Annihilating the Gulf of Mexico? BP’s Proven Propensity towards Lying: The Source of Our Despair in the Gulf
by Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld
July 21, 2010
For the first time in 87 days, little or no oil could be escaping into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Macondo well. The new capping stack was deployed on July 11 from onboard the Transocean Discoverer Inspiration.
With a new containment cap atop the damaged well, many are hopeful.
But all is not well, after all.
National Incident Commander Thad Allen said Friday that the pressure within the cap is not increasing, as was expected.
The idea is that the pressure (in pounds per square inch [PSI]) within the cap should balance out between 8-9,000 PSI, which would show the well has maintained integrity. BP hoped to reach 9,000 PSI, but stated that well integrity would be maintained with 7,500+ PSI. Unfortunately for BP, if the pressure tops out below that level, as it is now at 6,720 PSI, this could be an indication of a sub-sea leak somewhere deeper inside the well casing, meaning the well has failed. One concern associated with this lower pressure is that it may indicate that the well has been breached, and that oil and gas are leaking out at other undetermined points.
Given BP’s proven propensity towards lying, skeptics – who are consistently needed to keep BP’s rhetoric in check – are also pointing toward other factors that could mean oil is continuing to spew into the Gulf near the well.
“With the pressure now virtually level at 6,700 [psi], it’s at the lower end of the ambiguity range, so it seems there is a good chance there is leak-off,” writes the Daily Hurricane. “That makes a lot of sense to me since there [are] 1,200 feet of open hole from the bottom of the 9 /7/8″ liner to TD at about 18,300 feet. That’s not to mention possible casing damage up hole. Think of it like a garden hose with a nozzle on the end. As long as the nozzle is open, the hose looks fine. As soon as you close the nozzle, the hose will leak through any pinholes or around the faucet as pressure builds inside. In his statement late yesterday, Admiral Allen indicated they were probably going to go back to containment, which means they’ll be flowing the well to the various ships they have on station.”
Like virtually every other aspect of BP’s oil catastrophe in the Gulf, we’ll have to wait and see how bad this really is.