BP Oil Spill Disaster: The Growing Emergency, the Unpunished Crime

Two years and many millions of gallons of oil later — and still counting –, the Gulf is in worse condition than it was weeks after the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded on April 20, 2012.

By LUIS R. MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | APRIL 20, 2012

The worst man-made disaster in the history of modern society is still ongoing, and the criminals responsible for it continue to be the sole guardians of the crime scene. Animal and plant life continue to die in the Gulf of Mexico due to the continues leakage of oil from the depths of the ocean floor while from above, planes continue to poison the waters with Corexit in an attempt to hide the fact that the oil spill is far from being over. The lies and the fraud carried out by the federal agencies in charge of coming to the rescue and British Petroleum, which swindled the public for many months became part of a coverup that had the main stream media as their best accomplices. Under reporting or completely ignoring the oil spill and its magnitude was the job of the corporate whore media, that followed the traditional don’t ask, don’t tell modus operandi, limiting themselves to report what they were told to report.

Two years and many millions of gallons of oil later, the Gulf is in worse condition than it was weeks after the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded on April 20, 2012. As we all remember, that explosion resulted in the immediate death of 11 workers, a tragedy that has grown exponentially since then. After multiple attempts to supposedly ‘cap the leaking well’, BP was caught lying with a straight face, even during congressional hearings. The large volume of information to be analyzed, the lack of expertise of those in charge of holding BP accountable and BP’s explicit intention to defraud the public has made it impossible, so far, to bring those responsible for committing one of the greatest out-in-the-open crimes in history to justice. In fact, BP has worked overtime to try to settle the crime outside of court with both the residents of the Gulf and the Federal Government. Unfortunately, the residents caved in by accepting what on the face appears to be a juicy compensation, but does not solve their main problem whatsoever. Earlier this year, a group of residents settled with BP for damages caused as a result of the oil spill, letting the multinational off the hook regarding legal responsibility.

The problem is, money will not solve the disaster now taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. The money those residents received will be long gone before any real solutions are provided to actually cap the leaking well, clean the waters of the Gulf and return the region to the state it was in before the explosion. As we have informed before, capping the well that BP tried to keep secret during congressional testimony and up until now, may be impossible. The leak that is now flooding the Gulf with oil and gases is not a traditional leak per se, but a major leak coming out of a fractured sea floor that experts believe is a direct consequence of an explosive detonation. Regardless of the cause, the fact is the oil is still leaking just as fast as life in the Gulf is fading away. Up until now, several documented reports from private citizens show that oil is still reaching the surface before it is rapidly dispersed with Corexit during night flights. Another fact that cannot be easily ignored is the death of hundreds of sea animals that are found on the beaches of the Gulf region. Sea Turtles and dolphins lying dead on the beaches at an unprecedented rate, more than at any time before in history, is a sign of the only certainty we can believe in right now: The US government and BP lied to the public.

Separate reports from people who visit the Gulf region on a daily basis to document the death sea animals there count the number of  dead turtles and dolphins by the hundreds. Oil on the surface of the ocean has been seen by people in planes and helicopters all over the Gulf. These same leaks were a rarity before April 20, 2010, but the so-called authorities say that the oil is coming from natural seepages out of the Gulf’s ocean floor. Scientists who have been shown the images, such as Dr. Ira Leifer, from University of California, say that the size and location of ocean surface oil are important enough to require another investigation. But not such an investigation is happening and as we said before, BP is spraying Corexit on a nightly basis to hide the new oil. Corexit, a product made by Nalco, is banned in 19 countries around the world, included the United Kingdom due to its high toxicity.

As The Real Agenda reported before, BP owns 70 percent of the leases for oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Those leases mean billions of dollars for the government, of course. But the reason why BP was left off the hook up until now goes way beyond a few billion dollars. BP was allowed to operate above all available standards of security and legality from the beginning. A detailed analysis of how the Gulf of Mexico Disaster happened gives us a clear picture of what this means.

A CHRONOLOGY OF THE DISASTER

The first gas well blowout that happened on April 20, 2010, was caused from shallow gas influx through leaks in the top hole section of the well caused by replacing drilling mud with sea water at 8,367ft BSL The light hydrocarbon influx came directly from the shallow gas-saturated weak sub-formation zone. After the initial gas surge, the top hole section quickly settled into a steady in-flow state. Light hydrocarbons then continued to flow into the top hole section of the well without affecting the stability.

From April 20-22, the Deepwater Horizon Platform experienced the explosions we all witnessed live or otherwise. These explosions followed the blowout from April 20. Even more explosions happened later as it was reported by firefighters at and close to the oil platform.

Early on April 22, underwater demolition charges were used to break the riser at 460ft from the BOP#1 end; 4540ft below water surface. This explosion caused the riser to bend in just 15 seconds, which is thought to have been aided by directional charges.

By the late afternoon on April 22, another deliberate detonation took place, which occurred around the sub-seabed level. According to experts who provided us with this information, the main objective was to demolish the third well and to induce a second bottom hole well blowout – BHWell-Blowout#2. However, an unintended result of this purposely set explosion, shook the shallow sub-seabed sediment resulting in a simultaneous massive discharge of hydrocarbons from the abnormal shallow hydrocarbon accumulations. The direct consequence of this explosion is what satellites images revealed on April 25, 2010: an oil slick of about 580 squared miles. At the time, the images suggested that hydrocarbons from the Macondo reservoir might be leaking through multiple cracks on the ocean floor.

Because of the numerous explosions, at the depths they took place, no one found out about the leaks until around April 24, 2010.

Later on April 22, almost right after the previous explosion, a new detonation went off at the second well that caused a complete breakdown od the cement plug at the bottom of that well. This resulted in the leakage of gas that might have depleted itself if BP had not messed it up later. Experts are sure that no big oil spill had happened if BP hadn’t caused such a spill artificially.The explosion that happened on the evening of the 22nd, started the massive oil spill we now know as the BO Oil Spill Disaster. This explosion ejected the Blowout Preventer out of the 3rd well, the one BP tried to keep secret for as long as they were able.

From the document BP drilled 3 wells at the Macondo Prospect:

“The original BOP is referred to as BOP#1 because there were at least 2 more BOPs brought into the Macondo prospect. BOP#2 replaced the broken BOP#1 and is now standing at NASA warehouse facility. No wonder NDV (Det Norske Veritas) were confused in their forensic examination of the fake BOP#2. Although DNV did not exactly say it, even their computer simulations and modeling could not fit in micro-details of BOP#1′s failure”

As it is now known, the Gulf was flooded with the largest amounts of oil after the detonation of BSB-Detonation#1 and BHWell-Blowout#2. (As shown by the satellite photo taken on 25 April 2010) Earlier on April 22, 2010, the satellite photo only showed the smoke from the Deepwater Horizon platform.

The latest of the detonations was conducted to achieve at least three goals, the document says: 1) to jam up the potential flow. This is confirmed by the jammed up 2 drill-pipes at the kink in the bent riser. 2) to weaken the well casing cement at the annulus. This is the reason why the detonation took place below the well casing level. 3) to breach the base cement plug to unleash the explosive hydraulic power of the reservoir.

The reservoir well detonation that occurred on August 1, 2010, was the last attempt to seal the leaking well after several previous attempts through the month of July. In this case, the detonation was caused by a nuclear device. Proof of this event is reflected by the unlikely shallow earthquake registered in Louisiana at about 11:34:29 Central Daylight Savings Time, just 12 minutes after the detonation. The epicenter of the quake was 5km deep exactly on the NW-SE fault line. Many people believe the nuclear explosion, although did not cause a complete activation of the New Madrid fault, it did cause to become unstable.  To this fact we can add that the wellhead at well A was still standing, which makes it an impossibility that well A was the leaking well. The oil was indeed coming out of well 3, now known as Well BE.

WHAT IS BP RESPONSIBLE FOR?

BP is in part — along with other entities and persons — responsible for committing various crimes against the people of the Gulf, violating local and federal laws, perjuring in front of Congress, hiding information from authorities and the public that prevented the realization of a complete and orderly investigation of the events that led to and that happened during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010.

More specifically, BP is to blame for illegally drilling a 3rd oil well, the one it tried to hide in order to keep the crime secret from authorities and the public. The company drilled this third well without the proper permit, and it was precisely this well the one that caused the largest oil spill in the history of the oil industry. The third well was not approved by the Mineral Management Service (MMS) for exploration and/or drilling in the Macondo Prospect. According to ROV video, Well BE, was the only one of the three wells that BP drilled that reached the desired depth the company wanted to access the Macondo Reservoir, which later caused the underwater explosion.

BP perjured itself by testimony of their representatives before Congress by providing false evidence that BP had drilled only the permitted well (well A). This well was, according to evidence, drilled to a depth of 5,000 feet, way to shallow to reach the Macondo Reservoir. BP stopped works at well A because the drill it was using got jammed by the pressure formation collapse at the open section of the well bore. The collapse, experts say, could have been caused by gas saturation at sub-formations. BP informed the MMS that this well (well A) was leaking gases and oil. Well A was abandoned for safety reasons.This also confirms that the gas blowout that occurred on April 20, 2010, could have not come from well A.

Meanwhile, well B, drilled to a depth of 13, 305 feet, also way too shallow to reach the Macondo Reservoir, could not be drilled deeper because of similar drills jamming problems. According to geohazard experts, well B experienced even stronger pressure problems. Regarding this fact, Transocean is still suing BP for not informing the company about these type of problems. BP could have drilled at the same location using something called a bypass, which would have enabled the company to keep on perforating the sea bed around the same place but change trajectory at some point. BP had asked the MMS for a permit to do such a procedure, but never actually did it, neither on well A or B. Evidence and reasons for BP not to have done the by-pass range from the company’s own reports to safety and inefficiency.

