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Old 05-31-2010, 09:56 AM   #81
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In my humble opinion the press almost delights in reporting bad news.
But isn't that what "We, the People" demand:

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Old 05-31-2010, 10:05 AM   #82
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Given the circumstances and the unknowns they are dealing with I think BP as well as the US government are doing the best they can under very trying and changing conditions. The news media wants everything in constants, and black and white, in this case there are way too many shades of grey. In some respects I think the media is not objectively reporting and raising expectations, case in point. The BP people said the chances of the "top kill" procedure working were 60-70%, actually not much better than the flip of a coin. After three days of trying and deciding on another course of action, all you see is "BP fails" in the media.

In my humble opinion the press almost delights in reporting bad news.
That is actually, in my opinion, one of the better jobs by the media.
I saw almost no reports that didn't give the odds, and the said who gave them the odds.
Nobody said 'this is guaranteed to work'.
And yes, they reported it didn't work because, well... It didn't.

I do agree though, that very often the reports are simply rants or interviews turn into yelling matches
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statisics about the spill.
Old 05-31-2010, 02:55 PM   #83
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statisics about the spill.

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On the ABC Evening News last night, the question was asked if this spill would have an effect on prices at the gas pump. Their statement (so don't nail me for evidence) was "No" because so far the oil that has escaped from that spill is only equal to the amount the U.S. uses in about five minutes. If true, your concerns -- about environmental damage -- are prioritized correctly.
I also heard the "5 minute" quote and figured that the calculation was based on really old estimate so I whipped out the calculator to double check.

The US consumes ~21 million barrels/day or 862 million gallons.
The 5 minute figure equal 3 million gallons and would be accurate if the leak was less than 2,000 barrels a day. The latest estimates are in the range of 21,000 barrel/day. So every day is the equivalent of 1,000th of daily consumption of the US, still not enough to impact the price or supply of oil in the short term.

According to "Mining News" the civil penalties for oil leak are $1,100 per barrel which can increase to $4,300 for gross negligence. One guesses that there would be a pretty good case for gross negligence although I'm sure the BP lawyers would disagree.

Assuming the well gets capped in Aug. this would make the total spill to be in the neighborhood of 2.5 million barrels or 105 million gallons, making this the 3rd worse oil spill ever. But ranking it far behind Saddam ecological disaster during the 1st Gulf War at more than 400 million gallons.

The civil penalties for BP would range from $3 billion to just over $10 billion, not exactly lunch money. But considering BP has $11 billion in cash/short investments and earns $5-6 billion per quarter far from likely that Uncle Sam will own any of the company

BTW for psst Wellesley fans. Wellesley is the 4th largest shareholder of BP and Vanguard Energy own 4% making Vanguard by far the largest shareholder. BP is Wellesley biggest position and a $100K investment in VWINX equal $1700 of BP stock. So obviously W2R and Uncle Mick have even a bigger incentive to see this mess cleaned up. I guess this is also an argument not to have 100% of your retirement in Wellesley.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:13 PM   #84
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BTW for psst Wellesley fans. Wellesley is the 4th largest shareholder of BP and Vanguard Energy own 4% making Vanguard by far the largest shareholder. BP is Wellesley biggest position and a $100K investment in VWINX equal $170 of BP stock. So obviously W2R and Uncle Mick have even a bigger incentive to see this mess cleaned up. I guess this is also an argument not to have 100% of your retirement in Wellesley.
I think you are a decimal point off and the correct amount should be $1,700 for each $100K invested in Wellesley. But thanks to the slide in the price of BP stock, it is probably less than that by now...
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:16 PM   #85
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I think you are a decimal point off and the correct amount should be $1,700 for each $100K invested in Wellesley. But thanks to the slide in the price of BP stock, it is probably less than that by now...
You are right I forget a 0, I fixed it. I just did an Xray of a 5,000 share VWINX position.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:34 PM   #86
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Clearly what is happening in the Gulf is a tragedy. But to my mind, the hue and cry in America is highly hypocritical. We as a nation have done very little to replace oil as our main source of energy. Moreover, we are desperately addicted to cheap oil. We want companies like BP to find sources of oil, which by definition means searching in ever more difficult locations such as drilling offshore ( which means working in an extremely harsh environment).

