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Topics: Louisiana Plans for Gulf Oil Dredged by Isaac’s Force, BP says shutting all Gulf of Mexico oil platforms on storm threat, BP contaminated gasoline claims reach 6,500, BP gets 6.5K claims over bad gas; 2 lawsuits filed, Fraud pollutes BP oil-spill compensation fund for Gulf Coast victims from Florida to Louisiana, BP's pockets jingle as assets sold, BP Said to Seek $7.9 Billion Selling Gulf of Mexico Fields, Fuel Fix » BP rumored to have Brazilian oil field on the sale block

ou are in the current Gulf Watchers BP Catastrophe - AUV #595. ROV #594 is here.



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I wonder how many years Gulf residents will have to worry about what new oil from BP's black monster will be dredged up as well as having to deal with the natural damage from hurricanes. It seems so unfair that Louisiana and Mississippi find themselves in the crosshairs of another potential disaster after suffering so much tragic loss from Katrina and BP's oily assault.

The only small comfort I see in the news story is that at least one group of scientists will be traveling to the area to assess the damage to the wetlands. However, the absence of news of multiple science teams joining the one team is very disheartening.

Louisiana Plans for Gulf Oil Dredged by Isaac’s Force

August 28, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac, projected to become a hurricane with 100 mile-per-hour winds when it makes landfall, may dredge up as much as 1 million barrels of oil buried in sediment in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP Plc (BP/) spill two years ago, a Louisiana official said.

The state is adding about 50 experts to its hurricane response teams to identify new oil damage from the surge of sea water expected from the storm, said Garret Graves, chairman of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Isaac is expected to batter almost three-quarters of the state’s coast with wave collisions that have the power to erode beaches and send sea water deep into coastal marshes, according to computer models from the U.S. Geological Survey. That may force debris from the Gulf, including oil, deep into Louisiana’s wetlands, according to Graves.

“We should be able to focus all our resources on search and rescue, and helping people repopulate,” Graves said in a telephone interview. The oil removal plans are a “frustrating necessity that would have been largely preventable had BP been more aggressive about removal efforts.”

Jeff Masters, co-founder of the Weather Underground forecast website based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said Isaac’s slow speed may increase the damage it does at the coast. The current projection is for the winds to peak at 100 mph as it comes ashore, according to the Hurricane Center.

400 Miles
The storm surge will be particularly bad from Louisiana to Mississippi simply because the storm is so big, Masters said in a telephone interview yesterday. Federal officials said last night that Isaac stretched almost 400 miles wide.

As the storm passes, any oil carried by its power will probably end up clogging marshes as the water retreats to the Gulf, according to Graves.

In June, Brian Silliman, of the department of zoology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found oil from the spill may have more than doubled the rate of shoreline erosion by killing the roots of salt-marsh grasses. His group will go to the area after Isaac to see how much the storm affects erosion, he said in a telephone interview.




Let's all cross our fingers that BP actually got their Gulf platforms shut down properly before evacuating. If anyone can bungle the process it is surely BP.
BP says shutting all Gulf of Mexico oil platforms on storm threat
August 26, 2012

HOUSTON (Reuters) - BP Plc said it will shut production at all of its Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms and evacuate all workers on Sunday in light of Tropical Storm Isaac's westerly shift and forecasts that it could strengthen into a hurricane.
...




I could find no mention in the incurious press as to why the alkylation unit at BP's Whiting, Indiana refinery was spewing the wrong stuff into the gasoline. Given BP's track record it would not be surprising to find that poor maintenance and/or monumental willful stupidity was responsible.

It is also worth noting that more than a week after it assaulted its customers and dealers with bad gas that BP still hasn't gotten around to testing all the gas at its service stations which leaves the owners without profits from the shut down pumps.

BP contaminated gasoline claims reach 6,500

8:38 p.m. CDT, August 27, 2012

Contaminated gasoline from a BP refinery has so far led to about 6,500 claims from motorists trying to recoup hundreds of dollars they spent for car repairs, a spokesman said Monday.

The company, which has fielded about 19,000 inquiries from motorists, last week recalled 2.1 million gallons of gasoline from its refinery in Whiting, Ind. The bad gas affected service stations in three states, including the Chicago region of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Since then, BP has checked its entire distribution system, BP spokesman Scott Dean said.

"We're at a point where we're confident that all the products put out by the refinery and distributed by our terminals — they've all been tested," he said. "So, any gasoline in the three-state area has been tested and is within good quality specifications."

Dean said "a few" service stations have pumps with premium or midgrade gasoline unavailable until they can be tested.

BP on Monday also provided some details about the source of the contamination, which arose when one feed of oil piped into a refining unit — called the alkylation unit, or alky — didn't have the correct molecular makeup and contaminated the resulting gasoline, Dean said.

"We found and cut off the problem to the alkylation unit. One of the streams of feed it was getting was bad — it was not of the chemical composition we wanted," Dean said.

