Deepwater Horizon

We in the US are all painfully aware of how tightly regulated the oil supplies are. Not a single day goes by where someone, somewhere in the news is not complaining about oil prices being too high, that we need to be drilling off shore and that we're paying too much for gas at the pump. At the same time, we hear conflicting positions from the oil companies themselves about how they're not making enough profits, or from the government about how dangerous off shore drilling is to the environment and the public in general.

So imagine everyone's surprise when on Mar 31, Obama declared that he was opening up a small area off of the east coast to drilling. Sure, it's not a huge area but it's a start. More than anyone ever expected he'd do. He didn't act on it without pressure from several sides, but in the end, plenty of folks agree that he did it to score a few political points and not because it's what he really believes in. This action also had a secondary effect of increasing the available supply of oil (eventually) which was bound to start driving down the crude oil prices on the world market. After all, if the USA begins tapping its own supplies it won't need all that over inflated OPEC stuff.

On April 20, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded. Two days later, it sank beneath the waves. The resulting oil slick is spreading like wildfire across the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. It stands to become one of the worst environmental disasters of all time, eclipsing the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. As of now, according to what I can find on Google, the underwater well has not yet been capped and is continuing to leak uncontrolled amounts of crude oil into the Gulf.

Many of you already know I don't tend to buy into conspiracy theroies, but something in my gut is telling me that this was no coincidence. The timing of this disaster was just too perfect. Between the oil companies bitching about sagging profits and the administration bitching about the environment, I've come to two possible scenarios, both of which are rather serious in their implications, and involve deliberate sabotage:

The Government

Obama needs a way to be able to save face and back out of the decision he made, which angered his voting base immensely. Considering he's already likely to lose in 2012, he can't afford to keep pissing everyone off. To that end, I can see a scenario where the government secretly sabotaged the oil platform in a deliberate act of terrorism. Either by way of the CIA or some other covert agency. Doing so in this manner provides cover and deniability to the president. It also gives him something concrete to point at and say he warned us about how dangerous these platforms are. The resulting disaster may or may not have been part of the plan, but given that he's very deliberately destroying our economy anyway, what's ruining the fishing industry going to matter?

The Oil Companies

The oil companies need an excuse to cut off supply to force prices up. As crazy as it sounds, blowing up one of their own rigs wouldn't cost them near as much as they'll stand to make in return profits if they can manage to drive oil back up over $100/barrel. They can't simply pull the same crap they did the last time around with shady speculators artificially driving it up, they need a real loss of supply in order to justify their action. Even the cost of the cleanup will pale in comparison to the obscene windfall they'll get by doing this. They do not now nor have they ever cared about what the collateral damage to the economy is. $5/gal gasoline is a dream of theirs and they've been very open about that despite knowing what that will do to us all. The fishing industry also means little or nothing to them. British Petroleum is financially sound and will be in no danger of going bankrupt over the loss of one rig, so they are able to make this sacrifice in the name of OPEC greed.

Both of these scenarios are plausible enough to me that if the news (HA!) came out tomorrow and said either one of them was true and they had the proof I'd be utterly unsurprised. The media is of course lapping this up and making as much out of it as they can, so don't count on that happening unless it's to somehow blame Bush and/or the Tea Party for this.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on May 3, 2010 7:38 pm by Samson in: | 70 comment(s) [Closed]
Ok, now I know what you were talking about with the Deep Horizons thing, I'd been hearing all about this constantly since it happened, but I hadn't paid enough attention to catch what the name of the specific oil platform was. :redface:

I got a third conspiracy theory for you that, I believe, is even more likely/plausible: The government (specifically Obama) in collusion with the Oil Companies did it for mutual benefits that you've already outlined.

