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You are in the current BP Catastrophe Morning Edition - AUV #402. ROV #401 is here.

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Please RECOMMEND THIS DIARY, the motherships have been discontinued.

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Please be kind to kossacks with bandwidth issues. Please do not post images or videos. Again, many thanks for this.

PLEASE visit Pam LaPier's diary to find out how you can help the Gulf now and in the future. We don't have to be idle! And thanks to Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier for working on this! has published its 130 page recovery plan authored by David B. Emich.  (Warning: pdf file.  130 pages.  pdf.  Srsly.)

Admiral Thad Allen, reflecting on the Gulf spill, won't criticize BP.

It's not that Allen believes BP acted in bad faith, although he clearly gets that many others do. Instead, Allen's argument centers on the inherent problem of a company serving two masters, the government and the wronged community on the one hand, and its own shareholders on the other. Meeting obligations to the former means openly acknowledging all the damages and paying all costs; satisfying the latter means minimizing both estimates and payments.
"I think the public's tolerance for a responsible party is inversely proportional to the size of the spill," he said.

Allen didn't mention BP's clumsy and transparent effort to win the "hearts and minds" of local residents, as Hayward put it, or its efforts to keep information from the public eye. But those also fueled a feeling that BP was acting mainly out of self-interest.

A third party administrator, Allen told the spill commission, could sidestep all of that. He or she would "represent the industry, oversee the response, have access to the resources, but basically ... be firewalled from any fiduciary link back to the shareholders -- almost putting the resources in trust."

Because that's who we want represented in an environmental cataclysm.  The Industry.

And, speaking of cataclysms, shallow-water rig workers are facing one, and will get no help from BP, whose spill is responsible for their being out of work.  

Seahawk Chief Operating Officer Kurt Hoffman said the Houston-based company, which operates only in the Gulf of Mexico, tried to wait out permitting delays on prospective jobs and keep workers on idled rigs as long as it could, but it was too expensive to keep them staffed indefinitely. "How long can you wait at $25,000 a day?" Hoffman said in an interview.

The shallow-water workers' case represents a gap in the financial safety nets set up to carry Gulf Coast residents through a year when some of their most important industries -- tourism, seafood and offshore energy production -- were crippled. Hercules Offshore Inc. (HERO) general counsel Jim Noe, who is also a spokesman for the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition, an industry advocacy group, said that since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20 some 500 have been laid off across the sector. Larger companies, like Hercules, that haven't cut jobs "are burning through the cost of keeping idled workers on the payrolls," Noe said.

BP pledged to pay $20 billion into a far-reaching restitution fund, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which is repaying waitresses for lost wages and condo owners for cancelled bookings, but rig workers are not eligible from [sic] funds coming from the facility. They must apply to a separate entity -- the Rig Worker Assistance Fund, where BP pumped $100 million exclusively for workers who lost their jobs after the federal government enacted a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. The fund is limited, however, to those employed on one of the 33 deepwater rigs operating in May when the moratorium began, according to a fund spokesman. Shallow-water workers need not apply.
Shallow-water drillers' problems are aggravated by the fact that they operate on contracts that range from a few days to a few months. While idle deepwater rigs, which lease out for years, keep bringing in cash for their owners, shallow-water rigs are stuck in a limbo when their contracts end.

Canada proves once again that they're wiser than we are.  

Quebec has formalized a moratorium on oil or gas exploration in the St. Lawrence River estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The 2-year ban covers a vast area, from the Saguenay-St. Lawrence River confluence north of Quebec City to the Strait of Belle Isle at the Quebec-Labrador boundary and south beyond the Madeleine Islands.

Quebec’s ministry of natural resources and wildlife said no offshore permits would be issued until at least the end of 2012, when environmental studies of the estuary and gulf are to be completed. It said the ban is needed to protect fish and wildlife.

Here's a really unique argument against the moratorium: it'll have a negative impact on higher education.

