Alingment is always tough, even in a well lit shop, but they originally put all that stuff together down there with robots so it can all be done, there also what appears to be a good flange on top of the BOP, I could never understand why not put a transition to a much larger size pipe on one of these flanges, the larger pipe would have a valve in it and would not restrict the flow of oil so it should be relatively simple to install it on a flange and then just shut it off.
I have been wondering lately if they don't want to remove the BOP, because then it could be raised to the surface, there may be something about the BOP BP don't want people to know.
I was kind of thinking about that... but the other way.
If you removed the blowout preventer, it could be inspected... and hopefully improved.
But there would certainly be legal arguments to prevent it from being inspected.
I would still think there would be benefits of figuring out how to prevent the next spill.
Thinking about the "needle valve"...
Consider making it hollow, with a very heavy cap on top. Perhaps cover it with a thick layer of lead or copper for weight and to get a better seal (although you can weld onto steel a bit better).
Anyway, there is supposed to be a drill bit down the middle of the shaft. So if you removed the blowout preventer, you would have to cut the drill bit, center it with a robot, then slip the "needle valve" over the top of the bit. Some relatively critical placement, but it should all be something that can be done.
You know, if it is hollow, you could also put a valve and a pipe connection at the top which might help with the positioning and sealing. And you really don't have anything much different from a very very heavy tapered internal sleeve.
Fabricator... do you want to resubmit?
They were through drilling and in the process of cementing the well for completion. No drill bit.
There are several notes that there is a drill shaft/pipe/bit inside of the well casing and going through the BOP... and that may be part of the reason for the failure of the BOP and other efforts.
My guess is that this shaft/pipe was being used to pour the concrete plug at specific levels.
Here is a diagram showing the drill shaft/pipe.
If you watch this video, it discusses the drill pipe at about minute 1:45.
Was that a 21" pipe that they're capping... it looks like a pretty tiny pipe that is connected to the top of the cap and being sent to the ship... with a restriction at the top of the cap too.
I wonder why not all the oil was flowing up the pipe????
Why not just use a valve to regulate the flow... and a big pipe?
Pipe, yes, for extracting the mud, which is what caused the blow-out. Fup-duck for sure.
Nearly 3 months into the saga,
BP has come up with a new, novel idea.
Unbolt the old riser pipe from the BOP.
Bolt a new Collar in place.
Add a really complicated Cap to it with a junction for a new Riser Pipe that is supposed to be able to take pressure and make a seal.
Anybody want to raise their hands if they thought BP should have done something similar 3 months ago.... well, perhaps leaving out the complicated top-cap in the middle.
I've also heard that the USA has huge numbers of oil skimmers "on reserve" in case an oil spill occurs.... So rather than sending them to Louisiana where there IS A SPILL... they keep them docked waiting for a spill to occur.
For example, I've heard that Oregon has sent 1/4 of the oil skimmers to Louisiana and is keeping 3/4 of the skimmers including the bigger/better ones "on reserve".
Of course, there is a long transport delay between Oregon and Louisiana. So if a spill occurred here, it could take a week or so to get the skimmers back.
Everyone I know who saw the underwater photos of the broken well spewing oil has asked the same question. It seems like it took the idiots 85 days to come up with the obvious.
No more deepwater drilling till these cowboys have proven contingency plans in place. I don't care if this means that the rigs will go elsewhere. The oil won't. Get better regs in place, create a responsible organization of inspectors/enforcers to make sure the regs are adhered to, then and only then should they be let back into the Gulf to drill.
I suspect that once 'drill safe' regs are implemented that it will be a lot cheaper to drill for oil elsewhere in the world, than offshore US and Canada.
It's been a long time since I've been on the forum as I'm out of the "bio-business", but still enjoy checking in periodically to see the latest.
John, I agree with your first sentence, I was saying that from the begining.
