The oil spill is now on day 52.

And with each passing day, the estimated size of the oil spill keeps growing, the environmental damages mount, and the frustration intensifies to the point that President Obama has threatened to kick the ass of whoever is responsible.

Here are some recent headlines and oil related news.

Future losses from BP oil spill worry Gulf Coast businesses

The USA Today reports Future losses from BP oil spill worry Gulf Coast businesses

John Tesvich worries that he’ll have to close his Franklin, La., oyster-processing plant by the end of the month, putting his 60 workers on the street. He can’t get enough oysters from the oil-contaminated Gulf of Mexico to keep his plant running.

Fisherman George Barisich of St. Bernard Parish, La., reckons he’s already lost about $80,000 in business because the BP oil spill kept his boats out of the water nearly 40 days. George Pelaez’s Biloxi, Miss., charter boat, Joka’s Wild, is reeling from $112,000 worth of cancellations.

But what really worries shrimpers, oystermen, charter boat captains, hunting guides and oil rig workers across the Gulf Coast isn’t today’s losses, bad as they are; it’s tomorrow’s. They even worry the financial damage to New Orleans and the surrounding area will outdo the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “The whole economic function of (New Orleans) is totally dependent on that water,” says Amy Liu, deputy director of the metropolitan policy program at the Brookings Institution. The city’s economic viability “is being undermined by this oil spill.”

“I lost everything I owned in Katrina,” says Mike Frenette, a Venice, La., charter boat captain. “But the thing about a hurricane is, 24 hours after it goes through, if you’ve got the guts and the fortitude, you can get nails and start rebuilding. But no one knows the long-term effects of the (oil) contamination. … At first we thought this would be over relatively quickly. As time goes on, we’re getting more realistic. It’s going to take quite some time.”

Oil Spill Takes Toll on Obama

A Wall Street Journal poll shows Oil Spill Takes Toll on Obama

The poll, released today, shows that Floridians, by a 51%-42% margin, oppose more offshore oil drilling – a big shift from the 66%-27% support drilling received in an April 19 poll.

At the same time, President Barack Obama’s job approval numbers plummeted to a negative 40%-54% in Florida, off from a 50%-45% approval-disapproval rating in April when he called for relaxing standards for offshore drilling.

“Clearly, the Gulf oil spill has changed the way Floridians view offshore drilling and almost certainly is responsible for the drop in President Obama’s approval rating,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Voters disapprove, 54%-37%, of the way Obama is handling the spill.”

BP Default Risk Rises – Obama Threatens to Kick BP CEO’s Ass

Bloomberg reports BP Default Risk Rises Amid Increased Estimate for Size of Leak

The cost to protect against a default on BP Plc debt soared to a record and the energy company’s bond prices plummeted after an estimate its damaged well is seeping more oil than previously calculated. Shares fell to the lowest since 1996.

Credit-default swaps on BP debt rose 126.8 basis points to an unprecedented 387.6 basis points, according to CMA DataVision. The company’s $3 billion of 5.25 percent notes due in 2013 fell to a record low 91 cents, raising the relative yield to 7.18 percentage points, compared with 7.27 percentage points on the average junk bond as of yesterday.

“The piece of news that seems to have broken the camel’s back was an increase of estimated spill volumes,” said Guy Lebas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia.

BP’s securities were hammered after Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University in Tallahassee estimated the well is leaking 26,500 barrels to 30,000 barrels a day into the Gulf of Mexico, six times more than the figure used by BP and the government from April 28 to May 27.

President Barack Obama said yesterday that he would have fired BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward for saying that he wanted to end the leak because he wanted “his life back.” Obama said he has made three trips to the Gulf to find out who to hold responsible, “so I know whose ass to kick.”

Size of Leak Still Unknown

Amazingly, 51 days into this disaster, no one knows how big the spill even is. Thus Pressure mounts to determine size of Gulf oil leak

The Gulf oil crisis has reached day 51. The top hat device of the blown out well is capturing more of the oil, but there’s new urgency to figure out how big the leak is.

Thad Allen: I am the government and I’m not low-balling anything.

But there’s growing pressure to nail down how much oil is leaking into the gulf. BP is collecting more than 600-thousand gallons a day. It’s expected to be double that sometime next week. It doesn’t square with earlier flow estimates.

