BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR → Washingtons Blog
BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR - Washingtons Blog

Saturday, June 12, 2010

BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR

As I noted Tuesday, there is growing evidence that BP's oil well - technically called the "well casing" or "well bore" - has suffered damage beneath the level of the sea floor.

The evidence is growing stronger and stronger that there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor. Indeed, it appears that BP officials themselves have admitted to such damage. This has enormous impacts on both the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf, and the prospects for quickly stopping the leak this summer.

On May 31st, the Washington Post noted:

Sources at two companies involved with the well said that BP also discovered new damage inside the well below the seafloor and that, as a result, some of the drilling mud that was successfully forced into the well was going off to the side into rock formations.

"We discovered things that were broken in the sub-surface," said a BP official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said that mud was making it "out to the side, into the formation."

On June 2nd, Bloomberg pointed out:

Plugging the well is another challenge even after BP successfully intersects it, Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor, said. BP has said it believes the well bore to be damaged, which could hamper efforts to fill it with mud and set a concrete plug, Bea said.

Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters.

On the same day, the Wall Street Journal noted that there might be a leak in BP's well casing 1,000 feet beneath the sea floor:

BP PLC has concluded that its "top-kill" attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.


The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP's findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.

On June 3rd, The Canadian Press quoted the top government official in charge of the response to the oil spill - Admiral Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard - as pointing to the same possibility:

The failure of the so-called top kill procedure - which entailed pumping mud into the well at high velocity - suggested "there actually could be something wrong with the well casing, and there could be open communication in the strata or the rock formations below the sea floor," Allen said.

On June 7th, Senator Bill Nelson told MSNBC that he's investigating reports of oil seeping up from additional leak points on the seafloor:

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): Andrea we’re looking into something new right now, that there’s reports of oil that’s seeping up from the seabed… which would indicate, if that’s true, that the well casing itself is actually pierced… underneath the seabed. So, you know, the problems could be just enormous with what we’re facing.

Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC: Now let me understand better what you’re saying. If that is true that it is coming up form that seabed, even the relief well won’t be the final solution to cap this thing. That means that we’ve got oil gushing up at disparate places along the ocean floor.

Sen. Nelson: That is possible, unless you get the plug down low enough, below where the pipe would be breached.

Indeed, loss of integrity in the well itself may explain why BP is drilling its relief wells more than ten thousand feet beneath the leaking pipes on the seafloor (and see this).

Yesterday, recently-retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister said that the well casing below the sea floor may have been compromised:

[Question] What are the chances that the well casing below the sea floor has been compromised, and that gas and oil are coming up the outside of the well casing, eroding the surrounding soft rock. Could this lead to a catastrophic geological failure, unstoppable even by the relief wells?

John Hofmeister: This is what some people fear has occurred. It is also why the "top kill" process was halted. If the casing is compromised the well is that much more difficult to shut down, including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other risks as well.

As noted yesterday in The Engineer magazine, an official from Cameron International - the manufacturer of the blowout preventer for BP's leaking oil drilling operation - noted that one cause of the failure of the BOP could have been damage to the well bore:

Steel casing or casing hanger could have been ejected from the well and blocked the operation of the rams.

Oil industry expert Rob Cavnar believes that the casing might be damaged beneath the sea floor, noting:

The real doomsday scenario here… is if that casing gives up, and it does come through the other strings of pipe. Remember, it is concentric pipe that holds this well together. If it comes into the formation, basically, you‘ve got uncontrolled [oil] flow to the sea floor. And that is the doomsday scenario.

Cavnar also said BP must "keep the well flowing to minimize oil and gas going out into the formation on the side":

We have a right to know what's really going on.

Given the impact on America's people, natural resources and economy, BP and the government must fully disclose the amount of damage underneath the sea floor, and what that means for the efforts to cap the well.

Update: Don Van Nieuwenhuise - director of geosciences programs at the University of Houston - told CNN:

We don’t know if there are significant leaks deep in the well.

There’s a couple of weak points at 9,000 feet, and one at 17,000 feet, that they might be particularly interested in looking and watching in the seismic.

YouTube Video


  1. This horrible accident brings peace. Now US can not rely to domestic oil. War with Iran is out of question. Oil must flow from middle east.

  2. This means that the scenario in the article linked below actually could happen. Scary!

  3. NONI...that article you linked to has been taken down. Did you by chance save a copy or copy and paste it on some forum, if so can you provide a link

  4. No, it's there, I just read it. Basically, it is based along the abiogenic origin of petroleum, as opposed to a a bunch of dead dinosaurs and plants making oil, and why everything is bad, and getting worse. Copy and paste, it's there, at least if you're not trying to find it through US internet.

  5. They don't know what the "damage" is beneath the sea floor. Perhaps you would like to go dowh there, beneath the sea floor 13,000 ft and make an assessment? Please tell us exactly how you will get there.

