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The Deepwater Horizon: Did it have to sink?

by Paul C / July 31, 2010 5:18 PM PDT
Maybe not:

The Coast Guard has gathered evidence it failed to follow its own firefighting policy during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and is investigating whether the chaotic spraying of tons of salt water by private boats contributed to sinking the ill-fated oil rig, according to interviews and documents.
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Coast Guard officials told the Center for Public Integrity that the service does not have the expertise to fight an oil rig fire and that its response to the April 20 explosion may have broken the service?s own rules by failing to ensure a firefighting expert supervised the half-dozen private boats that answered the Deepwater Horizon?s distress call to fight the blaze.

An official maritime investigation led by Coast Guard Capt. Hung M. Nguyen in New Orleans is examining whether the salt water that was sprayed across the burning platform overran the ballast system that kept the rig upright, changing its weight distribution, and causing it to list.

?The joint investigation is absolutely looking into that, and whether it contributed to the sinking,? Capt. Ronald A. LaBrec, the Coast Guard?s chief spokesman, told the Center...

While investigators have zeroed in on a series of missteps and ignored safety warnings aboard the rig that preceded the fiery explosion April 20, the question of what caused the platform to collapse into the Gulf two days later remains unanswered and could prove vital to ongoing legal proceedings and congressional investigations.

That is because the riser pipe from which the majority of BP?s oil spewed did not start leaking until after the rig sank. Experts and some lawsuits have openly tied the sinking of the drilling vessel to the severity of the leak. (emphasis mine)


If the Coast Guard failed to follow its own procedures, then many heads there should roll as well.

BTW, if you think that that I've cherry picked some story from a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, please click on the Center for Public Integrity's "About Us" link first, as I doubt that a dependency of the Public Broadcasting System qualifies for that honor. Wink
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Whiich leads to the question...
by EdHannigan / July 31, 2010 11:19 PM PDT

how much is BP's liability and how much is someone else's (The CG)?

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Please Paul,allow me to rant............
by Tony Holmes / August 1, 2010 2:29 AM PDT

Basically,what both BP and The CG did was to allow The Three Stooges to fight the fire.

You're talking about a huge rig on stilts which is mounted on pontoons.You don't allow 6 boats to pour tons of sea water into that rig and not expect that to disturb the center of gravity of said rig and sink it!! Of course they contributed to the sinking....duh.

"Coast Guard officials told the Center for Public Integrity that the service does not have the expertise to fight an oil rig fire".

Well gee,if you owned a Bentley and had an unlimited budget,would you go to "Pep Boys" to fix the damn thing

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(NT) wouldn't that require planning instead of reacting?
by James Denison / August 1, 2010 3:28 AM PDT
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(NT) Is there a water equivalent of Red Adair?
by Diana Forum moderator / August 1, 2010 3:36 AM PDT
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A water equivalent isn't needed....Google "Piper Alpha".....
by Tony Holmes / August 2, 2010 12:36 AM PDT

"July 6 1984, North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha rig in North Sea; 64 survivors. It is the world's worst offshore oil disaster."

Red Adair put out Piper Alpha.

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Of course I know that,James.........
by Tony Holmes / August 2, 2010 1:38 AM PDT
In reply to: He's dead.

I'm speaking with the assumption that his knowledge of fire fighting has been passed on.

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It's something they should train for.
by EdHannigan / August 1, 2010 4:06 AM PDT

There are lots of oil rigs in their jurisdiction. Why would they NOT learn how to fight those fires? Calling in the experts is fine, but waiting for them to show up probably would take too much time.

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So the debate becomes
by Roger NC / August 1, 2010 12:29 PM PDT

would it theoretical have been worse to let it burn until they got an expert?

And based on a theoretical debate blame, responsibility, and reimbursement costs are assigned?

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Umm yeah let it burn,..........
by Tony Holmes / August 2, 2010 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: So the debate becomes

surround it with booms then call the people who are acknowledged to be the best in the world at what they do.

I know this will annoy Libs to no end:
After he extinguished "Piper Alpha" in '84,Red Adair got a call for help from a fellow Texan in '91.It was GHWB asking for help after Saddam's troops set fire to over 600 oil wells in Kuwait.

Enviromentalists estimated it would take 3-5yrs to put out these massive well fires,Red Adair/Boots&Coots did it in 5 months.

Also of interest,"Devil's Cigarrete Lighter".

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/231727/the_devils_cigarette_lighter/

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Go with what you got...
by Willy / August 1, 2010 9:53 PM PDT

The CG is trained for "fire control" but not all types of fires can be contained and an OIL fire is very hard to fight. Not only that but the equipment necessary is just not part of the CG's mission as in fire dept. station. They respond as best they can to include all other vessels. Though, some equipement or vessel can be "in place/station" as possible response, it still takes time to get anywhere as it very possible not a cruising vessel but in idle readiness until needed. Still the CG did the best it can and if the results are a sinking occurred, it could mean the time factor, because if it could gotten sooner, the fire *MAYBE* controlled. But all these factors contribute to the end result. I just don't see where it falls on the CG shoulders to even be blamed. the oil companies themseleves need the planning to fulfill what in the long term is in their best interests. As has been discovered or reveled, BP short-changed itself and failed and all this prior to a fire. It made the worst case scenario possible. Let's not be so quick to blame the fire responders. -----Willy Happy

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it was surrounded by water, right?
by James Denison / August 2, 2010 12:31 AM PDT

I thought the attempt to control the fire was to offer chance to any survivors. Beyond that, I wonder if there'd have been more fire than what was spewing. Even if they'd let it burn, wouldn't it eventually have to be put out before attempt to cap well anyway?

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