here to stay

but BP wants everyone to think the oil has magically disappeared and the effects on marine life are non-existant

Bob Marshall begs to differ – we NEED to question BP, on everything – what could be the worst outcome, BP sends a band of henchmen to south Louisiana to kill everyone? This oil spill happened in the worst place possible, on a region already raw and ready to fight after Katrina, bank on it, we will not go away “quietly”.

I read it online elsewhere – south Louisianians were not able to achieve recompense after Katrina, cause its pretty impossible to sue the government (aka Army Corps of Engineers). But BP is a private company and everyone down here with a measurable loss should lawyer up and sue the pants off BP until they shrivel up and disappear, never to impact the earth in this negilgent manner ever again.

Old or new, oil will be here for a while
Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 5:41 AM
Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune

For a while Tuesday, I felt like I was caught in the old Abbott and Costello routine “Who’s on first?”

Whether the oil that washed ashore this week is ‘new,’ meaning never-before seen, or ‘old’ oil recycled by the ecosystem, it will probably be showing up for at least a year.

Only this one would be titled “When is new oil old again?”

The guy from BP had called to sternly object to the note I ran in Sept. 11’s newspaper under the headline “More oil comes ashore.” The lead sentence read, “A new wave of black oil came ashore west of the Mississippi River on Friday and Saturday, coating beaches and fouling interior marshes, according to anglers’ reports.” The item went on to report new oil in Bay Jimmie, Bay Wilkerson and Bay Baptiste.

I quoted charter skipper Ryan Lambert and Sidney Bourgeois, manager of Joe’s Landing marina in Lafitte, as the sources of the reports. I also checked their reports against the state’s official daily press release on oil sightings, and found the same incidents.

However, that small story apparently created a big buzz with the officials involved in BP’s response efforts. It all came down to the word “new.”

I was driving at the time and pulled over to take the call from a BP rep. The conversation went something like this:
BP man: “There is no new oil coming ashore. There hasn’t been any for weeks. There is none out there. Whoever told you that was wrong.”
Me: “Well, Ryan Lambert is out there every day. He saw no oil on those beaches for weeks, then on Friday he saw new oil.”

BP man: “That wasn’t new oil. It might have been old that reappeared, but it wasn’t new oil.”
Me: “It was new to Ryan, because he had never seen it before. He said it was new. He said it was new and black.”

BP man: “He was wrong because there is no new oil.”
Me: “So if I see oil for the first time in a place where there has been no oil, that isn’t new oil?”

BP man: “Almost certainly not. It’s old oil that has reappeared.”
Me: “Do the fish, birds, crabs, shrimp and benthic organisms realize this is old oil?”

BP man: “That’s not the point.”
But it was the point at which I had to continue toward my next appointment. We agreed to semantic differences, but the conversation only raised more questions in my inquiring mind — some of which I found the answers to during the next few days.

Is there still new oil — “new” being oil that has yet to reach land — still out in the Gulf of Mexico, even if the well has been closed for two months?

Yes. According to recently released research, oil from the Deepwater Horizon has settled to the bottom of the Gulf in several places. If this eventually floats to land, it would be new oil.

More important, if the “new” oil we were seeing last week (and again this week) is actually oil that previously came ashore and is now being recycled through the ecosystem, is this what we can expect in the weeks, months and years ahead?

Yes, according to LSU professor Ed Overton, who has been fighting oil spills for more than 30 years.

“This is a very well-known and documented event after oil spills, especially large spills — and this is the largest we’ve ever had, ” Overton said. “In the heavier-hit areas, the oil might wash into the marsh and settle down. Then when you have these high tides pouring out of the marsh, it will draw some of this old oil back out to the shorelines. It gets recycled.

“The same things can happen along the beaches. It can get covered with sand, but succeeded weather can expose it again and push it back to the shoreline.

