BP Fixed a Negative Pressure Test before the Well Blew

Back when the House Commerce Committee had its first hearing on the BP Disaster, Henry Waxman revealed some inconsistencies about the negative pressure test BP did on the well before it moved to close off the well.

The next bullet says: “After 16.5 hours waiting on cement, a test was performed on the wellbore below the Blowout Preventer.” BP explained to us what this means. Halliburton completed cementing the well at 12:35 a.m. on April 20 and after giving the cement time to set, a negative pressure test was conducted around 5:00 p.m. This is an important test. During a negative pressure test, the fluid pressure inside the well is reduced and the well is observed to see whether any gas leaks into the well through the cement or casing.

According to James Dupree, the BP Senior Vice President for the Gulf of Mexico, the well did not pass this test. Mr. Dupree told Committee staff on Monday that the test result was “not satisfactory” and “inconclusive.” Significant pressure discrepancies were recorded.

As a result, another negative pressure test was conducted. This is described in the fourth bullet: “During this test, 1,400 psi was observed on the drill pipe while 0 psi was observed on the kill and the choke lines.”

According to Mr. Dupree, this is also an unsatisfactory test result. The kill and choke lines run from the drill rig 5,000 feet to the blowout preventer at the sea floor. The drill pipe runs from the drill rig through the blowout preventer deep into the well. In the test, the pressures measured at any point from the drill rig to the blowout preventer should be the same in all three lines. But what the test showed was that pressures in the drill pipe were significantly higher. Mr. Dupree explained that the results could signal that an influx of gas was causing pressure to mount inside the wellbore.

Another document provided by BP to the Committee is labeled “What Could Have Happened.” It was prepared by BP on April 26, ten days before the first document. According to BP, their understanding of the cause of the spill has evolved considerably since April 26, so this document should not be considered definitive. But it also describes the two negative pressure tests and the pressure discrepancies that were recorded.

What happened next is murky. Mr. Dupree told the Committee staff that he believed the well blew moments after the second pressure test. But lawyers for BP contacted the Committee yesterday and provided a different account. According to BP’s counsel, further investigation has revealed that additional pressure tests were taken, and at 8:00 p.m., company officials determined that the additional results justified ending the test and proceeding with well operations. [my emphasis]

Today, Waxman is out with an interim report on what happened. And here’s what that report says about this negative pressure test.

Further, BP’s preliminary findings indicate that there were other events in the 24 hours before the explosion that require further inquiry. As early as 5:05 p.m., almost 5 hours before the explosion, an unexpected loss of fluid was observed in the riser pipe, suggesting that there were leaks in the annular preventer in the BOP. Two hours before the explosion, during efforts to begin negative pressure testing, the system gained 15 barrels of liquid instead of the 5 barrels that were expected, leading to the possibility that there was an “influx from the well.” A cementer witness stated that the “well continued to flow and spurted.” Having received an unacceptable result from conducting the negative pressure test through the drill pipe, the pressure test was then moved to the kill line where a volume of fluid came out when the line was opened. The kill line was then closed and the procedure was discussed; during this time, pressure began to build in the system to 1400 psi. At this point, the line was opened and pressure on the kill line was bled to 0 psi, while pressure on the drill pipe remained at 1400 psi. BP’s investigator indicated that a “fundamental mistake” may have been made here because this was an “indicator of a very large abnormality.” The kill line then was monitored and by 7:55 p.m. the rig team was “satisfied that [the] test [was] successful.” At that time, the rig started displacing the remaining fluids with seawater, leading to the three flow indicators described above.


Negative pressure testing was initially done on the drill pipe rather than the kill line, even though the drill plan specified that it would be done on the kill line. After anomalous results, the negative pressure testing was conducted on the kill line and ultimately accepted. Evidence suggests that spacer fluid used during the displacement of drilling fluid with seawater did not rise above the BOP to the level required by the drilling plan; this increased pressure in the drill pipe and may have interfered with later pressure testing. [my emphasis]

Click through to read the whole memo. You’ll see that before BP played this little game with the negative pressure test, there were already indications that something was amiss. Yet they still used procedures that violated their drill plan. And in spite of indications of a “very large abnormality,” they kept testing until they got something they could claim fulfilled the test. And then, kaboom!