You would be utterly unsurprised? I call bullshit! If the news media had the proof they still wouldn't come out with it, certainly not while their favorite candidate's still in office (with the singular possible exception being Fox and you know they won't be getting ahold of anything resembling proof while Obama's in office regardless of who's behind it) and you know it easily as well as I do. I could easily see someone deciding to blame the Tea Party for this as 'proof' that they've now tried to emulate the original Boston Tea Party by upping the anti or some such, but then, maybe I'm just getting cynical in my dotage... :rolleyes:

Well even your theory of collusion between them both is more plausible than the lunacy I've seen chatter on on various other sites. Get this:

The oil rig is actually only being leased by BP, the owner is really the Hyundai Corporation of South Korea. We have strong evidence that NK already sank a destroyer belonging to SK recently. So the theory goes that NK put a sub in the water, sailed it all the way from NK over to the Gulf of Mexico, torpedoed the platform, then left and made it all the way back home. Without being spotted by a single satellite or our sub detection network in the Atlantic and the Gulf. Sounds far less believable, yes? Of course if that were true it would mean the Obama administration had to have known it was going to happen ahead of time so they could get through "undetected". I doubt very much our military personnel would stand by and allow an open act of war to go unchallenged like this. It wouldn't just be a strike against SK by NK, it would also be a direct strike against the US by NK.

I heard that and it didn't pass the smell test despite how much I loathe Obama.

No, I'd have to agree. That scenario would mean that Obama would have had to have left an audit trail of orders to allow a ship of war from a declared enemy nation free passage and to not retaliate when their actions were achieved or that our enemies have developed submarine technology that renders our sub detection network obsolete. Sorry, that one's just not even remotely reasonable. Perhaps if someone had suggested that the North Koreans had sent the explosives over in guided message bottles but a submarine that can circumnavigate our sub detection systems and launch a torpedo at a oil platform without detection or trace... and, if the platform was leased by British Petroleum, owned by the Hyundai Corporation of South Korea, and situated in the Gulf of Mexico just offshore of Louisiana in United States waters, it'd be an act of war against SK, US, and UK.

There are a few major flaws with the sub scenario, firstly, that drilling rig sits on pylons 70 meters above the water line to account for large storm swells, it could not be a torp that causes that above water part to explode, secondly, if a torp was used, i would have hit the submerged pontoon and caused it to fail and the whole unit would have sank, rather than the situation that happened, where the above water part exploded and the resulting fire over days eventually caused the underwater pontoons to fail.

While looking for crackpot ideas and theories to explain what might have happened can be fun and entertaining, the KISS principle would point to simple human error or mechanical malfunction as cause of the explosion.

Simple human error or mechanical malfunction are certainly not options that we could rule out without more information, but if it really was sabotage, which we really also don't have enough information to rule out yet, there were certainly several likely candidates who had clear incentives and it could easily have been done in such a way as to indicate that it was simple human error or mechanical malfunction as well. But I do agree that the sub theory doesn't hold water very well.. there are certainly subs that are fully capable of launching missiles which are not constrained to being used underwater, though, for example, check out: sometime when you're bored enough or interested enough. ;)

Yes, the sub scenario simply isn't plausible. Torpedoes don't rise up out of the water and blow things up above the surface. It would be even less plausible for it to have been a ballistic missile attack since that would have been easily detected.

BP itself has already commented that the part the media says failed would not have been enough on its own to cause a catastrophic explosion that destroyed the whole platform. That and what I've been reading about how these things are engineered suggests to me the only way a "simple mechanical failure" could do this is if the rest of the backup systems had either been deactivated or sabotaged themselves.

So my contention that the platform was deliberately destroyed still stands IMO. BP and the administration both stand to gain far too much and the timing was far too perfect. The media is already making noise about $5/gal gasoline this summer as a result of this, so there you go. It's now a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I had a chat to my father about this, he was a petrochemical engineer for ampol/caltex for over 30 years, pretty ,much what he was saying was that when things go wrong in these situations they almost always go really wrong, he told me a story of when he was head operator of the alkination unit when one day they had a computer system failure, not one, but all 4 redundant systems failed in the matter of a few minutes, in the chaos that ensued, an emergency shutdown was put in to action, someone purged the wrong line and sent a huge cloud of HF acid up into the air and it landed in the main car park. It was lucky that this happened in the middle of a shift, because if it happened at change over, lots of people would have been hurt or killed by that acid. Or another time when someone did something wrong and caused the cracker to explode which resulted in his death and a fire that went on for 4 days before they were able to put in out.

