Obama in Gulf, cautious on new BP oil spill effort

GRAND ISLE, Louisiana Sat May 29, 2010 12:58am BST

1 of 35. President Barack Obama survey damage along the Louisiana coastline at Fourchon Beach caused after a BP oil line ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, May 28, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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GRAND ISLE, Louisiana (Reuters) - BP reported progress on Friday in its struggle to plug its gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well, but President Barack Obama cautioned there was no "silver bullet" solution to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

Trying to show leadership in the face of growing criticism over his handling of the spill, Obama on Friday toured the Louisiana Gulf coast, where oil has invaded some of Louisiana's delicate marshlands and closed down the lucrative fishing trade.

Frustrated Gulf Coast residents have loudly criticized federal authorities for being slow to act and offering too little assistance. The White House vigorously disputes this, insisting it has mounted the largest response in history.

"You will not be abandoned. You will not be left behind. We are on your side and we will see this through," Obama said in a televised statement after meeting local and state officials and inspecting the oil spill damage to the coastline.

"I am the president and the buck stops with me," he said.

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward told Reuters the so-called top kill procedure, in which heavy "drilling mud" is pumped into the seabed well shaft, was making progress choking off the five-week-old leak that has already spewed millions of gallons (litres) of oil into the Gulf.

But the success of the operation, never attempted at such depths, was still uncertain and it would be another 48 hours before the company knew if it had worked, he said.

"We have wrestled it to the ground but we haven't put a bullet in its head yet," Hayward told Reuters while aboard a helicopter over the spill site in the Gulf.

He said the top kill's chance of success remained at 60 to 70 percent.

CONTINGENCY PLANS

BP views the top kill procedure as its best hope of plugging the well and containing a spill that has tarred its reputation and seen some 25 percent, around $50 billion (34.6 billion pound), wiped off its share price.

The company said on Friday the cost of the disaster so far was $930 million. That figure is sure to multiply with cleanup of the oily mess, which is now larger than the spill from the Exxon Valdez disaster off the Alaskan coast in 1989.

BP shares were down around 5 percent in London amid uncertainty over the success of the effort to plug the well.

Hayward said BP had also injected a "junk shot" of heavier blocking materials, such as shredded rubber and golf balls, into the failed blowout preventer of the ruptured wellhead.

They were due to pump in more heavy fluids later on Friday. The mud has not stopped the oil leak but at times has slowed the flow.

BP began the top kill operation on Wednesday afternoon and then stopped pumping mud overnight to analyse pressure readings. It did not publicize the halt for many hours, drawing fresh accusations it was concealing information from the public. It denied the charges and blamed an oversight.

If the top kill fails, BP says it will try other remedies, such as a second attempt at containing the oil so it can be transported by pipe to a ship at the water's surface or placing a new blowout preventer atop the failed one.

POLITICAL CHALLENGE

Obama said a team of government scientists was exploring contingency plans in case the top kill option failed.

"There are not going to be silver bullets or a lot of perfect answers for some of the challenges that we face," he said. "This is a man-made catastrophe that is still evolving."

The spill is a major challenge for Obama, with opinion polls showing many Americans dissatisfied with the way he has managed the crisis.

Joe Williams, 53, a charter fisherman in Venice, Louisiana, watched Obama on television at the local marina and said he liked it when Obama said "the buck stops" with him.

"If he takes control of it now, that is great because everyone has been passing the buck," he said.

Obama inspected oil-trapping booms at a beach in Port Fourchon, the hub of the Gulf oil industry and one of the areas worst affected by crude coming ashore from the spreading spill.

"Obviously, the concern is that until we stop the flow, we've got problems," said Obama, picking up several tar balls from the beach. An array of oil rigs could be seen offshore.

Friday's trip was Obama's second to the Gulf in the more than five weeks since a rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed the oil from a well head a mile (1.6 km) undersea.

His tour comes a day after he vowed to "get this fixed." His predecessor, George W. Bush, was slammed for his administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina and Obama is anxious to avoid comparisons.

The spill could turn into a major political liability for Obama before November elections that are widely expected to erode his Democratic Party's control of the U.S. Congress.

Public approval of the administration's handling of the spill has plummeted, according to the latest Zogby Interactive poll, which surveyed 2,085 people between May 25-27.

Just 16 percent of people surveyed rated the federal government's response as excellent or good, down from 29 percent two weeks ago.

(Additional reporting by Ed Stoddard in Venice, Louisiana, Tom Bergin in Houston, Kristen Hays in Houston, Jeremy Pelofsky, Matt Spetalnick, Alister Bull and Caren Bohan in Washington, and Pascal Fletcher and Jane Sutton in Miami; Writing by Pascal Fletcher and Ross Colvin; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Sandra Maler)

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Comments (1)
DWIGHTBAKER wrote:
Providence some times comes,
Now is the time to bring and end to the
BP OIL DEBACLE!
By Dwight Baker
May 28, 2010
Dbaker007@stx.rr.com

Eagles Eye View Aiming at Issues for We the People Advocates

For many long arduous and enduring years, my wife and I have had one tragedy after another try to beset us. Following in our tracks of history few would ever believe all the folks who tried to quell our over coming spirits. But in My Gods way of looking at things those events purge out the dross to allow the gold to come to the top. Or as is written the refining fires.
I Peter 1:7
(7): …So that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Therefore that is our story of moving from walking and living in the paths of man and into the light that God had set before each of us.

