Friday, May 07, 2010

Deepwater Horizon and tuna fishing

The New York times has a good story based on eyewitness accounts to
the deepwater horizon accident. (If a story is non-political, they tend to do
a good job and I'll read it all day, on politcal stories they are slanted too far
to the left)

They have the same problem that all non-oilfield people have, they describe
the operation as:

The job of sinking the well had gone relatively smoothly — extending the well, pipe by pipe, until it punched through to the oil below. Then the crew shoved a final long stretch of pipe deep into the reservoir.
The problem with this description is it implies that the pipe is shoved
into the reservoir, like pushing a straw into mud. The reality is that
each hole section is drilled with a bit, then casing is run into the hole
then progressively smaller bits are used for the next section, followed
by smaller casing. Each string of casing is cemented by pumping cement
down the inside of the pipe, then up the annular space. The shallower
strings of casing have cement that goes all the way back up to the
wellhead on the seafloor. The deeper sections might only
have enough cement to isolate the openhole section of casing.

Then the times goes into the speculation that everyone is making,
and they start off with attacking the cementing company, which just
happens to be haliburton. They were using a foamed cement
that is normal practice for all cementing companies to use in deepwater,
because it is low enough in density to not fracture the formation while
being pumped. I wonder if they publish this speculation just because
it's haliburton, when it's been several years since haliburton sold off
Brown and Root, the object of liberal's ire.

A really interesting link to fishing forum with a post from an eyewitness
from a fishing boat. They witnessed something horrible, and tried to
help but were warned off by bigger boats, but in true coonass fashion:

We stayed a mile off the fire and searched/listened for missing ppl for 4 hours. We saw nothing. 20 or so commercial liners eventually brought Medics and oxygen for survivors. Helicopter came for search and transport. All the other facts you probably already know about; via News. The 11 missing people in 'mind' I hope slipped away in a safety boat, but in reality I doubt they are alive. This is a sad thing to say, but if you would have seen the explosions you wouldn't believe anyone of the 126 would have survived it! I pray for all of them and their families! We left at morning to make our way in, we were 60 miles offshore and gas was running low. We stopped at Elf on the way in and filled the ice chest.

The tuna were busting on top water and we couldn't resist. We left the half way point in hopes to make it home. The starboard motor ran out of gas at the very mouth of the river, but fortunately we had a spare gas tank on board! We made it to Venice at about 3pm on Wednesday and began cleaning the fish.


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