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Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device
newsgroup ^ | april 29,2010 | Earl Evleth

Posted on 04/29/2010 11:52:51 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan

On all offshore oil rigs, there is one main switch for cutting off the flow of oil by closing a valve located on the ocean floor. Many rigs also have automatic systems, such as a "dead man" switch as a backup that is supposed to close the valve if it senses a catastrophic failure aboard the rig.

Much still isn't known about what caused the problems in Deepwater Horizon's well, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. It went out of control, sending oil surging through pipes to the surface and causing a fire that ultimately sank the rig.

Unmanned submarines that arrived hours after the explosion have been unable to activate the shut-off valve on the seabed, called a blowout preventer.

BP says the Deepwater Horizon did have a "dead man" switch, which should have automatically closed the valve on the seabed in the event of a loss of power or communication from the rig. BP said it can't explain why it didn't shut off the well.

Transocean drillers aboard the rig at the time of the explosion, who should have been in a position to hit the main cutoff switch, are among the dead. It isn't known if they were able to reach the button, which would have been located in the area where the fire is likely to have started.

Tony Hayward, BP's CEO, said finding out why the blowout preventer didn't shut down the well is the key question in the investigation. "This is the failsafe mechanism that clearly has failed," Mr. Hayward said in an interview.

Lars Herbst, regional director of the Minerals Management Service in the Gulf of Mexico, said investigators are focusing on why the blowout preventer failed.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsgroups.derkeiler.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: bp; deephorz; energy; leak; offshore; oil; sabotage; spill; terrorism
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1 posted on 04/29/2010 11:52:51 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Figures.


2 posted on 04/29/2010 11:55:45 AM PDT by b4its2late (It is easier to beg forgiveness than get permission.)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

The more you read, the more it smells.


3 posted on 04/29/2010 11:56:46 AM PDT by throwback ( The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

A backup acoustic switch was never required and may or may not have been effective in any event. To many unknowns.


4 posted on 04/29/2010 11:57:04 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
BP says the Deepwater Horizon did have a "dead man" switch, which should have automatically closed the valve on the seabed in the event of a loss of power or communication from the rig. BP said it can't explain why it didn't shut off the well. "

I just wonder where the part was manufactured, "Made in China" perhaps?

5 posted on 04/29/2010 11:58:13 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Something smells and it ain’t burnt carbon!


6 posted on 04/29/2010 11:58:17 AM PDT by Wilum (Never loaded a nuke I didn't like)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
This well is owned by a British Corporation, it will be interesting to see if the AG sues them.

Also, is the rig inside or outside the 12 mile limit?

"U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon didn't have one." + "The U.K., where BP is headquartered, doesn't require the use of acoustic triggers."

Why didn't the US regulators require it? Do they require it of others?
7 posted on 04/29/2010 11:59:49 AM PDT by K-oneTexas (I'm not a judge and there ain't enough of me to be a jury. (Zell Miller, A National Party No More))
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To: b4its2late

Envirowackos disabled it?

8 posted on 04/29/2010 12:00:03 PM PDT by Ingtar (Obama's favorite carol: Hark The Herald Angels Sing About Me)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
News says Janet Napolitano is sending SWAT teams to all the rigs to check out valves etc.

What does a Swat Team know about oil wells and valves?

9 posted on 04/29/2010 12:02:19 PM PDT by Spunky (You are free to make choices, but not free from the consequences)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

BP, British Petroleum, may be more short-sighted, thoughtless, and thereby more susceptible to sabotage, than American companies. I don’t know; I’m just speculating.


10 posted on 04/29/2010 12:02:24 PM PDT by FreeKeys (BP, British Petroleum, insults us by having economic illiterates opine on energy policy in their ads)
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To: Spunky
News says Janet Napolitano is sending SWAT teams to all the rigs to check out valves etc.

Rush commented briefly on this too . . . SWAT teams? Terorism, sabatage, or copy-cat prevention? What is going on? Too little information right now, but it does catch our attention.

