Ever work on an oil rig?

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AZ Nomad wrote:

I heard today on Fox News that they were going to try and put some sort of dome over the well head area to congregate the oil, with a pipe leading up through which they could transfer the oil into ships on the surface.
I'm not sure I see how that would work. Wouldn't they need a pump down there to push the cil up?
The news report said it could take several weeks to construct that rig.
Well, that's the way I heard it....I could be wrong though.
Jeff
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It is actually a plausible elegantly simple idea. A dome over it with any air at all injected into the dome over bottom pressure with a return to surface would create and air lift. As air expands as it comes to the surface, and it would expand MUCHO from 5,000 feet, it would create one huge vacuum.
Salt water is .443 PSIG per foot. 5,000 x .443 = 2215 psig, plus 20 psig over bottom pressure would be 2,235 psig over bottom pressure.
If they do that, from what I know about physics and math and previous air lift experience, it is an elegantly simple solution. It will take care of a very high percentage of whatever is coming off that well. A very efficient, very simple vacuum, and oil will follow the path of least resistance.
Then the problem becomes one of remediation what has come out to date.
That is encouraging to know that someone came up with so elegantly simple a solution to a complex problem.
Just like a drunken Teamster's motto: Give a lazy man a job, and they will figure out the easiest fastest way to do it every time. Whoever thought of this is very smart. Probably a laborer.
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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On Thu, 29 Apr 2010 16:56:27 -0700, "Steve B"

