Friday, July 30, 2010

Oil Drilling News



Static kill of BP well could begin over weekend

Also see: BP May Attempt ‘Static Kill’ of Well Before Aug. 1


Salazar: Producers are working in gulf under new regulations


US House Set To Vote On Offshore-Drilling Overhaul


Gulf oil spill: 100 days, 10 lessons


ASSAULT ON AMERICA: A Decade of Petroleum Company Disaster, Pollution, and Profit (National Wildlife Federation report) (5.19 MB PDF)


Oil Industry Rethinks Cost, Risk Of Drilling In U.S. (NPR)


Return of the Slick/Sheen? (

“Yesterday's MODIS and RADARSAT images show something we didn't expect: slicks and sheen spanning nearly 12,000 square miles.”




Oil dispersants a threat to Gulf breeding grounds, fishery experts say

“Scientists are reporting early signs that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is altering the marine food web by killing or tainting some creatures and spurring the growth of others more suited to a fouled environment.”


Deception by dispersal; the great Gulf oil tragedy (NRDC)

“Several fishermen involved in BP’s cleanup operation have told me that crews who’ve spotted oil on the water and have tried to skim it up but were waived off by BP and told to evacuate the area. They say BP then flew in dispersant planes to spray it so it sank. […] As we cruised along we came upon sheens of oil, patches of red, crusty orange globs of crude mixed with dispersants that looked like spongy orange cake batter floating in the saltwater. Some patches were milky white, the color of dispersants, and some bright orange. Some areas were green, where it appeared droplets of oil stretched down to the murky bottom. The smell was overpowering, like being stuck in a gas station with all the pumps nozzles pointing at your face. It gave you a headache just being there. I had one the next day. But probably the most disturbing thing was the sea life, or lack of it. We would see occasional fish dart around in the water, some of them doing circles at the surface before dropping to the bottom in a death spiral. A few pelicans flew by, and some porpoise swam in the cleaner patches of water. But the sea life was not abundant, and it seemed more like the Dead Sea than the most vibrant fishing ground in the world. Along the shore, oil was everywhere.”


NOAA: Gulf’s Surface Oil Not a Threat to Southern Florida, Keys and East Coast

Perhaps the key word here is “surface.”




Estimate Rises of Oil Spill in Michigan

Also: Oil leak called a threat to Lake Michigan



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oil Drilling News



Feds, parish presidents devising Gulf recovery plan

“Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen laid out a three-pronged plan on Thursday he said could start once the sunken well in the Gulf is permanently sealed, and he said things are progressing as planned for that final solution, two weeks after the ruptured well was capped and stopped leaking. "We continue to make good progress towards both the static kill and the bottom relief well," Allen said. "We look to be laying the casing line into the relief well later on this evening and cementing that. That will set the stage for us to move on with the static kill, which will be pumping the mud and the cement in from the top of the well." Allen said there's a chance the static kill timeline could be accelerated, depending "on how successful they are laying the casing and moving forward," but tempered that expectation by saying, "Let's hold at Monday until we actually see if we gain any time." The relief well may be ready for the "bottom kill" effort five to seven days after the static kill.”


Gulf awash in 27,000 abandoned wells

We posted this one about three weeks ago, but it’s worth repeating given the abandoned well that just erupted after being hit by a boat.


Majority of spilled oil in Gulf of Mexico unaccounted for in government data

“Up to 4 million barrels (167 million gallons), the vast majority of the spill, remains unaccounted for in government statistics. Some of it has, most likely, been cleaned up by nature. Other amounts may be gone from the water, but they could have taken on a second life as contaminants in the air, or in landfills around the Gulf Coast. And some oil is still out there -- probably mixed with chemical dispersants. Some scientists have described it floating in underwater clouds, which one compared to a toxic fog. “




100 days of oil: Gulf life will never be the same


Experts: Health Hazards in Gulf Warrant Evacuations

This was published last week, so maybe the situation has improved, but………maybe not.


