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Huge Methane Gas Bubble Under Gulf Floor?


Contributed by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook (Reporter)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:00


For weeks I've been reading stories of the methane gas bubble, or the methane gas bubbles under the waters near, or under the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I, of course, have no idea of the truth of any danger warnings for the area...but they ARE scary.

There seem to be two schools of thought. The most prevalent is that high methane gas levels can deplete the oxygen and kill all the sea life - that's all of the sea life. ATexas AandM University oceanography
oxygen kill sea life sea life atexas aandm university oceanography
professor, John Kessler, has measured the methane levels in the spill area, and he says they are very high but have not yet reached a critical level. Two months from now might be a different story, he says:

Methane occurs naturally in sea water, but high concentrations can encourage the growth of microbes that gobble up oxygen needed by marine life.
This report out of New Orleans:


At least 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas — and possibly almost twice that amount — have leaked since April 20. That's based on estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey's "flow team" that 2,900 cubic feet of&

"This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," said John Kessler, a Texas AandM University oceanographer.

Small microbes that live in the sea have been feeding on the oil and natural gas in the water and are consuming larger quantities of oxygen, which they need to digest food. As they draw more oxygen from the water, it creates two problems. When oxygen levels drop low enough, the breakdown of oil grinds to a halt; and as it is depleted in the water, most life can't be sustained.
The second 'event' being talked about is an explosion of a methane gas bubble near the spill site so large that it ruptures the ocean floor, explodes far above the water surface, causes wide death and destruction, with tsunamis following - not to mention that the existing well-head will be obliterated:


The stretching and compression of the earth's crust causes minor cracking, called faults, and the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has many such fault areas. Fault areas run along the Gulf of Mexico and well inland in Mexico, South and East Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the extreme western Florida Panhandle. The close coupling of new fissures and cracks with natural fault areas could prove to be lethal.

A methane bubble this large -- if able to escape from under the ocean floor through fissures, cracks and fault areas -- is likely to cause a gas explosion. With the emerging evidence of fissures, the tacit fear now is this: the methane bubble may rupture the seabed and may then erupt with an explosion within the Gulf of Mexico waters. The bubble is likely to explode upwards propelled by more than 50,000 psi of pressure, bursting through the cracks and fissures of the sea floor, fracturing and rupturing miles of ocean bottom with a single extreme explosion.

Numerous documents on this subject say there is some belief that methane bubbles have been the cause of disappearing ships and airplanes in the Bermuda Triangle. Who knew?


The Daily Mail says a methane gas bubble actually triggered the explosion on the rig:

The Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster was caused by a bubble of methane gas that shot oil 240ft into the air while BP executives were on board celebrating the platform’s safety record.

The highly combustible gas burst through several seals and barriers before exploding, according to interviews with rig workers conducted during BP’s internal investigation.

Workers on the Deepwater Horizon exploration rig, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, told investigators that they set a cement seal at the bottom of the well, then attempted to put a second seal below the sea floor.

A chemical reaction caused by the setting cement created heat and a gas bubble which destroyed the seal.

Safety adviser Professor Robert Bea, of the University of California, said: ‘A small bubble becomes a really big bubble, so the expanding bubble becomes like a cannon shooting the gas into your face.’

Up on the rig, the first thing workers noticed was the sea water in the drill column suddenly shooting back at them, rocketing 240ft in the air, he said. Then gas surfaced and flooded into an adjoining room with exposed ignition sources.

‘That’s where the first explosion happened,’ said Professor Bea. ‘Then there was a series of explosions that subsequently ignited the oil that was coming from below.’

The BP executives at the party were injured but survived, according to one account.
A question: If the Gulf Coast area is found to be in danger of an enormous explosion that could kill or maim the people and demolish property in the affected areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, would our Government believe it and evacuate the area? Just asking...

The following video describing the dangers of methane gas bubbles cannot be verified - at least by this blog. I don't know who is doing the talking - it sounds like a radio interview. It may be the biggest hoax in modern history, but it offers food for thought. If you have a comment about the veracity of the information, please share it with me in comments.

