posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
So my simplistic understanding is that basically the pipe is holding up the BOP and that the BOP is not resting on the sea floor at all. The pipe
mechanism, sub-surface, is pipe in the hole surrounded by cement surrounded by the earth's rock. If the BOP is leaning, then it is an indication of
the degradation of the sea floor (or sub-sea floor) itself. Is this correct?
You are totally correct. I read an article about this last week that I will try to find. But the gist is this: These rigs are so heavy that engineers
don't bother trying to design a tube large enough to hold it up on their own (it would be way to wide and thick). So they rely on the well's sides
(the sea floor) to hold the pipe upright (they used a metaphor of many hands grasping the well bore to hold it upright, up and down the shaft). Now,
there are two ways that the BOP rig could fall. 1 is from a break above the sea floor (which I don't think we are seeing), and another is if the
"web of hands" ie, the sea floor, loses it's integrity and is unable to apply the usual pressures along the well. This is the worst case scenario,
and also appears to be what is happening. Esp. in light of recent news that leaks were occurring into the sea bed even before the rig sank, and
evidence from the top kill attempt that indicated the well was no longer patent 1000 feet into the ground.
When this collapses, it won't be an either or situation (collapse of BOP rig or the underlying sea floor). It will be happening simultaneously: the
floor will collapse as the lean of the rig will exacerbates it further, causing a massive upheaval underwater as they both fail. I believe the article
was also the one to state that this is not an "if" but "when" scenario, and that BP is essentially in a race to get the relief wells working prior
to the collapse.
Edit: Here is an excellent summary from a moderator of another board concerning this subject. It also has all of the references from which the summary
was created, so there is a lot to research. I know there is some bad blood between these 2 sites, but I'm hoping the TPTB at ATS see the importance
of rapid information sharing no matter what the source on this issue, as we try and piece together what will directly effect all of us.
[edit on 6/20/2010 by DeathTribble]