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Relief wells may not stop Deepwater Horizon oil leak Experts agree BP oil well casing has failed: Relief wells may not stop Deepwater Horizon oil leak

June 23, 9:41 PMPolitical Spin ExaminerMaryann Tobin

There is an increasingly real possibility that we may never be able to stop the gushing hole left in the Gulf sea floor unleashed by the Deepwater Horizon.

Former president of Shell oil and founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, John Hofmeister, told Hardball’s Chris Matthews that the casing that leads to the oil reservoir may be so badly damaged from wear under the extreme pressure, the relief wells will not be able to stop the flow.

Hofmeister said that once the relief wells reach the casing, they will inject cement that should solidify and permanently stop the leak. But if there is not enough casing intact to hold the cement and allow it to set, the last hope in stopping the gusher ends.

Oil industry expert Bob Cavnar agrees. In an interview with Keith Olbermann, Cavnar said ‘ there is real damage to the BOP.’ His advice to BP is to “Keep the well flowing as much as they can,” in order to keep the pressure off the ‘down hole.’

Cavnar also said he would not be surprised if the BOP fell over, unless BP installs supports to keep it upright, adding that it needs to be done right now.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen confirmed evidence that Cavnar may be right. Allen said, “The riser package is now tilting 10 to12 degrees.”


COMMENT FROM A REAL EXPERT (i.e. not Hofmeister who is having a field day promoting his new book)

Within Shell, staff have been instructed not to comment on the BP blowout – since Shell use similar well designs, the same drilling equipment, and occasionally also make mistakes, it could quite easily have been a Shell well blowing out.

Of course, Hofmeister no longer works for Shell so he’s not constrained by their rules. However, to hear Hofmeister discussing well design will no doubt amuse many within Shell who were perhaps unaware of his technical credentials… Why were Hofmeister’s well design and blowout control skills not used while he was at Shell, instead of wasting his talents by assigning him to HR? and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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