Posts Tagged ‘video’

Horizontal – Directional – drilling and cementing and casing – a short video

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Warning: technical / engineering information. Proceed only if you want to understand how this weird oil drilling stuff works. For the real basics, you can also read An Introduction to Drilling Offshore Oil Wells, a fairly simple overview of the entire drilling/exploration process.

Ok, by now you’ve probably read something about parts of oil well drilling in the media because of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout/Spill, but you are probably having trouble visualizing how the actual drilling of complex directional wells proceeds. Directional means the well bore angles in, like the current BP Gulf spill relief wells, ie, they go down vertically then angle and are redirected towards a target.

In the video below, the target is a narrow band of oil in a geological layer. It’s an animation that shows fairly clearly the steps involved in drilling a curved well. In the relief wells, the target is a roughly 16″ steel casing, 18,000 feet below sea level, and about 13,000 feet below the ocean floor.

Cool, no? In this video you see how the basic directional drill works, how casing is inserted after the horizontal drill is removed, how cement is pumped up around the casing to create a solid bond (what the CBL, cement bond log that BP decided not to do checks, ie, that the cement is fully filling the space between the drill hole and the casing pipe.

At the end you see how a drill pipe is placed horizontally in the oil deposit, with multiple holes for accessing the reservoir’s oil along a great distance. Short in the video, but can be a mile or more.

Engineering fine points and explanations of the technology on directional drilling below the fold.

ABC Fly-over video of BP Oil Spill Area

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

This looks pretty much like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno, at best. Both the Deepwater Enterprise drill ship and the Q-4000 are shooting out flames of burning natural gas/oil+natural gas, not to mention some other pools of oil being burned at the surface.

You’ve read the stories, but take a look at this to get a real sense of what’s going on down there right now. The ABC video does a good job showing the intensity of activity in the area. Check out especially around 1:40 and 2:13 into the video for a shot of all the ships and flames.

So you understand what you’re seeing, there’s a few pools of oil being burned on the surface after being collected in containment booms. Then the long ship shooting out a relatively thin flame is the Deepwater Enterprise Drill ship, which is processing oil and flaming off the natural gas. Finally you see the squarish platform burning off a big round flame, that’s the Q-4000, which is just burning off oil/gas because it can’t do the separation/processing. Total being burned off, about 21,000 barrels per day. Leaving maybe 10,15 up to 40k barrels per day flowing into the gulf.

They are spraying water on the burning tubes to keep them from overheating, not because they are on fire 😉

Freaky stuff.

The Daily Show – 8 Presidents Say Get off Oil

Friday, June 18th, 2010

You know, history is becoming tragic. Jon Stewart really nails this one. Especially depressing is the last bit where he shows Nixon as the one who did more of what is now called ‘the liberal agenda’ than we would like to think. When modernity makes Nixon look good, you know things are getting bad in this country.

From the show:

“America is an unstoppable oil-dependency breaking machine – unfortunately, the machine runs on oil”