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Please rec the new Mothership #122 here. This one has expired.

Gulf Watchers are currently discussing when and how we will change from the current Mothership format. Please join in if you have any ideas or preferences.

The current ROV DIARY: Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #392 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - When Can we Share a Soda? - khowell

The digest of diaries is here

Rules of the Road

  • We take volunteers for subsequent diaries in the sub diaries or ROV's as we have playfully coined them.
  • Please rec this mothership diary, not the ROVs.
  • Please be kind to fellow kossacks who may have limited bandwidth and refrain from posting images or videos.

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!

To repeat: please refrain from commenting in this mothership diary - it only serves to point people in the right direction.

Must see:

BOP Forensic Analysis Part 1
BOP Forensic Analysis Part 2
BOP Forensic Analysis Part 3

I received a set of links to the massive video library collected by Josef Gerbils of The Oil Drum.

Deepwater Horizon BlowOut & Oil Spill:
Deepwater Horizon BlowOut II
Deepwater Horizon BlowOut III
Deepwater Horizon BlowOut IV
Deepwater Horizon BlowOut V

Those include many videos from our crew and others.

40 page 12mb report on the Macondo well

Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Reference Material - from Whitis is the best source for everything.. The quantitative data diary has also been moved there.

Six Steps that Doomed the Rig is an excellent graphic from the New Orleans Times Picayune.

The motherlode of technical data Kairos brought us was removed, but the 19 mb 48 page BP Accident Investigation Overview and the 12 mb 147 page Confidential TransOcean Assurance Analysis of the BOP with detailed control diagrams starting at page 56, are still available.

Kossak Sillia gives a concise explanation of the mothership and liveblog:

This diary, that is, the mothership, forms the hub from which you can reach the other diaries. Or, think of it as a table of contents in the front page of a book. You use this diary to find a link to the latest discussions. You can also find links here to past discussions (previous diaries) if you wanted to read them.

The actual liveblog diaries (in this case playfully referred to as a 'submersible' or ROV) is where the discussion is--once one of these gets so long that its size is cumbersome, they start a new one. So if you wanted to join in to the most current discussion, you'd click the most recent link. But they leave the links there so that people can still go back and read the older ones if they wish.

The reason for this setup is that it prevents the recommended list from being filled up with many diaries on the same topic. Instead just the mothership will appear on the rec list where everybody can find it, which they can use to navigate to the latest discussion. (That's why we are asked to "rec" the mothership but not the other diaries, just reduces confusion.)

I hope this is sort of what you were wanting to know...

A video primer on ROV Watching, from GW regular sometv.

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

41434/41436 - Olympic Challenger's ROV 1
40788/40789 - Olympic Challenger's ROV 2

47146/47147 - Development Driller III's ROV 1
43698/43699 - Development Driller III's ROV 2

Bobo's lightweight ROV Multi-feed: A great low impact multi-view page
BP videos - All the available live feeds from BP
WKRG - Mobile/Pensacola (contains link for an iPhone app at the bottom)

Links, courtesy of several Kossacks

Liveblog diaries
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
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #384 - Darryl House
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #383 - Issues - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #382 - Intersection! - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV 381 -- O'Donnell Edition of BP's Gulf Catastrophe - gchaucer2
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #380 - Ranging Run - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #379 - Darryl House
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #378 - We Don't Blink - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Kairos
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #377 - We Ain't No Ways Tired - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #376 - Dancing in the Dark - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #375 - Watching When They Let Us - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #374 - David PA
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #373: Still Leaking @ the Mudline? No can see - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - David PA
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #372 - Still Leaking at the Mudline - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #371 - A New Leak - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #370 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #369 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe -Tomtech
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #368 - Staring into the BOP- BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Gulf Watchers Overnight
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #367 - Waiting for Lots of Stuff - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #366 - Waiting for the Kill - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - peraspera
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #365 - LMRP has Landed - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Tomtech (is 50)
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #364 - Where's the BOP? - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #363 - Heave ho; heave again - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - David PA
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #362 - Liftoff? - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #361 - Waiting for Liftoff - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #360 - Flying Monkeys - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #359 - BOP is on Deck - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Tomtech
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #358 - BOP Surfacing - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #357 - BOP Surfacing watch - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Wee Mama
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #356 - Damaged BOP Recovery - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - peraspera

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

Information on our community can be found in Phil S 33's diary here. That diary having timed out, bigjacbigjacbigjac next took up the cause and posted a new bio diary here. The latest bio diary was posted by Ursoklevar on 7-25 and includes the bio's from the previous diaries in alphabetical order by user name.

