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WSJ: Top Kill Fails to Stop Flow of Oil From Gulf Leak

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Lanky Livingston

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Very sad news. And with the oil entering the LA wetlands, this is only going to get worse. Say goodbye to seafood as we know it - Louisiana produces about 1/3rd of what we eat - not to mention the thousands of jobs that will be lost, and the billions of dollars in revenue.

BP is in deep doo-doo. If you have stock, I'd sell it as fast as humanly possible.

BP PLC has abandoned an attempt to plug a mile-deep oil and natural-gas gusher in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico by injecting thousands of barrels of drilling fluid and will now try a new method to contain the flow of hydrocarbons.
The Final Moments

BP Saturday said the company's "top kill" attempt to plug the leak caused by the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig, the worst oil spill in U.S. history, was not successful and it is now considering other methods to plug the leak.

"We have been unable to overcome the flow from the well," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, said Satursday in a news briefing. "We now believe it is time to move on to the next of our options," he said, adding it wasn't clear exactly why the procedure called a top kill, started on Wednesday, failed to stem the flow of oil and gas. The decision to give up on the top-kill attempt was made late Saturday afternoon after consultation with U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Engineers will now try to contain the flow of oil from the leak with a so-called lower marine riser package, or LMRP, cap. This operation would involve removing a broken drilling pipe, or riser, that lies atop the failed blowout preventer and cap the valve with a siphon that will take the oil to the surface.

Mr. Suttles said the LMRP-cap procedure would take four to seven days. The LMRP cap is a newly made version of a type of device referred to as a top hat.

"The next thing to do is to capture all of the flow or as much of the flow as we can," he said, adding BP "has a lot of confidence" in the LMRP cap, but couldn't guarantee success. "We believe the LMRP cap has the potential to capture the great majority of [the leaking oil]," if it works. Mr. Suttles declined to give a percentage probability that the new containment effort would succeed, noting that nothing like this had been attempted at 5,000 feet below the surface of the sea. BP had previously said it gave the now-failed top-kill procedure a 60%-70% chance of success.
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servumtuum

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This appeared in an editorial in the Washington Post in August, 2008 concerning three "myths" of those opposed to offshore drilling.

· Drilling is environmentally dangerous. Opposition to offshore drilling goes back to 1969, when 80,000 barrels of oil from an offshore oil well blowout washed up on the beaches of Santa Barbara. In 1971, the Interior Department instituted a host of reporting requirements (such as the resource development and oil spill recovery plans mentioned above) and stringent safety measures. Chief among them is a requirement for each well to have an automatic shut-off valve beneath the ocean floor that can also be operated manually. According to the MMS, between 1993 and 2007, there were 651 spills of all sizes at OCS facilities (in federal waters three miles or more offshore) that released 47,800 barrels of oil. With 7.5 billion barrels of oil produced in that time, that equates to 1 barrel of oil spilled per 156,900 barrels produced. That's not to minimize the danger. But no form of energy is perfect or without trade-offs. Besides, if it is acceptable to drill in the Caspian Sea and in developing countries such as Nigeria where environmental concerns are equally important, it's hard to explain why the United States should rule out drilling off its own coasts.
I used to express concern over the risks versus the benefits of offshore drilling and was called everything from a "tree-hugging radical" to "closet socialist"-so I let it go. Democracy rules, and the American voters made their choices known.

Now it's time for them to shut the hell up about the spill-they trusted the oil companies, and their government watchdogs, and the results are in.

Consequences are a bitch.
 

Boone

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Agree this is very sad. Human nature is a bitch as well. Because it leads us over and over again to fail to address obvious problems until they reach up and bite us in the ass. I have faith in Mother Earth's ability to eventually heal from even the most injurious of human-induced wounds, but this one is going to hurt for a long, long time. And serv...tree-hugger? No way. Intelligent, contemplative, thoughtful? Yep.
 

Sarge

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Not sure what Obama is waiting on. Maybe he should call Cheney for some advice.

Anyway, the Sauds evidently used these supertankers a few years ago to clean up one of their messes

Maybe Obama will get to this after he gets off vacation

http://www.newser.com/story/88793/hey-bp-supertankers-could-clean-up-spill.html

A former Shell Oil president has some advice for BP: Use supertankers to suck up the oil fouling the Gulf of Mexico. He says the Saudis used it in a hush-hush cleanup project after a spill in the early '90s dumped hundreds of millions of gallons. The Saudis "figured out how to deploy supertankers that had the ability to both intake and discharge liquids in vast quantities with huge pumps," John Hofmeister tells Fast Company.
 

servumtuum

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Sarge, I agree that Obama has not shown effectiveness as a leader in this situation-a seemingly recurring theme of his administration which may prove costly in the long run.
 

redskins26

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There is plenty of blame to go around for this one Everyone knew it was risky to perform these operations Both Administrations let these companies get away with Subpar standerds anytime you play with safety thats a big a no no.

I think the only way to stop it will be to set off an underground nuclear explosion like the russians used to do

Had this happened on Land the spill could have been contained withen days not the weks that this has been going on

Hopefully both sides gets serous about ending our adiction to oil and nit just use it to get elected every time.
 

Lanky Livingston

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This appeared in an editorial in the Washington Post in August, 2008 concerning three "myths" of those opposed to offshore drilling.

I used to express concern over the risks versus the benefits of offshore drilling and was called everything from a "tree-hugging radical" to "closet socialist"-so I let it go. Democracy rules, and the American voters made their choices known.

Now it's time for them to shut the hell up about the spill-they trusted the oil companies, and their government watchdogs, and the results are in.