Wal-Mart stops fresh seafood sales in Florida, denies BP oil spill connection


The latest fishery closure area

Unchanged from last week. Still 57,539 sq mi (149,026 sq km), covering about 24% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone.




In Big Shift, Californians Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling

“A solid majority of the state’s residents now oppose more offshore drilling (59% oppose, 36% favor)—a 16-point increase in opposition from last year (43% oppose, 51% favor).”




Residents Say No To Jersey Shore Drilling

“Just 31% of Garden State residents are in favor of drilling for oil or gas off the New Jersey coast, while 63% are opposed. This marks a turnaround from two years ago, when a majority of 56% favored

this energy option compared to only 36% who opposed it.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oil Drilling News



Louisiana well emitting oil, gas after vessel strike

"The Coast Guard's overflight this morning confirmed the pipeline/well-head is discharging a mist of orange and brown oil about 100 feet in air," Jindal said. "This is the same thing we viewed on our flight to the well today. The Coast Guard does not have a specific flow rate for the well determined yet, although there have been early reports that there is natural gas and mud mixed in with oil coming from the well." Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts said that while oil was gushing from the well in 6 feet of water, it was too dangerous to get close enough to estimate how much oil was leaking out. However, Roberts said he doesn't "expect it is going to be a huge problem to contain it or cap" the leak, because "it isn't uncommon."


Obama Cancels Offshore Oil Lease Sales in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Center for Biological Diversity)
Feds Acknowledge Greater Environmental Protection Needed for Drilling

“The Federal Register notices to be published tomorrow [today] cancel Lease Sale 220 in the Atlantic and Lease Sale 215 in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico. The notices say cancelling these lease sales “will allow time to develop and implement measures to improve the safety of oil and gas development in Federal waters, provide greater environmental protection, and substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic events.””


Reduce federal subsidies for oil industry

“…unfair policies that favor Big Oil - and provide little incentive for investors to embrace safer alternatives - are hindering efforts to turn sea gusts into gobs of green power and new jobs.”


House committee chairmen defend oil spill bill


Spill bills highlight Republican opposition


Conference Call to Discuss Upcoming Forums on Offshore Drilling – Note New Passcode

“Please join us Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 4:30pm EDT (1:30 PDT) to discuss the upcoming public forums on Offshore Drilling.   Forums will be held in New Orleans, LA; Lafayette, LA; Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL; Santa Barbara, CA; Anchorage, AK; Biloxi, MS and Houston, TX.    Further information and details will be shared on the conference call.

Please RSVP to Stacy Shannon at

DATE:              Thursday, July 29, 2010

TIME:               4:30 P.M

CALL-IN           888-989-3481   Passcode:   4019541


Officials ready criminal probe of oil spill: report

“Several U.S. government agencies are preparing a criminal probe of at least three companies involved in the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though it could take more than a year before any charges are filed, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. BP Plc, Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co are the initial targets of the wide-ranging probe, which aims "to examine whether their cozy relations with federal regulators contributed to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico," the newspaper said, citing law enforcement and other sources.”


Aquaman Has Been Pissed About Offshore Oil Drilling Since 2004 [Video]

“The New Bermuda platform is under attack. If it collapses, we’re going to have the worst oil spill in history on our hands. I told those idiots to stay out of my ocean.”




The Slick is Dissipating (

“The big question: what's the fate and impact of the oil we can't see with satellite images? Oil now buried on Gulf coast beaches, embedded in marshes, and remaining dispersed underneath the water's surface or lying on the seafloor? It will take diligent, systematic research to find the answers. We need to make sure that this research actually gets funded, conducted and published, and not sidetracked by litigation and confidentiality.”


On the Surface, Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast; Concerns Stay

“The effect on sea life of the large amounts of oil that dissolved below the surface is still a mystery. Two preliminary government reports on that issue have found concentrations of toxic compounds in the deep sea to be low, but the reports left many questions, especially regarding an apparent decline in oxygen levels in the water.  And understanding the effects of the spill on the shorelines that were hit, including Louisiana’s coastal marshes, is expected to occupy scientists for years. Fishermen along the coast are deeply skeptical of any declarations of success, expressing concern about the long-term effects of the chemical dispersants used to combat the spill and of the submerged oil, particularly on shrimp and crab larvae that are the foundation of future fishing seasons.”