By the time the problem was discovered, the bad gasoline, with larger and more complex hydrocarbon molecules that don't burn well, had spread throughout BP distribution channels. Some was sold to motorists whose vehicles experienced such symptoms as hard-starting, stalling, rough idling and illumination of the check-engine light. In most cases, spark plugs and fuel injectors essentially became dirty and didn't work correctly.

Repairs, which primarily consist of draining the fuel tank and cleaning the fuel system, cost $300 to $1,200. 

Motorists who believe their vehicles have been damaged by the contaminated fuel can file a claim by calling BP's customer hotline at 800-333-3991 or 800-599-9040. Consumers can also access information and submit an online inquiry at bpresponse.com. Consumers should save sales receipts, credit or debit card records and repair bills, the company said.




Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against BP for inflicting contaminated gas on their customers. Sadly, many victims will likely need to depend on the kindness of lawyers to get BP to pay up if the experience of its Gulf victims is any indication.

BP gets 6.5K claims over bad gas; 2 lawsuits filed

Published: Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 - 4:22 pm'

WHITING, Ind. -- BP says it has received more than 6,500 claims from customers needing repairs after fueling up with some of the 2.1 million gallons of gasoline recalled in three states over high levels of a polymer residue.

Spokesman Scott Dean says BP isn't commenting on two lawsuits seeking class-action status in U.S. District Court in Hammond. Each lead plaintiff in the cases filed Friday alleges the recalled gas caused repair bills of nearly $1,000 or more.
...




It is infuriating that Feinberg made it nigh on impossible for honest people to collect money from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility he administered but the FBI had to rely on tips from elsewhere to put a stop to this multi-million dollar fraud. It has always seemed to me that people in Florida had a much easier time of getting their claims honored and I've often wondered if that was an attempt on BP's part to increase its political influence in a state that does not allow offshore drilling.
Fraud pollutes BP oil-spill compensation fund for Gulf Coast victims from Florida to Louisiana
Posted on Sunday, 08.19.12

Not a single drop of the massive British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico touched the land-locked city of Homestead or the Keys peninsula to the south.

But a Homestead businessman saw the April 2010 oil-rig explosion and subsequent environmental disaster as an opportunity to cash in, authorities say. Jean Mari Lindor filed about $15 million in BP damage claims for himself and others for wages purportedly lost due to the spill’s economic hit on the region’s tourism industry.

Lindor submitted as many as 700 suspicious claims, mostly for low-income workers who each paid him a processing fee of $300, a prosecutor said in federal court last week. As a result, Lindor and the other South Florida claimants were paid about $3 million from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was established by British Petroleum after the protracted Deepwater Horizon spill.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Watts-Fitzgerald said Lindor filed “fraudulent documents” as he allegedly fleeced the $20-billion compensation program set up by BP for oil-spill victims in an agreement with the Obama administration.

In other South Florida criminal cases, offenders have been accused of stealing the identities of others to file false claims with the BP fund.

Among them: A Miami federal jury in June convicted Joseph Harvey and Anja Karin Kannell of using the “assumed identities” of hundreds of actual people living in the Florida Panhandle, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to file fraudulent claims for millions of dollars in lost wages stemming from the spill. They collected about $700,000 in BP payments, authorities say. The Delray Beach couple faces sentencing Thursday.

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility received about 1.1 million claims from all 50 U.S. states and 35 foreign countries, including applications from fishermen, hotels and restaurants. Overall, the GCCF approved more than one-third of those claims, totaling $6.5 billion in payouts to 226,000 claimants. The majority of applications were denied for lack of valid documentation, and a fraction for fraud.

“There’s a far cry from gaming the system and pushing the boundaries of the [claims process] to doctoring tax returns and adding zeros,” said Feinberg, who also served as the administrator for the 9/11 victims’ compensation fund and the government’s TARP bailout for banks.

Asked how some suspected criminals were able to bilk the BP fund program, he said: “You can’t catch everybody. Inevitably in a program like the GCCF, mistakes are made and certain fraudulent applications are paid.’’

Lindor’s alleged scheme was run out of his Homestead company Noula, which was infiltrated as part of an FBI undercover investigation.

According to a court affidavit, the probe started when the FBI received a tip last September that Lindor was breaking the law under the cover of his business, which “purported to provide immigration services to immigrants in the area.”

Then, the FBI obtained a “complaint report” that had been written in early 2011 by someone claiming to be associated with the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. The complainant’s email said that more than 20 employees were in on Lindor’s scheme, including a housekeeper who made $12,000 a year and who, after submitting “fictitious information,” received $19,000 from the BP fund.

FBI agents, assisted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Secret Service, discovered that other claims for lost wages were filed through Lindor’s business by 15 employees at the Island Grill in Islamorada.
...




BP seems to be offloading assets that require less skill and knowledge to operate in order to focus on high risk deepwater drilling and refining the environmentally filthy Canada tar sand oil. The small amount of good news is that the Carson City refinery will no longer be run by BP which seems to consider routine maintenance and environmental requirements to spew its filth as optional.

