BP’s LMRP: Claws, Craws, Saws and Jaws

As you undoubtedly know by now, BP has failed miserably at every “fix” they have attempted so far. There is growing evidence of what a total sham exists in the craven use by BP of any number of subsidiaries to insulate itself from criminal and civil liability.

But right now the focus is on the ongoing LMRP attempt that BP now is warning could drag on from four days to a week. Many of you have been keeping up the monitoring of this back on the previous Top Hat and Tails: BP Has Yet Another “Solution” thread from Sunday. Please continue that discussion and reporting here.

One other thing I would like to point out; despite making a big dog and pony show of its commitment to speak with a single voice, Thad Allen, and quit making a media show of parading a series of Cabinet Officers down to the Gulf in a vain attempt to look like they are on top of things, the Obama Administration is …. wait for it …. making a media show of sending Attorney General Eric Holder down to the Gulf to make it look like they are on top of things. From Reuters:

Attorney General Eric Holder will survey the damage from the Gulf Coast oil spill on Tuesday and meet with federal prosecutors and state attorneys general, the Justice Department said on Monday.
After a tour and briefing by the U.S. Coast Guard, Holder will meet with the state attorneys general from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi as well as U.S. attorneys from those states. Holder is also scheduled to speak to reporters in New Orleans.

The Justice Department has already demanded that the companies involved in the spill, including BP Plc, Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co to preserve paperwork related to the accident that could become part of an investigation.

Experts have said the Justice Department was likely eyeing potential violations of the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Refuse Act.

Notice what is missing from that last paragraph? There is no mention of prosecution under the negligent and/or reckless provisions of the Federal manslaughter law for the eleven deaths occurring on Deepwater Horizon as a result of BP’s willful and wanton conduct. The article mentions the deaths, but the Obama Administration and Holder DOJ never does. When it comes to talk of potential accountability, it is like the eleven deaths never happened to the Obama Administration. But hey, there are business interests and military fuel contracts they must protect and, clearly, that takes precedence for this Administration.

[Graphic – BP: Broken Promises. Logo design by Foye 2010 submitted as part of the Art For Change BP Logo Redesign Contest and used with permission]

327 replies
  1. bobschacht says:

    The claw is clamping tighter. I’d post a screen grab, if this were possible here.

    How am I gonna do my other work for the day?

    Bob in AZ

  2. JTMinIA says:

    Recap for newbies – I hope you don’t mind, bmaz:

    In the last 24 hours, they only managed to get set up for the cutting required for an LMRP cap procedure. The wire-saw is in place just above the BOP, ready to make the second cut on the vertical section of the riser. (The wire saw is the one with a yellow box on it labeled “CUT.”) It’s been there since last night. The big yellow claw (aka the CRAW) made one attempt (around noon central) to crimp and cut the riser about 100′ away from the BOP on the horizontal section of the riser, but stopped. It put a small dent in the main pipe, but clearly didn’t cut very deep as no oil and gas came out.

    • JTMinIA says:

      My prediction: spending all day watching the live feed will be a waste of time. They *always* wait until 11 pm Eastern to do anything dramatic. Whether this is for PR purposes or because they have the most faith in Oceaneering’s third shift, I have no idea. Maybe they will make the first cut this afternoon, but I’m betting a chocolate martini (so dry, because all I do is think the word “vermouth” as I pour) that the wire saw does nothing until late tonight.

      • bobschacht says:

        Thanks. You’re probably right. Prolly they need to hold a team meeting to evaluate the work of the night shift, and decide who gets to do what. I need to refocus my time on some serious work, but I’ll check in from time to time.

        Bob in AZ

    • fatster says:

      Boo! (I was trying to reply to bmaz at 312, and then something strange happened. Sowwy.)

  3. DWBartoo says:

    Those “business interests” and “military fuel contracts” need to be laid bare, bmaz, for they are the true essence of American “policy”, both foreign and domestic.


  4. fatster says:

    Why is the claw in a holding pattern rather than cutting?

    JTM @ 5: Oh, I see. Plus, they have to wait for Hmmm and Mason.

    • bobschacht says:

      Why is the claw in a holding pattern rather than cutting?

      Seems like a dog with a bone: a lot of holding and mouthing but no real crunch.

      Bob in AZ

  5. Mason says:

    Our POS president is nothing more or less than a doormat for corporate America and Israel.

    He and his sycophant Attorney General don’t give a damn about the 11 people who were incinerated on the Deepwater Horizon. Obama will find a way to hold the American taxpayer financially responsible for BP’s crimes and the pain and suffering and environmental damage it caused.

    BP will pay a modest fine and return to drilling in the GOM in six months, and that will be that.

    • tanbark says:

      Mason: I’m with you on our “POS president…”, but I don’t think Obama and his corporate buds can just go back to square one on this. No matter all their continuing efforts to low-ball every aspect of it; it’s getting out of their hands, as we speak. I mean that in a PR sense. Too many people hurt by it; too many people outraged by Obama’s hands-off policy; too many people already looking for an excuse to reverse their 2008 votes…

      If they could shut it down tomorrow, the effects of this haven’t begun to hit us. Every piece of “good” news, real or cobbled up by White House pimps, is going to be offset by the reality of the ongoing catastrophe in the GOM, and it’s down-the-road misery.

  6. ghostof911 says:

    Is BP awarding any contracts for the disaster control to Halliburton’s new subsidiary?

    Date of News Release — 4/12/2010 — eight days before the explosion.

  7. JTMinIA says:

    One other possibility: they could not get enough hydraulic pressure to the claw (which – from what I understand – has never been used at 5000′ BSL). That would also explain why they starting squeezing and then seemed to quit.

  8. Hmmm says:

    Yo all. Reminds me, I’ve been wonder whether it might be calmer at the surface at that time of night. If so, might make for more stable positioning of any construction/demo gear that’s hanging on wires from surface ships.

  9. BoxTurtle says:

    I’m wondering which Oil Company will be the first to say “The Gulf is the best place for offshore drilling, it’s already dead so we can’t hurt it”

    Boxturtle (Yes, your Honor I shot both my parents. But I plea for mercy on the grounds I’m an orphan)

  10. Hmmm says:

    Gotta leave for a while, grrr.

    This is bad. USG should not just accept this. Over 2 more months of uncontrolled venting is not acceptable. Certainly not without a detailed technical explanation of why no more can be done.

    • bobschacht says:

      OK, no time for panic. Efforts with the LMRP are continuing, because that’s a “capture” operation, not a “plug” operation.

      Where’s JTMinIA?

      Bob in AZ

    • JasonLeopold says:

      I posted this on the weekend thread. Apparently, this is what scientists have been saying all along


      Insiders say it’s time for BP to go.
      Written by WGNO ABC26 News | Monday, 31 May 2010 11:15

      One insider say it’s time that BP is removed from the job of trying to cap the well. The former President of the International Oil Spill Control Corporation said BP has no intentions of capping the well.

      Dr. Thomas Manton said BP is sitting on the mother load, two to three billion barrels of oil.

      Manton said that’s why BP wants to continue the flow oil onto those tankers.

      Manton said it’s in the nation’s interest that the well is capped now.

      He said President Obama should make the decision to remove BP from the operations sooner than later.

