Day 64 Gulf Oil Crisis: Mr. President What Is the Back up Plan? Is there a back-up plan?

It is day 64 in the Gulf Oil Disaster and the oil continues to flow into the gulf and the cleanup effort is floundering.

BP is drilling two relief wells it hopes will “stop” or contain the oil flow into the Gulf.

While it has been reported that the “relief well plan” involves “capping” the existing well with concrete, there are also reports that the “relief wells” will simply be used to divert the oil to the surface where oil production will continue. 

The question remains, “If the relief wells fail, what is our “backup plan””.

Mr. President, do you have a back-up plan?

Mr. President, I’m not an oil expert. I am just an American deeply concerned about his Country.

Oil Recovery Ship Discoverer Enterprise & Relief Wells

With all due respect, here are my suggestions.  

The Crisis at hand – how we got here.

I’ll begin with Newton’s first law. (http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/newton1g.html)

That law states that oil or gas will only move from one place to another if something is pushing it.

The oil and gas flowing into the Gulf today, is doing so becaause the “pressure” in the rock surrounding the oil is higher than the pressure in  the well pipe. The “pressure” in the rock is pushing the oil out of the rock or reservoir and through the well pipe and into the Gulf.

Oil Spill Recovery - Proximity of Relief Wells - Click to Enlarge

The pressure of the oil in the rock is 12,000 pounds per square inch or 12,000 psi.

When BP first started to drill the well, BP pumped mud into the wellhole or pipe. The mud being pumped into the well hole created a pressure of 13,000 psi and as the pressure of the mud in the well was higher than the pressure of the oil in the rock, the oil and gas stayed in the rock or reservoir and did not move into the well.

Sometime before the disaster occurred, the mud being pumped into the well was replaved with seawater. Seawater has a lower pressure than the mud, so as the seawater replaces the mud, the pressure in the well pipe or hole drops. As the pressure in the well or pipe falls below the pressure in the rock, the gas and oil flow out of the rock or reservoir and into the well. The oil and gas then travel up the well pipe and “riser” to the oil rig on the surface.

BP was not negligent simply because the “mud” was replaced with “seawater”. As oil or gas wells are completed, the pressure in the wells must be “reversed” before a flow of oil or gas will begin.  This “flow” allows the well to “produce oil”. The act of replacing the mud with seawater is an acceptable way to “reverse the flow” in a well and start the well’s production of oil and gas.

The physical makeup of gas allows it to flow more easily than oil and the gas did just that. The gas moved from the rock or reservoir through the well and into the riser or pipe and continued to the surface where the Deepwater Horizon was waiting. It is suspected that the gas ignited or exploded.  

It should be noted that the rig, Deepwater Horizon, was a semi-submersible oil rig that was not “anchored” to the Gulf floor.

The rig represented the cutting edge of drilling technology. It was a floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 foot water depth. The rig was not moored; It did not use anchors because it would be too costly and too heavy to suspend its mooring load from the floating structure. A triply-redundant computer system used satellite positioning to control powerful thrusters that kept the rig on station within a few feet of its intended location, at all times. This stabilization system is called Dynamic Positioning. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/01/the-gulf-oil-rig-explosion-on-the-scene-photos/

The rig was loaded with 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel to operate the thrusters. This writer has not been able to determine whether the diesel fuel contributed to the rig fire.

While the final events that led to the rig fire and a possible explosion have not been determined, it is known that the rig burned for two days prior to sinking to the gulf floor.

As the rig sank, so did the “riser” or “pipe” that connected the rig to the “wellhead” or “LMRP” (Lower Marine Riser Package) on the floor of the gulf.

WHAT IS BEING DONE TODAY TO STOP THE FLOW OF OIL

BP is drilling two relief wells. It is unclear whether BP plans on using the “relief wells” in an attempt to cap the damaged well or whether the relief wells will be used in an attempt to divert oil from the damaged well, into the relief wells and ultimately to the surface of the gulf where the oil will be processed.

As the rig sank the riser “bent” and ruptured in at least 2 places, the ruptures allowed oil to flow out of the “riser” or “pipe” and into the gulf. The pipe disconnected from the oil rig as it sank and oil also flowed out of the “top end” of the riser as it came to rest on the floor of the gulf. BP successfully capped the “top end” of the riser pipe in the video below. Note the bolting process at the end of the video. 

