Relief Wells Delayed ... New Tests Show "Gap" in Oil "Well Column" Causing Loss of Pressure ... Does the Government Have ANY IDEA What It's Doing?

George Washington's picture



An oil and gas industry veteran with 30 years experience who goes by the alias Fishgrease gave a pretty good recap of BP and the government's record of failure in capping the oil well:

1. BP does a superhuman job of creating conditions favorable to loss of
control of what is very possibly the largest well in the history ot the
Gulf of Mexico. Result: Blowout. FAIL


2.  For more than a day, BP insists there is no leakage. Result: Wrong. FAIL


3.  BP admits that well is leaking. Says leak is 1000 BOPD. Result: Wrong. FAIL


4.  NOAA, USCG and independent groups say the leak sure looks more like
5000 BOPD. BP says... DEAL! It's 5000 BOPD! How silly of us! Result:
Wrong. FAIL


Round about here, BP
succumbs to pressure from ... Congress and other groups and begins to
release video feeds of that is happening under a mile of Gulf water, at
the damaged well.


5.  BP builds a huge metal barn to lower over one of the leaks. Result: G@*!@^$ thing clogs with hydrate ice within seconds. FAIL


6. BP installs Insertion Tube Technology. Result: Captures a very small and day-by-day-smaller portion of the leak. FAIL


7. BP tries Diamond Wire Saw Technology to cut the damaged riser off the
top of the BOP, leaving a clean even surface to seat a cap. Result:
Wire gets stuck. FAIL


8. BP
tries Crunchy... a huge hydraulic Jaws-of-Death to snip the riser.
Result: Jagged, bent, uneven surface upon which nothing will seal. FAIL


9. BP lowers cap #4. Steam Punk fans rejoice! Result: This cap is capturing only a minor fraction of the leak. FAIL


10.  BP is ordered to increase containment capacity by the USCG. Says it
will. Doesn't. Starts piping a portion of the leak to the Q4000 where
it is all burned, unmeasured. Result: They're capturing or burning an
estimated 50% of the leak, when they were ordered to catch it ALL. FAIL


11. BP is again ordered to increase capture capacity via sternly-worded
letter. Finally installs another processing boat. Result: Still not
getting much more than 50% of the leak. Makes excuse that there's not
enough room in the fucking Gulf of Mexico to park another boat. FAIL


12.  BP installs "Capping Stack Technology" in order to more effectively
capture leak. Result: Vented riser immediately freezes off. This is the
beginning of the end of capture. FAIL


13.  BP comes up with "Integrity Test Technology" which completely shuts in
the well to test its integrity. Result: Works... immediately starts
leaking... but does stop the leak. BP keeps moving goal line for
integrity downward from 9000 psi to 8000 psi to 7500 psi to whatever
the hell pressure they're seeing that day....


14. ... Well remains shut in. Leaks are nominal but increasing....


15.  BP comes up with "Static Kill Technology" says it can kill well...


about here, BP quits releasing data. Video feeds start blacking out
and "Rogue ROVs" appear... we can't see the feeds of those. They're
assigned to monitor the BOP leaks and anything else BP doesn't want us
to see.


16.  "Magic Cement Technology!" BP
convinces Government to put the question of total capture and
measurement out of the question. All work on containment stops cold. BP
pushes a shitload of mud and cement into well. Result: Even though
there's no way on God's Green Earth that they could know where the
cement goes, they say they successfully cemented the casing... just the
casing... not the annulus. News Media interprets this as a complete
plugging of the well and questions whether the relief wells are even


But the well is still
leaking, now out of a very energetic leak on the bottom flange seal on
the FelxJoint. There is still pressure on the BOP because you can't
have leaks without pressure. Plugged wells don't LEAK!


17.  BP says they're going to get some pressure readings off the BOP after
venting to see if they can establish flow up the annulus... or
something. No one can figure out what the hell they're talking about
here and they don't elaborate beyond Thad Allen blubbering a bunch of
stuff NO ONE understands....
They freeze off their chokes atop the Capping Stack by flowing
hydrocarbons through them with a very large pressure drop. ALL feeds
showing anything that is going on are blacked out. After promising to
release data, BP and Thad Allen.... don't....

