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2010 May 14 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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In Other News

The winter weather that is making the Forester Grumpy is spreading across the Northern Plains, but Alberta hasn’t seen any precipitation and wildfires are the result:

Firefighters are bracing for another tough day battling a brushfire north of Edmonton after the blaze doubled in size and destroyed a home

The fire has grown from around 1,000 hectares to more than 2,500 since noon Thursday and has spread into Sturgeon County.

The number of firefighters on the scene is expected to double Friday to about 250, and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development is expected to send in water bombers.

It is going to be a long fire season.

Apparently due to a sharp rise the price of mutton, Britain is now dealing with sheep rustlers. They aren’t making off with one or two; they are taking entire flocks.

Meanwhile, Adobe & Apple are continuing to tell the world how much they loathe each other. It takes decades to foster this kind childishness.

May 14, 2010   8 Comments

Halliburton Wearing White Hats?

Gulf Gusher symbolWhile it is in the Houston Chronicle‘s business section, it’s an AP story: Missing data causing rig reconstruction mystery.

I don’t like to pull quotes or anything else from the AP, but it covers some important points in the story and fills in a lot of background. While you have to skeptical that a lot of information is coming from someone who represents Halliburton employees, the reality is that Halliburton has the data to back up their claims, while the data from BP and Transocean after 3PM went “down with the ship”.

The basic point is that Halliburton had sensors on the well that transmitted data back to the shore. This is one of the services that Halliburton sells to clients, but wasn’t being used by BP or Transocean. Halliburton installed them to monitor their cementing of the well. BP and Transocean apparently did periodic batch dumps of data to shore.

Halliburton admits that they saw a pressure surge, which would endanger the cement job [many people have opined that the curing cement caused the surge], and told BP and Transocean. BP and Transocean say that they conducted another test and the pressure was normal, so they continued to replace the heavy drilling mud with sea water.

The problem for BP and Transocean is that this well had a history of “kicking”, sending high pressure bursts of gas up the riser for some time, and that will show up in the record. This was testified to at the Coast Guard/MMS hearing in Kenner by the crew members of the Damon B. Bankston.

What also comes out is that the Deepwater Horizon people would get a bonus if they finished early. That sounds like the reason for replacing the mud with sea water before the final cement plug was in place, rather than waiting and doing things in the normal order.

I don’t know the exact composition of the product that Halliburton was using, but I have poured some concrete over the years, and while it might looked solid after 24 hours, it takes a good deal longer to achieve full strength. This would have been some form of hydraulic cement, which is used for underwater applications. I’ve used it on concrete ponds to seal damage. It sets quickly, but you don’t subject it to unequal pressure for a few days or it will crumble. Twenty hours is a short time for cement to set, even Gorilla Glue tells you to wait 24 hours.

May 14, 2010   6 Comments

They’re Kidding, Right?

From McClatchy: Congress wants to know why MMS aborted tougher drilling rules

Staffers from the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, who traveled to Louisiana this week to sit in on the U.S. Coast Guard-led inquiry into the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, said they learned from the testimony of Mike Saucier, an MMS regional supervisor for field operations, that new rules had been proposed.

Saucier said the agency prepared but never completed regulations in 2001, the first year of George W. Bush’s presidency, that would have required secondary control systems for blowout preventers.

“As far as I know, they’re still at headquarters,” Saucier said.

The executive branch was headed by two oil guys and people are asking why increased regulation of oil companies didn’t take place? Face it, if the Minerals Management Service wasn’t a convenient place for oil companies to dump people who needed more training, Cheney would have abolished it altogether.

May 14, 2010   Comments Off on They’re Kidding, Right?

Friday Cat Blogging

Table For One

Friday Cat Blogging

Nom, nom, nom…

[Editor: Molly is enjoying her dinner in solitude. The yard guy had been using the obnoxious weed whacker and the others were still in hiding.]

Friday Ark

May 14, 2010   6 Comments