Laugh it up, but I made a facebook status today about the oil spill, and my petrol engineer friend gave me some great information. Here it is:
Status: "Way to go BP for actually covering up the real size of the oil spill. The first estimate said it was 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of
oil leaking into the ocean everyday, and NOW the new MINIMUM estimate is 10 times that...or 1 Exxon Valdez every 5 days."
Him: Where did you hear that? As a petro engineer there aren't many wells that produce 50,000BBls/d
I should add on the gulf coast and from one well.
Yesterday at 12:24pm ·
Me: CNN, BBC, and from the mouth of the President at about 11 today. He didn't use those numbers, but he had a press conference today about those
I dunno if they are taking into account that its more than oil that is coming out of that hole. Wells in the gulf coast produce a large amount of gas
and water not just oil. This kick being as big as it is likely comes from gas. Without knowing what fluids are being produced from the well head you
can't say how much oil is being produced. To give ... See Morean example its not uncommon to see a 20:1 water to oil ratio production. Considering
that the well wasn't cased the whole way through. It could easily be producing a huge amount of water and gas compared to oil.
Him: To add to that the well wasn't completed. So, there is no production data. We don't know how much of each fluid is being produced. The only
people that know are BP and thats from their preliminary analysis of the reservoir that everybody does before drilling a hole. They can estimate what
fluids are going to be where, how much of each, and other factors that decide production. To make an estimate of the volumetric flow rate from the
well head is just flat out wrong.
Me: Well you are on the right track. The calculations were based on how much oil was leaking out. Methane is also being leaked out as well but in a
small amount as compared to the amount of oil. In the reports I have read / heard, I was told nothing about water coming out, though that makes
perfect sense. There is no denying that it is extremely hard ... See Moreto measure the gush, but BP outright lied, and is still lying about the
amount coming out. Some BP officials still claim the spill is only 1,000 barrels per day, but we know now that even 5,000 is a deep underestimation. I
can't find the quote, but on CNN last night, BP was quoted as saying something to the effect of "we don't care how much is coming out. We are only
focusing on stopping it." It sounds like they are trying to clean up a gallon of milk with a single napkin.
Him: Furthermore you have an astrophysicist and a mechanical engineer making these calculations! These people have NO background in the field of
petroleum. It would like asking me to do build a rocket or a bridge its just not my field and estimating petroleum production is not theirs. Not to
defend BP but the 5,000bbl/d estimate was made by the GOVERNMENT not BP. Not to mention this is the news they will always jump on whoever puts the
biggest numbers out there. Lets be a little bit skeptical here.
Him: They don't care how much is coming out because that isn't what matters right now. What matters is containing the leak and stopping it. Also I
did some looking and that area produces oil which is called light-sweet oil. To give a quick description if what that is it is in reservoir conditions
a liquid fluid like soda, but as you start to bring it to... See More atmospheric condition it will start to bubble and release gas. light-sweet oil
in the right conditions can be 100% liquid in the reservoir and 100% gas in atmospheric conditions. That isn't the case for this well but it could
easily be 50,000 barrels of fluid coming out of the wellhead but once it reaches the or near surface only be 5,000 barrels of liquid oil. Like is said
its super tricky and can't be estimated until you sample the fluid in the reservoir conditions.
[edit on 15-5-2010 by SubPop79]