BP's Deepwater Oil Spill - Stack Off, but Another Incident - and Open Thread

This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6918.

Once again I am indebted to MoonofA, who is giving a more detailed hour by hour report, of some of the incidents that I miss. Fairly rapidly on Thursday afternoon, the team of ROVs and surface vessels moved forward with the removal of the existing infrastructure over the Deepwater Horizon well, with the intent of replacing it all with a functioning blowout preventer from the 2nd relief well (which now looks to be no longer necessary at all). One of the first steps was to move the methanol feed (used to dissolve and remove hydrates from the internal structures of the stack) down from the rams of the top stack to feed into the original BOP. This was used to ensure that the different parts of the stack, such as the rams, were able to function, when needed. And now, I presume, the hope is that it will similarly ensure that the BOP rams can function if needed.

Removing the line from the stack

Replacing line on the BOP

Once the feed line had been moved, then the Enterprise came in and lowered the latching device that has been floating just above the stack for the past few days. It did not take long (and by doing so did not convey the difficulty) to drop the cap over the top end of the stack, and not long thereafter the stack was released and lifted away from the underlying transition and the original BOP.

Approaching the stack

The more interesting part of the exercise will come when they start to lift the original BOP and the transition spool. There are a number of different scenarios that have been proposed, depending on what happens, and why, as the first lift begins. If they can lift the BOP with the underlying drill pipe (DP) still attached, then they appear ready to grab hold of the DP after the BOP has risen a short distance, and cut it off. This will make it easier to get the BOP to the surface, and means that a more conventional fishing tool can be used to capture, and bring up the remaining length of the DP. Toolpush, for example, mentions some of the options available.

Sliding into place

The capping stack was released at about 4:30 pm Central, whereupon Admiral Allen issued the following statement:

"Under the direction of the federal science team and U.S. government engineers, BP has completed the capping stack removal procedure – an important step in the process to remove and preserve the damaged BOP. This procedure was undertaken in accordance with specific conditions I set forth in a directive authorizing the capping stack removal and BOP replacement last week. BP will continue to follow these required conditions for the BOP removal procedure, which is expected to commence this evening. I will continue to provide updates as necessary."

One of the problems with the feeds from the Q4000 is that they are not time-stamped, so that it is hard to know if the latest glance at the feed below the moon pool, which shows that the pipe hasn’t moved since I last looked, is current or not.

Another Incident: Mariner Energy Platform Fire

The other significant news today was of the fire on the Mariner Energy platform in the Vermillion block of the Gulf of Mexico. The fire now appears out and there was apparently no leakage from the wells that were connected to the platform. The platform is in 340 ft of water, and was fed by 7 wells collectively supplying 1,400 bd of oil and 9.2 mcf of natural gas, that is now shut in.

I note that they were apparently water-blasting the rig and repainting it. One of the things to be careful of in those cases is the static electric charge that can build up in water vapor around the operation. From the Coast Guard report:

However, at this time, that is just conjecture, and we will have to see what the investigation reveals.

Wellhead a wee bit wonky http://www.cwsx.org/wellhead_8am.jpg

Observation from the #theoildrum IRC

First a small correction to HO's post above. The anti-hydrate "Meth-Injection" flushing port at the lower panel of the BOP is not to clean the BOP rams but to clean the Hydraulic Collet Connector that holds the BOP onto the well head. (The panel is confusing as it also includes ram feed ports and switches.)

Yesterday at 14:10 CDT the "DeSTACKulator" (chat-speak) Discoverer Enterprise connected her riser with the capping stack. After some slight trouble the riser was hydraulically latched on at 16:00.

At 16:25 the capping stack was disconnected from the BOP and the transition spool and was lifted away. The Discoverer Enterprise then moved out of the way. Its ROVs gave the inside of the capping stack's connector a thorough cleaning to have it ready for reuse. It is now standing by.

The "DeBOPulator" Q-4000 was slow to get to the well site. Additionally there was some trouble with a leaking hydraulic line while testing its connector. This morning at 5:25 the connector at the end of its drillpipe finally went onto the transition spool. At 5:50 the hydraulic latch-on was completed.

The Q-4000 then performed a connection test by pulling up on the drillpipe while the BOP was still attached to the well head. The hookload indicator, which showed 300 klbs when only the drillpipe was hangig from it, went up to 617 klbs.

The drill pipe and all connections held and the the well head was not ripped out of the seafloor.

BTW: The nominal max hookload for the Q-4000 multipurpose lifting tower is 600 metric tons = 661 short tons = 1,322 kilo pounds. The lifting equipment on the Q-4000 was made by Huisman-Itrec in the Netherlands. I'd trust it with even some 50+% overload. (If you like carnival rides you might already have put some trust into the products of Huisman's daughter company Vekoma.)

Currently the Developer Driller II with the new BOP moved off its station above the second relief well and is slowly moving north-east towards the well site.

Earlier yesterday a red painted stand for the old BOP was lifted onto the deck of the Q-4000.

It will be used when the BOP has been lifted up to the Q-4000. To show how that lift works here is an impression on how the Q-4000 is tripping drillpipe in a time-lapse.

Also yesterday this unknown device was lowered to the seafloor.

The Capping Stack's hippie moment: The color vulcano

So maybe the reason for the current wait is that they want DDII in position before doing the lift? Tell the truth, I'm getting weary of the hurry up and wait deal. :-)

Pinkfud - Subsea work is always sloooooooooooow ...

Unintentionally left out of my post above:

A crowd of skimmer ship are on stand by some ten miles north of the Macondo site.

Average wave height at the BP Thunderhorse platform some 25 miles south of Macondo is now down to 2.3 feet. Visuals from above the surface show a blue sky and a calm sea.

Funny detail - the Automatic Identification System (AIS) visible on Marinetraffic.com showed the Q-4000 connected to the bop 200 feet north to where the Discoverer Enterprise connected to the capping stack.

Enterprise: Track without ship symbols; Q-4000: Track with ship symbols; Well head position each on the lower left of the tracks.

Does this finally prove the "there are two wells" conspiracy theory?

Does this finally prove the "there are two wells" conspiracy theory?

only if someone can show photo evidence of the capping stack coming off a different BOP than the one they're about to yank on.

And i thought BKLim had bumped it up to THREE Wells?

not that they couldn't have identical BOPs.

I do remember at one time they were grinding off some big labeling for some unknown reason.

Probably to make it untraceable so they can sell it to a chop shop.

Or this is all for show and the *real* BOP is now at the bottom of Lake Simmons.

/sarcasm off

Tounge in cheek mode = on:

Maybe they took off the label because the owner of the company did not want to pay advertising royalties.

Maybe Oceaneering missed out on some possible revenues by not allowing their ROVs to get covered with sponsor logos like race cars.

Theory: There were points at the beginning of this where they were showing us the correct leak. One night in June things got ugly down there, really ugly! It would have caused a panic. They looped footage for several days while they set up Well A to be show to the public. Q4000 moved and attached to that BOP. Instead of pumping oil from the BOP, could Q4000 have been used to pump something through the bop to create the illusion of the well leaking??? So Bp could literally stop the leak when ever they wanted too and show the world that it was sealed???

It been a theory of mine for a while and the fact that when they just removed the BOP there was no sign of any drill pipe???? WTF?

was this the Simmons' well? or a third one?

This is not a theory. Remember that theories have to be supported by some kind of evidence.

Remember that if the stuff you come up with cannot stand up to examination by a sceptical audience - then that theory is not worth much.

No. Why would they even think of continuing to drill on a well that they themselves claims was fracture. They cemented and sealed that well, and left the BOP. Then will drilling well B the blow out!

Got a tip for you, hope it helps: http://www.rong-chang.com/

I have a tip for you.... It at the end of a shaft!

Damn~where have you been all this time???? I'm sure BP, RIG, USCG etc would have loved for you to tell them where the DP is, instead of wasting time worrying about it!

Maybe you should send your resume to them for future reference Brian.....

