17 May 2010

Next BP Attack: Smother the Well With Mud?

After three days of intensive work, BP engineers have managed to begin pumping oil and gas from the leaking riser through a 4 inch suction pipe up to the surface. They believe they will be able to remove most of the leaking oil via the suction pipe. But now they have a plan to overpower the oil well itself at the wellhead: by smothering it with a rapid injection of drill kill mud, followed by a concrete seal.
The 4-inch-wide tube began extracting oil and natural gas early Sunday afternoon from the busted 21-inch-wide riser pipe resting on the ocean floor. Three rubber baffles around the insertion tube are meant to keep excess oil from continuing to spew into the sea. Wells gave no clear picture Sunday about whether any oil was still leaking out from around those seals.

He said the extraction began slowly and will be accelerated as long as no problems occur.
Gas was being burned off at the surface, Wells said. The broken pipe is contributing an estimated 85 percent of the crude in the spill.

While still an initial victory, the insertion tube project didn't come without its hiccups. Using remote-controlled robots, engineers had inserted the tube Sunday shortly after midnight. Four hours later, however, the tube became dislodged, Wells said. Engineers had to reposition it Sunday morning.

...The priority now is injecting the kill mud into the well, Wells said. BP has 50,000 barrels of the stuff waiting at the site. The material will be pumped into the well just below the blow-out preventer, which failed to seal the well after the rig exploded.
Using a 30,000 horsepower engine, the high pressure of the mud will push back against the oil, giving engineers time to pump in cement and kill the well, Wells said.

...The tube is the first step in what Wells said will be a seven-to-10-day project to inject 40 barrels a minute of "kill mud" into the broken well and eventually seal it with cement.
"Ultimately, it's a winning game that we out-pump the well," he said. _NOLA
A 30,000 hp engine. Is that over 20 Megawatts? Very powerful. I wouldn't want to pay the fuel bills over that 10 day period.

Despite all the politicians, attorneys, academics, journalists, and lowlifes of all types who are attempting to make a life's career out of this tragedy, it truly is not an apocalypse. In my personal opinion, anyone who carries on and on about how devastating this oil spill is to the environment -- but has nothing constructive to add -- should probably be shot as a useless piece of human overbaggage. But that's just me. ;-)


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Blogger Allan Folz said...

30,000 hp!?! I'm a little incredulous. That is around the output of a jet engine. A 747 at cruise is making 87,000 hp. Although that is "just" 25% of the 4 engines' max power. The same source reports each engine in a C130 is rated at 4500hp.

A quick look at Cummins gensets shows a max of 2.5MW. I'm sure there are bigger ones from other manufacturers, but 10x bigger? I wonder if the reporter is off by an order of magnitude.

In any case, yeah the fuel bill is going to be incredible.

Sunday, 16 May, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am not so skeptical about that number. The article didn't specify what type of engine, but I know that there are diesel engines with ratings up to around 108,920 hp. If you search on Google or flickr you can find many pictures of some of these engines in situ. I know MAN makes a line of marine diesel engines called the ME series that range between 29034 Hp(21660kW) and 116916 Hp(87220kW).

Monday, 17 May, 2010  
Blogger astrodominant said...

Well service pumps (which they will be using here) are ganged together. The biggest well service pump is 2700 HP. The 30,000 HP is most likely the total hydraulic HP available with multiple pumps running simultaneously.

Tuesday, 18 May, 2010  

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