31 May 2010

This Week in the Gulf: A Stepwise LMRP Capping Operation

Update 1 June 2010: Be sure to watch the Kent Wells Technical Update video from BP for a more thorough update on the array of technical operations planned to limit the oil spill -- until the relief wells can secure the well permanently.

Also, be sure to monitor the technical updates at Bit Tooth Energy
Step 1 - Position the LRMP cap close to BOP.

Step 2 - Do another top kill to buy a few minutes of no oil and gas spewing. At least try for a few moments of reduced pressure.

While the top kill did not work, the mud did stop or reduce the gusher for a few moments.

Step 3 - Using the few moments when the top kill stops the oil and gas or reduce the pressure of the gusher, position the LMRP very quickly.

Step 4 - Engage the sealing grommet around the sheared off riser pipe._SFGate
The LMRP is the lower marine riser package, which sits atop the blowoupt preventer (BOP). BP intends to cut off the riser, and place a grommeted LMRP cap on the BOP to collect as much of the leaking oil as possible.
But first, BP plans to use a shearing device to cut through the damaged riser about 50 feet from the BOP. This will relieve torsional stress on the damaged riser, and make it easier for the ROV controlled saw to cut through the riser at the LMRP.
Then, BP wants to use a special "diamond wire" saw to cut through the riser at its origin, to make space for the LMRP capping device.
Finally, the grommeted LMRP cap -- with a new riser and anti-hydrate mechanisms attached -- will be sealed to the cut LMRP to allow removal of as much gushing hydrocarbon from the well as possible.
The diamond wire, which is held under tension in the design, should give a relatively smooth surface that can be used for the sealing surface to the LMRP.

One of the problems in using this tool, which is rather sensitive (in other circumstances we have broken several wires in a smaller model) is dealing with the central DP as the cut is being made, and with the flow of oil and gas past the wire, which can send it into vibration, over the relatively long cut.

...Over the past twenty years diamond wire sawing has become more common as a way of cutting through a variety of materials. It has the advantage of making a relatively narrow cut , and the ability to cut through objects made of different materials, such as reinforced concrete. The cutting wire used to have small diamond particles embedded in the steel of the wire, but in more modern varieties the diamonds are embedded in a plastic such as Teflon, and set as beads along the wire, allowing better cooling during the cutting process. _BitTooth

This is slow, painstaking work. A lot of things can go wrong. If the operation fails, the result may be even more oil leaking into the Gulf than is presently gushing.

Several live feeds are available on the web, including a number of feeds on previous entries on the Al Fin main page. If you are interested, and lucky in your timing, you may be able to observe something amazing as it happens.


Bookmark and Share

72 Hijabs In a Cracker Jack Box

Islam is a religion by men and for men. Women belong to the head of the household, to do with as he wishes. The woman child belongs to the head of the household until he tells her she belongs to someone else -- another male head of another household. If a woman child allows her wrappings of virginity to be soiled by anyone but the master, her life is forfeit.
...male domination and female subjugation are Quranically prescribed, and who is Man to challenge the immutable Word of God—especially when God’s arrangements ensure perpetual male domination? This punitive patriarchy is not confined to Muslims in their own lands; it thrives....in the West, in the lands to which Muslims immigrate, but whose “degenerate” and “sinful” societies they abhor.....the subjection of women within Islam is the biggest obstacle to the integration and progress of Muslim communities in the West. It is a subjection committed by the closest kin in the most intimate place, the home, and it is sanctioned by the greatest figure in the imagination of Muslims: Allah himself. _DB
Men of Islam do not wish to integrate with the west. They do not wish for the westerner's version of "progress." Men of Islam are born into a world of unlimited male dominance. Why would they give that up for western concepts of "equality" and "opportunity for all?"

There have been numerous honor killings in the United States, in which Muslim fathers or husbands kill daughters or wives who have “sullied” the family name in some way; and yet, ....not once has the achingly non-judgmental American press used the phrase “honor killing” in its reports on the murders _DB
Women are among the most prized possessions of the Muslim male. But they only hold their value as long as they maintain their innocence, in the eyes of the master. The moment the master perceives -- for whatever reason -- that innocence is lost, the life is forfeit.

Not every Muslim male is born into a privileged life of wealth, many wives, concubines, and female slaves. Some of them must roam western cities in gangs, to rape infidel women and Muslim women who appear to stray from the path. Others must fantasize of the 72 virgins who await him if he fulfills the conditions set forth for martyrdom -- the ultimate prize and reward, poured out of an exploding Cracker Jack box.
The women must be virgins as they change hands, from master to master. Without innocence of the chattel, the owner master's honour is lost, and can only be regained through the spilling of blood. It is a fetish of innocence, but instead of valuing one's own innocence it is the innocence of one's human possessions that is valued.

There is no escape from this fetish for the Muslim woman. No escape except the one she provides for herself. And if the woman does summon up the courage to escape, how is she regarded? A Somali taxi driver in Washington DC:
“What do you think of Ayaan Hirsi Ali… you know, the Somali lady?” He swiveled his head to fix me with his gaze, and then turned it back to the road. “Very bad person,” he said, after a strained pause. “We think she is a bitch. We hate her.” _DB
Yes, they hate her. They want to kill her, if they could only get past the bodyguards. Most escaped un-hijabbed women do not have bodyguards or protectors, even in the west. Western feminists and the western media and academia generally see these would-be liberated women as an embarassment to the post-modernist multicultural program.

Because if we ever did confront the deep and essential pathology of the Islamic community, what would become of "progressive multiculturalism?" If Muslim women are forced to wear hijabs as a "fetish of innocence hung tightly round the neck", then western post modern multiculturalists must all wear a fetish of feigned ignorance.

As the innocents are slaughtered by the Cracker Jack fireworks, and are sacrificed on the eternal altar of the master's honour, the monkeys of the west must always remember to cover their eyes, ears, and mouths, lest they sin against their own radical religion of "progressive dieoff progressivism."

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

30 May 2010

Dividing the Nation: Going Galt vs. Government a la Carte

When most Americans think of secession, they imagine maps of a divided America such as the one above. Most of us learned in history class what happened the last time a group of states decided to secede from the Union. Very few people want a repeat of the War Between the States. Therefore, a far more popular form of secession -- personal secession -- is gaining more modern adherents. Personal secession is a more finely grained form of secession than regional, state, or county secession -- it is secession on the individual level.

Have you seriously thought about seceding from the monstrous beast that the US government (or any central government) has become? First you have to consider all the things that governments provide. Police, fire departments, water, sewer, medical care, national defense, schools, roads, licensing, environmental regulation, protection from fraud and abuse, and so on . . .
"Personal secession ....things like homeschooling, house churches, home gardening, home-based economics, just regaining privacy and a sense of community rather than worrying about what's going on in Washington, D.C... What's the latest thing from the Supreme Court? _CNN
The quote above comes from the leader of a group of christian secessionists. But it could as easily come from a group of libertarian or communist or hindu secessionists. Personal secessionists may "go Galt", or do most essential things for themselves. It is possible to do that, but a division of labour in society provides for more leisure, and more choices in products and services.

How can you non-violently secede from an idiocracy without having to do everything for yourself and your family? Call it "virtual secession" or non-territorial secession.
The problem with physical secession is that it is very difficult to achieve critical mass. There is probably not much overlap between the people you want to live with and the people who want to choose your particular form of government. The vast majority of us put up with government we dislike in order to live in proximity to people with whom we want to work and play.

