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RE: Any comments on this piece?

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  • Dan Minette
    ... There seem to be two long pieces in the article. The first involves the loss of knowledge due to the up and down nature of the business. There are two
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 16, 2010
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      >This link was sent to another list a little while ago:

      >http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593#comment-648967

      >and people there (no experts in the field) are wondering if the
      >author likely knows what he is talking about or not.

      There seem to be two long pieces in the article. The first involves the
      loss of knowledge due to the up and down nature of the business. There are
      two problems with that. First, we're about 10 years into a generally up
      cycle. Oil prices dipped low for a couple of months, but the fact that BP
      is making billions a quarter and is drilling sub-salt in deep water proves
      that it's not bust time in the oil industry. Last bust was 98-99, when oil
      prices averaged about $15/barrel. No-one would be drilling deep water at
      those prices.

      Second, it wasn't that folks didn't know what the risks were and knew about
      the red flags. The proper procedure was recommended by several service
      companies, who were planning on following it. There was a fiery meeting in
      which the company man simply enforced his will. Look, that's not the part of
      the business I'm in, and _I_ knew why what they did was wrong from the
      beginning. Everyone around in the business knows. If the company man
      didn't know, then BP appointed someone who never learned the ropes to run
      one of their most critical wells. I'd bet dollars to donuts he knew better.

      The second part concerns where the problem is. I'm not sure how the first
      set of pipes and cementing broke. I saw holes near the blowout preventer,
      with mud coming out, and I saw mud come out, and then oil. But, that's
      because the mud had to be put in above all that, were the riser broke.

      My guess is that the downhole pressure was such that you couldn't push hard
      enough against it with the mud to force the column of oil and gas down.
      Instead, the interface was just below the surface, and the mud just flowed
      into the ocean through the holes.

      Even if there is a big hole 20 feet below the surface, the important
      question is the pressure downhole vs. the pressure from about 25k feet of
      oil and gas and 5k feet of sea water. So, once the pressure of the
      formation drops below, say, 12,000 psi, the well will stop leaking
      automatically. That may be a long time. So, they are trying to drill a
      well that will intercept the well down low and then pump mud in that well.
      If they intercept near the bottom, and use 18 lb mud, they could have 20k
      psi of pressure pushing down (and up the well of course). That should be a
      much better place to inject heavy mud.

      Finally, the restrictor for mud flow is the next to last set of casing (the
      last set blew up the well, through the rig). That is probably a 6" ID
      (mebbie up to 8). With the riser cut, that is what is restricting flow
      rates. So, I don't see a hole high in the drill string as a big problem.
      That's the biggest ID casing, so it's not the limiting factor to the flow
      rate.

      Dan M.


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    • Ronn! Blankenship
      ... Thanks! I expect what they are mostly interested in is the claim by the author of the link that the situation is so bad that nothing will work to stop it
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 16, 2010
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        At 05:33 PM Wednesday 6/16/2010, Dan Minette wrote:


