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Deepwater Horizon

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    Deepwater Horizon

    I have just noticed that BP has updated their Deepwater Horizon Responce webpage. If you click on the "live ROV footage" button it takes you to a page where you can view the live cameras from 12 ROV's based on six different ships.

    From the live ROV video section of the Deepwater Horizon Responce website I am looking up the ships that they have on site.

    Discoverer Enterprise

    Ocean Intervention III

    Viking Posseidon (an X bow)

    Boa Deep C




      Thanks for all of those links Dane, i have been looking at the various ROV cameras over the last few days. A couple of days ago the cameras were still live whilst the ROV was aboard the ship being serviced - Skandi maybe, so not all the viewing is purely watching oil gushing out. Seems that there is still one hell of a lot of oil escaping.

      I have a question that maybe one or two of our members will be able to answer. What was the original riser made of, and what sort of wall thickness and overall diameter would it have had? I am just curious to know how flexible it was? If it were made of a reasonably flexible steel i may have been temped to send a nice big pair of hydraulic clamps down in order to simply try and crush the darn pipe. The fact that they did not suggests that presumably the riser would have been too brittle to attempt such a thing? Just one of my wild ideas.
      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


        As far as I know, the riser had an OD of 21", with wall thickness of 5/8".


        I don't think the idea of crushing the pipe would work.
        The pressure from the well would soon have it leaking again.
        Remember that the BOP was rated to withstand a pressure of 15000 psi.
        ( But don't know what the actual pressure is )

        The best way to stop/minimize the leak is to get control of the flow from the well,
        until one or both of the two relief wells being drilled, can permanently seal it.

        PS The Skandi vessel is the "Skandi Neptune".


          Thanks Nichu, i have also just realised that the riser still contained the drill pipe, so crushing it would never have sealed it anyway. But my idea is well out of date anyway seeing that the riser is now cut away from the BOP. I was just wondering if crushing would have been a measure to try and decrease the flow until they were ready to cut the riser.
          Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


            I get so mad! There is a very popular morning news show that my wife likes to watch. The announcers, talking to the whole nation, are just saying "how hard can it be to just shove something in the pipe and stop it up...". It is a shame that many of the news people do not bother to learn about what they are reporting. I would love to see a television reporter dragged down there by an ROV so they can stick their finger in the BOP to stop the flow. I am most curious if they would say "ouch" because of the extreme pressure or high temperature.

            I wonder what the temperature is of the oil coming out of the well?


              Doing anything 5000 feet down must be a nightmare, or doing anything with an ROV in even 50 foot of water must be so difficult. Then chuck into the equation the fact that you cannot see anything through the wall of gushing oil and gas, all the time trying not to put your arm directly into the path of the oil that is flying out at god only knows what pressure. Add to that the fact that ROV's do not yet have 3D vision, so judging depth of field is going to a nightmare as well. Put the whole lot together and you get almost impossible working conditions. I have just watched 3 ROV's taking half an hour just to put a sling around a pipe, on the surface one man could do the same in just a few seconds. Maybe the President should go to site and have a go for himself, then maybe he might stop shouting his mouth off about BP's efforts. Or maybe just hand him a garden hosepipe that is connected up to normal mains water - lets say about 40 psi, tell him to stick his finger over the end and then turn on the water! 10.000 psi, 5000 feet down? Not good.

              BP themselves are making it clear that they will not be able to stop oil escaping until they successfully intercept the well further down and kill it that way, and they are still weeks away from that happening. By the end of June they hope to have refined the system they are using at the moment, but even then they are saying that they will still be venting considerable amounts of oil subsea. So i guess Mr Obama will have a very sore throat by then.
              Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                There is something rotten with the rhetoric that is coming out of the White House and Congress in respect of this accident. To play politics doesn't help stopping the flow of oil, or cleaning up what is already on the beaches.

                To beat up on BP is also counter productive and contribute nothing to the effort. They see BP as a Foreign (British) Oil Company, while its American branch is as American as Apple Pie. It is the remnant of two American Oil Companies (AMOCO and ARCO) which was taken over some years ago.
                The day-to-day operation in the US is still run by Americans, many of whom came from those two companies.

                As said in another thread, BP has a very good safety record and reputation outside USA, but have not been able to instigate their safety consciousness to their US operations, as proven by three major incidents in the last few years.

                The other thing that is notable is the total absents of other players in the rhetoric from Washington. After all Transocean owned and operated the DW Horizon and was fully responsible for the maintenance of the rig and equipment, as well as the execution of the drilling operation. The ultimate authority and responsibility on board a Drilling Rig (MODU) rests with the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) and the Drilling Superintendent. (May be the same person)

                BP's Representative on board, (called "Companyman") may "call the shots", but legally he has only an advisory function. This is unfortunately not always understood by the people involved.

