Meanwhile, Underwater

I can’t even keep track of which attempt this is:

An operation aimed at lessening the amount of oil gushing from an underwater well in the Gulf of Mexico was under way Tuesday, weeks after a similar effort was abandoned, a BP official said.

“We want to minimize the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and we’re well into an operation to do that,” BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said.

Within hours, he said, robots will begin making a series of cuts to the “lower marine riser package” on the well. After that, a diamond-cut saw will be used to make a “clean cut,” preparing the way for a custom-made cap to be fitted over the package.

Asked about his level of confidence in the capping procedure, given the fact that other operations aimed at stopping the spill have failed over the past 43 days, Dudley said the company has learned a lot from previous attempts.

I’m not going to even bother crossing my fingers.

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103 replies
  1. 1
    IndieTarheel says:

    I can’t even keep track of which attempt this is:

    That would be “another failed attempt”, of course.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    Speaking of BP, today David Brooks proves he’s delusional with this sentence:

    “We rely on corporations like BP to bring us energy. At the same time, it is clear that even well-meaning corporations sometimes take shortcuts when it comes to controlling pollution and protecting worker safety. So we want government to regulate business. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06.....038;emc=th

    When has BP ever shown itself to be well-meaning?

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    Since they threw the junk shot under the bus and top kill is great news for John McCain, I’m going to assume in the midst of a top hat oppy they’ll find the Whitey Tape and BO’s Kenyan birth certificate.

    Also, I love the phrase “lower riser package”. That will certainly become Ron Jeremy’s new movie title.

  4. 4
    LarsThorwald says:

    Obama should just fix it.

    I am voting for Nader in 2012 after the President’s inability to simply fix it.

  5. 5
    jeffreyw says:

    Making great strides in preparing for the next deepwater blowout. Just think of this as valuable experience. Sorry about all the fish.

  6. 6
    DBrown says:

    Still, most of the people doing this work are as good experts as just about anywhere so they will, even if it takes many more tries, succeed … I mean, there is no way that they won’t get it right … surely they know what they are doing … look at the money they are losing … the damage to the Gulf … the … were fucked.

  7. 7
    LosGatosCA says:

    ‘Meanwhile, underwater’

    A simple phrase that covers a lot of territory. Homeowners with unsustainable mortgages, 18% under/unemployed, California’s descent into madness, and the gulf oil spill.

    One lost decade turning into a second one, underwater.

  8. 8
    Ejoiner says:

    Making great strides in preparing for the next deepwater blowout.

    Like we did back in ’79? When the same company made the same mistakes and tried to fix it with the same solutions (oh, except they were using a sombrero instead of a tophat) and got the same results?

    We. are. fucked.

  9. 9
    Dork says:

    The pros over at TOD have pointed something important out — if they cut this pipe and shit flows a lot faster, visibility down there will be almost zero. Good luck trying to stick the giant metal oil condom on the riser package (heh) in zero vis, with currents and waves and anything else. Mission improbable, indeed.

  10. 10
    me says:

    @debbie: Well, that’s better than Rand Paul’s “Leave BP Alone [snif]”.

  11. 11
    Face says:

    If only BP were a finance company, every one of these rig workers, managers, and execs would be looking at 8-figure bonuses because of this.

  12. 12
    mr. whipple says:

    Is it just me, or do the margins on comments sometimes blow out into the links side of the page?

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    has RedState pledged to let their cars run 24/7 just to piss-off liberals who complain about the damage our reliance on oil is doing to our environment ?

  14. 14
    4tehlulz says:

    @Face: Instead, only the execs will get bonuses, so, progress.

  15. 15
    Max Power says:

    @debbie:

    When has BP ever shown itself to be well-meaning?

    Remember that free gas giveaway BP did last Labor Day? Me neither.

  16. 16
    kay says:

    I thought the top kill would work.
    I was crushed, and I blame engineers :)
    All of them.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    We keep on hearing all the negatives of how badly this oil volcano in the Gulf is. Why does nobody mention all the positive, like how it’s providing fuel to any petroleum-starved fish communities? And BP is painting schools!

  18. 18
    Uloborus says:

    We knew from Day One the only reliable fix was the relief well. They’ll try all this stuff in case it works – it could – but failure after failure is expected and always has been. These are ‘it’s worth a try’ plans while we wait for the relief drill to finish.

