The BP Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: An Explosive Detonation?

  • Most of the oil that began to flow into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico did not come from Leaks 1 and 2, but from a third Well that BP hid from the public record.
  • The 3rd Well, research shows, could have been blown out by an explosive detonation.

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
February 24, 2012

FOREWORD

 Sometimes reality can stare you in the face, but you can’t see it. This is true today more than ever, even for those who fancy themselves as having an understanding of reality. The clearest example is with the so-called experts, that seem to live in a “version of reality” that does not represent the real world. Their expert views are blinded by hubris, bravado and arrogance. Just like many of us, they grew up inside this fake alternative version of reality, that is hard to leave. Failing to see reality has a lot to do with the human incapacity to see beyond the nose, to realize things may be different. Often, the experts believe in impossible scenarios, while they ignore facts and events that are right in front of them.

But blindness is not only a direct result of incapacity to see reality. It can also be attributed to a clear intention to avoid the facts and the reality those facts present. In the case of the April 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill, the refusal of the experts to carefully and calmly analyze the facts, together with the US Congress’ lack of expertise to objectively study those same facts, forced a group of concerned, very capable citizens, to dig deep into much of a mountain of documentation in order to find the answers that their elected officials and trusted experts did not produce. Their efforts not only confirmed the most feared suspicions – that the Gulf Oil Spill was not an accident –, but also revealed a concerted effort to hide the real causes of the disaster and what was done thereafter.

Even though independent researchers warned about dire consequences to come if the Gulf Oil Spill environmental catastrophe taking place under the waters of the Gulf was not addressed, both the EPA and BP decided to continue with their original approach. While the EPA enforced obsolete standards for cleaning disasters such as the Gulf Oil Spill, forcing BP to keep using Corexit, the British company continued to cover the tracks of one of the largest conspiracies in the history of the oil industry.

After completing Congressional hearings, the investigations into the Deepwater Horizon disaster have been mostly concluded but no answers to the most important questions have been given. As of today, no official answers were provided to inquiries that seek to learn why did BP say there was only one well when there were 3, why did BP drill a 3rd well without a permit, which well was actually capped at seabed level in July, which well was the Relief well C trying to intercept at 18,000ft BSL, was the rogue well actually sealed in September, why were many of the ROV video recordings of the blow out incident doctored with falsified details before presenting them to congressional investigators, why were the ROV cameras re-directed showing a different well after the capping, which well was the Deep Water Horizon rig actually hooked up to when the blow out took place on April 20, 2010.

These questions along with a long list of discrepancies and factually wrong statements issued by BP are addressed on a new document issued by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, a grass-roots organization that a grass roots organization that has been able to unravel some of the complexity in the immense volume of complex and confusing information” and something to the effect that after reviewing the analysis of the footage from other experts that contradicted what was presented to congress in the official investigations – either due to blindness or the amount of information provided by BP or due to their arrogance – while looking at what is deemed by many as an impossible conspiracy. After an independent team of experts headed by geo-hazards specialist BK Lim watched hours and hours of video footage and analyzed page after page of documents, they concluded that the causes and outcomes of the Gulf Oil Spill disaster were not as they presented them in the official investigation and neither as the corporate media informed the public. It is in part from this independent work that the Gulf Rescue Alliance was able to compare Mr. Lim’s work to that of its own experts. The grassroots organization found his research to be sound and decided to bring it to the attention of Congress, the Attorney General’s Office and the Gulf states. As it happens often, time and due diligence are the best aides for those who seek answers in this kind of events, except that in this case, time is a luxury that the people around the dying Gulf coast cannot afford to waste.

The official version of events has been at the very least dampened by willful blindness and complicity to hide the truth and those who should be held accountable once again have run away untouched — for now. May this new real investigation of the events prepared by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, its relentless volunteers and professionals be a new opportunity for more experts and more government representatives to tell the people what really happened on April 20, 2010.

DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL DISASTER: TRUTH VS FICTION

On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon Oil Platform exploded and collapsed into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 workers instantaneously. Since then, much of the information provided by BP, United States government agencies and the corporate media was flawed. As the following information will prove, BP’s orchestrated public relations campaign was created to prevent those involved in the investigation process from reaching the conclusions independent investigators have now found.

Since the US Congress initiated and concluded its search for answers, a mountain of evidence has surfaced and from this evidence independent investigators have found information suggests that BP planned and executed the event that took place in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The publication of these new facts is relevant now more than ever given the upcoming federal trial set to start on February 27th. Despite having a set date, BP is working behind the scenes to settle the case and eliminate the need for a trial and that is why putting this information out is so important. It is imperative that what seems to be one of the largest conspiracies in the history of the oil industry be exposed and that the responsible parties be held accountable.

The analysis performed by 30-year geo-hazards expert, BK Lim, almost cost him his own life due to the kind of information he has found on the BP Oil Spill. Mr. Lim worked closely with other independent professionals who have gotten to the same conclusion he did. Mr. Lim and the other professionals worked together  for the best part of the past two years to analyze, digest and publish their findings.

In his report titled An Expert’s Analysis of ROV Film Footage Taken at the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Site, BK Lim examines the magnitude of his findings. In addition to carefully reviewing the videos, independent professionals separately searched and compared information contained in documents — something the US Congress and its experts did not do. Their goal was to present conclusions that the Trial set to begin on February 27th in New Orleans may not bring to the public due to the large amount of information that exists. As readers may have already heard, judge Cari Barbier has called for a fast and expeditious trial that could impair the public from getting the whole picture.

Why would anyone suggest an expeditious trial and why have government and other investigators given up in their pursuit for understanding what happened in the Gulf of Mexico on April, 2010? One of the reasons may be the complexity of the issue and difficulty they may have to analyze the information available about the largest oil spill in history. But what about the media? Why haven’t they used their endless resources to continue this investigation? Why have they continued to megaphone illogical facts fed to them by BP and government agencies such as the EPA? But isn’t the complexity created by BP in this case the perfect shield, their best protection against public scrutiny? So they thought.

This is not the case for a group of independent, very experienced and well-trained people who took time off their personal and professional lives to bring the facts out in the open. The following are just a few questions that these experts have come up regarding what was considered up until now as “the facts” of the BO oil spill disaster which remain unanswered:

  • Why did BP officials testify to Congress that there was only one well when there were three?
  • Why was the 3rd well drilled without a permit?
  • Which of the 3 wells was actually shown to be capped at seabed level in July of 2010?
  • Was the “rogue well” factually sealed in September?
  • Since all casing was blown out of the rogue well and there is nothing for any mechanical instrument to connect on to, there was no possibility of capping the well which means that huge volumes of oil are continuing to flow into the Gulf unabated.
  •  What are the strategic plans to get this under control?
  • Why were many of the ROV video recordings of the blow out
    incident doctored with falsified details before they were turned over to congressional investigators?
  • Why were the ROV cameras re-directed showing a well with completely different coordinates to demonstrate that the well was capped?
  • Which well was the Deep Water Horizon actually hooked up to when the blow out took place on 20 April 2010?

Geo-hazards expert BK Lim and the other experts spent hundreds of hours reviewing and analyzing video footage and documents and found many anomalies and contradicting information which revealed carelessness or simply blatant lies in the official testimonies. According to Lim’s analysis, some of the statements regarding what happened on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico are physically impossible.

This conclusion was reached after discovering multiple examples of explicit editing of the footage provided by BP. This pre-edited video was the one used during congressional hearings and sent to the media during the investigation process. As it was found, someone carefully spliced video clips to alter dates, times and locations, which made it hard for investigators to make sense of it all or to determine what the cause of the disaster really was. As a consequence, it was almost impossible to challenge BP’s testimony. Mr. Lim, unlike congressional and other experts did carefully analyze images of pipes, risers, blowout preventers and seabed conditions that in some cases were a mile under the surface of the Gulf waters. Given his 30 years of experience and the work he performed for 5 different large oil companies, Mr. Lim had no difficulty assessing and realizing the contradictions.