So, the most likely scenario is that something failed, someone made an error in judgment and opened or closed the wrong valve which caused a snowball of cause and effects which ultimately caused the explosion and the the deaths of 11 people, those same 11 people who would have all the answers as to what exactly happened.

The fact that those who could give a definitive answer as to what happened are all dead is the only reason why people will be coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theories as to what happened.

Of all the ex/presidents who could have or would have gained from the rise in oil prices, i would have thought Bush would have been top on that list, being that him and big oil have a lot in common.

The problem with trying to pin it on Bush is that he was in favor of off shore drilling. So he wouldn't have had motivation to cause this kind of damage that will almost certainly result in the cancellation of off shore drilling operations. Also, a lot more than just 11 people work on these rigs, so why haven't we heard from the rest of the people who we are left to presume survived?

The reason people come up with these conspiracy theories is because it just plain fits. To hand wave this all aside as the monumental incompetence of the crew aboard the rig requires far more twisted logic than it does to believe that there was deliberate sabotage behind it. I don't for one second buy into the idea that one system fails and the triple redundant backups behind it all coincidentally fail at the same time. Even if some boob turns the wrong valve you won't ever convince me the entire network of backup systems will just stop working right. Something really fishy went on here.

Then you have the complete failure to act on the part of the government. They're not even following their own emergency response plan developed in the 1990s which calls for burning off the oil in such a situation. Right now they blame not having any fire booms available. That's complete bullshit. You don't need fancy fire booms. Call the God damned Air Force and have them use napalm on the ocean to light up the oil. Have Navy sailors strap flame throwers on and light it up from the decks of their ships. Torpedo it from underwater with incendiary devices. Don't just shrug and go "oh well, no resources, sorry guys" and expect us to sit and take it up the ass.

The problem with trying to pin it on Bush is that he was in favor of off shore drilling.

I dont know, from what i recall, while bush might have been in favor of drilling, under his administration the price of oil exploded, the amount of drilling permits issued shrank and we had a war against a large oil producing nation which also constricted supply, which drove prices higher, stocks in oil companies sky rocketed etc etc, . When you consider all things about bush and his history as an oil baron and pro oil lobby, one could join all sorts of dots saying that he and his administration conspired in such way as to make themselves and their friends and friends companies such as Haliburdon (spelling) very very rich out of these things, by actioning things in such a way as to cause prices to rise.

Do i actually think this, no i dont, but if one was so inclined, they could make all sorts of arguments that on the face of it seem rather plausible. Not that i am going to attempt to debunk your theories, throughout modern history the CIA has been involved with all sorts of weird and wonderful manipulations to push its own and or select individuals agendas, so its not entirely out of the question when it comes to anything in the USA that it has not been manufactured or fabricated in some way.

On the other hand, Obama has opened more oil fields, and has a lot to loose from the green lobby because of this oil spill etc, and he is hardly in a position to profit from a spike in oil prices, unless he just bought 1mil exxon shares. Perhaps he is in cohoots with bush and together they have taken a bipartisan attitude to making themselves rich from oil :). /sarcasm

Edited by The_Fury on May 4, 2010 11:17 pm
Your logic fails when you arrive at saying Iraq is a "large" oil producing nation. They don't produce enough supply to be worth the kind of conspiracies you're talking about. In fact, if what you're suggesting is true, and Bush went to war in Iraq for the oil, it wasn't to drive prices UP, it was to drive them DOWN yet be in control of the supply lines back to the US. Since Google has lots of links saying Iraq has the 2nd largest untapped oil reserves in the world, a war of conquest there to gain control of that is certainly plausible, but the net benefits from that would take 50 years to mature. We don't have 50 years to play games with oil wars today.

Obama on the other hand is on record as being opposed to off shore drilling and by extension is perfectly happy to let OPEC tighten the noose around us by manipulating the market. I'm sure Dwip will tell you that my opinion of him is greatly exaggerated, but the man is nothing short of pure evil.

