Thursday, May 27, 2010

BP says the top kill procedure seems to be working

AL.com has a blog post up describing the cautious optimism BP's doling out this morning.  Apparently, the well's no longer spewing oil and gas.  Which all makes me wonder: why on Earth wasn't this Plan A?

My cynical answer is "Because this plan prevents BP from getting oil out of this well, while the others would allow them to keep producing it."

8 comments:

Carson Chittom said...

That's not cynicism; it's realism.

Jim said...

It's not cynicism, it's lack of any real understanding of the drilling industry. They can still get the oil out.

Matt Eichelberger said...

I'm sorry, Jim. I guess I don't have enough deepwater drilling expertise. I'm full well aware that they can bring the oil out of the formation through the relief well, but please enlighten us on how this particular well, plugged in this particular fashion, can be immediately utilized for production.

Jim said...

Matt, this well wasn't anywhere close to being ready for production. BP, as I understand it, was going to cap the well and have TransOcean move on to another site. Your second post says something entirely different than your first. I agree, generally, with what you say in the second post. The "well" is 3 miles deep. The relief well will intersect the existing drill pipe at a considerably lesser depth.

Matt Eichelberger said...

Matt, this well wasn't anywhere close to being ready for production. BP, as I understand it, was going to cap the well and have TransOcean move on to another site.

Jim, you're mistaken. The Deepwater Horizon is a drilling rig, not a production platform. The crew of the DH was in the process of closing the well so that a production platform could move into place and begin producing oil & gas from this well.

The "well" is 3 miles deep. The relief well will intersect the existing drill pipe at a considerably lesser depth.

The well is 3 miles deep beacuse the formation is. The "formation" is the permeable rock that contains the oil (and gas). The "well" is the long hole in the sea floor that the DH was responsible for drilling. When the blowout happened, and the oil began to flow freely through the well, it became a "wild well." The "relief well" that BP is now drilling will, indeed, intersect with the wild well and divert the flow away from the uncapped wellhead.

Your second post says something entirely different than your first.

Only because you aren't using the commonly-accepted terminology. Also, the relief well won't be completed (and I mean that in the oil field sense, not the colloquial sense) until August, or so I've heard. For what it's worth, I have a hard time believing that drilling operations won't be finished until August. I think that's when a production rig can move into place and begin producing that relief well, which is what will stop the flow from the wild well. Had the "top hat" method worked, BP would have been producing oil & gas from this well right then and there.

Frame said...

So y'all are saying that BP will be able to continue pumping oil from this reservoir, business as usual? Seems like the gov't is going to keep that from happening for a while at least.

nmisscommenter said...

This headline has way-passed its sell by date. I had a moment of seeing it and thinking that plan number... uh.. I've lost count-- the latest viersion of capping it, this one involving cutting the pipe-- had worked

Matt Eichelberger said...

Sorry to confuse, Tom.