The Tonka Report

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BP Gulf Of Mexico Oil Breaches Could Gush Toxic Crude For Years

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May 16, 2010: Christine Dell’Amore / National Geographic News – May 13, 2010

If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico (map), oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say.

(See satellite pictures of the Gulf oil spill’s evolution.)

Last week the joint federal-industry task force charged with managing the spill tried unsuccessfully to lower a 93-ton containment dome (pictures) over one of three ruptures in the rig’s downed pipe.

Crystals of methane hydrates in the freezing depths clogged an opening on the box, preventing it from funneling the spouting oil up to a waiting ship.

Yesterday a smaller dome was laid on the seafloor near the faulty well, and officials will attempt to install the structure later this week. But such recovery operations have never been done before in the extreme deep-sea environment around the wellhead, noted Matthew Simmons, retired chair of the energy-industry investment banking firm Simmons & Company International.

For instance, at the depth of the gushing wellhead—5,000 feet (about 1,500 meters)—containment technologies have to withstand pressures of up to 40,000 pounds per square inch (about 28,100 kilograms per square meter), he said. Also, slant drilling—a technique used to relieve pressure near the leak—is difficult at these depths, because the relief well has to tap into the original pipe, a tiny target at about 7 inches (18 centimeters) wide, Simmons noted. “We don’t have any idea how to stop this,” Simmons said of the Gulf leak. Some of the proposed strategies—such as temporarily plugging the leaking pipe with a jet of golf balls and other material—are a “joke,” he added. “We really are in unprecedented waters.”

Gulf Oil Reservoir Bleeding Dry

If the oil can’t be stopped, the underground reservoir may continue bleeding until it’s dry, Simmons suggested. The most recent estimates are that the leaking wellhead has been spewing 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons, or 795,000 liters) of oil a day. And the oil is still flowing robustly, which suggests that the reserve “would take years to deplete,” said David Rensink, incoming president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. “You’re talking about a reservoir that could have tens of millions of barrels in it.”

At that rate, it’s possible the Gulf oil spill’s damage to the environment will have lingering effects akin to those of the largest oil spill in history, which happened in Saudi Arabia in 1991, said Miles Hayes, co-founder of the science-and-technology consulting firm Research Planning, Inc., based in South Carolina.

During the Gulf War, the Iraqi military intentionally spilled up to 336 million gallons (about 1.3 billion liters) of oil into the Persian Gulf (map) to slow U.S. troop advances, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hayes was part of a team that later studied the environmental impacts of the spill, which impacted about 500 miles (800 kilometers) of Saudi Arabian coastline. The scientists discovered a “tremendous” amount of oiled sediment remained on the Saudi coast 12 years after the spill—about 3 million cubic feet (856,000 cubic meters). (See “Exxon Valdez Anniversary: 20 Years Later, Oil Remains.”)

Oil Spills Create Toxic Marshes

Perhaps most sobering for the marsh-covered U.S. Gulf Coast, the 2003 report found that the Saudi oil spill was most toxic to the region’s marshes and mud flats. Up to 89 percent of the Saudi marshes and 71 percent of the mud flats had not bounced back after 12 years, the team discovered. (See pictures of freshwater plants and animals.)

“It was amazing to stand there and look across what used to be a salt marsh and it was all dead—not even a live crab,” Hayes said. Saudi and U.S. Gulf Coast marshes aren’t exactly the same—Saudi marshes sit in saltier waters, and the Middle Eastern climate is more arid, for example. “But to some extent they serve the same ecological function, which is extremely important,” he said.

As the nurseries for much of the sea life in the Gulf of Mexico, coastal marshes are vital to the ecosystem and the U.S. seafood industry. It’s also much harder to remove oil from coastal marshes, since some management techniques—such as controlled burns—are more challenging in those environments, said Texas Tech University ecotoxicologist Ron Kendall. “Once it gets in there, we’re not getting it out,” he said. (See pictures of ten animals threatened by the Gulf oil spill.)

Gulf Coast Should “Plan for the Worst”

Depth isn’t the only factor that can stymie attempts to plug an oil leak. The 1979 Ixtoc oil spill, also in the Gulf of Mexico, took nine months to cap. During that time the well spewed 140 million gallons (530 million liters) of oil—and the Ixtoc well was only about 160 feet (49 meters) deep, noted retired energy investment banker Simmons.

Efforts to contain the Ixtoc leak were complicated by poor visibility in the water and debris from the wrecked rig on the seafloor. Also, the high pressure of oil in the well ruptured valves in the blowout preventer, a device designed to automatically cap an out-of-control-well. Recovery workers had to drill relief wells nearby before divers could cap the leak. (See “Rig Explosion Shows Risks in Key Oil Frontier.”)

In general, Simmons added, officials scrambling to cap the Deepwater Horizon well should be working just as hard to protect the shorelines in what could become a protracted event. “We have to hope for the best,” he said, “but plan for the worst.”

Watch video of the failed attempt to cap the leaking pipe.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Let’s make this clear: It’s not 5,000 barrels a day gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as was originally reported. It’s 70,000 barrels a day of toxic crude gushing out of this hole from hell… – SJH

Gulf Oil Gusher Now ‘Ten Times Worse’ Than Previously Estimated

Link to original article below…

6 Responses

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  1. This is just horrible. How can people just talk about only fisherman and the livelihood. We are talking about an entire echo system of wildlife.a. Hhis is life multiple nuclear weapons tested in our oceans. We feel so helpless and think it is so ridiculous and outrageous that a company has the gift by the government to drill 5000feet under water and not have a contingency plan in place. How can that be. We are furious and outraged that this could have happened. This is going to be the worst environmental disaster the world has ever seen. They should all go to jail!!!!

