Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is BP’s Macondo Well Site Still Leaking? Fresh Oil on the Gulf Raises Concerns and Haunting Memories

Is BP’s Macondo Well Site Still Leaking? Fresh Oil on the Gulf Raises Concerns and Haunting Memories

Fresh oil is surfacing all over the northern quadrant of the Gulf of Mexico. Reports of slicks that meander for miles and huge expanses of oil sheen that look like phantom islands are becoming common, again. Fresh oil, only slightly weathered, is washing ashore in areas hit hardest by last year’s massive spill, like Breton Island, Ship Island, the Chandeleurs and northern Barataria Bay. BP has reactivated its Vessels of Opportunity (VoO) program to handle cleanup. It’s a sickeningly familiar scene that has fishermen, researchers and public officials searching for answers, as haunting memories of last year’s calamity come roaring back.
The fifty-thousand-dollar question, of course, is where is all the new oil coming from?
One theory: The Macondo Well site, located just 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, is still leaking untold amounts of oil into the Gulf. Some argue that the casing on the capped well itself is leaking. Others believe oil is seeping through cracks and fissures in the seafloor caused by months of high-impact work on the site, including a range of recovery activities (some disclosed, some not) as well as the abortive “top kill” effort.
In January 2011, a prominent “geohazards specialist” wrote an urgent letter to two members of Congress – U.S. Reps. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and John Shimkus, chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy – suggesting that the Macondo site is leaking oil like a sieve. Here’s an excerpt from that letter (see it in its entirety below):
There is no question that the oil seepages, gas columns, fissures and blowout craters in the seafloor around the Macondo wellhead… have been the direct result of indiscriminate drilling, grouting, injection of dispersant and other undisclosed recover activities. As the rogue well had not been successfully cemented and plugged at the base of the well by the relief wells, unknown quantities of hydrocarbons are still leaking out from the reservoir at high pressure and are seeping through multiple fault lines to the seabed. It is not possible to cap this oil leakage.
BK Lim, the letter’s author, has more than 30 years of experience working inside the oil and gas industry for companies like Shell, Petronas and Pearl Oil.
More from Mr. Lim’s letter:
The continuing hydrocarbon seepage would have long term, irreversible and potentially dire consequences in the GOM (Gulf of Mexico)…
The letter is dated Jan. 14, 2011 – and we’ve been seeing more and more evidence that the scenario Mr. Lim describes is indeed taking place deep below the Gulf’s surface.
For example, on March 28, 2011, Paul Orr and his team from the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper – an organization I’ve worked with frequently over the course of the last year – conducted a 50-mile boat patrol and sampling tour of Breton Sound, which lies just off the southeast coast of Louisiana. The excursion was prompted by multiple, increasingly frantic, reports of oil in the area by fishermen and others, including On Wings of Care pilot Bonny Schumaker, who has dozens of Gulf flyovers under her belt.
Mr. Orr took a sample from the southern end of Breton Island National Park – and sure enough, lab-certified tests results established a fingerprint match to BP’s Macondo Well (see link to my previous post and test results below).
The most alarming part of the finding was not simply that the Breton Island sample had BP’s fingerprint on it, but that the test results were nearly identical to those from the fresh oil seen in the early days of the BP spill – instead of the heavily weathered and degraded oil we’ve come to expect in recent weeks and months.
Those test results seem to disprove the other theory surrounding this spate of recent “fresh oil” reports. That is: All the oil BP strategically sunk to the seafloor with nearly 2 million gallons of toxic dispersant is beginning to break free and rise to the surface en masse, and in turn, blacken the coastline with fresh oil. According to civil engineer and petroleum expert, Marco Kaltofen, oil that has been lying on the seafloor for several months would be much significantly more weathered than the fresh oil we’re seeing more and more of.
As you’ll notice from the histograms, the Breton Island sample mirrors the submerged oil sampled from Pensacola Bay on Nov. 5, 2010 (BretonSamplevsPensacola11.5.10) and a sample taken from Panama City Beach on July 14, 2010 (BretonsamplevsPCB7.14.2010). You don’t have to be a marine biologist to see that this is the same oil with nearly identical weathering.
So we had fresh oil with BP’s signature on it coming ashore in March – more than eight months after the Macondo Well was capped. And since then, members of my team and other researchers have reported fresh oil, of the “only slightly weathered” variety from Grand Isle to Pensacola. One charter boat fishing captain, who frequents the waters around Louisiana’s barrier islands, is describing the current, hauntingly familiar situation on the Gulf as the “second wave” of the BP disaster.
Here are photos from a June 10 sampling tour in northern Barataria Bay, which is just southeast of Louisiana (special thanks to Rob Coulon for sharing his photos, see link below).