      • fatster says:

        And just whose priorities are being served?

        Not ours.

        We should re-link your last great article, Jason. I’ll go find it.

          • JasonLeopold says:

            many thanks, Faster! I know the DOJ has issues with Scott West and his claims, but I have found him to be very forthcoming. The other two EPA officials in the story spent years investigating BP also. Jeanne West has been their debarment counsel since the late 90s when they illegally dumped hazardous waste re: Endicott Field

  11. bobschacht says:

    What pipe did they cut that is now billowing forth? The horizontal part of the riser pipe?

    Time for lunch. But first check out today’s comment from theoildrum. Looks to be very helpful.

    Bob in AZ

  12. fatster says:

    US seeks foreign help for oil spill equipment

    ” . . . we are actually reaching out to foreign governments,” Allen said.” (emph. added)


  13. JasonLeopold says:

    Just out. Sorry I don’t have a link and hope it’s OK if I just post this as is:



    Good afternoon.

    This morning, I surveyed just one small portion of the damage caused by what is now the largest oil spill in American history. I was briefed by Coast Guard officers involved in the massive response effort and also surveyed the famed Louisiana Delta, where the early signs of oil intruding into the ecosystem are all too evident.

    This afternoon, our team from Washington met with Attorneys General and U.S. Attorneys for the states and districts whose coast lines and citizens have been impacted by this disaster to discuss how we can work together to respond to this tragic spill.

    As you all know, the President on Friday reiterated that the first and foremost goal of the entire government is stopping the leak, containing and cleaning up the oil, and helping the people in this region get back on their feet and return to their normal lives.

    But as we have said all along, we must also ensure that anyone found responsible for this spill is held accountable. That means enforcing the appropriate civil – and if warranted, criminal – authorities to the full extent of the law.

    What we saw this morning was oil for miles and miles. Oil that we know has already affected plant and animal life along the coast, and has impacted the lives and livelihoods of all too many in this region. This disaster is nothing less than a tragedy.

    There is one thing I will not let be forgotten in this incident: In addition to the extensive costs being borne by our environment and by communities along the Gulf Coast, the initial explosion and fire also took the lives of 11 rig workers. Eleven innocent lives lost. As we examine the causes of the explosion and subsequent spill, I want to assure the American people that we will not forget the price those workers paid.

    During the early stages of the response efforts, I sent a team of attorneys including the head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Ignacia Moreno, and the head of our Civil Division, Tony West, to New Orleans to lead our efforts to protect not only the people who work and reside near the Gulf, but also the American taxpayers, the environment and the abundant wildlife in the region. They have been working diligently ever since to gather facts and coordinate the government’s legal response.

    As we move forward, we will be guided by simple principles: We will ensure that every cent of taxpayer money will be repaid and damages to the environment and wildlife will be reimbursed. We will make certain that those responsible clean up the mess they have made and restore or replace the natural resources lost or injured in this tragedy. And we will prosecute to the full extent any violations of the law.

    Among the many statutes Department attorneys are reviewing are:

    · The Clean Water Act, which carries civil penalties and fines as well as criminal penalties;

    · The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which can be used to hold parties liable for cleanup costs and reimbursement for government efforts;

    · The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered Species Acts, which provide penalties for injury and death to wildlife and bird species; and,

    · Other traditional criminal statutes.

    There are a wide range of possible violations under these statutes, and we will closely examine the actions of those involved in this spill. If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be forceful in our response. We have already instructed all relevant parties to preserve any documents that may shed light on the facts surrounding this disaster. As our review expands in the days ahead, we will be meticulous, we will be comprehensive, and we will be aggressive. We will not rest until justice is done.

    While the federal government continues to focus on stopping the leak and responding to the environmental disaster, the Department of Justice will ensure the American people do not foot the bill for this disaster and that our laws are enforced to the full extent. That is our responsibility, and we will do nothing less.

    I’d now be happy to take any questions.

    • JasonLeopold says:

      Still sounds like they are undecided, unless they are keeping everything close. He did mention the deaths of the 11 employees, but seems to characterize it as a tragic accident What do you think bmaz?

    • gordonot says:

      I want to assure the American people that we will not forget the price those workers paid.

      …and so it was that it became instantly forgotten.

  14. Hmmm says:

    So if BP’s self insured then let’s just cut to the chase and eat/nationalize them. Corporate death penalty. USG owns its own petrol supply chain, and we sell off the rest and use the proceeds for restitution.

    • fatster says:

      “A 2008 General Accounting Office report found that out of 104 jurisdictions throughout the world, only 11 received a smaller portion of oil revenue than the U.S. government.”


      Gotta jam. Will look for GAO report later.

      • harpie says:

        I was intrigued enough to look for that report, and this is what I found:

        GAO-Testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, House of Representatives; 3/17/09

        OIL AND GAS LEASING Federal Oil and Gas Resource Management and Revenue Collection in Need of Comprehensive Reassessment

        [pdf 5]; The federal government receives one of the lowest shares of revenue for oil and gas resources compared with other countries. For this and other reasons, the United States is an attractive country for investment in oil and gas development. Specifically, in 2007, the revenue share that the federal government collects on oil and gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico ranked 93rd lowest of 104 revenue collection regimes around the world that were studied. However, despite significant changes in the oil and gas industry over the past several decades, Interior has not systematically re-examined how the federal government is compensated for extraction of oil and gas for over 25 years. In contrast, some other countries have recently increased their shares of revenues as oil and gas prices rose and, as a result, will collect between an estimated $118 billion and $400 billion, depending on future oil and gas prices.4

        [4] GAO, Oil and Gas Royalties: The Federal System for Collecting Oil and Gas Revenues Needs Comprehensive Reassessment, GAO-08-691 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 3, 2008).

        • gordonot says:

          Nice find. That figures. No doubt, one of those sweet semi-secret Cheney deals. Not entirely secret except that nobody in the MSM bothers to read the documents as you have.

          • harpie says:

            Well, it’s the least I could do in return for everything you’ve been supplying us with! :-)
            They do have a lot of information at that site.

            • fatster says:

              Glad you checked them out so thoroughly, harpie. OMB used to also be a good resource, but I haven’t visited them since the BushCo years, so can’t say. They were good once upon a time, though.

        • sojourner says:

          Royalties are a HUGE issue… The lease under which BP is operating has some really convoluted formulas to calculate royalties, and also exempt certain amounts of production. I think this comes from our friend, George W. (“Dubya”) Bush, who gave away everything but the kitchen sink. I just have to wonder how hard BP negotiated with MMS, or did MMS just agree to it and sign?

          Corporations seem to think they need some incentive from everyone else in order to do what they were incorporated to do. Quite frankly, if BP did not bid on that lease, someone else would have. BP paid some HUGE money to win it — so they must have known something was there.

    • Synoia says:

      That’s a fairly stupid comment, and you do keep repeating it.

      Please go and review the US constitution on compensation for takings, and remember BP is owned by shareholders who are neither liable, guilty, and do have property rights.

