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Infographic: Relief Well Reaches 8000 Foot Depth
VIZWORLD ^ | MAY 8, 2010 | RANDALL HAND

Posted on 05/10/2010 8:36:29 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan

BP has released an infographic showing the current state of the Relief Well, the “final solution” in resolving the Gulf Oil leak caused by the Deepwater Horizon, that shows the current progress (As of yesterday) as well as the proposed design of how they plan to intersect the previous pipe.

(Excerpt) Read more at vizworld.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: oil; relief; spill; well

1 posted on 05/10/2010 8:36:29 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Great graphic.

Now BP... we don’t another oil-spewing hole in the ocean floor.


2 posted on 05/10/2010 8:44:37 AM PDT by Tex-Con-Man
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

bump


3 posted on 05/10/2010 8:49:48 AM PDT by SouthTexas (Congress is out of order!)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

just wondering - why do they have to go so deep to tap into the line??


4 posted on 05/10/2010 8:52:16 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

That appears to require incredible precision. How do they do it?


5 posted on 05/10/2010 8:56:49 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: elpadre

I’m guessing it has something to do with the angle at which they’re drilling. They can’t drill something at an angle too acute, or they’ll risk a collapse of the tunnel. Whereas if they drill straight down and gradually angle it toward the old well, the tunnel can withstand greater pressures from the sea floor.

Mind you, I’m not a professional, just an observation.


6 posted on 05/10/2010 8:57:19 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Looking for some expertise here on how the relief well is being drilled.


7 posted on 05/10/2010 9:00:57 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: elpadre
just wondering - why do they have to go so deep to tap into the line??

Good question. I am hoping some one with drilling expertise will explain the mechanics of this operation.

Also ...exactly how do they tap into the existing drill hole and plug it.

Deep water drilling with all that high pressure to deal with must be a tricky undertaking.

8 posted on 05/10/2010 9:01:24 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: rarestia
Mind you, I’m not a professional, just an observation.

You don't need to be a professional to appreciate the enormity of the task.

Deep water drillers ...."they da man".

9 posted on 05/10/2010 9:06:51 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: Moonman62

Seems kind of tough to hit a 20” line from a couple of miles away.


10 posted on 05/10/2010 9:21:29 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

How are the dispersable chemicals working, which make the oil glob together and drop to the bottom of the sea. Yes, globs of oil to seep up naturally then sink to the bottom where it helps the environment by adding minerals etc to the see bottom. Years ago there was a constand oil slick from So CA to Mexico from oil naturally seeping up. It became a trickle and I think it’s completely gone, now, with the advent of oil rigs tapping into the the oil caverns.


11 posted on 05/10/2010 9:35:20 AM PDT by tillacum (It's the military, not the press, not the politicians, who keep this country free.)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

How are the dispersable chemicals working, which make the oil glob together and drop to the bottom of the sea. Yes, globs of oil to seep up naturally then sink to the bottom where it helps the environment by adding minerals etc to the see bottom. Years ago there was a constand oil slick from So CA to Mexico from oil naturally seeping up. It became a trickle and I think it’s completely gone, now, with the advent of oil rigs tapping into the the oil caverns.


12 posted on 05/10/2010 9:35:31 AM PDT by tillacum (It's the military, not the press, not the politicians, who keep this country free.)
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To: glorgau
Seems kind of tough to hit a 20” line from a couple of miles away.

Indeed. The technology they utilize has got to consist of some very sophisticated guidance and control subsystem with very robust electronics at the drill end as well as the high power mechanical drill system it self.

13 posted on 05/10/2010 9:37:53 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: tillacum

When they say “Disperment Chemicals” you are being mislead, they are not chemicals but rather bacteria such as Pseudomonas putida and other things. Even the Federal goverment does not know what is in this dispersment, but I have some news for you, it’s not chemcials, it’s living.


14 posted on 05/10/2010 9:38:04 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: elpadre

The new well needs to be able to control pressure on the new well it drilled and control pressure on the well it is tapping into.

While drilling a well they control pressure on by using what they call mud. To control the pressure the weight of the mud needs to meet or exceed the pressure of the well at the depth they are drilling. The formula is quite easy- Depth in feet x pounds per gallon of fluid x .052. This will give you the force in psi that the column of fluid is exerting at a certain depth. At 18,000 ft that mud weight is going to have a lower ppg than at 18,000 ft.

Also, when they tap into the well they are going to be losing mud to the well they are taping into and are going to need to have the ability to replace the mud at a rate as high as the other well is going to be taking on that mud. If the other well takes on the mud at a higher rate then the new well will lose pressure control of the new well they drilled.


15 posted on 05/10/2010 9:50:00 AM PDT by rwh (What great fortune it is for those in power that the people do not think!)
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To: rwh

It should read at 18,000 ft. the ppg of mud weight the rig needs will be lower than at 8,000ft.


16 posted on 05/10/2010 9:51:34 AM PDT by rwh (What great fortune it is for those in power that the people do not think!)
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To: Scythian

Figured that’s the reason for the rust color. Guess the bacteria getting fat off the oil causes a algae bloom (i.e. red tide.)


17 posted on 05/10/2010 10:01:01 AM PDT by anymouse (God didn't write this sitcom we call life, he's just the critic.)
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To: Moonman62
Munchkins.
18 posted on 05/10/2010 10:05:22 AM PDT by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: saganite

Directional drilling is how they will intercept the existing well. They know exactly where the pipe is they want to intercept in relation to the current drilling rig. By constantly taking surveys while drilling is in process they will know where they are at all times. When they get close to their target pipe they will be able to pick up magnetic anomalies which help with the precision streering of the downhole drill motor to make a perfect intercept.

At least that is how it is supposed to work.