When it works we pay it no mind and when it doesn’t we scream bloody murder at the oil companies. Public anger should be directed at our politicians (and ourselves) for lack of leadership in not weaning the country from its addiction to oil, which should have started in earnest back in the ‘70s.

To my mind, the President ought to declare energy as a national security issue, thus banning environmental litigation/impact studies, and build new nuclear plants quickly. Once achieved, we will have the added benefit of no longer spending trillions of dollars screwing around in the Middle East protecting oil.

Rant off.

Full disclosure: I do not, nor have I ever, worked for an oil company.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:14 PM   #87
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I'm curious about why the blowout preventer didn't work. I haven't heard any details on how it failed or why. Has a blowout preventer ever actually been triggered by an event before? Do they actually really work at all? Are all drilling rigs in danger of the same thing happening?

These are questions I don't hear being asked or answered.
There are MMS regulations about testing BOPE (blow out preventer equipment). I don't know what it is in deepwater, but for the shelf it is (or at least used to be) the BOPE had to be tested once every 14 days during drilling operations and every 7 for workovers. I know when I was the one responsible for signing the testing charts, there was no thought of variance, as i don't like dying and/or being put in jail.

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I still could not figure putting mud down the pipe was supposed to stop it... they say it has worked before... but think about it... turn on a fire hose.. now try and put a smaller hose inside and turn it on... do you really think the big hose will stop I wished it had worked...
a difference in density, viscosity, viscous properties, solids content etc make it all possible. it works. i've put my life on it more than once.

wouldn't it be weird if I said that BP broke no laws and followed all the regulations to a "t." who's to blame then? not saying this happened...but, I have yet to see solid proof of BP breaking any laws or regulations. and they'll be guilty until proven innocent in this case.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:34 PM   #88
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. I know when I was the one responsible for signing the testing charts, there was no thought of variance, as i don't like dying and/or being put in jail.

wouldn't it be weird if I said that BP broke no laws and followed all the regulations to a "t." who's to blame then? not saying this happened...but, I have yet to see solid proof of BP breaking any laws or regulations. and they'll be guilty until proven innocent in this case.
I was wondering the same thing. Most of the report seem be that BP managers were saying we should skip test X, or take a short cut here. While the TransOcean people suggested a more cautious approach. The Halliburton folks released a statement saying that operation on DeepHorizon while not 'best practice' were within industry acceptable practices. In 20/20 hindsight taking shortcut was clearly idiotic, but is it criminal?

My question to you Ron, is are the regulation in the oil business so strict that much like most driving where you commit and infraction everyday or are they fairly loose?

This very well maybe a case, much like Goldman Sachs where what BP did is horrible in the court of public opinion, but in a court of law who knows.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:53 PM   #89
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wouldn't it be weird if I said that BP broke no laws and followed all the regulations to a "t." who's to blame then? not saying this happened...but, I have yet to see solid proof of BP breaking any laws or regulations. and they'll be guilty until proven innocent in this case.
I don't really know if BP broke any laws. But this is a wakeup call to the potential cost of drilling off shore. I'm not exactly an environmentalist...and I like feeding my SUV...but I think this event is going to change a lot. I've heard it compared to some events in the 1970s that led to oiling of beaches in Santa Barbara. From that we got the clean air act, the clean water act, etc.

This may not be the worst spill of all time but the reality is that Americans care very little about Saddam opening the valves and polluting the Persian Gulf. This is soiling a huge chunk of the Gulf coast and severely damaging fisheries. I don't think people will forget very quickly and I think the push for new regulation and support for alternative energy will be extreme once the news is dominated by the effects rather than the capping operation itself.

I have no reason to doubt BP is anything but a reputable company that had an accident and is trying to do the right thing. But that hardly matters. The damage is already severe and will only get worse.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:47 AM   #90
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.... I don't think people will forget very quickly and I think the push for new regulation and support for alternative energy will be extreme once the news is dominated by the effects rather than the capping operation itself.

