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Warning to BP: Stop the Relief Wells Or a Much Larger Catastrophe is Looming!

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Silverbach, Jul 8, 2010.



  1. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    I issue a serious warning to BP: Stop it right now, do NOT drill the last few feet of the relief wells. Do NOT punch that hole through. Think it through very carefully! If you proceed to puncture that hole through to the original well, it opens up a Pandora's Box which could lead to a much bigger catastrophe than you have ever bargained for!

    BP must pause now and invite all experts for a good debate on exactly what could happen. Build a physical model and test on it. It's foolhardy for BP to just proceed and gamble for a success. Because the worst that could happen is not just another failure, but rather a much bigger catastrophe.

    BP explains how a relief well works. Basically you drill another well which intercept and punch through to the casing of the original well, at a point 18000 feet deep, or 135,000 feet below the sea floor. Then heavy mud is injected through the relief well to near the bottom of the original well. The mud will then fill up the original well. Since the density of the mud is heavy it counters the pressure of the oil and gas in the original well, hence stops the flow. Once the flow is stopped the well can be sealed off using cement.

    It sounds simple. But due the the extreme depth of the well and the extreme pressure from the reservoir, a lot of technical details makes the plan virtually impossible to work. It could actually cause a catastrophe instead.

    There are two possible catastrophes: One is the mud either gets blown out of the blwout well diluted by the oil and gas, or continuously seep down into the underground rock formation, hence wasted. When enough mud is wasted and BP has no more mud at hand, the oil and gas will browing out and explode at the rigs that is drilling the relief wells.

    A much bigger catastrophe would be if BP has too much mud, and the mud keeps seeping into the underground rock formation. It damages the rock formation and eventually cracks the sea floor, leading a catastrophic release of gas and oil which is impossible to contain. That is a dooms day scenary.

    Under the scenary that Matthew Simmons and many others have discussed, i.e., if the well casing has been damaged or the rock formation at the bottom of the well is already damaged, then relief well will not work. I will not repeat that technical discussion. I will discuss under the best scenary we can hope for, the casing is intact, and show that why the relief well will not work.

    The intercept point at 18,000 feet below is not exactly at the bottom of the original well, but some where above the bottom. There will be two flow of materials meeting at the intercept point, and three possible paths where the flows can go: There is the flow of heavy mud from the relief well, and oil and gas up from the underround reservoir. The three paths are either back up into the relief well; going up through the original well; or going down back into the reservoir and rock formation.

    It all depends on the balance of pressure, and how fast BP can pump the mud down.

    The path of least resistance is up through the original blowout well. Both the oil and gas, and now mixed with the mud, will continue to gush out of the blowout well.

    The flow out of the blowout well will only stop if the material within the blowout well is replaced with mostly mud, injected at interception point through the relief well, and that the mud column is heavy enough to generate a counter pressure which matches the pressure at the interception point.

    To be able to inject mud into the interception point through the relief well, the mud column plus the pumping pressure must be able to generate a pressure, at the interception point, far bigger than the pressure from the underground reservoir. If the pressure is merely equal to the pressure of oil and gas at the junction point, then only a portion of the mud will enter the junction point and come out of the blowout well together with oil and gas. In such case, the mixture ratio depends on the opening of the hole, and the cross-section of the well casing of the well. For example if the hole is 7 inch in diameter and the well casing is also 7 inch in diameter, you will get a 50/50 mix of mud and oil/gas. The mud is thus diluted and won't be able to generate enough counter weight to stop the flow.

    Let's call the pressure in the oil/gas reservoir P0. Now consider the junction point pressure generated by oil/gas flow from the reservoir. First there is a free flowing pressure, let's call it P2. Then, once the flow from below stops, there is a static pressure P1. Please note, P1 >> P2. That's because for the oil to seep through the cracks in the rocks to enter the well and gush out, it takes certain amount of pressure to overcome the resistance. The pressure it takes to push oil through the rock formation equals to the difference (P1-P2).