With virtual secession, you could still live in San Francisco or Manhattan or Silver Spring while seceding from much of the government at the city, state, and Federal level. You and your next-door neighbor might belong to very different governmental units. _ArnoldKling
Patri Friedman runs a blog called A Thousand Nations, which looks at increasing personal freedom through new nation formation. This post from A Thousand Nations looks specifically at "virtual secession" or "non-territorial secession." And Cato Unbound devoted a special issue to the topic of "self-governance" or personal secession.

Libertarians and other informed malcontents have been thinking and writing about secession for well over a century. And with the coming of the uber-statist Obama Pelosi regime, the idea is likely to come to the surface more and more often. People who believe that they can work within the system to make it more rational, may get involved in the "You Cut" movement, where citizens work with legislators to cut the least useful and most destructive government programs. But for many persons, government has gone much too far off the deep end of totalitarianism for such "trimming about the edges" to work.
Today, our government interacts with us as subjects and children. It takes money from the productive and responsible and uses it to pay for the consequences of the people who are irresponsible and unproductive. As long as bad behavior is subsidized two things will be true. The irresponsible will not make responsible choices unless they are forced. The second is that the government will continue to assert its right to regulate all our behavior on the grounds that it is paying the bills, even though it is with our money. If we choose to interact with our government as children, expecting it to meet our every need, then it will fill the role of parent and will exercise legitimate control as a consequence of that occupation.

The fix to this is simple. Remove the government safety net. For one hundred and fifty years of our history we got by just fine without it. There was no FDA, no welfare checks, no illegal drugs, no government health insurance or Social Security. Somehow, without the government intervening, the American citizen built this country from a few colonies on the eastern seaboard to a world power, economically and militarily. Somehow, hard drinking settlers tamed the west. Without government regulation, we all had food to eat and water to drink and roofs over our heads, and that food and shelter was considerably better than that in the Old World. If you engaged in negative behavior you bore the consequences. If you lost your job you found something else or you depended on your family or neighbors and they determined your “recovery” or the worth of putting their time and money into your life based on your cooperation. If you resorted to crime to support bad habits, justice was swift and harsh. Morality, justice and community were essential in such an environment and that is exactly the way it should be. _SecessionUniversity
You will find a lot of reading material pertaining to such topics at the Mises Online Library, and at the Library of Liberty Online.

The basic idea is the formation of organisations that operate in parallel to the government, to provide essential goods and services which persons cannot reasonably provide for themselves. In such a system, bad choices will lead to unpleasant consequences. That means that persons who are particularly stupid or impulsive will not do well in such a system unless they are surrounded by a close-knit society of friends, relatives, co-religionists, etc. who are standing by to help them through the rough spots.

Systems of self-governance will tend to promote and unleash persons who are intelligent, disciplined, competent, and forward thinking. That is exactly the type of person the future will demand, to meet the type of challenges that wait for us.

In the US, society has been engaged in the dumbing down and handicapping of generations of its citizens -- at least since the 1950s. That process of induced helplessness and dependency received a turbo-boost from the election of the Obama-Pelosi regime. But the final destination of selectively breeding for incompetence in the face of hopeless economic and demographic challenge, is utter calamity.

Unless thoughtful persons are willing to try another approach, they are dooming future generations to a society of certain collapse from debt and demography -- the very problems that are doing in Europe, Japan, and Russia in real time.

This is not a flush of oil a mile deep, 100 miles offshore from a lazy big easy. This is a river of destruction flowing down on all of us from the source -- Washington DC. What are you going to do?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

29 May 2010

Robots Pushing the Limits of Deep Sea Efficacy

Update #1: This article from "Heading Out" brings us more up to date on the "top kill" operation combined with the evolving "junk shot." This NOLA article claims that BP is already moving on to the next operation which involves cutting off the old riser at the BOP, then capping the LMRP (lower marine riser package) and installing a new riser from another drill ship -- to divert the oil and gas to waiting vessels at the surface. Al.com has an AP story on the apparent failure of the top kill operation to this point.
The procedure to cap the LMRP will not be easy, fast, or pretty -- not at those depths using remotely operated machinery. But if they are successful in capping the LMRP and retrieving the hydrocarbon flow, at least the scope of the future cleanup operation will be somewhat limited. BP is also considering taking the blowout preventer from the second relief well and installing it above the faulty BOP sitting on the gushing Macondo bore.

Again, it is an extremely dynamic situation, which may change very quickly.

It is clearly far more difficult to perform simple tasks such as bolting / unbolting, sawing, attaching / detaching, etc. when you are 5,000 feet underwater. One of the ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) spent a half hour cutting into what appears to be an access point in the BOP. At one point the robot dropped the saw and had to go retrieve it. Finally, when the robot pulled back, it appeared that a thin spew of grey fluid was coming out of the point where the saw had been.

The operators who control the ROVs must necessarily have a great deal of training and experience, yet it is clear how cumbersome it is to work through such constraints of even the best and most advanced ROV robotic technology.

When you are tempted to become impatient with the progress of the well-capping effort, remember that these techniques are being worked out for the first time at these depths.

If you think that President Obama can magically call on legions of amazingly efficacious undersea experts -- capable of instantly stopping the oil flow and putting everything to rights -- you should think again. President Obama, and most of those he works closely with, are puffed up poseurs with a lot of education, but no real competence or practical knowledge.

Competence still exists in the military, and in the private sector, but for the most part the public, media, and academic sectors are full of empty talking heads who could not repair a leaking sink faucet, much less a high pressure oil well deep undersea.

Live discussion by a mix of amateurs and experts with article by "Heading Out", an instructor of mines and knowledgeable authority.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

28 May 2010

Did the Junk Shot Explode the Top Kill?

Check out the video at about 1:30 1:12 in. Something happened to cause the rapid dispersal of junk and hydrates into the seawater. Will have to wait for clarification. If nothing else, a bit of drama. H/T to Bit Tooth Energy, which appears to have the best updates of the situation.

Update #3: Now the NYT is reporting that the top kill operation has resumed after a delay of several hours on Friday. The NYT's informant is supposedly a technician involved in the response effort. The informant's tip about a pause in the operation during the early hours of Thursday appear to have been confirmed, so it is possible that the information regarding today's temporary pause is also accurate.

There is no indication of improvement from watching the live feed -- but neither is there sign of catastrophic worsening so far. BP is claiming that it has gained some ground against the spill.

Update #2: The NYT is reporting that top kill efforts may have been suspended for the time being -- after prolonged injection of high pressure kill mud, plus two failed junk shots. It is difficult to know exactly what is happening on site unless you are there personally to observe. The fluid coming out of the riser on the live feed appears to be mainly mud, but oil and gas may be mixed with the mud. The NYT's source reports that the mood is pessimistic among response workers.

If the top kill operation is not successful, the next step would involve cutting off the riser at the top of the blowout preventer, in order to cap the LMRP (lower marine riser package). That would involve a LOT OF OIL AND GAS spilling into the Gulf from the time the riser is cut until the LMRP cap can be secured. At that point, the leaking oil and gas could be diverted to surface vessels for recovery......Then there is the plan to put a new blowout preventer on the LMRP in order to shut down the well completely.....The two relief wells will continue being drilled until one or the other can penetrate the Macondo bore, and seal it off permanently.

Update #1: It looks as if a small leak on the proximal riser may have expanded under pressure to allow a jet of junk and gas --> hydrates to escape. According to the live feed from BP, an area of leak on the topmost riser appears to have expanded since prior to the event captured on the video above.

