Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device

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Earl Evleth

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Apr 29, 2010, 8:35:46 AM4/29/10
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The same old story. Criminal neglect

****

Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device

The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a
remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations
as last-resort protection against underwater spills.

The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns
over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and
sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, hired by oil giant BP PLC, last week.

BP's Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said Thursday on NBC's "Today"
that as much as 5,000 barrels of oil a day may be leaking into the Gulf, up
from original estimates of 1,000 barrels a day, matching calculations issued
late Wednesday from federal investigators. Mr. Suttles said BP and
government scientists have to estimate the flow based on what reaches the
surface because there is no way to measure the oil pouring out on the
seabed. The company also said it welcomes an offer of U.S. military help to
get the spill under control.

The accident has led to one of the largest ever oil spills in U.S. water and
the loss of 11 lives.


U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore
rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon didn't have one. With a remote control, a
crew can attempt to trigger an underwater valve that shuts down the well
even if the oil rig itself is damaged or evacuated.

The efficacy of the devices is unclear. Major offshore oil-well blowouts are
rare, and it remained unclear Wednesday evening whether acoustic switches
have ever been put to the test in a real-world accident. When wells do surge
out of control, the primary shut-off systems almost always work. Remote
control systems such as the acoustic switch, which have been tested in
simulations, are intended as a last resort.

A worker looks over an oil boom as it collects oil from the leaking
Deepwater Horizon pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster has been
sending 1,000 barrels of oil a day gushing into the sea.

Nevertheless, regulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and
Brazil, in effect require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost
every offshore rig since 1993.

The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several
years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness,
according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the
Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the
remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off
a well.

The U.K., where BP is headquartered, doesn't require the use of acoustic
triggers.

On all offshore oil rigs, there is one main switch for cutting off the flow
of oil by closing a valve located on the ocean floor. Many rigs also have
automatic systems, such as a "dead man" switch as a backup that is supposed
to close the valve if it senses a catastrophic failure aboard the rig.

As a third line of defense, some rigs have the acoustic trigger: It's a
football-sized remote control that uses sound waves to communicate with the
valve on the seabed floor and close it.

An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The
Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says
it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. On Wednesday, crews
set fire to part of the oil spill in an attempt to limit environmental
damage.

Some major oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell PLC and France's Total
SA, sometimes use the device even where regulators don't call for it.

A welder in Port Fourchon, La., worked Monday on part of a dome that might
be used to contain oil spilling from a well in the Gulf.

Transocean Ltd., which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon and the
shut-off valve, declined to comment on why a remote-control device wasn't
installed on the rig or to speculate on whether such a device might have
stopped the spill. A BP spokesman said the company wouldn't speculate on
whether a remote control would have made a difference.

Much still isn't known about what caused the problems in Deepwater Horizon's
well, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. It went out
of control, sending oil surging through pipes to the surface and causing a
fire that ultimately sank the rig.

Unmanned submarines that arrived hours after the explosion have been unable
to activate the shut-off valve on the seabed, called a blowout preventer.

BP says the Deepwater Horizon did have a "dead man" switch, which should
have automatically closed the valve on the seabed in the event of a loss of
power or communication from the rig. BP said it can't explain why it didn't
shut off the well.


Transocean drillers aboard the rig at the time of the explosion, who should
have been in a position to hit the main cutoff switch, are among the dead.
It isn't known if they were able to reach the button, which would have been
located in the area where the fire is likely to have started. Another
possibility is that one of them did push the button, but it didn't work.

Tony Hayward, BP's CEO, said finding out why the blowout preventer didn't
shut down the well is the key question in the investigation. "This is the
failsafe mechanism that clearly has failed," Mr. Hayward said in an
interview.

Lars Herbst, regional director of the Minerals Management Service in the
Gulf of Mexico, said investigators are focusing on why the blowout preventer
failed.

Industry consultants and petroleum engineers said that an acoustic
remote-control may have been able to stop the well, but too much is still
unknown about the accident to say that with certainty.

Rigs in Norway and Brazil are equipped with the remote-control devices,
which can trigger the blowout preventers from a lifeboat in the event the
electric cables connecting the valves to the drilling rig are damaged.

