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View Diary: BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 114 (10 comments)

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  •  Barrels of thanks to the Daily Kos community (47+ / 0-)

    for your support of the BP Catastrophe liveblog. The Gulf Watchers greatly appreciate your recs for the Mothership and participation in the ROVs.

    We started getting a new feed today from the HOS Iron Horse who remains in port. She has two ROVs but BP listed them with identical links.

    Development Driller's II's ROV B inserted a hot stab in the wellhead connector's methanol injection port (12 minute video), presumably to help with any possible hydrate build up. The well continues to seep at the base which causes a hydrate buildup on the HC connector. They periodically clean the accumulation. Olympic Challenger ROV #2 has been doing a puzzling 1450 Survey which involves a frenzy of following silt-covered hoses and cleaning their connectors.

    Thad Allen and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), had a joint briefing yesterday. Lubchenco, pitched Gulf seafood as being safe. She told a whopper of a lie about the the National Oil Budget being peer-reviewed when it most certainly was not by any stretch of the imagination. It seems incredulous that the government would expect people to believe what Lubchenco says about Gulf seafood safety or scientific analysis of oil remaining in the Gulf.

    Thad Allen commented on the status of the kill operation at 10:00 a.m. CDT which means the intercept should happen this morning and the final kill should be complete by Sunday.

    If I could real quick we started this morning the final drilling process to close in on the bottom of the Macondo Well.  As you know we've had several segments of activity that have taken place.  It started with the static kill to fill the well with cement.  We've ended a number of tests.  We concluded (inaudible) to remove the blowout preventer.

    That has been done.  As you know that equipment has all been shipped to the Coast Guard base at the NASA (inaudible) in New Orleans where it remains under supervision of the joint investigation team and the Department of Justice.

    We are demobilizing what’s not needed at the well site right now.  And as we speak, earlier this morning, Development Driller III began the last drilling (inaudible) into the annulus of the drill pipe and we would expect some time in the next 24 hours to actually intercept the well.

    The steps after the well intercept will be to ascertain the condition of the annulus.  As you know we do not know what the condition of the annulus is whether or not there are hydrocarbons in it, communication with the reservoir and so forth.  Today will give us a lot of information especially when we get close and finally conduct the intercept looking at the changes in pressure of the drilling mud that's going in and out.
    Admiral Allen: The questions for those in the audience here was we’re expecting more ranging runs before intercept and what about a survey of the Deepwater Horizon Rig?  Actually they’re using a novel technology that allows the ability to do some ranging with the actual drill string that’s down there.

    They’re going to try and use that and if they’re successful in using this new technology, it would not require them to pull the drill string out and do another ranging run with the wire they have to send out.

    If that’s the case, that would (inaudible) some time out of the intercept that they expect to happen in the next 24 hours.  Regarding the survey of the people on Horizon themselves, I would defer that and we’ll put some information out to the joint information center of the Unified Area Command.
    Admiral Allen: The question is; is there any chance we would intercept the annulus and not pump cement and do we plan to intercept the casing?  Had we done it a traditional bottom kill we would have done both, intercepted the casing and the annulus.
    Basically as I said before to fill in the tree rings till the tree was filled, the inner core of the tree was filled, because of a static kill right now.
    So we’re sort of concerned with the annulus and the actual actions taken will be depending on the condition of the annulus when the intercepts made.  The first indication we will get with that will be any change of pressure in the drilling fluids or the strum in that drill bit when the interception is made.  At that point, I think there will be a characterization made of the annulus itself and a decision made on how to proceed at that point.
    I can’t predict what will happen because as we said the final question in this whole killing of the well has been the condition f the annulus.  I don’t think we think there will be any blockage here I think we think we’re going to need to pump cement but that will not be verified until we actually do the intercept.

    The Obama administration will require 3,500 unused Gulf wells to be plugged and to decommission abandoned platforms and pipelines.

    The order requires operators to plug wells that been inactive for the past five years. Production platforms and pipelines must be decommissioned if they are not being used for exploration or production, even under an active lease.
    Some of the "temporarily abandoned" wells have been left that way since the 1950s, without the full safeguards of permanent abandonment.
    Petroleum engineers say that even in properly sealed wells, the cement plugs can fail over time and the metal casing that lines the wells can rust. Even depleted production wells can repressurize over time and spill oil if their sealings fail.
    "As infrastructure continues to age, the risk of damage increases. That risk increases substantially during storm season,"
    Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said in the statement.

