News in the gulf regarding BP’s oil leak is grim. The “Top Kill” plan has reportedly failed although BP says it will continue efforts.

Worse yet, Matt Simmons says “Top Kill” is a sideshow, misses the big problem, and we might need nukes to seal the leak.

Let’s take a look at those stories starting with BP Engineers Making Little Headway on Leaking Well.

BP engineers struggled Friday to plug a gushing oil well a mile under the sea, but as of late in the day they had made little headway in stemming the flow.

Amid mixed messages about problems and progress, the effort — called a “top kill” — continued for a third day, with engineers describing a painstaking process of trying to plug the hole, using different weights of mud and sizes of debris like golf balls and tires, and then watching and waiting. They cannot use brute force because they risk making the leak worse if they damage the pipes leading down to the well.

Despite an apparent lack of progress, officials said they would continue with the process for another 48 hours, into Sunday, before giving up and considering other options, including another containment dome to try to capture the oil.

Deep Water Drilling Grinds to Halt

Bloomberg reports Oil Industry Faces Its ‘1,000-Year Flood’ as Drilling Is Halted

“The spill is like the 1,000-year flood: it’s the worst- case scenario,” said Brian Youngberg, an analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “It’s hard to prepare for those extreme situations like that.”

Obama dropped plans to open waters off the coast of Virginia to drilling, canceled a lease sale in the Gulf, and suspended the permitting process for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s planned wells off of Arctic Alaska. He said new safety rules will be imposed on offshore drilling.

U.S. oil output may be cut by 160,000 barrels a day next year as a result of the ban, according to Deutsche Bank AG. A one-year delay to deep-water projects would reduce global supplies by 500,000 barrels a day between 2013 and 2017, Sanford C. Bernstein said.

Shell has five wells affected by Obama’s call to halt drilling at 33 exploratory locations. Eni SpA, based in Rome, and Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. each are shown as having three, according to an official with the Minerals Management Service who asked not to be identified discussing the specific companies.

“The impact is most likely going to be a significant decrease in activity, and we just don’t know if it’s going to happen this week, next week, or over the course of a month,” said Ian Macpherson, a vice president at Simmons & Co. in London. “It looks like deep-water drilling is going to essentially grind to a halt.”

Scientist Locates Another Vast Oil Plume

Please consider La. scientist locates another vast oil plume in the gulf

A day after scientists reported finding a huge “plume” of oil extending miles east of the leaking BP well, on Friday a Louisiana scientist said his crew had located another vast plume of oily globs, miles in the opposite direction.

James H. Cowan Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University, said his crew on Wednesday found a plume of oil in a section of the gulf 75 miles northwest of the source of the leak.

Cowan said that his crew sent a remotely controlled submarine into the water, and found it full of oily globules, from the size of a thumbnail to the size of a golf ball. Unlike the plume found east of the leak — in which the oil was so dissolved that contaminated water appeared clear — Cowan said the oil at this site was so thick that it covered the lights on the submarine.

“It almost looks like big wet snowflakes, but they’re brown and black and oily,” Cowan said. The submarine returned to the surface entirely black, he said.

Cowan said that the submarine traveled about 400 feet down, close to the sea floor, and found oil all the way down. Trying to find the edges of the plume, he said the submarine traveled miles from side to side.

“We really never found either end of it,” he said.

This discovery seems to confirm the fears of some scientists that — because of the depth of the leak and the heavy use of chemical “dispersants” — this spill was behaving differently than others. Instead of floating on top of the water, it may be moving beneath it.

Simmons Calls For Military to Nuke Oil Leak

Inquiring minds are reading Simmons Calls For Obama to Take Over BP; Military To Nuke Oil Leak

Today Matt Simmons, one of the largest investment bankers in the energy industry appeared on Bloomberg. The chairman of Simmons & Co. INTL went on to explain that there is much more to the oil leak than the news has been reporting. Last Sunday, NOAA confirmed reports of a second fissure about 5-7 miles from the original. This new fissure appears to be releasing a plume the size of Delaware and Maryland combined! He went on to state that “the plume from the riser is minor thing… the best estimate is about 120,000 barrels of oil per day”.

Simmons is quoted as saying, “Obama could remove BP today… tell BP it is time to leave”. Some questions were also brought up that pertained to a nuclear device and how the military could lower one 18,000 feet into the well bore.

Simmons went on to say ” Such techniques have been used by the Russians on several different occasions”.

Matt Simmons Video on the Nuke Option

Mat Simmons “… From all of the best scientists who have thought about this in the past few days, probably the only thing we can do is create a weapons system and send it down 18,000 feet, detonate it and hopefully case in the oil.”

That we would even have discussions about setting off nuclear explosions in “hope” they would accomplish something is certainly not encouraging to say the least.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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