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Did Admiral Allen Mislead The LA Times?

From a loose-lipped New York Times:

Oil Flow Is Stemmed, but Could Resume, Official Says

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and JOHN M. BRODER

May 28, 2010

HOUSTON — By injecting solid objects as well as heavy drilling fluid into the stricken well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico overnight, engineers appeared to have stemmed the flow of oil, Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the leader of the government effort, said on Friday morning. But he stressed that the next 12 to 18 hours will be “very critical” in permanently stanching what is already the worst oil spill in United States history.

Admiral Allen, who spoke on ABC’s Good Morning America, said the biggest challenge will be to sustain the “top kill” effort, which involves pumping material into the well to counteract the upward pressure of the gushing oil so that the well can be sealed.“They’ve been able to push the hydrocarbons and the oil down with the mud,” he said, referring to the heavy drilling fluid. “The real challenge is to put enough mud into the well to keep the pressure where they can put a cement plug over the top.”

The top kill effort has proceeded in fits and starts. BP officials, who along with government officials created the impression early on Thursday that the strategy was working, disclosed later that they had stopped pumping the night before when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil.

Er, the Los Angeles Times seems to have been the ones who first broke the story that ‘Top Kill’ was working. If you re-read their article, ‘Top kill’ plugs gulf oil leak, official says,’ you will notice that they only cite Mr. Obama’s point man, Admiral Allen for that claim.

In fact, the LA Times goes on to report that "As of early Thursday morning, neither government nor BP officials had declared the effort a success yet, pending the completion of the cementing and sealing of the well."

And yet here we have the New York Times claiming in this article: "BP officials, who along with government officials created the impression early on Thursday that the strategy was working, disclosed later that they had stopped pumping the night before when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil."

This sure looks like the worst kind of media manipulation, to us. It looks like the administration wanted to put out some good news before Mr. Obama’s press conference, even if it wasn’t quite true.

With President Obama planning to visit the gulf on Friday, Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, said on Good Morning America that efforts to plug the well were "going pretty well according to plan."

“Much of the volume you see coming out of the well in the last 36 hours is mud,” he said, referring to live video shots of the oil leak.

He said that overnight, workers pumped what is known as “junk shot,” a mix of more substantial materials into the well, like golf balls and shredded tires, and he said they would follow with more mud later today. The junk shot serves as a “bridge,” he said, for the injections of mud to strengthen its ability to counteract the leaking oil.

While he was optimistic, Mr. Hayward gave the effort a 60 to 70 percent chance of success because it has never been attempted in water this deep

So the chances that this may work are only slightly better than 50 – 50. And yet we were told the ‘hole had been plugged’ just before Mr. Obama’s news conference.

In the top kill maneuver, a 30,000-horsepower engine aboard a ship injected heavy drill liquids through two narrow flow lines into the stack of pipes and other equipment above the well to push the escaping oil and gas back down below the sea floor.

As hour after hour passed after the top kill began early Wednesday afternoon, technicians along with millions of television and Internet viewers watched live video images showing that the dark oil escaping into the gulf waters was giving way to a mud-colored plume.

That seemed to be an indication that the heavy liquids known as “drilling mud” were filling the chambers of the blowout preventer, replacing the escaping oil.

In the morning, federal officials expressed optimism that all was going well. “The top kill procedure is going as planned, and it is moving along as everyone had hoped,”Admiral Allen told CNN.

And Robert Dudley, BP’s managing director, said on the “Today” program on NBC that the top kill “was moving the way we want it to.”

Notice that Mr. Dudley’s comments are far cry from what Admiral Allen told the LA Times or even CNN.

It was not until late afternoon that BP acknowledged that the operation was not succeeding and that pumping had halted at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

After the resumption, Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, struggled to offer guidance on whether the latest effort was likely to succeed.

“It’s quite a roller-coaster,” Mr. Suttles said. “It’s difficult to be optimistic or pessimistic. We have not stopped the flow.”

The engineers also said that the problem they encountered was not entirely unexpected, and that they believed that they would ultimately succeed…

All of BP’s statements comport with what the LA Times reported. And they do not match what the New York Times claimed above.

Admiral Allen on Thursday approved portions of Louisiana’s $350 million plan to use walls of sand in an effort to protect vulnerable sections of coastline.