If you'd like, feel free to join in by sharing a little about yourself there.

Originally posted to Gulf Watchers on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 03:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mega thanks for the Daily Kos community (32+ / 0-)

    for your support of the BP Catastrophe liveblog. The Gulf Watchers greatly appreciate your recs for the Mothership and participation in the ROVs.

    The only active feeds we have been seeing are from the Development Driller II's ROV 1 and the Olympic Challenger's ROV 1 which has shown a rogue ROV a couple of times. We're guessing that it is most likely her sister. She continues to monitor  around the well head and is jetting hydrates at the HC connector for hours at a time.

    Curiously, there has been absolute silence from the government and BP about the mud line seep despite the considerable amount of time, effort and expense being spent on it. If the formation itself is seeping from being weakened, the most plausible explanation, there isn't much to be done other than monitoring the seep long-term and put a move-on for production to drain the reservoir. One hopes, there is more benign, plausible explanation for what we are seeing.

    In the wee hours last night Olympic Challenger's ROV 1 was tasked with Casing Shear Ram Function Testing, presumably to test some of the functions at depth under pressure since the BOP will be used elsewhere once it is pulled.

    After doing some equipment retrieval a few days ago the Chouest Holiday has returned to Port Fourchon late last night.

    Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft gave a briefing yesterday on surface operations. Zukunft continues the party line of, "What subsea oil?" It may very well be true that the oil in the Gulf is now only found in parts per billion quantities. However, given the original government denial that subsea plumes existed, it's probably best to wait for confirmation from more reliable, independent scientists.

    So where we are today, I just returned from Bay Jimmy where we have one of our divisions working under the Venice branch which is in Plaquemines Parish.  This is one of eight locations in these marsh areas where we still have residual oil which is a very labor intensive effort but we're able to get into some of these areas using some of the technology that actually was – came to surface.
    We used a Schafer skimming system by Mr. Schafer from Plaquemines Parish that invented this vaccum device where we can get adjacent to that marsh, remove oil.  But we have about 600 people just working at this site alone today down at Bay Jimmy.

    Those folks live out in the floating barge, a flotell as we call it, but so there was concern earlier now that the well is dead, where do we go forward.  We haven't any oil released since the 15th of July.  We continue to respond to these pockets of oil.  They are basically job sites now where we still have residual oil and 600 miles of coast line that is still affected.

    When people think coastline, you normally think the straight coastline of a Florida panhandle.  When you get over here in Louisiana, its back in marshes and estuaries and very remote locations so logistics is our challenge but again there is still plenty of work remaining.
    Sam Walker:          Thank you Admiral.  This is Sam Walker with NOAA and I’m just going to run down a couple of the key points in terms of our status with our subsurface monitoring.  We’ve been conducting this since late April as a matter of fact and monitoring the sub surface with respect to dispersant use there.  But subsequent to the well being capped we’ve continued to do that work both in the deep water but also on the shelf, on the Continental shelf and then in the near shore areas.
    And so that’s a very comprehensive expanse all the way from the shoreline into the deep water.  And what we are trying to get a handle on is you know what is the form of oil if any that remains and can we take action against that oil.  And so we are doing that with a series of different technologies.  We are using surface vessels that monitor down through the water column.  We’re using ocean gliders that help to check presence of hydrocarbons in the water column.

