Friday, May 28, 2010

And then it just blows up..

Holy fucking hell.

So much for that. I just watched it live. The whole damn thing just blew. Enormous explosion (and then several more flashes), swirling and raining huge debris, now floating in near black.

It looked terribly just before it blew, clearly under enormous pressure and the ruptures in the top getting visibly worse. It was like watching a brain splitting and hemorrhaging, then the camera rocks and spins with the force of the explosion toward the light near the surface, and then it's a swirling shitstorm for about one or two very long minutes, like being in the middle of an underwater hurricane or typhoon. Large schools of what appears to be rock coming out of nowhere at tremendous speed, swirling oil and mud and bubbles of no doubt that criminally toxic Corexit they banned in the UK for surface use (and now poisons the entire water column and food chain in the Gulf, as BP continues in its corporate quest to disappear the full extent of damages).

Now it's just a deathly swirl of black, floating bubbles and black. No more light is coming from the surface ROVs.

A complete nightmare. Way to go, BP! At least your PR campaign is still working, making liars of the President and General all day yesterday, and the MSM has yet to report anything but your latest "success."

Who knows how long the video will be around. Nobody seems to be reporting on it yet. I've watched it several times now, and gotten lots and lots of screen grabs...


Anonymous said...

The swirls are drilling mud and junk from the junk shot.
There is no light from the surface at one mile deep. All the lights come from ROVs.
The Corexit is injected at the broken end of the riser pipe. What you are looking at here is the kink in the riser as it exits the top of the BOP.
Hopefully this will be their cue to go ahead and cut the riser, off, land a new bop and riser on top, and drop some tools in so they can work on it properly.

Matt Christie said...

I don't know about all that, anonymous.

Sounds like complete spin to me. This is all according to the plan, you infer? BS. The fucking thing just exploded under pressure. Maybe it was the junk shot that helped do it, but it sure doesn't look good...

I'm putting up a full sequence of screen grabs momentarily.

Anonymous said...

I doubt they planned to burst the riser, although plenty of engineers no doubt predicted it.

You can look the rest of this up--the Corexit injection nozzle is at the end of the broken riser. That's where it was when they first set it up. They had one clipped to the drinking straw while that was going on, then the clipped the old one in there when the withdrew the drinking straw.

The yellowish stuff that first came out when the riser burst is drilling mud. They are also doing the junk shot, so globs of detritus were no doubt the shredded tires and so on. After that, probably hydrocarbons.

You can also look up the fact that surface light does not penetrate one mile deep into the ocean.

Many engineers have been recommending they land a new BOP and riser on top of the old one, because it would allow them to produce the well into a ship (rather than the gulf) through the annulus while they fished out the busted drill pipe and set up for a proper kill. That's engineering, not spin.

Matt Christie said...

No, I'm sure you're right about much of that, my apologies for tone (see new post as well).

No doubt they should have been guiding the oil to mass collection at the surface, somehow, for over a month now, instead of dispersing the damage. Just how remains an engineering mystery, certainly to me, but also seems obvious not to have been on the table to begin with (again, for obvious reasons, from a corporate standpoint).

Anonymous said...

Well there are all kinds of common sense things they might have done. One big problem with capturing oil is clathrate formation. Perhaps the big dome would have worked if they had had the warm water circulating and the riser filled with Nitrogen, ready to go, when they dropped it over the leak. The drinking straw also probably got clogged up with clathrates over time as well. The water temp would have to be 63 degrees or higher not to have that happen.
Lots of guys in the patch, though, are amazed they haven't taken the old riser loose. There's a thing called an LMRP that can latch on to the BOP or a wellhead) hydraulically through remote-control, that you can attach a drill riser or whatever to. The problem would be I guess having clathrates form inside the connector as they lowered it.

Matt Christie said...

I must say, anonymous, I'm still not really sure I get your point.

The riser ruptures and the junk shot creates an underwater shitstorm, and now the "live" feed is looping back to happier days before 8:30 ET, but none of this is really relevant?

You've obviously got experience with the industry. Any theories as to why they didn't even try the approach you recommend?

Is this just a science experiment to you as well? Any further thoughts welcome...

Anonymous said...

Another Anonymous here.

Trust me. They're working that scenario as well. The original LMRP (Lower Marine Riser Package) is on top of the BOP.

The BOP-BOP stack is an option. They are following a decision matrix which chooses next steps based on best success rates and choices that do not destroy other options.

Just because the riser blew, doesn't mean there's no hope of containment. Containment could still occur within the BOP depending on which rams are open/closed and the status of the surrounding annulus.

bigmoose said...

Matt thanks for your blog, pix, movies and commentary. I caught the "event" about 4 minutes after it started and have been searching all day for an explanation. I showed a video to a gent on gCaptain and he thought perhaps the casing cement blew. I described what I saw (no pix captured) as like hercules throwing a monster handful of #57 limestone thru the water. Your pix showed it perfectly!

Some of the shapes that could be hardened cement, seem to have a brownish tone to them. Guess they could be caked "drilling fluids" that broke off when the junk shot shook everything...

Sure wish BP would be up front with what they are doing, when they are doing it!

Matt Christie said...

Thanks very much for that, bigmoose. I really appreciate you letting me know this helped somebody explain to others, and document, and ask more probing questions.

This whole disaster is just so unsurprising, on one level, and completely sickening. As soon as I saw this latest I just felt strongly it deserved to be made widely public, because I knew it would be buried.

(I did not anticipate taking the day off today, though. Please don't expect it to be regular!)