    BP stated from the beginning that the Relief Well was the only way to get this one under control. The relief well HAS to be drilled to very near the bottom of the blowout. It is the column of mud and the weight of that column that keeps the flow in check. That is how it was done to drill this well and drill almost all wells. The relief well will intercept the blowout, pump weighted drilling mud into it, and reestablish the control. Note that the blowout well WAS under control when drilled, and when the drill string wis tripped out of the hole. The mud had it under control while the casing string was run to the bottom and the cement job pumped. The pressure at TD was about 13,500#, not the 50,000 that Simmons states. The well blew out only when the pressure was reduced by removing some of the mud and causing a pressure reduction. There evidently was some failure of the cement job.

    The relief well will intersect the blowout and pump mud into it from the bottom to reestablish the mud column and kill the well. Pump the heavy weight mud at a high rate and it will make the flow heavier and slower, then slower and heavier, then heavier still until the column of mud becomes heavy enough to kill the flow. Then they can pump the cement job again from the bottom, and include any formation sealing / blocking additives that they need to keep it from leaking out.

    Simmons has made the claim that the wellhead with the BOP attached has been blown out along with the casing. You can see it on all of the ROV camera feeds. It is in the ground just where it is supposed to be. If 13,000 ft of pipe had been jacked out of the sea floor as Simmons claims, how did no one notice it when it came up through the rig floor? It is nonsense.

  6. http://www.opednews.com/author/author47248.html

    Link to all of Chris Landau's articles on OpEdNews.

  7. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=113751

  8. I guess the fact that I don't trust politicians and big business exectives anymore as they continue to demonstrate incompetence with the ruination of this country in mind is probably in violation of criticizing a certain class of people in your posting policy. Forgive me. But, I can't help but say the truth, they are worthless. Batten down the hatches and prepare for third-world status soon in America. It's coming in spades.

  9. These technical challenges - like very deep undersea drilling - are obviously too big to manage.

    Drill drill drill is not worth if if kill kill kill is the result.

  10. I am troubled by the banner advertisement for Myrtle Beach vacations that appears at the the top of the page for this story. I can understand that those w/ plans to summer in affected areas may be second-guessing their plans, but for a competing locale to horn in and try to capitalize on the situation just feels slimy IMO.

  11. BP should not be believed at all, unfortunately, neither should the politicians. So, who's left to take over, tell the truth and truly fix this?

    A military take over seems to make sense but unfortunately they work for the spineless politicians who are in Big Oil's back pocket.

    A citizen led team with true independent experts then seems to be an option but they would need autonomy and ability to make key decisions quickly. They should have oversight over the military option (e.g. micro-nuke) etc.

    Of course, this is a fantasy. It seems that someone somewhere will (and probably already is) making a fortune off of this and worldwide contamination is "collateral damage". The knuckleheads running the show are covering each other's rear ends and the general populace loses.

  12. The BP spill is the clarion call for us to move beyond oil. Like everything else, in our hubris, we've over-reached.

    Deepwater Horizon... such a powerful name to associate with this seminal event.

    To read more about perspecitve on DH, Oilternatives and a blinder-free look at life, please visit:


    Do. Be. Come.

  13. This was no accident. There's ample evidence of gross negligence as it is. Add to that evidence of prior knowledge and you have a conspiracy to sabotage an oil rig for the purpose of creating massive environmental destruction so that martial law can be declared. This is America's second 9/11, and its intent is to reshape the political and social structure of the country without that nagging inconvenience of having to deal with political opposition. After all, this is a real natural catastrophe. Wouldn't you agree?

  14. A Myrtle Beach ad? I have an ad for NYC? Some one has to pay for the site. How do you expect them to operate?

  15. I hope our space brother could give us a hand and save the oceans and every creature living there :D
    Please.. help us

  16. Sadly ironic that it will be the greed of Man going after the last drop of oil that will bring about the destruction of our oceans and the world as we know it... 2012 may indeed be the end of times...

  17. Well do you think the Obama/BP administration is going to investigate itself? Fat chance. This disaster seems planned by the NWO and executed the Halliburton who understood how reckless the Transocean BP (butt plug) operation was. Seriously, just how hard do you think it would be for some blackwater ops to slip an underwater demolition into the cement they placed. Then they can just sit back and blame it on BP incompetence. The evidence it sitting a mile down. The Navy has the technology in investigate and perhaps raise it but they are as compromised by the CFR as anybody else. Obama will never really investigate this "accident." Obama doesn't want to stop it because the crises will allow him to declare martial law and take over the southern states and execute his plan to destroy America. He doesn't give a rats ass about America. The presidency just a stepping stone for min to be president of the new one word government. The traitor Bush gave him the power and Obama will use it.

