Blogmocracy in Action!
Guest post by: Bagua!
As we await the start of Static/Top Kill testing, let’s take a look at the 3-RAM Sealing Cap that stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf.
This video shows inspection of the Cap, and the appearance of large “Beehives” around a weeping seam. This is methane and oil seeping out, with the methane forming methane-Hydrates on contact with sea water. The reddish brown colour shows there is some crude oil component. Like a giant flavoured slushy.
In the video we see the ROV examine the Beehives, and then use its claw to pick up a red tube and spray a liquid to clean the cap. (Possibly methanol.)
During the night, one of the ROVs (HOS Achiever ROV2) had its tether caught in a nasty tangle. Below video shows the ROV follow its tether back to the tangle and work to free the mess. Not an easy task using a robotic arm a mile beneath the waves.
The fouling line was removed, but this left a kink in the tether. The same sort of kink sent the ROV Skandi 1 to the surface for repair the night before. In the flowing video, we see the ROV struggle with the new kink.
Things do get Kinky in the deep dark waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
We await word of the start of the Static Kill as this is written on Tuesday morning. The initial phase will be termed “injectivity” testing. They want to see if they can add fluid to the well and force some oil back into the reservoir and what pressure readings occur. They could use a variety of fluids for this initial phase, oil, water or drilling mud of a variety of types, weight and viscosity. The only detail they have mentioned is 13.2 ppg mud for the actual kill attempt.
Next we have a Weep Survey of the wellhead. Checking out the intermittent bubbles and having a look at the seabed around the world’s most famous wild well, MC252.
Here is a slide show of recent scenes around the massive underwater BOP tower which has been nicknamed: Mt. FUBAR.
And here is the Static Kill Overview from BP’s Kent Wells. Notice that BP’s animation of the Static Kill does not mention the annulus, the space between the well wall tube and the production casing tube inside it. In the section on the Relief Well, the annulus and casing tube are detailed. Depending on the type of blowout and the condition of the well-head, mud may or may not be forced down the annulus.
*ROV videos recorded from live feeds, edited and hosted on the BaguaChannel.
UPDATE: Since this post was written Tuesday morning there have been some new developments, some confirmed and some unconfirmed as of this time. It appear the Inectivity Test was successful, and BP has begun the Static Kill as of 3pm.
“Completed Injectivity Test. Test went exactly as expected & confirmed we can inject into the reservoir.” – - BP spokesman Kent Wells
“Consulted with government scientists & Sec. Chu. Data was very clear, so we moved forward with static kill at approximately 3pm CT” – Kent Wells
This is the endgame folks, I will update on these key developments later this evening.