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  • ombugge
    replied
    The well has been intersected by the relief well and can now be completely sealed from the bottom up. End of the sage, expect for the court cases and enquiries, which will last for years.

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    I have only read the summary so far, but i was also very surprised with the way that the rig was being run. Bad judgement calls, wrong action taken, or action not being taken at the correct time. If this was indeed the case, then we really cannot be surprised that maintenance on the BOP was so poor.

    I would not say that any corners were deliberately cut, but i can only assume that complacency played a big part in the whole tragic affair.

    Sadly the decision not to divert the flow overboard must have sealed the fate of the 11 that died. Whether this was a result of someone panicking and making a wrong call, or whether someone had not got the full picture of what was really happening, we do not know.

    In my view the biggest thing that should be learnt from this tragedy is that there is no room at all for ANY complacency aboard such installations.

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  • ombugge
    replied
    The BP internal report is now available on bp.com.
    I have just watched the Video presentation and read through the Executive Summary and is totally baffled by the findings and the inaction that appears to have been from those responsible for well integrity and well control.

    Once they were gaining mud in the pits it should have been "like a red cloth in front of a bull" and the well should be shut in until an explanation was found and the well controlled. (This is known as a "kick" and is not at all uncommon during drilling, but should not happen during P&A)

    Once the gas had reached the surface it should have been diverted to the lee side through the Diverter lines, away from the rig, not through the Mud Gas Separator (known as the Poor Boy), thus allowed to migrate throughout the unit and into non-intransigent areas.

    Even more astonishing is the number of equipment failures that contributed to this tragic accident. BOP failed to function as it should, LMRP could not be disconnected, Fire and Gas detection and control system failed to shut down ventilation to the generator rooms. (There are two sparate Generator Rooms on a DP-3 rig)

    DWH was a DP-3 classed rig, which mean that there are 100% redundancy for all vital systems involved with the DP system and propulsion thrusters. Even so they lost all Main power.

    When they lost main power, the thrusters would have stopped and the rig would drift away from the location with the wind and current, eventually getting outside the 2% of Water Depth that is allowed.
    When that happen they tried to disconnect the LMRP from the top of the BOP Stack, but it failed.

    Even if the well had not been shut in by the normal operation from surface, this sequence of events should have activated the Shear Ram(s) and effectively shut any flow from the wellbore. But this did not happen, because a solenoid in one pod was faulty and the other did not have sufficient electric charge to trigger the function, apparently.

    I have been on about Acoustic Remote Operation of the BOP Stack, but that probably wouldn't work either as long as both pods wasn't functioning. Even so, it should be compulsory, as the likelihood of the same series of events as here is unlikely to happen again, IA.
    Last edited by ombugge; September 9th, 2010, 11:30.

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    I have just been reading the latest press release on the BP site, nothing new to what Ombugge mentions. But i did have a chuckle when i read one sentance from the press release......

    The DWH BOP was taken into custody by the US Department of Justice as evidence in its ongoing investigation into the incident.
    No doubt slapped in handcuffs and dragged off to be read it's rights! (I think it will need a good lawyer)

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  • ombugge
    replied
    The DW Horizon drama is coming towards a close. The well has been killed and sealed with a Cement plug and there is no longer any danger of oil spill from this welbore.

    Two days ago the DWH BOP Stack was recovered to surface by the Q4000 and is now being the subject of more attention than a Hollywood star. Let's hope they come up with some indisputable conclusion as to why the BOP stack failed to close at the crucial moment. This is important in order to avoid such accidents in the future and to divide the liability justly and fairly between the various parties involved, not just blame BP as the "Owner" and "Operator" of the concession, and therefore solely "responsible" for the way the well design , drilling operation and "Plug and Abandon" procedure and execution was done. It is easy to find something to blame BP for here, but they are not the only one to be blamed.

    Although they are now able to enter the wellbore from the top and set more retainers and cement plugs, it is still planned to intercept the well at depth to "fill it up" with cement to ensure that there can be no leaks through the annulus at any time in the future.

    It will be interesting to see what kind of conclusions will come from this whole debacle, and what kind of new rules and regulations will be brought to bear on future deep water drilling operations in the GOM and elsewhere.

    The three worst accidents involving US Drilling Contractors or Oil Companies, (Ocean Ranger, Glomar Java Sea and Sea Quest sinking) did not bring any meaningful changes to the way things were done, although the loss of life (84, 84 and 92 respectively) has only been exceeded by the Piper Alpha and Alexander Kielland disasters in the North Sea, both of which brought about substantial changes.
    Last edited by ombugge; September 6th, 2010, 09:00.

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  • ombugge
    replied
    Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
    Anybody heard how BP are getting on with their 'fishing'? Have not heard anything new for a few days now. The last i heard was that they were happy with all tests concerning the static kill, and were now in the process of fishing for the drill pipe that is still inside the BOP. I am guessing they must have removed the capping stack in order to do this?