        > >This link was sent to another list a little while ago:
        >
        > >http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593#comment-648967
        >
        > >and people there (no experts in the field) are wondering if the
        > >author likely knows what he is talking about or not.
        >
        >There seem to be two long pieces in the article. The first involves the
        >loss of knowledge due to the up and down nature of the business. There are
        >two problems with that. First, we're about 10 years into a generally up
        >cycle. Oil prices dipped low for a couple of months, but the fact that BP
        >is making billions a quarter and is drilling sub-salt in deep water proves
        >that it's not bust time in the oil industry. Last bust was 98-99, when oil
        >prices averaged about $15/barrel. No-one would be drilling deep water at
        >those prices.
        >
        >Second, it wasn't that folks didn't know what the risks were and knew about
        >the red flags. The proper procedure was recommended by several service
        >companies, who were planning on following it. There was a fiery meeting in
        >which the company man simply enforced his will. Look, that's not the part of
        >the business I'm in, and _I_ knew why what they did was wrong from the
        >beginning. Everyone around in the business knows. If the company man
        >didn't know, then BP appointed someone who never learned the ropes to run
        >one of their most critical wells. I'd bet dollars to donuts he knew better.
        >
        >The second part concerns where the problem is. I'm not sure how the first
        >set of pipes and cementing broke. I saw holes near the blowout preventer,
        >with mud coming out, and I saw mud come out, and then oil. But, that's
        >because the mud had to be put in above all that, were the riser broke.
        >
        >My guess is that the downhole pressure was such that you couldn't push hard
        >enough against it with the mud to force the column of oil and gas down.
        >Instead, the interface was just below the surface, and the mud just flowed
        >into the ocean through the holes.
        >
        >Even if there is a big hole 20 feet below the surface, the important
        >question is the pressure downhole vs. the pressure from about 25k feet of
        >oil and gas and 5k feet of sea water. So, once the pressure of the
        >formation drops below, say, 12,000 psi, the well will stop leaking
        >automatically. That may be a long time. So, they are trying to drill a
        >well that will intercept the well down low and then pump mud in that well.
        >If they intercept near the bottom, and use 18 lb mud, they could have 20k
        >psi of pressure pushing down (and up the well of course). That should be a
        >much better place to inject heavy mud.
        >
        >Finally, the restrictor for mud flow is the next to last set of casing (the
        >last set blew up the well, through the rig). That is probably a 6" ID
        >(mebbie up to 8). With the riser cut, that is what is restricting flow
        >rates. So, I don't see a hole high in the drill string as a big problem.
        >That's the biggest ID casing, so it's not the limiting factor to the flow
        >rate.
        >
        >Dan M.



        Thanks! I expect what they are mostly interested in is the claim by
        the author of the link that the situation is so bad that nothing will
        work to stop it until a large portion of the estimated billions of
        barrels of oil in the formation have spurted out into the water, and
        I suspect your expert answer is the same as my much less expert
        one: that no one has any way of knowing for sure right now, and
        won't until at least they get the second hole drilled . . .


        . . . ronn! :)



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      • Alberto Monteiro
        ... Petrobras was :-) Alberto Monteiro _______________________________________________ http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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          Dan Minette wrote:
          > Last bust was 98-99, when oil prices averaged about
          > $15/barrel. No-one would be drilling deep water at those prices.
          >
          Petrobras was :-)

          Alberto Monteiro


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        • Ronn! Blankenship
          ... Did they make women s undergarments out of petroleum? . . . ronn! :) _______________________________________________
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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            At 07:15 AM Thursday 6/17/2010, Alberto Monteiro wrote:

            >Petrobras was :-)



            Did they make women's undergarments out of petroleum?


            . . . ronn! :)



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          • Pat Mathews
            And what do you all think polyester is? Hah. http://idiotgrrl.livejournal.com/ ... _______________________________________________
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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              And what do you all think polyester is? Hah.


              http://idiotgrrl.livejournal.com/





              > Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2010 14:10:37 -0500
              > To: brin-l@...
              > From: ronn_blankenship@...
              > Subject: RE: Any comments on this piece?
              >
              > At 07:15 AM Thursday 6/17/2010, Alberto Monteiro wrote:
              >
              > >Petrobras was :-)
              >
              >
              >
              > Did they make women's undergarments out of petroleum?
              >
              >
              > . . . ronn! :)
              >
              >
              >
              > _______________________________________________
              > http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
              >
            • Alberto Monteiro
              ... You have a wrong idea about Brazil. Unfortunately, the paradise that movies like Blame it on Rio or Tourists depict is as far away from actual Brazil
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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                Ronn! Blankenship wrote:
                >
                >> Petrobras was :-)
                >
                > Did they make women's undergarments out of petroleum?
                >
                You have a wrong idea about Brazil. Unfortunately,
                the paradise that movies like "Blame it on Rio" or "Tourists"
                depict is as far away from actual Brazil as "Escape from NY"
                or "The Postman" [*] is from the actual USA.

                Alberto Monteiro

                [*] at least something is on-topic...



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              • David Hobby
                ... Is the difference between depiction and reality in the same direction? ... Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as a good place to visit...
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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                  Alberto Monteiro wrote:
                  > Ronn! Blankenship wrote:
                  >>> Petrobras was :-)
                  >> Did they make women's undergarments out of petroleum?
                  >>
                  > You have a wrong idea about Brazil. Unfortunately,
                  > the paradise that movies like "Blame it on Rio" or "Tourists"
                  > depict is as far away from actual Brazil as "Escape from NY"
                  > or "The Postman" [*] is from the actual USA.

