Final report by BOERME and Coast Guard issued today. BP withheld info from Hallibuton and Federal investigation. Money from oil workers fund going to help Gulf recovery.
Chevron has leaking pipeline. US wants to help Cuba drill.
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The long anticipated final report, issued jointly by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Coast Guard, is finally out as of today. The official report from the BOERME website is here.
After the most definitive look yet at the disaster, investigators said BP made a series of decisions that complicated cementing operations and may have contributed to the ultimate failure of the cementing of the well.
I can't comment further until reading the report for myself, but I am certain our award winning (and witty) journalist Lorinda Pike will have more to say in Sunday's "post"
|During a deposition taken in preparation for litigation against BP, it was revealed that BP knew that there was a pocket of natural gas placed higher in the formation at the Macondo well than they previously thought. Neither the Federal agency that approved the abandonment plan that was being carried out when the well exploded OR Hallibuton, whose engineers were responsible for the cementing, were informed of this new development.
"This is a critical factor, where the hydrocarbons are found," said Rice University engineering professor Satish Nagarajaiah. "I think further studies are needed to determine where this exactly was and what response was initiated by BP if they knew this fact."
Temporary abandonment is the term used when a well is cemented and sealed to be opened up for production later. Federal officials approved BP's plan based on information givens them before April 19th when the cement was poured. Skripniklova left the Deepwater Horizon on the 19th, but her team then reanalysed the data and believed the gas zone was higher and that the cement should have been placed higher. She "suggested" that the reason she did not specifically notify the rig was that she thought that it would be passed along the chain of command. If BP needed to change the drilling plans it would have cost millions and the well was already grossly overbudget. The ongoing BP meme of risk and cost cutting over safety.
Before her deposition, none of Skripnikova's findings appear to have been passed on to federal regulators or the numerous government investigations since the disaster. Skripnikova was never questioned at public hearings before the presidentially appointed oil spill commission. Nor was she questioned before the joint investigative panel of the U.S. Coast Guard and the agency that regulates offshore drilling, which is readying its final report. Her name and the information she has is not in BP's internal investigation report released last September.
An independent investigator working on the presidential spill commission said that these findings were not revealed to the committee. The petrophysicist working for the commission reviewed the data given by BP to the panel and did not mention the possibility of a higher gas formation...so it looks like BP thought they could keep this secret. Most experts believe this played a role in the explosion, but it is just one of many errors in judgement that were made.
University of California at Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea, who spent decades studying and working on offshore oil rigs, said that the previously undisclosed gas zone was yet another "critical flaw" -- one of several made by BP and its contractors.
Skripnikova apparently tried to change her statement later in the deposition and tried to say her team didn't discuss this until the day after the explosion. Wonder who got to her during the bathroom break.
|We have heard over and over again how Kenneth Feinberg and his BP fund have not helped the most needy who were victims of the spill.
A little good news on that front. You may remember that during the drilling moratorium last summer a $100 million dollar fund was set up to compensate offshore and rig workers who were laid off as a result. It turns out that very few workers were laid off and only about a quarter of the fund was used. Now the Louisiana foundation, the Baton Rouge foundation, will be able to distribute the money to groups aiding in the recovery of the Gulf.
The new Future of the Gulf Fund will aim to help people, the environment, and wildlife. The first $18 million will go for mental health services, job training, the establishment of a permanant coastal wildlife triage and holding center, and to train groups that deal with disasters. The fund hopes to give out all the money by the end of 2012.
--$15 million for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans to continue its Spirit of Hope Collaborative, a group of 16 nonprofits providing mental-health and career counseling in fishing communities since the spill. The effort had received money directly from BP last year and has been a key voice in helping fishers with their oil spill damage claims, but it was running out of money before Wednesday's award.
Baton Rouge Foundation president, John Davies, wants the money to go to agenies that have no other source of funding and to where the foundation sees that it will do the most good. They plan to be making many site visits.
I'm glad that the money isn't going back to BP, as is the case with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility Funds administered by Kenneth Feinberg.
Chevron admits to Gulf leak. The leak was coming from it's Main Pass pipeline which sevices shallow water wells in the area.
The area affected is east of Venice, La, near the Mississippi Delta. Probably far enough away from the Macondo site that it is not the source of oil reported a few weeks ago.
Chevron did not reply to several requests for additional information about the leak and its operations in the Main Pass Area.
|US wants to help Cuba with its drilling plans.
It's all in the name of insuring that the drilling is done safely, given Cuba's proximity
to US waters. William Reilly, who chaired the presidental oil spill commission, made a recent trip to Cuba.
William Reilly told reporters the United States should make its expertise and equipment available in case of an accident when a Chinese-made rig begins drilling for oil later this year in Cuban waters about 60 miles (96 km) from the Florida Keys.
Reilly is referring to the US embargo that does not allow US companies to export or do business in Cuba. Floridians, who have managed to defeat all attempts to drill off their coast, and Cuban Americans are both opposing the idea of any US collaboration with Cuba.
Reilly went to Cuba with Lee Hunt, the president of the International Association of Drilling Contractors and Dan Whittle, senior attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. As Whittle was quoted as saying...we must cooperate, we can't afford another spill.
The Scarabeo 9 drilling rig, owned by Italian oil giant Eni SpA's [ENI.MI] offshore unit Saipem [SPMI.MI] and contracted by Spainish oil company Repsol YPF [REP.MC], set sail from Singapore on Aug. 26 and is expected to reach Cuba by Nov. 1 to start drilling the first of several planned wells. The wells will be sunk in water up to 5,600 feet (1,707 meters) deep.
The Macondo well was 5,000 feet deep.
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!
Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
|9-11-11 03:57 PM||Gulf Watchers Sunday - BP Fouls Gulf Beaches Again - BP Catastrophe AUV #554||Lorinda Pike|
|9-09-11 06:59 PM||Gulf Watchers Block Party: Burning State Editio||BlackSheep1|
|9-07-11 04:00 PM||Gulf Watchers Wednesday - BP advisor implicated in deals with Gaddafi - BP Catastrophe AUV #553||peraspera|
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.
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