I think I saw that they had tried that and it failed.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Nope, the big funnel is under construction and still several weeks out.
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-snip-
WSJ says one they tried in 1979 in Mexico failed. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703465204575208270683324094.html?mod=WSJ_World_LEFTSecondNews [same link tiny-ed] http://preview.tinyurl.com/2cnkw9u
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703465204575208270683324094.html?mod=WSJ_World_LEFTSecondNews
Wow, it failed 30+ years ago, so it can't possibly work today. What a load of crap.
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The story said nothing about failing. Said it was abandoned after damaged by storms. It had been in place for a couple months.
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A friend of mine who works in the oil industry sent me this on the particular drilling rig, thought you might find it interesting:
> You may have heard the news in the last two days about the Deepwater > Horizon drilling rig which caught fire, burned for two days, then sank > in 5,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico. There are still 11 men > missing, and they are not expected to be found. > The rig belongs to Transocean, the worlds biggest offshore drilling > contractor. The rig was originally contracted through the year 2013 to > BP and was working on BPs Macondo exploration well when the fire broke > out. The rig costs about $500,000 per day to contract. The full drilling > spread, with helicopters and support vessels and other services, will > cost closer to $1,000,000 per day to operate in the course of drilling > for oil and gas. The rig cost about $350,000,000 to build in 2001 and > would cost at least double that to replace today. > The rig represents the cutting edge of drilling technology. It is a > floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 ft water depth. The rig > is not moored; It does not use anchors because it would be too costly > and too heavy to suspend this mooring load from the floating structure. > Rather, a triply-redundant computer system uses satellite positioning to > control powerful thrusters that keep the rig on station within a few > feet of its intended location, at all times. This is called Dynamic > Positioning. > The rig had apparently just finished cementing steel casing in place at > depths exceeding 18,000 ft. The next operation was to suspend the well > so that the rig could move to its next drilling location, the idea being > that a rig would return to this well later in order to complete the work > necessary to bring the well into production. It is thought that somehow > formation fluids oil /gas got into the wellbore and were undetected > until it was too late to take action. With a floating drilling rig > setup, because it moves with the waves, currents, and winds, all of the > main pressure control equipment sits on the seabed the uppermost > unmoving point in the well. This pressure control equipment the > Blowout Preventers, or BOPs as theyre called, are controlled with > redundant systems from the rig. In the event of a serious emergency, > there are multiple Panic Buttons to hit, and even fail-safe Deadman > systems that should be automatically engaged when something of this > proportion breaks out. None of them were aparently activated, suggesting > that the blowout was especially swift to escalate at the surface. The > flames were visible up to about 35 miles away. Not the glow the > flames. They were 200 300 ft high. > All of this will be investigated and it will be some months before all > of the particulars are known. For now, it is enough to say that this > marvel of modern technology, which had been operating with an excellent > safety record, has burned up and sunk taking souls with it. > The well still is apparently flowing oil, which is appearing at the > surface as a slick. They have been working with remotely operated > vehicles, or ROVs which are essentially tethered miniature submarines > with manipulator arms and other equipment that can perform work > underwater while the operator sits on a vessel. These are what were used > to explore the Titanic, among other things. Every floating rig has one > on board and they are in constant use. In this case, they are deploying > ROVs from dedicated service vessels. They have been trying to close the > well in using a specialized port on the BOPs and a pumping arrangement > on their ROVs. They have been unsuccessful so far. Specialized > pollution control vessels have been scrambled to start working the > spill, skimming the oil up. > In the coming weeks they will move in at least one other rig to drill a > fresh well that will intersect the blowing one at its pay zone. They > will use technology that is capable of drilling from a floating rig, > over 3 miles deep to an exact specific point in the earth with a > target radius of just a few feet plus or minus. Once they intersect > their target, a heavy fluid will be pumped that exceeds the formations > pressure, thus causing the flow to cease and rendering the well safe at > last. It will take at least a couple of months to get this done, > bringing all available technology to bear. It will be an ecological > disaster if the well flows all of the while; Optimistically, it could > bridge off downhole. > Its a sad day when something like this happens to any rig, but even > more so when it happens to something on the cutting edge of our > capabilities. The photos that follow show the progression of events over > the 36 hours from catching fire to sinking.
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Dymphna
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Thank you. This tells me a lot. I worked in the oil patch for eight years. So, they cased the well, and were just going to cap it and come back. A very common practice. You wait until you get enough wells in the area to justify laying a pipeline to take the product back to the refinery.
Just so everyone knows, these people are professionals and do this every day. But like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, they are humans. And then there are the unexpected mechanical events.
The owner of the mine that blew responded to a government official, maybe the Big O, who said what was needed was more regulation to make the industry safer. The owner said that anyone who had worked a day in a mine could tell you that it is impossible to make them a safe place. Shit happens, even when you do everything right. Good drivers still have accidents with brand new equipment, and doing everything right.
Thank you for that article. I was impressed that the well was 18,000 feet deep. That means that 23,000 feet of heavy drill pipe and everything that goes on the end of one of those strings like collars ........... a 50' long 12" diameter pipe with a 3" center hole which is just put on for the weight, and many of them strung together.......... were dangling from a drilling derrick. I don't know how much weight that is, but I would say into the millions.
People think that it is outrageous when these things fail. Try to read up on drill strings, oil well drilling, and the facts, and you will soon realize this is some big heavy stuff. And any time you have that much "stuff", shit happens.
Think about coming back in two years and just FINDING that wellhead under 5,000 feet of water. Now think about lowering a mile of pipe down and putting it in that wellhead to do completion work. It's pretty impressive stuff.
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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How about having at least 2 separate and totally independent valves that BOTH FAIL SAFE. Meaning they require constant signals from the rig or else they automatically close. That sure sounds better than trying to have a underwater robot locate a valve and manage to turn it off. I've been a proponent of offshore drilling, but I must say, this whole thing is shocking.
Another thing I don't understand is why it's not possible to put aflotation rings around it and contain the vast amount of oil and vacuum it into one or two skimmer type boats? A ring that was about 3 feet high and extended a few feet below the water. You would think that the oil must be surfacing close to the well and a ring of maybe a city block size could contain it before it gets all over. Certainly wouldn't work in a hurricane, but by all indications this is just normal seas.
Just saying essentially sh** happens, using Chernobyl as an example is a poor excuse. Chernobyl, in particular happened because it was a poor engineering design without adequate safety. We don't know yet what happened here, but eventually there will and must be a complete investigation. If there are not multiple independent valve systems in place to prevent this kind of thing that don't rely on the drilling rig, then I say BP deserves what it's going to get. Unfortunately, what the rest of us may get could be no more offshore drilling anywhere in the USA.
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 12:58:02 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

A media report the other day talked about this - redundant valves (?)
The report stated other countries use this method, it is not used in the USA. Stooopid IMHO.
Valves at various depths locations, operated remotely. They mentioned a "sonic (?) valve" but lost me there :-) One is at or near the sea floor.
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I heard something about the sonic valve too. Sounded like it could be activated underwater using sonar. I don't know why you'd even need something that sophisticated. Why couldn't you have a valve system at the well head that relies on hydraulic pressure to keep it open that comes from a line that runs back up to the rig? If the rig goes, no more hydraulic pressure and the valve closes. Or altnernatively requires a signal from a cable to hold it open?
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I can see from your suggestion that we make mechanical apparatuses double fail safe that you are ignorant of how the real world operates.
I can see from your suggestion on how to rig a recovery and containment boom that you are ignorant of how things work at sea.
Have you ever worked a day on an oil rig or spent one day at sea?
I thought so.
Steve
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Why don't you enlighten us as to why it's not possible to have two shutoff valves at the well head that are in series and independent of each other and to have each one failsafe in the sense that they require a constant connection to the rig at the surface to stay open during drilling? If the connection is lost, they close. Also, they should each be tested periodically to ensure that they function correctly. Instead, for some reason, we have an underwater robot trying to shut off the valve. They obviously have at least one valve down there in the blowout preventer at the well head. Why is it not technically possible to have two that work as I described?