Source: http://maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com

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  • strawberry 2010/07/07 11:29:12
    strawberry
    "Environmental record"
    "BP was named by Mother Jones Magazine as one of the "ten worst corporations" in both 2001 and 2005 based on its environmental and human rights records. In 1991 BP was cited as the most polluting company in the US based on EPA toxic release data. BP has been charged with burning polluted gases at its Ohio refinery (for which it was fined $1.7 million), and in July 2000 BP paid a $10 million fine to the EPA for its management of its US refineries. According to PIRG research, between January 1997 and March 1998, BP was responsible for 104 oil spills."

    BP's environmental polluting history, oil spills, explosions, and safety cuts to save money goes much further back then the Obama administration.
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:56:39
    strawberry
    "On April 30, BP stated that it would harness all of its resources to battle the oil spill, spending $7 million a day with its partners to try to contain the disaster. In comparison BP's 1st quarter profits for 2010 were roughly $61M daily. BP was running the well without a remote control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations, Brazil and Norway, as a last resort protection against underwater spills. The use of such devices is not mandated by U.S. regulators."
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:47:21
    strawberry
    "On October 30, 2009, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined BP an additional $87 million - the largest fine in OSHA history - for failing to correct safety hazards revealed in the 2005 explosion. Inspectors found 270 safety violations that had been previously cited but not fixed and 439 new violations. BP is appealing that fine."
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:42:48
    strawberry
    "2005: Texas City Refinery explosion" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
    pg. 11 of 22
    "In March 2005, BP's Texas City refinery, one of its largest refineries, exploded causing 15 deaths, injuring 180 people and forcing thousands of nearby residents to remain sheltered in their homes. A large column filled with hydrocarbon overflowed to form a vapour cloud, which ignited. The explosion caused all the casualties and substantial damage to the rest of the plant. The incident came as the culmination of a series of less serious accidents at the refinery, and the engineering problems were not addressed by the management. Maintenance and safety at the plant had been cut as a cost-saving measure, the responsibility ultimately resting with executives in London."

    "The fall-out from the accident continues to cloud BP's corporate image because of the mismanagement at the plant. There have been several investigations of the disaster, the most recent being that from the U.S. Chemical Safey and Hazard Investigation Board which "offered a scathing assessment of the company." OSHA found "organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation" and said manag...
    "2005: Texas City Refinery explosion" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
    pg. 11 of 22
    "In March 2005, BP's Texas City refinery, one of its largest refineries, exploded causing 15 deaths, injuring 180 people and forcing thousands of nearby residents to remain sheltered in their homes. A large column filled with hydrocarbon overflowed to form a vapour cloud, which ignited. The explosion caused all the casualties and substantial damage to the rest of the plant. The incident came as the culmination of a series of less serious accidents at the refinery, and the engineering problems were not addressed by the management. Maintenance and safety at the plant had been cut as a cost-saving measure, the responsibility ultimately resting with executives in London."