Your second point, I believe is based more on you hatred for fossel fuels more than logic. It is not the oil industry that screwed up, it is BP that KNOWINGLY took a chance to save money, they have a long record of doing that as is reflected in their numerous accidents. BP needs to be thrown out of the US and their leases given to the other responsible oil companies. There is a reason why we have gone 60 years 50,000 wells without uncontrollable spills until now. It's because the oil companies hire the brightest engineers and scientist there is and have developed the technologies and processes to safely provide the world with affordable energy. The regs in place at the time of the blowout were adequate. This incident was caused solely by the decisions of 1 or 2 indiduals that DID NOT FOLLOW not only the regs but also advice from engineers on how to properly seal the well. AND THEY KNOWINGLY BYPASSED THE SHEAR RAM!!!! All to save money. They took a chance because that was the culture of this company. It is NOT a culture of the entire industry. It was no surprise to me when I heard of the incident, that it was BP.
Bottom line is that reviewing well designs, and drilling logs of other deep water projects will show that those wells are following regs and best engineering practices. If they do not, pull those off line, and cap them. Then allow drilling successive wells that will meet the standards. No need to stop drilling altogether and completely and unnecessarily destroy the industry and lives of thoussands.
The punsishment for BP and the individuals that willfully and knowingly fail to follow safe practices should be so severe that no one will dare to ever take a chance again. Its not the regs that need to be increased, it's human behavior that needs to be changed. Behavior is dictated by consequence/reward. The best way to achieve a strong ethical culture is to reward SOON, CERTAIN AND POSITIVE. Inversly, the consequences of not doing what is right should be SOON, CERTAIN, AND NEGATIVE.
I agree too that just as we have troopers on the highways to enforce soon, certain, and negative, we should have competent inspectors pressent during certain phases of drilling and completion operations. All of this can be done while continuing to drill, no need to knee jerk.
I agree with everything you said except I don't hate fossil fuels at all. I run fuel blends in my truck with a minimum of 50% ULSD. My first career was in the oil and gas industry, so I know how they can be cowboys, especially if they think they can get away with it. That's just being good capitalists and maximizing profits for the shareholders. I place the bulk of the blame on the incompetent regulators and inspectors who let this happen by simply not doing their job.
Oil Spill Meter
Sorry for presuming your intentions, I stand corrected.
A good Capitalist is about maximizing profits, I see nothing wrong about this. However GOOD capitalist is being a good steward and this is done by managing risk not taking chances as BP did (ask any shareholder).
I understand what you are saying about cowbow'ing and the reputation was earned honestly in the past. I have a pretty good prospective on this as I entered the oil field the first time in 1983. I left for the nuke world (completely different as you can imagine in regards to safety and process management). I came back to the oil industry 9 years later (14 years ago). Even 14 years ago, while there was improvement since 1983, it was still far from the nuke world where incident was not an option. However I must say that the oil industry has made vast advances in safety and risk management culture. The new management and engineers are highly educated, and highly competent, and are process driven. Everything is done by procedure, hazard Identification, and controlling risk, not the John Waynes that I remember in the past. Still there are some, not many, old school "gitter done" guys out there that "think" they are doing good by cutting corners. That is a personality trait is being weeded out, but that is where the 3rd party inspectors (not necessarily government) could play a role in containing these few bad risk takers. In the nuke world, critical steps are monitored by quality inspectors not owning the process. They ensure all processes are followed as written and stop work when it's not. That can be a simple fix our industry.
It's very simple and doesn't need to be a moritorium to put in place. In 2008 during the presidential election, I found an aritical where Obama wanted to shut down offshore drilling. The BONEHEADS at BP gave him a gift from heaven. That is what the moratorium is about, he KNOWS by shutting down for 6 months, the companies will leave and get contracted out to other areas overseas. He KNOWS it will destroy the labor base to the point that even when he leaves office in 2012, and the Gulf is opened up again, there will be no skilled workers left to start up the new drilling. The moratorium is his way of shutting down drilling and being able to say he just did it temporarily, he didn't tell them to LEAVE the gulf, that was their choice. Mark my words when the industry is destroyed and people's lives are ruined, he will blame 'BIG OIL" for abandoning them...
