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Old 05-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #41
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True, but I think it gets twisted when applied to a singular case (and I think you address that later in your post).

It isn't the added cost of a more secure capping procedure for that well that is the issue, it is the cost of capping every single well they drill (or make sure that NO captain is piloting improperly at ANY time on ANY tanker). Obviously, they don't know ahead of time which will be the problem, so the more secure procedures need to apply across the board. How many wells have been drilled w/o incident?

And this isn't defending them in any way. I do feel that when there is the potential for such extraordinary damage, that extraordinary measures, and extraordinary (multiple) back up plans need to be in place, and tested routinely.

I think it helps to personalize the issue (for illustration) to put the finger-pointing in perspective - consider this: Did everyone on this forum have their brakes inspected today (and every day) by a certified mechanic? Probably not, but if they fail a life close to us could be lost. But we take our chances, thinking that they 'seem' OK, and they were OK when they were last checked, etc... The cost of failure is very high indeed, yet we don't take extraordinary measures to prevent a problem.

-ERD50
while i agree this is a tradgedy, i would just like to point out that it is easy and quite confortable to point a finger while reaping the benefits of the very thing you are pointing at.

this is an incident that has never happened before. how do you practice for that? engineering something that has never been done takes time. more regs you say? maybe you should read the current ones and suggest some specific changes.

the president will put on a dog & pony show, but they won't stop oil production in the gulf. they want their 17.5%, in addition to proceeds from lease sales.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:49 PM   #42
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this is an incident that has never happened before. how do you practice for that? engineering something that has never been done takes time. more regs you say? maybe you should read the current ones and suggest some specific changes.

the president will put on a dog & pony show, but they won't stop oil production in the gulf. they want their 17.5%, in addition to proceeds from lease sales.
Here is a bit of the perspective I was looking for (big assumption that Senator Kerry has his facts right, but...):

Sen. John Kerry: Halt to offshore oil drilling 'not going to happen' - CSMonitor.com

Quote:
Stopping offshore drilling is not a realistic option, the senator said.

“Now we are not going to stop drilling in the Gulf tomorrow, folks. Let’s be realistic. There are 48,000 wells out there. One of them went sour. About 30 percent of our transportation fuel comes from the Gulf. You think Americans are going to suddenly stop driving to work tomorrow? Do you think people are going to stop driving the trucks to deliver the goods to the department stores? Not going to happen,” said the Massachusetts Democrat.
47,999 wells not leaking is pretty impressive.

No, I don't have any specific expertise in the area to recommend what changes should be made. But I do know that there are systems developed to manage high risk areas like this, even ones that have never happened before (like getting to the moon). And I guess one could argue that with 47,999 wells providing us with 30% of our oil without a major leak, the systems are working quite well.

In a very general sense though, it does seem to me that stronger backup plans are needed. In the inevitable case that one of 48,000 of these things does start leaking, it just seems they need a solid containment plan. I felt the same about the mining disaster of a few years ago (I didn't follow the recent one as closely). IIRC, that coal mine a few years ago was actually quite shallow - it went miles horizontally, but not very deep. When I looked at the diagrams, it just seemed like it wouldn't be that expensive to add additional access shafts and 'safe chambers' along the length of it. What also struck me was that the equipment they needed to try to get to those miners was days away from the site. Again, accidents will happen, the equipment needs to be a few hours away, not days. Sure, that will add to the cost, but I doubt it would be very significant at all - a few %? Sure a few % is big bucks for a big company, but if consumers need to pay a few % more for energy, the world will not come to a grinding halt.

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Old 05-26-2010, 01:24 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
True, but I think it gets twisted when applied to a singular case (and I think you address that later in your post).

It isn't the added cost of a more secure capping procedure for that well that is the issue, it is the cost of capping every single well they drill (or make sure that NO captain is piloting improperly at ANY time on ANY tanker). Obviously, they don't know ahead of time which will be the problem, so the more secure procedures need to apply across the board. How many wells have been drilled w/o incident?

And this isn't defending them in any way. I do feel that when there is the potential for such extraordinary damage, that extraordinary measures, and extraordinary (multiple) back up plans need to be in place, and tested routinely.