BP also withheld vital information up to the explosion on April 22 that, experts agree, would have led to the speedy and safe control of the well. Such controls would have prevented the cement plug at the base from failing completely; avoided that the high-pressure oil gushed out of the reservoir directly into the well; stopped the gas blowout on April 20 that was caused by shallow gas influx within the first 9,000 ft; reduce or eliminate the danger posed by the shallow hydrocarbon influx into the upper section of the well, which had settled into a steady inflow. If British Petroleum had informed the reality of the situation, the result of the explosion on April 20, 2010 would have been less lethal indeed.

British Petroleum also perjured itself in Congress by claiming that a second explosion on 2010 April 22 was the reason why the Deepwater Horizon Platform collapsed, destroying the riser pipe that was still attached to the blowout preventer (BOP#1). BP also said that the riser pipe, that goes from the wellhead to the drilling rig broke as the DWH fell into the ocean. BP said that the first leak was located at the bent rise, on top of BOP#1. Later they added that the larger second leak was at the broken end of the riser, at about 480 ft to the north inside a blown crater at the seabed, and that the third leak was just a smaller one occurring at the Riser on the seafloor. This was of course false. Videos from the ROV’s frm April 22 – 24 show that there were no significant leaks on the broken riser, and all of the gushing oil seemed to be coming from isolated seafloor.

From the document BP drilled 3 wells at the Macondo Prospect:

We further posit that it was this detonated explosion that triggered the second, more powerful oil blowout by breaching the base of this well below 18,000 ft bsl and allowing high-pressure oil from the Macondo reservoir to gush directly into the well. It was this detonated explosion at shallow depth that started the chain of events that led to the uncontrollable massive oil spill that poisoned the Gulf with oil from the Macondo reservoir. The first gas blowout, which set the DWH rig on fire April 20, was caused by gas influx from the shallow gas-saturated weak subformation (GWSF) zone. After that initial gas surge into the well, the shallow section of the well (down to 10,000 ft bml) appeared to have stabilized into a constant-flow equilibrium with the GWSF zone.

At that point there was no immediate danger of another gas blowout from within the well, neither from the shallow section with a stable incoming leak from the GWSF zone nor from the deep end o the well which had not been breached by virtue of being suppressed under heavy mud weight. Well A, which is located 720 ft southeast of the blown well BE crater, had been spewing gas from the same GWSF zone since 2010 February and had not been plugged, a violation of MMS regulations regarding abandoned wells. At the time of the first gas blowout on April 20 until at least April 24, well A and well B were left abandoned and had no man-made connection (riser pipe or any pipeline) to well BE or to BOP#1 sitting on well BE’s wellhead. The second detonated explosion, however, did aggravate the gas leaks at both wells A and B, due to the inter-connecting faults and the same GWSF occurrence at all three wells.

The scenario described above is supported by ROV videos, specifically the one that shows the blown out crater from April 23, 2010. This video shows the riser pipe dipping northward into the crater floor with the oil flowing from the north, forming a plume directed southward. This debunks BP’s statement that the oil was leaking out of the broken riser connected to the blowout preventer at well A. So, the oil was not leaking from that well, but from further below at the crater itself located at the illegally drilled third well. Additionally, the video of the shows the fractured seafloor near the third well crater. This had been covered in part by gigantic amounts of cement and drilling mud. This fact also confirms the impossibility that BP was not aware of the explosion, since work had already been done to cover up the crater and site of the explosion caused by the indiscriminate drilling and the detonation performed that caused the crater in the first place.

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS TO FIND OUT MORE

As monumental as all these facts may seem, should the federal agencies allow truly independent investigators to take charge of the oil spill site, and complete a whole new investigation, the public would learn even more about the investigations conducted by citizen groups and independent researchers as well as to reveal even more of the information we do not know. For example, an full investigation would show exactly how ROV videos were altered to hide the real state of BOP#1, which had been blown in pieces and whose parts were buried on the seafloor. The same situation occurred with wellheads and casings from well BE, the third illegally drilled well. The videos were cut and pasted to cover up the times and dates of the explosions as well as other aspects such as coordinates, headings, altitudes, depths, job description.

The making of the false videos and their presentation as proof that everything was under control was one of BP’s main lies in Congress. It was intended to support their claim that the leaks were coming from well A, as supposed to Well BE. Further research would also show how exactly BP substituted the blow out preventer at well A and lying about it being the original BOP. This BOP withstood the explosions on well A up until April 22, but was destroyed by the second detonation on that same day. This, as posed before, caused the massive flooding of the Gulf of Mexico with oil from the Macondo Reservoir. The result of this flood was a panic-driven initiative to use Corexit to try to clean the waters. As we now know, Corexit does not have that capacity. It only turns the pockets of oil into smaller particles without actually cleaning the ocean.

In order to pull this plan off, BP had about two weeks to carry out the changes, while the people were shown ROV video footage of well A. BP then installed a second BOP at well A, which later was presented as an intact BOP bent-riser assembly. “A forensic examination on this fake BOP#2 naturally raised more questions than answers and left many important questions unanswered.”

These are just a few of the facts that would be confirmed beyond reasonable doubt — not that more of it is necessary in order to know the truth –.

TOXICITY AND DEATH IN THE GULF REGION

Testimonies continue to reveal the dire consequences of the BP oil spill from two years ago continue to pour in from different reports ranging from individuals — who on their own dollar travel to the region to document the scenario of death and sickness now developing around the coastal areas — to foundations and non-profit organizations that provide residents of the Gulf and the rest of the world the information the main stream media does not.

An article from the Surfrider Foundation dated April 17, 2012, shows the extent of the persistent toxicity at different locations. Just as many other activists have done it, the foundation demonstrates how people who live in the region are exposed to toxins in the water, the sand and the air. “We saw hazmat-suit wearing workers leaving the beach as the sun rose over the horizon. They had worked during the night and were leaving just as the tourists came over the sand dunes for a day at the beach. The workers had worked hard and picked up what oil globs that could be seen by the naked eye (aided by a little extra UV light). If it was safe for tourists then why would workers have such protection? If it wasn’t safe why weren’t the tourists being told that?”

According to the previous report, between 800,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of Corexit have been used in order to disperse the oil coming out from the Macondo Reservoir. The Surfrider Foundation released a report entitled: “State of the Beach“, a study that provides the latest details about the Gulf of Mexico on-going disaster. The report related that the large amounts of Corexit being sprayed over the Gulf’s waters is making it impossible for microbes to digest the oil. “The persistence of Corexit mixed with crude oil has now weathered to tar, yet is traceable to BP’s Deepwater Horizon brew through its chemical fingerprint. The mix creates a fluorescent signature visible under UV light.”

In an article dated October 2010, environmental reporter Julia Whitty documented the magnitude of the disaster up to that time. By her account, methane was shooting up from the well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, exploding at the well’s head. Those gases and the oil that came out from the bottom of the ocean floor would later turn the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig into the least of the problems. The Surfrider Foundation’s report speaks about four main relevant facts:

* The use of Corexit is inhibiting the microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in the crude oil and has enabled concentrations of the organic pollutants known as PAH to stay above levels considered carcinogenic by the NIH and OSHA.
* 26 of 32 sampling sites in Florida and Alabama had PAH concentrations exceeding safe limits.
* Only three locations were found free of PAH contamination.
* Carcinogenic PAH compounds from the toxic tar are concentrating in surface layers of the beach and from there leaching into lower layers of beach sediment. This could potentially lead to contamination of groundwater sources.

The complete study from the Foundation written by James H. “Rip” Kirby III, is accessible to the public online. His study tested samples of crude oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico from the day the spill happened. Field testing from May 2010 were conducted at beaches before the crude oil from spill made its way there. Additional testing was done on tar samples for a trend analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
(PAH) that analyzed concentration levels. This tests began March 2011 and were completed in November 2011. Overall, 71 samples were tested. “Tests for 38 different PAH analytes were done on 48 samples. Oil range organics (ORO) tests were done on 23 samples. Compared to the Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) or carcinogenic exposure limit for PAH analytes listed as coal tar derivatives, 90% of the positively identified analyses exceeded the IDLH limit,” reads the report.

For months and months, federal agencies assured Gulf residents and tourists that it was safe to consume seafood from Gulf waters, even though visual proof showed otherwise. Now, a report issued by Al-Jazeera confirms the worst fears regarding food safety and how it has declined since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Both scientists and residents of the Gulf region continue to find not only contaminated sea animals, but also others that have suffered mutations as a consequence of the exposure to chemicals used to supposedly clean the waters from the oil spill. As reported by EcoWatch.org: “horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp” along with “shrimp with abnormal growths, female shrimp with their babies still attached to them, and shrimp with oiled gills.” And this seems to be only the beginning. See visual proof of the mutations and contamination in this news report. In a press communique, BP responded to the questions of food contamination by saying that both NOAA and the FDA guaranteed that seafood from the Gulf was as safe as it was before the oil spill disaster.Meanwhile, NOAA declined to comment on the findings of the investigation conducted by Al-Jazeera, saying there would be a conflict of interest because the organization was involved in the lawsuit against BP.

