Starting from mid June, Congress made multiple requests to BP to explain condition of the leaking well and provide facts about possible oil leak into rock formation surrounding the wellbore (read letters here).
All along since the Macondo Well ruptured on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico, BP was designing a well cap from “scratch” with two objectives in mind: 1) to contain all leaking oil and 2) to have possibility to shut-in the well. As we learned from Congress, Steven Chu, Admiral Thad Allen and independent sources BP knew about sea floor oil leaks they discovered during Top Kill operation, but was not forthcoming about oil sipping from sea floor.
It is not surprising after Top Kill procedure BP’s press briefings did not mentioned anything about designing an impermeable well cap. The first week of July BP installed mini Blowout Preventer, a cap with three RAM valves that serves dual purpose: to contain all leaking oil and to shut-in well if wellbore can hold oil reservoir pressure.
Admiral Thad Allen said it took so long to design this cap because BP had to manufacture and test this specially designed cap from scratch.
Kent Wells of BP mentioned in one of BP’s briefings that Macondo well will be considered intact, or unbroken, if wellbore can hold 8,000 – 9,000 psi pressure during well integrity test. If pressure is found significantly lower than 8,000 psi that would imply oil sips into surrounding rock formation. Oil leaking into rock formation poses a great risk of sea bed erosion and all measures are taken to avoid such outcome.
Dr. William Kerr of Harvard Business School Published a Study on Immigrants and US Innovation.
How does high-skilled immigration affect innovation in receiving countries? This column examines how large fluctuations in the admissions levels of H-1B visa holders between 1995 and 2008 influenced US patenting. It suggests higher H-1B admissions increased US innovation through the direct contributions of the immigrants without crowding out those of natives.
An article by William Kerr & William Lincoln,
published online 15 July 2010
BP has installed and bolted down an adapter, called ‘spool’, on top of failed Blowout Preventer (BOP) at leaking well (Macondo, MC252) in the Gulf of Mexico. An installation of a stack of valves on top of spool is currently in progress. Pictures of a spool adapter and of a stack of valves are shown below. Once stack is installed, BP will commence well integrity test to determine if well can hold pressure (shut-in pressure) without deterioration of rock formation or seabed leaks.
Should the well pass the 48-hour pressure test, BP may shut it, Doug Suttles, the company’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, told reporters today on a conference call. The test will start as early as this morning, once a stack of valves is bolted atop spool adapter, he said. A relief well BP is drilling will still be needed for a permanent plug.
BP’s Macondo well has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day, according to a government estimate, since an April 20 drilling-rig explosion that killed 11 workers. The pressure test, to be monitored by seismic sensors on the seafloor, may determine whether the well bore can withstand the pressure of being shut, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said today in a CNN interview.
Picture:Sealing Cap, an assembly of Spool Adapter and Stack of Valves.
Picture: Spool Adapter (top) and an imitation of Blowout Preventer opening (bottom)
One of the most successful innovations in touch screen typing is Swype (www.Swype.com). The idea behind it is simple: you put your finger down on a touch screen and drag it from letter to letter. Even if your accuracy is off, the program can make excellent predictions about what you meant to type. A developer’s kit for Android was released in February 2010 and some are using Swype typing on their phones. In addition to Android, Nokia and Samsung are testing this technology. Video below demonstrates Swype typing. A comparison shows that typing with Swype on Android phone is faster than typing on iPhone. Some experts say Google may buy out Swype Inc.
Viking Poseidon ROV recorded on June 13th, 2010 at 2:58 AM EST oil leaking from seabed near MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico. ROV was located about 55 feet away from the leaking well head when it came across oil seeping from the ground.
BP’s Bob Dudley took questions from PBS and from public on Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting was aired on PBS and posted on YouTube.
Dudley says he saw reports about fractured sea bed and uncontrolled oil flows at sea floor, including the Russian report circulated recently, but BP’s ROVs do not support this information.
Below is quote from the video transcript (video below) regarding fractured sea floor:
Time Stamp 49min:21sec — >> DUDLEY: I’ve seen some of those reports. We’ve actually taken the ROVs and looked around to see if that’s right. That persists. There’s — I’ve saw a Russian report that said that the seabed was permanently fractured and that there were submarines down there that knew that. I mean, there’s some pretty unusual reports out there. But there’s no evidence at all about fractured seabed and uncontrollable oil.