Archives for category: U.S. Coast Guard

What makes this finding so extraordinary is that it came from a citizens’ initiative -TESTING THE WATERS – which was formed by Gulf Coast residents who simply want to know if their beaches are oil free, the water is clean enough to swim in, and the seafood is safe to eat.

Isn’t this what government is supposed to do? Test the water! They test it for everything else, and yet getting regular testing like this done seems to take an act of GOD.

Does BP have such a lock on the entire governmental system responsible for such testing, interpreting and reporting needed results like these that we still do not hear from EPA, FL DEP, NOAA, Coast Guard, etc.

So, here we have individual citizens putting up their own private money to fund essential testing from a public health and safety standpoint. Isn’t this what are tax dollars are for? If so, what are they doing with the tax revenue besides promoting the BP marketing campaign. You know, the one that lulls you to sleep with the cyborg mouthing the words:

The seafood is safe to eat … don’t worry.

The water is safe to swim in … be happy.

The beaches are oil-free … come and relax.

Perhaps it’s time we all held those government authorities and departments accountable for at least doing their bare minimum jobs. Obviously, they have chosen to not hold BP responsible for anything.

Source:  BK Lim


This Blog began as a place for me to save and file the kind of information that has helped me better understand the underbelly of this catastrophic, dangerous,  and world-changing ocean/environmental/political debacle.  Just in the past week it has been reported that  BP is now embarked on a challenging and risky mission:  Replacing the Blowoff Preventer and simultaneously pulling the drill pipe from the well.  There have been reports this week of high levels or Hydrogen Sulfide ashore,  Black Ops mercenaries applying Corexit  oil dispersant secretly at nights,  BP harassing Scientists who are doing independent testing of water and air, allegations of BP secretly drilling three wells in the immediate vicinity of the blowout well they are showing us,  undisclosed seafloor oil and gas leaks, and the discovery of a huge plume of oil hovering deep below the surface. Furthermore,  the Mainstream Media has largely backed away from reporting on the ongoing drama.  For example,  Thad Allan *Coast Guard Admiral and point man for BP and the Federal Gov’t,”   has been doing press briefings in the last few days attempting to explain the problems and rational behind their decision to replace the BOP.    This is big news but you won’t find it on the Google News roundup.  There is plenty of coverage of the ongoing hearings concentrating  on the interrogation of  BP and Transocean personnel  and fixing  blame for the situation.  Missing is the undersea drama unfolding that, if unsuccessful could lead to more spilled oil, and no end to the problem.

Also the relief well team has ceased its mission for the time being.  Why? There is no rational answer from Thad Allen or BP.  This would lead one to believe that they have some major disagreements and fears about what the next best move is. There is widespread speculation by the drilling community on what the problems are that BP faces in killing this well.  Plus,  the Feds have declared Gulf  seafood safe to eat when independent testing has found  highly carcinogenic and toxic hydrocarbon byproducts in seafood samples.

A new oil plume is reported to be 650 feet high,  2 miles wide,  and twenty two miles long:

Hydrogen Sulfide and Testing of Corexit Dispersant:


Hydrogen Sulfide Increases 700% Since July 15 Well Cap-Alex Higgins

Florida Oil Spill Law Website Article

BP harassing Independent Scientists:

Washington\’s Blog

B.K. Lim’s assertion that BP  has secretly drilled three wells  and  story behind the Deception:


Thad Allen’s  Commentary :

Thad Allen has turned out to be nothing more than a mouthpiece for BP.  It is amazing that BP still calls the shots….

The Oil Drum is a forum where Oil Geologists,  Platform Managers, Drillers, Oil Industry Veterans vent their opinions on what BP is doing Wrong and doing Right.  A source for some of the best information available and at times highly technical:

The Oil Drum #6888

The Oil Drum #6895

The Oil Drum #6899

The Oil Drum #6902

The Oil Drum #6905 Aug. 31, 2010

The Story of Two Wells and the Deception BP uses to obscure the truth:

Keep Sound off until Interview with Mike Williams:

More Good Sleuthing:

This Video Shows Existence of Well \”B\”- Alex Higgins

Fintan Dunne Reports on Dr. Robert Bea -Oil Geologist and His Knowledge of Two Wells being drilled:  Here

If you put this all together,  this is a scenario that unfolds:

