Can we please consider…

What is happening today in the Gulf of Mexico when we start to hear about opening up Georges Bank to oil exploration in 2012?



4 thoughts on “Can we please consider…

  1. Two comments:

    1) I am not surprised this happened with BP. Their business model basically revolves around contracts, contracts, contracts, and I wonder how experienced their drilling crews can be when they keep virtually no in-house experience. Well kicks are generally avoidable and are usually caused by human error, although unanticipated geological factor (earlier than expected overpressures) can play a role. I don’t know what play/zone they were drilling, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t a few hundred analogue wells they could pull up for drilling histories anywhere in the nearshore Gulf of Mexico.

    2) This story scared me last week when BP officials (and government) was seemingly unaware of how many people were missing after the explosion. Don’t they keep track of how many people are manning their rigs?

    2.5) Holy shit this is bad.


  2. TransOcean’s page on this nightmare.

    I went to the US Mineral Management Service’s site, but their link on this crisis was sent me to the link above. I thought they’d have independent information on the disaster. I should say that I would hope (as regulators) that they’d have independent information from the companies responsible for the disaster.

    From what I’ve read elsewhere, this blowout occurred while the crew was casing or cementing the well, which means (IMO) that it was likely preventable. If they were casing/cementing, they weren’t drilling new zones, so it wasn’t caused by a surprise kick from a previously unknown overpressured zone. Judging from the amount of oil being spewed, they were probably cementing through one of their target zones. This rig was state of the art, and had a modern blow out preventer (BOP) in place. The BOP is supposed to shut in the well anytime dangerous pressure buildups are detected.

    Of course, this just leads to more questions than answers. How the hell did this happen?


  3. Huh, I wrote a second comment on Friday, but the interwebs must’ve ate it. Suffice it to say that more information is coming to light. The well bore was being cemented at the time of the accident, so it wasn’t a “kick” from an overpressured zone. It was probably the result of a bad cement job, but in my experience bad cement jobs don’t cause this sort of disaster on their own. The blow-out preventer (BOP) had to either be malfunctioning or nor engaged.

    Also, in some jurisdictions a remote flow control device is usually installed at the seabed which is supposed to shut-in the well in case something happens rigside. These devices generally cost about half a million dollars, which represents about 0.5-1% of the cost of a well like this, and who knows how little a percentage of the cost of a clean-up. Guess which lobby group successfully convinced the Bush/Cheney government not to require such devices in the US offshore? If you guessed the oil lobby, you’d be correct.

    Attached is an call-in interview with one of the survivors of the explosion. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m told he knows his stuff.

    Exclusive Interview with a Survivor from the Oil Rig Explosion


  4. Yes, Brian, I believe blow-out protectors were deemed unnecessary fairly early in the Cheney-Bush term.

    Just when I decided I was going to stop saying nasty things about people I disagree whole-heartedly with on the interwebs: Fucktard.


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