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    #61
    Originally posted by ombugge View Post
    Hopefully they will be able to close the rams and shut off the flow entirely, or at least they will be able to all the oil and gas to surface in a controlled manner, where it can be processed, provided they have enough processing capacity to handle the flow and enough storage capacity to handle it between shipment to shore.
    I hope they get it capped before a hurricane heads their way. It would be a huge delay for everyone to get out of the way of the storm and then come back and start work again.

    Comment


      #62
      I guess the next few hours will let us know if they can shut it down or not. Looking at Skandi Nuptune's No2 ROV and there is still oil and gas venting through the top outlet of the sealing cap. After listening to the latest tech update, that flow from the top of the cap will stop once they start the pressure testing, flow will be diverted to the side outlets, they will then close each one of those down in turn.

      If the pressure builds, and then stays at a high level when they close the last ram, then hopefully all will be good. If the pressure fails to build, or starts to drop off, then obviously there is a containment problem somewhere else in the well. If that was the case they would be opening those rams up again rather sharpish, just in case the oil and gas was making it's way to the surface by some other route.

      It sounds like pressure readings of 6000 PSI would not be good, a reading like that would indicate a breach somewhere, but a steady pressure above 8000 PSI would be a good indicator. A reading between the two would have them concerned enough not to keep the well shut off from the top.

      Lets hope they get good high and consistent pressures when they close those rams.
      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

      Comment


        #63
        I am trying to work out what Enterprise ROV1 is doing, or what exactly it's looking at. It looks like a very large piece of their equipment is totally covered in some sort of debris, at first i thought the ROV was looking for something on the seabed, but then i could see that it's actually trying to clear a thick layer of loose debris from something. Where could all of this mess come from?, it's been so clear down there until now. Unless it's rooting around amongst some old debris from the initial disaster.

        I have also just heard on the news that testing of the well is now on hold for the time being. No explanation yet why the test is delayed. Hope it's nothing to do with the mess that i have seen on the ROV footage.
        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

        Comment


          #64
          A quick look at Enterprise ROV 1 feed and it appears that this ROV is just holding on to the earlier "Cap" at a depth of something like 4350 ft.
          I don't know why this hasn't been pulled to surface, but maybe it is just stand by for re-use if the present operation should fail.
          (To pull and re-run 5000 ft. of riser takes quite some time, even with quick connecting riser)

          The Enterprise is disconnected and bound to have moved somewhat off structure to allow all this activity to take place.

          From the Skandi Neptune ROV 2 it appears that there is no reduction in the oil that escapes as yet. Not surprising if they haven't started to close off the wellbore yet.

          It will be interesting to see when they actually start to shut in this well, how it will behave and what pressure will be obtained in the wellbore.
          If the pressure build up close to the estimated rupture pressure of the large top casing, they will need to be quick to open the rams again, and maybe re-set the original Cap, but this time on top of the new 3-ram stack.

          Comment


            #65
            So the test is well underway, been keeping one eye on proceedings over the last couple of hours. Been nothing venting from the top of the stack for a long time now. Looks like they have the flow venting from one side only now - was coming out of both sides a while ago. At the moment i would say they have the full flow of the well coming out that one vent, it's a very large plume.

            Would be nice to wake up to a plume free stack in the morning.
            Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

            Comment


              #66
              I have taken over the "duty" from Steve to watch the events as they happens.
              Right now not much appears to be happening actually. I'm watching Skandi Neptune ROV 2 watching ROV 1 spraying dispersant into the oil plume, which is still coming out through one side vent.

              Olympic Challenger ROV 1 is watching the inlet pressure slowly rise, which may indicate that they are doing something.

              If nothing else, they should be able to run a riser down and connect to the top of the new 3-ram stack to divert all the flow to surface in a controlled manner, where it can be distributed to the three vessels with processing facilities, said to be sufficient to cater for whatever is coming out of the wellbore.

              I'll be watching for a while longer.

              Comment


                #67
                I thought I'll just show what a ROV Control Panel look like. Especially for Steve, who may aspire to become a ROV Pilot after all the hours he has spent watching how they are operated.

                ROV 1 Operating Panel on board CSV "Normand Clough":


                ROV 2 Operating Panel:


                In this case they are in the same room, but facing in opposite direction to avoid too much interference, yet be able to communicate directly, if required.

                Comment


                  #68
                  What are your thoughts on the use of dispersants, Ombugge? There was a brief discussion on the news yesterday on the immense ecological damage it can do, especially used on the scale it would be in this case. I've been keeping up with your and Steve's postings on Deepwater and occasionally watching the ROV's (good to see your photos, by the way) and I know that you have several times emphasised that in time the oil would naturally degrade and marine life return to normal.
                  Ivy

                  "To thine own self be true.......
                  Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Will comment on earlier posts later, but at the moment there are 10 ROV's online, none showing any plumes. I think the test is underway. Fingers crossed.
                    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Here is a short video showing the capping stack.

                      http://bp.concerts.com/gom/riser_cap...ack_070110.htm

                      The capping stack.

                      Photo copyright BP PLC
                      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                        I thought I'll just show what a ROV Control Panel look like. Especially for Steve, who may aspire to become a ROV Pilot after all the hours he has spent watching how they are operated.
                        Impressive control stations, i should imagine that it takes a very long time to become a good operator. Lots of intense concentration needed. Do i see foot controls under the desk also? Must be strange not being able to actually feel the responses to the controls, piloting a plane, helicopter, or even just driving a car you can feel the vehicle responding to your inputs. Must be like loosing one of your senses in a way. The crew operating these ROV's seem to make it look so easy, very experienced people indeed. Like Ombugge said, probably some of the best operators in the world.