    "The fall-out from the accident continues to cloud BP's corporate image because of the mismanagement at the plant. There have been several investigations of the disaster, the most recent being that from the U.S. Chemical Safey and Hazard Investigation Board which "offered a scathing assessment of the company." OSHA found "organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation" and said management failures could be traced from Texas to London."
    "The company pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Clean Air Act, was fined $50 million, and sentenced to three years probation."
    (more)
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:24:09
    strawberry
    Todd Palin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "Career"
    "Palin was a union member belonging to the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (United Steel workers).
    For eighteen years, he worked for BP in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska. In 2007, in order to avoid a conflict of interest relating to his wife's position as governor, he took a leave from his job as production supervisor when his employer became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with his wife's administration. Seven months later, because the family needed more income, Todd returned to BP. In order to avoid potential conflict of interest, this time he accepted a non-management position as a production operator. He resigned from his job on September 18, 2009, with the stated reason a desire to spend more time with his family."
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:10:41
    strawberry
    "On 16 October 2007 Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation officials reported a toxic spill of methanol (methyl alcohol) at the Prudhoe Bay oil field managed by BP PLC. Nearly 2,000 gallons of mostly methanol, mixed with some crude oil and water, spilled onto a frozen tundra pond as well as a gravel pad from a pipeline. Methanol, which is poisonous to plants and animals, is used to clear ice from the insides of the Arctic-based pipelines."
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:04:31
    strawberry
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP pg. 9 of 22
    "In May 2007, the company announced another partial field shutdown owing to leaks of water at a separation plant. Their action was interpreted as another example of fallout from a decision to cut maintenance of the pipeline and associated facilities."
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 10:00:51
    strawberry
    BP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
    "2006-2007: Prudhoe Bay"
    "In August 2006, BP shut down oil operations in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, due to corrosion in pipelines leading up the the Alaska Pipeline. The wells were leaking insulating agent called Arctic pack, consisting of crude oil and diesel fuel, between the wells and ice. BP had spilled over one million litres of oil in Alaska's north Slope. This corrosion is caused by sediment collecting in the bottom of the pipe, protecting corrosive bacteria from chemicals sent through the pipeline to fight this bacteria. There are estimates that about 5,000 barrels of oil were released from the pipeline. To date 1,513 barrels of liquids, about 5,200 cubic yards of soiled snow and 328 cubic yards of soiled gravel have been recovered. After approval from The DOT, only the eastern portion of the field was shut down, resulting in a redution of 200,000 barrels per day until work began to bring the eastern field to full production on 2 October 2006."
  • strawberry 2010/07/07 09:44:00
    strawberry
    BP has been dumping toxic waste materials in the Gulf of Mexico, including a toxic spill of methanol (methyl alcohol) at the Prudhow Bay oil field in Alaska in 2007. Sarah Palin's husband Todd worked for BP for over eighteen years in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska as production supervisor. BP has been violating safety laws since early 1990's with the knowledge of the U.S. government.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP pg.9 of 22
    "1993-1995: Hazardous substance dumping"
    "In September 1999, one of BP's US subsidiaries, BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA), agreed to resolve charges related to the illegal dumping of hazardous wastes on the Alaska North Slope, for $22 million. The settlement included the maximum $500,000 criminal fine, $6.5 million in civil penalties, and BP's establishment of a $15 million environmental management system at all of BP facilities in the US and Gulf of Mexico that are engaged in oil exploration, drilling or production. The charges stemmed from the 1993 to 1995 dumping of hazardous wastes on Endicott Island, Alaska by BP's contractor Doyon Drilling. The firm illegally discharged waste oil, paint thinner and other toxic and hazardous substances by injecting them down the outer rim, or annuli, of the oil wells. BPXA failed to report the illegal injecti...


    BP has been dumping toxic waste materials in the Gulf of Mexico, including a toxic spill of methanol (methyl alcohol) at the Prudhow Bay oil field in Alaska in 2007. Sarah Palin's husband Todd worked for BP for over eighteen years in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska as production supervisor. BP has been violating safety laws since early 1990's with the knowledge of the U.S. government.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP pg.9 of 22
    "1993-1995: Hazardous substance dumping"
    "In September 1999, one of BP's US subsidiaries, BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA), agreed to resolve charges related to the illegal dumping of hazardous wastes on the Alaska North Slope, for $22 million. The settlement included the maximum $500,000 criminal fine, $6.5 million in civil penalties, and BP's establishment of a $15 million environmental management system at all of BP facilities in the US and Gulf of Mexico that are engaged in oil exploration, drilling or production. The charges stemmed from the 1993 to 1995 dumping of hazardous wastes on Endicott Island, Alaska by BP's contractor Doyon Drilling. The firm illegally discharged waste oil, paint thinner and other toxic and hazardous substances by injecting them down the outer rim, or annuli, of the oil wells. BPXA failed to report the illegal injections when it learned of the conduct, in violation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act."
    "Political record"
    "2007: Propane price manipulation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP pg. 12 of 22
    "Four BP energy traders in Houston were charged with manipulating prices of propane in October 2007. As part of the settlement of the case, BP paid the US government a $303 million fine, the largest commodity market settlement ever in the US. The settlement included a $125 million civil fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $100 million to the Justice Department, $53.3 million to a restitution fund for purchasers of the propane BP sold, and $25 million to a US Postal Service consumer fraud education fund."
    (more)
  • Nancy 2010/07/07 03:07:42
    Nancy
    +1
    Interesting that they took this video off. The methane bubble is something that is probably more like "pockets" of the stuff rather than a big bubble like lake of it. We had a gas rig blow here a few weeks ago because it hit a methane pocket. Eight men were burned, 4 were released pretty quickly. Do not have the info on the other 4 but they survived. Really do not hear of that very often on the rigs. Methane is a problem in the coal mines too...the disaster that occured at the Massy mine here a few weeks back. The term in gas drilling is "blow out and crater". So, they do not want this issue with methane and they are awair of it. Oil, gas drilling and coal mining have dangers... always... and safety is always needed and they try to stay awair of that as well.
  • DRLJR 2010/07/07 02:04:58
    DRLJR
    +1
    From an email I received. Post on another post as well.