Bob Cavnar continues the timeline, bringing us up to date:

keep getting curiouser and curiouser with the Well that Won't Die. In
his presser this morning, Adm Allen announced that they are still
trying to decide what to do about the relief well, the weak components
on the old BOP, and how they're going to approach the relief well,
which is still just sitting there, a tantilizing 3 1/2 feet from the
blowout wellbore. Dithering seems a strong word, but one I'll
now use. You'll recall that right after BP started the surprise "well
integrity test" back in July, they announced the surprise "static
kill", characterizing it as low pressure, low risk, and an effort to
"stabilize" the well. They pumped that procedure on August 3rd, and,
declaring the well "static", then pumped 500 barrels of cement
announcing that the entire job went right down the casing and out into
the formation. That was 11 days ago.

<paragraph break ... sorry, technical difficulties>Since, BP and Adm Allen raised the ominous possibility
that there was something mysterious going on in the annulus, the space
between the production casing and the intermediate casing. Adm Allen
has gone on and on about 1,000 barrels of oil in the annulus, "near
ambient" pressure testing, rising pressure, falling pressure, holding
pressure, and bleeding pressure, to the bewilderment of everyone,
including me. Kent Wells, the star of the BP "Technical" McBriefing's,
where no technical data is provided, and only few questions are taken
(notice I didn't say answered), has been AWOL since his last appearance 6
days ago. The purpose of the "new ambient" pressure test is still
unclear, but, after being hounded for over a week by the DailyKos Gulf Watchers,
the Admiral compelled BP to release the BOP pressure readings, but BP
left out basic information like starting point, whether the well is
shut in at the surface or seafloor, the fluid in the riser, etc, so the
data is pretty much useless, like most other information that's been
<paragraph break>Today, the Admiral admitted that
there were three components in the the BOP stack that is of concern; we
know which ones those are, since we've been talking about them for over a month.
The weak components are the flex joint, right on top of the old stack,
the riser adapter, and what they call the transition spool are all
rated below the other components in the stack, between 5,000 psi to
6,000 psi maximum working pressure. In each of these procedures that
BP has undertaken, the top kill, the well integrity test, the
injectivity tests, and static kill, the pressures that BP announced
actually exceeded the rated pressures of at least one of those
components. After performing all of these machinations, they are now
suddenly concerned about pressure on the BOP, and are actually talking
about changing out the entire stack before completing the bottom kill.
<paragraph break>All of this delay and dithering is
confusing, at best. Pulling the stack at this point is even more
concerning, especially with drill pipe and God know what all inside,
including the casing hanger. Had they followed the original plan of
set the capping stack, hooking up the risers that were supposed to be
completed in mid-July, and producing the well to the surface while they
were killing it from below, all of this new discussion would be moot.
This static kill, where they really have no idea where the cement and mud went, has only complicated matters, created more uncertainty, and absolutely more delay.

In addition, Admiral Allen said today that new tests show “gap” in “well column” causing loss of pressure:

Does the government have any idea what it's doing? Does BP?

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covert's picture

how much did it cost bp to buy off the top brass?

LTJ's picture

After reviewing the youtube video citing 2 different locations where ROV's are monitoring BOP as detailed on the map for well a and b decided to search for additional videos for confirmation.


Found several sites with both coords.


I'll only use X coords, since Y are basically same.


X=1202514 well b


X=1202803 well a


Found many here:


But several sites have both coords.


If coords are indeed accurate -


Makes me wonder....




Treason Season's picture

Spike Lee sounds like he's on the verge of manning up and regurgitating the corexit laced Obama kool-aid.

tooppy's picture

I already said it months ago, a blow out of such an extent cannot be sealed !

BP is so good at video, realise the depth + the sticky oil and you can see as clear as in a smimming pool, bulshit, then just show me the rig !

Please ask BP a very simple video, show us the rig, then you'll know all this is garbage. The only thing they have done is spread chemical to dissipate the oil so you can believe there is no more leak.

