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Western-most closures lifted yesterday

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WATERS REOPENED: Western-most closure lifted
Recreational and commercial fishing was shut down last night (May 22) in all of Barataria Bay and much of the marsh stretching from Golden Meadow west to Point au Fer because of “confirmed oil reports” from the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced.

Go to www.louisianasportsman.com/communities/oil_spill/index.php for the details.
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Latest closure maps
Go to www.louisianasportsman.com/pics/ORIG/p1274737546.jpg for the latest map showing current closures.

Also, click on www.louisianasportsman.com/pics/orig/p1274830072.jpg to see a map of current federal fishing closures.
Old thread locked, but continue discussion here
The original thread with discussions of the closures and BP's response has been locked due to the sheer number of responses (and it's impact on the speed of our database), but you can head to www.louisianasportsman.com/lpca/index.php?section=reports&event=view&action=full_report&id=75874 to read those comments.

Then come on back here and continue the discussion.
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Answers


To answer a question about a packer in a flowing well. The company I work for has a tool that can be used. It was developed to run casing, but I think it would work for this. As for the drill pipe still in the wellhead, it should come out once the riser is cut. There is so much pressure pushing on the liner tool, that logic says it should come North. I also read in a technology magazine that a guy from Trinadad has developed a packer assembly to cut off a flowing well. I do not know if it would work in a wellhead type situation.

On the question about the BOP's (Blow Out Preventers). There was an original plan to have the Q-4000 pull the Horizon BOP stack and have the Enterprise latch their BOP stack onto the Horizon wellhead. I do not know why that plan was scrapped. But here is my guess. For those of you who have not seen a deepwater BOP stack, it truly is an amazing sight. 60' wide and 35 to 45' tall. They are massive. The wellhead where they latch is maybe 8' across. That takes alot of work and calculation to get that right on the first try. Plus with a well that is flowing, it would be a real nightmare. Not to mention that they are in 5000' of water.

I have been in this God forsaken oilfield for 20+ years. I will likely be in it 20 more. I have a great job, a great boss, etc. But this spill puts a stain (forgive the pun) on the industry. I see a future more dependant on forigen oil because of this. I hope I am not right about this, but my gut tells me that we will be buying almost all of our oil from the Arabs.
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Top-kill vid
Here's a vid explaining the top kill that is supposed to be attempted tomorrow.
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CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
We need to organize a rally for Monday Memorial day 5/31 to show our displeasure with the handling of this massive disaster by BP and the Feds.

I for one am willing to sacrifice my Memorial day fishing plans to stand up and let the country know that we won't stand for this.

I have some ideas for signs etc, what location could we have this rally at that would get the most publicity?
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What we don't see.
The heavy use of controversial dispersants is making sure that a lot of the oil is not visible because it is below the water.

It's kind of telling that the dispersant used by BP is banned in their own country, but they are free to use it here.

Here's some underwater footage of a dive made by Philippe Cousteau Jr. (grandson of Jacques) that shows how the oil is floating around in plumes beneath the surface of the water. It's hard to imagine how any plants, fish or animals could survive in the oil/chemical mix.

Cousteau Jr.: 'This Is a Nightmare... a Nightmare'

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/
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Freezing the Pipe
What about freezing the pipe? I have heard of this process used in certain types of plants that would allow them to work on a section of pipe behind the frozen fluid. If the hydrates were capable of freezing up that 100 ton condom they tried to use, I wonder why a process like this could not work on the pipe? Maybe the flow rate is wayyyy to high?
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Disperssants
Chris,

The north sea is one of the most heavily regulated areas in the world. It is extremely difficult to get any surfactant registered to use there, not because of the dangers but because of the testing methods. There's little to no data showing the harmful effects, just little to no data showing that there are no harmful effects.

Methods that have been used for years to test for bioaccumulation of surfactants have recently been challenged and accused of not being applicable for surfactants.

Are the disperssants good for the environment? Probably not. But I believe the alternative of all of this oil on the surface coating the marshes, beaches, and birds is a greater danger to the ecosystem. Will these disperssants kill some fish? Probably so. But I believe the fish populations will rebound much quicker than marsh covered with this stuff.