    If successful in removing the drill pipe from the BOP they were going to lift the faulty BOP to the surface and replace it with another one. They started fishing last Saturday, but i have not heard anymore since then.

    I guess quite a few questions will be answered, and a few arguments settled once the original BOP in on the surface.
    I haven't seen anything new lately, but they should have been able to get the drillpipe removed by now, unless they have had some serious problems, or bad weather.

    You are right, the Capping Stack did not have facilities to allow passing tools through it and must be removed to get access to the BOP and wellbore to do "fishing".

    As for whether things will be clearer once the original Deepwater Horizon BOP Stack gets ashore for forensic studies, let's hope so. If arguments will be settled is still debatable. This will be a long and tedious process, with arguments galore. Remember the famous; depends what you mean by "and" (In the Clinton/Monica case??)

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  • ombugge
    replied
    Originally posted by pilotdane View Post
    Ah, so you do understand how things work in the USA.
    Maybe somebody should explain to the jury members that BP is actually traded on the NYSE and about 40% owned by American investors, mainly institution like pension fund etc. so "socking it to them foreigners" my jeopardize their pensions.

    Nah, I don't think that will do much difference either.

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    Bill, sorry i have not commented on your posts before now. Having now had the time to read them properly, i just thought i had to say it's good to hear someone from the region affected keeping a level head over all of this. And i am sure your not the only one local that can see through all of the hysteria that's been going on for months now.

    Yes mistakes must have been made, but at the end of the day i totally agree with you, this was not done deliberately, nobody wanted this to happen, nobody believed it could happen, it was just a very tragic accident. And like with all accidents, lessons will be learned.

    I still think that it was fortunate that if such a tragedy did happen, that it happened to a company as big as BP. I am sure some of the smaller oil companies in the Gulf would not have been able to financially respond in the way BP have. I think a lot more people should be giving them a bit more credit than they have received.

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  • Steve.B
    replied
    Anybody heard how BP are getting on with their 'fishing'? Have not heard anything new for a few days now. The last i heard was that they were happy with all tests concerning the static kill, and were now in the process of fishing for the drill pipe that is still inside the BOP. I am guessing they must have removed the capping stack in order to do this?

    If successful in removing the drill pipe from the BOP they were going to lift the faulty BOP to the surface and replace it with another one. They started fishing last Saturday, but i have not heard anymore since then.

    I guess quite a few questions will be answered, and a few arguments settled once the original BOP in on the surface.

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  • pilotdane
    replied
    Ah, so you do understand how things work in the USA.

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  • ombugge
    replied
    At least there are a few people that will be making a good living out of this for the foreseeable future; Lawyers!!!!

    What a circus this build up to become.

    I can see where there will be some opportunists trying their luck. Say an "unemployable" man in his 20s who has never done an honest days work in his life, but happen to live within 100 miles from the Gulf Coast. He gets approached by a greedy lawyer, who cook up some hardship story. He is persuaded to claim that he has lost his "livelihood" because of the "BP spill" and demand compensation for the rest of his natural life, with an assumed 6-digit annual income.

    With your jury system and the defendant being seen as a foreign company, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see such claims being honoured, to the tunes of millions of dollars (Refr. the McDonald coffee scam)

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  • bigboatbill
    replied
    ombugge,
    Sorry I was so long in getting back. Thanks for noticing my posts and yes I completely agree with you about the hysteria. Take a look at this website. It is from our local New Orleans newspaper. There are some really cool graphics, images, and a chance for everybody to get a REAL VIEW of the local opinion. Currently there are “scum” Lawyers trying to sue BP over their use of dispersants. A person I know who was a cleanup worker ON SHORE. Worked for 3 days then spent 5 days in the hospital complaining of breathing problems. He feels he is permanently disabled because of BP’s use of dispersants.
    Recently I read an article that says that the chemicals in the dispersants are no more harmful than what is discharged into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River. As a matter of fact the pollution in the river is more harmful than the dispersants. WOW huh???

    Here is the link for the local Newspaper: www.NOLA.com

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  • ombugge
    replied
    OK, the well is "kill"!!! Congratulation BP!!! A job well done, although not everybody see it that way.
    I.e it is in hydraulic balance, where the hydrostatic pressure from the mud in the wellbore is equal to the formation pressure, thus there is no flow. This is a "normal" way of killing a well, once the BOP is closed.

    What is not so normal is that they cannot go in with drill pipe to sett a Cement plug. To do this "from the top" means that they will have to pump the cement down through the Choke and/or Kill line, into the wellbore.
    Since they don't have circulation, to get the cement to the bottom of the well, they have to keep on pumping to overcome the formation pressure, thus driving the oil, gas and the heavy mud already in the wellbore into the formation.

    Mud and Cement isn't pumped as a mixture, as appears to be what BBC is believing. The cement is pumped down as a "pill", with mud below and above.
    Once the cement "pill" reach the required depth below seabed, they will have to balance the well pressure again and let the cement set.

