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Old 04-30-2010, 09:00 PM
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Default Deepwater Horizon drilling rig

“You may have heard the news in the last two days about the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which caught fire, burned for two days, then sank in 5,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico. There are still 11 men missing, and they are not expected to be found.
The rig belongs to Transocean, the world’s biggest offshore drilling contractor. The rig was originally contracted through the year 2013 to BP and was working on BP’s Macondo exploration well when the fire broke out. The rig costs about $500,000 per day to contract. The full drilling spread, with helicopters and support vessels and other services, will cost closer to $1,000,000 per day to operate in the course of
drilling for oil and gas. The rig cost about $350,000,000 to build in 2001 and would cost at least double that to replace today.
The rig represents the cutting edge of drilling technology. It is a floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 ft water depth. The rig is not moored; It does not use anchors because it would be too costly and too heavy to suspend this mooring load from the floating structure. Rather, a triply-redundant computer system uses satellite positioning to control powerful thrusters that keep the rig on station within a few feet of its intended location, at all times. This is called Dynamic Positioning.
The rig had apparently just finished cementing steel casing in place at depths exceeding 18,000 ft. The next operation was to suspend the well so that the rig could move to its next drilling location, the idea being that a rig would return to this well later in order to complete the work necessary to bring the well into production.
It is thought that somehow formation fluids – oil /gas – got into the wellbore and were undetected until it was too late to take action. With a floating drilling rig setup, because it moves with the waves, currents, and winds, all of the main pressure control equipment sits on the seabed – the uppermost unmoving point in the well. This pressure control equipment – the Blowout Preventers, or ‘BOP’s” as they’re called, are controlled with redundant systems from the rig. In the event of a serious emergency, there are multiple Panic Buttons to hit, and even fail-safe Deadman systems that should be automatically engaged when something of this proportion breaks out. None of them were apparently activated, suggesting that the blowout was especially swift to escalate at the surface. The flames were visible up to about 35 miles away. Not the glow – the flames. They were 200 – 300 ft high.
All of this will be investigated and it will be some months before all of the particulars are known. For now, it is enough to say that this marvel of modern technology, which had been operating with an excellent safety record, has burned up and sunk taking souls with it.
The well still is apparently flowing oil, which is appearing at the surface as a slick. They have been working with remotely operated vehicles, or ROV’s which are essentially tethered miniature submarines with manipulator arms and other equipment that can perform work underwater while the operator sits on a vessel. These are what were used to explore the Titanic, among other things. Every floating rig has one on board and they are in constant use. In this case, they are deploying ROV’s from dedicated service vessels. They have been trying to close the well in using a specialized port on the BOP’s and a pumping arrangement on their ROV’s. They have been unsuccessful so far. Specialized pollution control vessels have been scrambled to start working the spill, skimming the oil up.
In the coming weeks they will move in at least one other rig to drill a fresh well that will intersect the blowing one at its pay zone. They will use technology that is capable of drilling from a floating rig, over 3 miles deep to an exact specific point in the earth – with a target radius of just a few feet plus or minus. Once they intersect their target, a heavy fluid will be pumped that exceeds the formation’s pressure, thus causing the flow to cease and rendering the well safe at last. It will take at least a couple of months to get this done, bringing all available technology to bear. It will be an ecological disaster if the well flows all of the while; Optimistically, it could bridge off downhole.
It’s a sad day when something like this happens to any rig, but even more so when it happens to something on the cutting edge of our capabilities. The photos that follow show the progression of events over the 36 hours from catching fire to sinking. “
Here are the photos. Horizon Rig Down (pdf is a little slow to load)
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:23 AM
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Bad weather and high waves have made it near impossible to stop the encroachment of the oil on our wetlands. First to go will be the little creatures like shrimp, next year it will be the fish that feed on the shrimp, and then the predatory animals that feed on those fish. This is most likely going to be a bigger impact than the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 20 years ago.

You think Katrina was bad for the South Louisiana economy, that wasn't anything compared to what is coming.

Tell your senators and representatives that you think Louisiana should receive their fair share of oil revenues like other States get. If we have to sacrifice our wetlands and economy, we deserve to be reimbursed for it.

http://www.wwl.com/Document--BP-had-...oil-sp/6941080

British Petroleum downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. spill in decades along the Gulf coast and endangering shoreline habitat.

In its 52-page exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well, BP suggested it was unlikely, or virtually impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish, mammals and fisheries.

BP's plan filed with the federal Minerals Management Service for the Deepwater Horizon well, dated February 2009, says repeatedly that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."

And while the company conceded that a spill would impact beaches, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, it argued that "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected."

The spill - a slick more than 130 miles long and 70 miles wide - threatens hundreds of species of wildlife, including birds, dolphins and the fish, shrimp, oysters and crabs that make the Gulf Coast one of the nation's most abundant sources of seafood. Louisiana closed some fishing grounds and oyster beds because of the risk of oil contamination.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:39 AM
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Default Bird with oil

A Northern Gannet was rescued near the sunken oil rig about 45 miles from the Louisiana coast Friday April 30, 2010. It is being treated at Fort Jackson by Tri-State Bird Rescue's Danene Birtell, right and Dr. Heather Nevill of International Bird Rescue. The two are feeding the bird to help hydrate and put nutrients back into it's system.


What he/she should look like:
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:44 AM
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Unbelievable! Louisiana is just screwed as usual.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:01 PM
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Conspiracy theory I heard from a friend today about North Korea blasting the oil rig. . .

Quote:
A grim report circulating in the Kremlin today written by Russia’s Northern Fleet is reporting that the United States has ordered a complete media blackout over North Korea’s torpedoing of the giant Deepwater Horizon oil platform owned by the World’s largest offshore drilling contractor Transocean that was built and financed by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., that has caused great loss of life, untold billions in economic damage to the South Korean economy, and an environmental catastrophe to the United States.
http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1367.htm (for those of you who might be interested in conspiracy theories). Another friend (who works for an offshore oil company) tells me that that only connection South Korea had with the rig is that it was built there.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:16 PM
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Wow, do you think there is an validity to this?
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:17 PM
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Dunno, Nan. . .I do think it actually sounds somewhat plausible, but then. . .so do most conspiracy theories. As ya know, some never get resolved. I guess we can pray that this one isn't true!
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:18 AM
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Default Obama to fly to Louisiana for oil spill Update

Quote:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama awaited a firsthand update Sunday on the Gulf Coast oil spill and efforts to contain the environmental damage, and two members of his Cabinet hit the talk show circuit as the administration tried to counter criticism it had reacted slowly to the disaster.

Obama planned to fly to Louisiana for briefings on the underwater spill, which remained unstopped and impossible to measure, raising fears it could be pouring more oil into the Gulf than earlier believed.

The Coast Guard estimated that at least 1.6 million gallons of oil have spilled since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers on an offshore rig. In the Exxon Valdez disaster, an oil tanker spilled 11 million gallons off Alaska's shores in 1989.

. . .

The spill came just weeks after Obama announced plans to open up large areas of the Eastern Seaboard and a part of the Gulf for possible future oil drilling. And it's led to increasing calls to reconsider that initiative by environmentalists and coastal state lawmakers.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...MTnJQD9FEMCVG0
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:25 PM
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My pastor's nephew and several friends were on this. So thankful they got off safe.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:37 PM
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They were on the rig?
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