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June 4, 2010 - The Mexican Gulf Ecological Disaster

President Obama Acts Surprised and Tells Larry King of CNN on 3 June that he is "Furious"

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Something Is Fishy About What President Obama Says

Yesterday on Larry King's 9PM (EDT) CNN show, U.S. President Obama said he was "furious" at the ecological disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama nevertheless managed to downplay the impact saying he still supports off-shore drilling "if it can be done safely." In all the interview there was more than a little too much fishiness in what Obama had to say. He stopped himself short saying The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for the clean-up.

"I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people, but that's not the job I was hired to do," Obama said. "My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn't about me and how angry I am. Ultimately this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they're able to salvage their way of life."

Oil giant BP caused the spill and is responsible for paying the costs, Obama said, adding: "My job is to make sure they're being held accountable."

One has to wonder why the joint hearings by the U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service would continue if President Obama has already made the decision to place the blame squarely on British Petroleum. The hearings have indicated otherwise.

Most industry observers, and the joint hearings by the U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service seem to put the technical blame squarely on British Petroleum's American Contractors, Halliburton and Transocean and it was the U.S. government that approved and applauded the ultra deep water drilling that has seen the TransOcean-owned "Deepwater Horizon" semi-submersed drilling platform  boring many miles below the ocean sea bed, even a mile beyond its rated capability.

Halliburton Co. is an American company contracted to BP and the world's second largest oilfield services corporation with operations in more than 70 countries once led by former U.S. VP Dick Cheney and a key player as a controversial contractor rebuilding Iraq. The company has recently been told to lay low.

Halliburton is engaged in discussions with its customers and anticipates relocating equipment and personnel to other markets as appropriate," the company said in a filing with regulators after the U.S. government's sudden May 2010 halt of deepwater drilling.

is another American company contracted to BP, and the world's largest offshore drilling company, owner and operator of the now destroyed Deepwater Horizon for which British Petroleum was paying Transocean over a quarter million dollars a day (see proprietary Transocean Document).

It would seem that the U.S. President is doing everything possible to divert attention from the disastrous mess in the Mexican Gulf. He even went as far as commenting on the status of pending free agent basketball star Lebron James, saying that part of him hoped James would re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers because it would be a "great story."  In another diversion he attacked a new Arizona law, which takes effect in July, allowing police officers to check the residency status of anyone who is being investigated for a crime.

On 2 June former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney serenaded the first lady at The White House with the love ballad that shares her first name, "Michelle."  What next?

It's the typical criminal pattern for answering questions from the police: express surprise; show concern; blame someone else; try create a diversion; and failing that, then deny, deny, deny.

But DeepWater Horizon Explosion Was No Surprise

Shortly before the explosion and loss of "Deepwater Horizon" (see explosion), Transocean had been boasting of it's September 2009 success wherein the "Deepwater Horizon" offshore, partially submerged drilling rig had established a 35,050ft (10,680m) well, the deepest well in history -- more than 5,000 feet deeper than its stated design specification which was reported to be  30,000 feet on April 13th, 2010. (see proprietary Transocean Document)

At the time of the explosive blowout that destroyed  "Deepwater Horizon", the well extended 5486 meters (3.4 miles) beneath the sea floor in some 1500 meters (1 mile deep) of sea water.

Deepwater Horizon 's drill shaft integrity failure may have come in the cement injected by Halliburton Inc. between the well wall and its steel liner, experts say. Halliburton workers had just finished the  "cement job."

Problems with cement were the cause of 18 of 39 blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14-year period, according to a 2007 report from the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the agency that supervises offshore drilling.

According to early investigations, oil and gas rushing up the drill riser (a Blow-Out) exploded in the shaft.

Drilling through pressurized rock from over a mile deep in the ocean and more than 3.4 miles into the earth's crust below the sea bed has its known perils.

Tests Predicted Blow-Out Preventer Failure

Explosive rushes of gas and oil are the reason such wells have a Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) which is a valve that sits over the well on the sea bed and immediately shuts when pressures exceed pre-set limits. Tests had been run on the valve hours before the blow-out and the BOP Valve test failed!
In the case of "Deepwater Horizon" disaster, the Blow-Out Preventer did fail as previous tests said it would

In the joint hearings
by the U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service, there have been numerous conflicted testimonies by the Halliburton 'cementers' and their task masters.

The Halliburton company employee
who performed several of the cement lining jobs on the "Deepwater Horizon" said on May 28, 2010 that only the deepest casing in the well was done with a new kind of light, quicker-curing nitrogen-infused cement.