I’m most disgusted by the description of some discussion of the procedure they were using for the test. Remember–there were a bunch of BP bigwigs on the rig, celebrating its spotless safety record! It sort of makes you wonder who took part in those discussions that ultimately led them to ignore two contrary tests and do another one?

And I’m wondering about Mr. Dupree. Did he deliberately forget to tell the Committee about the third test, the one they miraculously declared adequate?

You almost get the feeling BP didn’t know precisely what it wanted to tell Congress about these multiple and contradictory tests, huh?

84 replies
  1. fatster says:

    And here’s some more fixin’ being attempted:

    Transocean seeks delay of oil spill depositions
    Transocean argues discovery in Gulf oil spill lawsuits shouldn’t begin until November


  2. bmaz says:

    Um, it sounds kind of like they were playing a shell game with their bleeding and testing in order to rig a satisfactory result. And when they couldn’t get it, then just kind of manufactured one.

    • emptywheel says:

      Dude. There was a party going on and it was way past beer thirty. Of course they jerryrigged a test. We gotta celebrate safety, you know.

    • Hmmm says:

      When at first you don’t get the test results you need, generate, generate, generate random data and pray you’ll be able to cobble together a convincing argument later in the paperwork phase.

      Flailing, the last refuge of science scoundrels.

        • Hmmm says:

          Hah! I haven’t been, but now that you mention it, I should be.

          “it’s so simple… so very simple… that only a child can do it!”

    • GulfCoastPirate says:

      That’s exactly what they were doing.

      Does anyone know the name of the person who had the final say out there? Who was making the final decisions out there?

  3. Edger says:

    Tony Hayward belongs in prison. Beyond Parole. With Ken Salazar.

    John Byrne at RawStory today…
    Oil inspectors let companies fill in own audits, while one admitted getting high on meth, report says

    Regulators overseeing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico reportedly allowed oil company officials to fill in their own inspection reports. According to the internal probe being released this week, oil officials sketched out their answers in pencil and turned them over to federal oversight officials, who then traced their answers in pen.

    And as if that wasn’t enough, a Louisiana inspector from the Minerals Management Service purportedly admitted to investigators that he’d used crystal methamphetamine, and may have been high on the illegal stimulant during a drilling inspection.

    The Inspector General’s report was previewed Tuesday in the New York Times. The report is sure to set off a bombshell in Washington, where Congress is probing how a massive and still-growing oil leak was allowed to happen in the Gulf of Mexico. None of the reports findings directly address the lead-up to the spill from the sinking of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon rig in April, but they certainly draw a picture of a watchdog asleep — or high — at the wheel.

    More, and worse…

    • thatvisionthing says:

      The good old days, when it was just GE (“We bring bad things to fish”)

      “Corporations do everything people do except breathe, die and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River.” –Stephen Colbert

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Beyond Parole.

      Beyond Prosecution. — Michael Moore website headline a couple days ago

    • cbl2 says:

      anecdotal, schmanecdotal,
      that this govt office was so rank and fetid in it’s corruption Alberto Gonzales had to indict and prosecute them should have been Salazar’s first effing clue that they may have required a little tidying up – Abu, fercrhissakes !!!

  4. boltbrain says:

    Couple of links going at the edges of this:

    First, on the tar balls that started showing up on the Gulf shoreline before the slick. Maybe the Gulf already had indigestion before DH blew up: http://tiny.cc/yrqle

    Second, from the same site, on a recent episode the new hit video show “Watching Riser”: http://tiny.cc/9ga8k

    I haven’t seen any follow-up on Slumberger’s early departure, whether true and, if true, the motivation. I expect others here know better than me that Slumberger’s presence is fairly ubiquitous around drilling ops.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I haven’t seen any follow-up on Slumberger’s early departure, whether true and, if true, the motivation. I expect others here know better than me that Slumberger’s presence is fairly ubiquitous around drilling ops.

      I had a similar thought. Over the weekend, I happened to be talking with some (mechanical) engineers, and their view of this disaster was that if Schlumberger thought something was amiss, and then sent a helo to get their crew off that rig, something was really a big mess.

      Maybe they didn’t like the liquor BP was serving up? (As for the meth…. let’s just say ‘instant neurological damage‘ and move on, shall we?)

      • bmaz says:

        I thought they split because the sonic pig comprehensive sonar test (formally known as a cement bond log) they were there to do and going to run was cancelled at the last minute – so they left about eleven hours before the whole thing went kabloooey. This test, of course, was the best available and likely would have shown the problems.

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        Without any specific information it is speculation as to whether Schlumberger sent a special chopper out for their personnel, but I’ve never seen it happen. The operator, BP, controls transportation to and from the rig and would be paying for Schlumberger wireline personnel as long as they were on the rig. Schlumberger would likely leave them on the rig and happily bill BP for the daily cost of personnel and equipment in use or standing by until BP provided transportation for the crew to leave the rig. BP, on the other hand, would want them off the rig as soon as they were finished with their operational tasks to reduce the daily standby costs for specialized personnel on the rig.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, the Times Picayune article I linked above read in terms of BP/Transocean “sent” them home; which would be consistent with what you are saying.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Hey, thanks for the info; makes a ton of sense.
          The guys that I was talking with held Schlumberger in high regard; BP, not so much.
          The main point of the conversation was really about how — technically — working that deep, at that pressure, would pose horrendous technical challenges. These guys work with ‘flows’ all the time, and as they understand the dynamics down there… well, there’s sure a lot of missing information, but the ‘knowns’ are all pretty ugly.

          I’d assumed the report about Schlumberger was accurate, and that those employees would have some good info about what happened, but frankly I rely more on your comments than on a lot of other info that I encounter.
          I certainly appreciate the years of expertise you bring to the topic.

          • oldoilfieldhand says:

            Thank you for the kind words. As I have maintained from the beginning of this unmitigated disaster, the important data has been recorded and archived and the personnel onboard the Deepwater Horizon responsible for making the decisions, including the fateful decision to displace the mud in the hole with sea water, ALL survived. We will know exactly what happened and who is responsible. Steps will be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          According to my med sources, it’s often inhaled.
          Problem is, your brain starts within 4 inches of your sinuses, which is partly why meth is so powerful. Within seconds, it’s apparently ‘nirvana’. Until it isn’t.
          If you know any ER docs, ask if they’ve recently seen cases of ‘meth mouth’. Meth is sinister.

          • bobschacht says:

            Problem is, your brain starts within 4 inches of your sinuses, which is partly why meth is so powerful.

            Well, maybe the brain of the MMS guy started 4 inches from his sinuses, which would be about right since that would indicate he was working without his frontal lobe.

            I’ll bet for most people, their brain is about 4 millimeters from their sinuses.

            Bob in AZ

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              Yeah, you’re right Bob – the brain starts within milllimeters ;-)
              The amygdala can be within inches.
              My bad…

        • fatster says:

          “In recreational use, meth may be swallowed, snorted, smoked, dissolved in water and injected (or even without water, in what is called a dry shot), inserted anally (with or without dissolution in water; also known as a booty bump or shafting), or into the urethra.”


  5. fatster says:

    Don’t know if this helps any or not, but here’s another countdown version.



  6. fatster says:

    BP faces extra $60bn in legal costs as US loses patience with Gulf clean-up
    Government fines could send oil firm’s bill soaring in wake of Deepwater Horizon disaster


  7. Hmmm says:

    For anyone playing at home, looks like they’re tooling up for the top kill now. Lots of part-manipulating robot fu going on on the BP video feed (though the CNN one is only showing color bars now).

      • Hmmm says:

        Thanks, fatster. Watching all the robots work on the top kill set-up is mesmerizing in a sort of Wall-E meets Dr. Strangelove (thanks bmaz) way. God damn I hope this works. Looks like they’re disconnecting some of the parts of the BOP from each other… maybe to give water trapped between the drilling mud and the petro flow a way to escape? Weirdly compelling.

        What a world.

        • fatster says:

          I’ve been watching that and baby owls flying simultaneously, and, so, yes, What a world!

          Are they taking the blue thing off?

          • Hmmm says:

            Hard to say, which I guess is part of the compelling part. They’ve been removing the 4 bolts that seem to be holding the blue thing to whatever it’s covering. And it hasn’t been going all that quickly nor smoothly. At doomers they thought they saw one bolt get stripped, another get dropped… and that was before they set the rock with the string on top if it.

