Thursday, July 08, 2010

Empirical Data on Well Pressure

National Incident Commander Thad Allen spoke of a new containment cap in today's press availability:

I just want to remind everyone, that continues to be an estimated flow rate (35,000 to 60,000 bpd). Once we get this well bore completely sealed and producing, we'll have better empirical data by which to establish and refine our flow rate going forward.
FT reported:

For three days at the end of May, the fates of Britain’s biggest oil company and America’s president could be followed minute by minute on a computer display, sketched out by a dark line snaking across a white screen. BP chief executive Tony Hayward, US energy secretary Steven Chu and about 50 top engineers and scientific advisers watched in rapt concentration, studying the display for what it might reveal.

In Houston, alongside the main display, showing pressure levels in the well, other screens played video feeds from remote-controlled submarines recording the oil spewing from the broken pipes on the sea bed.

The Unified Area Command knew pressure levels in the well in late May.

It's clear that Thad Allen and company expected Top Kill to work. They didn't get serious about skimming until the procedure failed miserably. Oddly, they focused on "Vessels of Opportunity," and not international offers that started in late April. It took 44 days to take up the Dutch on their skimmer offers. It took two months to free up skimming capacity already in the U.S.

It's also clear, the government and BP have little intention of being open with the public. The government knows pressure levels in the well. Yet, they continue as if that is an unknown.

Today's "skimming tutorial" didn't occur in the press availability. I hope reporters asked lots of questions about President Obama's "all out response."

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