    We’re also taking sediment cores on the sea floor itself and having those analyzed so we’re looking at things comprehensively.  And as the Admiral has pointed out on numerous occasions as has NOAA’s administrator Dr. Lubchenco you know there are in fact places where oil still resides particularly in the near shore area where it’s being entrained in sediments, and so we’re very aware of those.  We are also trying to look a little bit more comprehensively in the deep water based on some reports from academic vessels here in recent weeks.

    And so we are responding to that we’re in contact with those University researchers and making sure that we’re going back and revisiting the same places.  One thing to keep in mind is that the time line upon which these samples can be returned from a lab in order to render a result about the source of that oil is a little bit longer than what we can do on a daily basis.

    So sometimes it takes a week or more to return those data sets but what we can do is on a daily basis talk about the number of samples that have been taken the number of vessels that are deployed in order to take these samples and then also return back a presence or absence of oil at those locations.  But what we can’t do on a daily basis is immediately turn around a result for the source of that oil.

    But what we can say is that over the past couple of months since the well has been capped we’ve been seeing a very clear trend of diminished concentrations particularly in the water column.  We are down into the parts per billion range now which is not actionable for this source oil but we are continuing to track that and that’s a natural transition into the Natural Resources Damage Assessment phase of this incident which is different than the response.

    And so we’re working very closely with our colleagues in that part of the phase to indicate to them where we’re seeing these traces so they can continue their work for ecosystem assessment over the long term and that’s a really critical point in terms of transitioning in this incident.  The other thing that we’ve been doing is continuing to actively engage the academic community particularly here in the Gulf.
    We’ve been working with researchers from states all across the Gulf including those at USF and Texas A&M, at LSU, Southern Mississippi; these are academic institutions that are well respected.

    And bring tremendous expertise to the table, just for example right now we have the chief scientists on the NOAA ship Pisces, that have been involves they’re from Texas A&M.  That’s David Valentine, he was actually in the press here the other day talking about his missions.

    John Wright who was in charge of the relief well did a short interview with NPR and talked a little about the kill operation.

    For the past three months, until last week, he worked, lived and slept on a rig in the Gulf. And Wright told me the job of drilling this relief well presented some challenges he has never faced before.
    Mr. WRIGHT: So thats where we start drilling. And in this case, we drilled down to something like 16,000 feet before we started moving the well close to the target. That target we're looking at is about the size of a dinner plate and it's nearly three and half miles away. So...
    GREENE: Are you watching on monitors? I mean, are you...

    Mr. WRIGHT: Well, it's a little bit like driving blind, where somebody you have some instruments maybe that tell you where the road is and you have to trust that that instrument is telling you the right bit of information.

    BP is on the hunt for a new PR Grand Poobah rather than looking for someone new to head up safety. This says about all that needs to be said about BP's culture of willful indifference to safety.

    Beleagured oil company BP has launched a search for a new head of global communications in an effort to restore its tarnished reputation after the massive oil spill from its Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
    The company, which came under severe criticism for the way it handled the media during the five-month long crisis, has recruited City headhunters to fill the role, which could result in the successful candidate sitting on its influential management committee.

    National Geographic asks Is Another Deepwater Disaster Inevitable? Regrettably, our politicians don't seem eager to be asking the same question.