While U.S. regulators have called the acoustic switches unreliable and
prone, in the past, to cause unnecessary shut-downs, Inger Anda, a
spokeswoman for Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority, said the switches have
a good track record in the North Sea. "It's been seen as the most successful
and effective option," she said.

The manufacturers of the equipment, including Kongsberg Maritime AS,
Sonardyne Ltd. and Nautronix PLC, say their equipment has improved
significantly over the past decade.


The Brazilian government began urging the use of the remote-control
equipment in 2007, after an extensive overhaul of its safety rules following
a fire aboard an oil platform killed 11 people, said Raphael Moura, head of
safety division at Brazil's National Petroleum Agency. "Our concern is both
safety and the environment," he said.

Industry critics cite the lack of the remote control as a sign U.S. drilling
policy has been too lax. "What we see, going back two decades, is an oil
industry that has had way too much sway with federal regulations," said Dan
McLaughlin, a spokesman for Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. "We are
seeing our worst nightmare coming true."

U.S. regulators have considered mandating the use of remote-control acoustic
switches or other back-up equipment at least since 2000. After a drilling
ship accidentally released oil, the Minerals Management Service issued a
safety notice that said a back-up system is "an essential component of a
deepwater drilling system."

The industry argued against the acoustic systems. A 2001 report from the
International Association of Drilling Contractors said "significant doubts
remain in regard to the ability of this type of system to provide a reliable
emergency back-up control system during an actual well flowing incident."

By 2003, U.S. regulators decided remote-controlled safeguards needed more
study. A report commissioned by the Minerals Management Service said
"acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."

A spokesman for the agency, Nicholas Pardi, said the decision not to require
the device came, in part, after the agency took a survey that found most
rigs already had back-up systems of some kind. Those systems include the
unmanned submarines BP has been using to try to close the seabed valve.
�Jeff Fick and the Associated Press contributed to this article

mg

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Apr 29, 2010, 10:45:41 PM4/29/10
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I am basically in favor of nuclear power, for example, but on the
other hand, I do have to wonder if this is the same type of arguments
we would be hearing if we fired up a lot of nuclear power plants and
then had a nuclear accident.

I can just imagine it now, while millions of people are being
radiated, the manager of the plant would be saying he didn't know why
the safety systems didn't work, but they had all of the required
safety systems in place. Other people would be asking why they didn't
have additional safety measure like they have in Europe, for instance.
In the meantime, people would be vomiting their guts out and losing
their hair and getting ready to die and the survivors would probably
soon discover that congress had previously passed a law limiting
lawsuits.

Earl Evleth

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Apr 30, 2010, 4:02:29 AM4/30/10
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On 30/04/10 4:45, in article
4e03f164-dd82-4f70...@z13g2000prh.googlegroups.com, "mg"
<mgke...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I am basically in favor of nuclear power, for example, but on the
> other hand, I do have to wonder if this is the same type of arguments
> we would be hearing if we fired up a lot of nuclear power plants and
> then had a nuclear accident.

One problem is that as time goes along, and no accidents
occur, security can slacken and security people get sloppy.
After thousands dull nights in the reactor control room
without something happening, the engineers will just snooze.

The history of the Chernobyl accident shows that the control
features the reactor were poor, if the reactor gets into
a runaway stage, the core heats up too much to reinsert the
control rods. That reactor had been shut down and they were
restarting it, and the operators (it was the middle of the night)
failed to take into account the neutron buffer action of the
built up xenon. They pulled the control rods and suddenly
the xenon was exhausted and the neutron levels shot up
�nd the reactor ran away. The latter can happen in something
like 20 seconds, and when they attempted to put the rods
back the reactor had distorted from the heat too much.
This factor plus the use of graphite and no containment dome
added to the disaster.

Soviet type reactors of the same type are still in service
but most of the world does not use them. Three Mile
Island had another cause, a reactor cooling problem
as I remember but I remember human error as playing
a huge role.

I note there are reactor designs which prevent runaway
reactors from having a problem. Ceramic coated uranium
pebble reactors can't melt down. Yet, old reactor
design are still used because their construction
is a sure thing. So solutions exists, just as in the
oil well disaster but remain at the side.

