Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oil slick update

BOP Valve

This thread on has provided more useful information and news about what is going on with the oil slick and the efforts to shut down the leaks than anything I've seen on tv. A great deal of informed discussion. Here are some good comments I've seen so far. Start on page 53.

I just received word that the additional use of an accumulator failed to close the hydraulic ram in the BOP. Apparently the hydraulic rams in the BOP are damaged. The rams are used to shear the riser and cut off flow. Apparently the step that is being taken now sub-sea is to cut the riser pipe and install a "smart flange" with a valve assembly. Once the mechanical flange is attached to the remaining riser the valved can be closed to shut off flow. This is easier said than done. If you've ever seen the movie Hell Fire with John Wayne then you'll have a good idea of how it's done on land. Now add 5,000 feet of water and 5,000 bbls/day flow to contend with and this task is extremely difficult (and slow). Let's just hope they (oceaneering) can get it done

These things aren't exactly small, or light weight. As it is a BOP stack is 15-20ft tall, and weights 40,000+ lbs. There's plenty of physical room on a subsea application on bottom, but one can't forget that all that has to be handled, stored, maintained topsides.
I dont' see what a second manufacturer buys anyway. The BOPs are all live tested with actual pipe on FAT. They are a remarkable simple device. They either work or they don't.

(referring to picture above) his is the actual BOP down on the well. The upper assembly, with the shiny stainless panel, is the LMRP, Lower Marine Riser Package.
The lower assembly, with the yellow cylinders, are the rams.
Above the LMRP is a connection called a flex joint that allows the riser going to the surface to move slightly while connected to the BOP.
Underneath the BOP, there is the wellhead connector.
There are at least four ROV vessels on top of this wellhead. I believe each vessel has two ROV's.
There is and has been alot of work going on with trying to shut the BOP rams.
More assets are moving to the field to assist and go to a Plan B if you will. Reference an earlier poster regarding a large torque tool.

I'm pretty sure the LMRP is still on the BOP. There are hydraulic reservoirs that have been put on the sea floor for the ROV's to use in their operations with the BOP.
Deepest Atmospheric Dive Suit (hardsuit) dive is 2000', I think, to date. U.S. Navy.
The BOP get's lowered to the sea floor by the riser. Each riser piece is roughly 90' tall. So they make connection by connection until it's close to the well head. The last riser piece on the surface get's connected to rigs control systems and tensioners. The tensioners then lower the BOP onto the wellhead to be latched up.
In order to get the LMRP off of the BOP, They will need to cut off the riser that has fallen to the sea floor. Before any of that happens, they'll need to shut the well in.
I'm thinking nothing will be released to the press until they are in the clear with shutting the well in.

that survivor just told alot. the only problem is, he just gave everyone, who knows a little about the drilling industry, an idea of how t.o. dropped the ball. you see, after you open the annular, you'd better be monitoring the flow of the well. your pumps are off. if the well is still flowing, something is wrong. so, you close he annular, get on the choke, and close the diverter bag under the rig floor.
oh oh...

Blowout preventer was closed.
When it is opened back up if the well shows signs of flowing
i.e. saltwater coming back up well
You had better close the BOP back and
divert the flow of the well over board and not thru the rig floor.
So what happened here
They closed the BOP to test the well pressure/ cement job.
The BOP was opened the well was showing signs of life and they didn't catch it. A gas bubble came up thru the well. AS it gets higher in the well it expands and speeds up like a run away freight train. Faster and faster almost to the speed of sound, the whole time getting bigger and bigger. The since it isn't diverted over board it comes up thru the rig floor. The rig is flooded with natural gas. The slightest spark sets it off and here we are.

He is not an engineer. I will not speak further because I do know him. He did an excellent job of explaining everything. But what I don't want people to think is that this occurred because someone on the rig missed the signs of the kick.
There was zero time to react for these gentlemen. They did as they were trained to do but as "James" said this was a HUGE kick. Larger than the safety mechanisms were designed to hold.

i would love to see the report because james said that they opened the annular after testing.
after you open the annular, you have to monitor this well intensly. you can't become complacent after cement is poured and riser is displaced. so, if there is a kick, no matter how big, the well will flow and you will see it if you are looking.

I do not want to discuss too many details I am aware of but by the time the attempted to close in the well the BOP did not function. This was attempted on the rig floor as well as on the bridge where the 2nd BOP panel is located. Both attempts failed to close the rams. I have only heard estimates but the kick they took was MASSIVE. Off the charts.
There was only a window of 30 or so seconds from mud spewing through the top of the derrick and attempts are being made to close the well to the explosion wiping out everything on the rig.

The annular is short for Annular blowout preventer. It does close off the annulus. (Space between the casing and outside of the drill string) If there is no drill pipe or tubing string across the annular preventer, it will close to seal the whole area. (Hole)

will assume that all you know about the oil and gas industry is that you can pull up to the gas pump and fill your vehicle with the gas that is processed with the oil that is brought to surface by the oil wells in the Gulf.
The Operator (BP) hires out Transocean to drill a well for them. They work very closely together in all decesion making and planning. They have BP reps on location as well as Transocean Reps. They have meetings several times a day with the folks in the office to discuss current operations and operations moving forward, as well as any unplanned events. They were well aware of the downhole pressures. Everyone was, that is the only way they could have drilled it. They used proper mud weights to offset the reservoir pressures to drill the well safetly. You make it sound like BP hires Transocean and tells them. "Hey I want a well drilled at this location, go drill it and let me know when you are done"

More basic info


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kingfish but I'll wait for the JFP to tell me what happened, who to blame, who to hate and how badly Haley Barbour is responding to the problem. LaddCo ARE the experts on everything so I hope you'll understand my need to wait for their last word on this and all other matters.

