posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by Chopper
True enough, those ultra-high-pressure cutters are really something. I'm not an engineer but all the same I have my doubts that this well is gushing
at quite that sort of pressure, even though some have mooted it. Like you say, when you get a water jet up around 100,000 psi it can cut through
steel. Of course, what's coming out of this well is a mixture of oil, gas/gas hydrates, and whatever debris it grabs on the way: bits of rock and
sand (very likely), eroded fragments of steel pipe (possibly), and maybe pieces of cement as well (conjecture but not impossible). So, working out its
effects is far more complex. Is it more damaging than gushing water would be at the same pressure? Maybe.
There's also the fact that as the LMRP cap is able to move around under all this pressure, that will slightly alleviate the effects of any abrasion
that's taking place inside it. On the down side, as the cap is tilted there will be an imbalance in the abrasion (damage) that's taking place as
more of the leak is gushing from the higher area of its tilted base.
And then there's that protruding pipe that is covered for the time being. As we saw when the cap was removed, the pipe protruding from the BOP was
evidently in much poorer condition than it was before the cap was first placed on it. There was evidence that a section on one side had completely
gone. The constant abrasion by debris brought up with the oil/gas/hydrate mix may have been the primary contributing cause to that, along with the
fact that it was partially sawn then "snipped" through to begin with, creating a ragged and uneven edge and also probably some areas of stress
within the pipe walls that could lead to cracks and failure.
I'd hate to think what condition that pipe is in now -- and I don't just mean the protruding part, but the section that runs out of sight down
inside the BOP as well.