You may have no more if the inside pressure is equilized, but it may last another few months / years, who knows how big is the layer.

banksterhater's picture

The relief well I thought is way below any damage, 10K_ ft below seabed, they should just kill it from below as planned, then use the other one, to tap the oil, that's paydirt, to pay for damages. Of course, maybe they don't want to flood supply right now.


AssFire's picture

point 15:

Bullheading or static kill has been done for years GW- you really shouldn't act as though it is a pseudo safe new method they "come up with"

snakehead's picture

Problem is is that they don't know 100% that there's no communication left with the reservoir.  As I understand it, which is admittedly not all that well, there are three possible scenarios.  One of them makes bottom kill less than a sure thing and bullheading the well may have made it dicier than it would have been before they bullheaded it.  Until this thing is bottom killed and tested and tested again, nobody should rest all that easy.  They can't even decide if they're going to pull the BOP and replace it before they try bottom kill.

Terra-Firma's picture


i recently read about once closed-in wells in Louisiana shooting geysers of oil.

Folks, the subsurface is all fractured and the oil and gas is seeping from the fractured well into previously exploited gas zones; hence the repressurization of old fields.

Government and BP have no clue what is happening and they can't change the course of events.

At best BP and government will placate the population while the truth remains hidden. Maybe Greenpeace can provide its own underwater robotic camaras and help us out with its own video feed?


snakehead's picture

That'd be nice but that's not going to tell anybody squat about what's happening below the floor or what the chances are of killing this bitch permanently.

bubba1231's picture



You are really truly an idiot and again I don't elieve for a second you aren't short BP stock.  You sound like a raving lunatic.  Tyler - you are ruining the website with this nonsense.

AssFire's picture

Dude, people who junk me and think I suck should should maybe

cleanse the palate before reading your hateful rants. I hope you get kicked.

AssFire's picture

seriously? junked on this one??

Frank Owen's picture

You know you can get sued for slander, Bubba?

How to Sue Someone for Slander: Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Do you have any positions in BP? Keep whining to Tyler - I hope you get the boot because you are making slanderous accusations for YOUR better interest while GW is asking questions in the best interests of all, which he has been doing for some time and it isn't even possible to profit off of most of his articles - he's just a concerned citizen and you come here just to shit all over him.

10044's picture

dude, if enough of us flag you as junk and report you for posting shit, you'll get kicked out... behave yourself and shut the fck up... OK???

blindman's picture

"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice": John Adams

AssFire's picture

Just so everyone understands.. the well is in equilibrium, enough heavy mud sits on top of the pressurized coulmn of oil both in the production string as well as the annulus, so the well sits static-    (I won't call it dead don't need 20 extra junks).

Regardless of these readings, the proposed relief well, 3 feet away from the proposed plug point, is much deeper than any of these possible small leaks. How do I know the leaks are small??- They have not had to pump more mud.

The risks that are present in completeing the relief well are really not more than drilling the original well.

Tapping into the well can only reduce overall pressure in the well.. just not possible for the riser, flex joint etc. to be over pressurized anymore than it is now.

It is not necessary to junk if you disagree with facts (and cowardly if junking without rebuttal).

gasmiinder's picture

Assfire - everything you say here is correct, as you know I've been saying it for weeks as well.  And yes I have the large pile of junks that accrue to anyone trying to be rational.  What I don't get is WHY does THAD keep talking about the bottom kill being risky etc?  It doesn't make sense - and he has brought it up repeatedly at a point in time where it should be a no-brainer that you should go ahead and pump the cement.  Why is he continually suggesting they might not?

AssFire's picture

Thad worked for the government (he is retired doing God's work like our friends at Goldman).

The #1 rule about fight club, uh- I mean the government is you cover your ass.

When you work for the government, you learn because you are the government there are always ways to *uck it up. They screw up everything they touch routinley.

I mean delaying this until September? That might turn out to be the worst decision.

About the junk, it is disappointing- I gave up for a while trying logic but I won't give up. Many of my neighbor engineers have been shipped overseas- on deepwater projects..I don't know if people realize what this has done to places like Lafayette or Houma? It was a disaster, but we need to get back to drilling here- we can't give up.