The directional drilling technology advancement in the last few years have been tremendous. Logging while drilling, steerable drilling, directional gyros, magnetic tracking and downhole instrumentation such as temperature and pressure. It is just amazing to me.


19 posted on 05/10/2010 10:05:46 AM PDT by biff
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To: rwh
As I thought. All about pressure control. Takes me back to my days in engineering school and my course in fluid dynamics.

The other thing I'm interested in is how do they guide and control the drill bit. Your trying to tap into a small drill hole at 18000 feet or so and at an angle to boot. Some tricky vectoring control ...no?

20 posted on 05/10/2010 10:18:17 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: biff
The directional drilling technology advancement in the last few years have been tremendous.

It would seem so.

21 posted on 05/10/2010 10:20:49 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: Scythian

Is this a type of Pseudo suffacant?


22 posted on 05/10/2010 10:24:50 AM PDT by tillacum (It's the military, not the press, not the politicians, who keep this country free.)
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To: rwh

thanks - i do get the gist of what you are saying and appreciate the explanation


23 posted on 05/10/2010 10:40:46 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Tex-Con-Man; All

When will BP open its books to explain its $77,000 contributions to Hussein?

When will the Hussein’s Department of the Interior open its books to show why they allowed BP an EXEMPTION from environmental studies because an oil spill was “unlikely”?

Do you want to know why Hussein and BP are not being raked over the coals daily by the media? Because BP and Hussein are friendly—VERY friendly with each other.

If this were a Bush White House and, say, an Exxon oil well, you’d hear day by day accounts of their closeness.


24 posted on 05/10/2010 11:20:02 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

heck how thick is the crust down there? IIRC only 4-5 miles?

I hope to live long enough to see results from actually probes into the mantle, or maybe even the beginnings of borehole tech.


25 posted on 05/10/2010 12:17:13 PM PDT by WoofDog123
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Been a while - but I worked for Schlumberger for a few years so I can speak to the basics. These days they have sortof a GPS in the drill that allows them to help direct where things are going. They do need a minimum amount of depth before kicking things at an angle. They used to do that by placing what they called a shoe to help start the deflection - with the steerable gear they have now not sure if the shoe is still needed. It could be that there are other high pressure regions above the main blow out that they want to ensure are properly addressed prior to targeting the previous pocket.

In any case once they are in the old hole, they won’t be as concerned with using too heavy a mud and overpacking or washing out the producing formation in the hole, so they will weight up the mud as heavy as they can in order to gain control of the old hole and then they’ll send down a cement slurry to plug it for good.


26 posted on 05/10/2010 3:33:01 PM PDT by reed13 (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.")
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To: elpadre
In order to control both wells (the relief well and the uncontrolled well, they have to be able to introduce heavyweight drilling fluid at a depth which will provide enough pressure to stop flow from the reservoir.

The extra depth gives a taller fluid column in the relief well, and that translates into more pressure against the producing formation to hold the oil in the formation. If they tried to intersect at too shallow a depth they would encounter a significant risk of having two uncontrolled wells and another disaster.

In addition, the rock layers deeper are often more conducive to directional steering, enabling the directional drillers to do a more precise job.

27 posted on 05/10/2010 10:21:52 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
For starters, they have the survey data from the original wellbore: that gives the position of the wellbore within a few inches at most relative to the position of the relief well wellhead. From there, survey tools are used to measure the azimuth and angle of the drill string along the relief wellbore as it is drilled, which enables the directional drillers to steer the relief wellbore toward the existing and uncontrolled wellbore.

There are a couple of technologies out there, one which uses pads which push the lower part of the drill string over in the intended (target) direction, the other uses a mud motor, which is bent a specific number of degrees (usually 2 or less) and which uses the flow of drilling mud through the mud motor to rotate the drill bit. Both technologies permit the wellbore to be steered by knowing which way the tools are aimed, that determined by MWD (measurement while drilling) survey tools contained in the drill string--the data relayed to the surface by a pulser in the drill string and pressure transducers at the surface which pick up the pulses which are decoded by the MWD computers to give the information as to azimuth and inclination of the tools.

The series of surveys show the progress of the wellbore, and with a specific target, it is a matter of working out the math and steering the drill bit to the target.

Believe it or not, that is a bit simplified, and good directional drillers will compensate for variations in tool response which come with variations in geology.

On all the wells I have worked, we get the best results when the MWD, Directional Drillers, Geologists and engineers work together as a team. I'm sure BP has the best available people they know for the job, people with experience in the area.

As far as tapping into the existing wellbore, if they can hit the casing, they can mill into it, cutting a hole in the casing. From there, it is a matter of having heavy enough mud (drilling fluid) in the wellbore to provide pressure to control the relief well, and to be able to introduce that mud into the other wellbore to control the 'wild' well also. Once controlled, then they can 'set' a plug in both the cased wellbore and the open (relief) well and let the heavy drilling fluid hold it and the produced fluid in place.

In the event the problem might be a flaw in the cement job, then the formation fluid will be channeling up the outside of the casing, and remediation may be more tricky, but will involve basically the same process: introducing heavy drilling fluid to control the well, and then setting a cement plug to maintain that control and remediate the cement job by filling the channel. The latter would be a more difficult situation.

The weight of the drilling fluid should be sufficient to hold the oil in the currently producing well long enough for the cement plug to harden, and once the wellhead situation is remediated, the well could be produced by drilling out the cement plug, or simply plugged and abandoned in favor of drilling new wellbores with even more substantial safety precautions.

Now that the characteristics of the area are better known, the hazards can be better dealt with.

28 posted on 05/10/2010 11:17:07 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

thanx. very informative.


29 posted on 05/11/2010 6:04:16 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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