According to Bonny Schumaker, who has been tracking oil in the Gulf since the outset of the spill, the most “gruesome” evidence of fresh oil she’s seen to date has been in the marshes of northern Barataria Bay. From Schumaker:
The stuff that comes up after every single storm smells horrible and has the look and consistency of axle grease.
In addition to Barataria Bay, Schumaker has taken samples from the east shore of Chandeleurs (29 57.248 N; 88 40.246 W) and Ship Island (30 12.54 N; 88 58.92 W), where she said conditions looked highly “suspicious.”
Schumaker’s samples have been sent to a certified lab for testing. We will post those results, along with analysis, as soon as they’re available. If those samples are shown to carry the BP signature, it will provide overwhelming evidence that there’s more than an old pipeline leak still happening out there, says Schumaker.
So while we watch in horror as the “second wave” of the BP disaster rolls in – complete with fresh oil and newly hired Vessels of Opportunity cleanup workers – BP continues to make the absurd argument that the Gulf has made a full recovery. While geohazard specialist BK Lim predicts “long term, irreversible and potentially dire consequences” tied to the ongoing seepage around the Macondo wellhead, BP attempts to shutdown further “future loss” payments to spill victims, including commercial fishermen. It’s clear that our friends at BP are in a 5,000-foot-deep state of denial.
Please stay tuned as we will continue to track and sample “fresh oil” as it’s reported.
See my May 10 post on fresh BP oil coming ashore on Breton Island:
Review the letter from veteran “geoharzards specialist” BK Lim to members of Congress telling of ongoing seepage from the Macondo site:

Read more at:

Check out the important work Bonny Schumaker’s nonprofit On Wings of Care is doing in the Gulf:
Check out more of Rob Coulon’s photos of Barataria Bay sampling:
© Smith Stag, LLC 2011 – All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 29, 2011

Evidence Emerges that BP Gulf Disaster Not Over

Jan-18-2011 23:56printcomments

Evidence Emerges that BP Gulf Disaster Not Over

New reports of fissures and oil leaks are routinely being suppressed.

(CHICAGO) - Deep under the Gulf of Mexico, beyond the light, beyond the waves, beyond most humans' sight, dark death lingers.
When the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster occurred the world's attention became riveted on the spectacle of horror and disaster that terrorized Gulf residents, sent the media into a frenzy, and galvanized environmentalists around the globe.
The federal government's response came late. When state and federal officials finally did react their response was more political than scientific.
Because of that, the long term danger was never properly addressed and the warning signs that many experts pointed to were either roundly ignored or overlooked by officials and those that knew better.
Now new evidence has emerged that the entire ecology of the Gulf has been damaged, the biodiversity severely impacted, and the underwater currents themselves harmed.
Geohazards Specialist assesses actual Macondo Prospect damage
BK Lim, a Geohazards Specialist and underwater oil well blowout expert, has documented the true state of the blown out well and the sea bottom surrounding the Macondo site. The numerous new leaks from cracks, crevices, craters and seafloor chasms are not natural despite official pronouncements declaring they are normal ocean features. They are actually emerging changes occurring in the Gulf seafloor due to a terrible transformation of the Macondo region's entire geological strata are ongoing.

Worse, the current state of the Gulf's water—and it's estuaries and coastal wetlands, marshes and beaches—is much more severe than official data leads the unwary media and now apathetic public to believe.
“The rock beds in the vicinity of a salt dome are highly fractured and permeable due to stress and deformation which occur as the salt dome thrusted upwards.” says BK Lim.
The BP oil disaster encompassed three distinct events
First, the main event—the well blowout—that the media, government, and rest of the world focused on, gushed between 70,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf for a period of 87 days. During the main blowout at the acondo Prospect, two smaller rogue wells also blew. They too began spewing oil into the region. Though briefly reported by some of the news media, attention was quickly refocused on the more spectacular drama unfolding at the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.
Next, the seafloor began fracturing. Fissures opened and megatons of methane began bursting into the Gulf. Oil also hemorrhaged into the waters. Scientific researchers on several vessels reported these occurrences. For the most part they were under reported or ignored completely.
Finally, first-had accounts by researchers, clean-up crews, volunteer boaters and some BP personnel on-site reported numerous leaks and small oil gushers were breaking out from the seafloor within an area as large as ten square miles surrounding the damaged well. Many of the observers reporting on the fissures and leaking anomalies knew the region well as they were fisherman that frequented the area and had never seen oil seeping into the ocean in that region previously.
Government officials and BP spokesmen dismissed the reports saying that natural fissures leak methane and oil into the Gulf all the time.
Despite the assurances that everything is under control and all that is now transpiring on the seafloor of the Gulf is natural, nothing could be further than the truth.
New reports of fissures and oil leaks are routinely being suppressed.
Powerful corrosive chemicals