EZYJET PILOT's picture

Snakehead you're a BP or government paid troll. What did you say, the GPS positions aren't accurate on the ROV? Using the triangulation method described below the location of the ROV  would be extremely precise. What would be the point in having coordinates on the thing in the first place? The pilot of the ROV would need extremely accurate position reports in order to navigate in amongst all that leaking oil that is STILL leaking down there. If you're going to troll around and talk bullshit at least do your homework, people like you and this government are the scourge of society.

snakehead's picture

Actually what I said (or meant) is that there's no intrinsic meaning to the numbers. They're accurate when the beacon is correct and they're calibrated accurately to the beacon. Depending on the coordinate system being used, any number you may see may not correspond to normal GPS coordinates and there are mucho different coordinate systems in use. For example the drilling plan uses longitude/latitude and Lambert coordinates and the ROVs use UTM. Check it out, and

But even if they were only one, universal system and the same as if you were looking at Google Earth and an ROV had a clear shot to a GPS satellite, the position of an ROV doesn't mean squat when it comes to proof another well was brought in.  Why would an ROV been several hundred feet away, over at the position of the other well in the drilling plan? They were running pressure tests. BP had already id'd that area as a decent bet to hit paydirt from.  The ROV was probably taking a look at the sea floor.

Misean's picture


Does the Government Have ANY IDEA What It's Doing?"


Critical Path's picture

I second the halarity in this question although from following your posts regarding this topic, GW, I know that you are already well aware of the painfully obvious answer to this question.  The playbook of the past few months of not only this environmental disaster but every other issue seems to be lie, coverup, ignore, misrepresent, bullshit, etc.


Man I could go for a cold drink and a government endorsed shrimp cocktail!

lawton's picture

There is no oil on the beach hardly or at sea - where did it all go ? Its almost like the spill never happened except for some empty beaches due to people thinking oil is everywhere.

buzlightening's picture

dead head fed goon illusionists at best!!  Now you see it and now you don't; yet people are missing everywhere!!  Must be the new age ascension crowd?  LOL!!

buzlightening's picture

As the world turns or the black plague spins!!  Now will my paper masks from the swine flu epidemic suffice for methane gas filtration!!  LOL what a total cluster flock and we the people die in minions before the clowns sent in to stop the clowns gather more clowns for a continuing 3 ring circus to more death and ecological destruction!!  I'm voting for change this Nov 2!!  Lest of course we have a voting booth shortage and now all hanging chad workers recalled!!  Most likely unemployed gulf coast to roasters counting paper ballets with guns to their heads!!  I vote for change!!  May all the body bags used in our next false flag be red, white, and blue!!  

Clycntct's picture

Now your talking fashion To die for.

I salute your body bags  of innuendo.

The Rock's picture


The second video says it all!!

Miles Kendig's picture

Expecting a clue from the clueless is the very definition of cluelessness.

Fishhawk's picture

CD, when the crude is dispersed, it is broken into very small droplets which are coated with hydrophylic (water loving) chemical moieties all over the outside.  Because the surface area is very large relative to the volume, the differential density factor is reduced to the same relative size as Brownian motion and temperature differentials.  Result: the small droplets are carried on the currents and temperature gradients, and might take months to reach the surface. 

At least as far as BP is concerned, the oil has disppeared, meaning, they won't have to pay for the cleanup.  The little droplets will eventually be biodegraded (although re-oxygenation is very slow and temperatures are too low for much degradation to occur) or bioaccumulated (although there is not much biomass there), but will have to work their way up the water column for much of either to occur, and that could be months and hundreds of miles from the release point 5000 feet deep.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Hehe, he said 'Brownian' -- the young swiss patent clerk chuckled to himself.

seventree's picture

This whole thing stinks like a dead fish. I don't know what to believe or disbelieve. But so far there seems to be less public or political interest than there was about Monica's dress.

blindman's picture

while semen and oil are related one captures the

average imagination and the other is just fodder for

a life style,   depending on your associations i suppose.

you could write a book on this one! 

gasmiinder's picture

Where is our genius Nobel prize winning energy secretary who was SUCH a big part of the "committee"?  Thad doesn't have a clue what's going on technically and it's been obvious for weeks.  Why is he still the "spokesman"?  The "committee" was in charge, now seems like no one is in charge.