    The waters of the Gulf below a thousand feet are a relatively new frontier for oilmen—and one of the toughest places on the planet to drill. The seafloor falls off the gently sloping continental shelf into jumbled basin-and-range-like terrain, with deep canyons, ocean ridges, and active mud volcanoes 500 feet high. More than 2,000 barrels of oil a day seep from scattered natural vents. But the commercial deposits lie deeply buried, often beneath layers of shifting salt that are prone to undersea earthquakes. Temperatures at the seafloor are near freezing, while the oil reservoirs can hit 400 degrees Fahrenheit; they're like hot, shaken soda bottles just waiting for someone to pop the top. Pockets of explosive methane gas and methane hydrates, frozen but unstable, lurk in the sediment, increasing the risk of a blowout.
    In the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Congress encouraged companies to go deep as early as 1995. That year it passed a law forgiving royalties on deepwater oil fields leased between 1996 and 2000. A fleet of new rigs was soon punching holes all over the Gulf at a cost of up to a million dollars a day each. The number of leases sold in waters half a mile deep or more shot up from around 50 in 1994 to 1,100 in 1997.
    As technology was taking drillers deeper, however, the methods for preventing blowouts and cleaning up spills did not keep pace. Since the early 2000s, reports from industry and academia warned of the increasing risk of deepwater blowouts, the fallibility of blowout preventers, and the difficulty of stopping a deepwater spill after it started—a special concern given that deepwater wells, because they're under such high pressure, can spout as much as 100,000 barrels a day.
    The way BP drilled the Macondo well surprised Magne Ognedal, director general of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA). The Norwegians have drilled high-temperature, high-pressure wells on their shallow continental shelf for decades, he said in a telephone interview, and haven't had a catastrophic blowout since 1985. After that incident, the PSA and the industry instituted a number of best practices for drilling exploration wells. These include riserless drilling from stations on the seafloor, which prevents oil and gas from flowing directly to a rig; starting a well with a small pilot hole through the sediment, which makes it easier to handle gas kicks; having a remote-controlled backup system for activating the blowout preventers; and most important, never allowing fewer than two barriers between the reservoir and the seafloor.
    The roots of those decisions lie in BP's corporate history, says Robert Bea, a University of California, Berkeley expert in both technological disasters and offshore engineering. BP hired Bea in 2001 for advice on problems it faced after it took over the U.S. oil companies Amoco and ARCO. One problem, Bea says, was a loss of core competence: After the merger BP forced thousands of older, experienced oil field workers into early retirement. That decision, which made the company more dependent on contractors for engineering expertise, was a key ingredient in BP's "recipe for disaster," Bea says. Only a few of the 126 crew members on the Deepwater Horizon worked directly for BP.
    Oceanographer Ian MacDonald at Florida State University worries not only about the plumes but also about the sheer volume of spilled oil. He believes it could have a major impact on the overall productivity of the Gulf—not just on pelicans and shrimps in the Louisiana marshes, but on creatures throughout the region, everything from zooplankton to sperm whales. He's particularly concerned about bluefin tuna, which spawn only in the Gulf and in the Mediterranean; the tuna population was already crashing due to overfishing. "There is a tremendous amount of highly toxic material in the water column, both at the surface and below, moving around in one of the most productive ocean basins in the world," MacDonald said.
    "The Deepwater Horizon incident is a direct consequence of our global addiction to oil," she [University of Georgia biogeochemist Mandy Joye] said. "Incidents like this are inevitable as we drill in deeper and deeper waters. We're playing a very dangerous game here. If this isn't a call to green power, I don't know what is."

    The federal Department of Health and Human Services is just now getting around to organizing a study on the human health implications of BP's assault on the Gulf. One wonders what they will be using for baseline data. BP is spending pocket change of $10 million to help fund the study.

    Doctors, scientists and public health experts began sketching the outlines Wednesday of a large-scale study of the health effects of the BP oil spill on cleanup workers and the public, hoping to include thousands of people in a review funded by BP.
    The federal Department of Health and Human Services asked the nonprofit Institute of Medicine to gather a committee of experts to review its plans for a study of a long-term physical and psychological effects of the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana that affected people in five states.
    The Institute of Medicine provides advice and research to the government and the public. Oil giant BP PLC is contributing $10 million to the study, which will be conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The expert committee it convened met in Tampa on Wednesday to discuss how to conduct the study.

    A Florida reporter isn't allowed to check for buried oil (CNN video). It seems it isn't allowed to dig in sand beaches in National Parks, particularly if you are a reporter with a camera crew in tow.

    Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi explains how BP has the potential to cause havoc in the financial markets on top of the evil they visited on the Gulf.