    Yes, that DOES suck, but these repeated failures change nothing.

  19. 19
    Bulworth says:

    I had very high hopes for the “junk shot” with its golf balls and tire shards. Seemed like a real plan.

  20. 20
    mr. whipple says:

    @Dork:

    Just saw that plan. If the existing pipe is already deformed, restricting flow, why not just crimp it shut? (or nearly so.)

  21. 21
    kay says:

    @Bulworth:

    I did too, but only in conjunction with the top kill.
    That combo seemed unbeatable.

  22. 22
    jwb says:

    @LarsThorwald: I’m imagining Nader in an Aquaman costume.

  23. 23
    Face says:

    Why does nobody mention all the positive, like how it’s providing fuel to any petroleum-starved fish communities?

    From now on, no one’s going to have to add any oil while frying their fish! It comes included!

    Cup half full, bitches.

  24. 24
    cat48 says:

    @mr. whipple:

    No I have the margin problem, too. Last few days, it has been a problem. Pls complain to our host. :)

  25. 25
    flukebucket says:

    I have always figured that the relief wells were the only thing that was going to work. Lots of guys over at The Oil Drum have been hinting at that from the start and then when I found out about the 1979 spill it only made sense that if we could not fix the leak in 200 ft of water we damn sure were not going to fix it a mile down.

    I have heard but have been too lazy to check that in Canada it is required that if you drill a well you also drill a relief well at the same time just in case of a fuck up.

    I don’t know if that is true or not but it sure makes sense. Seems to me that BP would do that automatically because of the “pay me now or pay me later” way of looking at things.

    If a relief well is the only way to fix such a catastrophe then it seems like a relief well would just be a part of the construction.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    @Uloborus:

    This.

    I am certainly no expert or engineer. But everything I’ve read leads me to the conclusion that only the relief well will work since that is the only that has worked in the past.

    And if they finish it by August, as they claim they can, I’ll eat some shrimp straight from the bayou.

  27. 27
    Steeplejack says:

    @mr. whipple:

    When you say “me,” what browser/OS/device is that?

    The margins don’t blow out for me (Firefox and Opera, Win XP).

  28. 28
    jwb says:

    @Dork: Maybe they put electronic locational beacons on the pipe before they cut it? In any case, I do trust that those working on closing the leak know what they are doing and have thought about the problem. If the problem occurred to the readers of TOD, I can’t imagine that it did not occur to those working on closing the leak. I still have some faith in expertise.

  29. 29
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Yes, that DOES suck, but these repeated failures change nothing.

    Um….wow. At 20000 gallons a day, x60 more days (at least), that’s 1.2 millon more gallons plus god-knows how much toxic dispersant.

    Failures seem to change a lot, at least environmentally.

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    @Uloborus:

    These are ‘it’s worth a try’ plans P.R. theater while we wait for the relief drill to finish.

    Fix’d.

  31. 31
    jeffreyw says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Just saw that plan. If the existing pipe is already deformed, restricting flow, why not just crimp it shut? (or nearly so.)

    I wonder what the capabilities of those robot submarines actually are? It would take quite a lot of purely mechanical force to squeeze the pipe shut. It may be that the equipment that can produce sufficient leverage simply cannot be mounted on them for any of a number of reasons.

  32. 32
    jwb says:

    @El Cid: I was thinking more in terms of evolving marine life that can survive in a petroleum-enriched environment.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @Uloborus:

    We knew from Day One the only reliable fix was the relief well. They’ll try all this stuff in case it works – it could – but failure after failure is expected and always has been. These are ‘it’s worth a try’ plans while we wait for the relief drill to finish.

    Exactly. But it’s worth trying the other things because if they work then that’s a bonus.

    @flukebucket:

    I have heard but have been too lazy to check that in Canada it is required that if you drill a well you also drill a relief well at the same time just in case of a fuck up.

    That sounds like it might be a good idea. Although it would increase drilling costs, and thus the price of oil. SUV-driving Real Americans might not like that.

  34. 34
    cleek says:

    @Face:
    as someone noted on TBogg, the other day: match-light shrimp!