    Arcadia keane

    June 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm

  2. Arcadia Keane,

    This is why so many of us are now and have been for years, out there trying to spread the news about the criminal, fascist international-transnational corporate cartel that has hijacked our Constitutional Republic.

    I agree. This is the worst environmental disaster ever unleashed on mankind and the environment in all of history by these unrepentent monsters in control.

    Not until the masses wake up to reality, will we be able to finally bring these inhumane criminals to justice, and a severe justice it shall be when that day arrives… And it will!

    Peace… – SJH

    Steven John Hibbs

    June 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm

  3. Sorry, but you folks are idiots if you think this is the worst thing our environment has ever seen. Do you know how many pollutants are ejected from a valcano everytime one goes off? We could not do what a valcano does in 100000 years of living the way we do. The nuclear weapons, oil spills, fuel consumtion etc etc etc. Stop talking about things you have no idea about and sit back into your chair. Remember, everyone blames the Republicans for this kind of thing but really you can thank Bill Clinton for turning these already fruggle companies into greed monsters.


    July 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

  4. Conrad,

    If you think that Bill Clinton or any other puppet President since the inception of the Federal Reserve has any real power, you sir, are living in a fantasy world.

    These “fruggle” (I assume you mean frugal?) companies such as BP are run by intelligence organizations controlled by the international bankers. Case in point:

    In May 1901, William Knox D’Arcy was granted a concession by the Shah of Iran to search for oil, which he discovered in May 1908.[10] This was the first commercially significant find in the Middle East. On 14 April 1909, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was incorporated as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company to exploit this.[10] In 1935, it became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).[10]

    After World War II, AIOC and the Iranian government initially resisted nationalist pressure to revise AIOC’s concession terms still further in Iran’s favour. But in March 1951, the pro-western Prime Minister Ali Razmara was assassinated.[11] The Majlis of Iran (parliament) elected a nationalist, Mohammed Mossadeq, as prime minister. In April, the Majlis nationalised the oil industry by unanimous vote.[12] The National Iranian Oil Company was formed as a result, displacing the AIOC.[13] The AIOC withdrew its management from Iran, and organised an effective boycott of Iranian oil. The British government – which owned the AIOC – contested the nationalisation at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but its complaint was dismissed.[14]

    By spring of 1953, incoming U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorised the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to organise a coup against the Mossadeq government with support from the British government.[15] On 19 August 1953, Mossadeq was forced from office by the CIA conspiracy, involving the Shah and the Iranian military, and known by its codename, Operation Ajax.[15]

    Mossadeq was replaced by pro-Western general Fazlollah Zahedi,[16] and the Shah, who returned to Iran after having left the country briefly to await the outcome of the coup. The Shah abolished the democratic Constitution and assumed autocratic powers.

    After the coup, Mossadeq’s National Iranian Oil Company became an international consortium, and AIOC resumed operations in Iran as a member of it.[13] The consortium agreed to share profits on a 50–50 basis with Iran, “but not to open its books to Iranian auditors or to allow Iranians onto its board of directors.”[17] AIOC, as a part of the Anglo-American coup d’état deal, was not allowed to monopolise Iranian oil as before. It was limited to a 40% share in a new international consortium. For the rest, 40% went to the five major American companies and 20% went to Royal Dutch Shell and Compagnie Française des Pétroles, now Total S.A..[18]

    The AIOC became the British Petroleum Company in 1954. In 1959 the company expanded beyond the Middle East to Alaska[19] and in 1965 it was the first company to strike oil in the North Sea.[20] In 1978 British Petroleum acquired a controlling interest in Standard Oil of Ohio or Sohio, a breakoff of the former Standard Oil that had been broken up after anti-trust litigation.[21]

    British Petroleum continued to operate in Iran until the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The new regime of Ayatollah Khomeini confiscated all of British Petroleum’s assets in Iran without compensation, finally closing British Petroleum’s 70-year presence in Iran.


    Now do you get a better understanding why the US, Britain, and Israel are getting ready to blow the shit up out of Iran? This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats! As Howard Beale said in the classic 1976 movie Network, “It’s an illusion, man!”

    And by the way, Conrad, this is a friggin’ volcano! It’s an underwater volcano of oil, methane, hydrogen sulfate, benzene, and other toxins estimated to be the size of Mt. Everest below the cracking seabed and mixed with the highly toxic Corexit 9500 made by Nalco for BP that is killing everything in its path and is now reportedly killing crops in Mississippi and Tennessee with toxic rain. This is the worst man-made disaster this world has ever experienced to date, until the globalists unleash some new catastrophe upon mankind.

    Now Conrad, I realize this may be a bit too much for you to digest, so my suggestion to you is to “sit back into your chair” and watch some more mainstream media propaganda as this disaster unfolds while the real men and women tackle the real issues based on the truth!

    Meanwhile, here’s a dose of that truth in case you decide to Wake Up!

    – SJH

    Steven John Hibbs

    The Tonka Report

    Steven John Hibbs

    July 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

  5. BP vs. the people takes place in New Orleans in Sept., that will tell the tale. Follow the money

    Kevin Matovina

    August 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm

  6. Kevin Matovina,

    I appreciate what you are doing in your research concerning the BP false flag Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

    However, that is the second time you have posted the exact same post on a related article here. Some would consider that spam.

    If you want to contribute your thoughts and research on TTR, and/or promote your site as well, please at least be original with your posts or it will be considered spam… Thanks!

    – SJH

    Steven John Hibbs

    August 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm

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