Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this handout photograph taken on April 21, 2010 and obtained on April 22, 2010.
(This article was re-printed from PetroleumWorld.com.)
By Christian A. DeHaemer
The Dwarves dug too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum… shadow and flame.
— Saruman, The Lord of the Rings
There is something primordial about BP’s quest for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an Icarus-like story of super-ambition; of reaching too far, delving too deep. I don’t know if you’ve stopped to contemplate what BP was trying to do…The well itself started 5,000 feet below the surface. That’s the depth of the Grand Canyon from the rim. And then the company attempted to drill more than 30,000 feet below that — Mt. Everest would give 972 feet to spare. Furthermore, the company sought oil in a dangerous area of the seabed. It was unstable and many think BP sought it out because seismic data showed huge pools of methane gas — the very gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. More than a year ago, geologists criticized Transocean for putting their exploratory rig directly over a massive underground reservoir of methane. According to the New York Times , BP’s internal “documents show that in March, after several weeks of problems on the rig, BP was struggling with a loss of ‘well control.’ And as far back as 11 months ago, it was concerned about the well casing and the blowout preventer.” The problem is that this methane, located deep in the bowels of the earth, is under tremendous pressure… Some speculate as much as 100,000 psi — far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff vales and safety measures were built for only 1,000 psi. It was an accident waiting to happen… And there are many that say it could get worse — much worse. Geologists are pointing to other fissures and cracks that are appearing on the ocean floor around the damaged wellhead. Continue reading
You’ve been hearing about the Minerals Management Service (MMS) lately and their friendly relationship to the oil industry. Their mission is to “manage the mineral resources of the Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally sound and safe manner.”
That seems a bit optimistic nowadays doesn’t it?
From the start, when it was created as little more than a lobbying office located right in the Department of the Interior, courtesy of Ronald Reagan and James Watts in the 1980’s and after eight years of Bush-Cheney, MMS has been busy cuddling up to big oil. This was pushed to a logical and absurd conclusion when the Bush administration signed off on big oil’s desire for voluntary, “trust me,” self-regulation — and caved in to industry demands not to mandate the backup shut off switch for offshore rigs that Brazil and Norway require. In fact, this dangerous relationship was taken to the extreme and manifested in the Sex-for-Oil scandal two years ago.
Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.
Between 2002 and 2006, nearly one-third of the staff in the Denver MMS office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found. There was also sex, allegations of drug use and the other usual ‘government workers behaving badly’ sorts of thing going on.
So now what are wer left with?
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, has issued a warning that Iran could easily cut off a key Persian Gulf shipping route.
Iran’s unofficial state media claims Iran has tested a naval missile capable of destroying any ship within 190 miles.
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has recently tested a naval weapon with a 300 km range in which no vessel would be safe and would be sent to the depths…”
Iran is also reporting recent showdowns between US and Iranian ships.
“Enemies know that we are easily able to block the Strait of Hormuz for unlimited period”, Jafari said. “The strait and vessels are in range of our various weapons.”
“In view of the proximity of the Strait of Hormuz … to our shores, this distance is within the range of an assortment of weapons and its closure for us is very feasible and we face no limitations from the point of view of time,” he said.
Foreign policy analysts say such sabre rattling may be overstated given the Iranian claims surrounding a recent missile test were later revealed to be overstated.
Read the full article at RawStory…
The New York Times reported on June 1st, that Americans are not using their rebates checks, courtesy of your elected officials, for leisure purchases.
People are using the money to pay energy bills – to survive. I’m not surprised by this at all…in fact, I predicted it.
I never believed for one minute that the ‘Economic Stimulus’ package was going to help.
Well for one thing they never have. Secondly, the rebates were limited. $800.00 for a family of four? That a month’s worth of groceries, if that. Maybe some of the $120 our Congress and President is spending in Iraq might help.
Just a thought.
What the power-elite in this country fail to realize that the debt driven economy they have forced upon us, is failing. It is failing because real wages are flat, Americans don’t – or more appropriately won’t save, and job opportunities are drying up faster than a water puddle in death valley during mid-July.
Gotta love that oil and coal driven global warming.
I believe we are not going to escape the house-of-cards we have constructed. This economy will continue to flounder until elected officials wake up and make substantive energy changes that make sense.
Here is my two cents worth…