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Crews drill deep into Gulf of Mexico to halt leak

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posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:26 PM

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO – Drilling crews are grinding ever deeper to build the relief wells that are the best hope of stopping the massive oil leak at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The crew of Transocean Ltd.'s Development Driller II finished pouring cement Sunday morning on a section of metal casing lining one of two relief wells now at roughly 5,000 feet, said Mickey Fruge, BP's wellsite leader aboard the rig. When that cement is firm on Monday, the rig's crew will keep extending the well.

BP and government officials say the wells are the best option for cutting off the gusher that has spilled as much as 125 million gallons into the Gulf since the Transocean drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers. A separate rig had drilled to a depth of nearly 11,000 feet


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[edit on 6/20/2010 by TheRedneck]

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:29 PM
I thought, That I read somewhere it takes 10 months or so to finish a well.
Maybe, this will relieve some of the pressure, To put a fix on it.
Thoughts anyone?

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:39 PM
they couldn't get it right the first time without the world breathing down their necks, so now they are going to drill into the same well again...right!! makes perfect since to me

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:43 PM
My thought - If it doesn't work I'd give BP the boot and get someone in there with the brains to get the job done, if that is possible.

I'd would sue the hell out of BP and fire every bureaucrat at MMS. Oh, yeah I'd prosecute both of 'em to the fullest extent possible.

Next I'd make plan to move before the government opens up the FEMA camps.

What I'd do after that, I aint saying.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:49 PM
The part I find the most ironic and silly, is that we are letting the SAME PEOPLE who caused the first disaster to drill even MORE HOLES into the ground.

Because this will "make things better".

Sure it will.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 05:22 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

The idiocy is astounding, isn't it? I mean, REALLY??

And the way they talk of the 'oil leak' sounds more like something 'happened' to the Earth and here they come to fix it.... instead of, 'we f'd up in our attempt to rape the Earth of her vitals, now how are we going to make our money?'

This entire scenario is SURREAL to me.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 05:24 PM

Originally posted by muzzleflash
The part I find the most ironic and silly, is that we are letting the SAME PEOPLE who caused the first disaster to drill even MORE HOLES into the ground.

I was thinking the same thing, I mean I am NO expert, I just don't think It will work. It will relieve some of the pressure, possibly, Will It be enough? These clowns are figuring It out as they go.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 05:37 PM
The process of drilling a oil well is somewhat time consuming, but fairly well understood.

You have the Drill itself, which is a long pipe with a drill at one end...

The drill bit is extended from the top, and fed deeper and deeper into the earth.

Through the center of the drill, is pumped an extremely dense liquid.

A liquid so dense, that rocks may float on it.

This liquid is pumped through the drill head, and back up the well-bore channel where it is filtered to remove rock cuttings, and other sediment, and then it is pumped back down the well.

Now, the most important concept for understanding this entire situation is Density, pressure, and Gravitational Acceleration.

One vertical meter of water causes a pressure below it proportional to its mass/Density and the Height of the column.

Such As:

Pressure (in Pascals) = Height of Column (in meters) * Density of material (Kg/cubic meter) * 9.8 (Gravitational acceleration)

So, a 6 kilometer column of water would express 58,800,000 pascals of pressure at its bottom.

(8,528.2 Psi)

The drilling "mud" that Trans-ocean used to drill the Ultra Deep Tertiary Well, was a Product of the Halliburton company known as "DeepQuest"

It is a sort of Non Newtonian Fluid, in that it is a polymer structure whose molecules BIND under the application of directional stress:

This helps to disperse deep well pressures along the entire length of the Well, as opposed to just the crossection of the pipe that would be straining from the pressure.

“Because of the high bottomhole pressures and fracturing gradients of these wells, the surface treating pressures start to approach the safe working limits of the conventional pumping equipment and surface treating lines,” explained Bart Waltman, product line manager, sand control fluids. “The DeepQuest fluid is designed to go from specific gravities of 1.14 to 1.49, or up to over 12 lb/gal. It allows us to use our conventional pumping and surface equipment, saving the customer time and money.”

This drilling fluid has a specific gravity of 1.14 to 1.49

The specific gravity of water is 1

So, the drilling fluid is up to 1.5 times as dense of water... this would mean (back to our pressure equation) that a 6 kilometer column of this drilling fluid would have a bottomhole pressure of:

Pressure (in Pascals) = Height of Column (in meters) * Density of material (Kg/cubic meter) * 9.8 (Gravitational acceleration)

Pressure (in Pascals) = 6000 * 1490 * 9.8

87,612,000 pascals (12,707 psi)

So, once the drilling mud was replaced with the lighter seawater, the Wellhead began increasing in pressure some 4000 psi.

Since the Non-Newtonian "Mud" was no longer there to distribute the pressure away from the wellbore....


This is what a High pressure fluid can do to Solid Steel:

The upper sediment layers of the ocean floor do not have enough SOLIDITY to prevent the escape of a 10,000+ psi fluid flow...

And your oil starts leaking up from fissures in the ocean floor, some WAYS away from the original Wellbore.

SO... the only REAL way to stop it.... is to reestablish this column of HEAVY drilling "MUD" from the BOTTOM UP.

Thus, you need to drill into a wellbore, and intersect some 5 kilometers below the ocean, deep inside Solid Rock.

Then you begin pumping in the drilling mud, which will rise, creating a heavy column to counterbalance the oil pressure.

It takes a long time, because You have to drill through several kilometers of Sediment, and also... solid Rocks.

All while you and your drill are standing on a Boat, floating 1 mile above the seabed.


[edit on 20-6-2010 by Edrick]

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

Yeah, I wondered about the same thing too in another thread. It's like ordering the duded that tried to kill you to be the one to remove the bullet he/she put into you, ha. I wonder, did that drunkin' dude that ran the Exxon Valdez up on that reef have to back her out and sail her back home? I guess we'll have to wait and see how them relief wells work out before realizing the stupidity of it all ... or to confirm our worst nightmare/suspicion, that this was intentional. Can you imagine 3 well puking oil into the gulf? I can, because we're dealing with HUMANS here, greedy humans, stoooooopid humans.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:06 PM
Thought's ya I have some. My thoughts are with the workers right now.
May we come to know some of them as some really kick ass hero's. God knows we need some. Something about this level is needed.

Git er done boys.

[edit on 20-6-2010 by randyvs]

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:19 PM
reply to post by Edrick

Thank You! for such a wonderful run through of the process!

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:22 PM
reply to post by randyvs

Armageddon is one of my All Time Favorite movies.

I've actually thought about a Stamper, AJ, Bear and Hound analog and how desperately we could use that oh so wonderful but oh so Hollywood combination of Intelligence and Gonads.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:26 PM
reply to post by Edrick

Thanks for all the info, I appreciate it. I'm going through it all right now.

randyvs, I agree, our thoughts need to be with the workers more than ever!

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:33 PM
reply to post by C21H30O2I

they should use those relief wells to drop a low yeild nuke in to cap the well off.

just trying to relieve pressure will only cause more blowouts.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:49 PM
reply to post by ugie1028

Yeah, I figured it would create more blowouts/leaks. 6000 psi is insane!
The Nuke, I know nothing about. The Russians, Seem to think it will work.
I think they used one in a similar problem in the past.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by C21H30O2I

yea its redonculous. we already didn't have the tech to hold that kind of pressure, and they want to drill more?

i think a mile or two of rocks and stuff from the nuke would hold it down.

not to mention the mile of water pushing down on the sea floor.

EDIT: epic spelling fail.

[edit on 6/20/2010 by ugie1028]

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