There was a 60 minute report on the BP Drilling Rig Accident.
I didn't see the whole show, but from what I saw....
They used "drilling mud" to compensate for the pressure differential in the hole and the surface.
But, there was some kind of a methane gas "burp".
The Deepwater Horizon was supposed to be one of the most advanced (and expensive) drilling rigs in the world. Yet, there was no way to contain this methane "burp", and they just let it spill onto the deck of the drilling rig, which was dangerous for the people & equipment.
The Methane then was sucked into the Diesel Engines & Generators...
Which caused a "runnaway diesel effect". No shutoffs, filters, clean-air-systems, or anything...
And, according to the person being interviewed, nothing limiting the voltage output of the generators... causing a massive voltage spike.
I was thinking about runaway Diesels...
First of all, they need to have a clean air intake.
But, the easiest thing would be to put a good valve on the air intake.
I suppose it would be like a vacuum pump, and one would have to have a sturdy valve.
Perhaps one could dump CO2, or even exhaust into the intake.
What the *^(#@*&^*#@%&^@#$%&^$%&^$%& was BP doing with...
Where are our regulators? Safety Experts?
And, this "drilling rig" was built in South Korea. Would it have been any different had it been built here in the USA?
In a sense, safety equipment just seems superfluous... until it is really needed at which point it is too late.
BP have an appalling safety record and are ruthless in their dealings.
Getting Governments to look the other way is easy for these dudes, wars have been fought to promote their interests.
"Drill Baby Drill, don't worry about the regulations or unintended consequences", yeah right.
Now you see why it's a whole lot cheaper to buy Arab oil to fuel the amount needed for the military machine. Maybe it would be a good idea to leave that expensive-to-drill domestic oil in the ground for now; we're going to need it a whole lot more in the future when the Arab oil is all gone.
It has crossed my mind more than once that that might be exactly the plan of the "planners in the dark room" in Washington, DC.
"Yeah, we'll just keep paying them $100 a barrel of their Arab oil, then when its all gone they can pay us $1000 a barrel for our Alaskan and off-shore oil that we haven't even tapped into yet."
In the mean time we'll develop the oil replacement technology, but hide that we have it at all.
I'm all for considering the Alaskan Wilderness Oil (assuming it actually exists) as part of our "Strategic Oil Reserve".
And, of course, looking for other technologies so that perhaps we will never need it.
Part of the offshore oil push is the "out of sight, out of mind" feeling... until it comes splashing back at us.
A little more research...
The Deepwater Horizon was designed by Reading & Bates which is an engineering company now owned by Transocean (which is a multinational company based in Switzerland).
It was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries at Ulsan, Korea shipyard.
It is registered in the Marshall Islands.
And, of course was operating in US Waters.
It has a "sister ship", the Deepwater Nautilus which is also owned by Transocean, registered in Panama, but currently leased by Shell Oil, and also currently operating at 5,000 feet.
Are all these other drilling rigs running as "business as usual"?
What is the deal with foreign built, foreign registered ships operating primarily in US territory?
Does the Marshall Islands have any liability towards the spill in the USA?
The Stone Age didn't end because they ran out of stones...
Monday, May 17, 2010 18:29 ET
Resigning MMS regulator gave Transocean a safety award last year
By Alex Pareene
Here is a photo of Chris Oynes, the Minerals Managmenent Service associate director of offshore energy who just resigned, giving an award to Transocean last year.
Oynes, who's resigning at the end of the month, is the industry-friendly head regulator of offshore drilling. MMS presented Transocean with a "Safety Award for Excellence" (or, creatively enough, "SAFE") for "'outstanding drilling operations' and a 'perfect performance period' in the Lafayette District of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico during 2008...." (It wasn't their first.)
The crew of Transocean's Deepwater Horizon was also recognized. A year later it blew up and it is still leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
There are two aspects of "Safety".
Many homebrewers have an excellent safety record.... until they burn down their house.
In the case with the Deepwater Horizon, there were probably a half a dozen things that had to go wrong in order for the cascade of events leading to the sinking of the platform and the leak.
But, had they taken the effort to make sure they had good, safe, working seals in the blowout preventer, tested the blowout preventer and other equipment in deep water, a method to prevent methane from entering the operations area, emergency shutdowns on the Diesel Engines, compartmentalized flotation, redundant wellhead access & shutdowns...
It wouldn't be causing hundreds of billions of dollars damage now.
The methane burp... whatever it was that caused the accident wouldn't have even made the news. They'd now be working out a way to deliver CNG or LNG to the southern USA & moving their oil pumping platform into place.
The Stone Age ended because of the invention of better stones and better caves.
However, many changes have happened because of shortages.
Colonization and the settling of the Americas was because of shortages of wood and natural products in Europe.
Coal and Petroleum Oil were invented because of shortages of wood and whales.
And, of course, exponential population growth in the Animal Kingdom has often been followed by massive die-offs.
I'm just waiting for gas prices from all the companies to take a huge sympathetic leap because BP needs a lot of money to pay for the cleanup, I would absolutely love this thing to completely destroy BP, I know it's just a pipe dream, but one is allowed to dream.
...we can be sure that is was designed and built by the lowest bidders in every stage of the ship's construction.
We've all had problems with cheaply made toys and tools. In the scale of things in the ocean they're like toys in a lake, with the same problems having bigger mistakes.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: john galt,
Do you think the American Oil Companies would thing that their stopping oil production would be a good idea?
Camels do not use much oil.
Most "American Oil Companies" are multinational oil companies. They're going to exploit the most cost effective oil first, anywhere in the world. Most other places [other than N.Sea] are cheaper to exploit because the environmental cost is much lower than offshore US.
If that is the case why are they still producing crude in the USA?
It costs about 6 bucks a barrel to get oil out of a land well and about 35 bucks a barrel on a deep sea rig.
One of the reasons the oil companies go for this high risk drilling is that the have been shut out of many of the big fields by nationally owned oil companies like Aramco. In some cases Governments encourage/subsidize it on strategic grounds.
There is an awful lot of cheap oil in central Asia which the Chinese and Russians are starting to tap into but to get it to the west you need a pipe through Afghanistan?
Because there are old wells in old fields which can yield more oil with the advanced secondary recovery techniques available today. The lower graph posted above shows how the production from con-US is declining. The US domestic fields had their heyday in WW2 when they supplied the fuel that won WW2. Ironically it would have wasted less oil to have traded oil with Japan instead of provoking a war, but the "war is good for the economy" people made the decisions.
You guys should check out this well blow out in Indonesia, they struck a mud volcano 4 years ago and can't stop it. Wiki
On Doomed Rig, There Was 'Nobody in Charge'
Published May 28, 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Interesting. And, too bad that in most places, MUD is worthless... if it had been oil, they would figure out a way to recover it.
But I suppose this shows another risk... what if the oil doesn't come up the pipe?
BP takes the 5th amendment SMH
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