            Putting it that way doesn’t inspire much confidence, does it?

              • substanti8 says:

                If episodes of Flipper were still being produced, then the final one could feature the star getting his brains fried by petrochemicals in the ocean.

                “… in a world full of wonder, flying there under – under the sea.”

    • bobschacht says:

      VIVA LOS SUNS!!!


      The second unit again really came through. Dudley is becoming my fave Sun.
      Channing Frye had a breakout game. Will he be able to take his new-found accuracy on the road? Typically, he’s done better at home.

      I was surprised that LA showed little ability to break the Suns’ zone. I’ll bet they are really going to be studying film over the next few days.

      Bob in AZ

  8. substanti8 says:

    Marcy, if you haven’t seen it already, you must see the exclusive 60 Minutes interview with an eyewitness to the disaster.  Here are a few excerpts:


    But the trouble was just beginning: when drilling resumed, Williams says there was an accident on the rig that has not been reported before.  He says, four weeks before the explosion, the rig’s most vital piece of safety equipment was damaged….

    Williams says, during a test, they closed the gasket.  But while it was shut tight, a crewman on deck accidentally nudged a joystick, applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force, and moving 15 feet of drill pipe through the closed blowout preventer.  Later, a man monitoring drilling fluid rising to the top made a troubling find.

    “He discovered chunks of rubber in the drilling fluid.  He thought it was important enough to gather this double handful of chunks of rubber and bring them into the driller shack.  I recall asking the supervisor if this was out of the ordinary.  And he says, ‘Oh, it’s no big deal.’  And I thought, how can it be not a big deal?  There’s chunks of our seal is now missing.”


    Williams’ survival may be critical to the investigation.  We took his story to Dr. Bob Bea, a professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Last week, the White House asked Bea to help analyze the Deepwater Horizon accident.  Bea investigated the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster for NASA and the Hurricane Katrina disaster for the National Science Foundation….

    “So if the annular is damaged, if I understand you correctly, you can’t do the pressure tests in a reliable way?” Pelley asked.

    “That’s correct. You may get pressure test recordings, but because you’re leaking pressure, they are not reliable,” Bea explained….

    “The morning of the disaster, according to Williams, there was an argument in front of all the men on the ship between the Transocean manager and the BP manager.  Do you know what that argument is about?” Pelley asked.

    Bea replied, “Yes,” telling Pelley the argument was about who was the boss.

    In finishing the well, the plan was to have a subcontractor, Halliburton, place three concrete plugs, like corks, in the column.  The Transocean manager wanted to do this with the column full of heavy drilling fluid – what drillers call “mud” – to keep the pressure down below contained. But the BP manager wanted to begin to remove the “mud” before the last plug was set.  That would reduce the pressure controlling the well before the plugs were finished.

    Asked why BP would do that, Bea told Pelley, “It expedites the subsequent steps.”

    “It’s a matter of going faster,” Pelley remarked.

    “Faster, sure,” Bea replied.

    Bea said BP had won that argument.

    “If the ‘mud’ had been left in the column, would there have been a blowout?” Pelley asked.

    “It doesn’t look like it,” Bea replied.

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      First, the BOP on the Deepwater Horizon had 2 (two) annular preventers, not one. Redundancy is the norm for sub-sea blow out preventers.
      Second, it is not unusual for friction contact between the pipe and the annular rubber to wear off chunks of the rubber from the annular. Those chunks are frequently recovered on surface when the drilling fluid passes over the shale shakers screens during routine conditioning of the drilling fluid.

      • substanti8 says:

        My source is Dr. Bob Bea, a professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.  To reiterate, he told 60 Minutes the following with respect to the damaged BOP:

        “You may get pressure test recordings, but because you’re leaking pressure, they are not reliable.”

        If you disagree with Dr. Bea – because you think the BOP had two annular rubber seals, and because you think that chunks of rubber in the recovered drilling fluid is “not unusual” – then I would like to see the source that supports your opinion.

        • john in sacramento says:

          If you disagree with Dr. Bea – because you think the BOP had two annular rubber seals, and because you think that chunks of rubber in the recovered drilling fluid is “not unusual” – then I would like to see the source that supports your opinion.