Whatever, there is always an element which pooh-poohs
any dangers.


El Castor

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Apr 30, 2010, 12:10:52 PM4/30/10
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On Thu, 29 Apr 2010 14:35:46 +0200, Earl Evleth <evl...@wanadoo.fr>
wrote:

>The same old story. Criminal neglect
>
>****
>

That's the Brits for you -- criminal neglect. Wouldn't have happened
if it was an American company. But not to worry, they will be sued
into bankruptcy -- as it should be.

Message has been deleted

Earl Evleth

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Apr 30, 2010, 1:58:49 PM4/30/10
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On 30/04/10 18:10, in article d40mt5t7e2iak1qs2...@4ax.com,
"El Castor" <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:

>>
> That's the Brits for you -- criminal neglect. Wouldn't have happened
> if it was an American company.


Yeah sure. The safeguard devices are not normally used in US off shore,
too expensive. Norway insists and they have had not accidents.


El Castor

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Apr 30, 2010, 5:02:34 PM4/30/10
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 13:12:37 -0400, Emily <em...@nospam.com> wrote:

>It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Perhaps the company
>will be sued into bankruptcy, and a lot of people will lose their
>jobs, but will the executives walk away with millions?

Strip them naked, parade them through the streets, then burn them at
the stake? That what you had in mind? BTW -- the well was equipped
with a blowout prevention valve which did not work. At this point it's
not clear why. Who cares? Just burn 'em at the stake.

El Castor

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Apr 30, 2010, 5:19:51 PM4/30/10
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:58:49 +0200, Earl Evleth <evl...@wanadoo.fr>
wrote:

>On 30/04/10 18:10, in article d40mt5t7e2iak1qs2...@4ax.com,

The well was equipped with a blowout preventer manufactured by Cameron
International. It did not work. Cameron products are also used in the
North Sea.

Glenn

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Apr 30, 2010, 5:46:47 PM4/30/10
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"El Castor" <No_...@Here.Com> wrote in message
news:a4imt5pjl40bkoneh...@4ax.com...


I hope you aren't saying that these devices are just installed and
forgotten about. Is there an inspection and test schedule? What's
the probability of failure if the tests don't show a problem? Are
the tests often neglected or are the workers intelligent and
conscience? I don't expect answers from you, but we better see the
answers from BP as failure is usually the fault of sloppy
maintenance and overworked or lazy workers.

--

Glenn


Rita

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Apr 30, 2010, 6:08:42 PM4/30/10
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I thought you had some sensitivity for animal, bird and marine life.
I've read a long list of species, from whales and porpoises to sea
birds and much more that may well be victims of this massive oil
discharge.

Are environmentalists crazy to worry about this? Or are they
just collateral damage when big oil fails in its safety measures
for drilling?

Bio Ear

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Apr 30, 2010, 6:11:52 PM4/30/10
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Obama dithered while wildlife died....

Evelyn

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Apr 30, 2010, 7:58:44 PM4/30/10
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"Rita" <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ovkmt512lsvng818c...@4ax.com...


Not only the tremendous cost to wildlife, but to the fishing industry, the
fish we all eat that is caught in the gulf, the recreational businesses all
in the whole gulf area. The damage will be unfathomable. But all El
Castor can think of is to make it into a sarcastic political talking point
that we are angry at the oil company for its mistakes? He is a sorry
excuse.

--
Best Regards,
Evelyn

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive."
-- His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

Rita

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Apr 30, 2010, 8:36:49 PM4/30/10
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:58:44 -0400, "Evelyn" <evely...@gmail.com>
wrote:

I sincerely hope the worst case scenario does not happen and destroy
or cripple the wildlife and oceanic based industries in this area.
Having endured Katrina these folks have been hit with a whammy
once more -- this one man made.

Will this stop the people who say drill, baby drill? I think not.

Evelyn

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Apr 30, 2010, 11:17:19 PM4/30/10
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"Rita" <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:uktmt5hevl9cbv4ca...@4ax.com...


Bill Maher said they ought to all be down there mopping up the mess with
their "drill baby drill" tee shirts.