                        Good to see the photos of the control stations, thank you for posting. I must admit it would be interesting to have a go on one, but somehow i don't think they let just anybody play with their multi-million dollar toys, well not without many hours of training in a simulator first.
                        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
                          Will comment on earlier posts later, but at the moment there are 10 ROV's online, none showing any plumes. I think the test is underway. Fingers crossed.
                          Over an hour in and still no plumes, just been looking at No 2 ROV from the Skandi, perfect view of the whole capping stack without any oil or gas venting! Have also noticed that the text in the ROV screen has changed from 'Plume Monitoring', to 'Stack Monitoring'.

                          So the capping stack seems to be able to handle the pressure, let's just hope the well casing below the seabed can also do so.

                          A very good sight from Skandi number 2 ROV.
                          Last edited by Steve.B; July 15th, 2010, 23:03.
                          Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Early days, but, if this test does prove that the wells integrity is ok, what's to stop BP now doing a normal top kill on this well? If they have integrity will it then be a fairly routine operation?. They will know exactly what pressures they are dealing with, plus they are not going to be losing the liquid mud straight out the of the top of the stack like last time.

                            If this test is positive, i wonder if they will try it?
                            Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
                              Early days, but, if this test does prove that the wells integrity is ok, what's to stop BP now doing a normal top kill on this well? If they have integrity will it then be a fairly routine operation?. They will know exactly what pressures they are dealing with, plus they are not going to be losing the liquid mud straight out the of the top of the stack like last time.

                              If this test is positive, i wonder if they will try it?
                              I would think that will depend on the pressure build-up in the casing. If the pressure is within their pumping capability they may try to pump heavy mud down the choke and/or kill line on the 3-ram stack, or the main BOP to overcome the wellbore pressure and force heavy killmud down the well.

                              There doesn't appear to be any way to enter with drillpipe, however, which would have made it possible to remove the drillpipe that is presently in the hole and go in with new pipe to kill the well from the bottom, then close it off with a cement plug above where ever the leak into the casing has occurred.

                              I have no idea what pressure rating the 3-ram stack has, or the rupture pressure for the casing string that is in the wellbore, but I'm sure all the angles have been taken into consideration by BP expert on site and all the advisers available to the Government.

                              Fingers and toes crossed.

                              By the way, for the first time as I have seen they show the asdic screen from one of the ROVs (Skadi Neptune ROV 1) I have no idea what they are searching for though.

                              The Enterprise appears to be lowering another tool (or BOP stack?), but I'm unable to determine what it may be for at this time.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Originally posted by wherrygirl View Post
                                What are your thoughts on the use of dispersants, Ombugge? There was a brief discussion on the news yesterday on the immense ecological damage it can do, especially used on the scale it would be in this case. I've been keeping up with your and Steve's postings on Deepwater and occasionally watching the ROV's (good to see your photos, by the way) and I know that you have several times emphasised that in time the oil would naturally degrade and marine life return to normal.
                                Dispersants of various kinds has been used for many years, mainly to make the oil break up into smaller droplets, which will sink below surface and "out of sight, out of mind".
                                In theory the smaller droplets makes the natural biological degradation quicker as well, thus avoiding that the pesky "Tarballs" formes on surface.

                                As you all will know by now, what comes out of the well is not just Crude Oil, but a mixture of Oil, Gas, Water and maybe some solid particles.
                                This is called Well Fluid. In normal circumstances this mixture goes through a series of stages to separate the various components into stabilized Crude Oil and Natural Gas for transportation to shore. Produced Water is cleaned before being returned to sea and any solids are washed before dumping, or transported to shore for disposal.

                                In this case the Well Fluid escapes to sea at a great depth, and spreads out in the water column before reaching surface. Since the surface water in the Gulf of Mexico is very warm at this time of the year (25-30 C) the lighter parts of the oil will evaporate and leave a thick sticky substance, as seen in numerous news reports, giving photo opportunities for just as numerous politicians.

                                If the oil is captured close to where it reach surface, it can be burnt off, together with the gas that also raises to surface. But, as they apply dispersant already the well head, some of the oil may not even reach surface near the site. That has been one of the arguments against applying dispersant at source.

                                Once it has "solidified" into that stick substance, it is no longer as easy to skim, or to burn off, as the light and easily combustible part of the Crude oil is gone. Spraying dispersant on this may be a waste of time and money, and possibly be more toxic than the residual oil itself, but it makes the public happy to see that "somebody is doing something" to save the environment.

                                As for the effects of oil spill on water, it is not as harmful as it has been made out to be. Fish generally swim below surface and lay their roe on the bottom. If the oil is not made to sink, by applying dispersant, fish in open waters are not overly affected.
                                Seabirds, seals and turtles covered in oil give dramatic footage on TV, but may not affect the over all balance of nature for any length of time.

                                As mentioned several times before, the larges man-made oil spill in history happened in the Arabian Gulf in the 1980s and early 1990s, when millions of barrels of oil escaped from sunken VLCCs, damaged offshore platforms and eventually from oil wells in Kuwait. The main worries for the countries around this relatively small and almost land-locked body of water, was that that now so familiar sticky residue would get into the intakes of their desalination plants, thus cutting off their water supply.

                                Twenty years later the area is as rich in fish and bird life at is has ever been, but this is not mentioned very much in the media hysteria over the present oil spill.

                                Another little known, or at least talked about fact is that there are many natural oil seepages from the seabed in the Gulf of Mexico and that tarballs from these sometimes end up on the beaches and in the marshes and Bayous of Louisiana, and has done so for hundreds of years.

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