The approved portion involves a two-mile sand berm to be built off Scofield Island in Plaquemines Parish — one of six projects that the Corps of Engineers has approved out of 24 proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

“What Admiral Allen told us today is that if the first one is effective, then they will consider moving on to the next one,” Mr. Jindal said at an afternoon news conference in Fourchon…

Notice that Mr. Allen appears to be making the determination on these sand berms. Not the US Army Corps Of Engineers, as Mr. Obama had claimed in his press conference yesterday.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, May 28th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Did Admiral Allen Mislead The LA Times?”

  1. bobgoodson

    Very noble of President Obama to take the blame for something he had nothing to do with. When are Halliburton/Helliburton and BP going to fix their mistake?

    • sheehanjihad

      as soon as you leave your basement and trot your lefty ass down there and start mopping up the spill. (I always feel proud when paid tools from the left troll post here) instead of the usual useful idiots. It means this site has power. Unlike anus breath, we know why Obalmy cant and wont do anything about the spill…instead he shuts down all domestic production resulting in “skyrocketing fuel prices” (remember?) and rub his filthy hands together as he collapses the system….and can finally declare a national emergency.

      Remember the 9/11 morons who insist the Bush planned and executed the World Trade Center attacks?? Well dont think for a moment that this rig wasnt blown on purpose by experts hired by the environmentalists so the EPA can mandate whatever the hell they want……this is an emergency….this is the reason (Bush et al) and now we need to take over and make it better….regardless of how, ya’ll just shut the f*ck up, or we will declare you enemies of the state and put you away…ect ect ect……see? It’s easy! OBAMA ORDERED THIS WELL TO BE BLOWN UP~~~!!!!!! IT IS ALL OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION AND THOSE WHO ARE TELLING HIM WHAT TO SAY AND DO!!

      So bobgoodson, you pathetically uninformed lemming like tool….you keep blaming Halliburton….like you are told to.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      bob,

      Inasmuch as talking to you is a monumental waste of time and effort, I am putting off mowing the grass to do so. I also have to peel some kind of sticky mess off the driveway, but it will keep, owing to the import of your statement and the need for rebuttal.

      1)Ask yourself why the president of the United States, or more accurately, the boy who sits in the president’s seat, take the blame for something he had no control over? Would you, as a…oh…say a city manager, take the blame for a car crash in an intersection that had nothing to do with you?

      2)No one really knows the details of this oil spill; Why it happened; Why it is so hard to remedy. But a couple of things are stand outs. a)the LEFT went all apeshit over Bush and his alleged “delay” in getting help to Katrina “victims” when in fact, the Bush administration was watching very closely and taking action from the moment the hurricane passed. Conversely, the boy who sits in the president’s chair has dragged his feet, basically ignored the whole oil problem and when he DOES make any effort at all, it’s to blame someone else and to shake his fist like Fidel Castro and swear by Grabthar’s Hammer that he will be avenged. His actions are not stately nor noble. He is not as intelligent as you might think he is, unless, of course, you’re a complete idiot and thus, by comparison, he is on a level much higher than yours.

      3)Let’s ignore any conspiracy notions and get to the matter at hand. A huge oil leak in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

      a)Why are they drilling for oil 10 miles out, and 5,000 feet down?
      b)Why was there no equipment to contain the leak when it happened?
      c)Why did MMS authorize a procedure that went against established protocol?
      d)Why did the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT tell BP to stop burning the oil?

      4)Finally, let me ask you this: Do you own a car? If you do then you are as complicit as everyone else who depends on oil for transportation. Even if you DON’T own a car. If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, rode the train, a bus, a taxi.

      The US has oil reserves a-plenty but it’s people like you who won’t let them drill for it in anyplace that makes more sense. It’s not “corporate greed” that made BP drill….it YOU and ME who like to have gasoline and kerosene in our transportation, you nit. And being as fairies and wizards have not conjured up some new replacement for it, we are literally stuck with it for now.

      Your question as to when Halliburton is going to fix “its” mistake is ad hominem. And how do you know that Halliburton is NOT working on it? Do you know everything there is to know about what’s going on on the scene? Such omniscience borders on the magical.

      bob, I seldom resort to name-calling but you’re an obnoxious putz. Your time would be better spent actually reading and learning and trying to be objective before you go blaming and categorizing things you don’t have the remnants of understanding about.

      But be warned, your posts here will be met with factual, balanced arguments and questions about your human heritage as well.

      Have a nice day.

  2. canary

    I didn’t get the news that day saying it was working, because I heard all day it wasn’t really working and would take months to fix.


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