Deepwater Horizon - Transocean Oil Rig Fire


#7301

[QUOTE=Earl Boebert;85205]I do wish you would carefully read what I wrote. Stating that something influences an incident does not imply an intent to excuse.

[B]Except that you continuously suggest the other guy did it! Fact is that all the bullshit surrounding centralisers, long string versus liner etc…are diversions from the truth. The people controlling the well made the decision to continue, and they did this knowing sweet FA about what they were doing. This sums up the culture, put your hand in the fire when told to do so…without any understanding of the consequences.[/B]

My statement was that the shoreside management did not help and probably made life more complicated for the crew.

[B]The crew have escaped any criticism, and by crew I mean the guys sitting in the doghouse, the logger and the mud engineer. Any way you look at this, incompetence prevailed, and yet, no-one speaks of it. Whatever shoreside did or didn’t do is irrelevant. The crew had successfully run the casing and placed cement on bottom. Their only responsibility is to monitor the well, to interpret the data and signals from the well and above all take the required action to shut in when it became obvious that the well was flowing. When was it obvious? The very first time they opened the well and discovered excess flow. All they had to do was calculate the volume to bleed off and allow for a small amount of thermal expansion. Then monitor the displacement which the mud engineer did not participate in other than to write a plan for displacement which appears to have ignored any control of volume. That mud engineer visits Exxon rigs too!
So, what management had to do with any of these decisions is very questionable. The crews are expected to have the training to deal with the protection of all personnel on the vessel. If an idiot Co Man doesn’t know how to interpret the well’s pressure then the crew are supposed to react. They deal with pressure and signals from the well each and every day. To dismiss their responsibility and suggest onshore management ‘made life more complicated’ is clutching at untruths. This is a pressure job which has to be handled one stage at a time. [/B]

I’m not impressed by sweeping generalizations about GOM-wide practices. I find it hard to believe that an ExxonMobil rig crew would exhibit the behavior we saw on DWP. More to the point, I find it hard to believe that an ExxonMobile Drilling Engineer would get away with sending six revisions to a temporary abandonment plan in eight days without performing either a risk assessment or management of change step on any of them.

[B]You’ll just have to accept that the industry has its frustrating moments and they all have these experiences despite your unwillingness to believe.[/B]

The guy actually had to be reminded to include the negative pressure test.

[B]And the TO OIM’s statement in the morning suggested ‘we’ve always got the pinchers’! I assume he was prepared to continue with operations rather than contest any decisions. And, why the hell wasn’t he in the heart of the action? Because of the officials on the vessel? C’mon, he always insisted on negative tests. Couldn’t he just have relayed some of his experience where negative tests went wrong? His crew needed guidance and he was nowhere to be seen to hel with interpretation.[/B]

And do you actually think any other operator would send out a company man who not only had never been on a rig before but who accepted the “bladder effect” explanation so thoroughly that even after he was fished out of the water and got back to the office he sent out emails promoting it?

[B]I assume he was listening to the toolpusher who was just about to become the TO training Instructor for well control. Slightly ironic wouldn’t you say?[/B]

It is definitely the case that BP botched the takeover of Amoco and Arco. You think it’s a Brit/American thing; I think it was more a finance/operations thing (I have lived through a major takeover – they almost never work). BP’s numbers-driven managers forced out all the senior Amoco/Arco managers because they were too expensive. Here’s what Bob Bea, who was hired directly by Lord Browne to advise them on the takeover, said about that decision:

[B]Obama, made it a Brit/American thing and the whole country listened to the media spouting untruths about BP. The lynch mob mentality started in the White House and they needed a culprit quickly to appease a nation who had just lost 11 of their sons due to the ineptitude of BP in London, apparently! So, they decided on Hayward as an easy target. The attack on his character can only be likened to the mentality of the muslims in Egypt leaving the Mosque to fight the infidel after being ‘instructed’ and ‘directed’ by the holier than thou Mullahs![/B]

“You’re screwed. You just early-retired your memory. You early-retired the people who remember all those mistakes you’ve ever made, and you’ve left all the bright young people without adequate mentors.” Bea further said that BP was too enthusiastic with its downsizing and left it with a “brittle organization” “When you put them under stress they tend to collapse.” The beancounters “stripped away all the robustness. BP became defect intolerant. The problem is, life is full of defects.”

[B]Mistakes are made in every organisation! Is any of this relevant to the inept actions on the vessel? [/B]

BP Houston/ex-Amoco/ex-Arco was a mess. Here’s the content of an April 17 email between the Wells Team Leader (who had just received a de facto demotion) and the Drilling Operations Manager:

"[DOM], over the past four days there have been so many last minute changes to the operation that the WSL’s have finally come to their wits end. The quote is ‘flying by the seat of our pants.’ More over, we have made a special boat or helicopter run everyday. Everybody wants to do the right thing, but this huge level of paranoia from engineering leadership is driving chaos. This operation is not Thunderhorse. [The Drilling Engineer] has called me numerous times trying to make sense of all the insanity. Last night’s emergency revolved around the 30 bbls of cement spacer behind the top plug and how it would affect any bond logging (I do not agree with putting the spacer above the plug to begin with). This morning [the Drilling Engineer] called me and asked my advice about exploring opportunities both inside and outside of the company.

[B]I take it that he was looking for a job elsewhere! And remember, the casing was put in place successfully. The only thing that went wrong was the action of the personnel on the vessel. There are so many cement jobs that fail but they must be recognised especially during an inflow test. Where was the goddam OIM who insisted on taking the inflow test and where was his instruction to maintain volume control? [/B]

What is my authority? With the separation of engineering and operations I do not know what I can and can’t do. The operation is not going to succeed if we continue in this manner."