BP submitted a proposal to drill Well “A” on Feb. 23, 2009 .  Well “A” encountered some sort of formation collapse where the drill pipe and bit became stuck and had to be cut.  At this point there is conflicting information.  Scenario 1: BP and Transocean drilled well “A”,  had a formation blowout, plugged the formation failure with cement and redrilled the well.  They never did  drill Well “B”. Well “A” has been the only well at that location.  This is the location that we see today, after tropical storm Bonnie. Scenario 2: BP abandoned well “A”   due to the underground formation failure and the subsequent jambing of the drill pipe and cutting tip.  BP and  Transocean commenced drilling well “B”  and this is the well that blewup on April 20 and it is Well “B” that is the source of the ongoing disaster.What is troubling is that the ROV footage of the wellhead gushing and being cut with first the wire saw and then with the “giant shears”  was clearly the well “B” location (check the GPS coordinates on Skandi ROV)… as  the screen shots from the cutting operation show.  Well “B” location has been the one we have been viewing up until storm Bonnie according to GPS coordinates..  As soon as the storm Bonnie passed and the seas subsided the ROV’s clearly showed the new Cap on well “A” (GPS Coordinates for Well “A”).  Some have assumed that BP switched the cap to present a picture of a non leaking well while they continued to struggle with Well “B” which  many think is still out of control.  If this is true it would partially explain why hydrogen sulfide levels have spiked since the well was supposedly capped.  It might also explain why there are reports of night time spraying of disperant Corexit.  Ever since tropical storm Bonnie BP has had their undersea cameras trained on non event scenes.  For all we know,  they could be struggling with a blowout of Well “B”,  or seafloor leaks and eruptions.  Of course, if this is happening we would  be the last to know.  I think the increased hydrogen sulfide levels are the most troubling indicators of something amiss.  It’s highly poisonous and FEMA has evacuation plans drawn up if HS levels get out of hand.   If the Well is capped,  and there are no serious seafloor blowouts or eruptions… as BP has led us to believe,  then there should be no readings indicating hydrogen sulfide during air quality tests.  These videos and links will point you in the direction you need to take to better understand what is going on here.  I admit, drawing conclusions from all of this is difficult.

R. Clegg


I Think BP is Losing their Grip on the Media to some extent.  BP has spent much effort and money trying throttle the University Researchers who have been thoroughly researching the potential health effects and ecological effects caused by the complex toxic hydrocarbons and the toxic dispersant Corexit.  They are obviously doing it in the public interest.  The stakes are high for  the health and economic wellbeing of the gulf states and the oceans.  BP does not care much about these issues and has proved it with their actions.  In the last few days CNN  and ABC News have taken a new stance on reporting based on truth and substance.  The American people have a  right to truthful news reporting….

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution talk about a hydrocarbon plume in the Gulf of Mexico.

Researchers say they saw 22-mile hydrocarbon plume in the Gulf of Mexico

August 19, 2010 6:52 p.m. EDT

(CNN) — Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said they detected a plume of hydrocarbons in June that was at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the institution, the 1.2-mile-wide, 650-foot-high plume of trapped hydrocarbons provides at least a partial answer to recent questions asking where all the oil has gone as surface slicks shrink and disappear.

“These results indicate that efforts to book-keep where the oil went must now include this plume” in the Gulf, said Christopher Reddy, a Woods Hole marine geochemist and oil spill expert. He is one of the authors of the study, which appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Science.  Researchers saw the plume over two weeks in June but were chased away by Hurricane Alex, Reddy told CNN Radio. “I have no idea where those compounds are now,” he said.  Another of the report’s authors said the plume has probably moved elsewhere, noting that the BP- operated well has been capped for more than a month and that the plume was moving in a southwesterly direction at a rate of about 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) a day. “(It’s) extremely likely that the hydrocarbons in that plume have long moved elsewhere,” report author Rich Camilli told CNN. Reddy said that experts need more data before they can determine how much remains in Gulf.

Whether the plume’s existence poses a significant threat to the Gulf is not yet clear, the researchers say. “We don’t know how toxic it is,” Reddy said in a statement, “and we don’t know how it formed, or why. But knowing the size, shape, depth, and heading of this plume will be vital for answering many of these questions.”

Camilli, also a Woods Hole scientist, said colder temperatures at the plume’s extreme depths inhibited the degradation properties of oil. Microbes act more slowly on the subsea oil than on surface oil because of lower temperatures, he said. If all other conditions were equal, microbes would eat up the plume’s subsea oil about 10 times more slowly, Camilli said.

Meanwhile, Thad Allen, the government’s point man for the oil disaster, responded Thursday on CNN to two recent studies that appeared to contradict the government’s estimate that about 75 percent of the oil has been cleaned up.

Researchers at the University of South Florida have concluded that oil may have settled at the bottom of the Gulf farther east than previously suspected — and at levels toxic to marine life. In addition, a team from Georgia Sea Grant and the University of Georgia released a report that estimates that 70 to 79 percent of the oil that gushed from the well “has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem,” the university said in a release.

Allen said the government has determined the flow rate to have been about 53,000 barrels a day, or a total of 4.9 million barrels. “The next question is, what happened to it?” he said. “There are certain things we know for certain. We produced almost 827,000 barrels that we collected and brought ashore.” The government also knows how much oil was skimmed, how much was burned and how much was affected by dispersant use. When that is added up, it leaves 26 percent still in the water, Allen said.  “That’s not a definitive statement, but that’s a way to start a conversation about the oil,” Allen said. “You can take a lot of different estimates and run that formula, but that’s the one we’re starting with … other than the 26 percent, the rest can be accounted for some way. That 26 percent is going to end up on a beach or dealt with somehow.”