The results of the tests conducted to back up the investigation show not only mutation and contamination, but also the decline in the number of kinds of sea life as well as the number of those sea animals. These facts add to the already existing economic and environmental Armageddon that the oil spill has caused and continues to cause for residents and visitors. BP has responded to investigations and evidence of fraud, perjury and lies with numerous PR campaigns and has moved fast to settle as much of the problem as possible outside the traditional legal processes. “The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” says Dr. Jim Cowan, who works at Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.” Al-Jazeera reports that fishermen have witnessed how 50 per cent of the shrimp caught during the last high season were damaged with mutations or missing body parts, a consequence of BP’s oil and dispersants. “Disturbingly, not only do the shrimp lack eyes, they even lack eye sockets,” says Tracy Kuhns, who is a commercial fisher in  Barataria, Louisiana. According toxicologists like Dr. Riki Ott, who survived the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the usage of dispersants is a draconian experiment being performed by BP. Corexit is know to have a combination of solvents, petroleum distillates, 2-butoxyethanol, among others, which work by dissolving oil, grease, and rubber. Mr. Ott said to Al Jazeera that the solvents in the chemicals are toxic to people, and that “it is something the medical community has long known”.

Separate studies have already demonstrated that oil dispersants like Corexit have mutagenic effects, which directly explains why seafood are experiencing the type of physical changes reported by fishers and residents, as well as why large mammals such as dolphins are appearing dead on the beaches all along the Gulf of Mexico. As it has been shown by several studies, the deformities caused by the chemicals carry out their effects through several generations, especially in those animals whose life span is shorter. The chemicals do indeed enter and negatively affect the genes. Although deformities and major health problems are not seen in humans, many residents of the Gulf have already been found sick or have died to the exposure to the chemicals sprayed over them. The chemicals can be absorbed through breathing, ingestion of contaminated food and water, through the skin or even the eyes. Early symptoms of intoxication manifest as headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pains, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. In the worst case scenario, the person dies if not treated or if an explicit detox program is not followed and repeated frequently.

A study conducted by Dr. Andrew Whitehead, from Louisiana State University, that analyzed the negative effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was published on the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last October. The report speaks volumes about the physiological effects of the oil disaster and shows a clear link between the BP oil spill and the intoxication of the waters, sea life and Gulf residents. “We found is a very clear, genome-wide signal, a very clear signal of exposure to the toxic components of oil that coincided with the timing and the locations of the oil,” said Whitehead during an interview with Al-Jazeera.

The oil industry has gotten away with so many crimes that government agencies, regulators and even the public have become conformed at best. The BP oil disaster happened — in part — as a consequence of a wave of exemptions to allow risky drilling operations without following proper safety procedures and it was the US federal government, through its multiple agencies the one that granted those exemptions. This makes the government as guilty as BP; guilty of the mass killing of life in the Gulf region. So, even if the same complicit government managed to try BP for its actions, who will indict the government for its complicity in this catastrophe? As oil industry insiders informed the public back in 2010, there was indeed an agenda to wipe out all life throughout the Gulf of Mexico at first, and everywhere else around it later.

The BP oil spill disaster, as we have abundantly reported, was the result of a combination of factors; among them, greed, lack of accountability, corruption and government collusion with powerful out-of-control corporations. Now, when it comes to simply letting the disaster get worse and worse, both the government and BP have taught us that their nature is rooted into a cesspit that is deeper and darker than anything humans are familiar with, a level that goes beyond corruption and disregard for responsibility. The actions and the inaction, the cover ups, the lying, the levels of conspiracy and deceit, the smoke screens and the expressed complicity not to solve the disaster they themselves created can only be explained by the degree of Evil with which corporations traditionally operate. It is in this times when the thoughts that government does not work for the people are effectively reinforced. It is becoming tiring to report on this issue without seeing any action taken against the corporations and the government agencies that allow those corporations to operate above the laws that the rest of us are obligated to abide by. This state of affairs also shows us the magnitude of the problem the people are up against. The problem is, as defined evidence, a direct and open war against us the people. An additional caveat is that given the inability of the public to demand answers and action, the warmongers hold all the chips in their power and while this stays the same, the war will continue to be waged on the same uneven table.

PEMEX to Conduct Deepwater Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

The Mexican company has no experience in drilling for oil at the depths it intends to do it and Mexican regulators are warning everyone that the company is not prepared for a serious accident in the Gulf Region.

By TIM JOHNSON | McCLATCHY | APRIL 4, 2012

Two years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, Mexico’s state oil company is about to test its hand at drilling at extraordinary depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

If all goes as planned, Petroleos de Mexico, known as Pemex, will deploy two state-of-the-art drilling platforms in May to an area just south of the maritime boundary with the United States. One rig will sink a well in 9,514 feet of water, while another will drill in 8,316 feet of water, then deeper into the substrata.

Pemex has no experience drilling at such depths. Mexico’s oil regulator is sounding alarm bells, saying the huge state oil concern is unprepared for a serious deepwater accident or spill. Critics say the company has sharply cut corners on insurance, remiss over potential sky-high liability.

Mexico’s plans come two years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. On April 20, 2010, a semi-submersible rig that the British oil firm BP had contracted to drill a well known as Macondo exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and spewing 4.9 million barrels of oil in the nearly three months it took engineers to stop the spill.

BP has said the tab for the spill — including government fines, cleanup costs and compensation — could climb to $42 billion for the company and its contractors.

Pemex’s plans to sink even deeper offshore wells underscore Mexico’s pressing need to maintain sagging oil production — exports pay for one-third of government operating expenses — along with oil companies’ desire to leverage technology and drill at ever more challenging depths.

Carlos A. Morales, the chief of the Pemex exploration and production arm, which employs 50,000 people, voiced confidence that his company has to the ability to sink wells in ultra-deep water.

“Pemex is ready to undertake the challenge and to do it safely,” Morales said in an interview in his 41st-floor office at Pemex headquarters in this capital city.

“You have to bear one thing in mind,” he said. “Pemex is the biggest operator in the Gulf — including everyone — both in production and in the number of rigs we operate. We are operating more than 80 rigs offshore.”

Sometime in May, Morales said, Pemex will move the Singapore-built West Pegasus semi-submersible oil platform, owned by the Norwegian company Seadrill, over a seabed formation known as the Perdido Fold Belt and drill a well named Supremus. At nearly the same time, a South Korea-built platform known as Bicentenario, owned by the Mexican company Grupo R, will drill the slightly shallower Trion well, a little to the west of Supremus.

The area where the two wells are to be sunk is some 30 miles south of the maritime boundary in the Gulf between Mexico and the United States.

Morales said the rigs are both “sixth generation, which means they are the most modern. They have all the safety devices that rigs should have.”

Still, the technological challenges of ultra-deepwater drilling — anything more than 5,000 feet of water — are significant because of the high pressures and complex seabed extraction systems, akin even to launching spaceships into orbit, experts said. The Deepwater Horizon was drilling in about 5,100 feet of water when it exploded.

Since Pemex decided in 2004 to expand from shallow offshore wells into deep water, it’s drilled 16 wells at increasing depths, with two in ultra-deep waters, Caxa and Kunah, the latter at 6,500 feet.

Mexico’s nationalist constitution bars Pemex from operating joint ventures with oil companies that already are experienced at very deep water. It can contract only with global oil service companies, ordering them to perform functions.

“This requires managerial expertise that Pemex lacks,” said Miriam Grunstein Dickter, an oil expert at the Center for Research and Teaching of Economics, a Mexico City institute in the social sciences. “When you contract a service company, they perform the work that you command them to perform. Here, Pemex does not know how to command the service company.”

“Like rocket science, you can find the people. They are out there to be hired,” added Kirk Sherr, the head of North American operations for Regester Larkin Energy, a global consulting company. “But who’s going to coordinate?”

It’s when disaster strikes that the resources — or lack of them — come into stark relief for an oil company or even a nation.

After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP, the U.S. Coast Guard, and state and federal officials mustered some 3,000 vessels to help set booms, clean marshes and gather spilled crude.

Mexico has nowhere near that fleet of vessels at its disposal. Its navy has 189 ships. Pemex itself contracts around 180 boats.

That’s one of the concerns of Juan Carlos Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission, a regulatory body created in 2009 that’s wrestled with Pemex over its practices, demanding that it adopt global standards on safety and preparation for worst-case scenarios.

The two sides have been in a power struggle. The 74-year-old state company is used to setting its own rules, not following the impositions of regulators.

“Pemex is just not accustomed to being bossed around,” Grunstein said.

A point of contention has been insurance. Zepeda wants Pemex to have insurance to pay for even catastrophic spills, like BP’s Macondo well. But Pemex balks.

“They are probably thinking, why are we going to give all this money to the insurance company?” said David Shields, an energy consultant in Mexico City.

Morales of Pemex said the company was insured for coverage of $2.5 billion.

“I feel comfortable with what Pemex is capable of doing. You can always argue that $2.5 billion is not enough. We can always argue that $10 billion is not enough,” he said.

But he said that Pemex had uniquely deep pockets.

“The owner of this company is the government of Mexico,” he said.

In the event of a deepwater disaster, whether claimants could ever get Pemex, or the Mexican treasury, to pay is an open question. Major damage claims haven’t been tried against a state oil company. Given that Pemex turns over most revenues to the treasury, Mexican taxpayers would have to pay much of the cleanup costs and legal claims.

“It’s going to be a really big hit on the Mexican economy if there is a catastrophic disaster, and it will be catastrophic for the relationship with the United States,” said Shields, the consultant.

Some industry experts said Pemex wasn’t taking greater risks than private oil companies sometimes took.

“It’s not inherently reckless,” said John Rogers Smith, an offshore drilling expert at Louisiana State University. “They can hire competent contractors. They can buy equipment from reputable vendors. The big question is . . . who have they hired to help them?”

Pemex signed a contract last week with Wild Well Control, a Houston company with blowout expertise. Morales said Pemex was negotiating a contract with a second Houston firm, Cameron International, that had sophisticated tools — such as huge underwater capping stacks — that helped BP control its Macondo well below the Deepwater Horizon.

In mid-February, the United States and Mexico signed a framework accord on developing trans-border oil fields in the Gulf. The accord includes terms for safety cooperation, including allowing joint inspection teams to ensure rigs’ compliance with safety and environmental regulations, key to preventing worst-case spills.