THE PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE “FACTS”

After going over videos and documentation the in-depth investigation found many revealing details as facts that were omitted from the congressional work. Mr. Lim’s an his team found that a 3rd Macondo well (entitled Well BE) was drilled without a permit. “This is illegal”, says Lim. It is this well the one connected to the Deep Water Horizon platform that exploded on April 20, 2010. Nearby Well A and Well B, which had MMS permits, had to be abandoned and capped earlier than the blowout due to geo-hazard risks. Congressional Records, MMS records and BP testimony omit the existence of a 3rd well and official public statements asserted there was only one well — the one that was reportedly capped. The report made public together with the Gulf Rescue Alliance describes that “Evidently, BP tried to cover up the fact of 3 wells by calling them “3 leaks” in the fallen riser.” This is supported by the fact that although the original explosion occurred on the 20th of April, no major oil leaking was visible anywhere other than close to the Deep Water Horizon platform. The oil says the document only began to be visible until the 22nd of April. According to Mr. Lim, the only way a 5-story high, multi-ton’d blow out preventer (BOP) could have been thrown over 70 feet away from its original position is the execution of an artificial detonation of large magnitude which would have been purposefully set.

https://i0.wp.com/www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/users/660/bklim/6556566.jpg

Figure 157. Click to enlarge image.

The document titled An Expert’s Analysis of ROV Film Footage Taken at the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Disaster Site was first drafted in June 2010 and revised 29 January 2012. In this document Geo-hazards specialist BK Lim points out 6 important discrepancies.

First, that the severed casing at 2 had not been bent, twisted and broken off during the sinking of the Deep Water Horizon. If it had been, the casing could not have maintained its almost circular shape. It appears more likely to have been either cut or torn-off as in “blown apart”. This itself rules out the severed casing being the mid section of the riser since there would not be any reason for the riser to be blown apart anywhere in its mid section.

Second, the diameter of the casing at 2 is evidently much larger than the diameter of the bent riser at 1. They do not appear to look the same at all. The casing at 2 appears more likely to be part of the casing coming directly out of the seabed than being connected to the riser coming from the top of the Blow Out Preventer (BOP).

Third, assuming BP’s official version, how could the second leak (480 ft away from the BOP) have a larger volume of oil/gas flow than the first leak (1) directly on top of the BOP? If the oil and gas were flowing out of the same riser pipe, should not the first leak be the larger of the two?

Fourth, leak (1) is about 70 ft above the seabed. Could oil and gas flow downwards past the punctured bend at 1 to reach the second leak 480 ft away at seabed level? If some oil and gas did leak through (1), then leak 2 should be spewing less oil and gas than leak (1) – see discrepancy #3. But even BP admitted leak 2 to be the large of the two.

Fifth, leak 2 appeared in all videos and images to spew more oil than gas and with more ferocity than leak (1). How can that be when all the pressure would have leaked out at (1)?

Sixth, Well A and the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) was south of the second leak location. So if well A was the source, the oil and gas would have flowed northwards. But in all the ROV videos, the casing was coming out of the seabed from the north with the oil and gas flowing southwards. So where is the connection?

“Of all the inaccuracies that came out of the Gulf disaster, the most preposterous has been the “3- leaks-on-the-riser” story. Figures 165-0a to 165-0c were the first few schematic illustrations of BP’s blowout incident provided by BP to the public. To oil and gas extraction industry professionals, the illustrations defied logic to such an extreme that it was believed the schematics were deliberately drawn by cartoonists to confuse the uninformed public.”

Figure 165-5. Click to enlarge image.

According to this deep investigation, there were many inaccuracies and controversial circumstances surrounding the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon Platform. For example, the unlikelihood of the sudden breaking of the super-strong riser in calm water, how a third open-ended leak, leak (3), could be possible when it was in a location of the riser that was beyond the completely severed riser at the second leak (2), tampered latitudes and longitudes on the video footage of well #3, video footage of the same well that has coordinates that have not been doctored, and so on. When Mr. Lim compared the video, he was able to discover that “Leak (2)” had to be the blown crater of well #3. “This is irrefutably shown in Figure 165-5 with the right coordinates in the few un-doctored videos we located”, concluded Lim.

Another anomaly in BP’s presentation is its reporting of “3 leaks on a badly twisted riser” which would be a way to hide the fact that there were 3 wells. According to government records, BP had been given permits for two of the wells which the company had capped prior to the blowout. Therefore, the 3rd well was the one that blew out and, also per government records, BP had not obtained a permit for it.

“If there were really 3 leaks on a single riser, BP could have easily reduced three into one controllable leak at the source by cutting the riser at the top of the Blowout Preventer (BOP),” says the document issued by Lim and the Gulf Rescue Alliance. This is exactly what BP said to have done in May, when it said it had installed a Lower Marine Riser Package or LMRP. The question here is, why did BP waited for 40 days in order to perform this procedure if it was the one that would solve the problem? Instead, BP wasted time carrying out what Mr. Kim calls “non-standard and easy-to-fail attempts” such as the top kill, junk shots, hot hats, and so on. In total, BP waited 87 days before closing down the flow located at Well A, which it did on July 15th. The report also points out to the lack of oil or gas leaks before 5pm Central Daylight Savings Time on April 22, 2010.

“The ROV inspections of the wellhead, marine riser and BOP in the immediate aftermath of the incident show that the mega oil spill could have been easily averted with several standard industry options. It was the sort of controllable rig blowout-fire situation the industry expects and routinely train for. It could have been recovered safely without ending in a disastrous mega oil spill.”

The first gas blowout that took place on April 20, 2010 that killed 11 drilling crew on the Deepwater Horizon rig was not responsible for the massive oil spill. “It is my considered opinion, based on the 100’s of hours spent analyzing the hundreds of hours of underwater ROV footage of the 3 wells, the crater, the BOP, and riser, that a detonated explosion occurred within the well on April 22, shortly after 5pm Central Daylight Savings Time, which is what induced a bottom hole blowout that unleashed the full power of the gushing oil from the Macondo reservoir,” asserted BK Lim. “Nothing short of a massive, purposefully detonated explosion could have created that effect.”

Figure 165-1a. Click to enlarge image.

The document supported by images of video footage and graphic illustrations also contends that due to the fact that the Blowout Preventer (BOP) was already destroyed and its remains were all over the sea floor, BP’s videos that show the BOP still standing and without any gas leaks and that were dated April 23 to mid May, 2010, corresponds to footage that was doctored to reloop itself. This video as explained before corresponded to the situation previous to the April 22 detonation that occurred around 5pm Central Daylight Savings Time.

In its presentation of “the facts”, BP said that leak (1), was right at the spot where the riser (bent riser pipe) located on the 70-ft Blowout Preventer (BOP). The company said that most of the oil gushing out into the Gulf was from leak (2). The smaller gas leak at well A could not be capped until the real rogue well (BE), aka leak (2), was sealed or bottom-killed at 18,000 ft bsl (below sea level) (reported since July 2010).

As images now show the third leak (3) was only a small gas leak that was flowing out  of the open end of a drill pipe. Figure 165-0 gives the various schematic illustrations of what was stated to be the 3 leak points on the riser, based on BP-sourced information. Besides adding the labels for clarity, the only other item added to figure 165-0a was the NW SE fault line. This fault line, says Mr. Lim, was the critical factor in the shallow gas problems encountered in all the 3 wells.

“Simple logic dictates that it was physically impossible for these 3 leaks to occur on a single riser from a single blowout. Certainly not the way BP explained it. Figure 157 in my article entitled Another Physical Impossibility – 2 Leaks On The Broken Riser gives some of the discrepancies noted on Leak (1) and Leak (2) as early as Aug 2010. Note that leak (3) was allegedly sealed by capping the open-ended drill pipe.”