CNN’s Vivian Kuo contributed to this report

Nigeria Oil Spills- Surpass the Scale of the BP Gulf Disaster

A 2006 report compiled by international environmental groups and the Nigerian government estimated that on average, a spill the size of the Exxon Valdez has been occurring each year in the past five decades. According to environmental groups and the Nigerian government, there were more than 7,000 spills between 1970 and 2000, spewing at least 9 million barrels of crude into the delta, home to vast wetlands that form the livelihood of millions of people.

A man walks on slippery spilled crude oil on the shores and in the waters of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in the famous Nigerian oil-producing Ogoniland, which hosts the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria’s Rivers State on June 24, 2010. The region has in recent years experienced an average 300 spills a year, roughly one spill a day, from terminals, pipes and platforms, according to government officials and experts. Sabotage of oil facilities by armed rebels fighting a fairer share of oil wealth for locals and theft of crude, popularly known as oil bunkering in recent years saw spills spiking to new levels. Photo courtesy AFP.UN food agency steps up aid to drought-hit Niger.

Rome (AFP) July 20, 2010 – The United Nations’ emergency food agency said Tuesday it was stepping up aid to Niger, describing drought in the Saharan country as an “unfolding catastrophe” for millions. “We are struggling against time to scale up quickly enough to reach the escalating number of hungry,” said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the Rome-basedWorld Food Programme. “To meet the needs of the people of Niger, we are looking for urgent and immediate cash contributions from our donors,” said Sheeran, who was travelling to Niger on Tuesday.

The WFP has in hand only about half of the estimated 213 million dollars (165 million euros) needed for the operation, the agency said in a statement. Up to eight million people — more than half Niger’s population of some 15 million — have lost crops and livestock in the drought, it said. Sheeran warned that August and September were “critical” months, and that children under two needed special nutritional help because their “brains and bodies face permanent damage from acute malnutrition.”  The BP oil spill is a major tragedy for the Gulf of Mexico region, yet the people in Nigeriahave had to live with similar environmental catastrophes for decades.  A 2006 report compiled by international environmental groups and the Nigerian government estimated that on average, a spill the size of the Exxon Valdez has been occurring each year in the past five decades. According to environmental groups and the Nigerian government, there were more than 7,000 spills between 1970 and 2000, spewing at least 9 million barrels of crude into the delta, home to vast wetlands that form the livelihood of millions of people.

But while the Deepwater Horizon spill has mobilized the entire U.S. political scene, in Nigeria, an increasing number of the population has had to suffer — undetected by Western politicians. And that’s despite the fact that the United States imports roughly 10 percent of its oil from Nigeria.

“We see frantic efforts being made to stop the spill in the U.S.,” Nnimmo Bassey, Nigerian head of Friends of the Earth International, recently told The Observer, a prominent British Sunday publication. “But in Nigeria, oil companies largely ignore their spills, cover them up and destroy people’s livelihood and environments. The gulf spill can be seen as a metaphor for what is happening daily in the oilfields of Nigeria and other parts of Africa.”

Big Western oil companies including BP, Shell and Exxon Mobile operate in Nigeria; the environmental groups accuse them of being ignorant to their spills — an estimated 2,000 contaminated sites have yet to be cleaned up. Moreover, locals and non-governmental organizations claim the companies operate old and rusty pipes and are often too slow or indifferent to reacting to spills.

The many Nigerian governments of the past, which have earned billions of dollars since drilling began in 1958 but gave little to their people, have been largely unable to pressure companies into cleaning up the mess.

The companies deny the allegations, arguing the spills are mainly due to acts of vandalism and terrorism, and are dealt with in a timely manner.  “We have a full-time oil spill response team,” a Shell spokesman told The Observer. “Last year we replaced 197 miles of pipeline and are using every known way to clean up pollution, including microbes. We are committed to cleaning up any spill as fast as possible as soon as and for whatever reason they occur.”

But the spill in the gulf has reduced trust in the oil companies, with some Western countries openly accusing multinationals of behaving recklessly when drilling foroil in poor countries.

“Spills, leaks and deliberate discharges are happening in oilfields all over the world and very few people seem to care,” Judith Kimerling, a professor of law and policy at the City University of New York and an expert on oil development in poor countries, told The Observer. “What we conclude from the Gulf of Mexico pollution incident is that the oil companies are out of control. It is clear that BP has been blocking progressive legislation, both in the U.S. and here. In Nigeria, they have been living above the law. They are now clearly a danger to the planet.”

