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    To Tony Hayward
    We are looking forward to your testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and
    Investigations on Thursday, June 17,2010, about the causes of the blowout ofthe Macondo well
    and the ongoing oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. As you prepare for this testimony, we
    want to share with you some of the results of the Committee's investigation and advise you of
    issues you should be prepared to address.
    The Committee's investigation is raising serious questions about the decisions made by
    BP in the days and hours before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. On April 15, five days
    before the explosion, BP's drilling engineer called Macondo a "nightmare well." In spite of the
    well's difficulties, BP appears to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that
    increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure. In several instances, these decisions appear to
    violate industry guidelines and were made despite warnings from BP's own personnel and its
    contractors. In effect, it appears that BP repeatedly chose risky procedures in order to reduce
    costs and save time and made minimal efforts to contain the added risk.
    At the time of the blowout, the Macondo well was significantly behind schedule. This
    appears to have created pressure to take shortcuts to speed finishing the well. In particular, the
    Committee is focusing on five crucial decisions made by BP: (I) the decision to use a well
    design with few barriers to gas flow; (2) the failure to use a sufficient number of "centralizers" to
    prevent channeling during the cement process; (3) the failure to run a cement bond log to
    evaluate the effectiveness of the cement job; (4) the failure to circulate potentially gas-bearing
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,20 10
    Page 2
    drilling muds out of the well; and (5) the failure to secure the wellhead with a lockdown sleeve
    before allowing pressure on the seal from below. The common feature of these five decisions is
    that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety.
    Well Design. On April 19, one day before the blowout, BP installed the final section of
    steel tubing in the well. BP had a choice of two primary options: it could lower a fu ll string of
    "casing" from the top of the wellhead to the bottom of the well, or it could hang a " liner" from
    the lower end of the casing already in the well and install a "tieback" on top of the liner. The
    liner-tieback option would have taken extra time and was more expensive, but it would have
    been safer because it provided more barriers to the flow of gas up the annul ar space surrounding
    these steel tubes. A BP plan review prepared in mid-April reconunended against the full string
    of casing because it would create "an open annulus to the wellhead" and make the seal assembly
    at the wellhead the "only barrier" to gas flow if the cement job failed. Despite thi s and other
    warnings, BP chose the more risky casing option, apparently because the liner option would have
    cost $7 to $10 million more and taken longer.
    Centralizers. When the fina l string of casing was installed, one key chall enge was
    making sure the casing ran down the center of the well bore. As the American Petroleum
    Institute's recommended practices explain, if the casing is not centered, "it is difficu lt, ifnot
    impossible, to displace mud effectively from the narrow side of the annulus," resulting in a faiku
    cement job. Halliburton, the contractor hired by BP to cement the well, warned BP that the well
    could have a "SEVERE gas flow problem" if BP lowered the final string of casing with onl y six
    centrali zers instead of the 21 recommended by Halliburton. BP rejected Halliburton's advice to
    use additional centralizers. In an e-mail on April 16, a BP official involved in the decision
    explained: " it will take 10 hours to install them . .. . I do not like this." Later that day, another
    official recognized the risks of proceeding with insuffi cient centralizers but commented: "who
    cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fi ne."
    Cement Bond Log. BP's mid-April plan review predicted cement failure, stating
    "Cement simulations indicate it is unlikely to be a successful cement job due to formation
    breakdown." Despite this warning and Halliburton's prediction of severe gas flow problems, BP
    did not run a 9- to 12-hour procedure called a cement bond log to assess the integrity of the
    cement sea l. BP had a crew from Schlumberger on the rig on the morning of April 20 for the
    purpose of rUlUling a cement bond log, but they departed after BP told them their services were
    not needed. An independent expel1 consulted by the Committee called this decision "horrib ly
    neg I i gent. "
    Mud Circulation. In exploratory operations like the Macondo well, wells are generally
    filled with weighted mud during the drilling process. The American Petroleum Insti tute (API)
    recommends that oil companies full y circulate the drilling mud in the well from the bottom to the
    top before commencing the cementing process. Circulating the mud in the Macondo well could
    have taken as long as 12 hours, but it would have allowed workers on the rig to test the mud for
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 3
    gas influxes, to safely remove any pockets of gas, and to eliminate debris and condition the mud
    so as to prevent contamination of the cement. BP decided to forego this safety step and conduct
    only a partial circulation of the drilling mud befo re the cement job.
    Lockdown Sleeve. Because BP elected to use just a single string of casing, the Macondo
    well had just two barriers to gas flow up the annular space around the final string of casing: the
    cement at the bottom of the well and the seal at the wellhead on the sea floor. The decision to
    use insuffi cient centralizers created a significant ri sk that the cement job would channel and fail ,
    while the deci sion not to run a cement bond log denied BP the opportunity to assess the status of
    the cement job. These decisions would appear to make it crucial to ensure the integrity of the
    seal assembly that was the remaining barrier against an influx of hydrocarbons. Yet, BP did not
    deploy the casing hanger lockdown sleeve that would have prevented the seal from being blown
    out from below.
    These five questionable decisions by BP are described in more detail below. We ask that
    you come prepared on Thursday to address the concerns that these decisions raise about BP's
    actions.
    Background
    BP stmt ed drilling the Macondo well on October 7, 2009, using the Marianas ri g. This
    rig was damaged in Hurricane Ida on November 9, 2009. As a result, BP and the rig operator,
    Transocean, replaced the Marianas ri g with the Deepwater Horizon. Drilling with the Deepwater
    Hori zon started on February 6, 20 I O.
    The Deepwater Hori zon rig was expensive. Transocean charged BP approximately
    $500,000 per day to lease the ri g, plus contractors' fees.] BP targeted drilling the well to take 51
    days and cost approximately $96 million?
    The Deepwater Horizon was supposed to be drilling at a new location as early as March
    8,20 103 In fact, the Macondo well took considerably longer than plarmed to complete. By
    April 20, 20 10, the day of the blowout, the rig was 43 days late for its next drilling location,
    which may have cost BP as much as $21 million in leasing fees alone. It also may have set the
    context for the series of deci sions that BP made in the days and hours before the blowout.
    ] According to the terms of the contract, the daily rate would range from $458,000 in
    March 2008 to $5 17,000 in September 20 I O. See Transocean, Transocean Fleet Update, fn. II
    (Apr. 13, 20 I 0) (online at http ://www.deepwater.com/fw/mainiFleet-Update-Report-58.html).
    2 BP, GOM Exploration Wells Me 252 #i - Macondo Prospect Well in/ormation (Sept.
    2009) (BP-HZN-CEC0087 14).
    J Testimony of Steve Tink, BP, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager, before the
    U.S. Coast Guard/MMS Marine Board of Investigation (May 26, 20 10).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 4
    Well Design
    Deepwater well s are drilled in sections. The bas ic process involves drilling through rock,
    installing and cementing casing to secure the well bore, and then drilling deeper and repeating the
    process. On April 9, 2010, BP fini shed drilling the last section of the well. The final section of
    the well bore extended to a depth of 18,360 feet below sea level, which was 1,192 feet below the
    casing that had previously been inserted into the we1l 4
    At this point, BP had to make an important well design deci sion: how to secure the final
    1,192 feet of the well. On June 3, Halliburton's Vice President of Cementing, Tommy Roth,
    briefed Committee staff about the two primary options available to BP. One option involved
    hanging a steel tube called a " liner" from a liner hanger on the bottom of the casing already in
    the well and then inserting another steel liner tube called a "tieback" on top of the liner hanger.
    The other option involved rurming a single string of steel casing from the seafloor all the way to
    the bottom of the well. Mr. Roth informed the Committee that "Liner/Tieback Casing provides
    advantage over full string casing with redundant barriers to annul ar flow."s In the case of a
    single string of casing, there are just two barriers to the flo w of gas up the arullliar space that
    surrounds the casing: the cement at the bottom of the well and the seal at the wellhead. Mr.
    Roth told the Committee that in contrast, "Liner/Tieback provides four barri ers to annular
    flow.,,6 They are (I ) the cement at the bottom of the well, (2) the hanger seal that attaches the
    liner to the ex isting casing in the well , (3) the cement that secures the tieback on top of the liner,
    and (4) the seal at the wellhead. The liner-tieback option also takes more time to install,
    requiring several addit ional days to complete.
    Internal BP documents indicate that BP was aware of the ri sks of the single casing
    approach. An undated "Forward Plan Review" that appears to be from mid-April recommended
    against the single string of casing because of the ri sks. According to this document, "Long string
    of casing . .. was the primary option" but a "Liner ... is now the recommended option.")
    4 BP, PowerPoint Presentation, Washington Briefing, Deepwater Horizon Interim
    Incident In vestigation at 4 (May 24, 20 I 0).
    S Briefing by Tonuny Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Halliburton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010); Halliburton, PowerPoi nt
    Presentation, Energy and Commerce Commillee Staff Briefing at 12 (J une 3, 20 10).
    6 Id. at 6.
    ) BP, MC 252#1 Macondo, TD Forward Plan Review - Production Casing & TA
    Options, at 9. (Apr. 20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CEC-221 09). The documents provided to the Committee
    from BP contain three versions of this document. This one and a second nearly identical version
    (BP, MC 252#1 Macondo, TD Forward Plan Review - Production Casing & TA Options (Apr.
    2010)) (BP-HZN-CEC-22025) recommend against a single string casing and in favor ofa liner
    Mr, Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page 5
    The document gave four reasons against using a single string of casing, They were:
    • "Cement simulations indicate it is unlikely to be a successful cement job due to formation
    breakdown, "
    • "Unable to fulfill MMS regulations of 500' of cement above top HC zone,"
    • "Open annulus to the wellhead, with " , seal assembly as only barrier."
    • "Potential need to verify with bond log, and perform remedial cementjob(s),,,g
    In contrast, according to the document, there were four advantages to the liner option:
    • "Less issue with landing it shallow (we can also ream it down),"
    • "Liner hanger acts as second barrier for HC in arlllulus,"
    • "Primary cement job has slightly higher chance for successfiil cement lift,"
    • "Remedial cement job, if required, easier to justify to be left for later." 9
    Communications between employees ofBP confirm they were evaluating these
    approaches, On April 14, Brian Morel, a BP Drilling Engineer, e-mailed a colleague, Richard
    Miller, about the options, His e-mail notes: "this has been [aJ nightmare well which has
    everyone all over the place, ,, lo
    Despite the risks, BP chose to install the singl e string of casing instead of a liner and
    tieback, applying for an amended permit on April 15,11 The company's application stated that
    the full casing string would start at 9 7/8 inches diameter at the top of the well and narrow to 7
    inches diameter at the bottom, 12 This application was approved on the same day,13
    approach, The third version recommends in favor of the single string of casing and is di scussed
    below,
    g ]d, "HC" stands for hyd rocarbon,
    9 Id, at 10,
    10 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Ri chard Miller, BP (Apr. 15, 20 I 0)
    (BP-HZN-CEC-2 1857),
    II BP, Form MMS 123A1123S - Electronic Vers ion, Applicationfor Revised Bypass (Apr.
    15,20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CECO I8357),
    12 Id,
    IJ E-mail from Frank Patton, MMS, to Heather Powell, JC Connor Consulting
    ("Modifi cation of Permit to Bypass as Location Surface Lease: 032306 Surface ATea: MC
    Surface Block: 252 Bottom Lease: 032306 Bottom ATea: MC Bottom Block: 252 Well Name:
    001 Assigned API Number: 608174116901 has been approved, as of2010-04-15 14:39:39,0")
    (Apr. 14,20 10), Ms, Powell then forwarded the approval to BP, E-mail from Heather Powell,
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 6
    The decision to run a single string of casing appears to have been made to save time and
    reduce costs. On March 25 , Mr. Morel e-mailed Alli son Crane, the Materials Management
    Coordinator for BP's Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Exploration Unit, that the long casing string
    " saves a lot of time ... at least 3 days. ,,14 On March 30, he e-mailed Sarah Dobbs, the BP
    Completions Engineer, and Mark Hafl e, another BP Drilling Engineer, that "[ n Jot running the
    tieback ... saves a good deal of time/money.,,15 On April IS, BP estimated that using a liner
    instead of the single string of casing "will add an additional $7 - $10 MM to the completion
    cost.,,16 The same document calls the single string of casing the "[b Jest economic case and well
    integrity case for future completion operations.,,17
    Around this time, BP prepared another undated version of its "Forward Plan Review."
    Notably, this version of the document reaches a di ffe rent conclusion than the other version,
    calling the long string of casing "the primary option" and the liner "the contingency option. ,,18
    Like the other version of the plan review, this version acknowledges the risks of a single string of
    casing, but it now descri bes the option as the "Best economic case and well integrity case for
    future completion operations. ,,19
    Centralizers
    Centralizers are attaclm1ents that go around the casing as it being lowered into the well to
    keep the casing in the center of the borehol e. If the well is not properly centered prior to the
    cementing process, there is increased ri sk that channels will form in the cement that allow gas to
    flow up the annular space around the casing. API Recommended Practice 65 explains: "If
    casing is not centrali zed, it may lay near or against the borehole wall. ... It is difficult, if not
    JC COImor Consulting, to Mark Hafle, Senior Drilling Engineer, BP (Apr. 15,201 0) (BP-HZNCEC021033).
    14 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Alli son Crane, Materi als
    Management Coordinato r, BP Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Exploration (Mar. 25, 2010). (BPHZN-
    CEC02 1880).
    15 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Sarah Dobbs, Completions
    Engineer, BP, and Mark Hafl e, Senior Drilling Engineer, BP (Mar. 30,20 I 0) (BP-HPCEC02
    1948).
    16 BP, Drilling & Compielions MOC In iliale (Apr. 15,20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CEC02 1656).
    17 / d.
    18 BP, TD Forward Plan Review, Produclion Casing & TA Oplions at 6-7 (undated) (BPHZN-
    CEC-022 145).
    19 1d.
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 20 10
    Page 7
    imposs ible, to displace mud effectively from the nan-ow side of the annulus if casing is poorly
    centralized. This results in bypassed mud charll1els and inability to achieve zonal isolation.,,20
    On April 15, BP informed HallibUlton's Account Representative, Jesse Gagliano, that BP
    was planning to use six centralizers on the final casing string at the Macondo well. Mr. Gagliano
    spent that day nUU1ing a computer analysis of a number of cement design scenarios to determine
    how many centralizers would be necessary to prevent channeling21 With ten centralizers, the
    modeling resulted in a "MODERATE" gas flow problem22 Mr. Gagliano's modeling showed
    that it would require 21 centralizers to achieve only a "MINOR" gas flow problem23
    Mr. Gagliano informed BP of these results and recommended the use of 21 centralizers24
    After running a model with ten centralizers, Mr. Gagliano e-mailed Brian Morel, BP's drilling
    engineer, and other BP officials, stating that the model "now shows the cement charll1eling" and
