the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Oil and water

Posted by Jeff Id on June 14, 2010

Of all that ticks me off lately, the handling of and then the proposed action in the gulf drive me nuts.  First, we have a leak which was horribly underestimated,  – um.. except for at Climate Audit. Followed by the fed’s not wanting to approve the proposals of Bobby Jindal of Louisiana’s proposals for constructing whatever to save the coastlines.

Now I don’t beleive for a moment that this disaster — and it is a disaster — will have any effects over 100 years that will be discernable.  Well, by that I mean natural effects, but these bastards, and they are bastards, are doing nothing but playing politics.  I’ve heard talk about firing the CEO of BP— politics, I’ve seen the delay of state programs who’s governors said they had a plan but needed permission from the feds.  How messed up is the United States when ‘States’ cannot save themselves without the Fed’s from this kind of thing.  Compared to the Louisiana state budget, the proposal wasn’t that big.

How messed up is our politics that the ‘governors’ don’t use State money to ‘save the State’.  Can they not go after the fed funds later anyway??  Just what the HELL would happen if the STATE didn’t wait for the FED to approve their master plans…..

Wanna work it all out so it makes sense?????

Not tellin’.

Obama’s goal is the same as always…put it under glorious Federal government control.   Where everything goes right at the best price.  After all, government hasn’t made a profit in my lifetime, so it’s not about money…… right?

Politics…

Politics and reality,

oil and water.

as incompatible as poetry and reason,

alas, it is the season/century.

if the question is nonsensical—- nonsense is the obvious answer

Fire the capitalists, shut off the energy ASAP .  Tax, Tax, Tax…. it’s an emergency..  Give us your faith, ignore our lack of ability to respond..

———-

Wait a minute, just what SINGLE positive step has the US government taken?  Conservative or Democrat, just who the hell can tell me what the government has done to stop the oil.??….. um.. oil LEAK…  And when you’re done, tell me why we need more of that……….. and less of BP.


49 Responses to “Oil and water”

  1. Pops said

    You all can help the political situation by sending a donation to Art Robinson at Art Robinson for Congress. He’s the guy behind the Oregon Petition Project, head of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and author and publisher of Access to Energy, a monthly newsletter on relevant energy-related science topics.

  2. timetochooseagain said

    As I’ve said before, the world seems to be upside down these days. This is what “progressive” government looks like. And it’s utter crap.

  3. BarryW said

    What I don’t understand is why one of the Governors doesn’t do what needs to be done and defy the Feds. There is a reason they’re called “States”. Arizona is doing it and the Feds don’t like it one bit. It’s time for some of the other States to stand up and assert their rights that are in the Constitution. Let’s see the Feds squawk when they’re embarrassed by the States actually doing what the Feds say is what they are in charge of. There is a tenth amendment.

  4. Chuck L said

    This is a dual-purpose catastrophe for the President, his backbenchers, and cronies; he gets to halt off-shore drilling and push for Cap and Tax again at the same time.

  5. Squidly said

    And we are only seeing the beginning. It all begins to get ugly from here. November will mean nothing if we don’t persist in our fight in this war against Marxism/Socialism/Communism (aka: Progressivism, or what ever other “ism” the Commies are attaching to it today). This will take effort and persistence not seen since WWII. Stand up and fight for your lives! Literally!

    Trust me, this is going to get MUCH worse…

  6. well, we seam to have a big problem, not to day, but very soon. there were/are 107 permits applied for and not one approved ! what am I talking about?
    Electric power plant building. the left extremist have stop the coal plants from being built! there are many plants built around the end of WWII and need to be retired or risk being a danger to everyone as they could explode from getting week from age! as they can not take the liability for these old plants,they will be going off line and disassembled,as this a cures rolling black outs will start. it won’t belong (5to10years)before the s–t hits the fan as traffic lights will be out and freezers will warm and food will spoil gas can not be pumped into your car so you will sit till power rolls back into the area turned off. This is no joke people, I wish I was full of crap but no deal, I am horrendously right! I am sorry you are reading this truth, you will not get it from the Eco terrorist left MSM….. we have all had a good life, lived very well and been good to everyone as possible, when we go down, the world will weep for there own troubles as we will not be there to help. this is grim for the world yet they continue on this coarse unabated.
    continue living as always as not to make this worse, find ways to be more efficient as you can. enjoy what we have.
    Good nite sleep tight
    Tim

  7. crosspatch said

    Judging from my look at what BP is doing now with their “long term containment” it looks to me like they have a chance at getting a grip on it.

