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


    Oil Spill Reality Check, Part II

    The Exxon Valdez, it ain’t. But when I say that, itseems to upset some people. Only by being rational about assessing the environmental threat from the Deepwater Horizon spill can we be prepared to deal with the consequences. Journalists, scientists, Congressmen and bureaucrats have been jockeying to see who can make the most calamitous prediction. As an engineer, I compulsively check their claims (because I | Read More »

    When all you have is a hammer…

    Christopher Brownfield suggests ‘Nuke the Oil Spill’ in today’s Daily Beast. Christopher Brownfield is a former nuclear submarine officer, an Iraq veteran, and a visiting scholar on nuclear policy at Columbia University. (I’ve gotta stop reading the Daily Beast. It’s driving me nuts.)

    ‘It’s Bush’s Oil Spill’

    It’s a lie, a gross distortion or a paranoid delusion. Take your pick. In a Daily Beast article, blogger Matthew Yglesias does his best to shoehorn a few bits of truth into the Obama gang’s favorite narrative: “It’s Bush’s fault!” In making his argument that the blowout and spill resulted from lax enforcement by the Minerals Management Service, Yglesias focuses on a program known as | Read More »

    Consider the Source.

    Yesterday carried an opinion piece written by your humble correspondent: “We Can’t Stop Drilling Off America’s Shores”. It’s sort of a rewrite of a RedState piece from a couple of weeks back: “Q: Why Was BP Drilling in 5,000 Feet of Water.” Some of the comments are a hoot.

    Oh, the Humanity! Part II – Invasion of the Tarballs

    Uh, there have been six so far, each about the size of a golf ball. ON THE GULF OF MEXICO — A Coast Guard official says tar balls that are believed to be from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are washing up on Dauphin Island. Coast Guard chief warrant officer Adam Wine said about a half-dozen tar balls had been collected by this afternoon on | Read More »

    Oh, the Humanity! Birds, Turtles and the Oil Spill

    Day #8 of wildlife rescue response to the BP oil spill, and Oiled Bird #2 has been rescued. That’s not to imply that there’s no threat to the bird population, however. It’s nesting season in the refuge. In response to the threat, the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command issued the following press release: Due to heightened interest in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, media aircraft have | Read More »

    How to Stop an Oil Spill

    Straight from the Gaian People’s Republic of Boulder comes this fresh idea for stopping the flow of oil from the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico: meditation! “The basic concept is to try and get as many people to visualize that the valve is actually functioning and is working and closing,” said Carl Fuermann, a staff member in the University of Colorado’s Registrar Office. | Read More »

    Sea Turtle Necropsy Results!

    #OilSpill: Yesterday’s news, in the LATimesblog: Gulf oil spill: 23 dead sea turtles wash ashore in Mississippi That story said that necropsies were being performed on the dead turtles. How long can a turtle necropsy take? Thanks to Google,  today I was able to find a reference to the necropsy results. It’s contained in an AP wire story at the website of WTVM in Columbus, | Read More »

    BP, LLC

    After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, warmly referred to as “OPA90″. OPA90 provided for an emergency spill fund so that response for a future spill could begin right away; established the US Coast Guard as the lead agency responsible for spill response; and for the first time required minimum insurance coverage and detailed spill contingency | Read More »

    Oil Spill Reality Check

    God willing, the Gulf Coast may be spared Prince-William-Sound-like images of waves of tarry goo slapping ashore, while wild birds and cuddly mammals struggle for survival in asphaltine muck. Last Friday, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported on the rescue of the first oil-covered bird Louisiana: It was the only animal being cleaned late Friday morning, but rescuers expected many more to come in throughout the | Read More »

    A Tale of Two Subsidies

    In the 1980s, Congress, searching for domestic energy supplies, created incentives in the form of production tax credits for ethanol and for unconventional natural gas. The history of those two programs, and the current state of affairs in the energy world, speaks volumes about the relative merits of these two fuels.   Tax-paying capitalists find tax credits highly motivating. Whereas deductions reduce your taxable income, | Read More »

    Antarctic Shrimp, Global Warming and the Laffer Curve

    This one’s about philosophy, science and chaotic systems. H/T Caleb Howe, who called attention to an AP Science article today: Scientists go ‘gaga’ to find creatures beneath 600 feet of ice A borehole through 600 feet of Antarctic sea ice discovers two new critters: a sort of shrimp, and a jellyfish, living in a region that no scientist predicted. Until they’re proven tasty in a | Read More »

    Ethanol, the Fuel Only a Politician Could Love

    The Energy Information Agency (EIA) admits in its 2010 Annual Energy Outlook that, under present law, ethanol use in 2022 is projected to be almost a third less than the 35 million gallons-equivalent per year mandated by Congress way back in 2007. What to do? The ethanol industry, with the blessing of Congress and the Obama Administration, is lobbying the EPA to mandate increased ethanol | Read More »

    Energy 101: Hydraulic Fracturing

    This week, several news stories converged on an odd topic: hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, has been used since the 1950s to stimulate oil and gas wells. The process involves pumping a sand-laden slurry into a well and subjecting it to enough pressure that the rocks in the productive formation fracture, or break. The purpose of the sand is to prop open the fracture, | Read More »

    Our EPA: Keeping the Environment Safe for … Mayflies?!

    Even though Iron Eyes Cody, the Crying Indian, was a fake, he had a point: America in the 60′s had become a nasty place. You used to see people throw all kinds of litter out of their cars; nowadays the only socially-acceptable forms of automotive litter are cigarette butts and dirty diapers. No longer do babbling brooks foam from phosphates. Emissions from cars and coal | Read More »