Speaking of which, just ran across this story and had to laugh a lil anyway:


In hindsight, if BP had removed the 5,000-foot-long tangle of riser pipe from its damaged Gulf well in the early days of the spill, a new blowout preventer or cap could have been installed, shutting down the well perhaps within weeks instead of months, according to both the federal incident commander and petroleum engineers.

I think he means penis, snakehead.

Does this finally prove the "there are two wells" conspiracy theory?

Just to put everyone out of their misery. A 200 foot discrepancy? However when we find that the Discover Enterprise is over 800 feet long, and the Q-4000 is 300 x 200 feet, we might not be surprised that there is more than enough scope in simply deciding where to locate the beacon on board for a significantly greater discrepancy.

Somehow I doubt that the ship builders decided that locating the AIS system directly over the moon pool was a critical design criteria.

Oh Francis - damn you - you blew my joke - there goes the hope to get mentioned as CT witness on GLP.



Don't worry. The truth never bothered the CT nuts. Cherry picking the facts is much more fun. I won't be surprised to see GLP, BK, Alex, or one of the other idiots/blog whores run with this inspiration anyway.

LOL Moon~I could put in a good word for you since they love me so much:) And BK Lim did ramp it up to 3 wells last I checked, but back on topic I want to thank you for all the effort you have put into your post, the pictures and explanations make it so much easier for someone with zero background to try and understand and I am extremely grateful to you and ROCKMAN for your patience and persistance. I offered RM BBIC but he's still got his chip so all I can offer again is my gratitude.

Oh, they are pulling again, 700 klbs now

Just passed one million

They need to tap that collet with a hammer.

Where 'should' the old BOP separate? At the flex connector?
1022Klbs and holding. Watching the upper deck, you can see the
'stretch' of the DP as the pull increases.


Uh , no, Mick. While the drill pipe does stretch a tiny amount, what you are seeing is the vessel going deeper in the water as it has to displace more weight.

Got it, thanks!

If at first you don't succede, use a bigger hammer

Almost got to 1100k, nothing.

I'm serious about the hammer, if the collet is what is stuck, take a jack hammer to the side of it. The vibration shock might free it.

Thanks for commenting on the stretch, that's one big liniar spring.

I think it's binding because the upper portion of the well is bent in the mud. Do they need to move off center so the lifting force is aligned with the tilt in the BOP?

1029 klbs - GO BABY, GO!!

No cigar. They let the pull off again. Did you see the DP stretch? It has 3 rings painted on it and those were above waterline at max pull. Now they're submerged again. Since the BOP didn't move, that has to be tensile stretch.

Pink and Mainerd, which feeds are youse watching? Thanks.

I hope every section has good threads and the right torque. Not like the fishing tool last week.

Q4000 hook load meter
Q4000 Moon Pool upper
Q4000 Moon Pool lower
Q4000 ROV 2 at top of BOP
Q4000 ROV 1 at bottom or BOP
Hos Achiever Maxx 2 below the BOP

Yeah, I'm watching the same as esarlls3 is, Lotus.

Thanks, guys.

Sorry lotus I didn't see your question sooner. I was watching all feeds
Warning though, I hear the page is crashing browsers but I'm not having that problem.
If you'll right-click on the text below those feeds and open in a new tab and then right-click on the vid you can Zoom in.
Way past my nappy time.

http://bp.schmorp.de/, then click-drag-drop the thumbnail you want to watch into an external player (Media Player Classic for me, VLC is more widely used, I think - both allow more than one window to run at a time). Much less resource intensive than watching in a browser window via a plugin.

Oh, no success. Now they will probably mess around with those rams.

The Capping Stack's hippie moment: The color vulcano

I dunno, Moon. That higher density pink fluid ... reminds me a bit of that river-of-slime scene from "Ghostbusters II" ....

1084klbs but still no go.
Though betcha could've played a tune on that drill string.

The BOP seems taller too.

I wonder if all this was another test, going beyond the 600klbs pull? That would make sense, that they would try this to make sure that everything could withstand a more sustained effort. I noticed a lot of "Stuff" or disturbance coming up around the bottom of the BOP during the pull. It seemed to be coming from the connector and from the mud.

I thought this as well, but I don't know what part of the game I tuned into. They could have easily done the test an hour before I was watching.

The lift went from about 10:20 EDT to not quite 10:30.

I wondered about that too. They went well over the estimated weight of the BOP plus DP this time. Is there an unlatching mechanism down below the BOP? The next pull should do it.

Watching the above deck feed: http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:22506.asx?bkup=23753 you can clearly see the DP stretch what appears to be 10' or more. Quite a show......

I am still trying to work out the weight of the lift. When the Q4 drill string was hanging around the hook weight was 287 k pounds. If there is 5000 ft of say big 6 5/8 drill pipe at 27 pounds a foot, that is 135,000 pounds meaning the connector weighs 152,000 pounds on its own. Am I missing something here!!!

Yesterday, when the DP was disconnected from the hoist, the gauge still showed 65Klbs or so. That is probably the weight of the hook asm.

Don't forget to figure in the weight of the traveling block and wire rope below the crown block as well. I dunno.

I don't know what the Q4000 is using, but the DWH was reported to use 32 lb/ft 6 5/8 pipe, Grade S-135.

I don't know what the Q4000 is using, but the DWH was reported to use 32 lb/ft 6 5/8 pipe, Grade S-135.

The energy.gov well diagram shows 2500' of 5-1/2" 21.9 ppf S-135 followed by 800' of 3-1/2" (ppf and grade not given) as being below the mudline at the time of the blowout. It also notes that there was a total of 3450' of the 5-1/2", so the 6-5/8" would have been above that I guess.

My note was in reference to the Q4000 indicated weight before latching on. I was just pointing out that the drill pipe may be heavier than 27 lb/ft.

Include the weight of the DP inside the well which may or may not be attached to the BOP at the RAMS. Additionally, there may be hydrates or cement holding that DP inside the casing. If the DP in the well is intact (even if not entirely) then it is definitely longer than the DP coming down from the Q4000 to the BOP and may weigh more.

The max length of the drill pipe in the well has been given at around 3,500'.

The pipe from the Q4000 to the top of the BOP is around 5,000'.

I don't think that was a test. The Admiral said it weighed 1M lbs and they had an 80K overpull. If that's anywhere close to accurate, they just reached the limit and didn't get it loose. I also saw the disturbance, Geoffrey. I think that's just jarred-loose crud and was the source of the "scum" I reported last thread in the moon pool - which seems pretty clean now.

They haven't unlatched the BOP yet - would have been a shock if it had lifted!

The 2 Q4000 ROVs did that hours ago. At least they pressured up the 2 (primary & secondary) unlatch stabs on the wellhead connector control panel. Is there a tertiary unlatch?

The Q4000 rovs haven't as far as I know. They were at the latch/unlatch panel for the debopulator a few hours ago. Also Hos1 hasn't sent any hydraulic power yet to unlatch and we haven't seen clouds of venting hydraulic fluid as mechanism moves.

You might be right, I'm the learner here. What is the mini-forest of small tubing that comes out the top of the connector just above the stop-sign shaped decal? Looks to me like one of those tubes is broken and sticking out to the side. 4K-1 is looking it over closely right now. If those are hydraulic lines to the collet, maybe that's the problem?

Edit: Oh, man. They are hydraulic lines. Doood, if that has to be fixed underwater, we really are going to see how good the ROV pilots are. Looks darn near impossible to me.

Time to clamp on the vibratory pile hammer and give her a right good pull!! Hope like hell it doesn't fly up too far when she comes loose.Heh! Heh!

They should have a Sommelier for the team. Expert in uncorking high pressure and he would know to wrap a white linen napkin around the neck to avoid a nasty mess during the pull. When they are successful, the Sommelier can help everyone relax.

I know, huh! I wonder what would be appropriate for this? MD 2o/20? Thunderbird?

Thanks for info up thread guys. My calculator (a power engineers calculator) is now telling me we need a tad over 12,000 lbs (it might be amps, not sure) on the gauge, to lift the sucker.