    Fund to help laid off oil workers has few takers because oil companies are holding on to their employees.

    A $100 million fund to help workers laid off by the federal deep-water drilling ban has seen relatively few applicants, a sign that the worst-case scenarios predicted by the oil industry have yet to unfold.
    "We were expecting hundreds of applications per day when we opened up on Sept. 1," said Mukal Verma, director of communications for the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation, a Baton Rogue nonprofit group that is distributing the $100 million hardship grants funded by BP. "So far we've had 220 applications."
    Most workers have been kept on by drilling companies to take part in maintenance operations or training, Verma said. That should be seen as good news, he said.
    "They will be needed desperately when the moratorium is lifted," Verma said.

    Free legal help is available to BP oil spill victims in Panama City Beach, Florida.

    The Bay County Branch of the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Gulf Action Spill Plaintiff’s (GASP) legal team will hold a Free Legal Clinic for Bay County residents making less than $30,000 a year who have suffered loss of jobs or wages as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Experienced attorneys and staff will be present to provide an overview of your rights and remedies for losses caused by the BP Oil Spill and free assistance in filing emergency interim claims for financial assistance with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), a fund established by BP to compensate victims of the BP Oil Spill, which will eventually be funded with $20 Billion and which is being administered by Kenneth Feinberg.

    The Feds announced they plan to sue BP.

    NEW ORLEANS - All the little plaintiffs in litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion need to clear the way for the biggest plaintiff - Uncle Sam.

    The United States hasn't sued anyone yet but might start suing soon, assistant attorney general Ignacia Moreno advised Multi District Judge Carl Barbier on Sept. 13.

    "Congress has established several causes of action, enforceable by the United States, that may apply here," she wrote in a statement of interest.

    Enforcement actions under provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act might be appropriate, she wrote.

    "At this juncture, the United States expects that it may file a civil complaint related to the Deepwater Horizon under these provisions and possibly others," she wrote.

    Environmental group sues Interior Department for release of emails.

    CBS News has learned that the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) will file a federal lawsuit against the Interior Department tomorrow demanding the release of documents and e-mails regarding the  size of the BP oil spill. PEER alleges that political appointees sought to downplay the size of the spill.

    BP plans to continue drilling in the North Sea (linked article contains photo of an oiled bird) according to Tony Hayward's testimony before a UK committee investigating the implications of the Gulf oil spill.

    BP is determined to press ahead with plans to drill deepwater wells west of the Shetlands despite criticism of its "outrageous" attitude to the risks of drilling in the US and worries about its North Sea safety record.
    The plans for the Shetlands triggered an angry response from Albert Owen, a Labour member of the committee, who said the Deepwater disaster raised concerns that BP seemed unable to comprehend.

    "Do you not understand the frustration and anger, not just of American senators and congressmen but of people who care about the environment, that this is allowed to happen," said Owen. "Surely there should have been some thought that an accident would happen at this depth ... I find the whole thing outrageous."

    A massive fish kill in Plaquemines parish that is unrelated to the BP oil spill serves as a sharp reminder that the mouth of the Mississippi has desperately serious, longstanding environmental problems that are separate and apart from the recent BP catastrophe. Fertilizer runoff in the Mississippi worsens this problem year after year.

    Low tide and high temperatures caused low oxygen levels that suffocated huge numbers of fish in Plaquemines Parish, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Wednesday.
    Department biologists found the fish kill in Bayou Chaland had nothing to do with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Olivia Watkins said.
    Such fish kills are common in Louisiana's shallow waters in late summer and early fall.

    Rig worker giving poor Olympic Challenger ROV 1 or ROV watchers a third digit salute (4 second video).

    Check out the latest news in the most recent ROV diary and join us for comments and questions.

    In consideration of those with slow internet connections please refrain from posting embedded graphics, photos or videos. Please post links instead.

    We watch, so all will know.

    by Gulf Watchers on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 02:47:05 AM PDT

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