      • Hmmm says:

        Maybe the logic was opaque there, sorry. If the liability is as big as it looks to be, then the net value of the BP shares may well be nothing. So if there’s no value, then there’s no unconstitutional taking. And, as you may have noticed, the USG has a habit lately of stepping in and taking over private corporations whose functions are critical when circumstances are sufficiently dire. When raising financing is necessary in order to do so, they seem so far to be able to muster it. If you don’t much like that the USG does that sort of thing, then I’m with you. But if you’re pretending it’s not possible, or if possible that there are never circumstances where its necessary, or that the necessity of a bold step such as that isn’t in the realm of the possible in this case… well, there you’d lose me, if that is what you meant with your “stupid” remark.

  15. JasonLeopold says:

    OK there are some confusing reports. The wires are reporting that Holder launched a criminal probe. CNN actually reported “Holder to review legal options in Gulf oil spill.”

    Sort of sounds like the “review” being conducted into the previous torture cases.

    • bobschacht says:

      Hey, all. What did I miss?

      Fatster posted a bunch of links suggesting that BP was throwing in the towel. However, these reports are not adequately distinguishing between “stopping” the leak, and “capturing” the leak. BP has abandoned efforts to “stop” the leak; I don’t think their cold hard hearts were ever really in that effort. But now they are in direct conflict with the President’s declaration that “stopping” the leak is priority #1:
      “the President on Friday reiterated that the first and foremost goal of the entire government is stopping the leak…”
      Memo to Adm. Thad Allen: Check your mailbox.

      But that doesn’t mean that they have abandoned the effort to “capture” the leak. That effort continues.

      Still using circular saws, I see.

      My guess is that the staff of the “capture” effort is having differences of opinion about how to proceed. Rather than executing a fully scripted plan, I think they’re figuring it out as they go along, in fits and starts, changing horses in mid-stream from time to time.

      Bob in AZ

    • bmaz says:

      From what I see, they have only announced that they will not attempt to put a second BOP on top of the buggered BOP. I have not seen anything saying they are done with the LMRP, but I have been out and maybe I just am unaware.

      • JTMinIA says:

        OK. If all they have said is that they will not try a du-wop-double-BOP, then that means they may have to cut the existing BOP below the upper flange. Not such a big deal. I had seen some things to suggest that they were giving up on all forms of LMRP and switching to a straw [not a joke].

    • PJEvans says:

      Click on it and cost them some money.
      You know the drill by now: the ads are selected by the ad company, not by the blog.

  16. prostratedragon says:

    I happened to catch most of Allen’s conference. (NB: I was awaking from a nap) I think he described continuing efforts with the LMRP cap and straw, which would lead to capture of the oil into a tanker instead of the Gulf; and dropping of the idea of putting the second BOP on top of the existing-but-shredding one, which would have led to another plugging attempt.

    By dropping this effort, they get to reallocate the extra BOP to the drilling of the second relief well, so that drilling has now been restarted. Given the way things have been going, this last is the best news I’ve heard on this in weeks. Hope they have the beginning of the third well scheduled.

    • JTMinIA says:

      BP was criticized for stopping work on the second relief well. It makes sense that they stopped, if it didn’t have a BOP.

      My understanding – based mostly on what BP claims on its website – is that a double-BOP on top of the blown BOP was only to be tried if and when the LMRP cap failed. So, this doesn’t change what’s going on now, which is more prep for the CRAW to do the first cut on the riser later today.

      I think I have it.

      • prostratedragon says:

        My understanding – based mostly on what BP claims on its website – is that a double-BOP on top of the blown BOP was only to be tried if and when the LMRP cap failed.

        Yes, my understanding too had been that those two trys were supposed to be pursued simultaneously. Just now I heard (Was that Ari Shapiro? If so, then NPR are trying to cover the darned thing like real news.) one explanation that some became concerned that an imperfect fit of the second BOP coud lead to leaking out the sides*, which would be a pretty expensive way to fail and lose a BOP that you might need.

        * I think that’s the job where they were going to rely on the units weight to force a seal. Those BOPs weigh about 450 tons, but it still would have to line up just about perfectly to even have a chance. The LMRP cap will have a gasket seal, plus if it fails, it’s not such a precious piece of gadgetry to lose.

  17. JTMinIA says:

    BP says cutting off riser will result in a 10% increase in flow.

    The USCG says 20%.

    People without a reason lie their *ss off say 50 to 400%.


  18. Hmmm says:

    Grrr. Cannot believe there isn’t an extra BOP available in the whole world. Suspending the relief well drilling was madness.

  19. JTMinIA says:

    Relying on weight to seal something on top of the existing BOP is silliness beyond belief. The upward force (21″-D x 8000 psi) is way over 1000 tons.

  20. JTMinIA says:

    The LMRP cap has a claw-like box that reaches around the connection and grabs onto the flange. Plus, since the LMRP cap doesn’t try to block flow – just direct it into a pipe – it doesn’t have to be clamped down to hold 1000 tons of force.

    • prostratedragon says:

      That “own weight” stuff set off my premonition alarm.

      However, I’m not sure whether the connection was supposed to have been actually held in place by gravity —maybe some clamping or bolting was supposed to take place— only that weight, given a tight fit, was supposed to make the seal.

      • JTMinIA says:

        The difference between an LMRP cap and an LMRP hat is whether it clamps to the existing BOP and captures it all (cap) or hovers above and tries to suck up as much as it can (hat). They have one of each on the Gulf’s floor waiting. They will try the cap first (they said).

  21. JTMinIA says:

    I watched Avatar with my 10 yo daughter two nights ago. She was hilarious. “That’s stolen from Pocahontas!” “That’s stolen from Castle in the Sky!” “That’s stolen from Dragon Rider!” Non-stop. I was so proud.

  22. gordonot says:

    They say that once (some of ) the oil is pumping into a super tanker on the surface, if a hurricane comes along then they’ll have to leave the pipe spewing at the surface and run for shelter? Will they have booms? Why not fashion a submersible tanker?

    • PJEvans says:

      They’re skimming the stuff corralled by the booms, trying to separate as much of the water as possible, then pumping the rest into the tankers.
      What they do with that I don’t know, except that it isn’t good for much of anything with water mixed in.

    • bobschacht says:

      They say that once (some of ) the oil is pumping into a super tanker on the surface, if a hurricane comes along then they’ll have to leave the pipe spewing at the surface and run for shelter?

      This is why they need to bolt a BOP on top. They don’t need a 450 ton BOP, but they do need one that (a) bolts down, and (b) can be turned off.

      Bob in AZ

      • JTMinIA says:

        Yeah. Why the heck the LMRP cap (i.e., the one that clamps onto the flange) doesn’t have a valve is beyond me, but it doesn’t.

      • Hmmm says:

        But… if they’ll be able to turn it off, then why worry about collection tankers up top? Leave the blasted thing off.

      • JTMinIA says:

        Yeppers. In theory, the only thing that caused the first CRAW-cut attempt to fail were the aux lines. So they spent all day cutting them away.

  23. JTMinIA says:

    Funniest comment from Oil Drum (so far): the CRAW will be appearing next week on Dancing with the Stars.

  24. JTMinIA says:

    Dude, you’ve been watching this for a week. Do you really think anything is about to happen? Be honest.

    • fatster says:

      It’s just floating around right now with some pipes in its mouth. They probably won’t go into action until it’s time for us to go to sleep.