Has Gulf of Mexico cleanup turned a corner?


BP Oil Is Dissipating, Easing Threat to East Coast


68,000 Square Miles of Direct Impact (


Lawsuit Seeks Stringent Endangered Species Analysis for Offshore Drilling




BP drill site on Alaskan gravel island gets new scrutiny




Obama pledges swift response after Battle Creek oil spill






Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oil Drilling News



Oil spewing from well near Louisiana marsh

From NOAA:

“NOAA ERD is working a well blow out that occurred when  a tug hit an orphaned well in Mud Lake at 1:00 AM this morning.  This area is the upper portion of Barataria Bay and in the Deepwater Horizon Spill area.  The well is releasing oil 30 to 40 feet into the air.  The NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator is working with Sector New Orleans on this Incident.”


BP Resumes Work to Kill Damaged Well With Cement


Transcript – Press Briefing by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, July 26

“Between now and Wednesday, two things are going to happen. First of all, we're going to latch up with the lower marine riser package with the existing well, and that's being done today. At that point, we're going to run two different drill strings. The first drill string will be run down to pick up the subsea containment device – or what they call a packing device that was left there to protect the well when we vacated. Once that's happened, we are going to flush the system, check the blowout preventer, and then make sure the well is ready for further activity. At that point, we will then make up a new drill string around it clear to the bottom of the well bore, and then we will run fluids down through the drill pipe and back up to make sure we flush out any sediment from the formation.

This is all in advance of being able to lay the final casing run. That will take place between Monday and Wednesday of this week. Starting on Wednesday, we hope to run the final casing or that internal pipe that provides well integrity. That will be about a 2,000-foot casing run. It will begin on Wednesday and will probably take through Saturday or Sunday, when we will cement the casing into place and will take the cement about 8 to 12 hours to set up. At that point, we will be ready to move on to do two things. First of all, we will then shift to pumping mud and cement down the top of the well, what we call the static kill. That's an attempt to fill the inside of the well from the top down with mud and then cement to secure it and make it stable. That will be followed then by drilling into the annulus, which is the area outside the casing pipe at the base of the Macondo well, and we will attempt to then kill it from the bottom. That will take place probably five to seven days after we cement the casing in next Monday, so the sequence of events as follows. Monday through Wednesday of this week, preparing the well. Wednesday through Saturday and Sunday, running the casing pipe to be in a position on Monday, the 2nd of August, to begin the static kill, and then approximately five days later to begin the bottom kill. So at the end of week after next, we have the potential to enter the annulus and begin killing the well.”


Conference Call to Discuss Upcoming Forums on Offshore Drilling

“Please join us Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 4:30pm EDT (1:30 PDT) to discuss the upcoming public forums on Offshore Drilling.   Forums will be held in New Orleans, LA; Lafayette, LA; Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL; Santa Barbara, CA; Anchorage, AK; Biloxi, MS and Houston, TX.    Further information and details will be shared on the conference call.

Please RSVP to Stacy Shannon at

DATE:              Thursday, July 29, 2010

TIME:               4:30 P.M

CALL-IN           888-989-3481   Passcode:    30728


BP oil spill to cost U.S. taxpayers almost $10 bln


Fight brews over drilling watchdog


Garamendi & Farr: It’s Time to Stop Offshore Drilling

“Climate change and global economic competition require us to green our economy. Clean, renewable sources of energy are our inevitable future, and the longer we drag our feet, the more our economy slips to the back of the pack. We can drill and spill our economy into decline, or we can invest in the renewable energy sources that will determine the victors of 21st century economic development. We hope this great nation makes the right choice.”




