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BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well
07-15-2010, 09:53 PM,
Exclamation  BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well
Quote:BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well

By COLLEEN LONG and HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writers

NEW ORLEANS – A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. The victory — long awaited by weary residents along the coast — is the most significant milestone yet in BP's effort to control one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

Kent Wells, a BP PLC vice president, said at a news briefing that oil stopped flowing into the water at 2:25 p.m. CDT after engineers gradually dialed down the amount of crude escaping through the last of three valves in the 75-ton cap.

"I am very pleased that there's no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, I'm really excited there's no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico," Wells said.

The stoppage came 85 days, 16 hours and 25 minutes after the first report April 20 of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and triggered the spill.

Now begins a waiting period to see if the cap can hold the oil without blowing a new leak in the well. Engineers will monitor pressure readings incrementally for up to 48 hours before reopening the cap while they decide what to do.

Though not a permanent fix, the solution has been the only one that has worked to stem the flow of oil since April. BP is drilling two relief wells so it can pump mud and cement into the leaking well in hopes of plugging it for good by mid-August.

BP has struggled to contain the spill and had so far been successful only in reducing the flow, not stopping it. The company removed an old, leaky cap and installed the new one Monday.

Between 93.5 million and 184.3 million have already spilled into the Gulf, according to federal estimates.
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
07-16-2010, 09:52 AM,
RE: BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well
Somewhere between 94 million and 184 million gallons spilled into the Gulf, according to government estimates.
07-19-2010, 12:15 AM,
RE: BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well
Quote:BP, feds clash over reopening capped Gulf oil well

By COLLEEN LONG and HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writers

NEW ORLEANS – BP and the Obama administration offered significantly differing views Sunday on whether the capped Gulf of Mexico oil well will have to be reopened, a contradiction that may be an effort by the oil giant to avoid blame if crude starts spewing again.

Pilloried for nearly three months as it tried repeatedly to stop the leak, BP PLC capped the nearly mile-deep well Thursday and wants to keep it that way. The government's plan, however, is to eventually pipe oil to the surface, which would ease pressure on the fragile well but would require up to three more days of oil spilling into the Gulf.

"No one associated with this whole activity ... wants to see any more oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico," Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer, said Sunday. "Right now we don't have a target to return the well to flow."

An administration official familiar with the spill oversight, however, told The Associated Press that a seep and possible methane were found near the busted oil well. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement about the next steps had not been made yet.

The concern all along — since pressure readings on the cap weren't as high as expected — was a leak elsewhere in the wellbore, meaning the cap may have to be reopened to prevent the environmental disaster from becoming even worse and harder to fix.

The official, who would not clarify what is seeping near the well, also said BP is not complying with the government's demand for more monitoring.

When asked about the official's comments, BP spokesman Mark Salt would only say that "we continue to work very closely with all government scientists on this."

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's spill response chief, insisted Sunday that "nothing has changed" since Saturday, when he said oil would eventually be piped to surface ships. The government is overseeing BP's work to stop the leak, which ultimately is to be plugged using a relief well.

Allen decided to extend testing of the cap that had been scheduled to end Sunday, the official who spoke on condition of anonymity said. That means the oil will stay in the well for now as scientists continue run tests and monitor pressure readings. The official didn't say how long that would take.

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security referred questions to a statement issued by Allen; neither he nor BP officials could explain the apparent contradiction in plans.

Suttles' comments carved out an important piece of turf for BP: If Allen sticks with the containment plan and oil again pours forth into the Gulf, even briefly, it will be the government's doing, not BP's.

The company very much wants to avoid a repeat of the live underwater video that showed millions of gallons of oil spewing from the blown well for weeks.

"I can see why they're pushing for keeping the cap on and shut in until the relief well is in place," said Daniel Keeney, president of a Dallas-based public relations firm.

The government wants to eliminate any chance of making matters worse, while BP is loath to lose the momentum it gained the moment it finally halted the leak, Keeney said.

"They want to project being on the same team, but they have different end results that benefit each," he said.

Oil would have to be released under Allen's plan, which would ease concerns that the capped reservoir might force its way out through another route. Those concerns stem from pressure readings in the cap that have been lower than expected.

Scientists still aren't sure whether the pressure readings mean a leak elsewhere in the well bore, possibly deep down in bedrock, which could make the seabed unstable. Oil would be have to be released into the water to relieve pressure and allow crews to hook up the ships, BP and Allen have said.

So far, there have been no signs of a leak.

"We're not seeing any problems at this point with the shut-in," Suttles said at a Sunday morning briefing.

Allen said later Sunday that scientists and engineers would continue to evaluate and monitor the cap through acoustic, sonar and seismic readings.

They're looking to determine whether low pressure readings mean that more oil than expected poured into the Gulf of Mexico since the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, killing 11 people and touching off one of America's worst environment crises.