      • bobschacht says:

        They probably won’t go into action until it’s time for us to go to sleep.

        Well, this time they did it in prime time, while their live feed was on Olbermann. Of course, they did the bite during commercial break.

        Bob in AZ

  25. JTMinIA says:

    They cut it during dinner??? B*st*rds!

    Guess I’ll wait for the YouTube replay.

    Diamond wire saw time. Then the gusher.

    • fatster says:

      Those yellow things are labeled “CUT”, so I guess we’re getting really serious now.

  26. Hmmm says:

    Thanx fatster, JT.

    Since I say stupid things: If our ROV is pushing the wiresaw, how can it see where it’s going? Using another ROV for eyes?

    • JTMinIA says:

      No ROV pushes it. The frame is clamped to the flange and the saw slides foward (under its own power) on the frame.

      • fatster says:

        It’s very dim back there, but at times it does seem there is something back behind that frame (another ROV?, if indeed there’s anything there).

        • JTMinIA says:

          Yes, there’s a ROV behind the wire saw. It may be operating some controls (which are all on the back). I just know it doesn’t need a push because it creeps forward under microprocessor control to maintain precise drag on the wire.

      • bobschacht says:

        There was a ROV pushing it last night. The back of the device has a rectangular metal frame. A ROV grabbed that rack, and pushed it into position. I was surprised at how fast the grab went. They tried it once, and came in at the wrong angle. Backed up, and tried again, and whamo! locked into place.

        Bob in AZ

  27. bobschacht says:

    For some reason, the BP live feed camera is looking at the upper part of the BOP below the diamond wire saw (which I call Jaws)

    Note on the Claw cut: I’m guessing it may not have cut all the way through, because the distal end didn’t just fall to the ground. What’s with that?

    Bob in AZ

    • JTMinIA says:

      When I watched the replay, the distal end shot out of view in a flash when the cut finished. Depending on how the rest of the riser was arranged, it could have gone anywhere.

      This feed is good (right now) for the wire-saw cutting (which hasn’t started yet): http://tinyurl.com/rovfeed

      • bobschacht says:

        Ah, yes. Note the position, which is right at the base of the riser pipe, right where the base of the riser bolts to the top of the BOP. I don’t know where the blade comes from in the saw, but it looks like they’re going to cut lower than I thought.

        Live feed shown on Rachel just now.

        Bob in AZ

    • bobschacht says:

      No. The blade will move, but the rig is stationary. Think of an octopus or squid, holding its prey in its arms (which you can see in the live video feed closeups).

      I don’t know enough about the CUT rig to know exactly where the blade is, but it seems to be at about the level of the interface between the circular plate on the bottom of the riser pipe that bolts to the top of the BOP. Is that where they’re going to cut it?

      The blade is moving now!

      Bob in AZ

      • fatster says:

        Thnx, Bob. Yes, I see the blade moving, but it’s still a ways away from the manifold-plenum thing, so I was just wondering how the two are going to meet.

        • bobschacht says:

          Please don’t call it the “manifold-plenum” thing. Those terms are wrong– at least the manifold part is. What you’re seeing is the base of the riser pipe.

          Bob in AZ

    • fatster says:

      Maybe it already has and that’s why they’re using the circular saw. What’s next? Hand saw?

    • fatster says:

      You may have been a bit off on the time, but it seems the event may have occurred. (Or not–who knows?)

      Now we have gushing from an entirely different direction.

      • bobschacht says:

        Now we have gushing from an entirely different direction.

        Yes– looks like it is coming from the top of the BOP now.

        So, Obama is in Washington, DC saying “Plug the damn hole!”
        Meanwhile, BP sez we’ve given up plugging the hole. We’re gonna capture all that oil!”

        So, who’s in charge? Adm. Allen, have you checked your messages?

        Bob in AZ

  28. bobschacht says:

    Looks like the cut has gone far enough that oil is escaping from the cut. I wonder if the plan is to cut the riser pipe, but not the drill pipe inside?

    Bob in AZ

  29. bobschacht says:

    With that little circular saw, they can’t be planning to cut straight through the riser pipe. I’m betting that they’re going to cut around it, through the wall of the riser pipe without touching the drill pipe inside.

    CNN seemed to show another shot which suggested that the riser had been cut higher up, just below the bend? What’s with that?

    Bob in AZ

  30. Hmmm says:

    Sorry, I was over getting incensed about the flotilla attack. Regular smorgasbord of outrage options here at the Greater Lake Family of Website Brands. Been watching the video all the while, though. You guys reckon the wheels are what’s doing the cutting? Or are the wheels just moving the diamond saw band, which is doing the cutting?

    Also: No gushing from the riser bend any more? CNN-cam is black for me now, all I have is PBS-cam.

    • fatster says:

      It seemed as though the sawing stopped for a little while, but it seems to be back now.

      I’m avoiding the flotilla attack stuff right now. Don’t need to go apoplectic, be thrown into stroke phase.

      • Hmmm says:

        No please, that would be bad. Fortunately it’s a durable outrage, it’ll be there whenever you’re ready for it.

    • PJEvans says:

      I understand that the wheels are what’s moving the ‘blade’ (it’s a chain of cylindrical links, some of which are studded with diamonds).

  31. JTMinIA says:

    Wow, I keep missing a lot this evening. Already leaking at the cut, eh?

    Remember: there will be only a 10% increase in flow when the riser is cut off. Don’t expect a gushing flow. /s

      • Hmmm says:

        That’s interesting. Would the disk in question be the rubber annulus gasket we’ve discussed here previously? They’re a bit vague about how far downhole it’s supposed to be.

      • JTMinIA says:

        I don’t get the “disk” issue, but I’ll reread it. I’m dead tired.

        @182: My understanding of the wire saw is that it doesn’t have a way to swing around, after all. Have you seen the saw rotate relative to the riser? That’s the only way it could cut the main pipe and not the drill pipe inside, as well.

      • JTMinIA says:

        The biggest issue I see in that WSJ article is the suggestion that Obama LLC ordered BP to stop doing the junk-shot/top-kill. If true, watch for that in court. BP will claim that everything after two days ago is on the Admin because of this.

        I still don’t know what they mean by a disk, but all else matches what many have suspected. There a leak from outside the casing to inside the well and/or the bottom plug is faulty. There’s really no other option, anyway.

        What’s missing from the “don’t do that … you might make it worse” part of the story is what can go wrong with a LMRP cap. These include: the bent riser was a significant restriction of flow plus they won’t be able to get the cap on, so they’ll make it a lot worse; or the drill pipe gets cut and the drill head crashes down and pops the bottom plug off.

        • Hmmm says:

          That reminds me, I’m still a little confused — the final concrete pour that wasn’t made, was that the bottom plug? If not, do we know where exactly? ‘Cuz if it was the bottom plug, then that part can’t get any worse, can it?

          • JTMinIA says:

            Nope. The bottom plug was done. It was the top plug that didn’t get poured. It’s safest to do this with mud in the riser, but they swapped the mud for seawater and the rest is history.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, and that if there is that little integrity of the well structure, sooner or later the oil and gas will further erode the cement and the upper casing and BOP and LMRP or no, there will be leakage discharge that cannot be contained up through the well bore.