Pipe below BOP - 3500ft x 32 lb/ft x 0.87(bouyancy correction) = 97klb
Pre-existing force on meter = 287klb
Overpull force = 80klb

For a total of 464klb on the meter - without the BOP.

Mass of BOP 1Mlb (but very fuzzy) *0.87 - 870klb force.

So - maybe - about 1300klb total force.

But that 1Mlb estimate is likely to have huge amounts of wiggle room.

BOP Connection to Wellhead.
That connection doesn't look quite right (following the BIG pull).

Crap keeps falling. The laundry baskets will fill up with ROV undies again.
Don't know what that is Hos2 has but it's broken. Poor feller :-(

That looks VERY different from the live feed: http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:35461.asx?bkup=36301

I think the connection you refer to in that picture is NOT the well head connection but the connection on top of the BOP from the lift pipe lowered from the Q4000.

(a) held by suction
(b) release stab failed
(c) corrosion
(d) DP cemented in

I may have somehow missed it but I haven't seen them unlatch yet.

DD2 Feeds just came up and Boa2 mission changed to "BOP Recovery". Sounds like we could be getting ready to go now.

avon - Or as we say: there is the plan and there's what really happens. Perhaps our BOP experts can chime in: are there some sort of guides used to align the BOP when it's slipped into a latching mode? Given the stress the BOP has been subjected to it's easy to imagine some degree of torque pinching such slits and acting almost as if it were welded. I've seen other situations (not subsea BOP's though) where the guides had to be cut open to get a release.


Then again, they may have just been leaving no stone unturned. Full pull test to ensure threaded joints will hold. Don't want another embarrassing moment like the fishing expedition!

That was my guess too. They don't seem to be scurrying around at all on the seafloor. I would assume more activity if it failed to unlatch.


Probably awaiting further orders? Seems like BP has washed their hands of the decision making and left it up to the Govmnt?

Should have got Mamut in with strong ropes.


Either them, or, a remotely operated D-10 with LGP tracks to give it a little nudge!

Not having ever seen an unlatching of a BOP before, what will it look like; what should we expect to see? I assume that we'll see the movement on Hos ROV 2.

Avon. Your infectious optimism is so refreshing at times like these.

acorn -- True...Avon can be a real downer at times. But I would imagine those considerations (and a few more) have been chatted about for many hours by the boys floating out there on location. I don't know much about unlatching BOP's. But I've seen many oil field situations where no force on earth was going to get whatever was stuck unstuck. I've seen more than one picture of a derrek that collpased because someone thought they could pull just a little harder and get the job done. They were wrong. To be honest I've expected problems with removing the BOP from the start. I do know there is very little tolerance in the design. Not an engineer but I did have a sense of the tangential forces the BOP may have been subjected to during the blow out. And that has made me somewhat pessimistic from the start. Never had to go on about it since Avon is always at the ready to burst any little bubble of hope that arises. I could just sit back and let the avmeister take the heat.

Sorry, gents. Seems to me the only real threat is pipe cemented in. I hope that's not the case and they succeed in lifting the BOP.

(e) The Alien Mothers acid saliva is dissolving everything and she is very angry that her eggs are being disturbed.

"Why don't you put her in charge?" in my best Hudson whiney voice.

"(a) held by suction"

everybody has heard that Nature Abhors a Vacuum and think quite naturally that it is a powerful force. But in fact it is a zero force; nada, zip, nothing. But it can play a large role in the force necessary to move a piston in that the force on the other side is 100% un-opposed.

if a 27" diameter item has a vacuum on one side and a 2,200 psi force on the other side, it requires a 1,258,983 # force to move it.

it is questionable if the bottom side of the BOP has a vacuum. opening one of the lines will allow the seawater to enter and remove all of an unbalance if it were to exist.

... and possibly placate the Alien Mother.


Meanwhile, away from the BOP show, according to Mississippi Business Journal

NOAA reopens federal waters to fishing
by Wally Northway
Published: September 3,2010

GULF OF MEXICO — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reopened federal waters adjacent to Mississippi waters to commercial and recreational fishing previously closed in response to the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill...

According to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), NOAA collected shrimp and finfish samples from this area, including commercially and recreationally important species, such as red snapper. Sensory testing showed no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors in the samples, and the results of chemical analysis were well below levels of concern.

and from ESPN

Bonus red snapper season

The Outdoor Wire

Anglers got some good news on Thursday as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) agreed to reopen the recreational harvest season for red snapper in Gulf of Mexico state waters for eight straight three-day weekends this fall.

This action coincides with a proposed open season for red snapper that is expected to be implemented in Gulf federal waters off of Florida on the same dates.

Here's hoping the cement job holds.

I find it strange that I posted about the upside down waste basket type tether management system for ROV's the past couple of days and they have been going out of their way the past few days to show them.
Like ROVMAN said, they are aware of the TOD. I also mentioned about the operators "punking" us from time to time and yesterday someone mentioned they saw one burning circles again.

If you guys are reading this, here's a cold one for y'all! Tons of respect for you and what you do.

If you guys are reading this, here's a cold one for y'all! Tons of respect for you and what you do.


Another ditto


Me too.

For goodness sake stopping kissing up to those ego maniacs. They already think the rate up there with space shuttle pilots. It's always easy to spot ROV hogs on a rig: they're the ones with clean clothes.

Actually I like to hang with the ROVers when on the rig. They tend to be some of the more educated and well rounded guys out there. At least they're able to chat about more than just sports. All in all an impressive group. But that doesn't mean I won't tease them with the slightest provocation.


I'm back... missed the whole show I suppose!

Rocky, you sound a little jealous (clean shoes)... and don't forget they get paid to lay around in a recliner all day :-)

Everybody gets bored sometimes.

Got my reply from UoMiami about cstars:

Dear Hex, thank you for your email. The monitoring of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at CSTARS was a government funded project that ended on August 18. Please, let me know if you have other questions, or if I may be of further help.

Best regards,


Marie Guma-Diaz

Media Relations Officer/Science Writer

University Communications

University of Miami

PH: 305-284-1601

Fax: 305-284-2035

Cell: 786-229-1034


Follow us on Twitter

From: Hex
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 10:33 AM
To: Guma, Marie Oiligriv
Subject: Radar Satellite images?

Dear Marie Guma-Diaz,

Thank you for taking the time today to talk with me about cstars and its role in presenting radar satellite images to the public on the Deep Water Horizon event.

I am putting together a freelance article for a local publication, Hex News and Review, and I was interested why cstars has stopped publishing images online since 18 Aug 2010.

I have found that NOAA/NESDIS is no longer using radar satellite images to track surface oil in the GOM, and I was wondering if their decision is effecting your research:


As I mentioned in our conversation, it would be helpful for my article if there was an official explanation placed on your site.

Thanks again,

About 2 hours ago ,

a sudden gas release at the wellhead ,

ROV goes looking ,

Any ideas on what it was ?

Was it one of those hoses bursting from high pressure ??

What do they do ?


Good catch. Gas eruption from wellhead at mudline IMO.

I thought I saw the HOS ROV2 on the bottom at the time trying to untangle lines and he hit his thrusters big time to pull them and stirred up alot of mud then went and sat down to let it clear up (and probably get fussed at for stirring up mud that bad). Then maybe not............

I really don't understand what's in play here (or with floating rigs) with the up & down and lateral buoyancy of the ship while simultaneously having a rigid connection to the well.

I assume the flex joint handles any lateral off-centering (perpendicularity?)

Not sure about up/down wave action. Seems like there would be continual jerking on the well structure.

I think you can see the wave action here on the center dial: http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:23866.asx?bkup=30077
The period seems to match.

was just about to edit my comment to ask just that - it's what i figured.

just can't visualize it all in higher seas...like you're disabled from being buoyant and thus the well takes all those constant up & down forces and that it can't possibly be a good thing. i dunno.

According to the Q4000's specs, it has the "Huismann Multi-purpose tower with active and passive heave compensation systems."