According to the investigation, visual proof strongly suggests that while BP had crews carrying out doomed to fail procedures, it also had more people setting up another Blowout Preventer (BOP) and reattaching the bent riser at well A.

MORE OF BP’s FALSE INFORMATION

Besides the great discrepancies explained above, Mr. Lim and his team found even more anomalies:

The open ended 5½ inch drill pipe at leak (3) is of different physical dimension from the pipe (casing) at leak (2) and the bent riser on top of the BOP at leak (1). See the marked differences in figures 165-1b and 165-2. This means they could not have been attached to each other and, therefore, are not from the same set of mechanical equipment for a series of leaks on a single well’s riser.

Figure 165-1b. Click to enlarge image.

At leak (3) the 5½ inch drill pipe should have been inside the 21 inch main riser pipe with the attached choke, kill, booster and hydraulic supply lines. It is physically impossible to have a long “naked” drill-pipe stripped off its 21-inch riser pipe casing at the mid-section of the riser string. More impossible still is the fact that it was sticking vertically out of the seabed with the weak gas plume. The naked standing drill-pipe could only be possible if it was ejected from the blown well itself.

If the riser was carrying the same drill pipe string (5000 ft long), how did the pipe at leak (2) suddenly become several times larger than the drill pipe shown at leak (3), immediately after the blowout? This is physically impossible.

In comparison with the other broken segments of the riser string lying on the seafloor, why was leak (2) so special and different if it was also broken from the same riser string? Fact: leak (2) could not possibly be from the same riser string.

BP claimed that leak (3) was sealed by capping the drill pipe. One could then logically ask why couldn’t the drill-pipe within the riser at leak (2) be similarly capped? There were many reasons they couldn’t. The main reason? Leak (2) was not a leak but rather the blown crater of well no. 3 (well BE) and not the broken riser carrying the drill-pipe within.

Leak (3) was undeniably an open ended, disconnected pipe just as leak (2) was. There could only be one severed open end in the riser segment still connected to the BOP. It can only be leak (2) or leak (3), but not both.

How did the oil “jump” across leak (3) and continue to flow to leak (2) as illustrated in 165-0a and b?

The later illustration (165-0c) which came out corrected the leak (3) anomaly by placing it after leak (2). Only problem is, then, how do you explain the “open ended pipe” at leak(2)?

Figure 165-2 and BP’s investigation report confirm that there were two 5½ inch drill-pipes within the bent riser. This means that the drill-pipe string within the riser was already disjointed near the BOP. How could oil/gas flow through a disjointed drill-pipe to leak out at leak (3) more than 500ft from the BOP?

The black oil plume at leak (2) was obviously more voluminous than the lighter orange-brown gas leak at leak (3) or leak (1). The color of the oil/gas plumes is consistent with the differences in the flow rate and volume noted in all the three leaks. Fact: the oil in each of the 3 “riser leaks” are not riser leaks but, in fact,g from different ground sources.

The videos show that the riser string was completely severed at several points and all the severed sections showed no gas/oil leaks. If Leak (1) was on the same riser string as leak (2) and leak (3), why was it not showing any oil/gas leaks until after mid May 2010 (more than 20 days later)?

The earliest video on 23 April 2010 clearly showed a steep-sided blowout crater with no “surface” riser going into the crater. The oil-spewing pipe at the base of the deep crater, had to originate from the well below. With no visible supply of oil (through the surface riser), the obvious oil supply had to be vertically beneath the crater. This further confirms that leak (2) was the blown third well (BE). See the close-up view at Figure 165-5.

The bent riser on top of the BOP was not leaking at all in the early videos before BP publicly broadcast leak (1) in mid May (20 days later). If leak (1) at well A was the primary leak, it does not make sense to show the secondary leak (2) first. Not unless the primary leak (1) at the well was non-existent and the scene had to be set up first to portray what was being stated.

Setting up well A as the “primary leaking well” was not in the original plan. It was a backup plan. This explains the more than 20 days media blackout on the supposedly primary leak(1).

The riser piping could not have bent and twisted like a pretzel and yet still have remained intact.

The riser string did, in fact, break at several places as seen in figures 165-1a and 165-1b. Again how could oil flow through these “severed discontinuities” in the riser? Fact: There was no oil flow until April 22nd, as the ROV inspections showed.

Figure 165-1a. Click to enlarge image.

The clearest evidence is the photo of the vertically standing riser section (speared into the seabed). There was no oil spill emanating from it or in its vicinity. This clearly refutes the official story that a neutrally buoyant riser with floats could dig itself beneath the seabed (like a buried pipeline) only to spew out oil hundreds of feet away. Again, this is physically impossible.

If the well was already gushing out oil from the instance of the first blowout on 20 April 2010, why was there no immediate oil spewing out of the broken riser as it was sinking. The rig fire was in fact fed by more than 700,000 gallons (60% of max capacity) of diesel stored onboard the rig. Why was more than 60% of fuel still onboard the rig at the end of its long 3 months drilling campaign? Why was BP so certain free flowing crude from the well was fueling the rig fire, despite all evidence to the contrary?

It is now confirmed (see figure 165-3) that it took less than 16 seconds for the riser to fully bend from an upright (slightly inclined) position. The Deep Water Horizon (falsely reported as having sunk at 10:22 Central Daylight Savings Time) could not have sunk 5000ft to the sea bottom within a minute. Thus the riser pipe had to be deliberately broken near to the BOP; possibly less than 1000ft. Otherwise, how could a marine riser which could withstand 80 mph Hurricane Ida, break at mid-section in very calm water? A shorter break segment from the BOP could also explain the extremely fast bending event. Now the question is how did the riser break?

The fact that there was no visible oil gushing out of the broken end of the riser as it sank, further confirms that the base plug at the bottom of the well had not yet breached completely (more of this in later articles) at 10:22 Central Daylight Savings Time, April 22, 2010.

If this was the case, why did BP, blog forums and the Coast Guard repeatedly stress that “oil from the reservoir was freely flowing into the rig through the riser and feeding the intense fire on the burning rig”?

ROV inspection of the BOP and the seafloor around well (BE) on April 22, 2010 showed no signs of gas plumes, blow holes or oil emanating from the well head. That would explain why the bent riser did not have any gas leaks on 22 April where most of the doctored-relooped footage were shown. Then 20 days later, BP showed the same bent riser with the orange-brown gas plume (at well A). If BP could turn the gas leaks on and off, they should have been able to quickly stop the oil spill. It is my professional opinion that BP purposefully switched wells to publicly stage the capping event on a well that never hit pay dirt.

Even if the riser was still intact (despite the twists and bends), how could the supposedly “long riser string” plant itself inside a deep (at least 5m) crater without disturbing the overlying cemented drilling mud and sediment?

BP’s schematics showed less than 4,000 ft of riser. What happened to the remaining 1,000 ft? Further, the 700 odd ft segment from well A to well BE (crater) has a totally different degree of twisting and bends from the next 3,000 ft segment. A falling elongated but uniform body like the riser does not twist and bend midway in calm water. The bottom section had to break away first and the hanging riser dropped almost vertically under its own weight as depicted in the diagrammatic illustration of BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout published on 30 July 2010. Consequently, the “speared location” would be centered near its original base (or well). This, again, points to the location of the third well (BE) which was fraudulently depicted as leak (2) on a fallen riser. With so much irrefutable evidence, leak (2) cannot be just a secondary leak on the riser but is, in fact, the broken well itself.

With this mountain of proof about what really happened at the Deep Water Horizon rig on April 20, 2010 it is hard to fathom any legal ruling that does not examine and consider the facts exposed herein. Any trial or private negotiation to establish a settlement  — on any grounds — that does not take this information into account are automatically rendered as criminal as the crimes this information suggests took place on April 20, 2010 and the days that  followed. Only a careful and detailed analysis of these hard facts will provide a clear picture to allow anyone to reach a verdict and to estimate the extent of the damages caused to the Gulf of Mexico, its people and the environment in that region; damages that multiply  exponentially everyday due to the continuous and unabated flow of crude oil and hydrocarbons from the bottom of the sea into the waters of the Gulf.