In any case, the entire issue of foreign oil would be moot if we'd just get off our asses and punch some new wells off shore, in ANWAR, in the shale beds of Colorado, and in other parts of the Midwest yet to be tapped. Places we already know the oil to be in. There would be no need for resource wars, or dependence on OPEC this way. Use these reserves to tide us over until we develop fuel sources that are not petroleum based. We know it can be done, there's just no willingness to commit.

I've already said that I'm willing to accept the possibility that it was human error or mechanical malfunction, and I'm just as willing to accept the even greater plausibility of mechanical malfunction compounded by human error. What can I say, I watched a safety training video back when I was working at Intel about a guy who worked at an oil refinery and managed to react incorrectly to an emergency situation which cascaded into a major catastrophe in which he survived through almost sheer luck, if you can call third degree burns to 90% of his person and the loss of all four limbs survival or luck... but without actual evidence to support that, I'm also just as willing to accept what I see as the easily equally plausible conclusion that it was sabotage. Again, I don't think the sub notion has any real merit, and we've all got far bigger concerns ahead of us than a single oil platform if it does hold merit because that implies that one of the few of our enemies who we weren't able to truly defeat in the past has now developed the means to wage war against us in a manner which has the potential for tremendous losses without our even being able to detect that they were ever there beyond the damage that ensued from their visit. :crazy:

The failure of our government to act on their established emergency procedures for this very contingency does worry me greatly, in fact, far more so than the possibility that it was sabotage, regardless of whom it might be by, and actually does speak loudly to support the theory that our own government was at least involved in such a possible sabotage scenario. :sad:

Suggesting Bush is behind is, as others would say, purely a strawman, and you know it as well as we do. Yes, it could be argued, but so could almost anyone else. The other possibilities suggested show far more merit. :facepalm:

Obama may yet lose quite a bit "from the green lobby because of this oil spill etc" because of his ineptitude in his reaction to the aftermath, but so far no one has proven anything nearly conclusive enough to pin it on him as far as "the green lobby" would be concerned and he would benefit from spiking the price of oil in the same ways that he's benefited from his role so far in our economic "recovery", as well as by endearing himself even further to his buddies in the middle east, just as he's done by repeatedly trying to make Israel look bad for defending themselves and acting appropriately and even bending over backwards to try to establish peace with an enemy who's been quite clear for the past few centuries (millennia?) that they will never accept peace under any circumstances and aren't even willing to discuss it beyond lip service to the almighty US and then only while they can't think of a way to get past us. :mad:

I'm not sure it's really as easy as just getting "off our asses and punch some new wells ...", frankly, oil wells seem to take a lot of planning, money, time, etc before they start doing anything for anyone. :shrug:

Your logic fails when you arrive at saying Iraq is a "large" oil producing nation.

I do not think that i said they were large, and in fact they do not need to be large if you take into account market forces and supply and demand.

Demand for oil before Iraq war was close to outstripping supply, take out one small player and demand will outstrip supply, also major producers were producing less for various reasons and then add uncertainty into the mix and the market will go nuts, buying up all it can now. Producers could not meet the shortfall of even a few percent difference in supply and demand, so prices continued to rise.

The same is likely to happen because of this 1 well being taken out, however prices will not rise to the degree to which they did when Iraq's oil was taken out of the supply chain because there is still room for the demand curve to peak.

My e-mail address is already registered, it says. Seriously have no idea what the password is though. Or username for that matter.

Anyway, your version of the NK scenario is not plausible on a few points. But the one I read is. Rather than trying to paraphrase, I'll just post the bitch and hope it works.

May 1, 2010

US Orders Blackout Over North Korean Torpedoing Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil Rig

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A grim report circulating in the Kremlin today written by Russia’s Northern Fleet is reporting that the United States has ordered a complete media blackout over North Korea’s torpedoing of the giant Deepwater Horizon oil platform owned by the World’s largest offshore drilling contractor Transocean that was built and financed by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., that has caused great loss of life, untold billions in economic damage to the South Korean economy, and an environmental catastrophe to the United States.