[B]Isn’t that a question a driller and Toolpusher should also make? Am I going to continue blind and not tell anyone I don’t understand what’s going on. [/B]

Finally, I think it is good for your industry and society as a whole that there are people inside API, IADC, COS and the operating companies who have refused to accept the proposition that once you have placed the onus on the crew there is nothing more to learn.

[B]But, it might help if people could understand that the personnel on the vessel obviously had no idea what they were dealing with…and didn’t seek clarification or shout STOP. Remember, this was over 1000 barrels before anyone attempted to shut in. I believe this is the largest ever undetected influx! API, IADC, COs all have a part to play in ensuring Drillers and Toolpushers know a little more than closing the pinchers! If they want to set standards then they need to make sure they aren’t ‘voluntary’.[/B]

Cheers,

Earl[/QUOTE]

[B]It’s fine to continuously blame folk further up the line but we also have to be fair and recognise that each and every one of us is responsible for our action and inaction. [/B]


#7302

Gulf Oil Sheen Linked to Deepwater Horizon (BP, RIG)
10/12/2012

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/10/12/oil-slick-complicates-bp-liability-talks.

Two and a half years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, more oil apparently from BP’s (NYSE: BP ) Macondo well has been found about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

“The sheen is not feasible to recover and does not pose a risk to the shoreline,” according to a government press releasefrom Wednesday. “The exact source of the sheen is uncertain at this time but could be residual oil associated with wreckage and/or debris left on the seabed from the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010.”

The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 crew members and leaked some 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP reported the latest sheen to the National Response Center on Sept. 16. A Notice of Federal Interest was issued to BP and Transocean (NYSE: RIG ) – which owned the Deepwater Horizon rig – informing them that they “may be held accountable for any cost associated with further assessments or operations related to this sheen.”

BP said it has no reason to believe the well is leaking.

In a statement, BP said samples from the sheen reveal “alpha-olefins,” which are found in the drilling mud, but not the source oil, indicating the sheen is coming from Deepwater Horizon debris. “The size of the sheen, its persistent point of origin and other factors indicate the most likely source is the bent riser pipe that once connected the rig to the well head, where a mix of oil, drilling mud and seawater were trapped after the top kill operation,” said a company statement.


#7303

BP Penalty Sought by U.S. for Workers’ Refusal to Testify

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Three BP executives’ refusal to testify about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster should be held against the company at a multibillion-dollar trial over liability for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, prosecutors said.
Mark Hafle, BP’s senior drilling engineer; Brian Morel, a drilling engineer; and Robert Kaluza, the well-site leader, were the London-based company’s direct chain of command over the well that blew out off the Louisiana coast in April 2010. All three have invoked their constitutional right not to testify on the grounds that it might incriminate them.

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked a federal judge in New Orleans to rule that BP can be penalized at trial for the workers’ silence, citing the three employees’ refusal to answer specific questions about why they allegedly ignored warning signs and continued to drill and complete the well in violation of industry safety standards and government regulations.

“It was the well site leader and drilling engineer’s responsibility to ensure that the proper tests were completed before the cement was run, correct?” a lawyer asked Kaluza under oath in a pretrial deposition, according to Friday’s filing. “You could not simply rely on the contractor, could you?”

Kaluza, who was one of two BP “company men” on duty aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, declined to answer.

“You never ran any additional tests to determine the casing integrity or whether, in fact, something had ruptured higher up, did you?” the lawyer asked, saying that Kaluza had expressed concern about a possible rupture or hole.

Kaluza again refused to answer, according to the filing.

The government asked that the court “draw adverse inferences” based on the witnesses’ refusal to testify. This would mean that the judge, who is hearing the civil case without a jury, could assume that whatever testimony the BP workers’ might have provided would have been unfavorable to the company.

Shaune Clarke, Kaluza’s lawyer, Mitch Lansden, Hafle’s attorney, and Bill Taylor, who represents Morel, didn’t return calls seeking comment on the request by prosecutors.

BP said in a filing that it would rather the judge not penalize any of the companies involved in the spill for their employees’ refusal to testify.

“The inferences sought by other parties essentially amounted to counsel’s wish list of facts not otherwise established by the evidence,” Don Haycraft, BP’s lawyer, said in the filing. Drawing adverse inferences from employees’ silence, he said, would “improperly grant opposing counsel carte blanche to establish whatever facts they wished with regard to the events that led to the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon and resulting oil spill.”

More interesting info follows…Article continues>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


#7304

Deepwater Horizon riser ‘responsible for new oil slick in Gulf of Mexico’ | Environment | guardian.co.uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/12/deepwater-horizon-oil-slick-gulf-mexico?intcmp=122

Friday October 12, 2012

Government scientists have definitively linked a new oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico to the BP oil spill disaster of 2010.

A senior government scientist said the most likely source of the new oil is the mile-long length of pipe from the Deepwater Horizon rig, now lying in a crumpled loop on the ocean floor.

At worst, he said, the pipe was thought to contain some 1,800 barrels of oil – a minuscule amount compared with the 4.9m barrels that gushed into the ocean from BP’s well during the 2010 oil disaster.

“When you look at all those pieces of information and put them together there is a high degree of confidence that the oil we are seeing and the sheening on the surface is coming from the riser, and that this is residual oil,” said Frank Csulak, who is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s scientific co-ordinator for the Deepwater Horizon disaster site.

BP said in a statement to reporters that its tests confirmed the oil was from the riser, and that samples contained compounds found in drilling mud.

BP spokesman Brett Clanton said: "The size of the sheen, its persistent point of origin and other factors indicate the most likely source is the bent riser pipe that once connected the rig to the well head, where a mix of oil, drilling mud and sea water were trapped after the top kill operation.

“It’s very reasonable and logical to conclude that maybe a little crack formed in one of the creases, in one of the bends, and that is where the oil is leaking out of.”

BP and Transocean, which were partners on Deepwater Horizon, have until Friday afternoon to submit a clean-up plan for the site.