“To someone who didn’t see oil in that location the week before, that’s new oil — even if it’s oil that’s been around for a while.”
Overton said the sheer amount of the oil BP poured into the Gulf — estimated at 210 million gallons by the federal government — almost guarantees we’ll be dealing with recycled oil for at least a year and probably beyond. And we could have tar balls from this event rolling around in our estuaries for a decade.

Fortunately, the highly toxic compounds present in oil fresh out of the ground would have been weathered away long ago. However, this recycled BP oil still can be toxic to estuarine critters, from the algae on the floor of the marsh to speckled trout, redfish, herons and pelicans that might ingest it.

So while the headlines might be telling the world that the oil disaster is over because “new oil” is no longer flowing into the Gulf, what that really means is that part of the disaster is over – at least for BP. For those of us who live here at BP’s ground zero, we’ll be living with the side effects of that offshore accident for years to come.

I can tell that BP man this much: The oil I’ll be seeing in my marsh over the next few years might be old, but the anger it engenders always will feel fresh and new.

and in other news, 5 months later, the fucker is “officially dead” – we’ll just have to see about that – never forget the 11 men who died in the inferno

BP oil well is dead, officials say
Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 11:37 AM
Rebecca Mowbray, The Times-Picayune

BP’s renegade Macondo well, which spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the world’s largest accidental release of hydrocarbons, is finally dead.

Although the oil stopped flowing July 15 when the well was temporarily capped, officials continued drilling a relief well to permanently seal the damaged well. On Sunday morning, National Incident Commander Thad Allen announced that tests completed at 5:54 am confirmed that cement injected into the well on Friday and Saturday had cured and permanently shut down the well.

“After months of extensive operations planning and execution under the direction and authority of the U.S. government science and engineering teams, BP has successfully completed the relief well by intersecting and cementing the well nearly 18,000 feet below the surface. With this development, which has been confirmed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, we can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead,” Allen said in a statement.

Allen’s announcement was an anti-climactic end to an odyssey that began when Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank April 20, killing 11 men and releasing a torrent of oil from BP’s well.

The event created worldwide outrage at its environmental destruction, and shock that the petroleum industry didn’t have viable plans for how to deal with an accident even as prospecting for oil in thousands of feet of water has become routine. It took 86 days and multiple attempts to stop the oil, and another 65 days to permanent seal it.
As the drama unfolded 5,000 feet underwater, people around the world followed the disaster live on their computer screens thanks to the ever-present “spill cams” mounted on the robots toiling at the seabed, and became conversant in matters of the methane hydrates that bedeviled early efforts to stop the oil, chemical dispersants used to break up the oil, and components of an oil well, such as an annulus, or outer shell. The incident demanded near constant attention of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, federal environmental and scientific leaders, and prompted a presidential address.

Although the disaster largely dropped out of the news when the ubiquitous underwater web cameras stopped showing billowing plumes of oil emanating from a broken pipe and images of oil-drenched pelicans became less frequent, the long-term tale of the oil’s destruction is no less gripping. Thousands of fishers remain out of work, businesses that depend on coastal riches are battling for compensation, and scientists say that it may take years for the real damage to marine life and wetland ecosystems to manifest itself.

In his statement, Allen commended the teams that worked to end the crisis, but acknowledged that work remains. “Although the well is now dead, we remain committed to continue aggressive efforts to clean up any additional oil we may see going forward,” Allen said.

While long-term challenges remain, workers at command centers in New Orleans and Houston who have worked nearly non-stop since shortly after the tragedy began, took the moment to celebrate. The crew of the Development Driller III, which drilled the relief well and played a significant role in the various attempts to gain control of the well, told the Associated Press that they had planned to celebrate with a meal of prime rib together.

Allen said last week that the U.S. Coast Guard will begin to close down the command centers in Houma and Mobile, Ala., shortly and consolidate operations in New Orleans, shrinking staffing levels from about 2,400 people a month ago to about 550 people. Allen, an admiral who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard June 30, will hand off his duties as national incident commander to Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft on Oct. 1. Allen plans to take a postponed vacation to Ireland with his wife and build a house.

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~ by maringouin on Sunday, September 19, 2010.

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