Friday, June 11, 2010

BP Gulf Oil Spill, Update June 11

UPDATE: June 11, 2:30 a.m.

BP said Thursday evening that the containment cap installed on the leaking deep sea well June 3 continues to collect oil and gas and transport them to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship on the surface.

According to BP, in the first 12 hours of June 9, approximately 7,920 barrels of oil were collected. On June 8, a total of approximately 15,000 barrels of oil were collected.

According to the Wall Street Journal, on Thursday the director of the U.S. Geological Survey said the oil well was likely spewing out between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels a day before BP partially contained the flow -- double the previous estimate.

Oil is now being transferred from the Discoverer Enterprise to the barge Massachusetts, which will transport the oil for discharge at an onshore terminal.

BP is working on making improvements to the containment cap as well. According to Oil and Gas Journal, BP expects to install another collection system that will supplement the cap system on the well.  The oil it collects will be burned off.

Almost 3,600 vessels are now involved topside, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. More than 24,000 people are working on the disaster.

UPDATE: June 7, 2:19 a.m.

BP said this morning that the containment cap, installed on June 3, continues to collect oil and gas flowing from the well and transport them to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship on the surface.  Improvement in oil collection is expected over the next several days, but they are still not sure how successful the containment effort has been. 

Oil continues to billow out of the cap; the vents are slowly being closed, but if they're closed too fast the whole thing might blow.

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UPDATE: June 4, 3 p.m.
BP announced today that oil and gas are being funneled to the Discoverer Enterprise following the successful placement of a containment cap on top of the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out preventer (BOP). This follows the cutting and removal of the riser pipe from the top of the BOP's lower marine riser package (LMRP).

BP says it is expected to take one or more days for flow rates of oil and gas to stabilize and it is not possible at this stage to estimate how much oil and gas will be captured by this containment system.

UPDATE: June 4, 4 a.m.

The Enterprise has picked up the cap and has placed it on the cut pipe, which is still billowing oil. 

(As you can see from the second photo to the left, it's impossible to see anything on top of the pipe with all that oil gushing out.)

According to BP, the oil won't stop gushing until it is flowing up to the ship. Only then will it be possible to see how tight the seal is, given the jagged nature of the cut made by the super shears.

Live feed here.  

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UPDATE: June 3, 12:20 p.m.
The New York Times reports that attempts to cut the pipe with the diamond wire saw were abandoned but the pipe was cut with the "super shears," shown to the left. (We grabbed the image from the Gulf Live Feed.) Adm. Thad W. Allen said, however, that the shear produced a more jagged cut that will result in a less snug fit for the containment cap. 

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UPDATE: June 2, 10 p.m.
The diamond wire saw cutting the pipe close to the LMRP (lower marine riser package) got stuck in the pipe today but was freed after about 12 hours. No word yet on if the final damaged piece of riser was removed or if a smooth cut was achieved -- or even if cutting has resumed. 

The live feed shows robot "hands" doing lots of work with tubes and metal pieces (left) but does not show the diamond saw (see yesterday's post below). We grabbed a photo of the robot hands picking up a piece of tube, probably attached to the cap.

The next action, once the damaged riser is removed, is to seal the LMRP Cap on top of the riser stub, as seen in the diagram to the left.

Lines carrying methanol also are connected to the cap (those little black lines at the very top of the diagram) to help stop hydrate formation, according to BP.

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UPDATE: June 1, 9 p.m.: 
The super shears shown above were used to cut off the extended riser, as can be seen in this diagram supplied by BP via a Kent Wells Technical Update.  The shears are shown cutting the riser to the left. The riser is supported so it won't go swinging around. The super shears actually weight about 46,000 lbs.

Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are now engaged in operations to cut through and separate the damaged riser (the "kinked hose") at the top of the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out preventer (the yellow structure to the right of the diagram), according to BP. The kink is actually holding back much of the oil. Once it's cut free, the oil can be expected to gush out faster until it's capped.

The photo to the left, which we grabbed from the live feed, shows the damaged riser (with oil pouring out of the top), being held by a ROV, which is using diamond wire to cut through the riser. Once a smooth cut is made, attempts will be made to cap the LMRP, probably towards the end of this week.

This final photo shows the diamond wire saw (circled) cutting through the riser.

All of the action -- the cutting, the attempts at capping -- can be seen on the live feed here.

BP says that over 1,600 vessels are now involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.

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UPDATE: May 31

This claw-shaped device -- "super shears" -- was seen this morning in the Live Feed hovering over the leaking oil spill in the Gulf.

Last week's attempted "top kill" of the gushing well didn't work. BP now says it plans to saw off the top of the leaking pipe, according to the Washington Post. BP will then lower a containment cap onto the riser in an attempt to capture the leaking oil.

White House officials claim that after the pipe is cut, about 20 percent more oil would probably escape before the new cap is in place. BP officials disagree with that.

See the action at the Gulf Live Feed here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


~~Just Me in T~~ said...

I have been concerned about what will happen to all of this oil once the 2010 hurricane season arrives in the Gulf of Mexico. Of course the seas will get whipped up into a frenzy, and should one of the hurricanes pass over where the oil is collecting I felt that surely some of it would be sucked up into the developing storm.

My first place to visit for information on this was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web site, which told me categorically there would be no oil in rain related to a hurricane. I was dissatisfied (dare I say distrustful?) of that seemingly blasé comment, so went searching further for information.

mcbrooklyn said...

Hi Just Me in T -- That's a very interesting post. Folks, make sure you read Just Me's thinking about how a hurricane might pick up oil as it passes over the Gulf, then spread that oil in a combustible, atomized form over land.

Anonymous said...

Dee in PA-I agree with Just me in T that an ecological catastrophe for the entire earth is around the corner if something doesn"t work soon. I believe the methanol will make the ocean water temp rise and the gas will and is already evaporating into the atmosphere. OSHA should make the cleanup personnel wear Oxygen tanks and masks to try to protect the people. I try to be optimistic but this is really scaring me. Use the safer dispersants and rent or buy supertankers like the past Pres. of Shell Oil suggested. If all else fails, destroy this metal structure and bury it with boulders from quarries and with compacted car wreck cubes,. We need to place our value on human lives and personal safety and insist on tighter regulations and their enforcement including in the coal mines-another disgraceful case of government and mine officials negligence-close those mines until the safety violations are taken care of and publish these reports so that the workers can be informed and the gen. public. It's going to be another worrisome night and I hope tomorrow will show some hopeful results.

this too will pass said...

Amidst the BP bashing let's not forget the US owned Union Carbide ( now Dow)disaster at Bhopal,India which caused a minimum of 2,259 deaths and where the site is still awaiting a proper clean-up...since 1984.