Anonymous said...

I spent yesterday afternoon reading about this BP well, and this is what I learned. The well is a mile down on the ocean floor, and it is not a spill. It's a huge vocanic like flow of oil dumping into the Gulf. This has never happened before at this depth, and absolutely nothing they have tried to cap this well has worked. Nothing..... zip. They probably have an idea how much oil is coming out of the well, but they won't say because it's thousands of gallons lot and getting growing. Drilling another well nearby to try and reroute the oil will take three months minimum. Finally, and this makes it even worse. The well is located where the water currents will take the oil to the Florida Keys and the eastern US coastline. Folks, if you like oysters and shrimp like I do, you better have a nice seafood meal at Sal and Phil's soon, or you might be out of luck.

Anonymous said...

Forgot one thing 10:43. It is all George Bush's fault.

Anonymous said...

That is a great link KF, to save time here's a link to an interview of a survivor who was on the rig.

Anonymous said...

Actually 10:47 am its all your fault for allowing your representatives to allow a private corporation cause a catastrophe of this size, when all the research pointed to a high likelihood of this occurring.


Anonymous said...

11:37 No, not my fault...but as I have heard several times lately if Katrina was Bush's fault, then this oil catastrophe is Obama's fault.

12:34 Damn, I just have just been reading about the oil sitting in my recliner hoping we will still have a seafood industry in our state. It's looking very doubtful, too.

Anonymous said...

12:13. Good stuff. Enjoyed hearing a first hand account from a worker on the rig. Everyone should listen. Thanks.

KaptKangaroo said...

You think meat is high. Lets talk seafood. Lets talk unbelievable facts coming out after the event. Lets talk, the rig was only 50 miles out?

Anonymous said...

Eat Mississippi Catfish.

Anonymous said...

Wow. No Haley Barbour meeting with the Federal Leader. Go figure. We can get poor on our own. Fail.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but we'll see his fat ass on TV when First Lady shows up to promote health. Looks like he might now have to cut out fish. Oooops. Looks like he's back to pasta. Didn't even get the chance in this discussion to watch marbles juggle around his mouth. Does he really believe his is Presidential material?

KaptKangaroo said...

KF I do believe that we should address the GW opening of the Gulf for drilling. The "drill baby drill" mentality led to this situation. It would be much appreciated to see a post on the subject of the legislation that allowed this. The monstrosity that was "floated" into the Gulf and tapped just outside "the minimum" allowed by legislation would be a worthy discussion. I feel that those out there that are die hard anti environment might find that the most fervent supporters of the environment are conservatives. I just think there are some out there that do not understand.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, no diver can get through the oil. No respirator will allow for oxygen expiration. Dude. Its going to ruin the Gulf for years. Lets not concern ourselves with balance. Let just tap the MF and drill. Yeah, Palin, how about we trade our mishap for your Tundra.

Anonymous said...

Does he really believe his is Presidential material?

Light years closer to being so than your piss ant self. You're real good at jackin' off. Stick with your strength.

Anonymous said...

Have you run your A/C yet this year Kappy?

Anonymous said...

Good grief.

Am I a liberal extremist because the only oil I want in Destin is Banana Boat, and I prefer my shrimp to be served without a distinctive petroleum aftertaste?

Anonymous said...

Shrimp season was already closed. The idea that yours would have a petroleum aftertaste is a figment of your imagination.

Anonymous said...

No, 10:42, you're not a liberal extremist. Does Rush really believe "a secret group of hippie frogmen snuck onto an oil rig and blew it up?"

Anonymous said...

Actually, 11:49, pink shrimp season just closed. White shrimp season closed in January. BROWN shrimp season starts in June.

Brown shrimp make up about 85% of the total Mississippi shrimp harvest.

In fact, Louisiana opened their brown shrimp season EARLY last week so the shrimpers could harvest as much as they could before the grounds were contaminated.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in NYT

Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?

...The ruptured well, currently pouring an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the gulf, could flow for years and still not begin to approach the 36 billion gallons of oil spilled by retreating Iraqi forces when they left Kuwait in 1991. It is not yet close to the magnitude of the Ixtoc I blowout in the Bay of Campeche in Mexico in 1979, which spilled an estimated 140 million gallons of crude before the gusher could be stopped.

And it will have to get much worse before it approaches the impact of the Exxon Valdez accident of 1989, which contaminated 1,300 miles of largely untouched shoreline and killed tens of thousands of seabirds, otters and seals along with 250 eagles and 22 killer whales.

Anonymous said...

10:49 I guess that's reassuring...

Oil industry support vs supporting seafood, tourist industries, oil wins even if it's a British company, right?

Who cares if people are cancelling their beach reservations and the fishing industry tanks? So all those folks go bankrupt, they drive cars so it's there fault.

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