Author Archive

Improper Oil Booming on BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout?

Monday, May 31st, 2010

You might have come across this ‘Fucking Booming’ by FishGrease, but in case you haven’t, here’s a snippet and a few pictures to give you the idea:

Generally, boom is long and bright bright orange or yellow. It is not bright bright orange or yellow so you can see it, dear fledgling boomer, but so Governors, Senators, Presidents and The Media can see it. It has a round floaty part that floats, and a flat “skirt” that sinks. A RULE: the floaty part never floats high enough and the skirt never rides low enough. Some oil will ALWAYS go over the boom and some will ALWAYS go under it. Our task is to MINIMIZE both! We do that by fucking proper fucking booming. Here. This picture teaches you almost 100% of what you’ll learn in DKos Booming School, about fucking proper fucking booming:

proper booming

I lost my one copy of Photoshop, had to learn Gimp, and so the quality is sorta piece-of-shit-c*nt, but you get the idea. It’s fucking obvious. Boom is not meant to contain or catch oil. Boom is meant to divert oil. Boom must always be at an angle to the prevailing wind-wave action or surface current. Boom, at this angle, must always be layered in a fucking overlapped sort-of way with another string of boom. Boom must always divert oil to a catch basin or other container, from where it can be REMOVED FROM THE FUCKING AREA. Looks kinda involved, doesn’t it? It is. But if fucking proper fucking booming is done properly, you can remove most, by far most of the oil from a shoreline and you can do it day after day, week after week, month after month. You can prevent most, by far most of the shoreline from ever being touched by more than a few transient molecules of oil. Done fucking properly, a week after the oil stops coming ashore, no one, man nor beast, can ever tell there has been oil anywhere near that shoreline.

BP Deepwater Horizon – Phase 3 Riser Removal and Capping of BOP

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Well, here’s two graphics that show the next step. You can get high resolution versions by clicking on the images. Source: BP riser cut/cap info page. (Update: see comments for updated progress on the shearing operation, which failed on the first attempt).

You can also watch the BP LMRP capping project video that was just released. Personally, that guy who presents makes me sort of ill to watch, but you can get a sense of the project, with liberal doses of Corporate spin to reduce the impression of disaster (note especially the image of the oil coming out of the BOP stack, it’s a light gray haze, instead of an angry black cloud, which is what it really looks like).

Step 1: cut the pipes:

Step 2: lower the cover/LMRP cap onto the cleared BOP top:

And there you have it. Slice the main part of the drilling riser tube away from the BOP unit (blowout protector) with giant hydraulic clippers, then carefully slice the riser/drill pipe at the BOP with a diamond band saw.

That will in theory provide a reasonably flat surface to fit the device they will then lower down onto the top of the BOP.

BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout Summary – Best Current Understanding

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Here’s the latest summary of ROCKMAN’s best current understanding of the events that led up to the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. As usual, this was embedded deep inside the current blowout comment thread, but it is clear and concise enough to give a good overview of the information we now have that seems reasonably solid.

ROCKMAN on May 31, 2010 – 9:11pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Winter — I’ll use your question to give a brief summary, with the permission of the editors, for the benefit of the newbies who seem to be showing up hourly.

Above all else this tales goes with a very BIG IF: if we have a accurate picture of how the incident began then here goes: they had run production casing from total depth back up to the well head/BOP. Cement was pumped down the drill pipe to the bottom of this casing and forced back up between the csg and the rock. The reason for this cmt job is to isolate the oil reservoir. This cement seal would be the only barrier preventing the well from “coming in “ (flowing oil/NG up the csg). Prior to pumping the cmt the weight of the drilling mud kept the reservoir from flowing up. The backpressure stopping the flow was a result of an 18,000’ column of heavy drilling mud.

Before temporarily abandoning the well BP was required for safety reasons to set a series of cement plugs in the production csg to ensure the reservoir would not leak to the surface until they were ready to produce the well. To make the eventual re-entry of the well easier BP “displaced” the riser (that 20” tube that connected the well head/BOP to the drilling rig on the surface of the GOM) with seawater and thus removing the heavy drill mud from the well. But they did this before setting the top cmt plug which would have kept any oil/NG from flowing up should the csg cmt fail. This is why testing the validity of the cmt job was extremely critical: the column of seawater could not produce a sufficient backpressure to prevent the oil/NG from rushing to the surface. If the cmt didn’t hold there was a 100% certainty of the well flowing oil/NG. There has been much discussion about the interpretation of the tests conducted on the cmt, the nature of the cmt, who has ultimate responsibility for certifying the cmt job. Likewise the reason for waiting to set the top cmt plug until after displacement has been speculated by others. I’ll leave those debates to others. But a good cmt job wasn’t the last safeguard.

Video Footage of Deep Horizon Oil Blowout

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Check out this video footage of the actual Deep Horizon blowout oil / gas stream.

oil-gas plume deep horizon

The black stuff is the oil, and the white stuff is the natural gas, that’s the part that crystallized into methane hydrate in the first attempt at a containment vessel that failed.

As you can easily see, we’re not talking about an oil spill here, this is a gushing blowout, contained only because the pipe is crimped, and the blowout preventer (BOP) at least partially blocked the flow.

If it blows out all the way, and if the latest ‘top hat’ container method fails, this blowout could be very bad long term.

Let’s hope for the best, but let’s also hope at least some of you out there start to realize that there is a cost to our instant personal gratification and convenience lifestyle, and this is the present cost.

If this cost seems too high to you, then start localizing in every aspect of your life you can manage, drive less, or not at all, buy local food, etc. If you don’t do it, who will? Can you explain this?

Shopping at the Flea Market

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Now that we’re about to enter into the long descent (oil is now officially declared to be in decline by 2012, with global demand shortfalls of 10 million barrels per day predicted by 2015), it’s probably a good idea to start developing some slightly more useful skills.

All you so-called ‘free market’ fans pay special attention, this is about dealing with real free markets, not those abominations of corporate oligarchies known as big box retailers, that receive the benefit of this term with virtually no critical thought at all.

Let it first and foremost be noted – I love free markets. I love local markets, I love the interaction, the process of getting to know the various proprietors, the products they have, the way they treat you, if you get ripped off, if you find a great deal, whatever. I love the whole thing. I also love farmer’s markets, for the same reasons, plus the added one that the food is simply better, and cheaper often, than supermarkets, but that’s a topic for another posting.

Obviously, not everywhere has a vibrant flea market locally, some only have the more antique type ones, which are useless if you’re actually looking for something useful or cheap, if that’s your case in your area, sorry, this posting won’t do you much good.

Shopping, Price, and Bartering

If you’re used to unfree markets, like for example Walmart, Target, Safeway, Lucky’s, Vons, and so on, entering into real free markets might come as something of a shock. First of all, the prices aren’t set in any predictable manner. They don’t have sales, although you can try to barter for items if you think the price is too high.