Thad Allen: I’m not going to declare victory on anything until I have absolute numbers. I think we’ve all heard estimates in — some people have been disappointed when they were changed, so show me the numbers.

Please note there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil. Thus, estimates show BP is collecting in excess of 14,000 barrels of oil a day. How much are they not collecting?

Ideas pour in to try to help BP handle Gulf oil spill

From the power of positive thinking, to microbes, and even an idea from actor Kevin Costner, Ideas pour in to try to help BP handle Gulf oil spill

BP, which operated the oil rig that caused the spill, has received more than 80,000 suggestions on how to address the spill, company spokesman Mark Proegler said. The pace of ideas has picked up in recent days, he said, as oil continues to gush from the ocean floor and wash up on shoreline from Louisiana to Florida.

Proegler said that BP has a team of about 40 people sifting through the ideas. About 250 of the ideas have made what he calls the “final assessment stage,” which includes testing of the proposed technology.

One of the ideas in the testing stage came from Hollywood actor Kevin Costner. He testified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as to the potential effectiveness of a product he has invested $20 million in which he says could help with the cleanup by purifying water and separating it from oil.

Proegler said another idea that has made the final cut came from Clean Beach Technologies, a Houston-based company that has “the mechanical means to separate oil from sand,” he said.

About 60% of the ideas have been proposed solutions for plugging the leak, while the rest are aimed at cleaning up oil, Proegler said.

The offers of help don’t always center on cutting-edge technology. Sister Jenna Mahraj, director of the Brahma Kumaris, a spiritual organization with roots in India, is calling on her supporters to hold a minute of silence every hour to “express our well wishes toward the Gulf.”

“The power of pure thinking can accomplish many things,” she said. “And every little bit helps.”

Idea from a Friend – Heavy Duty Inflatable Packers

A friend of mine “GT” writes …

I see that you are writing on the oil leak. I used to work for Schlumberger at one time. I suggested a solution of using a modified packer to a oil tool company I know in Alberta. Below is their response. Feel free to post this or send it on. I will try again to send this Horizon, BP and CNN, but no one seems to be responding to emails.

“GT” Received this reply for his idea from Dennis Makar, P. Eng., President & CEO World Oil Tools Inc.

During the crisis in Kuwait, Heavy Duty Inflatable Packers were used to kill many of the wells. It should be possible to use the kill method in the Gulf.

The current BP well has 9 5/8″ casing to the ocean floor. Due to possible erosion or crimping near the top of the casing string, it is highly recommended that inflatable packers be used for this application. World Oil Tools manufactures and supplies 7.50″ O.D. Heavy Duty Inflatable Packer Assemblies with 4 1/2″ I.F. thread connections. Packer mandrels are also manufactured from high strength alloy steel.

The job procedure would be summarized as follows:

1) Run the packer into the 9 5/8″ casing string, as suggested. The packer would have a re-set dart or pumpout assembly installed on bottom.
2) Apply 2400 PSI to set the packer and hold pressure for 3 to 5 minutes. Flow from the well would stop immediately.
3) Apply 3000 PSI to shear the re-set dart.
4) Begin Pumping heavy weight mud into the well immediately. Follow with cement, if required. A full 3″ bore would be provided through the tool assembly, for high volume pumping.

Please present this method to your contacts. We are available to meet on very short notice to refine the well kill procedure, and would be available to work 24/7 in order to prepare all required equipment.

Best Regards,
Dennis Makar, P. Eng., President & CEO
World Oil Tools Inc.
# 6, 3504 – 72 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2C 1J9

I am absolutely not qualified to judge the merits of this idea. It sounds like a modified “junk shot” that has already failed. I could be wrong.

Perhaps some of my friends on the Oil Drum, can offer an opinion and get it to BP if the idea has any merit.

BP Steps Up The PR Campaign, Buys Google Keywords

When all else fails, there is only one thing to do – step up the PR campaign, telling everyone what a great job you are doing.

Yes indeed, BP is buying Google Adwords and the first think you see in any search is a BP promotion.

Search for “Oil Leak”

BP is conveniently at the top spot.

Search for “Oil Spill”

BP is conveniently at the top spot.

Search for just plain “Oil”

Yep, once again BP is conveniently at the top spot, and those generic words are not cheap.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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