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Old 06-23-2010   #31
DurangoSteve's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
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Right now, 10% of global oil production comes from deepwater wells. Most of them have blowout protectors. The ill-fated BP well had a blowout protector. It failed. That is the problem: There's no contingency plan for a failure that happens a mile down. BP is trying to handle it with ROVs, but we see how well that works.

I think a moratorium on deepwater drilling is prudent. New rules should be written that state simply, if the well site is too deep for humans to get to, then the companies must drill a simultaneous relief well to allow for the prompt plugging of a blowout. If drilling a relief well is too expensive or difficult, then no permit should be issued.

Once ROV technology is at a point that oil companies can consistently, promptly and successfully plug a deepwater leak, then the regulations can be loosened.

You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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Old 06-27-2010   #32
Denver, Colorado
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Simpleman, I do blame corporate greed,anti environmentalism,and a wasteful culture of consumption for consumption's sake,and an unwillingness to change.I was merely pointing out the irony ,that the people who are certainly among the main opponents of regulation,environmentalism,efforts to promote conservation,and social change,were being' bitten in the ass' by their own philosophies.Hope they learn a lesson and modify their views.They are entitled to the best assistance the rest of the country can provide to help them help themselves.

' Figures,I advocate for natural gas, on here ,on a lesser of 3 evils[fossil fuels] basis and the next day they[media] start showing those people who can light their faucets on fire due to nat. gas contamination again.Well it may still be the least of 3 evils,but obviously has major negatives too.They apparently have new techniques ,'fragging'?,whereby they pump toxic solvents and large quantities of water into the ground to release nat. gas.Can anyone tell me if other/oldere methods were lower impact and is this necessary to extract harder to get at gas from depleted fields?Also heard the toxic solvents are intellectual property that the companies doing the work are secretive about ,even with the EPA and state regulatory agencies.Did i mention the intellectual 'proprietor" is Halliburton? John Kerry[2006?] alluded to 3.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas already being available in Alaska when arguing opening ANWAR.Does anyone know if this requires fragging?It would require a long ass pipeline that may not be practical.Have you heard of a planned/proposed pipeline for Alberta' tar sand oil ' to be refined /exported from Texas?Anyway gas has it's problems ,big time ,and is supposedly the least detrimental.Clean coal my ass!Maybe cleaner,still filthy.Oil,let's use it more efficiently while we wean ourselves off of it.FULLER'S WORLD OF "MAXIMAL ABUNDANCE' was to be fueled by cheap nukes.Nuclear is the best if we were responsible enough to handle it,WE AREN'T.Even if we were an accident would be inevitable.If the benefits were tremendous and the risks minimized,it Might be worth the rare accident in the future,not now.

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Old 06-28-2010   #33
timbuktu, Colorado
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Why the hell didn't they set explosive charges and blow this damn thing 60 days ago? Is money the reason? Why the President hasn't ordered this to be done is unexplainable. Maybe agenda has something to do with his reasons, I don't claim to know, I'm just guessing.

I've read papers from experts that say it's a very viable option and can be done in a a few days time.

As one of the few dedicated capitalists on this site I am sick of this situation being allowed to continue for no reason. BLOW THAT SON OF BITCHIN' HOLE NOW! You can put 100 Billion $'s in escrow and it ain't going to do damn thing to stop the environmental damage until the f'n flow is stopped.
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Old 06-28-2010   #34
Cheyenne, Wyoming
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I know of the use of explosives in putting out well fires. Basically the explosives are used to burn all the oxygen in the area so that you eliminate one of three factors needed to sustain a fire. I don't know if explosives would work in this situation though.

So a little insight on the relief well that is being drilled. Once the hole is drilled they will then pump concrete in to the existing well bore to stop the flow. Then back the drill stem out ( not all the way) and fill with concrete. Once this is done, they will then redrill again ( not a whole new bore) back into the oil field and place a new well head and blow out preventor. So this way they can continue to extract oil from the field. This may also be the reason for not using explosives on the existing well bore. Y'all don't honestly think they are going to walk away from the oil field they found, do ya? The whole containment cap situation isn't about saving the gulf. It's about BP losing money. There view is, catch what we can until we get a new well bore in place to catch all of it. BP doesn't give a shit about the Gulf of Mexico, they don't even give a shit about the people who live around the Gulf of Mexico. All the give a shit about is there profit margin, and how big there bonus check is gonna be.
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Old 06-28-2010   #35
timbuktu, Colorado
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LineDwag, I'm no deep water engineer but I'd think you could drill 1000 feet down along side the well and set some big directional charges every 50 feet or so. Some scientist say it would at a minimum slow the flow to a trickle which the gulf can handle. From what I've seen new wells don't cost nearly as much as this clean up is expected to cost BP.
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Old 06-28-2010   #36
Land of Lovin, Colorado
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Using explosives as an experiment to stop the gusher could have catastrophic (more so than what is already going on) outcomes. What if instead of clogging the well it shatters the seafloor and we have 1000 mini gushers still pumping out millions of gallons?