    To my engineer friends, does this make sense? Regan, you maybe should start thinking of coming home.


    http://axisoflogic.com/artman...



    Editor's Choice

    A grim technical view on the BP Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico ( 8)< div> Printer friendly pagePrint This ShareThis

    By Doug R. The Oil Drum

    The Oil Drum

    Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010




    Editor's Note: This is the most credible report/analyis we have read to date about what is really happening with what could turn out to be the worst environmental disaster in all of human history. The editor of The Oil Drum website provides an introduction to the report.

    - Les Blough, Editor

    What follows is a comment from a The Oil Drum reader. To read what The Oil Drum staff members are saying about the Deepwater Horizon Spill, please visit the front page. (Were the US government and BP more forthcoming with information and details, the situation would not be giving rise to so much speculation about what is actually going on in the Gulf. This should be run more like Mission Control at NASA than an exclusive country club function--it is a public matter--transparency, now!)

    - Oil Drum Editor



    OK let's get real about the GOM oil flow. There doesn't really seem to be much info on TOD ...








































































































































































    From an email I received. Post on another post as well.


    To my engineer friends, does this make sense? Regan, you maybe should start thinking of coming home.


    http://axisoflogic.com/artman...



    Editor's Choice

    A grim technical view on the BP Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico ( 8)< div> Printer friendly pagePrint This ShareThis

    By Doug R. The Oil Drum

    The Oil Drum

    Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010




    Editor's Note: This is the most credible report/analyis we have read to date about what is really happening with what could turn out to be the worst environmental disaster in all of human history. The editor of The Oil Drum website provides an introduction to the report.

    - Les Blough, Editor

    What follows is a comment from a The Oil Drum reader. To read what The Oil Drum staff members are saying about the Deepwater Horizon Spill, please visit the front page. (Were the US government and BP more forthcoming with information and details, the situation would not be giving rise to so much speculation about what is actually going on in the Gulf. This should be run more like Mission Control at NASA than an exclusive country club function--it is a public matter--transparency, now!)

    - Oil Drum Editor



    OK let's get real about the GOM oil flow. There doesn't really seem to be much info on TOD that furthers more complete understanding of what's really happening in the GOM.

    As you have probably seen and maybe feel yourselves, there are several things that do not appear to make sense regarding the actions of attack against the well. Don't feel bad, there is much that doesn't make sense even to professionals unless you take into account some important variables that we are not being told about. There seems to me to be a reluctance to face what cannot be termed anything less than grim circumstances in my opinion. There certainly is a reluctance to inform us regular people and all we have really gotten is a few dots here and there...

    First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be happening..it's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

    So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do...you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:

    The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".

    That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...

    TOP KILL - FAILS:

    This was probably our best and only chance to kill this well from the top down. This "kill mud" is a tried and true method of killing wells and usually has a very good chance of success. The depth of this well presented some logistical challenges, but it really should not of presented any functional obstructions. The pumping capacity was there and it would have worked, should have worked, but it didn't.

    It didn't work, but it did create evidence of what is really happening. First of all the method used in this particular top kill made no sense, did not follow the standard operating procedure used to kill many other wells and in fact for the most part was completely contrary to the procedure which would have given it any real chance of working.

    When a well is "Killed" using this method heavy drill fluid "Mud" is pumped at high volume and pressure into a leaking well. The leaks are "behind" the point of access where the mud is fired in, in this case the "choke and Kill lines" which are at the very bottom of the BOP (Blow Out Preventer) The heavy fluid gathers in the "behind" portion of the leaking well assembly, while some will leak out, it very quickly overtakes the flow of oil and only the heavier mud will leak out. Once that "solid" flow of mud is established at the leak "behind" the well, the mud pumps increase pressure and begin to overtake the pressure of the oil deposit. The mud is established in a solid column that is driven downward by the now stronger pumps. The heavy mud will create a solid column that is so heavy that the oil deposit can no longer push it up, shut off the pumps...the well is killed...it can no longer flow.