    that ''I'm going to run a few scenarios to see if adding more centralizers will help us or not.,,25
    Twenty-five minutes later, Mr. Morel e-mailed back:
    We have 6 centrali zers, we can run them in a row, spread out, or any combination of the
    1\\10. It ' s a vertical hole, so hopefully the pipe stays centralized due to gravity. As far as
    changes, it's too late to get any more product on the rig, our only option[] is to rearrange
    placement of these centralizers26
    20 API, Recommended Practice 65-Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well
    Construction, 4.6.5.8. , at 28.
    21 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 26 (June 11 , 20 10).
    22 Halliburton, 9 7/8 " X 7" Production Casing Design Report (Apr. 15,2010)
    (HAL_DO 1 0592).
    23 HallibUlton, 9 7/8 " X 7" Production Casing Design Report (Apr. 15,20 10)
    (HAL_DO 1 0699).
    24 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 8 (June 11 , 20 10).
    25 E-mail from Jesse Gagliano, Account Representative, Halliburton, to Mark Hafle,
    Senior Drilling Engineer, BP, Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, Brett Cocales, Operations
    Drilling Engineer, BP, and Gregory Walz, Drilling Team Leader, BP (Apr. 15,20 10)
    (HAL_DO 1 0650).
    26 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Jesse Gagliano, Account
    Representative, Hallib1ll10n, Mark Hafle, Senior Drilling Engineer, BP, Brett Cocales,
    Operations Drilling Engineer, BP, and Gregory Walz, Drilling Team Leader, BP (Apr. 15, 20 10)
    (HAL_DO 1 0648).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page 8
    The following day, April 16, the issue was elevated to John Guide, BP's Well Team
    Leader, by Gregory Walz, BP's Drilling Engineering Team Leader. Mr. Walz informed Mr.
    Guide: "We have located 15 Weatherford centrali zers with stop collars ... in Houston and
    worked things out with the rig to be able to fly them out in the morning." The decision was
    made because "we need to honor the modeling to be consistent with our previous decisions to go
    with the long string.,,27 Mr. Walz explained: "I wanted to make sure that we did not have a
    repeat of the last Atlantis job with questionable centralizers going into the hole. ,,28 Mr. Walz
    added: "I do not like or want to di srupt your operations . . .. I know the planning has been
    lagging behind the operations and I have to turn that around. ,,29
    In his response, Mr. Guide raised objections to the use of the additional centrali zers,
    writing: " it will take 10 hrs to install them . .. . I do not like thi s and ... I [am] very concerned
    about using them. ,,30
    An e-mail from Brett Cocales, BP's Operations Drilling Engineer, indicates that Mr.
    Guide's perspective prevailed. On April 16, he e-mailed Mr. Morel:
    Even if the hole is perfectl y straight, a straight piece of pipe even in tension will not seek
    the perfect center of the hole unless it has something to centralize it.
    But, who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine and we' ll get a good cement
    job. I would rather have to squeeze than get stuck .... So Guide is right on the
    rI.S kJ rewar d equatI.o n. 31
    On April 17, Mr. Gagliano, the Halliblllton account representative, was informed that BP
    had decided to use only six centrali zers32 He then ran a model using seven centralizers and
    27 E-mail from Gregory Walz, Drilling Team Leader, BP, to Jolm Guide, Well Team
    Leader, BP (Apr. 16,201 0) (BP-HZN-CEC0022433).
    28 Id.
    29 Id.
    30 Id.
    31 E-mail from Brett Cocales, Operat ions Drilling Engineer, BP, to Brian Morel, Drilling
    Engineer, BP (Apr. 16, 20 10) (BP-HZN-CEC022670).
    32 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcri bed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 40-41 (J une 11 ,201 0).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,20 10
    Page 9
    found this would likely produce channeling and a failure of the cement job33 His April 18
    cementing design report states: "well is considered to have a SEVERE gas flow problem.,,34
    Mr. Gagliano said that BP was aware of the risks and proceeded with knowledge that his report
    indicated the well would have a severe gas flow problem35
    Mr. Gagliano's findings should not have been a surprise to BP. As noted above, BP's
    mid-April plan review found that if BP used a single string of casing, as BP had decided to do,
    "Cement simulations indicate it is unlikely to be a successful cementjob.,,36 Nonetheless, BP
    ran the last casing with only six centralizers37
    Cement Bond Log
    A cement bond log is an acoustic test that is conducted by rurming a tool inside the casing
    after the cementing is completed. The cement bond log determines whether the cement has
    bonded to the casing and surrounding formations. If a channel that would allow gas flow is
    found , the casing can be perforated and additional cement injected into the armular space to
    repair the cement job.
    Mr. Roth, the Halliburton Vice President of Cementing, informed the Committee staff
    that BP should have conducted a cement bond log. According to Mr. Roth, "If the cement is to
    be relied upon as an effective barrier, the well owner must perform a cement evaluation as part of
    I · .. ,,38 a compre lenSlve systems II1tegnty test.
    J3 Id. at 8. Mr. Gagliano told the Conullittee that at the time he ran a model with seven
    centralizers, he knew of BP's decision to use only six. He told the Conunittee that running a
    model with seven centralizers demonstrated that the difference between six and seven
    centralizers would be unlikely to affect the outcome of the modeling.
    34 HallibUl10n, 9 7/8" X 7" Production Casing Design Report (Apr. 18,20 10)
    (HAL_00I0955).
    35 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 43-45 (June 11 ,20 I 0).
    36 BP, MC 252#1 Macondo, TD Forward Plan Review - Production Casing & TA
    Options, at 9. (Apr. 20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CEC-22I 09).
    37 BP, Daily Operations Report - Partners (Completion) (Apr. 18 , 2010)
    (HAL_00282 10).
    38 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Halliburton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010); Halliburton, PowerPoint
    Presentation, Energy and Commerce Commillee Staff Briefing at 12 (June 3, 20 10).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page 10
    Minerals Management Service (MMS) regulations also appear to direct a cement bond
    log or equivalent test at the Macondo well. According to the regulations, if there is an indication
    of an inadequate cement job, the oil company must "(1) Pressure test the casing shoe; (2) Run a
    temperature survey; (3) Run a cement bond log; or (4) Use a combination of these techniques."J9
    In the case of the Macondo well, the HallibUlton and internal BP warnings should have served as
    an indication of a potentially inadequate cement job.
    On April 18, BP flew a crew from Schlumberger to the rig. As described in a
    Schlumberger timeline, "BP contracted with Schlumberger to be available to perform a cement
    bond log ... should BP request those services.,,40 But at about 7:00 a.m. on the morning of April
    20, BP told the Schlumberger crew that their services would not be required for a cement bond
    log test41 As a result, the Schlumberger crew departed the Deepwater Horizon at approximately
    II: 15 a.m. on a regularly scheduled BP helicopter flight 42 The Schlumberger crew was
    scheduled for departure before pressure testing of the well had been completed, indicating that
    the results of those tests were not a factor in BP's decision to send the crew away without
    4' conducting a cement bond log. >
    BP's decision not to conduct the cement bond log test may have been driven by concerns
    about expense and time. The cement bond log would have cost the company over $ 128,000 to
    complete44 [n comparison, the cost of canceling the service was just $10,000.45 Moreover, Mr.
    Roth of Halliburton estimated that conducting the test would have taken an additional 9 to 12
    hours46 Remediating any problems found with the cementing job would have taken still more
    . 47 lime.
    39 30 CFR § 250.428.
    40 Schlumberger, Mississippi Canyon Block 252 Timeline (undated) (SLB-EC-000002).
    41 ld.
    42 ld
    43 Briefing by Mark Bly, Group Vice President for Safety & Operations, BP, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (May 25, 20 10).
    44 Schlumberger, Estimated Costs of Equipment/Labor to Pelform the Contingent
    Services Identified by BP and the AClual COS/S Upon Cancellalion (SLB-EC-000909).
    45 ld.
    46 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Halliblllton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010).
    47 A BP document indicates that the company would rely on lost mud "returns" during
    the cementing process as a trigger for conducting a cement bond log. BP, GOM Exploralion
    Wells MC 252 #lSTOOBPOl- Macondo Prospecl 7" x 9- 7/S" lnlerval at 3 (Apr. 15,2010) (BPMr.
    Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page II
    The Committee staff asked an independent engineer with expel1ise in the analysis of well
    fai lure about BP's decision not to conduct a cement bond log. The engineer, Gordon Aaker, Jr.,
    P.E. , a Failure Anal ysis Consultant with the firm Engineering Services, LLP, said that it was
    "unheard of" not to perform a cement bond log on a well using a single casing approach, and he
    described BP's decision not to conduct a cement bond log as "horribly negligent. ,,48 Another
    independent expert consulted by the Committee, Jolm Martinez, P.E., told the committee that
    "cement bond or cement evaluation logs should always be used on the production string.,,49
    Mud Circulation
    Another questionable decision by BP appears to have been the failure to circulate fu lly
    the drilling mud in the well before cementing. This procedure, known as "bottoms up," involves
    circulating dri lling mud from the bottom of the well all the way to the sur face. Bottoms up has
    several purposes: it allows workers on the rig to test the mud for influxes of gas; it permits a
    controlled release of gas pockets that may have entered the mud; and it ensures the removal of
    well cuttings and other debris from the bottom of the well, preventing contamination of the
    cement.
    API 's guidelines recommend a full bottoms up circulation between rUlming the casing
    and beginning a cementing job. The reconmlended practice states that "when the casing is on
    bottom and before cementing, circulating the drilling fluid will break its gel strength, decrease its
    viscosi ty and increase its mobility. The dri lling fluid should be conditioned until equilibrium is
    achieved .... At a minimum, the hole should be conditioned for cementing by circulating 1.5
    annular volumes or one casing volume, whichever is greater. ,,50
    HZN-CECO I7621). Mr. Gagliano of Halliburton told the Committee that lost returns are not a
    reliab le indicator of channeling: "the amount of returns would not tell you if there's charll1eling
    or not. Full returns just indicates the amount of fluid you' re pumping into the well bore, you' re
    getting the equal or very close to equal volume back at surface, which is telling you that you' re
    not fracturing any fluids into the format ion or losing any fluid s. It 's not really an indication of
    channeling." House Committee on Energy and Conunerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 86 (June 11 , 20 10).
    48 Briefing by Gordon Aaker, Jr., P.E., Failure Anal ys is Consultant with Engineering
    Services, L.P. (Houston), to House Committee on Energy and Conullerce Staff (June 10, 20 10).
    49 E-mail from John Martinez, P.E.,an independent production specialist on well bore
    construction, to House Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 10,2010).
    50 API, Recommended Practice 65-Part 2, Isola/ing Po/en/ial Flow Zones During Well
    Cons/rile/ion, 4.8.4., at 36-37.
    Mr, Tony Hayward
    June 14, 20 10
    Page 12
    BP's April 15 operations plan called for a full bottoms up procedure to "circulate at least
    one ( I) casing and drill pipe capacity, if hole conditions allow. ,,'1 Halliburton Account
    Representative Jesse Gagliano said it was also "Halliburton's recommendation and best practice
    to at least circulate one bottoms up on the well before doing a cement job,,,52 According to Mr.
    Gagliano, a Halliburton engineer on the rig raised the bottoms up issue with BPS}
    Despite the BP operations plan and the Hallib1ll10n recommendation, BP did not fully
    circulate the mud, Instead, it chose a procedure "written on the rig" which Mr. Gagliano "did not
    get input in, ,,54 BP's final procedure called for circulating just 26 1 barrels of mud, just a small
    fraction of the mud in the Macondo well. 55 Mr. Roth of Hallibul10n told the Committee that one
    reason for the decision not to circulate the mud could have been a desire for speed, as fully
    circulating the mud could have added as much as 12 hours to the operation56 Mr, Gagliano
    expressed a similar view, saying, "the well probably would not have handled too high of a rate,
    So it would take a little bit", longer than usual to circulate bottoms up in this case, ,,57
    Lockdown Sleeve
    A final question relates to BP's deci sion not to install a critical apparatus to lock the
    wellhead and the casing in the seal assembly at the seafloor. When the casing is placed in the
    wellhead and cemented in place, it is held in place by gravity, Under certain pressure conditions,
    however, the casing can become buoyant, rising up in the wellhead and potentially creating an
    opportunity for hydrocarbons to break through the wellhead seal and enter the riser to the
    surface, To prevent this, a casing hanger lockdown sleeve is installed,
    On June 8, 20 I 0, Transocean briefed Committee staff on its investigation into the
    potential causes of the explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon, In the presentation,
    Transocean li sted the lack of a lockdown sleeve as one of its "areas of investigation," Slide
    51 BP, GOM Exploration Wells, Me252 #ISTOOPBPOI - Macondo Prospect 7" X 9 7/8 "
    Interval, Rev, H.2 at 6 (Apr. 15, 20 10) (BP-HZN-CEC-O 1762 1),
    52 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 57 (June 11 , 20 10),
    D ld,at 6 1.
    54 Id, at 57,
    55 Id, at 60,
    56 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Hallib1ll10n, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 20 I 0),
    57 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 65-66 (June 11 , 20 10),
    Mr. Tony Ha)'\vard
    June 14, 2010
    Page 13
    seven of Transocean's presentation asks: "Were Operator procedures appropriate?" A subpoint
    details: "Operator did not run lock down sleeve prior to negative test or displacement.,,58 Mr.
    Roth of Halliburton raised a similar concern in his June 3 briefing for Committee staff59
    In BP's planned procedure for the well, BP describes two options involving the lockdown
    sleeve. BP was seeking permission from MMS to install the final cement plug on the well at a
    lower depth than previously approved. If permission was granted, BP's plan was to displace the
    drilling mud in the riser with seawater and install the cement plug prior to installation of the
    casing hanger lockdown sleeve. BP's alternative plan, if MMS did not approve the proposed
    depth of the final cement plug, was to run the lockdown sleeve first, before installing the cement
    plug at a shallower depth 6 0 On April 16, Brian Morel, BP's drilling engineer, e-mailed BP staff
    that: "We are still waiting for approval of the depatture to set our surface plug . ... Ifwe do not
    get this approved, the displacemenUplug will be completed shallower after running the LDS.,,61
    The LDS stands for the lockdown sleeve.
    Conclusion
    The Conm1ittee's investigation into the causes of the blowout and explosion on the
    Deepwater Horizon rig is continuing. As our investigation proceeds, our understanding of what
    happened and the mistakes that were made will undoubtedly evolve and change. At this point in
    the investigation, however, the evidence before the Committee calls into question multiple
    decisions made by BP. Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk
    of a blowout to save the company time or expense. If this is what happened, BP's carelessness
    and complacency have inflicted a heavy toll on the Gulf, its inhabitants, and the workers on the
    n g.
    58 Transocean, PowerPoint Presentation, Deepwater Horizon Incident - Internal
    Investigation: Investigation Update - Interim Report at 7 (June 8, 2010).
    59 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Hallibutton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010).
    60 BP, GOM Exploration Wells Me 252 #lSTOOBP01- Macondo Prospect 7" x 9- 7/8"
    Interval at 8 (Apr. 15, 2010) (BP-HZN-CECOI7621).
    61 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Ronald Sepulvado et al. (Apr. 16,
    20 10) (BP-HZN-CEC02282 I).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 14
    During your testimony before the Committee, you will be asked about the issues raised in
    this letter. This will provide you an opportunity to respond to these concerns and clarify the
    record. We appreciate your willingness to appear and your cooperation in the Committee's
    investigation.
    Henry A. Waxman
    Chairman
    Enclosure
    cc: The Honorable Joe Barton
    Ranking Member
    The Honorable Michael C. Burgess
    Ranking Member
    Sincerely,
    ~~
    Bart Stupak
    Chairman
    Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
    Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