Rumpelstiltskin

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May 1, 2010, 12:43:22 AM5/1/10
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:08:42 -0700, Rita <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote:
>On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 14:02:34 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
<snip>


>>Strip them naked, parade them through the streets, then burn them at
>>the stake? That what you had in mind? BTW -- the well was equipped
>>with a blowout prevention valve which did not work. At this point it's
>>not clear why. Who cares? Just burn 'em at the stake.
>
>I thought you had some sensitivity for animal, bird and marine life.
>I've read a long list of species, from whales and porpoises to sea
>birds and much more that may well be victims of this massive oil
>discharge.
>
>Are environmentalists crazy to worry about this? Or are they
>just collateral damage when big oil fails in its safety measures
>for drilling?


Personally, I'm suffering from fatigue. There's no sense getting
too worked up over something until governments plainly act like
they give a damn about stopping the insults from powerful
business interests upon the human race, or life upon on earth in
general. So far they don't act like they really give a damn.
Sometimes they make a lot of noise for a while, but little comes
of it. Exxon still hasn't paid the judgment against it for Prince
William Sound, even though the damage to the Sound is far
greater than the judgment. The Sound to this day has not
recovered.

If there's a big demonstration against British Petroleum for
the current disaster, I'll go to it. Demonstrations sometimes
have some influence if they're big enough. The demonstrations
against the Vietnam War did eventually make a difference,
though it took years. The demonstrations against the Second
Iraq War, before and after the war started, on the other hand
seemed to have no impact on government at all. Those
weren't as big as the ones against the Vietnam War though
That was, I would say, because in the Vietnam War it was
people we knew who had been drafted, and ourselves who
were also under threat of being drafted, whereas in the Gulf
Wars it was mostly people we didn't know, with whom we
had little connection, who were fighting.

I'll just have to be thankful we've kept these offshore oil
derricks mostly out of California waters. That's easier to do
than keeping them out of the whole nation, much less the
world. Now we can possibly sing a Requiem for Gulf
seafood in our lifetimes. Personally, I eat almost no
seafood other than battered fish anyway. If the spill gets
to Florida, I wonder if that will bring down the final curtain
on the manatee.

There are too many humans on this planet. It's
unsustainable. We're by far the most numerous (and the
greatest total mass) large animal ever.

I'm doing my part in not procreating! Maybe those
Southern Baptist types would be wiser to try to find a
cure for heterosexuality! :-)


brian

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May 1, 2010, 2:07:41 AM5/1/10
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Any thought that this was sabotage to stop the expansion of more off
shore drilling?

brian

El Castor

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May 1, 2010, 2:24:20 AM5/1/10
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Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.

El Castor

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May 1, 2010, 3:49:32 AM5/1/10
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:46:47 -0500, "Glenn" <min...@gmail.com> wrote:

I know nothing about the oil business, but from what little I've read,
it seems like there are at least two possible sources for the
explosion -- a diesel tank on the platform, and some sort of eruption
that originated in the well, under the sea bed -- something that
combined oil and natural gas under enormous pressure. A diesel tank
doesn't seem likely to explode, so maybe that leaves the enormous
pressure thing? Maybe the blowout preventer was in good shape, but got
blown apart or damaged? Haliburton is being sued, along with BP and
Cameron. Haliburton's part involved a process that pumped concrete
into the seabed around the well. I think there is speculation that
something went wrong with the Haliburton end of the deal. The concrete
job was finished about 20 hours before the explosion which seems
suspicious. Human error? Equipment failure? Some unusual condition?
Something else? Democrats want to pin this on someone -- big oil,
Haliburton, or both. Let the witch hunt begin.

El Castor

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May 1, 2010, 3:57:50 AM5/1/10
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Well, it's sure going to have that effect, but I doubt it was
sabotage. BP, and others, are going to be looking very closely at what
happened. I think it would be tough to fool them.

Earl Evleth

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May 1, 2010, 6:10:14 AM5/1/10
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On 1/05/10 9:57, in article cinnt5ljlgcf6tg21...@4ax.com, "El
Castor" <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:

> Well, it's sure going to have that effect, but I doubt it was
> sabotage. BP, and others, are going to be looking very closely at what
> happened. I think it would be tough to fool them.