Susan Shaw: The oil spill's toxic trade-off (16 minute video presentation)

Break down the oil slick, keep it off the shores: that's grounds for pumping toxic dispersant into the Gulf, say clean-up overseers. Susan Shaw shows evidence it's sparing some beaches only at devastating cost to the health of the deep sea.”

Also see: Consensus Statement:  Scientists oppose the use of dispersant chemicals in the Gulf of Mexico


BP Health Tests on Offshore Workers May Overstate Chemical Exposure


In Gulf oil disaster, cameras can't capture the human toll




Oil roils politics in Florida;jsessionid=EA3F7B333ED49D6335AFFC96488041C2?contentguid=EiUFYAUN




845,000 Gallon crude oil spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River

Also see: Fumes from 840,000-gallon oil leak creep over Battle Creek




Federal Register Notice – Cancellation of Lease Sale 220




Ripples Spread After China Oil Spill



Monday, July 26, 2010

Oil Drilling News



As federal panel probes oil spill, picture emerges of a series of iffy decisions

“If there is no smoking gun in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it is because there is smoke coming from so many places.”


Disabled oil rig alarm points to human failures in Gulf oil spill


Rig Returns to Well Site as Storm Dissipates


BP Returning to Gulf Oil Spill Site to Drill Relief Well as Bonnie Weakens


Storm's passage reveals problems with oil spill response


‘The Well From Hell’

Summary for The Week of July 18-24


Daring to Pose a Challenge to the Oil Culture

Patty Whitney, a community organizer in Terrebonne Parish, asked “We are constantly told, ‘You have to adapt to coastal land loss, you have to adapt because of the oil leak, you have to adapt to the new situation,’ ” she said. “When is our government going to adapt to new energy sources that aren’t harmful to our environment and the people who depend upon the environment?”


Never again - Congress must toughen regulations on Big Oil




Researchers confirm subsea Gulf oil plumes are from BP well

“The announcement came on the same day that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that its researchers have confirmed the existence of the subsea plumes at depths of 3,300 to 4,300 feet below the surface of the Gulf. NOAA said its detection equipment also implicated the BP well in the plumes' creation. Together, the two studies confirm what in the early days of the spill was denied by BP and viewed skeptically by NOAA's chief — that much of the crude that gushed from the Deepwater Horizon well stayed beneath the surface of the water. "What we have learned completely changes the idea of what an oil spill is," said chemical oceanographer David Hollander, one of three USF researchers credited with the matching samples of oil taken from the water with samples from the BP well. "It has gone from a two-dimensional disaster to a three-dimensional catastrophe." The finding is important because oil that escaped from the mile-deep, blown-out well had been treated with dispersants, which broke the oil in the water column into tiny droplets, and therefore did not form an oil slick at the surface, said Richard H. Pierce, senior scientist and director of the Center for Ecotoxicology at Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory. "It's more readily taken up and absorbed and ingested by marine animals," he explained.”


Federal records show steady stream of oil spills in gulf since 1964

“…federal records […] show a steady stream of oil spills dumping 517,847 barrels of petroleum -- which would fill an equivalent number of standard American bathtubs -- into the Gulf of Mexico between 1964 and 2009. The spills killed thousands of birds and soiled beaches as far away as Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Altogether, they poured twice as much as oil into U.S. waters as the Exxon Valdez tanker did when it ran aground in 1989.”




Poll: Californians no on offshore drilling




Video Interview with pro surfers Shea and Corey Lopez on their view of the oil spill and drilling




Oily People Send Warning Over Offshore Drilling



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oil Drilling News



A gathering storm halts Gulf oil well work

This is now Tropical Depression Three. The projected track is NW toward the TX/LA border (bad), but the max projected wind speed is only 45 KT.