See http://www.huismanequipment.com/en/products/heave_compensation

Our equipment can be fitted with Constant Tension and a Passive and/or Active Heave Compensation System to compensate the relative motion between the vessel, its equipment and fixed objects such as platforms or the seabed.

From what I've read, heave compensation does have it limits though.

Ben -- here's some generic answers to your question:

Marine riser tensioner is a device used on an offshore oil drilling rig or ship which keeps a positive pulling force on the drilling riser, independent of the movement of the drill rig or drill pipe. A riser is a string of pipe between the sea bottom and ship or rig. If there were no tensioner and the ship or rig moves downward, the riser would buckle; if the ship or rig is raised, high forces would be transmitted to the riser. To counteract these forces, a number of riser tensioners (springs) are mounted between the ship (rig) and riser. Each riser tensioner consists of a hydraulic cylinder with sheaves at both sides. The cylinder is connected to a number of high-pressure gas bottles via a medium separator. A wire rope is rigged in the cylinder; one end is connected to the fixed part of the tensioner, the other end is connected to the riser.

A drill string compensator decreases the influence of the heave of a drilling vessel on the drill bit. Drill string compensators are also known under the more general name: heave compensator. Drill string compensators are used onboard drill ships and semi-submersible drill rigs. There are two major types of drill string compensators:

• Drill string compensator between the traveling block and hook .
• Top mounted heave compensator

Drill string compensators are just giant springs between the drill bit and rig. These consist of one or more hydraulic cylinders and air bottles. In between, a medium separator is sometimes used. If there is no spring element, movement of the drill rig would immediately place enormous forces on the drill bit and pull the drill bit off the bottom of the hole. A spring has a force/displacement curve. To get only small force variations on the drill bit, the hysteresis of the spring should be small and the curve should be horizontal, or the gas volume should be large. This is more difficult for a hook-mounted compensator than for a top-mounted one. Several patents are in use for a solution to provide this horizontal curve with a relatively small volume of gas. It will be clear that these (kinematic) constructions can in fact only be used in a top-mounted heave compensator.

To improve this load/heave curve, an active heave compensator could be used. Such a device however requires an enormous amount of power and cooling. A semi-active system is a better solution. In this case, the largest part of the load is taken by the passive heave compensator and an extra active device, working in parallel, takes care of the increase of the load/heave curve and hysteresis. The combination of PDSC (passive drill string compensation) and AHC (active heave compensation) are now in operation on the semi-submersible drill rigs Seadrill and West Sirius. The systems are installed on all of the new generation deep water drilling semi-submersible drill rigs.


Hi Rockman, first let me say thanks for sharing all your experiences, you've helped educate me in so many different things! And thanks to all the other leaders here too. But it keeps leading to more questions.

The heave compensator, is it a passive device or is it actively controlled in some way? I'm guessing that before a purely mechanical spring-like device would have been adequate, especially on land where the movements are not that big, are they? Why does a land rig move anyway, just vibrations and warping from the loads?

But with these floating rigs, I'de think that you would need more dynamic range and active control, with some kind of sensor feedback and control device that drives some sort of actuator. Are these things like that, with computer control and the like, or are they still passive mechanical devices? I wonder if the reliability of an electrical thing like that would be adequate. But I can imagine a tricky mechanical device coud acts like an analog computer and be more reliable?

newt - hell if I know. LOL. I'm just a geologist who occasionally pretends to be an engineer (with the help of Wikpedia) on TOD. I understand the basics but I'll have to leave the details to folks like the Toolpusher.

But I would expect all the heave activities are automatic. No human cold spend hours doing it manually. A land rig doesn't need such compensators. But the drill string does sometimes contain something like shock absorbers to deal with vibrations and load problems.

Hi Guys, I'm new to this thread, does the time show the time where poster is.

I'm in UK I asume it will have a time of 5:50 pm

If a new one is 12:50 pm that will be US time 5 hours dif?

Hi, faulkner. The blog is set to US Eastern time zone, so five hours behind you.

I'm more confused, is it because I've logged in, it knows where I am, so has changed all times to UK time?

Now I'm confused. Your timestamps are showing UK time?

Francis, do yours show Oz time?


When you first register you get to set your time zone, and you can reset it in your profile.

The system keeps all the postings in UTC (like any sane computer) and applies your personal offset when it displays the postings.

Well, I'll be. The tricks this site has that I done never run into befo' out here in the provinces!

(Don't recall setting my timezone when I registered, so figured everybody was seeing the same thing. Hm.)

I agree with that for the comment timestamps, but it looks to me like the topmost one has a different behavior.

On this page, I see "Posted by Heading Out on September 3, 2010 - 9:25am" at the top, but the first comment is "avonaltendorf on September 3, 2010 - 8:34am". (I'm in the US central time zone.)

Uh-huh, I've often wondered whether HO posts from Bermuda or somewhere else on Atlantic time . . .

HO is currently posting from Maine, but earlier in the week was in Missouri.

Ooo, since the lobstah's better in Maine, HO, good move. (Hope you enjoyed my old home state, though.)

Hey now, I've eaten GOM lobsters I caught with my own hands and they may be small and ugly compared to Maine lobsters, but they still tasted AWESOME!

Are you all watching BP's "Live feeds from Gulf of Mexico ROVs"

I don't seem to see as much as you guys!

http://bp.schmorp.de/? then click the feed you want to watch.

Yikes: 7.4 earthquake near New Zealand.

They're pulling too hard.

Momma say "UNHhhh!"

No kidding, the antipode of the well site is just due west of Australia.

CT folks, just coincidence!!

Hi there BB. Since you told me to keep an open mind and not let my brain fall out, I did the calculations for finding an antipode and I assume either my calculations were wrong or you were pulling everyone's leg about the Antipode?

They are going to turn the planet inside out ... well, then we can just scrape all the minerals off from what is then the outside.

Q4000 ROV1 is looking at the BOP latch housing. Among the forest of hydraulic tubes is one that has a connector closest to the latch housing. The extension is bent. That (I believe) is the locking indicator and it no longer points to the witness marks on the side of the latch housing left of the "stop" sign. I got a better look at it yesterday when the connector was down close to the housing. Now it looks like it's fully extended which means that the BOP is unlocked if not unlatched.

Hi Francis, so you can't tell where someone is posting from, even posters history doesn't say

Avon, I can't access schmorp.de (It's forbidden) but if it's 19 vids from ROVs then it's the same

I've been completely buried in other work for almost 2 weeks now so haven't had my normal (abnormal) TOD fix. Therefore I apologize if this has been asked/answered, but what exactly is holding the broken DP in the hole once the BOP is removed? Or are they trying to lift the BOP AND the broken drill pipe and all its weight?

Widelyed, I think they want to raise the BOP with the drill pipe still attached, once up a few feet(maybe many feet) they will cut the pipe and bring the damaged BOP to surface.

If drill pipe is stuck in well(cement from top kill, etc) they will open rams one at a time until BOP comes off (free)

Does it appear to be separating a little: http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:37235.asx

By the looks of that separation, it appears that the DP is being held by the cement and the shear rams. The BOP is moving just a little as compared to the well head.

I'm completely confused. No idea what they're doing. No clear view of wellhead.

Mariner fire update:

From two NYTimes articles; one on the rescue describes the men as wearing "protective wet suits and life jackets," which doesn't sound like the Gumby suits Rockman described.

From another article:

The fire broke out just after sunrise in the living quarters, as the crew was painting and cleaning the platform, [Patrick Cassidy, director of investor relations for Mariner Energy] said....He said that automatic shut-off equipment on the platform sealed off the oil and gas wells before the fire had occurred and that the crew had abandoned the platform. But he could not explain why the equipment had been activated.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana visited a hospital where the workers had been taken. In a statement, he said two of them told him that one of workers could not get a life jacket because it was too close the fire. “Some of the workers held one of the men up in the water, which is probably why one worker was thought to be injured when seen from far away,” Mr. Jindal said.