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    Video Confirms Oil Coming from Cracked Seabed

    VIDEO: “Oil Confirmed to Be Leaking from Cracks in Sea Floor” | The Political Carnival


    VIDEO: “Oil Confirmed to Be Leaking from Cracks in Sea Floor”

    Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 9:02 AM by GottaLaff 11 Comments and 0 Reactions




    In the interest of clarification, the blog title is that of the original post.
    I received the link to this video last night just as I was getting off line, so it is the first one I am posting this morning. The headline is one of the most disturbing ones I’ve read in some time. A worst-case scenario may, indeed, become a reality:
    On the video, we see oil leaking from the oil floor. What does this mean? It means that the oil pipe in the ocean has burst and now the oil is leaking from the seafloor. Simply put, there’s probably no realistic way we can stop this.
    There are simply no words left…
    Here are a few details:
    This video was recorded from the Viking Poseidon — ROV 1 on June 13th, 2010 at 2:58 AM EST.
    Location of the sea floor crack leaking:
    N:10431633.05
    E: 1202852.27
    My calculations indicate:
    The ROV is 19.11 feet north and 55.75 feet west of the leak point.
    The ROV is 58.93 feet away from the leak point.

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    Did Well Blow in Feb? Is this why Hayward dumped stock?

    Washington's Blog

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Did BP Start Losing Containment of the Oil Well in February?