I think it helps to personalize the issue (for illustration) to put the finger-pointing in perspective - consider this: Did everyone on this forum have their brakes inspected today (and every day) by a certified mechanic? Probably not, but if they fail a life close to us could be lost. But we take our chances, thinking that they 'seem' OK, and they were OK when they were last checked, etc... The cost of failure is very high indeed, yet we don't take extraordinary measures to prevent a problem.

-ERD50

yes... I agree that you seem to save a lot by cutting corners at every well.... but again, how much could they save on each well... $1 mill I doubt they even saved that much... so you would have to drill a lot of wells to make up for the costs...

Using your example of brakes.. I will change a bit... make it tires... because it is easy to inspect tires all the time.. how many of us wear the tires down to the wear indicators? When a tire is older, they do not stop as well as a new tire, especially in the wet... so there are benefits to buying new tires before you really need to... and you save money... and as long as nothing bad happens... you are ahead of the game...

But the cost of this disaster is a lot higher than all the savings for all the the cost cutting for all of the drilling for probably a few years...

Now, if the blowout preventor worked... then the cost would be a lot lower... the problem is the guy who said to use water instead of mud did not know that the guy who was responsible for the blowout preventor had already cut a corner there... and the guy who said 'drill faster' and cost $25 mill caused the others to try and cut other items to make it up... so.. a lot of decisions that would work by themselves when everything else worked properly did not work because a large enough decision were made by low level people to try and save money... that to me is different than a mandate from the heads of the companies to cut corners...
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:31 PM   #44
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while i agree this is a tradgedy, i would just like to point out that it is easy and quite confortable to point a finger while reaping the benefits of the very thing you are pointing at.

this is an incident that has never happened before. how do you practice for that? engineering something that has never been done takes time. more regs you say? maybe you should read the current ones and suggest some specific changes.

the president will put on a dog & pony show, but they won't stop oil production in the gulf. they want their 17.5%, in addition to proceeds from lease sales.
And the ironic thing about this is there were people on board who were going to give an award for this drilling platform... for 7 years of work without a major work related accident... I am not any kind of expert on drilling, but I know enough that 7 years without someone getting hurt badly is very impressive...


But as the facts come out... there were signs that were ignored that soemone that had experience should not have missed..

As an example... if someone from BP was telling the people who were plugging the well to do something THEY did not think was right... they should not have done it... from what we are hearing, they say "we are not responsible because even though we though it was wrong, they told us to do it this way".... sorry, if you think it is wrong, don't take the money...
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:44 PM   #45
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Here is a fairly technical piece about what happened:
The Oil Drum | What caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster?

It appears corners were cut.
The author makes some good points:
"This is not an unusually deep well nor was it drilled in exceptionally deep water compared to many other wells in the Gulf of Mexico."

"I consider most of the publicly available accounts so far to be potential hearsay although they probably contain some good observations and elements of truth. I discount the value of the testimonials chiefly because none of these people were on the rig floor at the time of the blowout. In addition, the only people who have a comprehensive and fact-based understanding of the events leading to the accident are either sequestered by the companies involved or are dead."

"2. Only 51 barrels of cement were used according to the well plan. This was not sufficient to ensure a seal between the 7-inch production casing and the previously cemented 9 7/8-inch protection casing (Figure 2)."

The charts are from Surface Data Logging being performed by Halliburton who were replicating the data in their facility.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:32 AM   #46
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I've been watching the live feed from the broken well head (yeah, whaddya DO all day ). Looks like they may (?) have abandoned the "top kill" attempt as they are now in the process of sawing off something - maybe the riser pipe in preparation for trying to install a new blowout preventer as described here?

Like watching a train wreck...
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:43 AM   #47
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They dropped the saw and had to go retrieve it. Not nearly as simple via a remote controlled sub/robot at 5,000 feet as out in the garage, eh?
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #48
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Bringing the RPV up to the surface. Maybe they need to change the saw blade?
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:05 PM   #49
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i'm surprised they aren't going to blow it off and then finish off anything else with a diamond wire.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:45 PM   #50
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Reports are starting to surface that BP will be announcing, at a news conference, the top kill is not working and they are on to the next idea
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:33 PM   #51
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someone sent me this...
Maybe this oil spill disaster was foretold in the Bible:

Revelation 8:8-9 "Then the second angel sounded: And something
like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea,
and a third of the sea became blood.

