Operations Manager for a small Gulf of Mexico Gulf Coast oil & gas explorer & producer.


    The BP Spill as a Black Swan Event

    For context in understanding the oil spill, and to help answer the question “How could it possibly be this bad?”, I recommend a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The BP spill is a textbook example of what Taleb calls a Black Swan Event. The event is a surprise (to the observer). The event has a major | Read More »

    D to R Party Switch Balances LA House

    The 2008 elections saw the Democrat Party’s advantage in the State House of Representatives shrink from 16 seats to 2. Now, with the announcement of Rep. Simone Champagne (D R – New Iberia) of her intention to switch parties, the balance is now 51 D, 51 R, 3 I. Party politics don’t dominate Louisiana’s state government. For example, the governor has a say in the | Read More »

    Obama’s Stacked Deck

    When President Obama named the members of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, he left little to chance. Although the Executive Order which created the Commission allowed that its membership … shall be drawn from among distinguished individuals, and may include those with experience in or representing the scientific, engineering, and environmental communities, the oil and gas industry, | Read More »

    A Little Perspective on the BP Spill

    The New Orleans Superdome is pretty big. According to an article this week in the Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, LA), the amount of oil spilled from the BP Macondo well so far would fill up one-seventh (1/7th) of the volume of the Superdome. Here’s a view of the Superdome from the air, at a scale of 1:2,500. Note the bar for scale. (First four images from | Read More »

    Meet Jeff Landry (R CAND LA-03)

    Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District is Southeastern Louisiana: it stretches from St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines on the east, through the Bayou Country near Houma, to the  sugar cane fields of New Iberia.  Now, LA-03 is Ground Zero for the BP Oil Spill. We’ve seen the impact of the oil on its fragile coastal marshlands; only time will tell the impact on the fishermen and the | Read More »

    BREAKING: Judge Blocks Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

    Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, hearing the case of Hornbeck v. Salazar, has blocked the President’s moratorium on all drilling in water depths greater than 500 feet. The White House is expected to appeal the ruling immediately. H/T Artie, for d’most part

    BP: Observations and Ruminations

    I’m no apologist for Big Oil. As a resident of South Louisiana, I’ve seen the mess that was left behind when they left for greener pastures. The simmering animosity between the “majors” and us “independents” goes back generations. They also have enough dough to carry their own water; they don’t need the help of a small fish blogger like me. That being said, the press | Read More »

    Mr. Maley Goes to Washington

    Colleague and occasional RS diarist Steve Maley testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Thursday. The topic of the hearing was “The Deepwater Horizon Incident: Are the Minerals Management Service Regulations Doing the Job?” Full video of the hearing (over four hours) is available here. It featured testimony from the acting head of the MMS and the Interior Department’s Inspector General | Read More »

    The Brits and the BP Spill

    It’s BP, not British Petroleum, ever since Maggie Thatcher privatized the government’s stake in the energy giant back in the 1980s. But the stakes involve a large chunk of the UK’s national wealth, not to mention their national pride. From Foreign Policy: Has the BP Bashing Gone Too Far? There has been extensive coverage in Britain of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. | Read More »

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    Obama Blames Folks For Things He Imagines They Would Say

    First, there was this: Obama, in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, broadcast Tuesday, said he hadn’t spoken directly to BP CEO Tony Hayward because his experience tells him someone like that would say “all the right things” and that he’s more interested in action than in words. [Source.] Now, we have this: I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this | Read More »

    Drilling Moratorium Violates Panel’s Recommendation

    Peer-review, schmeer-review. If Obama and Salazar wanted to cripple the domestic oil and gas industry and the very-red Gulf Coast states that depend on offshore drilling, they couldn’t find a better way to do it than to impose a six-month (at least) moratorium on all deepwater drilling, including the unprecedented step of shutting down operations on wells that were already underway. But they couldn’t just | Read More »

    Deepwater Drilling Moratorium Already Kicking LA’s A$$

    It will be a long time before Louisiana and the Gulf South recover from the devastation. I’m not referring to the oil spill. No, it’s the willful and senseless act of a President, desperately searching for some way to control events. It might have made sense to slow down, to reconsider safety procedures, or to step up regulatory vigilence. Instead, Obama leaped off a cliff | Read More »

    What Kind of MMS Did Obama Inherit?

    President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar have done their best to shift the blame of the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the Bush Administration and the supposed ‘cozy relationship’ it fostered between the Minerals Management Service and the oil and gas companies it regulates. The public consciousness perceives a corrupt and incompetent agency, turning a blind eye to the shenanigans of their industry buddies. In reality: | Read More »

    Oil Drilling Moratorium Blues

    Thursday: Confusion was the order of the day. On Wednesday, the first new shallow-water well drilling permit was issued, to the consternation of the environmental community: “I’m outraged,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director for the Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity. “How is it that shallow water drilling suddenly became safe again?” Never mind that shallow water drilling has no demonstrated problems. Since the Deepwater | Read More »

    Never Let A Good Crisis, etc. (Oil Spill Edition)

    In his two most recent appointments to his presidential commission on the BP oil spill, President Obama reveals that he’s got waaaay bigger fish to fry than finding out what went wrong of the Deepwater Horizon, and fixing it. Obama’s Oil Panel May Tackle Energy, Environment The new presidential commission investigating the Gulf oil spill will include two experts who have been active on the | Read More »