ROV IMAGE AND ILLUSTRATION LINKS

Image 165-0

Image 165-1a

Image 165-1a alt

Image 165-b

Image 165-2

 Congress re: 2nd Explosion

Figure 165-3

Figure 165-4

Figure 165-5

Figure 165-5a

Figure 165-6

When Sea Level Change is NOT Sea Level Change

by Dr. Timothy Ball
Science&Public Policy
December 12, 2011

Figure 1. Click to enlarge image

Many claim sea level is rising because of global warming and point to changes along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Sea level has risen since the end of the last Ice Age (Figure 1), but it has slowed dramatically in the last few hundred years. However, shoreline change is not just a function of water level change. Misdirection using fear and misinformation divert from and hinder human ability to adapt to an ever changing world.

When you visit a shoreline over time and the water line changes, it is natural to assume, because of education and reason, it is the water level that has changed. This may be the case, and if so, it is called eustasy. However, it is also possible that the land is rising or falling in a process called isostasy. There are ways to determine which change is going on, but not by observation. This difficulty often results in people attributing a sea level rise incorrectly as evidence of global warming when it is the land that is sinking. This misattribution occurs most often on the Gulf of Mexico coast of the southern US.

The continents are formed of Sial, an abbreviation of silica and aluminum. This makes the continental crust lighter than the underlying oceanic crust, which is primarily silica and magnesium, Sima. The latter is rich in iron and more dense than the continental crust. It means the continents effectively ‘float’ on the underlying oceanic crust, which in turn sits on the fluid material of the mantle. The continents rise and fall with tidal frequency from the pull of the moon.

Figure 2 compares North America 20,000 years ago with today. The blue on the left map shows the extent of the ice, which was greater in area than Antarctica and 3000 m (10,000 feet) deep in the dark blue region centered on Hudson Bay. Notice the difference in coastline as sea level was approximately 140 m (460 feet) lower.

Figure 2. Click to enlarge image

Consider the weight of the ice sitting on a floating continent. Figure 3 is a cross section along the line AB on Figure 2 illustrating how the ice deforms the land.

When winter snow survived the summer melt high in the Torngat Mountains of Labrador, layers built until a continental glacier was formed. The ice sheet centre spread west as the snow was heavier in the prevailing westerlies. At the peak of glaciation, the thickest ice lay over Hudson Bay.

It is easier to think of the continent as a sponge floating in water. Place a heavy metal disc on the sponge and two things happen. The sponge is depressed as you can see at A on Figure 3. This is called crustal deformation. However, the weight of the ice also pushed the continent down into the underlying mantle at B. The southern end of the continent at C was pushed upward. The pivotal line for rotation of the continent is along the southern edge of the ice; and some associate the New Madrid Fault zone and increased earthquake activity with this line.

The line of zero depression, or hinge line, due to the combination of crustal deformation and isostasy is along the southern edge of the

Figure 3. Click to enlarge image

ice. As the ice began to melt, the land started to rebound, just as the sponge recovers shape when the metal disc is removed.
In North America, a massive proglacial lake formed along the southern edge of the ice sheet. Lake Agassiz is reported to be the largest freshwater lake ever formed (Figure 4). Lake Winnipeg, which is the 13th largest lake in the world by area, is just a remnant of Agassiz.

It is outflow from Lake Agassiz that became part of another global warming scare when it was theorized to have caused dramatic changes in the North Atlantic Thermohaline current and subsequent climate change.

Figure 4. Click to enlarge image

Beaches formed along the shores of Lake Agassiz, especially in western Manioba, were obviously level. As the land rebounded they were distorted so a survey along the highest and longest Campbell Beach shows the North end is now some 935 feet higher than the South end. It is one measure of the amount of rebound. It was surprisingly fast immediately after retreat of the ice, estimated at 10 m (33 feet) to 12 m (39 feet) per century. It is still a rapid 1.3m (4.3 feet) per century. This is a combination of recovery of crustal deformation, but mostly the continent rebalancing itself. As this happens the land rises and sea level appears to drop along the Arctic coast, but land sinks and sea level appears to rise along the Gulf of Mexico.

Isostatic adjustment will continue in North America as estimates based on depth of ice indicate total depression at 400 m (1300 feet). This means approximately 111 m (365 feet) of rebound will occur. Both sea level rise due to eustasy and land sinking due to isostasy will continue along the Gulf of Mexico. The good news is both are consequences of buildup of massive glaciers on the continent and consequent sea level drop to the peak of the Wisconsin ice advance 20,000 years ago. Now, as we appear to reach the peak of the Interglacial, the melt of the glaciers on the continent and resulting sea level rise are slowing. Rate of these events are known. Now we
must stop the exploitation of fear using false information so we can prepare appropriately for a constantly changing world and climate.

 

Gulf of Mexico Sea Floor Unstable, Fractured, Spilling Hydrocarbons

Oil and gas are still seeping unabated, says expert. Toxic leakage poses significant public health risks.

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
October 10, 2011

The Gulf of Mexico disaster has not gone away. In fact, it has grown exponentially since the main stream media stopped talking about it. According to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, an organization composed of scientists, medical professionals and seafood industry professionals, among others, the problem cannot be simplified to the damage already caused by the oil spill. It is worse, much worse.

Pools of crude oil float on the surface of Gulf of Mexico waters at the site of the sunken BP/Transocean oil drill the Deepwater Horizon on April 27, 2010. Getty Images

The Real Agenda received exclusive information regarding the current state of the ongoing emergency in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest assessment performed by the Gulf Rescue Alliance reveals not only that the oil spill is still happening, but also that the Gulf of Mexico’s sea floor grew more unstable since the explosion in 2010. Additionally, analysis provided by experts like BK Lim, shows that the geohazards developed that derive from the rolling leakage of toxic matter, combined with the on-going use of the highly toxic chemical dispersant called Corexit will most likely result in the permanent decline of marine life, while posing out-of-control public health risks, just as it did after the Exxon Valdez spill where the same chemical dispersants were used resulting in a rapid decline of the marine life until, for example, the Herring industry completely collapsed and has never recovered since then.

In a letter dated 14 January, 2011 that was sent to Congressman Fred Upton, Chairman House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Congressman John Shimkus Chairman Subcommittee on Environment and Economy,  BK Lim warned the congressmen and their committees about the current state of the sub-seabed in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). In the document, an in-depth assessment of the emergency was provided. It explains why action must be taken immediately. The evaluation of the emergency in the Gulf conducted by Mr. Lim appears credible and is based on his 30 years of experience analyzing the geologic structure of both dry land and underwater drilling sites for major oil industry companies and leading geohazards contractors such as Fugro Geodetic (M) Sdn Bhd, TL Geohydrographics Sdn Bhd, and RPS Energy Pty Ltd.

The vaporization of enormous amounts of methane hydrates on a scale not seen before, the release of stresses between the lower and upper crust resulting in the abnormal occurrences of low magnitude, shallow earthquakes adjacent to the New Madrid Fault, the sub-seabed underground erosion in the vicinity of the shelf edge undermining the slope stability with possible tsunami-generating, giant, submarine landslides,” said Mr. Lim.

As we now know, the BP explosion that cost the lives of 11 workers was not an accident, but negligence at best and a conspiracy at worst. The latest assessment from the Gulf Rescue Alliance seems to reinforce the fact that BP drilled into the Macondo well with questionable regard for the damage it would cause to the well itself, the sea floor and the marine environment down below.