    Now when the mud fills up the relief well and gets injected into the junction point, there are two pressures of the mud at the junction point. There is a static pressure Pa, when the mud is not flowing. There is also a free flowing pressure Pb, when the mud gushes into the blowout well to fill up the well and push the oil/gas out, replacing it with the mud. Please note, Pa >> Pb. When the mud is freely flowing, part of the pressure is needed to overcome the resistance and push the mud through at high rate. The extra pressure it takes to push the mud through into the blowout well equals to (Pa - Pb).

    For both the mud and oil/gas flow, the statis pressure (when it is not flowing) is always much higher than the free flowing pressure. When it's flowing, part of the pressure is lost along the path, to overcome the resistance.

    We need to guarantee that Pb >= P1, because the mud flow must stop the flow of oil/gas from underground, so it must be higher than the static pressure from the underground source.

    But at the same time, we also need to make sure that the mud does not flow down into the rock formation, because that will damage the rock formation and eventually depleting the mud. That means while the mud finally stops flowing, it does not exceed the static pressure from the underground source: Pa <= P1

    Such requirements are impossible to obtain. We have:

    1.Pa >> Pb
    2.Pb >= P1
    3.Pa <= P1

    All three conditions can not be meet at the same time. It's logically impossible.

    But then they do not need to be meet at the same time. Condition 1 and 2 are required while the mud is being pumped into the relief well. But condition 3 can be meet while the mud pump is shut down, so we can reduce the pressure Pa by the pump pressure, Pp. The three conditions are re-written like this:

    1.Pa >> Pb
    2.Pb >= P1
    3.(Pa-Pp) <= P1

    Still consider the pump pressure Pp is only 1000 PSI, less than 1% of the typical junction pressure P1 or P2. There is no way BP can
    do it. They will end up having a mud not heavy enough to satisfy condition 1 and 2, hence fail to fill the blowout well with the mud. or they may have a mud that too heavy to satisfy condition 3, causing the mud to continously seep into the rock formations, cracking the rock formation and eventually deplete all available mud, at which point all bets are off.

    More over, the more sticky the mud is, the higher the value (Pa -Pb) will be, and the harder to meet all three conditions.

    I predict that BP's relief wells are not going to be successful.

    A MORE SERIOUS warning to BP: If the relief wells fail as I predicted, do NOT resort to the desperate act of using nuclear options. If you use nuclear option, there is a good possibility it will trigger chain reaction of methane eruption on a global scale, wiping out virtually ALL LIFE on earth!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
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  2. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    SilverBach,

    Got a link? Thanks.
     
  3. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    They'll never listen.
     
  4. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    No link. This is my thought. Basic physics. Always keep in mind one thing: When a liquid flows, the pressure is LOWER, as part of the pressure is needed to overcome the resistance. The further down the path of flow, the more pressure is lost. Once the flow stops, the pressure is always higher as extra pressure is no longer needed to overcome the resistance.

    BP needs to make sure their mud is heavy enough to stop the flow of gas and oil while the mud itself flows into the blowout well. That means the free flowing pressure of the mud exceeds the static (non-flowing) pressure from the underground oil/gas.

    Mean while they also need to make sure when it's down, i.e., the mud is no longer flowing any more, the higher static pressure from the mud does NOT exceed that from the underground oil/gas. If it does the mud just seeps into the underground rock formation and that is a catastrophe.

    These two requirements contradict each other.

    More over the different between the static and free flowing mud pressure has got to be very high. Because the mud needs to flow at FAST ENOUGH speed to expell the oil/gas in the blowout well and replace it with mud. The fact that the mud is much more sticky than oil/gas means much higher extra pressure is needed. The fact that the blowout well has a free opening and it was filled with less sticky oil/gas at the beginning means it is even much harder to achieve initial high mud pressure at the junction point to stop the underground oil/gas flow. If you do NOT stop the underground oil.gas flow while the mud expels out the oil/gas in the blowout well, then the mud will simply gets diluted by the continuous flow of oil/gas, and will simply get blow out of the opening and wasted. So it's not good. When all the mud at hand is wasted, it's all over for BP.
     
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  5. WasUP

    WasUP Seeker Seeker

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    Time to think about abandoning the planet.
     