    But yeah. One thing I wonder about. BP supposedly said they could contain a blowout 10x this size. I wonder what the time frame for containment would be. I mean, did they say they could contain it within 6 months or 90 days or what? I think people’s expectations might not be reasonable. According to a piece I read today from someone who was present on that well, the blast of gas that came up that pipe was so large it probably damaged the blowout preventer.

    It seems people are expecting an instant shutoff. That said, it does seem obvious that BP went against the recommendation of their engineering contractor (Haliburton) on several occasions, cut corners, and got in a hurry. What needs to be addressed is a management culture that allowed management to go “engineer shopping” when they got an answer they didn’t want to hear. That is the same sort of thing that lead to the Challenger explosion.

    This event is a management failure, not anything inherent with drilling per se. Had BP gone with their engineering contractor’s recommendations, they would have been late in getting that drill rig off the well and had to eat that expense, but there is a better chance the well wouldn’t have blown out.

  8. sod said

    Now I don’t beleive for a moment that this disaster — and it is a disaster — will have any effects over 100 years that will be discernable. Well, by that I mean natural effects, but these bastards, and they are bastards, are doing nothing but playing politics.

    this is an absurd approach, Jeff. using your standard, WW1 didn t have a “natural” effect either.

    it is actually pretty shocking, that we can t push effective legislation, even while this spill continuous. the oil lobby is doing its best!

    and it is also strange, that not a single responsible manager is in jail so far.

  9. Geoff Sherrington said

    “Access to Energy” 20-30 years ago, before blogging, was to reader what tAV is today. It was a source of current info, a lot written by Petr Beckmann, on the activism against nuclear energy. He was tireless in writing the facts and in calling the lies of others less honest. If a reader has a contact, I’d love to follow how the estimates of cost of nuclear versus fossil changed over the decades reported in “Access to Energy”.

    On the other matter of getting kudos for playing the blame game, in Oz we have a similar problem. The hurried stimulus spending here included large subsidies to install home ceiling insulation, including slabs with metal foil covers. There were huge rorts by cowboy installers and now the cost to inspect and remedy looks like exceeding the initial cost of installation. There have been over 100 ceiling fires, 4 deaths from electrocution, and some 50,000 homes thought to have the preconditions for both. It amazes me that economists count the employment and spending on the rectification as a benefit from stimulus. So when you look up the per capita figures for different countries, the stimulus does not seem to relate to the GNP change other than randomly; but that’s not an uncommon outcome for economic models.

    How did we allow models and political spin to gain traction against hard data? Surely it’s time for reversal.

    7. Crosspatch. While I’m griping, I could add that the leak has a self-remedy, namely, when the pressure in the reservoir had pumped out all of the oil it can.

  10. crosspatch said

    , I could add that the leak has a self-remedy, namely, when the pressure in the reservoir had pumped out all of the oil it can.

    True, and that can take years. This rig was already $20 million dollars in the hole and costing an additional $500,000 per day for every day it was sitting there. It was already late for another job by nearly a month. Some BP exec was under great pressure to get that rig off that well and on to its next job. It would seem that every time Haliburton made a suggestion that could delay the rig’s departure by a day, it was countermanded or second-guessed. The final negative pressure test returned 15 barrels of mud. It should have returned no mud. That SHOULD have told them there was *something* in that well that shouldn’t be there. Either hydrate had formed in the drilling mud or the plug was leaking. BP decided to flush the mud and remove the weight from the plug anyway. It kicked, it exploded, here we are.