11 posted on 04/29/2010 12:04:46 PM PDT by BAW (I will remember in November.)
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To: Spunky

That’s about the dumbest move I’ve ever seen.


12 posted on 04/29/2010 12:04:58 PM PDT by CajunConservative (Shut Up Mary!)
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To: K-oneTexas

Seems they had the same problem with the Texas City Plant.


13 posted on 04/29/2010 12:06:35 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: thackney

U.S. regulators don’t mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon didn’t have one. With a remote control, a crew can attempt to trigger an underwater valve that shuts down the well even if the oil rig itself is damaged or evacuated.

The efficacy of the devices is unclear. Major offshore oil-well blowouts are rare, and it remained unclear Wednesday evening whether acoustic switches have ever been put to the test in a real-world accident. When wells do surge out of control, the primary shut-off systems almost always work. Remote control systems such as the acoustic switch, which have been tested in simulations, are intended as a last resort.

............................

Can you explain the above for us lay people?... Is there something require over and above the BOP which this well did have? Thanks.


14 posted on 04/29/2010 12:08:00 PM PDT by deport
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
Drilling rig control rooms don't just blow up, do they ... the oil and gas is usually kept below water, so they are far from the people. Crew quarters are also on the rig so safety must be paramount.

Here is what the giant floating Deepwater Horizon rig looked like in the past, it can go up and down in the water with ballasting. it's a giant ship for all practical purposes, and yes they can go through hurricanes.

I read a BP news report that said the blowout preventor was damaged when the rig wreck hit the Gulf floor. This was back when they were doing underwater surveys. They said pipelines were ruptured by the wreck which is where the leaks were.

A whole lot of dots needs connecting here. We need a whole lot more data because the timing of all this, and Obama relaxing offshore drilling, is just too coincidental.

And that coal mine explosion ...

Are we seeing the equivalent of the Reichstag's fire only targeted at energy to get the crap and tax passed?

Hey just asking, just asking ... But wouldn't it be prudent to explore the terror angle?

15 posted on 04/29/2010 12:10:40 PM PDT by Tarpon ( ...Rude crude socialist Obama depends on ignorance to force his will on people)
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To: K-oneTexas

BP (British) represented by Podesta Group, Tony Podesta the no. 2 bundler for the Democrats, ...Follow the money to the Whitehouse.

And we heard for 8 years about Dick Cheney??!!!


16 posted on 04/29/2010 12:11:16 PM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
"This is the failsafe mechanism that clearly has failed," Mr. Hayward said in an interview."
When a fail safe system fails it fails by failing to fail safely. Axiom from Systemantics, how systems act up.
17 posted on 04/29/2010 12:12:37 PM PDT by dblshot (Insanity - electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: K-oneTexas
The dead man switch and blowout preventor were apparently deemed sufficient but failed none the less. Its still not known if a remote control acoustic switch would have been effective.

Rush and others are hinting sabotage. Too many coincidences. e.g. one day before earth day.

18 posted on 04/29/2010 12:13:55 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: Spunky

WONDER HOW THE FLASH BLUBS ON THOSE CAMERAS WILL IMPACT THE AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARMS ON THE RIGS....THAT SHOULD BE INTERESTING.


19 posted on 04/29/2010 12:15:10 PM PDT by pointsal
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To: Tarpon
...Are we seeing the equivalent of the Reichstag's fire only targeted at energy to get the crap and tax passed?...

Could be.

Remember the "underwear" bomber? Nobody wanted full body scanners prior to that event yet after the so-called bomb attempt everybody was screaming for them.

20 posted on 04/29/2010 12:15:29 PM PDT by FReepaholic (I'm in my head and can't get out.)
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To: FReepaholic

Just too many coincidences???

And right after, Obama-cmmie says we may need to relook offshore drilling .... and how about the coal mine blowing up? Bill Ayers and the weather underground did similar things to help defeat the Vietnam war. hmmm.

And what is Homeland Security being dispatched to the Gulf spill for?