Certainly not sabotage. A classic screwup based on normal
factors. The old law is that faced with something being
either a conspiracy or incompetency at work, choose the latter.

The only problem in this case is that the
petroleum engineers did not have the best "fail-proof" technology.
Nothing is "fail-proof" so the term is deceptive.

I think most of us expected that modern off-shore installations
are super safe.

The article on the "Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device"
was from the Wall Street Journal, which in spite of its
right wing editorial page has honest reporting and does
not take the sides of big money and the corporations.

That article says clearly that enough of the petroleum
engineering profession pooh-pooh the advice but some
of them are speaking for their companies. The UK
does not insist, Norway does.

Basically you want never to be in a situation of
saying "I'm sorry".

Evelyn

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May 1, 2010, 6:34:50 AM5/1/10
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"brian" <bfun...@cox.net> wrote in message
news:ul6nt5h4c6pnltd5e...@4ax.com...


I can't imagine that it was. After all, an oil spill would deface the
gulf coast far more than any drill rigs would.

Evelyn

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May 1, 2010, 8:05:04 AM5/1/10
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"Rumpelstiltskin" <nob...@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:1bcnt5pap3j98qs09...@4ax.com...

A good post. Perhaps what would be best would be to stop glorifying the
benefits of procreation. But I think it is in our DNA to want to nurture
our own children. China has this one child law, and it seems rather
draconian to us. Some religions actually think it is pleasing to their
god to make as many children as they possibly can.

Message has been deleted

Rumpelstiltskin

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May 1, 2010, 9:05:55 AM5/1/10
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On Sat, 1 May 2010 08:05:04 -0400, "Evelyn" <evely...@gmail.com>
>"Rumpelstiltskin" <nob...@nowhere.net> wrote in message
<snip>


>> I'm doing my part in not procreating! Maybe those
>> Southern Baptist types would be wiser to try to find a
>> cure for heterosexuality! :-)
>
>
>
>A good post. Perhaps what would be best would be to stop glorifying the
>benefits of procreation. But I think it is in our DNA to want to nurture
>our own children. China has this one child law, and it seems rather
>draconian to us. Some religions actually think it is pleasing to their
>god to make as many children as they possibly can.


Desiring children is not in the DNA of most gay people, so
if heterosexuality can be cured, there is hope we can get
the population down.

(unrelated to the above)

Bill Moyers did an interview, his last, with a guy who said
in the piece that if one can look at Auschwitz and at the
same time keep the Bach Cello Suites in mind, then one
has achieved some balance in looking at the human
species. At the end of the program, in a very nice touch
that one would only be likely to find on PBS, the program
concluded with a few seconds (without attribution) from
one of the Bach Cello Suites.


Rita

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May 1, 2010, 10:28:39 AM5/1/10
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:24:20 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:


>
>Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
>men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
>the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
>about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
>measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
>them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
>like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.

Why am I not surprised your first reaction is to downplay the
potential damage from oil spills of this magnitude. And to accuse
those of those who are rightfully concerned about possible
environmental damage of playing politics.

ABC News has a story today :

BP, the company that owned the Louisiana oil rig that exploded last
week, spent years battling federal regulators over how many layers of
safeguards would be needed to prevent a deepwater well from this type
of accident.

One area of immediate concern, industry experts said, was the lack of
a remote system that would have allowed workers to clamp shut
Deepwater Horizon's wellhead so it would not continue to gush oil. The
rig is now spilling 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of
Mexico.

In a letter sent last year to the Department of the Interior, BP
objected to what it called "extensive, prescriptive regulations"
proposed in new rules to toughen safety standards. "We believe
industry's current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate
that the voluntary programs&continue to be very successful."

Evelyn

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May 1, 2010, 10:48:21 AM5/1/10
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"Rita" <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:l6eot51a2d8n37jh4...@4ax.com...

Hi Rita,

There you go! I am sure he will have some cockamamy rebuttal for this.
Or he will ignore it altogether.