    The problem with BP’s recovery plan is what happens when a storm comes in. Should a hurricane come through that area, the ships collecting the oil are going to have to scram and the well is dumping completely to the ocean again at that point and if we are entering a la nina year, odds are favorable for an active tropical storm season.

    One thing I don’t quite understand is what is preventing them from pulling the blowout preventer and installing another and firing it? Those things are designed to be able to be pulled off the well, as I understand it, in case testing shows a problem with it. They are supposed to be able to remove the BOP, repair it, and put it back in place. What is preventing them from removing the existing BOP, replacing it with another, and triggering it?

    Is the well blown out below the BOP?

  11. David S said

    Sod….”it is also strange, that not a single responsible manager is in jail so far”. Not sure where you live, sod, maybe Zimbabwe or Burma or somewhere, but in civilised countries we have a system called justice, in which people are only jailed if found guilty by a jury after a fair trial. By the way, can we have your thoughts on Bhopal where the US has refused to extradite the chairman of Union Carbide in spite of the deaths of many thousands of local residents and the maiming of up to half a million more?

  12. Adam Gallon said

    Interesting to contrast this with the Piper Alpha blow out.
    No demands from the UK for the head of Occidental on a plate or for any sanctions against them.

  13. crosspatch said

    “the US has refused to extradite the chairman of Union Carbide”

    Is there any evidence that the chairman if Union Carbide himself did anything wrong? From my understanding the cause of the accident was the result of an employee screwup in India. Not the result of any wrongdoing on the part of the chairman.

    People get emotional. Emotions get in the way of actually fixing problems sometimes.

  14. kim said

    I think you’ve got the answer there in #10, Crosspatch. This is leaking deep and may bleed the whole reservoir.

    Which is a bunch.
    ============

  15. stan said

    Sod,

    Strange that no one is in jail yet?! What a bizarre world you inhabit.

  16. sod said

    Sod….”it is also strange, that not a single responsible manager is in jail so far”. Not sure where you live, sod, maybe Zimbabwe or Burma or somewhere, but in civilised countries we have a system called justice, in which people are only jailed if found guilty by a jury after a fair trial.

    funny, but if i had caused an accident, ruining millions of rented equipment, killing 11 people and filling a lake with a dangerous chemical, i would actually expect to be arrested.
    i have massive doubts, that the police would just write down my address and wish me farewell.

    By the way, can we have your thoughts on Bhopal where the US has refused to extradite the chairman of Union Carbide in spite of the deaths of many thousands of local residents and the maiming of up to half a million more?

    a crime in it self.

    Is there any evidence that the chairman if Union Carbide himself did anything wrong? From my understanding the cause of the accident was the result of an employee screwup in India. Not the result of any wrongdoing on the part of the chairman.

    People get emotional. Emotions get in the way of actually fixing problems sometimes.

    i am really happy, that the chairman was not punished, as this would have prevented the wonderful fix of the Bhopal problem.

    sarcasm aside, manager will rarely be the direct cause of an accident. but they will very often be responsible for circumstances, that made the accident more likely. and they basically always could have done something, that would have prevented the accident.

    accidents of this magnitude (threatening a country/ a significant part of a country) require a completely different approach.

    the most important aspect is shifting of the burden of proof. it is a travesty, that the sloppy capture of information by BP, is working to their advantage.
    best example is the amount of oil spilling: BP should be responsible for a spill at maximum spilling rate possible, until they can PROOF, that there is less oil spilling.

    punishment, in the case of an unclear cause, should always be prison sentences for all those in the chain of command. fines and money used for the clean up will simply show up on customer bills or tax reductions later.

  17. kim said

    Did Beyond Petroleum think they had political cover for their carelessness?
    ==============

  18. kim said

    Does this ‘natural’ catastrophe help create the political cover for urging the world to move ‘Beyond Petroleum’? The physical manifestations of the tarballs is a trifle compared to the manner in which this affair will gum up global governance ongoing.