The "Mountain" could be the huge platform, it was as large as
a small town. And oil is nothing but dead dinosaurs and living
things that passed through many years ago, and when that oil
hits the surface it's RED. So the "Oil" could be the "Blood"...
And verse 9. Says; And a third of the living creatures in the
sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed."

FYI, the Greek word used for "mountain" in Revelations 8:8 is
also the origin of the word "horizon". The rig was named Deepwater
HORIZON!!
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:42 PM   #52
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And "the second angel sounded" could refer to Joe Biden!
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #53
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I guess it is very sad that I can ignore this thread for a few weeks and it looks like there are still weeks worth of commenting ahead of us. Topkill has failed according BP.... and we are now back to Plan B version 2.0. If this was Microsoft we know that by plan B version 3.0 it would basically work. Of course with BP who knows.

I am somewhat sympathetic about the difficulties of stopping the leak. Where BP and the Federal Government have my complete disdain is utter failure of both to clean up the beaches and marshes as soon as the oil hits the shore. This isn't a difficult operation performed a mile beneath the sea. Cleaned up the beach simply require hiring thousands of folks giving them the modest amount of training giving them cleaning supplies and shipping them to various sites.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:14 AM   #54
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Where BP and the Federal Government have my complete disdain is utter failure of both to clean up the beaches and marshes as soon as the oil hits the shore.
And you are surprised?
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:05 AM   #55
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To be honest a bit. I mean that have had more than a month to prepare how hard is to get 10,000+ people trained and equipped.


I am certainly no expert but it seems pretty obvious that the longer the oil stay on the beach or in the shallow water the more damage it does. Given that someone (presumably BP) is going to pay for the it I would think removing the oil as fast as possible would be the cheapest thing to do.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:29 AM   #56
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...Where BP and the Federal Government have my complete disdain is utter failure of both to clean up the beaches and marshes as soon as the oil hits the shore. This isn't a difficult operation performed a mile beneath the sea. Cleaned up the beach simply require hiring thousands of folks giving them the modest amount of training giving them cleaning supplies and shipping them to various sites.
What is modest? 1 hour of training, 3, 8?
How many trainers and where do you train them?
Don't forget any protective gear.
While I agree stopping the leak is more difficult, I don't think the logistics of and cleaning of the beaches is as simple as you seem to think.
And they are, and continue to hire people.
Do you know how many people?
I honestly don't know, which is why I ask.

I have more disdain for the people who USE the oil (myself included), making it profitable for oil companies to do things that result in accidents like this.
Once I have the facts about how easy or difficult the cleanup process is, and what they are already doing, then I might have more disdain for BP and the Government.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:36 AM   #57
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If BP were able to actually employ the resources available there would be little beach to clean up. The resources waiting for approval from the government to be used in the gulf have the capacity to clean more oil than is/was being leaked.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:14 AM   #58
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If BP were able to actually employ the resources available there would be little beach to clean up. The resources waiting for approval from the government to be used in the gulf have the capacity to clean more oil than is/was being leaked.
I've heard that.. I find it hard to believe, but it wouldn't be the first time I was so disappointed by our government.
So how many resources are waiting fo approval and why?
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:40 AM   #59
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Not sure if this is accurate... but it appears that the fines could be very expensive.

BP should pay for all loses to anyone and everyone.

BP facing extra $60bn in legal costs as US loses patience | Environment | The Guardian

Looks like BP made about 17 bn in profit in 2009... I think it is listed in US$.

http://www.bp.com/assets/bp_internet...eview_2009.pdf
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:01 AM   #60
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I've heard that.. I find it hard to believe, but it wouldn't be the first time I was so disappointed by our government.
So how many resources are waiting fo approval and why?
Just the resources I know about: Kevin Costner has oil clean up machinery that apparently does a very good at cleaning oil out of water. There are enough of the machines available to clean most if not all of the oil being spewed. The local rag reported the machines weren't placed into service due to Corp of Engineers red tape. The Navy had oil skimmers in place down here within a week of the spill. The skimmers sat in port until about a week ago. There is a 747 supertanker here that can spray dispersant on any of the oil that was missed or is already out of the immediate area. The tanker can hold enough dispersant to spray approx. 100 mile swaths of gulf. It has sat on the tarmac for at least 2 weeks. It still hasn't flown any missions.

These resources might not be able to clean all of the oil up before it does damage, but it could clean most of it up, limiting the damage done.
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