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”-John Maynard Keynes

The Doctored Photographs

This week it came to light that BP had photoshopped—poorly—an official image of their crisis command center. Apparently, that wasn’t an isolated incident.

The photo, sent in by a tipster and entitled “View of the MC 252 site from the cockpit of a PHI S-92 helicopter 26 June 2010,” shows up here, a section of BP’s website that hopes to explain their response effort through pictures. This one, sadly, is fabricated.

And last, while the helicopter clearly appears to be situated at some height above the boats ahead, the readouts on the dash appear to indicate  that the door and ramp are open and the parking brake engaged, not to mention that the pilot appears to be holding a pre-flight checklist

The first thing you might notice out of place is the looming air traffic control tower in the upper left hand side of the photo:

And so on. As one reader pointed out, the tower may in fact be an oil rig adjacent to a helipad (which would also explain why the pilots are in prep mode), but the photo’s still clearly been doctored. Badly.

Obviously there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to BP, but every time they fabricate an image like this, it undermines whatever little credibility they have left.  BP is a company still more concerned with image than reality.

Credit: Alexander Higgins

Live Cam Broadcasts

BP has at times looped old footage,  and suddenly killed live feeds when something  comes up that they’d rather we not see.  Here is an example of

a recent live cam video where they turned the contrast down so it was not possible to see  oil and methane explosions on the sea floor.

By enhancing the video  we can now see what is really going  on the seafloor.  Oil Seeps, Explosions, Eruptions…

BP live feed from Boa Deep C ROV 2, August 6, 2010 at 3:20 p.m. EDT:

Same videos, same timing.

Enhancements to video on right: Levels adjustment and Brightness/Contrast adjustment

News Blackout on Covert Disposal of Dead Sea Mammals, Birds, and Fish

Federal Law calls for fines as high as $50,000 for the deaths of marine mammals caused by negligent pollution.  This could subject BP to several Billions more in fines.

In May, Mother Nature Network blogger Karl Burkart received a tip from an anonymous fisherman-turned-BP contractor in the form of a distressed text message, describing a near-apocalyptic sight near the location of the sunken Deepwater Horizon — fish, dolphins, rays, squid, whales, and thousands of birds — “as far as the eye can see,” dead and dying. According to his statement, which was later confirmed by another report from an individual working in the Gulf, whale carcasses were being shipped to a highly guarded location where they were processed for disposal.

CitizenGlobal Gulf News Desk received photos that matched the report and are being published on Karl’s blog today. Local fisherman in Alabama report sighting tremendous numbers of dolphins, sharks, and fish moving in towards shore as the initial waves of oil and dispersant approached in June. Many third- and fourth-generation fisherman declared emphatically that they had never seen or heard of any similar event in the past. Scores of animals were fleeing the leading edge of toxic dispersant mixed with oil. Those not either caught in the toxic mixture and killed out at sea, or fortunate enough to be out in safe water beyond the Source, died as the water closed in, and they were left no safe harbor. The numbers of birds, fish, turtles, and mammals killed by the use of Corexit will never be known as the evidence strongly suggests that BP worked with the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the FAA, private security contractors, and local law enforcement, all of which cooperated to conceal the operations disposing of the animals from the media and the public.

The majority of dead animal disposal operations were carried out under cover of darkness. The areas along the beaches and coastal Islands where the dead animals were collected were closed off by the U.S. Coast Guard. On shore, private contractors and local law enforcement officials kept off limits the areas where the remains of the dead animals were dumped, mainly at the Magnolia Springs landfill by Waste Management where armed guards controlled access. The nearby weigh station where the Waste Management trucks passed through with their cargoes was also restricted by at least one Sheriff’s deputies in a patrol car, 24/7.

Dauphin Island was one of the sites where carcasses of sperm whales were destroyed. The operational end of the island was closed to unauthorized personnel and the airspace closed. The U.S. Coast Guard closed off all access from the Gulf. This picture shows the area as it was prepped to receive the whale carcasses for disposal.


It’s important to remember that BP can’t hide these facts from the public alone.  They need help from a complicit Federal Government.

The bottom line is that your tax dollars are being used to hide this information from all of us.

B.K. Lim – BP Disaster Interpreted by Risk Assessment Oil Geologist

Why it could not have happened as reported by BP.

B.K. Lim has come up with a staggering theory that may explain some of the nagging unanswered questions about undersea craters, gushers, explosions, oil and gas plumes coming from the seafloor,  GPS coordinates for ROV operations that do not add up,   and the conflicting well locations…Well A and Well B.  B.K. Lin is a respected Geologist who has 20  years of experience assessing Geological Data in terms of Risk for Big Oil clients.  It’s pretty clear to me that we may never know the truth.  I’m publishing his theory, not because I necessarily believe it’s true, but rather that it needs to be put out there so that the public can read further and make up their own mind.

