Patterico's Pontifications


BP Relief Well Prepares to Kill the Well?

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

BP’s first relief well neared total depth on or about June 27, followed by several days of electromagnetic testing to locate the original well bore and drilling to bring them into alignment for the bottom kill procedure. The process is explained in this BP video.

My guess is they are preparing to start the bottom kill procedure. If so, this may be over soon.


22 Responses to “BP Relief Well Prepares to Kill the Well?”

  1. If BP runs true to form, they will screw this up as well. Then it’s NUKE TIME!!

    They are seriously considering nuking the well if all else fails.

    Angry Webmaster (b16fde)

  2. I heard on the news BS Petroleum was still saying mid-August for the relief well even though they’re supposedly ahead of schedule. Can we believe anything these people say?

    JEA (0d6bde)

  3. The man in the video said that in 40 attempts to “kill the well” they had been successful 40 times.

    This is the 41st try. Give ’em a break and wait and see.

    rab (7a9e13)

  4. As I understand it, the closer they get to the original well, the slower they have to go, because they have to be more precise. So mid-August is still the most probable date.

    Think of it this way–at first they only needed to get a first approximation of where the well was, then as they get closer and closer they need better approximation, until they get to the final stages where approximate is not enough, and they have to get it exactly right.

    Now they have the alignment mapped, they probably have to do the actually drilling, and I can guarantee you they are going slow and careful. Do you want to be the BP engineer who has to say, Sorry, guys, we screwed up on this one, let’s go over to the second relief well.

    kishnevi (2c3adb)

  5. Soon is a relative term, kishnevi, but it looks like a week or two instead of a month or two.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  6. I wonder if this will be timed such that the well is killed before all the containment can be put into place what would provide an incontestably accurate rate of flow.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  7. here is a graphic I saw the other day on the internet… in this relief well there are perforations involved… BP guy doesn’t talk about that

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  8. here is a guardian article

    “There is a chance – a slight chance – they could nick the wellbore,” Thad Allen, the coast guard commander, said. “We shouldn’t come off that mid-August date until we know they’ve actually gone through” the leaking well, he told a White House briefing.

    The most important thing is establishing a clear connection with the Macondo so they can begin pumping in the heavy drilling mud according to Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. A nick risks starting a new small leak or possibly even a collapse of a section of the pipe given that it was damaged in the explosion in ways still not fully understood.

    Those challenges are still some days away as BP continues to find the optimal point to break into the well, a process known as ranging. “We have many days ahead of us of ranging runs,” said Proegler. The process involves lowering a device down the relief well that bounces electromagnetic waves through the rock to try to measure the distance to the metal pipe of the Macondo, a target barely seven inches (18mm) in diameter.

    here is something new:

    The search for the Macondo would go faster if BP were using measurement while drilling tools, whereby sensors installed in the drill string send the appropriate readings back to the surface, said Langlinais. However, that equipment is hugely expensive. Instead, BP is relying on a process that involves swapping the drill bit for the line carrying the sensor.

    “They have to pull the drill string out of the well and lower down this sensitive device that looks for magnetic field variations and from that they can tell where the casing of the well is,” Pennington said. Then engineers remove the device, replace the drill string and begin all over again. Each shift can take up to two days.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  9. He seems a sensible fellow, even if he talked to the Guardian:

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  10. The technology here is astonishing. There are incredibly difficult things being done and criticized by people who wouldn’t have the first idea how to proceed. I include Obama and team in that group.

    I have been packing today and had the History Channel on all day in some July 4 special on American history. The leftist bias is amazing. One small example is the bit about General Custer in which they said Custer charged 7,000 Sioux with 700 soldiers.

    He did not charge anyone and the Custer Battlefield National Monument, which I have visited several times, shows where his men were stationed in a defensive perimeter. Their bodies were found there. I guess it makes the Indians look better to say he charged them instead of the way it happened.

    Amazing PC distortion and even lies.

    Mike K (82f374)

  11. Were they relying on the Philbrick book, Mike, as their source for that

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  12. Mike K, I agree that the people working day and night to stop this disaster are heroic and are being demonized by people not up to their devotion or skill.

    Still, I’m going to criticize whoever in the hell decided to leave us guessing. DRJ has to speculate as to what’s going on. These are our shores and our friends being devastated. BP owes us a complete accounting for their efforts, even those which fail or might fail. They need to be completely forthright instead of ‘surprising us’ whenever they manage to stop the leak.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. Given the way this has gone, my bet is on TWO leaks.

    Kevin Murphy (5ae73e)

  14. I keep thinking about “President” Morgan Freeman’s ever-less-hopeful speeches about the onrushing asteroid in “Deep Impact.”

    Kevin Murphy (5ae73e)

  15. It’s obvious from several comments above that Obama’s demonization campaign, and the rabid piling on by the MSM, have pretty well poisoned public opinion beyond any rational consideration of BP’s actions.

    None of these politico-media blowhards have any competence whatever in judging, or supervising, or operating a technical job such as BP is doing to intercept and cap the blown-out well. So what’s their alternative? MSNBC proposes nuking it. Staggering stupidity, but nothing constructive.

    Meanwhile, BP is at depth and within 55 feet of intersection. There’s cause for optimism that the ‘late-August’ estimate for the bottom kill will be substantially beaten. Their driller has successfully drilled 40 interception wells in 2009, and appears to be closing in on number 41.

    My money is on the technically capable, and against the corrosively and politically glib.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (8906ed)

  16. #15 Insufficiently Sensitive:

    My money is on the technically capable, and against the corrosively and politically glib.

    You keep playing like that, and you’re going to find it hard to find anyone to cover your bets.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  17. I bet Obama puts down his golf clibs long enough to go to the Gulf to celebrate “his plan coming together.”

    Neo (7830e6)

  18. “My money is on the technically capable, and against the corrosively and politically glib.”

    Ya know, good for the people at BP working hard who didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not their fault that some idiot who happens to work at the same company made a terrible call, which I’m afraid is quite in line with that company’s trend of decision making in my opinion.

    I don’t know why this has to be political class versus BP leadership. They are both at fault. That doesn’t mean some of the people taking orders from Obama or BP aren’t heroic, but BP shouldn’t be permitted to drill in our waters again, in my opinion.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. Dustin

    accidents do happen, even big one’s sometimes when charting new territory, crap happens

    some call it progress

    some progressives call it evil

    EricPWJohnson (cedf1d)

  20. “BP shouldn’t be permitted to drill in our waters again, in my opinion.”

    Dustin – Right. Because we just know for certain that the evil people making the drilling decisions on that rig when weighing the risks of of one technique or procedure against a blowout that could cost the company tens of billions of dollars in damages and tarnish its reputation for decades, decided to go full ret*rd and ignore the blowout risk. That’s just how corporations roll on those decisions.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  21. Given the way this has gone, my bet is on TWO leaks.

    Just what I would expect from a Murphy

    red murphy (c92c45)

  22. Can Murphy guess why they’re intersecting the bores 17,000 feet down? No? Could it just be that a column of drilling mud of that height is sufficient to counter the pressure from below, which BP knows the magnitude of?

    An explanation of why there should be two leaks would be appropriate.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (8906ed)

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