“There is no question that the oil seepages, gas columns, fissures and blowout craters in the seafloor around the Macondo wellhead, observed from the ROV videos, have been the direct result of indiscriminate drilling, grouting, injection of dispersant and other undisclosed recovery activities,” details the document sent to congressman Upton on January 14 of this year. The direct result of the Deepwater Horizon’s explosion was the massive destruction of life through miles of coastline. The less than adequate cleanup, which helped worsen the disaster, condemned the area to living with tons of toxic chemical dispersants that simply destroyed the eco systems and negatively affected the health of thousands of people who live nearby and millions of others who directly and indirectly depend on the fishing, tourism and natural beauty of the marine life, wildlife and environment.

A review of the documents and news articles during the days and weeks after the underwater explosion, clearly shows that BP was attempting to buy time with various delay tactics and was unwilling to reveal the truth and magnitude of the disaster. While BP was officially battling to kill well A their contractors and other vessels went about with other covert underwater operations, many of which did not seem to be in sync with the urgency of killing “a third undisclosed well which was gushing even more oil”. For example there was this video showing a ROV brushing of the name of another oil company from a new BOP brought into the vicinity of the Macondo wells. BP Clean off Co Logo on BOP – why?on 9 June 2010.Other videos showed oil gushing from craters on the seafloor and ROV activities (blasting (demolition?), cutting and removal of well casings on the seafloor and from a hole (another well?), dismantling BOP, grouting of seafloor tens to over hundreds of meters away from well A. How could a BOP be dangling for two weeks from 3 to 16 July while BP was showing to the world’s audience the killing and capping of supposedly the only spewing well A from June till 15 July?

In fact, in early media reports animated graphics suggested 3 different leaks locations. BP admitted initially 3 leaks but conveniently reduced to only 1 later; ignoring to explain the “why, when and how”. BP had maintained from the start they had drilled only 1 well. From my analysis in early Aug 2010 I concluded BP could not have drilled only 1 well. They must have drilled 3 wells to account for all the conflicting information. See media reports here.

Videos also confirmed that even as early as May to June, oil and gas were already spewing from the seafloor as far as 7 to over 20 miles from Well A. A satellite photo on 25 May suggests a good correlation between the seabed oil spewing and with the faults and Salt Domes.

Evidently, numerous Youtube video postings not only confirm that BP and multiple federal agencies who were on the scene were not revealing all to the public, but that unknown quantities of hydrocarbons were still leaking out from the reservoir at high pressure and seeping through multiple fault lines to the seabed. “It is not possible to “cap” this oil,” reads Mr. Lim’s analysis. “Until a solution is found to seal these fissures, the hydrocarbons, including Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), will continue to leak uncontrollably”.

WHAT IS NOW HAPPENING BELOW THE GULF’S WATERS?

The document sent to congressman Fred Upton is accompanied by photos, videos and other documentation that support the concerns expressed by the Gulf Rescue Alliance. Just as a doctor with years of experience in viewing and analyzing x-rays can immediately see a fractured bone or other ailment when a laymen would not see it or understand it’s importance, Lim has years of experience in viewing underwater videos of oil and gas seepage and can quickly see and analyze what is occurring where a laymen would not pick up on it. In his letter, Lim describes what is occurring in a series of underwater videos taken by ROV’s around and near the wellhead.

In one of the videos, Well A, as it is known, appears to be releasing clouds of methane saturated seawater, gas bubbles of methane and re-crystallized methane crystals floating close to the seabed in the vicinity of the Macondo wellhead. On top of this, says the letter, it is also possible to see new fissures and a bulging seabed developing together with an already blown crater.

A second video shows how the very rope that guides the surveying ROV disappears into a dense, darkish cloud of oily fluid. Lim’s document explains how grout materials and old drilling mud that were previously taken to higher altitudes by columns of gas in the water can be seen in the video falling back onto the sea floor. These columns of gas are coming from newly activated venting fissures formed due to sea floor instability and fragility. Viewers can also see re-crystallized methane which appears as transparent and light multicolor materials floating in the water.

The third video shows the “periodic expulsion of the gas through one of the fissures on the seabed. Like geysers, the escaping gas needs to accumulate beneath the top sediment cover until the built-up pressure exceeds the combined water-column and overburden pressure just before each periodic expulsion,” explains the report compiled by the Alliance. According to images obtained from a ROV video, there are pools of tar/oil sediment all over the seafloor which are the direct result of the oil spill.

Although it is very difficult, under the current circumstances, to obtain clear footage of what is going on at that depth, my extensive training and experience in analyzing these types of situations, combined with these footages and others which I have access to, provides proof that oil and gas are still seeping unabated from the uncontrolled leaking reservoir,” warns BK Lim on his letter sent to congressmen Upton and Shimkus on 14 January, 2011.

Independently collected video footage from places like Saint Louis Bay Beach, Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and other places around the Gulf shows large amounts of fresh Corexit foam on the beach. As Corexit can only be used to sink fresh oil within the first couple of days of it coming up out of the ground, it is yet another indicator that there is an on-going attempt to sink fresh oil below the surface. Surficial bitumen layers (oil tarballs) that made it to the water surface as recently as September 6, due to storm surge are also coming up in massive amounts. According to sources close to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, on August 18, 2011, members of EcoRigs, went out and collected surface water samples that contained crude oil which they believed belonged to the ongoing BP oil spill. They also recorded video evidence of a heavy oil slick on Long Beach Mississippi. The water / oil samples were examined by independent laboratories and the first of those samples to return from the lab on the 28th of September confirmed their concerns: the oil was BP’s and from the Macondo reservoir.

Water sample analysis conducted independently by EcoRigs shows a positive correlation to BP’s oil spill samples. “The presence of fresh BP MC 252 crude oil in surface waters 2 to 14 months after the well was reported to have been capped suggests that crude oil from the BP DWH MC 252 field may have found new pathways to the seafloor.” The evaluations conducted also reveal that the toxic chemical Corexit is now being applied to the subsurface leak located 1500 meters beneath the ocean’s surface at the wellhead. This is done with the intention of further decomposing the oil so that the smaller particles do not make it to the surface and the continuing oil spill can be easily kept from the public eye.

ANOTHER MISHANDLED DISASTER

Just as with Katrina, more than a year into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Federal government has shown its ineptitude to adequately solving the consequences of a major disaster. In separate documents gathered by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, more revealing details are provided about how BP and the government handled the oil spill disaster. “The blown crater at the undisclosed 3rd well was spewing more than 100,000 barrels per day. (100,000 barrels estimate was based on the quantity of oil seen on the surface). Even worse the highly corrosive mix of brine, gas and oil ingresses into every crevices and permeable sections of the formation, creating new pathways to the seafloor,” says Mr. Lim. The Alliance subscribed to the standard industrial practice of conducting a detailed seafloor survey as immediately possible, to establish the extent of the seafloor damage following the well blowout. Just as an X-ray would help the surgeon in pin-pointing and planning the most appropriate surgical procedure, such a detailed seafloor and sub-seabed scan would most certainly provide the most strategic approach to stopping the release of hydrocarbons from the beleaguered well or wells. After ignoring repeated calls for such a seafloor survey since the blowout, BP and NOAA suddenly announced such a research survey using the NOAA Okeanos Explorer 15 months later. The only logical conclusion to this late survey is:

“A seafloor survey then (within the first few months) would reveal the ugly truths about the broken seafloor and precarious salt formation they were trying so hard to hide,” continued Mr. Lim. After more than a year of grouting, patching up and destroying all critical evidence in the seabed around the Macondo wells they (BP) were confident enough, the “modified seafloor” would not be incriminating to them. According to Mr. Lim, British Petroleum was very careful not to mention the fact they had drilled 3 wells. If this fact had come out, it would have caused a bomb and they could have been indicted for drilling without permission. “That is what they fear most,” says Lim. BP was also careful to isolate drilling crews away from each other, which according to Lim,  is against safety rules because drilling need to be briefed on hazardous and technical problems encountered at earlier drilling stages. Although BP may not have expected the three wells to blow up, this was an almost sure outcome due to the interconnected shallow gas formation (which was one of the main causes of their numerous problems). Further, after urgent requests for recommendations, a formal request was made to the Coast Guard on behalf of Constituent David Fakouri with the Louisiana Economic Foundation demanding seafloor survey and damage assessment be done with a 3rd party observer, but the request was denied.

