We know that BP worked with Dick Cheney to have the requirement for the half million dollar cost acoustic coupler safety backup removed from regulations. We know that MMI-- the federal regulatory agency responsible for regulating gulf oil well digging and the coal mines where so many miners were recently killed, where dozens of violations had been un-addressed-- failed to properly check into the drilling plans for the Gulf BP-Congress Catastrophe that resulted after Transocean's Deepwater Horizon was deep sixed by the explosion and fire. We know that Ken Salazar, Obama's appointee didn't clean up the rats nest of Bush-appointed Oil industry insiders at MMI.
The first failed effort to stop the out of control oil well failed because of bad planning and design. The engineers, who had a riser pipe that was heated so the mix coming out of the well wouldn't freeze did not also use some kind of heating system that would prevent the cone from freezing. If the cone had worked, they would have been able to pump some of the oil coming out of the well from the cone. Whether, if the idea had been successful, it would have worked to contain ALL the crude oil mix is a totally different question. We don't know that it might have seeped out of the wellhead faster than they could pump it.
We do know that before the explosion, the well was, without the aid of a pump, just from internal subterranean pressures, pumping 8,000 barrels a day. If you take a water hose 100 feet long and pump water 100 feet high, it takes a lot more pumping power than if you pump it 5 feet high. The amount of pressure at the sea floor, 5,000 feet down had to be at least ten or twenty, maybe 100 times greater than the 8,000 barrels a day.
But we do know that BP and, presumably MMI and Obama know more than they're telling us. There is underwater video of the crude oil gushing from the wellhead. Experts have stated that if they could see the video they could make more reliable estimates of the flow rate. BP is not releasing the video. The Obama administration does not appear to be requiring BP to release it to scientists. Or, at least, if they have, they are keeping it secret.
Now, the title of this article asks if you think BP is trying to save the environment. I don't think so. I think they're trying to save the well, which, estimated at 40-200 million barrels, is worth $1.6 to over $8 billion. That's one of hell of a well. If they wanted to protect the environment they would be looking at ways to close the well that might no be so easy to reverse-- like using explosives or anything else that would shut it down. But no, every approach they've taken or they're talking about taking is based on controlling the flow, not stopping it.
It looks like BP finally, after over three weeks, has released a video of the well. This youtube video was, apparently, shot yesterday. Note the color change of what's leaking out, over time. It's a short video.