I have no reason to doubt BP is anything but a reputable company that had an accident and is trying to do the right thing. But that hardly matters. The damage is already severe and will only get worse.
Regarding the forgetting. As I see it, unless the media jolts the public memory and harps on a disaster for a few days few remember.

Quick without looking it up online, What was the name of the Exxon Valdez' Captain, who by the way was asleep at the time of the grounding. The First Mate had the bridge and was navigating, and ran the ship into a rock. And his name is..... yeah I can't recall either. And he ( the captain) predicted that no one will remember his name after a few years, in an interview he gave while commercial fishing on his buddy's boat.

By the way what ship Mr Smith commanded along with Mr Murdoch as First officer? Hey... no fair looking it up

Me thinks soon after the next political/war/earthquake/whatever mayhem that takes over the mass media's attention will mostly scrub the oil spill from the news. If it is not harped on by the mass media every hour, did it happen?
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:44 AM   #91
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Of douse, sometimes BP itself will help 'stoke the fires'.
I just read BP is now denying reports of underwater plumes of oil.
This isn't like a UFO or something, if the don't believe any of the research teams that have been mapping these, they can go look for themselves.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:45 AM   #92
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My question to you Ron, is are the regulation in the oil business so strict that much like most driving where you commit and infraction everyday or are they fairly loose?
while i'm a little hazy on what the question is...i'll give it a shot. i think the MMS in the GOM (gulf of mexico) heavily regulates the business. permits include such information as: casing, grades, pressures, BOPE, amount of cement to be pumped, type of cement, where you can produce from. In essence, the entire work plan and procedure have to be approved by the MMS. The procedures seem to be written in a great amount of detail, but they still leave some wiggle room. Simple jobs with rig operations will have about 60 steps. deep water wells...who knows? I've never been "in bed" with anyone from the MMS. Nor has anyone I worked with. Anytime you have to change a step or the order of the steps in the approved procedure, you have to recieve a waiver from the MMS. I have never known anyone to get excited about making the call to the MMS and doing the paper work. Especially at 2am.

of course, they can be interpreted as being fairly loose as well. let's put it this way, a petroleum engineer who is wet behind the ears and holding a bachelor's degree will fetch $80k-$90k base salary. if that same person were to work for the MMS...I would say take a third off the industry average. who wants to go work for the government and get paid less after 10 years of service than someone straight out of school? and no one in industry will hire them. of course, there are some experienced people, but most of them, in my experience are pissed off at the oil companies b/c they wouldn't give them a job and lack practical experience. with that, the oil industry created the API. which a lot of E&P companies participate on. They basically get experts from all the companies which participate and write "RP's" or recommended practices. These oddly enough become the regs or are more stringent than the regs. So, in away the industry drives the regs.

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This may not be the worst spill of all time but the reality is that Americans care very little about Saddam opening the valves and polluting the Persian Gulf. This is soiling a huge chunk of the Gulf coast and severely damaging fisheries. I don't think people will forget very quickly and I think the push for new regulation and support for alternative energy will be extreme once the news is dominated by the effects rather than the capping operation itself.
Alternative energy is a long way off imo. And I would love to use more. We all enjoy the luxeries that oil brings us, and relatively cheap in the US. I like to think I consume less than the average person, riding my bike to work, not keeping my home as meat locker etc. what is interesting is if people realized what a bbl of oil is used for. in other words, what % of a bbl goes to gasoline, what % goes to deisel and other fuels, what % goes to plastics and other products? all tres interesting. I agree that we all want the benefits and none of the consequences.

the bad thing for us all is regulations, laws, standard practices are written in blood, and in this case, blood and oil.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:44 AM   #93
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:53 AM   #94
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Regarding the forgetting. As I see it, unless the media jolts the public memory and harps on a disaster for a few days few remember.

Quick without looking it up online, What was the name of the Exxon Valdez' Captain, who by the way was asleep at the time of the grounding. The First Mate had the bridge and was navigating, and ran the ship into a rock. And his name is..... yeah I can't recall either. And he ( the captain) predicted that no one will remember his name after a few years, in an interview he gave while commercial fishing on his buddy's boat.