    Usually this will happen fairly quickly, in fact for it to work at all...it must happen quickly. There is no "trickle some mud in" because that is not how a top kill works. The flowing oil will just flush out the trickle and a solid column will never be established. Yet what we were told was "It will take days to know whether it worked"...."Top kill might take 48 hours to complete"...the only way it could take days is if BP intended to do some "test fires" to test integrity of the entire system. The actual "kill" can only take hours by nature because it must happen fairly rapidly. It also increases strain on the "behind" portion and in this instance we all know that what remained was fragile at best.

    Early that afternoon we saw a massive flow burst out of the riser "plume" area. This was the first test fire of high pressure mud injection. Later on same day we saw a greatly increased flow out of the kink leaks, this was mostly mud at that time as the kill mud is tanish color due to the high amount of Barite which is added to it to weight it and Barite is a white powder.

    We later learned the pumping was shut down at midnight, we weren't told about that until almost 16 hours later, but by then...I'm sure BP had learned the worst. The mud they were pumping in was not only leaking out the "behind" leaks...it was leaking out of someplace forward...and since they were not even near being able to pump mud into the deposit itself, because the well would be dead long before...and the oil was still coming up, there could only be one conclusion...the wells casings were ruptured and it was leaking "down hole"

    They tried the "Junk shot"...the "bridging materials" which also failed and likely made things worse in regards to the ruptured well casings.

    "Despite successfully pumping a total of over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud, in three attempts at rates of up to 80 barrels a minute, and deploying a wide range of different bridging materials, the operation did not overcome the flow from the well."

    80 Barrels per minute is over 200,000 gallons per hour, over 115,000 barrels per day...did we seen an increase over and above what was already leaking out of 115k bpd?....we did not...it would have been a massive increase in order of multiples and this did not happen.

    "The whole purpose is to get the kill mud down,” said [BP Senior Executive Vice President Kent] Wells. “We'll have 50,000 barrels of mud on hand to kill this well. It's far more than necessary, but we always like to have backup."

    Try finding THAT quote around...it's been scrubbed...here's a cached copy of a quote.

    "The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, [U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad] Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting."

    "Allen said one ship that was pumping fluid into the well had run out of the fluid, or "mud," and that a second ship was on the way. He said he was encouraged by the progress."

    Later we found out that Allen had no idea what was really going on and had been "Unavailable all day"

    So what we had was BP running out of 50,000 barrels of mud in a very short period of time. An amount far and above what they deemed necessary to kill the well. Shutting down pumping 16 hours before telling anyone, including the president. We were never really given a clear reason why "Top Kill" failed, just that it couldn't overcome the well.

    There is only one article anywhere that says anything else about it at this time of writing...and it's a relatively obscure article from the Wall Street Journal "online" citing an unnamed source.

    Wall Street Journal On-line

    WASHINGTON—BP PLC has concluded that its "top-kill" attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of
    Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.

    The disk, part of the subsea safety infrastructure, may have ruptured during the surge of oil and gas up the well on April 20 that led to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP officials said. The rig sank two days later, triggering a leak that has since become the worst in U.S. history.

    The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP's findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.

    As a result, BP wasn't able to get sufficient pressure to keep the oil and gas at bay. If they had been able to build up sufficient pressure, the company had hoped to pump in cement and seal off the well. The effort was deemed a failure on Saturday.

    BP started the top-kill effort Wednesday afternoon, shooting heavy drilling fluids into the broken valve known as a blowout preventer. The mud was driven by a 30,000 horsepower pump installed on a ship at the surface. But it was clear from the start that a lot of the "kill mud" was leaking out instead of going down into the well."

    There are some inconsistencies with this article.

    There are no "Disks" or "Subsea safety structure" 1,000 feet below the sea floor, all that is there is well bore. There is nothing that can allow the mud or oil to "escape" into the rock formation outside the well bore except the well, because it is the only thing there.

    All the actions and few tid bits of information all lead to one inescapable conclusion. The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. Now you have some real data of how BP's actions are evidence of that, as well as some murky statement from "BP officials" confirming the same.