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  6. DonShimoda

    DonShimoda Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Women and GIM members first! (smile)
     
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  7. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Once the hole is punched through, before the hole is big enough for BP to start seriously pumping mud into the blowout well, the mud is already beginning to pass through into the blowout well and be brought out by the gushing oil and gas, and be wasted.

    Does BP has enough mud to be wasted before the start of the mud pumping? How fast from the time the hole is punched through, to the time the hole is big enough and the drill piles are withdrawn? Can BP do it fast enough to avoid wasting too much mud?

    At the very beginning of filling the blowout well with mud, the exact pressure at the junction point is dedicatedly balanced by all three paths. Let's call it Pj, which is to be resulved by:

    1. In the relief well:
    Pj = (Mud Pumper Pressure) + (Pressure Generated by Gravity of Mud Column) - (Pressure Lost to the Resistance of Mud Flow)

    2. In the blowout well:
    Pj = (Pressure at Sea Floor) + (Pressure Generated by Gravity of Oil/Gas Column) - (Pressure Lost to the Resistance of Oil)

    3. Path to the underground Reservoir:
    Pj = (Pressure in the Reservoir) - (Counter Pressure Generated by Gravity of Oil/Gas Below the Junction) - 0 (No Flow = No pressure Loss)

    The confining condition is Flow of Mud Into the Blowout Well = Flow of Oil/Gas Out of the Blowout Well.

    Since mud is way much more sticky, consider condition 1 and 2, it is very hard to get a high enough Pj to meet condition 3.
     
  8. SJS

    SJS Seeker Seeker

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    Oceanview property - in Nashville TN if this thing blows!
     
  9. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  10. Aurumag

    Aurumag Dimly lit. Highly reflective Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I completely agree with you, and in fact, my business partner and I parted ways so that he could continue his dogmatic pursuit of capping solutions (I left because I firmly believe that tapping is BP's only course of action, and I cannot expend any more energy towards yet another failed plan).

    My former partner will fail, not for lack of physics expertise or a brilliant engineering plan, but because capping is simply not an option for BP.

    BP = Blow-up the Planet

    BP = Bastardous Pomposity

    BP = Back Pocket
     
  11. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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  12. gasilat

    gasilat Seeker Seeker

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    change that warning to the government. i'm doubting an oil company has the nuclear option.
     
  13. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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  14. NewBob

    NewBob Seeker Seeker

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    I'm not sure if I'm reading you right, but your post seems to be implying that if you pump down mud at equal pressure to the oil pressure (effectively halting the oil), the pressure would double?
     
  15. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Read here. It explains the physics better:

    http://seekingalpha.com/author/mark-anthony/instablog

    In short, if the pressure from the mud merely equals to the pressure from oil from below, the mud halts the oil but the oil also halts the mud. Therefore the mud is not able to be injected into the blowout well.

    You need to have DOUBLE the pressure, maybe higher, to meaningfully inject the mud fast enough to fill the blowout well.
     
  16. ~BS

    ~BS Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    couldn't they try and pump oil out of the relief wells, which would reduce pressure of the oil coming out of the original one?
     
  17. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I hate to spoil the "End of the Earth" party being celebrated by some people, but relief wells work and they have been around a long time...

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/relief-well1.htm
     
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  18. WasUP

    WasUP Seeker Seeker

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    Well that's just great. Now what's BP suppose to do? Yesterday, they were allready to stop on SilverBach's cease and desist order and now they are getting the okay. This start stop start from day to day, has got to be nerve racking to them as well as expensive.
     
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  19. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Relief wells has been used all the time. I knew that. But it has NEVER been used in anything approaching teh kind of depth and extreme high pressure thhat BP is facing. Under such high depth and high pressure the relief well will NOT work.

    The article you quoted pointed out the technology is now so sophisticated that a relief well can intercept the original well precisely underground. That is NOT the argument. There is no dispute that BP will eventually successfully intercept the original well. The question is what happens NEXT.
     
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  20. Ag Age

    Ag Age New Member

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    More doom and gloom.
    So they can do nothing, they can't drill a relief well, they can't cap the gusher now, so we just have to sit by and wait until the oil runs in the reservoir runs out, 50 to 120 million barrels.