If this turns out to be nothing, news is as follows:
...BP engineers have been pumping drilling fluid under pressure into the blowout preventer. The fluid is supposed to be heavy enough to counteract the pressure of the oil surging out of the well. If successful, cement would then be injected into the well to seal it....

...But BP officials said late Thursday that much of the injected kill mud was flowing out into the ocean instead of going down the well.

They said shooting debris, called bridging agent, into the blowout preventer would plug the gaps in the device and ensure more of the mud is diverted into the well. _WSJ

BP added the junk-shot materials after pumping mud alone into the well for 11 hours Wednesday. The company previously said it would add the rubber pieces if needed.
BP opted to add the material to block leaks in the well, Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for the London-based company’s exploration and production business, said at a press conference yesterday in Robert, Louisiana. Some of the junk-shot pieces are fibrous and small, and others are larger rubber balls, he said. _BW

Hayward told CNN BP engineers had injected a "junk shot" of heavier blocking materials into the failed blowout preventer of the ruptured wellhead, and would also pump in more drilling "mud"- all part of the top kill procedure being attempted.

"We have some indications of partial bridging which is good news," he said.

"I think it's probably 48 hours before we have a conclusive view," he added. _BitTooth

Hayward said on CBS that things were progressing as planned. He said BP engineers had completed a second phase by pumping what he called "loss prevention material" into the blowout preventer, a massive piece of machinery that sits atop the well. That material was supposed to form "a bridge against which we could pump" more heavyweight mud inside the blowout preventer.
That part of the operation was completed early today and appeared to have been partially successful. BP would go back to pumping more mud later today, he said.
If the mud works, BP would pour cement to seal the well. _al.com
More at Upstream
The situation is very dynamic, and a lot of things could go wrong very quickly at these pressures and at this depth.


Bookmark and Share

27 May 2010

Still Pumping Heavy Mud Against a Pressure Gradient

Update: From Bit Tooth Energy
Admiral Allen, who is the Government head of the effort to cap the flowing well in the Gulf, and to oversee the cleanup operation, commented this morning that the well had reached a point where the internal pressure difference between the mud pumped in and the reservoir pressure was very low. However, with the relatively high volume of leakage that was passing through the BOP, the plan now included a try at blocking some of that leakage path by injecting debris (for which likely read rubber strips and small spheres) in the hope that these will lodge in the flow path within the BOP and reduce the leakage of fluid.

The leakage rate is significant (I calculated earlier that it was around 17,000 bd, which lies within the newly reported range of 12,000 to 19,000 bd, and may have been higher than BP were actually anticipating. (Though the leak may also have increased a little as the mud was injected at higher pressures). The operation has already used all the mud on one of the supply boats, and has moved to the second (there is a third standing by so they won't run out). The concern, however is now with the volume of cement that will be required for the seal.
In other words, they need to do something to stop the leakage of injectant (mud or cement) out of the top of the blowout preventer, or they may not have enough cement on hand, when it comes time to switch from the mud to cement (when mud pressure balances the oil/gas reservoir pressure). Some type of "junk shot" may be attempted to slow the leak out of the top of the BOP.

More here
The top kill procedure of pumping heavy kill mud against the pressure of a gushing oil well, has been ongoing for about 24 hours. It is still too early to tell whether the pressure of the oil will drop low enough to allow the injection of cement into the blowout preventer. At least the Gulf of Mexico has had almost a day's respite from the relentless high pressure injection of oil and gas into its depths.

Oil Well Stabilizes but Top Kill Continues

Oil and Gas no Longer Gushing, too early to declare success

Effort to stop spill "going according to plan"

Another "pre-mortem post-mortem", from WSJ

More: Best estimate of oil leak before top kill: 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.
The range of 12,000 to 19,000 bpd is higher than the earlier USCG / NOAA estimate of 5,000 barrels per day, but is far lower than the fantastical estimates by academics from Purdue, UCB, and other universities who estimated flow rates to 100,000 barrels per day and higher. The higher spill rate would put the Deepwater Horizon spill above the Exxon Valdez in total volume spilled -- although that is not taking evaporation into account.

Journalists and Obama -- who are looking for "an unprecedented disaster -- want to compare the spill to the Exxon Valdez in order to prove that the apocalypse has come. But the Deepwater Horizon spill is not comparable to the Exxon Valdez spill for many reasons: a deep undersea leak far offshore vs. a surface container spill close to shore; a lighter crude with high proportions of gas vs. a heavier crude; the warm fertile waters of the Gulf of Mexico vs. the frigid waters of Prince William Sound; the active Gulf Loop Current into open seas vs. the relatively closed waters of the Sound . . . and so on.

Journalists, politicians, and activists are clearly too stupid to look beneath sloppily constructed surface realities. But that doesn't let the rest of us off the hook.


Bookmark and Share

26 May 2010

This Is Your Dollar On Obama - Pelosi


Before a leftist government can redistribute wealth, the wealth must first be created. Wealth creation typically occurs in the private sector, by persons who are motivated by self-interest. If the leftist government appropriates and redistributes wealth faster than it can be created by the private sector, the value of the overall economy will shrink -- regardless of government generated GDP statistics.
Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA Today analysis of government data finds. At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

The trend is not sustainable, says University of Michigan economist Donald Grimes. Reason: The federal government depends on private wages to generate income taxes to pay for its ever-more-expensive programs. Government-generated income is taxed at lower rates or not at all, he says. “This is really important,” Grimes says.

The recession has erased 8 million private jobs. Even before the downturn, private wages were eroding because of the substitution of health and pension benefits for taxable salaries.

...• Private wages. A record-low 41.9% of the nation’s personal income came from private wages and salaries in the first quarter, down from 44.6% when the recession began in December 2007.

•Government benefits. Individuals got 17.9% of their income from government programs in the first quarter, up from 14.2% when the recession started. Programs for the elderly, the poor and the unemployed all grew in cost and importance. An additional 9.8% of personal income was paid as wages to government employees.

...Economist Veronique de Rugy of the free-market Mercatus Center at George Mason University says the riots in Greece over cutting benefits to close a huge budget deficit are a warning about unsustainable income programs.

Economist David Henderson of the conservative Hoover Institution says a shift from private wages to government benefits saps the economy of dynamism. “People are paid for being rather than for producing,” he says. _ImpactLab (from USAToday)
And who is rioting in Greece (and soon Spain)? It is the public sector union freeloaders, who want to retire at age 55 to at least 30 years of leisure at taxpayers' (and the EU's and IMF's) expense.

American public sector unions are prepared to go to war to maintain their ill-won benefits -- even if it kills the productive private sector. Just like their violent cousins in Greece.

Public sector unions are bankrupting California, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and any other state where they can control who gets elected to the state assembly. It is a type of corruption that is very difficult to break and get rid of. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is making a heroic attempt to save the state from the corrupt partnership of unions and politicians.

Obama - Pelosi represents the epitome of union - political corruption. If unions are successful in placing judges, law enforcement personnel, and government attorneys under the union blanket, there will be no way for a citizen to receive justice when abused by union aggression and violence.

When an entire nation becomes psychologically neotenised, academically lobotomised, and media zombified -- when the nation becomes an idiocracy -- it elects a government like Obama Pelosi. Unless concerned citizens move quickly to correct their mistake, it becomes irrevocable.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

25 May 2010

Live Undersea Video Stream Shows Top Kill Activities

BP Technical Briefing Video -- Must See!
Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com
Despite reports to the contrary, BP will maintain the live video feed throughout the top kill procedure -- which could take up to 48 hours to complete.
BP confirmed May 25, 2010 that following detailed discussion with the National Incident Commander, Admiral Thad Allen, it will continue to provide live video feeds from the seabed throughout the planned ‘top kill’ procedure – the attempt to stop the flow from the damaged MC252 well by pumping heavy drilling fluids into it.