Testimony from cementer Christopher Haire was something of a surprise because Jimmy Harrell, the top drilling official on the rig when it exploded in the Gulf on April 20, testified that the rig had only used the nitrified cement on shallower casings. Harrell said he'd been warned that nitrogen from the cement could get in the well hole and cause problems.
Original Transglobal Press ReleasePress Release
Deepwater Horizon

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) announced that its ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig Deepwater Horizon recently drilled the deepest oil and gas well ever while working for BP and its co-owners on the Tiber well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Working with BP, the Transocean crews on the Deepwater Horizon drilled the well to 35,050 vertical depth and 35,055 feet measured depth (MD), or more than six miles, while operating in 4,130 feet of water.

"This impressive well depth record reflects the intensive planning and focus on effective operations by BP and the drilling crews of the Deepwater Horizon," said Robert L. Long, Transocean Ltd.'s Chief Executive Officer. "Congratulations to everyone involved."

These achievements are the latest in Transocean's history of world and other records dating back to the 1950s. In 2005, the ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Spirit set the record for the longest Gulf of Mexico oil and gas well at 34,189 feet, MD. Most recently, the Transocean jackup GSF Rig 127 drilled the industry’s longest extended-reach well in 2008 while working for Maersk Oil Qatar AS at 40,320 feet MD with a 35,770-foot horizontal section. The well was drilled offshore Qatar in 36 days and was incident-free.

Transocean also holds the current world water-depth record of operating in 10,011 feet of water set while working for Chevron in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Deepwater Horizon, placed into service in 2001, is a dynamically positioned ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig capable of working in water depths of up to 10,000 feet.

Transocean Ltd. is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor and the leading provider of drilling management services worldwide. With a fleet of 135 mobile offshore drilling units plus eight announced ultra-deepwater newbuild units, the company’s fleet is considered one of the most modern and versatile in the world due to its emphasis on technically demanding segments of the offshore drilling business. The company owns or operates a contract drilling fleet of 41 High-Specification Floaters (Ultra-Deepwater, Deepwater and Harsh-Environment semisubmersibles and drillships), 26 Midwater Floaters, 10 High-Specification Jackups, 55 Standard Jackups and other assets utilized in the support of offshore drilling activities worldwide.

The well blueprint  had changed several times before the accident, in which natural gas and oil got into the well and despite the Blow-Out Preventer which should have closed, were allowed to shoot up the riser to the rig, igniting in huge fireballs.

Cement Was Failing And There Were Possible Leaks In The Well

Contrary to prior testimony from other rig leaders and British Petroleum's drilling engineer that tests gave no reason for concern and conditions were safe for the "Deepwater Horizon" to displace heavy drilling mud the evening of April 20, 2010, the rig's subsea supervisor testified that workers were confused by some test results that showed possible leaks in the well.

The man in charge of the blowout preventer and other well systems on the sea floor, Chris Pleasant, said he was part of lengthy discussions about fluid losses during a negative pressure test about four hours before the accident. In a negative pressure test, the well head is shut off using annular valves in the massive blowout preventer device on the sea floor, and workers measure whether pressure causes any mud to come up to the rig from the marine riser that runs down to the well.

Pleasant said when he began his shift that day, he went to the drill floor and found a tool-pusher, one of the main drilling crew, discussing results of the negative pressure test with Robert Kaluza, BP's top official on the rig. He said the tool-pusher, Wyman Wheeler, was concerned that barrels of mud had leaked out during the pressure test. The workers disagreed about where the mud had been lost.

Pleasant said Kaluza, who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying, was the one who insisted that the test results weren't satisfactory.

"Bob Kaluza said that according to APD (the rig's permit to drill), we didn't achieve the results," Pleasant said.

Similarly, Christopher Haire, a cementer for Halliburton, said drillers were "unsatisfied" with the negative test, which returned 15 barrels of mud, rather than the ideal of no mud released.

And yet, the top drilling official on the rig, Offshore Installation Manager Jimmy Harrell, and BP's well designer on shore, Mark Hafle, testified previously that they believed the pressure tests were successful and no cause for concern.

Conflicting testimony has also been noted about the cement bond log, considered by engineers to be the "gold standard" of testing cement jobs.

Deepwater Horizon esign specification reported to be  30,000 feet on April 13th, 2010

Deepwater Horizon On Fire

Deepwater Horizon Burning - 21 April 2010 (US Coast Guard Photo)

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