Consequences are a bitch.

ExxonMobile has spilled a million gallons of oil into the Niger Delta in Nigeria, and we never hear about it because its Africa. Maybe it had totake an oil disaster of this magnitude on our own shores to finally wake people up. I am also torn, because many of my friends are employed by the oil & gas industry. But something needs to happen...

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shell
 

Henry

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Such as...?
I think we're about to find out. This may have the same effect on the oil industry as Three Mile Island had on nuclear power. People may just decide the risk of a possible ecological catastrophe isn't worth the cheaper source of energy. Ironically, this may make people more open to nuclear power.

This will also prolong the life of this whole 'green' fad. The quest for alternate sources of energy will gain momentum even faster now. Obama has obviously dropped the ball on this crisis from a leadership standpoint, but one thing he did do before this occurred was spearhead the effort to change the mindset of the American people about oil dependence. This disastrous spill will strengthen that mindset tenfold.
 
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Lanky Livingston

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Henry, the problem is we are entrenched in oil so to speak. Everything we do requires it - its completely impractical to stop drilling now. If we started focusing right now on viable alternative energy, I'd say we're still a good 50 years away from even beginning to eliminate oil consumption.

EDIT: Although nuclear power is one option. Its funny, 3 Mile Island didn't actually do anything, except for freak people out. All the fail safes worked. We can blame the media for that one for hyping up the potential disaster.
 

Henry

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Well I don't think I suggested we'll stop using oil, like, right now. :)
 

riggins44

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What's the odds this new idea of cutting the pipe and trying another cap will succeed?

Problem now is hurricane season is upon us. If continues to leak, it will cool the water over top a storm to keep it from strenghtening. Of course the storms will also push the oil ashore.

I really worry about the commercial fishermen and what this is doing to their incomes. Watch the price of shrimp and such to jump in price.
 

Sarge

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So like I said, the sauds used supertankers to clean a mess they had a few years ago

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/john-hofmeister-saudi-arabia-oil-spill-052510

When Matthews and Olbermann (two of the biggest Obama butt kissers there are) are on your case, you know you're in trouble


And evidently the russians either use low yeild nukes or conventionally bomb blowouts like this

http://www.lettellme.com/blogs/russia+bomb+oil+blowout.html


So why is it when I Google "Oil spiil clean up" I can find this stuff in like, 20 minutes, but Obama is watching oil flow from his vacation spot in Chicago?
 

Sarge

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Obama has obviously dropped the ball on this crisis from a leadership standpoint, but one thing he did do before this occurred was spearhead the effort to change the mindset of the American people about oil dependence.
I don't think he's even done that. Yeah, he's talked the talk, but he has done very little to change anyone's minds about energy concerns. Aside from talkng about government financed "green jobs", that's about all I've seen.

Yes, he's talked about nucear power, but he knows full well that even were he to authorize a new plant today, it's be years before it could be started because of the all the government and enviromental crap it would have to go through.

And the off shore drilling talk was just a carrot to get some moderate republicans to jump on cap and trade
 

Henry

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I don't think he's even done that. Yeah, he's talked the talk, but he has done very little to change anyone's minds about energy concerns. Aside from talkng about government financed "green jobs", that's about all I've seen.

Yes, he's talked about nucear power, but he knows full well that even were he to authorize a new plant today, it's be years before it could be started because of the all the government and enviromental crap it would have to go through.

And the off shore drilling talk was just a carrot to get some moderate republicans to jump on cap and trade
I got a $1500 tax break this year for replacing my old HVAC with a more energy efficient one. That was part of that stimulus package that didn't do anything for anyone. :)

Cash for clunkers was also part of that, I believe.

Maybe these types of incentives are insignificant and can be shrugged off. Even with that conceit, the president's ability to sway public opinion, even when he's just talking the talk, is an extremely powerful tool. For years our alternative energy policy has been 'let's just drill in Alaska.' I consider what's been going on since then a welcome, welcome change.
 

Sarge

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I got a $1500 tax break this year for replacing my old HVAC with a more energy efficient one. That was part of that stimulus package that didn't do anything for anyone. :)

Cash for clunkers was also part of that, I believe.

Maybe these types of incentives are insignificant and can be shrugged off. Even with that conceit, the president's ability to sway public opinion, even when he's just talking the talk, is an extremely powerful tool. For years our alternative energy policy has been 'let's just drill in Alaska.' I consider what's been going on since then a welcome, welcome change.
But what exactly has been going on? Is there research into something new that we can put in our tanks? Is there a plan to replace oil?

Talk is fine, to a point. But there comes a time to back it up.
 

redskins26

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I got a $1500 tax break this year for replacing my old HVAC with a more energy efficient one. That was part of that stimulus package that didn't do anything for anyone. :)

Cash for clunkers was also part of that, I believe.

Maybe these types of incentives are insignificant and can be shrugged off. Even with that conceit, the president's ability to sway public opinion, even when he's just talking the talk, is an extremely powerful tool. For years our alternative energy policy has been 'let's just drill in Alaska.' I consider what's been going on since then a welcome, welcome change.
Those types of Rebates have been around awhile though predating Obama if i believe

The only thing the clash for clunkers really did was get a bunch of Obama stickers off the road and move up everyones buying a few months while June and july were better months that year Sept and Oct were considerably lower in car volume as far as cars sold.

Drilling in Alaska wasnt an alternative except to lower the amount of oil we were importing same thing with the deep water projects the only problem with the deep water projects are they take longer and if theres a spill its massive and no one sees the wells from land
 

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