And Now: BP admits failing to use industry risk test at any of its deepwater wells in the US

BP was facing fresh criticism over its approach to safety on Saturday night after critics said it did not use an industry standard process to asses risk ahead of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

bp

The procedure, known as a safety case, was developed in Britain after the catastrophic Piper Alpha oil rig explosion of 1988 in which 167 people lost their lives.

Royal Dutch Shell confirmed that it always develops safety cases – a lengthy written document – on each of its thousands of wells in the world, even though they are only mandatory in some countries.

However, BP admitted to The Sunday Telegraph that it does not use safety cases on any of its US wells, including the high-pressure deep water Macondo well from which up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day are still leaking in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is now 75 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, killing 11 men and triggering the catastrophic spill.

Read moreAnd Now: BP admits failing to use industry risk test at any of its deepwater wells in the US

Warning To Gulf Volunteers: Almost Every Cleanup Worker From The 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster Is Now Dead

Are you sure that you want to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? In a previous article we documented a number of the health dangers from this oil spill that many scientists are warning us of, and now it has been reported on CNN that the vast majority of those who worked to clean up the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska are now dead. Yes, you read that correctly. Almost all of them are dead.

In fact, the expert that CNN had on said that the life expectancy for those who worked to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill is only about 51 years. Considering the fact that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now many times worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster, are you sure you want to volunteer to be on a cleanup crew down there? After all, the American Dream is not to make big bucks for a few months helping BP clean up their mess and then drop dead 20 or 30 years early.

(Bonus: Uncovered BP Document Brags Of Declining Production Costs)

This news clip from CNN is absolutely stunning.  If this is even close to true, then why would anyone want to be involved in helping to clean up this oil?….

The truth is that what we have out in the Gulf of Mexico is a “toxic soup” of oil, methane, benzene, hydrogen sulfide, other toxic gases and very poisonous chemical dispersants such as Corexit 9500.

Breathing all of this stuff is not good for your health, but the reality is that the true health toll of this oil spill is not going to be known for decades.

However, the early reports are not encouraging….

*Already, a large number of workers cleaning up the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico report that they are suffering from flu-like symptoms.

*According to another new report, exposure to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in 162 cases of illnesses reported to the Louisiana state health department.

*In addition, according to one local Pensacola news source,  400 people have sought medical care for upper or lower respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation after trips to Escambia County beaches.”

Read moreWarning To Gulf Volunteers: Almost Every Cleanup Worker From The 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster Is Now Dead

BP burns rare sea turtles alive, blocks efforts to save them

sea_turtle

(NaturalNews) By now, almost everyone is aware of the out-of-control oil spill down in the Gulf of Mexico that seems to be getting exponentially worse with each passing day. But what people may not know is that BP’s efforts to control the oil by burning it are actually burning alive a certain rare and endangered species of sea turtle.

For several weeks now, rescue crews have been feverishly trying to save Kemp’s Ridleys sea turtles, as well as four other endangered varieties, from being caught in the oil corral areas that are being intentionally burned by BP, but according to Mike Ellis, one of the boat captains involved in the project, BP has now blocked all such rescue efforts from taking place.

“They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us get back in there,” he explained in an interview with Catherine Craig, a conservation biologist.

According to Dr. Brian Stacy, a veterinarian with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are five different endangered sea turtles living in the Gulf that are all at risk, but the type being found “dead or covered in oil” the most is the Kemp’s Ridleys variety, which is the rarest species of them all.

So why would BP intentionally block rescue efforts aimed at protecting and saving wildlife and other endangered species from being burned alive in controlled burning pits? For starters, the Kemp’s Ridleys sea turtle is listed in the Endangered Species Act, which means there are severe penalties for those who harm or kill them.

According to the law, harming or killing even one animal on the endangered species list can result in a fine of up to $50,000 and may include prison time. This means that the hundreds, or even thousands, of endangered sea turtles being burned alive by BP are going to cost the company a lot of money, not to mention the prison time its executives might have to serve.

Read moreBP burns rare sea turtles alive, blocks efforts to save them

Matt Simmons: ‘We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states.’

Council on Foreign Relations member Matt Simmons calls for the evacuation of the gulf states.

