Project Gulf Impact
Gavin Garrison, Matt Smith, and Heather Rally
Feb. 24, 2011
Dr. Ira Leifer, a marine scientist from the University of California at Santa Barbara, has been researching the geochemical nature of oil seeps and spills for over a many years. After over a decade of experience studying hydrocarbon visualization, modeling, and geochemistry in the Santa Barbara channel, Dr. Leifer developed a recognizable expertise in the area of oil spills. Soon after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in late April 2010, Dr. Leifer was sought out by the government and appointed to the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group.
This group of highly specialized scientists was tasked with the responsibility of determining how much oil was leaking from the Macondo 252 wellhead. In this exclusive interview with Project Gulf Impact, Dr. Leifer expresses his frustration when asked to make scientifically sound conclusions based upon data that has been intentionally obscured and manipulated.
Not only was he denied the proper quality of data after repeated requests, he also witnessed a blatant obscuring, by the media, of the results that ultimately were released by the flow rate group. BP argues that scientists have miscalculated the flow rate from the Macondo well, and that the actual spill size could be half the official estimate.
From The Daily Hurricane:
“If BP gets away with reducing the flow estimate to half of the current estimate, it will be a masterful manipulation of government regulators and inexperienced administration officials. It appears that with the media now completely ignoring this tragedy, BP will successfully lowball the flow to minimize its liability. To give you an idea of the size of this issue, let’s look at a few numbers:
First, the official government estimate for flow into the Gulf is 4.9 million barrels, or about 60,000 barrels per day (this estimate is likely way low due to flow characteristics of these big deepwater wells, but that fact just complicates an already complicated subject, so I’ll ignore it for now). Second, at the peak of it’s “top hat” containment, BP was capturing about 25,000 barrels of oil per day, even as oil roared into the water around the cap.
So. If BP is now claiming that the flow rate was half the estimated 60,000 barrels per day, that means that when they were capturing 25,000 barrels per day, they were capturing close to all of the flow. I don’t know about you, but all that oil roaring into the water around the cap looks like a lot more than nothing. Additionally, recall that on July 6, Doug Suttles actually used 53,000 barrels per day as his estimate of flow for the calculation of the amount of dispersant BP wanted to apply at the sea floor. To now assert that the flow rate was half of the government estimate, and far below their own estimate is disingenuous on the face.”
Excerpt from: http://dailyhurricane.com/2011/02/sou…