  18. I have sneaking suspicion that this catastrophe will be the seminal event that brings in the anitchrist. Think about it..........if someone came forward JUST in the nick of time to fix this whole thing, wouldn't we just about fall down and worship this being?

  19. come on some get some explosives drill 5000 ft and let land drift collapse the oil tunnel. This is beyond reducluous this is at the stage of lucerdous. The government managing it? BP is not managin g it its no there ocean or country. closr them doewn take over this f899king circus or America should rise. AMerica this is the reason why you need to ban lobbying our politicians are selling us out to terrosit

  20. June 12, 2010 (extract)
    "In the world you are experiencing a disastrous pollution of the Gulf of Mexico. The effects are and will be far-reaching. Even more devastating are the effects of disregard for God's laws. The pollution in the Gulf bubbles up to the surface affecting many lives, industry and the environment. But, My brothers and sisters, the pollution that is in hearts has a more far-reaching effect. Disregard for God's laws has resulted in abortion, not just killing wildlife but claiming human life; not just damaging shorelines and fishing industry, but changing the course of human history forever by virtue of the lives taken, the vocations eliminated, the leaders who never rose to prominence. Please understand Godlessness is exacting a toll. Godless laws demand God's Justice! I do not come to threaten but to help you see with the eyes of truth."

    "The more mankind flagrantly opposes the Will of God, the greater the distance between the Protective Hand of My Father and all of earth. You cannot live as though God does not exist without the Eternal Now calling you back to dependence upon Him through trials which bring humanity into the reality of his own weaknesses."

  21. Let's see here, Y2K, Swine flue, Global man made warming, Bank bail outs, Wal street bail outs, now dooms day oil. Good God people, how much more lies and deceptions are yoou going to believe from these politicians?? Even Tipper Gore is smart enoough to jump the sinking ship!

  22. Split casing isn't that rare a phenomenon in the oil patch.

    If it is split around 1000' beneath the seafloor, as speculated, it would be expected that the heavy mud being injected under high pressure would escape at that point - it follows the path of least resistance - that is the principle behind frac'ing a well.

    The relief well(s) NEED TO intercept the damaged wellbore at the level of the producing horizon for several reasons, a couple of which are:

    First - they need to establish communication with the producing geologic horizon. They will be able to tell by pore pressure reading while drilling that they are nearby the blow out well, and if they cannot actually get into the old well, they can still begin an attempt at squeezing the formation with cement OUTSIDE OF the old well bore - this can only be done it the at at the correct depth. Remember, BP is speculating that it was a failure of the cement at this level that caused this problem to begin with (an annular blow out).

    Second, if you look at BP's wellbore schematic and the casing design you will see that getting into the old well above ~17,000' would be difficult as it would involve drilling (milling) through several strings of pipe. A tough task.

  23. I don't understand... Sarah says it's OK to drill all we want.

  24. isn't it about time they drilled a hole or two and put in some civil engineering nukes of low yield, and simply seal the well a thousand or two feet down??

    it worked for the russians five times.

    why are they milking every dollar out of this that they can?

    i think the press itself is partially responsible for the ongoing status of this, simply because they have not are are not pushing heavily for the obvious tried and true solution, to use low-yield nukes below the sea floor (this is not a top-kill solution, blast, radiation, and tsunami are not issues with this).

    i bet five kilotons properly placed could do the job. ten to fifteen kilotons tops.

  25. Things are definitely heating up. The oil catastrophe calls to my mind Revelation 11:18, which says that the time came for God to bring to ruin those ruining the earth. Of course, if Israel nukes Iran's nuke facilities and spreads radioactive dust over South Asia it would make the Gulf disaster seem insignificant in comparison.


  26. Am I correct in believing that BP is showing a live feed of a much smaller leak from the sea floor and not the actual 150,000 gallons per day leak?

  27. Robert King: Iran may have enough material to process down to what they would need for bombs, but they don't have the technology yet to do so. Iran is years away, assuming that they are lying in the first place and are going for a bomb, and the evidence at this point doesn't suggest that.

    Put it this way, what they currently have would have to be enriched by far more centrifuges than they have in order to get to the purity of weapons grade. Even the Bushies concede to this fact.

    On the other hand, Iran has promised to blow up Israel's nuclear bomb facility if attacked. I trust they are correct when they said they have the coordinates of what to bomb.

    Get your facts straight.

  28. Let us close the drilling hole :
    B1 B2
    | | Second drilling B2 with TNT
    | | will close the B1 and the leak
    | | with an explosion.
    | | Bumm ! (TNT) (c) Justus Germany

  29. Too many talking heads confuse all aspects of this situation.
    Our greatest threat is speculation from those that no nothing of the technical issues surrounding the leak. BP caused the problem, BP will fix it.
    Stop making things up!!!