El Castor

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May 1, 2010, 1:04:09 PM5/1/10
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On Sat, 01 May 2010 07:28:39 -0700, Rita <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:24:20 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
>>men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
>>the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
>>about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
>>measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
>>them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
>>like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.
>
>Why am I not surprised your first reaction is to downplay the
>potential damage from oil spills of this magnitude. And to accuse
>those of those who are rightfully concerned about possible
>environmental damage of playing politics.

I'm not downplaying anything. I did compare it to a volcano erupting,
didn't I? The damage could be horrendous, but it is what it is. We
have to deal with it, find out what happened and why, and do our best
to make sure it never happens again. But ... it's your side of the
aisle that will milk this thing for all it's worth. Surely you realize
that many members of the Left view this only secondarily as a
disaster, but first and foremost as an opportunity.

High Miles

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May 1, 2010, 1:03:55 PM5/1/10
to
Perhaps we need to get over the thought that every human life is so
precious.
Not every one pound infant needs to suck up a million dollars to be
preserved.
Not every drooling, mindless idiot should be warehoused indefinitely.
We're just another biological component, and one that harms it's home more
than any previous inhabitants.

El Castor

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May 1, 2010, 1:11:11 PM5/1/10
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On Sat, 01 May 2010 12:10:14 +0200, Earl Evleth <evl...@wanadoo.fr>
wrote:

>On 1/05/10 9:57, in article cinnt5ljlgcf6tg21...@4ax.com, "El

We know it had a blowout preventer, so to say it lacked "a safety
device" is at best misleading. I guess the question is, exactly what
device did it lack? Is it a device that has yet to be invented? If it
hasn't been invented, perhaps it needs to be? If it does exist, then
was BP negligent in not employing it? We will eventually find out.

Rita

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May 1, 2010, 1:23:47 PM5/1/10
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On Sat, 01 May 2010 10:04:09 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:

>On Sat, 01 May 2010 07:28:39 -0700, Rita <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:24:20 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>
>>>Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
>>>men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
>>>the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
>>>about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
>>>measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
>>>them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
>>>like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.
>>
>>Why am I not surprised your first reaction is to downplay the
>>potential damage from oil spills of this magnitude. And to accuse
>>those of those who are rightfully concerned about possible
>>environmental damage of playing politics.
>
>I'm not downplaying anything. I did compare it to a volcano erupting,
>didn't I? The damage could be horrendous, but it is what it is. We
>have to deal with it, find out what happened and why, and do our best
>to make sure it never happens again. But ... it's your side of the
>aisle that will milk this thing for all it's worth. Surely you realize
>that many members of the Left view this only secondarily as a
>disaster, but first and foremost as an opportunity.
>

It is a case study in why drilling off our coasts is not without great
risk.

And don't do your "surely you realize" junior high school debating
style with me.

It is a dilemma indeed for the drill, baby, drill contingent.

And you are chagrined and so attack the people who said
all along it might not be a great idea.

mg

unread,
May 1, 2010, 1:41:15 PM5/1/10
to
On May 1, 8:28 am, Rita <rtkn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:24:20 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
>
> >Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
> >men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
> >the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
> >about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
> >measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
> >them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
> >like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.
>
> Why am I not surprised your first reaction is to downplay the
> potential damage from oil spills of this magnitude.  And to accuse
> those of those who are rightfully concerned about possible
> environmental damage of playing politics.

The Republican mindset is really very simple. If a company drills in
your neighborhood and makes a lot of money, that's free enterprise. If
the company has a spill and destroys your property and your house,
that's an act of God, or it's like a volcano erupting. It's the same
old Republican story over and over again: private profits and
socialized risks.

Rita

unread,
May 1, 2010, 1:57:08 PM5/1/10
to
On Sat, 1 May 2010 10:41:15 -0700 (PDT), mg <mgke...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>On May 1, 8:28�am, Rita <rtkn...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:24:20 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
>>
>> >Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
>> >men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
>> >the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
>> >about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
>> >measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
>> >them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
>> >like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.
>>
>> Why am I not surprised your first reaction is to downplay the
>> potential damage from oil spills of this magnitude. �And to accuse
>> those of those who are rightfully concerned about possible
>> environmental damage of playing politics.
>
>The Republican mindset is really very simple. If a company drills in
>your neighborhood and makes a lot of money, that's free enterprise. If
>the company has a spill and destroys your property and your house,
>that's an act of God, or it's like a volcano erupting. It's the same
>old Republican story over and over again: private profits and
>socialized risks.