Most important to understand about this latest attack by North Korea against its South Korean enemy is that under the existing “laws of war” it was a permissible action as they remain in a state of war against each other due to South Korea’s refusal to sign the 1953 Armistice ending the Korean War.

To the attack itself, these reports continue, the North Korean “cargo vessel” Dai Hong Dan believed to be staffed by 17th Sniper Corps “suicide” troops left Cuba’s Empresa Terminales Mambisas de La Habana (Port of Havana) on April 18th whereupon it “severely deviated” from its intended course for Venezuela’s Puerto Cabello bringing it to within 209 kilometers (130 miles) of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform which was located 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the coast of the US State of Louisiana where it launched an SSC Sang-o Class Mini Submarine (Yugo class) estimated to have an operational range of 321 kilometers (200 miles).

On the night of April 20th the North Korean Mini Submarine manned by these “suicidal” 17th Sniper Corps soldiers attacked the Deepwater Horizon with what are believed to be 2 incendiary torpedoes causing a massive explosion and resulting in 11 workers on this giant oil rig being killed outright. Barely 48 hours later, on April 22nd , this North Korean Mini Submarine committed its final atrocity by exploding itself directly beneath the Deepwater Horizon causing this $1 Billion oil rig to sink beneath the seas and marking 2010’s celebration of Earth Day with one of the largest environmental catastrophes our World has ever seen.

To the reason for North Korea attacking the Deepwater Horizon, these reports say, was to present US President Obama with an “impossible dilemma” prior to the opening of the United Nations Review Conference of the Parties to the Treat on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) set to begin May 3rd in New York.

This “impossible dilemma” facing Obama is indeed real as the decision he is faced with is either to allow the continuation of this massive oil leak catastrophe to continue for months, or immediately stop it by the only known and proven means possible, the detonation of a thermonuclear device.

Russian Navy atomic experts in these reports state that should Obama choose the “nuclear option” the most viable weapon at his disposal is the United States B83 (Mk-83) strategic thermonuclear bomb having a variable yield (Low Kiloton Range to 1,200 Kilotons) which with its 12 foot length and 18 inch diameter, and weighing just over 2,400 pounds, is readily able to be deployed and detonated by a remote controlled mini-sub.

Should Obama choose the “nuclear option” it appears that he would be supported by the International Court of Justice who on July 8, 1996 issued an advisory opinion on the use of nuclear weapons stating that they could not conclude definitively on these weapons use in “extreme circumstances” or “self defense”.

On the other hand, if Obama chooses the “nuclear option” it would leave the UN’s nuclear conference in shambles with every Nation in the World having oil rigs off their coasts demanding an equal right to atomic weapons to protect their environment from catastrophes too, including Iran.

To whatever decision Obama makes it remains a fact that with each passing hour this environmental catastrophe grows worse. And even though Obama has ordered military SWAT teams to protect other oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico from any further attack, and further ordered that all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico be immediately stopped, this massive oil spill has already reached the shores of America and with high waves and more bad weather forecast the likelihood of it being stopped from destroying thousands of miles of US coastland and wildlife appears unstoppable.

And not just to the environmental catastrophe that is unfolding the only devastation to be wrecked upon the United States and South Korea by this North Korean attack as the economic liabilities associated with this disaster are estimated by these Russian reports to be between $500 Billion to $1.5 Trillion, and which only a declaration of this disaster being an “act of war” would free some the World’s largest corporations from bankruptcy.

Important to note too in all of these events was that this was the second attack by North Korea on its South Korean enemy, and US ally, in a month as we had reported on in our March 28th report titled “Obama Orders ‘Immediate Stand-down’ After Deadly North Korean Attack” and which to date neither the Americans or South Korea have retaliated for and giving one senior North Korean party leader the courage to openly state that the North Korean military took “gratifying revenge” on South Korea.

And for those believing that things couldn’t get worse, they couldn’t be more mistaken as new reports coming from Japanese military sources are stating that North Korea is preparing for new launches of its 1,300 kilometer (807 miles) intermediate range ballistic “Rodong” missile which Russian Space Forces experts state is able to “deploy and detonate” an atomic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device, and which if detonated high in the atmosphere could effectively destroy the American economy for years, if not decades, to come.

