Thursday, December 31, 2015

Two more ongoing disasters in the Gulf of Mexico

The BP trials seem to be nearing an end, but there's still more going on in the Gulf.  Low oil prices have cut back on activity, but there's still a good amount going on.  Many companies are keeping a robust exploration and production program in place because the Gulf of Mexico is a very stable region, with relatively large reserves still out there, with a major upside if oil prices rebound.  In the US leases, the royalty is a flat percentage (~18%) no matter what the oil prices are.  Overseas, if oil prices rise, other countries take a much higher royalty when prices spike (upwards of 90+%).  In the US, this is a big draw for oil companies and the US government might not be maximizing revenues, but does have the benefit of shifting most of the risk onto the oil companies (see Nigeria and Saudi Arabia's budget mess).  

Two items of interest I'll highlight right now.

First, there's ATP's Gomez Disaster (Mississippi Canyon block 711).  Nobody has been hurt and there's been relatively modest environmental damage, but it's a huge screwup
in Deepwater GoM that's costing investors a lot of money. ATP was an independent operator in the GoM. They took on debt, converted an old drilling rig into an FPU and drill some Deepwater wells. Welp, after spending all the cash, they have zilch to show for it. ATP is in bankruptcy hiding from hundreds of millions in liabilities and they don't even have the cash to make payroll (while blaming everything on the drilling moratorium). ATP's situation has gotten a little bit of press, but not all that much in comparison to how big a collapse it is.  That first Motley Fool article explicitly calls for a criminal investigation of management for robbing investors blind.  Recently, their star asset, Gomez Hub / ATP Innovator Semisubmersible was ignominiously towed back to Ingleside, TX for safety.   ATP, doing things on the cheap, bought an old drilling rig built in Texas in 1976 for $60 million, stripped the drilling equipment off, added production equipment, and moored it in 3,000 feet of water to start production.  Then everything went to hell.  They were gig'd for illegally discharging oily water into the gulf.  Their produced water treating system seemed to be nonfunctional and they just dumped oily produced water into the Gulf (along with copious quantities of dispersant to cover things up) and limped along for a short time before they were caught.  ATP got so desperate they even abandoned the platform completely at one point (anyone want to be an oil platform pirate?).  How can you blow $2 Billion and have basically nothing to show for it? 

A second one to mention: Taylor Energy is going to host a forum on their attempts to staunch the flow of their Mississippi Canyon 20 facility that toppled in Katrina.  January 20th in Baton Rouge, if you want to attend.  If you can't attend, some of the slides have been posted and are pretty neat to flip through.  

Despite low oil prices, there's still plenty of activity in the Gulf!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Her 1st LEGO tower

Sniff... I am so proud.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Too cool

Quick BP Trial Update

BP Executive Found Not Guilty on the only count the judge didn't throw out.  

Both the judge and the defense attorneys had harsh words for the prosecution team.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Blowout Lounge

Downtown Morgan City

Victoreen CDV-700

Victoreen CDV-700 Geiger counter. Working condition off Ebay. User Manual [PDF] I've wanted a geiger counter ever since I took the Atomic Energy Merit badge as a Boy Scout.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Engineering quote

“Arguing with an Engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig.  After a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it.”

Monday, February 2, 2015

BP Spill Trial Tweet...

Check out @jenlarino's Tweet:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015