  35. 35
    Michael D. says:

    @debbie:

    When has BP ever shown itself to be well-meaning?

    Come on. BP has been well-meaning from the start:

    “There is a lot of oil flowing out of this well-meaning 5,000 barrels a day at first,
    and now, well-meaning possibly 95,000 of barrels a day.”

  36. 36
    kay says:

    @Violet:

    Exactly. But it’s worth trying the other things because if they work then that’s a bonus.

    It’s worth trying other things because if they didn’t, there would be 500 experts saying a top kill might work, so why aren’t they trying one?
    That ” 60-70% chance of success” figure was bandied about quite a bit, and not just by BP shills.

  37. 37
    The Moar You Know says:

    If the existing pipe is already deformed, restricting flow, why not just crimp it shut? (or nearly so.)

    @mr. whipple: The oil is blasting out of there somewhere well north of 11,000 PSI; with surges to 40,000 PSI. You can’t crimp that pipe under those kinds of pressures, even if you could it would just explode.

    What they are going to try to do here tells me that they’re pretty desperate; they’re going to saw off the only part of the well that has held anything back. I wonder if an ROV can operate in pure oil?

    My guess is no.

  38. 38
    Uloborus says:

    For crushing the pipe, my understanding is that the pipe is tremendously hard, but brittle. So if you manage to damage it, it shatters rather than bends, and you have to be very careful cutting, period. I am no engineer, but that is the hearsay I got.

  39. 39
    jwb says:

    @geg6: It’s been clear that the relief well was the only certain way, and some think that they should have started more than two relief wells. I haven’t seen any of the real pros over there arguing that trying these other options is misguided; they just didn’t think that they had much chance of success (and certainly not in the 60-70% range that BP was quoting).

  40. 40
    El Cid says:

    @jwb: Good point — this way we can replace water reservoirs with oil reservoirs, while still enjoying our bass boats, while refueling in mid-lake.

  41. 41
    mr. whipple says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Opera, Windows 7.

  42. 42
    mr. whipple says:

    @Uloborus:

    I see. This pic made it look like the pipe was ‘soft’ and already constricted.

    I was gonna call it the ‘pinch it off’ plan.

  43. 43
    AhabTRuler says:

    IIRC, the ROVs can generate 200 hp (hyd).

  44. 44
    scav says:

    BP does mean wells, the problem is one of their wells is leaking.

    and Brooks? I’m sure there are some well meaning individuals that sometimes take shortcuts and don’t ask if you really meant to lend them all that stuff you left in your living-room behind a locked door.

  45. 45
    Punchy says:

    @Face: Not to mention, now the Brown Pelican looks more aptly named.

    I’m waiting for the oysters to start producing black pearls, as I hear it’s popular with pirates, and I’m not referring to Paul Maholm.

  46. 46
    Punchy says:

    while refueling in mid-lake.

    “mid-ocean” would have been orgasmically hilarious, but still comedy gold.

  47. 47
    satby says:

    Is our BP learning?

  48. 48
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    They do have some really nifty graphics showing exactly what they’ll be explaining didn’t work by next week or so.

    http://www.bp.com/liveassets/b....._large.jpg

    http://www.bp.com/liveassets/b....._large.jpg

    You do get the impression that if their common sense department were as good as their graphics department we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  49. 49
    Jennifer says:

    I made a suggestion over at my place the other day that they engineer a giant sea tampon.

    I mean, those things are leakproof even when you go swimming, at least according to the ads, so why not? All they need to do to get this underway is engineer and build a giant applicator.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @cat48:

    *Last few days, it has been a problem. Pls complain to our host. :)*

    I understand he especially enjoys getting emails of complaint. Multiple emails, preferably. I’m sure he’s said that. In fact, IIRC, he was all over himself saying “thanks, you all.”

    /

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @Uloborus:

    Also, too, the many leaks occurring at the big bend in the riser, immediately above the BOV would simply become the main source of oil if they were to stop it further along the pipe. IIUC there’s the possibility of significant damage to the well below grade that would begin spewing oil if all the above grade leaks were plugged. We still don’t know what failed to begin with–what was the source of the enormous gas release that exploded back in April?