And all the while trying to push the hoax energy bill -— Deserves close watching.


21 posted on 04/29/2010 12:20:59 PM PDT by Tarpon ( ...Rude crude socialist Obama depends on ignorance to force his will on people)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
This had to be deliberate.
Why?
Because nothing else makes any sense.
ZERO comes out FOR off shore drilling. . . . . . . . .
22 posted on 04/29/2010 12:21:13 PM PDT by DeaconRed (I have had all I can stands and I can't stands NO MO--Call me Popeye)
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To: K-oneTexas
Also, is the rig inside or outside the 12 mile limit?
Most stories I've seen list it some 50 miles offshore...

For anyone that maybe interested here is a photo of the rig. Click the photo for rig details/specifications:


23 posted on 04/29/2010 12:28:04 PM PDT by deport
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
"BP says the Deepwater Horizon did have a "dead man" switch, ..."

WSJ said there was not one because the US does not require it. What's the dealio?

24 posted on 04/29/2010 12:32:11 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Did I hear right. A swat team is going to the oil rig?

Why would they need a swat team?


25 posted on 04/29/2010 12:33:27 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Ingtar

this might sound far-fetched and black helicoptorish... but with the recent talk of opening drilling in other areas of the Gulf... I would not be surprised.


26 posted on 04/29/2010 12:34:47 PM PDT by TV Dinners (Hope is not a Strategy)
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To: Tarpon; thackney
They said pipelines were ruptured by the wreck which is where the leaks were.

Thackney, what have your learned? Is the oil from the well or is the oil from a pipeline damanged by the huge rig sinking?

It would seem to be the well or both since they are bringing in another rig to drill a relieve well. ..that is still the plan, huh?

27 posted on 04/29/2010 12:36:29 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: moehoward
WSJ said there was not one because the US does not require it. What's the dealio?

I believe they were referring to a remote acoustic switch. A deadman switch would be located on the platform.

28 posted on 04/29/2010 12:41:09 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: throwback

The more you read, the more it smells
xxxxxxxxxxxx
careful what you read.


29 posted on 04/29/2010 12:43:03 PM PDT by CHICAGOFARMER ( “IThf you're not ready to die for it, put the word ''freedom'' out of your vocabulary.” – Malcol)
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To: TexasCajun
I work in oil and gas. This was sent to me by a friend; I copied it from a Powerpoint presentation about the disaster. The tone implies that it was produced by one of the companies involved with the project:

You may have heard the news in the last two days about the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which caught fire, burned for two days, then sank in 5,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico. There are still 11 men missing, and they are not expected to be found.

The rig belongs to Transocean, the world’s biggest offshore drilling contractor. The rig was originally contracted through the year 2013 to BP and was working on BP’s Macondo exploration well when the fire broke out. The rig costs about $500,000 per day to contract. The full drilling spread, with helicopters and support vessels and other services, will cost closer to $1,000,000 per day to operate in the course of drilling for oil and gas. The rig cost about $350,000,000 to build in 2001 and would cost at least double that to replace today.

The rig represents the cutting edge of drilling technology. It is a floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 ft water depth. The rig is not moored; It does not use anchors because it would be too costly and too heavy to suspend this mooring load from the floating structure. Rather, a triply-redundant computer system uses satellite positioning to control powerful thrusters that keep the rig on station within a few feet of its intended location, at all times. This is called Dynamic Positioning.

The rig had apparently just finished cementing steel casing in place at depths exceeding 18,000 ft. The next operation was to suspend the well so that the rig could move to its next drilling location, the idea being that a rig would return to this well later in order to complete the work necessary to bring the well into production.

It is thought that somehow formation fluids – oil /gas – got into the wellbore and were undetected until it was too late to take action. With a floating drilling rig setup, because it moves with the waves, currents, and winds, all of the main pressure control equipment sits on the seabed – the uppermost unmoving point in the well. This pressure control equipment – the Blowout Preventers, or ‘BOP’s” as they’re called, are controlled with redundant systems from the rig. In the event of a serious emergency, there are multiple Panic Buttons to hit, and even fail-safe Deadman systems that should be automatically engaged when something of this proportion breaks out. None of them were aparently activated, suggesting that the blowout was especially swift to escalate at the surface. The flames were visible up to about 35 miles away. Not the glow – the flames. They were 200 – 300 ft high.