“I don’t think we should be any more concerned about what they are doing than some of the things we are doing on our side of the Gulf,” said Jeremy Martin, the energy program director at the Institute of the Americas, a La Jolla, Calif., nonprofit organization that promotes cooperation and economic development.

Still, the Deepwater Horizon disaster haunts like a lingering nightmare.

“Macondo was a watershed in deepwater drilling. There is before Macondo and there is after Macondo,” said Fabio Barbosa, an economist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who specializes in the oil industry.

Barbosa said Pemex was deeply concerned about sustaining oil production and stemming a decline of proven oil reserves, 50 percent of which were in deep water. Pemex’s production has fallen from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to about 2.55 million barrels a day now.

“They consider it their duty to elevate crude production. They are moving about, driving production in every way they can,” Barbosa said.

Shields, who edits a Spanish-language industry magazine, Energia a Debate, said it was one factor impelling Pemex but that Mexican leaders had observed rapid development of U.S. offshore wells in the Gulf and wanted to lay claim to nearby undersea areas of their own, even if it stretched their capabilities.

“They want to put the flag there,” said Shields, who’s a nationalized Mexican. “The oil industry is a lot like that. They want to go after bigger and bigger challenges. Once you go up a small mountain, you want to go up a bigger mountain.”

Shields added: “The risks are massive and the potential benefits are comparatively small.”

Morales, the Pemex executive, disagreed that his company can’t handle the risk: “We are going there because there are resources that belong to the nation. We have the mandate to explore and produce for the nation.”

He added: “We are capable of fulfilling all our obligations.”

The BP Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: An Explosive Detonation?

  • Most of the oil that began to flow into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico did not come from Leaks 1 and 2, but from a third Well that BP hid from the public record.
  • The 3rd Well, research shows, could have been blown out by an explosive detonation.

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
February 24, 2012

FOREWORD

 Sometimes reality can stare you in the face, but you can’t see it. This is true today more than ever, even for those who fancy themselves as having an understanding of reality. The clearest example is with the so-called experts, that seem to live in a “version of reality” that does not represent the real world. Their expert views are blinded by hubris, bravado and arrogance. Just like many of us, they grew up inside this fake alternative version of reality, that is hard to leave. Failing to see reality has a lot to do with the human incapacity to see beyond the nose, to realize things may be different. Often, the experts believe in impossible scenarios, while they ignore facts and events that are right in front of them.

But blindness is not only a direct result of incapacity to see reality. It can also be attributed to a clear intention to avoid the facts and the reality those facts present. In the case of the April 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill, the refusal of the experts to carefully and calmly analyze the facts, together with the US Congress’ lack of expertise to objectively study those same facts, forced a group of concerned, very capable citizens, to dig deep into much of a mountain of documentation in order to find the answers that their elected officials and trusted experts did not produce. Their efforts not only confirmed the most feared suspicions – that the Gulf Oil Spill was not an accident –, but also revealed a concerted effort to hide the real causes of the disaster and what was done thereafter.

Even though independent researchers warned about dire consequences to come if the Gulf Oil Spill environmental catastrophe taking place under the waters of the Gulf was not addressed, both the EPA and BP decided to continue with their original approach. While the EPA enforced obsolete standards for cleaning disasters such as the Gulf Oil Spill, forcing BP to keep using Corexit, the British company continued to cover the tracks of one of the largest conspiracies in the history of the oil industry.

After completing Congressional hearings, the investigations into the Deepwater Horizon disaster have been mostly concluded but no answers to the most important questions have been given. As of today, no official answers were provided to inquiries that seek to learn why did BP say there was only one well when there were 3, why did BP drill a 3rd well without a permit, which well was actually capped at seabed level in July, which well was the Relief well C trying to intercept at 18,000ft BSL, was the rogue well actually sealed in September, why were many of the ROV video recordings of the blow out incident doctored with falsified details before presenting them to congressional investigators, why were the ROV cameras re-directed showing a different well after the capping, which well was the Deep Water Horizon rig actually hooked up to when the blow out took place on April 20, 2010.

These questions along with a long list of discrepancies and factually wrong statements issued by BP are addressed on a new document issued by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, a grass-roots organization that a grass roots organization that has been able to unravel some of the complexity in the immense volume of complex and confusing information” and something to the effect that after reviewing the analysis of the footage from other experts that contradicted what was presented to congress in the official investigations – either due to blindness or the amount of information provided by BP or due to their arrogance – while looking at what is deemed by many as an impossible conspiracy. After an independent team of experts headed by geo-hazards specialist BK Lim watched hours and hours of video footage and analyzed page after page of documents, they concluded that the causes and outcomes of the Gulf Oil Spill disaster were not as they presented them in the official investigation and neither as the corporate media informed the public. It is in part from this independent work that the Gulf Rescue Alliance was able to compare Mr. Lim’s work to that of its own experts. The grassroots organization found his research to be sound and decided to bring it to the attention of Congress, the Attorney General’s Office and the Gulf states. As it happens often, time and due diligence are the best aides for those who seek answers in this kind of events, except that in this case, time is a luxury that the people around the dying Gulf coast cannot afford to waste.

The official version of events has been at the very least dampened by willful blindness and complicity to hide the truth and those who should be held accountable once again have run away untouched — for now. May this new real investigation of the events prepared by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, its relentless volunteers and professionals be a new opportunity for more experts and more government representatives to tell the people what really happened on April 20, 2010.

DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL DISASTER: TRUTH VS FICTION

On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon Oil Platform exploded and collapsed into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 workers instantaneously. Since then, much of the information provided by BP, United States government agencies and the corporate media was flawed. As the following information will prove, BP’s orchestrated public relations campaign was created to prevent those involved in the investigation process from reaching the conclusions independent investigators have now found.

Since the US Congress initiated and concluded its search for answers, a mountain of evidence has surfaced and from this evidence independent investigators have found information suggests that BP planned and executed the event that took place in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The publication of these new facts is relevant now more than ever given the upcoming federal trial set to start on February 27th. Despite having a set date, BP is working behind the scenes to settle the case and eliminate the need for a trial and that is why putting this information out is so important. It is imperative that what seems to be one of the largest conspiracies in the history of the oil industry be exposed and that the responsible parties be held accountable.

The analysis performed by 30-year geo-hazards expert, BK Lim, almost cost him his own life due to the kind of information he has found on the BP Oil Spill. Mr. Lim worked closely with other independent professionals who have gotten to the same conclusion he did. Mr. Lim and the other professionals worked together  for the best part of the past two years to analyze, digest and publish their findings.

In his report titled An Expert’s Analysis of ROV Film Footage Taken at the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Site, BK Lim examines the magnitude of his findings. In addition to carefully reviewing the videos, independent professionals separately searched and compared information contained in documents — something the US Congress and its experts did not do. Their goal was to present conclusions that the Trial set to begin on February 27th in New Orleans may not bring to the public due to the large amount of information that exists. As readers may have already heard, judge Cari Barbier has called for a fast and expeditious trial that could impair the public from getting the whole picture.

Why would anyone suggest an expeditious trial and why have government and other investigators given up in their pursuit for understanding what happened in the Gulf of Mexico on April, 2010? One of the reasons may be the complexity of the issue and difficulty they may have to analyze the information available about the largest oil spill in history. But what about the media? Why haven’t they used their endless resources to continue this investigation? Why have they continued to megaphone illogical facts fed to them by BP and government agencies such as the EPA? But isn’t the complexity created by BP in this case the perfect shield, their best protection against public scrutiny? So they thought.

This is not the case for a group of independent, very experienced and well-trained people who took time off their personal and professional lives to bring the facts out in the open. The following are just a few questions that these experts have come up regarding what was considered up until now as “the facts” of the BO oil spill disaster which remain unanswered:

  • Why did BP officials testify to Congress that there was only one well when there were three?
  • Why was the 3rd well drilled without a permit?
  • Which of the 3 wells was actually shown to be capped at seabed level in July of 2010?
  • Was the “rogue well” factually sealed in September?
  • Since all casing was blown out of the rogue well and there is nothing for any mechanical instrument to connect on to, there was no possibility of capping the well which means that huge volumes of oil are continuing to flow into the Gulf unabated.
  •  What are the strategic plans to get this under control?
  • Why were many of the ROV video recordings of the blow out
    incident doctored with falsified details before they were turned over to congressional investigators?
  • Why were the ROV cameras re-directed showing a well with completely different coordinates to demonstrate that the well was capped?
  • Which well was the Deep Water Horizon actually hooked up to when the blow out took place on 20 April 2010?

Geo-hazards expert BK Lim and the other experts spent hundreds of hours reviewing and analyzing video footage and documents and found many anomalies and contradicting information which revealed carelessness or simply blatant lies in the official testimonies. According to Lim’s analysis, some of the statements regarding what happened on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico are physically impossible.

This conclusion was reached after discovering multiple examples of explicit editing of the footage provided by BP. This pre-edited video was the one used during congressional hearings and sent to the media during the investigation process. As it was found, someone carefully spliced video clips to alter dates, times and locations, which made it hard for investigators to make sense of it all or to determine what the cause of the disaster really was. As a consequence, it was almost impossible to challenge BP’s testimony. Mr. Lim, unlike congressional and other experts did carefully analyze images of pipes, risers, blowout preventers and seabed conditions that in some cases were a mile under the surface of the Gulf waters. Given his 30 years of experience and the work he performed for 5 different large oil companies, Mr. Lim had no difficulty assessing and realizing the contradictions.