    The Deepwater Horizon blew up on April 20th, and sank a couple of days later. BP has been criticized for failing to report on the seriousness of the blow out for several weeks.
    However, as a whistleblower previously told 60 Minutes, there was an accident at the rig a month or more prior to the April 20th explosion:
    [Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, and one of the last workers to leave the doomed rig] said they were told it would take 21 days; according to him, it actually took six weeks.
    With the schedule slipping, Williams says a BP manager ordered a faster pace.
    "And he requested to the driller, 'Hey, let's bump it up. Let's bump it up.' And what he was talking about there is he's bumping up the rate of penetration. How fast the drill bit is going down," Williams said.
    Williams says going faster caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing tools and that drilling fluid called "mud."
    "We actually got stuck. And we got stuck so bad we had to send tools down into the drill pipe and sever the pipe," Williams explained.
    That well was abandoned and Deepwater Horizon had to drill a new route to the oil. It cost BP more than two weeks and millions of dollars.
    "We were informed of this during one of the safety meetings, that somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million was lost in bottom hole assembly and 'mud.' And you always kind of knew that in the back of your mind when they start throwing these big numbers around that there was gonna be a push coming, you know? A push to pick up production and pick up the pace," Williams said.
    Asked if there was pressure on the crew after this happened, Williams told Pelley, "There's always pressure, but yes, the pressure was increased."
    But the trouble was just beginning: when drilling resumed, Williams says there was an accident on the rig that has not been reported before. He says, four weeks before the explosion, the rig's most vital piece of safety equipment was damaged.
    As Bloomberg reports today, problems at the well actually started in February:

    BP Plc was struggling to seal cracks in its Macondo well as far back as February, more than two months before an explosion killed 11 and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
    It took 10 days to plug the first cracks, according to reports BP filed with the Minerals Management Service that were later delivered to congressional investigators. Cracks in the surrounding rock continued to complicate the drilling operation during the ensuing weeks. Left unsealed, they can allow explosive natural gas to rush up the shaft.
    “Once they realized they had oil down there, all the decisions they made were designed to get that oil at the lowest cost,” said Peter Galvin of the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been working with congressional investigators probing the disaster. “It’s been a doomed voyage from the beginning.”
    ***
    On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster.

    ***
    The company attempted a “cement squeeze,” which involves pumping cement to seal the fissures, according to a well activity report. Over the following week the company made repeated attempts to plug cracks that were draining expensive drilling fluid, known as “mud,” into the surrounding rocks.
    BP used three different substances to plug the holes before succeeding, the documents show.
    “Most of the time you do a squeeze and then let it dry and you’re done,” said John Wang, an assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering at Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania. “It dries within a few hours.”
    Repeated squeeze attempts are unusual and may indicate rig workers are using the wrong kind of cement, Wang said.
    In other words, the well may have lost integrity in February, and never been properly repaired. If cracks in the well were never fully sealed, then the well may have been unstable starting in February and continuing until the April 20 explosion. (There is substantial evidence that there are cracks in the well now.)

    Bloomberg continues:
    In early March, BP told the minerals agency the company was having trouble maintaining control of surging natural gas, according to e-mails released May 30 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the spill. ***
    While gas surges are common in oil drilling, companies have abandoned wells if they determine the risk is too high.

    ***

    On March 10, BP executive Scherie Douglas e-mailed Frank Patton, the mineral service’s drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, telling him: “We’re in the midst of a well control situation.”
    The incident was a “showstopper,” said Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has consulted with the Interior Department on offshore drilling safety. “They damn near blew up the rig.”
    In other words, not only is it possible that the well casing has been unstable since February, but BP may have ignored standard drilling practices by failing to abandon the well when the natural gas began surging too violently.
    Sure, the rig didn't actually catch fire and sink until April, but cracks in the well and dangerous natural gas surges may mean that BP actually started losing containment of the well much earlier.

    Note 1: These new facts also add to the massive evidence that BP has been criminally negligent.

    Note 2: I am not saying that the well has been gushing oil since February (although oil industry expert Matthew Simmons that the amount of oil leaking from the riser and blowout preventer since April 20th does not account for the massive oil plumes observed in the Gulf).

  4. #204

  5. #205
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    Speechless. Does this leave anything but the nuke "option"?

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    Followed some links to here The Oil Drum | Deepwater Oil Spill - A Longer Term Problem, Personnel - and Open Thread 2 where there is an explanation of why there are leaks below the wellhead. Can't stop it from above is what this commenter is saying:

    "What does this mean?

    It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad,
    same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off...or tried to anyway...but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks "down hole". I'm sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed...because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.

    Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed.....and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks."
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

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    The Williams fellow, who is being interviewed and quoted is a rig technician (electrical). His lack of knowledge is reflected in his terminology. Lost circulation, stuck pipe, free point, back off, pipe cutter are the terms he is looking for and the lack of real knowledge is apparent. The problems he describes are not unique to this well and in fact are fairly common when drilling into a unknown reservoir. Williams and the Congressional inquiry members have about the same level of expertise when it comes to drilling a well for oil/gas. They would probably feel qualified to give a overview of Einstein's theory's after listening to a one hour lecture.

  8. #208
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    Tony wants his life back. It's all yours, prat:

  9. #209
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo
    Tony wants his life back.
    He said that back around the beginning of the month. He's got it back now anyway, they demoted him.

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    BP Supervisor Fired for Expressing Safety Concerns

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_616400.html

    Ken Abbott, a former project control supervisor on BP's Atlantis deepwater oil rig, was fired in 2009 after expressing concerns about the safety of the operation.
    "I got a lot of pressure from the lead engineers and from the managers saying, 'Don't do that; don't push so much; we don't want to mess with that,'" Abbott told HuffPost in an interview Wednesday. "I feel like the real reason I was fired was because I was trying to raise a safety issue, and you know BP has a long history of getting rid of people who try to raise safety issues. I was one of those victims."
    "Management sets the tone," Abbott added. "If they think that production is more important than safety, then that's the tone of the company, and that was the tone at Atlantis."
    In his testimony on the Hill on Thursday, BP CEO Tony Hayward repeatedly said that he didn't make any design choices. "I wasn't involved in any of the decision-making," he told Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), adding that there were clearly discussions about rig safety among the well's engineering team.
    "You're not taking responsibility," Waxman said. "You're kicking the can down the road and acting like you have nothing to do with... this company. I find that irresponsible."
    Congressional investigators recently obtained internal BP documents showing that BP chose a well design for Deepwater Horizon that was riskier but $3 million cheaper.
    The story sounds familiar to Abbott who had his safety recommendations for Atlantis vetoed by BP management for fiscal reasons -- the estimated cost was $2 million.
    Story continues below


    In September of 2008, Abbott was warned by his predecessor, Barry Duff, that "hundreds if not thousands" of Atlantis's documents had not been approved or finalized, and that it could "lead to catastrophic Operator errors."
    Duff had reported these concerns to management, but nothing had happened. "They didn't want to spend the money to fix it," Abbott said. "I think [Duff] was unhappy."
    For months, Abbott worked to obtain BP engineer-approved drawings with little, if any, progress. "The more I insisted that we had to develop or obtain them, the more unpopular I became," he said. Hostilities mounted until he was fired on February 5, 2009.
    "I was told that it was a reduction in force due to a slowdown on the Atlantis project, but I was the only person laid off," Abbott said. "Three weeks before, the BP managers of Atlantis had told the whole rig nobody was going to be laid off, that there was plenty of work to do."
    Hayward said under oath Thursday that he feels "a great deal of responsibility" for the Deepwater Horizon explosion this April that triggered the Gulf Coast catastrophe. "The fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon never should have happened and I'm deeply sorry that it did," Hayward said.
    Rep. Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, was underwhelmed by Hayward's claim that the CEO didn't know anything about the well in question, including safety issues that had been raised repeatedly.
    "With due respect," said Hayward, "We drill hundreds of wells around the world."
    "That's what scares me right now," said Burgess.
    Abbott said he thinks BP's lax attitude toward safety regulations extends beyond Atlantis.
    "From my experience working in the industry for over 30 years, I have never seen these kinds of problems with other companies," said Abbott. "Of course, everyone and every company will make mistakes occasionally. I have never seen another company with the kind of widespread disregard for proper engineering and safety procedures that I saw at BP... BP has a culture which simply does not follow safety regulations. From what I saw [at Atlantis], that culture has not changed."

  11. #211
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
    Speechless. Does this leave anything but the nuke "option"?

    I just don’t think it would work, knowing what I know and have learned from blasting rock. We/I blast (lime) rock to loosen it up for digging/excavating (fracturing/cracking the rock, so it can be dug). With fractured rock, logic would tell you there would be more ways for the oil to escape (seeping up through the new cracks in the sea floor).

    Using a blasting agent like nuclear would seem to be even more problematic. Think about all the wells close by, to the deep water well and the two headed ducks (to follow).

    Anyway, some are thinking along the lines of using another blasting agent to seal the leak.


    The Navy also commands explosives experts who have vast knowledge of underwater demolitions. And it has some of the world’s finest underwater engineers at Naval Reactors, the secretive program that is responsible for designing nuclear reactors for nuclear submarines. With the help of scientists in our national weapons laboratories and experts from private companies, these engineers can be let loose on the well.

    To allay any concerns over militarizing the crisis, the Navy and Coast Guard should be placed in a task-force structure alongside a corps of experts, including independent oil engineers, drilling experts with dedicated equipment, geologists, energy analysts and environmentalists, who could provide pragmatic options for emergency action.

    With this new structure in place, the Navy could focus on stopping the leak with a conventional demolition. This means more than simply “blowing it up”: it means drilling a hole parallel to the leaking well and lowering charges to form an explosive column.

    Upon detonating several tons of explosives, a pressure wave of hundreds of thousands of pounds per square inch would spread outward in the same way that light spreads from a tubular fluorescent bulb, evenly and far. Such a sidelong explosion would implode the oil well upstream of the leak by crushing it under a layer of impermeable rock, much as stepping on a garden hose stops the stream of water.

    It’s true that the primary blast of a conventional explosion is less effective underwater than on land because of the intense back-pressure that muffles the shock wave. But as a submariner who studied the detonation of torpedoes, I learned that an underwater explosion also creates rapid follow-on shockwaves. In this case, the expansion and collapse of explosive gases inside the hole would act like a hydraulic jackhammer, further pulverizing the rock.

    The idea of detonating the well already has serious advocates. A few people have even called for using a nuclear device to plug the well, as the Soviet Union has done several times. But that would be overkill. Smartly placed conventional explosives could achieve the same results, and avoid setting an unacceptable international precedent for the “peaceful” use of nuclear weapons.

    At best, a conventional demolition would seal the leaking well completely and permanently without damaging the oil reservoir. At worst, oil might seep through a tortuous flow-path that would complicate long-term cleanup efforts. But given the size and makeup of the geological structures between the seabed and the reservoir, it’s virtually inconceivable that an explosive could blast a bigger hole than already exists and release even more oil.