All of this will be investigated and it will be some months before all of the particulars are known. For now, it is enough to say that this marvel of modern technology, which had been operating with an excellent safety record, has burned up and sunk taking souls with it.

The well still is apparently flowing oil, which is appearing at the surface as a slick. They have been working with remotely operated vehicles, or ROV’s which are essentially tethered miniature submarines with manipulator arms and other equipment that can perform work underwater while the operator sits on a vessel. These are what were used to explore the Titanic, among other things. Every floating rig has one on board and they are in constant use. In this case, they are deploying ROV’s from dedicated service vessels. They have been trying to close the well in using a specialized port on the BOP’s and a pumping arrangement on their ROV’s. They have been unsuccessful so far. Specialized pollution control vessels have been scrambled to start working the spill, skimming the oil up.

In the coming weeks they will move in at least one other rig to drill a fresh well that will intersect the blowing one at its pay zone. They will use technology that is capable of drilling from a floating rig, over 3 miles deep to an exact specific point in the earth – with a target radius of just a few feet plus or minus. Once they intersect their target, a heavy fluid will be pumped that exceeds the formation’s pressure, thus causing the flow to cease and rendering the well safe at last. It will take at least a couple of months to get this done, bringing all available technology to bear. It will be an ecological disaster if the well flows all of the while; Optimistically, it could bridge off downhole.

It’s a sad day when something like this happens to any rig, but even more so when it happens to something on the cutting edge of our capabilities. The photos that follow show the progression of events over the 36 hours from catching fire to sinking.

30 posted on 04/29/2010 12:44:58 PM PDT by I Buried My Guns (Novare Res!)
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To: TexasCajun

One thing I am wondering about...did the rig sink down on top of the wellhead? If so the devices to close the well might have been damaged.

Just a question.

I have run a bunch of oceanographic research cruises into that area (in fact, I recall sailing past that rig several times), and I have always been amazed it the level of technical complexity involved in those things.


31 posted on 04/29/2010 12:47:17 PM PDT by Sigurdrifta
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

So there is a higher level of redundancy on foreign wells?


32 posted on 04/29/2010 12:49:06 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: Spunky

The SWAT team is the backup authority for the inspectors.

Same reason we had SEALs on oil rigs during the Gulf War.


33 posted on 04/29/2010 12:49:11 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

I was looking at blow out valves on google.
It seems many are made in CHINA.


34 posted on 04/29/2010 12:50:28 PM PDT by mowowie
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To: freekitty
Why would they need a swat team?

Maybe their expecting violence from who knows what. Obama and his henchmen are rather clownish.

35 posted on 04/29/2010 12:51:01 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: I Buried My Guns
Thanks for the post. It sounds like everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
36 posted on 04/29/2010 12:51:58 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: I Buried My Guns
Another question is whose BOP was that on the ocean floor?

Hydril, Cameron, NOV ?? I don't think their insurance will cover the bills.

37 posted on 04/29/2010 12:56:05 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Sigurdrifta
One thing I am wondering about...did the rig sink down on top of the wellhead? If so the devices to close the well might have been damaged.

I believe the rig settled 1500 feet from the bore hole.

38 posted on 04/29/2010 1:01:20 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: moehoward
So there is a higher level of redundancy on foreign wells?

Not necessarily. They just didn't use the remote acoustic device.

39 posted on 04/29/2010 1:04:46 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: Spunky

I hope they packed their undies because they won’t be back for a while.


40 posted on 04/29/2010 1:07:37 PM PDT by mapmaker77
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To: K-oneTexas

The US jurisdiction goes out 200 miles with the exclusive economic zone.