Maybe some in the media are claiming the disperssants 'will make the oil disappear,' but I assure you BP or anyone knowledgable on the subject has never made that claim. The purpose is simply to disperse it and increase the surface area to help speed up the natural biodegradation of the oil.

Next time you are at the camp and bail out your boat or spill a little oil and you see a big sheen on the water, just add a drop or two of dawn soap and see how little it takes to break the sheen up.
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i don't know
henry i usually agree with you but i am not sure about the dipersants.. we don't know the chemical in them for one... i can tell u this depending on how long this goes on will determine my seafood consumption in the future.... by august this will all have totally penetrated the marsh and if so i will stay away from seafood for years to come...

they have no idea what this stuff could do to us long term...

and by the way this will be hard for me, i eat fish 4 nights a week and love the seafood here..... i can't imagine not having it but this is getting ridiculous
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Tubing
I don't know about the formation pressure forcing that pipe out of the well. First of all I doubt the gas is entering the well from the very bottom, that area does have cement in it.

According to the schematic the pipe is 7' pipe. If the pipe is plugged with cement on the bottom and the hole was open such that the fluids were pushing directly on the bottom of the pipe it would take over 16,000 psi to force the pipe up. Thats underestimating the weight of the pipe, because it appears its about 5,000 feet of 7' with the remainder above it being 9 1/8' and assuming the oil is pushing from the bottom which it likely is not, and assuming the liner is not cemented to the casing at the very bottom.

I'm guessing that the well is leaking between the liner and last section of casing or between two sections of casing. If thats the case and there is cement at the bottom the only forces pushing upwards on the liner would be frictional forces, I doubt that would be enough to lift the pipe out of the well.

I also believe some tubing running through the riser is physically attached to the BOP. Do they have a way of cutting these tubings while inside of a 27' riser and would they be able to get far enough inside of the riser to put a packer if there is one that would work?

Not saying its not possible, just trying to figure out how it might work.
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BP to cut off video for Top Kill?
There is an unconfirmed claim by a U.S. Congressman that BP intends on cutting off the live feed camera from the site of the leak before they attempt the Top Kill procedure tomorrow.

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Congressman: BP will cut video feed for top kill

by Greg Bluestein / Associated Press

wwltv.com

Posted on May 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

COVINGTON, La. - A lawmaker says BP will cut off a live video feed of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill when it begins its attempts to cut off the leak by injecting heavy drilling mud into the well.

Democratic Congressman Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts says the company will shut off the video feed supplied by an underwater robot when it begins the so-called top kill maneuver it hopes to try Wednesday.

But BP spokesman John Curry said Tuesday he could not confirm Markey's statement.

Markey says the move is 'outrageous' and would block the public's access to a vital moment in the disaster.

The well has gushed millions of gallons of oil into the ocean since an offshore oil rig exploded April 20.

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'in'da Valley of Giants'
...as long as we have short memory spans and politicians build mind fences between their blunders...our next business boom will be MRI's...somehow I keep play'n Willie Nelson's 'The Reason for Quitting'...cheers
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Unknowns...
Henry:

Oil is toxic. Dispersants are also toxic. So far, nearly 800k gallons of Corexit have been used on this leak with 100k gallons of that being done underwater-not on the surface as it is usually used. No one know what the effects will be. There's a lot of information and misinformation out there. However, the amount of this stuff being used and the manner in which it is being used scares the hell out of me as to the unknown future effects!

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'Corexit, the dispersant that the EPA rates as less effective and more toxic than as many as 12 other products.'

'As we’ve reported, Corexit was also used after the Exxon Valdez disaster and was later linked with human health problems including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders. One of the two Corexit products also contains a compound that, in high doses, is associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems.'
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Crude Oil
Crude oil is extremely low in toxicity. Crude oil kills when it covers wildlife and they drown or are smothered. This is what using the disperssants is trying to prevent.

As far as disperssants, yes they are defined as toxic, just like your dawn soap would be considered toxic. But lets say they applied the disperssants all at one time, to an area that is 1 square mile in 5,000 feet of water at the site of the accident. Thats 1 gallon of disperssant for every 23,300 gallons of seawater. I'll drink that water.