    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/opinion/22Brownfield.html
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

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    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Oil has been leaking thru cracks in the ocean floor for thousands of years - to wit, the Santa Barbara Channel. Who hasn't surfed, swam or otherwise spent a day at the beach in s. CA w/out coming home with tar balls on their feet, groin and armpit hair?
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

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    Great photos,

    There seems to be too much confidence that the 2 new wells being drilled will be the solution yet it's never been tried at that depth before. Then what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by phomsanuk View Post
    Great photos,

    There seems to be too much confidence that the 2 new wells being drilled will be the solution yet it's never been tried at that depth before. Then what?
    Lots and lots of cement...

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    Quote Originally Posted by phomsanuk View Post
    Great photos,

    There seems to be too much confidence that the 2 new wells being drilled will be the solution yet it's never been tried at that depth before. Then what?
    The only "never been tried at that depth" refers to ocean depth. which will have affect on the kill procedure from the relief wells. The relief well to kill the blowout is the normal practice when you cannot get any system attached to the wellhead on the blowout to control/shut the well in. With the whole world wartching BP and associates will probably watch themselves close.

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    My idea has always been to hit the area with high pressure liquid nitrogen into the earth then upward. Freeze the area solid then lay cement over all of it or whatever works at that depth.

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    US Fed Judge Overturning Drilling Ban Owned Stock...

    BP says relief well is on target as stock tumbles - Yahoo! News


    Excerpt;


    • A financial disclosure report released Friday shows that the Louisiana judge who struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deep-water [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]drilling [COLOR=#366388 ! important]in [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 ! important]the [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Gulf[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] has sold many of his energy investments. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman still owns eight energy-related investments, including stock in Exxon Mobil Corp. Among the assets he sold was stock in Transocean, which owned the rig that exploded. The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court Friday to delay Feldman's ruling "to preserve the status quo" during the government's appeal.


    more tidbits;

    Vice President Joe Biden will head to the Gulf on Tuesday to visit a command center in New Orleans and the oil-fouled Florida Panhandle.

    • The IRS said payments for lost wages from BP's $20 billion victims compensation fund are taxable just like regular income. Payments for physical injuries or property loss are generally tax-free.
    BP is drilling two relief wells, in case the first one misses its mark. The first one, started May 2, reached a depth of 16,275 feet Wednesday — including about 5,000 feet of water — before workers paused for the test. Although the relief well is only 200 feet laterally from the [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]original [COLOR=#366388 ! important]well[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR], the crew still has to drill about 2,000 feet deeper before it can intercept the original well, according to Salvin. The second relief well, started on May 16, has reached a depth of 10,500 feet.
    The biggest oil spill ever in the [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Gulf [COLOR=#366388 ! important]of [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Mexico[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] — an undersea gusher in Mexico that started in the summer of 1979 and leaked 140 million gallons — was eventually stopped with two relief wells. By some estimates, the BP spill could eclipse that disaster in a week or two; the spill has been put at somewhere between 69 million and 132 million gallons.



    BP would need about five days to secure or move all its equipment to safety from an approaching storm but is working to shorten that to two days, Salvin said. The equipment includes ships that are processing the oil sucked up by the [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]containment [COLOR=#366388 ! important]cap[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] on the well and the rigs drilling the two relief wells.



    BP is capturing anywhere from 840,000 to 1.2 million gallons of oil a day. Worst-case government estimates say 2.5 million gallons a day are leaking from the well, though no one really knows for sure.



    BP is working to develop a different containment system that would be easier to disconnect and hook back up if a storm interrupted the work.

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    Video: Is it Raining Oil In New Orleans?

    Is it raining oil <br>in Metro New Orleans?


    Is it raining oil
    in Metro New Orleans?

    River Ridge, LA
    Just south of the airport


    This video was posted to YouTube on June 22, 2010.

    The town River Ridge is up river from New Orleans and near the city's airport.

    It rains nearly everyday in New Orleans during the summer months.

    What the Bush-Cheney administration failed to do with the levee failures and the non-relief and non-rebuilding efforts, they accomplished by permitting BP to commence an insanely reckless drilling project

    This was NOT a normal well.

    It's in 5,000 feet of water and is reputed to be close to 30,000 into the earth.

    In Russia, where such super deep wells were pioneered, they are only drilled on land and far from human habitations.

    At least one prominent oil industry safety specialist warned in writing against the drilling of this well.

    This permit was made possible by Dick Cheney's gutting of the federal Minerals Management Service and the Obama administration's very cosy relationship with the oil industry.

    Not an "Act of God," not an accident, not an unlucky break.

    This catastrophe, which will prove to be bigger than Chernobyl, is the natural outcome of corruption completely out of control.

    One thing you can count on:

    The victims - and there will be millions of them - will receive no help and no compensation for their losses.

  19. #219
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    This could really complicate things if it moves into the spill area.

    Tropical Depression Threatens Yucatan, Will Move to Gulf

    June 26, 2010, 12:16 AM EDT

    By Brian K. Sullivan

    June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Residents and businesses along the Gulf of Mexico face a weekend of watching and planning as the season’s first tropical depression formed off the Yucatan Peninsula and threatens to become a tropical storm.

    The depression is about 255 miles (415 kilometers) east- southeast of Belize City and is moving west-northwest at 9 mph, according to a U.S. National Hurricane Center bulletin issued at 11 p.m. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, just shy of the 39 mph needed to be classified a tropical storm.

    “The depression is very close to tropical storm strength and conditions appear favorable for some intensification before it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula in a day or two,” the Hurricane Center said in the bulletin.

    A tropical storm warning was issued for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal northward to Cancun, as well as the coast of Belize, the hurricane center said. Official hurricane center tracks take the storm into the southern Gulf of Mexico by next week.

    The storm is expected to drop as much as 8 inches of rain on the Yucatan Peninsula and as much as 15 inches in the mountains of Honduras, which may cause floods and landslides, the center said. Last month, at least 165 people died when Tropical Storm Agatha made landfall off the Pacific in Guatemala.

    A storm in the Gulf of Mexico may become a threat to cleanup efforts for the worst oil spill in U.S. history, as well as to the offshore rigs that produce 30 percent of the country’s oil and 10 percent of its natural gas.


    Tropical Depression Threatens Yucatan, Will Move to Gulf - BusinessWeek
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  20. #220
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^



    Hopefully when this thing hits the Yucatan Peninsula it’ll fall apart and not reform into a hurricane.


    Link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/023312.shtml?5-daynl#contents

    Updates: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

  21. #221
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
    slackula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    depression formed off the Yucatan Peninsula
    You'd be depressed too if you had that much oil headed towards you.

  22. #222
    Newbie Hoggy's Avatar
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    Some very interesting reading gents in relation to the lead up to this "disaster"

    Some heads will certainly roll on this one.