          • fatster says:

            Being ignert of these things, I’ll ask boldly, does “will further erode” mean evidence will be compromised, if not disappear? Thnx.

          • JTMinIA says:

            Yeah. All flow is supposed to occur against steel walls, not cement, seals, or rocks. The longer it takes to stop the flow (which BP is now saying they won’t be trying until August when they could plug from below via the relief well(s)), the more the flow will increase and the higher the chance of getting a leak that doesn’t end up feeding into the well-head. If and when you see a plume at the base of the BOP, it’s over. Dead ocean from there to George’s Bank.

      • bobschacht says:


        The disk thing doesn’t make much sense to me. This is the sentence that doesn’t make sense to me:

        The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP’s findings said.

        The oil and gas had no problem getting past this disk, so why would it be an obstacle to the mud? Besides, we’re talking about the well-head here, and I thought that the idea was to clog up the BOP.

        The diagrams are helpful. I wish we’d had this one last week (choose “Closing pipes” from the menu on the left). It shows the whole rig on the ocean floor– BOP, Manifold, bent riser pipe AND where the leaks are venting.

        Another diagram (same link, choose “Choking the Source” from the menu on the left) that’s supposed to show how the “top kill” was supposed to work. According to it, the drill mud would go *down* the central pipe in the BOP, towards the well head, while the oil and gas rush past in the opposite direction (*up*). The illustration does not show the drill pipe inside the central pipe.

        Choose “Two more ideas” and you’ll find that one of them illustrates how the first “top hat” procedure was supposed to work.

        Choose “The Siphon plan” and you’ll see the best description I’ve seen of that activity where they stuck a 4″ pipe into the broken end of the 21″ pipe to siphon off the escaping oil. The 4″ pipe had rubber “diaphragms” (I had called them “collars”) to conform to the inside of the riser pipe to limit the escape of oil and gas from the pipe into the ocean.

        Bob in AZ

  32. JTMinIA says:

    I guess one positive is that the front pulleys on the wire saw are being cooled and lubricated by the new leak from the cut. :)

    • bobschacht says:

      Good to see you’re back. I have the impression that they’re just cutting through the wall of the riser pipe only, around the circumference, in order to leave the drill pipe intact. Do you think so?

      Bob in AZ

      • JTMinIA says:

        Assuming a top-down view and the riser goes off at 12 o’clock, has the motor on the wire saw always been at 4 o’clock as it is now? If not, then maybe it can swing around and thereby cut only the main pipe. If the body of the wire saw has always been where it is, then it only goes straight across and the drill pipe will be cut along the way.

        • bobschacht says:

          Good question. So far as I’ve seen, the Jaws have not changed position relative to the bent riser pipe.

          In the latest live feed I’m watching, I don’t see the circular saw any more, but I think I see the band saw cutting straight through the riser pipe, not just around the circumference.

          Oops, I don’t think I see any band saw. That’s something else. The real cutting seems to be going on where I can’t see it, obscured by the clouds of oil.

          Bob in AZ

          • JTMinIA says:

            Circular saw? Are you sure you aren’t mistaking the front pulleys on the wire saw for two circular saws? There aren’t any circular saws involved in this (other than for trimming aux pipes out of the way. They would never go after the main pipe with a circular saw. It’s the CRAW or the wire saw. Nothing else would get through 7/8″ steel walls.

            • fatster says:

              I confess, I am the guilty one. But then bmaz pointed the way to the diagram, so now we’re all much better informed.

              • JTMinIA says:

                No problem. Can you tell me how long it has taken to get this far? They are about a quarter of the way across (which means they’ve cut about a third of the pipe). I want to know if it’s worth staying up. Thanks.

                • fatster says:

                  If you’ll go to 140 above, that’s when we noticed the disk turning (yrs truly wrongly referred to it as the saw blade–bad yrs truly). Does that help?

  33. Hmmm says:

    Any indication they’ve used the breaks/openings in the riser to immobilize the drill pipe, i.e. anywhere above the cut?

  34. JTMinIA says:

    The two “errors” are these, although both are vague enough that BP will be able to dredge up (as it were) some experts to testify that “standard practice” doesn’t require them, so this all will end of being a “learn from mistakes … write some new regulations … can’t punish BP for it” when most people would know, deep down, that BP hurried and their hurry caused this.

    The first error was what I mentioned above: removed line of defense (mud) before pouring top plug.

    The second (which occurred earlier) was not testing the integrity of all the cement seals before starting to wrap up. They had the best (independent) group on the rig to do the tests and sent them home, instead.

  35. JTMinIA says:

    Maybe by “disk” they mean the top seal on the annulus (just under the floor of the Gulf). If you recall me whining about the possibility that the casing leak was too high up to establish a column of mud on top of it … well, you can’t get much higher than the top. If the main annulus-to-well leak was at the top of the casing, then they had zero chance of doing a top kill. The total height of the mud would be equal to the height of the BOP and last time I checked a BOP wasn’t two miles tall. /s

  36. JTMinIA says:

    nb. If the main leak is at the top of the casing, then a top plug wouldn’t have made a difference (since a top plug, regardless of the name, is below this point). So, if that’s where the faulty sealing is, all that happened when they pulled the mud before setting the top plug is they moved the disaster up a day.

  37. JTMinIA says:

    Call me a Bldg-7 nut-job, but the SWJ putting out the idea that it’s the top seal (if that’s what they mean by disk) pisses me off no end. That part is not Halliburton. Halliburton only does cementing. Now, you’d only have significant flow and pressure on the wrong side of the pipe at the top if the cementing sucked, but pointing at the top seal and not mentioning the cementing has me worried about who is going to get away with stuff.

    And, note, Halliburton doesn’t have the hurry-up excuse of paying $.5M per day for the rig. BP paid for the rig.

      • JTMinIA says:

        That’s one of the articles that makes it clear that BP will probably get away with cutting corners. The article bmaz linked to is the one that that goes on about a disk and downplays lousy cementing. Combine these with the liability cap and the expected process of (1) find more damage, (2) try to get BP to fix the damage, (3) go to court when they say “no,” (4) finally win in court after delays, and (5) BP saying “there’s nothing to fix … that marsh is already dead” and I get really grumpy (again).

    • bmaz says:

      My money is on both being bad. But Halliburton does have a defense in that BP specified the nitrogen based fluffy cement for expedience.

      • JTMinIA says:

        No way. Really? And then didn’t test? Wow. Combine that with using a positive-pressure test to cover up for (make up for … whatever) a failed negative-pressure test and that might be extreme enough for negligence. Idjits.

        Watch for suicides and other accidental deaths of BP blue-collars. If the VIPs pushed this, then some of those guys might waver, which could be an unhealthy move on their part.

        /Bldg-7 mode

        • bmaz says:

          Yep, that is my understanding. I probably should modify that to Halliburton has a potential partial defense in that regard. There still could obviously (and perhaps even likely) be application errors by Halliburton in addition to the material specification by BP.

  38. bobschacht says:

    That’s quite a cloud of oil obscuring the cutting now.

    I wonder if they chose this angle to cut (relative to the horizontal riser pipe), or whether it was just chance and they don’t care?

