Squeeze / pinch the oil-pipe closed (why didn't they listen to me?)

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by MoPar Man, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Remember how I said, about a week after the oil rig was sunk by a
    torpedo fired by a North Korean mini-sub, that they should pinch the
    oil-pipe closed between a pair of hydraulically-operated roller pins?

    Why didn't they listen to me?

    So now they're going to cut it wide open (presumably near the well

    Why not pinch it shut at that location instead, and then cut it off
    above the pinch, and then place their dome above the whole thing to
    collect what-ever drips out?
    MoPar Man, Jun 2, 2010
  2. MoPar Man

    Licker Guest

    Easier said then done.
    Licker, Jun 2, 2010
  3. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    (Squeeze the pipe closed)
    Harder than cutting it? Like they've tried to do but the saw blade got
    MoPar Man, Jun 3, 2010
  4. MoPar Man

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Joe Pfeiffer, Jun 3, 2010
  5. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    Does that particular alloy tolerate sharp bends (the crimps) at the
    temperatures without cracking? If the metal doesn't crack from the
    sharp bending at those temperatures, do the sharp bends significantly
    weaken the metal to lower than is needed at the pressures (internal and
    external) that that pipe will be seeing once it is dead-ended? Perhaps
    your method would work, but the question of cracking would have to be
    answered first.

    My visualization of a solution was taken from the movie "Hellfighters"
    in which John Wayne played the real life oil well fire-putter-outer Red
    Adair. There'd be this well pipe (on land, not off-shore) sticking up
    spewing oil like crazy, and the oil was on fire (not a problem in the
    present situation). First they'd snuff the fire out with dynamite, but
    then they lowered an *OPEN* valve onto the pipe (minimum back-pressure -
    not easy, but do-able). They'd secure that to the pipe (a bolted flange
    that was already in place - not applicable to the present situation),
    then they'd slowly close the valve. Done.

    The problems that would have to be looked at are, without a ready made
    attachment feature, how do you secure the open valve to the pipe once
    you have it in place? Can you weld it (depends on the alloy, and I
    don't know if the usual underwater welding techniques work at that
    depth, etc.), or can you reliably clamp it under that amount of pressure
    - perhaps a combination of weld and clamp.

    But that would be my armchair solution: Secure an open valve in place
    (would require some out-of-the-bax techniques to first get it in place,
    and then to attach it adequately to withstand the dead-end pressure),
    then shut the valve Red Adair-style. Attach pipe to the downstream end
    of the valve, and collect the oil for processing.
    Hambone, Jun 3, 2010
  6. MoPar Man

    who Guest

    I suspect they don't want to seal the pipe at that point.
    Remember this well had enough pressure to blow out the protection
    who, Jun 4, 2010
  7. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    Did the pressure blow it out or was it damaged or blown away by the
    explosion, or was it defective? I don't know the answer. I'm just
    asking do you know for sure that the protection equipment was not
    defective and that it was not damaged or removed by the initial explosion?

    One question: Why would they have used protection equipment when
    pressures exceeded what it could handle?
    Hambone, Jun 4, 2010
  8. MoPar Man

    Licker Guest

    The well was equipped with a BOP that failed to work. Deepwater wells the
    BOP is located on the seafloor where shallow water wells the BOP is located
    topside on the rig.

    In this case, the BOP was a on the seafloor. The BOP failed to work. It
    was not blown away by the well blowout. A BOP is designed to first clamp
    around the drill pipe and stop the flow of oil up the casing. Picture a
    pipe with a drill bit inside of it and a big rubber balloon surrounds the
    drill pipe. Not exactly how a BOP works but explain how the its suppose to
    work initially. The second part of a BOP that is used in emergency causes
    rams to severe the drill pipe and close of the casing thus stop the flow of
    oil, gas or gas/oil up the pipe.

    BOP can be activated by two methods. (At the BOP and remotely) BOP are
    suppose to be tested at regular intervals to ensure it is in working
    condition. Fact is BP only had one shutoff for the BOP and that was on the
    rig. It failed to close the BOP. The remote location was not installed.
    Why? Most likely to save a million dollars the cost of remote activation.

    Testimony has come out in the hears held in Kenner that the BOP had a
    hydraulic leak and one of the rams was replaced with a dummy ram (in place
    but does not activate). Why would you do this. Most likely to save money.
    The down time to get another functioning ram in here would mean the well
    would be on hold until a new ram came in. This could be hours, days or even
    weeks depending on where and if one is available. The rig cost about 325
    thousand dollars a day whether it is drilling or waiting. So down time is
    very costly.

    Having watch this nightmare on local TV and have taken a boat ride to some
    affect areas I have seen the damage this has done. This is a nightmare for
    Louisiana and the rest of the nation. Obama has stopped all drilling in
    deeper water for at least 6 months. This will cost Louisiana at least 10
    thousand jobs. There are many rigs in deeper water that are on lease that
    have stopped drilling. Theses rigs are sitting idle and many of them will
    leave Louisiana and go to Africa, Russia, Brazil and other parts of the
    world when their lease is up. Estimates in the local paper stated that
    about 60 rigs will be released from their lease by the end of the 6 months.
    Many of theses rigs would have completed drilling by then and then moved on
    to a new lease within the GOM. By this ban on drilling the rig owners are
    not going to let the rig sit idle and hope the ban is lifted. They are
    going to move the rig where they can put it to work immediately.

