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Friday the EPA released two peer reviewed scientific studies related to cancer causing dioxins released during the surface burning of oil in the Gulf. EPA Releases Reports on Dioxin Emitted During Deepwater Horizon BP Spill.
Surface burning of oil occurred between April 28 and July 19 and were responsible for the removal of 222,000 to 313,000 barrels of oil.
A single sampling was taken from the smoke plumes to measure the release of dioxins (a group of hundreds of cancer causing chemicals released during combustion)in order to determine if further burning should be regulated

With support from the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA conducted sampling of emissions at the source of the controlled burns in the Gulf of Mexico to determine if dioxins were present.  The sampling was conducted to identify potential dioxin exposures and determine the potential risks from inhalation to workers in the vicinity of the fires, risks from inhalation to the general population and risks to the general population from consuming fish caught in the area.

The first report (PDF) (22 pp, 298 KB) summarizing EPA’s sampling effort indicates that while dioxins were created from the burning of oil on ocean water, they were created at low levels – levels similar to the emissions from residential woodstoves and forest fires.

The second report (PDF) (21 pp, 255 KB), coauthored with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), presents the results of a screening risk assessment for the dioxins emitted from the controlled oil burns. The results indicate that increased cancer risk due to exposure to the dioxins released from the controlled burning of oil was small - less than a 1 in 1,000,000 increased cancer risk. Additional cancer risks for inhalation by workers, onshore residents and fish consumption by residents were lower than risk levels that typically are of concern to the Agency.Typically, the Agency has a concern when the risk is greater than 1 in 1,000,000.

The actual reports, which can be linked from the press release allude to yet another example of inadequate response in the early days of the spill. This type of testing is done on at least three samples but this study was based on one. The one sample used was taken in mid July just before the well was capped! Remember, burning began in late April, so there were over two months of burning that took place before anyone was concerned about the release of cancer causing chemicals! In summary, a test done too late with an inadequate sample, yet
the EPA would like us all to feel good about the pollution caused by the burning of the large amount of oil last summer.

If not about incompetence, then it's all about the money.  BP CEO Bob Dudley had promised to pursue vigorously its partners to pay for their share of the spill. BP billed a subsidiary of Japanese trading house Mitsui and Co., MOEX OFFshore, which had a 10 percent interest in Macondo,1.9 million dollars. Mitsui Oil Exploration President: Impact From BP Oil Spill Limited

The Japanese trading house said in its financial statement that it didn't book any reserves or financial liabilities related to the oil spill, saying there is uncertainty about "how to calculate the total claimed amount," and Moeco's liability "would be zero as of Sept. 30, 2010 at the minimum level" if certain conditions are met in the joint operating agreement.

Anadarko Petroleum shares are losing value more than any other company connected to the Gulf spill. Energy Losers: Anadarko Petroleum

Anadarko owned 25 percent of Macondo.

Transocean and Halliburton can stick to their legal defense that their contracts with BP fully protect them from any liabilities.
As an owner of 25% of the Macondo well, that's a harder case for Anadarko to make without gross negligence on the part of BP. Halliburton took the unusual step of posting a copy of its BP contract to the investor relations section of its web site after the government released the cement test results at the end of October, to make the case in contract language that it was fully protected from oil spill liabilities. Anadarko has no such security blanket.

Both Anadarko and Mitsui have refused to pay BP pending the results of the federal investigation.

Gulf cleanup hits $581 million according to the federal General Accounting Office. Despite payments received from BP it is possible that the US government stand to risk having to pay for some of the cleanup.

BP has reimbursed the federal government $518 million for cleanup costs for the April oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, congressional auditors said, but those costs have already hit $581 million and are still growing.

The Government Accountability Office, in a report on the spill released Friday, reviewed the financial risks facing a trust fund Congress authorized in 1990 after the Exxon Valdez incident to pay cleanup expenses incurred by federal agencies. The pot of money, called the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, is financed by an 8-cents-per-barrel tax on petroleum.

Auditors said there was about $1.6 billion in the fund as of the end of September. But to limit the government's exposure, the law caps at $1 billion the amount agencies can draw from it for cleanup costs - even if the oil company responsible for a spill pledges to reimburse the government for all costs. The fund is at risk in the near future of reaching the limit of what the government can spend, the GAO said.

Congress is considering legislation to lift the $1 billion cap. Auditors urged Congress not only to lift it but to consider changing the rules so that money already reimbursed by BP is not counted against the limit.

