the blow out preventer must be removed to cap the deep horizon well in the gulf of mexico

BP’s  latest effort to use a LMRP cap to stem and capture a fraction, 6000 barrels in 24 hr, of the 19,000-25,000 barrels of oil per day escaping into the Gulf of Mexico is under evaluation. This solution is no better than their previous failed attempt to siphon the oil from the riser pipe.

So far BP engineers are trying to work around the broken blow out preventer, BOP, and this seems to be creating more problems then solutions. The BOP is a safety gateway that works both ways:  to prevent a disaster and also to prevent solutions when it is broken. This is a classic case of problem solving where a crucial safety component failed yet those who still has faith in it refuse to accept that it has become a mental blockage that prevents an easier solution: open up the well so that BP can use its known technologies to seal it again,reverse engineering. The BOP must be removed or replaced. More oil will escape but if BP is prepared with a new device to insert into the well and seal it the spill amount will be less than two to three months from now.

The Causes

BP management made short cuts command during the caping and the crew deviate from their standard operating procedure,SOP. This well took 6 weeks instead of 21 days, so BP rushed to get it done so they can move the Deep Horizon rig to another location planned for a March 7th drill. Seawater where used instead of heavier drilling mud to help hold the oil and gas down. In their rush to drill faster they may have compromised the well walls thus causing the concrete fill to be less effective, so gas escaped. Gas traveled up to the rig, bypassing the BOP. They tested BOP pressure prior to the accident without realizing the BOP had dead batteries. The pressure reading was false in the positive reading. Methane gas filled the drill room, generators operating in the area spiked then caused explosions. The BOP has kill switches in the event of a blow out, but failed to activate because dead batteries. The BOP did not fail completely, it worked some but could not cut through joints in the drilling pipe inside. To make a long story short, I would have to say that BP’s executive decisions to rushed, cut corners on top of a failed safety device that caused this disaster.

The cause and blame will sort themselves out, but we have an on going emergency. I feel strongly about the removal of the BOP, because it is the most basic obstacle. Most solutions I have read sent in from lay people have assumed that there is a hole to be plugged, but they do not take into account the 450 tons four story high “elephant” sitting on top of the hole. New designs are not practical in an emergency. For example if you are in a leaky boat with a hole and all you have available is the clothes on your back and a stick, you would use what you have. If you give the a child a stick and other things that are laying around and ask him to plug up a flowing garden hose, he would most likely shove a stick in it and slow down the flow or stop it completely. The problem gets much more complicated if there is also a broken, leaking nozzle or a sprayer at the end of that hose.

Open up the well by removing the broken BOP, shove a “stick” down with enough compressible/expandable rubber gasket every ten to twenty feet or more along its length, then activated them sequentially and gradually to reduce upward pressure. This is not new design, the annular BOP on top of the main stack BOP, works similarly by compressing a rubber gaskets to shut off flow around the drill shaft ( you can find this on Cameron’s web site)Follow up with their SOP to cap a well. They have to use technology that they have expertise at.

The Blame

They will have a scapegoat like Capt Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez to blame it on, that person will take the blame then will disappeared from public view after a year or so then will live happily ever after, BP will make sure of that as did Exxon. Bp is after all a corporation and individuals working for a corporation are protected with their company’s incorporation status. I believe that is how it all works. I have friend that was captain for Arco that were in the area and ready to assist the Exxon Valdez with empty tankers to siphon their fuel but Exxon refused their help.

I think all of us are partly guilty in any accidents involving resources extractions because they are supplying our demand. The solution starts with us ultimately.

The Motive

The public do not have all the information to solve the problem of the spill nor do we have BP’s real motive. An oil company like BP is here to extract oil and that is its mission, pure and simple. It is an organism that needs oil like a mosquito needs blood. The accident is unfortunate, but their goal remains to extract and collect what they believe is theirs. They do not want to shut down the well because their main objective is to get the two other wells working and the capping is only a side show. If they were successful at capping the well then there is no need for the other two wells. Essentially, they are getting to drill two new wells to replace one that was already losing money before the explosion. BP is making business decisions along the way as the disaster unfolds. There is nothing that stops them from saying to the US that they are sorry about the mess, but they want out and leaving the mess for us to clean up. Sure we can try to sue them , but they can afford better lawyers then this country could. They are playing nice because the US has been a good client, they like to do business with us because we are easy and are addicted to oil.


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