    At least the engineering is a lot more straightforward with chop-n-top(tm). What’s unknown is how much of the stream can they divert to surface ships while relief well drilling continues. What’s known is if a hurricane comes along, the topside ships will have to flee and the oil–now completely unimpeded following the cut–will flow freely at maximum possible yield.

    Yes, I’m hugely positive about how this might turn out.

  52. 52

    @El Cid:

    “And BP is painting schools!”

    Silly boy!

  53. 53
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Is anyone else half expecting BP to announce one day that they’ve decided to pack up and walk away from the whole thing because “our investment is underwater”?

  54. 54
    Brandon says:

    As someone who grew up in Seattle, this whole episode reminds me of “the Great Everett Tire Fire of 1984”. That thing burned for months and I am sure it was the basis for the “Springfield Tire Fire” in the Simpsons (Groening is from Oregon and a lot of imagery from the show is taken from the NW). Here are just a few samples, the comparisons are freaky in all respects.

    By 1984, as many as 4 million tires had been piled in a massive heap on the 10-acre site along the Snohomish River. As it grew, people started calling it Mount Firestone.

    Twenty-five years ago someone put a flame to Mount Firestone. That day, the fire chief thought they’d have it out by the end of the day – a week, tops. It smoldered for months.

    It would take another two decades and millions of dollars to clean up. The health and environmental effects proved harder to measure, although several agencies studied it.

    After two days of firefighters blasting the fire with 2,000 gallons of water a minute, the Department of Ecology stepped in and ordered the city to shut off the hoses. Untold pounds of toxic matter were flushing straight into the nearby Snohomish River.

    People flooded the phone lines at local fire stations, complaining or offering solutions for putting out the fire. Someone suggested tons of ice cubes. Another person thought snow from the mountains could be trucked in.

  55. 55
    Elie says:

    @jwb:

    ..and from my reading of the 1979 Mexican (PEMEX) gusher, it took a while even after the relief well was in place to have the pressure fall off… In this case, with two, perhaps that may be faster.

    In any case, hopefully the scales have fallen from our collective eyes about the actual ability to fix any of this once things go wrong. Also, that after 30 years, the technology hasnt advanced much…

    No more deep water drilling is MY take away

  56. 56
    cat48 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Eh, I’ll just stick to comments right now. I got the impression that DOES NOT LIKE the email complaints. : )

  57. 57
    bemused says:

    Brooks ignores an obvious question. Corporations bestow hypothetical well meaning upon whom exactly?
    Conservatives seem to view all corporations & big businesses as operating with self-imposed moral & ethical standards or that they will get spanked hard financially if they don’t. That’s worked well so far.

  58. 58
    Elie says:

    Shit! margin problems again! Once I comment, its over!

  59. 59

    Ixtoc in 1979:

    It took a total of 5+ months to shut it down. 2+ months after the relief well was “finished.” No one has been foolish enough to promise that they can shut deepwater down in August.

    [I am just a little bundle of sunshine, aren’t I?]

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    Based on this a.m.’s video, they’re already cutting the riser at the BOP, simultaneous with clearing the folded riser with a circular saw to give the giant snips access to cut it. Guyville.

    Last night’s oildrum comment stream had the wags calling the snips “the craw,” demonstrating the longevity of “Get Smart.” If Doctor Evil ever saw them he’d want a set–they’re frickin’ huuuuuge. With lasers.

  61. 61
    Craig says:

    I’m not interested in the latest plan to horse around with the wellhead anymore.

    The only way this is going to be stopped–just as the Ixtoc I spill was stopped–is when the relief wells are operating and taking the pressure off the original well.

    Keep your eye on the relief drilling: it’s the only thing that’s likely to matter.

  62. 62
    A Guest says:

    @Jennifer: Reminds me of the old Stephen Wright joke… “sponges grow in the ocean. I wonder how deep it would be if they didn’t.”

  63. 63
    El Cid says:

    @Linda Featheringill: General David Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Antonio Banderas Petraeus could fix all this with a SURGE, using our all-new awsum counter-petrolagency strategy, clear grease spot and hold.

  64. 64
    Brandon says:

    While this situation sucks, can we all agree that the mock BP Twitter feed is absolutely hilarious?

  65. 65
    Brandon says:

    @El Cid: You mock, but I’ll put good money on this being John McCain’s real life policy position.

  66. 66
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @cleek:

    has RedState pledged to let their cars run 24/7 just to piss-off liberals who complain about the damage our reliance on oil is doing to our environment ?

    I’m hoping that they’re going to demonstrate their stand against liberal misinformation about tainted Gulf Coast shrimp by having a cookout…

  67. 67
    geg6 says:

    @Jennifer:

    My John has been suggesting this ever since the whole fiasco began. As anyone with an aging sewer line can tell you, nothing can close a sewer line faster than tampons.

    I volunteered to donate my leftovers (menopause is in full sway now).

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    I think this attempt has a reasonable chance of succeeding. Remember, the point of this isn’t to cap the well, just to contain the majority of the oil flowing from it. BP admits that it’s going to leak some.

    The biggest challenge is whether they can get that relatively light cap onto the wellhead given the pressure of what’s coming out of there. The numbers in my head says that’s going to be a real fucker to make work, but I might have some things pretty wrong.

    As it stands, there’s a pair of giant shears (9′ wide, 20′ long) on the pipe ready to cut it and a ROV has attached the diamond cutting blade where that’s going to do it’s thing. I understand they’re setting up the cap now to be moved into place (it’s on the bottom, I saw it the other day).

    My understanding of this operation is that they snip the pipe to take most of the weight off of the BOP. Then they cut through the riser right on top of the BOP. Then they *quickly* move the cap over. Sounds like they want to do the last two steps as quickly as possible since once they remove the riser, the flow of oil is likely to increase. BP says that it won’t, but that’s bullshit. All that pressure has to be keeping some oil from coming up.

    Not sure when they’re going to do it all, but it sounds like soon, and most everything is currently staged and ready to go.

  69. 69
    Martin says:

    @geg6: I thought the idea of sticking hair in there would work wonders – there isn’t a drain in my house not clogged with hair in any given week.

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    Video feed is currently on the craw. The cut may be underway, hard to tell for sure.

    http://www.bp.com/liveassets/b.....tream.html

  71. 71
    noncarborundum says:

    @debbie: I’m not arguing that Brooks isn’t delusional at least some of the time, but I’m willing to cut him some slack here. This doesn’t show that he thinks BP in particular is well-meaning. You could even read his “even” as contrastive.

  72. 72
    El Cid says:

    Our Bush V. Gore Supreme Court continues to make profound legal innovations in totally not being activist judges and being Scalian originalists by throwing away all precedents they don’t like.

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting justice said turns defendants’ rights “upside down.”
    __
    A right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer are the first of the Miranda rights warnings, which police recite to suspects during arrests and interrogations. But the justices said in a 5-4 decision that suspects must tell police they are going to remain silent to stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.
    __
    The ruling comes in a case where a suspect, Van Chester Thompkins, remained mostly silent for a three-hour police interrogation before implicating himself in a Jan. 10, 2000, murder in Southfield, Mich. He appealed his conviction, saying that he invoked his Miranda right to remain silent by remaining silent.
    __
    But Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the decision for the court’s conservatives, said that wasn’t enough.
    __
    “Thompkins did not say that he wanted to remain silent or that he did not want to talk to police,” Kennedy said. “Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his ‘right to cut off questioning.’ Here he did neither, so he did not invoke his right to remain silent.”
    __
    Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court’s newest member, wrote a strongly worded dissent for the court’s liberals, saying the majority’s decision “turns Miranda upside down.”
    __
    “Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent – which counterintuitively, requires them to speak,” she said. “At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded.”

    Well, you know what they say — explicit knowledge of recent Supreme Court decisions is no excuse.

    Guantanamo justice for all, bitchez!

  73. 73

    “Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp.”

    that would be BP’s Randy Prescott, doing some of that fine PR work BP is known for.
    randy.prescott@bp.com
    (713) 323-4093

  74. 74
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @cat48 #56: Oh yeah. Hope you picked up on my snark :-)

  75. 75
    Emma says:

    The University of Miami School of Marine Science has been asked to send their research vessel down there to join the flotilla. The school has a website about the oil spill concentrating on the science:
    http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/oil-spill/

    Edit: And whoever mentioned comments blowing out, yep. Just happened to me after I loaded this message.