41 posted on 04/29/2010 1:08:05 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

I do not remember the US Congress passing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which contains this 200 mile limit (exclusive economic zone - EEZ). When did that happen? I thought the bill was still in Congress however not acted upon as yet.

In the Gulf of Mexico I would think many countries would be tripping over each others 200 mile limit. I just don’t see mutual friends in nations battle for exploration rights of the sea bead (for oil/ng) in this EEZ. If it is the in the EEZ why would we allow a British company to drill rather than a US company? Doesn’t make real economic sense, except for an Administration that opposes drilling (for American companies on American territory).


42 posted on 04/29/2010 1:19:59 PM PDT by K-oneTexas (I'm not a judge and there ain't enough of me to be a jury. (Zell Miller, A National Party No More))
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To: deport

This sounds like another backup switch to the backup switch for the main switch to trigger the BOP. Since they have had submersible ROVs directly trying to fully actuate the BOP since Sat the 18th I doubt it would have helped.

If the main, direct panel does not work, a remote switch that triggers the main panel is not likely to have helped. If the main breaker trips in your house, it doesn’t matter how many light switches you have, the lights are not coming on until the main breaker is fixed.


43 posted on 04/29/2010 1:27:04 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Tarpon

The rig wreck landed quite a distance from the wellhead. The coast guard web site has pictures, video and drawings of the location of all as well as video of using the BOP control panel afterwards.


44 posted on 04/29/2010 1:30:53 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: K-oneTexas
We still us the 200 mile limit.

Treaties and Conventions to which USA (contiguous states) (USA) is a Member
http://fishbase.org/Country/CountryTreatyList.php?Country=840

45 posted on 04/29/2010 1:40:18 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: K-oneTexas

Also see:

The Federal Government administers the submerged lands, subsoil, and seabed, lying between the seaward extent of the States’ jurisdiction and the seaward extent of Federal jurisdiction.

http://www.mms.gov/aboutmms/ocsdef.htm

Federal jurisdiction is defined under accepted principles of international law. The seaward limit is defined as the farthest of 200 nautical miles seaward of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured or, if the continental shelf can be shown to exceed 200 nautical miles, a distance not greater than a line 100 nautical miles from the 2,500-meter isobath or a line 350 nautical miles from the baseline.

Outer Continental Shelf limits greater than 200 nautical miles but less than either the 2,500 meter isobath plus 100 nautical miles or 350 nautical miles are defined by a line 60 nautical miles seaward of the foot of the continental slope or by a line seaward of the foot of the continental slope connecting points where the sediment thickness divided by the distance to the foot of the slope equals 0.01, whichever is farthest.


46 posted on 04/29/2010 1:46:44 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: K-oneTexas

BP and their partners bought the rights to this lease at the federal auction. BP is the largest oil and gas producer in the US Gulf of Mexico.

BP is also the largest oil producer in all of the US.


47 posted on 04/29/2010 1:52:48 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Yeah I saw the CG pictures too, but it is quite possible that the wiring and pipeline connections to the rig tore out the blow out preventer controls, or even other rig debris.

But to have an explosion in the control room, maybe that was designed to prevent the blowout preventer from being deployed. And that would cause a spill, would it not? And don’t you think that would be the intent, cause a spill spectacular that shows up on TV.

And then Obama says he will have to rethink offshore drilling. Just way too convenient as Rush was saying today.

I doubt anyone is going to risk their billion dollar drill rig and not have one of these blowout preventers down there on the well head. Why it didn’t work, may not be be knowable, yet.

Got to keep digging, the stink is rising. You note Homeland Security is to get involved now ... hmmm


48 posted on 04/29/2010 3:25:42 PM PDT by Tarpon ( ...Rude crude socialist Obama depends on ignorance to force his will on people)
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To: TexasCajun

These particular units were Camerons.


49 posted on 04/29/2010 3:54:35 PM PDT by biff
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To: Tarpon

All lot of suspicion of multiple actions just in case a blowout happened?


50 posted on 04/29/2010 3:55:44 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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