Yesterday's AUV by Yasuragi went into great detail regarding the controversy surrounding the forensic examination of the BOP from the Deepwater Horizon. Peraspera added this info later regarding the company doing the forensics. Interior hires firm that OK'd Deepwater safety procedures to do autopsy of failed device  

The Interior Department is planning to pay Det Norske Veritas (DNV) $1.3 million to conduct the autopsy of the 60-foot high, 380-ton blowout preventer, which is now sitting on a dock at the NASA Michoud assembly plant in Louisiana.

In 2007, DNV inspected and recertified the Deepwater Horizon's safety procedures. In 2009, Transocean hired DNV to do a study of the reliability of subsea blowout preventers. That same year, DNV named a Transocean vice president, N. Pharr Smith, to be chairman of DNV's rig owners' committee, which provides "input" to DNV's rule-making process.

A diagnosis of what went wrong with the blowout preventer, or BOP, is key to explaining the explosion that triggered the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Future regulations, and possibly billions of dollars of legal liability, are linked to the outcome.

"It's of particular concern that DNV has done a specific analysis of the rig back in 2007, has opined separately on the reliability of BOPs and specifically taken the position that a second blind shear ram would only marginally make a difference," said Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the Chemical Safety Board. "We think those positions are a conflict that should have been reviewed early."

DNV did not certify the BOP; their work involved signing off on safety procedures for Transocean, and they have done work on the reliability of Bops in general.

DNV says that there is no conflict. Blaine Collins, spokesman for Det Norske Veritas Classification (Americas), said that "we haven't had any involvement in the inspection or certification of the blowout preventer."

He said DNV examined the Deepwater Horizon for compliance with the International Safety Management code, designed to provide "for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention."


The American Bureau of Shipping, a nonprofit organization that classifies marine vessels and offshore rigs, did not submit the firm's name to do the blowout preventer autopsy because of its earlier work on the Deepwater Horizon. The organization said in a statement that "it assumed its earlier work on the rig comprised a conflict of interest. And so ABS is surprised that DNV has received the contract to do this work."

The article goes on to outline the conflict between Interior and the Chemical Safety Board and who gets to sit in on the autopsy.

If only those of us who find ourselves out of work were younger! (recent unscientific poll shows GWers are in their 50's)
Oil rig 'hellfighters' are back in vogue

Demand is surging for workers trained to fight oil well blowouts to show regulators and investors that emergencies like BP's fatal blast can be handled before they erupt into billion-dollar disasters.

'The BP disaster was a real eye-opener for the oil industry,' one executive said. 'Now the oil companies are sending everyone through this kind of training, from the roughnecks all the way up to the drilling superintendents.'

Well-control instructor Doug Shelley and other practitioners of a trade depicted in John Wayne's 1968 film "Hellfighters" say they're overwhelmed with applications for their two-and-half-day classes instructing roughnecks, roustabouts and drilling engineers.

Spill causes profits to increase of at least one of the companies involved

Oil-well firefighters such as DXP Enterprises Inc., Superior Energy Services Inc. and RPC Inc. are outperforming the rest of the petroleum industry in the wake of BP's blowout that led to the worst crude spill in U.S. history. Halliburton Co. on Wednesday estimated sales at the Boots & Coots Inc. well-control business it bought in September will triple in three years, and said it's on the hunt for more such acquisitions.

RPC, based in Atlanta, more than doubled since BP's April 20 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers. DXP of Houston jumped 41 percent. New Orleans-based Superior Energy advanced 23 percent. Superior's Wild Well Control subsidiary was one of three U.S. outfits hired in 1991 to extinguish the Kuwaiti oilfield fires set by Saddam Hussein's retreating troops.

During the same period, the NYSE Arca Oil Index, which includes Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, two of the world's largest oil companies, was unchanged. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index of drillers, equipment makers and subsea robot operators, advanced 3.3 percent.

Two Sundays ago, the NYT Magazine section presented a side  of the BP Spill we haven't talked much about.The Other OIl Spill examines the issue from the perspective of the trial lawyers involved with litigation against big oil, and the fact that the Feinberg commission was created to prevent just those types of lawsuits.