  76. 76
    Elie says:

    Meanwhile, in the current Quinnipac poll, the public is becoming more “unhappy” with Obama’s handling of the crisis…

    I am again, unsure of what he should be doing or could be doing better and have not read the poll in detail yet, but its interesting that HE and by extension, the government, is the fulcrum on which this is ground out, NOT our misapplied trust in corporate solutions… After years of hating and shrinking government, in the end, we want it to magically fix everything when things go really wrong…

  77. 77
    liberal says:

    @jwb:

    It’s been clear that the relief well was the only certain way, and some think that they should have started more than two relief wells.

    First, there’s a claim that the Obama administration had to twist BP’s arm to get them to drill two relief wells instead of just one.

    Second, from what I read somewhere, the chance that they’ll hit it on the first try is pretty small. They don’t have to start all over, this thing said; rather, they do something like back up and turn a bit…or whatever, the key thing is that they don’t have to start all over.

    However, it does take a couple weeks of trial and error. Given that, WFT aren’t they drilling four or five relief wells?

  78. 78
    Crusty Dem says:

    Needs a fancy name, afte seeing the images of the pipe, the cutting the pipe could be ‘Project Circumcision’ (or briss?) and the follow up
    is ‘Project Trojan Magnum’.

    And it should be noted that if the cutting works and the cap doesn’t, we are all much worse off than if they did nothing (other than relief wells)..

  79. 79
    liberal says:

    @Violet:

    But it’s worth trying the other things because if they work then that’s a bonus.

    True, but only if costs are factored into the cost/benefit analysis. By “cost” I mean “chance that the operation will actually make things worse.”

  80. 80
    chopper says:

    lol

    ““Safety first,” said Andrew Gowers, a BP spokesman.”

    yeah, BP, where safety is job 1.

  81. 81
    Suicidal Zebra says:

    This is perhaps naive of me to say, but when dealing with clean-up why didn’t they call in a shed-load of tankers or high-volume ships with really meaty pumps to suck a lot of the surface slick away? Sure, you wouldn’t all of it, nor perhaps even most of the oil leaking out, but it should make a fairly sizeable dent.

    Anyway, it seems fairly clear that any attempt to plug that sort of a leak was doomed to failure from the off, the pressure was just too damned high. Channelling the leak was pretty much the only option until relief wells could be drilled. The problem was that relief wells are v’ expensive and difficult to manage 5000ft down, and corporations are extremely cost-adverse.

    Note that the 1979 Ixtoc I spill was in 50m of water, so I imagine that dealing with it via wells (and all the other contingencies which didn’t work at the time) would be much easier than with the Horizon.

  82. 82
    Ash Can says:

    @El Cid: I’d like to see someone walk up to one of the 5 horse’s asses who decided this, deck him with a roundhouse right to the jaw, then break his nose as he’s trying to get up — and then say to him, “Hey, if you wanted to exercise your right not to get beaten up by me, you needed to tell me so first.”

  83. 83
    LITBMueller says:

    I can’t even keep track of which attempt this is:

    I believe this is attempt #32, the “Dirty Sanchez”…

  84. 84
    Ash says:

    Did you hear? Al and Tipper Gore are breaking up. It’s Obama’s fault because he didn’t hand the reins over to Al and let him be the public face of this disastuh. Totally harsh on the marriage.

  85. 85
    Joey Maloney says:

    O/T from Politico (no link, respecting our host’s wishes): Al and Tipper Gore to separate after 40 years of marriage.

    In an “Email from Al and Tipper Gore,” the couple said: “We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate.
    __
    “This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”
    __
    The e-mail was obtained by POLITICO and confirmed by Kalee Kreider of the office of Al and Tipper Gore. Kreider said there would be no further comment.

    edit: curse you, Ash!

  86. 86
    Punchy says:

    what happens when a mute guy gets arrested? does he/she get interrogated forever? what if the person can’t speak English? can the cops fake not knowing their language and claim they never asked to be silent? this is fucked up.

  87. 87
    Waynski says:

    @Steeplejack: Yep. Theater. That’s all I can conclude at this point.