    I’m no fan of BP or big oil, but I would have to think they have gathered enough experts, engineers and geophysicists who know the risks involved, and have determined this will work. I’m sure they can do math. Right now I will keep my fingers crossed that the relief well does exactly what its supposed to do, stop the flow.

    I think goldismoney2.com should be renamed to doom&gloom.com, or kissyourassgoodbye.com, because there is never one hopeful post on this website. If I believed half the crap posted on this board I would swallow a bottle of pills now and get it over with because either I am going to die because they can never stop the flow of oil, or we are going to run out of oil, or the government is spraying us with chemicals in the contrails of planes, or the lizard people will get me, or the Illuminati, or I will starve to death because we run out food (in 2008, 2009, now its 2010), or government death squads will roam the street shooting everyone who has a hoard of food, or… the list is endless.

    So in August when the relief well works I will check back on this post.
     
  21. Weatherman

    Weatherman In GIM since 2006 Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    I would have guessed the same before BP wasted lots of money with the top hat lid and the top down mud pumping, both of which were dismal failures. BP's track record at pre-determining what will be successful does not inspire confidence.

    Let me add my own version of the Doom & Gloom. After most of the reservoir runs dry, there will be a void in the volume that once contained a lot of oil. What will happen if that void collapses like a sink hole, and suddenly drops the bottom out of that portion of the Gulf floor? Someone posted a warning about a sudden release of methane gas causing a tidal wave, but I have not yet heard anyone talking about the tidal wave that a sink hole in the Gulf could cause.
     
  22. WasUP

    WasUP Seeker Seeker

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    I'm prepared for everything but the lizard people. I feel a surge of panic coming on, and I just swallowed a HUGE bottle of pills. Childrens Flintstones vitamins, but there was a lot of them. I feels funny. Might throw up. :(
     
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  23. 5150female

    5150female Drunk on Unicorn blood Gold Chaser

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    Weatherman- I would like info. on that too. Pinky swear that if either of us find such a credible source on that to post it ok?

    Ag Age - I agree with you that there has been a very slight negative "tone" about and not just here. On a very basic level I think most of us are almost like overly coiled springs. You can just "feel" that somehthing is coming, something is definately not right. There is so much palpable negativity, coupled with the transparent outright lies we are getting on all mainstream fronts.
    That being said, this isn't just other peoples sandbox, it's yours too. I am all about trying to be positive. Maybe I come off like a spyder monkey on crack-but regardless of what is "in the air" I am trying to find some peace or create it. Change the tone you dislike with your own positive-ism. Don't get worn down. All the best. California Represent! :cool:
     
  24. Argent Dragon

    Argent Dragon Site Support Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    RED Pill = stay here at GIM2

    BLUE Pill = leave GIM2

    Just sayin'
     
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  25. Weatherman

    Weatherman In GIM since 2006 Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Before I post this update, I must confess that my idea of when to do real research is after making all the wild guesses that I can. :wink:
    In response to your subtle mention of "credible source", I broke down and did a Google search for sinkholes in the Gulf. To the surprise of no one (including myself!), a sinkhole has already been listed as one of the worst case outcomes from the Gulf oil disaster:
    http://industry.bnet.com/energy/100...le-swallow-the-deepwater-horizon-well-and-bp/


    By the way, on the subject of GIM pessimism, I think that anyone who is optimistic enough to proudly state "California Represent!" is the perfect counterbalance to people like me who find it difficult to see any bright spots ahead for the future. :beer1:
     
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  26. 5150female

    5150female Drunk on Unicorn blood Gold Chaser

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    Oh you rule! My husband was telling me about the Southern State Salt Deposits / Gulf Water / Nature Abhores a Vaccum connection to all of this yesterday. I wouldn't listen until I could check it out. Danke!

    He also mentioned an article written very recently by Matt Simmons. Evidently he has new, important and credible information. That mans head is about to come to a point he is so frustrated! I couldn't find that either though. I will keep looking. Thank you for your kind words and great information. :bussi:
     
  27. 5150female

    5150female Drunk on Unicorn blood Gold Chaser

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  28. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Nuclear option is definitely NOT an option. It is a big NO NO. Nuclear explosion will disturb the methane ice on the ocean floor and trigger a global chain reaction of methane release from the ocean floor. It could end virtually ALL life on earth. It happened in the earth's history in the past. Over 95% of all spieces on earth was wiped out at the time.

