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Monday, June 21, 2010

Ocean News of the Day

Cooling burn at the head pipe on the Q400

There are some very interesting items this morning in the news.

1. Haaretz, Israel's oldest newspaper, is reporting that a task force of U.S. and Israeli ships (possibly just one Israeli ship) are heading through the Suez Canal on their way to the Red Sea and possibly the Persian Gulf. The purpose of their mission has not been disclosed but it appears the ships are on course to intercept an Iranian flotilla of aid ships (2) headed for Gaza to challenge the blockade. Does Iran really think Israel will permit ships to enter their territorial waters from a country that has threatened their very existence?

Full story here.

2. The New York Times is reporting that federal authorities were lax in their oversight of the blind shear ram, a "last line" containment device that would have prevented the Macondo well blowout but was known for single point failure problems.

From the NYT:

"It reveals that the federal agency charged with regulating offshore drilling, the Minerals Management Service, repeatedly declined to act on advice from its own experts on how it could minimize the risk of a blind shear ram failure.

It also shows that the Obama administration failed to grapple with either the well-known weaknesses of blowout preventers or the sufficiency of the nation’s drilling regulations even as it made plans this spring to expand offshore oil exploration"

Full story here.

3. BP is on track to reach full containment from the Deepwater Horizon BOP. Additional resources are en route to the well to help recover and flare as much as 80,000 barrels per day. By the end of the month, they should be at 50,000 barrels, by mid-July 80,000 barrels. It proves that BP believed it's (and the government's) flawed estimates of the size of the leak. It's also possible that the capping process increased the leak substantially. Either way, the spill in the Gulf is far and away the worst in U.S. history and possible the world, not counting the 1991 Gulf war spill, which dumped as much as 600 million gallons into the Arabian Sea. Difference being, the latter was deliberate.

Full story here.

4. Whale sharks off the Florida coast have come together in what scientists believe is an exodus from the Gulf oil spill.

Full story here.

5. A Florida boater claims to have chased off a submarine. U.S.C.G. is taking the report seriously. Why would the guy lie. Let's hope this is one of our own. I would hate to think this was an Iranian sub.

Full story here.

~seabgb

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