Fugre 1 ROV activities chart

Diagrammatic illustrations are used to explain why the Deepwater Horizon blowout could not have happened as reported by BP. BP could not have been drilling at Well A location when the 20th April blowout occurred, but an undisclosed seabed location (S20BC) 720ft NW of Well A. BP capped the wrong well as many had long suspected but unable to prove without insiders’ information.

If the shoe fits, ……. There are probably more evidence out there, in the ROVs’ videos, emails, logs etc which are more incriminating. There must always be a story beneath all these. Why would BP go through such an extensive and elaborate cover-up? It just doesn’t add up. Unless ……..?

LT student


Glad you are back. Had been waiting for your posting. Excellent diagrams. OMG. How can they do such a thing? Who do they think they are to play with our lives?

Thanks BK. This thing is far from being wrapped up,as the administration is saying, and some people are saying they did a great job. Yeah, mission accomplished. Sure.

This is interesting, and when are the liars in this incedent going to be exposed?

There will be many in the Obama administration that need to be exposed, and fired.Or jailed

  • 5 votes

Reply#1 – Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:39 AM EDT

Clarification of 2nd well that was blown up on 20th April 2010. Most would assume it is Well B. No it is not. For some obvious reasons (to be disclosed later), BP drilled at another location 720 ft NW of Well A. It might be shocking to most but it is a fact oil companies and offshore contractors do not faithfully and accurately report what is actually going on in the field. What is a few hundred feet in the middle of the ocean thousands of feet deep?

Back in the good old days where shore-based positioning systems (Hifix, Argo, Syledis etc) were the state of the art systems; where you have to record more than a week at a stationary point to get enough decent satellite passes to locate where you were, you would be lucky to get within 50 m of your target absolute position.

Most oil companies would apply for a backup location (in this case Well B) close by since they were unsure whether it would even be drilled. At 300ft apart (between well A and B), even a layman from outside the oil industry would see that it is ridiculously near especially when the ocean depth is 5000 ft (6%) and your target is another 18000 ft. That distance is just 6% and 1.3% respectively. No for all purposes and intent, well B location is for “show only”location wise. It has other purposes.

A second well would be useful in case of unexpected delay. As in BP’s case, the permit for well A and B run from 15 April-24 July 2009 and from 15 April till 24 July 2010 (100 days each) respectively. So it is handy as evident in BP’s case. Since each well will take between 2 weeks to 4 weeks actual drilling, you do not need 100 days. But it comes in handy so that you do not run foul of the law.

BP re-entered Well A on 6th Feb 2010. By right it would be reported as Well B since the permit for Well A ran out on 24 July 2009. In fact Well A, drilled by Marianas from 7 Oct till 9 Nov 2009 did not exactly fit the permit details either (see link).

Even from this few events, you can see that the details given in the MMS BP permit and exploration plan (ref: OCS-G 32306 control no: N-9349 submitted Feb 2009) did not remotely match the actual field events. Is this not proof of what I had been saying all along? What goes on in the field offshore is not always accurately reported; let alone future events applied for more than a year before the drilling has even started. In my long career, I had investigated and proven many wells and boreholes had been drilled at the wrong places; some by more than 500 m from their intended location. In one survey, the survey area shifted by more than 1.5 km. There were deliberate cover-ups of course (like in BP’s case) to save their own skin, once the initial discrepancies were noted.

In the end truth will prevail as always but it takes time and efforts. If you have survived as many blowout, drilling and survey fiascos as I have (on the truth side I mean), you will know that there are a lot of sharks swimming out there in the offshore industry. BP’s cover-ups are not new to me. In fact I would be truly surprised and amazed if BP had been an angel.

My postings had been strategically timed and laden with predictive “traps” to prove the hidden moves behind this Charade of the Century. It will become clearer with the coming posting “Of predictability, disasters and insider trading”.


Mr. Kim, Are we to assume the oil is still flowing from the unreported blow out crater? Why is it not rising to the surface like the other oil? Can it be stopped? How can the blow out crater be verified? What is to be done? thank you.

BK Lim

Yes probably but the ROVs are not showing any video of it. I doubt if BP is willing to show the unadulterated videos of the blown-out crater. At this stage, I would be very sceptical of any data coming out of BP as the videos of other seabed could be shown giving the S20BC’s coord. BP would do anything to discredit me or this posting.

I am probably letting the cat out of the bag. BP could have capped the Bogus Well (Well A) much earlier or the relief wells could have been drilled faster to kill the gushing well. How would it look if the Bogus Well A (which was inadequately plugged and started leaking again after the 20 April massive blowout) was capped in May and oil was still gushing out from the S20BC open well (suspected 20 April blownout crater)? So all attempts to kill well A had to fail or were designed to fail. See how easy the latest “Top Static Kill” was?