          Me too

  9. gmoke says:

    I found a short video on treehugger.com last nght. It turns out to be the text of a diary on dailykos.com published on May 11 purportedly by someone who is an expert in the field. It is about the proper method of building oil booms to divert oil from land. If it is true, and it seems to me to be so, the information is devastating.


    The significant information begins at about 1:50.

    The author of this piece, fishgrease, has continued to write diaries at dailykos:

    Evidently, BP has no idea what it is doing even for something as simple as booming oil; for some reason, the Coast Guard, which does know how to boom correctly, is not doing their job; the media seem to be ignorant and haven’t done their homework. I am sending this information to the enviro reporters at the Wash Post and Time mag because I happen to have their emails. I have no real hope of a response or reaction but it will make me feel better, like I tried.

    • bobschacht says:

      I think maybe it is time for Thad Allen’s scheduled retirement to take place. When asked about taking over the recovery from BP, his attitude was, who’s any better? He evidently doesn’t know about Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the group who pioneered deep sea exploration with Alvin, and has decades of experience with oil spills. His attitude seems to be that BP has all the experts, and the other company’s experts are no better, and the academics and other experts like those at Woods Hole don’t amount to much. He doesn’t seem to get that BP has conflicts of interest, compromised by wanting to capture all that oil for their own profit, and other corporate motivations.

      Bob in AZ

      • prostratedragon says:

        “I’ll take ‘other corporate motivations’ for whatever you got, Alex:”

        Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 barrel

        A clause buried deep in the U.S. Clean Water Act may expose BP and others to civil fines that aren’t limited to any finite cap — unlike a $75 million limit on compensation for economic damages. The Act allows the government to seek civil penalties in court for every drop of oil that spills into U.S. navigable waters, including the area of BP’s leaking well.

        As a result, the U.S. government could seek to fine BP or others up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the U.S. Gulf, according to legal experts and official documents.

        Love that word, “finite.”

        • thatvisionthing says:

          How long do you think it’ll take Eric Holder to look forward while erasing backward? (rename: There Is No Justice Department)

          I bet Halliburton is whipping up a mediation proposal right now so they can catch this outsourcing contract. Really, did anyone look for mediation in the fine print? I wonder how much they’ll charge us.

  10. Hmmm says:

    BP video feed footnote: “Throughout the extended top kill procedure – which may take up to two days to complete – very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed may be expected. These will not provide a reliable indicator of the overall progress, or success or failure, of the top kill operation as a whole. BP will report on the progress of the operation as appropriate and on its outcome when complete.”

  11. bmaz says:

    Hey, for whoever is still up, get a load of this. The New York Times has ceded some of its valuable op-ed space in tomorrow’s paper to a John Yoo spew. Ostensibly about Elena Kagan, it is really more self exoneration bullshit. Notably, he has finally discovered Youngstown. Who’d a thunk it??

    • prostratedragon says:

      it is really more self exoneration bullshit.

      Could he really be capable of any other thoughts by now?

      A little night music:

      Randy Weston’s “Little Niles”, Randy Weston Trio with guest Cecil Payne, bar. sax.

  12. bobschacht says:

    Here’s some news about the work Woods Hole has been doing with respect to the oil spill:

    Oil spill does unseen harm to hidden world
    Seafloor’s strange creatures are likely to suffer damage, but experts can only guess how much.
    By Joel Achenbach, THE WASHINGTON POST.
    Updated: 7:58 p.m. Saturday, May 22, 2010
    Published: 12:20 p.m. Saturday, May 22, 2010.

    Here’s the only thing I can find about attempts to use Woods Hole’s expertise:

    Earlier yesterday, four independent scientists told Markey’s committee that BP’s refusal to release the footage was blocking independent efforts to estimate the size of the spill.

    Richard Camilli, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, said BP had intitially reached out to experts for help in measuring the spill. He was set to fly to Houston to join the effort at 3am on 5 May. A day later, BP called off the visit.

    “The rationale was that they were on a very tight time schedule,” he said. “The greater priority was to place the containment structure over the main leak” — an effort that failed….