Preparations for this procedure are continuing with the expectation that it could be activated on the morning of Wednesday May 26, 2010.

Throughout the extended top kill procedure – which may take up to two days to complete - very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed may be expected. These will not provide a reliable indicator of the overall progress, or success or failure, of the top kill operation as a whole. BP will report on the progress of the operation as appropriate and on its outcome when complete. _DeepwaterHorizonResponse
Initiation of top kill is tentatively scheduled for dawn in the Gulf of Mexico.
As early as dawn Wednesday, the oil company will try to choke to death the gusher at the bottom of the sea by force-feeding it heavy drilling mud and cement -- a tactic called a "top kill" that is routinely used above ground but has never been tried 5,000 feet underwater.

If it's not done just right, it could make the leak worse. _al.com
Wells reaffirmed that the earliest BP would start the top kill would be Wednesday morning, but said there is a “remote possibility” that results could show a top kill will not work.

Once started, the procedure is expected to take between half a day and two days to complete.

Wells cautioned that if the operation is not completed quickly that does not mean that it will be unsuccessful.

Cement trouble

Flow from the Macondo well is not travelling up the main well bore, BP operations boss Doug Suttles said Tuesday, a revelation that would support theories that a cement failure played a part in the blowout.

“We actually believe the flow path is between two strings of the casing and not up the main wellbore,” Suttles said.

Suttles said BP could not be certain of the flow path but diagnostic tests on the well seem to indicate the flow is not coming up main bore.

A veteran industry source told UpstreamOnline that the news about the flow path “almost certainly confirms” what many suspected, that problems with the annular cement around the production casing played a part in the blowout. _UpstreamOnline
Plans have been developed for a series of interventions via the BOP; it is currently anticipated these may be carried out over a period of about a week, commencing in the next few days. These interventions have not been carried out at these depths and conditions before and the success of individual options cannot be assured.

The first planned intervention is the so-called top kill operation where heavy drilling fluids would be injected into the well to stem the flow of oil and gas and, ultimately, kill the well. Most of the equipment is on site and preparations for this operation continue, with a view to deployment within a few days. If necessary, equipment is also in place to combine this operation with the injection under pressure of bridging material to seal off upward flow through the BOP.

Sophisticated diagnostic work using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will precede the 'top kill' to allow the procedure to be planned in detail. The knowledge from this diagnostic work will be instrumental in determining whether to proceed with this option.

LMRP Option

Being progressed in parallel with plans for the top kill is development of a lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment option. This would first involve removing the damaged riser from the top of the BOP, leaving a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the BOP's LMRP. The LMRP cap, an engineered containment device with a sealing grommet, would be connected to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and then placed over the LMRP with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well and transporting it to the drillship on the surface. The LMRP cap is already on site and it is anticipated that this option will be available for deployment by the end of May.

Additional options also continue to be progressed, including the option of lowering a second blow-out preventer, or a valve, on top of the MC 252 BOP. _Rigzone
You can find a great deal more technical information and explanations at the link below. Here is a brief excerpt:
The well has a certain ability to get oil through the BOP at a given (though debated) flow rate. If the volume is increased, by pumping mud into the well below the BOP, then the well will “back up” and the oil will flow back down the well. As it does more mud enters the well. This is dense enough that, as the column grows longer it pushes down on the oil, and applies enough pressure, due to this weight, to overcome the pressure in the rock. Without that positive difference , there is nothing to drive the oil out, and thus the well is “killed.” _BitToothEnergy
Here is an update on the progress of the 2 relief wells:
The Transocean semi-submersible rig Development Driller III has resumed drilling the first relief well after stopping to test and drop the BOP on 9 May.

The Transocean semi-submersible rig drilled out of a 22-inch casing Friday was continuing down hole Monday at 10,100 feet below the drilling floor.

Another Transocean semi-sub, Development Driller II, is drilling the second relief well.

Development Driller II set the top 36-inch casing on its relief well and has stopped drilling at 6750 feet while it performs routine tests on its BOP.

Both wells are planned for casing strings of 36, 28, 22, 18, 16, 13-5/8, 11-7/8 and 9-5/8 inches, the same string as the original Macondo well.

Both rigs spud their wells about 3000 feet from the original Macondo bore.

They will drill vertically to about 10,000 feet before directionally drilling to intercept Macondo at roughly 18,000 feet.

Once either well intercepts the Macondo bore, BP can pump cement and plug the producing zone.

Suttles said the company has no plans to ever produce from the Macondo bore because it has been damaged beyond repair. _UpstreamOnline

Remember, if the above live feed goes offline, try the direct tap into BP's feed several posts down on the Al Fin main page on 23 May.


Bookmark and Share

Gen Y: A Very Inflated Sense of Self, Totally Unprepared


We are living in increasingly difficult times financially and geopolitically. Meeting the challenges of these times will require an internal toughness and resiliency which was present in past generations -- the depression and WWII generations for example -- but which seems to be increasingly absent with each new generation that comes along in our affluent societies.

An entire generation of young people is rising up which somehow believes it is entitled to having it all -- just by existing. Think of them as Cinderellas and Peter Pans, or psychological neotenates if you will. They never learned work ethic, work skills, practical competencies, or how to move past inevitable failure to success. They are "Generation Y."
Those who were born into "Generation Y" have an over-inflated sense of entitlement lack the work ethic to achieve their goals.
They also hate being criticised, it is claimed.

Researchers believe that the problem stems from being constantly told from birth they are special and as a result now believe it - and will ignore anybody who says otherwise.

But far from making them happy their approach to life leads to higher levels of depression and "chronic diasppointment" as unjustified levels of self-esteem masks the ugly reality.

Academics have concluded the values drummed into their grandparents, such as a strong work ethic and self-sacrifice, have been lost in the relentless quest for self-fulfilment.

"Generation Y" or Gen-Yers refers to those born between the 1980s and 90s who are now in their 20s or approaching their 30s.

They are also known as the "Millennium generation" or the "Boomerang generation" because they keep moving back home with their parents in young adulthood due to financial or commitment issues.

They are marked by dependence on technology, delaying of adulthood, a casual approach to life and placing a higher value on self-fulfilment than previous generations. _Telegraph_via_ImpactLab
As economic times grow more difficult, those hoping to succeed in work and careers will need to be tough enough to bounce back from rejection and criticism. They will need to have insight into their own inadequacies which will require correction and self-improvement. They will have to understand how to constantly learn and grow, when they do not "measure up" to external standards and requirements. Otherwise, widespread failure, disillusion, and misery are the result.
"They do seem to have a chip on their shoulder," said Karen Obringer, internships coordinator and counselor for IPFW Career Services. "We've seen a lot of students not coming to events that could help them, and that's not good, because in this market, you have to be aggressive."

...A report from the Economic Policy Institute on the class of 2010 says it faces the worst job market since the end of World War II. The institute is a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C., that researches economic issues.

Authors of the study say it will take "years for the labor market to recover from the damage induced by the recent recession."

In short, institute researchers believe graduates are entering the employment market at a particularly bad time, although poor job prospects are not their fault.

..."There are those out there that feel it wasn't this hard for my brother or sister, so why is it for me?" said Harvey, assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire.