5000 feet down is a LOT of pressure, we have never detonated anything in water this deep so we have no frame of reference as to how effective it would be. I don't have a background in petro-geology but this situation is already so f-ed up that attempting an untested idea like explosives cannot be good.
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Old 06-28-2010   #37
timbuktu, Colorado
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I don't know Jen, the sea floor is something like 13500 feet thick before you get to the oil field. One guy I saw on CNN said the explosive option has been used several times around the world and the depth of this spill doesn't present significant challenges. Supposedly the Russians used nukes to "bottom seal" natural gas wells. Everything I've read says the prospect of using explosives is strictly economical. Meaning BP would lose a pile of cash.
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Old 06-28-2010   #38
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Moab, Utah
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25 years in the oil patch

The latest posts about explosives-Won't happen
1)BP would loose potential production
2) They would argue as others have here- too untested

I have to agree with 2. Also, if they could get something along the drill string(casing in the seafloor) with that kind of precision, they would already have done that and be sidetracking into the old well bore, which would be sort of like a relief well. They will get that in there and tag the old hole, but will take about as long as to drill the original.

This ain't the hell catters with John Wayne, The explosives used on the surface act like a giant blowing out the the birthday candles, plus some nitrogen technology to cool things down so the heat doesn't restart the stuff still coming out. That just puts out fires, doesn't stop the stuff coming out.

The most basic and easiest thing they could do to get deep water drilling restarted, with much less risk than in the immediate past, would be to require installation of the .5million$ BOP thingy used elsewhere in the world. I bet the Big guys would say "yes!!!" in a heart beat to get back to tapping that 25,000 BOPD potential down there. A rude comment about teenage boys, hot chicks and condoms come to mind. I also know that the next few years Company Men (the onsite representatives of the operators eg. BP, Exxon, Chevron) will be a bit more careful about following procedures erring on the side of safety. I would like to turn the spotlight back on them in the 2.5 to 3.5 year time frame, when the heat has died down. That's when they'll start slacking again, garanteed.

I also think the blame is going to fall on the Company Man- On drilling projects, the Co Man is god. When the rig is on day rate, the operator essentially owns it. The Co Man decides when to change the mud- or issues standing orders for when changes take place-if this, then that- for ALL aspects of what's happening on the rig. Bit parameters- weight, rpms, pump pressure, penetration rate- you name it. On large rigs(deepwater horizon as big as they get) you'll have a group of people on each aspect- guys (generic guys- can be women too- my wife worked with me for 11 years as a wellsite geologic technician) will be responsible for the directional drilling, another group responsible for the communication with the stuff on the bottom, another group dealing with mud, etc, and the Co Man will get reports and feed back from all of them, but He makes the calls- just like he made the call not to put in the 2nd cement plug to save a day. Unfortunately, it may be a case of he was either intentionally wrong, or unintentionally incompetent.

Either way, it falls on him, and BP who hired him. Delve into his past and I bet he has a record of bringing wells in under budget, and I bet he did it by cutting corners where possible.

I worked as a wellsite geologist all over the West for 25 years before becoming a field biologist, and I never worked on a rig where the BOP wasn't tested before drilling out from surface pipe, and once every 24 hours after that. It would be like driving somewhere without looking at your gas gauge or speedometer- just doesn't happen.

It may take 2 years before we find out what REALLY happened out there, but when we do, you'll see that more than one fuck up occurred. Like drownings- its' never just one red flag- always a combination of stuff.
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Old 06-28-2010   #39
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Moab, Utah
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I just read some stuff online- its probably worse than we thought. The surface pipe -the first couple thousand feet of pipe- is compromised. Its leaking into the surrounding formation. If they crimp the top, or-like using the top kill- do anything to stem the flow at the BOP, it puts more pressure on the compromised surface pipe, and erodes it more quickly. PSI is 15,000- cuts steel like a laser. Thats why they are just letting it flow out- to relieve pressure on the downhole compromised pipe.

If that stuff goes, you get a cone of weakened rock/ poorly consolidated silt and mud, and the stuff just starts comin. Big Time. The relief well better get after it. We ain't heard the start of what BP isn't telling us.
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Old 07-23-2010   #40
Los Angeles, California
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I blame lack of government regulation in the oceans. Someone's gotta be responsible for it.

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