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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.

You are in the current Gulf Watchers BP Catastrophe - AUV #555. ROV #554 is here.



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Wednesday - afternoon
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Friday Block Party - evening

Part one of the digest of diaries is here and part two is here.

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BREAKING NEWS

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.
The report, at first glance, seems to place some blame on all parties involved and causing BP stock to rise and Halliburton stock to fall. However, the report does say that BP’s risky decisions were the primary cause.

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.
...
But analysts also noted the report highlighted BP's risk approach had been a core cause.
"BP's cost or time saving decisions without considering contingencies and mitigation were contributing causes of the Macondo blowout," the report said.
...
In the days leading up to the accident, BP made a series of decisions that complicated cementing operations and may have contributed to the ultimate failure of the cement on the well, the investigators found.

BP failed to communicate these decisions and the "increasing operational risks" to Transocean, the contractor that owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon rig, according to the report.

"As a result, BP and Transocean personnel onboard the Deepwater Horizon ... did not fully identify and evaluate the risks inherent in the operations that were being conducted at Macondo," the report said.

Transocean workers missed an opportunity to address the cement problems when they misinterpreted a critical test of the well's cement barriers.

Halliburton was responsible for cementing on the Macondo well.

Halliburton, Transocean and Cameron, the designer of the well's blowout preventer, were not immediately available for comment.

BP declined to comment, saying it had not had chance to review the report yet.

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."
At issue: BP petrophysicist Galina Skripnikova in a closed-door deposition two months ago told attorneys involved in the oil spill litigation that there appeared to be a zone of gas more than 300 feet above where BP told its contractors and regulators with the then-Minerals Management Service the shallowest zone was located.

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.

Bea said the shallower gas could have traveled through channels in the cement and helped to further weaken it before the blowout.

Such a situation would have been detected if BP had conducted what's called a cement bond log to test the strength of the cement, a test the company chose not to do. Bea also said the company did not wait long enough for the cement to set.

"It would have been remarkable ... for that cement to have been able to perform its required function," Bea said.


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.

--$2 million for the Audubon Nature Institute to establish a permanent triage and holding center for injured coastal wildlife, such as dolphins and sea turtles. Environmentalists recovered injured dolphins in the Gulf just this week, presumably due to reported oil slicks.

--$594,000 to Single Stop USA to provide training and support services at Delgado Community College for helping spill-affected workers get retrained for new careers.

--$410,000 for Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, a group of nonprofits that respond to disasters, to set up a regional conference with counterparts from Alabama and Mississippi. The conference will be held in Jackson, Miss., in November.

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.

Carol Fagot, a spokeswoman at the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), said the agency was "aware of the report and looking into it," without offering further details.

Both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office said they had not been informed of a leak off the coast.

Chevron has two offshore platforms in the Main Pass 299 block, according to the company's website. The site is located in shallow waters about 40 miles east of Venice, Louisiana, and has produced heavy oil, natural gas and sulfur, according to government records.

 


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.
...
"It seems to me profoundly in the interest of the United States to ensure that should there be a spill in Cuban waters ... that all efforts are undertaken by both government and private entities in the United States to assist in responding," said Reilly, who is on a trip to Cuba.

The two countries need to jointly develop protocols and plans for that to happen quickly, which has not been done because of U.S. policy, Reilly said.

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
The last Mothership has links to reference material.

Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Welcome to Gulfwatcher Wednesday Edition! (17+ / 0-)

    Some of our members are boycotting Dkos this week. I am in sympathy with the reasons they are doing so but I felt this series has to go on. The people on the Gulf hurt the most are generally people of color, blacks, American indians, and Vietnamese. Also those whose only wrong is to follow a way of life that is their heritage and culture and that should be their right without Big Oil destroying it.

    As for Dkos, when the Democratic Party is reported to be almost 40 percent African Americans, and this site has, reportedly only 3 percent African American users, then I think you have a problem with calling yourself a progressive site whose purpose is to get Democrats elected.

    Be nice to each other...I need to walk the dog and clear my head.

    Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

    by shanesnana on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:39:41 PM PDT

  •  Well done--shanesnana. Here's another issue: (8+ / 0-)

    Lack of gov't oversight...

    The report says government regulations could be strengthened and suggests more unannounced inspections on deep-water rigs. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the agency had largely stopped conducting surprise inspections.