Maybe the powers that be are hoping that the problem will just take care of itself, but from a biochemical and geological perspective it cannot. The reason is that methane gas, when mixed with the turbulent salt water at the bottom of the Gulf, creates a powerful corrosive chemical. Under high pressure it pushes its way through every crack and cranny of sedimentary rock on through the seafloor and into the water.
The constant, unrelenting pressure of the hydrocarbons creating the corrosive mix will widen the fissures, split open the cracks and permit more oils to gush into the Gulf at hundreds, and then thousands, and then tens of thousands of breached points over a greater and greater area.
The process is underway right now, initiated by the titanic blowout and failure of the wellhead. Nothing on Earth can stop it and the technology to reverse it doesn't exist.
Meanwhile the biology of the Gulf is being radically changed by the massive ongoing hydrocarbon pollution and the chemical agents created by part of the oil bonding with the dispersant Corexit.
The deep sea soup that is clouding the Gulf is like an erupting volcano of toxins. Those toxins are not just sitting dormant under the water. There's evidence they are mutating and poisoning the aquatic life, poisoning the seafood that is now being caught and eaten by humans again—even "poisoning" the Gulf Loop current, according to some recent U.S. Navy studies and affecting the flow of the Gulf Stream.
The current BP Gulf poisoning and the 'walking dead'
“I think the media now has to…tell the American people who’s getting money for poisoning the millions of people in the Gulf." – Hugh Kaufman, senior EPA analyst, admits millions have been poisoned in the Gulf states.
A biochemical bomb went off in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010—a bomb as dangerous and destructive as a nuclear blast.
A nuclear explosion causes deaths that can be measured immediately; BP’s unintentional biochemical bomb, however, is a slow-motion explosion that's propelling forward shockwaves of disaster.
Millions exposed to future uncontrolled hemorrhaging, lesions, cancers
Angry scientists presented strong evidence that millions of Gulf area residents have been poisoned by the BP Gulf disaster. Worse, millions more could be exposed to long term poisoning from benzene contamination. Benzene exposure leads to cancer.
Yet other than these furious scientists few seem to care.
Three deadly substances
The old saying states that "death comes in three" and for the death agents of the Gulf disaster that certainly holds true.
Frightening evidence has surfaced that areas of the Gulf Coast may be saturated with high levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and radioactive hydrocarbon effluents. Three deadly substances that cause disease and death years after initial exposures.
Ron Kendall, an ecotoxicologist from Texas Tech University, was interviewed by National Geographic concerning the affect of the poisons released by the blown out well on bacteria and plankton in the Gulf.
The results were not looking good. Indications of a major, ongoing poisoning occurring in the Gulf were widespread. "This is what we've been worried about, because this is the base of the food chain," he told National Geographic. "Any effects on that level can work their way right on up."
Meaning right up the food chain to humans—many of whom have already been exposed to poisons from the air and water.
Avoid exposure at all costs
According to a report issued by Michael Harbart, Professor of internal medicine at Wayne State University and Kathleen Burns, Ph.D., Director of Sciencecorps, "Gulf Oil Spill Health Hazards," long-term exposure of the chemicals released by the ongoing BP Gulf disaster—at relatively low levels—should be avoided at all costs because "the potential for serious health damage is substantial.  Chronic health effects are typically evaluated for specific crude oil components and vary from cancer to permanent neurological damage.  They cover a range of diseases affecting all the organ systems…"

In their JAMA paper, the “Health Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill,” Gina M. Solomon and Sarah Janssen categorically state that “The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico poses direct threats to human health…”
Catch the rest of this article at:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

normal?': Day after scientists hail recovery of Gulf Coast, new pictures show the real damage

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER Last updated at 1:06 PM on 20th April 2011

These are the shocking images of the long term damage last year's BP oil spill has done to the Gulf coastline.