    Don't try it.

    Read the other GIM thread:

    GRAVE DANGER: BP Could End Life On Earth If They Proceed with Nuclear Option!
     
  29. NewBob

    NewBob Seeker Seeker

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    I tried to read the blog and couldn't make much more sense out of it either. Seems like a lot of this is assuming the whole well is an incompressible fluid (it's not). The well is a mixture of a compressible fluid and an incompressible fluid. Dunno, but I'm not sure where this twice the pressure is coming from. There are a lot of things in there that I can't make sense of and really don't want to get a headache trying to decipher.

     
  30. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Let me explain.

    At the injection point there are two flows fighting each other to enter the original well: the oil from below, and the mud from the relief well. Who gets into the original well depends on who is stronger.

    If the static pressure from the mud merely equals to the static pressure from the oil reservoir, it is an equal fight with equal strength. So you end up 50/50. Half of the mud and half of the oil gets into the original well. You get a 50/50 mix of mud and oil.

    That's no good, the mixture is not heavy enough, it will gush out of the original well, so the mud is wasted.

    So to get mostly mud and very little oil to get into the original well, you need the mud pressure far out-powering the oil reservoir.

    Twice pressure is just a very rough estimate. You need a one time pressure to fight against the oil from the reservoir, then another one time pressure to be used to push all the mud through the relief well, as there is resistance to make the mud move. So you add the two, you need twice the pressure.

    That is only assuming the viscosity of mud and oil is the same. Assuming that viscosity of the mud is much higher than oil, then even twice pressure is not enough. If the viscosity of mud is twice as high as oil, you need THREE TIMES the mud pressure: one time oil pressure to fight against teh oil, two times the oil pressure to push the mud through fast enough.

    To understand it further, assuming the mud is really really stick, so sticky that it hardly flows, then no matter how high a mud pressure it simply will not work, because the mud will not flow!!!
     
  31. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    What makes you so sure the pressure is so high as to not allow the relief well to work? Even if the pressure is higher than normal, the principles of physics that govern the well kill process are the same. As Ag Age pointed out, BP must have done the math to determine how much mud, at what pressure, is needed. They interviewed one of the engineers on the DDIII, and he said this was the 41st time he had drilled a relief well and that all 40 previous relief wells had been successful.
     
  32. Nickelless

    Nickelless If coffee is gold, I own Fort Knox Midas Member

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    Is an underwater nuke to sear the well shut off the table? If this relief well fails, what options will we have left besides a nuke?
     
  33. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    What makes it different is the extreme depth and extrenme pressure BP is facing. Relief wells worked before on land and in much shallower wells. But here it's off shore, in deep ocean, and the well is very deep, with extreme pressure.

    You need to have a mud which is heavy enough to fight back the pressure from the underground. But in this particular case, you also need EXTRA mud pressure to push the mud through at fast enough speed, down a very deep and very narrow relief well.

    The physics doesn't work out for BP:

    1. The oceanic crust has an average density of 3 grams/cm^3 versus continental crust of 2.7 grams/cm^3. Meaning higher reservoir pressure for the same depth of well, versus wells on land. To compensate for heavier crust layer, BP needs to use a mud which is heavier by 0.3 grams/cm^3.

    2. The heaviest mud available has a density of 19 pound per gallon, or 2.15 grams/cm^3. Not heavy enough to match up to the pressure generated by the weight of the earth's crust layer. Heavier mud also means it is more sticky, with higher viscosity.

    3. This relief well is drilled deepest ever. 18000 feet below sea level. Driving the mud down such a long and narrow well pipe is extremely difficult. It'simpossible to drive the mud in fast enough, even if the pressure is high enough to match the oil reservoir pressure. Previous relief wells are not even half as deep, most are way much shallower.

