BP published its internal investigation report for Deepwater Horizon rig explosion at Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 (Links to Video, Presentation Slides, Executive Report and Full Report are below).
The investigation found eight major factors that contributed to Macondo well explosion and oil and gas leak. A sequence of failures involving a number of different parties, mainly BP, Transocean and Halliburton, led to the explosion and fire which killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP’s managers and contractors involved with well exploration made mistakes that contributed to the tragedy. In its report BP blamed many of the errors on Transocean Ltd, the owner of Deepwater Horizon rig, and on service provider Halliburton Co.
Bloomberg.Com reports that: “BP’s report concealed the well’s “fatally flawed” design, which “set the stage” for the explosion, Vernier, Switzerland- based Transocean said Sept. 8. The driller, Transocean, cited a series of cost-savings decisions by BP that added risk. Cathy Mann, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Halliburton, said the report had “substantial omissions and inaccuracies” and that BP dictated design and testing procedures for the well.”
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.
Kevin Costner spent $20M over several years and hired a team of 15 engineers to develop centrifuges to separate water from oil at up to 200 gallons per minute. BP has a contract for 32 of the centrifuges from Ocean Therapy Solutions (Kevin Costner’s company) BP tested the devices for a week and they worked as advertised.
Just one of the company’s V20 machines can clean up to 210,000 gallons of oily water per day. There are 3 V20 centrifuge machines currently operational in the Gulf. Ten more should become operational within weeks. ”Once production at our factory in Nevada ramps up in July, OTS will be able to produce 10 machines a month,” said Pat Smith, Chief Operating Officer for OTS. ”We are currently ramping up production of new machines with a goal toward deploying the machines along the entire coast,” he said.
Numerous oil recovery shutdowns since LMRP Cap was installed on top of failed blowout preventer at MC 252 well in the Gulf of Mexico seriously undermine the effectiveness of LMRP Cap strategy. While BP was able to increase oil recovery to 25,000 barrels a day with ‘dual’ collection, constant fire hazards do not allow company to run LMRP Cap oil recovery without shutdowns.
BP scheduled connection of a floating riser at the beginning of July 2010 to prepare for storms and hurricanes.
Picture: A drawing of LMRP Cap placed on top of Blowout Preventer (BOP) at MC252 well
U.S. Department of Energy released schematic diagrams of Blowout Preventer and Well for MC252 “Macondo” Project. Files can be obtained here:
Well Configuration (.pdf)- showing the depths and sizes of the different casings installed during the well’s construction. Blow Out Preventer Drawing (.pdf) – This file is an engineering drawing of the Blow Out Preventer with the key components labeled. Pressure Data Within BOP (.xls) – This file describes the components within the BOP and the pressure readings taken during diagnostic operations on May 25. Top Kill Operational Concept and Details (.pdf) - This file contains a cartoon schematic of the Top Kill operational concept and layout of surface and underwater vessels and a status of Top Kill #1 – 3.
Picture above: Blowout Preventer top opening right after riser was cut (unevenly) with giant shears. Picture was take from ROV live video feed on June 3, 2010 and shows there are two streams of different color gushing from the well, likely due to leaks from different rock formation areas.
Did the Gulf of Mexico waters near Louisiana become property of BP? Did Americans lost their right to see what is going on with leaking deepwater well MC252? I wonder why live video feeds from ROVs at sea floor near leaking MC252 well are not broadcasted for several days. I tried different computers, different websites without success. Does anybody know?
On June 16th, a total of 14,750 barrels of oil were collected by LMRP Cap and 3,850 barrels collected and burned by Q4000 platform. This brings total daily oil recovery to 18,600 barrels. BP continues doing adjustments to increase amount of oil captured through Choke Line of failed BOP.
Picture: LMRP Cap vs. Man comparison (Source: www.bp.com)
BP started its dual collection process, and drew 1,250 barrels of oil in 12 hours from the Choke line of failed blowout preventer (BOP), in addition to amount collected with LMRP Cap. The optimization will continue during the next few days to increase collection level.
The lightning strike on the Enterprise Drillship on June 15 demonstrates how easy it is to render current containment system out of order. BP shut down containment operation for about five hours after lightning stroke the Drillship and caused fire. Clearly, BP’s containment system as it is now is not ready for storms or hurricanes.
Still, BP’s efforts seem to focus solely on oil collection and not on plugging the well. I wonder why there are no backup plans geared toward plugging the well.
Picture above: Kent Wells describes Blowout Preventer (BOP) and the ways to shut the oil flow during May 10, 2010 briefing.
LMRP Cap containment system collects consistently about 15,500 barrels of oil each day; the remaining leaks into the Gulf. It is not clear how much is currently leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. It seems that 15,500 barrels per day is close to riser’s maximum throughput capacity.
BP plans to divert some oil and gas flow through Blowout Preventer’s “Choke” line starting in mid June (5,000 – 10,000 barrels throughput capacity). Pending outcome of the Choke line oil collection, diverting flow through Kill line is also considered (5,000 – 10,000 barrels throughput capacity). Replacement of current riser with floating one is scheduled for July 1. Floating riser throughput is estimated at 20,000 barrels per day.
The first planned addition, to operate in addition to the LMRP cap system, will take oil and gas from the choke line of the failed Deepwater Horizon blow-out preventer (BOP) through a separate riser to the Q4000 vessel on the surface. Both the oil and gas captured by this additional system are expected to be flared through a specialised clean-burning system. This system is intended to increase the amount of oil and gas that can be captured from the well and is currently anticipated to begin operations in the next few days.
Preparations are also underway for more permanent and flexible containment system employing a floating riser. A manifold has been deployed on the seabed and a suction pile to anchor a riser has been installed. It is currently anticipated that this system will be available to begin first operations around the end of June/early July. A floating riser is designed to replace current riser from Enterprise Drillship.