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View Diary: BP Top Kill Day Two - Mothership (109 comments)

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  •  This may seem like a stupid question... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khowell, Ginger1

    and I am confident it has been discussed before, yet I have not read it. Why wasn't the top kill shot the very first method BP employed to stop the blow-out? If the decision on BP's first failed effort to capture the spewing oil took precedent over the top-kill, we need to know why. Was it so BP could capture oil and avoid permanently sealing the well? If so, a couple of weeks and gushing occurred before BP gave in to sealing the well. If there is not already, there has to be an investigation into this.

    "War is the health of the state." Randolph Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

    by american pastoral on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:16:48 PM PDT

    •  The Blowout preventer (7+ / 0-)

      It's a device about the bigger than a city bus that contains the valves etc that give access to the well.  This is a pretty complicated device and it was damaged in the initial accident.  BP had to repair it using underwater robots, and then send it through various tests, because should that thing let go we would be really fucked.  Now once they are sure they've repaired the BOP they have to figure out the density of the mud to shoot down, then they have to work out at what pressure, and then they better game it out on a super computer cause once again if they hurt the BOP we are really fucked.  Once they figured all that out then they have to run diagnostics on the BOP for the reason above, and then they suck up and go which is what they did.  I imagine they've been working on this from day one, but what is really funny was last night on Rachel.  When the Ixtapa well blew up spewing like 10K barrels a day for 9 months in 1979 they did the same things.  Called the top hat the sombrero shot a kill shot at it everything.

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:30:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Risk/Reward... (4+ / 0-)

      The problem with a kill like this is that it puts significant stress on a BOP. In this case, the BOP was already compromised. The kill risks destroying the BOP and other delicate structure in the bore hole which, if it fails, could cause further damage and increased discharge. There was also a delay in getting a gamma picture of the BOP to determine whether it would survive this attempt.

      The other problem: engineering. BP has had to cut and retrofit parts to the BOP to permit this kill. It has taken some time to get everything in place and ready to go for this.

      "Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it." -President Theodore Roosevelt

      by DemHikers on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is ZERO, ZERO, ZERO chance that BP (7+ / 0-)

      has ever considered any alternative to plugging this well.  The wellbore is trashed, it cannot be used to produce oil.  Not for a microsecond did BP think about producing the oil for revenue sales thru the containment dome.

      Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

      by oblomov on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Top Kill was planned for from day one... (12+ / 0-)

      very complex and risky procedure - took this long to get everything set up and ready to go according to the oil-industry techies at

      Perhaps a government mandated ready to go "top kill kit" would be prudent for the future - along with BOPs fully tested under real conditions at depths where they would actually be used.

      And have regulators who are not in bed (literally or figuratively) with the oil and drilling companies.

      And no waivers for pre-drilling environmental studies.


      The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them - Albert Einstein

      by DaveVH on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:33:12 PM PDT

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    •  The top kill takes a long time to plan and study. (9+ / 0-)

      They have more than 20 surface vessels on site today, and about as many ROVs underwater.  This is an exceedingly complex operation.  The top kill also has risks of making the situation worse (if for example, the BOP fails under the pressure of the pumped mud).

      They have hundreds, maybe thousands, of people from around the industry (not just BP) working in this.

      From what we've heard, I blame BP for the blowout.  I just don't adopt the 'masked-protester' or 'plaintiff's lawyer' position that everything BP has been doing since then is evil or incompetent.  

      Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

      by oblomov on Thu May 27, 2010 at 01:36:41 PM PDT

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