                Transocean is seen as (and de facto is) an American Company, although their Corporate Headquarter is in Zug in Switzerland. (Recently move there from Cayman Islands, when Pres. Obama clamped down on registration in tax heavens)

                They are mainly busy trying to avoid paying compensation to those who got hurt and the families of those who died in the accident, limiting their over-all liability to USD 75 Mill. per incident.

                Otherwise Transocean is keeping a VERY low profile, but at the same time the three rigs on location (DD2, DD3, and Discoverer Enterprise) all belong to Transocean and on hire to BP at a very high dayrate. (Around USD 500k/day each unit)

                The third company involved in the operation when this accident started was Halliburton, who supplied the Cementing Services. They are also very much an American company, although their Corporate Headquarters is in Dubai, UAE. The Cementer on board apparently advised the Companyman that the procedure that was chosen to set the cement plug was not appropriate, yet went ahead and did it when "instructed" by the Companyman to do so. (No balls??)

                The predicament in the Offshore Oil & Gas Industry, especially around self-propelled floating units like here, is the fussy "Line of Command" that exists between the Captain, OIM/Drilling Superintendent and the Companyman.
                Yes, the Operator (BP in this case) own the concession and is ultimately responsible towards the Authorities for the way the drilling operation is conducted, especially when things goes wrong, the they are dependent on their Contractors to actually perform the various operations in a safe manner, and to maintain and test their equipment to the highest standard of safety.

                I have done many rigmoves and numerous inspections on rigs and vessel working for BP, as well as acceptance inspections on MODUs and Construction Vessels as part of BPs 4-5 men Inspection Team.
                I can therefore say without a doubt that BP is one of the most safety conscious Oil Companies in the world, with the most stringent criteria for acceptance in the business.

                So, Mr. Obama et all;l stop playing politic with something that can only hurt BP and ultimately the many US shareholders in BP, incl. pension funds etc.
                It doesn't help one bit with the task at hand; Shutting in the well and stopping the flow of oil.
                Bad as it looks now, the oil will eventually be "eaten up" by natural processes, the fish will still swim and the birds will be back. The beaches for tourists can be cleaned fairly quickly, once no more oil is leaking from the well.


                  I have just counted no fewer than 10 ROV's operating on site at the same time. A couple are monitoring certain sections of the make shift riser, another couple seem to be injecting detergents straight into the flow of escaping oil. The others just seem to be sitting back monitoring the whole situation. That makes for quite a few umbilical's going off in different directions to the various ships. Amazing how these ROV's can sit happily on station without any obvious fuss.
                  Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                    Just catching up after a spell away, and I'm very interested reading the above conversations. Hearing the various news reports I so often feel like shouting at them "Give us some honest facts, for heaven's sake get at the truth behind the rhetoric", so it's a relief to find some plain talking here by people who know their business.
                    Many thanks to Ombugge for his clarification of the who's who in the BP heirarchy.

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


                      I really am getting somewhat angry with all the BP bashing that is going on at the moment. While i feel for everyone that is being affected by this incident, i really cannot see the point of all the screaming and shouting that is going on at the moment. Yesterday i was watching the chairman of BP being constantly asked during his meeting at the White House "What went wrong? - Why did this happen?". He basically told them that he could not give them that answer at the moment, not until the investigations were complete. But that answer simply was not good enough for the politicians and the others that were grilling him.

                      How can he answer that question fully at this time?? Surely that answer will only come once the well is brought under control and the BOP is brought to the surface? Because without knowing exactly what went wrong with the BOP, we will never know the definitive answer. Yes, we can probably tell why the explosion took place, and why the fire consumed the rig. But answering those questions will not tell you why there are now tens of thousands of barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf. To answer that you need the bit of equipment that was designed to stop just that from ever happening. Only then will the chairman be able to answer the question.

                      Did BP design and build the BOP in question? If not, who did??? Because in my mind they would be one of the first people i would be shouting at for answers. But i doubt the company that built the BOP (unless it was BP) are worth billions of dollars, so it would not be worth all the politicians shouting at them instead.

                      And whats this about BP having to pay the wages of other rig workers that have been laid off because the US government have decided to suspend other deep water drilling in the Gulf? What the hell! If the government want to suspend other drilling that's fine, but on their own shoulders be it.
                      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                        I am now watching the evening news and cannot help but $%^% curse at half the things I see. $%^& members of congress grand standing and all but demanding that someone be fired. Yes, not a single person is happy that this spill happened but the political game of "I can whip BP more than the other congressman is ^%$&* stupid". &^%* *&^%$ )&&%$ ^^&*%$ +*$%^ OK, I feel a bit better now.

