A Real Joe the Plumber Plugs BP Well

By: Sunday July 18, 2010 7:00 pm

It turns out that the design of the new cap system that has temporarily plugged the blown out BP oil well in the Gulf was submitted (initially anonymously) by Joe Caldart, a plumber in St. Francis, Kansas.

Well Integrity Key to Rapidly Changing Story on New Cap

By: Wednesday July 14, 2010 12:45 pm

When plans were first being disclosed last week for the installation of the new cap on the blown out BP oil well gushing beneath the Gulf of Mexico, the explanation was that the new cap and its associated piping system would be dedicated to catching all of the oil flowing from the well. Sometime on Tuesday, the story changed to a discussion of BP slowly closing all of the valves on the piping system in an attempt to stop the flow of oil rather than catch the flowing oil. Late Tuesday night, however, it was announced that BP’s test of closing the valves was abruptly halted before it began. The key determinant of whether the flow can be stopped from above with a series of valves appears to be whether the well bore itself can withstand the pressure that is needed to stop the oil flow.

BP Begins to Cap Well; Legacy of Failure Remains

By: Tuesday July 13, 2010 5:15 pm

BP sucessfully installed their new, tighter cap on the Macondo well yesterday, and will now begin testing the valves and the other functions. The goal is to fully capture all of the leaking oil from the well, and officials believe they can achieve that goal. This would not stop the drilling of the relief wells, seen as key to permanently closing up the spill.

NYT: Yes, BP Could Go Into Bankruptcy

By: Sunday July 11, 2010 6:49 am

At almost every step of the way, BP’s efforts to cap the well spewing oil into the Gulf have wound up making things worse. Let’s hope this doesn’t continue, but for now, we have an uncapped well putting at least 35,000 barrels and maybe as much as 100,000 into the water today (I don’t know why WaPo is foregrounding the 15,000 barrels the last containment dome was catching, implying that no more oil would flow). You can read BP’s entire plan for the next several weeks, both the new cap and the timeline for the relief wells, in this letter to Thad Allen.

Here We Go Again: Thad Allen, BP Say Well Definitely Contained By Monday

By: Saturday July 10, 2010 11:30 am

The last time they tried to make something temporarily worse before they made it better, when they sliced the pipe to get a tighter fit on the current containment cap, it increased the flow rate so much it very nearly negated the effect of the capturing.

Containment Cap Returns to Oil Gusher, But What About This “Oil-Burning Ship”?

By: Thursday June 24, 2010 9:45 am

Who is allowing BP to just burn oil at the surface of the water? You guessed it, the Minerals Management Service, which authorized burning up to 12,000 barrels.

US Could Seek Drilling Royalties on Leaked Oil; BP’s Debt Rating Downgraded

By: Friday June 4, 2010 11:31 am

BP would have to pay, if Rep. Rahall’s suggestion is taken up, an 18.75% royalty on hundreds of thousands if not millions of barrels of oil which they will never be able to sell. Obviously measuring just how much oil has been spilled is the key here. And it makes sense – the royalty is on the oil extracted, what you do with it afterwards is really not the problem of the United States.

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