 The “BOP” or “blow out protector” on the Gulf floor may have malfunctioned, but it did not explode. The “wellhead” remains intact on the floor of the gulf. The “leak” of oil into the gulf was directly related to the “rupture” of the ”riser” as it sank, not to an explosion.

After several unsuccessful attempts to address the flow of oil into the gulf, BP decided to cut the riser from the well head and attach a new collector assembly. Today you can watch the live BP video feed as millions of gallons of oil flow into the Gulf from the well head. The current etsimate is that between 2 and 4 million gallons of oil are leaking into the Gulf each day. 

BACK UP PLAN 1: Repair and Cap the Riser/Well head

If you view the video of BP cutting the riser from the well head, you will not that there is a flange assembly, approximately 2 feet below the “cutline”. Flanges are fabricated or designed to connect pieces of pipe together or to connect pipe to other assemblies.

It appears that there has been no damage done to the structure of the well head or the BOP (blow out protector)

Generic Pipe Flanges

on top of the well head. The BOP may or may not have suffered a mechanical failure; however, the BOP it does not appear to be leaking oil at this time. The oil is flowing through the well head and out of the cut end of the riser pipe.

If the well head can be capped, the flow of oil into the gulf will end.

Step 1:

Separate the last section of cut and damaged “riser” along with the flange to which it is attached, from the flange attached to the top of the wellhead. It was the coupling of these two flanges that created the connected between the “riser/pipe” to the “wellhead” on the gulf floor.

VIDEO BELOW: Close up of riser kink & BOP: Note that there is no oil leaking from BOP or coming from wellhead below.

Deep sea flanges are attached to piping using a “shrink fit process”. Flanges are joined to one another using “connectors” or bolts.  http://www.spe.org/jpt/2009/08/first-shrink-fit-riser-flanges-set-for-north-sea-debut/

High Pressure Deep Sea Flange & Pipe Assembly

Repairing The Wellhead

Step One:

Separate the two flanges that were used to join or “couple” the “pipe/riser” to the “Wellhead/BOP”.

If this were a surface well, the process of separating the flanges would be straight forward. As this is a “deep sea” well, remotely operated vehicles will need to be used.

To affect a separation of the two flanges the connectors (bolts) used to join the flanges will need to be removed. Jack screws are a common “joiner” used to connect flanges.

The connector bolts may need to be cut, as demonstrated in the video below. Cutting the heads off one end of the bolts may facilitate disassembly.

Step 2 

Fabricate a new flange assembly with a “shut off valve”.

Lower and attach the new flange and shutoff value to the well head. When the assembly is being attached the shutoff value is left in the “open” position and the “valve” is not closed until the assembly is completed. With the “valve” in the open position, the oil is unrestricted and allowed to flow freely through the assembly until the assembly is securely attached, then the valve is closed and the oil flow into the Gulf ends.

Impediments to Repair of the Wellhead

The well head is located at least 10,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf. The well must be approached and repairs completed with remote submersible vehicles. There will be difficulties encountered with taking the flange assembly apart. There will be difficulties encountered while centering and attaching the new flange and shut off valve assembly. This writer finds it very difficult to believe that those difficulties cannot be overcome as the technology needed to complete the suggested repairs has existed for over 50 years. That technology must now be modified and adapted to allow for a successful application of our existing technology on the Gulf floor.

Mr. President a leader does not proclaim “IT CAN’T BE DONE”. A leader assembles the best and brightest specialists in the world and  tells those specialists, “This is what must be done. How do you propose that we get it done”.

BACK UP PLAN 2 – IMPLODE THE WELL

Approximately 6 weeks ago I posted suggestions that the Government consider “imploding the well” to seal the well and stop the flow of oil into the Gulf.

Contrary to what detractors of that suggestion have implied, I am not suggesting that the President use a nuclear weapon on the well.

Yes, it is true that a “nuclear weapon” detonation sequence begins with an “implosion”, however, that is where my suggestion and a “nuclear weapon” part company.

A nuclear weapon contains a “core’ of nuclear material. That core material is surrounded by a layer of conventional high explosives “shaped” in a fashion to compress the nuclear material together. As the nuclear materials “compress” a critical “nuclear concentration” is achieved and that concentration triggers a “spontaneous nuclear reaction” that we call a “nuclear explosion”.