Experts Ask Why BP Delayed Cap


BP defends CEO, eyes new option for plugging well


Oil Majors Building Disaster-Response System

Also see:


Support For Offshore Drilling Reaches New Low

“Predictably, Rasmussen leaves most of the useful information out of their analysis. In their polling immediately prior to the rig explosion in the Gulf, 72% of likely voters supported offshore drilling. Even with Rasmussen’s skewed likely voter model, this represents a 16% shift in just 11 weeks. The current level of support among likely voters, 56%, is the lowest ever recorded by Rasmussen for this question. Moreover, support among Democrats for offshore drilling has dropped from 54% in early April to just 29% in the latest poll. Support among Republicans remains relatively flat, down just 4%. GOP support for offshore drilling, at 82%, is actually up 8% from its low point in late May.”


Legislation Summary from NRDC




Gulf Deep-Water Drilling Should Resume on Case-by-Case Basis, Expert Says


Louisiana governor: Let's start drilling


In Defense of the Offshore Drilling Moratorium

“More drilling now would only put this area at risk for a second spill, or a third. Proposing new drilling when the region is still reeling from millions of gallons of oil contamination is a slap in the face to Gulf Coast communities. And while other oil companies are saying this oil disaster is just a mistake by BP alone, the safety issues raised by the BP blowout are not unique to BP. Rather, they are indicative of an industry-wide practice of risky drilling and lax safety measures. […]The most important thing we can do for the Gulf Coast now is make sure an oil disaster never happens again. A moratorium on new deepwater drilling addresses the immediate risk to the Gulf Coast. We also need a long term plan to prevent further oil disasters. We need President Obama to chart a course that will end America's oil dependence in the next twenty years.”


Senators Urge Interior Secretary Salazar to Resume and Expedite Shallow Water Drilling Permits

“Shallow water drilling was originally included in the Obama Administration's imposed an overall drilling moratorium on May 6, 2010. Though the moratorium on new shallow water permits was officially lifted on May 28, a de facto moratorium exists since only one new shallow water permit has been approved in the past 10 weeks.”

Notes:  1) this group of Senators are all from offshore oil drilling states (the Gulf and Alaska) and 2) staff at BOEM have indicated that no shallow water drilling operator has met the requirements yet (i.e., it's not just bureaucracy holding things up) but some will soon.



NOAA Re-opens Previously Closed Portions of the Gulf of Mexico to Commercial and Recreational Fishing


Oil, Water and Videotape (from David Helvarg’s Blue Notes #77)




Federal Court Halts Oil and Gas Activities Under Chukchi Sea Lease Sale
Need for Further Analysis of Missing Information Tops Reasons for Halt

Also see:





The big joke

“Bottom line: Our elected legislators didn't trust us, the people who sent them to Tallahassee, to decide whether or not we want to open Florida's offshore waters to oil drilling. The notion that it'll never happen because it's already against the law is a bigger joke than the 48-minute farce that House Speaker Larry Cretul made of the special session on Tuesday. We are tempted to say the legislators who sabotaged the special session broke faith with the people they represent. But clearly they did represent the interests of the people they work for; Big Oil lobbyists and the other special interests that bankroll Florida's political machine.”




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oil Drilling News



BP to Keep Damaged Gulf Oil Well Sealed Today, Government Says


Before rig explosion, BP pumped chemical mixture into well, contractor says

“The injection of the dense, gray fluid was meant to flush drilling mud from the hole, according to the testimony before a government panel investigating the April 20 accident. But the more than 400 barrels used were roughly double the usual quantity, said Leo Lindner, a drilling fluid specialist for contractor MI-Swaco. BP had hundreds of barrels of the two chemicals on hand and needed to dispose of the material, Lindner testified. By first flushing it into the well, the company could take advantage of an exemption in an environmental law that otherwise would have prohibited it from discharging the hazardous waste into the Gulf of Mexico, Lindner said. “


BP Supervisor Says Rig Safety Device Flawed

“…workers detected a leak in the hydraulic system that controls the blowout preventer, the huge stack of valves on the sea floor that is supposed to shut down a well in an emergency.”


