Posted by: coastlinesproject | September 28, 2011

LSU Study Shows BP Site is Leaking Again. Cape Cod Concern for Audubon Camp During the next three days of 5.8 foot high tides.

Submitted by David Osbourne:
The much-anticipated test results are in at LSU, and they bear out our initial report: The infamous site that launched last year’s 200-million-gallon oil spill is leaking again.
Chemical confirmation that the oil is from the Macondo wellsite provides vindication for those of us who stayed with the story for more than a month now despite a hard-nosed campaign of denial, intimidation and obfuscation executed by BP and its bedfellows in our federal government. LSU scientist Ed Overton – who made the initial, preliminary tie to the Macondo reservoir – was browbeaten for weeks and accused of rushing to judgment. Even as he is exonerated, Overton’s indignation is unmistakable. And who can blame him? From a Sept. 26 Press-Register report by Ben Raines:
In a Sept. 15 email, NOAA’s [Ben] 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.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this entire situation is that BP, when given the opportunity to do the right thing, has a penchant for getting it wrong, repeatedly without fail. BP and the federal government have worked diligently to avoid the truth for weeks. And all the while, the oil has leaked on. More from the Press-Register report:
Neither the government nor BP has conducted testing that could find the spot on the seafloor where the oil is emanating, according to comments from federal agencies.
Hey, why would they try to locate the source? That could get them into real trouble.
And this from the Press-Register, touching on the federal government’s complicity in what’s turning out to be a significant coverup:
…further chemical analysis has confirmed that the oil originated in BP’s well, and not from other nearby sources, as federal officials have suggested.
And speaking of not getting it right, consider this from the P-R piece:
Federal officials said Friday that they have collected samples of the oil rising to the Gulf’s surface near the wellhead in the weeks since the Press-Register went to the site and sent samples to LSU.
But the samples collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not contain enough oil to determine if the BP well was the source, according to officials.
Certainly leaves you scratching your head how a newspaper (i.e., the Press-Register) can manage to get a good sample yet a government agency staffed with highly trained scientists can’t seem to get it right. At one point, BP and the Coast Guard said they had boats and aircraft scour the area but couldn’t locate the sheen at the site. Odd that everybody else could, don’t you think? From an Aug. 26 Dow Jones report:
U.S. Coast Guard investigators and BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) have inspected the site of last year’s Deepwater Horizon disaster and said they’ve found no evidence that the plugged well is leaking and were unable to locate a surface sheen reported there by a regional newspaper.
So where does all this foot-dragging and incompetence leave us? Hopefully stepped up pressure from independent experts and public outcry will force BP to finally come clean. If BP has indeed confirmed that there’s no leak from the Macondo wellsite – as it says it has – why won’t company officials make the ROV video public?
The “no comment” approach won’t hold for much longer. Eventually, BP will have to come out of the bunker and address the issue head on. From the Press-Register report:
Petroleum engineers say that it is important to determine where the oil is coming from in order to rule out the possibility that it is moving up around the outside of the sealed well pipe.
“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.
“Whether it is coming from the well itself, or coming from the riser pipe, you can’t say unless you go down there and look,” Overton said. “There’s oil coming up. Where is it coming from? Send an ROV with a sniffer down and see if you see anything. As much money as has been spent, go spend a little more instead of denying that there is a problem.”
Marine Forecast Provincetwown to Chatham:

Today…E winds 10 to 15 kt…increasing to 15 to 20 kt this afternoon. Gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. 

Tonight…E winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. Patchy fog. A chance of showers. Vsby 1 to 3 nm. 

Thu…S winds around 15 kt. Gusts up to 20 kt… Increasing to 30 kt in the afternoon. Seas 4 to 6 ft. Patchy fog. Showers likely. Vsby 1 nm or less. 

Thu Night…SW winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. A chance of showers. Vsby 1 to 3 nm. 

Fri…SW winds 10 to 15 kt. Gusts up to 20 kt in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 5 ft. A chance of showers. 

Fri Night…SW winds 10 to 15 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft.

Sat…SW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft. 

Sat Night…NW winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. 

Sun…N winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft. 

Sun Night…NW winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. 

seas are reported as significant wave height…which is the average of the highest third of the waves. individual wave heights may be more than twice the significant wave height.

Detailed Point Forecasts

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Current Local Weather

44018 SE Cape Cod 30NM East of Nantucket
Lat: 41.26°N   Lon: 69.31°W   Elev: 0

Not a Current Observation


Read more in “The Well From Hell; The BP Spill and the Endurance of Big Oil,” available through Strawberry Hill Press. See upper righthand margin of this site. 

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