In the diagram below, the purple material on the outside of the devise is the bomb’s casing, the yellow materials in the “second layer” of the device is the “conventional high explosives”. The center purple section of the diagram represents the nuclear or fissionable core of the bomb. The “nuclear explosion” starts when small “triggers” ignite, the triggers explode the “conventional high explosives”, and the “high explosives” compress the “core” initiating the “nuclear reaction”.

IMPLOSION TRIGGERED BOMB

The suggestion I’m presenting involves the use of conventional high explosives, molded into specific “shaped charges”, which, when they are exploded, “compress” and close the “well pipe” below the floor of the gulf.

Imagine water running through your garden hose. If you can “kink” the hose with your hand or “compress” the hose with your foot, without breaking the hose, you can stop the flow of water.

Step 1 – Imploding the well

A series of holes are drilled into the gulf floor around the existing well. The number and depth of the holes are determined by the geological structure of the gulf floor at the well site and the tensile strength of the well casing or pipe. The holes are then filled with “shaped charges” of high explosives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_charge

Step 2 – Remote detonation of the explosion

The final act is the remote detonation of the explosives. The explosion can take the form of a “timed”, “sequenced” or a “simultaneous explosion”.

Original Video above “disabled”, select from the choice of videos displayed along “tray” at bottom insert.

Mr. President:  If it is needed, will you be ready with a “back-up” plan?

Video below: The two cuts already completed on the riser/pipe and casing 

UPDATE: How BP wants to start over in bid to contain Gulf oil spill

Finally, printed confirmation in the form of an article in the Christian Science Monitor. An article which states,

“On Wednesday, BP and the Coast Guard are expected to decide whether to greenlight a project that would remove the containment cap and replace it with a larger cap connected to two flexible riser pipes. The replacement cap, called an overshot tool, would not sit atop the stump of the original riser pipe, but would bolt directly to the blowout preventer, perhaps creating a better seal.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0627/How-BP-wants-to-start-over-in-bid-to-contain-Gulf-oil-spill

As I have previously noted, the current activity involves an attempt to “capture” & “maintain” oil production. The plan under discussion Wednesday involves the use of “flexible riser pipes” rather than a “shutoff valve”.

Lets keep our fingers crossed Wednesday ……

Update 2: 07/10/2010

The process begun Saturday (07/10/2010) has two major phases: removing equipment currently on top of the leak and installing new gear designed to fully contain the flow of oil.

BP began trying Saturday afternoon to remove the bolted top flange that only partially completed the seal with the old cap. Video images showed robotic arms working to unscrew its bolts. BP spokeperson said that could last into Monday depending on whether the flange can be pulled off from above, as BP hopes. If not, a specially designed tool will be used to pry apart the top and bottom flanges.

Once the top flange is removed, BP has to bind together two sections of drill pipe that are in the gushing well head. Then a 12-foot-long piece of equipment called a flange transition spool will be lowered and bolted over it.

View the video here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100711/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spilliew

Read my update here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/day-82-in-the-gulf-will-the-leak-be-capped-by-monday-07122010/  

The Immigration Debate: Senator Kyl’s Accusation – Obama Holding Border Security Hostage

President Obama is refusing to secure the border until Congress reaches a breakthrough on comprehensive immigration reform, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said at a recent town hall meeting. 

The No. 2 Senate Republican was speaking to a local Tea Party crowd on Friday, said the president told him during a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office that he was concerned he wouldn’t win GOP support on immigration legislation if he took care of border security first. 

“The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform,” Kyl said, as the crowd in the room gasped loudly. “In other words, they’re holding it hostage.” 

The White House denied the claim on Monday. Spokesman Bill Burton and Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer both said Kyl “knows” Obama did not make that comment to him in their meeting. 

“The president didn’t say that and Senator Kyl knows it,” Pfeiffer said in a written statement. “There are more resources dedicated toward border security today than ever before, but, as the president has made clear, truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration system. 

Burton repeated the claim at the press briefing Monday afternoon. 

But Kyl’s office stood by the senator’s account. Kyl spokesman Ryan Patmintra said, “There were two people in that meeting, and Dan Pfieffer was not one of them.” He said Pfeiffer’s call for comprehensive immigration legislation “only confirms” Kyl’s story. 

And later, Kyl himself affirmed to Fox News the accuracy of his version: “I portrayed our conversation totally accurately … The president cannot say that what I said was incorrect.”

While Obama has pledged to send an influx of National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, Kyl said in the clip that the president made clear to him that border security is just a political tool in the broader goal of passing an immigration package through Congress. 