    As they say, Cui Bono. Well, anyway, I collect ironies. I’m building a special display case for this one.
    ======================

  19. stan said

    Here in the US, we don’t arrest people for causing an accident. We arrest them for commission of a crime. It may well be that there was a crime. Lots of actions are now proscribed by the criminal code than used to be. But simply causing an accident, no matter how destructive, isn’t a crime.

  20. timetochooseagain said

    Sod is in the Rosie O’Donnell camp, I’m guessing. Seize their asses and there assets, call it Communism, Fascism, call it whatever. Rush Limbaugh will explode and that’s all that matters.

  21. Amabo said

    Sod:
    WW1 had a natural effect?

  22. BarryW said

    #19

    Not quite true. Reckless actions can be criminal if they cause the accident. If you kill someone with a car because of you’re own negligence you can be charged with manslaughter. If they reports are true, BP knowingly violated accepted practices and laws.

  23. sod said

    Sod:
    WW1 had a natural effect?

    yes. the destruction became the source of one of the most famous poems ever. “In Flanders Fields”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Flanders_Fields

  24. David S said

    As did Occidental and Union Carbide. Three comparable fact patterns, three different attitudes to the legal process. FWIW I think if there is evidence managers have caused death or serious injury through gross negligence, they should be tried (not just thrown into jail, sod) and if found guilty, with an appropriate burden of proof (on the prosecution, beyond reasonable doubt) then a prison sentence may be the correct outcome. As long as there is a proper legal process rather than impunity on the one hand or political posturing/scapegoating on the other. Reversal of the burden of proof is a short step from the lynch mob.

  25. JAE said

    In my understanding so far, the unbelievably stupid and ineffective responses to the spill seem to be mainly a result of a couple of things:

    1. The Jones Act requires that only unionized folks operate in our waters to clean up the spill. Thus, the numb nuts in the Obama administration apparently think they cannot accept any “foreign” help. Of course, Obama could suspend the Act, but that would make his union supporters angry.

    2. Several different Govt. agencies are involved and they all must agree on every course of action before any action is taken This can take YEARS in the case of an NPDES Permit or a spill in a river. This is probably why there are still no “permits” for building sand reefs, e.g. This bureaucratic crapola is one of the primary reasons that Big Government can’t get anything done! One would think that in a crisis such as this, Obama would dispense with this bureaucratic nonsense and make the necessary decisions. But, alas, that would take some leadership, and we don’t seem to have any of that in DC.

  26. sod said

    Here in the US, we don’t arrest people for causing an accident. We arrest them for commission of a crime. It may well be that there was a crime. Lots of actions are now proscribed by the criminal code than used to be. But simply causing an accident, no matter how destructive, isn’t a crime.

    i can assure you, that if you had been under the rig in a small boat, short before the explosion, you would have been arrested. and if you had declared the intention to go abroad, you would be kept in custody.

    what is needed, is a “a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probable_cause

    Reversal of the burden of proof is a short step from the lynch mob.

    no, it is not. the big corporations that cause accidents of this size, typically can defend themselves quite well. if one of us had caused the accident on the other hand, hew would need the arrest to escape a real lynch mob.

    you just need to look at the exxon valdez disaster, to understand what happens in the real world:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/06/15/the-exxon-valdez-spill-bp-escrow/

    this is a travesty.

  27. stan said

    22,

    Thanks. After passing bar exams in two states and studying and practicing law for over 30 years, I think I have a handle on it.

  28. BarryW said

    #27

    Glad to know you’ve got a handle on it.

  29. David S said

    Sod you are moving the goalposts, as you do over at Lucia’s. I thought you wanted to see managers in jail, not corporations. How do you lock up a corporation, by the way?
    Stan don’t you find it an inconvenience, having a handle on it? I wouldn’t want one on mine.

  30. Bruce of Newcastle said

    Some remarkable similarities with the Ixtoc-1 blowout and spill in the southern Gulf in 1979. As far as I can tell there was little long term effect from that spill despite it being something like 3.3 million barrels worth.

    I suspect there will be little real environmental effect from this one either (except for mass hysterics). The saviour will be my nifty SRB friends – sulfate reducing bacteria. The Gulf is warm SRB heaven, which is one reason why Freeport was able to extract so much element sulfur there over the years (until the Claus process made it uneconomic). Bugs plus seeping oil plus sea water = a big layer of sulfur at the bottom of the sea.

