Environmental attorney says oil still leaking; UK secretly helping Canada push its oil sands project; U.S. Judge Denies BP's Bid to Access $750 Million of Insurance Coverage; U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier rules Transocean can't sue U.S. government; Halliburton wants Barbier to disqualify engineer for 'switching sides' to BP; Transocean Synonymous With Oil Spills; Chevron Banned From Brazil Drilling as Regulator Probes Leak; Chevron Named "Most Toxic" Energy Company of 2011; BP gags in-house lawyer on oil spill lawsuits; BP responsible for eyeless shrimp?
You are in the current Gulf Watchers BP Catastrophe - AUV #570. ROV #569 is here.
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Gulf Watchers Diaries will be posted Monday afternoons.
Part one of the digest of diaries is here and part two is here.
Please be kind to kossacks with bandwidth issues. Please do not post images or videos. Again, many thanks for this.
|Gulf Watchers Vindicated!
As we've claimed since the wellhead was first visible on ROV feeds and oil was seen seeping from the outside, Macondo is leaking, and not from the wellhead itself. As some of us speculated (ahem!), it appears the sea floor was fractured in the original explosion, and the continuing leaks are coming from the seabed -- a truly appalling situation. One can hardly "cap" the seabed.
An environmental attorney said oil is still leaking from BP's Macondo Formation more than 16 months after the well was declared sealed. The attorney said the only explanation for fresh oil bearing the Macondo fingerprint that's washed ashore on barrier islands is that the seafloor was damaged during the Deepwater Horizon blowout, and oil is seeping through.
Attorney Stuart Smith said:
"Oil from different reservoirs contains different concentrations of various stuff, and so each reservoir has a fingerprint. If you test it, you can tell where it's coming from. The Macondo well was the only well that was completed into that particular reservoir.
In an e-mail late last week, a BP representative allowed as how there were vessels in the area:
"There are several vessels there participating in a study of natural oil seeps. This study has been ongoing for the past month or so. Data continues being collected and we provided an update on the natural oil seeps at the SETAC [Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry] conference in Boston this week. ... The study is documenting the specific locations of these seeps and is seeking to track oil flow from seabed to surface," BP wrote.
As is their tedious custom, BP was unavailable for comment.
Here’s how On Wings of Care pilot Bonny Schumaker recounts the scene on the water in her Nov. 12 flyover report:
|UK secretly helping Canada push its oil sands project
Wait... it gets worse...
The UK government has been giving secret support at the very highest levels to Canada's campaign against European penalties on its highly polluting tar sands fuel, the Guardian can reveal.
|Chevron Banned From Brazil Drilling as Regulator Probes Leak
Wait, it gets much more worse.
Chevron Corp., the U.S. oil producer operating the $3.6 billion Frade oilfield off the coast of Brazil, was blocked from drilling in the South American country while the government probes a recent spill.
According to Harald Lima of the National Oil Agency, the $28 million, for having filed "false and misleading reports," could be just the beginning. Just how many fines will be levied will be determined by what the investigation turns up.
In addition, Rio de Janeiro has fined Chevron 20 million real for the damage, plus another punitive 30 million real.
Brazil's Environmental Minister, Izabella Teixiera, says more fines will be forthcoming pending proof of violations to environmental law. Carlos Minc, Rio's environmental secretary, said, ""There will be no impunity in Rio." Citing the company's negligence as having caused the accident, Minc said, "they under-estimated the excessive oil pressure near a crack... This accident could have been avoided."
The state environmental agency, Ibama, claims 5,000 to 8,000 barrels were spilled, while Chevron claims it was only 2,400.
Some estimates set the seep at 200 to 330 barrels per day since November 8, but the energy ministry has a lower estimate of 220 to 230 bbd.
Greenpeace disagrees sharply with those estimates, indicating satellite photos that show a spill ten times that size, and more likely approaching a total of 3,700 barrels per day.
Chevron underestimated the amount of pressure at a reservoir at the Frade project about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Buck told reporters on Nov. 20. The well experienced a pressure “kick” at the reservoir, prompting oil to leak to fissures on the ocean floor, he said.
Chevron Named "Most Toxic" Energy Company of 2011
The American oil giant Chevron has been named the "most toxic" energy company of 2011 by AlterNet, a prestigious U.S.-based online magazine that closely tracks environmental issues.
Transocean: The Name Synonymous With Oil Spills
History seems to be repeating itself. Once again, Transocean is embroiled in an oil-spill mess that threatens to bring repercussions far worse than what the company had to endure after the Gulf of Mexico spill.
|Barbier Denies BP Bid to Access $750M in Insurance
U.S. District Court Judge, Carl Barbier, issued a forty-two (42) page Order ruling against BP on its motion for final judgment on the pleadings in respect to all claims presented in the pending insurance actions arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident. BP requested the Court issue two (2) declaratory awards in its favor, specifically seeking the Court to identify BP as an “additional insured” under the Transocean insurance policies and to broadly define BP’s coverage rights under the policies themselves, rather than limit its coverage rights pursuant to the underlying Drilling Contract.
Barbier Rules Transocean Can't Sue US Government
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Friday that Transocean cannot sue the U.S. government for fault in the Deepwater Horizon blowout, as Uncle Sam has sovereign immunity.
Halliburton wants Barbier to disqualify engineer for 'switching sides' to BP
Halliburton Energy Services Inc. claims an employee who helped develop strategy for litigation over the Deepwater Horizon explosion quit his job and joined a firm that helps rig operator BP develop an opposing strategy.
|BP gags in-house lawyer on oil spill lawsuits
Oil giant BP has succeeded in preventing the public airing of comments from a senior in-house lawyer about lawsuits stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as part of a legal claim of discrimination.
|Did BP Oil Make Shrimp Lose Their Eyes?
Little more than a year after BP oil disaster, seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is "as safe to eat as it was before the oil spill," the FDA insists on its website.
|Tate trustee reignites BP row ahead of Turner Prize
Diogenes can set down his lantern, give his dog a bowl of water, and quit larking about. We've found his honest man.
One of the Tate galleries' top officials has broken ranks to criticise the organisation's sponsorship deal with BP, calling the oil company "a disgrace" for its environmental record.
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:
|11-21-11 04:00 PM||Gulf Watchers Monday - Chevron lies about size of their Brazil oil spill - BP Catastrophe AUV #569||peraspera|
|11-14-11 03:00 PM||Gulf Watchers Monday - BP Aghast: Stronger Damage Assessment Demanded - BP Catastrophe AUV #569||Yasuragi|
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.