The article introduces you to one of the players against BP:

It was a little past 9 on a scorching July morning in South Texas, and Tony Buzbee was gunning down the Gulf Freeway outside Houston in his cherry red Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (license plate BUZB 8) on his way to a court hearing in Galveston. Buzbee’s right hand was occupied with one of his ever-present La Gloria Cubana cigars, while his left stayed in intermittent contact with the wheel as he recounted how he destroyed an insurance company’s expert witness in a recent deposition. So total was the demolition, in Buzbee’s telling, that the witness retired on the spot from any future trial work. "I basically made him admit that his entire compensation model was" fouled up, Buzbee said with undisguised relish, as well as the blunt profanity that is a hallmark of his conversations.
Make no mistake, Buzbee is an entrepreneur of a certain kind. As do most trial lawyers, he spends money to pry evidence of wrongdoing out of corporations that he can then leverage for a maximum return on investment. When I asked him what his product was, he thought for a moment before responding, "Fairness." However you react to his answer, lawyers like Buzbee need a big wrong to make their business model a success, which is why his current project revolves around the offshore explosion aboard BP’s Deepwater Horizon, which killed 11 people aboard the floating rig and released an estimated 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.
As we drove around Galveston he pointed out some of the scenes of his previous legal battles, none more significant than the small community of Texas City, on Galveston Bay, where in 2005 an explosion at a refinery owned by BP killed 15 people, injured 170 and spawned thousands of damage claims.Buzbee sued BP on behalf of 179 clients, and in all, the company paid out $2.1 billion on claims from that explosion. For Buzbee, a high point came when he became one of two lawyers allowed to take the deposition of John Manzoni, the senior BP executive overseeing the Texas City plant. The brutal dismantling culminated when Buzbee asked Manzoni, who was trying to defend BP’s record, to read aloud from a safety survey of the plant that, as fate would have it, was completed on the very day of the explosion: "If this facility was an aircraft carrier, we would be at the bottom of the ocean." Buzbee’s cases settled a few weeks later. He put his personal take from the litigation at close to $100 million.

The article is long,but well written, and gives some insight into what the real victims of this disaster are dealing with on both sides.

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

39168/39169 - Chouest Holiday's ROV 1

40492/40493 - Chouest Holiday's ROV 2

58406/21750 - Iron Horse ROV 1 (Original feed which is still active)

If Iron Horse won't load in VLC or Quicktime with the above link try this one.

23211/23803 - Iron Horse ROV 1 (New feed designations)

22070/22936 - Iron Horse ROV 2 (New feed designations)

24301/24309 - West Sirius' ROV 1 (New feed)

They cemented the still leaky Macondo well and put on a memorial cap in the wee hours of November 8. The Marine Traffic site hasn't had any type of accurate information around the Macondo site since they pulled the BOP so we don't know what skimmers and support ships may have been on site. Feeds have been up for pulling and deploying equipment since the well was capped.

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

German multiple feed site that updates once a minute—Does not crash browsers and loads really fast.

Belgian multi-feed site, Mozaiek Webcam – BP Olielek Olieramp Deepwater Horizon

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: - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Wednesday - Commission Takes a Dive for BP & Big Oil - BP Catastrophe AUV #423 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Oil Spill Hearings - Liveblog - Phil S 33
Gulf Watchers Monday - Finale or beginning of Fireworks - BP Catastrophe AUV #422 - shanesnana
Gulf Watchers Sunday - BP Fails Big (Again) But Probation May Be Lifted - BP Catastrophe AUV #421 - Yauragi
Gulf Watchers Special Report - BOP is Off; P&A coming up? - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers Friday - Another Spill is Certain - BP Catastrophe AUV #420 - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Wednesday - BP & MMS deception about toxic plumes - BP Catastrophe AUV #419 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Monday - More on Dispersants - BP Catastrophe AUV #418 - shanesnana
Gulf Watchers Sunday - NOAA, FDA Lower Standards So Gulf Seafood Will Pass - BP Catastrophe AUV #417 - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers Friday: GOTV-All Politics is Local: Kamala Harris/CA-AG: BP Catastrophe AUV#416 - ArthurPoet
Gulf Watchers Wednesday - EPA Whistleblower Crucifies BP on Safety - BP Catastrophe AUV #415 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Monday Edition - Reparations, Repair, Responsibility - BP Catastrophe AUV #414 - shanesnana
Gulf Watchers Sunday Edition - Will New Lawsuit Revive the Moratorium? - BP Catastrophe AUV #413 - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #412 - gchaucer2
Gulf Watchers Wednesday Edition - 6 Months of Gulf Sorrow - BP Catastrophe AUV #411 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Monday Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #410 - shanesnana
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #409 - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Monday Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #408 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #407 - shanesnana
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #406 - Sunday Wrap - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #405 - bleeding heart
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #404 - peraspera
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #403 - Darryl House
Gulf Watchers Morning Edition - BP Catastrophe AUV #402 - Yasuragi
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 shanesnana on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 10:06 AM PST.

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