    The difference with Exxon Valdez is my bug friends prefer warm weather, as do I.

    This does not let BP or their contractors off the hook, they remain accountable, but I don’t think the actual damage will be as bad as some think.

  31. Kan said

    sod #8

    “and it is also strange, that not a single responsible manager is in jail so far.”

    And what, no jail time for the bureaucrats who were going to prevent this behavior?

    Ohhh that’s right, the government cannot be held accountable….another lesson that we must be re-learned the hard way.

  32. Kan said

    sod #16
    “manager will rarely be the direct cause of an accident. but they will very often be responsible for circumstances, that made the accident more likely. and they basically always could have done something, that would have prevented the accident.”

    And the regulators, are they not complicit? Me thinks they suffer from being human as well.

  33. kuhnkat said

    Obie tells us that he has been telling BP what to do from day one in his speechifying.

    So, why turn down offers of assistance from countries with good technology to clean up the spill:

    http://www.swedishwire.com/component/content/article/2-politics/4377-sweden-helps-the-us-to-clean-up-oil-spill-

    http://sofiaecho.com/2010/05/28/908186_eu-to-send-equipment-to-help-us-clean-up-gulf-oil-spill?ref=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss2%2Fall-news+(The+Sofia+Echo)

    http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/US_taps_into_foreign_assistance_for_Gulf_oil_spill_999.html

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/05/gulf-oil-spill-bp-countries-offer-assistance.html

    Don’t know about this one!!

    http://www.varight.com/news/iran-offers-to-help-obama-clean-up-gulf-oil-spill/

    Others helping:

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-05-05/business/20884826_1_uc-berkeley-bp-energy-biosciences-institute

  34. TGSG said

    Just a few days before the blowout, the MMS allowed them to have a substandard BOP. Direct and explicit fault of the overlords of regulation.
    Then this silly “newsconference” tonight was just the topping on the cup-cake. Carbon restrictions, “green” energy for all!

  35. ROM said

    Has anybody ever been made to pay or been locked up from the progressive environmental organisations that pressured the WHO organisation to ban the mosquito controlling insecticide DDT in the 1960’s, a ban which is now estimated to have caused more than 40 million largely preventable deaths from Malaria?

    To suggest locking up any environmental organisation big wheel executives for the loss of an immense number of lives due to the implementation of their policies they so strenuously fought for is definitely a political incorrect suggestion these days to say the least.

    Of course to lock up big oil corporation’s executives who, unlike the environmental organisation’s executives in the case of DDT, would have done almost anything to avoid the deaths from such a disaster that so far has cost 11 lives is definitely an absolute and politically correct necessity and must be followed through if you are to believe these same environmental and left wing “progressives”.

    Have the environmental organisations EVER apologised for their death dealing policies to the immense number of the poorest of families of Africa and Asia who for nearly 40 years watched their family members and children die horrible deaths from Malaria, probably all the while knowing that it was all quite preventable if they could have only used some DDT to control the malarial mosquitos?

    BP should and is paying a very high price in many ways as will it’s executives for what has happened.
    The progressive environmental organisations executives never ever have paid any price whatsoever for their life destroying criminal actions in the banning of DDT.

    Criminally double standards and a complete lack of ethical and moral standards seems to be the realm of the so called environmental and progressive movements these days.

  36. RuhRoh said

    I think that O’Bomba is going to push for the Lugar bill.

    It doesn’t have some of the things that doomed ‘cap and trade’ in the Senate.

    Plan on a big pre-election push.

    BTW, Palin had some choice words tonight.
    But I think she is wrong about the plan for new laws.

    JMHO

  37. RuhRoh said

    http://lugar.senate.gov/

    RR

  38. crosspatch said

    “I thought you wanted to see managers in jail, not corporations. How do you lock up a corporation, by the way?”