Comparing a natural disaster like a volcano erupting to a man
made disaster drilling for oil a mile beneath the ocean's surface
and being unable or unwilling to intall enough devices to cut off
that flow immediately if an accident occurs is not at all an
analogy any thinking person would come up with.

Only people deeply embarrassed by suddenly realizing that
the dangers environmentalists have worried about are becoming
real would make such a lame comparison.

And I frankly doubt that if the flow of oil is not stopped BP
does not have the financial resources to pay all the damages
it will incur.

I read today it is getting the bill for sending the Louisiana
National Guard to help out. That is just for starters.

Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Islander

unread,
May 1, 2010, 2:31:40 PM5/1/10
to
Equating this disaster to a volcano erupting is dishonest. The oil
spill may have been accidental (I'm not convinced that it was), but it
*is* a consequence of human activity. It was certainly *not* a natural
event for which we have no ability to prevent.

Earl Evleth

unread,
May 1, 2010, 4:08:52 PM5/1/10
to
On 1/05/10 19:11, in article spnot550a1t3ai2pb...@4ax.com, "El
Castor" <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:

>
> We know it had a blowout preventer, so to say it lacked "a safety
> device" is at best misleading.

The WSJ quoted BP CEO as saying "the fail-safe device failed".

Now that is a quotable.

I guess the question is, exactly what device did it lack? Is it a device
that has yet to be invented?

I don't know perhaps somebody will go over modern off shore units.
I worked on secondary recovery for Shell Oil in the 1950s but
know nothing really about petroleum engineering.

I really thought, however, that this kind of blow out was impossible.

> If it hasn't been invented, perhaps it needs to be? If it does exist, then
> was BP negligent in not employing it? We will eventually find out.

We know they were not using the safeguard device others used.
The excuses was that it was not dependable. The problem in this
area is one is going to get the opinion of engineers who are
"hired guns" for various companies, they are their also to
save money. In turns these people inform the government
agencies dealing with this kind of problem. I suspect the
best engineers do not work for the government but for
the companies. So they may appear to be more technically
competent than the government engineers. So if you are
a government decider you can be influenced by industry
experts.

I have been following the approval a certain drug which
has gone through phase 2 and perhaps some phase 3
studies. The company got favorable enough results
to ask for a "fast track" approval of the drug since
the disease has no currently recognize treatment.
In fact the drug only provides minor relief. The
FDA has specially reviewing committees composed
of outsiders to judge this, experts in the field.
The vote was a majority for early approval, but
not 100% of the committee. It may that the
drug fails to provide good relief and ends up
costing a lot.

No system is fail-safe. Some committee decided
that the safeguard device provided no real
safeguard. Maybe they are right.

Whatever we expected something better than this.

El Castor

unread,
May 1, 2010, 8:04:06 PM5/1/10
to

Rita, believe it or not, we have been drilling offshore for more than
100 years. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there has ever
been anything in US waters to match the potential of this disaster. If
it is indeed a once in 100 year event, then we need to learn from our
mistakes and move on -- or we can just shut down all offshore drilling
operations, making me more grateful than ever that I had the wisdom to
buy a Prius.

El Castor

unread,
May 1, 2010, 8:12:06 PM5/1/10
to
On Sat, 01 May 2010 22:08:52 +0200, Earl Evleth <evl...@wanadoo.fr>
wrote:

>On 1/05/10 19:11, in article spnot550a1t3ai2pb...@4ax.com, "El


>Castor" <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
>
>>
>> We know it had a blowout preventer, so to say it lacked "a safety
>> device" is at best misleading.
>
>The WSJ quoted BP CEO as saying "the fail-safe device failed".

