I'm not much of a fan of Papantonio. One of the most high-priced ambulance chasers in the world. For one, I think we have settled the fact that acoustic switches aren't required here in the US, and as one of our resident PFF oil experts has already mentioned, who is to say that the valve would respond to the acoustic signal? It damn sure isn't responding to anything else we are trying!
I was wondering which liberal would be the first to blame it on Bush/Cheney. Doesn't surprise me it is Papantonio. Now what kind of rebuttal is he going to have when someone reminds him that Obama has been in office for 15 months? I think that is long enough for the Obama administration to make changes to oversight and regulation procedures of our energy production. The guy campaigned non-stop on energy. If he hasn't thoroughly implemented his energy policy oversight procedures by now, just when is he planning on doing it?
If the BOP remote panels didn't close it and the ROV couldn't close it, the acoustical valve wouldn't close it either. The MMS doesn't allow drilling any deeper than permitted. He may be going off the amount of pipe in the hole. You can easily shove 25,000 ft of pipe in a hole that is 18,000 ft deep due to deviation. Or the MMS permitted them to go deeper and deviate from the original permit. Nothing gets done out there without the MMS' say so. Sounds like Papantonio watched Eriv Brokovich and saw the amount of money that could be had from "environmental" cases. A down hole safety valve isn't going to keep pipe in the hole during a blowout. All it does is keep the kick from coming through the work string. Rest assured, thereisn't any "cutting corners" when it comes to the safety of men's lives on these rigs. The rig crews won't stand for it. I for one know that I don't. If there is something we can do, or a piece of equipment that can make our job safer, we get it. The oilfield has changed a LOT in the past 10 years.