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Louisiana deep oil drilling disaster
Quote:On April 2, President Obama stated: "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."

Politicians are actors delivering lines written by others with the conviction and sincerity of Oscar winning thespians.

The great mass of voters give these fine actors the benefit of the doubt until their words are proven, time after time, to be lies.

By which time the permanent ruling elites have a brand new selection of actors ready to thrill the populace with their "straight-talking" "change" agenda.

And so the sham of democracy continues...
"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
Former NSA employee Wayne Madsen has connections. He also on occasion gets played by those connections.

So, fwiw, here's Madsen's take:

Quote:The Cover-up: BP's Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster

Written by Wayne Madsen

WMR has been informed by sources in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the Obama White House and British Petroleum (BP), which pumped $71,000 into Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign -- more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton, are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP's liability for damage caused by what can be called a "mega-disaster."

Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, are working with BP's chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. However, WMR's federal and Gulf state sources are reporting the disaster has the real potential cost of at least $1 trillion. Critics of the deal being worked out between Obama and Hayward point out that $10 billion is a mere drop in the bucket for a trillion dollar disaster but also note that BP, if its assets were nationalized, could fetch almost a trillion dollars for compensation purposes. There is talk in some government circles, including FEMA, of the need to nationalize BP in order to compensate those who will ultimately be affected by the worst oil disaster in the history of the world.

Plans by BP to sink a 4-story containment dome over the oil gushing from a gaping chasm one kilometer below the surface of the Gulf, where the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and killed 11 workers on April 20, and reports that one of the leaks has been contained is pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration, according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources. Sources within these agencies say the White House has been resisting releasing any "damaging information" about the oil disaster. They add that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf.

Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a "national security issue." Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano's actual reasoning for invoking national security was to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.

From the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, and Gulf state environmental protection agencies, the message is the same: "we've never dealt with anything like this before."

The Obama administration also conspired with BP to fudge the extent of the oil leak, according to our federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day was gushing from the seabed chasm. Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day.

However, WMR has been informed that submersibles that are monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what is a "volcanic-like" eruption of oil. Moreover, when the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick -- which is larger than that being reported by the media -- it was turned down. However, National Geographic managed to obtain the satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site.

There is other satellite imagery being withheld by the Obama administration that shows what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be around the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to our sources.

The Corps and Engineers and FEMA are quietly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only recently, has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. WMR has also learned that inspections of off-shore rigs' shut-off valves by the Minerals Management Service during the Bush administration were merely rubber-stamp operations, resulting from criminal collusion between Halliburton and the Interior Department's service, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.

The impact of the disaster became known to the Corps of Engineers and FEMA even before the White House began to take the magnitude of the impending catastrophe seriously. The first casualty of the disaster is the seafood industy, with not just fishermen, oystermen, crabbers, and shrimpers losing their jobs, but all those involved in the restaurant industry, from truckers to waitresses, facing lay-offs.

The invasion of crude oil into estuaries like the oyster-rich Apalachicola Bay in Florida spell disaster for the seafood industry. However, the biggest threat is to Florida's Everglades, which federal and state experts fear will be turned into a "dead zone" if the oil continues to gush forth from the Gulf chasm. There are also expectations that the oil slick will be caught up in the Gulf stream off the eastern seaboard of the United States, fouling beaches and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately target the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days. Although protective water surface boons are being laid to protect such sensitive areas as Alabama's Dauphin Island, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and Florida's Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is only 16 miles of boons available for the protection of 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in the state of Florida.

Emergency preparations in dealing with the expanding oil menace are now being made for cities and towns from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Naples, and Key West. Some 36 FEMA-funded contracts between cities, towns, and counties and emergency workers are due to be invoked within days, if not hours, according to WMR's FEMA sources.

There are plans to evacuate people with respiratory problems, especially those among the retired senior population along the west coast of Florida, before officials begin burning surface oil as it begins to near the coastline.

There is another major threat looming for inland towns and cities. With hurricane season in effect, there is a potential for ocean oil to be picked up by hurricane-driven rains and dropped into fresh water lakes and rivers, far from the ocean, thus adding to the pollution of water supplies and eco-systems.