    READ ON




    HENRY A. WAXMAN. CALIFORNIA
    CHAIRMAN
    JOHN O. DINGELl. MICHIGAN
    CIt/URMAN EMERITUS
    EDWARD J. MARKEY. MASSACHUSETrS
    RICK BOUCHER. VIRGINIA FRANK PALLONE. JR. . NEW JERSEY ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
    BART GORDON. TENNESSEE
    BOBBY L RUSH. ILLINOIS
    ANNA G ESHOO. CALIFORNIA
    BART STUPAK. MICHIGAN
    ELtOT L ENGEL. NEW YORK
    GENE GREEN, TEXAS
    DIANA DEGETrE. COLORADO
    VICE CHAIRMAN
    ctCongrcss of tbc Wniteb $tates
    j!)OU£ie of ~epre£iel1tntibe£i
    LOIS CAPPS. CAUfORNIA
    ",IIKE DOYLE. PENNSYLVANIA
    JANE HARMAN. CALIFORNIA
    JAN SCHAKOWSKY. ILUNOIS
    CHARLES A GONZALEZ. TEXAS
    JAY INSLEE. WASHINGTON
    TAMMY BALDWIN. WISCONSIN
    MIKE ROSS. ARKANSAS
    ANTHONY D. WEINER, NEW YORK
    JIM MATHESON. UTAH
    G.K. BunERFIElD. NORTH CAROLINA
    CHARLIE MELANCON. LOUISIANA
    JOHN BARROW. GEORGIA
    BARON P. HILL. INDIANA
    DORIS O. MATSUI. CALIFORNIA
    DONNA CHRISTENSEN. VIRGIN ISLANDS
    KATHY CASTOR. FLORIDA
    JOHN SARBANES. MARYLAND
    CHRISTOPHER MURPHY. CONNECTICUT
    ZACHARY T. SPACE. OHIO
    JERRY McNERNEY. CALIfORNIA
    BETTY sunON. OHIO
    BRUCE BRALEY. IOWA
    PETER WELCH. VERMONT
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    Chief Executive Officer
    BPPLC
    I St. James's Square
    London SWI Y 4PD
    United Kingdom
    Dear Mr. Hayward:
    COMMITIEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
    2 125 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
    WASHINGTON, DC 20515-61 15
    MoVOOlTY 1202) 2Z~2 927
    FA(;s '.' LE (202) 22~2525
    M OIORJTY (202) 22S--3641
    energycommerce.house.Qov
    June 14, 2010
    JOE BARTON. TEXAS
    RANKING MEMBER
    ROY BtuNT. MISSOURI
    DEPUTY RANKING MEMBER
    RALPH M. HALt, TEXAS
    FRED UPTON. MICHIGAN
    CLIFF STEARNS. FLORIDA
    ED WHITFIELD. KENTUCKY
    JOHN SHIMKUS. ILLINOIS
    JOHN B. SHAOEGG. ARIZONA
    STEVE BUYER. INDIANA
    GEORGE RADANOVICH. CALIFORNIA
    JOSEPH R, Pins. PENNSYLVANIA
    MARY BONO MACK. CALIFORNIA
    LEE TERRY. NEBRASKA
    MIKE ROGERS. MICHIGAN
    SUE WILKINS MYRICK. NORTH CAROLINA
    JOHN SULLIVAN. OKLAHOMA
    nM MURPHY. PENNSYLVANIA
    MICHAEL C. BURGESS, TEXAS
    MARSHA BLACKBURN. TENNESSEE
    PHIL GINGREY. GEORGIA
    STEVE SCALISE. LOUISIANA
    PARKER GRIFFITH. ALABAMA
    ROBERT E. LATTA. OHIO
    We are looking forward to your testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and
    Investigations on Thursday, June 17,2010, about the causes of the blowout ofthe Macondo well
    and the ongoing oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. As you prepare for this testimony, we
    want to share with you some of the results of the Committee's investigation and advise you of
    issues you should be prepared to address.
    The Committee's investigation is raising serious questions about the decisions made by
    BP in the days and hours before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. On April 15, five days
    before the explosion, BP's drilling engineer called Macondo a "nightmare well." In spite of the
    well's difficulties, BP appears to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that
    increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure. In several instances, these decisions appear to
    violate industry guidelines and were made despite warnings from BP's own personnel and its
    contractors. In effect, it appears that BP repeatedly chose risky procedures in order to reduce
    costs and save time and made minimal efforts to contain the added risk.
    At the time of the blowout, the Macondo well was significantly behind schedule. This
    appears to have created pressure to take shortcuts to speed finishing the well. In particular, the
    Committee is focusing on five crucial decisions made by BP: (I) the decision to use a well
    design with few barriers to gas flow; (2) the failure to use a sufficient number of "centralizers" to
    prevent channeling during the cement process; (3) the failure to run a cement bond log to
    evaluate the effectiveness of the cement job; (4) the failure to circulate potentially gas-bearing
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,20 10
    Page 2
    drilling muds out of the well; and (5) the failure to secure the wellhead with a lockdown sleeve
    before allowing pressure on the seal from below. The common feature of these five decisions is
    that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety.
    Well Design. On April 19, one day before the blowout, BP installed the final section of
    steel tubing in the well. BP had a choice of two primary options: it could lower a fu ll string of
    "casing" from the top of the wellhead to the bottom of the well, or it could hang a " liner" from
    the lower end of the casing already in the well and install a "tieback" on top of the liner. The
    liner-tieback option would have taken extra time and was more expensive, but it would have
    been safer because it provided more barriers to the flow of gas up the annul ar space surrounding
    these steel tubes. A BP plan review prepared in mid-April reconunended against the full string
    of casing because it would create "an open annulus to the wellhead" and make the seal assembly
    at the wellhead the "only barrier" to gas flow if the cement job failed. Despite thi s and other
    warnings, BP chose the more risky casing option, apparently because the liner option would have
    cost $7 to $10 million more and taken longer.
    Centralizers. When the fina l string of casing was installed, one key chall enge was
    making sure the casing ran down the center of the well bore. As the American Petroleum
    Institute's recommended practices explain, if the casing is not centered, "it is difficu lt, ifnot
    impossible, to displace mud effectively from the narrow side of the annulus," resulting in a faiku
    cement job. Halliburton, the contractor hired by BP to cement the well, warned BP that the well
    could have a "SEVERE gas flow problem" if BP lowered the final string of casing with onl y six
    centrali zers instead of the 21 recommended by Halliburton. BP rejected Halliburton's advice to
    use additional centralizers. In an e-mail on April 16, a BP official involved in the decision
    explained: " it will take 10 hours to install them . .. . I do not like this." Later that day, another
    official recognized the risks of proceeding with insuffi cient centralizers but commented: "who
    cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fi ne."
    Cement Bond Log. BP's mid-April plan review predicted cement failure, stating
    "Cement simulations indicate it is unlikely to be a successful cement job due to formation
    breakdown." Despite this warning and Halliburton's prediction of severe gas flow problems, BP
    did not run a 9- to 12-hour procedure called a cement bond log to assess the integrity of the
    cement sea l. BP had a crew from Schlumberger on the rig on the morning of April 20 for the
    purpose of rUlUling a cement bond log, but they departed after BP told them their services were
    not needed. An independent expel1 consulted by the Committee called this decision "horrib ly
    neg I i gent. "
    Mud Circulation. In exploratory operations like the Macondo well, wells are generally
    filled with weighted mud during the drilling process. The American Petroleum Insti tute (API)
    recommends that oil companies full y circulate the drilling mud in the well from the bottom to the
    top before commencing the cementing process. Circulating the mud in the Macondo well could
    have taken as long as 12 hours, but it would have allowed workers on the rig to test the mud for
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 3
    gas influxes, to safely remove any pockets of gas, and to eliminate debris and condition the mud
    so as to prevent contamination of the cement. BP decided to forego this safety step and conduct
    only a partial circulation of the drilling mud befo re the cement job.
    Lockdown Sleeve. Because BP elected to use just a single string of casing, the Macondo
    well had just two barriers to gas flow up the annular space around the final string of casing: the
    cement at the bottom of the well and the seal at the wellhead on the sea floor. The decision to
    use insuffi cient centralizers created a significant ri sk that the cement job would channel and fail ,
    while the deci sion not to run a cement bond log denied BP the opportunity to assess the status of
    the cement job. These decisions would appear to make it crucial to ensure the integrity of the
    seal assembly that was the remaining barrier against an influx of hydrocarbons. Yet, BP did not
    deploy the casing hanger lockdown sleeve that would have prevented the seal from being blown
    out from below.
    These five questionable decisions by BP are described in more detail below. We ask that
    you come prepared on Thursday to address the concerns that these decisions raise about BP's
    actions.
    Background
    BP stmt ed drilling the Macondo well on October 7, 2009, using the Marianas ri g. This
    rig was damaged in Hurricane Ida on November 9, 2009. As a result, BP and the rig operator,
    Transocean, replaced the Marianas ri g with the Deepwater Horizon. Drilling with the Deepwater
    Hori zon started on February 6, 20 I O.
    The Deepwater Hori zon rig was expensive. Transocean charged BP approximately
    $500,000 per day to lease the ri g, plus contractors' fees.] BP targeted drilling the well to take 51
    days and cost approximately $96 million?
    The Deepwater Horizon was supposed to be drilling at a new location as early as March
    8,20 103 In fact, the Macondo well took considerably longer than plarmed to complete. By
    April 20, 20 10, the day of the blowout, the rig was 43 days late for its next drilling location,
    which may have cost BP as much as $21 million in leasing fees alone. It also may have set the
    context for the series of deci sions that BP made in the days and hours before the blowout.
    ] According to the terms of the contract, the daily rate would range from $458,000 in
    March 2008 to $5 17,000 in September 20 I O. See Transocean, Transocean Fleet Update, fn. II
    (Apr. 13, 20 I 0) (online at http ://www.deepwater.com/fw/mainiFleet-Update-Report-58.html).
    2 BP, GOM Exploration Wells Me 252 #i - Macondo Prospect Well in/ormation (Sept.
    2009) (BP-HZN-CEC0087 14).
    J Testimony of Steve Tink, BP, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager, before the
    U.S. Coast Guard/MMS Marine Board of Investigation (May 26, 20 10).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 4
    Well Design
    Deepwater well s are drilled in sections. The bas ic process involves drilling through rock,
    installing and cementing casing to secure the well bore, and then drilling deeper and repeating the
    process. On April 9, 2010, BP fini shed drilling the last section of the well. The final section of
    the well bore extended to a depth of 18,360 feet below sea level, which was 1,192 feet below the
    casing that had previously been inserted into the we1l 4
    At this point, BP had to make an important well design deci sion: how to secure the final
    1,192 feet of the well. On June 3, Halliburton's Vice President of Cementing, Tommy Roth,
    briefed Committee staff about the two primary options available to BP. One option involved
    hanging a steel tube called a " liner" from a liner hanger on the bottom of the casing already in
    the well and then inserting another steel liner tube called a "tieback" on top of the liner hanger.
    The other option involved rurming a single string of steel casing from the seafloor all the way to
    the bottom of the well. Mr. Roth informed the Committee that "Liner/Tieback Casing provides
    advantage over full string casing with redundant barriers to annul ar flow."s In the case of a
    single string of casing, there are just two barriers to the flo w of gas up the arullliar space that
    surrounds the casing: the cement at the bottom of the well and the seal at the wellhead. Mr.
    Roth told the Committee that in contrast, "Liner/Tieback provides four barri ers to annular
    flow.,,6 They are (I ) the cement at the bottom of the well, (2) the hanger seal that attaches the
    liner to the ex isting casing in the well , (3) the cement that secures the tieback on top of the liner,
    and (4) the seal at the wellhead. The liner-tieback option also takes more time to install,
    requiring several addit ional days to complete.
    Internal BP documents indicate that BP was aware of the ri sks of the single casing
    approach. An undated "Forward Plan Review" that appears to be from mid-April recommended
    against the single string of casing because of the ri sks. According to this document, "Long string
    of casing . .. was the primary option" but a "Liner ... is now the recommended option.")
    4 BP, PowerPoint Presentation, Washington Briefing, Deepwater Horizon Interim
    Incident In vestigation at 4 (May 24, 20 I 0).
    S Briefing by Tonuny Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Halliburton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010); Halliburton, PowerPoi nt
    Presentation, Energy and Commerce Commillee Staff Briefing at 12 (J une 3, 20 10).
    6 Id. at 6.
    ) BP, MC 252#1 Macondo, TD Forward Plan Review - Production Casing & TA
    Options, at 9. (Apr. 20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CEC-221 09). The documents provided to the Committee
    from BP contain three versions of this document. This one and a second nearly identical version
    (BP, MC 252#1 Macondo, TD Forward Plan Review - Production Casing & TA Options (Apr.
    2010)) (BP-HZN-CEC-22025) recommend against a single string casing and in favor ofa liner
    Mr, Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page 5
    The document gave four reasons against using a single string of casing, They were:
    • "Cement simulations indicate it is unlikely to be a successful cement job due to formation
    breakdown, "
    • "Unable to fulfill MMS regulations of 500' of cement above top HC zone,"
    • "Open annulus to the wellhead, with " , seal assembly as only barrier."
    • "Potential need to verify with bond log, and perform remedial cementjob(s),,,g
    In contrast, according to the document, there were four advantages to the liner option:
    • "Less issue with landing it shallow (we can also ream it down),"
    • "Liner hanger acts as second barrier for HC in arlllulus,"
    • "Primary cement job has slightly higher chance for successfiil cement lift,"
    • "Remedial cement job, if required, easier to justify to be left for later." 9
    Communications between employees ofBP confirm they were evaluating these
    approaches, On April 14, Brian Morel, a BP Drilling Engineer, e-mailed a colleague, Richard
    Miller, about the options, His e-mail notes: "this has been [aJ nightmare well which has
    everyone all over the place, ,, lo
    Despite the risks, BP chose to install the singl e string of casing instead of a liner and
    tieback, applying for an amended permit on April 15,11 The company's application stated that
    the full casing string would start at 9 7/8 inches diameter at the top of the well and narrow to 7
    inches diameter at the bottom, 12 This application was approved on the same day,13
    approach, The third version recommends in favor of the single string of casing and is di scussed
    below,
    g ]d, "HC" stands for hyd rocarbon,
    9 Id, at 10,
    10 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Ri chard Miller, BP (Apr. 15, 20 I 0)
    (BP-HZN-CEC-2 1857),
    II BP, Form MMS 123A1123S - Electronic Vers ion, Applicationfor Revised Bypass (Apr.
    15,20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CECO I8357),
    12 Id,
    IJ E-mail from Frank Patton, MMS, to Heather Powell, JC Connor Consulting
    ("Modifi cation of Permit to Bypass as Location Surface Lease: 032306 Surface ATea: MC
    Surface Block: 252 Bottom Lease: 032306 Bottom ATea: MC Bottom Block: 252 Well Name:
    001 Assigned API Number: 608174116901 has been approved, as of2010-04-15 14:39:39,0")
    (Apr. 14,20 10), Ms, Powell then forwarded the approval to BP, E-mail from Heather Powell,
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 6
    The decision to run a single string of casing appears to have been made to save time and
    reduce costs. On March 25 , Mr. Morel e-mailed Alli son Crane, the Materials Management
    Coordinator for BP's Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Exploration Unit, that the long casing string
    " saves a lot of time ... at least 3 days. ,,14 On March 30, he e-mailed Sarah Dobbs, the BP
    Completions Engineer, and Mark Hafl e, another BP Drilling Engineer, that "[ n Jot running the
    tieback ... saves a good deal of time/money.,,15 On April IS, BP estimated that using a liner
    instead of the single string of casing "will add an additional $7 - $10 MM to the completion
    cost.,,16 The same document calls the single string of casing the "[b Jest economic case and well
    integrity case for future completion operations.,,17
    Around this time, BP prepared another undated version of its "Forward Plan Review."
    Notably, this version of the document reaches a di ffe rent conclusion than the other version,
    calling the long string of casing "the primary option" and the liner "the contingency option. ,,18
    Like the other version of the plan review, this version acknowledges the risks of a single string of
    casing, but it now descri bes the option as the "Best economic case and well integrity case for
    future completion operations. ,,19
    Centralizers
    Centralizers are attaclm1ents that go around the casing as it being lowered into the well to
    keep the casing in the center of the borehol e. If the well is not properly centered prior to the
    cementing process, there is increased ri sk that channels will form in the cement that allow gas to
    flow up the annular space around the casing. API Recommended Practice 65 explains: "If
    casing is not centrali zed, it may lay near or against the borehole wall. ... It is difficult, if not
    JC COImor Consulting, to Mark Hafle, Senior Drilling Engineer, BP (Apr. 15,201 0) (BP-HZNCEC021033).
    14 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Alli son Crane, Materi als
    Management Coordinato r, BP Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Exploration (Mar. 25, 2010). (BPHZN-
    CEC02 1880).
    15 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Sarah Dobbs, Completions
    Engineer, BP, and Mark Hafl e, Senior Drilling Engineer, BP (Mar. 30,20 I 0) (BP-HPCEC02
    1948).
    16 BP, Drilling & Compielions MOC In iliale (Apr. 15,20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CEC02 1656).
    17 / d.
    18 BP, TD Forward Plan Review, Produclion Casing & TA Oplions at 6-7 (undated) (BPHZN-
    CEC-022 145).
    19 1d.