"It is a bit depressing, certainly frustrating for them, and they're not used to" rejection.

Students today, Harvey said, might have been coddled by well-meaning parents and others "and now are facing economic reality." _Journal-Gazette
Children must be taught basic competencies, and basic exploratory and learning skills. They have to know how to learn from failure, and to want to constantly improve their abilities, skills, and knowledge. They must be challenged and given honest assessments of their performance. And critically, they must have legitimate rites of passage that signifies to them and to others that they have successfully completed basic phases of development and are ready to move on.

In affluent societies, children are sheltered from reality, kept separate from the adult world and responsibility -- and somehow they are expected to magically become adults when they receive a diploma and are thrust into the job market. But too many never became adults -- were never given the type of upbringing or education which would lead them into adulthood.

Now that the economy has taken a long term dip and the world ecology of aggressor nations and militant religions is once again heating up, a smarter, stronger, wiser, and more self-reliant population is called for.

Good luck with that.


Bookmark and Share

24 May 2010

Top Kill Scheduled for Wednesday; Preparations Video

Oil spill video: BP shows ROVs at work

The video provides a revealing look into ROV operations in the leadup to the Top Kill operation, now scheduled for Wednesday, the 26th of May.
BP will attempt a "top kill" maneuver to permanently stanch the oil flow from a leaking well Wednesday morning and will know whether or not the procedure is working by that evening, the company's Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said Monday. If the top kill does not work, the company will try to contain the oil by placing a cap on the riser pipe and sucking oil to the surface.

"This job has taken quite some time to prepare and plan for. It's not unique or new but it is unique and new in 5,000 feet of water," Suttles said. "If that operation is successful, we will be able to stop the flow from the well."

Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive officer said Monday that there is a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of success with the top kill.

The single biggest challenge to the procedure, Suttles said, will be overcoming the rate at which oil is gushing up from the well.

...The top kill will be performed near the smaller of the two leaks. The second, larger leak, has been affixed with a tube that is capturing some, but not all, of the oil and natural gas spilling from it. Because the top kill will be performed at the base of the broken pipe, down near the blowout preventer, it should permanently shut off both leaks if it is successful.

The top kill process involves pumping fabricated "kill mud," which is about twice the density of water, into the well at 50 barrels a minute to overcome the flow.

The material will be pumped at that high pressure down the choke and kill lines of the blowout preventer, which failed to seal the well after the rig exploded, to push the oil back into the reservoir. Choke and kill lines are used to control the amount and pressure of drilling mud in the wellbore so that surges of oil and natural gas can be kept under control.

If the kill mud is not able to overcome the flow of oil, it could get trapped in the riser pipe and erode it, which could lead to additional leaks, Suttles said.

The drill mud could be followed with cement to permanently seal the well.

Should the maneuver fail, BP may pump debris into the well to clog it and then try the top kill again, Suttles said. The company may also cut the joint where the riser pipe comes out of the blowout preventer and place a cap on it. The cap would be attached to another riser pipe that BP would use to suction oil from the well to a drill ship on the surface. Doing so would not stop the flow of oil, but would contain oil escaping from both leak sites. _NOLA
Oil spill trajectory forecast:

WKRG.com News
Live webcam of spill and undersea operations:

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com
More 25May10:
The pumps will deliver the mud into the lines at a pressure of 6,800 psi, but as Kinuachdrach has correctly noted, it will then acquire the pressure from the full 5,000 ft column of mud as it flows down to the BOP, and enters the flow channel carrying the oil. Now we know that the BOP rams are at least partially closed. If they are planning on using golf balls for the “junk shot”, it is feasible to surmise that the maximum width of the flow channel is no more than a third of a golf ball diameter. Not arguing the merits of American vs British ball sizes, let us assume that this is roughly half-an-inch (though it may have a greater length).

However, as flow volumes go up it requires more and more pressure for the fluid to get through a small gap. And at a given delivery pressure, only a certain flow volume will thus be able to escape that way. As long as this pressure exceeds that in the well, the net result will then be that the mud begins to push the oil and gas back down the well, and the well fills up with mud. The weight of that mud should then be enough to exert a pressure on the bottom of the well that is enough to exceed the fluid pressure in the rock and therefore stabilize the well and stop the flow of fluid out. Cement can then be pumped into the well to seal the top end. (Or with the flow stopped, another BOP can be put on the well to seal it). The main worry is that the hole in the top of the BOP is small enough to contain the additional flow volumes, and not allow the entire flow to escape upwards rather than being forced down the well. The higher flows might, in addition, if they do exit the riser, further erode the openings. This could increase the oil flow, as it lowers the resistance. (If this happened then the LMRP will be deployed).

Lower Marine Riser Package Fallback Plan
The London-based company said on Tuesday it had plans to remove a damaged part from the ruptured well and put in place a tube which would capture most of the oil and gas flowing into the sea, calling it the LMRP cap containment option.

BP already has one tube in place which is siphoning off an average 40 percent of the 5,000 barrels of oil [NOAA and the USCG] estimates is leaking out of the well each day. [Ed.: a final report from the special committee appointed to assess leak flow is due any time now]

The company said it would be ready to try to fit the new tube by the end of the month, but in the meantime it would attempt in the next few days to plug the leak using heavy fluids -- the so-called "top kill" option that BP has given a 60 to 70 percent chance of success. _Reuters

As noted before, these procedures have not been done at these depths. This disaster has also been an opportunity for deep sea drilling engineers and technicians to study and rank a number of methods to mitigate the damage from such a rare but potentially catastrophic event.

Persons whose property and livelihood were damaged from the spill deserve to be compensated. Ghoulish journalists, academics, activists, and lawyers may more properly deserve to be shot.


Bookmark and Share

The Future of a Europe Without Babies.


Europeans want cradle to grave security guaranteed by the state. But lately there are a lot fewer cradles in Europe, with the EU beginning to look more like a continent-sized grave. What do you say to a continent that refuses to have enough children to replace its population -- yet is willing to riot and strike to prevent the state from reducing generous handouts and pensions? There is very little left to say.
Germany is shrinking — fast. New figures released on May 17 show the birth rate in Europe's biggest economy has plummeted to a historic low, dropping to a level not seen since 1946. As demographers warn of the consequences of not making enough babies to replace and support an aging population, the latest figures have triggered a bout of national soul-searching and cast a harsh light on Chancellor Angela Merkel's family policies.
According to a preliminary analysis by the Federal Statistics Office, 651,000 children were born in Germany in 2009 — 30,000 fewer than in 2008, a dip of 3.6%. In 1990, German mothers were having on average 1.5 children each; today that average is down to 1.38 children per mother. With a shortfall of 190,000 between the number of people who died and the number of children who were born, Germany's birth rate is well below the level required to keep the population stable.

...The Federal Statistics Office says Germany's population of 82 million could drop by up to 17 million over the next 50 years. Demographers fear a shrinking workforce will stymie growth and struggle to foot the bill for a rapidly aging population. "Germany's working-age population is likely to decrease 30% over the next few decades," says Kröhnert of the Berlin Institute for Population Development. "Rural areas will see a massive population decline and some villages will simply disappear — Germany will become a weak economic power in the future."_Time
There are limits to the state-supported urban lifestyle, and the shrinking populations of Europe, Russia, Japan, and other "advanced" nations are starting to feel the squeeze. Germany is very close to the point of no return.

But why focus on Germany? Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Japan, and Eastern Europe are worse off than Germany in almost every way.