This story contributed by the Wayne Madsen Report for
"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
BP = Beyond Pollution: Destruction of the Gulf

by Jack Random / May 6th, 2010

Lobbying Congress for favorable legislation: Millions
Cost of deep-sea drilling: Billions
Destruction of an ecosystem: Priceless

On April 20th an attempt to cap the Deepwater Horizon, a British Petroleum rig in the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in an explosion. Eleven workers were lost and the subsequent failure to shut off the oil flow and contain the rapidly spreading slick has resulted in an ecological catastrophe of epic proportions.
As the oil continues to flow and a slick of over 2,000 square miles collides into the Gulf Coast, comparisons to the Exxon-Valdez destruction of Prince William Sound in Alaska begin to fall short. Right wing media, unable to fathom the breadth and depth of this catastrophe, unwilling to accept that we have brought this on ourselves, no longer able to justify the usual “so what” response to environmental crises, have decided to focus on conspiracy theories. On the level of pure speculation, the Limbaugh crowd has raised the specter of a terrorist attack.
While I am not one to automatically dismiss conspiracy theories, the purpose of these speculations is as clear as the once pristine waters of Prince William Sound. It is a distraction and one that we, as caretakers of the environment that nourishes us, can ill afford. What has happened in the Gulf of Mexico is the destruction of an ecosystem, damage that will require decades if not centuries to repair, as the result of shortsighted greed. Even the chemicals now being used to disperse the oil slick have long ranging destructive potential. Even if you think it was a terrorist attack, in the age of terrorism shouldn’t that be a part of the equation? Shouldn’t we consider that possibility before we erect new targets off our shores?
When President Obama declares that British Petroleum is responsible for this disaster and will be held accountable for its costs, he is not telling the whole truth in either case. The government is responsible for approving the Deepwater Horizon and ensuring that all measures were taken to preclude the possibility of disaster. That clearly was not done. It turns out the drilling operation went deeper than authorized but where were the inspectors? It turns out a safety valve to turn off the oil in the event of disaster was not installed though it is required off the shores of other nations. It apparently was considered too expensive.
As for the costs of this catastrophe, British Petroleum with $292 billion in revenues as of 2007 (ranking it the fourth richest company in the world) will pay only a fraction of the long-term damage. For every dollar they provide in relief to the fishing industry and the myriad businesses that depend on them they will spend two dollars fighting it in court. For every dollar they spend in cleanup they will spend another paying a team of publicists and pseudo-scientists to prove that the damage after all is not so bad.
Twenty-one years after the Exxon-Valdez disaster there is still plenty of Exxon oil polluting the shores and waters of Prince William Sound. Some say the initial cleanup effort was designed to hide the oil rather than to extract it. From day one Exxon treated the spill as an image and media problem with economic consequences rather than an ecological disaster. There are still species that have never recovered. The human victims of the spill have had to fight the constant misinformation and delays of the Exxon media and legal teams. No one really knows the long-term consequences of the spill but we do know it was far more extensive than we were led to believe at the time.
We can expect the same with British Petroleum in the aftermath of this new catastrophe. From the beginning BP followed the same script as Exxon after the Valdez spill. Understate the extent of the disaster, capture the media, assure the public with misleading information, put a friendly face on a heartless corporate machine, always have an answer or three answers to dazzle the reporters, and always radiate confidence.
BP has friends in Washington. It allocated sixteen million dollars to lobbying congress in 2009 and another three and a half million in the first quarter of 2010. While generally favoring Republicans on a ratio of three to two, the leading single recipient in 2008 was Barack Obama. When you compare these figures to the billions in profits you would have to consider money well spent.
The record when it is finally revealed will show that BP lied about the risks of deepwater drilling. BP lied about the oil leaking in the initial stages of the disaster. BP lied about the extent of the leakage. BP lied about their contingency plans for a worst-case scenario. BP lied about accepting full responsibility for the costs of this catastrophe. And BP will continue to lie and mislead and pump misinformation through the media to an unknowing and disbelieving public.
The potential destruction of this catastrophe goes well beyond commercial fisheries, the loss of wildlife and the damage to the tourist industry. It goes beyond the restaurants and packing plants that depend on the shrimp and fishing operations. It goes beyond the damage to the reef and the coastline. It goes beyond the harm to the already depleted wetlands and the migrating birds that seek refuge there. It goes beyond anything we can imagine. That is the nature of ecosystems. Everything is interconnected. It will be decades or longer before we can even begin to assess the full extent of harm.
If we had the authority to liquidate British Petroleum and use all its assets and resources to mitigate the harm, it would still be inadequate.
And the oil continues to flow.
Beyond the ecological disaster, consider the sheer audacity of believing you could drill through 13,000 feet of rock beneath 5,000 feet of water without unreasonable risk. Was it, in fact, a controllable risk or an inevitable disaster? Was BP gambling permanent environmental damage against short-term profits? How is it that an international corporation based thousands of miles from the scene of the crime was empowered to take that kind of risk with the Gulf ecosystem?
Now BP is trying to deflect the blame to Transocean Ltd., the world’s largest operator of deepwater wells. Certainly some measure of blame can be shared not only with Transocean but possibly Halliburton who had a hand in the operation as well, but as long as BP was taking the lion’s share of profits then BP must accept the lion’s share of blame.
In a functioning democracy at least some of that blame must fall to the people. To some indefinable extent we are also responsible for allowing greed and the Drill Baby Drill crowd to have its way with our government.
Someone should have stopped them but it was not in their interest.
The latest legislative effort to deal with the Gulf crisis is a proposal to raise the liability cap from $75 million to ten billion. Dollars to a dime it does not happen and even if it does it is an insult for anyone to think that the damage from this catastrophe should be capped at ten billion (a fraction of the cost of our wars).
Have we learned nothing at all? It is clear that after Exxon-Valdez we learned very little indeed.
This time the least we can learn is that Beyond Petroleum is just a slogan.
If this nation does not move toward renewable energies with the urgency and vigor that time and circumstance demand, then we must forfeit our claim as a great nation – no less the greatest nation on earth.
Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Has anyone sighted a North Korean sub in the vicinity yet? :captain:
Or more to the point a report of a sighting of a North Korean sub?
"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.
Magda Hassan Wrote:Has anyone sighted a North Korean sub yet? :captain:

