Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago Photography, New Orleans Stories and Everywhere Politics…

What is BP hiding now, and why is the Coast Guard and NOAA helping?

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Move along...nothing to see here...

Oil sheen…

Lots of oil sheen and lots of testing of oil from those sheens…

And weeks later, the people of the Gulf Coast are no closer to determining just what the hell is happening down at the Macondo Well site, if anything…

And British Petroleum, the Coast Guard and the NOAA seem to be in no real hurry to find out either, and that’s a problem, a big problem. Just what in the past seventeen months do these three entities feel they have accomplished, feel they have done so well that the American public should extend them any sort of automatic credibility, especially if that credibility is to rely on their word alone?

I can’t think of anything.

The oil began to reappear in the middle of last August, and since then the public has been treated to denial after denial…from British Petroleum and the Coast Guard who originally said there was no oil to be found, until Bonny Schumaker, a pilot with Wings of Care, flew over and took film of the oil. Then the Coast Guard and BP said okay, there may be oil but it isn’t oil from the Macondo well, it’s from natural seeps, from a different reservoir. Then reporters from the Press Register took a boat out there, took some samples and had it tested…and found the oil is from the Macondo.

And the response now?

In a Sept. 15 email, NOAA’s Sherman suggested that samples collected by the newspaper might not actually be from BP’s well, which is designated MC252 and called the Macondo well, “Yes, the oil that you took was confirmed as MC252, but it does not necessarily mean it is in any way related to the (Deepwater Horizon) spill. Most of the oil throughout the region can be preliminarily identified as MC252 type,” the email read. Sherman went on to say that NOAA’s Scientific Support Coordinator had consulted with the LSU chemists and determined that the oil might not be from the BP well.

Overton said federal officials were wrong. He said he rechecked the newspaper’s oil samples using the more refined analysis recommended by BP’s scientists and federal officials, “They were suggesting I had jumped the gun when I said it matched (BP’s well),” Overton said last week. “They are incorrect. I have double-checked, and I am even more convinced after using the suggestions that BP made that this was the Macondo oil. I think it is 99.9 percent confirmed that it came from that reservoir, “It is a dead-ringer match . I was amazed that the ratios matched as good as they did.”

Overton said BP also provided him with samples from nearby oil sources, none of which matched the oil collected by the newspaper.

Oops.

British Petroleum said at the end of last week they have done inspections with an ROV and failed to find any leaks around the main or relief well and they are now suggesting it is simply residual oil being released from equipment on the sea floor. They say they are continuing to work with the Coast Guard and the NOAA to identify the exact flow rate, I mean, to identify new sheens and where they might be coming from.

And that’s the point. That’s no longer good enough. It’s widely accepted BP was bullshitting everybody last year with their flow rate estimates back when the Macondo well was still spewing oil and the Coast Guard? Well, who knows what the hell the Coast Guard was doing at the time.

Again…their word? Don’t waste my time, especially when they have a little something called a hydrocarbon sniffer:

“There are instruments that can be deployed to detect the hydrocarbons,” said Robert Bea, a petroleum engineer at the University of California and a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group, which includes more than 50 top scientists. “The oil companies use subsea-towed ’sniffers’ for this purpose.”

BP officials declined to answer whether the company would use a hydrocarbon sniffer, which can trace oil in the water column from the surface to the seafloor.

“This is crazy. I don’t understand why they are not doing that,” said Overton, who with his colleagues recently earned NOAA’s “Superior Accomplishment Award” for oil analysis done for the government during the oil spill.

Yes, crazy…

It is crazy that it’s been well over a month since the sheens started to appear, that petroleum engineers, the experts, are telling BP, the Coast Guard and the NOAA what needs to be done here, yet nobody is doing it while at the same time, British Petroleum has begun the process to begin drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico…or maybe it isn’t crazy at all, maybe this is the reason the sniffers aren’t being deployed. Maybe British Petroleum doesn’t want to know what’s going on down there and would rather just assume everything is fine, you know, kind of like when they decided to not bother running tests and just assume the original cementing job at the Deepwater Horizon was good, or when they just assumed they didn’t need the extra centralizers down in the well either…

Hell, they thought it’d be just fine then too and gosh, it sure was cheaper.

Enough already.

Read the articles:

LSU confirms oil from BP well; feds collect samples

Time to take oil sheen seriously (editorial)

Have a nice day.

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