Oil Spill Update: Test on new top hat halted by BP, more analysis needed. Oil still flows freely
VN) Please notice the "date" on that photo BEFORE THEY CHANGE IT, It says June, or a "6" and the rest is Blocked off due to the high intensity light. So what is really going on? There is no leak and these are from other leaks that occurred? If the leak is real, why not real pictures if its still happening? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF PERPETUATING THE LIE???? A guess is they want an excuse that "we" beg for, to test another damn military industrial complex new high tech weapon justified by saying its the lesser of two evils. Its the old "CREATE THE CRISIS, CONTROL THE CRISIS AND PROVIDE THE SOLUTION THAT HARMS US LESS THAN THE BOGUS CRISIS." This also implies there is a fight going on at the highest levels. Yesterday this was fixed and the crisis was past, now its back on again. That is how you can tell THE DAMN THING IS BOGUS AND HAS BEEN FROM THE BEGINNING.
Tony Pann, July 14, 2010
The latest attempt at choking off the oil well was stopped with little explanation. BP and government officials said need to study the latest results before crucial tests could proceed today.
Engineers mapped the sea floor with a seismic survey, studying for gas pockets and pressure build up, but not much more information has been offered. It the area becomes unstable, another explosion could make for a larger hole that might not be able to be capped.
According to AP: "National Incident Commander Thad Allen met with the federal energy secretary and the head of the U.S. Geological Survey as well as BP officials and other scientists after the mapping was done." (VN: now you know why fascist gov always fall, bureaucracy and secret agendas)
"As a result of these discussions, we decided that the process may benefit from additional analysis," Allen said in a statement. He didn't specify what type of analysis would be done, but said work would continue until Wednesday.
Assuming BP gets the green light to do the cap testing after the extra analysis is finished, engineers need to shut off lines already funneling some oil to ships to see how the cap handles the pressure of the crude coming up from the ground.
Finally, they would shut the openings in the 75-ton metal stack of pipes and valves gradually, one at a time, while watching pressure gauges to see if the cap would hold or if any new leaks erupted. The operation could last anywhere from six to 48 hours, once it gets started.
The new tight fitting cap has been placed on top of the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is not fully operational yet. Tests are being conducted today to see if it can hold up to the pressure of the spewing oil. This 150,000 pound cover was placed over the well between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm CDT on Monday. It was designed to not allow the leaks the past caps had let through, and could be the first time the flow of oil can be stopped since the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, 84 days ago. Government estimates have over 170 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. See the latest photos in the slide show below.
The cap will be tested by closing off three separate valves that fit together snugly, choking off the oil from entering the Gulf. BP expects no oil will be released into the ocean during the tests, but remained cautious about the success of the system.
Pipes can be hooked to the cap to funnel oil to collection ships if BP decides the cap can't take the pressure of the gusher, or if low pressure readings indicate oil is leaking from elsewhere in the well.
"The sealing cap system never before has been deployed at these depths or under these conditions, and its efficiency and ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured," the company said in a statement.
BP will be watching pressure readings. High pressure is good, because it would mean the leak has been contained inside the wellhead machinery. But if readings are lower than expected, that could mean there is another leak elsewhere in the well.
A new ship, the Helix Producer Q4000 should be fully operational today, making three ships that will trap up to 3.4 million gallons of oil per day. This latest addition has flexible hoses, that can make for shorter time to stop production should a hurricane approach the region and force evacuations. It would also allow for a faster transition to collect oil once any possible storm passes.
This is not the final solution though, just a temporary fix. The bottom kill drilling is still the best plan to completely cut off the oil flow for good. This work was ahead of schedule and could be done by the end of this month or during August.
Well Integrity Key to Rapidly Changing Story on New Cap
Jim White, Wednesday July 14, 2010
When plans were first being disclosed last week for the installation of the new cap on the blown out BP oil well gushing beneath the Gulf of Mexico, the explanation was that the new cap and its associated piping system would be dedicated to catching all of the oil flowing from the well. Sometime on Tuesday, the story changed to a discussion of BP slowly closing all of the valves on the piping system in an attempt to stop the flow of oil rather than catch the flowing oil. Late Tuesday night, however, it was announced that BP's test of closing the valves was abruptly halted before it began. The key determinant of whether the flow can be stopped from above with a series of valves appears to be whether the well bore itself can withstand the pressure that is needed to stop the oil flow.