Why don't you enlighten us on this point too.
Or do you just want to continue to say, shit happens, and use Chernobyl as an example. Which BTW is perhaps the worst example you could use, because that accident was a classic example of poor design, cheap construction to save cost and failure to employ adequate safety devices.

I've spent many days at sea, but no I never worked on an offshore oil rig. Have you? But, don't worry, I'm sure when the official investigation is done there will be plenty of experts involved to figure out what went wrong here. And I would not be surprised that it will show that things could have been done differently, eg redundancy, but BP chose not to because of cost. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of this one, it may not matter because it could be the end of offshore drilling in the USA.
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On Sat, 1 May 2010 05:57:57 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

<snip>
Isn't the drill bit still in the well when it blows out? How do you close a valve with the drill bit going through it? A schematic of the operation would be useful, too.

Indeed.
You forgot the key ingredient; human screw up. They pretty much drive that plane into the ground and were surprised it crashed.

Isn't the drilling subcontracted? I doubt it'll be the end of anything.
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On May 1, 10:28 am, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Good and interesting question. I think this answers it, at least to the extent that it can be closed even with drill pipe in the well during drilling, but not exactly how it's done:
http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/Display.cfm?Term=blowout%20preventer
Also, if the valve couldn't be closed because of drill pipe, etc, they wouldn't be trying to do it now via underwater robot, would they?

Yes, that's often an important factor and may turn out to be at least part of the case here too.

The descriptions in the press have been that BP was LEASING the Deepwater Horizon from Transocean. Beyone that, which employees from the two companies were involved, supervising, making decisions, etc isn't clear.
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On Sat, 1 May 2010 08:02:35 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Ah!
"and others are fitted with hardened steel shearing surfaces that can actually cut through drillpipe."

I was asking. Why wouldn't such a thing be operated remotely? The article above indicates that these things are "usually operated remotely via hydraulic actuators". What went wrong here? Did the preventer blow out itself?

They were experimenting with a live well?

Likely not intended to be clear. Though blame can always be placed after the well is contained.
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On May 1, 11:32 am, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

I have not heard anything that indicated the blowout preventer blew out. Again, since they have been trying to turn it off with an underwater robotic sub thing, one would assume that they have a visual on it and you would think that if it were blown out and spewing oil there, we would have heard by now. I did hear something to the effect that they were trying with the robot to pressurize something, etc and it's never been done before. That may be consistent with using hydraulic pressure to close the valve? But again, one would think these would be rigged to failsafe, ie shut if they get cutoff, not need pressure to close it.

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I suspect sabotage. the timing is too convenient to Comrade Obama's "support" for drilling off shore.
Consider Comrade Obama's "support" for new nuclear power plants...BUT only whne there's safe storage of nuclear wastes,and then he immediately cancells Yucca Mountain Repository,that was almost completed.(WASTING all that money spent) Then he institutes a new STUDY to find a new site,where actual site construction Of the storage!) will not begin for decades. Effectively killing off new nuke plants for the next 20 years,minimum.
Then there's Comrade Obama's statement about "bankrupting the coal industry",his Cap and Trade regulation,and the recent coal mine disaster.
THREE convenient situations like this,so closely timed,is IMO,not coincidence.
Coal generates ~50% of US electric power,20% for nuclear. Wind and solar will NOT make up the difference. The only thing left is "conservation"(cutback in lifestyle); coerced,of course.
Making the US on a par with Europe,if not lower. His real goal.
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Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jim Yanik wrote: (conspiracy stuff snipped)

Uh, solar does not always equal electricity. They saw all this coming 20-30 years ago. They should have made a requirement for all government-backed building loans that the house include passive solar design for some free heat in winter, modern skylights (with shutters) to reduce lighting requirements, proper overhangs to reduce heat loading in summer, super-insulation, and the like. Proper design can make a house that needs a LOT less power, without any exotic technology or lifestyle changes. (Although the tree-hugger in me would not have minded a square-footage cap based on how many bedrooms, to get a government-backed loan. Some of these drywall McMansions with half a dozen fake gables, are fricking ridiculous- their monthy gas bills probably exceed my mortgage.)
And as for wind- well, probably not too useful in postage-stamp-lot suburbia. But if you are out in the boonies, a small windmill pumping into a raised insulated black-painted holding tank can make life a lot easier for your well pump and water heater. There are a LOT of low-tech concepts that could make a big difference if they were widely applied. In parts of the world where cheap reliable power is still scarce, people get inventive. Nobody in NA does that anymore, because electricity is so damn convenient, and until recently, so cheap.
(The 100-year-old building I work in used to have air shafts, openable cupola skylights, and transoms over the doors, for free air circulation during the months of the year when the weather was mild. They tore out and blocked off all of that when they 'modernized' the building over the decades. Now they are crying about all the power used.)
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aem sends...

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