." In addition, there is some postulation seen at Citizens for Legitimate Government about the aluminum deck for the helicopter landing zone. But BP took the risks not to exercise due diligence and spend additional money for safety while it engaged in what was arguably an extremely risky undertaking, and it hired a well-known company in the industry just weeks after it had been acquired by Halliburton. I do chuckle when I think of an old article I read a long time ago by Arie de Geus, then with Royal Dutch Shell, entitled "Planning as Learning" which was the genesis of the organizational learning movement. It got incorporated into my work in disaster response planning and simulations which now provides me with the hair-pulling acceptance that life in America is an ongoing disaster.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

We expect to see the deterioration of the economic statistics for the US to reveal the onset of this oil-slick crisis in May, and the negative impact will intensify during the summer months. A “double-dip” recession probably has been made more likely by this tragedy.
Reprinted from CLUSTERSTOCK
David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors is out with some very gloomy comments about the economic ramifications of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and what it will cost. First he notes the ugliest case scenario: This spew stoppage takes longer to reach a full closure; the subsequent cleanup may take a decade. The Gulf becomes a damaged sea for a generation. The oil slick leaks beyond the western Florida coast, enters the Gulfstream and reaches the eastern coast of the United States and beyond. Use your imagination for the rest of the damage. Monetary cost is now measured in the many hundreds of billions of [URL=""]dollars [Image: grey_loader.gif]
As for numbers:
Usually, the first estimates in any crises are too low. That is true here. 1000 barrels a day is now 5000, and some estimates of spillage are trending higher. No one knows exactly. The containment and boom mechanism is subject to weather cooperation as we can see this weekend. Soon we are entering the hurricane season. The thoughts of a storm stirring up the Gulf, hampering any cleanup or remediation drilling effort and creating a huge 10,000 square mile black stew is frightening to every professional in the business.

This will be a financial calamity for many firms, not just BP and its partners and service providers. Their liabilities are immense and must not be underestimated. The first estimate of $12.5 billion is only a starter.
As for the economy beyond BP...
Thousands of small and independent businesses as well as larger public companies in tourism are hurt here. This is not just about the source of half the nation’s shrimp. That is already a casualty. It’s also about the bank loans for the $200,000 shrimp boat and the house the boat owner and/or his employees live in and the fact that this shock piles on a fragile financial system that is trying to recover from a three-year financial crisis. Case study, my fishing guide in the Everglades splits his time between Florida and Louisiana. His May bookings in LA have cancelled. His colleagues lost theirs and their lodge will be empty. They are busy trying to find work in the clean up. For him, his wife and eleven year old daughter, his $600 a day guide fees just went “poof”. When I asked him if he thought he had a legal claim on BP, he said he hadn’t thought about it yet but it gave him pause. As we suggested above, the $12.5 billion loss estimate is only a starter.
And the taxpayer...
Federal deficit spending will certainly rise by tens, and maybe hundreds, of billions as emergency appropriations are directed at larger and larger efforts to clean up this mess. At the same time, federal and state revenues tied to Gulf-region businesses will fall. My colleague John Mousseau will be discussing the impact on state and local government debt in a separate research commentary.

We expect that the Federal Reserve will extend the timeframe that we have come to know as the “extended period” in the making of its monetary policy. We do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates at all for the rest of this year, and maybe well into next year. We expect to see the deterioration of the economic statistics for the US to reveal the onset of this oil-slick crisis in May, and the negative impact will intensify during the summer months. A “double-dip” recession probably has been made more likely by this tragedy.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 02 May 2010 )
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Deepwater Horizon oil spill: turtle deaths soar amid fight to save wildlife

Tests take place to determine cause of deaths, as locals hope booms along coastline will protect commercial fisheries

[Image: A-dead-sea-turtle-washed--006.jpg] Body of evidence: a dead sea turtle washed ashore at Pass Christian, Mississippi - one of 23 being examined for links to the oil spilling from the wrecked Deepwater Horizon rig Photograph: Dave Martin/AP

