17 July 2010


It's one or the other. Still hopeful!
The middle range has created two competing scenarios. One is that that there are leaks that have kept the well from pressurizing further. The other is that the reservoir is running out of gas -- and oil -- after gushing for so long. The protracted nature of the disaster could have partially depleted Macondo, which is the best-case scenario for the pressure test if not the prettiest picture in the broader sense.

Wells said BP favors this second scenario because of the way the pressures rose steadily, fitting a model that's consistent with a well that isn't damaged.

I bolded that statement because I think the release of unchecked oil into the Gulf may actually finally lend credence to BP's optimism. They've gushed so much oil into the Gulf over the last three months that there's less explosive pressure against the reservoir from oil/methane that their expectations of nearly 8000 psi may have possible been over-estimated. We're no less fucked overall, but at least we might not have to keep getting fucked from this well for the foreseeable future. OPTIMISM NOW!

At any rate read the column. Achenbach generally writes about the facts of things. He does a good job in the above column.


Struggled with this one after just a few levels. But I'm terrible at games like this.

Object of the game: put the ball in the hole.

16 July 2010

"The Well Continues to Hold." 

2 PSI per hour over the next 20 hours does not bring the total to 7500 PSI.

Well pressure continued to rise very slowly Friday evening — about 2 pounds per square inch every hour — and was 6,720 psi by early evening, BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells said in a conference call.

That's lower than the 7,500-plus psi figure BP and government officials initially said would be a sure sign the well was sound. But there are a number of possible explanations.

I'm as satisfied as I can be that the "possible explanations" for the lowering of the pressure expectations can sustain my continued moderate hopefulness about this situation. We will know a lot more tomorrow, but today BP sure is sounding a lot more cautious and a lot less optimistic.

15 July 2010

Rally for Self-Mutilation 

I mentioned this "Rally For Economic Survival" yesterday. there's news the event from Baton Rouge's daily today. If the predicted numbers actually show up, I'll, uhh, drink myself to sleep some night in the next week or two.

A big organizer and proponent of the event is Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. He's had a weekly space in the local shit-rag for some time now preaching the saving grace that the oil and gas industry is to Louisiana. They provide jobs to thousands of Louisiana residents whose only recourse in injury is to a fickle court system. Now organizers are suggesting their numbers will be swelled by office closures next week so that their workers can attend the rally.

Several national news outlets have expressed an interest in covering the event, including CNN and C-SPAN, Briggs said.

The goal is to present "one unified voice saying, 'Hey, guys, you’re killing us down here,'" said Bruce Conque, vice president of marketing and governmental relations for the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is working with the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association in organizing the event.

Conque said the high attendance estimates for the rally are based in part on commitments from scores of businesses, political leaders and civic groups from throughout southwest Louisiana who have pledged a show of force.

Some businesses are "shutting down and telling their employees to please attend the rally," Conque said.

So let me get this straight. BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and Anadarko (at LEAST. Several other contract operators were on that rig) kill eleven and maim and injure several others. Response: local oil and gas industry workers are going to show up and beg for the opportunity to be out on the next rig where this might happen. At-will employment baby! Gotta love it.

I do support moratorium efforts. I support regulatory and safety reforms. I support royalties until and beyond the point where risk is mitigated. I support worker organization.

AhQuoi! and other good news 

Thanks to my old friend the engineer for posting earlier. Now that he has finished up another degree and has a job again, he must need some activities to fill his time while he's slacking at work. Here's hoping he brings more in the future. Dear AhQuoi, I have expertise in nothing, so please feel free to post things about whatever crosses your mind. I'm confident I'll find it interesting.

Big things happened in the world of oilspill today! Things are closed now. I'm skeptical of the conspiracy theorizing posited on Olbermann's show yesterday; however, there are some very important matters to consider of the current status of the "capped" well:

First oil will likely flow again:

The Coast Guard said BP likely will release the flow of oil again after the test is done -- siphoning it to ships on the ocean surface in an improved system able to handle up to 80,000 barrels a day until a relief well seals the well permanently.

