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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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