[Edward] Overton [professor emeritus, Department of Environmental Sciences] said the federal moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico should be lifted because it will continue to negatively affect the state and the University.

"What that means is next year the revenues coming into the state will be less, and when revenues coming in to the state are less, revenues coming to LSU ... will be less," Overton said.

Overton said there is not a "black river of oil at the bottom of the ocean" even though only about one-third of the oil from the blown-out well reached the surface, while the remaining two-thirds was dispersed either chemically or naturally at depth.

Meanwhile, proving they're smarter, a group of elementary school students in Louisiana threw themselves wholeheartedly into studying the spill and the methods used to try and clean it up.  

For two weeks the students researched and learned about liquids' density and why some liquids like oil can sit on top of water and are difficult to clean up.
Using various methods like spoons, cups, coffee filters and pipe cleaners, which resembled oil containment booms used in the Gulf, the pupils discovered it was very difficult to get oil off the water.

11-year-old Jasmine Oliver went a step further, taking it on herself to contact a wildlife specialist working on the spill.  "I wanted to learn more interesting stuff about the BP Gulf Oil Spill cause like I was looking in the newspaper one day, and it was kind of hurtful to see how these animals got hurt like that, so I just got very interested in learning what happened," Jasmine said.

Jasmine said the most exciting part of the project was teaching younger children about the spill and helping them understand the significance of it. Jasmine also suggested her teachers to do a field trip to the gulf.

Speaking of education... as we learned the other day, BP has assured their unimpeded punching of holes in the deep ocean floor by proffering their deepwater profits from the Gulf.

The pledged collateral consists of an overriding royalty interest in oil and gas production of BP's Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog, Great White and Mars, Ursa and Na Kika oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

 Since most of us are now more oil savvy than we ever wanted to be, we might be well served (no pun intended) to learn a bit about those oil fields, as they are likely to come into our consciousness in more detail in the future.  

Thunder Horse:
Location:  Mississippi Canyon 778/822, 150 miles SE of New Orleans
Operator:  BP (75%)
Partner:  ExxonMobil (25%)
Water depth:  6,050ft (at PDQ location)
Design life:  25 years
Annualized average throughput - oil:  250,000b/d
Annualized average throughput - gas:  200mmcf/d

Location:  Gulf of Mexico
Position:  190 miles south of New Orleans in 7,070ft (2,150m) of water
Blocks:  Green Canyon 699, 700, 742, 743 & 744
Discovery:  1998
First Oil:  October 2007
Plateau Production Expected:  By the end of 2008
Platform Type:  Moored semi-submersible
Wells:  All subsea
Transport:  Via Caesar oil and Cleopatra gas pipelines (part of Mardi Gras System)
Reserves:  635,000 million barrels of oil equivalent

Mad Dog:
Operator:  BP
Distance from shore:  190 miles south of New Orleans
Water depth:  4,500ft
Equity:  BP 60.5%, BHP Billiton 23.9%, Chevron 15.6%
Drilling unit range: 5,000ft to 7,000ft of water
Green Canyon blocks:  825, 826 and 782
Reserves:  200 to 450 million barrels of oil equivalent
Development cost: $1.54bn
Discovery well:  May 1998, Green Canyon 826
Water depths:  6,600ft
Measured depth:  22,410ft
Platform:  Truss spar
Development:  12 wells
Block:  Green Canyon Block 782
Quarters:  126 persons
Temporary quarters:  60 persons
Throughput:  100,000 barrels oil, 60mscf gas per day
Payload capacity:  18,500t excluding hull storage
Topside and decks:  10,500t
Oil export:  Caesar pipeline to Ship Shoal 332B, Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline System (CHOPS)
Gas export:  Cleopatra pipeline to Ship Shoal 332A, Manta Ray Gathering System, Nautilus Gas Transportation into Louisiana

The Mars Oilfield Project is in 2,940 feet of water in Mississippi Canyon block 763.  The initial development was designed to recover about 500 million barrels of oil equivalent. The cost of the development for the initial project phase was approximately $1bn.