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 20 10
    Page 7
    imposs ible, to displace mud effectively from the nan-ow side of the annulus if casing is poorly
    centralized. This results in bypassed mud charll1els and inability to achieve zonal isolation.,,20
    On April 15, BP informed HallibUlton's Account Representative, Jesse Gagliano, that BP
    was planning to use six centralizers on the final casing string at the Macondo well. Mr. Gagliano
    spent that day nUU1ing a computer analysis of a number of cement design scenarios to determine
    how many centralizers would be necessary to prevent channeling21 With ten centralizers, the
    modeling resulted in a "MODERATE" gas flow problem22 Mr. Gagliano's modeling showed
    that it would require 21 centralizers to achieve only a "MINOR" gas flow problem23
    Mr. Gagliano informed BP of these results and recommended the use of 21 centralizers24
    After running a model with ten centralizers, Mr. Gagliano e-mailed Brian Morel, BP's drilling
    engineer, and other BP officials, stating that the model "now shows the cement charll1eling" and
    that ''I'm going to run a few scenarios to see if adding more centralizers will help us or not.,,25
    Twenty-five minutes later, Mr. Morel e-mailed back:
    We have 6 centrali zers, we can run them in a row, spread out, or any combination of the
    1\\10. It ' s a vertical hole, so hopefully the pipe stays centralized due to gravity. As far as
    changes, it's too late to get any more product on the rig, our only option[] is to rearrange
    placement of these centralizers26
    20 API, Recommended Practice 65-Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well
    Construction, 4.6.5.8. , at 28.
    21 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 26 (June 11 , 20 10).
    22 Halliburton, 9 7/8 " X 7" Production Casing Design Report (Apr. 15,2010)
    (HAL_DO 1 0592).
    23 HallibUlton, 9 7/8 " X 7" Production Casing Design Report (Apr. 15,20 10)
    (HAL_DO 1 0699).
    24 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 8 (June 11 , 20 10).
    25 E-mail from Jesse Gagliano, Account Representative, Halliburton, to Mark Hafle,
    Senior Drilling Engineer, BP, Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, Brett Cocales, Operations
    Drilling Engineer, BP, and Gregory Walz, Drilling Team Leader, BP (Apr. 15,20 10)
    (HAL_DO 1 0650).
    26 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Jesse Gagliano, Account
    Representative, Hallib1ll10n, Mark Hafle, Senior Drilling Engineer, BP, Brett Cocales,
    Operations Drilling Engineer, BP, and Gregory Walz, Drilling Team Leader, BP (Apr. 15, 20 10)
    (HAL_DO 1 0648).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page 8
    The following day, April 16, the issue was elevated to John Guide, BP's Well Team
    Leader, by Gregory Walz, BP's Drilling Engineering Team Leader. Mr. Walz informed Mr.
    Guide: "We have located 15 Weatherford centrali zers with stop collars ... in Houston and
    worked things out with the rig to be able to fly them out in the morning." The decision was
    made because "we need to honor the modeling to be consistent with our previous decisions to go
    with the long string.,,27 Mr. Walz explained: "I wanted to make sure that we did not have a
    repeat of the last Atlantis job with questionable centralizers going into the hole. ,,28 Mr. Walz
    added: "I do not like or want to di srupt your operations . . .. I know the planning has been
    lagging behind the operations and I have to turn that around. ,,29
    In his response, Mr. Guide raised objections to the use of the additional centrali zers,
    writing: " it will take 10 hrs to install them . .. . I do not like thi s and ... I [am] very concerned
    about using them. ,,30
    An e-mail from Brett Cocales, BP's Operations Drilling Engineer, indicates that Mr.
    Guide's perspective prevailed. On April 16, he e-mailed Mr. Morel:
    Even if the hole is perfectl y straight, a straight piece of pipe even in tension will not seek
    the perfect center of the hole unless it has something to centralize it.
    But, who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine and we' ll get a good cement
    job. I would rather have to squeeze than get stuck .... So Guide is right on the
    rI.S kJ rewar d equatI.o n. 31
    On April 17, Mr. Gagliano, the Halliblllton account representative, was informed that BP
    had decided to use only six centrali zers32 He then ran a model using seven centralizers and
    27 E-mail from Gregory Walz, Drilling Team Leader, BP, to Jolm Guide, Well Team
    Leader, BP (Apr. 16,201 0) (BP-HZN-CEC0022433).
    28 Id.
    29 Id.
    30 Id.
    31 E-mail from Brett Cocales, Operat ions Drilling Engineer, BP, to Brian Morel, Drilling
    Engineer, BP (Apr. 16, 20 10) (BP-HZN-CEC022670).
    32 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcri bed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 40-41 (J une 11 ,201 0).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,20 10
    Page 9
    found this would likely produce channeling and a failure of the cement job33 His April 18
    cementing design report states: "well is considered to have a SEVERE gas flow problem.,,34
    Mr. Gagliano said that BP was aware of the risks and proceeded with knowledge that his report
    indicated the well would have a severe gas flow problem35
    Mr. Gagliano's findings should not have been a surprise to BP. As noted above, BP's
    mid-April plan review found that if BP used a single string of casing, as BP had decided to do,
    "Cement simulations indicate it is unlikely to be a successful cementjob.,,36 Nonetheless, BP
    ran the last casing with only six centralizers37
    Cement Bond Log
    A cement bond log is an acoustic test that is conducted by rurming a tool inside the casing
    after the cementing is completed. The cement bond log determines whether the cement has
    bonded to the casing and surrounding formations. If a channel that would allow gas flow is
    found , the casing can be perforated and additional cement injected into the armular space to
    repair the cement job.
    Mr. Roth, the Halliburton Vice President of Cementing, informed the Committee staff
    that BP should have conducted a cement bond log. According to Mr. Roth, "If the cement is to
    be relied upon as an effective barrier, the well owner must perform a cement evaluation as part of
    I · .. ,,38 a compre lenSlve systems II1tegnty test.
    J3 Id. at 8. Mr. Gagliano told the Conullittee that at the time he ran a model with seven
    centralizers, he knew of BP's decision to use only six. He told the Conunittee that running a
    model with seven centralizers demonstrated that the difference between six and seven
    centralizers would be unlikely to affect the outcome of the modeling.
    34 HallibUl10n, 9 7/8" X 7" Production Casing Design Report (Apr. 18,20 10)
    (HAL_00I0955).
    35 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 43-45 (June 11 ,20 I 0).
    36 BP, MC 252#1 Macondo, TD Forward Plan Review - Production Casing & TA
    Options, at 9. (Apr. 20 I 0) (BP-HZN-CEC-22I 09).
    37 BP, Daily Operations Report - Partners (Completion) (Apr. 18 , 2010)
    (HAL_00282 10).
    38 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Halliburton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010); Halliburton, PowerPoint
    Presentation, Energy and Commerce Commillee Staff Briefing at 12 (June 3, 20 10).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page 10
    Minerals Management Service (MMS) regulations also appear to direct a cement bond
    log or equivalent test at the Macondo well. According to the regulations, if there is an indication
    of an inadequate cement job, the oil company must "(1) Pressure test the casing shoe; (2) Run a
    temperature survey; (3) Run a cement bond log; or (4) Use a combination of these techniques."J9
    In the case of the Macondo well, the HallibUlton and internal BP warnings should have served as
    an indication of a potentially inadequate cement job.
    On April 18, BP flew a crew from Schlumberger to the rig. As described in a
    Schlumberger timeline, "BP contracted with Schlumberger to be available to perform a cement
    bond log ... should BP request those services.,,40 But at about 7:00 a.m. on the morning of April
    20, BP told the Schlumberger crew that their services would not be required for a cement bond
    log test41 As a result, the Schlumberger crew departed the Deepwater Horizon at approximately
    II: 15 a.m. on a regularly scheduled BP helicopter flight 42 The Schlumberger crew was
    scheduled for departure before pressure testing of the well had been completed, indicating that
    the results of those tests were not a factor in BP's decision to send the crew away without
    4' conducting a cement bond log. >
    BP's decision not to conduct the cement bond log test may have been driven by concerns
    about expense and time. The cement bond log would have cost the company over $ 128,000 to
    complete44 [n comparison, the cost of canceling the service was just $10,000.45 Moreover, Mr.
    Roth of Halliburton estimated that conducting the test would have taken an additional 9 to 12
    hours46 Remediating any problems found with the cementing job would have taken still more
    . 47 lime.
    39 30 CFR § 250.428.
    40 Schlumberger, Mississippi Canyon Block 252 Timeline (undated) (SLB-EC-000002).
    41 ld.
    42 ld
    43 Briefing by Mark Bly, Group Vice President for Safety & Operations, BP, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (May 25, 20 10).
    44 Schlumberger, Estimated Costs of Equipment/Labor to Pelform the Contingent
    Services Identified by BP and the AClual COS/S Upon Cancellalion (SLB-EC-000909).
    45 ld.
    46 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Halliblllton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010).
    47 A BP document indicates that the company would rely on lost mud "returns" during
    the cementing process as a trigger for conducting a cement bond log. BP, GOM Exploralion
    Wells MC 252 #lSTOOBPOl- Macondo Prospecl 7" x 9- 7/S" lnlerval at 3 (Apr. 15,2010) (BPMr.
    Tony Hayward
    June 14,2010
    Page II
    The Committee staff asked an independent engineer with expel1ise in the analysis of well
    fai lure about BP's decision not to conduct a cement bond log. The engineer, Gordon Aaker, Jr.,
    P.E. , a Failure Anal ysis Consultant with the firm Engineering Services, LLP, said that it was
    "unheard of" not to perform a cement bond log on a well using a single casing approach, and he
    described BP's decision not to conduct a cement bond log as "horribly negligent. ,,48 Another
    independent expert consulted by the Committee, Jolm Martinez, P.E., told the committee that
    "cement bond or cement evaluation logs should always be used on the production string.,,49
    Mud Circulation
    Another questionable decision by BP appears to have been the failure to circulate fu lly
    the drilling mud in the well before cementing. This procedure, known as "bottoms up," involves
    circulating dri lling mud from the bottom of the well all the way to the sur face. Bottoms up has
    several purposes: it allows workers on the rig to test the mud for influxes of gas; it permits a
    controlled release of gas pockets that may have entered the mud; and it ensures the removal of
    well cuttings and other debris from the bottom of the well, preventing contamination of the
    cement.
    API 's guidelines recommend a full bottoms up circulation between rUlming the casing
    and beginning a cementing job. The reconmlended practice states that "when the casing is on
    bottom and before cementing, circulating the drilling fluid will break its gel strength, decrease its
    viscosi ty and increase its mobility. The dri lling fluid should be conditioned until equilibrium is
    achieved .... At a minimum, the hole should be conditioned for cementing by circulating 1.5
    annular volumes or one casing volume, whichever is greater. ,,50
    HZN-CECO I7621). Mr. Gagliano of Halliburton told the Committee that lost returns are not a
    reliab le indicator of channeling: "the amount of returns would not tell you if there's charll1eling
    or not. Full returns just indicates the amount of fluid you' re pumping into the well bore, you' re
    getting the equal or very close to equal volume back at surface, which is telling you that you' re
    not fracturing any fluids into the format ion or losing any fluid s. It 's not really an indication of
    channeling." House Committee on Energy and Conunerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 86 (June 11 , 20 10).
    48 Briefing by Gordon Aaker, Jr., P.E., Failure Anal ys is Consultant with Engineering
    Services, L.P. (Houston), to House Committee on Energy and Conullerce Staff (June 10, 20 10).
    49 E-mail from John Martinez, P.E.,an independent production specialist on well bore
    construction, to House Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 10,2010).
    50 API, Recommended Practice 65-Part 2, Isola/ing Po/en/ial Flow Zones During Well
    Cons/rile/ion, 4.8.4., at 36-37.
    Mr, Tony Hayward
    June 14, 20 10
    Page 12
    BP's April 15 operations plan called for a full bottoms up procedure to "circulate at least
    one ( I) casing and drill pipe capacity, if hole conditions allow. ,,'1 Halliburton Account
    Representative Jesse Gagliano said it was also "Halliburton's recommendation and best practice
    to at least circulate one bottoms up on the well before doing a cement job,,,52 According to Mr.
    Gagliano, a Halliburton engineer on the rig raised the bottoms up issue with BPS}
    Despite the BP operations plan and the Hallib1ll10n recommendation, BP did not fully
    circulate the mud, Instead, it chose a procedure "written on the rig" which Mr. Gagliano "did not
    get input in, ,,54 BP's final procedure called for circulating just 26 1 barrels of mud, just a small
    fraction of the mud in the Macondo well. 55 Mr. Roth of Hallibul10n told the Committee that one
    reason for the decision not to circulate the mud could have been a desire for speed, as fully
    circulating the mud could have added as much as 12 hours to the operation56 Mr, Gagliano
    expressed a similar view, saying, "the well probably would not have handled too high of a rate,
    So it would take a little bit", longer than usual to circulate bottoms up in this case, ,,57
    Lockdown Sleeve
    A final question relates to BP's deci sion not to install a critical apparatus to lock the
    wellhead and the casing in the seal assembly at the seafloor. When the casing is placed in the
    wellhead and cemented in place, it is held in place by gravity, Under certain pressure conditions,
    however, the casing can become buoyant, rising up in the wellhead and potentially creating an
    opportunity for hydrocarbons to break through the wellhead seal and enter the riser to the
    surface, To prevent this, a casing hanger lockdown sleeve is installed,
    On June 8, 20 I 0, Transocean briefed Committee staff on its investigation into the
    potential causes of the explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon, In the presentation,
    Transocean li sted the lack of a lockdown sleeve as one of its "areas of investigation," Slide
    51 BP, GOM Exploration Wells, Me252 #ISTOOPBPOI - Macondo Prospect 7" X 9 7/8 "
    Interval, Rev, H.2 at 6 (Apr. 15, 20 10) (BP-HZN-CEC-O 1762 1),
    52 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 57 (June 11 , 20 10),
    D ld,at 6 1.
    54 Id, at 57,
    55 Id, at 60,
    56 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Hallib1ll10n, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 20 I 0),
    57 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Transcribed Interview of Jesse Marc
    Gagliano, at 65-66 (June 11 , 20 10),
    Mr. Tony Ha)'\vard
    June 14, 2010
    Page 13
    seven of Transocean's presentation asks: "Were Operator procedures appropriate?" A subpoint
    details: "Operator did not run lock down sleeve prior to negative test or displacement.,,58 Mr.
    Roth of Halliburton raised a similar concern in his June 3 briefing for Committee staff59
    In BP's planned procedure for the well, BP describes two options involving the lockdown
    sleeve. BP was seeking permission from MMS to install the final cement plug on the well at a
    lower depth than previously approved. If permission was granted, BP's plan was to displace the
    drilling mud in the riser with seawater and install the cement plug prior to installation of the
    casing hanger lockdown sleeve. BP's alternative plan, if MMS did not approve the proposed
    depth of the final cement plug, was to run the lockdown sleeve first, before installing the cement
    plug at a shallower depth 6 0 On April 16, Brian Morel, BP's drilling engineer, e-mailed BP staff
    that: "We are still waiting for approval of the depatture to set our surface plug . ... Ifwe do not
    get this approved, the displacemenUplug will be completed shallower after running the LDS.,,61
    The LDS stands for the lockdown sleeve.
    Conclusion
    The Conm1ittee's investigation into the causes of the blowout and explosion on the
    Deepwater Horizon rig is continuing. As our investigation proceeds, our understanding of what
    happened and the mistakes that were made will undoubtedly evolve and change. At this point in
    the investigation, however, the evidence before the Committee calls into question multiple
    decisions made by BP. Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk
    of a blowout to save the company time or expense. If this is what happened, BP's carelessness
    and complacency have inflicted a heavy toll on the Gulf, its inhabitants, and the workers on the
    n g.
    58 Transocean, PowerPoint Presentation, Deepwater Horizon Incident - Internal
    Investigation: Investigation Update - Interim Report at 7 (June 8, 2010).
    59 Briefing by Tommy Roth, Vice President of Cementing, Hallibutton, to House
    Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff (June 3, 2010).
    60 BP, GOM Exploration Wells Me 252 #lSTOOBP01- Macondo Prospect 7" x 9- 7/8"
    Interval at 8 (Apr. 15, 2010) (BP-HZN-CECOI7621).
    61 E-mail from Brian Morel, Drilling Engineer, BP, to Ronald Sepulvado et al. (Apr. 16,
    20 10) (BP-HZN-CEC02282 I).
    Mr. Tony Hayward
    June 14, 2010
    Page 14
    During your testimony before the Committee, you will be asked about the issues raised in
    this letter. This will provide you an opportunity to respond to these concerns and clarify the
    record. We appreciate your willingness to appear and your cooperation in the Committee's
    investigation.
    Henry A. Waxman
    Chairman
    Enclosure
    cc: The Honorable Joe Barton
    Ranking Member
    The Honorable Michael C. Burgess
    Ranking Member
    Sincerely,
    ~~
    Bart Stupak
    Chairman
    Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
    Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation
    s