THE PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE “FACTS”

After going over videos and documentation the in-depth investigation found many revealing details as facts that were omitted from the congressional work. Mr. Lim’s an his team found that a 3rd Macondo well (entitled Well BE) was drilled without a permit. “This is illegal”, says Lim. It is this well the one connected to the Deep Water Horizon platform that exploded on April 20, 2010. Nearby Well A and Well B, which had MMS permits, had to be abandoned and capped earlier than the blowout due to geo-hazard risks. Congressional Records, MMS records and BP testimony omit the existence of a 3rd well and official public statements asserted there was only one well — the one that was reportedly capped. The report made public together with the Gulf Rescue Alliance describes that “Evidently, BP tried to cover up the fact of 3 wells by calling them “3 leaks” in the fallen riser.” This is supported by the fact that although the original explosion occurred on the 20th of April, no major oil leaking was visible anywhere other than close to the Deep Water Horizon platform. The oil says the document only began to be visible until the 22nd of April. According to Mr. Lim, the only way a 5-story high, multi-ton’d blow out preventer (BOP) could have been thrown over 70 feet away from its original position is the execution of an artificial detonation of large magnitude which would have been purposefully set.

http://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/users/660/bklim/6556566.jpg

Figure 157. Click to enlarge image.

The document titled An Expert’s Analysis of ROV Film Footage Taken at the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Disaster Site was first drafted in June 2010 and revised 29 January 2012. In this document Geo-hazards specialist BK Lim points out 6 important discrepancies.

First, that the severed casing at 2 had not been bent, twisted and broken off during the sinking of the Deep Water Horizon. If it had been, the casing could not have maintained its almost circular shape. It appears more likely to have been either cut or torn-off as in “blown apart”. This itself rules out the severed casing being the mid section of the riser since there would not be any reason for the riser to be blown apart anywhere in its mid section.

Second, the diameter of the casing at 2 is evidently much larger than the diameter of the bent riser at 1. They do not appear to look the same at all. The casing at 2 appears more likely to be part of the casing coming directly out of the seabed than being connected to the riser coming from the top of the Blow Out Preventer (BOP).

Third, assuming BP’s official version, how could the second leak (480 ft away from the BOP) have a larger volume of oil/gas flow than the first leak (1) directly on top of the BOP? If the oil and gas were flowing out of the same riser pipe, should not the first leak be the larger of the two?

Fourth, leak (1) is about 70 ft above the seabed. Could oil and gas flow downwards past the punctured bend at 1 to reach the second leak 480 ft away at seabed level? If some oil and gas did leak through (1), then leak 2 should be spewing less oil and gas than leak (1) – see discrepancy #3. But even BP admitted leak 2 to be the large of the two.

Fifth, leak 2 appeared in all videos and images to spew more oil than gas and with more ferocity than leak (1). How can that be when all the pressure would have leaked out at (1)?

Sixth, Well A and the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) was south of the second leak location. So if well A was the source, the oil and gas would have flowed northwards. But in all the ROV videos, the casing was coming out of the seabed from the north with the oil and gas flowing southwards. So where is the connection?

“Of all the inaccuracies that came out of the Gulf disaster, the most preposterous has been the “3- leaks-on-the-riser” story. Figures 165-0a to 165-0c were the first few schematic illustrations of BP’s blowout incident provided by BP to the public. To oil and gas extraction industry professionals, the illustrations defied logic to such an extreme that it was believed the schematics were deliberately drawn by cartoonists to confuse the uninformed public.”

Figure 165-5. Click to enlarge image.

According to this deep investigation, there were many inaccuracies and controversial circumstances surrounding the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon Platform. For example, the unlikelihood of the sudden breaking of the super-strong riser in calm water, how a third open-ended leak, leak (3), could be possible when it was in a location of the riser that was beyond the completely severed riser at the second leak (2), tampered latitudes and longitudes on the video footage of well #3, video footage of the same well that has coordinates that have not been doctored, and so on. When Mr. Lim compared the video, he was able to discover that “Leak (2)” had to be the blown crater of well #3. “This is irrefutably shown in Figure 165-5 with the right coordinates in the few un-doctored videos we located”, concluded Lim.

Another anomaly in BP’s presentation is its reporting of “3 leaks on a badly twisted riser” which would be a way to hide the fact that there were 3 wells. According to government records, BP had been given permits for two of the wells which the company had capped prior to the blowout. Therefore, the 3rd well was the one that blew out and, also per government records, BP had not obtained a permit for it.

“If there were really 3 leaks on a single riser, BP could have easily reduced three into one controllable leak at the source by cutting the riser at the top of the Blowout Preventer (BOP),” says the document issued by Lim and the Gulf Rescue Alliance. This is exactly what BP said to have done in May, when it said it had installed a Lower Marine Riser Package or LMRP. The question here is, why did BP waited for 40 days in order to perform this procedure if it was the one that would solve the problem? Instead, BP wasted time carrying out what Mr. Kim calls “non-standard and easy-to-fail attempts” such as the top kill, junk shots, hot hats, and so on. In total, BP waited 87 days before closing down the flow located at Well A, which it did on July 15th. The report also points out to the lack of oil or gas leaks before 5pm Central Daylight Savings Time on April 22, 2010.

“The ROV inspections of the wellhead, marine riser and BOP in the immediate aftermath of the incident show that the mega oil spill could have been easily averted with several standard industry options. It was the sort of controllable rig blowout-fire situation the industry expects and routinely train for. It could have been recovered safely without ending in a disastrous mega oil spill.”

The first gas blowout that took place on April 20, 2010 that killed 11 drilling crew on the Deepwater Horizon rig was not responsible for the massive oil spill. “It is my considered opinion, based on the 100’s of hours spent analyzing the hundreds of hours of underwater ROV footage of the 3 wells, the crater, the BOP, and riser, that a detonated explosion occurred within the well on April 22, shortly after 5pm Central Daylight Savings Time, which is what induced a bottom hole blowout that unleashed the full power of the gushing oil from the Macondo reservoir,” asserted BK Lim. “Nothing short of a massive, purposefully detonated explosion could have created that effect.”

Figure 165-1a. Click to enlarge image.

The document supported by images of video footage and graphic illustrations also contends that due to the fact that the Blowout Preventer (BOP) was already destroyed and its remains were all over the sea floor, BP’s videos that show the BOP still standing and without any gas leaks and that were dated April 23 to mid May, 2010, corresponds to footage that was doctored to reloop itself. This video as explained before corresponded to the situation previous to the April 22 detonation that occurred around 5pm Central Daylight Savings Time.

In its presentation of “the facts”, BP said that leak (1), was right at the spot where the riser (bent riser pipe) located on the 70-ft Blowout Preventer (BOP). The company said that most of the oil gushing out into the Gulf was from leak (2). The smaller gas leak at well A could not be capped until the real rogue well (BE), aka leak (2), was sealed or bottom-killed at 18,000 ft bsl (below sea level) (reported since July 2010).

As images now show the third leak (3) was only a small gas leak that was flowing out  of the open end of a drill pipe. Figure 165-0 gives the various schematic illustrations of what was stated to be the 3 leak points on the riser, based on BP-sourced information. Besides adding the labels for clarity, the only other item added to figure 165-0a was the NW SE fault line. This fault line, says Mr. Lim, was the critical factor in the shallow gas problems encountered in all the 3 wells.

“Simple logic dictates that it was physically impossible for these 3 leaks to occur on a single riser from a single blowout. Certainly not the way BP explained it. Figure 157 in my article entitled Another Physical Impossibility – 2 Leaks On The Broken Riser gives some of the discrepancies noted on Leak (1) and Leak (2) as early as Aug 2010. Note that leak (3) was allegedly sealed by capping the open-ended drill pipe.”

According to the investigation, visual proof strongly suggests that while BP had crews carrying out doomed to fail procedures, it also had more people setting up another Blowout Preventer (BOP) and reattaching the bent riser at well A.

MORE OF BP’s FALSE INFORMATION

Besides the great discrepancies explained above, Mr. Lim and his team found even more anomalies:

The open ended 5½ inch drill pipe at leak (3) is of different physical dimension from the pipe (casing) at leak (2) and the bent riser on top of the BOP at leak (1). See the marked differences in figures 165-1b and 165-2. This means they could not have been attached to each other and, therefore, are not from the same set of mechanical equipment for a series of leaks on a single well’s riser.

Figure 165-1b. Click to enlarge image.

At leak (3) the 5½ inch drill pipe should have been inside the 21 inch main riser pipe with the attached choke, kill, booster and hydraulic supply lines. It is physically impossible to have a long “naked” drill-pipe stripped off its 21-inch riser pipe casing at the mid-section of the riser string. More impossible still is the fact that it was sticking vertically out of the seabed with the weak gas plume. The naked standing drill-pipe could only be possible if it was ejected from the blown well itself.

If the riser was carrying the same drill pipe string (5000 ft long), how did the pipe at leak (2) suddenly become several times larger than the drill pipe shown at leak (3), immediately after the blowout? This is physically impossible.

In comparison with the other broken segments of the riser string lying on the seafloor, why was leak (2) so special and different if it was also broken from the same riser string? Fact: leak (2) could not possibly be from the same riser string.

BP claimed that leak (3) was sealed by capping the drill pipe. One could then logically ask why couldn’t the drill-pipe within the riser at leak (2) be similarly capped? There were many reasons they couldn’t. The main reason? Leak (2) was not a leak but rather the blown crater of well no. 3 (well BE) and not the broken riser carrying the drill-pipe within.

Leak (3) was undeniably an open ended, disconnected pipe just as leak (2) was. There could only be one severed open end in the riser segment still connected to the BOP. It can only be leak (2) or leak (3), but not both.

How did the oil “jump” across leak (3) and continue to flow to leak (2) as illustrated in 165-0a and b?

The later illustration (165-0c) which came out corrected the leak (3) anomaly by placing it after leak (2). Only problem is, then, how do you explain the “open ended pipe” at leak(2)?

