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BurP: Now What?

Leonard Horowitz and Sherry Kane Step In Some Truth

In case you're not up to date on the latest conspiracy slang, LIHOP means Let It Happen On Purpose, and MIHOP means Made It Happen On Purpose.

To review: the evil BP was drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) in about 10,000 feet of water in a block named Macando. They were leasing one of the most advanced deepwater rigs in the world from TransOean, and there were a number of sub-contractors on the rig to handle various aspects of operations, such as the Dynamic Positioning system, the drilling, mudding, casing, and so on. Such operations are at the bleeding edge of technology. The pressures and tensions involved in working in 2 miles of water depth are astounding. The weight of the drill string required incredibly powerful machines to grip and hold the pipe. The water pressures require the use of remote operated vehicles (ROVs) to keep a visual on the well-head, as well as manipulate various geer, since divers cannot go that deep. Huge thrusters are used to keep the rig stationed over the well, since anchors are impractical in water that deep.

There are many other considerations, but you get the idea that the people who operate out there are not dummies. They are highly trained and skilled technicians who are fully aware that if they make a mistake, it is most likely catastrophic.

The top man on the rig is the Company Man. There are two of them working in 12-hour shifts, overseeing all operations and approving every step of the process. The top guy on the Deepwater Horizon was one of the best inthe business, and he was pulled off the rig a couple of days before the disaster, during a critical phase of casing the well, or pumping cement down the hole and up the outside of the steel tube inserted into the well, to keep the hole from collapsing.

The process was under the control of a VERY well-known and respected contractor. They are in charge of the mix for the concrete and calculating the number of spacers that are inserted, and the flow rate, and a number of other variables involved. These are carefully calculated and nothing is left to chance. The contractor specified using over 100 spacers for the casing, because of the pressures involved and the geology of the well. Amazingly, the BP company man who had replaced the #1, who was pulled off to get some useless training landside, overrode the contractor and reduced the number of spacers to around 20.

Now I don't know about you, but when I hire experts to do something, I tend to listen to them.

The contractor was so alarmed by this action that they pulled their people off the rig the morning of the explosion with an unscheduled helicopter pick-up. Hours later, the well blew out, the rig sank and the rest is history...or is it?

You see, the damage is not yet finished and the well itself may still be spewing. We don't really know. Here's why...

During the capping operations to try to stop the well from dumping millions of gallons of oil into the GOM, a hurricane blew in. Following policies long established, all top-side operations stopped when the storm reached a certain distance, and crews and vessels were pulled back to port when the storm reached another 'line in the sand.'

Until that point, an ROV had been parked on the sea floor streaming video of the well head to the world via the internet. If you hunt around, you'll find pre-storm video feeds. Look carefully. Notice all the data on the screen. Find the latitude and longitude numbers and punch them into your GPS. Now, find video after the storm, when BP announced they had miraculously capped the well. Now note the lat/lons and punch those into your GPS. What do you notice?


Looks to me like they are different wells. Looked that way to Matt Simmons, too. Now you may recall that Simmons is, oops I mean was, one of the foremost commentators on the oil patch and was followed religiously by investors in the sector. Now he noticed a slight problem with the lat/lons on-screen. He did a little homework and found that the new coordinates matched a previous well, known as "Macando A", that BP had capped previously because it had become unstable and threatened to blow out.

Now you may not have heard Simmon's warnings. They were squelched by the media just days before he was 'heart-attacked' and 'drowned.'

Maybe you haven't noticed that the Company Man who was responsible for the spacer decision has 'taken the fifth' at the Gulf Hearings, conducted by the Crimin...I mean the Feral Gummint.

Skip ahead a bit.

The GOM is responsible for a lot of weather in the norther hemisphere. Ocean currents come up from the south and swirl around in the GOM for a while, where they get nice and warm. They then proceed up the east coast of North America and slide across the Atlantic, where they slam into the west coast of Ireland. This process, known as the Gulf Stream, releases enough heat to moderate the climate in Europe, which is why it rarely snows in Ireland and England, and places like Holland, France and Germany enjoy less-than-deadly winters, despite being a hair's breadth from the Arctic Circle.

Now, let's play a thought game. Suppose you were to squelch the release of heat from the Gulf Stream, or even modify it, with, oh I don't know, let's say OIL. That tiny bit of warming, enough to raise temps a degree or two, vanishes and what happens? Massive snow storms. Record low temperatures. Hundreds if not thousands die from the cold. Records that are centuries old fall.

Oh, and let's not forget that the GOM also provides enough warming in North America that it keeps deadly winters from striking there, as well. So, it that heat is trapped by, oh I don't know, let's say OIL, then what happens? How about blizzards, record lows, hundreds of deaths. Even Cancun, which is an island off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula at the southern most boundary of the GOM might experience record low temps during, oh I don't know, the Global Warming Conference, let's say.

If that were the case, and I'm not saying it could happen, then that would make BP directly and indirectly responsible for thousands of deaths on two continents, as well as global weather modification, destruction of incredibly sensitive habitats, and so on.

And all that would happen because the top Company Man was pulled off a rig days before a major blow-out caused by his replacement who ordered a highly respected contractor to reduce the number of spacers they had carefully calculated and which they claimed to have capped even though a respected analyst had noticed that the lat/lons were wrong shortly before he died an untimely death.

It's a darned good thing this is all just hypothetical. Otherwise I'd be tempted to say that this was a MIHOP terrorist event on a scale that makes 9/11, 7/7 and Mumbai pale by comparason. And then I'd have to look over my shoulder all the time to make sure I didn't get 'heart-attacked.'

It could never happen, right?

Just in case you're wondering how some goombah living in Indonesia could know all this, my past llfe I worked for 10 years in offshore construction as a marketing and business development specialist. I know a lot of people who know things about this mess.

Nuff said.

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