BP's pockets jingle as assets sold

Published 12:06 a.m., Saturday, August 25, 2012

BP's recent $1 billion sale of its Carson refinery in Southern California is the latest move in what has become perhaps the biggest corporate garage sale in history, as BP seeks to raise cash and slim down its global operations by divesting $38 billion in assets before the end of 2013.

It looks like the sale is going well. Two years in, the London-based oil major has received $26.5 billion for assets already sold, leaving about $11 billion to go to reach its target. The company has said its goal is to keep assets with which it can create the highest value and generate the most profit, and sell off the rest.

"This strategy includes everything - upstream, downstream, global assets, and they have gotten value for the assets," said Fadel Gheit, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. "It has reshaped the company portfolio like no other company I have covered."

The divestment strategy began in mid-June 2010, when BP was faced with funding a $20 billion trust it set up to pay expenses related to the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which followed the blowout of BP's Macondo well.

A significant portion of the divestments have been in the exploration-production arena.

Sales have included all its upstream interests in Colombia, Venezuela and Vietnam, and a range of assets in the North Sea, Canada and the United States.

In June it began production at the Galapagos development, a deep-water project 140 miles southeast of New Orleans that is tied to the Na Kika platform.

BP also is trimming its refinery portfolio, having recently sold the Carson, Calif., facility for $1.2 billion. Analysts endorsed BP's decision to focus on its refineries in the northern United States, which can process Canadian oil sands crude.

But some view the potential sale of its Texas City refinery as more of a challenge, because of its size and its history of maintenance issues and fatalities, including the 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers.

BP also recently announced that after a history of royalty, tax and legal issues, it plans to sell its half interest in TNK-BP, a Russian joint venture oil company. Alfa Access Renova, a Russian consortium that owns the other 50 percent, has expressed interest in buying BP's share, as has Rosneft, Russia's state-owned oil company.




While BP is selling some of their Gulf assets they plan on drilling their black hearts out in our precious Gulf for the foreseeable future. Why anyone with a single firing brain neuron thinks that BP is even remotely qualified to take on the grown-up responsibility of deepwater drilling is beyond my ken. I suspect that it is a matter of when not if there will come a day when we won't come to regret not sending BP packing after multiple demonstrations of their greed and willful incompetence.

BP Said to Seek $7.9 Billion Selling Gulf of Mexico Fields

Aug 14, 2012 6:23 PM CT
BP Plc (BP/) is seeking as much as $7.9 billion before tax payments for a group of Gulf of Mexico oilfields as it unloads assets following its 2010 spill in the region, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley plans to sell $38 billion of assets by the end of next year, shrinking BP after the accident at its Macondo well, the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, wiped out a third of its market value.

The oil producer, Europe’s biggest after Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), has prepared preliminary information for prospective buyers of assets including the Horn Mountain, Holstein, Diana Hoover and Ram Powell fields, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley plans to sell $38 billion of assets by the end of next year, shrinking BP after the accident at its Macondo well, the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, wiped out a third of its market value. The London- based company said in May that it plans to sell some “non- strategic” assets in the Gulf.

“But no one should confuse our effort to sell these older, non-strategic assets, which we announced months ago, with our ongoing commitment to the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. BP intends to continue investing at least $4 billion annually in the Gulf over the next decade, Clanton said in the e-mail.

BP’s output in the Gulf of Mexico is some of the most profitable in its portfolio, and Dudley has said he wants to focus more on the production hubs of the Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika fields. The company has six rigs working in the region and plans to have eight by the end of the year, the most ever.

Two of the fields being sold by BP, Holstein and Horn Mountain, are already operating, and two are still in development, the people said. Bidders are likely to include U.S. companies such as Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), and it’s unlikely that all the fields will go to one buyer, one of the people said.




I'm sure the people of Brazil will breathe a sigh of relief when BP finds a buyer. The thought of BP operating anything that the American Petroleum Institute considers to be "extremely complex" is nothing short of horrifying.
Fuel Fix » BP rumored to have Brazilian oil field on the sale block
Posted on August 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

BP may be looking to sell its only Brazilian producing oil field, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday.

BP currently operates Polvo, a field close to the coast of Rio de Janeiro, with a 60 percent stake. Maersk owns the other 40 percent share. The sale would be part of a $38 billion divestment strategy that BP announced in 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Analysts say that the potential sale is probably due to Polvo’s low production and the complexity of the well, which the American Petroleum Institute has rated as extremely complex.

“The field, which has been in production for five years, has struggled to meet growth targets, given compartmentalized reservoirs and complex carbonate geology,” wrote Tudor Pickering in an analyst’s report.

ou are in the current Gulf Watchers BP Catastrophe - AUV #595. ROV #594 is here.



Follow the Gulf Watchers tag by going clicking on the heart next to the Gulf Watchers tag at the bottom of this diary. Follow the Gulf Watchers Group by going here and clicking on the heart next to where it says "Follow" in the Gulf Watchers Group profile on the right. You will have to scroll down a little to see the profile. Bookmark this link to find the latest Gulf Watchers diaries.

Gulf Watchers Diaries will be posted on every other Tuesday afternoon.

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.

Originally posted to Gulf Watchers Group on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Climate Change SOS.

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