  23. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripley View Post
    Is it raining oil <br>in Metro New Orleans?


    Is it raining oil
    in Metro New Orleans?

    River Ridge, LA
    Just south of the airport


    This video was posted to YouTube on June 22, 2010.

    The town River Ridge is up river from New Orleans and near the city's airport.

    It rains nearly everyday in New Orleans during the summer months.

    What the Bush-Cheney administration failed to do with the levee failures and the non-relief and non-rebuilding efforts, they accomplished by permitting BP to commence an insanely reckless drilling project

    This was NOT a normal well.

    It's in 5,000 feet of water and is reputed to be close to 30,000 into the earth.

    In Russia, where such super deep wells were pioneered, they are only drilled on land and far from human habitations.

    At least one prominent oil industry safety specialist warned in writing against the drilling of this well.

    This permit was made possible by Dick Cheney's gutting of the federal Minerals Management Service and the Obama administration's very cosy relationship with the oil industry.

    Not an "Act of God," not an accident, not an unlucky break.

    This catastrophe, which will prove to be bigger than Chernobyl, is the natural outcome of corruption completely out of control.

    One thing you can count on:

    The victims - and there will be millions of them - will receive no help and no compensation for their losses.
    Are you having a bad hair day, possibly hungover? 30.000 foot deep, where did this number appear? Cheney is not my hero by any means, but to blame him might be a tad prejudicial. Not knowing who was quoted as saying " will receive no help and no compensation for their losses", but that has been shown to be incorrect by monies already paid out and much much more will be paid out. The Russia comment would be disputed by MRT, who drilled a 30,000 foot plus well, some 40 years ago.

  24. #224
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel'

    New evidence supports premise that Earth produces endless supply

    What I've been saying all along...

    Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel'

  25. #225
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    Begbie's Avatar
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    Golly you are smart, Funny how deep drilling has found no hydrocarbons...at all.

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