The recent seafloor survey went on to have totally different emphasis and priorities. This led geohazards expert BK Lim to conclude as follows:

The vessel’s track history seemed to suggest higher emphasis in the south-western edges of the Biloxi Dome, the southern edged of Whiting Dome and generally south of the Macondo prospects. While there may yet be geologically valid reasons for the emphasis south of the Macondo wells, the shelf edges 6 to 8 km north-west of Macondo Wells and the badly eroded north-western edges of Whiting Dome should at least be surveyed with some grid-lines (see areas P1 and P2).

BP’s vessels had been observed working for quite some time in both areas. The 22 mile long underwater plume (first denied by BP and later confirmed by many independent research cruises), was suspected to have originated from the cracks in the seafloor at these locations. By avoiding these critical areas, can the present survey investigation be truly objective and independent in investigating the truth of the Macondo Blowout?

Almost all the oil sightings are north of the Macondo wells, not south. Why did the survey deliberately (?) avoid the shelf edges north of Macondo. In March 2011, new oil spills were suspected to have come from “leaks in the seabed” north of the Matherhorn field. The shelf edges bordering the Mississippi-Alabama Shelf, appear pretty fractured with large crevices and in potential danger of sliding into gigantic submarine landslides. Submarine landslides are more effective in generating tsunami than quakes without significant landslides. Both the 2011 Japan and 2004 Sumatra Quakes had giant tsunamis due to the accompanying large submarine mass displacement.”

During the first few weeks of the disaster, there was a struggle within BP between thosewho wanted to come clean about the reality of the situation and another group that wanted to cover it up. Apparently the latter group managed to win the struggle and they decided to use the well with the least of the problems (the first and shallowest, Well A, which was drilled to about 5,000 feet below mudline) to be the one staged for the world media as the “show capping” of an oil spill. The third and bigger leak at Well 3, which the late Matt Simmons kept asserting was “the deepest well that reached the Macondo oil resevoir”, was kept out of the public limelight.

A confidential source informed The Real Agenda that credible scientific evidence has been gathered giving high probability to allegations that oil is, in fact, still leaking and that inadequate oil spill response protocols were employed by the EPA, Coast Guard and other officials at Federal and State levels throughout the disaster. According to the source, the compilation of the scientific evidence is not just an edict of worrisome errors but criminal negligence resulting in a worsened tragedy throughout the Gulf States and Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem resulting in serious human health consequences—with EPA being at the head of that mismanagement.

The source further reports that between May 2010 and March 2011 long after the reported capping of the BP well in July of 2010 the average toxicity levels in the Gulf Region waters from Texas to Florida were persisting at unsafe levels and that, in some cases, they were thousands of times higher than EPA established safety threshold levels. It was during this same period of time that federal government agencies put out propaganda saying everything on the Gulf of Mexico was safe, including seafood, air and sea water.

It has been alleged that NOAA’s testing methods were flawed resulting in the “all is safe now in the Gulf” proclamation by responsible agencies. A separate concern is the fact that BP has a $500 million fund paying for continuing studies on the after effects of the spill and use of Corexit leading to concerns by independent scientists over the transparency and availability of this information to the public. Scientists under BP or government contracts conducting studies are not permitted to publicize or discuss any of their data until delivered to their employers. With some of these studies estimated to take several years, the public won’t know the truth until years later.

On September 13, 2011 new oil was seen close to where the original BP oil explosion occurred. Due to the fact the EPA insists on using Corexit as the only possible solution to the problem, the most important issue up to this point -the dire consequences of using Corexit- are not being addressed. Corexit not only contaminates the Gulf of Mexico and the human populations established throughout, but also is ineffective remediating the core problem: cleaning the Gulf waters as fast as possible. The only thing Corexit has proven is its effectiveness to pollute the waters and the Gulf as a whole. Why then does the EPA and the federal government insist on using it? It is interesting to note that none of the official statements by either the EPA or the oil companies state that Corexit cleans up the waters. They do, however, repeatedly state that Corexit is “effective”, which misleads the public into thinking that Corexit is cleaning up the waters. What Corexit is effective at is sinking it below the surface where it is difficult to see and quantify just how much is there, and breaking it up into small particles and spreading the contamination far and wide making the potential problems of toxic exposure to both humans and all the flora and fauna exponentially worse.

EPA ENFORCES ANTIQUATED OIL SPILL CLEAN UP PROTOCOLS

On its website, the EPA mildly agrees that using Corexit as a tool to clean the Gulf has “trade offs”. The question is, where are the positives? The oil is not being cleaned, but the waters and the complete ecosystem are being contaminated. Given the Federal Government’s line of action, it seems the task at hand is to make things worse, instead of better. Even after BP requested to test on the DWH oil already-proven, effective, non-toxic alternative oil spill cleanup technologies the EPA refused to allow those alternative technologies to be utilized.

One of the most highly regarded products suggested by scientists and environmental and conservation groups is Oil Spill Eater II, which is not only approved by the EPA, but also listed as part of an official list of products for oil spill cleanup, called the National Contingency Plan (or NCP List) that have been tested and approved as workable for emergencies like the one now taking place in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, BP’s requests to use Oil Spill Eater II were denied by the EPA and regional federally controlled response team officials. The Real Agenda additionally received documents showing formal requests were made by the Governor of Louisiana Mississippi and Alabama to use or conduct trials on OSE II in their states. In June 2010, the EPA sent a letter to Louisiana Governor Jindal denying the use of bioremediation methods for the DWH oil. Per documents obtained by the Gulf Rescue Alliance, the letter had a number of inaccuracies and misleading statements in it, and showed a surprising lack of understanding of the natural process that mother nature follows to clean up an oil spill. This effectively took off the table all but one of the non-toxic products on the NCP list for use in the Gulf of Mexico blowout. The only non-toxic product which did not fit under the detailed description of why the EPA stated that bioremediation would have only limited value, unwittingly made the case for the immediate use of OSE II. When this was pointed out to the EPA in a subsequent letter by OSEI, the company that manufactures and distributes OSE II, the EPA ignored the letter. BP America’s Chief Counsel stated in a conference call with the OSEI Corporation, in September of 2011 that BP was not able to use OSE II to treat the oil disaster because “BP is bound by the government’s decision” —bound by the EPA mandate [to keep using Corexit]. Consequently, it is estimated by sources outside of BP that BP could “have saved an estimated $36 billion in clean up costs if they had deployed the EPA approved alternative to Corexit. Gulf Rescue Alliance members state that it is in possession of voluminous documentation that indicates the EPA arbitrarily blocks any attempt to use environmentally friendly methods to clean the Gulf and instead prefers to use Corexit with no regard for the marine life and public’s health from the now proven to be fatally toxic chemical dispersant.

The use of friendlier technologies could not have only saved the Gulf’s ecosystem in the earlier stages of the disaster, but it would have also reduced the costs of the clean-up process for both the federal government and BP itself and prevented untold damage. Instead, the disaster in the Gulf continues to endanger everything and everyone as the toxic contamination spreads, and the costs of the clean-up process -which are now estimated in the tens of billions of dollars- continue to skyrocket.

Given the EPA’s decision not to help resolve the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, community organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed lawsuitsthat ask the EPA to conduct long-term studies that evaluate the impacts of Corexit on the environment and endangered species. It is expected that these lawsuits will act as a wake-up call to the EPA, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard, which appear to have made a conscious effort to block all alternatives directed towards the use of OSE II or any other environmentally friendly and truly effective technologies or techniques to clean the Gulf swiftly and effectively.