    Here’s an indication of WHOI’s expertise in deep sea research:

    WHOI currently operates three ocean-going research vessels, a coastal vessel, and several small craft. In addition, WHOI operates the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF) that currently includes the human occupied (HOV) submersible Alvin and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason. WHOI is also a leader in autonomous underwater vehicles, including the latest generation research AUVSentry. Experience gained from the operation of these assets has given the Institution unique expertise in operating and maintaining seagoing research facilities.

    “WHOI’s outstanding proposal was the unanimous recommendation for operation of the Ocean Class research vessel, AGOR 27,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, the chief of Naval research. “I am pleased to continue ONR’s long and fruitful association with WHOI as a premier operator of Navy research vessels for the betterment of Navy and our nation’s ocean science programs. The Institution’s commitments for outfitting and supporting operations of AGOR 27 are welcomed, and will contribute substantially to the overall UNOLS fleet effectiveness.”…


    Bob in AZ

  13. thatvisionthing says:

    Wait. I just left a comment about CMUs, these amazingly inhumane prisons the govt has secretly come up with and is now trying to get in the open with the law up to speed to their specs. Approve us. We’re not talking about Supermax prisoners, we’re talking about “domestic terrorists” — ex.: animal/environmental rights people who have done property damage in defense of the environment. Property damage… did BP just get caught in their own specially brewed laws? Shannyn Moore of Alaska called Exxon an environmental terrorist…

    I really don’t know the extent of the damage these activists caused, but if they get an unconstitutional hellhole with no discernible way to even know who ordered them there, what’s scale for the kind of property damage BP is doing? I really hope someone makes a comparison.

    • kindGSL says:

      I’m glad you brought that up.

      I keep wondering why meth is mentioned and not cocaine. The way our president is being diffident to BP makes me think this is somehow very involved in the drug war, meaning all these party dudes were very likely high on cocaine. Everybody knows meth is the poor man’s cocaine, these guys are not poor.

      Eric Clapton

    • bobschacht says:

      Yes, Sea Brat is good stuff. There’s lots of it sitting in Houston, waiting to be used, as recent news reports have shown. BP is not being straightforward about the availability of alternatives to Corexit.

      Bob in AZ

  14. Leen says:

    Admiral Allen was on Washington Journal this morning for 45 minutes. That man is clearly competent, articulate and obviously deeply understands the issues in the Gulf. The link is not up yet. Shared his deep concerns about the envirnomental impact.

    Was trying to get on to ask about new permits and the alleged inspections that are going to take place of existing rigs and wells in the Gulf.

    One thing I could not help but notice. The majority of the men who called in did not call in with questions. Mostely HERE IS HOW YOU CAN FIX THIS CATASTROPHE. Sorry guys could not help but notice this.

    He blew off the lets set off some bombs (bunker busters etc) to seal it off ideas. Too dangerous. Keep wondering why we keep seeing a diagram of a well that is in its perfect form. Instead of a diagram that shows the existing damaged well and it’s damaged parts.

    He mentioned and explained many things that I had not heard explained so well. One thing he mentioned was a “oil liability trust fund” Had not heard about this trust fund before. Will be googling.

    Did come up how the MSM should stop referring to this gusher as a “leak”.

    Admiral Allen referenced the oil gusher as a “catastrophe”

    Worth the listen when they put it up for linking over at C-span

    • DWBartoo says:

      Thanks, Leen.

      It is good to hear that there ARE some thoughtful people who understand, both from a technical perspective of what is necessary and a human perspective of what is needful, who may, possibly, at some point, be listened to.

      One imagines there is a large “bomb baby bomb” contingent, somehow.

      The MSM, being part of the political class, need to minimize this catastrophe, because it is reflecting, more glaringly every single day, the utter incompetency of their entire class, their collusion with those “agents” who are blithely destroying our world and our society as well as the easy agreement evidenced in the behavior of the political class, that “Money is All that Matters”. The media will be “spinning” something “different” soon, one imagines. “How ‘Green’ is Your BeePee?” or some such BS will replace the yawning, clever, cynicism of the moment, but its “sincerity” will be about appearance and not about substance. The world is turning, yet the political class cannot believe that the gravy train has left the station, because their masters are still on “track” to have their way, careless of “consequence” because their money will keep them “safe”.