Figure 165-2 and BP’s investigation report confirm that there were two 5½ inch drill-pipes within the bent riser. This means that the drill-pipe string within the riser was already disjointed near the BOP. How could oil/gas flow through a disjointed drill-pipe to leak out at leak (3) more than 500ft from the BOP?

The black oil plume at leak (2) was obviously more voluminous than the lighter orange-brown gas leak at leak (3) or leak (1). The color of the oil/gas plumes is consistent with the differences in the flow rate and volume noted in all the three leaks. Fact: the oil in each of the 3 “riser leaks” are not riser leaks but, in fact,g from different ground sources.

The videos show that the riser string was completely severed at several points and all the severed sections showed no gas/oil leaks. If Leak (1) was on the same riser string as leak (2) and leak (3), why was it not showing any oil/gas leaks until after mid May 2010 (more than 20 days later)?

The earliest video on 23 April 2010 clearly showed a steep-sided blowout crater with no “surface” riser going into the crater. The oil-spewing pipe at the base of the deep crater, had to originate from the well below. With no visible supply of oil (through the surface riser), the obvious oil supply had to be vertically beneath the crater. This further confirms that leak (2) was the blown third well (BE). See the close-up view at Figure 165-5.

The bent riser on top of the BOP was not leaking at all in the early videos before BP publicly broadcast leak (1) in mid May (20 days later). If leak (1) at well A was the primary leak, it does not make sense to show the secondary leak (2) first. Not unless the primary leak (1) at the well was non-existent and the scene had to be set up first to portray what was being stated.

Setting up well A as the “primary leaking well” was not in the original plan. It was a backup plan. This explains the more than 20 days media blackout on the supposedly primary leak(1).

The riser piping could not have bent and twisted like a pretzel and yet still have remained intact.

The riser string did, in fact, break at several places as seen in figures 165-1a and 165-1b. Again how could oil flow through these “severed discontinuities” in the riser? Fact: There was no oil flow until April 22nd, as the ROV inspections showed.

Figure 165-1a. Click to enlarge image.

The clearest evidence is the photo of the vertically standing riser section (speared into the seabed). There was no oil spill emanating from it or in its vicinity. This clearly refutes the official story that a neutrally buoyant riser with floats could dig itself beneath the seabed (like a buried pipeline) only to spew out oil hundreds of feet away. Again, this is physically impossible.

If the well was already gushing out oil from the instance of the first blowout on 20 April 2010, why was there no immediate oil spewing out of the broken riser as it was sinking. The rig fire was in fact fed by more than 700,000 gallons (60% of max capacity) of diesel stored onboard the rig. Why was more than 60% of fuel still onboard the rig at the end of its long 3 months drilling campaign? Why was BP so certain free flowing crude from the well was fueling the rig fire, despite all evidence to the contrary?

It is now confirmed (see figure 165-3) that it took less than 16 seconds for the riser to fully bend from an upright (slightly inclined) position. The Deep Water Horizon (falsely reported as having sunk at 10:22 Central Daylight Savings Time) could not have sunk 5000ft to the sea bottom within a minute. Thus the riser pipe had to be deliberately broken near to the BOP; possibly less than 1000ft. Otherwise, how could a marine riser which could withstand 80 mph Hurricane Ida, break at mid-section in very calm water? A shorter break segment from the BOP could also explain the extremely fast bending event. Now the question is how did the riser break?

The fact that there was no visible oil gushing out of the broken end of the riser as it sank, further confirms that the base plug at the bottom of the well had not yet breached completely (more of this in later articles) at 10:22 Central Daylight Savings Time, April 22, 2010.

If this was the case, why did BP, blog forums and the Coast Guard repeatedly stress that “oil from the reservoir was freely flowing into the rig through the riser and feeding the intense fire on the burning rig”?

ROV inspection of the BOP and the seafloor around well (BE) on April 22, 2010 showed no signs of gas plumes, blow holes or oil emanating from the well head. That would explain why the bent riser did not have any gas leaks on 22 April where most of the doctored-relooped footage were shown. Then 20 days later, BP showed the same bent riser with the orange-brown gas plume (at well A). If BP could turn the gas leaks on and off, they should have been able to quickly stop the oil spill. It is my professional opinion that BP purposefully switched wells to publicly stage the capping event on a well that never hit pay dirt.

Even if the riser was still intact (despite the twists and bends), how could the supposedly “long riser string” plant itself inside a deep (at least 5m) crater without disturbing the overlying cemented drilling mud and sediment?

BP’s schematics showed less than 4,000 ft of riser. What happened to the remaining 1,000 ft? Further, the 700 odd ft segment from well A to well BE (crater) has a totally different degree of twisting and bends from the next 3,000 ft segment. A falling elongated but uniform body like the riser does not twist and bend midway in calm water. The bottom section had to break away first and the hanging riser dropped almost vertically under its own weight as depicted in the diagrammatic illustration of BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout published on 30 July 2010. Consequently, the “speared location” would be centered near its original base (or well). This, again, points to the location of the third well (BE) which was fraudulently depicted as leak (2) on a fallen riser. With so much irrefutable evidence, leak (2) cannot be just a secondary leak on the riser but is, in fact, the broken well itself.

With this mountain of proof about what really happened at the Deep Water Horizon rig on April 20, 2010 it is hard to fathom any legal ruling that does not examine and consider the facts exposed herein. Any trial or private negotiation to establish a settlement  — on any grounds — that does not take this information into account are automatically rendered as criminal as the crimes this information suggests took place on April 20, 2010 and the days that  followed. Only a careful and detailed analysis of these hard facts will provide a clear picture to allow anyone to reach a verdict and to estimate the extent of the damages caused to the Gulf of Mexico, its people and the environment in that region; damages that multiply  exponentially everyday due to the continuous and unabated flow of crude oil and hydrocarbons from the bottom of the sea into the waters of the Gulf.

ROV IMAGE AND ILLUSTRATION LINKS

Image 165-0

Image 165-1a

Image 165-1a alt

Image 165-b

Image 165-2

 Congress re: 2nd Explosion

Figure 165-3

Figure 165-4

Figure 165-5

Figure 165-5a

Figure 165-6

When Sea Level Change is NOT Sea Level Change

by Dr. Timothy Ball
Science&Public Policy
December 12, 2011

Figure 1. Click to enlarge image

Many claim sea level is rising because of global warming and point to changes along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Sea level has risen since the end of the last Ice Age (Figure 1), but it has slowed dramatically in the last few hundred years. However, shoreline change is not just a function of water level change. Misdirection using fear and misinformation divert from and hinder human ability to adapt to an ever changing world.

When you visit a shoreline over time and the water line changes, it is natural to assume, because of education and reason, it is the water level that has changed. This may be the case, and if so, it is called eustasy. However, it is also possible that the land is rising or falling in a process called isostasy. There are ways to determine which change is going on, but not by observation. This difficulty often results in people attributing a sea level rise incorrectly as evidence of global warming when it is the land that is sinking. This misattribution occurs most often on the Gulf of Mexico coast of the southern US.

The continents are formed of Sial, an abbreviation of silica and aluminum. This makes the continental crust lighter than the underlying oceanic crust, which is primarily silica and magnesium, Sima. The latter is rich in iron and more dense than the continental crust. It means the continents effectively ‘float’ on the underlying oceanic crust, which in turn sits on the fluid material of the mantle. The continents rise and fall with tidal frequency from the pull of the moon.

Figure 2 compares North America 20,000 years ago with today. The blue on the left map shows the extent of the ice, which was greater in area than Antarctica and 3000 m (10,000 feet) deep in the dark blue region centered on Hudson Bay. Notice the difference in coastline as sea level was approximately 140 m (460 feet) lower.

Figure 2. Click to enlarge image

Consider the weight of the ice sitting on a floating continent. Figure 3 is a cross section along the line AB on Figure 2 illustrating how the ice deforms the land.

When winter snow survived the summer melt high in the Torngat Mountains of Labrador, layers built until a continental glacier was formed. The ice sheet centre spread west as the snow was heavier in the prevailing westerlies. At the peak of glaciation, the thickest ice lay over Hudson Bay.

It is easier to think of the continent as a sponge floating in water. Place a heavy metal disc on the sponge and two things happen. The sponge is depressed as you can see at A on Figure 3. This is called crustal deformation. However, the weight of the ice also pushed the continent down into the underlying mantle at B. The southern end of the continent at C was pushed upward. The pivotal line for rotation of the continent is along the southern edge of the ice; and some associate the New Madrid Fault zone and increased earthquake activity with this line.

The line of zero depression, or hinge line, due to the combination of crustal deformation and isostasy is along the southern edge of the

Figure 3. Click to enlarge image

ice. As the ice began to melt, the land started to rebound, just as the sponge recovers shape when the metal disc is removed.
In North America, a massive proglacial lake formed along the southern edge of the ice sheet. Lake Agassiz is reported to be the largest freshwater lake ever formed (Figure 4). Lake Winnipeg, which is the 13th largest lake in the world by area, is just a remnant of Agassiz.

It is outflow from Lake Agassiz that became part of another global warming scare when it was theorized to have caused dramatic changes in the North Atlantic Thermohaline current and subsequent climate change.

Figure 4. Click to enlarge image

Beaches formed along the shores of Lake Agassiz, especially in western Manioba, were obviously level. As the land rebounded they were distorted so a survey along the highest and longest Campbell Beach shows the North end is now some 935 feet higher than the South end. It is one measure of the amount of rebound. It was surprisingly fast immediately after retreat of the ice, estimated at 10 m (33 feet) to 12 m (39 feet) per century. It is still a rapid 1.3m (4.3 feet) per century. This is a combination of recovery of crustal deformation, but mostly the continent rebalancing itself. As this happens the land rises and sea level appears to drop along the Arctic coast, but land sinks and sea level appears to rise along the Gulf of Mexico.