    I took some time to go into a bit of detail concerning the failure of Top Kill because this was a significant event. To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, it was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.

    What does this mean?

    It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad, same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off...or tried to anyway...but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks "down hole". I'm sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed...because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.

    Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed.....and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks.

    A down hole leak is dangerous and damaging for several reasons.

    There will be erosion throughout the entire beat up, beat on and beat down remainder of the "system" including that inaccessible leak. The same erosion I spoke about in the first post is still present and has never stopped, cannot be stopped, is impossible to stop and will always be present in and acting on anything that is left which has crude oil "Product" rushing through it. There are abrasives still present, swirling flow will create hot spots of wear and this erosion is relentless and will always be present until eventually it wears away enough material to break it's way out. It will slowly eat the bop away especially at the now pinched off riser head and it will flow more and more. Perhaps BP can outrun or keep up with that out flow with various suckage methods for a period of time, but eventually the well will win that race, just how long that race will be?...no one really knows....However now?...there are other problems that a down hole leak will and must produce that will compound this already bad situation.

    This down hole leak will undermine the foundation of the seabed in and around the well area. It also weakens the only thing holding up the massive Blow Out Preventer's immense bulk of 450 tons. In fact?...we are beginning to the results of the well's total integrity beginning to fail due to the undermining being caused by the leaking well bore.

    The first layer of the sea floor in the gulf is mostly lose material of sand and silt. It doesn't hold up anything and isn't meant to, what holds the entire subsea system of the Bop in place is the well itself. The very large steel connectors of the initial well head "spud" stabbed in to the sea floor. The Bop literally sits on top of the pipe and never touches the sea bed, it wouldn't do anything in way of support if it did. After several tens of feet the seabed does begin to support the well connection laterally (side to side) you couldn't put a 450 ton piece of machinery on top of a 100' tall pipe "in the air" and subject it to the side loads caused by the ocean currents and expect it not to bend over...unless that pipe was very much larger than the machine itself, which you all can see it is not. The well's piping in comparison is actually very much smaller than the Blow Out Preventer and strong as it may be, it relies on some support from the seabed to function and not literally fall over...and it is now showing signs of doing just that....falling over.

    If you have been watching the live feed cams you may have noticed that some of the ROVs are using an inclinometer...and inclinometer is an instrument that measures "Incline" or tilt. The BOP is not supposed to be tilting...and after the riser clip off operation it has begun to...

    This is not the only problem that occurs due to erosion of the outer area of the well casings. The way a well casing assembly functions it that it is an assembly of different sized "tubes" that decrease in size as they go down. These tubes have a connection to each other that is not unlike a click or snap together locking action. After a certain length is assembled they are cemented around the ouside to the earth that the more rough drill hole is bored through in the well making process. A very well put together and simply explained process of "How to drill a deep water oil well" is available here.

    The well bore casings rely on the support that is created by the cementing phase of well construction. Just like if you have many hands holding a pipe up you could put some weight on the top and the many hands could hold the pipe and the weight on top easily...but if there were no hands gripping and holding the pipe?...all the weight must be held up by the pipe alone. The series of connections between the sections of casings are not designed to hold up the immense weight of the BOP without all the "hands" that the cementing provides and they will eventually buckle and fail when stressed beyond their design limits.

    These are clear and present dangers to the battered subsea safety structure (bop and lmrp) which is the only loose cork on this well we have left. The immediate (first 1,000 feet) of well structure that remains is now also undoubtedly compromised. However.....as bad as that is?...it is far from the only possible problems with this very problematic well. There were ongoing troubles with the entire process during the drilling of this well. There were also many comprises made by BP IMO which may have resulted in an overall weakened structure of the entire well system all the way to the bottom plug which is over 12,000 feet deep. Problems with the cementing procedure which was done by Haliburton and was deemed as “was against our best practices.” by a Haliburton employee on April 1st weeks before the well blew out. There is much more and I won't go into detail right now concerning the lower end of the well and the troubles encountered during the whole creation of this well and earlier "Well control" situations that were revieled in various internal BP e-mails. I will add several links to those documents and quotes from them below and for now, address the issues concerning the upper portion of the well and the region of the sea floor.

    What is likely to happen now?