Here is the entire text of Thad Allen’s statement announcing that the test would be delayed:
"Today I met with Secretary Chu, Marcia McNutt and other scientists and geologists as well as officials from BP and other industry representatives as we continue to prepare and review protocols for the well integrity test - including the seismic mapping run that was made around the well site this morning. As a result of these discussions, we decided that the process may benefit from additional analysis that will be performed tonight and tomorrow.
Both the Helix Producer and the Q4000 collection systems are currently on line with the potential to exceed the containment capability that existed before the sealing cap was installed, and skimmers continue to be surged to the well site in anticipation of any increased oil flow as part of the transition. The drilling of relief wells also continues- the first relief has been drilled to a depth of 17,840 feet below the Gulf surface, and the second to a depth of approximately 15,963 feet below the surface."
Note the reference to seismic mapping playing a role in the decision to delay the well integrity test. Here is a typical description of seismic imaging as it is used in oil exploration:
Technological developments in reservoir imaging are largely responsible for the increasing success rates of exploration and development in the oil and gas industry . Using geophones, scientists bounce sound waves into the earth and then construct models of underground rock formations. The models were initially two-dimensional. Unfortunately, 2-D models are difficult to read. Companies who rely on them often drill a high number of unproductive wells. The introduction of 3-D technology was a turning point for the oil and gas industry. 3-D techniques have significantly reduced the number of dry holes drilled, thus increasing the number of productive wells.
From an article in the Los Angeles Times describing the delay in the test, here is an explanation of the importance of what might have been learned from the seismic mapping of the well:
Allen's four-sentence statement specifically mentioned that the group of experts had reviewed a seismic mapping run that was made around the well site Tuesday morning. Allen is scheduled to make a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The new cap, which was affixed to the well Monday, holds out hope for an end to a disaster that has stretched nearly three months, but success is far from certain. Much depends on the upcoming test, which will give experts an idea about how stable the well is below the sea floor.
If it is determined that there are likely leaks in the underground pipe, closing off the well with a cap could exacerbate them. That could eventually send oil seeping up through other parts of the sea floor, making a solution exponentially more difficult.
This whole episode is just another example of how BP has not fully disclosed its plans even as they are being implemented. Note this diary of mine from a week ago, where I was taking CNN to task for not addressing the inconsistency between the "official" estimates of the flow rate from the well and the claims of the collection capability that the new cap and piping system would bring into place. Nowhere in the stories circulating at that time was there a mention that the cap could be used to stop the flow of oil. Instead, all discussion was about the expectation that all oil (even more than the official flow rate) flowing could be captured.
In this diary on Monday, I even mentioned that the fact that the new cap and piping system was described only for collection of oil meant that the decision had already been made that the well bore was not intact enough to withstand the pressure needed to stop the flow, or they would have installed a second blowout preventer rather than a collection system. When did BP mention to the government that they intended to run the test on Tuesday that involved stopping the flow? Note that bmaz reported all the way back on June 7 that Senator Bill Nelson of Florida was talking about loss of well integrity, so it has been known for quite some time that there are likely leaks just such as those the Los Angeles Times story describes.
At any rate, the integrity of the well bore lies at the heart of the rapidly changing situation regarding the blown out oil well. Provided that BP and the government share information with us as they develop it, we may learn much more in the next 24 hours about how much damage the well bore has sustained.
BP executive: Feds fear cap will make oil leak worse
(VN: hmmm, no oil coming out of the system? Looks like its blocked off. So what is the problem?) Was that the work Halliburton did 20 hours before the blow out? Just asking!) Notice the difference between photo above which is suppose to be right now, and this one below, which was the 10th of July, last saturday, hmmm, they don't even look close to the same. This simply confirms we are being jacked around again, see for yourself and tell us what you think?)