But it is precisely for that reason that one must focus on Germany's demographic meltdown. Germany is the most successful country in Europe -- and yet it has chosen the path of childless national suicide. What hope, therefore, do the rest of the hyper-indebted, under-procreating, proudly entitled, union obligated state disasters of Europe have?

Not that North America is doing much better. California, Michigan, and Illinois are drowning in public sector union debt and corruption. New Jersey has the chance to save itself, with a rare governor willing to go out on the political limb to save the state -- even at the risk of his own career. And what do New Jersey's unions do? Threaten to strike, riot, and even joke about assassinating the governor. The California governator has turned into a wimp in the face of public sector union threats. The US president is a Chicago Way machine politician steeped in the corrupt, fascist, populist pandering, union dominated, self-defeating styles of government that are bringing so much of the western world down.

North American demographics are slightly better than Europe's, but that is due to immigration -- and the significantly higher birthrates of new immigrants to America compared to multi-generational North Americans.

Can new technology save the developed world from itself? Automated industry and commerce? Nanotechnological fabricators? New longevity procedures and technologies for longer and healthier lives? Artificial wombs to allow high achieving women to have children AND continue their career paths? A partial reversal of urbanisation, with new farm and ranch technologies that allow for more pleasurable and profitable urban lifestyles?

We need new frontiers, big new challenges that can bring out the atavist in the young and the young at heart. We need to find tasks and places that force us to tap the deep strength of the primitive drives within ourselves at the same time we are utilising advanced skills and technologies undreamed of even a few years ago. Most of all, we need to raise our children to seek these new challenges and risks.

What we are doing now clearly isn't working.

"The current welfare state is unaffordable," said Uri Dadush, director of the Carnegie Endowment's International Economics Program...."We have to adjust our social security systems in a way that they motivate people to accept regular work and do not give counterproductive incentives," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told news weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Saturday.

The uncertainty over the future of the welfare state is undermining the continent's self-image at a time when other key elements of post-war European identity are fraying. Large-scale immigration from outside Europe is challenging the continent's assumptions about its dedication to tolerance and liberty as countries move to control individual clothing — the Islamic veil — in the name of freedom and equality....

...Demographers and economists began warning decades ago that social welfare was doomed by the aging of Europe's baby boomers. Some governments had been trimming and reforming, but now almost all are scrambling to close deficits in order to prevent a wider collapse of confidence in the euro...

...Southern European countries that have not moved toward reforming welfare in the same ways are paying a steep price. _SFEx

Cross-posted to abu al-fin

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

23 May 2010

Prepping BOP for Top Kill; Estimating True Flow Rates

BP has replaced a key control module in the BOP above the Macondo well as it prepares for a top kill that could come as early as Sunday [Tuesday].

BP re-inserted a “yellow pod", one of two in the BOP that will control the choke and kill valves needed to kill the well, a source told UpstreamOnline.

Suttles said BP had two more pressure measurements to take before it could decide definitively to move forward with the top kill option.

In a top kill, BP will pump heavy-weight mud at a high enough pressure to push the flow of oil back down the Macondo wellbore.

The mud will be pumped through a pair of three-inch choke and kill valves located on the lower portion of the crippled BOP.

The heavy mix will then be followed with cement, which would seal the well for good.

BP executive Kent Wells said Sunday that ROVs are preparing pipes and hoses around the well to pump up to 40 barrels per minute of mud into the well.

All of the heavy equipment needed for a top kill “has been mobilised or is on scene”, Suttles said Wednesday, including manifolds, which were dropped to the sea floor late last week.

The Department of Energy has allowed BP to use some of its cutting-edge imaging technology and the latest scans show that there are no obstructions in the wellbore that would preclude a top kill, Suttles said.

Graphics generated by BP show that the Q4000 semi-submersible supply vessel, which is currently operated by Houston-based Helix Energy Solutions, will be used in the top kill operations.

BP representatives said they were unsure if the top kill would be carried out by Helix’s Well Ops division, which offers subsea well intervention services.

It is understood BP's preference for staunching the well flow is to carry out a top kill, but it has other options on the table in the event it does not work.

The next option would likely be a junk shot.

A junk shot entails pumping chunks of rubber, shredded tyres, frac balls and other materials, along with heavy mud, directly into the BOP, Suttles said.

The reason BP likely will start with a top kill over a junk shot is that a failed junk shot could cut off other well control options, he said. _Upstream

Cogdell said estimates as high as 100,000 barrels of oil a day from some scientists were unrealistic based on production rates at deep water wells in the vicinity, which range from 15,000 to 30,000 barrels per day.

Steve Wereley, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University who was thrust into the limelight last week after analyzing a 30-second video clip of the leaking pipe for National Public Radio, said he would likely cut in half his latest estimate of 100,000 barrels of oil a day after viewing a live video feed that was released on Thursday. _Rigzone

The mainstream media is also reporting that so-called exerts are saying the amount of oil being released is far more than the 5,000 barrels thought to be leaking in the ocean on a daily basis by BP. Experts? How is anyone an expert in oil leaking from the ocean floor at about a mile below the surface? There is no such thing as an expert in this...

...One of the major elements that are going to make these so-called researchers and scientists look stupid and ignorant is the fact that about half of what is leaking into the ocean is natural gas. They are basing their inflated numbers on all the liquid being oil, which totally makes the flow far higher than it really is.

Other things not being taken into consideration, are these, according to BP in a statement: "For instance, while the original riser was 19.5 inches in diameter prior to the Deepwater Horizon accident, damage sustained during the accident distorted the diameter at the end of the pipe by about 30 percent. In addition, a drill pipe currently trapped inside the riser has reduced the flow area by an additional 10 percent." _DrippingOil

Part of the problem remains in the complexity of the flow of an expanding gas in oil, coming out into an unconfined (apart from the sea pressure) space. Estimates of the flow have ranged up to 100,000 bd. At the moment the evaluation is relying largely on either visual evaluations, or relatively crude analysis, albeit with sophisticated systems, based on estimated behaviors of the flow volumes. Whether the flow has, as BP have stated, been significantly reduced by the RIT tap, or whether the current tap has had little significant effect is largely, at present left up to individual judgment without measurements of the actual flows. _BitToothEnergy

If you visually compare the pre-siphon flow to the post-siphon flow, you will be in as good a position as anyone (except the insiders with access to real time data) to judge the flow rates -- knowing how much is coming out of the surface end of the siphon tube.

The mainstream media ends up making idiots out of themselves and out of anyone who craves his 15 minutes of fame.

Update: The Flow Rate Technical Group (PDF) will release its assessment of flow rates early this week.
The FRTG is leading a coordinated effort across the federal government to determine oil flow rates from the spill at multiple time periods following the explosion, fire and sinking of the oil rig in order to compute total outflow.

This will be achieved by:

• Obtaining a wide variety of data available on the reservoir, wellbore, blowout preventer,
subsea flowing pressures, leak points, discharge plums and surface discharge observations, and others, as well as video review; and
• Using that data to identify and run state-of-the-art models to calculate flow rates and compare results.

Within the Group are two teams:
• A Modeling Team, which will collect and analyze data, and run state-of-the-art models.
• A Peer Review Team, which will conduct an independent review of all reports and findings of the modeling team under a contract with an independent organization. The FRTG, chaired by MMS National Outer Continental Shelf Oil Spill Program Coordinator David Moore, draws on the experience of the best experts from the federal government, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Minerals Management Service, Department of Energy, NOAA and the U.S. Geologic Survey, as well as members from academia.