My contacts within the National Scruity Agency tell me that the North Korean mini-sub has been tracked and sighted by the latest in AquaSat spy satellite technology and is lurking, waiting for the gusher to put out enough of a slick that they can make their escape unnoticed, by dashing (?) across the Caribbean underneath the Caymans.

The US Navy, using littoral vessels and specially trained ORCAs [
Only Really Crazy Assignments] (the SEALs were busy), will shadow the vessels until they can be attacked inside or near Venezuelan waters. (Remember the Maine?!)

A special USNavy DevGru sleeper cell was discovered lounging on the beaches in Grenada and has been re-awakened and re-activated for Operation Erica Jong-Il ("Fear of Shrimping").
The mini-sub was discovered serendipitously by a scientific team working through the Marshall Space Flight Center. Recognizing the dramatic impact the spill and the attendant financial ramifications would have on the US economy, satellite searches were undertaken of the Guatemalan region once populated by the Mayan culture.

"By learning what the Maya did right and what they did wrong, maybe we can help local people find sustainable ways to farm the land while stopping short of the excesses that doomed the Maya," says Tom Sever at the MSFC. Sever, NASA's only archeologist, has been using satellites to examine Mayan ruins. Sever and co-worker Dan Irwin have been looking at satellite photos and, in them, Sever spotted signs of ancient drainage and irrigation canals in swamp-like areas near the Mayan ruins. Sever suspects that these ancient canals were part of a system devised by the Maya to manage water in the bajos so that they could farm the land.