Coming a day after scientists said Gulf of Mexico surface water was 'almost back to normal', these shots paint a very different picture of how wild life and fauna in the affected zones have fared a year on from the Deep Water Horizon accident.

Only yesterday, more than three dozen scientists graded the Gulf's health a 68 on average, using a 1-to-100 scale. This is just below the 71 grade the same researchers last summer said they would give the ecosystem before the spill.

But despite the optimistic analysis for marine life, the shore line has suffered far more long lasting damage from the cloying oil.

Damage: Shots from May 2010 (left) and April 2011(right) Scientists said Cat island is significantly eroded, with much of the mangrove dead or dying because the island was completely overwashed by the oil

Washed away: Shots from May 2010 (left) and April 2011(right). Biologists from the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife say poorly maintained oil booms contributed to the damage

On April 20 last year BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers, spewing 172 million gallons of oil into the surrounding sea.

The resulting fire could not be extinguished and, on 22 April 2010, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the sea floor and causing the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.

Barren: Brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills, are seen here on May 22, 2010, left. The second photo, taken April 8, 2011 in the same location, shows dead mangrove stumps sticking out of the water
Contrast: The , left, May 2010 photo shows birds nesting just after the spill hits the shore line. The second photo taken on April 8, 2011 near the same location, shows the shoreline heavily erodedContrast: The, left, May 2010 photo shows birds nesting just after the spill hits the shore line. The second photo taken on April 8, 2011 near the same location, shows the shoreline heavily erode.

Ironically, one of the rig's operators, Transocean, has given staff big payouts for achieving the 'best year in safety performance in our company's history.'Transocean gave it most senior managers, two thirds of the total possible safety bonus, according to papers filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. It noted 'the tragic loss of life' in the Gulf, but said the company still had an 'exemplary' safety record because it met or exceeded certain internal safety targets. William Reilly, co-chairman of the White House commission that investigated the oil spill, said that Transocean's comments were ‘embarrassing’. ‘It's been said with respect to the disaster that some companies just don't get it - I think Transocean just doesn't get it,’ Reilly said. BP is spending around $41billion on cleaning up the spill and to cover damages, but investigations into the disaster are far from over. News of the Gulf of Mexico drilling is expected to outrage environmentalists, but comes as a welcome development for the embattled oil firm. The company is also reeling after a Swedish tribunal last month ruled a £10billion deal between BP and Russia's Rosneft should be put on hold because of a dispute with shareholders at Russian partner TNK-BP. It has put the group's shares under pressure and led to doubts over chief executive Bob Dudley, who replaced Mr Hayward following the Gulf spill.                                    

Only this month their were rumours BP would start drilling in the region again. BP, the largest holder of deepwater acreage in the Gulf of Mexico, is a partner in a well operated by Noble Energy, which has received the first permit to since a drilling ban imposed after the Deep Water Horizion incident ended.

Read more:

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

By Paul Bignell
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
A British Army soldier investigates a large fire near Basra's Shuiba refinery
A British Army soldier investigates a large fire near Basra's Shuiba refinery
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Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.
The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain's involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair's cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.
The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as "highly inaccurate". BP denied that it had any "strategic interest" in Iraq, while Tony Blair described "the oil conspiracy theory" as "the most absurd".
But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture.
Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq's enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair's military commitment to US plans for regime change.
The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP's behalf because the oil giant feared it was being "locked out" of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.
Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: "Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis."
The minister then promised to "report back to the companies before Christmas" on her lobbying efforts.
The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq "post regime change". Its minutes state: "Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity."
After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office's Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: "Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future... We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq."
Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had "no strategic interest" in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was "more important than anything we've seen for a long time".
BP was concerned that if Washington allowed TotalFinaElf's existing contact with Saddam Hussein to stand after the invasion it would make the French conglomerate the world's leading oil company. BP told the Government it was willing to take "big risks" to get a share of the Iraqi reserves, the second largest in the world.
Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.
The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq's reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil, bought up by companies such as BP and CNPC (China National Petroleum Company), whose joint consortium alone stands to make £403m ($658m) profit per year from the Rumaila field in southern Iraq.
Last week, Iraq raised its oil output to the highest level for almost decade, 2.7 million barrels a day – seen as especially important at the moment given the regional volatility and loss of Libyan output. Many opponents of the war suspected that one of Washington's main ambitions in invading Iraq was to secure a cheap and plentiful source of oil.
Mr Muttitt, whose book Fuel on the Fire is published next week, said: "Before the war, the Government went to great lengths to insist it had no interest in Iraq's oil. These documents provide the evidence that give the lie to those claims.
"We see that oil was in fact one of the Government's most important strategic considerations, and it secretly colluded with oil companies to give them access to that huge prize."
Lady Symons, 59, later took up an advisory post with a UK merchant bank that cashed in on post-war Iraq reconstruction contracts. Last month she severed links as an unpaid adviser to Libya's National Economic Development Board after Colonel Gaddafi started firing on protesters. Last night, BP and Shell declined to comment.
Not about oil? what they said before the invasion
* Foreign Office memorandum, 13 November 2002, following meeting with BP: "Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP are desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity to compete. The long-term potential is enormous..."
* Tony Blair, 6 February 2003: "Let me just deal with the oil thing because... the oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it. The fact is that, if the oil that Iraq has were our concern, I mean we could probably cut a deal with Saddam tomorrow in relation to the oil. It's not the oil that is the issue, it is the weapons..."
* BP, 12 March 2003: "We have no strategic interest in Iraq. If whoever comes to power wants Western involvement post the war, if there is a war, all we have ever said is that it should be on a level playing field. We are certainly not pushing for involvement."
* Lord Browne, the then-BP chief executive, 12 March 2003: "It is not in my or BP's opinion, a war about oil. Iraq is an important producer, but it must decide what to do with its patrimony and oil."
* Shell, 12 March 2003, said reports that it had discussed oil opportunities with Downing Street were 'highly inaccurate', adding: "We have neither sought nor attended meetings with officials in the UK Government on the subject of Iraq. The subject has only come up during conversations during normal meetings we attend from time to time with officials... We have never asked for 'contracts'."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