By the way what ship Mr Smith commanded along with Mr Murdoch as First officer? Hey... no fair looking it up

Me thinks soon after the next political/war/earthquake/whatever mayhem that takes over the mass media's attention will mostly scrub the oil spill from the news. If it is not harped on by the mass media every hour, did it happen?
You may be right but it's too soon to tell. BTW, I doubt many people could recall the names of the 9/11 hi-jacker terrorists. Atta is the ony one of the 19 I can remember without looking it up. Even so, this disaster is still remembered and the effects remain significant.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:07 AM   #95
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The name of the captain is as irrelevant as the color of his underwear. The thing that everyone remembers is the pictures of the oil-soaked birds and beaches. They remember that using oil can be a messy, environmentally expensive business.

If the gulf turns into a dead zone for 20 years, and the Florida keys are closed to swimming for a few summers, then the true cost of oil will be on display, and people won't forget for a while.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:24 AM   #96
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Regarding the forgetting. As I see it, unless the media jolts the public memory and harps on a disaster for a few days few remember.

Quick without looking it up online, What was the name of the Exxon Valdez' Captain, who by the way was asleep at the time of the grounding. The First Mate had the bridge and was navigating, and ran the ship into a rock. And his name is..... yeah I can't recall either. And he ( the captain) predicted that no one will remember his name after a few years, in an interview he gave while commercial fishing on his buddy's boat.

By the way what ship Mr Smith commanded along with Mr Murdoch as First officer? Hey... no fair looking it up

Me thinks soon after the next political/war/earthquake/whatever mayhem that takes over the mass media's attention will mostly scrub the oil spill from the news. If it is not harped on by the mass media every hour, did it happen?

Nobody really cares the name of the captain.... but IIRC it is Hazelwood... just came out when I started typing... will have to look to see if I was right... (BTW, have NO idea what you are talking about with Smith and Murdoch)...

What people REMEMBER is it was EXXON... and what people will remember is BP...

But will it matter to them in the long run Probably not... Exxon still makes lots of money... BP will get past this and make lots of money...

yes, we tend to forget the details... but not the event.. remember Three Mile Island remember Challenger?



Edit... hey, I was right!!!
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:57 AM   #97
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yes, we tend to forget the details... but not the event.. remember Three Mile Island remember Challenger?


Edit... hey, I was right!!!
How about Chernobyl.

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Old 06-01-2010, 11:27 AM   #98
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How about Chernobyl.
or Reagan.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:41 AM   #99
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There's so much oil, and yet so far, the effects have been minimal. A few videos of marshes and beaches with a small amount of oil. If all of those huge underwater "plumes" they talk about start making landfall somewhere, it could be more sensational. I can certainly imagine oil globules on Florida beaches for the next twenty years. Who knows?
This has shutdown fishing in the gulf. Most of the coastal businesses have temporarily closed. These people are not FI. I'm not sure "minimal" is the best word to use.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:55 AM   #100
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a difference in density, viscosity, viscous properties, solids content etc make it all possible. it works. i've put my life on it more than once.
I am not disputing that it works... as you have said you have put your life on it... but... from what I read the pressure is in the 6,000 psi range (now, this could be wrong... but it is what I read somewhere)... so, I think you could be shooting lead down that pipe and the upward pressure of the oil will just bring it along for the ride... (I am assuming lead is heavier than the mud)...

Or maybe the mud sticks to the wall of the pipe and is more like a clogged artery... again.. with the pressue they talk about, I don't see that happening either..






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wouldn't it be weird if I said that BP broke no laws and followed all the regulations to a "t." who's to blame then? not saying this happened...but, I have yet to see solid proof of BP breaking any laws or regulations. and they'll be guilty until proven innocent in this case.
Nope... not weird in the least... accidents happen even when people do not break any laws... but you are still responsible for any accidents you cause... ie, it is your negligence that causes you to be responsible, not your illegal activity... I think we can agree that BP was negligent... the results speak to this fact...

Just to give an example and to make it clear... say you are driving ... you look over to change the radio... nothing happens for thousands of time... but this one time the guy in front of you stops qucikly... and you hit him... sure, you were following 'industy practice'... but because you hit him you were negligent.. you pay... same with BP..
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