    Bob in AZ

    • JTMinIA says:

      > “That’s quite a cloud of oil obscuring the cutting now. They must be about half-way through, but the riser pipe isn’t buckling or anything.”

      That’s exactly why they made the first cut. Riser pipe is good for 2 miles. Imagine how little of the pipe is needed for 100′.

      • JTMinIA says:

        Drill pipe occupies the center third or so. They were a third of the way across. That’s how I guessed.

        Wonder if hitting the drill pipe is what jammed the wire. They are so screwed right now. Ergo, we all are.

  39. fatster says:

    Over on the PBS shot, it doesn’t look as though they’ve quite cut through half the riser pipe. Am I seeing this correctly? They aren’t going to go all the way around?

    • JTMinIA says:

      If the wire saw’s frame doesn’t swing around, then it will be a straight-across cut.

      Given how far across they were – which, to me, seemed a third or so, not half – it is likely that they just reached the drill pipe.

      • bobschacht says:

        Agreed. Not half. I pulled that fraction out of a place where the sun don’t shine, and you quoted it before I could erase it (which I did, but too late.)

        Bob in AZ

      • fatster says:

        Not that it matters now, but I meant to type “not quite” at 217.

        This is most depressing. Or terrifying, as Hmmm said.

        • JTMinIA says:

          (Wow. It must be me, because you all are doing exactly what my students do … as if scared I will attack you for every typo when I’m really just making sure everything that is clear. I must come across as a total pedant A-hole … which is unfortunate, since it’s only half correct in that I’m not really a pedant.)

  40. Hmmm says:

    I just had a terrifying thought. If the flow’s been going a month so far, and if it’s going to be two more months ’til the relief well pays off, and if concrete/sand/dirt/salt erosion is going to make the flow increase over time, then we’re only about 1/4 of the way through the damage.

    • JTMinIA says:

      Yep. This capping process is kind of important. But the saw appears to be stuck. I’ll bet some juicy words of 3-5 letters are being said in the ROV control room.

      Neat trick of grabbing on and then using the ROV’s thrusters to try to push the plume away to get a better look. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

      • bobschacht says:

        I thought of that, too, but you might think they’d use the thrusters on the side they’re cutting so they could see what they were doing a mite easier.

        Bob in AZ

    • bobschacht says:

      Don’t they have a reverse gear? i.e., trying to run the saw while pulling back on the blade? I assume that the pulleys must be used to apply some forward pressure on the blade– can’t they reverse that?

      Of course, knowing that the drill pipe was there, a really SMART team would have slacked off the forward pressure as they approached the drill pipe.

      Also, couldn’t they use the claw to grab the riser and tug it a little bit in the direction opposite the cut to release pressure on the blade?

      Bob in AZ

      • JTMinIA says:

        It’s a really fancy system. In theory it detects drag and slacks off when drag increases. This is to prevent it from ever jamming.

  41. JTMinIA says:

    The neat thing about wire saws in contrast to traditional saws and chain saws is that they can’t get stuck. Glad that they’re using one. /s

  42. JTMinIA says:

    Did anyone ever see an explanation of why they didn’t just crimp the riser? The CRAW could have done that. Take out the cutting blade and it’s a really big RoboGrip pliers.

    • bobschacht says:

      Did anyone ever see an explanation of why they didn’t just crimp the riser?

      Isn’t the riser already crimped?
      For what purpose, to crimp the riser?

      Bob in AZ

    • bmaz says:

      Hydraulic pressure issue seems to be the best guess re the crimper tool something to do with the atmospheric pressure at that depth offsetting something and that to overcome it they had to run a much higher pressure through their hydraulic hoses than they were rated to withstand. Or something like that. And I cannot remember where I read that either I am sorry to report; but it sounded plausible.

      The perils of getting the diamond band saw stuck are discussed here. What results seems to be the wire/band gets broken.

      • JTMinIA says:

        If the CRAW can cut a pipe, then it could crimp one, no?

        The idea mostly came from staring at the bend and crimp in the riser, just above the BOP, and thinking it was a significant flow restriction. I started wondering “why not just finish that crimp?”

        Of course, if Obama LLC really ordered them to stop doing junk shots because they were afraid that a complete cessation of flow would cause pressure in the well to force leaks elsewhere, then Obama LLC may have ordered them to stop trying to seal the well by any means and switch to a capture strategy, instead.

        • bobschacht says:

          then Obama LLC may have ordered them to stop trying to seal the well by any means and switch to a capture strategy, instead.

          He hasn’t said so in public. But what he has said, emphatically, in public, is to plug the dam* leak. BP’s interest is not to plug, but to capture. They get income that way. If they plug, they lose their investment.

          Bob in AZ

          • Hmmm says:

            See, that’s one of the parts I don’t get. BP were in the process of abandoning the well for a while anyway, so none of this is downtime compared to the original plan. The well was going to be dark now, so a cap rather than a siphon loses them nothing. When the pressure relief well completes, they’ll be back as square one, production-phase-wise… no?

            • bobschacht says:

              I believe the original plan was meant to be reversible– in effect, to leave a faucet in place that could be turned back on when needed. I think the “relief well” is meant to be a permanent plug, though I’m not sure about that. If they can, they’ll plug the top half of the current well head, but leave the bottom open to the relief well. But I’m just guessing.

              Bob in AZ

          • JTMinIA says:

            I read earlier this evening (WSJ – linked by bmaz?) that Obama ordered BP to stop doing junk shots because of the risk. If he really did this and if he also continued to be all tough in public with “finish the dang fence” … er, I mean “plug the darn well” then that’s sick in so many ways.

            Can’t take any more tonight … sleep. Night all.

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah, but I am absolutely convinced there is such a lack of integrity, from pretty much top to bottom, of the well that totally plugging it at the top just creates the blowout of whatever remaining seal they have with the cement at the wellhead. I believe they have a total clusterfuck in about every regard and are just not admitting it:

            1) BP used, if not substandard, then very close to it, casing that under the circumstances was inappropriate. It is fragile.

            2) They did not install somehow or another at least one major casing segment seal, and the remaining seals are now either completely blown out or on their way to it and as a result oil and gas flow is not only coming up the inside of the casing, but the outside of the casing between the casing and well bore walls in the rock.

            3) BP specified a light and fluffy cement and, additionally, there may be significant breaches and voids making the cement job weak and disintegrating.

            4) Even at best, the cement is in the upper depths of the well bore where the natural geologic rock structure is the loosest, weakest, most porous and fragile (hell some of it may effectively be silt). The oil and gas, which has a natural well pressure of 12,000 or so psi is going to erode and corrode through and around the cement and the porous well bore rock.

            5) Being attached to the Deepwater Horizon rig by the riser, and perhaps drill string too, when all hell broke loose and it exploded, shifted and sank, it put various pressures and forces through attachment to the BOP in turn attached on the well casing head. This action may have kind of reamed out and loosened that whole situation making it even looser and more susceptible to 2 and 4 above.

            6) The BOP, to the extent it had restrictions present initially, has now been eroded and reamed out by the long term flow of gas and oil upwards and then the caustic flow of drilling mud the other direction from the attempted Top Kill. It is totally fucked way worse than it even was initially.

            7) The reservoir of oil in Macondo is way larger than most anybody realizes and certainly bigger than BP will admit. It is a huge mother lode. Could flow forever.