                        I remember about a week ago. It was reported that "people" were not happy that Obama was not angry with BP. So, the next day on the news Obama "is furious"...


                          This whole thing has gone beyond a joke. All laws, common sense and normal behaviour among civilized people appears to be ignored by the elected lawmakers on Capitol Hill. If this is representative of American democracy at work, I'm happy not to be part of it.

                          Here is a mild and well mannered CEO of a large international corporation being treated like he was a stupid idiot. How can the CEO have detailed knowledge and control of every operation conducted by his company.
                          Does these heavy hitting Congressmen know anything about drilling and well control? Do they know everything that goes on in their district, and do they accept responsibility if something goes wrong?

                          The American media is not much better. On Fox News (which I classify as a "News Comedy Show", a bit below the Daily Show in reliability) they even made fun of Mr. Hayward for speaking proper English. What did they expect him to speak? Would he be more acceptable if he put on a fake Southern accent?

                          The Chairman of BP, who is actually Swedish, was castigated for using the term "small people" to describe ordinary people living and working along the Gulf coast. Maybe a not too considered choice of word, but I think most people knew that he didn't mean dwarfs.

                          The other Oil Companies is also playing the blame game, even the partners in the MC252 concession. The CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has eventually come on the scene and declare that they will not pay their share of the cost of the capping and cleanup operation, because BP has been negligent or reckless. How can they say that? Because the President of the United State, no less, has said so. How does he know, before any investigation or enquiry into the cause of this incident has been concluded? I was of the impression that most of the law makers, and the President, is former Lawyers and should know that you should not make such statements when an investigation is ongoing.

                          When the blame can eventually be divided, how much will the same Law Makers accept for not having ensure that proper rules and regulations were in place to regulate deep water drilling?

                          They could learn a lot from the regulatory framework and formal training for drill crews, which is in place in Brazil and in Norway. But no, we don't need to learn from @#$% foreigners, or import foreign technology.
                          Besides, Drilling Contractors and Oilcos are major contributors to their re-election funds. (Don't kill the hen that lays the golden egg, so to speak)

                          I have just seen off a new American owned and operated Drilling Rig bound for operation in the Gulf of Mexico, which had acoustic control for the BOP stack, although NOT REQUIRED BY US REGULATIONS. (See pictures in post below)
                          Why do they spend the extra monies? Because they want to protect their assets and be prepared to move to Brazil to drill sometime in the future, without having to make major refurbishment on their rig and equipment. (That may happen earlier then expected now)

                          As to Steve's question about the BOP Stack; it is part of rig equipment and belong to the rig Owner. (In this case Transocean, NOT BP)
                          The Operator (BP) MAY have had a say-so in the configuration (number and type of Rams) and in the testing schedule and procedures, but maintenance of the BOP and all associated equipment is the responsibility of the Drilling Contractor. (Transocean)

                          I believe the BOP stack on the DW Horizon was made by Cameron, who are a major supplier of such equipment, incl. the control unit and panels on the rig.
                          I said earlier it had a capacity of 20,000 PSI working pressure rating. This is not correct, the rating is 15,000 PSI, which is more than adequate for the type of well they were drilling, provided it functioned as it should.

                          There is too much B...S... and too little reality in what is going on now.
                          Let the experts, wherever they can be found or whoever they may be, do their job and cap the well first, then clean up the beaches. Thereafter you may start to look for who to blame and who pays what.
                          There are national and international rules for this, not just whatever somebody, with little or no knowledge of the business, can manage to throw out to secure their re-election in November.

                          They should lift the Jones Act and accept all foreign help offered, rather then ride a nationalistic high horse.

                          IT IS PATHETIC TO WATCH THIS SHOW.
                          No I feel better too Dane.
                          Last edited by ombugge; June 19th, 2010, 10:46. Reason: Add text


                            Just to show what a BOP Stack WITH acoustic control looks like:

                            Enough Accumulator pressure to operate EVERY function on the stack at least twice:

                            Can be operated from a remote portable panel from any vessel on surface, incl. from a life boat, or even from a hovering Helicopter.
                            Compulsory in Norway and Brazil, but NOT in the US.

                            It is installed on this newbuilt rig, which is heading for work in the GOM:


                              Seeing the BOP photos makes me wonder about steel in salt water. How long do they last? I assume corrosion is slow at great depths but rust must eventually start. Do they repair rust and corrosion underwater? I assume that many parts can be unbolted and replaced but the main structure may be underwater working for many years.