    WSJ

    Guess they were all too happy to enjoy the parties big oil gave them.....

  •  Thanks, 'nana - good job on a rather (7+ / 0-)

    late-breaking story.

    From limited knowledge acquired during my (short) time in the oil patch, this is very true re: the cement, especially if it was the wrong type of cement being used - or the wrong placement - due to faulty info from BP.

    Bea said the shallower gas could have traveled through channels in the cement and helped to further weaken it before the blowout.

    Such a situation would have been detected if BP had conducted what's called a cement bond log to test the strength of the cement, a test the company chose not to do. Bea also said the company did not wait long enough for the cement to set.

    Add being in a hurry (for whatever reason) and you have a perfect recipe for just the disaster we got...

    Assholes...

    "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

    by Lorinda Pike on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 01:33:42 PM PDT

  •  More--stuff we already knew......Worried about $$ (5+ / 0-)
    Evidence collected by investigators showed “BP personnel were aware of the cost overruns and were concerned about incurring additional costs that they deemed unnecessary,” the panel said. Guide’s “effectiveness at reducing costs was part of the evaluation of his performance as wells team leader.”

    Guide, described by a presidential commission that conducted a separate probe into the disaster as “de facto leader” of the Macondo project, worried he was about to be fired, according to an e-mail he wrote to his boss five days before the catastrophe that was cited in today’s report. David Sims, who as drilling and completions manager was Guide’s superior, expressed concerns about Guide’s leadership skills but failed to make any changes, the panel said.

    Bloomberg

    •  Just started reading the report (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lorinda Pike, Phil S 33, peraspera, JanL, DawnN

      and it covers that situation in detail. Kind of feel sorry for him; they changed his job description and he was uncomfortable...then his father died and he was out for a while...

      Hope they don't make a scapegoat out of him.

      Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

      by shanesnana on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:11:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if repeat, forgive. (6+ / 0-)
    final report here.

    strain your eyes, strengthen your heart.

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by greenbird on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:35:48 PM PDT

  •  boycott? (6+ / 0-)

    what is all this about?

    I was away for some weeks in the Land of Hope and returning I find DKos strangely changed. Kind of greyed out.

    at least you folks are still around, that´s a consolation.

    •  Marsanges...hello! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, Lorinda Pike, JanL, Susipsych, DawnN

      I am not sure how to answer...there have been multiple diaries about it. A large number of the members of a group called blackKos were banned, but their HR's were used to defend against racist comments.

      My concern is that there are too few African Americans here anyway...so don't send them elsewhere. Markos should examine why blacks don't follow his site. Then he might perceive the racism in the same way that they do.

      And how are things on your side of the world?

      Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

      by shanesnana on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:02:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  autumnal. (6+ / 0-)

        wind. More wind. Rain on the wind. Company struggling not to go under. (which wouldnt be nice for ten thousand people this site alone). Staring with disbelief at work at how much energy people invest into fighting each other instead of achieving some real thing. (Like this site, huh?) Always falling in love with the few engineers who actually love their processes. Thats not good for me either :) I spent my holidays working for free at some brazilian university helping to supervise students just because I could look at a subtropical sun and wonder at strange flowers and listen to a strange language and began trying to learn it and was indulging in the company of young people full of childishness and joy. That was nice. Now its not so nice and I dont know what to do ... move? But it may be too late to move. Eh, preguica :)

        but those are irrelevant troubles. On returning I read that some tropical storm at your coast had stirred up a good lot of oil and swept ashore; that was a  sobering reminder. you as a whole seem to fare pretty badly and thats sad to watch. You shouldnt need to, you wouldnt need to, it´s not a necessity. If only people could rise over their fears and their resentments, we would need so badly to do that because we´re going to have a rough time anyhow this century, but we could face it with confidence and trust in each other, if only we could get over our fears of each other. (Its no different here; in Wilders land).

        •  marsanges, you have the solution... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peraspera, Phil S 33, shanesnana, JanL, DawnN
          If only people could rise over their fears and their resentments, we would need so badly to do that because we´re going to have a rough time anyhow this century, but we could face it with confidence and trust in each other, if only we could get over our fears of each other.

          That would do it...