                  Is the difference between depiction and reality
                  in the same direction?

                  ---David

                  Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as
                  a good place to visit...

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                • Dan Minette
                  ... From: brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com] On Behalf Of Alberto Monteiro Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 3:02 PM To: Killer Bs
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                    Behalf Of Alberto Monteiro
                    Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 3:02 PM
                    To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
                    Subject: RE: Any comments on this piece?


                    Ronn! Blankenship wrote:
                    >
                    >> Petrobras was :-)
                    >
                    > Did they make women's undergarments out of petroleum?
                    >
                    >You have a wrong idea about Brazil.

                    Is the Copacabana still as bad as when I was down there, about a dozen years
                    ago? I presume the sewer line was fixed by now, but are there still ugly
                    sex workers every 100 yards and hotels that were five star in 1950, and not
                    updated since?

                    Dan M.


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                  • Alberto Monteiro
                    ... No, as far away is absolute value ... American Pie , Basic Instinct , Hair , Deep Throat , The Girl Next Door , Porky s , Flashdance , 9 1/2
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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                      David Hobby wrote:
                      >
                      >> You have a wrong idea about Brazil. Unfortunately,
                      >> the paradise that movies like "Blame it on Rio" or "Tourists"
                      >> depict is as far away from actual Brazil as "Escape from NY"
                      >> or "The Postman" [*] is from the actual USA.
                      >
                      > Is the difference between depiction and reality
                      > in the same direction?
                      >
                      No, "as far away" is absolute value

                      >
                      > Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as
                      > a good place to visit...
                      >
                      "American Pie", "Basic Instinct", "Hair", "Deep Throat",
                      "The Girl Next Door", "Porky's", "Flashdance", "9 1/2 weeks",
                      "Showgirls", "Back to the Future", "American Beauty" ...
                      just to mention a few of them.

                      Alberto Monteiro


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                    • Alberto Monteiro
                      ... I don t think it changed too much. ... No, it wasn t - and the problem was not the sewer line. ... Maybe not, but there s a long time since I went throught
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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                        Dan Minette wrote:
                        >
                        >> You have a wrong idea about Brazil.
                        >
                        > Is the Copacabana still as bad as when I was down there, about a
                        > dozen years ago?
                        >
                        I don't think it changed too much.

                        > I presume the sewer line was fixed by now,
                        >
                        No, it wasn't - and the problem was not the sewer line.

                        > but are there still ugly sex workers every 100 yards
                        >
                        Maybe not, but there's a long time since I went throught
                        Avenida Atlantica at night. BTW, prostitution is _legal_
                        in Brazil, what's illegal is the exploitation of prostitution
                        (which does not make any sense, like 90% of law.br).

                        > and hotels that were five star in 1950, and not updated since?
                        >
                        Yes, they are called "Patrimônio cultural tombado", which means
                        that you can't touch them. But there are new hotels.

                        Alberto Monteiro


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                      • Bruce Bostwick
                        ... Hmm .. there was wordplay involved that may not have been obvious to non-native English speakers .. bras as abbreviation (plural) for brassiere vs.
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 17, 2010
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                          On Jun 17, 2010, at 3:01 PM, Alberto Monteiro wrote:

                          > Ronn! Blankenship wrote:
                          >>
                          >>> Petrobras was :-)
                          >>
                          >> Did they make women's undergarments out of petroleum?
                          >>
                          > You have a wrong idea about Brazil. Unfortunately,
                          > the paradise that movies like "Blame it on Rio" or "Tourists"
                          > depict is as far away from actual Brazil as "Escape from NY"
                          > or "The Postman" [*] is from the actual USA.
                          >
                          > Alberto Monteiro
                          >
                          > [*] at least something is on-topic...

