04 August 2010

How the Well Was Killed

BP via BitToothEnergy

It is likely that the Macondo bore has been put on its deathbed, with virtually no likelihood of recovery. Here is the narrative of BP's static kill from Kent Wells:
...let me move to the static kill and yesterday. We did have a brief call yesterday, shortly after the injection test. The injection test was very helpful. It gave us a lot of confidence going into the static kill. We were confident we could pump into the reservoir at very little pressure above what the shut-in pressure was, and that was good.

So we did pump the static kill yesterday at five barrels per minute. We were able to watch as we pumped the mud in. We were able to watch the pressure continuously and gradually decline. We were able to watch as the – if you remember, I mentioned the word we injected for the injectivity test, base oil. We were able to watch as the base oil and then the mud actually hit the reservoir. We were able to see it pressure up, and then we were able to see that pressure come back down.

And these were all very encouraging signs. And then what we kept doing is we kept injecting it as five barrels a minute, injecting more of the oil that was in the casing and actually mud, and continued to inject it into the reservoir for a period of time to try to get – make sure we'd cleaned out all of the oil that we could out of the casing.

And so we pumped for a number of hours. And then as we got confident that we'd actually got the well into a static condition, we actually increased the rate up to 10 barrels a minute, and then ultimately 15 barrels a minute, and we did that to give ourselves confidence that, if we chose to go ahead with the cementing procedure, that we could actually pump at higher rates, because that will give us a more effective cement job. And so that went well, as well.

So we spent some extra time yesterday pumping more fluid in, just to give ourselves more information and confidence. So by the end of the whole process, we had injected about 2,300 barrels of mud, and a lot of that was actually designed at just cleaning out the casing and making sure that we could move forward with the cement job with confidence, if we choose to do so.

So that's where we stand at the moment. The science teams and our teams are conversing about all the different options we have, different methods that we could use to do the best approach to – how to move forward with this well, considering cementing it from the top, looking at the relief well, cementing it from there, and we should make a decision, hopefully later today on that, and move forward with the best possible plan. _BP.com PDF
It reads almost as an anti-climax. But when the well is really and truly killed by concrete above and below, and signs of oil are nowhere to be found above or below the surface, onshore or offshore -- the hysteria will still be found in newsrooms, courtrooms, academic meetings and classrooms, in congressional committee rooms, and anywhere else that people of limited practical skills and competencies meet to make other people's lives less productive and more miserable.

Meanwhile, the necessity for offshore drilling continues to grow, as the billions in China and India set their minds upon greater personal wealth and consumption.

Just as BP seems to have killed the Macondo well, Obama has killed the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico with his absurd and arbitrary moratorium, at least for now. Once the oil rigs are called away to work on other projects it could be years before they return. Whether Obama's economic destructiveness is based upon ideology or whether it is simple ineptitude, the suffering of the unemployed and their families will be as great.

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