Swifty -- Not good quality CT fodder but a few interesting notes. The fire started in the crew quarters: very unusual unless it started in the kitchen. Maybe someone left the gumbo on too high. Second, the one hand couldn't get a life jacket because it was too close to the fire? Maybe but rigs typically have two muster areas (with a life jacket bin) on opposite sides of the platform/rig so at least one will be aware from the danger. And they hit the shut down controls before the fire started? Hmmm...someone have a vision? And the other article says they were wearing "wet suits". Wonder if they were wearing such outfits as they were washing down/sandblasting sections of the rig. The story of the easy rescue reminded of a not so easy rescue almost 30 years ago. Hands abandoned the rig in a capsule. Very rough seas/storm at the time. For some reason a hand opened the hatch and it started to flood. Hands went into the water. A fishing boat was on the scene first and trying to pull them out of the rough water with great difficulty. A deck hand saw one guys going under and couldn't reach him. So he took a fishing gaff and hook him in the shoulder and pulled him onboard. The deck hand said he almost puked when he did it but there was no choice. Never have forgotten that story

Not really much to chew on but what else is there to do while they try to part the DP by pulling too hard?

@ Rockman,

snip\ Maybe someone left the gumbo on too high

Don't laugh,

When I was on Transworld 65 in 79 a putz on successive days, dropped a glass of water into a fryolater,

!BANG! flaming oil all over the place,

2 min of firefighting 2 hours of clean up

then he didn't empty the greasetrap on the stove and we had another putz try to use a CO2 extinguisher on the resulting grease fire...

SQUIRT--- flaming oil all over the place 15 min of putting out smouldering stuff 2 more hours of clean up.

the only two times I've ever had to use my Boy Scouting skills in a work environment.

It took all the zen in the world not to skin that sap.


So true worm. A quarters fire and my first thought was the galley

They are applying more force again, the DP has about 3' of stretch right now looking at the above deck feed. http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:22506.asx?bkup=23753

Wow! They did it!

Wow, Alan, that was a quick edit. I thought about snarking at your original "unlatching Q4000" comment. Now I'm sorry I didn't to immortalize it.

Classic timing on the original comment; just minutes before the old BOP came off.

Quick on the edit too!

So what's your explanation for why the well isn't flowing now that the BOP is off?

None. I was wrong. Really splendid outcome. 'Scuse me, gotta write.

It's not over yet, there's only one barrier in place of unknown quality, which was put in place by decidedly unconventional means. And, there's got to be an assload of drillpipe down there somewhere (unless most of it was shot to the surface while the rig was still attached).

I think the technical term is "They Pulled it off".:-) Wow ... amazing.

Where is all there drill pipe??? I saw none hanging from the bop of inside of the well head.

It's off - Q4000 ROV1

that may not be stretch, but the q4000 settling a little lower in the water due to the added weight it is lifting up.

It's not stretch anymore! Success!

Got it. Wut...no drillpipe..?

It's OFF Folks!

It sure is. I don't think the DP came with it. Wonder where it went?

most of it went with the original BOP - 9 miles away, right?

and no sign of any drill pipe - 850,000 or so on the weight indicator on Q4000.

Looks like they're lifting it straight up. I would have wanted to move the rig off the well first, just in case something breaks. But that's why they don't ask me for advice - heh!

What a sight . . .900K and change was the magic number . . . and uppppp it came. What's everyone's thoughts on no DP hanging out? Hard to tell what is topped off inside the wellhead. Cement? Solid? Liquid? Drano remains?

My guess now is that they will find a couple of sections of DP in the upper portion of the BOP. We KNOW it's there.

Not in the least bit surprised, would have been surprised if it had been there.


HAHAHAHAHA really. I think this supports other ideas. No drill pipe hanging from the BOP or in the well head. We all know its there??? Why because Bp said it was???

Obviously it was eaten by those fire worms that were nesting in the BOP, or by this monstrosity:

Huge Mutated Part Machine Part Insect In The Gulf Of Mexico!

I think they have been vanquished back to the volcano/s.

i'm telling ya - that's comedian Steven Wright pulling peeps legs.


I planted bermuda grass, and my lawn mower disappeared. (That's mine, not Mr. Wright.)

Well head; No DP!!

Pretty sight!

Boa SubSea II has a great closeup right now.....showing a small bit of seepage. http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:31219.asx

EDIT: Not really seepage, maybe just some residual oil laying in the grooves? It's no longer floating upwards.

One of the most beautiful pic's I have seen:) Think I should go celebrate tonight and toast to all the efforts of those who made this possible, the great posters here at TOD and the 11.


And there it is!!! Gonna drink now to the 11, everyone who worked on this son of a gun, and all you all here at TOD!!!

Yoo-hoo! ROV sailors! - picture of wellhead again, please.

EDIT: Whew. Mill36 has it. Clean as a whistle. Congratulations BP.


Picture worth 1000 words.

That light colored fill is a liquid that sloshed visibly in Sub-C 2's thruster wash. Not mud, not cement, certainly not oil. So what is it?

The worl's mos' bigges' bowl of porridge?

CLINK !!!! (metaphorically, too early for me...)

Heehee! (This be a timed-release clink on about a 2, 2.5-hr delay, okay?)

U got it! :)

By then maybe we'll have good cause for a double clink. I really want to see that thing come up out of the water and be "craned" to wherever it will get to sit down and rest.

Haven't kept up with the real-time action very well...will it come up through the moon pool?

Let's lift one to all the hands! Job well done.

Absofreakenlutely, bb.


Dah-DAAH da-da daah, da-da DAAH [Boom! Boom!], da-da-dat da-da DAAH daah da-DAAAAH-dah!


(Y'all see that? Our Swifty just became BoomBoom right before our very eyes!)

(With thanks--or maybe apologies--to John Philip Sousa.)

Ah, Sousa. Yes. (The Booms pointed me to Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, which didn't quite work.)

[passing the doobie] 'Ere, Aaron. 'Ow you like your tune now?

Oh hell yes, ELP and Doobage..? [pass]

Well, I heard one account that he was bemused by it and another that when Kieth Emerson sent it to him he said it was the definitive version. Take you pick.


Okay, in the left sidebar here, my ver' favorite percussion instruments go to town.

Oh, my! That's impressive, lotus. How many people you reckon are in that band?

No idea, BoomBoom, but they sure know what they're doing, don't they? Ahhhhhhhhh . . .

Funny . You would probably love the town I live in .


My ex was a percussionist , so these days, when I hear drums, ..I cringe inside.

Nice custom. Too bad the cameraman didn't zoom in on the two brunettes dancing in the center of the circle.

Speaking of Asheville, North Carolina, home Thomas Wolfe, author of one of the greatest novels in American literature:

A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and the soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world.

Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.

The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cut-purse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.


Lotus, since you fancy the instrument, here's a bit of history, honoring Pete Seeger. His singing students--I was one--made steel drums with him at his house one autumn weekend: did we torch off the bottom part of the 55 gallon oil drums? We banged a lot to make the flat surface concave; and there were awls(?) and more banging, dividing the surface for notes. Could we tune them? I think he had to. Rehersals followed, though I can remember only one intro riff, for the time we would Play Carnegie Recital Hall! (circa 1958). Wish I could hear the tunes we played. I can feel the joy though. Here he is with some other folks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k7qGuoIwT8

Dam, been out for a meal with my wife and missed it!!! Glad it went well. Those working non the job ...respect!

So - how long before they put the new BOP on?

Don't you think they will pull the BOP up on-deck before they attempt a move? Not sure how long it will take to pull 5,000' of DP......

Well, it does look like they stopped lifting it. I think maybe they are edging off the well now. In that case, they could go ahead with the new BOP while the old one is still down. But I think they'll have to de-gunk the well head first. Lot of crap stuck in there.

Or will Q4000 move out of the way before raising the old BOP?

It looks like she's moving east at the rapid rate of .1kn

and DDII is moving in at .4kn

I just checked and the Q4000 still shows moored at 0n but the DDI IS moving at .5n.

