20 July 2010

Static Kill Animation + Marshes Begin to Recover from Spill

Along the Gulf coast skimmer boats are still trolling for oil but not finding much. After months of trying to stay ahead of the spill, there's finally a chance to step back and assess progress.

The edge of marshes in the area used to be covered in oil. There are still the black stains on the grass but a month later signs of life: green shoots on the marshes are new growth.

"That tip was almost, you can kind of see, was completely slicked over," said Laura Wyness. She's in charge of protecting the marshes around Grand Isle.

Crews don't touch the grasses, just circle them with boom to absorb the oil. She's seen the grasses go from oil-covered to growing again. It's happening all across this bay.

"For it to be growing back, even with the presence of oil there, is I think a great accomplishment for mother nature herself," said Wyness. _CBS

As you can see from the video above, the Gulf of Mexico shoreline is already recovering from the oil spill, just days after BP capped the well. Imagine how much Obama would be reviled by Gulf residents, should he force BP to re-open the oil well spill, and put the Gulf ecosystems through the disaster yet one more time!

In Kent Wells' afternoon briefing today, he clarified some questions and reiterated other points he had made previously concerning the relief well and the static kill:
...everything’s looking good and as I told you yesterday, the relief well is exactly where we want it, pointed in the right direction. So we’re feeling good about that.
Once again, just remind everybody, and then the intercept of the Macondo well is still for the end of July and then the kill procedure, dependent upon whether we have flow up the annulus casing or both, could take anywhere from a number of days to a few weeks.

In terms of the well integrity tests, the pressure continues to steadily rise. It’s now at 6834. It’s rising at less than one PSI per hour. This is what we’d expect to see. You know it’s just starting to slowly increase. It’s still very much aligned with what we were talking about in that it’s following a predicted path and so that’s all going – going well.

Our monitoring continues on in all the different aspects and at this point, we do not have any anomalies or evidence that would say we do not have integrity. Doesn’t mean we have proven we have integrity – we don’t have any evidence that says we do not have integrity and that’s why we want to continue with this testing. That’s why if you heard - listen to Admiral Allen, we think its prudent just to continue on the test in 24 hour increments. But as each day goes along, it gives us more confidence with the rising pressure and the monitoring going on.

...And then in terms of the static kill – and once again, I want to reinforce, no decisions have been made yet on proceeding forward with that. But we are continuing with preparation and planning. We continue to get equipment lined out, what we would want to do, making sure that we will have the right equipment out there to do it, writing procedures, starting to get procedures approved.

At the same time, we’re doing testes with scientists, challenging the way we’re thinking about this, what we’re doing, so we’ve got parallel paths going on that’s leading towards somewhere ideally in the next day or two that we’d be in position through unified command to make a decision whether we’d go forward with that.

And then I know, you know understanding how does this static kill work with a bottom kill from the relief well. Over the next couple days I’ll look to put together a technical video with some animation to try to demonstrate how that is. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s – I think with a little animation and some video, we can bring some clarity to it. Because I think without that it’s actually difficult to describe it. So we’ll look to do that in the next couple days if at all possible. And of course, that would be once again contingent upon its decided that’s the way to go forward and we’ll keep you informed on that. _KentWells PDF_and_audio
Wells went on to answer some questions from the press. Read the entire briefing at the PDF document linked above or listen at the audio link.

Pressure readings are above 6834 psi and rising at less than 1 psi per hour. The entire sealing cap stack was tested at 15,000 psi before installation, so BP is confident that it can contain any pressures they are likely to confront at the wellhead.

BP has declared its readiness to initiate the start of the "static kill" procedure immediately -- once given permission by Obama administration officials. Since the Gulf of Mexico is subject to bad weather this time of year, it is imperative that government officials press themselves to catch up to the learning curve, and make decisions like CEOs -- not government bureaucrats.

If Mr. Obama and his crew -- through their inaction -- create a situation where once again nearly a million gallons a day are spilled into Gulf of Mexico waters, very few Americans will fail to comprehend whose incompetence is at fault this time.


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