    Well...none of what is likely to happen is good, in fact...it's about as bad as it gets. I am convinced the erosion and compromising of the entire system is accelerating and attacking more key structural areas of the well, the blow out preventer and surrounding strata holding it all up and together. This is evidenced by the tilt of the blow out preventer and the erosion which has exposed the well head connection. What eventually will happen is that the blow out preventer will literally tip over if they do not run supports to it as the currents push on it. I suspect they will run those supports as cables tied to anchors very soon, if they don't, they are inviting disaster that much sooner.

    Eventually even that will be futile as the well casings cannot support the weight of the massive system above with out the cement bond to the earth and that bond is being eroded away. When enough is eroded away the casings will buckle and the BOP will collapse the well. If and when you begin to see oil and gas coming up around the well area from under the BOP? or the area around the well head connection and casing sinking more and more rapidly? ...it won't be too long after that the entire system fails. BP must be aware of this, they are mapping the sea floor sonically and that is not a mere exercise. Our Gov't must be well aware too, they just are not telling us.

    All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit...after that, it goes into the realm of "the worst things you can think of." The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out...as I said...all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn't any "cap dome" or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now?....is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.

    It's a race now...a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it's last gasp in a horrific crescendo.

    We are not even 2 months into it, barely half way by even optimistic estimates. The damage done by the leaked oil now is virtually immeasurable already and it will not get better, it can only get worse. No matter how much they can collect, there will still be thousands and thousands of gallons leaking out every minute, every hour of every day. We have 2 months left before the relief wells are even near in position and set up to take a kill shot and that is being optimistic as I said.

    Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. It is only a simple matter of who can "get there first"...us or the well.

    We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.

    The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.

    Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it....I sincerely hope I am wrong.

    We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down.

    The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens...

    We are seeing the puny forces of man vs the awesome forces of nature.
    We are going to need some luck and a lot of effort to win...
    and if nature decides we ought to lose, we will....

    Reference materials

    1. On April 1, a job log written by a Halliburton employee, Marvin Volek, warns that BP’s use of cement “was against our best practices.”
    2. An April 18 internal Halliburton memorandum indicates that Halliburton again warned BP about its practices, this time saying that a “severe” gas flow problem would occur if the casings were not centered more carefully.
    3. Around that same time, a BP document shows, company officials chose a type of casing with a greater risk of collapsing.
    4. Mark Hafle, the BP drilling engineer who wrote plans for well casings and cement seals on the Deepwater Horizon's well, testified that the well had lost thousands of barrels of mud at the bottom. But he said models run onshore showed alterations to the cement program would resolve the issues, and when asked if a cement failure allowed the well to "flow" gas and oil, he wouldn't capitulate.

    Hafle said he made several changes to casing designs in the last few days before the well blew, including the addition of the two casing liners that weren't part of the original well design because of problems where the earthen sides of the well were "ballooning." He also worked with Halliburton engineers to design a plan for sealing the well casings with cement.
    5. Graphic of Fail
    6. Casing joint
    7. Casing
    8. Kill may take until Christmas
    9. BP Used Riskier Method to Seal Well Before Blast
    10. BP memo test results
    11. Investigation results

    * The information from BP identifies several new warning signs of problems. According to BP there were three flow indicators from the well before the explosion.
    * BP, what we know

    What could have happened

    Confidential Treatment Requested BP-HZN-CEC 018892

    1. Before or during the cement job, an influx of hydrocarbon enters the wellbore.
    2. Influx is circulated during cement job to wellhead and BOP.
    3. 9-7/8” casing hanger packoff set and positively tested to 6500 psi.
    4. After 16.5 hours waiting on cement, a negative test performed on wellbore below BOP. (~ 1400 psi differential pressure on 9-7/8” casing hanger packoff and ~ 2350 psi on double valve float collar)
    5. Packoff leaks allowing hydrocarbon to enter wellbore below BOP. 1400 psi shut in pressure observed on drill pipe (no flow or pressure observed on kill line)
    6. Hydrocarbon below BOP is unknowingly circulated to surface while finishing displacing the riser.
    7. As hydrocarbon rises to surface, gas break out of solution further reduces hydrostatic pressure in well. Well begin to flow, BOPs and Emergency Disconnect System (EDS) activated but failed.
    8. Packoff continues to leak allowing further influx from bottom.
    Confidential