U.S. lawyers say BP, spill partners harmed cleanup crew

U.S. lawyers say BP, spill partners harmed cleanup crew

Related Topics


Nalco Holding Co
Workers clean booms stained with oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in Waveland, Mississippi July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Lee Celano
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#1 - Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:15 PM PDTLORE | Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:08am EDT
(Reuters) - BP Plc and other companies who had used chemical dispersants to fight the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill should compensate the cleanup crew and residents harmed by those toxic chemicals, lawyers suing the firms said in a court filing.
To date, BP and its contractors have used more than 1.8 million gallons of Nalco Holding's chemical dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico in connection with the oil spill, according to the complaint. Nalco was also named in the complaint.
Lawyers said many plaintiffs, who were assisting in the effort to prevent oil slicks from reaching the shore, or cleaning oil spill residue from the beaches, came into contact with crude oil, chemical dispersants and other toxic chemical mixtures.
The complaint has sought unspecified compensatory damages from BP and the other companies involved in the clean up act. The lawsuit has also sought damages for medical screening and monitoring.
BP in London declined comment.
The Case is in re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, Case No. 2:10-md-02179-CJB-SS, U.S. District Court, Eastern District Of Louisiana.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Hans Peters)

This is the clearest proof that BP does not stand for Benevolent Provider but Blatant Poisoning. They knew that Corexit was toxic yet they insisted on using it when there are much better and safer alternatives for dealing with the recovery. Why?
1. they needed to make the thick oil slick disappear fast so that their BP apologists can safely use a couple of molecules thickness (1 ~ 2 microns) to describe the sheen (slick) and provide a totally absurd estimate of the volume of oil spilled. A minimum thickness of 100 microns for the brown-black slick would have raised the volume 50 times. A 200 micron thick slick would bankrupt BP.
2. they had already ordered, produced and stocked enormous amount of corexit in anticipation of the mega oil spill. Screw the environment and clean up crew. They were "high" on corexit. If they do not use up the huge stockpile of corexit, Nalco would be snuffed to death. So it is either Nalco or the gulf residents and clean crew? Your guess is as good as mine, which way the board voted. Procurement of millions of gallons of corexit is not like going to the neighbourhood Walmart to get if off the shelf.
3. they can deceive the public by feeding deceptive and erroneous information to the main media. But can the satellite images and aerial photos lie? No. That why they impose a no fly zone to prevent independent aerial observation as soon as disaster occurred. But just like the ROV videos, there were "well-intentioned" insiders who cannot tell but they can show. For example the close up view of the satellite image . see They needed to sink the oil slick before people realise the volume of oil spewed out was more than the unimaginable thousands of times more than the official estimates from a single 10-inch well. The late Matt Simmons was right in many of his assertions and yet he was "unfairly trashed" by TOD and eventually silenced when the truth was starting to "burst thru the seams".