Friday, August 27, 2010

Enough With The BP Bullshit (A guest post by Alan von Altendorf)

So you think the BP (BP) Gulf of Mexico story is all done and dusted? Think again and read on as industry expert Alan von Altendorf guest-posts on IKN and talks about things that BP would rather you didn't hear. Enjoy.

guest post by Alan von Altendorf


I have followed the Macondo intervention for more than four months. Immediately after the blowout on April 20, BP denied responsibility and blamed Transocean. BP denied there was any oil leaking, then admitted a paltry 1000 bpd, then well okay maybe 5000 bpd, tops.

None of this was true. The well was spewing 50,000 bpd and we watched BP attempt cofferdams, junk shots, top hats and a giant scissors that mangled the riser so badly that it had to be unbolted and removed. Best estimate of the leaked oil to date is 5 million barrels, of which less than 1 million barrels were captured by BP's various Rube Goldberg contraptions and flared into the atmosphere.

All of this may have been understandable and forgiveable. BP was completely unprepared to deal with a blowout in 5000 feet of water. They launched a fleet of Remotely Operated Vehicles from a crowded "city of ships" and started two relief wells under the supervision of famed wild well expert John Wright.

And then? - suddenly the relief wells were halted at few feet from their target. BP capped the well from above with a new 3-ram stack and decided to pump mud and cement down from the top.

That brings us to the situation at present. During the past six weeks, nothing has been advanced. BP claims that the reservoir is plugged with cement and the BOP was displaced to seawater.

Bullshit. They've been pumping mud, antifreeze, methanol, and some kind of purple Drano. The top stack was inoperable at normal pressure. There are three broken drill pipes jammed in the BOP, one of which is 3000 feet long. Zero progress has been made in "fishing" them out.

The seafloor is cracked and spewing take your pick -- a billion amphipod crustaceans that didn't exist last month, or whatever BP is pumping down the well daily -- brown mud, methylene blue leak discloser, green antifreeze, 100% straight white methanol -- or oil and gas.

If it weren't for a Congressional order, we wouldn't have any ROV video feeds at all. But that hasn't stopped BP from blacking out certain shots and swapping feeds to keep us in the dark. Here's a collection of stills that were grabbed during the past couple days. A downhole camera showed us oil and chunks of cement floating up. The surface of the sea has been turned green. There's a big plume of brown mud, like a mile wide liquid donut of dirty bathwater surrounding eerily deep blue Macondo well ops.

Just wait until they detach the BOP from the wellhead. You ain't seen nothin' yet.