The mini-sub was discovered in one of those canals after one of its submariners was spotted inquiring at an outdoor collective market if anyone had any sonar-absorbing replacement tiles for his Yugo.
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According to a Guatemalan once recruited for Operation PB Fortune, the sub-mariners were supposed to be a suicide squad but decided, having once seen a movie about "охота в течение Красного октября" and having heard about Aruba, to ask for asylum in Oranjestad.

[Image: Aruba_beach.jpg]
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Deepwater Horizon: A Firsthand Account
by Mark Levin Show
Tuesday, May 04, 2010

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On Friday, April 30th 2010, an anonymous caller contacted the Mark Levin Show to clarify the events that preceded the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Rigzone has transcribed this broadcast for your convenience. To hear the actual radio broadcast please visit

Mark: Dallas Texas WBAP. Go right ahead, sir.
James: Just want to clear up a few things with the Petroleum Engineer, everything he said was correct. I was actually on the rig when it exploded and was at work.
Mark: Alright, let's slow down. Wait, hold on, slow down, so you were working on this rig when it exploded?
James: Yes sir.
Mark: OK, go ahead.
James: We had set the bottom cement plug for the inner casing string, which was the production liner for the well, and had set what's called a seal assembly on the top of the well. At that point, the BOP stack that he was talking about, the blow out preventer was tested. I don't know the results of that test; however, it must have passed because at that point they elected to displace the risers -- the marine riser from the vessel to the sea floor. They displaced the mud out of the riser preparing to unlatch from the well two days later and they displaced it with sea water. When they concluded the BOP stack test and the inner liner, they concluded everything was good.
Mark: Let me slow you down, let me slow you down. So they do all these tests to make sure the infrastructure can handle what's about to happen, right?
James: Correct, we're testing the negative pressure and positive pressure of the well, the casing and the actual marine riser.
Mark: OK, I'm with you. Go ahead.
James: Alright, after the conclusion of the test, they simply opened the BOP stack back up.
Mark: And the test, as best as you know, was sufficient?
James: It should have been, yes sir. They would have never opened it back up.
Mark: OK next step, go ahead.
James: Next step, they opened the annular, the upper part of the BOP stack
Mark: Which has what purpose? Why do you do that?
James: So that you can gain access back to the wellbore.
Mark: OK
James: When you close the stack, it's basically a humongous hydraulic valve that closes off everything from below and above. It's like a gate valve on the sea floor.
Mark: OK
James: That's a very simplistic way of explaining a BOP. It's a very complicated piece of equipment.
Mark: Basically, it's like a plug. But go ahead.
James: Correct. Once they open that plug to go ahead and start cementing the top of the well (the well bore), we cement the top, and then basically we would pull off. Another rig would slide over and do the rest of the completions work. When they opened the well is when the gas well kicked, and we took a humongous gas bubble kick up through the well bore. It literally pushed the sea water all the way to the crown of the rig, which is about 240 feet in the air.
Mark: OK, so gas got into it and blew the top off of it.
James: Right.
Mark: Now don't hang up. I want to continue with you because I want to ask you some questions related to this, OK? Including, has this sort of thing ever happened before, and why you think it may have happened, OK?
Mark: Alright, back to James, that's not his real name, Dallas WBAP. I'm not going to give the working title of what you did there either, James, but I wanted to finish. So, the gentleman was right about the point that obviously some gas got into the, I'll call it the funnel, OK?
James: Correct, and that's not uncommon, Mark. Anytime you're drilling an oil well, there is a constant battle between the mud weight, the drilling fluid that we use to maintain pressure, and the wellbore itself. There's a balance. The well is pushing gas one way and you are pushing mud the other way. So there is a delicate balance that has to be maintained at all times to keep the gas from coming back in, what we call the kicks. You know, we always get gas back in the mud, but the goal of the whole situation is to try to control the kick. Not allow the pressure to differentiate between the vessel and the wellbore.
Mark: Well, in this case, obviously, too much gas got in.
James: Correct, and this well had a bad history of producing lots of gas. It was touch and go a few times and was not terribly uncommon. You’re almost always going to get gas back from a well. We have systems to deal with the gas, however.
Mark: So, what may have happened here?
James: Well, the sheer volume and pressure of gas that hit all at once which was more than the safeties and controls we had in place could handle.
Mark: And that’s like a mistake on somebody's part or maybe its just Mother Nature every now and then kicks up, or what?
James: Mother Nature every now and then kicks up. The pressures that we're dealing with out there, drilling deeper, deeper water, deeper overall volume of the whole vessel itself, you’re dealing with 30 to 40 thousand pounds per square inch range -- serious pressures.
Mark: Not to offend you, but we just verified that you are who you are, which I'm sure you already knew that. I would like to hold you over to the next hour because I would like to ask a few more questions about this, as well as what happened exactly after the explosion, during the explosion and after. Can you wait with us?
James: Sure, I don't know how much of that I can share, but I'll do my best.
Mark: Alright, well I don't want to get you in trouble. So if you can stay, fine, but if you can't, we understand.
Part 2 of Mark's Interview:

Mark: We are talking to a caller under an assumed name who was on the rig when it blew up, and we've been talking about how it happened. And now James, I want to take you to the point of when it happened. What exactly happened? Where were you standing?
James: Well obviously, the gas blew the sea water out of the riser, once it displaced all of the sea water, the gas began to spill out on the deck and up through the center of the rig floor. The rig, you have to imagine a rectangle, about 400 feet by 300 feet, with the derrick and the rig floor sitting directly in the center. As this gas is now heavier than air, it starts to settle in different places. From that point, something ignited the gas, which would have caused the first major explosion.
Mark: Now, what might ignite the gas, do you know?
James: Any number of things, Mark. All rig floor equipment is what they consider intrinsically safe, meaning it cannot generate a spark, so that these types of accidents cannot occur. However, as much gas that came out as fast as it did, it would have spilled over the entire rig fairly rapidly, you know, within a minute. I would think that the entire rig would be enveloped in gas. Now a lot of this stuff, you can't smell, you can't taste it, it's just there, and it's heavier than oxygen. As it settled in, it could have made it to a space that wasn't intrinsically safe. Something as simple as static electricity could have ignited the first explosion, which set off a series of explosions.
Mark: Alright, so what happened? You're standing where? You're sitting somewhere? What happened?
James: Well, I was in a location that was a pretty good ways from the initial blast. I wasn't affected by the blast. I was able to make it out and get up forward where the life boats were. The PA system was still working. There was an announcement overhead that this was NOT a drill. Obviously, we have fire drills every single week to prepare for emergencies like this (fire and abandonment drills). Over the intercom came the order to report to life boats one and two, that this was not a drill, that there is a fire, and we proceeded that way.
Mark: So, the eleven men who died, were they friends of yours?
James: Yes sir, they were.
Mark: Did they die instantly?
James: I would have to assume so. Yes, sir. I would think that they were directly inside the bomb when it went off, the gas being the bomb.
Mark: So, the bomb being the gas explosion?
James: Correct. They would have been in the belly of the beast.
Mark: Now, let me ask you, and we have to be careful what we say because there are people that will run wild with ideas, so I just want to make sure
James: Sure.
Mark: So, let me ask you this, why would the government send in a SWAT team to a rig? What’s that all about?
James: Well, believe it or not, its funny you would mention that. Transocean, the drilling company, maintains a SWAT team and that's their sole purpose. They're experts in their field. The BOP, the blowout preventer, they call that subsea equipment. They have their own SWAT teams that they send out to the rigs to service and maintain that equipment.
Mark: Yeah but I'm talking about what are interior SWAT teams? What is that?
James: The interior, from the government now, I don't have an idea about that, that's beyond me. The other gentleman also mentioned the USGS that comes out and does the surveys. I've been on that particular rig for three years, offshore for five years, and I've seen a USGS one time. What we do have on a very regular basis is the MMS, which is the Minerals Management Service.
Mark: They're all under the interior department.
James: OK. Yes. As a matter of fact, we were commended for our inspection record from the MMS. We are actually receiving an award from them for the highest level of safety and environmental awareness.
Mark: Well, I thought you were going to receive that award. Didn't they put it on hold?
James: No, we have actually received that award. We received it last year. We may have been ready to receive it again this year.
Mark: Let me ask you this, so the life boats, how did you get into these life boats? Where are these life boats?
James: There are actually four life boats - two forward and two on the left, depending on where the emergency or the tragedy has taken place.
Mark: Did you wind up jumping in the water to get in to the life boat? Sometimes you have to do that.
James: I'll just say that there were five to seven individuals that jumped and the rest went down in the life boats.