In the town hall meeting, Kyl said he was “not so sure” the president’s concern about GOP support was legitimate, but that regardless, the administration has an “obligation” to secure the border. 

“They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform,” Kyl said. “They frankly don’t want to do it. They want to get something in return for doing their duty.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/21/kyl-obama-wont-secure-border-lawmakers-immigration-package/

McAuleys World Comments: Who to believe? Kyl or Obama

In one of my earliest posts concerning the President I said the following:

“Barack Obama’s first book, “Dreams of My Father” has been discussed at length in the popular press and by the Candidate himself. Unfortunately, the book and the discussions associated with book on broadcast media are short on fact and long on the fiction that the candidate has carefully manufactured about his past.

Obama, himself, gives the readers a “buyers beware” warning in the introduction to the reissued edition of “Dreams”. Obama notes the dangers of writing an autobiography include “the temptation to color events in ways favorable to the writer … [and] selective lapses of memory.” Obama states, “I can’t say that I’ve avoided all, or any, of these hazards successfully.” 

In “Dreams” Obama distorts many of the truths concerning his youth to serve his own self interest. The Chicago Tribune noted, “Still, the story of his early years highlights how politics and autobiography are similar creatures: Each is shaped to serve a purpose.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0703250359mar25-archive,0,546290.story   I wonder what the Tribune writer meant, in plain words? That Obama shaped his autobiography to serve Obama’s political purpose? Yes, I would agree, if that is what the writer intended to say.  

A Washington Post author noted, “Dreams From My Father” is as imprecise as it is insightful about Obama’s early life”. This writer believes the “imprecision” speaks volumes about Obama, the man and the candidate.  The Post author goes on to state, “… he readily acknowledged, he rearranged the chronology for his literary purposes and presented a cast of characters made up of composites and pseudonyms”

Read the post I’m referring to here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/barack-obama-the-unauthorized-biography-obamas-factual-family-story/ 

This past Sunday, on Father’s Day, I wrote a post in which I stated that it was my belief that, “When the Obama Administration states that they want “comprehensive immigration reform” the Administration means they want an “open borders policy” with an “amnesty” for those currently within our borders illegally.” I also noted that, “Prevented constitutionally from unilaterally implementing these changes the Obama Administration has adopted policies and ignored existing laws in the Administration’s attempt to implement a “de facto” open border and amnesty program”. “The Obama Administration is refusing to enforce our existing immigration laws. The Administration is willfully failing to secure our borders. The Administration is refusing to send appropriate resources to secure our borders and has even failed to deploy the 1200 National Guard Troops promised to our Border States. In adopting these actions the Obama Administration has moved to usurp (to use without authority or right) powers granted to the Congress under the Constitution. The Obama Administration cannot get an “amnesty program” or an “open borders policy” passed through Congress as the Constitution requires, so the Obama Administration is adopting extra constitutional (not authorized by or based on a constitution; beyond the provisions of a constitution) measures to achieve policies it cannot obtain constitutionally. “

My Father’s Day Post can be read here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/fathers-day-reflections-our-childrens-future-in-america-republic-or-imperial-presidency/

Who do you think I believe, Kyl or Obama? Remember, “actions speak louder than words”!

Day 63 In Gulf: BP Says “NO” – BP Refuses To Pay Costs of Drilling Moratorium

McAuley’s World Comments Bolded Blue

WASHINGTON—BP PLC, despite being put under pressure by the U.S. government to pay for the oil-spill aftermath, has succeeded in pushing back on two White House proposals it considered unreasonable, even as it made big concessions, said officials familiar with the matter.

BP last week agreed to hand over $20 billion—to cover spill victims such as fishermen and hotel workers who lost wages, and to pay for the cleanup costs.

The fund is a big financial hit to BP. But behind the scenes, according to people on both sides of the negotiations, the company achieved victories that appear to have softened the blow.

BP successfully argued it shouldn’t be liable for most of the broader economic distress caused by the president’s six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And it fended off demands to pay for restoration of the Gulf coast beyond its prespill conditions.