The group expects to have an initial flow assessment completed by early next week. _FRTG Factsheet (PDF)


Bookmark and Share

Decrease in Gusher Velocity Suggests Low Range Flow

[Update 28 May 2010: The live feed above no longer points at the end of the riser, and the riser insertion tube has long since been removed, so the comparison is no longer meaningful. But this live feed is still useful, since it has continued displaying even when other life feeds have gone down. AF]
Compare the above live feed with an earlier video of the gusher taken pre-riser tube:

Note the velocity of hydrocarbon out of the riser pipe originally (bottom video) compared to the velocity out of the pipe after the riser siphon tube was inserted and operational (top live video). What is your best guess of the difference? It is the velocity that is the important parameter.

Equation to solve flow rate "Q": Q=vA where "v" is velocity of fluid and "A" is cross sectional diameter area of the pipe.

Remember that if you can detect a noticeable difference in velocity due to the withdrawal of 5,000 barrels per day through the siphon tube -- with just the naked eye -- the total gush rate prior to the siphon tube was very likely under 20,000 bpd.

Deep Horizon Oil Spill: An Unlikely Series of Unfortunate Events?

A comparison with the larger environmental disaster of Ixtoc 1 in 1979

Top Kill procedure still tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, 25 May 2010.

Update: Something happened to stir things up and create a lot of turbidity around the livefeed camera. One minute everything was clear and you could watch fish and eels swimming by, the next minute there is nothing but gray swirling matter -- with a brief glimpse of an ROV moving through before all goes back to cloudiness.

Remember that this is one mile below the ocean surface, with a lot of things changing almost instantaneously -- including flow rate up the siphon tube. The 5,000 bpd is said to be the average 24 hour rate of extraction out of the riser.

Now you can see one ROV in the distance, while a second ROV seems to be attempting to reposition the livefeed camera......Try not to spend too much time watching this.

Update #2: This AP news report suggests that the siphon tube had retrieved only just over 1,000 barrels over the past 24 hours -- compared to over 2,000 barrels the previous 24 hours. The video below was taken when the retrieval was close to 3,000 barrels per day.
"Spillcam' Streaming Video -- What It Looks Like
If you study the image of the riser siphon tube here, you can locate the drill pipe within the riser, which interferes somewhat with the rubber stoppers on the siphon tube. If the stoppers (or gaskets) were made of a material better able to mould around the drill pipe -- and better seal the outflow -- the siphon tube would likely be more efficient at its task.

Regardless, the high velocity / high pressure injection of highly dense kill mud into the BOP on Tuesday may be the big piece of luck that BP (and everyone else but the ghouls) has been hoping for.


Bookmark and Share

22 May 2010

"Gold is down. Silver is down. Oil is down....."

The euro is down. Mortgage rates are down. Mortgage applications are down.

The main thing that is up is mortgage payment skipping. At least 10% of American households missed a monthly mortgage payment during the first three months of 2010. This is an all-time high in the post-World War II era. The rate was 9.1% in the first quarter of 2009. It rose to 9.5% in the final quarter. The trend is ominous. Americans will stop making payments on every other category of debt before they skip a mortgage payment. The fact that they are skipping mortgage payments indicates that they are in very tight straits. _GaryNorth
And the future doesn't look a lot better -- not with the current crop of university students, graduates, and the monkey-minded professors who are lobbing balls of shite into their heads:
Universities are sending young achievers out into the world with the words of rabid leftists ringing in their heads. It's a dismal picture, given the future the [leftists] running Washington have created.

...universities are no longer places to question authority, but cheerleaders for the establishment. It's a sad sight, given that it is graduates who will in the end be forced to foot the bill for these big-government excesses and warped values. _IBD
We are living in a "dumbed-down" world from top to bottom, of course. Parents abdicate their duties to raise their children to popular media and a leftist-curricula government educational establishment. Children are pampered, indoctrinated, have their self-esteem pumped up -- and are never really challenged, never pass through a distinct rite of passage separating childhood from youth. A bumper crop of Peter Pans and Cinderellas are flooding into the world, with no idea how to think, or what to do with themselves.

And that is just the way Obama Pelosi wants it. Because now that they've got the system twisted into the shape they like, who is ever going to be able to challenge them now, with the dumbing down of all future generations assured?

And the Obama Pelosi establishment intends to milk the taxpayer and the productive sector for every penny. And they don't mind breaking a few laws or traditions to do it:
From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to these assaults on private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thugocracy. Like Chavez, he gets non-official "allies" to act as his henchemen and do the intimidation work. Obama provides the narrative and tells the story of "greed" while the SEIU provides the muscle. This is about power, not prosperity. _AndreaTantaros
Obama Pelosi's friends in the public sector unions are very happy with the way things are going. To make sure that the unions keep all of their friends in congress where they can do them the most good, the unions plan to spend $100 Million to grease the "wheels" for the 2010 mid-term election.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) plans to spend in excess of $50 million during the 2010 campaign, part of which will fund “a massive incumbent protection program,” according to Gerry McEntee, president of the union.

AFSCME spent roughly $67 million on its political activities in 2008. But the $50 million slated for the 2010 elections is the largest expenditure the union will make in a midterm election, according to union officials. The money will go to help defend the union’s top tier of eight Senate seats and 34 House members.

“We have got to protect the incumbency in the House. We have got to protect the incumbency in the Senate,” McEntee said. “It is going to be hard. Those tea-baggers are out there. There is an anti-incumbency mood out there.”

…The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) plans to spend $44 million in total on its 2010 election program. The union spent $85 million on its 2008 campaign, according to union officials. _The Hill_via_Gateway
That $100 million will be money well spent for the public sector unions, since the largesse of government extends all the way down from the federal level to the states, and to counties and municipalities. All of these levels of government are sinking under debt and pension obligations to public sector employee unions. Thousands of bankruptcies would be inevitable if not for the ability to get federal bailouts. It's like one big happy (crime) family! Only the taxpayer suffers, and if you're the unions: who cares about the taxpayer?

The Obama Pelosi criminal way needs only one thing more: a steady supply of uneducated, untrainable, and highly manipulable future voters -- by the millions. And it doesn't have to look far to the South to find them.
Various estimates put the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. between 10 and 20 million. One argument says we can't round up and deport all those people. That argument differs little from one that says since we can't catch every burglar, we should grant burglars amnesty. Catching and imprisoning some burglars sends a message to would-be burglars that there might be a price to pay. Similarly, imprisoning some illegal immigrants and then deporting them after their sentences were served would send a signal to others who are here illegally or who are contemplating illegal entry that there's a price to pay.

Here's Williams' suggestion in a nutshell. Start strict enforcement of immigration law, as Arizona has begun. Strictly enforce border security. Most importantly, modernize and streamline our cumbersome immigration laws so that people can more easily migrate to our country. _WalterWilliams
WHOOOPS!!! Dreadfully sorry. I must have allowed that politically incorrect Walter Williams to insert his opinion, instead of printing the ever-so-correct opinion of Obama Pelosi on immigration. I'm running out of space, so I will just summarize: Obama Pelosi says "Let everybody in as long as they're impoverished, ignorant, and likely to stay that way. That way we can be assured that they will vote for us -- because we will always give them free goodies and take care of them."