Mark: Alright, I won't ask because you don't want to identify yourself that clearly. Good point. How fast were the rescue efforts? How fast did they reach you?
James: It is common to have a very large work boat standing by, to bring tools out, groceries, and supplies; it's a constant turn around. So we actually have a very large vessel real close by. It was actually along the side with the hose attached, taking mud off of our vessel on its own. It had to emergency disconnect and then pull out about a mile to stand by for rescue efforts. So, it was fairly quick.
Mark: How quick till the Coast Guard got there?
James: Mark, it's hard to say, between 45 minutes to an hour is when I recall seeing the first helicopter.
Mark: Which is actually pretty fast because you are 130 miles offshore right?
James: Correct. If you look at the nearest spill of land which would be Grand Isle, Louisiana, somewhere in that area, we were only about maybe 50 miles where the crew flies up. From civilization, such as New Orleans, it would be 200 miles. The helicopter was more than likely 80 to 100 miles away.
Mark: You are going to be beset by lawyers, with the government, and others looking for an opportunity to make money. It's going to get very, very ugly and the officials going there have really no backgrounds or experience... I mean, to what extent is that going to help anything? It's silly.
James: To me it seems knee jerk. The number one focus right now is containment. I like the idea about the boom. They are going to try to lower it down into the water to capture the leak.
Mark: How long might that take? I've been reading about this boom and it says that it could take 30 days to do that.
James: It very well could. You have to remember that this is a challenging environment. You know its 5,000 feet deep, there's a tangled wreck of a rig with the marine riser still connected and twisted into a big wad down there. So it's going to take some time to get all that stuff in place. The engineering has to be there; obviously they don't want to rush into it. You want to move it expediently but you are risking the lives of those men that are going to go out there and try to attempt it - that’s just not right.
Mark: I was just going say that. That's very dangerous, I mean extremely dangerous.
James: Absolutely, absolutely. There will be oil. There will be natural gases. All the same things that caused us to explode are still present, and they're there. The pressure had been cut off dramatically, from the simple fact of the folding of the riser. Basically take this big garden hose and kink it several times.
Mark: How old is this rig? How long has it been there?
James: It was put in service in 2001. It's a fairly new rig.
Mark: And, what is the sense in shutting down every rig in the Gulf of Mexico in response to this?
James: Absolutely senseless, whatsoever. This literally could very well be a once in a lifetime freak accident, or it could be negligence. That's for other people to figure out. From my position, it just seems like every now and then, you can't win against Mother Nature. She throws a curve ball that you are not prepared for.
Mark: But to shut down every rig in response to this? I mean... I'm not sure why.
James: The BOP tests are literally mandated from the Mineral Management Service and they are conducted like clockwork. I mean, if any of those tests ever failed, they would have immediately stopped operations, sealed the well up, pulled the BOP stack back up on the deck, which is 48 hours minimum, and made the necessary repairs or replacement parts, and then would get it back down, re-connect, re-test, and keep testing it, until it passed or kept on repairing it until it passed.
Mark: So this was a… I mean this must have been harrowing to you. I mean to experience something like this.
James: That’s putting it mildly.
Mark: Anything else you want to tell me?
James: No, I just got into the truck to make a short trip and I heard a gentleman say something about possible terrorism and I want to put that to bed now. I understand you have a large audience. I appreciate your point of view. I try to listen to you as much as I can, the terrorism call just needs to leave everyone's minds and let's focus on the 11 men that are dead and the survivors. That's where the focus of this country needs to be right now.
Mark: Alright my friend, we wish you all the best and I tell you that it's really God's blessing that you survived, it really is.
James: Yes sir, I completely agree.
Mark: Alright James, thank you very much for calling and we appreciate it.
James: Thank you, Mark.
Mark: Alright, God bless.