            8) Did I mention that the natural well pressure may be as high as 12,000 psi??

            The Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf states and all of us are totally fucked.

            As Sir Richard Mottram famously said:

            We’re all fucked. I’m fucked. You’re fucked. The whole [thing] is fucked. It’s the biggest cock-up ever. We’re all completely fucked.

  43. JTMinIA says:

    I wonder if the gas escaping through the hole has chilled that side of the pipe causing it to lean towards the crack and pinch the wire. I doubt it’s the pipe bending from being weakened by the cut. The riser hangs over the opposite side and the pipe is strong enough to stay straight when more than half cut across.

    • JTMinIA says:

      Sort of. It really does have drag detection to control how quickly it slides forward on the frame. But the last comment was snarky.

  44. bobschacht says:

    One more parting shot before I stumble off to bed–This is from Bloomberg from a link provided earlier today by someone else:

    BP plans “in a couple of weeks” to reverse the system of pipes and hoses that injected mud into the well for top kill, achieving another route to storage on the surface, he said. As part of the top-kill effort, BP had to remove a tube from the riser that was capturing as much as 6,100 barrels a day from the well.

    Engineers also are working on a free-standing riser pipe to be installed later this month that would allow tankers to take on oil, Dudley said. That equipment would include a quick- disconnect coupling so tankers could depart ahead of a hurricane, Dudley said on CNN today. Hurricane season starts in the Gulf today.

    Nighty night,
    Bob in AZ

  45. Hmmm says:

    One guy on theoildrum seems to think the flow shot way up just before they stopped cutting — is there maybe a significantly higher pressure inside the drillpipe than inside the riser? And stopped to think?

    • fatster says:

      Just linked to this on EW’s latest thread, but here’s some more of that deep and long thing:

      Exclusive: Goldman Sachs sold $250m of BP stock before spill

      And a good morning from NorCal.

      • bmaz says:

        This is total crap inference by Raw Story. Even their own damn article admits there is nothing, nothing at all, unusual whatsoever about a large asset manager like Goldman, who is basically the biggest asset manager, selling off this amount over the course of a financial quarter. Scaring up some conspiracy theory by inference, that even they admit is bogus, on this by Raw Story or anybody else is deplorable and asinine. Very shoddy.

        • fatster says:

          Well, shoot! Please make a similar warning over on the Cheney-Wyoming article, then.

          BTW, I shared your comments @ 251 with a friend who was very concerned, but confused, about the issues (she lives in one of the Gulf states). She appreciated your comments very much.

          • bmaz says:

            Heh, that is where I first saw it I think and already did so. I hope you know my frustration was not with you, but Raw Story.

            • fatster says:

              Oh, thanks. If only there were a way to erase bad/bogus info here, I’d sure go do it! Yours is a strong voice, and one that is well-heeded, though, so that’s the next best thing.

              And now to learn what further disaster the bozos at BP have managed to create.

  46. JTMinIA says:

    G’morning! Wire saw still stuck. CRAW coming back, probably to put weight on the horizontal part of the riser, to free up the saw. Otherwise, a second wire saw will have to be brought in. No plan (right now) to use the CRAW to cut the vertical part of the riser.

    Some amusement from morning briefing:

    Adm Allen, at one point, talked about “moving product” – I guess he forgot he supposed to pretend he works for us, not BP.

    Lubchenco (yellow lady from NOAA) said they are working on an estimate of the flow using an “independent panel” that “includes BP.” She also said that only the best of the best scientists are involved and then said that some of the equipment being used is “really cool.”

  47. JTMinIA says:

    Jane Lubchenco (NOAA) just said that there’s no evidence that all of the dead dolphins were killed by oil. GMFB!

    No, she’s probably right. They probably just committed suicide rather than live on a planet ruled by morons. /s

  48. JTMinIA says:

    This isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. It’s forestry. They have, effectively, gotten their chain-saw stuck in the tree.

    The tried shaking the chain saw (rocking the frame of the wire saw). Nope.

    The tried shaking the tree, itself (by banging the CRAW against the riser). Nope.

    They tried staring intently at it while muttering foul words (mostly by showing us the bubble-level on the ROV for two hours straight and letting us do the swearing for them). Nope.

    Now are seem to be saying “OK, fine. Break the darned chain” (by almost ripping the frame of the wire saw off the riser flange). So far, nope.

      • JTMinIA says:

        What’s even more pathetic is this: one of the reasons for cutting off most of the riser *before* making the horizontal cut just above the BOP was to reduce the weight of the riser and, thereby, reduce the torque on the riser just above the BOP. Now, it turns out, that torque would have been useful because it would have kept the gap they were cutting from closing on the saw. Sort of like: if you cut a tree that is leaning over, you don’t need wedges.

        None of this would have happened if W were still president. That man knew how to cut brush!

    • bobschacht says:

      Does that mean changing the whole saw rig? I.e., Jaws lets go of the top of the BOP, new Jaws comes and clamps to the same place?

      Bob in AZ

      • bobschacht says:

        Well, the old Jaws is gone from the live feed that I just looked at.
        I wonder if the replacement will dock at exactly the same place, or whether they’ll move around 90 degrees or so from the first cut?

        Bob in AZ

  49. JTMinIA says:

    I haven’t seen the second wire saw (yet), so I can’t say, but all wire saws are on a sled or frame (which I guess is what you mean by “jaws”).

  50. fatster says:

    uh-oh. Camera, lights, action. They’re bringing in that CUT saw now, huh? (I’m on CNN vid at the moment). Thnx.

    • fatster says:

      PBS is showing the CUT saw (the diamond blade thing) off in the murky distance, hanging beneath a white thing that kinda resembles a bookcase. Both are fading fast, though. Oops. Now they’re back

  51. bobschacht says:

    Looks like they’re using the same rack device to deliver Jaws2. Is this rack device the LMRP that they’re planning to use?

    Bob in AZ

    • fatster says:

      So the rack device carries a whole bunch of power lines and stuff like that? Or it’s supposed to sit on top of the (if they ever get it done) sawed-off riser pipe and stop or slow the gusher? Thnx.

      • bobschacht says:

        I’m speculating whether the bookcase-like rack is the future LMRP. Note the pipe poking out of the top.

        What the rack-like thing does is deliver Jaws2 from the surface to the local action area. Note that its just hanging from a harness. Then one of the ROVs will grab onto the metal frame on the back of Jaws2, and will unhook Jaws2 from the rack. Then the ROV will shove it like a grocery cart towards the top of the BOP. They will get it to about a meter away, align it, and then in a lunge Jaws2 will grab onto the top of the BOP. If the grab is misaligned, they’ll back off and do it over.

        At least, that’s how they did it with Jaws The First.

        Bob in AZ

  52. fatster says:

    Jeebus. It is in “shallow” waters, but still . . .

    APNewsBreak: Feds Approve New Gulf Oil Well off La


  53. bobschacht says:

    With Jaws the First, one of the lame bits of choreography was that when it was unhooked from the bookcase-rack-like device, the harness that had carried it fell down in front, I.e. between the arms of the Jaws. That would get in the way later, so one of the ROVs had to approach, grab the harness, and move it so it hung underneath, out of the way. I haven’t been watching continuously enough to notice if the same thing was happening, but I did catch a glimpse of the ROV arm fiddling with the harness.

