Literally a gushing fishing story: Slabbed presents video and an eye witness account of the Deep Water Horizon blowout

Around 10pm the entire center of the rig started rushing water downwards over all the pipes… I’ve never seen such an event take place. I looked at my friend who previously worked offshore, and he said that’s BOP something another and the rig took a ‘kick!’ I thought the rig was sinking and that was their way of bilging… But nope! Methane gas began BLOWING out of the West side of it and the noise of the thrust was louder than anything I’ve ever herd (sic) ..

Thanks to a reader the answers to several email questions from other readers begins to take shape as Slabbed covers the Oil Spill. I’m an old offshore service hand from way far back working offshore during the summers to earn money for college.  Aside from the pictures posted by the fishermen there is no doubt in my mind the account is accurate because of the slang terminology. For those not as familiar with the workings of an oil rig a BOP is a “blowout preventer” and a “kick” is the slang term which describes encountering a geological formation, such a  gas pocket, in the “hole” that actually enters the wellbore causing the drilling mud to back up in the drill pipe. Thus far I refused to speculate as to the exact causation of the blowout as there are different “varieties” of the event. Now it is clear the drilling pipe ruptured under the pressure of the “kick” which quickly escalated into a full-bore blowout and from the sound of things it was the worst variety for a semi submersible rig in the uncontrolled release of gas from the well as we continue:

My eyes began to burn and that friend I was telling you about earlier began to SCREAM, “GO, GO, GO, GO, GOOOOO!” I positioned my compass North and put the gears in WOT! At approximately 100 yds from the rig it Exploded! Puts a new meaning to explosion. We hit the deck and continued North @ WOT, Blind because the moon was at quarter crescent and I had no radar.

Then come the mayday calls:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.938659&w=425&h=350&fv=]
more about “Rig Video“, posted with vodpod

With the lawsuits flying, Gulf Coast lawyers will have plenty of job security for years. IMHO the best lawsuit will be the one that will carry the least publicity as BP will no doubt be looking for culprits in the causation chain. Likely suspects are the manufacturer of the BOP, the drill elevator and the “mud” contractor.

Speaking of them early lawsuits, an Alexander Pope quote comes to mind:

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


20 thoughts on “Literally a gushing fishing story: Slabbed presents video and an eye witness account of the Deep Water Horizon blowout”

    1. Great way for a single guy to make a few dollars in short order. I worked in both the Gulf and Pacific Oceans doing domestic production. My lifelong best friend literally saw the world doing that gig back in the day. We had blowout drills once a week, usually on Sundays. The work is inherently dangerous. For instance, beyond the inherent risk of drilling and blowouts, some locations like Mobile Bay have pockets of H2S gas to contend with, such gas being highly toxic. Since H2S is heavier than air the emergency procedures are different from a blowout.

      I gained an appreciation of what life was like for hard working blue collar southern folks during the time I spent working offshore that stays with me to this day.


  1. The Old Bull and The Young Bull

    Sitting atop a hill on a beautiful spring day.

    Grazing in the valley below is a large herd cows, a bunch of fine heifers.

    The Young Bull, looks over the whole valley seeing many, many fine heifers.

    The Old Bull surveys the valley as well and smiles.

    The Young Bull, now too excited to control himself, looks at the Old Bull and says,

  2. I saw the CEO of BP interviewed on The Today Show this morning, and he actually had the audacity (or PR stupidity) to state that the “accident was not ours.” The “wonderful and skilled” examiner, Meredith Viera even caught that one and quizzed him on it. He responded that it was Transocean’s “accident since it was their faulty equipment that caused the accident.” Yeah, right. Float that explanation in court, you limey douche bag!

  3. “It wasn’t our accident, but we are absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and that’s what we intend to do,” BP Group CEO Tony Hayward told NBC’s “TODAY” show.

    The rig that exploded on April 20 and then sank was run by another company, Transocean, he reminded viewers. That rig, he said, “was run by their people, their processes.”

    Sock Puppet, are you salivating for cross yet?

  4. Whatever happened to the concept that accidents happen. Sop acknowledges the work is inherently dangerous and that is why those folks make good money.

    Now, that does not mean if some party was negligent they should not be held accountable. BP is not stupid and they want a totally safe environment as they know the political ramifications of offshore drilling. I understand there are around 3500 active rigs in the Gulf. The history of their safety record speaks for itself.

    It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds, both from a relaity and political standpoints.

    1. This is not the first time BP has been negligent. Texas City Oil Refinery. Look up THAT story. They were told that the stack they used had been outdated years and years ago and would not prevent an accident. But BP didn’t want to spend the money, let alone,shut down operations to have it replaced.