BP Didn’t Stop Drilling After Leaks on Blowout Preventer


Deadly Gulf blowouts persist

“In the last 10 years, blowouts triggered explosions on five rigs in the Gulf, a minefield of Mississippi mud deposits, and caused the evacuation of 17, according to the Chronicle's examination of scores of documents. Blowouts, known technically as "loss of well control incidents," range in seriousness from slow old leakers to explosive killers that can open the earth and swallow a rig while spewing gas, drilling mud, water vapor, sand and oil. There are so many man-made holes in the Gulf, 50,000, that the government has lost track of at least 4,500 old wells, records show.”


House Seeks To Promote Better Offshore Drilling Procedures




ENSCO Files Suit Against Drilling Moratorium, New Regulations




Efforts to save Gulf coastline slog on in face of massive oil disaster


Cleanup expert says undersea oil is the biggest threat


Where Will All This Oil Be in August?

Slate's interactive models of the Deepwater Horizon spill

Also see this earlier plume model


Gulf Oil Spill Tracker Now Can Be Used to Report Human Health Impacts

Do you believe your health has been impacted by exposure (inhalation, dermal exposure, ingestion) to oil and related chemicals in the air or water from the Gulf oil spill? You can now report these incidents at the Gulf Oil Spill Tracker website.




Florida Legislature adjourns, rejecting vote on constitutional amendment banning oil drilling

“The Florida House abruptly adjourned a special legislative session after 49 minutes Tuesday, rejecting Gov. Charlie Crist's proposal to let voters place a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the Florida Constitution. The party-line vote to adjourn the session was 67 to 44, with Republicans supporting adjournment and Democrats in favor of continuing the debate.  A heckler from the visitors' gallery shouted that all 67 were "in the pocket of BP."”




China oil spill doubles in size, is deemed 'severe threat'

Horrifying photos




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oil Drilling News



Some oil spill events from Tuesday, July 20, 2010


BP to continue test, seepage unrelated to well

"BP hopes to keep the damaged well shut until a relief well intercepts it and kills the well by mid-August, BP's chief operating officer of exploration and production Doug Suttles, said on Sunday. But Allen has said when the pressure test ends, BP would "immediately" move to begin siphoning oil again to a pair of oil-capture vessels and move to a larger four-vessel siphoning system as planned by the end of July. Suttles' statement could indicate diverging views between BP and the U.S. government. Yet BP has repeatedly said the final say of how BP proceeds lies with Allen. On Monday Allen appeared to leave open the possibility of keeping the well capped and shut. He said it was hard to say whether BP will return to that siphoning system."


BP did not suspend drilling operations after report of leaking blowout preventer


BP's Scheme to Swindle the "Small People"


Big Oil Makes War on the Earth: The Gulf Coast Joins an Oil-Soiled Planet


Environmentalists and a clean-energy future,0,1153303.story

"There is only one way for America to lead the way to a clean-energy future and break the cycle of destruction. We can't merely send gentle signals to the markets, or set up schemes for bankers to trade carbon credits. We must use the full power of the federal government's research, development and procurement capacities to produce clean energy cheaper than oil and coal. We'll need to catalyze large-scale private investment to remind the nation that we were once capable of making breathtaking advances by joining public and private resources, and that our prosperity is founded on the products of these investments."


56% Support Offshore Drilling; 47% Favor Deepwater Drilling, Too
What will it take to wake people up?




Fresh Water Aimed at Oil Kills Oysters




New poll: 71% of Florida voters want vote on banning oil drilling


Public support builds for Florida oil drilling ban


Florida lawmakers prepare for historic special session on offshore oil drilling


Fla. Legislature to begin special session on oil


Fla. lawmakers say no to oil drilling ban


More than 20 bills added to special session on offshore drilling – but will House be around for any of them?



Monday, July 19, 2010

Oil Drilling News



BP Hopes to Keep Well Closed, but Seep Is Detected


Engineers detect seepage near BP oil well


U.S. Demands More Test Data From BP After Seep Found in Seabed


175 Million Gallons Later, Progress in Stopping Flow of Oil


BP's next steps on killing Gulf leak


“A Whale” Operational Review Completed

Bottom line – “A Whale” is a bust


BP buys up Gulf scientists for legal defense, roiling academic community

“BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company's lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research. The Press-Register obtained a copy of a contract offered to scientists by BP. It prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.”