    Bob in AZ

  54. fatster says:

    What’s with the conveyor belt-looking thing? They gonna stuff rags down the pipe next?

    • bobschacht says:

      Dunno. Didn’t see that.

      They appear to be taking their time getting Jaws2 set up. Or else they don’t wanna show us.

      Guy talk? at a liberated place like this?
      We got plenty of prime time ladies here, so don’t be bashful about identifying with them!

      Bob in AZ

  55. fatster says:

    They didn’t show it long, unlike what’s up now. Since the line holding all those things (which looked sort of like stuffed white plastic bags) appeared quite taut, I did wonder if the “white plastic bags” were wrapped around heavy anchors or something. I didn’t see what was at the bottom of that line, though, and then the whole thing disappeared anyway.

    I do admire all the prime-time folks here, that’s for sure. Just not ready for prime-time myself. GIve me a few more decades.

  56. bobschacht says:

    They’re now worried that the second cut+ first cut won’t provide a tight seal for seating the LMRP, presumably because the two cuts aren’t exactly aligned.

    If this is the case, why not just unbolt the stub of the base of the riser pipe? the unbolted face of the top of the BOP should provide a cleaner interface for the LMRP.

    Bob in AZ

    • fatster says:

      Maybe the LMRP is designed so it only fits inside something? Wish I had an intelligent, informed response for you, Bob. We’ll have to wait for JTM.

  57. fatster says:

    They’ve been affixing stuff to the CUT saw, haven’t they? Is it stuff from that rack, such as power lines? I do hope JTM comes to our rescue soon.

    • bmaz says:

      From CNN:

      BP has abandoned use of the diamond wire saw that jammed, thwarting the company’s latest attempt to slow the Gulf oil spill. It will instead use the giant robotic arm cutting device that made Tuesday’s successful first cut on the riser, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told CNN Wednesday.

      Earlier Wednesday, BP was able to free the snared cutter, which had stalled in an attempt to cap the undersea gusher responsible for the environmental disaster.

      A live undersea video feed showed the high-tech diamond-tipped cutter no longer stuck in a damaged riser pipe, as it had been for several hours Wednesday morning.

      • fatster says:

        Many, many thanks. I also just read on “The Oil Drum” that the thing they are supposed to use next is (wait for it) “The Shear.” Sounds pretty ominous. I assume “The Shear” is the same as the “giant robotic arm cutting device” Adm. Thud was speaking of, which doesn’t sound so ominous.

        I have no confidence any of this is going to work. I’m hoping hard as I can that it does, but . . .

        This from “The Oil Drum” about sharpening dulled diamond blades certainly didn’t help instill any confidence: “What we do in those circumstances [when a diamond blade gets dull] , . . . is to run the blade through a firebrick . . . . However, BP’s current answer” is to use “The Shear.” (Their Update 5 @ http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6551#more)

  58. Hmmm says:

    Coming up next week on the Total Devastation Reality Channel: The Adjustable Crescent Wrench, The Bendy Straw, and The Rounded Scissors.

      • Hmmm says:

        Oh you watch. It’ll happen. I’m sure they’re already doing auditions in North Hollywood right now to keep the next two months of programming interesting for us. Remember, Cameron’s aboard. Expect more product placement. Also commercials.

        • fatster says:

          Yeah. And constructing surreal stage settings in Burbank. If only Cecil B. and Dmitri Tiomkin were still alive!

    • bobschacht says:

      I’ve not been able to get a good live feed since I read your comment. What happened? I took a while to get updates from theoildrum.

      Bob in AZ

      • fatster says:

        What happened? Oh, Bob, we are at the mercy of BP to know what’s happened. The more I try and watch this, the more “KABUKI” flashes in front of my eyes.

        In the meantime, the Dutch are coming!

        • bobschacht says:

          Well, good for the Dutch! They need those things STAT off Louisiana. How maneuverable are those things? Can they get into the bayous?

          Meanwhile, the ministry of disinformation at BP continues to obfuscate, evidently.

          Bob in AZ

          • fatster says:

            Followed the lawn mower around today, Bob, so my allergies are active and making me very sleepy.

            I hope JTM checks in and you two can figure out whatever is going on. I’ll be back here in the morning to see what you two decided.

            Good night to ya!

      • fatster says:

        Oh. Goodnight to you, too, Hmmm.

        I linked to a plume dance over at the Plume thread, if you want to check it out. Might make for some interesting dreams.

        • Hmmm says:

          Thanks so much fatster, I’ll go take a look before bedtime. Sweet and itch-free dreams to you.

  59. fatster says:

    According to the people viewing Adm. Thud’s press conference, the damned shears worked!


    Maybe we’ve been hexing the whole operation by watching it.

    Oh, and Good Morning to all y’all!

  60. bobschacht says:

    Are we still live here?
    Sen. Ed Markey now saying on the Dylan Ratigan show that NOAA has let contracts with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute & others to assist with monitoring of what is going on in the Deepwater Horizon well site. About time!

    Bob in AZ

    • fatster says:

      Thnx for the link, bmaz. I actually understood some of this. It blows my mind that so much went wrong, yet nobody called a halt to the operation until proper evaluation could be made. I guess top management just didn’t want their little party aboard the rig cancelled.

      JTM, at what point in this series of failures should everything have been brought to a complete halt? Thnx.

      • bmaz says:

        If I understand correctly, they have now given up on LMRP because they screwed up the diamond saw cut and had to make a more crude cut with the shear. The plan now seems to be to plop the smaller Top Hat down over it and pump it into tankers and sell it at market.

        • bobschacht says:

          I’m behind on my reading at theoildrum, so thanks for your links.
          If they wanted to, ISTM they could still unbolt the flange at the top of the BOP, removing the entire base of the riser, and providing a clean interface. But I don’t suppose BP is listening.

          Bob in AZ

          • bmaz says:

            I don’t think they think they would be able to line up the new package to bolt down with the now huge stream of incredibly high pressure oil flow.

          • bobschacht says:

            All they need to do is lower the LMRP with the top open.

            Also, I just saw a picture of the ragged open top– they really did a lousy job of aligning the shear! But what they could do is
            (1) get the diamond saw down there, now that you don’t have the weight of the riser on it, to trim the cut.

            (2) unbolt the base of the riser. that would at least provide a smooth interface.

            Where’s JTMinIA?

            Bob in AZ

            • fatster says:

              I “paged” him last night but he never showed. I hope he’s not offended in some way by something. Maybe he just gets tired of answering my questions (which, I’m sure, have to be awfully dumb from his perspective).

            • fatster says:

              Do you think they don’t unbolt that base because it’s holding back the stuff they’ve pumped in in-between the oil pipe and the outer casing (I know the words are wrong, but I think you catch my drift).

              Of course, given that whatever they’ve pumped in must be a minuscule amount compared to the reservoir beneath, I guess it doesn’t matter. SO–scratch that. Sorry.

  61. fatster says:

    Bob, do go out to the main FDL page quickly. Scarecrow has an article up with a video showing what they are doing right now. They’re starting to lower the thing.

Comments are closed.