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"Engineers have told me that it is almost certain that gas is leaking directly from the reservoir through the pipe casing," he said.
An aerial surveillance flight confirmed there was a sheen on the water, which was detected near the platform, and an aircraft carrying dispersant was on standby at East Midlands airport.
Molloy said the outer layers of the pipe casing have been structurally compromised, channeling gas to the surface directly from the reservoir.
"The engineer I have spoken with says that he has no idea how to go about fixing this type of problem," he said.
“If gas is leaking directly from well casing below the mud line, the best recovery option will probably be to drill a relief well to intersect the problem at a point well below the leak. The relief well can then be used to kill the well,” an engineer familiar with the matter said.
“This option is likely to take several months and cost a lot of money. In the meantime a lot of gas may potentially get released into the atmosphere,” he added.
the "inferno" deep in the Earth
Elgin/Franklin, an exceptional development in the U.K. sector of the North Sea, arose from the successive discoveries of two deeply-buried offshore fields, Franklin in 1986 and Elgin in 1991. This pair of neighboring reservoirs deep in the Earth lie more than five kilometers below the seabed, where the pressure reaches 1,100 bar - equivalent to balancing over one metric ton on a thumbnail - and the temperature, 190°C. Never before had the oil industry attempted to develop high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) reservoirs on this scale. And when our E&P teams decided to tackle this gigantic challenge in 1997, many of the technologies had yet to be invented. But with the support of intensive R&D spurred by the Elgin discovery, they managed to achieve their objective in 2001. It was an amazing feat, culminating in the successful bringing on stream of the world's biggest HP/HT field.
The Elgin–Franklin fields are two adjacent gas fields located in the Central Graben Area of the North Sea 240 kilometres (150 mi) east of Aberdeen, Scotland at the water depth of 93 metres (305 ft). The field operated by Total S.A. shows record values in terms of temperature and pressure, with 197 °C (387 °F) and 1,155 bars (115,500 kPa)
Produced oil is transported through the Forties pipeline system to Kinneil in Fife while produced gas is transported through the SEAL Pipeline to Bacton, Norfolk.
GE Oil and Gas | Source
GE Oil and Gas has been selected by Total EandP UK to supply drilling and production equipment for the expansion of the Elgin Franklin gas field in the North ...
GDF Suez sells stake in Elgin-Franklin fields - MarketWatch
28 Sep 2011 - FR) said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with Italian oil company Eni (ENI.MI) for the sale of its 10.4% stake in the Elgin-Franklin gas condensates fields ...
UK's Elgin Franklin oil, gas field resuming output
LONDON | Fri Oct 7, 2011 5:19pm BST
Oct 7 (Reuters) - Britain's Elgin-Franklin oil and gas field in the North Sea is ramping up production following an unplanned outage on Thursday, a spokesman from operator Total said on Friday.
"Elgin-Franklin is ramping back up to normal production levels at present," he said, without disclosing how long the ramp-up will take or pre-outage flow rates from the field.
It went down on Thursday due to a minor technical fault, he said. Gas production ground to a complete halt, but some oil was still flowing during the downtime period.
Elgin Franklin feeds into Britain's Bacton SEAL.
The North Sea Elgin Franklin field can produce up to 15.5 million cubic meters/day of gas, according to Total's website. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic, editing by Jane Baird)
Total acquires GDF Suez interest in Elgin/Franklin - Offshore
6 Dec 2011 - If the effective date of the transfer is before the end of this year, as expected, ownership of Elgin/Franklin will be Elgin Franklin Oil & Gas (100% Total) at 46.2%, ...
Intervention fluids using cesium formate
Cesium formate brine is a heavy low-viscosity clear fluid, purpose-designed to provide the oil industry with a better and safer well control fluid for HPHT well interventions. Its unique hydrothermal chemistry ensures its stability and durability over long periods in HPHT wells.
Furthermore, cesium formate brine protects common viscosifiers and fluid loss control additives against thermal degradation – allowing the formulation of very effective well kill pills that can control fluid loss for several days under HPHT conditions. Some operators routinely have cesium formate-based kill pills ready on a stand-by basis at the rig site.
Cesium formate brine is a powerful suppressant of gas hydrate formation and can be used in pills to melt hydrate plugs (e.g. as used in Elgin/Franklin wells).
To date cesium formate brines have been used as well intervention and suspension
Cesium formate is ideal for challenging well interventions
fluids in around 20 challenging HPHT wells and have demonstrated the following advantages over traditional high-density intervention fluids:
Reduced formation damage – cesium formate is essentially incapable of causing permanent formation damage. Most users report that after a few weeks of production their well productivity indices exceed expectations after exposure to cesium formate brine during well interventions.
New improved HSE standards and reduced liability – no other high-density brines come close to matching
Originally posted by My.mind.is.mine
reply to post by DavidsHope
Thank you, that was a great recap..
Sounds to me like they need to shoot an RPG at this thing....
But seriously, temperatures are already abnormally high. The smallest extreme heat, flame, or spark sets these gas clouds off. I'm guessing they have a plan to deal with it before summer? Or before this gas spreads and gets mixed up in some sea breeze and damages marine over a larger area...
This thread needs to be bumped. Much better than the racism fest I was involved in last night!edit on 26-3-2012 by My.mind.is.mine because: (no reason given)