Now I know the dispersants aren't being applied only in 5,000 feet of water. But I also understand that they are treating areas much larger than 1 square mile.

Also the most significant effect I believe is from depleted oxygen levels as the oil is broken down. Fish experience this all the time with extreme weather. They know when the oxygen levels go down and they simply avoid those areas.

Again, I'm not saying the disperssants are GOOD for the environment. But I believe its much better than the alternative.
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Me again
Let me preface this with saying I do not personally know the truth about this but can only regurgitate what I read.

The video showing the plumes of oil show oil on the surface and down a number of feet. When they were at 25 feet deep they were looking up at the plume.

The plumes described days ago a suppose to be clear. That is what I hear. Don't know if this is true.

The video to me... not commenting on the deep water plumes... only shows me that the dispersants are doing exactly what BP wants them to do and just what the narrator of the video said they were seeing. Both BP and the narrator both said that the oil was being broken down into little droplets.

The narrator of the video made that out to be horrible. Bp says that by breaking it down into these droplets it allows much much more surface area and allows the bacteria to eat it much more quickly.

I wish they would have gone deeper than 25 feet and shown us the plumes if their cameras can detect them. But those plumes are supposedly headed south not north where the dive boat was.
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dispersnts
Exactly Henry. BP was give an ultimatum to find a less toxic/better dispersant. The said they came up with nothing. The feds options then were to force BP to use a dispersant of the Feds choosing or make them stop using dispersants all together. After BP came up with nothing better the Feds decided they didn't have a better option either and decided to let BP continue using the dispersant because although it isn't totally without problems it beats having all of the oil on the surface where it won't degrade nearly as fast.
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E-Mail
Mike Guerin
Mike
I sent you a couple of E-Mails are you getting them?
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Like White on Rice!
La. Sportsman (and especially its readers) are ON THIS like white-on-rice. Google if you must, but the most timely updates, along with the best (and best-informed)insights (and from those with the most at stake) are all RIGHT HERE.
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didn't get the emails
Didn't get them. Email me directly at omegaman66@cox.net
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msn
i just read a report on msn that says they might abandon top kill. why is this not in the local news or is it just msn stating something that isn't correct. i really think top kill will not work, but i pray it does.
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top kill
The success of the top kill operation depends on if there a weak spot that could blow out and make matters worse as the top kill will generate higher pressures than are currently being experienced.

BP believes the current pressure is 6500 psi above the pressure of the ocean pressure at that depth.

A bigger problem for top kill is that if the flow is very high then their chance for success is very low. Studies are still underway to determine the flow rate. Estimates are all over the place, but nobody really knows for sure other than we know it is much higher than the joint command first estimated. Question is how much more.

If the flow is to high for top kill they can try the junk shot to hopefully stop or slow the flow. Then the top kill can proceed again with a much easier job. It isn't overcoming pressures that is the problem. BP has a combined 50,000 horse power motors at its disposal that can overcome the pressure. It is the flow volume that could be a problem. Junkshot is designed to overcome that hurdle. But at higher pressures which have their own risk of making the leak worse. Which is why it isn't being done first.

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Email recieved
I got your email this time and sent one back to ya.
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Oil at Montegut
I was reading another fishing website and someone said that they had seen 'oil pouring into the marsh south of Montegut'. I sincerely hope not, but I would not be surprised. Can anyone else verify this? On a side note, me and some family had a trip planned for Golden Meadow on June 7. Will the closures extend that far inshore by then? Opinions?
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No body knows
Nobody knows. It all depends on the weather and how the top kill goes today.
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Top Kill
Coast Guard has given green light for BP to go ahead with top kill. Now we are waiting on BP. Fingers crossed. Prayers being said.
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Supertankers
I heard that there was an unpublicized spill oversees in 1993 that was 10 times worse than our current one. Supertankers were used to suck the oil up, then separate it from the water, and the water was pumped back into the sea. It is being said that this method is extremely effective, but costly. One avenue to get this done would be for our government to contact Saudi Arabia and request the use of 2 or 3 of their supertankers. I wish we could find an e-mail address for the Saudi Arabian government and flood them with e-mails asking for them, since our own moron of a president obviously will not entertain the use of this method. It is being said that this method will pick up water on top, and shallow and deep in the water column.
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