The Ursa Gas and Oil Field is located approximately 130 miles south-east of New Orleans. It encompasses Mississippi Canyon blocks 808, 809, 810, 852, 853 and 854. The water depth averages approximately 4,000ft.  

The Na Kika Oil and Gas Fields extend over Missisipi Canyon blocks 474, 429, 657, 607, 522, 520, 383 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 140 miles south-east of New Orleans, Louisiana, US. It has recoverable reserves of 300 million barrels of oil equivalent and a production rate of around 110,000bpd oil and 500 million cubic feet of gas a day.

It originally consisted of five independent oil and gas fields – Kepler, Ariel, Fourier, Herschel and E Anstey. Wells drilled on the Coulomb gas field were subsequently added. The water depths range from 1,770m [5,807 feet] to 2,360m [7,742 feet], making it the deepest subsea cluster in the world.  

Great White is located on Alaminos Canyon Block 857 in a water depth of 8,000 feet (2,438 meters), and is owned and operated by Shell, 33.34%, while Chevron and BP each hold a 33.3% interest.  All other references I could find to Great White were in relation to the Perdido Oil and Gas Spar Facility.

Not related to this story, but irresistible in its creepiness is this... and note the name of the oil field.

Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) agreed to acquire an additional 20 percent interest in the Tubular Bells oil and gas field in the Gulf of Mexico from BP for $40 million and will become the operator.

The increased ownership will bring Hess' working interest in Tubular Bells to 40 percent. Chevron holds a 30 percent interest and BP will retain 30 percent. The deal is conditioned upon regulatory approval.

Tubular Bells, which was discovered in 2003, is a deepwater field approximately 135 miles southeast of New Orleans, La.

The same article on BP's oh so generous offer to pledge profits from deepwater oil fields to the Trust went on to report what we've pretty much known and been tuning in to here at Gulf Watchers...

Since the Macondo well was finally confirmed sealed on September 19, BP has been completing the process of plugging and abandoning the well. This includes removing portions of the casing and setting cement plugs.

BP has also started the process of dismantling and recovering containment equipment and decontaminating the vessels that were in position at the wellsite. The cost of the response to September 29 amounts to approximately $11.2 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.

Well, we've seen the dismantling process going on.  Can't say as much for the P&A.  And is a leaky wellhead really "finally confirmed sealed?"

UPDATE: This amazing article brought to us by shpilklays it all out beautifully -- the game-playing by BP, the failure to address the leak at the wellhead, all of it.  Definitely MUST be read.


==== ROV Feeds =====
20876/21507  - Development Driller II's ROV 1
32900/49178  - Development Driller II's ROV 2

41434/41436 - Olympic Challenger's ROV 1
40788/40789 - Olympic Challenger's ROV 2

39168/39169 - Chouest Holiday's ROV 1

40492/40493 - Chouest Holiday's ROV 2

47146/47147 - Development Driller III's ROV 1
43698/43699 - Development Driller III's ROV 2

==Multiple stream feeds (hard on browser/bandwidth)==

BP videos All the available directly feeds from BP.

Bobo's lightweight ROV Multi-feed: is the only additional up to date multiple feed site.

See this thread for more info on using video feeds and on linking to video feeds.

Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #401 - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #400 - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #399 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera/story/
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #398 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera/story/
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #397 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #396 - Gulf Watchers/peraspera
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #395 - Condition: transition - BP's Gulf Castastrophe - David PA
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #394 - Transitions - BP's Gulf Castastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #393 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #392 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - When Can we Share a Soda? - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #391 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Talking about Change - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #390 - Drips Redux - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #389 - Night of the Living Drips - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #388 - Sittin' Up With the Dead - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #387 - Time for a Wake? - khowell
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #386 - The Coroner Won't Pronounce - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #385 - Is it Dead? - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
The last Mothership has links to reference material.
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.

Again, to keep bandwidth down, please do not post images or videos.

Originally posted to Yasuragi on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 03:50 AM PDT.

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