Skip to comments.BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Cementing the Well - and Open Thread
Posted on 08/05/2010 9:40:32 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Deepwater well has now reached a point where the mud inside the well is applying enough weight to the fluid in the formation that the flow of fluid, when such exists, is now from the well back into the rock. The well is sufficiently secure that, just before 7 pm CST Wednesday, Admiral Allen issued the following press release:
Based on the successful completion of the static kill procedure and a positive evaluation of the test results, I have authorized BP to cement its damaged well. I made it clear that implementation of this procedure shall in no way delay the completion of the relief well.
In his press conference Wednesday, Kent Wells described the steps to kill the well, and what is currently happening as the work moves toward sealing the well.
The crew is now running the drill pipe within the relief well, but must first run a test of the Blow-out Preventer (BOP). There is a regulation, which the other drilling rig did not follow earlier in the process, that is, no doubt, now being practiced.
The Transocean Development Driller II (DD II) working for BP, received one INC (Incidence of Non-Compliance) because it had not alternated between control stations for BOP testing. MMS regulations require that the regular 14-day BOP tests alternate between the BOP station on the rig floor and the remote station located at another site on the rig. On the DD II they conducted the BOP pressure testing only from the drillers control station for the last two tests. They did perform function testing on the remote station, but the pressure testing was only performed using the drillers station. MMS has ordered the rig to alternate control stations in the future. . . . . . in addition, as a condition of its drilling permit, the rig will be required to conduct increased testing of the BOP stack and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) intervention both on the rig and on the seabed.
I presume that it is this scheduled BOP test that is currently being planned. After it is over then the excess cement that is still in the casing will be drilled out. This will allow instruments to then move over the full length of the injected cement to ensure that the cement was placed properly (using a cement bond log something that was controversially not done by Schlumberger before the well failure of the Deepwater Horizon). In addition there will be a leakoff test, to test the strength of the surrounding rock.
Simplistically, the pressure in the bottom of the well is slowly increased until the fluid in the well starts to penetrate the rock, shown when the pressure no longer steadily increases as fluid is added. This is then used to determine the weight of the mud that will then be used to drill the last section of the well (to ensure that the well pressure isnt high enough to reach that pressure that will fracture the rock, and lose fluid to the formation).
With that in hand the well will start the short advances, then be surveyed, then advance again, to ensure that the relief well remains on target to hit the original well, first along the annulus, and then to penetrate through the production casing to allow a cement seal of the whole bottom section of the well.
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Just what has Admiral Thad Allen done as “national incident commander” other than hold press conferences? Has the U.S. government done anything positive with respect to solving the problem?
I must have missed a step. I haven't heard anything about removing the drill pipe that was left in the well bore during the original disaster.
My trophy bride made a couple of interesting comments yesterday after a brief Fox New update:
1. The leak must be pretty well under control since very little hysteria is being aired.
2. Is the “escaped” oil and the Gulf Salt Watere, doing what salt water has done with escaping oil for centuries, ie, handling the problem.
3. Has/Did BP buy out the envirals before, during and after as they certainly have been quiet versus if this had been Exxon or an American oil company.
One thing this whole episode has shown me.
Drilling for oil as waaaaay more complicated than I ever imagined.
BP starts Macondo cement job
BP starte pumping cement to seal the Macondo blowout about 9 Thursday morning after receiving the green light from the head of US Gulf spill response team.
The move was endorsed by retired US Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen, who is heading the US Gulf spill response team.
“Based on the successful completion of the static kill procedure and a positive evaluation of the test results, I have authorised BP to cement its damaged well.
I made it clear that implementation of this procedure shall in no way delay the completion of the relief well,” Allen said late Wednesday night.
BP first commenced the static top kill on the Macondo blowout well on 3 August.
Heavy drilling mud had been pumped into the well in an effort to suppress the flow.
The operation was declared a success at about 1 am local time Wednesday, with the well being brought under control by the hydrostatic pressure of drilling mud, effectively killing the leak.
BP used Helix Energy Solutions semi-submersible platform Q4000 for the static kill operations. About 2300 barrels of mud in total had been pumped into the blowout well.
Crews stopped pumping mud into the well about eight hours into the operation to formulate a plan to permanently seal the well.
At the end of the operation, the pumping rate was ramped up to between 10 barrels per minute and 15 barrels per minute, according to BPs executive Kent Wells.
BP is likely to pump cement at similar rates should it choose to permanently seal the well from the top, Wells said.
BP is pursuing a concurrent bottom-kill strategy by drilling a relief well to intercept the Macondo blowout.
The relief well was being drilled by Transoceans semi-submersible rig Development Driller 3.
Once it intercepts the Macondo bore, crews will either verify that the well was successfully cemented and killed through the top kill or will proceed with a bottom kill and final cement job, Wells said.
Last updated: 05 August 2010 15:40 GMT
Yes I think so,...there are actually two relief wells and the original well . Only one of the Relief wells is being actively worked at the moment...
On The Oil Drum the acronyms are RW for Relief Well and WW for the Wild Well which is the well that still contains drill pipe in unknown condition after the blowout.
I posted the thread but I am not about to try to answer THAT question.
The Well is currently "Stabilized"....I think that is the term they are using....
It is not leaking...but portions of the BOP structure are however.
justa-hairyape; has been spending a lot of time watching what is going on around the top of the well head.
There is an enormous amount of discussion at TOD on Plumes,.corexit, microbes , where did the oil go ...who did what to whom....etc.
The itty bitty critters seem to have been busy!
Interesting observations....maybe since BP was trying to bill itself as THE Green company it was supplying funds to a lot of the Greenies....and they didn't want to risk impacting the money flow....but I don't really know.
Thinking of carry_okie here....he might have some ideas.
Same here....I had no idea.
What happened to the oil?
Absolutely! It was very important for the Government to order BP to do what BP wanted to do anyway. That prevented government second-guessing. Of course, since it was the Government that was DOING the second-guessing, there might have been a more direct solution...
Too many of them, unfortunately. I've been on vacation (first in 20 years) so I haven't been following this one closely.
With cap and raid in the offing, BP may see more opportunities in crooked "renewables" than in oil. That said, they need prices to be high enough to make those investments pencil. Hence, with a general recession under full swing, a huge find of light crude near the Gulf Coast is the one thing they do not need, as it would depress pricing considerably. So a massive debacle with a consequent environmental crash would justify a ban on "deep water drilling" and be just the ticket. That it removes one more source of food for ConUS as delivered by independent small businesses is a twofer.
What that means is that it will be open season for the ChiComs, Brazilians, etc., which is exactly what the Globalists want anyway.
I watched the Senate hearings on corext yesterday. The one thing the panel had to say besides "dump grant money on us" was the token NGO supposed advocate "for the oceans" to drone on about the absolute requirement for a ban on drilling and "retraining" all those workers for a domestic renewable energy market.
Funny, she had almost nothing to say about marine biology...
When the one Gulf Coast scientist quietly reminded her that the Gulf adsorbs the equivalent of an Exxon Valdiz EVERY YEAR in natural seeps that are themselves a source of nutrition for the base of the marine biological pyramid, well, it was sort of a circus.
CO see link at #14.
There were certainly some very questionable happenings in that Blow Out.
The one that stands out to me is displacing the mud with sea water,.... And there were a lot of BP Executives visiting the well...very little has been said about them....
I have always considered that as not connected...but could be.