You know, one more thing, remember the past two years when our industry was struggling to stay afloat and rig numbers dropped to historic numbers, the US industry got ZERO support from Obomba, but during that time last year he GAVE Brazil 5 BILLION US tax dollars to help their oil industry. Funny how many of the rigs leaving the Gulf are headed to Brazil, and OBOMBA's pal, George Soros has a lot of stock in Brazillion owned Petrobras. Coincidence I'm sure, I'm just sayin'.....
Ya'll have a good day, I'm going to go to work while I still can.
It's encouraging to hear that the US oil industry is cleaning up their 'cowboy' image. Unfortunately all it takes is one situation like the recent spill caused by BP managers overriding the good advice of the rig operator, and the image gets tarnished again.
I see it more as an investment than a 'gift'. Brazil is an emerging economy; investing money there makes good sense to me. China 'owns' America, and since the US does not have any money to loan to anyone, no doubt China had a lot to do with this financing of Brazilian oil development.
Brazil is one country that has really made a dent in their own domestic petroleum consumption. And, now the USA wants to export our Petroleum woes down there. I just hope someone there considers the offers for "HELP" very carefully.
Have you read about the oil for export being mined in Nigeria?
And... yes, if it takes BP 3 months to realize that they can not only connect to the existing access ports in the BOP, but all they need to do is unbolt the old pipe and bolt on a new one.
Then I agree they should be banned from drilling in US waters at least until they come up with logical Safety and Emergency Response plans... and prove that they can operate safely.
Capping the well as they are now doing is risky. If the well casing fails because of the increased pressure oil will start leaking out of the seabed and then it could be impossible to stop. Government pressure to do something is behind this latest attempt. If it works everyone will be happy, if it makes it worse BP will use it as an excuse to limit damages.
BP has an appalling safety record, but it would be wrong to believe that they are the only ones that have oil spills.
It would have been much less risky if they had done this at the beginning instead of dicking around for 80 days while the well bore eroded.
No, just one of the worst.
I don't know what the chances of it finding a channel and leaking around the casing. Part of the problem earlier is that they apparently left out a critical seal around the last casing.
I'm all for stopping the leak. But keeping the pipes to the surface open to relieve as much pressure as possible. No need to over-stress the system.
The flange they bolted the valve to was there 80 days ago, any off the shelf gate valve would do the same thing this billion dollar valve is doing, most deep drilling experts are very doubtful about the chances of the oil that is eighteen thousand feet down leaking around the casing, that whole thing was started by a few fear mongers and now people who know nothing about deep drilling are quoting it a gospel.
And BTW, the oil is shut off and the world has not ended, and there is ABSOLUTELY NO reason it could not have been done on day two, people NEED to go to jail here.
Yes, this is beyond incompetence. The solution was obvious from the beginning. This whole incident has been playing to someones agenda and that needs to be exposed all the way to the top.
I agree completely with fab and jg. Ya'll sound like you're from the "bizness". How refreshing.
The guys that decided to not to use the required amount of centralizers after being told there would definetly be "severe" gas issues if they were not used need to go to jail. So should the guys that continued operation knowing they had a bad BOP (if that is truly the case, BOP issues are still unclear).
Something does smell awful fishy though. The riser could have been cut within 10 days (just to be conservative) and a valve installed 5 days after that, again being very conservative. Three or four weeks ago, I was told by an aquantance, that his ROV operator friend working on the project stated that a valve was on the sea floor ready to be installed, but if they shut the valve before drilling relief wells, the US would have ended the lease. Funny now how the relief well is inches away from the well-bore at the same time BP decides to install a relief cap on the well. Funny how this also played into George Soros and Obomba's best fortune.... BP keeps the largest oil find to date in the GoM, Obomba get's his crisis that enables him to stop offshore drilling, and George Soros gets the GoM deepwater rigs to move to Brazil to make more millions for himself (and others???)
The coincidences in life never cease to amaze me.
I'm sorry I just can't see some grand conspiracy here, BP has lost half it's value since this thing started, they are actually getting close to being a take over target by one of the other big oil companies, and the idea that anyone would knowingly perpetrate the worst man made environmental disaster in history is just too much.
Another thing I don't think you will ever see is this particular BOP on the surface for inspection, it will be irretreivably lost somehow,
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