View full size (AP Photo/BP PLC)In this image taken from video provided by BP PLC, the arm of a remotely operated vehicle works at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico, Saturday, July 10, 2010. BP COO Doug Suttles said today the federal government is concerned an oil leak cap could make the situation in the Gulf of Mexico worse. (VN: looks like its working to me??? so what happened? and why doesn't it look the same as the above pic? You see why we don't trust anything provided to us by BP or the government especially Thad Allen?)
The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
HOUSTON -- A top BP executive says there's no guarantee a plan to temporarily cap its gushing oil well will go ahead after the federal government questioned whether it will make the leak worse. BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday that BP is trying to resolve the government's concerns.
Suttles said he did not know if BP will get approval to go ahead with closing valves that have been left open since the capping stack was installed atop the well Monday. Suttles said the government wants to verify that the casing, or the piping in the well, is intact and that the oil would stay contained if BP shuts the well in. Suttles said the next step would depend on the outcome of a meeting of BP and government officials early Wednesday afternoon.
Just how big is that gusher in the Gulf of Mexico? Now throw the critics a 2:1 error factor and cut the number to 2 barrels per second. Then cut the BOP down to equal and exclude the obvious other leaks going on. We still have 4 barrels per second. That comes out just about 350,000 barrels of oil per day. That is a low ball estimate for this blowout. The actual size of the gush coming out of the BOP is in the order of 2 to 3 times the Riser output. Everyone can argue any numbers but this is fudged down so far that it is probably wrong by a factor of 2 or 3 being too small for reality. The numbers suggest the possibility of a Million Barrels of Oil a day spill. (I am not willing to go that far out and prefer to suggest the 350,000 BPD rate)
BP says cap and relief well work halted at oil spill site; reason unclear
View full size (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Discoverer Inspiration drilling platform operates in the area of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. BP officials have placed a containment cap over the leak in hopes that the flow of oil will be diminished.
The Associated Press , Wednesday, July 14, 2010,
NEW ORLEANS -- After days of progress on the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, BP said today that delays have temporarily stopped work beneath the water on both a stopgap solution and a permanent fix to the gusher.
BP was vague about the reasons for pushing back tests of a new cap meant to trap oil in the well and why it stopped, for up to 48 hours, drilling on a relief well aimed at plugging the gusher for good from underground.
Kent Wells, a senior vice president at the oil giant, said at a morning news briefing that it was the government's call late Tuesday to re-evaluate plans for testing the new cap over the leak. That plan was put on hold for 24 hours.
With oil still gushing freely into the Gulf, Wells said BP and federal officials will re-evaluate the best path forward after the 24 hours.
But he did not commit with certainty to returning to the plan, in place before the late Tuesday delay, to shut the leak off by closing the valves on the new cap. Wells suggested other oil collection options might be redeployed. "We want to move forward with this as soon as we are ready to do it," he said. Wells said the cap test, which could put the oil in the well under added pressure, could have an effect on the relief well. He did not elaborate.
The relief well's timeframe has always been hazy, with company and federal officials giving estimates ranging from the end of July to the middle of August before it can be completed.
Wells said the test delay was ordered by National Incident Commander Thad Allen, who wanted to make sure everyone was clear on the steps involved and what the data gathered during the test might mean.
"This test is so important a decision was taken to give them another 24 hours to make sure this was the best possible test procedure we could execute," he said. But Wells declined to say that the company would definitely proceed with the "shut in" of the new cap, which was its planned course a day before.
The test is designed to tell if oil leaking to the surface is coming from a single leak or if more leaks are present elsewhere in the well. If it's the latter case, the company would leave the valves open on the cap and try to collect the oil with up to four vessels floating on the surface above.
Along the Gulf Coast, where the spill has heavily damaged the region's vital tourism and fishing industries, people anxiously awaited the outcome of the painstakingly slow work.
"I don't know what's taking them so long. I just hope they take care of it," said Lanette Eder, a vacationing school nutritionist from Hoschton, Ga., who was walking on the white sand at Pensacola Beach, Fla. "I can't say that I'm optimistic -- It's been, what, 84 days now? -- but I'm hopeful," said Nancy LaNasa, 56, who runs a yoga center in Pensacola.
The leak began after the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers. As of Tuesday, the 84th day of the disaster, between 90.4 and 178.6 million gallons of oil had spewed into the Gulf.