    When I hear someone wail about “corporations” my eyes immediately glaze over. Most “corporations” have fewer than 100 employees and provide about most of the jobs in this country. Chances are the corner garage that works on your car is probably a “corporation” with fewer than 10 employees.

    What alternative is there to incorporation for most business entities.

  39. kdk33 said

    Can someone to explain to me how legislation (cap and trade, or whatever variant) that significantly increases the cost of energy can be packaged as a jobs bill – jobs tethered to US soil that can never be exported.

    I don’t get it.

  40. John said

    Point of order: BP is incapable of doing anything about the oil leak, nor did they cause it. As a matter of corporate policy a few years back, BP – aka Beyond Petroleum – effectively got out of the oil exploration business, it just sells the stuff, and dismantled its technical capability.

    It subcontracted this work to two geniuses of oil exploration know-how, American Transocean and American Halliburton – so it is they who deserve full credit for the thrills and spills of recent weeks.

    Curious to report, the names of these culprits is seldom heard nor is the word “American” – better to blame it on feelthy, Britteesh foreigners.

    To politics add xenophobia and protectionism, a volatile mix which certainly will not smooth troubled waters.

  41. Kan said

    John #40

    Then explain the BP employees on the drill rig when it exploded. Transocean and Haliburton were contractors.

  42. BarryW said

    I seem to remember that some of the workers reported that the shortcuts were ordered by BP managers that were on the rig.

  43. sod said

    Sod you are moving the goalposts, as you do over at Lucia’s. I thought you wanted to see managers in jail, not corporations. How do you lock up a corporation, by the way?

    i am still talking about managers. but i expect the company will defend their leaders.

    I suspect there will be little real environmental effect from this one either (except for mass hysterics). The saviour will be my nifty SRB friends – sulfate reducing bacteria. The Gulf is warm SRB heaven, which is one reason why Freeport was able to extract so much element sulfur there over the years (until the Claus process made it uneconomic). Bugs plus seeping oil plus sea water = a big layer of sulfur at the bottom of the sea.

    your dreams don t matter a lot. sorry, but we are discussing reality here. the spill is 10 times bigger than BP claimed.

    bacteria will eat some of the oil. but a lot of oil is already damaging the marshes. this is not over yet.

    And what, no jail time for the bureaucrats who were going to prevent this behavior?

    fine for me. plenty of reasons to put Cheney in jail already. this is just one more.

  44. crosspatch said

    Might want to have a look at this:

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593/648967

    Basically it is another piece on a growing pile of evidence that there is a problem with that well much deeper down. It might not be a malfunctioning BOP (blow out preventer) but a rupture of the casing much deeper in the well.

    If that is the case, the possibility exists that there might be no way to shut this off.

  45. kim said

    You had it, cp; I cheated, I’d already read the Oil Drum.

    Houston, we have a problem.
    ==================

  46. sod said

    no problem, just more food for the little friends of Bruce….

  47. Kan said

    Sod #43

    “fine for me. plenty of reasons to put Cheney in jail already. this is just one more.”

    I had posted on another thread that Obama would single handily rehabilitate the Carter presidency.

    I am now realizing that the Obama presidency will in fact go down in history as the 3rd term of the Bush presidency.

    Hard to fathom – I know. But given that his supporters just do not think he has any power yet, and is rulled by bygone ghosts is amazing.

  48. crosspatch said

    Well, if it is a casing rupture farther down the well, there probably isn’t much that could have been done to contain the kick. It is looking increasingly like the root cause was a failure of BP management to follow Haliburton recommendations to reinforce that plug before flushing the mud. But that might have simply delayed the inevitable and the well could have kicked later when it was finally brought into production and ruptured anyway.

    But at that time there would have been a better way to deal with the gusher. At that point there would be a handy pipeline to haul the caught oil to shore. This capture and lighter operation only works in fair weather. They will have to abandon the site and allow the well to free-flow in periods of bad weather.

  49. kim said

    The Oil Drum has a follow-up article contradicting Doug’s earlier piece. I hope this new one is right, and the worse case is only 75,000 barrels per day instead of double that.
    ========

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