Obama Pelosi happens. It happens because enough voters were stupid enough to let it happen. If you're part of the thugocracy or the idiocracy, you are happy with Obama Pelosi. If not, you will either fight back, go Galt, jump in a lake, or find somewhere else to live.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

21 May 2010

Top Kill Postponed Until Tuesday

Oil spill video: Bob Marshall gives latest update
NOLA Update 21May2010

BP wants to be sure it has "all its ducks in a row" before it takes a chance on its top kill procedure -- so the attempt has been postponed until Tuesday.
This week the company began staging a variety of equipment including a barge carrying "kill mud," a semi-submersible pumping vessel and more than a dozen remote operated vehicles at the site of the sunken rig.

The process of shutting the well, called a "top kill," requires pumping mud into the well and then sealing it with cement. The mud, which is twice the density of water, will be pumped into the choke and kill lines of the blow out preventer at a high enough rate that it can overcome the flow of oil. BP has been using the remote operated vehicles to reattach the necessary wiring to the blow out preventer so that the company will be able to control the flow of mud down the lines.

The top kill has been attempted in shallow water, but never at 5,000 feet, Suttles said.

"I would stress that these operations are quite complex and we won't start the job until all of these options are in place," Suttles said.

Lars Herbst, Minerals Management director of the Gulf of Mexico region, said his agency is in the process of reviewing BP's plan for the top kill. The MMS must give its approval before the method can be attempted.

BP is still using a riser insertion tube tool to contain oil at the larger of the leak sites. The company said Thursday that the tube was capturing 5,000 barrels of oil per day from the well and had the capacity to capture more. _NOLA

The media continues to attempt to portray this disaster as "the apocalypse of the century", yet a much larger spill, Ixtoc, was cleared from the Bay of Campeche by natural forces within two years after the 10 month extended gusher was capped.

Academics, politicians, and faux environmentalists with their inflated tales of doom have been placed into the center of attention by a media intent on making a disaster into a total cataclysm.

Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, Minerals Management Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey, will provide an estimate of hydrocarbon flow rates from the well sometime next week. Until then we will continue to be treated to a wide range of estimates -- most of which will be nowhere close to true values.


Bookmark and Share

Graphic Animation of Oil Spill Movement Over Time


This animation of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was created using actual overflight information and forecast models from the NOAA and Unified Command.
The red dot is the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil well, which exploded on April 20, releasing oil into the Gulf near the Louisiana coast that has yet to be contained. Eleven rig workers died in the explosion.
The animation begins Aprill 22, the day the first image of the spill via flyover was released. _NOLA

While waiting for the new and improved government estimate of oil spill flow rates (the old estimation of 5,000 BPD was from US NOAA), we can only wish the best of success to sea and shore prevention and remediation crews, and to the BP and USCG crisis response crews.

BP intends to attempt the top kill injection of kill mud into the well (using a 30,000 total hp pump array?) via the blowout preventer (BOP), on Sunday. If successful in stopping the flow, they will fill the BOP and upper well with concrete. If the top kill is unsuccessful, BP may attempt a "junk shot" into the BOP followed by another attempt at a top kill.

The sooner the flow of oil is stopped, the easier the surface remediation and prevention activities will be. To this point, damage to the environment of the Gulf is slowly accumulating. Keep in mind that the Gulf of Mexico is not a pristine environment, and that at least twice the amount of oil of the Exxon Valdez spill, seeps into the Gulf every year naturally. When a much larger spill -- Ixtoc 1979 -- hit the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican Bay of Campeche, the ecology recovered completely from a much larger and more extended disaster, in under 2 years.
"Spillcam' Streaming Video -- What It Looks Like
al.com Spillcam

The important thing to notice about the Spillcam, is the much slower velocity of the oil out of the riser pipe, compared to videos of the spill prior to the siphon tube placement. That is the best indication of flow rate. The inescapable conclusion is that the 5,000 barrels per day extraction of oil from the riser has put a serious crimp in the rate of oil leakage. The final call will be up to the engineers and scientists on the scene, delegated by the US government to make the flow assessment.


Bookmark and Share

What Use is a New-Born Baby?

On a Friday in March, scientists inserted over 1 million base pairs of synthetic DNA into Mycoplasma capricolum cells before leaving for the weekend. When they returned on Monday, their cells had bloomed into colonies.

“When we look at life forms, we see fixed entities,” said J. Craig Venter, president of the Institute, in a recent podcast. “But this shows in fact how dynamic they are. They change from second to second. And that life is basically the result of an information process. Our genetic code is our software.” _Wired

"Impressive!", you may say, "but what good is it?" Yes, what good is a newborn baby? Only time can tell. Here is a look at the coverage of the Venter Institute's achievement from a few prominent websites:
The cell was created by stitching together the genome of a goat pathogen called Mycoplasma mycoides from smaller stretches of DNA synthesised in the lab, and inserting the genome into the empty cytoplasm of a related bacterium. The transplanted genome booted up in its host cell, and then divided over and over to make billions of M. mycoides cells.

Venter and his team have previously accomplished both feats – creating a synthetic genome and transplanting a genome from one bacterium into another – but this time they have combined the two.

"It's the first self-replicating cell on the planet that's parent is a computer," says Venter, referring to the fact that his team converted a cell's genome that existed as data on a computer into a living organism. _NewScientist

"It is a big deal," geneticist and technology developer George Church of Harvard Medical School says of the achievement. "It's not incremental, but it's not final either," noting that other groups are already delivering useful products from partially reengineered genomes, such as biofuels from engineered E. coli.

Biological engineer Drew Endy of Stanford University clarified how to think of this creation. "It's not genesis, it's not as if mice are coming from a pile of dirty rags in a corner," he says. "The correct word is poesis, human construction. We can now go from information and get a reproducing organism. It lays down the gauntlet for us to learn how to engineer genomes." _SciAm

Using a method developed in 2008, the researchers, led by genomics pioneer Craig Venter, synthesized the genome of a tiny bacterium called Mycoplasma mycoides, containing just over a million DNA base pairs. Next they transplanted the synthetic genome into a related bacterium, Mycoplasma capricolum, in a process they had previously perfected using nonsynthetic chromosomes.

Once the recipient cells incorporated the synthetic genome, they immediately began to carry out the instructions encoded within the genome. The cells manufactured only M. mycoides proteins, and within a few rounds of self-replication, all traces of the recipient species were gone. The results were published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science.

To distinguish their synthetic genome from the naturally occurring version, the researchers encoded a series of watermarks into the sequence. They began by developing a code for writing the English alphabet, as well as punctuation and numbers, into the language of DNA--a decoding key is included in the sequence itself. Then they wrote in their names, a few quotations, and the address for a website people can visit if they successfully crack the code. _TechnologyReview

This publication represents the construction of the largest synthetic molecule of a defined structure; the genome is almost double the size of the previous Mycoplasma genitalium synthesis. With this successful proof of principle, the group will now work on creating a minimal genome, which has been a goal since 1995. They will do this by whittling away at the synthetic genome and repeating transplantation experiments until no more genes can be disrupted and the genome is as small as possible. This minimal cell will be a platform for analyzing the function of every essential gene in a cell. _GCC

What we now need are ways to construct and test billions of genome combinations using protein and RNA biosensors for many or all metabolic intermediates and cell-signalling states. In combination with the sort of techniques that the JCVI has just demonstrated — but at much lower cost — this would enable researchers to select for important products such as pharmaceuticals, fuels, chiral chemicals and novel materials.

Ever since Watson and Crick, biologists and biochemists have known that it was only a matter of time before humans learned to bend biological mechanisms to the will of humans. The journey has just barely begun. It is likely to be a very wild ride.


Bookmark and Share
Newer Posts Older Posts
Al Fin Main Page
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Powered by