Author Archive

More Spills – BP blowout – Actinia 1993

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Oh, here’s another BP blowout, the Actania in 1993, off of Viet Nam. Just to help get across the point these blowouts aren’t really all that uncommon. Helps to have a perspective now and then I find.

Oh, also, don’t forget this one, Another Gulf oil spill: Well near Deepwater Horizon has leaked since at least April 30 (the Ocean Saratoga, picture under the fold…) … getting hard to keep up I have to say… here’s the 1993 video, it’s impressive, the first part is I think mostly natural gas.

Got this one from this comment, in a thread debating if Matt Simmons’ recent claim the actual BP blowout is actually 6 miles from the BOP location (nobody seems to think this is a valid idea, and many are wondering what is wrong with Matt, who is usually pretty solid…)

Toolpush on June 7, 2010 – 10:56pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top


The only way I can see for subsea blow out 6 or 7 miles away would be via a fault. BP drilling in Vietnam in 1993 with the Actinia semi sub hit such a fault.It was BPs first blow out for many years, looks like they are making up for lost time. From memory they were something like 10,000ft when they saw the sea erupting some distance from the rig. The blow out then came up under the rig around the casing. There is plenty of video on the net. With all the other problems BP had with this well and a fault like this, then they were just plumb out of luck. Possible but unlikely


BP Blowout video footage

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

You can check out what BP is putting out in video and other media a their Gulf of Mexico Response section of their site (see left navigation bar for various formats available, video, image, etc). For video feeds and other video, check out their Response in Video section.

Here’s a site with multiple live camera shots from different sources, Same site, their wall of ROV videos (takes a long time to load, click on any video to see it full size, esc to return).

Some of these are I think windows media, not sure, some are flash.

BP Deepwater Horizon Relief Wells

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Before you say to yourself, oh, this will all be fine, consider the complexity of achieving success with relief wells. As this author has already noted, it can take many weeks to mill through the original well casing once the relief well intersects it at around 18k feet. And that itself is hardly guaranteed, these wells are hard to drill, and frequently fail.

This guy considers, if the first relief well succeeds, a target date of around September to be realistic, and August to be too best case to be considered as a real goal. And that’s IF and ONLY IF the first well A: intersects the existing well, and B: doesn’t fail in the process.

In the Ixtac blowout, it took 10 months and numerous relief well attempts before they succeeded.

Here we have another oildrummer drilling guy, aliilaal, explaining a bit about why Relief Wells (RW) are so complicated. Keep in mind that the relief wells are what will actually fix the problem, everything else is just a stop-gap measure.

aliilaali on June 1, 2010 – 12:36am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

idle thoughts on problems in hitting the target with RW ….had said my 2 cents on wellbore surveys and now form the RW standpoint there are some things to consider with regards to RW target

1- like i’d said ….current technology’s theoretical limits can hit a 10ft radius ball with a confidence interval of 90%…this limit applies on RW with with a grain of salt since expected interception is 18000 rkb ….but really depth can be +- 50 ft on depth …the problem here is azimuth of RW (think 3d geographical grid) ….so essentially the target for the RW is not a circle but a rectangle (in cross sectional view of leaking well when looked at from right or left) of approx 75′ (length) x 2′ (width)

2- now there are two options to establish pressure communication b/w RW and LW (leaking well)…(1) mill into the LK csg or run a hot tap (pull along LK and run a perf gun)….high pressures will likely preclude a hot tap and most likely it will be the milling option

The Stages of Denial – Adjusting to Peak Oil

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Does your head begin to whir? What about that vast pool of oil spreading at hundreds of square miles per day as I type in the Gulf of Mexico? As Dmitri Orlov reminds us, again, the phases of denial go like this:

1. denial—”We are not lost! The ski lodge is just over the next ridge, or the next, or the next…”
2. anger—”We are wasting time! Shut up and keep trotting!”
3. bargaining—”The map must be wrong; either that or someone has dynamited the giant boulder that should be right there…”
4. depression—”We’ll never get there! We’re all going to die out here!” and
5. acceptance—”We are not lost; we are right here, wherever it is. We better find some shelter and start a campfire before it gets dark and cold.”

If you need this made explicit:

1. We’re not running out of oil, we can get plenty from Deepwater, Oil Sands, and assorted other strange sources that are riskier to use than anything we’ve developed before, in one way or another. If those pesky environmentalists would just let us produce all the energy that American ingenuity is capable of, then we’d have no problems at all. Damned liberals.

2. Drill baby Drill, teach those bad Arabs that we don’t need them (ignore that we can only produce, at our currently depressed US consumption of about 19 or 20 million barrels per day (bpd), roughly 50% of our current requirements.) Open Arctic sources to drilling, anything, just so we don’t have to change. Sure, we can vote for change, but forget about actual change, that’s too difficult. Damned neo-cons, damned liberals (pick which, or both).

3. We’re in this now: once we apply the right technologies, and fix the broken oil thing in the Gulf, well then, it will all be OK, and we can commence drilling, driving, and consuming cheap plastic garbage shipped in from China.

Now Imagine Trying to Handle an Arctic Deep Water Oil Blowout…

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Ok, so we’re reading up on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil blowout, we’re impressed by all the technology and resources being thrown at the problem. And it is in many ways very impressive, all those drill ships, and other deep ocean oil service vendors, ROV (remotely operated vehicles) control ships, pumping ships, etc, all lining up as they are requisitioned from other oil drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

But the really scary thing is to contemplate this blowout up in the Arctic, where the next wave of deep water drilling is set to take place, and that’s what I suggest you start doing. Imagine having to move all these spill recovery and containment resources, drill ships, etc, up to the Arctic, it’s almost impossible to visualize, primarily because… well because it simply would not be possible to do this type of recovery effort up there.

On May 14th, I called Robert Thompson, the current board chair of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL). “I’m very stressed right now,” he told me. “We’ve been watching the development of BP’s oil spill in the Gulf on television. We’re praying for the animals and people there. We don’t want Shell to be drilling in our Arctic waters this summer.”

As it happened, I was there when, in August 2006, Shell’s first small ship arrived in the Beaufort Sea. Robert’s wife Jane caught it in her binoculars from her living-room window and I photographed it as it was scoping out the sea bottom in a near-shore area just outside Kaktovik. Its job was to prepare the way for a larger seismic ship due later that month.

Since then, Robert has been asking one simple question: If there were a Gulf-like disaster, could spilled oil in the Arctic Ocean actually be cleaned up?