Thursday, June 27, 2013


Judge Barbier commenting on the upcoming second phase of the BP trial:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal judge presiding over a trial arising from the nation's worst offshore oil spill says it could be difficult to determine how much crude spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's busted well in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier noted during a hearing Thursday that there wasn't a "meter" attached to BP's blown-out Macondo well.
Right there wasn't... although it's worth noting that BP wasn't very helpful in getting us anything close to a ballpark estimate.
Former vice president of exploration Gulf of Mexico David Rainey faces a new indictment that he knew of the Congressional investigation he was previously charged with when he allegedly gave false information on the spill to the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Reuters reported.

In May a federal judge dismissed a criminal charge against Rainey concerning the obstruction allegation which involved allegedly lying about the amount of oil which was spilling from the ruptured Macondo well.

Rainey said initially the estimated flow was about 5000 barrels per day but internal BP documents from the time showed the company believed the rate was likely much higher.

The flow rate issue is sensitive because civil fines that BP will have to pay under the US Clean Water Act are based in part on the number of barrels spilled.
   Oh and the White House didn't help either

Initial reports were that 1,000 barrels a day was spilling into the Gulf. During the second week of the spill, the flow estimate was increased to 5,000 barrels a day, and the last estimate, after the flow of oil had stopped, was 52,700 to 62,200 barrels a day.

The commission said that in late April or early May the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wanted to release some of the worst-case scenarios for the amount of oil spilling into the gulf.

But it said the White House Office of Management and Budget denied NOAA's request, according to NOAA staff interviewed by the commission.

While the Obama administration said the lower flow rates did not affect the administration's response to the spill, the commission staff said the hugely understated estimates resulted in less public confidence in the pronouncements about the disaster from both the federal government and BP.

It said that the Obama administration was misleading in suggesting that its report in August that as much as 75 percent of the oil had been removed had been peer reviewed by scientists. Independent scientists provided recommendations on "analysis methods" and contributed field data, but it is unclear "whether any of the independent scientists actually reviewed the final report prior to its release," the commission report said.
Anyway, just because the thing isn't strictly metered doesn't mean we can't come up with an estimated rate. Entergy does it all the time, for example. 

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