British Petroleum, by Any Other Name, Would Smell as Foul


Director Bromwich to Host Public Meetings Nationwide to Discuss Deepwater Drilling Safety, Containment and Spill Response (U.S. DOI News Release)

“Michael R. Bromwich, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEM), announced today that he will be leading a series of public meetings to collect information and views about deepwater drilling safety reforms, blowout containment, and oil spill response. Bromwich will be soliciting input from the general public, state and local leaders, and experts from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry. […] Meetings are currently being scheduled to occur in August in the following cities: New Orleans, LA, Lafayette, LA, Mobile, AL, Pensacola, FL, Santa Barbara, CA, and Anchorage, AK.  Meetings will be held in early September in the following cities: Biloxi, MS and Houston, TX.”




The deepwater decision - New findings show drilling moratorium is needed

“…a new memorandum from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior lays out a startlingly clear case for systemic overhaul -- not just a pause -- in deepwater oil exploration.”




Early Look at Ecological Toll Is Alarming, Scientists Say

“Since the spill began in April, nearly 2,200 birds have been found dead, the biggest portion in Louisiana, along with nearly 500 sea turtles, about half of them in Mississippi, federal statistics say. Nearly 590 miles of Gulf shoreline are oiled, the biggest chunk of it Louisiana marsh. That is imperiling, at least temporarily, economically crucial fisheries such as shrimp and crabs. Out at sea, scientists have found submerged plumes of dispersed oil and methane. Some believe the plumes are reducing underwater oxygen levels in ways that could threaten marine life, though there isn't a consensus on that. Meanwhile, new research suggests oil may be poised to enter the Gulf food chain. Scientists from the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University have found oil droplets in young crabs along a broad swath of the Gulf coastline, from Grand Isle, La., to Pensacola, Fla.”


After Oil Spills, Hidden Damage Can Last for Years


Scientists Ask Public to Report Banded Birds to Help Scientific Research




News 5 Investigates: Testing The Water (Alabama)


'Magic' not policy

“Tougher regulation and better funded and more robust regulatory agencies can make deep ocean drilling safer. Better response plans can reduce, to some extent, the damage from spills of this sort. But only magic can eliminate the risk of catastrophic loss inherent in this kind of drilling. And when it comes to oil spills, I don't believe in it.”




Alaska's oil regulators work to ensure the industry is responsible

“The concern with ultra-extended reach wells is that the procedure to complete the well when it reaches the oil reservoir with a special cementing job is basically similar to the situation with the deep Gulf of Mexico wells…”


DEC spill report delayed




Let's step back and pass good laws about offshore drilling


Florida GOP leaders may block vote on drilling


Florida voters deserve right to vote on off-shore drilling


House may have votes to put a amendment on ballot banning oil drilling




Limiting Off-shore Drilling in NC (from Sierra Club)

SB 836 "Oil Spill Liability, Response, & Preparedness" enacted. The bill aims to increase the protection of North Carolina’s coastline from offshore drilling and potential spills. The Act removes the current cap on the amount recoverable by the State for the cost of clean up and any resulting damages to public resources in the case of an oil spill. The Act also modifies the state’s Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) by requiring, in the case of a consistency review, significant planning and preparation for potential spills regarding offshore activities before any leases could move forward. The act directs the Coastal Resources Commission to review existing laws and regulations that pertain to offshore energy production and exploration in light of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon spill and to recommend modifications to the law as they see fit. Lastly, the act directs the department of Crime Control and public Safety to immediately review and update the state oil spill contingency plan in order to prepare the state in the event of oil from the BP spill reaching our shores.




