Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This little mathematical exercise is based on a shortened version of the video which Fintan Dunne sent me, so thanks once more to him. Here is the video in question, showing the well which BP insists does not exist, Well B:

Remember that these Lamber coordinates are denominated in feet, the coordinate system which the ROVs' navigation systems use. The video shows X=1202544.78 and Y=10431529.31 at the ROV's steadiest point, and the Initial Exploration Plan calls for Well B to be drilled at the point centered at X=1202514.00 and Y=10431494.00.

This means the ROV is 30.78 feet away from Well B's center on the X-axis (east-west) and 35.31 feet away on the Y-axis (north-south). So that's 46.84 feet in a straight line between the ROV and the well it's looking at, if I calculated correctly (being the hypotenuse of a right triangle with bases 30.78 and 35.31). Honestly I didn't trust my own knowledge of geometry, so I used Wolfram Alpha to cheat. But this certainly looks to be a correct range considering how far away the equipment stack appears in the video.

Taking the same coordinates from the video, the ROV would have been 259.1 feet away from Well A on the X-axis and 87.69 feet distant on the Y, for a straight-line distance of 273.537 feet. So the Skandi Neptune ROV 2 was more than five times closer to site B than A when this video was captured. It's obvious from the coordinates themselves that it was videoing Well B. Now we can even bring the Y-coordinate in for further corroboration, as I just did calculating the distances.

Also note the operation title: Top Hat Removal. This means that I was probably right -- BP was trying to fix the stricken Well B but gave up, and this video is from just days before the alleged successful capping of Well A. With the longer form of this video showing apparent real-time tampering with the on-screen data, who knows what video feeds were showing the real locations of the ROVs and when. But it seems we caught Well B with the true coordinates being shown again before the data stream was altered. And now all we see on TV is the nice, clean Well A with its cap in place, and we are told it was the only one ever built at MC252.

The onscreen data is not superimposed by the ROVs internally before being fed up to the motherships and out to BP -- instead, the raw video feed has the characters inserted in a different video layer by computers on the ships, so it would be very easy for BP to order the composite video feeds they send out to the public altered by simply changing that data overlay and leaving the raw video untouched. That is, of course, before they resize the whole things to tiny resolutions that make it hard to see much of anything...

I think that 47 feet of distance compared to 274 feet is quite meaningful, considering that the wells are only about 300 feet apart themselves. Let me run that number here in real time, in the spirit of BP tampering with their numbers in real time. The two wells are 289.88 feet apart on X, and exactly 123 feet on Y. Keep in mind that this is using the correct figure for Well B's Y-coordinate, which was the subject of a typo in one part of the Exploration Plan. There was a simple transposition of a '41' where should have been '14' in the middle of the Y-coordinate in the section usually quoted, but the correct figure appears in the large color map of the MC252 region in the same document, and the correct location was independently confirmed to me by a surveyor who translated the latitude-longitude numbers into the Lamber figures. But getting back to the numbers, that means that the two wells are exactly 314.997 feet apart, as the shark swims.

So Wells A and B are a hair under 315 feet apart, and the video shows Skandi Neptune ROV 2 looking at a well and sitting just under 47 feet from Well B, which of course does not exist. In order to see Well A the camera would have to peer over 273 feet into the distance. The ROVs are equipped with zoom lenses. What they are not equipped with are spotlights that can penetrate nearly a football field's length of water in those black depths. Using simple math it's obvious -- Well B was caught on video before BP realized the real coordinates were going out to the public, punched a few keys to change them, then crossed their fingers and hoped no one would notice. Mr. Dunne did, then I did the math. BP are busted once again.

For those interested in the backstory of how I discovered this fraud, here are the older posts in chronological order:

RED ALERT: The Other Well
Gone in 18 Seconds: BP's Lie Dismissed
Caught on Camera Again: Non-Existent Well B
Recapping: Well B
RED-HANDED ALERT: BP Caught Doctoring Live Feed


  1. Just this week while doing the "so called tests" I was viewing the ROV's and the coordinates were the same as Well B.