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"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Slick Operator: The BP I've Known Too Well

Wednesday 05 May 2010
[URL=""]by: Greg Palast, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis
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I've seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon's name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was ... British Petroleum (BP).
That's important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.
Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn't happen, but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf last week, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRP), which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.
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What's so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.
That's because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.
To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a "boom." Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.
But there's one thing about the rubber skirts: you've got to have lots of them at the ready, with crews on standby in helicopters and on containment barges ready to roll. They have to be in place round the clock, all the time, just like a fire department, even when all is operating A-O.K. Because rapid response is the key. In Alaska, that was BP's job, as principal owner of the pipeline consortium Alyeska. It is, as well, BP's job in the Gulf, as principal lessee of the deepwater oil concession.
Before the Exxon Valdez grounding, BP's Alyeska group claimed it had these full-time, oil spill response crews. Alyeska had hired Alaskan natives, trained them to drop from helicopters into the freezing water and set booms in case of emergency. Alyeska also certified in writing that a containment barge with equipment was within five hours sailing of any point in the Prince William Sound. Alyeska also told the state and federal government it had plenty of boom and equipment cached on Bligh Island.
But it was all a lie. On that March night in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound, the BP group had, in fact, not a lick of boom there. And Alyeska had fired the natives who had manned the full-time response teams, replacing them with phantom crews, lists of untrained employees with no idea how to control a spill. And that containment barge at the ready was, in fact, laid up in a drydock in Cordova, locked under ice, 12 hours away.
As a result, the oil from the Exxon Valdez, which could have and should have been contained around the ship, spread out in a sludge tide that wrecked 1,200 miles of shoreline.
And here we go again. Valdez goes Cajun.
BP's CEO Tony Hayward reportedly asked, "What the hell did we do to deserve this?"
It's what you didn't do, Mr. Hayward. Where was BP's containment barge and response crew? Why was the containment boom laid so damn late, too late and too little? Why is it that the US Navy is hauling in 12 miles of rubber boom and fielding seven skimmers, instead of BP?
Last year, CEO Hayward boasted that, despite increased oil production in exotic deep waters, he had cut BP's costs by an extra one billion dollars a year. Now we know how he did it.
As chance would have it, I was meeting last week with Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel Jr. when word came in of the platform explosion. Daniel represents oil workers on those platforms; now, he'll represent their bereaved families. The Coast Guard called him. They had found the emergency evacuation capsule floating in the sea and were afraid to open it and disturb the cooked bodies.
I wonder if BP painted the capsule green, like they paint their gas stations.
Becnel, yesterday by phone from his office from the town of Reserve, Louisiana, said the spill response crews were told they weren't needed because the company had already sealed the well. Like everything else from BP mouthpieces, it was a lie.
In the end, this is bigger than BP and its policy of cheaping out and skiving the rules. This is about the anti-regulatory mania, which has infected the American body politic. While the tea baggers are simply its extreme expression, US politicians of all stripes love to attack "the little bureaucrat with the fat rule book." It began with Ronald Reagan and was promoted, most vociferously, by Bill Clinton and the head of Clinton's deregulation committee, one Al Gore.
Americans want government off our backs ... that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby, Toyota accelerators speed us to our death, banks blow our savings on gambling sprees and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.
Then, suddenly, it's, "Where was hell was the government? Why didn't the government do something to stop it?"
The answer is because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself. It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn't needed.
You should meet some of these little bureaucrats with the fat rule books. Like Dan Lawn, the inspector from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, who warned and warned and warned, before the Exxon Valdez grounding, that BP and Alyeska were courting disaster in their arrogant disregard of the rule book. In 2006, I printed his latest warnings about BP's culture of negligence. When the choice is between Lawn's rule book and a bag of tea, Lawn's my man.
This just in: Becnel tells me that one of the platform workers has informed him that the BP well was apparently deeper than the 18,000 feet depth reported. BP failed to communicate that additional depth to Halliburton crews, who, therefore, poured in too small a cement cap for the additional pressure caused by the extra depth. So, it blew.
Why didn't Halliburton check? "Gross negligence on everyone's part," said Becnel. Negligence driven by penny-pinching, bottom-line squeezing. BP says its worker is lying. Someone's lying here, man on the platform or the company that has practiced prevarication from Alaska to Louisiana.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