That safety device would be the blowout preventer, and it obviously
failed. However there is a difference between having a blowout
preventer that failed, and not having one at all. The subject of this
thread reads, "Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device" -- a
statement that appears to be wrong, but if true would have had the
Left dancing in the street. I can just picture you dancing down the
Champs Elysee. Sounds like the makings of a hit musical. (-8

Rumpelstiltskin

unread,
May 2, 2010, 4:19:18 AM5/2/10
to
On Sat, 01 May 2010 08:51:28 -0400, Emily <em...@nospam.com> wrote:
>On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 21:43:22 -0700, Rumpelstiltskin
<snip>


>> I'll just have to be thankful we've kept these offshore oil
>>derricks mostly out of California waters. That's easier to do
>>than keeping them out of the whole nation, much less the
>>world. Now we can possibly sing a Requiem for Gulf
>>seafood in our lifetimes. Personally, I eat almost no
>>seafood other than battered fish anyway. If the spill gets
>>to Florida, I wonder if that will bring down the final curtain
>>on the manatee.
>

>Isn't the manatee mostly found in inland waters? They'll be a lot
>safer than the seafood in the gulf whose disappearance or massive
>price increase won't affect me personally either.


I'd thought they were just a coastal Florida animal, but
apparently they aren't, according to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manatee
I thought, from the reports of them getting torn up by
recreational boat propellers, that they were exclusively
coastal, but according the above, the Caribbean
variety inhabits both coasts and estuaries. The
Amazonian variety exclusively, and the West African
variety largely, inhabit rivers.


<snip>

Rumpelstiltskin

unread,
May 2, 2010, 4:19:19 AM5/2/10
to
On Sat, 01 May 2010 07:28:39 -0700, Rita <rtk...@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:24:20 -0700, El Castor <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Oh please! Rita, we both know you don't give a damn about the eleven
>>men who died, the birds, the fish, whatever. For you, it's all about
>>the politics. In my memory, and I certainly don't know everything
>>about the oil business, this thing is unprecedented. Were safety
>>measures violated? Did BP go cheap? If so, prosecute the Hell out of
>>them, but until I know more and see the proof, it's a terrible tragedy
>>like an airliner crashing or a volcano erupting.
>
>Why am I not surprised your first reaction is to downplay the
>potential damage from oil spills of this magnitude. And to accuse
>those of those who are rightfully concerned about possible
>environmental damage of playing politics.

El Castor can be very silly.

<snip>


Earl Evleth

unread,
May 2, 2010, 5:08:02 AM5/2/10
to
On 2/05/10 2:12, in article icgpt5958ol9e4jlf...@4ax.com, "El
Castor" <No_...@Here.Com> wrote:

> can just picture you dancing down the
> Champs Elysee.

In the past yes. Right now and for the future I am largely
immobilized. I walk slowly because to walk quickly creates
an blood oxygen problem.

I take no joy in this event. The livelihood of a number
of people is affected, the ecological disaster enormous.

I am first of all a tree hugger. I have indeed gone up
to California redwoods and hugged them. French TV
shows films of the wildlife in the possibly affected
areas. The fishing industry will not be compensated
to the real extent of their loss, too many holes
in the net. But they wll have some. The wild
life will receive no compensation. Many are
condemned to death.

Earl Evleth

unread,
May 2, 2010, 6:03:35 AM5/2/10
to
On 2/05/10 10:19, in article fpbqt51vb212hrlsj...@4ax.com,
"Rumpelstiltskin" <nob...@nowhere.net> wrote:

He does not accept the words of the environmentally sensitive,
lacks a certain amount of empathy for others except a certain
portion of humanity he identifies with.

Another notable and local BP disaster was their Texas
City Refinery fire which I have looked at in the past.

That caused (March 23, 2005), killing 15 workers and injuring more than 170
injuries.

"The report identified numerous failings in equipment, risk management,
staff management, working culture at the site, maintenance and inspection
and general health and safety assessments."

Like platforms, refineries are intrinsically dangerous places to work.
I worked for a while at Shell's refinery in Long Beach California.
I never felt in danger so I can see sloppy work habits taking hold.
Later I had a job in a lab working with dangerous materials, there
danger and safety rules rigorously followed. Refinery disasters will
occur but if safety regulation are followed they should not have had 15
death and 170 injured.

You need an ex-military man who is a stickler for rules and an SOB to boot
as the head of plant security.


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