Ever work on an oil rig?

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Seems like somebody here mentioned working on floating rigs once.
I've been sitting here wondering for 3 days or so why those robots don't freeze the pipes to stem the flow of oil through them.
Seems like liquid nitrogen would get crude back to a solid-- or at least slushy- state.
How stupid is that idea? I've never been within 2000 miles of one of those rigs- or crude oil. Just wonderin'.
Jim [The WSJ is saying 5000bbls/day this morning "up from original estimates of 1000bbls". hey, what's 4000bbls one way or the other- The Valdez was 26000 barrels, so I think they might have exceeded that already.]
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-snip-

Correction-- my eyes failed me. [need a bigger calculator] The Valdez was 260,000, not 26,000. Way smaller, so far. [But already bigger than the Santa Barbara spill that pretty much shut down drilling on the California coast.]
Jim
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wrote:

Was the Valdez 260,000 gallons, or barrels?
Horizon is leaking about 200,000 gallons a day.
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On Thu, 29 Apr 2010 06:37:19 -0400, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

You couldn't freeze off a drill casing that's probably at least 8" in diameter with that volume of high pressure crude oil and gas shooting out of it.
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I wonder why they don't have a tankership available that can suck up the oil and water,separate out the oil and store it,and spew the water back into the ocean. A stopgap until they can repair the breach.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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wrote:

How soon can you get it there and have it in operation, Jimmy?
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com:

Because It is illegal to flush contaminated water back into the gulf? EPA, you know.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Wonder if they will get it fixed before the next hurricane comes along. If they don't plug it before the next major hurricane, we'll have oil all the way up to Atlanta. Hope Sarah Palin will bring her waders to help with the cleanup. Well, it my pay off just to burn Florida and start over :o)
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With all that oil added to all that suntan lotion, it should go up like a flare.
Steve
visit my site http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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I have been at sea, and in that area. I also worked on drilling rigs, and in that area.
It is just not that simple. I hope and pray that they don't have any bad weather before this mess gets contained a little bit, or it will be a bigger disaster. This is going to be a mess any way you go. Take it from someone who knows. This is going to be BIG, and if it takes two months to position another floater and plug it, it will be BIG! Sorry, my letters don't get that BIG!
Steve
visit my site http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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Jeff The Drunk wrote:

Might make a heck of an ice berg :o)
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

They aren't trying to shut of the fracking valve at the top of the well head. And if they are too stupid to do that they can pinch off the pipe hear the head. They are only operating a cluster fuck at this time.
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Tell us of your vast experience with these things, Goober.
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/Horizon.pdf
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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Goober wrote: ...

Yeah, ya'll just run on down there and do that for 'em at 5000-ft below the surface, ok???? We'll be waitin' on ya'... :(
--
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Goober wrote:

Five-thousand feet down?
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A barrel is 42 gallons, and I don't know how they came up with that.
Steve
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Liquid Nitrogen has too low a thermal mass. It would be like trying to stop highway traffic by tossing packing peanuts from a bridge.
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I be that person.
This is complicated, so I shall try to take it slow.
First of all, you would have to create a dam around the wellhead to encase the freezant. There is no way to know what that subsea wellhead looks like among us laymen. There was some sort of problem, and the pipe was probably ripped out.
In the beginning, IIRC, the first oil found offshore was in 38' of water, right off the Louisiana marshes. At that time, it was no big problem to design and build an A frame type structure to support the drilling equipment and subsequent production equipment.
Oil rigs come in all different types. I don't know if you saw the pictures, or not of the rig. It looked like a "floater". Some oil rigs that are in around 200' of water are just like big windmills in their shapes. They are built hollow and sealed. They are floated into place while sitting on big barges. When they arrive, the are skidded off the barges and they float. It is an awesome sight to see one set. The legs are flooded in a controlled sequence until the rig is bobbinb in the water with the narrow part up. Then it is flooded the rest of the way and settles to the ocean floor. Long round pilings are then inserted through the outside legs, and a pile driver is attached. It is essentially nailed to the ocean floor.
Floaters, any rig that will float, or drill ships are used when the water depth is too great to put a platform. I was in South Pass 60 block, close enough, probably, to see that rig were I there. But right after that, the delta drops off FAST. We could see floaters from where we were that were in 1,000 feet of water. Floaters are kept in position usually by GPS guided thruster systems. They sometimes can be held in place by anchors depending on the water depth.
There is a huge difference between the abilities of a stationary rig to accurately perform a drilling operation where they can have a solid tube all the way to below the mud line, but not so with a floater. Their assembly is like a very long straw until it even hits the bottom. It's way different.
On a typical blowout on a rig, there may be enough of the rig left to drill relief holes and pump mud (slurry cement) into it until it plugs. During the original event, the BOP (blow out preventer) may have worked properly, and shut off the well. Imagine one of those tree hydraulic ram things that cuts the tree, roots, and plug out all at once. That's what a BOP is, it only has more cutting and sealing fingers. Then you have a Hydril, another monster device that is designed to crush the pipe and seal it. And then there is the Christmas tree, which can shut down the well, but I don't think they were at a stage of drilling where they had a tree on it yet.
Which brings us to the point.
After the fact, it is very difficult to control a leaking or runaway well, as noted by the Kuwait situation. Sometimes it takes months, and there is absolutely no reason to let it run for one more minute than necessary. The water where they were is deep, over 1,000 feet. It takes a lot of liquid anything to pump down there. The pipe carrying the frozen stuff gets brittle. Then there's the heat of the water around wanting to heat up the liquid gas. Bottom line is that it would nearly be impossible to get the gas to the well head, and after that, to apply it accurately to where it would freeze the flowing crude.
And then, it would just thaw out. Some of these wells have incredible pressures from natural gas or other gases or even saltwater that is mixed with the crude. Some are low pressure, but have the energy of a slow moving freight train.
To someone who has never worked on these things, it all sounds easy and simple. Believe me, it is highly complex. And once something goes haywire, you are dealing with damaged components that aren't working as designed.
I haven't been following it too closely, as I have been very busy lately. I still have to read what the actual cause was or the chronology of circumstances that lead up to it.
I guess the simple answer is that it is difficult enough to do things about 1,500 feet under water when everything goes RIGHT.
What they will end up doing is bringing in a drill ship, punching some relief holes, and pumping it full of mud. (cement)
HTH
Steve
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http://gfretwell.com/ftp/Horizon.pdf
Found this. Very informative. Great pictures. Apparently, they had completed drilling, and were putting a tree on it when it blew out. It was in 5,000 feet of water. Two months to bring in a drill ship or another floater to drill a relief hole and pump a plug.
Steve
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the valdez was 250,000 barrels
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