I became and Advocate for the needy and less fortunate with specific ministries. Teaching and Advocating for Women/Children—Teaching Prison ministry—Teaching Outreach for those in Africa.

When election time drew near long before 2008 I had been compelled by Unction from the Lord to study. I did that and deeply pursued many issues back the cores roots where the intents begin. And in the wretched past of politicians was found truth filled endless stories tied to intentional lies to deceive the populist all for the sake of MAKING MONEY.
With a bit of wanting too and needing too develop writing skills I pursued to try and inform folks on the Internet of my discoveries from history that concerned our futures in America. Often times I was jeered at having my beliefs systems and values placed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and King now. And that in time did not find favor with many of the Internet sites that were out to just make money.

Now the stories I refer too many times I know most facts readily but for my personal benefit I have written 100 of thousands of words in Essays I can look back when needed to refresh my memory.

Now the BP OIL DEBACLE came up like a storm from hell and brought back my memories while serving in the Oil and Gas Industry. And each day seemed a new set of things was going wrong and the convoluted messages were driving my wife and I to our bitter ends.

Thus with paper and pencil in hand and finding a very quite time to think and create I began to receive information that was some foreign to me but made a lot of common sense to do. Was that information from Providence I am sure it was? As in many things we people do that are not connected with the powers that be, time lags and refusal are as common as 1-2-3. Yet I held to my ideas as the best and kept waiting for the right time to send all along. But all the facts needing to work toward the final goal was not being told by BP and some others. Lies were randomly told as the bottom line truth and that too brought about some questions that I soon solved. Once I began to see the bottom line for the WHY’S of the BP OIL DEBACLE all other searching was halted for the Predator Beast behind the scenes was clearly seen by me.

However guilt, shame and blame is not my attention nor has it been. For my focus is to endure to bring about the safety sanity and sanctity of the American People and those billions around the world that look to us as a guiding light —all I see —-is to bring about —-all that is needed to TAME Nature. Now are you that man or woman that can see the TAMING OF NATURE along with me?

If yes then tell me so, so we can go out and TAME NATURE.

Thus is my mission and I will not back down.

Following is the TAME THE NATURE PLAN may take 2 to 3 days to get all done if BP does not have any more hidden secrets.

To whom it must concern at BP
By Dwight Baker
May 16, 2010
Dbaker007@stx.rr.com

SUBJECT; Build install Overshot for riser
Drawing of the overshot
PURPOSE; Kill the well

Should I have enough facts about the conditions where BP is working, consider this: get a design ‘You have all the dimensions’ then get an overshot made to fit the top flange looking up where the riser was affixed.

Get 5,000 feet of heavy weight 7” or better casing loaded on board for the overshot to be attached.

The casing string should be arranged as this:
1. On the bottom the overshot
2. Next up 3 or more– high pressure check valves to resist the flow of gas and fluids up to the rig installing.
3. Next install 1 or more high-pressure pump out plugs to begin unloading the loss circulation material and heavy weight mud whatever that might be.
4. When installing the casing fill the casing as needed with loss circulation material and heavy weight mud as best designed.
5. Design a cut off charge to be used to separate the drill string from the riser with intent to have it fall away out of the overshot to be installed.
Picture of BOP STACK
6. Use the roves to set the charge off at the best time after installation of overshot is underway. Should it not fall away as expected then a grapple can be used to pull out of the way.
7. After setting the overshot around the top flange the rubber goods installed will compress.
8. Install cementing plugs as needed and begin pumping as needed.
9. I believe the entire amounts of fluids and solids will go quickly into all exit points at this time.
10. The cement should be pumped down to the setting ring.
11. Should it not go down then close in —- let set until cement has had time to dry.
12. After that time —-to release the rig a charge could be set at the depth where cement is in the setting casing — the remainder can be pulled up and hopefully the nightmare will be ended.
GOOD LUCK

I have high hopes that the BOP SUB SEA WELL CONTROL SYSTEM IS STILL UP RIGHT.

Now, this is a good idea much better than the current plan that is NOT SANE or SOUND AT ALL —-NOW my thoughts and ideas are worthy of payment, please advise when we can come to terms. Dwight Baker PO BOX 7065 Eagle Pass Texas, 78852 tel 830-773-1077 Retired Oil and Gas Engineer with USA PATENTS high-pressure gates valves. Banking Universal Commercial Code number E67344656 My genetic roots go back to J.D. Rockefeller.

May 28, 2010 5:39pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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