      Change IS a-coming …

      It will accelerate …


    • bobschacht says:

      Allen puts on a good PR face. He does have good knowledge, but he is too much the corporate shill. He believes that BP has all the expertise available, rather than giving appropriate cred to experts at Woods Hole and university research facilities. Remember that he was brought to his present position by President Bush. It is time for him to retire, as he is scheduled to do, and be replaced by someone who is not so worshipful of corporate competence.

      Bob in AZ

      • Leen says:

        Am not able to link. Would someone be willing to go over to Washington Journal and link Amdiral Allen’s appearance on CSpan today. Impressive and worth listening to.

      • Leen says:

        Don’t know much about him before now. But sure seemed reasonable and seemed to know the topic.

  15. clemenza says:

    That would mean relying on whistleblowers. Not eactly encouraged by this administration.

    I think Congress will hold hearings similar in style to the bankers .
    Lots of grandstanding, threats, huffing and puffing but in the end they all walk away scot free. Congress will not corss Big Oil even after BP’s WMD detonation on America.

    If they really felt passionate about this catastrophe they’d be out there screaming to implement the ban that kept us safe for thirty years.
    Haven’t heard it yet.

    As far as whistleblowers go, Obama’s DOJ are putting whistleblowers in jail. Two are already sitting in prison and there’s more to come.

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      “If they really felt passionate about this catastrophe they’d be out there screaming to implement the ban that kept us safe for thirty years”

      None of the leases that will be opened up by this “Drill Baby Drill” induced change in forward planning to open up offshore leases on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts has even been tendered for bids yet. Leases in the deepwater area of the Gulf were sold more than a decade ago and have been in exploration and production phase for the past 5-10 years. Transocean started building numerous vessels capable of drilling in deep water to capture the deepwater market before the turn of the century. This has been a well planned, and until April 20th, a timely and well executed expansion of the deepwater oil exploration market.

    • Kassandra says:

      OOOooooo. Brrrrrrrrrr.
      I can’t help after watching this unfold for over a month, that it may have been intentional

  16. dagoril says:

    So when are criminal charges going to be brought against this Rogue Corporation? When will its assets be seized? When will its executive officers be arrested?

    Oh yeah, Obama is too busy arresting “hecklers” at his speeches to worry about doing anything about this out of control corp. What an asshole.

  17. JamesJoyce says:

    “A local man just passed us by. Said he was out at 4:30 in the morning today to fish. Every fish he caught has had eggs. “The seafood industry is dead for the next 15 or 20 years,” he told us.”

    Nice cost benefit analysis BP? America do you now understand the term “Corporate Sodomy?”

    Freeze the assets of the responsible parties and protect the republic not the corporations which rape US!!

  18. gordonot says:

    Are these scientists using psi? Not to be too pedantic, but that’s an antiquated unit of measure isn’t it? The standard is the Pascal:

    pascal (Pa)
    the SI unit of pressure. The pascal is the standard pressure unit in the MKS metric system, equal to one newton per square meter or one “kilogram per meter per second per second.” Sounds impressive, but in traditional English terms a pascal is only 0.000 145 pounds per square inch (0.020 885 lbf/ft2 or 0.007 50 mmHg). Thus pressure is more commonly measured in kilopascals (kPa), with 1 kPa = 0.145 lbf/in2. Air pressure is also measured in hectopascals (hPa), with 1 hPa = 1 millibar. The unit is named for Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French philosopher and mathematician, who was the first person to use a barometer to measure differences in altitude.

      • gordonot says:

        Yeah, ok. Fair enough. It just seems odd for a European company to be using something other than SI units.

        • bmaz says:

          I was being kind of flippant. I actually pretty much agree with you; however, my science education, once fairly strong, is now so far behind me I am back to psi because that is what my pressure washer for the back deck is measured in. Kind of pathetic actually…..

  19. Leen says:

    Just can not get the image of those on the beach with shovels shoveling the oil into plastic bags and then the camera going back to the oil volcano at the bottom of the Gulf.

  20. bobash says:

    Marcy, not sure if you have seen this or not, but in the context of the hearing on which you post, the best thing I’ve read on the cause of the incident thus far is this at The Oil Drum. I’m not following the hearings real-time but if I were this background would prove very useful.

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