Isostatic adjustment will continue in North America as estimates based on depth of ice indicate total depression at 400 m (1300 feet). This means approximately 111 m (365 feet) of rebound will occur. Both sea level rise due to eustasy and land sinking due to isostasy will continue along the Gulf of Mexico. The good news is both are consequences of buildup of massive glaciers on the continent and consequent sea level drop to the peak of the Wisconsin ice advance 20,000 years ago. Now, as we appear to reach the peak of the Interglacial, the melt of the glaciers on the continent and resulting sea level rise are slowing. Rate of these events are known. Now we
must stop the exploitation of fear using false information so we can prepare appropriately for a constantly changing world and climate.

 

Gulf of Mexico Sea Floor Unstable, Fractured, Spilling Hydrocarbons

Oil and gas are still seeping unabated, says expert. Toxic leakage poses significant public health risks.

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
October 10, 2011

The Gulf of Mexico disaster has not gone away. In fact, it has grown exponentially since the main stream media stopped talking about it. According to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, an organization composed of scientists, medical professionals and seafood industry professionals, among others, the problem cannot be simplified to the damage already caused by the oil spill. It is worse, much worse.

Pools of crude oil float on the surface of Gulf of Mexico waters at the site of the sunken BP/Transocean oil drill the Deepwater Horizon on April 27, 2010. Getty Images

The Real Agenda received exclusive information regarding the current state of the ongoing emergency in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest assessment performed by the Gulf Rescue Alliance reveals not only that the oil spill is still happening, but also that the Gulf of Mexico’s sea floor grew more unstable since the explosion in 2010. Additionally, analysis provided by experts like BK Lim, shows that the geohazards developed that derive from the rolling leakage of toxic matter, combined with the on-going use of the highly toxic chemical dispersant called Corexit will most likely result in the permanent decline of marine life, while posing out-of-control public health risks, just as it did after the Exxon Valdez spill where the same chemical dispersants were used resulting in a rapid decline of the marine life until, for example, the Herring industry completely collapsed and has never recovered since then.

In a letter dated 14 January, 2011 that was sent to Congressman Fred Upton, Chairman House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Congressman John Shimkus Chairman Subcommittee on Environment and Economy,  BK Lim warned the congressmen and their committees about the current state of the sub-seabed in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). In the document, an in-depth assessment of the emergency was provided. It explains why action must be taken immediately. The evaluation of the emergency in the Gulf conducted by Mr. Lim appears credible and is based on his 30 years of experience analyzing the geologic structure of both dry land and underwater drilling sites for major oil industry companies and leading geohazards contractors such as Fugro Geodetic (M) Sdn Bhd, TL Geohydrographics Sdn Bhd, and RPS Energy Pty Ltd.

The vaporization of enormous amounts of methane hydrates on a scale not seen before, the release of stresses between the lower and upper crust resulting in the abnormal occurrences of low magnitude, shallow earthquakes adjacent to the New Madrid Fault, the sub-seabed underground erosion in the vicinity of the shelf edge undermining the slope stability with possible tsunami-generating, giant, submarine landslides,” said Mr. Lim.

As we now know, the BP explosion that cost the lives of 11 workers was not an accident, but negligence at best and a conspiracy at worst. The latest assessment from the Gulf Rescue Alliance seems to reinforce the fact that BP drilled into the Macondo well with questionable regard for the damage it would cause to the well itself, the sea floor and the marine environment down below.

“There is no question that the oil seepages, gas columns, fissures and blowout craters in the seafloor around the Macondo wellhead, observed from the ROV videos, have been the direct result of indiscriminate drilling, grouting, injection of dispersant and other undisclosed recovery activities,” details the document sent to congressman Upton on January 14 of this year. The direct result of the Deepwater Horizon’s explosion was the massive destruction of life through miles of coastline. The less than adequate cleanup, which helped worsen the disaster, condemned the area to living with tons of toxic chemical dispersants that simply destroyed the eco systems and negatively affected the health of thousands of people who live nearby and millions of others who directly and indirectly depend on the fishing, tourism and natural beauty of the marine life, wildlife and environment.

A review of the documents and news articles during the days and weeks after the underwater explosion, clearly shows that BP was attempting to buy time with various delay tactics and was unwilling to reveal the truth and magnitude of the disaster. While BP was officially battling to kill well A their contractors and other vessels went about with other covert underwater operations, many of which did not seem to be in sync with the urgency of killing “a third undisclosed well which was gushing even more oil”. For example there was this video showing a ROV brushing of the name of another oil company from a new BOP brought into the vicinity of the Macondo wells. BP Clean off Co Logo on BOP – why? on 9 June 2010.Other videos showed oil gushing from craters on the seafloor and ROV activities (blasting (demolition?), cutting and removal of well casings on the seafloor and from a hole (another well?), dismantling BOP, grouting of seafloor tens to over hundreds of meters away from well A. How could a BOP be dangling for two weeks from 3 to 16 July while BP was showing to the world’s audience the killing and capping of supposedly the only spewing well A from June till 15 July?

In fact, in early media reports animated graphics suggested 3 different leaks locations. BP admitted initially 3 leaks but conveniently reduced to only 1 later; ignoring to explain the “why, when and how”. BP had maintained from the start they had drilled only 1 well. From my analysis in early Aug 2010 I concluded BP could not have drilled only 1 well. They must have drilled 3 wells to account for all the conflicting information. See media reports here.

Videos also confirmed that even as early as May to June, oil and gas were already spewing from the seafloor as far as 7 to over 20 miles from Well A. A satellite photo on 25 May suggests a good correlation between the seabed oil spewing and with the faults and Salt Domes.

Evidently, numerous Youtube video postings not only confirm that BP and multiple federal agencies who were on the scene were not revealing all to the public, but that unknown quantities of hydrocarbons were still leaking out from the reservoir at high pressure and seeping through multiple fault lines to the seabed. “It is not possible to “cap” this oil,” reads Mr. Lim’s analysis. “Until a solution is found to seal these fissures, the hydrocarbons, including Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), will continue to leak uncontrollably”.

WHAT IS NOW HAPPENING BELOW THE GULF’S WATERS?

The document sent to congressman Fred Upton is accompanied by photos, videos and other documentation that support the concerns expressed by the Gulf Rescue Alliance. Just as a doctor with years of experience in viewing and analyzing x-rays can immediately see a fractured bone or other ailment when a laymen would not see it or understand it’s importance, Lim has years of experience in viewing underwater videos of oil and gas seepage and can quickly see and analyze what is occurring where a laymen would not pick up on it. In his letter, Lim describes what is occurring in a series of underwater videos taken by ROV’s around and near the wellhead.

In one of the videos, Well A, as it is known, appears to be releasing clouds of methane saturated seawater, gas bubbles of methane and re-crystallized methane crystals floating close to the seabed in the vicinity of the Macondo wellhead. On top of this, says the letter, it is also possible to see new fissures and a bulging seabed developing together with an already blown crater.

A second video shows how the very rope that guides the surveying ROV disappears into a dense, darkish cloud of oily fluid. Lim’s document explains how grout materials and old drilling mud that were previously taken to higher altitudes by columns of gas in the water can be seen in the video falling back onto the sea floor. These columns of gas are coming from newly activated venting fissures formed due to sea floor instability and fragility. Viewers can also see re-crystallized methane which appears as transparent and light multicolor materials floating in the water.

The third video shows the “periodic expulsion of the gas through one of the fissures on the seabed. Like geysers, the escaping gas needs to accumulate beneath the top sediment cover until the built-up pressure exceeds the combined water-column and overburden pressure just before each periodic expulsion,” explains the report compiled by the Alliance. According to images obtained from a ROV video, there are pools of tar/oil sediment all over the seafloor which are the direct result of the oil spill.

Although it is very difficult, under the current circumstances, to obtain clear footage of what is going on at that depth, my extensive training and experience in analyzing these types of situations, combined with these footages and others which I have access to, provides proof that oil and gas are still seeping unabated from the uncontrolled leaking reservoir,” warns BK Lim on his letter sent to congressmen Upton and Shimkus on 14 January, 2011.

Independently collected video footage from places like Saint Louis Bay Beach, Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and other places around the Gulf shows large amounts of fresh Corexit foam on the beach. As Corexit can only be used to sink fresh oil within the first couple of days of it coming up out of the ground, it is yet another indicator that there is an on-going attempt to sink fresh oil below the surface. Surficial bitumen layers (oil tarballs) that made it to the water surface as recently as September 6, due to storm surge are also coming up in massive amounts. According to sources close to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, on August 18, 2011, members of EcoRigs, went out and collected surface water samples that contained crude oil which they believed belonged to the ongoing BP oil spill. They also recorded video evidence of a heavy oil slick on Long Beach Mississippi. The water / oil samples were examined by independent laboratories and the first of those samples to return from the lab on the 28th of September confirmed their concerns: the oil was BP’s and from the Macondo reservoir.

Water sample analysis conducted independently by EcoRigs shows a positive correlation to BP’s oil spill samples. “The presence of fresh BP MC 252 crude oil in surface waters 2 to 14 months after the well was reported to have been capped suggests that crude oil from the BP DWH MC 252 field may have found new pathways to the seafloor.” The evaluations conducted also reveal that the toxic chemical Corexit is now being applied to the subsurface leak located 1500 meters beneath the ocean’s surface at the wellhead. This is done with the intention of further decomposing the oil so that the smaller particles do not make it to the surface and the continuing oil spill can be easily kept from the public eye.