As for the post above - lot of BS that all comes down to "no one really knows what's going on and Thad is either a useful tool or too insistent on being the SPOKESMAN"...............

blindman's picture


 "you morons..."

that is maroon to you.


gasmiinder's picture

Thanks for the pointer - at least he's coherent when he describes things.  Unfortunately there isn't much detail there.  It's tough to figure what's going on because no one is giving true technical briefings.  It wouldn't be that hard - any of a dozen engineers working or observing could make it clear what is going on - and I don't count "buy my upcoming book" Cavner as a credible source (especially after I believed his pressure always smarts a bit to be too credulous).

the key thing I don't get is Thad keeps bringing up the relief well bottom kill being risky and talking about the wellbore when those shouldn't be an issue in this scenario - I just can't figure out if he's just lost or if there is something significant about the situation that we don't understand from the available data.

Ooops - gotta tell you guys the "other well" is pure bullshit.......gotta keep up my shill points......

George Washington's picture

gasmiinder, with 100% sincerity, I wish someone like you was in charge of this.  Someone who had background and who spoke straight.  You and I don't always agree on everything, but I know you call it like you see it.

Arkadaba's picture


hmmm by "gap" I would suppose he is referring to this definition...


 An opening in a solid structure or surface; a cleft or breach



RichardENixon's picture

I thought he was referring to a clothing store.

Chemba's picture

"If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound when it falls?"


"If a well is leaking at the bottom of the ocean, and there is nobody there to see it, is it really leaking?"

blindman's picture

depends on how you define "nobody".

snakehead's picture

Since oil is lighter than seawater, probably someone might see it.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Since oil is lighter than seawater, probably someone might see it.

Not if that oil is treated at the source with Corexit a mile below the surface. BP and the government admit that most of the oil released by the well that was treated with Corexit never made it to the surface. So explain to me how oil, if it is lighter than water (which is it in untreated form) is able to remain in the water column and below the surface when treated with the dispersant.

Your statement is a strawman argument. You are in effect saying that since it's not on the surface (something we can't verify anyway since I would be arrested long before I got near that area of the GOM) it isn't leaking. Yet the Corexit enables much of the oil to remain below the surface. The only reason they use Corexit is because it hides the vast majority of oil below the surface and thus far from public view.

Try again.

rebeltraders's picture



edit: - Why is it my 'reply's' never appear under the post I'm replying to, or in this case giving a thumbs up to.


The thumbs up is NOT for snakehead or BP front man, or whatever name he goes by.

snakehead's picture

Did you see oil on the surface when that thing was gushing?  Even when they were hitting it with Corexit? Yes or no? 

downrodeo's picture

There comes a point when you have to abandon reason and logic in order to maintain the believability of the official story. You've done that when you claim that there isn't oil on the surface, therefore there isn't any oil left in the GOM (if that indeed was what you were implying). You have to ignore the properties of the Corexit that cause the oil to remain under the surface. Obviously you're trying to lead CD into some kind of flimsy logical trap, so what is your next premise? Yes we saw oil on the surface when it was gushing. I believe I did see oil on the surface when they were spraying corexit. Apparently now there is no oil on the surface, but I don't know that. I just believe it because the tv told me to. As was pointed out, we only know what we've been allowed to know. Has there been and independent and unbiased assessment and investigation of the events of the past 100+ days or are we going off of government propaganda...excuse me.... PR?


Please, somebody tell me i'm crazy!!

knukles's picture

"There comes a point when you have to abandon reason and logic in order to maintain the believability of the official story."

The abandonment of logic and reason transcends to spirituality and religion.  As not intended to compensate for mercantilist pablum, I'd suggest dispensing with any consideration of official pronouncement credibility.