"While we are pleased that no oil is currently being released into the Gulf of Mexico and want to take all appropriate action to keep it that way, it is important that all decisions are driven by the science," Allen said in a news release.

"Ultimately, we must ensure no irreversible damage is done which could cause uncontrolled leakage from numerous points on the sea floor."

Both Allen and BP have said they don't know how long the trial run will continue. It was set to end Sunday afternoon, but the deadline — an extension from the original Saturday cutoff — came and went with no word on what's next.

After little activity Sunday, robots near the well cap came to life around the time of the cutoff. It wasn't clear what they were doing, but bubbles started swirling around as their robotic arms poked at the mechanical cap.

To plug the busted well, BP is drilling two relief wells, one of them as a backup. The company said work on the first one was far enough along that officials expect to reach the broken well's casing, or pipes, deep underground by late this month. The subsequent job of jamming the well with mud and cement could take days or a few weeks.

It will take months, or possibly years for the Gulf to recover, though cleanup efforts continued and improvements in the water could be seen in the days since the oil stopped flowing. Somewhere between 94 million and 184 million gallons have spilled into the Gulf, according to government estimates.

The spill has prevented many commercial fishermen from their jobs, though some are at work with the cleanup. Some boat captains were surprised and angry to learn that the money they make from cleanup work will be deducted from the funds they would otherwise receive from a $20 billion compensation fund set up by BP.

The fund's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, told The Associated Press on Sunday that if BP pays fishermen wages to help skim oil and perform other cleanup work, those wages will be subtracted from the amount they get from the fund.

Longtime charter boat captain Mike Salley said he didn't realize BP planned to deduct those earnings, and he doubted many other captains knew, either.

"I'll keep running my boat," he said Sunday on a dock in Orange Beach, Ala., before heading back into the Gulf to resupply other boats with boom to corral the oil. "What else can I do?"


Weber reported from Houston. Associated Press writer Jay Reeves in Orange Beach, Ala., Tom Strong in Washington and AP video journalist Haven Daley in Biloxi, Miss., contributed to this report.

Ah...bit's of the actual truth begin to seep out into the MSM....
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
07-19-2010, 02:11 AM,
RE: BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well
BP can re-open the well once they clean up their 'spill', pay off everyone's medical bills (including future medical costs) and fairly compensate all those who have suffered devastated careers and livelihoods. Other companies should not be affected by their 'accident', but higher safety standards need to be in place. And simple transparent "look before you leap" testing of new technologies before they are employed full scale.

Yup I said it, regulation. There is a time and place for it and when it involves harvesting a natural resource from an ecosystem that is ultimately everyone's shared property it's a necessity. That said it needs to be enforced in such a way that it holds enough of a penalty so cost of doing business math doesn't negate any deterrent. That and it needs to be enforced fairly and equally across the board.

Then again, if we have a financial system that allows credit default swaps that act as bets to fail need to be factored into penalties as well. BP, Wall Street insiders and many large banking institutions stand to make a killing if BP fails. Any one investing in other oil barons would benefit too since they'd gain market share so I suppose it's essentially the same thing. The stock market is so messed up it needs to be abolished and redesigned from the ground up in an intelligent gradual way. It started as publicly offered Venture Capital investment now it's a corrupt casino of usury.

Final thought, there was more than one leak though. I've heard numbers as high as 22 + some potential seepage into underground aquifers that needs to be investigated.
There are no others, there is only us.
07-19-2010, 06:37 AM,
RE: BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well

Quote:Capped BP Oil Well May be Leaking in Wellbore
Sunday, July 18, 2010

This could lead to the worst case scenario. Pressure tests indicate the wellbore structure may be compromised “down hole.” This means they may have to uncap it to take pressure off the well and prevent a total collapse of the well due to erosion. The possibility of this horrific scenario was explained in detail by an oil industry expert at The Oil Drum. It's a long post, but well worth your time. This expert claimed everything BP and the government were doing indicated they knew of a leak “down hole.” Although BP statements have hinted at this possibility, this information has not been widely reported. If the wellbore is destroyed, the entire 2 billion barrels (barrels not gallons) in this reserve are coming out into the gulf and there would be nothing anyone could do to stop it. So far, the oil expert's June 13th post is looking very credible. Let's hope he is wrong. However, AP is now reporting on this leak elsewhere in the wellbore and the possibility the well will have to be reopened.

That was the summary the 15 page comment and 10 pages of comment replies are attached as a PDF.

It's also linked online here:

Here is the entire article referred to in the article (attached PDF too) above (supposedly scrubbed and only available in google cache) but it's back up on the chron site now it seems likely due to popular demand:

Quote:Some good news from the depths
4-inch tube successfully threaded into pipeline, begins syphoning oil

Nearly a month into their quest to contain a gushing oil spill, BP officials had their first major success Sunday, when robots threaded a thin tube into a broken pipeline almost a mile underwater.