Remember the Containment Domes fanfare. It was cancelled due to some flimsy excuses even before they were deployed. Before the 10th of May, BP was sincerely trying to contain the spill with the Containment Dome until some smart Alex suggested the Switch-A-Roo plan to refocus the world’s attention to Well A. Deploying the containment domes would have exposed S20BC location to the world. Video of it was shown to the world before 11 May when BP started to float the “Top Kill” idea through the BOP at Well A.

The reasons should be obvious if you have been paying attention. I have a nagging suspicion that if everything else failed, BP will just leave the S20BC open well as “a natural seep”; 3 months are probably long enough to reduce the gushing oil to resemble a more natural oil leak. Have you noticed BP’s Bogus Press had been amplifying the thousands of leaking abandoned wells and natural oil seeps in the gulf and redirecting world’s attention to BOP on Well A, after mid May.

At least that was the devious plan. Man proposes but GOD disposes.Hope that answers your questions.

Why is it not rising to the surface like the other oil?

This leads to the question why so much dispersant (corexit) was used. If you were to plot the ROVs’ dispersant ops, they would no doubt be centred on this S20BC location. Again the ROV data may be adulterated to discredit this disclosure. I am pretty sure all the ROVs’ operators had been “threatened” to secrecy. Some may not even know (just follow orders) of this top level Crime of Mass Deception.

A controversial but well thought out perspective on the Geology at the BP Well Site , the flawed decisions by BP, and  some of the High Stakes Political Maneuvering  taking place in this drama.  This is quality independent research and Lin is courageous for publishing his ideas.  He is risking his reputation…  he feels that his  thinking is correct on this.  B.K. Lin is a respected Geologist who has 20  years of experience assessing Geological Data in terms of Risk for Big Oil clients.  At the end of this article you’ll find a link to larger and clearer illustrations and diagrams of the information found here.

By BK Lim

There has been so much information (or mis-information) on the disaster it is difficult to separate the facts from the myths, let alone decide who is or are to be held responsible for the oil spill disaster. There is a need for a working geological model to integrate all the scattered pieces of information and evidence together, so that law makers can zoom into areas where data had been lacking (or withheld) and the wrongs be corrected in order for the industry to move forward. The fact that so many wells (even in deeper waters) had been drilled successfully in the past in the same Gulf region suggests that there may be more “hidden” factors that caused this blowout to be so disastrous.

The geological model presented here is based on facts derived from past blowout investigations that had been equally puzzling. It provides a fresh perspective into the blowout investigation which until now had been overly focused on the drilling itself. If the well blowout was already a disaster in waiting, there is absolutely nothing the drilling crew could do to prevent the blowout, short of abandoning the well prior to reaching the reservoir. The fact that this geological model had been independently generalized from data and information available on the public domain means that there is room for more detailed infill and ample opportunities for BP’s technical experts to prove the model wrong. On the other hand, if subsequent revelations (from yet to be published data or information) substantiate or improve on the accuracy of the model, then this geological modeling effort, is heading the right direction in providing a more sound basis for corrective measures towards making the oil industry safer from such future disasters.

1-   Key components of the qualitative geological model.
It is reasonable to assume that BP was targeting a structural reservoir in the vicinity of a salt dome. In BP’s bathymetric chart, both Macondo’s wells (A & B) were located on an escarpment discernible on satellite images of the seafloor obtained from Google Earth. Texaco Rigel well which is about 2.43 km from BP Macondo A, is about 1 km away from the edge of the escarpment. Thus, while a salt dome is selected for the model, any vertical geological structure like an intrusive dyke or a vertically inclined fault zone (lateral fault), would essentially produce the same effects. The present qualitative geological model can be converted to a quantitative one when sufficient quantitative data is available. For now this qualitative model is sufficient for us to understand how the blowout occurred, why it occurred, what should have been done to remedy a bad situation from getting worse and how it could have been prevented in the future.

2-   Information substantiating the qualitative geological model
There have been “unconfirmed” reports that Macondo Well A which was first drilled by TransOcean Marianas and aborted on 9th Nov 2009 after reaching a depth of 4023 feet (1226 m) below seabed, was re-entered by TransOcean Deepwater Horizon on 13 or 15 Feb 2010. Thus the present blown out well is Macondo B. There were also unconfirmed reports that Macondo B was so badly blown, that the well which is been shown to the worldwide audience is the first Macondo A well which blew earlier in early March (??), before the 20 April blowout. While such “unconfirmed” information would fit in quite nicely with the geological model, it does not affect its validity even if they are not true.

On 13 Feb BP told MMS they were trying to seal cracks in the well. It took 10 days to plug the first cracks. In early March , BP told MMS they were having trouble maintaining control of surging natural gas (according to emails).

A March 10 e-mail to Frank Patton, the U.S. Minerals Management Service’s drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, from BP executive Scherie Douglas said BP planned to sever the pipe connecting the well to the rig and plug the hole. “We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe,” Douglas wrote, referring to the subsea block, Mississippi Canyon 252, of the stricken well. “We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass.” Bloomberg News (31 May 2010).

