Welcome to the BP Junk Shot Diary #14. This is a subset of the Mother Ship #3. Don't rec this, rec the Mothership diary so that we keep this solidly on the rec list with ONE pointer only.
Come here to continue to comment, commiserate, look at the links share any news, point out any significant happenings, excellent to egregious, at the live cams or on the shore.
The video feeds we are watching:
Don't post images or videos, to keep bandwidth down.
The leak is still not blocked, but the Top Kill procedure continues on. It's unclear at this time whether they are pumping mud or not, and the main ROV that was monitoring the leaks directly above the BOP was sent to the surface for cleaning and maintenance. Video feeds were stopped for a short time, so its possible we missed some activity.
Reports some time ago indicated that the procedure was working but it would take some time to be certain. The 2nd relief well drilling has been temporarily halted so that some of the equipment used for that effort can be made available for the Top Kill effort. If Top Kill works, they are considering cutting off the riser pipe above the BOP (what we're currently watching leak) and bolting on a new BOP to seal the top of the well. That new BOP is the one that was going to be installed in the 2nd relief well. Earlier today, we watched the ROVs do some preparation for the removal of the riser pipe.
If Top Kill doesn't work, the next consideration is to cut off the riser pipe and lower a small cap over the hole and suck up the oil, or to try and install a BOP over the flowing well. Cutting off the riser would significantly increase the flow of oil and gas, so it's not something they're eager to do. The thinking is that the smaller cap wouldn't have the same problems as the earlier larger dome because the problem was the accumulation of ice on the underside of the dome - a smaller dome may be evacuated of water so quickly that not enough ice could form.
Anyone wondering if BP might be going rogue on the Top Kill activity or info:
At the request of President Obama, Secretary Chu has been at BP’s Command Center in Houston monitoring the ongoing “top kill” attempt—analyzing the data in real time and helping to develop strategies to give it the best chances of success. In the days leading up to the “top kill” attempt, Secretary Chu and his team of National Laboratory scientists provided expert advice and technical support to test the assumptions behind BP’s work and to offer analytical rigor.
But let's not be too trusting. From CBS:
On Friday, reporters received a note from a BP spokesman saying information on the top kill is now considered "stock-market sensitive" and updates can be provided only in "formal settings," though BP's CEO made the rounds of morning news shows after that to talk about it.
How big do you think Tony Hayward's bonus will be this year?
+ Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 20,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
+ Approximately 1,400 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
+ Approximately 1.9 million feet of containment boom and 1.5 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 250,000 feet of containment boom and 950,000 feet of sorbent boom are available.
+ Approximately 11.8 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
+ Approximately 870,000 gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—700,000 on the surface and 170,000 subsea. More than 400,000 gallons are available.
+ 17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla., Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla., Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.
Obama mentioned today that the nation had nearly exhausted its stock of boom and that more was being manufactured. 600 miles of boom has been deployed in total. Sounds like a lot, and yet hardly enough at the same time.
LA Times reports that the Obama administration has initiated criminal proceedings against BP:
The Justice Department's inquiry is a standard preliminary step taken to determine whether a formal investigation is warranted. But even in this early stage, it has the earmarks of one of the largest investigative undertakings of the Obama administration.
In one sign of its potential scope, the Obama administration has asked for $10 million to be set aside to pay for the investigation. President Obama, in a letter May 12 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- San Francisco), said the funding was needed "to hold BP, and other responsible parties in this spill, accountable for the crisis."
"The department has sent formal demands to British Petroleum, Transocean and other companies to ensure the preservation of potentially relevant information," he said. "These letters invoke federal requirements for preserving evidence in anticipation of litigation."
Estimated gallons of oil leaked as of 11:30 OVT (oil volcano time) according to WKRG: 40,400,000.
Refining a barrel of oil can be adjusted somewhat as US refineries tilt the process toward gasoline compared to Europe who tilts it toward diesel, but in the US, a barrel of oil (42 gallons) usually yields 19 gallons of gasoline. According to the statistic above, approximately 18 million gallons of gasoline, with an Orange County Cosco value of $55,400,000 has been dumped into the gulf. That would power one of our the many Prius's around here for 900,000,000 miles, or 5 round trips from here to the sun.
Previous children diaries:
LiveBlog - Diary 14 - johnsonwax (current diary)
LiveBlog - Diary 13 - Middleagedhousewife
LiveBlog - Diary 12 - nika7k
LiveBlog - Diary 11 - Overseas
LiveBlog - Diary 10 - conchita
Junk Shot LiveBlog - Diary 9 - khowell
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 8 - Garrett
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 7 - miep
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 6 - Alkalinesky
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 5 - Liveblog
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 4 - Garrett
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 3 - sc kitty
Top Kill LiveBlog - Diary 2 - conchita
Kill LiveBlog - Diary 1 - khowell
Top Kill has begun! - Tomtech