Q4000 was moving east - seems to have paused for the moment. So has DDII.

Two sections of pipes have been racked? stacked? whatever the correct terminology is.

The plan WAS to move out of the way and the DD-II would move on-station with the replacement BOP. When out of the way, Q4000 would recover the old BOP.

However, I concede it's a dynamic situation.

If I adjust the levels of the picture a bit, I swear I can see an FBI agent in SCUBA swimming behind the old BOP with a subpoena in the hand ;-)

From MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38995301/ns/us_news-environment/

A 12-person government evidence team is waiting to take possession of the blowout preventer when it reaches the surface.

Very glad to see this. On my birthday too!

A very happy one to you, rf!


Evidently the "bouyant dirt" we saw at top of stack is a very small oil seep along the edge of cement lining the wellhead.

All in all, really great job by Helix, BP, Thad and Chu.

The load is off (54Klbs), looks like they are getting ready to unscrew the first section http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:23866.asx?bkup=30077

Second that. I'll add TO as well. Good job all!

And special thanks again to the ROV drivers and your pets. You deserve bonuses more than any Wall Street traders ever did. And give the ROVs a ROV-biscuit for me. Couldn't have done it without you (understatement of the year?).


Me'n'lotus want to "TripleClink" sometime soon!

Yes'm we do!

You deserve bonuses more than any Wall Street traders ever did.

I'll second that..

Great job rovmen!

and dpo's

You all make me sick. You spend weeks in here talking about the drill pipe, which they claim is stuck in the BOP, then they removed the BOP and there is no sign of any DP. What gives??? Seriously???

repost delete

could it be that as the drill pipe was being ejected by the original explosion/pressure, the very bottom got hung up inside the BOP on it's way out?

or if only a section was being ejected, that a bottom most hub got hung up?

delete repost - hey what's going on!

brich - OMG..you didn't know the DP bit was just a running gag. Just like my Blue Bell obsession. Sorry dude...thought you were in on the joke.


You haven't been paying attention. Shear rams were cycled multiple times during the blowout, control panel indicated they didn't work. That doesn't mean they didn't chop the pipe each time they were cycled. And I may be wrong, but if there's no signal received that the shear rams worked, the LMRP disconnect is locked out. Shear rams cutting the pipe multiple times would explain the multiple pieces of pipe in the BOP.

Don't make me repost snakehead's bears-are-eating-the-sun picture.

paying attention to Whom??? hundreds of speculations and opinions - i didn't realize there was ever a FINAL conclusion??? THUS all the wondering and speculation about what we'd see???

BUT nobody has even addressed the "where's the pipe" questions???

Is it because it's so obvious? If so, then can somebody go ahead and verbalize it - Rockman??

Are you saying that apparently the BOP DID originally shear the pipe, retaining the top cut-off with the bottom cut-off falling to the bottom of the well (thus gone from our view of the top of the de-BOPed well-head) and then the rams retracted, letting the top cut-off fall down some, then getting sheared again and maybe jamming?

looks like a milk shake "i'll drink your milkshake"

The first section is off and they are grabbing the next one...

Refresh my old mind. How long are the DP sections the Q4000 is removing and stacking?

Kilgore -- the DP joints are around 31'. But not looking at the vids so they maybe be "pulling triples': three jnts at a time.

Thanks, Rockman. I will count joints next time, but it looks like triples. To say the situation is "dynamic" is probably great understatement. Looks like the Q4000 has stopped the pull while they motor off the parking spot over the wellhead. Wouldn't it be great to have all the ship to ship and command comm live as well!
TOD has been great during all this. Progress in deepwater drilling is like the space program looking back to the 1960's when I crewed for GSI shooting Gulf and Humble leases off the South Texas coast. A mile and a half of hydrophone cable behind the recording boat where I ran the water burst tape recorder in a "doghouse" chained to the deck. The shooting boat behind the cable used two cans of Nitro carbo nitrate, wired together with a blasting cap down the well of the canisters and momentarily floated with two inflated orange "turkey bags" till the shot went. Looked like a WWII movie where depth charges would send up the huge tower of water . . . and in our case a trail of great big fish of all sorts for miles!

OT "Progress in deepwater drilling is like the space program looking back to the 1960's when I crewed for GSI shooting Gulf and Humble leases off the South Texas coast. A mile and a half of hydrophone cable behind the recording boat where I ran the water burst tape recorder in a "doghouse" chained to the deck.

......and those tapes would be flown to land and then forwarded by air to one of the oil company's central site. At Standard Oil of Indiana, we would process all those tapes on our 2938 Arithmetic Processing unit. :)

Kind of like the stuff "rainyday" was looking at a couple of days ago in his Museum posting on 9/1


her Museum posting ...

Sorry (from an old retired IBM'r) :)

What happy news, rainy.


I believe they are single 31'ish footers. Now that they have removed
two sections, the BOP is sitting at 100' when it was at 45'ish feet before separation. They seem to be taking another break too......

Fascinating to watch that slow laydown of the pipe (just seeing it made my muscles ache).

Yes. I was thinking the horizontal stacking scheme looks pretty dangerous to me. Hands need to be very aware of what's happening or they could get hurt. But I suppose they're totally used to that and have no problem with it.

Pinky - I gather from your comment they are laying down the DP and not stacking it in the derrick? Interesting. Obviously faster to rack them in the derrick...makes me wonder why they are going slower than need be.

Yes, Rockman, that's what they're doing. They have a laydown rack and are stacking the pipe strings without taking them apart. First time I ever saw a rig that didn't rack them in the derrick, but then these are the first deepwater rigs I've ever seen at all.

They slide a horizontal rack in, connect the bottom of the section, and then slide the rack back out, with the hook lowering the top as the rack moves away.

atm, the pipe remains clamped and the massive hook tied down as the Q4000 moves east slowly, away from the wellhead.

(The sections are around 90')

rainy et al: It's called, appropriately enough, a lay down machine. You don't usually LD unless you're finished with the DP. I've never seen a BOP pulled to the surface. Maybe that's one reason they aren't racking in the derrick: will need to pull the dril floor to recover the BOP. Maybe the Toolpusher could tell us more.

There is no derrick on Q4000, rather a lifting tower. Q4000 isn't a drilling rig per se, rather it is a deepwater construction and service vessel.

I hope I got this right, after lurking here for months and learning a lot. Thanks to our hosts and the excellent commenters.

Thanks PJH...never saw a picture of the rig. Just made a wrong assumption. See...even with 35 years in the oil patch there's always something new to learn on TOD. Quit a resource.

Here you go Rock ...

Thanks rainy...never saw a rig like that. Would gess the primary use isn't drilling. Burn up a lot of day rate tripping pipe I would think.

Yes, you got it right. I'm not a an expert either, but I did spend 3-weeks on the Q4000 once.

No, they don't stand pipe back on the Q4000. No monkey boards or anything. They use a automated pipe racker and it can go real fast when they need to.

We were discussing how unusual the Q4000 is over on #theoildrum. Such a versatile vessel that has done everything from pump mud to flare gas&oil and is now retrieving a very heavy BOP.

It is a work horse with a great crew. When I was on it, the were all Scotsmen with years of experience from working in the North Sea.

trash - I gather it drills too. Guess it's time for old rigs with derricks and dinosaurs like me need to be put to pasture. Probably long over due.

"i'll drink your milkshake"

ES: "Don't bully me, Daniel!"

Statement from National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen on the Successful Removal of the BOP

"Under the direction of the federal science team and U.S. government engineers, BP has lifted the damaged Blow Out Preventer (BOP) from its position atop the cemented Macondo 252 well. We will continue to closely monitor progress as the BOP, which along with the latching device weighs approximately one million pounds, is lifted to the surface in the next 24-36 hours. This procedure was undertaken in accordance with specific conditions I set forth last week in a directive authorizing the capping stack removal, which was completed yesterday, and BOP replacement. BP will continue to follow these required conditions during the lifting of the damaged BOP and as the device is replaced. I will continue to provide updates as necessary."

and no dropping it fellows.