    So this disaster is two fold for hit for Louisiana. 1. Environmental 2.

    As I watch on TV the other day I noticed a flange on top of the BOP. So I
    wonder if the robots can pick up an egg without breaking it yet lift valves
    and pipe, and turn wrenches, why the pipe could be unbolted and an open
    valve placed on top of the BOP. Once bolted in place then close the valve
    with the robot. It makes no sense to me.

    I sure this has been thought of and rule out for some reason or another. I
    do know for sure BP would have done it had it meant stopping the leak as
    this is going to be a financial nightmare for them for some time forward.
    Licker, Jun 5, 2010
  9. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    Thanks for the thorough explanation.

    Of course hind sight is 20/20, but you'd think it would be obvious to
    have spare rams on hand as opposed to dummy rams - I mean, the cost of
    doing so (compared to the risks you're taking of possibly disabling the
    BOP by having a dummy ram in place) is miniscule.

    On the other hand - maybe the BOP design has some redundancy such that
    it has necessary shutoff force with one or two dead rams? That's the
    type of thing that the press, in the spirit of sensational reporting and
    feeding the fenzy, likes to ignore (if it is the case - I don't know
    that it is - as an engineer I'm just speculating and commenting).
    Hambone, Jun 5, 2010
  10. MoPar Man

    Licker Guest

    This accident is another fine example of cost cutting. The plant I work at
    does not stock many critical parts so they don't have to pay ad valorem tax
    (inventory) on the spare parts. They would rather limp or shutdown then pay
    the tax. I had a compressor in my unit go down that the [art was a six week
    deliver. We had to crash the unit when the compressor went down and stayed
    down for 8 weeks because we did not stock the spare part. This is the third
    time that the compressor went down for the same repair in the last 5 years.
    They claim it was cheaper to shutdown then it was to stock a part that may
    go bad once every 10 years. I ask them but what about 3 times in 5 years
    and the reply was it is the risk take.

    Globalization has made the companies in the US cut corners were ever they
    can to stay competive with countries with low wages and no envirmonmental
    laws. If we as a country don't try and purchase only from American made
    companies preferably American owned companies, there will be no more good
    paying jobs in this country and we will become a third world country. The
    rest of the world has been trying to cripple the US by demanding
    Licker, Jun 6, 2010
  11. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    Idiots are running the company if all they look at is cost of stocking
    spare parts to make such decisions. In an intelligent FMEA (Failure
    Modes and Effects Analysis), for any given failure, you consider not
    only *LIKELIHOOD*, but for it to have any validity at all, you also
    *have* to factor in *SEVERITY* of such a failure.

    IOW - if they only considered the cost (of taxes or whatever) of keeping
    spare rams, and that's totally what they based their decision on to not
    stock it, and did not consider the *SEVERITY* (i.e., huge additional
    costs) of needing the BOP to successfully operate but it fails to do so,
    then they are stupid by any measure.

    BTW - do you know the answer to the question I asked about if the BOP
    should have been able to operate correctly with one or two rams
    inoperative? If it in fact should have been able to, then they would be
    OK to have made the decision to not have spare rams on hand.
    Hambone, Jun 6, 2010
  12. MoPar Man

    Licker Guest

    Although I never worked offshore, I work side by side with many workers that
    transfered in from offshore. For what I understand that the rams are
    designed to sell the drill cassing around the drill pipe.in the event of an
    emergency. The rams work opposite of each other. There is usually more
    then one set. So if one set fails the other set could hold. See
    Licker, Jun 6, 2010
  13. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    If that is true, then it is dishonest for it to be reported that a dummy
    ram was installed without also pointing out that there is redundancy
    in the design such that that in itself would not prevent it from
    operating. That is taking advantage of the ignorance of the public, and
    either the ignorance or dishonesty of whoever was gathering the
    testimony. If that point was also not allowed to be brought out in the
    testimony (and at this point I don't know that to be or not be the
    case), then that is also systematic dishonesty in the process of
    gathering the testimony.
    Hambone, Jun 6, 2010
  14. MoPar Man

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Of course. That's how "news" works today: find a culprit, make them
    look evil.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Jun 6, 2010
  15. MoPar Man

    rob Guest

    thanks for the link......
    rob, Jun 7, 2010
  16. MoPar Man

    Licker Guest

    I was busy Friday cooking Jambalaya and White beans for a Children's
    Miracle Network and entered a Jambalaya contest on Saturday Took 7th place
    out of 20 pots. What hurts got beat by a first time 13 year old girl. Dad
    was supervising.

    On Sunday, I took a ride to Venice (3hr drive). There were tons of clean up
    people and boats but no one was working. I spoke with a few fish boat
    captains and they stated BP hired them but they have not left the dock in 10
    days. Manage to get a boat ride through some of the oil soaked marsh. I
    can tell you what the media is reporting is for from the truth.