Texas Remains Stoic as Spill Hits Its Shores




Friday, July 16, 2010

Oil Drilling News



Obama Reacts Cautiously to Hopeful BP Test Results


Flow of Oil into Gulf Stemmed: Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

“It is an enormous relief to learn that the flow of oil that lead to America’s worst environmental disaster has finally been stemmed. We applaud all the men and women who have worked so hard over these difficult three months to cap the well. We hope we can now turn more resources and attention to responding to the devastation that this oil disaster has already caused, and to making sure this sort of preventable tragedy never occurs again. We need to do everything possible to help the wildlife and communities of the Gulf Coast that have been hit so hard by this disaster. President Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling is an important first step in protecting the Gulf Coast from further damage. The fishing and tourist industries need a chance to bounce back without facing the threat of another disaster. And wherever there is offshore drilling, we risk disaster.   The oil industry argues that this was an isolated event. We agree--research confirms that oil catastrophes are strictly isolated to oil industry operations. We have not yet found oil spills at wind farms, nor have we found evidence of gushers erupting in solar plants or marshlands devastated by business owners retrofitting their buildings. The best way to prevent another oil disaster is to shift away from oil and onto clean energy. If this capping of the oil gusher holds, it is a moment for celebration. We must not, however, ever forget the three months during which BP egregiously mishandled its disaster. It is even more important that we remind ourselves that this problem is much bigger than BP. The entire oil industry has been skirting safety regulations and lobbying against clean energy for years. Over and over again we’ve paid the price. Now that the leaking oil appears to be controlled, we need to address the problem that led to it. We need President Obama to stand up to the oil industry. We need a plan to move America off of oil and onto clean energy.”


Comment from John Amos of

“Finally, after 87 days, the leak from BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is fully stopped. All the valves on the new sealing cap have been closed and an "integrity test" is being conducted on the well. If the pressure steadily increases in the well, that's a good thing: it would mean there are no leaks in the wellpipe and casing below the seafloor. In that case BP will keep the valves closed, effectively shutting off this catastrophic spill. If the pressure doesn't build in the well it could mean there are leaks below the seafloor, and BP will re-open some of the valves and the spill will resume. In any event, the only permanent solution is a successful relief well that fills the damaged well with cement.”

Gulf spill prompts IAOGP to form response group


Oil spill probe now includes abandoned wells

“A lead congressional committee investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has broadened its inquiry, now checking if tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells are leaking or even being monitored for leaks.


BP Oil Spill Undermines SunPower, Vestas as Energy Bill Trips

“A bill in U.S. Congress to expand alternative energy in the biggest oil-consuming nation was set aside by legislators until they can review offshore-drilling safety. “It’s ironic that this disaster is jeopardizing energy legislation when it’s clear that we need it more than ever,” said Kevin Landis, who manages $260 million at Firsthand Funds including SunPower and competitor Suntech Power Holdings Co. “It’s definitely a drag on the renewable sector.””


Kicking the Oil Habit




Why Louisiana's ecosystems should sue BP

“In 2009, the people of Ecuador adopted a new constitution recognizing that ecosystems themselves have a right to exist, flourish, and evolve. Closer to home, over a dozen municipal governments in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maine and Virginia have done the same. Those laws authorize residents to sue to restore damaged ecosystems, which, of course, allows them to depend on those ecosystems once again. Municipal governments in the coastal regions of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida should consider adopting similar local laws, which would enable those governments and residents to hold BP to a standard well-recognized by the law - that of fixing what you have broken.”


Surgeon General Regina Benjamin Pensacola Florida press conference 7-15-10

This video is from Michael Sturdivant of Surfrider Foundation’s Emerald Coast Chapter


Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Dispersants

On July 15, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies held a hearing on the review of the use of dispersants in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The witnesses for the hearing included:  Dr. Larry Robinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for NOAA; Ms. Lisa Jackson, Administrator of EPA; and Ms. Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. 



Oil and water - A bill to allow companies to remove just the top portions of closed offshore drilling rigs is premature,0,3179172.story

“Oil companies would save an estimated $650 million by leaving the rigs' bases alone. […]The scheme could benefit from a little more scrutiny.”