  30. I don't understand why they can't put a solid metal plug down the hole (casing) with close tolerances to stop or significantly slow the flow then fill it from there to the top with concrete and once it is set cut the shaft to the plug off. I guess that's way to simple. I understand there's a lot of pressure coming out of that pipe but that can be overcome.

  31. This oil spill could very well destroy the planet. Look for Obama to impose marshal law and suspend the right to habeas corpus. It's holocaust time kiddies!

  32. No elections for us in November.

  33. To E:

    My understanding is that the top kill with mud was essentially the exact same as what you are suggesting, but using the pumped mud in place of some kind of metal tube for a variety of reasons (mostly being a much better idea)

    The result was that the oil just started leaking into the ocean floor bed. Now, they would have probably moved forward with the method anyway, knowing this, just for the sake of looking like they accomplished something, if it weren`t for the fact that continuing to stop the flow of oil could have caused for such pressure build up that the worst case scenarios sited in the above article actually do come to pass. If the entire well casing were compromised then when they tried to pump mud into the well it would just leak out with the oil. It would still have a way out, even if it wasn`t directly up. Think about it, they tried to plug the whole, and then they turned around and then cut off the pipe, raising the flow rate. TO DECREASE the pressure inside the well.

    If they did plug it, BP would have to explain to Americans why they eventually had to result to nuclear weapons to stop the flow. Because the relief wells would not be able to work if the well casing truly failed, as mentioned above.

    Of course, Nuclear weapons, also, wouldnt be too bad, perhaps, except for the fact that we are Americans.

    The government can tell me the food is safe all they want, but it is going to be many years before I buy shrimp from a body of water that recently underwent a nuclear explosion for my wife to eat. Whether there is any actual health consequence or not, I can`t possibly find enough faith in our government to believe that they actually know what the consequences will be. So, if it happens, we wont eat seafood from the region (assuming others are like me), and then the gulf really will be up $#"! creek. The rest of America soon to follow, including those like me, who will refuse to buy the seafood to feed their family and so bring about the next great depression. This time from housing and seafood rather than wheat and drought.

  34. Definetley have a look at this article:


  35. This will change human society forever...end of story. The world will never be the same and never forgotten like world wars. We are in for such change.

  36. humans have tripled their overpopulation since 1950 and keep adding more than 80 million additional consumers every year net after deduction of all deaths and abortions: they all want an oil based lifestyle: for this humans are prepared to risk the earth which is their only life support system. It doesn't make sense but there you have it: humans will only regret their egomania and greed with hindsight respectively when it's too late.

  37. If all the proper scientific experts, geological engineers, and the military get together, they can develop low yield, thermonuclear fusion devices to melt the seabed. A fusion device does not cause ionizing radiation, but the problem would be the sudden atomization of benzene, methanane, and other alphatic hydrocarbons along with the filthy corexit into the atmosphere.

    The other possibility is a giant endothermic reaction to freeze the seabed, but how long would that hold considering the temperture of those gushers.

    Another possiblity is to a neutron beam from the SDI satellite weapons to neutralize all the harmful chemicals (unfortunately, also neutralize the good ones including oxygen) in the Gulf. The problem is that would cut into BP's profits, and you know how we all love to kiss BP's ass like Obama.

  38. If the worst scenario is even a possibility, the facts should be published with daily data postings by independent sources as well as government sources (USCG, etc.).

    I know most Gulf residents won't evacuate (or can't afford to), but at least those who are concerned can determine their own future versus being dealt a terminal surprise.

    In the best case scenario, the public knowledge of the risks and the callous disregard of those who profit will be remembered in November.

    At least, we should demand all the BP Executives and Directors to reside in the red zone until the "risk" is passed based upon empirical measurements. They may think differently when it's their life and the lives of their family.

  39. Actually bombing deep wells worked for the
    Russians 4 times not 5. That's about 80%
    of the time, on land, not deep under the
    ocean floor at low water temps and high
    pressures. Green Earl

  40. This is the call to demand from our leaders the release of free energy technology. Please do your homework on Free Energy as this is the answer to our problems.

  41. I've been reading up on Gadi Leshem, and how he plans to resuscitate the rivers in Ogden along with various environmental issues and happened tostumble upon this site. From my perspective, what was first known as an environmental issue is gradually transformed into a political vortex. It's sad that BP has held out information for a long time, and kind of ironic that the very catalyst of conspiracy theories is the main thorn in the country's side right now.

  42. What is the historical fact behind GMT? I mean, why do we put the clocks forward in spring, and back in the autumn/winter? When did this actually start happening?Oh, and when do we put the clocks back this year?Thanks to one and all!!William Willett became convinced that clocks should be moved backwards in autumn and forwards in spring in order that people could take advantage of the hours Franck Muller Replica watches of daylight. He wrote a famous leaflet, The Waste of Daylight, and worked tirelessly to have his idea adopted. Eventually it became law a year after his premature death at the age of 59 in 1915.


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