  5. Nice setup, IMA. How can a company that keeps saying “it’s not our fault” be truly committed to repairing the damage? Hypothetically, it would be like Toyota trying to blame its product defect on the manufacturer of the rubber it uses to make its accelerator pedals. BP needs to own this and stop playing word games. But, I could be wrong, maybe they really are not liable at all.

    Supsalemgr, accidents happen on rigs pretty frequently. In terms of the environmental disaster (not the deaths and injuries), it’s not the blowout or what caused it; it’s the failure of the shut down mechanisms and all of the procedural fail-safes, as well as the complete lack of planning by BP as to how to deal with the environmental impact. I personally know people who own several businesses that are shut down right now because of this “accident.” They don’t work, they don’t get paid. What are they supposed to do?

    The following industries have run amok in this Country because they grease lawmakers: 1) Big Oil, 2) Big Insurance, 3) Big Banking and Credit Card Companies, and 4) Big Pharmaceutical.

  6. The oil and drilling companies certainly are environmentally aware as they should be but in the case of these superdeep wells it is clear not all the contingencies were accounted for in the planning.

    I may do a post on Transocean as they are a compelling company. In oil field circles their SEDCO 702 was a rig I had a few friends work on back in the day.

    As to who bears the responsibility, the wordsmithing by BP CEO is BS. A “company man” can run a toolpusher off his own rig. The drilling company in many ways is a glorified lessor.

    Sup I’m rule 301 on what I can say on the particular subject but trust me when I say the corporate types will make out like bandits on this when BP fights it out with Haliburton, Transocean and lord knows who else trying to spread some of the coming financial misery.

    And the lure of “free money” will attract every sleazy grifter, fraudster and scammer you can imagine and that does not include pols like David Vitter.

    When Dragos stops serving oysters people are gonna get pissed.


  7. Sup, as a defense (and sometimes plaintiff) attorney, I agree with your observation that “accidents sometimes happen” and nobody is necessarily at fault. What I quarrel with is the horrible PR move on the part of the BP CEO to deflect, deny, dissuade. As Sock points out, at the end of the day, they need to own this problem. They were the ones who stood to benefit from all of that crude floating in the Gulf now, so when the shit hits the fan, they need to be there then, as well, regardless of whose “fault” it may be in the end.

  8. Sop….You have come closest to nailing it. When all is said and done there will be defense and indemity agreements that criss cross between companies. Is BP going to be the primary…Yep…will there be a half dozen companies in the mix…You bet. In the end it will be how well the contracts were written between the different contractors and subs

    Bottom line is when its all said and done, even is you go with the theory that BP owns the lease and hole. They will be looking ( and so will the courts) At the rig owner and operator, the equipment suppliers, not to mention any and all other contractors on the rig. Trust me on this on Cuz there will be a whole lot of players at the table before the day is done. It real handly right not to nail BP as the bad guy, but the list of players will be long and familiar.

    He that had the best staff attorneys and Risk Managers will come out better than the others…but when all is said and done…if you where there or had anything to do with the equipment on the rig…..your screwed

    Night folks

  9. Great comments folks. It is apparent we all agree this event will certainly cause the “bloodsuckers” to congragate in one spot.

  10. By “blood suckers,” I hope you mean these greedy oil industry members who have raped the Louisiana coast for decades and are about to devastate our ecosystem. If you are referring to the greedy class-action lawyer-hogs, I take no issue with your description. But, in terms of the cost of human lives lost and damage to the environment, this one is no contest; the oilsuckers win hands down.

    I don’t now where you’re from Sup, but if you’ve never been on a boat tour of Louisiana’s marshland, Delacroix for example; I’d be happy to take you out and show you how the oil industry (with the approval of corrupt La. politicians) have disected our wetlands like a frog in 9th grade biology for the purpose of cutting their “pipeline canals.”

    1. Such a timely link Sock. As much as I’d like to have Nowdy tackle it in its own post it is one I need to tackle. If I remember right a post I did on Al Copeland’s passing contains the reason I am so familar with the topic of the Perez family.

      I know our out of area readers will gain a greater appreciation of the local nuances involved with how the people here view the oil industry.


  11. I have had the opportunity to do a good bit of fishing out of camps in the area. Primarily out of Golden Meadow, Cocodrie and Grand Isle. It is clearly beautiful and a wonderful area.

    There has to be a balance. One can blame whoever, but without the oil industry south Louisiana would not have the economic base it has. The oil industry did not elect the corrupt politicians to which you refer. The citizens did. One Edwin Edwards kept getting elected by flaunting what he did. He may not even be the “poster child” of corrupt LA politicians.

  12. You way missed my point. I conceded it was a collaborative effort between corrput politicians and a greedy, corrupt indistry that knew it could buy these crooks.

  13. The folks in Plaquemines were pretty well helpless when the Perez family was running things. As I remember it one of the brothers even tied it up with the Pope.

    Kill ’em and you go to jail. Voting them out was not an option.


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