USCG: No apparent leak from wellhead after rig sinks into gulf

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Apr. 23 -- The US Coast Guard reported Apr. 23 that there was no apparent oil leak from the wellhead of a well drilled by Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible rig, which settled under the water’s surface in the Gulf of Mexico after an Apr. 20 fire and explosion (OGJ Online, Apr. 22, 2010).

The semi had been contracted by BP Exploration & Production Inc. to drill an exploration well, which had found oil and associated gas in 4,992 ft of water 41 miles off Louisiana on Mississippi Canyon Block 252 near Rigel gas field.

The well had reached a TD of more than 18,000 ft and crews were running casing and doing cementing when the accident happened. Cause of the accident remains under investigation.

USCG Rear Adm. Mary Landry said the Coast Guard, BP, Transocean, and the US Minerals Management Service remained focused on mitigating any potential oil spill. Landry noted the sunken semi possibly contains 700,000 gal of diesel that could spill.

“From what we have observed yesterday and through the night, we are not seeing any signs of release of crude in the subsurface area,” Landry said on Apr. 23. “However we remain in a ready-to-respond mode…to prepare for a worst-case scenario.”

The rig was staffed with a 126 member crews of which 11 remain missing as of Apr. 23 and 115 were evacuated.

BP assisted Transocean in using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to assess the well and subsea blowout preventer. A nearby drilling rig was available if needed to drill a relief well, BP said, adding the rig was available to begin activity immediately.

“The combined response team was not able to stem the flow of hydrocarbons prior to the rig sinking,” Transocean said in an Apr. 22 release.

USCG and the companies involved said they continue to monitor visual feed from deployed ROVs with sonar capability in an effort to identify any crude oil that may have the potential to escape from the subsurface well.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama ordered federal agencies to devote all necessary resources to help with the Deepwater Horizon.

Obama was briefed on Apr. 22 by officials from the departments of Homeland Security and Interior, USCG, Environmental Protection Agency, and others. David Hayes, a deputy interior secretary, has been in New Orleans at the USCG command center for much of the week.

David Rainey, BP vice-president of gulf operations, said BP has implemented contingency plans to respond to any subsequent pollution. BP mobilized a flotilla of vessels and resources that includes 32 spill response vessels including a large storage barge; skimming capacity of more than 171,000 b/d, with more available if needed; 1 million ft of boom, offshore storage capacity of 122,000 bbl and additional 175,000 bbl available and on standby; supplies of more than 100,000 gal of dispersants and four aircraft ready to spray dispersant to the spill, and USCG preapproval to use dispersants.

BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward issued a statement from London: “There should be no doubt of our resolve to limit the escape of oil and protect the marine and coastal environments from its effects.”

Relatives of a missing crew member filed a lawsuit in US District Court in the Eastern District Court of Louisiana against Transocean and BP, claiming negligence on the part of the companies.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

BHI: US oil rig count rises for first time in 30 weeks

07/02/2015 A sudden 12-unit jump in oil-directed rigs during the abbreviated week ended July 2 represented their first rise since Dec. 5, 2014, and helped lif...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...

BHP, Woodside move to decommission Stybarrow field

07/01/2015 BHP Billiton Ltd. and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. have started preparations for decommissioning of the Stybarrow group of oil fields in production lice...

Tullow Oil provides production update on Jubilee, other fields

07/01/2015 Tullow Oil PLC reported that gross production for the Jubilee field offshore Ghana averaged 105,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 102,000 ...

Statoil to suspend Scarabeo 5 drilling rig

07/01/2015 Due to overcapacity in its rig portfolio, Statoil ASA said it has decided to suspend Saipem’s Scarabeo 5 dynamically position drilling rig after it...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...
White Papers

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected