BP Under Pressure to Tighten Spill Cap

How is one to bridge the gap between BP’s latest oil collection stats and visual reality?

The oil and gas giant claims to be sucking crude straight off its stricken mile-deep wellhead and pouring it into the drillship Enterprise at a rate of 11,000 barrels per day, thanks to a cap and tube installed on Friday. And, yet, video feeds from ROVs present a plume of oil and gas that looks as angry as ever, gushing plenty more black goop destined for dispersal into the Gulf of Mexico’s already beleaguered  ecosystems.

“Clearly alot of people are looking at it and trying to understand what does this mean,” acknowledged BP senior vp/exploration Kent Wells of the top-rated video images during in a media briefing this afternoon. Continue reading “BP Under Pressure to Tighten Spill Cap”

BP Installs Crude Containment Scheme #4

BP is capturing oil at a rate of 1,000 barrels-per-day via its latest containment scheme — a cap and new riser installed on its gushing Gulf spill last night — according to Federal response coordinator and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. But video feeds confirm that far more crude is still spilling into the sea from under the cap — at least 11,000 barrels per day if one subtracts 1,000 bpd from the minimum flow estimate of the Deepwater Horizon spill released by a federal task force last week.

BP Americas chief operating officer Doug Suttles told a media briefing this morning that the cap (BP containment scheme #4 by Carbon-Nation’s count) could ultimately capture over 90% of the leak. Suttles and his company have proved unreasonably optimistic before, and could be once again. Continue reading “BP Installs Crude Containment Scheme #4”

BP’s Name is Mud (which today counts as good news)

BP Americas chief operating officer Doug Suttles says the ‘top kill’ operation initiated this morning to stanch the Gulf oil spill is “performing as expected” and could be completed within 24 hours. But U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, who spoke with Suttles at an early-evening media briefing, took a more reserved tone. “I do not want to express optimism until I know for sure that we’ve secured the well and that the leak has stopped,” says Landry.

By 5pm Houston time on Wednesday BP had already pumped over 7,000 barrels of heavy drilling mud into the damaged blowout preventer on the wellhead created by the Deepwater Horizon rig whose destruction last month unleashed the spill. Much of that mud appears to be flowing up into the Gulf. Continue reading “BP’s Name is Mud (which today counts as good news)”

Facing Our Flow with BP’s Live Spill-Cam

Click image, then hit play (persistently) for live stream

For a look in the mirror that could inspire a car-free weekend, BP has made available a livestream feed of its uncontrolled oil spill over 5000-feet below the Gulf of Mexico’s increasingly oily surface. [You’ll need to hit play several times to get a peek at this very popular feed.] Government agencies and industry engineers have been viewing this feed for two weeks. BP made it accessible today to gasoline consumers and shareholders of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem at the urging of Ed Markey, chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and an advocate of fossil fuel-free energy and transportation. Continue reading “Facing Our Flow with BP’s Live Spill-Cam”