ANOTHER MISHANDLED DISASTER

Just as with Katrina, more than a year into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Federal government has shown its ineptitude to adequately solving the consequences of a major disaster. In separate documents gathered by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, more revealing details are provided about how BP and the government handled the oil spill disaster. “The blown crater at the undisclosed 3rd well was spewing more than 100,000 barrels per day. (100,000 barrels estimate was based on the quantity of oil seen on the surface). Even worse the highly corrosive mix of brine, gas and oil ingresses into every crevices and permeable sections of the formation, creating new pathways to the seafloor,” says Mr. Lim. The Alliance subscribed to the standard industrial practice of conducting a detailed seafloor survey as immediately possible, to establish the extent of the seafloor damage following the well blowout. Just as an X-ray would help the surgeon in pin-pointing and planning the most appropriate surgical procedure, such a detailed seafloor and sub-seabed scan would most certainly provide the most strategic approach to stopping the release of hydrocarbons from the beleaguered well or wells. After ignoring repeated calls for such a seafloor survey since the blowout, BP and NOAA suddenly announced such a research survey using the NOAA Okeanos Explorer 15 months later. The only logical conclusion to this late survey is:

“A seafloor survey then (within the first few months) would reveal the ugly truths about the broken seafloor and precarious salt formation they were trying so hard to hide,” continued Mr. Lim. After more than a year of grouting, patching up and destroying all critical evidence in the seabed around the Macondo wells they (BP) were confident enough, the “modified seafloor” would not be incriminating to them. According to Mr. Lim, British Petroleum was very careful not to mention the fact they had drilled 3 wells. If this fact had come out, it would have caused a bomb and they could have been indicted for drilling without permission. “That is what they fear most,” says Lim. BP was also careful to isolate drilling crews away from each other, which according to Lim,  is against safety rules because drilling need to be briefed on hazardous and technical problems encountered at earlier drilling stages. Although BP may not have expected the three wells to blow up, this was an almost sure outcome due to the interconnected shallow gas formation (which was one of the main causes of their numerous problems). Further, after urgent requests for recommendations, a formal request was made to the Coast Guard on behalf of Constituent David Fakouri with the Louisiana Economic Foundation demanding seafloor survey and damage assessment be done with a 3rd party observer, but the request was denied.

The recent seafloor survey went on to have totally different emphasis and priorities. This led geohazards expert BK Lim to conclude as follows:

The vessel’s track history seemed to suggest higher emphasis in the south-western edges of the Biloxi Dome, the southern edged of Whiting Dome and generally south of the Macondo prospects. While there may yet be geologically valid reasons for the emphasis south of the Macondo wells, the shelf edges 6 to 8 km north-west of Macondo Wells and the badly eroded north-western edges of Whiting Dome should at least be surveyed with some grid-lines (see areas P1 and P2).

BP’s vessels had been observed working for quite some time in both areas. The 22 mile long underwater plume (first denied by BP and later confirmed by many independent research cruises), was suspected to have originated from the cracks in the seafloor at these locations. By avoiding these critical areas, can the present survey investigation be truly objective and independent in investigating the truth of the Macondo Blowout?

Almost all the oil sightings are north of the Macondo wells, not south. Why did the survey deliberately (?) avoid the shelf edges north of Macondo. In March 2011, new oil spills were suspected to have come from “leaks in the seabed” north of the Matherhorn field. The shelf edges bordering the Mississippi-Alabama Shelf, appear pretty fractured with large crevices and in potential danger of sliding into gigantic submarine landslides. Submarine landslides are more effective in generating tsunami than quakes without significant landslides. Both the 2011 Japan and 2004 Sumatra Quakes had giant tsunamis due to the accompanying large submarine mass displacement.”

During the first few weeks of the disaster, there was a struggle within BP between thosewho wanted to come clean about the reality of the situation and another group that wanted to cover it up. Apparently the latter group managed to win the struggle and they decided to use the well with the least of the problems (the first and shallowest, Well A, which was drilled to about 5,000 feet below mudline) to be the one staged for the world media as the “show capping” of an oil spill. The third and bigger leak at Well 3, which the late Matt Simmons kept asserting was “the deepest well that reached the Macondo oil resevoir”, was kept out of the public limelight.

A confidential source informed The Real Agenda that credible scientific evidence has been gathered giving high probability to allegations that oil is, in fact, still leaking and that inadequate oil spill response protocols were employed by the EPA, Coast Guard and other officials at Federal and State levels throughout the disaster. According to the source, the compilation of the scientific evidence is not just an edict of worrisome errors but criminal negligence resulting in a worsened tragedy throughout the Gulf States and Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem resulting in serious human health consequences—with EPA being at the head of that mismanagement.

The source further reports that between May 2010 and March 2011 long after the reported capping of the BP well in July of 2010 the average toxicity levels in the Gulf Region waters from Texas to Florida were persisting at unsafe levels and that, in some cases, they were thousands of times higher than EPA established safety threshold levels. It was during this same period of time that federal government agencies put out propaganda saying everything on the Gulf of Mexico was safe, including seafood, air and sea water.

It has been alleged that NOAA’s testing methods were flawed resulting in the “all is safe now in the Gulf” proclamation by responsible agencies. A separate concern is the fact that BP has a $500 million fund paying for continuing studies on the after effects of the spill and use of Corexit leading to concerns by independent scientists over the transparency and availability of this information to the public. Scientists under BP or government contracts conducting studies are not permitted to publicize or discuss any of their data until delivered to their employers. With some of these studies estimated to take several years, the public won’t know the truth until years later.

On September 13, 2011 new oil was seen close to where the original BP oil explosion occurred. Due to the fact the EPA insists on using Corexit as the only possible solution to the problem, the most important issue up to this point -the dire consequences of using Corexit- are not being addressed. Corexit not only contaminates the Gulf of Mexico and the human populations established throughout, but also is ineffective remediating the core problem: cleaning the Gulf waters as fast as possible. The only thing Corexit has proven is its effectiveness to pollute the waters and the Gulf as a whole. Why then does the EPA and the federal government insist on using it? It is interesting to note that none of the official statements by either the EPA or the oil companies state that Corexit cleans up the waters. They do, however, repeatedly state that Corexit is “effective”, which misleads the public into thinking that Corexit is cleaning up the waters. What Corexit is effective at is sinking it below the surface where it is difficult to see and quantify just how much is there, and breaking it up into small particles and spreading the contamination far and wide making the potential problems of toxic exposure to both humans and all the flora and fauna exponentially worse.

EPA ENFORCES ANTIQUATED OIL SPILL CLEAN UP PROTOCOLS

On its website, the EPA mildly agrees that using Corexit as a tool to clean the Gulf has “trade offs”. The question is, where are the positives? The oil is not being cleaned, but the waters and the complete ecosystem are being contaminated. Given the Federal Government’s line of action, it seems the task at hand is to make things worse, instead of better. Even after BP requested to test on the DWH oil already-proven, effective, non-toxic alternative oil spill cleanup technologies the EPA refused to allow those alternative technologies to be utilized.

One of the most highly regarded products suggested by scientists and environmental and conservation groups is Oil Spill Eater II, which is not only approved by the EPA, but also listed as part of an official list of products for oil spill cleanup, called the National Contingency Plan (or NCP List) that have been tested and approved as workable for emergencies like the one now taking place in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, BP’s requests to use Oil Spill Eater II were denied by the EPA and regional federally controlled response team officials. The Real Agenda additionally received documents showing formal requests were made by the Governor of Louisiana Mississippi and Alabama to use or conduct trials on OSE II in their states. In June 2010, the EPA sent a letter to Louisiana Governor Jindal denying the use of bioremediation methods for the DWH oil. Per documents obtained by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, the letter had a number of inaccuracies and misleading statements in it, and showed a surprising lack of understanding of the natural process that mother nature follows to clean up an oil spill. This effectively took off the table all but one of the non-toxic products on the NCP list for use in the Gulf of Mexico blowout. The only non-toxic product which did not fit under the detailed description of why the EPA stated that bioremediation would have only limited value, unwittingly made the case for the immediate use of OSE II. When this was pointed out to the EPA in a subsequent letter by OSEI, the company that manufactures and distributes OSE II, the EPA ignored the letter. BP America’s Chief Counsel stated in a conference call with the OSEI Corporation, in September of 2011 that BP was not able to use OSE II to treat the oil disaster because “BP is bound by the government’s decision” —bound by the EPA mandate [to keep using Corexit]. Consequently, it is estimated by sources outside of BP that BP could “have saved an estimated $36 billion in clean up costs if they had deployed the EPA approved alternative to Corexit. Gulf Rescue Alliance members state that it is in possession of voluminous documentation that indicates the EPA arbitrarily blocks any attempt to use environmentally friendly methods to clean the Gulf and instead prefers to use Corexit with no regard for the marine life and public’s health from the now proven to be fatally toxic chemical dispersant.

The use of friendlier technologies could not have only saved the Gulf’s ecosystem in the earlier stages of the disaster, but it would have also reduced the costs of the clean-up process for both the federal government and BP itself and prevented untold damage. Instead, the disaster in the Gulf continues to endanger everything and everyone as the toxic contamination spreads, and the costs of the clean-up process -which are now estimated in the tens of billions of dollars- continue to skyrocket.

Given the EPA’s decision not to help resolve the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, community organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed lawsuitsthat ask the EPA to conduct long-term studies that evaluate the impacts of Corexit on the environment and endangered species. It is expected that these lawsuits will act as a wake-up call to the EPA, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard, which appear to have made a conscious effort to block all alternatives directed towards the use of OSE II or any other environmentally friendly and truly effective technologies or techniques to clean the Gulf swiftly and effectively.

Luis R. Miranda is a Journalist with 15 years of experience. He is the founder and editor of The Real Agenda. Learn  more about Luis here.


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