Jackye Carroll was walking along the beach that runs outside her home in Pass Christian, Mississippi, early this morning when she came across a curious sight. The sun had just come up and the white sand beach was looking at its most beautiful, but there, just above the gently lapping sea of the Gulf of Mexico was a grey-brown mound of flesh about two to three feet in length.
She put on the gloves that she had brought along in anticipation, and turned the mound over to find that it was a Loggerhead, one of the five threatened species of sea turtle found in this region. The sand around it was being stained red by blood seeping from its nose and underbelly. It was dead.
With the help of a neighbour, she carried the turtle up the beach as she had been instructed to do, and left it by a wooden post where it was still lying a few hours later, by now starting to smell in the muggy Mississippi heat. "I've lived here 20 years and I've never seen a dead turtle on this beach before," Carroll said.
All along this strip, and the 26 miles of beaches to which it connects, people have been reporting similar mysterious sightings over the past couple of days. This morning eight sea turtles were found dead in Pass Christian, in addition to nine yesterday, bringing the total number of dead turtle sightings in the wider area to at least 31.
Tests on the animals were being carried out at the Institute of Sea Mammal Studies in Gulfport, 10 minutes' drive along the sea from Pass Christian. The institute specialises in the study and treatment of stranded dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life and has a dedicated laboratory where 23 turtles are being kept in plastic bags in an animal morgue. Among them are Loggerheads, Leatherheads and Kemp's Ridley – the most critically endangered species of sea turtle in the Gulf.
Dr Moby Solangi, the institute's director, said necropsies would be carried out to see whether the turtles' deaths had anything to do with the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the 220,000 gallons of oil that are still being spewed into the Gulf each day. A team of vets would be looking to see if the animals had respiratory problems associated with inhaling oil fumes, or had consumed fish contaminated with oil.
Further tissue samples would be taken for laboratory testing for evidence of residues of hydrocarbons.
Solangi said that until the results of the necropsies were known it would be impossible to tell whether the turtles had been killed by oil. He pointed out, however, that the number of deaths was much greater than normal, even at a time of year when sea turtles tend to come in closer to shore and are sometimes found washed up dead on the beach.
"There are too many unknowns right now to say yay or nay. All we know for sure is that several factors could have been involved, though the numbers are higher than usual."
Solangi has a doctorate in the effects of crude oil on marine wildlife in the Gulf, though he had never expected to have to put it to such practical use. "I didn't imagine that 30 years later I would be facing a real disaster like this," he said.
The institute is likely to be at the forefront of efforts to treat stricken birds and mammals as the impact of the environmental catastrophe takes hold. It is preparing six large tanks of filtered sea water ahead of the arrival of sick animals and extra vets will be laid on at its attached animal hospital.
Solangi is particularly concerned about the fate of up to 5,000 dolphins that live in the Gulf and up to the mouth of the Mississippi river. It is their birthing season when they tend to come into the shallow waters of the Gulf – precisely where the slick is heading. The dolphins are at great danger from the oil should they swim through the slick. It could damage their skin and eyes, cause respiratory problems should they inhale it, and lead to internal problems in the event of eating poisoned fish.
In Pass Christian the local people are equally concerned about the fate of their commercial fishing. Booms have been laid across the bays and bayous that dot the coastline in an attempt to block the oil being pushed by winds and current into the inland waterways and marshes which act as the nurseries of shrimp, crabs and crawfish upon which the local fishermen depend. All eyes are also upon two giant man-made oyster reefs that sit about 500 metres out to sea. They are each 10 miles long and among the largest in the US.
Latest information suggests that the slick has reached the Chandeleur Islands, a string of barrier islands that have famously rich ecosystems and fish stocks.
Along the beach where Carroll found the dead turtle the city has mobilised several tractors to clean debris from the sand and to form a berm of sand designed to act as another line of defence against any incoming oil.
Teams of orange-vested clean-up workers were also milling along the beach, employed by BP to scour the area for dead animals, fish or any sign of flotsam covered in oil. But so far, mercifully, the problem remains about nine miles out to sea.
Renee Brooks, the elected alderman of Pass Christian, is co-ordinating preparations from a trailer on the seashore for a clean-up should the oil reach land. She said that spirits had lifted in the town because high winds had dropped and the sea was calm again, raising hopes that the worst of the slick might not now come ashore.
But she said the community remained scared. "Just last week we blessed the fleet, praying that they have a productive year. Now we're not so sure."
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Ed Jewett Wrote:Relax, people....; the damage to the company and the industry may be averted.


BP May Manage Damage to Company From Spill, CEO Says (Update2)
Well, that okay then. I can sleep easy now. Every thing is alright.
I read on another forum some say that it is not so bad as 'there will be lots of jobs created from this and the clean up'.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Iran offers to help contain US oil spill
Mon, 03 May 2010 13:29:49 GMT

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A dead fish is seen on the Mississippi beach on May 2, 2010. While the death has not been linked to the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, concerns over wildlife continue.

The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Following an explosion on a BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, at least 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil are thought to be spilling into the water every day.

NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm's readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company's public relations office told Press TV.

"Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world," Bahmani said.

Overlooking the new US drive for slapping more UN sanctions on Iran over its civilian nuclear program, the company said that there is an urgent need for action to protect the nearby coasts from the advancing oil spill.

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Florida have reportedly called a state of emergency for fear of the oil slick's environmental and economic damages.

The disaster has also prompted the White House to ban oil drillings in new areas of the US coast until the British company explains the cause of the explosion that killed 11 employees and resulted in the oil spill.

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