Statement by BP, August 21, 2010:
BP has been authorized to begin open water fishing operations... aim[ed] at removing drill pipe within the MC252 BOP. Operations commenced this morning.
Following successful fishing operations and authorization from the NIC, BP will proceed with replacement of the original BOP with the BOP from the Transocean Development Driller II (DDII). ...
In the case fishing operations are unsuccessful, BP and the federal science team are developing contingency procedures which would be carried out under the approval from the NIC.
AFP reports, "BP said Saturday it began removing drill pipe and other equipment from a damaged wellhead under the Gulf of Mexico."
Both Bob Bea and Matt Simmons have commented on this "other equipment" in the wellhead.
Flashback: Discovery of second pipe in Deepwater Horizon riser stirs debate among experts, New Orleans Times Picayune, July 9, 2010:
For the first time Friday, the Coast Guard and BP acknowledged that a mysterious second pipe, wedged next to the drill pipe. "We found there was actually two sets of drill pipe there," said retired Adm. ...
Some experts [including Robert Bea] have advanced another explanation. They believe poorly cemented casings -- tubes that are supposed to form solid walls down thousands of feet of the well bore -- may have been dislodged by the blast of natural gas that shot up out of the well and above the sea floor.
Matt Simmons discussed the "mystery" pipe just weeks before his death.
Nuke the Oil Well?, CNBC, July 7, 2010:
Rush Transcript Excerpts
Matt Simmons: There's now sufficient scientific evidence... the government finally did, i think, subsea sonar imaging at the end of last week about the actual BOP.
And coming up through five stories of steel were two shafts of the casing.
Which really indicates that [the casing] must have come out at such tremendous pressures.
What are the ramifications of losing portions of the casing? Oil and gas expert Bob Cavnar called it "The Real Doomsday Scenario":