Luis R. Miranda is a Journalist with 15 years of experience. He is the founder and editor of The Real Agenda. Learn  more about Luis here.


The BP Oil Spill Conspiracy Continues in the Gulf of Mexico

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 10, 2011

There is not a big scandal that lasts more than a few weeks on the main stream media’s scope of attention. In the case of the BP oil catastrophe, it is incredible that after the size of the deadly disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, neither the main stream media nor the alternative news media followed up on what has been going on there. What has been going on there is inaction, and the BP oil conspiracy continues to develop.(1)

As we now know, the BP explosion that cost the lives of several workers was not an accident, but negligence at best and a conspiracy at worst. The direct result of the Deepwater Horizon’s explosion was the massive destruction of life through miles of coastline. The less than adequate cleanup, which helped worsened the disaster, condemned the area to living with tons of toxic chemical dispersants that simply destroyed the eco systems and negatively affected the health of the thousands of people who lived nearby and millions of others who directly and indirectly depended on the fishing, tourism and natural beauty of the marine life, wildlife and environment.

The greatest impact was felt immediately on the health, environmental and economic side of things. Regardless of what Obama and the U.S. government says, the Gulf Coast has not been the same ever since the BP explosion occurred.

This oil sheen can only be coming from fresh oil, newly coming out of the seabed.

Perhaps the most surprising fact is that the spill continues to exist, despite government and main stream media reports that the worst is over. As recently taken pictures show, there are still large amounts of oil floating around the Gulf of Mexico. This is not oil that remains from the original explosion, but fresh oil. Airplanes continue to spray toxic chemicals on the Gulf, which continue to sicken people and animal life there. Recent spraying was done as early as March 15th, 2011, even though the EPA said that no more dispersants had been applied since July 23, 2010. According to the Gulf Rescue Alliance, aerial photos taken between March 19, 2011 and April 21, 2011, reveal new “massive amounts” of oil floating on Gulf’s waters. (2)

Analysis conducted to test the consequences of using Corexit show that the chemical helps the oil dissolve into the water. These chemicals (volatile contaminants) would otherwise evaporated if the oil had been left
sitting on the surface. Laboratory tests conducted with Corexit 9500, saltwater and oil show the same foam found on Gulf waters after the application of the toxic chemical. For the most recent images of the newest oil leaks as well as military airplanes spraying chemicals in the Gulf with detailed dates and places see the PDF report titled Fresh Oil in the Gulf (Pages 4-21)

“Photos taken by Denise Rednour, John Wathen and Bonnie Schumacher prove that the Macondo well and / or the fractured seabed around the well was never fully plugged”. One of the most recent reports titled Fresh Oil in the Gulf includes a press release from NOAA that details its findings about the detection of limits of toxic chemicals, which the organization establishes at 100 parts per million for finfish and 500 parts per million for shrimp. However, chemist Bob Naman who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing lab in Mobile, Alabama tested samples from several places in the Gulf and his results do not match those of NOAA. According to Naman’s calculations, toxic chemical levels are around 5 parts per billion.

EPA Not Coming Clean

In another report titled Questioning EPA Fraud, a group of Gulf residents compiled what they say amounts to clear proof that the Environmental Protection Agency lied and continues to lie about the health impact on Gulf residents, contaminated beaches, water and seafood. According to the report there is an alarming difference between the levels of exposure to toxic chemicals considered as “safe” back in 1999 and those emitted more recently by the EPA, which are “thousands of times higher”. Part of the report relates how much easier would it be for governmental organizations to claim that no chemicals were detected while the health and lives of the residents are gravely put in danger. (3)

Government agencies have been caught giving false statements about the state of affairs in the Gulf of Mexico. In one occasion, government official said they were “not sure of the effect of utilizing dispersants, sub sea,” and on the surface in this volume, but that the use of such chemicals were a necessary risk. Unfortunately, those very same official failed to detailed the very same risks  they knew existed once the spraying of Corexit began on Gulf waters. They also admitted that more studies on the actual effects need to be performed.

According to the document titled Questioning EPA Fraud, sub sea test performed in the North Sea near Norway by major oil companies showed that the oil was split into fractions and left the most toxic parts (PAH’s) suspended throughout the water. These parts cause grave adverse effects to the marine species. “Over 60% of marine species normally thrive in those sub sea strata of ocean waters”, cites the study.

Still a Public Health Crisis

The Gulf Rescue Alliance, a coalition composed by Scientists, Doctors, Attorneys, Seafood and Tourism Industry Professionals, Civic and Government Leaders, Non-profits, and Citizens, documents the current health crisis that began back on the day of the BP oil disaster and that continues to get worse on a daily basis.  The Alliance’s claims are supported by, among other documents, a report from the American Medical Association entitled Health Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill that explains how the toxic chemicals used in the supposed cleanup of the Gulf caused innumerable cases of disease in local residents.

“The main components of crude oil are aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons.1 Lower-molecular weight aromatics—such as benzene, toluene, and xylene—are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and evaporate within hours after the oil reaches the surface. Volatile organic compounds can cause respiratory irritation and central nervous system (CNS) depression. Benzene is known to cause leukemia in humans, and toluene is a recognized teratogen at high doses.” (4)

Although the EPA and the CDC have downplayed the consequences of continuous exposure to the toxic chemicals in the Gulf, citing only minor health problems such as temporary eye, nose, or throat irritation, nausea, or headaches, and “are not thought to be high enough to cause long-term harm” BP’s own website warns that current conditions are dangerous for both offshore workers and local residents. According to the JAMA report,  temperatures pose a risk of heat-related illness exacerbated by wearing coveralls and respirators.

The report continues to point out that when in contact with dispersants and other chemicals now present in the Gulf, people can suffer adverse health effects that may end in dermatitis and secondary skin infections. “Some people may develop a dermal hypersensitivity reaction, erythema, edema, burning sensations, or a follicular rash.”  But the health conditions now being experienced by residents and wildlife are not the only problems that remain in the heads of the citizens in the coast. There are a number of long-term health risks that not highlighted now, but that will appear later.

Although visible effects such as contamination, floating oil and dispersants as well as the death of the eco systems are some of the problems we see now, more pressing consequences are still to come. One of those consequences is the accumulation of chemicals that will remain with Gulf residents for years. The exposure to these chemicals will continue to endanger people generation after generation unless they are properly cleaned up. Because the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important sources of seafood for the United States, the chemicals found on that seafood will potentially contaminate consumers with toxins such as cadmium, mercury, and lead that can accumulate over time in fish and shellfish. (5)

Fishing through oil and dispersant. Photo taken March 19th, 2011.

It is undoubtedly the damage to human health what worries most residents of the Gulf coast, though. Some of the most serious effects on humans are reflected on red blood cells. Exposure to the toxic chemicals people and marine life are now swimming in causes hemolysis. This happens because the fat of the cells’ membrane is dissolved and as a result the membrane breaks down. Another health problem is hematuria, or the appearance of blood in the urine and the feces. This happens as a result of kidney damage. If untreated, this damage can progress and lead to kidney failure.

“The chemicals extend their damage to other body parts such as the spleen, the bones in the spinal column, and bone marrow (where new blood cells are formed) and the liver, where chemicals are detoxified (broken down for easy excretion from the body). Chronic exposure can cause anemia, and lead to insufficient blood supply, cold extremities, and necrosis (a condition basically akin to flesh rot.) Females may exhibit more sensitivity to fore-stomach necrosis, ulceration, and inflammation occurring at half the dose required to cause the same problems in males. (6)

In women, fertility could also be reduced due to embryo mortality. Women are considered to be more likely to suffer from ocular damage. Some bodily injuries of that kind include severe damage to the eye such as retinal detachment, photoreceptor degeneration and occlusion resulting from multiple thrombosis of the blood vessels in the eye.

