31 May 2010

This Week in the Gulf: A Stepwise LMRP Capping Operation

Update 1 June 2010: Be sure to watch the Kent Wells Technical Update video from BP for a more thorough update on the array of technical operations planned to limit the oil spill -- until the relief wells can secure the well permanently.

Also, be sure to monitor the technical updates at Bit Tooth Energy
Step 1 - Position the LRMP cap close to BOP.

Step 2 - Do another top kill to buy a few minutes of no oil and gas spewing. At least try for a few moments of reduced pressure.

While the top kill did not work, the mud did stop or reduce the gusher for a few moments.

Step 3 - Using the few moments when the top kill stops the oil and gas or reduce the pressure of the gusher, position the LMRP very quickly.

Step 4 - Engage the sealing grommet around the sheared off riser pipe._SFGate
The LMRP is the lower marine riser package, which sits atop the blowoupt preventer (BOP). BP intends to cut off the riser, and place a grommeted LMRP cap on the BOP to collect as much of the leaking oil as possible.
But first, BP plans to use a shearing device to cut through the damaged riser about 50 feet from the BOP. This will relieve torsional stress on the damaged riser, and make it easier for the ROV controlled saw to cut through the riser at the LMRP.
Then, BP wants to use a special "diamond wire" saw to cut through the riser at its origin, to make space for the LMRP capping device.
Finally, the grommeted LMRP cap -- with a new riser and anti-hydrate mechanisms attached -- will be sealed to the cut LMRP to allow removal of as much gushing hydrocarbon from the well as possible.
The diamond wire, which is held under tension in the design, should give a relatively smooth surface that can be used for the sealing surface to the LMRP.

One of the problems in using this tool, which is rather sensitive (in other circumstances we have broken several wires in a smaller model) is dealing with the central DP as the cut is being made, and with the flow of oil and gas past the wire, which can send it into vibration, over the relatively long cut.

...Over the past twenty years diamond wire sawing has become more common as a way of cutting through a variety of materials. It has the advantage of making a relatively narrow cut , and the ability to cut through objects made of different materials, such as reinforced concrete. The cutting wire used to have small diamond particles embedded in the steel of the wire, but in more modern varieties the diamonds are embedded in a plastic such as Teflon, and set as beads along the wire, allowing better cooling during the cutting process. _BitTooth

This is slow, painstaking work. A lot of things can go wrong. If the operation fails, the result may be even more oil leaking into the Gulf than is presently gushing.

Several live feeds are available on the web, including a number of feeds on previous entries on the Al Fin main page. If you are interested, and lucky in your timing, you may be able to observe something amazing as it happens.


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Blogger George said...

They are grasping at straws, they don't have the technology to fix this.

That just my thoughts.

Monday, 31 May, 2010  
Blogger George said...

Once they cut the pipe on riser they are going to make a once in a life time bet.

I do really hope it works.

Monday, 31 May, 2010  
Blogger astrodominant said...

The relief wells will work but they will not be completed until august at best. They are doing this to do anything to stop or slow this down before that time.

Tuesday, 01 June, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

If you watch the latest Kent Wells Technical UPdate you will discover a few more tricks up their sleeve (BP's) which may help to mitigate the oil leak.

Consider this the modern Chernobyl of deep sea oil drilling. When people cut safety corners and everything else that could go wrong did go wrong. Perhaps it is time for the luck to change?

BTW the diamond wire cutter is now at work cutting off the riser from the BOP.

Tuesday, 01 June, 2010  

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