The 4-inch tube was expected to work like a straw, sucking as much as 85 percent of the leaking oil into a tanker waiting on the surface. After a failed first attempt on Saturday, followed by a successful insertion that was subsequently dislodged, BP found that the third time was the charm.

“We're obviously pleased,” said BP spokesman John Crabtree. “It's progress.”

But officials stopped short of celebrating the occasion, which came after a series of stinging defeats in the battle to plug the gusher. Early efforts were stymied by the unpredictable gas combinations and high-pressure, low-temperature conditions that caused equipment to clog with icelike crystals on the Gulf's floor.

Engineers used methanol and warm seawater to keep this pipe from meeting a similar fate, said BP Senior Executive Vice President Kent Wells, who spoke to reporters on Sunday afternoon.

“We've learned from that, and so far it's working extremely well,” he said.

Wells said he did not know exactly how much of the leaking oil had been captured and siphoned by the tube as of Sunday afternoon, but said the plan was to start off slowly and work up to full capacity over the next few days.

“We don't want to get too aggressive on how quickly we bring our flow up,” he said.

All the while, engineers continued to develop backup plans — including a second insertion tube — in case this one fails.

“We still have multiple options we're pursuing to contain as much of the oil flow as we can,” he said.

The next step will be to plug the well completely, which engineers hope to accomplish within a week to 10 days using a method called a top kill, Wells said.

Workers will first try to pump heavy mud directly into the well using piping called a “choke and kill line.” If too much mud spews back out of the well instead of plunging deeper, engineers will then shoot debris into an opening at the top of the well.

“The whole purpose is to get the kill mud down,” said 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.”

Relief well halfway done

At the same time, drilling continues on a relief well, which is considered an almost-certain solution to the leak. Work is about halfway done on that effort, said Crabtree, but it could still take months to finish the job.

On Sunday, a flare atop the Discoverer Enterprise drill ship burned off the natural gas funneled up from below. But environmentalists worried about new reports of underwater plumes of oil generated by the leak, which has been pumping an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf every day since the Deepwater Horizon drill rig exploded April 20 and sank two days later.

Federal investigators are still trying to understand what caused the blowout, and why the blowout preventer — the “fail-safe” device that was supposed to seal the well in case of an emergency, failed.

On Sunday, CBS' 60 Minutes quoted a worker on the rig as saying that during a test of the blowout preventer four weeks before the accident, a crewman accidentally nudged a joystick and moved 15 feet of pipe through the closed device. Later, a worker on the rig found chunks of rubber in the drilling fluid — apparently from the rubber gasket that closes tightly around the drill pipe. Transocean said the preventer was tested after the incident and passed.

Researchers have found more underwater plumes of oil than they can count from the blown-out well, said Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia. She said careful measurements taken of one plume showed it stretching for 10 miles, with a 3-mile width.

The hazardous effects of the plume are twofold. Joye said the oil itself can prove toxic to fish swimming in the sea, while vast amount of oxygen are also being sucked from the water by microbes that eat oil. Dispersants used to fight the oil are also food for the microbes, speeding up the oxygen depletion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

.pdf   dougr\'s Wicked Awesome Oil Cap Comment [2010.06.13].pdf (Size: 251.97 KB / Downloads: 39)
There are no others, there is only us.
07-21-2010, 12:29 AM,
RE: BP: No oil leaking into Gulf from busted well
Incredible site following the spill, lots of updates.

Not the least of which being this one:

Quote:BOMBSHELL: BP seabed survey BEFORE drilling well showed NO indications of seep 3 km away says former Shell exec

July 20th, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Gas seeps not necessarily a problem, because pressure in oil well rising, officials say, Times-Picayune, July 19, 2010 at 20:12 EDT:

Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea [Deepwater Horizon Study Group member] has very little confidence in what’s been said publicly about the seeps.

He’s troubled that we’re just now hearing about seeps three kilometers away, because a survey of the seabed conducted before BP drilled its well didn’t indicate anything like that.

“There was nothing that indicated the presence of such a seep,” Bea said. “I wonder why we’re just now finding that out?”

BP has yet to release other ROV video that Bea’s study group requested more than a month ago about what may have been shots of nearby seeps.

These guys are really on top of this. This are just the last few posts since noon today:

“Scientists have discovered four gas “seeps” at or near” the BP blowout; Pressure “readings are much lower than expected”

PAPER: “An entire section of the well could be missing”; “MYSTERIOUS second pipe” falls back down well!

Well engineer: “Especially concerned” about BOP bubbles; “BP does not appear to have installed a casing hanger lock”

Study Group member: “Increase in pressure could be a total red herring”; Temperature, not pressure, may be rising

Engineering Expert: “Gas hydrate crystals” may be plugging cracks in well; To be dislodged by increasing pressure?

BREAKING: Feds claim ‘seep’ 3 km away came from ANOTHER offshore oil facility

South Florida could face “Tropical Storm Bonnie as early as Thursday night” (FORECAST)

LIVE Updates Footage from 16 ROVs
There are no others, there is only us.

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