    Additional References

    1. T/A daily log 4-20
    2. Cement plug 12,150 ft SCMT logging tool SCMT (Slim Cement Mapping Tool)
    3. Schlumberger Partial CBL done. Schlum CBL tools
    4. Major concerns, well control, bop test.
    5. Energy & commerce links to docs.
    6. Well Head on Sea Floor
    7. Well head on deck of ship
    8. BP's youtube propaganda page, a lot of rarely seen vids here....FWIW



    Doug R. (the author) - I used to cover the energy business (oil, gas and alternative) here in Texas, and the few experts in the oil field -- including geologists, chemists, etc. -- able or willing to even speak of this BP event told me early on that it is likely the entire reserve will bleed out. Unfortunately none of them could say with any certainty just how much oil is in the reserve in question because, for one thing, the oil industry and secrecy have always been synonymous. According to BP data from about five years ago, there are four separate reservoirs containing a total of 2.5 billion barrels (barrels not gallons). One of the reservoirs has 1.5 billion barrels. I saw an earlier post here quoting an Anadarko Petroleum report which set the total amount at 2.3 billion barrels. One New York Times article put it at 2 billion barrels.

    If the BP data correctly or honestly identified four separate reservoirs then a bleed-out might gush less than 2 to 2.5 billion barrels unless the walls -- as it were -- fracture or partially collapse. I am hearing the same dark rumors which suggest fracturing and a complete bleed-out are already underway. Rumors also suggest a massive collapse of the Gulf floor itself is in the making. They are just rumors but it is time for geologists or related experts to end their deafening silence and speak to these possibilities.

    All oilmen lie about everything. The stories one hears about the extent to which they will protect themselves are all understatements. BP employees are already taking The Fifth before grand juries, and attorneys are laying a path for company executives to make a run for it.

    Source: The Oil Drum
    (more)
  • Rore73 2010/07/06 23:54:01
    Rore73
    +1
    It doesn't suprise me that the video has been removed. The Obama administration says they want all the information coming from one place, and the Demos in Congress refuse to fund GOP members to visit the gulf. Kinda sounds like there's something Obama and friends don't want seen or reported down there, doesn't it?
  • Janster 2010/07/06 19:34:29
    Janster
    +1
    And the man in the White House does nothing still . . .
  • Alexander Janster 2010/07/06 21:52:53
    Alexander
    From this disaster Obama stands to get 85 million dollars for his helping George Soros and Brazil to sell us oil once the Gulf is completely useless. And since he is a Marxist peoples lives don't mean anything. Why do you think he is trying to stop that immagration law in Arizona. It is our own fault first for not drilling here in our own country for all the oil we are sitting on and second for adulating and electing Obama to Office.
  • Sheila 2010/07/06 16:34:45
    Sheila
    The video has been removed. Do you have any other link to the video or to the info in the vid?

    Yes, from the expirience relayed to me by my boss who used to be the BOP guy for a local company (BOP= Blow Out Preventer) the methane could cause a real catastrophe if there is enough of it and it can't find a safe release.
  • ronbo51 2010/07/06 16:16:55
    ronbo51
    +1
    and now the truth comes forward!!
    please spread this to all!!

    It is worse than what anyone thought....
    And it is BP's fault. they knew of this huge Methane deposit and have kept quiet.... but ALSO SO HAS THE MMS WHICH IS UNDER DIRECT CONTROL OF BARACK OBUMO!!
  • Frank 2010/07/06 16:07:32
    Frank
    +1
    Several weeks ago Obama said he is taking full responsibility, so what is he going to do?????????????
  • Boo Frank 2010/07/06 19:02:01
    Boo
    Nothing!
  • Dora Rachael 2010/07/06 15:07:19
    Dora Rachael
    +2
    Hummmm. There is definitely something rotten in Denmark. Why are journalists banned from the area! This is frightening!
  • David 2010/07/06 15:04:49
    David
    Large amounts of methane can also affect the buoyancy of water craft and can cause sinking. This is one of the theories of the Bermuda triangle vanishings of boats and ships.

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Alexander

Alexander

Houma, LA, US

2008/06/30 03:05:48

Just surfing the net

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