Don’t miss:

Former Shell CEO John Hoffmeister On MSNBC: ‘The Whole Casing System Is Deteriorating’


Each day, another way to define worst-case for oil spill

gulf_of_mexico

An enduring feature of the gulf oil spill is that, even when you think you’ve heard the worst-case scenario, there’s always another that’s even more dire.

The base-line measures of the crisis have steadily worsened. The estimated flow rate keeps rising. The well is like something deranged, stronger than anyone anticipated. BP executives last month said they had a 60 to 70 percent chance of killing it with mud, but the well spit the mud out and kept blowing.

The net effect is that nothing about this well seems crazy anymore. Week by week, the truth of this disaster has drifted toward the stamping ground of the alarmists.

The most disturbing of the worst-case scenarios, one that is unsubstantiated but is driving much of the blog discussion, is that the Deepwater Horizon well has been so badly damaged that it has spawned multiple leaks from the seafloor, making containment impossible and a long-term solution much more complicated.

Video from a robotic submersible, which is making the rounds online, shows something puffing from the seafloor. Some think it’s oil. Or maybe — look again — it’s just the silt blowing in response to the forward motion of the submersible.

More trouble: A tropical wave has formed in the Caribbean and could conceivably blow through the gulf.

“We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states,” said Matt Simmons, founder of Simmons and Co., an oil investment firm and, since the April 20 blowout, the unflagging source of end-of-the-world predictions. “Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people? . . . This story is 80 times worse than I thought.”

Read moreMatt Simmons: ‘We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states.’

Former Shell CEO John Hoffmeister On MSNBC: ‘The Whole Casing System Is Deteriorating’

Related interview with Matt Simmons:

Matt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout

BUT there is an enormous amount of methane in the Gulf:

US Scientist: Methane In Gulf ‘Astonishingly High’, As Much As 1 Million Times The Normal Level

What happens if methane explodes?

History Channel Mega Disasters: Methane Explosion


Added: 24. June 2010

More:

BP Plans To Dump All North Sea Assets In Dramatic Attempt To Cut Costs

BP Blocking Media Access To Workers (Video)

BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR

BP Buys Search Term ‘Oil Spill’ From Google

BP CEO Tony Hayward sold £1.4 million of his shares weeks before Gulf blowout

Goldman Sachs Sold 44% Of Its BP Stock 3 Weeks Before Gulf Blowout

Feds and BP Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill

Read moreFormer Shell CEO John Hoffmeister On MSNBC: ‘The Whole Casing System Is Deteriorating’

US Scientist: Methane In Gulf ‘Astonishingly High’, As Much As 1 Million Times The Normal Level

Update: Gulf Of Mexico Water Sample EXPLODES! Other Samples Prove To Be Toxic


CHICAGO (Reuters) – As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.

Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are “astonishingly high.”

Kessler’s crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP’s broken wellhead.

“There is an incredible amount of methane in there,” Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing.

In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations that were 100,000 times higher than normal.

“We saw them approach a million times above background concentrations” in some areas, Kessler said.

The scientists were looking for signs that the methane gas had depleted levels of oxygen dissolved in the water needed to sustain marine life.

“At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is,” he told the briefing.

Read moreUS Scientist: Methane In Gulf ‘Astonishingly High’, As Much As 1 Million Times The Normal Level

The Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world’s most dangerous oil company get away with murder

“BP Atlantis”!


the-spill-the-scandal-and-president-obama
President Obama in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, May 28, 2010.

This article originally appeared in RS 1107 from June 24, 2010.

(Rolling Stone Magazine) — On May 27th, more than a month into the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Barack Obama strode to the podium in the East Room of the White House. For weeks, the administration had been insisting that BP alone was to blame for the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf – and the ongoing failure to stop the massive leak. “They have the technical expertise to plug the hole,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had said only six days earlier. “It is their responsibility.” The president, Gibbs added, lacked the authority to play anything more than a supervisory role – a curious line of argument from an administration that has reserved the right to assassinate American citizens abroad and has nationalized much of the auto industry. “If BP is not accomplishing the task, can you just federalize it?” a reporter asked. “No,” Gibbs replied.

