Update added 5-26-2010 Taken from the AP wire service: Just when you thought I was the crazy one! Read the update below and tell me something is not wrong with single bullet theory. The next thing you know is Arlan Specter will be running the investigation.
A "black box" can reveal why an airplane crashed or how fast a car was going in the instant before an accident. Yet there are no records of a critical safety test supposedly performed during the fateful hours before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.
They went down with the rig.
While some data were being transmitted to shore for safekeeping right up until the April 20 blast, officials from Transocean, the rig owner, told Congress that the last seven hours of its data are missing and that all written logs were lost in the explosion.
The gap poses a mystery for investigators: What decisions were made — and what warnings might have been ignored? Earlier tests, which suggested that explosive gas was leaking from the mile-deep well, were preserved.
"There is some delay in the replication of our data, so our operational data, our sequence of events ends at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the 20th," Steven Newman, president and CEO of Transocean Ltd, told a Senate panel. The rig blew up at 10 p.m., killing 11 workers and unleashing a gusher that has spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.
Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents several rig workers involved in the accident, questioned whether what he called "the phantom test" was even performed.
The question is why? Why did this happen? This BP rig was built to deal with multiple problems presented as possible causes for this disaster. There are safe guards built in with these rigs,so that this very thing will not happen.
So why is not sabotage or terrorism not on the table as a possible cause? North Korea and Iran and many rogue states have subs capable of taking out the rig. Could a small plane have been used to crash into the rig? Could well places demolition charges taken the rig down so fast? This could effect 10 of millions of Americans,and cripple our ability to provide domestic oil drilling off shore. Who does this benefit,if gas prices in the US go to $6.00 a gallon?
The think tank question that should be asked here, is who benefits most from this disaster, and are they capable of taking out this rig?
Remember this happens 1 day before EARTH DAY 2010, and just hours after many high level oil executives were on the rig celebrating its 7 year safety record?
I wonder if it would have looked more like terrorism if the rig blow up while all those oil executives were on the rig? There are no consistences in life. Who is not connecting the dots on this one and why?
COVINGTON, La. – Oil giant BP is focused on two key areas around the blown wellhead as it probes the cause of the unchecked Gulf of Mexico oil spill and has started to brief federal authorities on its internal investigation.
BP PLC said in a release late Monday that its probe has not reached a final conclusion. But it said multiple control mechanisms should have prevented the accident that started with an oil rig explosion April 20 off the coast of Louisiana.
The largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf listed seven mechanisms where its hunt for a cause is focused. Four of those involve the blowout preventer, a massive piece of machinery that sits atop the wellhead and is supposed to act as a safety device of last resort. The other three areas of investigation involve the cementing and casing of the wellhead.
Three companies worked for BP on the well: Transocean LTD owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the blowout preventer; Halliburton Inc. was responsible for encasing the well in cement; and Cameron International Corp. manufactured the blowout preventer.
President Barack Obama has blasted executives from the companies for blaming each other during Congressional hearings this month.
In BP's release, Chief Executive Tony Hayward stopped short of assigning responsibility, calling the disaster "a complex accident, caused by an unprecedented combination of failures."
"A number of companies are involved, including BP, and it is simply too early — and not up to us — to say who is at fault," Hayward said.
BP said its investigation team has begun sharing its findings with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The Obama administration has come under increasing pressure as frustrations build with the failure to cap the well. Millions of gallons of oil stretch across a 150-mile swath from Dauphin Island, Ala. to Grand Isle, La., endangering wildlife and livelihoods in commercial fishing and tourism.
BP said there was still extensive work to do in its investigation, including examining major pieces of equipment like the blowout preventer and the rig that are still on the seafloor.
The internal investigation started the day after the rig exploded, burned and sank. It is being conducted by BP's Head of Group Safety and Operations, who has an independent reporting line to Hayward, the company said.
In Washington, a report by the Interior Department's inspector general found ethics violations at the agency that overseas offshore drilling. The report , which follows up on a 2007 investigation, found that staffers at the Minerals Management Service accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the findings were "deeply disturbing" and showed the importance of his plan to abolish the agency and replace it with three new entities.
The report, which follows up on a 2007 investigation, found that MMS staffers accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography.
Salazar said several employees in the report have resigned, were fired, terminated or referred for prosecution. All the violations mentioned in the report occurred between 2000 and 2008.
After butting heads with BP over its use of a chemical to break up the oil in the water, the Obama administration said Tuesday the company is complying with the government's request to use less of the toxic dispersant.
White House energy adviser Carol Browner said alternative dispersants aren't so readily available.
In a letter to BP last week, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the company three days to find a less toxic alternative to the dispersant it's using, Corexit 9500. But in a series of meetings that followed, Browner said, it became clear the alternatives were not as widely available as needed.
"There are not as many being manufactured as people thought in the quantities" needed, Browner said in a round of television appearances on morning news shows.
"We need to determine whether or not those alternatives are available, and the EPA is doing that, but in the meantime, EPA has directed BP to use less of the dispersants and they're required to follow that," Browner said.
A memorial service was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Jackson, Miss., for the 11 workers who were killed when the oil rig exploded. The event was being held by Transocean.
All of BP's attempts to stop the leak have failed, despite the oil giant's use of joystick-operated submarine robots that can operate at depths no human could withstand.
BP is pinning its hopes of stopping the gusher on yet another technique never tested 5,000 feet underwater: a "top kill," in which heavy mud and cement would be shot into the well to plug it up. The process could begin as early as Wednesday, with BP giving it a 60 to 70 percent chance of success.
BP had hoped to try a top kill earlier but needed more time to get equipment into place and test it. The methodl has worked on aboveground oil wells in Kuwait and Iraq but has never before been attempted so far underwater.
Engineers are working on several other backup plans in case the top kill doesn't work, including injecting assorted junk into the well to clog it up, and lowering a new blowout preventer on top of the one that failed.
The only certain permanent solution is a pair of relief wells crews have already started drilling, but the task could take at least two months.
Associated Press Writers Erica Werner and Matthew Daly in Washington and Kevin McGill and Alan Sayre in Louisiana contributed to this report.