Must be break-time....1430 local and no one in sight. :)

EDIT: Short break and now they are fumbling around for some reason.

Well played Alan. A man of your word.

Well played Alan. A man of your word.

Yes, it's rare anymore to find people that big. Bravo and good luck to you, Alan.

avon leaving? We're still a good way from being done. Anyway...adios bubba.

Yep, I second that. Alan was also much less hysterical than many :)

I'm impressed avon, and wish there were more men/women like this. To me a man is only as good as his word and a handshake is as good as a contract. One more reason to clink my glass tonight.

Mommy, Are you joining the Virtual Clink Society (VCS)?

Just came huffin' and a puffin' in from the store, running before the wind, as it were (incoming storm cell). I've just poured a glass and sat down to check on the progress of the rising BOP. The hiving of crazy CTs being noticeably absent today, I've been able to focus and am more grateful than ever for the help of my subject experts here at TOD.

Let's lift our glasses (of whatever) to TOD! Without whom...? Thanks TODers!


[Oh, no! The Olympic Challenger ROV I is watching a giant ladder with two giant paint buckets nearby. (What happens if you paint a black hole white?) And the moon pool cameras have gone black, blank, OFF! What's going on?]

Of course, but also the real clinking society .....just spent a few hours and ordered a bottle of champagne with friends who have no clue what I am talking about:) The CT'ers are still hot, only thru PM's to a guarded few, and they still don't believe it's true, but they are keeping the info to use for evidence of more coverups LOL......at least they are consistent in their web of dis-illusion though!

Well done

Another disaster capitalist escapes with his head still attached.
[Metaphorically speaking.]
Cheers and see you in the funny papers.

More like a changing of the guard, I'll be here for a while. I'm not a blogger, nor am I writing a book, nor a freelance article, nor do I have any money nor investments. I just like to see things through to the end, like college, and my patent project. I will stick it out here if you people don't mind. I'm interested in alternative designs, like my rods.

One thing I don't take lightly is prejudice towards lunatic fringe. If TOD is to be a public venue, then lighten up, for there were genuine things about this event to scare the heck out of all of us.

And it ain't over just quite yet...

Hex. I enjoyed reading about your design and efforts. I myself have designed, built and sold my own products in the past( and did all the marketing..phew! ), so I have an idea what you are facing/have faced already. Keep up the good work, I wish you the best of luck.

Just heard a rather amazing rumor during all the excitement over the BOP removal: rumor on the street in Houston is that BP has cut a deal to acquire Anadarko Petroleum. It may be total BS but heard it from a usually reliable source. I tend to be far down the rumor chain so the story must have been floating around for a while. Checked the news sites and see no mention of it. Gonna have to take a wait and see position before I take it too seriously.

Interesting rumor .. that would be one way to settle their differences and avoid Andarko's testifying with other plaintiffs.

rainy -- I'll leave to syn but witnesses will be called and sworn under oath regardless of who owns Anadarko at the time. Given that such takeovers often mean the end of a career for senior management, as well as many other employees, I don't think BP will be better thought of by many at Anadarko if it turns out to be true.

BP or BHP Billiton? That was the rumor in the Houston paper.

Thanks snake. that makes more sense. Guess that's what happens when folks with poor hearing repeat rumors.

Guess that's what happens when folks with poor hearing repeat rumors

Well yeah, but if your version were true, Rockman, it wouldna been the first time somebody arranged a marriage to end a war (the Brits among us may remember, e.g., Henrys V and VII). A somewhat rarer gambit in the corporate world, I trow (but who knows, maybe it's happened there before too).

I believe that may be BHP, not BP?


A nice overhead image of what burned on the rig yesterday, a little more detail than some of the AP shots.

While on this subject:


"Mariner Energy's platform fire Thursday could prove a costly setback for a U.S. oil and gas industry trying to reassure policymakers already shaken by the BP oil spill that offshore drilling and production is safe."

IMO, quite the contrary is true. Whether the crew hit the shut down "button" or the fire burned a fusible safety system link, the platform's production facilities and all wells were shut in as designed.

Whether the crew hit the shut down "button" or the fire burned a fusible safety system link, the platform's production facilities and all wells were shut in as designed.

According to a Mariner official, everything was shut in before the fire started. Bit of a mystery there. And the fire started in the crew quarters; apparently had nothing to do with the wells.

You're allowed the luxury of having a viewpoint that makes sense and is justifiable. You aren't running in an election somewhere that's distant from the Gulf on Nov. 2.


I was just pointing out that, when activated, the system to shut in the platform and wells worked as planned. A fire that started in the crew quarters shouldn't reflect negatively on the safety of offshore drilling or production.

So, Snake, my opinion makes sense and is justifiable. What's you opinion?

Same as yours. Not to mention that this platform didn't fall under the moratorium anyway. My opinion of politicians posturing to get re-elected despite the further damage they'll cause to the folks who live on the Gulf? Is not in their favor, to say the least.

Ah...OK Snake....ya had my dander up there for a second. I thought you were accusing me of being a politician and lower than a snake's belly (pun intended).

I thought you were accusing me of being a politician and lower than a snake's belly

Both? That would have been a redundant redundancy.

Stopped by your URL - nice work Andy! The composition of the rust-red-crude looking like a Dolphin as it's torn by the surface of the ocean was remarkable as well as many more. I'll be back - g

Any ideas on what was just placed on top of the open well? A measurement device of some kind?

Would be anticlimactic if this was the new less-filling-taste-great BOP, wouldn’t it?

What is this thing?

I Know, I know, I know.........It's a camera mount:

It's gone now but they had the 'colon cam' down the hole looking around.

Looks like it was a fancy circular paint gun. When it was lifted off, it left behind new vertical white stripes inside the well head.

The ROVs have taken on some redecorating tasks now that a couple of them have finished the cleaning and polishing. Getting the well spiffed up to meet the new BOP I assume.

ETA photo of the paint taken by one of the DDII ROVs, checking out his new job site. (This is going much faster than I anticipated.)

They just did a closeup http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:32900.asx and it looked a lot like a new gasket was installed after they looked around with the camera.

Hey, wait a minute. What's with the depth reading on that? Doesn't add up. OMG, this must be a different well!! ;->

That little tool that looked like a set of brake shoes installed this sealing flange into the pipe mouth. Compare before and after pictures.

It's the corkscrew. Those tiny bubbles we've been seeing? Champagne, all along.

Tiny boogers
In the wine
Make it crunchy
But it tastes fine

Checking the angle of dangle?


Trying to compensate for the motion of the ocean ?

Not much news about the Gulf environment today. There's this about some brown oily substance blowing ashore in Orange Beach, AL, on days when there is a strong south wind and heavy surf. The town is using BP money to hire chemists to investigate, because they don't trust the EPA.


Evidently this is something real and abnormal in the windblown seafoam, but it isn't necessarily oil or toxic--finding unspecified hydrocarbons doesn't get us very far. The article mentions that the City of Orange Beach posts independent lab test reports on its website. Results for air are here:


So a big independent lab (CTEH) has been testing the air all along the coast since June, apart from the local investigators mentioned in the article. I hadn't heard of that. The results are, of course, compatible with EPA's results.

Some have connected the windblown goo to an incident July 19, when John Wathen returned from a 5-hour overflight to find a brown, oily glaze on the leading edges of the aircraft. He said they didn't fly through smoke, but it was hazy. Could these be evaporated alkanes that had condensed? Or maybe it was diffuse smoke from burning.

CTEH is hardly independent; they're on contract to BP. Furthermore, EPA has said that they also use CTEH's data in addition to their own.

Here's a fun CTEH story: http://www.labucketbrigade.org/downloads/Science%20for%20Sale_1.pdf

God bless the American free thinker...Spin baby spin.

From the DD2 ROVs it looks like they are about to place BOP-2 onto the well.

Doing a 360-degree inspection of the wellhead with the BOP what looks like about 30 feet away.