                          Hmm .. there was wordplay involved that may not have been obvious to
                          non-native English speakers .. "bras" as abbreviation (plural) for
                          "brassiere" vs. abbreviation for "Brasil" .. ;)



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                        • David Hobby
                          ... Alberto-- I don t know if you re kidding or not. I see that as a pretty random list of movies, all of which are set in the USA. Showgirls was definitely
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 18, 2010
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                            Alberto Monteiro wrote:
                            > David Hobby wrote:
                            >>> You have a wrong idea about Brazil. Unfortunately,
                            >>> the paradise that movies like "Blame it on Rio" or "Tourists"
                            >>> depict is as far away from actual Brazil as "Escape from NY"
                            >>> or "The Postman" [*] is from the actual USA.
                            >> Is the difference between depiction and reality
                            >> in the same direction?
                            >>
                            > No, "as far away" is absolute value
                            >
                            >> Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as
                            >> a good place to visit...
                            >>
                            > "American Pie", "Basic Instinct", "Hair", "Deep Throat",
                            > "The Girl Next Door", "Porky's", "Flashdance", "9 1/2 weeks",
                            > "Showgirls", "Back to the Future", "American Beauty" ...
                            > just to mention a few of them.

                            Alberto--

                            I don't know if you're kidding or not. I see
                            that as a pretty random list of movies, all of
                            which are set in the USA.

                            "Showgirls" was definitely a bad movie. I didn't
                            really need to be reminded of it. : )

                            ---David

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                          • Alberto Monteiro
                            ... This is e-mail. I m always kidding. And I m always deadly serious about the importance of jokes! :-P ... And all of them portray the USA in a very positive
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 18, 2010
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                              David Hobby wrote:
                              >
                              >>> Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as
                              >>> a good place to visit...
                              >>
                              >> "American Pie", "Basic Instinct", "Hair", "Deep Throat",
                              >> "The Girl Next Door", "Porky's", "Flashdance", "9 1/2 weeks",
                              >> "Showgirls", "Back to the Future", "American Beauty" ...
                              >> just to mention a few of them.
                              >
                              > I don't know if you're kidding or not.
                              >
                              This is e-mail. I'm always kidding. And I'm always
                              deadly serious about the importance of jokes! :-P

                              > I see
                              > that as a pretty random list of movies, all of
                              > which are set in the USA.
                              >
                              And all of them portray the USA in a very positive way!

                              > "Showgirls" was definitely a bad movie. I didn't
                              > really need to be reminded of it. : )
                              >
                              I think "Showgirls" is a great movie, and the selling of DVDs
                              just proves that.

                              Alberto Monteiro


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                            • David Hobby
                              ... Alberto-- Help me, I m working on this. The message of Basic Instinct is Sure, the USA is full of crazy women who will kill you with an ice pick. But
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 18, 2010
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                                Alberto Monteiro wrote:
                                > David Hobby wrote:
                                >>
                                >>>> Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as
                                >>>> a good place to visit...
                                >>> "American Pie", "Basic Instinct",...
                                ...
                                > And all of them portray the USA in a very positive way!

                                Alberto--

                                Help me, I'm working on this. The message of "Basic Instinct"
                                is "Sure, the USA is full of crazy women who will kill you
                                with an ice pick. But at least they're hot and rich." Or?

                                > I think "Showgirls" is a great movie, and the selling of DVDs
                                > just proves that.
                                >
                                > Alberto Monteiro

                                No comment on that one.

                                ---David

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                              • Alberto Monteiro
                                ... No, the message is The USA is such a free place that a murder suspect can be brought to a police station without panties, cross her legs, and get away
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 18, 2010
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                                  David Hobby wrote:
                                  >
                                  >>>>> Trying to think of a movie that portrays the USA as
                                  >>>>> a good place to visit...
                                  >>>> "American Pie", "Basic Instinct",...
                                  >
                                  >> And all of them portray the USA in a very positive way!
                                  >
                                  > Help me, I'm working on this. The message of "Basic Instinct"
                                  > is "Sure, the USA is full of crazy women who will kill you
                                  > with an ice pick. But at least they're hot and rich." Or?
                                  >
                                  No, the message is "The USA is such a free place that a
                                  murder suspect can be brought to a police station without
                                  panties, cross her legs, and get away with that".

                                  (does that look too much Yakov Smirnoff to you?)

                                  Alberto Monteiro


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