    3. In all previous relief well cases, none of them seen oil gushing out of the blowout well at such high flow rate. Not even close. The high oil flow rate means you have to inject mud at the bottom FAST, faster than oil gushing, to effectively fill the blowout well with mud. If themud comes in slowly it gets diluted by the gushing oil, and be broughtout of the well by the gushing oil, and wasted.

    4. High oil flow rate = very high mud injection flow rate required.
    Deep long and narrow relief well + heavy and sticky mud = Can not push mud in at fast rate.
    Depth of well + heavier crust layer = The weight of the mud can't even compete against the reservoir pressure.

    There is no way BP can do it successfully.

    Do the math:

    Reservoir pressure = 4992 feet of water + 15603 feet of crust
    = 51801 feet of water equivalence
    = 51801 * 0.4328
    = 22420 PSI

    Pressure at injection point 18000 feet below sea level
    = 22420 PSI - Oil going up 2595 feet from reservoir
    = 22420 PSI - 0.85 density of oil * 2595 * 0.4328
    = 21465 PSI

    Mud pressure, assuming heaviest mud
    = 2.15 * 18000 * 0.4328
    = 16750 PSI
    Adding in the mud pumper pressure 1000 PSI
    = 17750 PSI

    If you count mud pressure using the mud column beginning at sea floor, i.e., the opening of the well, to the bottom of th relief well, instead of counting it from the sea level, then it's only 13000 feet instead of 18000 feet. The mud pressure
    = 2.15 * 13000 * 0.4328
    = 12097 PSI

    The mud pressure doesn't even reach the static pressure from the oil in the reservoir.

    No way it's going to work for BP.
     
  34. Strawboss

    Strawboss Intergalactic Silver Guru Gold Chaser

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    Silverbach,

    Your arguments are persuasive and make sense. I guess we will just have to see if you are right.

    I am still waiting on palladium to touch $400 so I can back up the truck on it...
     
  35. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    I don't think you will get $400 palladium because there are too many people with empty trucks waiting for $400 to happen :-)
     
  36. Malus

    Malus Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    In a world gone mad....
    If you want happy news, go pick up the latest newspaper or watch TV. The recession is over, we are fighting for stability in the Middle East, don't forget you're vaccination (we're here to help), have some more fluoride (it'll save you're teeth), GMO is good for the world and you can have all the free medical you want. Yep, its all about the good news. If you don't like the topics or responses, go to happy pill forums.com...........
     
  37. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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    This is a must read:

    Desperate message from geologist…â€To BP and Obama – Publish the mudlogs!â€


    What does BP have to hide? Why cann't they release the mudlog data publicly? Without the data how does the public know what the reservoir pressure is? Without knowing the reservoir pressure how do we know the mud BP is going to use will be heavy enough to supress the oil from the reservoir?

    I suspect folks at BP KNEW that the relief wells are not going to be successful. They are just putting out a show for us. But the consequence of a failure is catastrophic. BP must release the information and must allow a public debate whether to proceed.
     
  38. Silverbach

    Silverbach Silver Member Silver Miner

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  39. __hoot__

    __hoot__ Seeker

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    Don't doubt the math here, but maybe we aren't starting with the right facts. Something stinks with the huge size of the caseing originally used. Why so big with a hole only 18,000 feet deep into the structure?[as BP was permitted] I have heard rumors that they illegally drilled down 30,050 feet into the structure.

    From what I have read about oil pools just calculateing the weight of the rock above the structure has little to do with the actual pressure found inside.

    Won't drilling into the original pipe leave metal from the relief well drill stem blocking physically the crude and gas flow cutting down the counter pressure needed from the mud? Isn't that why they are drilling two relief wells? Drill into the blown-out pipe with the first relief well and physically block much of the flow, then bring in the other relief well somewhere above and pump in enough mud to counter the lesser flow remaining?
     
  40. __hoot__

    __hoot__ Seeker

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    darn big caseings.............often this area has huge salt layers below say 20,000 feet from the top of the rock with oil bearing structures continueing below say about 28,000 feet. Salt doesn't take much power to drill through it, but it will not hold any physical seal. Lots of things we don't know and BP isn't going to tell us if they violated their permit.
     

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