After the high-profile meeting of administration and BP officials on Wednesday, it was in the interest of neither to discuss such details. BP wanted to look contrite and to make a grand gesture, and the White House wanted to look tough. [The latest “ACT” in the political theatre – the actors play their parts and recited their “lines” – The first “Acts” of the current “Political Theatre” took place last week during the Congressional Hearings. See: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/day-61-in-the-gulf-complaint-media-drones-on-about-bp-ceo-who-is-in-charge/ ]

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704638504575319080942638278.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

[BP will not pay for all of the costs  associated with Obama’s moratorium, costs estimated at $300 billion dollars by the Oil industry. $300 billion dollars. BP is working to make a $5 billion dollar down payment on a $20 billion dollar claim fund while Obama is making “executive decisions” that will cost America $300 billion dollars. During the negotiations BP agreed to contribute $100 million dollars towards the costs associated with the moratorium.  Industry experts have stated that the cost to rig workers in “lost wages” alone will total $330 million doallrs a month for the duration of the moratorium. currently scheduled to last 6 months. Total costs for a 6 month moratorium are estimated at $300 billion dollars]. 

The Wall Street Journal is Reporting: 

“Ms. Gorelick (BP ‘s Attorney) told White House negotiators their legal position mandating BP’s assistance to displaced workers was weak. White House officials conceded such workers may not be able to qualify for direct assistance under the $20 billion fund, a White House official in the room said.

A BP negotiator said the White House position was “half-hearted” and its negotiators quickly gave up. “You won’t find many lawyers who will say when the government imposes a moratorium, it’s the company’s obligation to help the workers impacted,” the BP adviser said.

The BP side was so confident that Ms. Gorelick suggested the two sides allow idled workers submit claims to Mr. Feinberg and let a court to decide whether the company was liable. 

BP’s negotiators agreed to voluntarily add $100 million as “a goodwill gesture,” one adviser said. The two sides didn’t agree how that money would be distributed.

BP used the word “fund” to describe the separate pot of money. The White House called it a foundation. As of Friday afternoon, they still had a long way to go to structure the fund, said a member of the team working on final details.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704638504575319080942638278.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

DAY 63 In The Gulf: CBS News Reports “GAPING HOLES” In Obama Speech – BP Declines Payment Of Moratorium Costs

Fact Check: Gaping Holes In Obama’s BP Speech

President Vows To Make BP Pay, But There Are No Guarantees

In assuring Americans that BP won’t control the compensation fund for Gulf oil spill recovery, President Barack Obama failed to mention that the government won’t control it, either.

That means it’s anyone’s guess whether the government can, in fact, make BP pay all costs related to the spill.

Obama aimed high in his prime-time Oval Office address Tuesday night — perhaps higher than the facts support and history teaches — as he vowed to restore livelihoods and nature from the still-unfolding calamity in the Gulf of Mexico.

A look at some of his statements and how they compare with those facts:

Can The Government Actually Make BP Pay?

OBAMA: “We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused and we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy. … Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.”

THE FACTS: An independent arbiter is no more bound to the government’s wishes than an oil company’s. In that sense, there is no certainty BP will be forced to make the Gulf economy whole again or that taxpayers are off the hook for the myriad costs associated with the spill or cleanup. The government can certainly press for that, using legislative and legal tools. But there are no guarantees and the past is not reassuring.

It took 20 years to sort through liability after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and in the end, punitive damages were slashed by the courts to about $500 million from $2.5 billion. Many people who had lost their livelihoods in the spill died without ever seeing a check.

Will BP Be Able To Contain Most Of The Spill Soon?

OBAMA: “In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well.”

THE FACTS: BP and the administration contend that if all goes as planned, they should be able to contain nearly 90 percent of the worst-case oil flow. But that’s a big “if.” So far, little has gone as planned in the various remedies attempted to shut off or contain the flow. Possibly as much as 60,000 barrels a day is escaping. BP would need to nearly triple its recovery rate to reach the target.

CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: Will they contain most of the oil soon? Will they have an accurate estimate of how much oil is flowing into the gulf? 

Will Drilling A Relief Well Make Things Better Or Worse?

OBAMA: Temporary measures will capture leaking oil “until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely.”

THE FACTS: That’s the hope, but experts say the relief well runs the same risks that caused the original well to blow out. It potentially could create a worse spill if engineers were to accidentally damage the existing well or tear a hole in the undersea oil reservoir.

CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: The Government is reporting that the relief well is “within 200 yards of the existing well, and while those reports are “accurate” , there is in fact, over 2000 yards left to drill before the “relief well” will intersect the original well.  At present the relief well is 200 yards away, 200 yards horizontally, from the original well. Unfortunately, the relief well is not being drilled “horizontally”. When the relief well was first started on the floor of the Gulf, the well was just over 200 meters away from the original “well head”.

RELIEF OIL WELL DIAGRAM - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Has The Federal Government Really Been Charge?

OBAMA: “From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history.”

THE FACTS: Early on, the government established a command center and put Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen in charge of coordinating the overall spill response. But officials also repeatedly have emphasized that BP was “responsible” and they have relied heavily on BP in making decisions from hiring cleanup workers to what oil dispersing chemicals to use. Local officials in the Gulf region have complained that often they don’t know who’s in charge — the government or BP.

What Took So Long To Implement Preventative Measures?

OBAMA: “We have approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore.”

THE FACTS: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and local officials pleaded for weeks with the Army Corps of Engineers and the spill response command for permission to build about 40 miles of sand berms along the barrier islands.

State officials applied for an emergency permit to build the berms May 11, but as days went by Jindal became increasingly angry at federal inaction. The White House finally agreed to a portion of the berm plan on June 2. BP then agreed to pay for the project.

The corps was worried that in some cases such a move would alter tides and drive oil into new areas and produce more harm than good.

Will Deepwater Drilling Continue?

OBAMA: “Already, I have issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue.” 

Oil Spill - Note Proximity Of Relief Wells - Click To Enlarge

THE FACTS: Obama issued a six-month moratorium on new permits for deepwater drilling but production continues from existing deepwater wells.

CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS:  BP will not pay for all of the costs  associated with Obama’s moratorium, costs estimated at $300 billion dollars by the industry. $300 billion dollars. BP is working to make a $5 billion dollar down payment on a $20 billion dollar claim fund while Obama is making “executive decisions that will cost America $300 billion dollars. During the negotiations BP agreed to contribute $100 million dollars towards the costs associated with the moratorium.  Industry experts have stated that the cost to rig workers in “lost wages” alone will total $330 million doallrs a month for the duration of the moratorium. currently scheduled to last 6 months.

http://cbs4.com/politics/obama.gulf.oil.2.1754464.html

The Wall Street Journal is Reporting: 

“Ms. Gorelick (BP ‘s Attorney) told White House negotiators their legal position mandating BP’s assistance to displaced workers was weak. White House officials conceded such workers may not be able to qualify for direct assistance under the $20 billion fund, a White House official in the room said.

A BP negotiator said the White House position was “half-hearted” and its negotiators quickly gave up. “You won’t find many lawyers who will say when the government imposes a moratorium, it’s the company’s obligation to help the workers impacted,” the BP adviser said.

The BP side was so confident that Ms. Gorelick suggested the two sides allow idled workers submit claims to Mr. Feinberg and let a court to decide whether the company was liable. 

BP’s negotiators agreed to voluntarily add $100 million as “a goodwill gesture,” one adviser said. The two sides didn’t agree how that money would be distributed.

BP used the word “fund” to describe the separate pot of money. The White House called it a foundation. As of Friday afternoon, they still had a long way to go to structure the fund, said a member of the team working on final details.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704638504575319080942638278.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Surface View: Relief Wells Proximity to Discoverer Enterprise Oil Recovery Ship

SEE: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/gulf-oil-crisis-%e2%80%93-facts-from-fiction-part-3-of-3/

Day 63 in the Gulf: CBS News Fact Checks Obama’s Speech – Updates: Relief Wells & Costs of Drilling Moratorium

Fact Check: Gaping Holes In Obama’s BP Speech

President Vows To Make BP Pay, But There Are No Guarantees

In assuring Americans that BP won’t control the compensation fund for Gulf oil spill recovery, President Barack Obama failed to mention that the government won’t control it, either.

That means it’s anyone’s guess whether the government can, in fact, make BP pay all costs related to the spill.

Obama aimed high in his prime-time Oval Office address Tuesday night — perhaps higher than the facts support and history teaches — as he vowed to restore livelihoods and nature from the still-unfolding calamity in the Gulf of Mexico.

A look at some of his statements and how they compare with those facts:

Can The Government Actually Make BP Pay?

OBAMA: “We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused and we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy. … Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.”

THE FACTS: An independent arbiter is no more bound to the government’s wishes than an oil company’s. In that sense, there is no certainty BP will be forced to make the Gulf economy whole again or that taxpayers are off the hook for the myriad costs associated with the spill or cleanup. The government can certainly press for that, using legislative and legal tools. But there are no guarantees and the past is not reassuring.