    It then become a cement "plug", effectively sealing the well and enable the hydrostatic pressure above the plug to be reduced to test the plug. If the well starts to flow again, they need to increase the pressure again to "kill" the well and probably wait for the relief well to be completed to be able to pump cement in from the bottom and close also the annulus between the casings in the string.

    As long at the hydraulics is in balance, there should be no problem to maintain control of the well and avoid any more oil flowing into the Gulf.
    If a Hurricane should approach, the can just close all valves at the BOP/Cap to maintain control. Even if there should be a small internal leak in the wellbore and the formation pressure overcome the hydrostatic weight of the mud, this will be contained by the BOP/Cap and not cause any oil leaks to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    A bit of grievances:
    I still don't understand why BP is the ONLY company that take responsibility for the mishap and the cleanup?

    Why doesn't the politicians and the press go after Transocean? After all, they owned the rig with the faulty BOP and their Rig Manager/Drilling Superintendent has the authority to stop unsafe operation, no matter what the client rep (Companyman) say or do.

    When the hysteria dies down I hope the aftermath get a little more nuanced and fair. You cannot fine BP in the billions and let their Drilling Contractor (Transocean) hide behind the USD 75 Mill. liability limitation.

    That BP is seen as a "Foreign" company, while Transocean is seen as "Local" is also not fair. The US operation of both companies are not run by the CEO and Chairman of the Board sitting in London, or in Zug, Switzerland, in the case of Transocean. (At least officially)

    The origin of the parent company for BP America Inc. is indeed London, while the operational HQ is in Houston, Texas, and they pay their taxes and dues to that State and the Federal coffers.

    As for Transocean, their actual world wide and operational HQ is also in Houston, Texas, while their "official" HQ is in Zug ONLY for taxation reasons. Or rather to AVOID paying US taxes, State or Federal as much as possible.
    All their Deepwater rigs working in th GOM are registered outside US, built outside US and with mostly foreign equipment.

    Nice to see bigboatbill on this thread to give us some input from the Deep South.
    Unfortunately there have been a lot of hysteria and ill informed statements from the politicians, and from most of the press in the area.
    I just wonder how many wildassed claims and legal actions will follow from this?

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  • bigboatbill
    replied
    Local "OPINION" (only)

    I work in New Orleans, and live north of the city. I worked offshore for 2 years in the 1980's, and thought you would like to hear from a local person about this spill. New Orleans and the Gulf Coast was DEVASTATED by hurricane Katrina in 2005. We still have not recovered fully. Then we, like the rest of the country, and other parts of the world, we were hit by the economic downfall. Our economy relies on tourism, shipping, and oil and gas.
    Tourism, and oil and gas have been basically suspended. The entire gulf is run by Republican Governors, blaming everyone except their own party that loosened the Laws that govern drilling (Our former President and Vice-President, both Oil Barons). And want to blame The current President, and the horrible, rich, European oil company for doing this to us maliciously.
    The truth is:
    1.) How ever it happened. It was truely an accident, and BP has stepped up and has taken responsibility for the clean-up, and a lot more.

    2.) The B.O.P. did not have an remote accoustic shut-off because the U.S. doesn't require them. Afterall it cost $500,000.00, and is only used as a measure of last resort "besides the shut-off on the B.O.P. almost always works". Norway and Brazil, as well as other oil producing nations do require them, Norway since 1993. I know that if B.P. thought it would be needed, they would rather spend Thousands to have one, than Billions not to have one.

    3.) US President Obama put a 6 month moretoreum only on deep sea drilling. We still have deep sea production platforms producing. Norway removed 4 bocks from auction until the results of the spill are known. We still don't know what happened. These leaders did the prudent thing.

    4.) That horrible BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg called us "Little People" (even though we know what he meant) "HE TALKS FUNNY!!!!" The truth is, is that He's educated enough to speak more than one language. Very well I might add, and because he speaks with an accent some people are looking for someone to make a villain. The same with Tony Hayward. Both were very elequent, remorseful, seemingly wanting to do the right thing. So they replaced him with a man with a southern accent to pacify those people.

    The real truth is that your dealing with a region that has had very bad luck for a very long time. Most are not well educated, and care nothing for the world except their part of it. Everyone INCLUDING US, has a part of the blame to share. And acts of God, and accidents of man, bring out the worst in people. We are good people. We just got hit really hard and it's going to hurt for a very long time.

    **THIS IS NOT MEANT AS POLITICAL RANT, ONLY AN EXPLAINATION OF THE REGION**

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  • bigboatbill
    replied
    Gulf oil spill video timeline.

    I found this video/diagram showing the accident from day one to today showing efforts to stop the leak underwater. And where the oil reached the surface, coast and currents. It was claimed to be made by the local New Orleans, Louisiana newspaper website (www.NOLA.com). It is pretty good and tells each day what was happening to the site, the spread of the oil and where it affected the coast. It is split-screen, the top portion showing a map of the gulf and the surface spread, and the bottom portion showing what efforts were being done on that particular day. Please take a look.

    http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-sp...ster/index.ssf

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