    It was sickening enough when British oil giant BP set new standards for corporate scumbaggery in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, turning the Gulf of Mexico into its own personal toilet and imperiling entire species of wildlife in an attempt to save a few nickels. But with the Gulf geyser finally capped, there's still a way for BP to cause an even more unthinkable disaster: an AIG-style, derivative-fueled financial shitstorm. If the company decides to declare bankruptcy — a very real possibility with these bastards — it could trigger chaos in our casino system of finance, underscoring the insane levels of leverage and systemic risk we have left in place, even after the global economic crash of 2008.
    The lack of transparency in the derivatives market means that nobody has any idea what will happen or who will be affected if BP goes under. Nobody knows whether a BP credit downgrade will trigger losses in any of those 117 CSOs, or whether losses would only come in the event of a bankruptcy. ("It depends on a lot of factors," says Moody's spokesman Thomas Lemmon. "Every one of them can have different characteristics.") Nobody knows who's taking those billions and billions of dollars of CDS bets against BP, meaning that nobody knows which federally insured banks will be fucked if BP defaults. (Asked if the identities of the CDS sellers is knowable, market analyst Casey had a blunt answer: "No.")
    BP's attempts to make money in a legitimate fashion, meanwhile, have been plagued by faulty equipment and dangerously shoddy management. Well before the explosion at Deepwater Horizon, which incinerated 11 workers, the company had put employees at its refinery in Texas City at risk by neglecting to fix faulty equipment in order to grease its bottom line. "We have never seen a site where the notion 'I could die today' was so real," observed a consulting firm hired to inspect the facility in 2005, two months before a blast killed 15 workers and injured 170. The government, which ultimately discovered more than 300 safety violations at the refinery, concluded that the explosion had been "caused by organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of BP." Regulators fined the firm $21 million — the largest penalty in OSHA history, until it was topped in August by an additional fine of $50.6 million for violations at the same refinery.

    The fines must not have been that sobering to BP, however: Within a year of the fatal explosion in Texas City, a corroded pipeline that the company had failed to fix was dumping 267,000 gallons of oil into the waters of Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. For that environmental nightmare, BP ended up paying another $20 million in fines.

    By that point, the company was also dealing with a disaster it had created in the Gulf at an oil platform called Thunder Horse. In what one engineer called a desperate attempt to "demonstrate to their shareholders that the project was on time and on schedule," BP rushed the unfinished rig into service — only to have a valve that had been installed backward cause the whole thing to list over and nearly sink. Since the platform wasn't fully operational yet, there were no major spills — but BP lost hundreds of millions of dollars and set its drilling back three full years.

    Thus it wasn't exactly a freak occurrence when BP earlier this year blew off safety warnings about Deepwater Horizon. On the contrary, the disaster was a perfect expression of everything BP had come to stand for: serial inattention to safety in a blind rush for profit, in a business where bad safety procedures are about the only sure way to lose money. And yet, at the start of this year, Wall Street investors considered this incorrigibly bumbling corporate comedy act to be almost as good a bet as the U.S. government. Yes, the firm is cash-rich and has mountains of physical assets — but at some point, who you are and how you operate has to count for something.

    Government officials make suggestions to industry about increasing the safety of deepwater drilling. After witnessing the BP Catastrophe a reasonable person might conclude that safe deepwater drilling is an oxymoron.

    * Blowout preventers need more sensors -Energy Secretary * More research and development needed -Ret. Admiral Allen * Well might have been plugged sooner - Exxon CEO
    The April 20 blowout in BP's doomed Macondo well exposed how the government and the oil industry were unprepared to handle a major oil spill, government and business officials said at a meeting sponsored by the Energy and Interior Departments to discuss blowout containment in deepwater.

    Check out the latest news in the most recent ROV diary and join us for comments and questions.

    In consideration of those with slow internet connections please refrain from posting embedded graphics, photos or videos. Please post links instead.

    We watch, so all will know.

    by Gulf Watchers on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 01:53:44 AM PDT

  •  Thanks again, Gulf Watchers!! Excellent. (11+ / 0-)

    And that is a well-deserved and lovely endorsement from Fish.

    "Mysteries Like This And Many Others~~ In The Trees Blow In The Night~~ In The Southern Skies" Allen Toussaint

    by rubyr on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 06:43:39 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Peraspera (6+ / 0-)

    for the time and effort you put into writing a comprehensive and beautifully written summary!

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