Having a little time to see the wellhead from several angles, it looks like it is really bent more than the two degrees Allen has been talking about. Imagine the new heavy BOP being nudged and locked into place to match the bend angle, and as the lowering strain is relieved the stressed metal in the severely stressed bent wellhead gives up and bends even more with the new off-center weight load. Nah . . . never happen.

The piece with the checkered inside looks to be a double tapered gasket.

Video capture of the BOP lift


Excellent link, Thanks!

It looks like one of the ROVs is blasting the wellhead with a high pressure hose from a distance. It stirred up quite a cloud. I saw the ROV get out the nozzle maybe half an hour ago.

my file management is horrific - pdfs poorly labeled and scattered all over the place...

So - what's the diameter of the well opening that the BOP came off? - "well head" "well opening"??? not sure correct terminology - it's what we're currently seeing on Dev Driller Rov 1 that they painted with black&white verticles.

and anybody know their current plan/schedule? unlike Mr.Quitterdorf, I want to plan my evening around operations.

thank you thank you.

Q4000 has resumed very slowly pulling up the old BOP - at the rate they're going, it will be quite a while before it surfaces.

ROVs associated with just about every vessel in the vicinity (HOS, Subsea, Skandi, Challenger, Q4000) have paid ceremonial visits to the Macondo well head, cleaning it, bringing offerings, adorning it with strikingly patterned seals - each ROV seeming to need to see for itself that the well is really, truly not spewing.

That having been done, it appears the well head is being given the opportunity to enjoy the fresh ocean currents for a while, since there is no sign of any motion of the new BOP towards the well-head. (DDII is already quite close by.)

Looks like things are starting.

BOP less than 20 feet from well head.

Coming in on a northwest-to-southeast line.

Very close; less than five feet.

Hovering directly above; only slightly offset.


Perfect day's work.

I think it's still post coital, sliding around a bit and not quite latched.

Just had to say that.

Seems to be quite a bit of smoke there though.

You would think that they would align the altimeters on those ROV's.

Landed but not yet seated and latched!

But in place ...

another great job from 5,000' above

What a great day for the industry... too bad MSM and America was not watching... the folks here can appreciate what has happened -- but unfortunately the lasting image for most of the world is a gushing well... I for one will enjoy... CLINK..

ray: Hear! Hear! CLINK! CLINK! Now, fellers, let's kill this damn thing for good.

Agreed GWS.......wondering if I have the energy to go buy another bottle of champagne, don't really want to get out as the beach is packed tonight. It took me 15 minutes to go thru the toll booth to get home and the cops will be out in full force, so better grab a beer instead.


And, again for the second time today, raise another one for for all of the hands. This was a good day!

bb: By God, it was, wasn't it! For ALL the hands! I may be clinki... uh....drinking tonight. You know, I came here, I cant remember how, now, to find real, reasonable, and factual info about this blowout. Heck! I ended up finding those things, and WAY much more here. So, THANKS! For ALL the hands, here, at TOD.....CLINK!

lets have a shot of Corexit and celebrate!

But, if the drill pipe didn't come up with the BOP, where is it?

It's in the other well.

Looks fully seated. Don't know how to confirm if it's latched.

It's a good thing incense doesn't work underwater...

This is the first video I've seen with the new BOP and the well head in the same frame on DD2 ROV2. I would guess they are about 100 feet apart horizontally.

I noticed quite a time lag between DD2 ROV1 and ROV2. 2 showed touchdown first.

There's up to a 5 min. diff. between some of them.

Looks like the well still gots the gangsta' lean.

I'd like to thank whomever is controlling the above deck camera on the Q4000. They are zooming in on the DP separation operation. Thanks!!


And somebody without a hardhat.

ChuckV - The schematic shows two nitrogen tanks, each of 2,000 gal capcity for 180,000 scfm. So they are either 10,000 psi tanks or they are cyrogenic. I'll have to think about that some more. It does say pumps, not compressors, so could they inject cryogenic liquid nitrogen??

Also one of the slides references an API standard. I actually found a few that might be of interest (but since I am working for zilch, I do not intend to buy them)





Zip, nada, no coverage at all in the MSM and hour and a half after the fact.

I noticed that, and also that the CT's sites are the equivalent of crickets on this news.........well, except for a few post like this one:

Deepwater Horizon's 2 drill pipes seen up close in clearest picture to date

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx The big problem with article, is that it says the well has been capped.
When other evidence clearly shows that the original well is still spewing oil into the GoM.

I SERIOUSLY want whatever these CT peeps are smoking, imagine how it would be to escape reality on chitty bays

Not want what those people are smoking, want see better things. Back to the Tecate, TINK.


"A 12-person government evidence team is waiting to take possession of the blowout preventer when it reaches the surface."

Them must be some very big persons. And I'd love to see those handcuffs.

DOJ: "You have the right to remain silent."
BOP: "Burp!"
DOJ: "Anything you say... What? What did you say? Did anyone catch that?"

Well, it is taking 12 of them to take it into custody!

I bet the BOP is already lawyered-up and it's not even topside yet!

I'd tell the agents: There ya go, fellas. Now get it off my deck, please!

BTW: I celebrated with a dinner of, yes, shrimp and HUSHpuppies. Oh, yeah. Burp.

I wonder if it gets a phone and, if so, who it would call?

Tony H. or Cameron?

Or, BR 549.

I have done the virtual CLINK here twice today, but I'm now off to do the real thing! Probably more than twice.

It was a good day. G'nite!

bb: Night. Night. Sleep well, and, for God's sake, do good work tomorrow!

No drill pipe hitch hiking on the BOP....hummm.

If memory serves, there was a stub of drill pipe sticking up thru the BOP plus a short loose chunk of loose drill pipe. Rather than a stub connected to 3,500' of drill pipe dangling from the BOP, the stub is decapitated. When did this decapitation happen?

If the decapitation happened before the cement kill was pumped, there is 3,500' of drill pipe cemented inside the casing. If so, the drill pipe displacement could equal the 200 bbls of kill cement that was assumed to exit the production casing shoe.

I'll bet they will be taking a close look at the stub when the BOP hits the surface. If the break is fresh, the drill pipe dropped after the cement was pumped. If not, the drill pipe is likely cemented inside the casing.


I wonder, how fast they will get new DP into the well with a fresh BOP on the well now?

I wonder if they will swap the mud for clear fluid and send a camera down to inspect the casing and joint?


Statement from the Admiral.

"Under the direction of the federal science team and U.S. government engineers, BP used the Development Driller II to successfully install a fully functioning and tested Blow Out Preventer (BOP) on the cemented Macondo 252 well. Earlier today, BP lifted the damaged BOP, which will now be lifted to the surface and recovered. During the period of time between the removal of the damaged BOP and installation of the replacement BOP, there was no observable release of hydrocarbons from the well head. This procedure was undertaken in accordance with specific conditions I set forth last week in a directive authorizing this procedure. This is an important milestone as we move toward completing the relief well and permanently killing the Macondo 252 well. I will continue to provide updates as necessary."

I owe an apology to all those who were understandably offended, otherwise troubled, hurt, or angry about my comments yesterday.

They were ill-considered attempts to presume upon your willingness to listen to me while I took advantage of that opportunity, to meet my needs at your expense, under the guise of trying to be helpful regarding an issue which is too important to be approached in that manner.

None of you deserved that.

My profound apologies, and thanks for your undeserved graciousness.

Dave Brown

PS: If anyone would like to continue the conversation, while it didn’t occur to me before, we could move it over to a thread I started a while back on the Daily Kos website (http://www.dailykos.com/user/David%20E%20Brown). If anyone wants me to move their comments over there, please let me know, otherwise I won’t.

Thanks Dave~I wasn't offended but felt the need to explain other points of view and frankly I only posted it because I heard he was an ex-oil man that developed something for XON......I never intended the topic to become a discussion, just curious if anyone knew or had heard of him..

PS -If I offended easily, I'd need a new job:)

Thank you.

You're a very gracious lady.