According to Bloomberg news, Douglas or BP received verbal approval at 11pm on 11 March to insert the cement plug about 750feet (229m) above the bottom of the hole. The Federal regulators gave BP permission to cement the well at a shallower depth than normally would have been required after the hole caved in on drilling equipment.

In the congressional hearing on 15 June 2010, BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward and other top executives gave the impression they were ignorant of the difficulties the company’s engineers were grappling with in the well before the explosion… according to U.S. Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We could find no evidence that you paid any attention to the tremendous risk BP was taking,” Waxman said as Hayward waited to testify. “There is not a single email or document that you paid the slightest attention to the dangers at this well.”

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles and exploration chief Andy Inglis “were apparently oblivious to what was happening,” said Waxman, a California Democrat. “BP’s corporate complacency is astonishing.”

Perhaps Henry Waxman was not aware that there was a massive share sell-off (531,461 shares in total) by 4 BP directors just days after the 11 March incident. Tony Hayward sold 223,288 shares (a third of his total holding) on 17 March. This was followed by Byron E Grote on 18 March (58,536 shares), Andy Iglis on 23 March (219,500 shares) and Ian C Conn on 30 March (13,073 shares). And that were only BP’s directors. What about the shares sell off by BP’s executives? See Massive Shares sell off prior to expected disaster.

It is not that BP directors and executives were ignorant to the problems on the Macondo wells. Their personal fortune mattered more. It is not that they do not know a blowout was inevitable. They were only wrong in thinking that the blowout could be controlled. They had not expected the blowout to spin so badly out of control.

It did not matter whether Macondo A or Macondo B was eventually drilled to reservoir level since both wells were located right on top of the seabed escarpment which is clearly an indication of some massive geological structure beneath.

Would moving the location have made a difference?

Texaco’s Rigel well 2 km from BP’s Macondo wells (but 1 km from the edge of the escarpment), was drilled safely in stark contrast to BP’s ill fated wells. Why? The reason is obvious on Figure 1a.

The Rigel exploration well, the Texaco OCS-G-18207 #1, was drilled in 1999 in Gulf of Mexico block MC 252 in 5200’ water depth. The well targeted a Miocene age, low-relief downthrown closure/stratigraphic trap that was supported by a strong amplitude response on the 3D seismic data. The results from the Rigel exploration well were disappointing. The well encountered what was interpreted to be a 176’ thick gas-charged, low-permeability siltstone in the Rob E-age target. This reservoir was believed to be uneconomic at that time. This presentation focuses on a few stalwart individuals’ efforts to continue to pursue appraisal of this marginal discovery. These efforts included pre-appraisal geologic modeling, reservoir modeling, and analog work. (Westside – Rigel Deepwater Field Appraisal and Development 16 Nov 2005.)

3- What possibly happened?
Figures 1a shows the geological setting just prior to drilling BP’s Macondo well. Problems started as soon as the drilling entered the GWSF hazardous zone. The top hole condition would have deteriorated as escaping gas swirled outside the well casing, enlarging the well bore. With heavy circulation losses, the drillers would have reduced ECD (effective circulation density) to limit mud losses and minimize damage to the pervious (weak) rock formation. Unfortunately, each time the ECD dipped below the previous charged pressure, gas influx would kick in. Thus the drillers would have no choice but to keep ECD high enough to keep the gas out. Cementation to isolate the hydraulic connection between layers would be futile as the cement would not remain static long enough to set. This was partly due to pressurized gas and cavitations in the GWSF zone caused earlier, by drilling in an open hole. The dynamic movement of fluids in the GWSF zone gradually increased the fractures and permeability in the vicinity of the poorly cemented well bore as the drilling continued deeper.

The presence of gas-saturated weak rock formation immediately underlying the non-lithified sediment is a slow acting hazardous condition (GWSF hazards) not readily recognized or understood by the industry despite being the common factor in most blowouts. Although GWSF hazardous conditions do not immediately caused a blowout, the seeds of destruction are sown at this shallow sub-formation depth. The deterioration of the well bore outside the casing and damage to the rock sub-formation is beyond the control of any drillers. Pumping in cement to seal the cracks would not work under gas-charged conditions.

The drilling problems were further compounded when up-dipping beds were encountered with sudden loss of circulation. To cut mud loss, ECD had to be reduced. But when pressure in the well dipped, gas influx kicked in as the Extended Gas Charged Pressure (EGCP) zone had previously been charged to a higher mud weight. See illustrations in figures 1d &1e.