The sheen, only microns thick, varies in size. Earlier this week it extended for three miles near the site of the doomed well, about 50 miles off the shore of Louisiana.

The United States Coast Guard said in a statement on Wednesday night that lab tests, performed at a government facility in Connecticut, had matched oil from the slick to the Deepwater Horizon.

Oil sheens are pretty common in the Gulf of Mexico, where there are tens of thousands of idled offshore wells – many of which were abandoned without being completely sealed off.

But the size and persistence of the sheen near the BP disaster site, first detected by satellite images on 9 September, prompted further investigation.

The Coast Guard in its statement said it was still investigating the source of the new oil. “The exact source of the oil is unclear at this time but [it] could be residual oil associated with the wreckage or debris left on the seabed from the Deepwater Horizon incident.”

Other government officials, speaking to the Washington Post, have said it is unlikely that oil could be leaking again from the original well head. Engineers poured thick plugs of cement into both ends of the well to finally cap it last July 2010, and officials said a new breach was very unlikely. “With what we did to it it’s pretty hard to imagine,” Marcia McNutt, who heads the US Geological Survey, told the Post.

A more detailed chemical analysis also ruled out a natural seep from the well reservoir. Csulak said researchers discovered the presence of drilling mud, which had been in the riser.

However, he appeared to downplay concerns about more oil entering the Gulf. The sheen, at this point, is not recoverable, Csulak said. “We don’t feel that is causing an environmental impact. It’s not going to reach the shore-line,” he said.


#7305

The DWH incident was a classic example of a cascading failure, in which one thing leads to another until catastrophe ensues; in CRM terms, it’s an “error chain.” It is always possible to take one element of the chain and assert that it is the only one that matters: “if x had/hadn’t done y, none of this would have happened.” Collapsing a chain of factors down into one is called “root cause seduction,” and it has been depreciated for decades by safety specialists. The problem with thinking this way is that:

It doesn’t help us differentiate between important and unimportant factors. The “if x” statement can be made about any element in the chain.

It promotes complacency by fooling us into thinking we have found the “answer” to a complex problem.

That complacency, in turn, leads to a disregard of factors that may have been minor or irrelevant in this chain of errors but which, if unaddressed, could be an element in the next one.

Your repeated assertion that the incident was the result of crew action, all crew action, and only crew action is a textbook example of root cause seduction. Perhaps the most striking thing about your position is that one can search in and out of the Internet and find few, if any people who agree with you. Not even BP believes in a single-factor explanation:

“The team did not identify any single action or inaction that caused this accident. Rather, a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgments, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces came together to allow the initiation and escalation of the accident. Multiple companies, work teams and circumstances were involved over time.” [BP, Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report]

Continuing the exchange, [I]my original in italics,[/I] [B]alcor’s response in bold[/B], my rebuttal in plain

[I]I do wish you would carefully read what I wrote. Stating that something influences an incident does not imply an intent to excuse.[/I]

[B]Except that you continuously suggest the other guy did it! [/B]

I suggest, imply or state no such thing. For the empty-umpth time, observing that something may be a factor in an event does not constitute either blame or excuse.

[B]Fact is that all the bullshit surrounding centralisers, long string versus liner etc…are diversions from the truth.[/B]

I never suggested they were factors. I stated that, in my opinion as an experienced practitioner and teacher of project management, the [I]manner[/I] in which the centralizer decision was made indicated disorganized and tentative decision-making. I stand by my statement.

[B]The people controlling the well made the decision to continue, and they did this knowing sweet FA about what they were doing. This sums up the culture, put your hand in the fire when told to do so…without any understanding of the consequences.[/B]

I would appreciate pointers to evidence of this culture and how widespread it may. I know how to use Google, so just a few keywords will do.

[I]My statement was that the shoreside management did not help and probably made life more complicated for the crew.[/I]

[B]The crew have escaped any criticism, and by crew I mean the guys sitting in the doghouse, the logger and the mud engineer. Any way you look at this, incompetence prevailed, and yet, no-one speaks of it. [/B]

Well, if you feel so strongly about that, get off your duff and do something. The whole Internet is at your disposal. Submit an edit to the Wikipedia page (anybody can), put up a Facebook page, write a blog and publicize it in comments here and elsewhere. Volunteer to be an expert witness for BP. Write an op-ed for the New York Times. Just be sure to explain how an obsession with blame advances the cause of safety.

[B]Whatever shoreside did or didn’t do is irrelevant.[/B]

Only if you subscribe to the simplistic and dead-end view that this was a single-factor event. If you take a wider and more nuanced view then the confusion about the temporary abandonment plan and the poor supervision of the Halliburton marketing guy are clearly factors. Not indictments, not excuses, not the whole story. Just things that need to be kept in mind when attempting to understand all that was involved the event.

[B]The crew had successfully run the casing and placed cement on bottom.[/B]

I don’t think you’ll find many people who will agree that the cement job was successful.

[B]Their only responsibility is to monitor the well, to interpret the data and signals from the well and above all take the required action to shut in when it became obvious that the well was flowing. When was it obvious? The very first time they opened the well and discovered excess flow. All they had to do was calculate the volume to bleed off and allow for a small amount of thermal expansion. [/B]

Please tell us the [I]specific[/I] point in the timeline when, if you were in the doghouse, it would have been obvious to you that the well was flowing, and what values would give you that indication.

[B]Then monitor the displacement which the mud engineer did not participate in other than to write a plan for displacement which appears to have ignored any control of volume. [/B]

It is my understanding that the plan for displacement was written by the shoreside drilling engineer (who was on the rig up to 11:15 AM the day of the blowout – he left with the Schlumberger cement logging team). Please cite your evidence that I am mistaken.

[B]That mud engineer visits Exxon rigs too![/B]

And I am quite confident that if and when he does, his actions take place in the context of a strong, top-down risk management structure. A structure that either did not exist or was not exercised in BP Houston.

