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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/16/10

BP Reports Success Inserting Pipe Into Larger Leak; Real Progress or Thumb in the Dike Dog and Pony Show?

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BP has reported that this try they have successfully inserted a four inch pipe into the larger opening of the large leaking pipe at their out of control oil gusher on the gulf sea floor.

CNN reports that BP finally was able to put a pipe in the hole. It also claims,
"If successful, the technique will capture most of the oil that is pouring out of the well. The well has been spewing an estimated 210,000 gallons, or 5,000 barrels, of light sweet crude a day into the Gulf since the sinking of the drill platform Deepwater Horizon in late April."
This step is a bit of small good news, but nothing to get very excited about and it raises many questions.

There are plenty of problems with CNN's stenographic, analysis-less reporting.

First, most experts now believe the gusher to be flowing at 50-80,000 barrels a day, not the 5,000 CNN reports.

Robot Arm inserting pipe into leak.
image from BP video shown in CNN video.

Next, the four inch pipe has been inserted in a 9-10 inch or even larger hole. That means that it is only catching 20% or less of the gushing oil. Apparently, the four inch pipe has a flange around it, (imagine the pipe as a hollow nail that has a head on it) which is aimed at further restricting the flow. But we have no idea how tight a fit it is and how the massive pressure coming from the well is pushing out oil around it.

One BP insider observed to, "My guess is that this is more about putting on a quick dog-and-pony show (and making busy work to create a rationale to prevent flow measurement) than it is about trapping out a meaningful amount of the oil/gas."

Questions to be asked include: What percentage of the oil gushing from the well being picked up?

How is that percentage being calculated?

How much oil is being pumped per day at the surface, into the ship receiving the oil?

What about the second break in the pipe, leaking an estimated 15% of the total leak from the well? Are there plans to also deal with it? If the 50-80,000 barrels a day estimate is correct, then 15% would be 7500 to 12,000 barrels a day still uncontrolled-- far more than the 5,000 barrel estimate that the NY Times reported was based on a scientific model that is not appropriate for this kind of leak.

I was right about this being a thumb in the dike effort of no substance. BP reports it is retrieving 42,000 gallons-- about 1000 barrels a day--from the four inch pipe. They claim that's 20% of the leak. But if, as most scientists and anyone not duped by BP's lowball estimate know, the leak is really more like 25-80,000 barrels a day. An expert on the Dylan Ratigan show just reported that three different experts agreed that the sea-floor wellvideo of the gusher looks like 70,000 barrels per gallon.
That means that BP's fix has only stopped anywhere from four percent (at 25,000 barrels) to less than 1.5 percent of the leak-- at the larger of the two leak sites. And it could be that partially plugging the one hole increased the flow at the other hole. They should provide video of the leaks now, after their tube insertion operation.
Oil Enters Loop Current
It's official. The oil from the well leak has entered the loop current. From there, it will eventually reach the gulf stream. It won't be long before florida coral reefs in the keys will be hit by the death curtains of oil.
MMS Director of Regulation of Oil Drilling Regulation Abruptly Retires.
The LA Times reports:
Chris Oynes, who oversees offshore drilling programs at the Minerals Management Service, will retire at the end of the month, according to an e-mail sent by an agency official to staff and obtained by The Associated Press. Oynes was regional director in charge of Gulf of Mexico offshore oil programs for 13 years before he was promoted in 2007 to associate director in charge of all offshore activities.
What is going on here? He should have been summarily terminated two or three weeks ago and should not be allowed to resign, if it is at all possible to fire him. And a guard should make him empty his desk today and force him off the premises, so he can't cover up or protect BP and other corrupt officials in the government. Time is of the essence Mr. President!!
Time To Commandeer BP's resources President Obama!!
Some right wingers have challenged my suggestion that Obama take over operating the BP resources related to the out of control gulf gusher. There are many past precedents in history where the US government took over whole factories and industries during national emergencies. This is a national emergency. Also, when a perpetrator uses a weapon to cause massive injury and damage, you don't let the perpetrator continue to control the weapon or tools that caused the damage... unless you are... well, you fill in the blanks. This is not about corporate rights or freedoms.
BP Employees are afraid
They're afraid that people will get so angry they will start attacking BP or people representing BP. You aren't buying BP gas anymore, are you?
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)

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