It's getting harder to listen to Than Allen and take him seriously. Consider what he said in his August 23 press confab:
Thad Allen: I don't have privy to exactly what was subpoenaed by the joint investigation team.
The National Incident Commander does not know what evidence at the bottom of the sea was subpoenaed? Misplacing pressure readings was bad enough.
They're pulling the blowout preventer for pressures concerns, ones ignored in four prior operations. As for the 3,500 foot long drilling pipe stuck in the BOP, Thad spoke to its retrieval:
the drill pipe, if it is part of that cement plug, will be part of the plan that BP will give to us in how to extract it, but they can remove the pipe from the cement if it's in contact with it.How will they remove a 3,500 long drill pipe embedded in the cement plug without disturbing the integrity of the plug while there is no BOP? Is Thad conducting theater here? What's he setting up? Did the Macondo well blow out the side or fracture at the base and oil is gushing toward the surface?
Consider this Allen statement:
The relief well was designed to intersect the wellbore below the last casing. In other words, there's a metal liner that is on the outside of the – the wellbore actually has a liner attached to it down to a certain depth. And after that, it's just pure rock or whatever the formation is there.Thad doesn't know the formation below the last casing? BP knows what they drilled through. Why didn't they inform the National Incident Commander?
As for ways to collect any subsequent oil spew:
I think we've demonstrated the supertankers aren't an effective way to recover the oil. Thank you. Next question.
The Saudi Supertanker solution involved pumping. Pumping recovered over 800,000 barrels of oil from the well head. Thad can brand the A Whale's failure to collect dispersed and degraded oil a failure, but skimming was never a priority. It was the source of temporary employment for some fishermen and good public theater. Despite Thad's discount, pumping oil into ships on the surface was a success.
The sad part is Thad's turning the Coast Guard into BP's security team. What sovereign country cedes airspace over the Gulf of Mexico to a foreign corporation? What sovereign turns their EPA into a corporate protection agency?
While BP will get their blowout preventer back, BP drilling engineers won't testify before the joint investigative panel.
The Deepwater Horizon response, despite all its questionable dimensions, is the new black gold standard. Thad's the public bag man. He frequently reminds me of someone who said "I know nothink, nothink!"