          ... a hug for you {{{marsanges}}}

          "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

          by Lorinda Pike on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 04:12:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds like you have had some good experiences (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lorinda Pike, peraspera, Phil S 33, JanL, DawnN

          along with the bad. We need to rejoice in that. I am finding that I need to focus on the small picture rather than the big... a beautiful new grandbaby, a small community of friends, such as we have here. I wish I could change the politics of this country, but all I can do is vote. And hopefully pass along some good to my children and granchildren.

          Always good to get your perspective from afar, Marsanges.
          Like opening the door and catching a ray of light.

          Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

          by shanesnana on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 04:18:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm boycotting other than GW (7+ / 0-)

    because I agree with shanesnana that GW is so important.

    I wonder how the families of the dead rig workers must feel after reading that the gas pocket information being kept secret. I can not comprehend how someone could put their fellow workers lives at risk by doing something so obviously wrong.

    It was good to read about the money going to the Future of the Gulf Fund.

    Thanks, shanesnana, for your diary.

    •  Pera, glad you made the exception. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lorinda Pike, DawnN, Phil S 33, peraspera

      Other academics in the article said essentially, if someone knew, surely they would have stopped it.

      Yeah, BP...probably not. It does make  one sick to think that is what happened, but we have seen how it happen over and over with them.

      What the oil companies have done in Africa is worse.

      Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

      by shanesnana on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:35:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yay! sorta... (5+ / 0-)

    The report made my Yahoo & MSN feed, so it's now "out there" in msm world, perhaps now others will feel as we felt last year about the Fucking Fucks of BP. Or not...gas prices were down today, there was a huge line-up of cars filling up at my local stations, argh.
    So, there was a gas formation somewhere in the mix of all the mess that was made, hardly surprising since we know it's still slowly leaking gas & oil, or was. Who knows what it looks like now? I'm sure that video of the wellsite supposedly made during a recent inspection will never see the light of day, which makes it all the murkier even now. I listened to Fishgrease on a station called BlogTalk Radio - he feels it's leaking at least a bit and re-affirmed what we know - leaks don't get better over time, they get worse.
    As for this site...I just can't comment coherently. An awful shame when we have so much work to do in the coming months and years, but perhaps somehow some good will come of it, who knows. I think overall not a good thing and hope that I am wrong, and we will start working together again.
    I know the Watchers are the sweetest & smartest group on the interwebs that I know!  
    XO

    Think what you are doing today. -Fred Rogers

    by JanL on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:48:35 PM PDT

  •  Keeping my head down this week (5+ / 0-)

    but I did hear Bob Cavnar on Countdown tonight explaining parts of this report. I'm waiting for the repeat and going to send Fishbooom a twitter mention of it, 'cause I'm dying to hear what he has to say.  

    LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:22:38 PM PDT

  •  I always look forward to your Wednesday take on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, shanesnana, peraspera

    things, shanesnana; coherent and caring.

    And today you bring us a heretofore missing character in the bad movie that is Macondo - the mysterious Russian femme.

    What's left? Ooh, aliens. Wait. Wasn't that considered covered by the magical oil-eating bacteria?

    Glad to hear there's some money that will be kept out of BP's pockets.

    and, yes, marsanges:

    We´re going to have a rough time anyhow this century, but we could face it with confidence and trust in each other, if only we could get over our fears of each other.---marsanges

    by DawnN on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:07:43 PM PDT

    •  {{{Dawn}}} (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, Phil S 33, peraspera

      Love the new sig...good thing you stole it before me.

      I'm sure there is still a lot of things we don't know and probably never will; probably many unsavory characters.

      I have to hope their greed ruins them in the end.

      Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

      by shanesnana on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 05:19:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Slogging through oceans of gobbledygook (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, peraspera, shanesnana

    That report and its ancillary notes are (not unexpectedly) difficult to parse. Ah, well, a little light reading is good for the soul.

    Huge kudos to the Baton Rouge Foundation and profuse thanks to you, shanesnana, for bringing that bit of good news.

    "If we want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to reduce the number of our senators dependent on fossil fuel contributions." - Rodney Glassman

    by Darryl House on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:27:03 AM PDT

  •  homies ! tell me this will help you all... (0+ / 0-)
    sourcewatch.org never sleeps, either.
    and it looks like they have spiffy loupes, too. or watchcallits.

    just need someone to take a nice slow stroll through what's here, look for the spots we fits ... ;)
    ---------------------------------

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by greenbird on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:50:19 PM PDT

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