    I was not allowed by the boat Captain to bring my camera on board as he
    feared he would lose his job. He is an oyster fisherman that was unemployed
    until BP hired him to sit idle at the dock. He tells me that what he showed
    me was only a small portion of marsh that was damaged. There are many more
    acres that was soaked in oil.

    I had a friend go to Grand Isle and try and gets some pictures of oil birds
    on the nesting grounds but was threatened with arrest by what he believe
    were US Wildlife and Fishery Agents. They identified themselves as agents
    but when he asked for proof they threatened to throw him in jail. He does
    not believe they were agents but BP employees. He was able to get two
    pictures before they ran him off.

    Today I went to work back in the refinery/chemical plant and I spoke with
    one of the old offshore hands that transferred in. He stated that in his
    belief the well is probably good for 50k to 100k barrels per day. He
    believes that the BOP is partially closed and the rubber on the rams were
    damaged when they try to pull the drill stem up out of the pipe casing.
    There were reports that chunks of rubber came up from the well a few hours
    before it blew out. His reason behind this is the cost of drilling a well
    that depth of water and that deep is not profitable for 25k Barrels per day.
    He does not think that 50K of oils is coming out the well before the latest
    attempt to capture the oil due to partially closed rams.

    I can tell you that in the plant I work for Non BP but another major player,
    we have seen our share of cost cutting and risk taking. Since all this has
    occurred our injury rate has going up (65 people injured this year alone).
    My unit had 10 operators per shift and now we are down to 8. Out of 32
    shift jobs and 5 day jobs, the average experience in the unit is less then 5
    years, (only 6 have at least 20 years). Engineer experience is less then 5
    years in the petrochemical business if not straight out of college. Boy I
    hate those engineers, with their book knowledge trying tell a seasoned 19
    year vet how to run the unit.

    We layoff all the experience management and replaced them with younger and
    cheaper labor managers that all they want to do is fire people. Things go
    so bad in my unit that we hire 15 new operators and 10 went to my unit. 7
    either new or experienced (15 or more years) quit to work else where and 6
    got fired before they made probation.

    I spoke with a fellow refinery work at a BP plant in Texas City about 9
    months ago. The one that blow up and killed 15 people and had 3 more
    fatalities after the explosion. We attended a training session together and
    as we all talked about our employees taking chances and making cuts, she
    laughed and said BP tried that and killed 15 at one time. She called me
    last week and told me that BP has just cut the hourly staff by consolidating
    jobs in the units and laid off 35. She is starting to see what we seen at
    my plant.

    The bottom line is all theses major players are taking enormous risk to save
    a dollar. They will take their chances and if something happens they will
    just pay someone off and fire the hourly person (if they live) for screwing
    up. They are all focusing on Blaming the work and not the true cause. I
    have fought this at my location and we have had 12 non probabtion folks
    fired. We took to 7 out of 12 to arbitration. All 7 got their job back and
    the arbitrator ruled that the company did not do a complete investigation to
    find out the true cause of what happened. In the rulings they write the
    company shares at least equal if not more blame for the issues that lead to
    theses termination. We did not take the other 5 as we felt that the company
    had did a complete investigation and theses folks had a history of mistakes
    or they were arrested abd convicted of a crime.
    Licker, Jun 8, 2010
  17. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    What you said was very much like what I saw on Fox News this morning.
    They talked about boats hired and sitting idle, and people being
    threatened with firing if they talked to the media or other outsiders.
    They interviewed locals, including mayors.

    Maybe you should switch to Fox News.
    Hambone, Jun 8, 2010
  18. MoPar Man

    Licker Guest

    Why watch teh news when I can see it with my own eyes. I live 1 hour from
    the closest affected area nd three hours from the farthest area affect in
    Louisiana. I fish a lot of the affected and know a lot of the commercial
    fisherman. I purchase oyster and shrimp from many. I charter a few of
    their boats in the past when several friends decide to go fishing and we all
    can't fit in my boat.

    BP has killed teh environment and Obama will kill the economy with his ban
    on drilling for six months. Fortunately Louisiana very rarely sees the bad
    economy times the rest of the nation sees due to the oil industry. this
    will change with his ban on drilling.

    BP and Transocen took chances and gambled. The rules are in place but they
    are not enforced. The same thing is going on with OSHA for the refinery and
    chemical plants. These companies have the inspectors in their back pocket
    and there is multiple things that get over looked.

    If Obama wants to do the right thing he would insure that the rule sin place
    get enforced and step up the inspections.
    Licker, Jun 9, 2010
  19. MoPar Man

    Hambone Guest

    I don't disagree, but you had said "I can tell you what the media is
    reporting is f[a]r from the truth.". That's what I was responding to.
    IOW - not *all* media is telling far from the truth - there's one that
    is reporting pretty much what you said.
    Hambone, Jun 9, 2010
  20. MoPar Man

    Guest Guest

    The probably want to hire that attack sub to fix it.
    Guest, Jun 9, 2010
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