Just a few.....:goodnight:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
I think part of our approach must be to change the language we use, the way we frame things. [There is an entire section here at DPF that discusses this in depth.] One "endgamer" said correctly that this is not a spill .. an oops, an accident, a child's clumsy mindlessness with milk in the kitchen.

This was criminally actionable negligence coupled with the arrogance of corporate power manipulating the regulatory and governmental environment and the fascist mindset of soaking off the profits to the few while saddling the many with the downside of its risky decisions. To drill to the inner core of the earth without some mindfulness and the emplacement of proper gear as a safety shut-off mechanism is sociopathic at the extreme, placing environment and economy into extremis,

This is not a spill; it is a hemorrhage. It is a self-inflicted wound.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
From my friend Wundermaus :adore:, IT administrator at E Pluribus Unum:

Firedoglake Beats Mainstream Media to Likely Cause of Oil Spill — by a Week

QUOTE UPDATE: 3:37 p.m. Eastern The BP-Coast Guard response team just announced that the dome BP lowered over the main leak last night “has not failed yet,” which means that they tried it and had to remove it quickly. BP Press Conference.

Less than 72 hours after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig and the British Petroleum oil spill began, FireDogLake had discerned and blogged about the likely cause of the catastrophe: heat from the curing concrete had thawed methane trapped in icy water and the resulting methane bubble exploded when it reached the rig.

We even located a Halliburton PowerPoint presentation that explained the problem, and pointed out that there was not yet a solution in place.

The mainstream media finally caught up to us, over a week later. The Associated Press reports that according the rig crew the reason for the blowout was, wait for it…

A chemical reaction caused by the setting cement created heat and a gas bubble which destroyed the seal.

Deep beneath the seafloor, methane is in a slushy, crystalline form. Deep sea oil drillers often encounter pockets of methane crystals as they dig into the earth.

In a front page story, The New York Times reports that the rig crew told them:

As the job unfolded, however, the workers did have intermittent trouble with pockets of natural gas. Highly flammable, the gas was forcing its way up the drilling pipes.

This was something BP had not foreseen as a serious problem, declaring a year earlier that gas was likely to pose only a “negligible” risk. The government warned the company that gas buildup was a real concern and that BP should “exercise caution.”

At one point during the previous several weeks, so much of it came belching up to the surface that a loudspeaker announcement called for a halt to all “hot work,” meaning any smoking, welding, cooking or any other use of fire. Smaller belches, or “kicks,” had stalled work as the job was winding down.

By mid-April, the crew was in the mop-up stages of the operation. The day before the blast, workers from Halliburton, the oil services contractor, had finished one of the trickiest tasks in building a well: encasing it in cement, with a temporary plug of cement near the bottom of the pipe to seal the well.


Just before 10 p.m., the crew was using seawater to flush drilling mud out of the pipes. Suddenly, with explosive fury, water and mud came hurtling up the pipes and onto the deck, followed by the ominous hiss of natural gas. In seconds, it touched some spark or flame.

It’s not clear how BP can credibly claim it did not foresee methane escape as a possible problem. If you look at the Halliburton presentation it clearly explains that the Gulf of Mexico is known to have deposits of crystallized methane trapped in the ocean floor in deep water. The presentation also explains that when heat generated by the cement curing process thaws the surrounding ocean floor under the cold deep water, it releases the trapped gas.

This was not some secret internal Halliburton memo. It was a presentation to the American Association of Drilling Engineers — a public forum for folks who know and need to know about this stuff.

Anyway, we’re happy to know that the MSM thinks this is a front page story; so did we, a week ago.

Mad props to Scarecrow for getting it on the front page in — ahem — timely fashion.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

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