[B]So, what management had to do with any of these decisions is very questionable. The crews are expected to have the training to deal with the protection of all personnel on the vessel. If an idiot Co Man doesn’t know how to interpret the well’s pressure then the crew are supposed to react. They deal with pressure and signals from the well each and every day. To dismiss their responsibility and suggest onshore management ‘made life more complicated’ is clutching at untruths. This is a pressure job which has to be handled one stage at a time. [/B]

I think I’ve stated my position on the blame/excuse game enough that I don’t need to repeat it here.

[I]I’m not impressed by sweeping generalizations about GOM-wide practices. I find it hard to believe that an ExxonMobil rig crew would exhibit the behavior we saw on DWP. More to the point, I find it hard to believe that an ExxonMobile Drilling Engineer would get away with sending six revisions to a temporary abandonment plan in eight days without performing either a risk assessment or management of change step on any of them. [/I]

[B]You’ll just have to accept that the industry has its frustrating moments and they all have these experiences despite your unwillingness to believe.[/B]

I don’t believe anything without evidence. Please cite a case where ExxonMobil after 2008 failed to invoke its risk management process.

[I]The guy actually had to be reminded to include the negative pressure test.[/I]

[B]And the TO OIM’s statement in the morning suggested ‘we’ve always got the pinchers’! I assume he was prepared to continue with operations rather than contest any decisions. And, why the hell wasn’t he in the heart of the action? Because of the officials on the vessel? C’mon, he always insisted on negative tests. Couldn’t he just have relayed some of his experience where negative tests went wrong? His crew needed guidance and he was nowhere to be seen to hel with interpretation.[/B]

For the record, the OIM denied under oath making the “pincers” statement that day – he said it was the previous day. There clearly was tension between him and at least one of the company men. And the degree of faith the OIM had in the toolpusher’s judgement was definitely a factor.

[I]And do you actually think any other operator would send out a company man who not only had never been on a rig before but who accepted the “bladder effect” explanation so thoroughly that even after he was fished out of the water and got back to the office he sent out emails promoting it?[/I]

[B]I assume he was listening to the toolpusher who was just about to become the TO training Instructor for well control. Slightly ironic wouldn’t you say?[/B]

Aside: I was wrong in stating that the new company man had never been on a rig – he had never been on a drilling rig, but came from a production rig. I find it strange that a company man would unquestioningly accept such an explanation, but then I find it hard to figure out what the company men on that rig did for a living in the first place.

[I]It is definitely the case that BP botched the takeover of Amoco and Arco. You think it’s a Brit/American thing; I think it was more a finance/operations thing (I have lived through a major takeover – they almost never work). BP’s numbers-driven managers forced out all the senior Amoco/Arco managers because they were too expensive. Here’s what Bob Bea, who was hired directly by Lord Browne to advise them on the takeover, said about that decision:
[/I]

[B]Obama, made it a Brit/American thing and the whole country listened to the media spouting untruths about BP. The lynch mob mentality started in the White House and they needed a culprit quickly to appease a nation who had just lost 11 of their sons due to the ineptitude of BP in London, apparently! So, they decided on Hayward as an easy target. The attack on his character can only be likened to the mentality of the muslims in Egypt leaving the Mosque to fight the infidel after being ‘instructed’ and ‘directed’ by the holier than thou Mullahs![/B]

Every time you launch into one of these chauvinistic rants I find myself humming “He Is An Englishman” from HMS Pinafore :slight_smile: And I’ve already told you how you can come to Hayward’s defense.

[I]“You’re screwed. You just early-retired your memory. You early-retired the people who remember all those mistakes you’ve ever made, and you’ve left all the bright young people without adequate mentors.” Bea further said that BP was too enthusiastic with its downsizing and left it with a “brittle organization” “When you put them under stress they tend to collapse.” The beancounters “stripped away all the robustness. BP became defect intolerant. The problem is, life is full of defects.” [/I]

[B]Mistakes are made in every organisation![/B]

Well, this is something you and I can agree on. Throwing away the experience base of an organization in order to improve your numbers definitely qualifies as a mistake. Here’s how Karlene Roberts, Bob Bea’s co-author on the BP “Refining and Pipeline Leadership Field Book” describes the beancounter-driven management under Browne:

“They trained their refinery guys in the language of the book and then told them ‘It’s up to you to implement this in each refinery,’ Roberts said, ‘But, you have to do this within your budget, and by the way, we’re cutting your budget.’” [Reed and Fitzgerald] The decentralized, numbers-driven management of Browne-era BP worked directly against any effective process safety. Process safety, by it’s very nature, has to be imposed top-down by senior managers whose range of visibility into the organization lets them see multiple relevant factors at once. No person at the bottom of an organizational stovepipe, no matter how smart, diligent, and responsible, can do it because they aren’t aware of things that may effect the degree of risk they are in.

[B]Is any of this relevant to the inept actions on the vessel? [/B]

I’ve addressed that above.

[I]BP Houston/ex-Amoco/ex-Arco was a mess. Here’s the content of an April 17 email between the Wells Team Leader (who had just received a de facto demotion) and the Drilling Operations Manager:

"[DOM], over the past four days there have been so many last minute changes to the operation that the WSL’s have finally come to their wits end. The quote is ‘flying by the seat of our pants.’ More over, we have made a special boat or helicopter run everyday. Everybody wants to do the right thing, but this huge level of paranoia from engineering leadership is driving chaos. This operation is not Thunderhorse. [The Drilling Engineer] has called me numerous times trying to make sense of all the insanity. Last night’s emergency revolved around the 30 bbls of cement spacer behind the top plug and how it would affect any bond logging (I do not agree with putting the spacer above the plug to begin with). This morning [the Drilling Engineer] called me and asked my advice about exploring opportunities both inside and outside of the company.[/I]

[B]I take it that he was looking for a job elsewhere! And remember, the casing was put in place successfully. The only thing that went wrong was the action of the personnel on the vessel. There are so many cement jobs that fail but they must be recognised especially during an inflow test. Where was the goddam OIM who insisted on taking the inflow test and where was his instruction to maintain volume control?[/B]

I think it’s obvious that the comment about looking for a job is the reaction of a junior person (he only had four years on the job, if I recall correctly) who is very frustrated at the lack of leadership in his organization – leadership that the beancounters pushed out the door.

[I]What is my authority? With the separation of engineering and operations I do not know what I can and can’t do. The operation is not going to succeed if we continue in this manner." [/I]

[B]Isn’t that a question a driller and Toolpusher should also make? Am I going to continue blind and not tell anyone I don’t understand what’s going on.[/B]

Yes. And the Drilling Engineer. And the Company Men. And everybody else involved.

[I]Finally, I think it is good for your industry and society as a whole that there are people inside API, IADC, COS and the operating companies who have refused to accept the proposition that once you have placed the onus on the crew there is nothing more to learn.[/I]

[B]But, it might help if people could understand that the personnel on the vessel obviously had no idea what they were dealing with…and didn’t seek clarification or shout STOP. Remember, this was over 1000 barrels before anyone attempted to shut in. I believe this is the largest ever undetected influx! API, IADC, COs all have a part to play in ensuring Drillers and Toolpushers know a little more than closing the pinchers! If they want to set standards then they need to make sure they aren’t ‘voluntary’.[/B]

[QUOTE=alcor;85228][B]It’s fine to continuously blame folk further up the line but we also have to be fair and recognise that each and every one of us is responsible for our action and inaction. [/B][/QUOTE]

Once again, and probably not for the last time, I believe blame is the enemy of safety. And “each and every one” includes everybody from the CEO on down.

Cheers,

Earl


#7306

Earl,

There’s no doubt about it: you are eloquent with your reasoning…but, I’m afraid to tell you that some people do hold responsibility for the outcome of the DWH and the analysis must be based on the facts we know and not the fantasy often portrayed about completely unrelated information.

The casing was successfully put in place and cement pumped and set in place. A positive test was performed successfully.
The next step in the well is to allow the cement to cure. They waited, they tripped out of the hole and they tripped in the hole and they tested the casing with a positive test.
The well is stable. No flow exists. Everyone’s having a party celebration on the rig. The crews have done a great job to get this far.
All the information on cement testing is irrelevant to the crew. They don’t know if it’s set or not. But, they have so much experience of failed cement jobs and this should alert them to caution!
Remember, at this point it is exactly like any other well. We have to prove the barriers. We have to underbalance the well and check if flow will occur. The only way a test can pass is if we see ‘0’ psi on both sides, the DP and the Kill Line, both sides of the ‘U’ tube.
So, we displace mud with heavier mud which by the time it’s displaced to above the BOP the well does not become underbalanced. Nothing has gone wrong at this point. There isn’t any reason why the well is already doomed because of centralisers or any other silly reason. Perhaps, it’s not best practice but no-one’s dead and we’re about to find out if BP have a well that’s secure. Nothing has failed and the drillers have complete volume and pressure control at this time. The hydrostatic overbalance is safely securing the well. All is well, and none of the engineers have failed in the planning and completion. All is ‘rock steady’, though I do concede that the next steps require pressure and volume understanding.

Now, we get to the opportunity to test our barriers. And the decision is made to bleed off through the Drill pipe…except the well continues to flow!! And, when closed in the pressure stabilises around 1400 psi. The Annular has leaked and some volume exchange occurred. I forget the exact volume but as I recollect somewhere in the region of 50 Bbls. Possibly, this volume went down the hole or went up the kill line when they bled off there.
So far nothing has been established except that the Annular is now sealed and we have 1400 psi on the DP gauge. The question is how much pressure would 50 Bbls of heavy mud show on the DP gauge? Actually, it would show approx 1000 psi, and I repeat, I’m assuming 50 Bbls. So the crew may have convinced themselves all was well…despite the fact that ‘0’ is the only acceptable figure. The operation had been cocked up! The Annular did not seal. Worse than that, they must have allowed that volume to bleed off. It should have been approx 6 Bbls bled off. It appears that no-one knew what was going on and they allowed the volume bled off to continue. This is not an inflow test, this is open up and let it do what it wants. Here is the first indication of a clear mistake. They needed to bleed off the correct volume to reach ‘0’…in stages!
They repeat the experiment and when they realise pressure keeps settling around 1400 psi they assume the 50 Bbls keeps moving down the Annulus…perhaps! Eventually, they decide to inflow test according to plan…up the Kill line and up the DP…but, they aren’t keeping to plan because the DPP is shut in while the kill line is open…and apparently no flow is coming up the Kill line and yet 1400 psi shows on the DPP. So, they accept that as a pass! Amazing, that they have no idea that they have proved absolutely nothing other than a complete lack of understanding. So, while they debate for a couple of hours it never occurs to anyone that they are simply taking a risk, a chance that the well is secure. These are the people debating the outcome of the test.
They accept the test and ignore volume displacement thereafter. No-one in any office is responsible for this action…Remember, this is the most basic physics that we’re dealing with! Is it centralisers, string design or cement causing a blowout? No! So how do we get a blowout?

We get a blowout when people on the rig ignore volumes and ignore pressure anomalies. They had plenty of time to shut in and yet they came to a point where I don’t think any BOP worldwide would withstand the dynamic pressure and flow of hydrocarbons flowing up the well. The unbelievable fact is that the rig failed to monitor volumes after the dodgy inflow test. No other known vessel has responded so slowly. The evidence speaks for itself and the Staus Quo was as defined on the vessel. This procedure is carried out by all the Operators, the personell in charge on the vessel perform and evaluate these tests. That was the status quo at the time of the blowout.


#7307

Containment dome source of oil sheen, not sealed Macondo well - Oil & Gas Financial Journal

October 19, 2012

A containment dome abandoned during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, not the plugged Macondo well, appears to be the source of a thin oil sheen reported by BP on September 16 about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The assessment comes from the US Coast Guard and BP PLC after remote-controlled submarines were sent to the sea floor and found small amounts of oil leaking from the steel containment box used in May 2010 to try and stop the Macondo well leak.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the device was left on the sea floor roughly 500 yards from the well after it became clogged with ice crystals and was unable to collect the leaking oil.
A statement from the Coast Guard said video inspections of the dome showed small, intermittent drops of oil leaking from the device at a rate of less than 100 gallons per day, resulting in a sheen that does not pose a risk to the coast.
Inspections showed no signs of leakage from the rig wreckage, the relief wells, the sealed well, the rig wreckage or pipe that connected the rig to the well before the accident, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Link to BP’s press release on the ROV inspection.
http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7079022


#7308

Later, much later, still no criminal charges in BP oil spill - Houston Chronicle

The Clean Water Act turns 40 years old Thursday. It’s a little soon for it to be losing its teeth.

Yet in the face of the biggest oil disaster to ever fall under its purview, the government has been uncharacteristically slow in bringing criminal charges. Saturday, just two days after the anniversary of the law taking effect, marks 2½ years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster unleashed the biggest offshore oil disaster in the nation’s history.

In all that time, nothing has been filed against the companies involved - BP, Transocean and Halliburton.

“The Justice Department should have been in the position to bring criminal charges by the end of last year,” saidDavid Uhlmann, a professor of environmental law at the University of Michigan and the former head of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. “They’ve lost the sense of urgency that criminal cases demand.”

The irony is that the Justice Department has prosecuted more criminal cases under the act than any other environmental statute, Uhlmann said. It filed charges against what’s now Exxon Mobil just 11 months after the Exxon Valdez disaster, and they were resolved within two years - less time than has passed since the Deepwater Horizon accident.

While the Deepwater Horizon case is more complicated - and the spill was 20 times larger than the Exxon Valdez one - the Clean Water Act requires only proof that the companies acted with negligence, which it defines as failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances.

BP’s own internal report on the disaster, released in September 2010, clearly acknowledges its responsibility for the accident while also pointing the finger at Transocean and Halliburton.

Every major study on the accident done since then has come to similar conclusions.

In other words, charges under the Clean Water Act ought to be a layup.

In a brief filed in late August in the big civil case pending in New Orleans, the Justice Department offered a glimpse of its strategy, accusing the companies of gross negligence, which if proved would elevate the level of fines. Yet it hasn’t backed that filing up by bringing an actual case.

Offered to settle

Meanwhile, Transocean, in a bond offering document last month, acknowledged offering to settle criminal claims for $1.5 billion, but the talks apparently led nowhere. Transocean said it hasn’t had any discussions with the government since February.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

So far, the only criminal charges to emerge involve the hapless case of Kurt Mix, a low-level BP engineer who allegedly deleted a couple of text messages related to the cleanup effort, but who had no involvement in the disaster itself.

The assumption, following Mix’s indictment in April, was that more cases would follow, but the ensuing six months of silence has been deafening.

“I don’t think the company should get a pass while low-level employees like Kurt Mix bear the brunt of criminal prosecution,” Uhlmann said.

In a recent speech at a law conference in Washington, Uhlmann blamed the delay in criminal charges on the Justice Department’s decision, about a year after the accident, to move the case from the environmental crimes section to the criminal division, which was supposed to streamline decision-making. But the move meant “that the largest environmental crimes office in the world - which led the Exxon prosecution and had three decades of experience prosecuting oil spill cases - would no longer have a leadership role in the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history,” Uhlmann said in his speech.

Chances diminish

At this point, charges aren’t likely until after the election, but the longer the case drags on, the greater the chance that the feds won’t bring any charges at all.

That’s unconscionable given the scale of the disaster and the need to hold the companies responsible. Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has proven an effective tool in projecting federal waters from polluters.

Forty years later, it still has teeth. It’s long past time for the government to use them in the Deepwater Horizon case.


#7309

Halliburton speaks out against BP settlement with oil spill victims - Houston Business Journal

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2012/10/halliburton-speaks-out-against-bp.html

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) is claiming in legal documents that BP Plc’s (NYSE: BP) proposed settlement with victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is unreasonable.
Bloomberg reports that Houston-based Halliburton believes that London-based BP’s proposed settlement allegedly provides an incentive for plaintiffs who already settled to seek more compensation from other spill defendants instead of BP, such as Halliburton.

Halliburton’s lead lawyer is asking permission from a judge to submit this complaint to federal court.
BP and the lawyers of more than 500 victims of the oil spill reached a partial settlement in March in which BP would pay $7.8 billion to resolve almost all economic damages claims, Bloomberg reports. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has yet to approve the settlement deal.
In other oil spill news, BP, which has its U.S. headquarters in Houston, is reportedly near a settlement agreement for civil and criminal liabilities related to the 2010 disaster.


#7310

Initial North Sea Ditch Investigation IDs Faulty Gear Box | gCaptain - Maritime & Offshore News

http://gcaptain.com/initial-investigation-in-north-sea-helicopter-ditch/

An initial investigation into ahelicopter crash in the North Seaearlier this week has found indications that the aircraft’s main gearbox lubrication system failed.
In a preliminary report, the Air Accident Investigation Branch said the crew of the Eurocopter EC225 LP Super Puma had to ditch into the North Sea after a subsequent warning indicating failure of the emergency lubrication system.

A report published last week by the AAIB into a crash in May this year, also involving a Super Puma, recommended that Eurocopter, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. NV (EAD.FR), review the design of the main gearbox emergency lubrication system.

