28 May 2010

Did the Junk Shot Explode the Top Kill?

Check out the video at about 1:30 1:12 in. Something happened to cause the rapid dispersal of junk and hydrates into the seawater. Will have to wait for clarification. If nothing else, a bit of drama. H/T to Bit Tooth Energy, which appears to have the best updates of the situation.

Update #3: Now the NYT is reporting that the top kill operation has resumed after a delay of several hours on Friday. The NYT's informant is supposedly a technician involved in the response effort. The informant's tip about a pause in the operation during the early hours of Thursday appear to have been confirmed, so it is possible that the information regarding today's temporary pause is also accurate.

There is no indication of improvement from watching the live feed -- but neither is there sign of catastrophic worsening so far. BP is claiming that it has gained some ground against the spill.

Update #2: The NYT is reporting that top kill efforts may have been suspended for the time being -- after prolonged injection of high pressure kill mud, plus two failed junk shots. It is difficult to know exactly what is happening on site unless you are there personally to observe. The fluid coming out of the riser on the live feed appears to be mainly mud, but oil and gas may be mixed with the mud. The NYT's source reports that the mood is pessimistic among response workers.

If the top kill operation is not successful, the next step would involve cutting off the riser at the top of the blowout preventer, in order to cap the LMRP (lower marine riser package). That would involve a LOT OF OIL AND GAS spilling into the Gulf from the time the riser is cut until the LMRP cap can be secured. At that point, the leaking oil and gas could be diverted to surface vessels for recovery......Then there is the plan to put a new blowout preventer on the LMRP in order to shut down the well completely.....The two relief wells will continue being drilled until one or the other can penetrate the Macondo bore, and seal it off permanently.

Update #1: It looks as if a small leak on the proximal riser may have expanded under pressure to allow a jet of junk and gas --> hydrates to escape. According to the live feed from BP, an area of leak on the topmost riser appears to have expanded since prior to the event captured on the video above.

If this turns out to be nothing, news is as follows:
...BP engineers have been pumping drilling fluid under pressure into the blowout preventer. The fluid is supposed to be heavy enough to counteract the pressure of the oil surging out of the well. If successful, cement would then be injected into the well to seal it....

...But BP officials said late Thursday that much of the injected kill mud was flowing out into the ocean instead of going down the well.

They said shooting debris, called bridging agent, into the blowout preventer would plug the gaps in the device and ensure more of the mud is diverted into the well. _WSJ

BP added the junk-shot materials after pumping mud alone into the well for 11 hours Wednesday. The company previously said it would add the rubber pieces if needed.
BP opted to add the material to block leaks in the well, Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for the London-based company’s exploration and production business, said at a press conference yesterday in Robert, Louisiana. Some of the junk-shot pieces are fibrous and small, and others are larger rubber balls, he said. _BW

Hayward told CNN BP engineers had injected a "junk shot" of heavier blocking materials into the failed blowout preventer of the ruptured wellhead, and would also pump in more drilling "mud"- all part of the top kill procedure being attempted.

"We have some indications of partial bridging which is good news," he said.

"I think it's probably 48 hours before we have a conclusive view," he added. _BitTooth

Hayward said on CBS that things were progressing as planned. He said BP engineers had completed a second phase by pumping what he called "loss prevention material" into the blowout preventer, a massive piece of machinery that sits atop the well. That material was supposed to form "a bridge against which we could pump" more heavyweight mud inside the blowout preventer.
That part of the operation was completed early today and appeared to have been partially successful. BP would go back to pumping more mud later today, he said.
If the mud works, BP would pour cement to seal the well. _al.com
More at Upstream
The situation is very dynamic, and a lot of things could go wrong very quickly at these pressures and at this depth.


Bookmark and Share


Blogger George said...

I do not know who or what to believe about this situation.

BP is certainly holding their cards close to their chest.

Friday, 28 May, 2010  
Blogger George said...

But Obama is in charge.

That's what he said, he's in charge.

It would probably be better if they took their boot off the throat of BP.

This is giving me shivers and wondering if I do really have enough ammo stored.

Friday, 28 May, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

It looks like a good excuse for Obama to shut down oil drilling in the Gulf and in the Arctic.

Energy starvation, political peak oil. As Obama goes about shutting down domestic coal, oil, Canadian oil sands, oil shale, and eventually natural gas, he chokes down on the nation's energy supply lifeline, and forces American companies to buy from overseas sponsors of terrorism.

Saturday, 29 May, 2010  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts