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1ST Hand account of explosion

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posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 07:41 PM
I didnt find this anywhere so...

Mods, feel free to toast this if it exists.

This was sent to me via RIGZONE (trade newsletter/job finder).

A guy called into Mark Levin's show and had this to say. Make of it what you will.

[edit on 5/7/10 by felonius]

I was requested to put a little bit of the interview in so here it is.


Mark: Let me slow you down, let me slow you down. So they do all these tests to make sure the infrastructure can handle what's about to happen, right?

James: Correct, we're testing the negative pressure and positive pressure of the well, the casing and the actual marine riser.

Mark: OK, I'm with you. Go ahead.

James: Alright, after the conclusion of the test, they simply opened the BOP stack back up.

Mark: And the test, as best as you know, was sufficient?

James: It should have been, yes sir. They would have never opened it back up.

Mark: OK next step, go ahead.

James: Next step, they opened the annular, the upper part of the BOP stack

Mark: Which has what purpose? Why do you do that?

James: So that you can gain access back to the wellbore.

Mark: OK

James: When you close the stack, it's basically a humongous hydraulic valve that closes off everything from below and above. It's like a gate valve on the sea floor.

Mark: OK

James: That's a very simplistic way of explaining a BOP. It's a very complicated piece of equipment.

Mark: Basically, it's like a plug. But go ahead.

James: Correct. Once they open that plug to go ahead and start cementing the top of the well (the well bore), we cement the top, and then basically we would pull off. Another rig would slide over and do the rest of the completions work. When they opened the well is when the gas well kicked, and we took a humongous gas bubble kick up through the well bore. It literally pushed the sea water all the way to the crown of the rig, which is about 240 feet in the air.

Mark: OK, so gas got into it and blew the top off of it.

[edit on 5/7/10 by felonius]

[edit on 5/7/10 by felonius]

posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 08:10 PM
reply to post by felonius

Awesome link, awesome account of what happened, and awesome point of view of the whol fiacso that has followed and is ongoing!

Star and flag x1000!!!

Maybe you should quote more of that article, because not everyone will follow the link, but everyone needs to read this!

Quote it and Mods put it on the front page please!

posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 08:22 PM
Excellent thread and interview. Every one does need to read this - I was almost in tears!

posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 08:32 PM
The caller, and rig-worker, gives an easy to follow view of what he thinks happened.

Anytime you're drilling an oil well, there is a constant battle between the mud weight, the drilling fluid that we use to maintain pressure, and the wellbore itself. There's a balance. The well is pushing gas one way and you are pushing mud the other way. So there is a delicate balance that has to be maintained at all times to keep the gas from coming back in, what we call the kicks. You know, we always get gas back in the mud, but the goal of the whole situation is to try to control the kick.

James: Mother Nature every now and then kicks up. The pressures that we're dealing with out there, drilling deeper, deeper water, deeper overall volume of the whole vessel itself, you’re dealing with 30 to 40 thousand pounds per square inch range -- serious pressures.

I appreciate his call and inside info, on the other hand he wasn't in the main room and was far enough from the center of activity that he wasn't in danger - I can't help but assume some of this is speculation on his part (about whether or not it was terrorism, or whether everything was done correctly, respended to, etc).

[edit on 5-7-2010 by Thermo Klein]

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by felonius

So it in all actuality wasn't a 20 dollar piece that malfunctioned. It was a pocket of gas that blew out far more then normal that caused this mess. I wonder if this will be on the MSM like CNN or FNC, I feel as if the media is making the American public hate BP and truely they aren't at fault. Obama doesn't help either, with his annual "I'm gonna find out who's ass to kick!" routine, which solves nothing and adds more bull# to the pot.

[edit on 6-7-2010 by NoJoker13]

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:58 AM
reply to post by crazydaisy

In tears? I found no part of this story "cryable" and wonder how someone could preceive it as such?

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 12:10 PM

Originally posted by NoJoker13
reply to post by felonius

So it in all actuality wasn't a 20 dollar piece that malfunctioned. It was a pocket of gas that blew out far more then normal that caused this mess. I wonder if this will be on the MSM like CNN or FNC, I feel as if the media is making the American public hate BP and truely they aren't at fault. Obama doesn't help either, with his annual "I'm gonna find out who's ass to kick!" routine, which solves nothing and adds more bull# to the pot.

[edit on 6-7-2010 by NoJoker13]

Obama is posturing for the mid-term elections. He has to appear to have a handle on things. He probably goes off camera and cowers looking for a corner in the oval office (ahahahaha, there are none!)!

As for BP, they are at fault because of shortcuts they took, but all in all it was still an accident. They should pay for their shortcutting, because if it had paid off, we would be paying for their oil.

People crying to boycott BP and bankrupt them and seize them need to remember that all of those riggers are taking shortcuts here and there. They are relying on experience and instinct and they are trying to strike it rich with as little expense as possible. This time they got unlucky, but I'm sure there are plenty of others playing more haphazardly and getting away with it.

I loved the article, and here are my concerns with the situation before the explosion:
1. BOP only had approximately 15% margin for error, but was considered a "fail-safe?" That is not a fail-safe, that is just marginal safety, not fail-safe.
2. They were ignoring concerns and advice from the very people they contracted to tell them if it was safe or not.
3. They had a BP guy onsite pushing them, when the riggers should have had the final so say instead of the money men.

There are those times when everything goes wrong despite our best efforts and planning, and in some cases there is no one to blame. I think this is one of the cases combined with a little too much short-cutting.

We will know for sure when we see the result of the relief wells. If they work without a hitch, then we will know that it was not a technology problem or a superwell. If the relief wells blow-out or fail to stop the leak, then we will know that mother nature is showing us who is boss and it may not have been all BP's fault.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:04 PM
I lison to that show live that day.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by felonius

Along time ago the rig workers told us what happened in a National Graphic documentary and this guy is lying. Go to their site and find the video, some guy in a rush did not have the BP seal loose enough for drilling, they rammed a pipe through it and tore up the seal. BP found lots of pieces of the seal and then kept drilling anyway, it leaked and then went boom.

I'm not finding the video but i have before on-line and I watched it on TV. looks like TPTB forced them to remove it.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

O I never said BP was "innocent", I mean realistically how could an oil company be exactly that... innocent. I absolutely agree that BP shouldn't be boycotted or whatever else because your right, everyone takes shortcuts and they wish we never saw them but this disaster has brought many questions to light and many "shortcuts" up for scrutiny. My point is that this is a global issue with every oil company not just one thats affecting us at the moment and instead of casting stones we should be looking for solutions! Star from me!

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 11:03 PM
reply to post by NoJoker13

Look, I appreciate this audio interview and firsthand account very much and have nothing but respect for the riggers. There is probably few jobs in the blue collar trades that are as dangerous and demanding of intense skill and concentration as oil rig work. But I have to agree with previous responders that this guy, while he's got a genuine and gut-wrenching story, simply did not know what happened or why.

yes, the gas blew up the line suddenly, but why did it get away? I'm not a big defender of Obama on much of anything these days, but it really could have been a twenty dollar part that failed and, as far as the MMS goes, there record sucks in other parts of the operations they have oversight on from inland mining to off-shore drilling. There's a lot of just flat out corruption there and we know from Congressional Hearings they didn't do "close" inspections of Deepwater Horizon or many other rigs in the gulf and just sort of routinely signed things off.

Blame will fall somewhere, you can bet on that, but other guts on the rig have already testified BP was rushing them over their objections to get things up and running. Sh*& flows downhill and somebody screwed up on something in the prep to get that operation producing. The onsite corporate rep is going to have take some of that blame for pushing that crew too hard too fast and ignoring warnings from the guys who do this stuff every day.

Yes, you can't fight "nature" and win unless you're prepared for those kickbacks and unexpected surges, but the point is that you are supposed to BE prepared for that and one thing this guy confirms is that nobody seemed oblivious to the dangers among the crew.

Welcome to corporate America. I worked with a lot of dangerous chemicals in the circuit board industry and we got constant pressure to rush things, once resulting in a buddy adding sulfuric and hydrochloric waste from the line into the same barrel because of the push and poor communication and blow himself across the room, breaking his collar bone and taking burns all over his body because they gave us auto mechanic monkey suits for "protective clothing", not chemical resistant work clothes. I had a siphon blow on me when pumping pure sulfuric acid into a barrel on the line and the siphon carried the stream five feet in the air and I only had time enough to lean back and miss most of it when it went. I then had to jump in a wastewater barrel to dilute the acid cause we had no shower in the shop (against OSHA regs). But hell, we were young and dumb and macho so we didn't complain. From then on in , I did complain though and eventually go "laid off" when a decent interval passed and they could justify it with a slow work week. Welcome to corporate America; the land of unlimited opportunity, if you're already rich enough to buy in up the ladder.

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 11:33 PM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Originally posted by NoJoker13
So it in all actuality wasn't a 20 dollar piece that malfunctioned. It was a pocket of gas that blew out far more then normal that caused this mess. I wonder if this will be on the MSM like CNN or FNC, I feel as if the media is making the American public hate BP and truely they aren't at fault.

This is an old interview (April 30th), it was done before even the Coast Guard Interviews. This gentleman is making a lot of speculations that we now know further details on. The ultimate failure came from the removal of the drilling mud, at the behest of a BP representative, to expedite the capping procedures, despite questionable results received from both the positive and negative pressure tests. There was a gas build up, but the mud, if it had been left in the pipe, most likely would have held that gas pressure down.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 12:25 AM
reply to post by Thermo Klein

Great thread, S&F!

Okay, some quick math here:
One hundred feet of seawater is equal to 44 pounds per square inch. (PSI)
I am going to use an assumptive diameter of the well of four feet.
Therefore a four foot diameter cover of a well would have the area of 1809.6 square inches.

If the well was indeed drilled at a mile below the ocean then 5280 feet of seawater would have a downward pressure equivalent to 2,323.2 pounds per square inch.
When you add this with the 105.6 pounds per square inch it would have to overcome to lift the head up 240 feet you end up with 2429 psi.
1mile of water pressure
240 feet of lift pressure.
= Total pressure.

Therefore the amount of pressure required to raise the top that much is only 2429 psi, compared to the 20-40k range some are speaking of.

Therefore I believe people are getting pressure and force mixed up.
Remember, Force=PressureXArea
Therefore a pressure of 2429PSI multiplied times 1809.6 square inches equals 4.4 million pounds of force. However when you consider the force pushing down from the weight of the water negates some of the force coming out, you really only need to consider that it was lifted 240 feet.

Therefore: 240 feet = 105.6 PSI
Assumed area of lid: 1809.6 square inches
Multiply these together and you get 191,094 pounds of pressure to move the object 240 feet.

Unless I'm mistaken, there aren't many pipes at all that could withstand 20-40k pounds of pressure and remain intact. However, they could withstand that much force. If that was the case, I don't think we could attempt to fix the leak by covering the pipe. There would be no pipe left.
Just Sayin'

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 12:26 AM

but, cool guys dont look at explsions

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 09:40 AM
reply to post by NEWclearMind

Pretty good math, but no need to reinvent the wheel. The exact measurements for the well head and piping are already available. Also, divers use about 33psi per 100ft of seawater, I don't know where you got 40-something.

Now, as for the pressure at the wellhead, I think everyone, including the coast guard and press are getting mixed up between pressure at the reservoir and pressure at the well head. You are pretty close on your calculations for the required wellhead pressure to do exactly what it did and is doing. The higher estimates are BP's estimates of the pressure in the reservoir which is another 15,000 feet down, or another 150*33=4950 psi. Plus the 2300 psi at the sea bottom, you get 7250 psi at the reservoir, according the the depths they were permitted to drill.

Now, original reports after the explosion said they had "actually" drilled almost 30,000 feet. That puts the pressures near the 15k that their documented estimates report. So the reservoir is somewhere between 8k psi and 15k psi. It takes energy to bring the oil up that many thousands of feet of piping, so by the time it reaches the well head, it is probably about 2400 psi, which is only 30-100 psi more than the ambient pressure of the sea water.

Kind of rambling description, but accurate according to all the other 100's of threads on this matter, and all the existing documents that have been released by BP.

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:07 AM
reply to post by getreadyalready

Thanks for the heads up. The way I got 44 is from being on a submarine. We used to be able to determine our depth in the engineroom from looking at main seawater pump suction pressure. I can do the equation if you like using the density of seawater being 35k ppm salt. Then, when coupled with the gravitational constant and the conversion factors and show 44psi. However, great info, and yes, I agree with everything you said. That "enormous pressure" may be the pressure at the bottom of the well, however the pressure at the surface is different, as you appear to already know. I was just pointing out, I didn't think it was as large a number as some members were posting.

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:15 AM
reply to post by NEWclearMind

Thanks Ncm. I am a very amateur diver, so maybe the calculations are different for deepwater dives? 99% of divers never go beyond 150-200ft. Actually 100ft is about the limit for most divers, because lower than that requires Nitrox and/or larger tanks and more time on ascent.

I wonder why nobody is talking about the discrepancies between everything BP is officially reporting, and what the math says?

Either they went deeper than they were permitted, or all their documented estimates are wrong. Which is it?

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by getreadyalready

Well, if they did drill to 35,000 feet then the pressure at the point of drilling would have to be a minimum of 15,400 pounds per square inch to make a single bubble rise to the surface. In order to raise the water an additional 240 feet then you add more pressure.
I think you get the idea. A pressure surge could have reached those pressures at the bottom. However, in my opinion, that wasn't felt at the top. Because, you have to subtract the pressure due to fluid heighth, aka the depth of water equivalent pressure from the total pressure at the source of the well to determine the amount of pressure sensed at the top of the well.

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