In Monday’s incident the aircraft, operated by CHC Helicopter, was on its way from Aberdeen to the West Phoenix drilling rig when it ditched around 50 kilometers south of Shetland. All on board were rescued safely.

Immediately after the accident–the fourth involving a Super Puma in the North Sea area in four years–one-third of the helicopter fleet that transports oil workers to offshore North Sea fields has been removed from service. Operators CHC, Bond and Bristow also grounded their Super Puma fleets operating in Norway.

“The safety of our workforce is paramount and we need to be satisfied that those who travel to their place of work by helicopter, do so safely and return home again safely,” the Helicopter Safety Steering Group, a collective of flight operators, oil and gas operators, unions and safety regulators, said in a statement.

A detailed engineering investigation of the CHC aircraft is continuing with the assistance of the manufacturer and operator, AAIB said in a statement.

Download Report: S6-2012 G-CHCN.pdf


#7311

Cofferdam, Source of new oil sheen near Deepwater Horizon site has been plugged, BP says | NOLA.com
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2012/10/plan_to_cap_and_plug_containme.html


#7312

Louisiana requests trial to decide $1 billion spill claim against BP | Reuters


#7313

BP plc to share lessons learned during and following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident

http://www.offshore-publication.com/index.php/technology/574-bp-to-shares-lessons-3473

Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 11:52
Written by Paul Williams

The oil giant has agreed to share its global deepwater well-capping equipment technology with PEMEX E&P.

BP plc (NYSE:BP) has announced that it has come to an agreement to share the technical information it used to build its global deepwater well-capping equipment with Petroleos Mexicanos Exploration and Production (PEMEX E&P).

Richard Morrison, BP’s Head of Global Deepwater Response, said the agreement underscores BP’s commitment to sharing lessons learned during and following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and response.

Under the Technology License Agreement, BP will make available technical information that PEMEX E&P, one of four subsidiaries of PEMEX, can use, in addition to PEMEX E&P initiatives already in place, if it decides to build and maintain its own well capping system for use in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, BP has agreed to conduct workshops in Houston to brief PEMEX E&P on the technical information and operational aspects of the system, as well as to introduce PEMEX E&P specialists to key vendors and fabricators that BP used to develop its global deepwater well cap and tooling package.

BP’s global deepwater well cap is a 100-ton stack of valves that can be lowered onto a leaking well to halt the flow. The system can operate in 10,000 feet of water and is rated to pressures of 15,000 pounds per square inch. Stored in Houston, it can be sent by heavy-lift aircraft to any country where BP operates in a matter of days.

Under the Technology License Agreement, BP will share at no cost to PEMEX E&P technical information on BP’s capping stack, and PEMEX E&P has agreed to make any future advancements to this well-capping technology available at no cost to BP. BP will retain intellectual property rights, so it can continue to share the plans with others.


#7314

Deepwater Horizon Trial Rescheduled Due to Super Bowl, Mardi Gras | Fox Business

http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/10/26/deepwater-horizon-trial-rescheduled-due-to-super-bowl-mardi-gras/

A federal judge in New Orleans has postponed the Deepwater Horizon trial until February, citing the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras as potential scheduling conflicts, a spokesman for BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) said.
The trial had been slated to begin Jan. 14, but instead Judge Carl Barbier ordered that it begin Feb. 25, after the Feb. 3 football game and the Mardi Gras festivities have ended.
The bench trial is to concern liability for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.
Judge Barbier will consider a proposed settlement agreement between BP and thousands of plaintiffs at a “fairness hearing” scheduled for Nov. 8.

<><><><><><><><><><><<><><>
Interesting to me, oil industry works 24/7/365. Government and legal system seems to be in perpetual delay mode.
So it’s been

From and including: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
To, but not including : Friday, October 26, 2012

So, It’s been 920 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date

Or 2 years, 6 months, 6 days excluding the end date
Or
79,488,000 seconds
1,324,800 minutes
22,080 hours
131 weeks (rounded down)

Legally, Hardly anything referenced to this incident has Been resolved with any finality. DOJ has determined that Kurt Mix deleted a few text messages and has been criminally charged for that onerous faux pas.

Drilling rules have been revised by basically adopting existing API guidelines and clarifying as in the sentence below:
“The revised rules released Wednesday restored the industry’s distinction between “should” and “must”.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/us-offshore-drilling-rules_n_1785379.html

WHAT A JOKE!!!


#7315

[QUOTE=Infomania;86143]Later, much later, still no criminal charges in BP oil spill - Houston Chronicle

The Clean Water Act turns 40 years old Thursday. It’s a little soon for it to be losing its teeth.

Yet in the face of the biggest oil disaster to ever fall under its purview, the government has been uncharacteristically slow in bringing criminal charges. Saturday, just two days after the anniversary of the law taking effect, marks 2½ years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster unleashed the biggest offshore oil disaster in the nation’s history.

In all that time, nothing has been filed against the companies involved - BP, Transocean and Halliburton.

“The Justice Department should have been in the position to bring criminal charges by the end of last year,” saidDavid Uhlmann, a professor of environmental law at the University of Michigan and the former head of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. “They’ve lost the sense of urgency that criminal cases demand.”

The irony is that the Justice Department has prosecuted more criminal cases under the act than any other environmental statute, Uhlmann said. It filed charges against what’s now Exxon Mobil just 11 months after the Exxon Valdez disaster, and they were resolved within two years - less time than has passed since the Deepwater Horizon accident.

While the Deepwater Horizon case is more complicated - and the spill was 20 times larger than the Exxon Valdez one - the Clean Water Act requires only proof that the companies acted with negligence, which it defines as failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances.

BP’s own internal report on the disaster, released in September 2010, clearly acknowledges its responsibility for the accident while also pointing the finger at Transocean and Halliburton.

Every major study on the accident done since then has come to similar conclusions.