Now, however, the president was suddenly standing up to take command of the cleanup effort. “In case you were wondering who’s responsible,” Obama told the nation, “I take responsibility.” Sounding chastened, he acknowledged that his administration had failed to adequately reform the Minerals Management Service, the scandal-ridden federal agency that for years had essentially allowed the oil industry to self-regulate. “There wasn’t sufficient urgency,” the president said. “Absolutely I take responsibility for that.” He also admitted that he had been too credulous of the oil giants: “I was wrong in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.” He unveiled a presidential commission to investigate the disaster, discussed the resignation of the head of MMS, and extended a moratorium on new deepwater drilling. “The buck,” he reiterated the next day on the sullied Louisiana coastline, “stops with me.”

What didn’t stop was the gusher. Hours before the president’s press conference, an ominous plume of oil six miles wide and 22 miles long was discovered snaking its way toward Mobile Bay from BP’s wellhead next to the wreckage of its Deepwater Horizon rig. Admiral Thad Allen, the U.S. commander overseeing the cleanup, framed the spill explicitly as an invasion: “The enemy is coming ashore,” he said. Louisiana beaches were assaulted by blobs of oil that began to seep beneath the sand; acres of marshland at the “Bird’s Foot,” where the Mississippi meets the Gulf, were befouled by shit-brown crude – a death sentence for wetlands that serve as the cradle for much of the region’s vital marine life. By the time Obama spoke, it was increasingly evident that this was not merely an ecological disaster. It was the most devastating assault on American soil since 9/11.

Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.

noaa_estimate_64000_to_-110000_barrels_-a_day
Hours after BP’s rig sank on April 22nd, a white board in NOAA’s “war room” in Seattle displays the administration’s initial, worst-case estimate of the spill — 64,000 to 110,000 barrels a day.

Even after the president’s press conference, Rolling Stone has learned, the administration knew the spill could be far worse than its “best estimate” acknowledged. That same day, the president’s Flow Rate Technical Group – a team of scientists charged with establishing the gusher’s output – announced a new estimate of 12,000 to 25,000 barrels, based on calculations from video of the plume. In fact, according to interviews with team members and scientists familiar with its work, that figure represents the plume group’s minimum estimate. The upper range was not included in their report because scientists analyzing the flow were unable to reach a consensus on how bad it could be. “The upper bound from the plume group, if it had come out, is very high,” says Timothy Crone, a marine geophysicist at Columbia University who has consulted with the government’s team. “That’s why they had resistance internally. We’re talking 100,000 barrels a day.”

The median figure for Crone’s independent calculations is 55,000 barrels a day – the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez every five days. “That’s what the plume team’s numbers show too,” Crone says. A source privy to internal discussions at one of the world’s top oil companies confirms that the industry privately agrees with such estimates. “The industry definitely believes the higher-end values,” the source says. “That’s accurate – if not more than that.” The reason, he adds, is that BP appears to have unleashed one of the 10 most productive wells in the Gulf. “BP screwed up a really big, big find,” the source says. “And if they can’t cap this, it’s not going to blow itself out anytime soon.”

Even worse, the “moratorium” on drilling announced by the president does little to prevent future disasters. The ban halts exploratory drilling at only 33 deepwater operations, shutting down less than one percent of the total wells in the Gulf. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the Cabinet-level official appointed by Obama to rein in the oil industry, boasts that “the moratorium is not a moratorium that will affect production” – which continues at 5,106 wells in the Gulf, including 591 in deep water.

Most troubling of all, the government has allowed BP to continue deep-sea production at its Atlantis rig – one of the world’s largest oil platforms. Capable of drawing 200,000 barrels a day from the seafloor, Atlantis is located only 150 miles off the coast of Louisiana, in waters nearly 2,000 feet deeper than BP drilled at Deepwater Horizon. According to congressional documents, the platform lacks required engineering certification for as much as 90 percent of its subsea components – a flaw that internal BP documents reveal could lead to “catastrophic” errors. In a May 19th letter to Salazar, 26 congressmen called for the rig to be shut down immediately. “We are very concerned,” they wrote, “that the tragedy at Deepwater Horizon could foreshadow an accident at BP Atlantis.”

The administration’s response to the looming threat? According to an e-mail to a congressional aide from a staff member at MMS, the agency has had “zero contact” with Atlantis about its safety risks since the Deepwater rig went down.

