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When the “company man” (the BP guy in charge) removed 16.5 #/gallon mud from the riser with 8.4 #.gallon sea water he immediately reduced the hydrostatic pressure 2000 psi & it was over.
Originally posted by jtma508
Watch that interview and it will become clear why the blowout occurred. It was all about rushing in order to save money.
Originally posted by rbilly001
I dont understand why everyone is saying this is an extinction event, its happened before and all though the environment is screwed it was not an extinction event. given time it will recover. Hopefully they will actually learn a few lessons here.
They are finally reporting that they are going to cut the riser out of the way. I really don't understand why this wasn't step one. With the riser gone at least they have a clean opening to work with and the spill is not spread over a mile in three parts of the riser.
Originally posted by billyjack
reply to post by poet1b
To answer your question yes the reservoir pressure is higher than the normal gradient of seawater or fresh water. I am basing the 20,000 psi on the depth of the well & the fact that they had 16.5 #/gallon mud to control the well. If htere was not 16.5#/gallon mud all the way to the top of the reservoir then this estimate may be high. The reason one could have higher pressure than the seawater gradient around .433 psi/ft is due to the over burden weight of the ground itself. The sandstone was deposited millions of years ago and was buried between impermeable layers of shale and the fluids between the sand grains were trapped and could not escape. As more and more sand & shale buried the formation the weight of the earth itself started pressing on the trapped formation attempting to collapse the sand. The fluids that could not escape started compressing and the oil itself began holding up the earth. Since sand weighs 2.65 times as much as water the pressure exerted by the earth is substaially higher than water and if the sand cannot hold up the earth the fluid in the pore spaces will.