I Read The News Today, Oh Boy…

(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

…engineers huddled over puzzling pressure readings from the bottom of the sea Friday to determine if BP’s capped oil well was holding tight.

Halfway through a critical 48-hour window, the signs were promising but far from conclusive.

Kent Wells, a BP PLC vice president, said on an evening conference call that engineers had found no indication that the well has started leaking underground.

“No news is good news, I guess that’s how I’d say it,” Wells said.

Engineers are keeping watch over the well for a two-day period in a scientific, round-the-clock vigil to see if the well’s temporary cap is strong enough to hold back the oil, or if there are leaks either in the well itself or the sea floor. One mysterious development was that the pressure readings were not rising as high as expected, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government’s point man on the crisis.

Allen said two possible reasons were being debated by scientists: The reservoir that is the source of the oil could be running lower three months into the spill. Or there could be an undiscovered leak somewhere down in the well.

RawStory: BP has ulterior motive behind oil well cap?

Oil industry expert Bob Cavnar isn’t buying the official story. He told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Wednesday that the repeated missteps cast doubt on BP’s explanation for why the cap was necessary in the first place.

“I don’t understand this whole operation,” Cavnar stated. “Sunday was the first time I heard the words ‘well integrity test.’ There’s never been any discussion about this in their public disclosure or in anything else that I’ve seen. … So I’m completely confused as to why they’re taking this risk of damaging the well further. … They didn’t have all these steps worked out.”

“They shouldn’t be doing this at all,” he suggested. “They should be continuing with the relief well to get this thing killed.”

Cavnar believes that BP’s true goal is to make it harder to measure the flow of oil from the damaged well, because under the Clean Water Act, it will be liable for civil penalties of up to $4300 for every barrel spilled.

“While they have every incentive to get the well killed, BP also has every incentive to not capture 100% of the well flow until they do,” Cavnar wrote last week at Huffington Post.  “As soon as they do capture all the flow, then a real, measurable number will be in front of the public, and that’s the last thing BP wants, since that number will then be used to extrapolate environmental damage, hence per barrel fines that will likely run to the tens of billions anyway.”

“The whole [original] reason for this cap was to allow two more outlets to produce to four ships so they could capture between sixty and eighty thousand barrels a day,” Cavnar told Olbermann “This whole business of shutting in — and shutting down the relief well — just doesn’t make any sense to me at this point. … My guess is that they’re hoping to be able to shut down at least some of the production from the well so once they open it back up to the surface … it will be producing at a rate less than what it was ‘open flow.’ So it’ll be harder to measure what the total flow was from the well when it was completely uncontrolled.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast July 14, 2010.


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  1. Edger

    They had to count them all…

  2. curmudgeon

    here is “A Day in the Life”, from the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band” album from 1967.

  3. CatfishBlues

    Aren’t they…?

  4. AmericanRiverCanyon

    bang bang

    BP oil spill,sealing cap,stack ram

    7/12/10  New Cap  

  5. dharmasyd

    He didn’t notice that the light had changed.

    This line so fully describes the “Drill, Baby, Drill” crowd, the call off the moratorium on drilling crowd, and those others who are intent on blowing ALL our brains out in cars.  

    Hey Babies:  Please notice that the lights have changed, the world has changed; and we must change.  

  6. curmudgeon

    That’s what I get for hurrying.  

    I didn’t realize that this song was already attached to your opening video.

    Mea culpa.

  7. curmudgeon

    the one in the ozone layer?

    Yeah, sure.

  8. curmudgeon

    such an innocent sounding song, with such dark lyrics.

    It was one of the featured songs in one of my earlier essays on such music, entitled, “Whistling in the Dark.”

  9. AmericanRiverCanyon

    ….. implying they were investing in green energy, and has that stupid green and yellow daisy for logo which has now been graffitied endlessly.

    BP Oil Spill 2010,Climate,Nature,Tragedy,Gulf of Mexico,Oil Spill,Gulf of Mexico Satellite Picture


    BP’d in the River –  the BP Song


  10. davidseth

    killed Paul.  

  11. Edger

    is not a flower, actually.

    It’s an oil well drill bit…

  12. davidseth
  13. tahoebasha3

    BP, feds clash over reopening capped Gulf oil well

    NEW ORLEANS – BP and the Obama administration offered significantly differing views Sunday on whether the capped Gulf of Mexico oil well will have to be reopened, a contradiction that may be an effort by the oil giant to avoid blame if crude starts spewing again.

    Pilloried for nearly three months as it tried repeatedly to stop the leak, BP PLC capped the nearly mile-deep well Thursday and wants to keep it that way. The government’s plan, however, is to eventually pipe oil to the surface, which would ease pressure on the fragile well but would require up to three more days of oil spilling into the Gulf.

    “No one associated with this whole activity … wants to see any more oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico,” Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, said Sunday. “Right now we don’t have a target to return the well to flow.”

    An administration official familiar with the spill oversight, however, told The Associated Press that a seep and possible methane were found near the busted oil well. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement about the next steps had not been

    made yet.

    The concern all along – since pressure readings on the cap weren’t as high as expected – was a leak elsewhere in the wellbore, meaning the cap may have to be reopened to prevent the environmental disaster from becoming even worse and harder to fix. . . . .

  14. AmericanRiverCanyon

    ….  I am so sick of the anonymous chickensh*t leaks coming out of this admin sometimes, especially having followed blow by blow and inch by inch the battle over passing the health insurance bailout bill and listening to all the duplicitous…..  somebody really has their heads up their ……  yeah I mean you, rahmemittingrumormill.

    I see the First Family made it back into town.  They’re trying to force BP to do something.

  15. dharmasyd

    …We’ll game and game away

    Come game with me

    Till the dawn of a saner day

    And we won’t need to play any more

    And can throw the game board AWAY~WAY~WAY~AWAY~~

  16. tahoebasha3

    and continuum!

    They’ve had one excuse after another for NOT having the barges on “standby” from a way back (they should’ve been “scrimming” this stuff from the get-go and loading it onto tanks on barges), now it’s the hurricane season — of course, that’s a real fear, yet what if the oil were contained in tanks?

    It’s like a surgery that has gotten continually worse with each cut of the knife.

    They’re not just playing with a “monster” that could explode, they’re playing with the eventual damage to all ocean life and THESE IDIOTS DON’T SEEM TO KNOW OR GIVE A F..K!

  17. tahoebasha3

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