Second this isn't really a cap. It's a temporary cap. It gives BP the ability to move the oil into collection vessels that could be wildly upset by storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

Finally this is still just a test. The testing could determine that the well bore is sufficiently damaged from the blowout and all the subsequent capping activities that we're pretty much fucked for the next 40 years or so. Or a lot longer.

I'm still hopeful, but this hasn't really fixed anything yet. It is undeniably good news for now. So happy birthday Jeffrey! You might be forever associated with an historic day in the Gret' Stet.

A little bit of industry legitimacy given to Costner 

The oil-separating centrifuges will work, but they would have worked better months ago
Just saw this story from IEEE (professional organization for electrical engineers), and since Ricky P has been hounding me about helping him post I figured I should add something that I have some kind of expertise in.

Seems that the machines are actually well-regarded by people in the field (though just 'cause an engineer says it works doesn't necessarily make it true). However, it may not perform so well when the oil/water mixture has reached "Mousse" stage (the spill is now making me hungry for dessert).

14 July 2010

I'm all for MONEY NOW! 

But let's hope The Incredible Hulk Bobby Jindal has sound plans for what to do with all those funds.

In the meantime did any of you see the Espys? That was some seriously crappy television.


Back in the old days when I was unemployed I would have gone to this rally and written up a lengthy report of the goings on. Sadly I'll be working for oil companies (among other businesses) during the Rally for Economic Survival at the Cajun Dome next week.

Here's a link to the sponsors of the event.

13 July 2010


All I'll say is that I know this guy, and to call him a "crawfisher" is inaccurate. Oh and also if anyone would have ever brought a guitar to a meeting to promote his song and in the process get across a "message of hope" it would be him. His song was quoted in an op ed in the New York Times this weekend too. They accurately portray him as singing "from the perspective of an oil field worker." The Picayune called him someone who's worked offshore in their story.

He is a very good softball player and not a bad guy at all. But crawfisher he is not. Nor an oil field worker. He's a musician and I guess we can call him an activist now too.

[updated to include "" around message of hope immediately after posting]

Just do something! 

The sand berms appear to be an epic fail.

I've been skeptical of this effort from it's inception, but didn't really think it could hurt. Maybe they should have spent all that time and manpower properly applying and maintaining booming efforts?

12 July 2010

If only the show didn't make me want to claw my eyes out. 

True Blood's devastating critique on the war on drugs.

The Gray Lady 

She goes comprehensive on the BP "risk vs profit" record. It's a good read. Just click on it. No quoting tonight.

Meanwhile spillcam seems to indicate that most of the oil is indeed being "contained" right now. It got hairy for a while but it looks like they've closed some more valves and it's really hard to see much oil coming out of there. This is obviously a good thing. Unfortunately we're not out of the woods. In BP's statement about the latest effort they again engaged in the "hey guys, really we don't know what can work at these depths," hedging that I remember very well from the first "Top Hat" measure that resulted in ice crystals forming and another six weeks of winter.

The sealing cap system hasn't been used before at the depths or conditions of the Deepwater Horizon, BP said, adding that the system's "ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured."


BP expects the integrity tests, which could last anywhere from six to 48 hours, to show whether and how much oil is flowing through the well casing. If the pressure in the casing is high, that's a good sign and shows the wellbore is intact and pulling up all, if not most, of the oil flowing out the Macondo well, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said earlier on Monday. If the pressure is low, it means oil is escaping from the casing and the company may have to reconnect previous containment devices, he said.

A key risk for the new cap is that hydrates might form at the bottom of the capping stack, preventing the cap from properly latching shut, Suttles said. The company plans to inject glycol to prevent hydrates from forming, he said.

In the meantime I'm moderately hopeful. Moderately.

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