In other words, charges under the Clean Water Act ought to be a layup.

In a brief filed in late August in the big civil case pending in New Orleans, the Justice Department offered a glimpse of its strategy, accusing the companies of gross negligence, which if proved would elevate the level of fines. Yet it hasn’t backed that filing up by bringing an actual case.

Offered to settle

Meanwhile, Transocean, in a bond offering document last month, acknowledged offering to settle criminal claims for $1.5 billion, but the talks apparently led nowhere. Transocean said it hasn’t had any discussions with the government since February.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

So far, the only criminal charges to emerge involve the hapless case of Kurt Mix, a low-level BP engineer who allegedly deleted a couple of text messages related to the cleanup effort, but who had no involvement in the disaster itself.

The assumption, following Mix’s indictment in April, was that more cases would follow, but the ensuing six months of silence has been deafening.

“I don’t think the company should get a pass while low-level employees like Kurt Mix bear the brunt of criminal prosecution,” Uhlmann said.

In a recent speech at a law conference in Washington, Uhlmann blamed the delay in criminal charges on the Justice Department’s decision, about a year after the accident, to move the case from the environmental crimes section to the criminal division, which was supposed to streamline decision-making. But the move meant “that the largest environmental crimes office in the world - which led the Exxon prosecution and had three decades of experience prosecuting oil spill cases - would no longer have a leadership role in the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history,” Uhlmann said in his speech.

Chances diminish

At this point, charges aren’t likely until after the election, but the longer the case drags on, the greater the chance that the feds won’t bring any charges at all.

That’s unconscionable given the scale of the disaster and the need to hold the companies responsible. Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has proven an effective tool in projecting federal waters from polluters.

Forty years later, it still has teeth. It’s long past time for the government to use them in the Deepwater Horizon case.[/QUOTE]

Infomania,

The main reason it’s taking so long to deal with this catastrophe is a simple case of no-one truly understands what happened, why things went wrong, and the fact that the Gov’t have to face the consequences of their own inaction…prior to the event, in the form of the general practice of ‘Laissez faire’, wherein, the Operators were given free operating license in the exchange for hard cash. It’s all about status quo at the time of the event, the prevailing understanding of how the industry operated in the GOM (who has responsibility is uncertain, somewhat unbelievable as that may seem), and how to approach the argument, with so much distortion of the truth, or intelligible understanding, from media, fellow operators/oil companies (“we wouldn’t have done that”), and above all, loud mouthed Senators who embarras themselves every time their mouths get bigger than a double cheeseburger, offering the offshore learned the opportunity to laugh endlessly, commonly LMAO.

No-one from Gov’t was prepared to look at the Status Quo at the time of the event. Naturally, the Operator is responsible for all consequences relating to spill or damage to the environment. This is still the case worldwide. The action…or inaction, of Contractors has not been clearly defined. The lawyers will fight this one depending on how BP and the Gov’t come to the final conclusions in this case. The Gov’t need to know whether BP were negligent or not…but we can speculate about Gov’t oversight!! If the Gov’t find BP guilty of gross failure then they may have to face questions about their own ‘lack of control’ in offshore drilling and the standards expected of all Operators. Without defined and enforced standards the GOM offshore industry was running operations according to the ‘guidance’ of industry expertise (IADC, API, etc…)…but nothing was obligatory! That’s why we end up with the clean water act, it’s at least something within the system to find BP guilty of.

And. No doubt about it, they are guilty…contractually! Therefore they’ll pay. But, how much? Is the ‘gravy-train’ everlasting? We all depend on the Oil Companies to deliver our ‘fuel fix’, but beyond that each and every one of us is innocent…despite our considerable consumption, apparently!

And, the scale of the disaster, environmentally, was considerably less than many other discharges, as if many were shocked to see the oil ‘disappear’ all of a sudden…hampering their long-term aims of offsetting the ‘economy downturn’.

Consider: Did any BP Rep on the vessel or onshore advise TO to ignore volume control at any time in the well? Is volume control a compulsory contractor requirement? What is stated in the contract between TO and BP relating to maintaining a constant volume control policy? These questions have never been addressed, and no-one for the Gov’t has ever speculated about the possible failues of the senior Transocean crew members, who should have followed standards which protect the vessel and all personnel onboard.


#7316

Link to Gulf of Mexico contract that was/is in effect between BP and Halliburton Energy Services at the time of the incident.

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9NDAxMzU3fENoaWxkSUQ9NDA4NzQ3fFR5cGU9MQ==&t=1

I don’t recall ever seeing this contract posted anywhere before. Very interesting 50 or so pages.

I have just skimmed thru the document. Most interesting were indemnification, limits of responsibility, and scope of warranty for work performed.


#7317

Mistakes are made in every organisation! Is any of this relevant to the inept actions on the vessel?

Exactly ,it’s not just the 2 teeth, Cajun hillbilly , it’s the Scott Irishmen,the German Jew,in fact,the common variable is its the male human species!!
Hello, Alcor… I’m still in Oxford. Does your invitation still hold?


#7318

Infomania,

Some great posts. I’m particularly interested in what direction the Gov’t are offering after 2 years. I tried to ‘google’ the ‘rules’ without any success! Any help there?
Welcome back New Orleans Lady. Oxford is impossible as my schedule is hectic, but do enjoy that wonderful town. Have you ‘retired’ from commentary?


#7319

Drilling Safety Rule 2010A

Federal Register, Volume 75 Issue 198 (Thursday, October 14, 2010)

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-10-14/html/2010-25256.htm


#7320

4310-VH-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
30 CFR Part 250
[Docket ID: BSEE-2012-0002]
RIN 1014–AA02
Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf–Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf AGENCY: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

http://www.bsee.gov/uploadedFiles/BSEE/BSEE_Newsroom/Press_Releases/2012/AA02%20-%20Final%20Rule%208-10-12.pdf