Read moreThe Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world’s most dangerous oil company get away with murder

Feds and BP Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill

Coast Guard Told Public Not to ‘Fixate’ On Rate of Spill While Sitting On Video


With an apparently complicit Coast Guard, BP held oil spill videos for weeks.

New videos show more clearly than ever how BP, with little resistance from the Coast Guard or other federal agencies, kept the public in the dark about just how bad things were beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

On May 1, 11 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, and nine days after oil began spilling into the Gulf, the Coast Guard had still only released a single image of oil leaking a mile beneath the surface — a fuzzy photograph of a broken pipe spewing oil.

But inside the unified command center, where BP and federal agencies were orchestrating the spill response, video monitors had already displayed hours of footage they did not make public. The images showed a far more dire situation unfolding underwater. The footage filmed by submarines showed three separate leaks, including one that was unleashing a torrent of oil into the Gulf.

BP officials said they made all the video available to federal officials.

“The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning,” said Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. “It’s always been here from the beginning. They had it.”

Read moreFeds and BP Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Solution Restores Environment in Just Six Weeks


Added: 17. May 2010

The Texas Land Office and Texas Water Commission successfully used ‘oil eating’ microbes to clean up large oil spills in just weeks.

Microbes hunt down and eat the toxic oil and leave only a biodegradable waste that is non-toxic to humans and marine life. Marshland and beaches were pristine again in just weeks—not years like the Exxon Valdez spill.

Read moreGulf of Mexico Oil Spill Solution Restores Environment in Just Six Weeks

Matt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout


Added: 28. Mai 2010

May 28 (Bloomberg) — Matt Simmons, founder and chairman emeritus of Simmons & Co., talks with Bloomberg’s Mark Crumpton and Lori Rothman about BP Plc’s leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP said in a statement today that it has spent $930 million responding to the spill, which began after an April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers.

The well has been spewing an estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf, a U.S. government panel said yesterday.

Read moreMatt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout

BP’s top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak

Here is why BP’s efforts do not even matter:

Matt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout


Gulf Oil Spill
Workers clean up oil residue along the beach in Port Fourchon, La., Saturday, May 29, 2010. (AP)

ROBERT, La. (AP) — The most ambitious bid yet to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history ended in failure Saturday after BP was unable to overwhelm the gusher of crude with heavy fluids and junk. President Obama called the setback “as enraging as it is heartbreaking.”

The oil giant immediately began readying its next attempted fix, using robot submarines to cut the pipe that’s gushing the oil into the Gulf of Mexico and cap it with funnel-like device, but the only guaranteed solution remains more than two months away.

The company determined the “top kill” had failed after it spent three days pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well 5,000 feet underwater. It’s the latest in a series of failures to stop the crude that’s fouling marshland and beaches, as estimates of how much oil is leaking grow more dire.

Read moreBP’s top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak

Gulf of Mexico Oil Apocalypse Creates Underwater Nightmare

On Good Morning America, correspondent Sam Champion and Philippe Cousteau Jr. explore the toxic plumes of dispersed oil floating beneath the waves in the Gulf of Mexico.


Added: 25. May 2010

More:

Gulf of Mexico clean-up boats recalled after crews suffer health problems

Deepwater Horizon survivors were kept in seclusion after rig explosion, coerced into signing legal waivers

SPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Health Hazards

Fishermen get severly ill from clean-up work in Gulf

NASA Images Show Oil Entering Loop Current

New NASA Image of Gulf Oil Moving Towards Atlantic Ocean

Worry That Gulf Oil Spreading Into Major Ocean Current

AP IMPACT: Fed’l Inspections on Rig Not as Claimed:

The federal agency responsible for ensuring that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Since January 2005, the federal Minerals Management Service conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records.

Gulf of Mexico: Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil as Large as 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide And 300 Feet Thick in Deep Waters:

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day.

Beyond Stupid: BP CEO Tony Hayward:

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”

US Oil Spill: Scientists and Fishermen Alarmed Over Chemical Dispersants:

Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed so far in BP’s effort to break up the spreading oil slick before it hits the fragile Gulf coast, and over 500,000 gallons more are available.

Rig firm makes $270m profit from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

US not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: New NOAA Projection Map; BP’s High-Stakes Mission; And More News

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection:

The company acknowledged Friday that it had completed the final cementing of the oil well and pipe just 20 hours before the blowout last week.

US Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’