It took 20 years to sort through liability after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and in the end, punitive damages were slashed by the courts to about $500 million from $2.5 billion. Many people who had lost their livelihoods in the spill died without ever seeing a check.

Will BP Be Able To Contain Most Of The Spill Soon?

OBAMA: “In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well.”

THE FACTS: BP and the administration contend that if all goes as planned, they should be able to contain nearly 90 percent of the worst-case oil flow. But that’s a big “if.” So far, little has gone as planned in the various remedies attempted to shut off or contain the flow. Possibly as much as 60,000 barrels a day is escaping. BP would need to nearly triple its recovery rate to reach the target.

Will Drilling A Relief Well Make Things Better Or Worse?

OBAMA: Temporary measures will capture leaking oil “until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely.”

THE FACTS: That’s the hope, but experts say the relief well runs the same risks that caused the original well to blow out. It potentially could create a worse spill if engineers were to accidentally damage the existing well or tear a hole in the undersea oil reservoir.

CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS: The Government is reporting that the relief well is “within 200 yards of the existing well, and while those reports are “accurate” , there is in fact, over 2000 yards left to drill before the “relief well” will intersect the original well.  At present the relief well is 200 yards away, 200 yards horizontally, from the original well. Unfortunately, the relief well is not being drilled “horizontally”. When the relief well was first started on the floor of the Gulf, the well was just over 200 meters away from the original “well head”.

Has The Federal Government Really Been Charge?

OBAMA: “From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history.”

THE FACTS: Early on, the government established a command center and put Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen in charge of coordinating the overall spill response. But officials also repeatedly have emphasized that BP was “responsible” and they have relied heavily on BP in making decisions from hiring cleanup workers to what oil dispersing chemicals to use. Local officials in the Gulf region have complained that often they don’t know who’s in charge — the government or BP.

What Took So Long To Implement Preventative Measures?

OBAMA: “We have approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore.”

THE FACTS: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and local officials pleaded for weeks with the Army Corps of Engineers and the spill response command for permission to build about 40 miles of sand berms along the barrier islands.

State officials applied for an emergency permit to build the berms May 11, but as days went by Jindal became increasingly angry at federal inaction. The White House finally agreed to a portion of the berm plan on June 2. BP then agreed to pay for the project.

The corps was worried that in some cases such a move would alter tides and drive oil into new areas and produce more harm than good.

Will Deepwater Drilling Continue?

OBAMA: “Already, I have issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue.”

OIL SPILL CLEAN UP EFFORT - NOTE PROXIMITY OF RELEIF WELLS - CLICK TO ENLARGE

THE FACTS: Obama issued a six-month moratorium on new permits for deepwater drilling but production continues from existing deepwater wells.

CHECKING THE FACT CHECKERS:  BP will not pay for all of the costs  associated with Obama’s moratorium, costs estimated at $300 billion dollars by the industry. $300 billion dollars. BP is working to make a $5 billion dollar down payment on a $20 billion dollar claim fund while Obama is making “executive decisions that will cost America $300 billion dollars. During the negotiations BP agreed to contribute $100 million dollars towards the costs associated with the moratorium.  Industry experts have stated that the cost to rig workers in “lost wages” alone will total $330 million doallrs a month for the duration of the moratorium. currently scheduled to last 6 months.

http://cbs4.com/politics/obama.gulf.oil.2.1754464.html

The Wall Street Journal is Reporting: 

“Ms. Gorelick (BP ‘s Attorney) told White House negotiators their legal position mandating BP’s assistance to displaced workers was weak. White House officials conceded such workers may not be able to qualify for direct assistance under the $20 billion fund, a White House official in the room said.

A BP negotiator said the White House position was “half-hearted” and its negotiators quickly gave up. “You won’t find many lawyers who will say when the government imposes a moratorium, it’s the company’s obligation to help the workers impacted,” the BP adviser said.

The BP side was so confident that Ms. Gorelick suggested the two sides allow idled workers submit claims to Mr. Feinberg and let a court to decide whether the company was liable. 

Surface View: Relief Wells Proximity to Discoverer Enterprise Oil Recovery Ship

BP’s negotiators agreed to voluntarily add $100 million as “a goodwill gesture,” one adviser said. The two sides didn’t agree how that money would be distributed.

BP used the word “fund” to describe the separate pot of money. The White House called it a foundation. As of Friday afternoon, they still had a long way to go to structure the fund, said a member of the team working on final details.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704638504575319080942638278.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

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