Reaching out to the Government

Marine Toxicologist, Riki Ott

In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor, Riki Ott, details how the organization was ignorant about the effects of using dispersants in an area that went from Louisiana to Florida. The agency and other government organization were unaware of the existence of “subsurface oil-dispersant plumes and sunken oil on ocean and estuary water bottoms”, said Ott. He also asked for proof that it was a violation of existent law to spray sinking agents such as the ones BP had been using.(7)

Although under EPA rules BP had been banned from using Corexit on Gulf waters due to its toxicity and the reactions it caused when in contact with the oil, the company continued spraying the chemical after the March 19, 2010 warning to stop using the product. “By July 30, the congressional Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment reported the USCG on-scene commander (OSC) had approved 74 exemption requests to spray dispersants between May 28 and July 14”, cites the document.

The Sane Available Solution

On section four of the The Gulf of Mexico A Crisis That Must Be Resolved document, a proposal is presented to end the tragedy known as the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 40), it is stated that in the event of environmental disasters such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico, the agencies in charge could use non-toxic products called “bio remediation” products. Bio remediation is the use living micro organisms to  enhance the rates of biodegradation of oil. The the use of bio remediation results in the appearance of organic substances such as carbon dioxide, water, biomass, and benign substances. This process, transforms oil into non-toxic products and the environmental impact is almost zero. It is basically the same process mother nature uses to clean itself, but performed at an accelerated pace. It speeds up the process.

Under the bio remediation category, there seems to be only one product left, from a total of 11 that existed in the near past. It is called OSE II. This product, as requested by government regulators, does not introduce foreign microbes into any body of water. OSE II can be used on refined or unrefined hydrocarbons or hydrocarbon-based compounds. This product was shown to EPA and other government representatives at least 14 times in laboratory experiments and on-location. Every single time, OSE II proved its capacity to detoxify the oil and dispersant in a matter of hours. “After getting in contact with the oil, it turns it into water and CO2 within 2 to 4 weeks, which is its defined end result.”

OSE II is used in 35 countries where the use of dispersants is prohibited or simply a non starter. In the United States, the EPA prevented the use of this product even though its manufacturer has provided it  to the U.S. military for 21 years.

References:

(1) The BP Oil Spill Conspiracy You Didn’t Hear About

(2) Fresh Oil in the Gulf Of Mexico and Fresh Chemical Dispersant Being Sprayed

(3) Summary of EPA/NOAA Fraud Regarding the Testing for Safety of Gulf Seafood, Water, and Sediment

(4) Public Health Crisis in the Gulf of Mexico as a Direct Result of the Inadequate Response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout Disaster

(5) University scientist’s seafood sample results were “hundreds of times higher than the levels the government tests found”

(6) General Overview of Symptoms Related to Exposure to Dispersed Oil and Toxic Chemical Dispersants

(7) The Gulf of Mexico A Crisis That Must Be Resolved

United Nations Agenda 21 to Rule the Oceans

By Dennis Amble
April 20, 2011

Whilst everyone has been occupied with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s defense before Congress of the EPA’s attempts to regulate CO2 emissions, the Administration has continued to move towards International Ocean Governance with the establishment of a Governance Coordinating Committee for the National Ocean Council, (NOC). The NOC has been long in the making and earlier history of Ocean legislation can be found here, going back to the 1969 Stratton Commission and beyond. However the current impetus dates to the Pew Oceans Commission in 2003 and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy – An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century in 2004, mandated by the Oceans Act 2000.

The recommendations of the Pew Oceans Commission and the US Commission on Ocean Policy were very similar, even down to the coastal maps used to preface the reports. The pretence was abandoned in 2005 with the formation of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, co-chaired by the chairs of the Pew Commission and the US Commission on Ocean Policy.
In 2007 came Oceans-21, the short name given to HR-21, The Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act. It was designed to implement the policies favoured by the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, but it never became law.

On June 12th 2009 the White House published a Presidential Memorandum to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies relating to a “National Policy for The Ocean, Our Coasts and The Great Lakes”. It established an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Task Force), to be led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality “in order to better meet our Nation’s stewardship responsibilities for the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes”

The influence of the climate agenda was clear:

“Challenges include water pollution and degraded coastal water quality caused by industrial and commercial activities both onshore and offshore, habitat loss, fishing impacts, invasive species, disease, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification. Oceans both influence and are affected by climate change. They not only affect climate processes but they are also under stress from the impacts of climate change.”

The Pew and US Commission policies surfaced again in the report of the Task Force, the Final Recommendations Of The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, (OPTF), July 19, 2010.

Freedom Advocates claimed that “thirty states would be encroached upon by Obama’s Executive Order establishing the National Ocean Council for control over America’s oceans, coastlines and the Great Lakes.”

THE TASK FORCE

The members of the Task Force included, amongst other government agency representation:

Nancy Sutley, Task Force Chair. She is also chair of The Council on Environmental Quality and is principal environmental policy adviser to the President. Ms. Sutley was a special assistant to Carol Browner, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton. Sutley is co-chair of the National Ocean Council with John Holdren.

Jane Lubchenco Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, NOAA Administrator, she was a member of the Pew Oceans Commission in 2003 and is still, as a government employee, listed as a current member of that organisation and a member of the Joint Ocean Commission. She is also a member of the National Ocean Council as NOAA Administrator.

Peter Silva, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water. Silva resigned from post on January 14 2011, a day after he decided to revoke the permit of a mountain top mining proposal in Appalachia. Nancy Stoner, deputy assistant administrator, is now Acting Assistant Administrator. She was with the Natural Resources Defense Council before joining the EPA.

Lubchenco served, until her NOAA appointment, on the boards of the World Resources Institute, Environmental Defense, and on advisory committees for the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme.

She was a contributor to the 1991 report of the National Research Council, Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming, along with Stephen Schneider, Maurice Strong, Tom Karl, William Nordhaus and others. She is shown as an Advisory Board Member of Diversitas, a UN linked, international government funded diversity institute, along with Paul Ehrlich, and Harold Mooney, of Stanford.

Ms. Lubchenco is a member of the National Research Council panel, America’s Climate Choices, along with long time associate John Holdren, Director of President Obama’s Office of Science and Technology. They are both on the National Oceans Council. In an interview in July 2009, with Yale Environment 360, she referred to ocean acidification as global warming’s “equally evil twin.” The interview title was hubristically titled, “Restoring Science to US Climate Policy”
Her policies on fishing have been heavily attacked by the industry and in July last year, Gloucester Times reported that Massachusetts congressmen Barney Frank and John Tierney had “called for her to resign or be fired over what they described as her “hostility” and lack of accountability toward the American fishing industry.”

In its introduction, the presidential task force report invoked the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as one justification for full federal control of the oceans around the US coasts. It also stated that, “it is the Policy of the United States to use the best available science and knowledge to inform decisions affecting the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes, and enhance humanity’s capacity to understand, respond, and adapt to a changing global environment.” Yet their “best available science” appears to be the contested science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, as shown in these familiar claims.

Climate change is impacting the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Increasing water temperatures are altering habitats, migratory patterns, and ecosystem structure and function.

Coastal communities are facing sea-level rise, inundation, increased threats from storms, erosion, and significant loss of coastal wetlands.

The ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere buffers the impacts of climate change, but also causes the ocean to become more acidic, threatening not only the survival of individual species of marine life, but also entire marine ecosystems.

The ocean buffers increased global temperatures by absorbing heat, but increasing temperatures are causing sea levels to rise by expanding seawater volume and melting land-based ice. Increased temperatures may eventually reduce the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Their “best available science” includes Jane Lubchenco’s debasement of science in this propaganda video on the NOAA website, purporting to show ocean acidification. Of course the objective is to provide another scary reason for taxing energy. On sea level, NOAA’s own tide gauge data show an average sea level rise of less than 2 inches per century, in line with this assessment by S. J. Holgate, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool, UK.

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