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2010 July 18 — Why Now?
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Possible Seepage

Gulf Gusher symbolThe pressure on the Well from Hell has not risen to the levels that were predicted, but BP keeps saying there’s no problem, just like they did before the Deepwater Horizon blew up.

Via Lambert at Corrente I find out that CNN is reporting that the government has detected seepage in the area of the well. The government is finally running its own monitoring operations and has detected oil seeping from the floor of the Gulf and the presence of methane.

Admiral Allen wants BP to respond to the report and prepare to take on oil from the well to relieve the pressure.

The article also shows I’m not the only one who suspects that BP doesn’t want the flow from the Well from Hell determined:

Rep. Ed Markey, who has been a vocal critic of BP’s response to the gusher, said Sunday that the company could have another motivation for wanting to keep the well capped.

“If the well remains fully shut in until the relief well is completed, we may never have a fully accurate determination of the flow rate from this well. If so, BP — which has consistently underestimated the flow rate — might evade billions of dollars of fines,” Markey said in a letter to Allen released Sunday.

Using ships on the surface to collect 100 percent of the gushing oil would allow scientists to calculate the flow rate — a figure that the government would use to determine how much to fine BP, Markey said.

The BP legal department is making the decisions again, and that has got to be stopped.

July 18, 2010   4 Comments

About That “BP Expertise”

The Christian Science Monitor reports on “the mystery plumber”:

The identity of the “mystery plumber” whose homemade design for a new containment cap may have helped to finally stanch the Gulf oil spill geyser emerged Saturday.

His name is Joe Caldart, a married, 40-something blue-collar guy with five kids and three hound dogs living in St. Francis, Kan. Mr. Caldart has 907 Facebook friends. He likes the band Rednecks & Red Dirt, watches “Family Guy,” and cites the 1978 Burt Reynolds flick “Hooper” as one of his favorites.

Caldart’s sketches, routed six weeks ago to BP and the Coast Guard through University of California petroleum engineer Robert Bea, are a near identical match to the design of a new containment cap lowered last week over the renegade Macondo well 50 miles off Venice, La.

“The idea was using the top flange on the blowout preventer as an attachment point and then employing an internal seal against that flange surface,” says Dr. Bea. “You can kind of see how a plumber thinks this way. That’s how they have to plumb homes for sewage.”

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July 18, 2010   Comments Off on About That “BP Expertise”


Gulf Gusher symbolThis morning the Miami Herald is reporting that BP doesn’t want to start collecting oil from the well.

BP is now indicating that since there don’t seem to be any problems, they want to leave the well shut down and let the relief well plug it without opening the valves on the cap.

Several reasons occur to me

– the vessels that will collect the oil are leased, like all “BP” oil field equipment, and they don’t want to pay for them;

– if they collect the oil from the well without any losses, everyone will know how much oil is actually flowing out of the well every day, rather than guessing;

– the BP board wants to get the well out of the headlines.

On that last note, the Vancouver Sun has an AFP story based on an article in the Sunday Times of Britain about BP board activity. I thought this paragraph was interesting:

Directors of the firm are at an early stage of canvassing shareholders about possible options, which include increasing the amount of in-house engineering which takes place, rather than outsourcing it, the paper said.

What a concept – a multi-national petroleum industry giant actually having having people on their staff who know something about the engineering of drilling for oil.

I keep saying this – the current corporations outsource everything and have almost no real knowledge among their employees about what they actually do. The corporations are made up of headquarters staffing, marketing, and a legal department. They outsource the actual work to other people.

What they seem to be contemplating is getting the BP logo out of sight and out of mind in the US by dumping their gas stations and refineries.

July 18, 2010   2 Comments

Stage 14

Tour de FranceRevel – Ax 3 Domaines

Distance: 184.5 kilometers.

Christophe Riblon led a group that broke away early in the stage and was never reeled in. They made their break and maintained it on the rolling hills with a couple of sprints and capped it by staying ahead up the Hors Catégorie Port de Pailheres, the descent and immediate category 1 climb to the finish at Ax 3 Domaines. Geraint Thomas was originally part of the group with Samuel Sanchez and Denis Menchov, but he faded on the climb and was reeled in by the peloton.

With only 31 seconds separating Schleck and Contador, if neither makes a major mistake, the Yellow will be decided in the individual time trials.

Yellow Jersey Andy Schleck ( Lux – SAX – 011 ) [Yellow] 68h 02m 30s
Green Jersey Alessandro Petacchi ( Ita – LAM – 208 ) [Green] 187 points
Polka Dot Jersey Anthony Charteau ( Fra – BBO – 153 ) [Polka Dot] 115 points
White Jersey Robert Gesink ( Ned – RAB – 195 ) 6 [White]
Team: Caisse d’Epargne GCE ( 161-169 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Christophe Riblon ( Fra – ALM – 089 )
Combative: Christophe Riblon ( Fra – ALM – 089 ) [Red numbers]

They’ve gone 2,728.4 kilometers [1,695.3 miles] at an average speed of 40.1 kph [24.9 mph].


Yellow Jersey Andy Schleck ( Lux – SAX – 011 ) [Yellow] 68h 02m 30s
2 Alberto Contador ( Esp – AST – 001 )
3 Samuel Sanchez ( Esp – EUS – 181 )
4 Denis Menchov ( Rus – RAB – 191 )
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – OLO – 101 )
6 White Jersey Robert Gesink ( Ned – RAB – 195 ) [White]
7 Levi Leipheimer ( USA – RSH – 025 )
8 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver ( Esp – KAT – 077 )
9 Luis-Leon Sanchez ( Esp – GCE – 161 )
10 Ivan Basso ( Ita – LIQ – 041 )
11 Alexandre Vinokourov ( Kaz – AST – 009 )
12 Roman Kreuziger ( Cze – LIQ – 044 )
13 Ryder Hesjedal ( Can – GRM – 054 )
14 Nicolas Roche ( Irl – ALM – 081 )
15 Carlos Sastre ( Esp – CTT – 091 )
16 Thomas Lövkvist ( Swe – SKY – 037 )
17 Andréas Klöden ( Ger – RSH – 024 )
18 Bradley Wiggins ( GBr – SKY – 031 )
19 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 121 )
20 Ruben Plaza Molina ( Esp – GCE – 168 )

27 Christophe Riblon ( Fra – ALM – 089 ) [Red numbers] [Stage winner]
38 Lance Armstrong ( USA – RSH – 021 )
48 Polka Dot Jersey Anthony Charteau ( Fra – BBO – 153 ) [Polka Dot]
57 Jérôme Pineau ( Fra – QST – 135 )
58 Geraint Thomas ( GBr – SKY – 039 )
128 Thor Hushovd ( Nor – CTT – 095 )
140 Green Jersey Alessandro Petacchi ( Ita – LAM – 208 ) [Green]
150 Mark Cavendish ( GBr – THR – 111 )
154 Julian Dean ( NZl – GRM – 052 )
156 David Millar ( GBr – GRM – 057 )
166 Robbie McEwen ( Aus – KAT – 075 )

July 18, 2010   Comments Off on Stage 14