Also, I believe, from what I've read in the past few weeks, that your view of BP being immune to bankruptcy is flawed. From what I gather, as this thing gets worse, it's a very real possibility.

From what I've read scattered around, this "Sorcha Faal" person is a fraud. Plenty of links claim s/he doesn't even exist. In any case, US Orders Blackout Over North Korean Torpedoing Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil Rig <--- That headline alone is enough to disqualify the entire article as bogus since we already know torpedoes don't operate above the surface. The explosion would have required the use of ballistic missiles.

BTW, told the software to generate and send you a new password. Hopefully it works.

Edited by Samson on May 6, 2010 1:22 am
To quote Claptrap, "ha ha!"

However, now I have no stylesheets to speak of. XD

And yeah, the whole thing is obviously bullocks on several levels, as Dwip pointed out when I showed it to him. But it's more plausible than driving a sub over from North Korea itself. Hehe.

Edited by Whir on May 6, 2010 1:31 am
You need to do a forced refresh. CSS got updated and it doesn't look like your browser knows about it. That's been awhile even.

Hm. I cleared out all my data, save saved passwords, and it still does the same thing. Can you give me a URL to point the stylesheet thing at? And why are you not on ICQ? Don't tell me you got a job or something.

PS: It's fine until I actually log in. When I'm logged out, the site is perfect. /boggle

Edited by Whir on May 6, 2010 1:59 am
Should be good now, damn code is saving a dud entry into the stylesheet fields.

The_Fury said:

we had a war against a large oil producing nation which also constricted supply

Yup, you said it.

I'm not so sure that was what really happened. OPEC has been very artificially restricting "supply" for decades based on what price they want "demand" to rise to...

Ah, if only I'd known that Mael was Whir, I could've easily told you which user name to use. ;)

Yes, that story by (as, Samson put it) "this "Sorcha Faal" person" is much more plausible than a sub coming all the way from North Korea just to target an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, but it's quite full of holes otherwise. Starting with the basic facts that torpedos aren't designed to leave the water nor are they generally accurate at ranges of up to 80 miles as suggested in that story (in fact, the US MK-48 has an effective range of Officially "Greater than 5 miles (8 km)" and most aren't capable of traveling further than roughly 30 nautical miles).

Wow, you're posting fast and furious there.. hopefully you've gotten it all fixed by now though. ..either way, welcome back! :)

Woot, all fixed.

Obviously these were bouncing betty torpedoes. :D

But I didn't see anywhere that suggested the torpedoes would have been fired from 80 miles away. In a mini-sub, the insurgents could have easily gotten to within less than a mile of the oil rig.

Other questions I have are A) where did the original explosions occur? I haven't really seen much data on this. Could they have occurred in the pipe underwater and then boiled up through the pipe, exploding into the rig itself? 2) where did the explosion that actually sunk the platform come from? More failed redundancies?

I'm sure this info is available, I just haven't seen it and haven't dug for it.

PS: Now I can't update my user icon. It just gives me {$error} or some such when I submit. XD

Edited by Whir on May 6, 2010 2:46 am
Yup, you said it.

I will stand corrected, also, after a little digging, it would seem that Iraq has about 8.5% of the worlds proven oil reserves, making it the 4th largest, i think that would qualify is certainly as large if not enormous. I cannot find any production data from before the war but it would have to have been higher than the current 2.1 bil barrels a day which is current, as we bombed the shit out of all the infrastructure, Sadam destroyed a bunch more of it and then insurgents took care of the rest, but we can assume that it was substantially higher than that figure.

Yall should come and play DnD Online with me :) Its free/pay for perks now rather than subscription based.

Edited by The_Fury on May 6, 2010 3:17 am
I have played it a bit. I just couldn't get into the game system. I'm so accustomed to the way the pen and paper game works that it just seems foreign to me.

Now if they rolled the 4e system into it, that would rock. And I almost wonder if that's their plan, considering how MMO-like the 4e system is with powers and paths setups...

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