25 May 2010

Live Undersea Video Stream Shows Top Kill Activities

BP Technical Briefing Video -- Must See!
Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com
Despite reports to the contrary, BP will maintain the live video feed throughout the top kill procedure -- which could take up to 48 hours to complete.
BP confirmed May 25, 2010 that following detailed discussion with the National Incident Commander, Admiral Thad Allen, it will continue to provide live video feeds from the seabed throughout the planned ‘top kill’ procedure – the attempt to stop the flow from the damaged MC252 well by pumping heavy drilling fluids into it.

Preparations for this procedure are continuing with the expectation that it could be activated on the morning of Wednesday May 26, 2010.

Throughout the extended top kill procedure – which may take up to two days to complete - very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed may be expected. These will not provide a reliable indicator of the overall progress, or success or failure, of the top kill operation as a whole. BP will report on the progress of the operation as appropriate and on its outcome when complete. _DeepwaterHorizonResponse
Initiation of top kill is tentatively scheduled for dawn in the Gulf of Mexico.
As early as dawn Wednesday, the oil company will try to choke to death the gusher at the bottom of the sea by force-feeding it heavy drilling mud and cement -- a tactic called a "top kill" that is routinely used above ground but has never been tried 5,000 feet underwater.

If it's not done just right, it could make the leak worse. _al.com
Wells reaffirmed that the earliest BP would start the top kill would be Wednesday morning, but said there is a “remote possibility” that results could show a top kill will not work.

Once started, the procedure is expected to take between half a day and two days to complete.

Wells cautioned that if the operation is not completed quickly that does not mean that it will be unsuccessful.

Cement trouble

Flow from the Macondo well is not travelling up the main well bore, BP operations boss Doug Suttles said Tuesday, a revelation that would support theories that a cement failure played a part in the blowout.

“We actually believe the flow path is between two strings of the casing and not up the main wellbore,” Suttles said.

Suttles said BP could not be certain of the flow path but diagnostic tests on the well seem to indicate the flow is not coming up main bore.

A veteran industry source told UpstreamOnline that the news about the flow path “almost certainly confirms” what many suspected, that problems with the annular cement around the production casing played a part in the blowout. _UpstreamOnline
Plans have been developed for a series of interventions via the BOP; it is currently anticipated these may be carried out over a period of about a week, commencing in the next few days. These interventions have not been carried out at these depths and conditions before and the success of individual options cannot be assured.

The first planned intervention is the so-called top kill operation where heavy drilling fluids would be injected into the well to stem the flow of oil and gas and, ultimately, kill the well. Most of the equipment is on site and preparations for this operation continue, with a view to deployment within a few days. If necessary, equipment is also in place to combine this operation with the injection under pressure of bridging material to seal off upward flow through the BOP.

Sophisticated diagnostic work using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will precede the 'top kill' to allow the procedure to be planned in detail. The knowledge from this diagnostic work will be instrumental in determining whether to proceed with this option.

LMRP Option

Being progressed in parallel with plans for the top kill is development of a lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment option. This would first involve removing the damaged riser from the top of the BOP, leaving a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the BOP's LMRP. The LMRP cap, an engineered containment device with a sealing grommet, would be connected to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and then placed over the LMRP with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well and transporting it to the drillship on the surface. The LMRP cap is already on site and it is anticipated that this option will be available for deployment by the end of May.

Additional options also continue to be progressed, including the option of lowering a second blow-out preventer, or a valve, on top of the MC 252 BOP. _Rigzone
You can find a great deal more technical information and explanations at the link below. Here is a brief excerpt:
The well has a certain ability to get oil through the BOP at a given (though debated) flow rate. If the volume is increased, by pumping mud into the well below the BOP, then the well will “back up” and the oil will flow back down the well. As it does more mud enters the well. This is dense enough that, as the column grows longer it pushes down on the oil, and applies enough pressure, due to this weight, to overcome the pressure in the rock. Without that positive difference , there is nothing to drive the oil out, and thus the well is “killed.” _BitToothEnergy
Here is an update on the progress of the 2 relief wells:
The Transocean semi-submersible rig Development Driller III has resumed drilling the first relief well after stopping to test and drop the BOP on 9 May.

The Transocean semi-submersible rig drilled out of a 22-inch casing Friday was continuing down hole Monday at 10,100 feet below the drilling floor.

Another Transocean semi-sub, Development Driller II, is drilling the second relief well.

Development Driller II set the top 36-inch casing on its relief well and has stopped drilling at 6750 feet while it performs routine tests on its BOP.

Both wells are planned for casing strings of 36, 28, 22, 18, 16, 13-5/8, 11-7/8 and 9-5/8 inches, the same string as the original Macondo well.

Both rigs spud their wells about 3000 feet from the original Macondo bore.

They will drill vertically to about 10,000 feet before directionally drilling to intercept Macondo at roughly 18,000 feet.

Once either well intercepts the Macondo bore, BP can pump cement and plug the producing zone.

Suttles said the company has no plans to ever produce from the Macondo bore because it has been damaged beyond repair. _UpstreamOnline

Remember, if the above live feed goes offline, try the direct tap into BP's feed several posts down on the Al Fin main page on 23 May.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now imagine this same disaster happening on Mars, with most workshops that can make needed parts being three months away by spacefreighter on Earth.

Tuesday, 25 May, 2010  
Blogger George said...

Let's see, does any one in the federal government have the expertise to fix this? The Obama administration is just going to bloviate about this and keep kicking BP in the groin.

Chicago politics, never hit a man when he's down, kick 'em it's easier.

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010  
Blogger George said...


Have you seen Avatar?

Granted this is science fiction but...

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw Avatar. Al Fin is always imagining new frontiers and technologies, and I thought this would be a good time to have fun with a current disaster.

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010  

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

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