The permeable contact aureole of the salt dome or an intrusive dyke, obviously added to the problem. It is like having a “U-tube” counterbalancing the mud column inside the well. No wonder the drillers described the Macondo well as a “Hell Well”. Compare this nightmare scenario with the Texaco Rigel well which was drilled safely just a km away from the salt dome. BP’s management should have correlated the drilling problems with the geological structure. If they had done that (which is the gist of this article), they would have realised that the Macondo well was just a disaster waiting to happen. They should have taken the responsible way out by abandoning the well before reaching the reservoir.

By failing to do that, they were just postponing the inevitable. The “giant aquifer system” was fully charged and just waiting for any mistake to trigger the blowout. No wonder the directors and top executives were rushing to sell off their shares after the 11 March incident, in anticipation of the worse to come. Perhaps BP should stand for “Before Public-interest” for the blatant manner in which personal profits come before the welfare of the environment and public.

As soon as the pressure in the well dipped below the EGCP (replacing the drilling mud with seawater) gas influx kicked in at the largely unsealed well bore at the GSWF zone. When the gas bubble in the well started to rise and expand with lower pressure, it rapidly displaced the seawater column (>5,000 ft) in the riser. This is like sucking liquid out of a glass with a straw. The tremendous suction and static pressure exerted by the reservoir created a sudden jump in differential force, resulting in the breach of the bottom cement plug. This triggered the uncontrollable continuous gushing of oil and gas out of the reservoir through the blown well. See figure 1f.

The futile attempts to “Top Kill” or “Top Cap” the gushing well only made the bad situation worse by increasing the damage to GWSF zone and increasing the EGCP size. See previous article; The high risk of top capping the gushing well.

After quickly reaching 6,400 psi in the pressure test using the TOP CAP, the increase in the well pressure slowed down to 10, then 2 to less than 1 psi per hour. Oil and gas are obviously being forced into the “giant aquifer” which kept expanding and finding new pathways in the rock formation. That is why the initial 8,000 to 9,000 psi passing mark would never be reached. After 41 hours, the pressure inside the top capped well was 6,745 psi and still rising very slowly. Of course, the pressure inside the capped well would never decrease (until the reservoir is depleted) even as oil and gas are being forced further into the EGCP zone and into the giant aquifer.

As only the light hydrocarbons (methane) filter or seep through the Quaternary Sediment layers, no oil seeps would be evident at the sea floor yet. The oil would remain buried beneath the sea floor until weaknesses in the sediment developed into cracks big enough to result in active oil seeps (which would also mean a near calamity). By then the hot oil and gases from the reservoir may have tilted the world into an irreversible ecological disaster, by warming up and vaporising strata of methane hydrates into gas. The result would be an exponential increase in dissolved methane in the deep waters of the Gulf and eventually into our atmosphere. No one knows how much methane hydrates lay beneath the Gulf sea floor.

But one thing is for sure. The longer the gushing well stays “top capped”, the more severe is the environmental damage. There is no logical reason why the gushing oil could not be tapped through the LMRP TOP CAP with a floating platform or subsea facilities; rather shutting it off completely to cause further damage to the fragile sub-seabed structure and sediment.

4-  What you don’t see can be covered up.
Perhaps the botched-up “photochop-chop” photos put up by BP was just a test. To see how keen the public eyes were in following BP’s clean up efforts. It would be hard to believe BP paid professionals for such a shoddy job. We should give BP more credit than that (remember the shares issues)? Let’s play dumb and the problems will go away.

Many experts in the oil industry were surprised and questioned the rationality of capping the well when the relief wells were so close to achieving their “bottom kill” objectives. They could have installed the TOP CAP much earlier. This means that BP knew if the gushing well was completely shut at the top, the oil and gas would spread beneath the sea floor and gas seeps would start appearing. So the TOP CAP had to be placed just before the relief well was ready for the “magic show”. Hurricane Bonnie spoilt the show and the delay is already showing signs of stress (gas seeps).

This could also mean that BP was getting less and less confident that the relief wells would work. The relief wells were held up as the last Trump card. If it fails in full (ROV) view of the concerned public throughout the world, BP’s shares would drop like a stone. There are good geological reasons why the chances of the relief wells’ success are less than 30%. But that would be in the next posting.

So instead “of going on a public stage with a final trump card of 30% chance of success” and risking everything BP stands for, a magic show will be set up so that what ever happens, it will be a success. How?

With a gushing well in full view, a successful bottom kill would show oil slowing down to eventually a tickle. With the cap on, it would be easier to manipulate the data. Thus botched-up photos were a test to check the keenness of the public eye. If the bottom kill fails, there is no independent monitor to prove it. BP could quickly pack and leave the site. Without ROVs’ video, the world is blind. Independent scientific researches later on could be disputed or controlled in post-recovery mopped up battle plan.

The TOP CAP had to be installed and the integrity pressure tests used as an excuse to completely shut down the flow. There is no need to prove the well is leaking. It is already a fact. David Copperfield could not have performed better.

For complete appendix to article see Diagrammatic Illustration of blowout