  88. 88
    Steeplejack says:

    @trollhattan:

    Last night’s oildrum comment stream had the wags calling the snips “the craw,” demonstrating the longevity of Get Smart the advanced age of the commenters.

    Fix’d.

  89. 89
    jibeaux says:

    @Ash:

    Well, I think it’s Al’s fault for being fat.

    That was in poor taste and I apologize, but without deleting. That’s a bummer.

  90. 90
    someguy says:

    @Face:

    Why does nobody mention all the positive, like how it’s providing fuel to any petroleum-starved fish communities?

    Hey, it’s not BP’s fault all those unemployed fishermen are too fucking lazy to crack and distill into gasoline all the tar balls BP is depositing on the beaches and sending ashore aboard birds, seals and dead fish.

    Give BP a break, willya? They’re doing their best.

  91. 91
    Steeplejack says:

    @Waynski:

    Plus there seems to be a fair possibility that if they don’t work they will make things worse. OMG.

  92. 92
    mapaghimagsik says:

    I heard the white house is going to sic Daniel Plainwell on BP. He’ll drink their milkshake!

  93. 93
    licensed to kill time says:

    __

    I can’t even keep track of which attempt this is:

    Kinda like the #2 Al-Qaeda guy. Though I hear we got the #3 guy, so maybe they finally ran out of #2 guys.

  94. 94
    Punchy says:

    This. Is. NOT. good.

    Game over, BP just quit. WOW.

    If true, natch. Which no one for sure knows

  95. 95
    D-Chance. says:

    What’s amazing is how, after a weekend where it was late Friday before “Top Kill” and “Junk Shot” were labeled as failures, and the murder of 10 (15?) peace activists by the Jews on Memorial Day, the markets respond to all this uncertainty and elevation of tensions by… remaining fairly flat.

    I was fully expecting a 200+ point drop, at a minimum. Trying to figure out this market day-to-day is almost impossible.

    Plus, gas prices dropped two cents locally. Now, down to $2.57, which is also counter-intuitive given that we’ve entered the summer driving season.

    Just strange…

  96. 96
    Comrade Dread says:

    If this fails, we’ll be falling back on the Wile E. Coyote plan of rocket skates, a diving helmet, and a giant bathtub plug.

  97. 97

    2:40, Eastern time:

    Latest attempt to cut/crimp the pipe on top of the BOP failed. ROV has gone home to sleep it off.

    Found one site that actually has a working picture of the gush [Channel 5 nola], and it is gushing like all #$%$#$%#$%.

    Sigh.

  98. 98
    Emma says:

    Punchy: they’re going back to the tried-and-true: a relief well. Two, in fact. The failure was sort of expected, sorry to say.

  99. 99
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Emma:

    I can’t say for sure but I think that Bloomberg piece is misleading people, unintentionally. I think it’s just reflecting old news, that they’re not going to try the top kill anymore but instead try this saw off and etc thing that will let it continue but capture as much of it as they can. Some will leak, is what they’re admitting.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong….

  100. 100
    Basilisc says:

    I think this is Plan L.

  101. 101
    D-Chance. says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Nah, this #3 guy just refused his promotion to #2, thinking that would protect him… he was wrong.

    Now, on to #4.

  102. 102
    Ash Can says:

    @D-Chance.: You’re misreading the demand for stocks. In order for the market to decline in any significant and organized way, something has to happen to make stocks an unattractive, or at least a less attractive, investment option. BP’s weekend adventures aren’t going to move the market as a whole because it’s only BP, and because their failure isn’t very surprising. BP’s own stock might be taking a beating, but there’s no reason it should take the whole sector — let alone the whole market — with it. As for the flotilla imbroglio, that’s expressly political in nature, and it doesn’t have a wide enough scope to threaten or destabilize entire industries, entire categories of investment instruments, or political regions outside its own.

    Things that make us political junkies flip out are not necessarily the same things that make stock (or other financial) markets flip out, and vice versa.

    ETA: PS: Beware of conflating the Israeli government’s goon squads with all “Jews.”

  103. 103
    Danny M says:

    @LarsThorwald:

    The government cannot fix it. The government doesn’t have that infrastructure within the Coast Guard to do repair work at 5000 feet below sea level. It never has. Stop being delusional and Google things first.

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