BP uses shears to cut through riser; placing container cap

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, June 3 -- BP PLC on June 3 worked to place a lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap on the damaged Deepwater Horizon riser, having used shears to cut the riser after a diamond-wire saw got stuck, a spill response spokesman said.

Crews using remotely operated vehicles in 5,000 ft of water freed the diamond-wire saw on June 2. They used shears to cut the riser from the top of the failed blowout preventer (BOP). Earlier, the shears cut a section of the bent riser that was farther away from the BOP.

National Incident Comm. and Adm. Thad Allen said he was optimistic that a LMRP containment cap could be placed on the cut riser, enabling the collection of leaking oil and gas to begin sometime during June 3.

“The challenge now is to set the containment cap,” Allen said, adding, “This is an irregular cut, it will be a little more challenging,” to set the cap than it would have been if plans had worked for the diamond-wire saw to make a smoother, flat cut.

During a news conference from Louisiana, Allen said crews believe the diamond-wire saw became stuck when it encountered drill pipe inside the damaged riser pipe.

BP to place cap
The cut on the riser pipe is irregular, and the top of the riser is leaning about 10º, Allen said. Crews will place a containment cap with a rubber seal on top of the riser. BP has caps available with different widths and sealing mechanisms so that it can use the cap that best fits the cut riser.

“Once the cap is on, there is some chance that some oil could escape,” Allen said. “It could be close to none, it could be some,” leaking out, he said, adding this only can be determined after the cap is placed.

The reservoir pressure is 9,000 psi, and the pressure of oil coming through the BOP is 3,500 psi, he said. The collected oil and gas will go into a smaller pipe, which could increase back pressure and cause oil to leak out around the seal.

Before the riser was cut, federal scientists estimated the flow rate of the spill could increase 20% between the time of the cut and the time that the cap was placed. A team of scientists had released preliminary findings showing the estimated flow rate is 12,000-19,000 b/d although it possibly could be 25,000 b/d (OGJ Online, May 27, 2010).

Allen said the Flow Rate Technical Group, which released the estimates, is continuing its work to come up with the most accurate estimates possible.

An Apr. 20 fire and explosion on Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible, which was drilling for BP and its partners, left 11 crew members dead. The Deepwater Horizon sank Apr. 22. BP announced May 29 that its “top kill” operation had failed to stem the flow from the leaking well. Since then, crews moved to deploy a LMRP cap containment system to collect the leaking oil and gas until a relief well can reach 18,000 ft and permanently seal the well.

BP to pay for Louisiana berms
Allen said federal officials authorized the state of Louisiana to dredge sand and construct temporary barrier islands in an effort to keep spilled oil out of the state’s wetlands. BP said it will pay $360 million for the cost to construct six sections of the barrier islands.

The company added that it will not manage or contract directly for the construction of the islands, and it will not assume any liability for unintended consequences of the project.

“BP is committed to implementing the most effective measures to protect the coastline of Louisiana and reduce the impact of the oil and gas spill,” said Tony Hayward, BP Group chief executive officer.

Previously, BP provided $170 million to Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida to help with response costs and help promote tourism. The company also paid $42 million in claims to compensate individuals and companies affected by the spill.

Meanwhile, oil spill response crews on June 3 moved more boom to Alabama and Mississippi.

“The upper edge of the collection of spill is moving toward Florida,” Allen said June 3, noting the oil slick and emulsified oil on the water’s surface have broken into various pieces.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

EPA delays proposal to regulate methane emissions until 2015

12/19/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency is delaying plans to issue proposals to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations until 2015, O...

BLM starts process to consider new Nevada lease nominations

12/19/2014 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Battle Mountain, Nev., field office is seeking public comment on 197 parcels of public land, totaling 415,921 ac...

California Bay Area advances plan for enhanced refinery regulations

12/19/2014 California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in...

IEA finds US energy policy improved in latest in-depth review

12/19/2014 US energy policies have come into sharper focus in the last six years, the International Energy Agency said in its latest periodic review. It speci...

Jewell names Maryland energy administrator BOEM’s new director

12/18/2014 US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell appointed Abigail Ross Hopper, who currently directs the Maryland Energy Administration, as the new director of the U...

Moody’s: Mid-term elections dim federal fracing regulation prospects

12/18/2014 Results of 2014’s congressional elections have reduced the prospect of the federal government enacting its own hydraulic fracturing regulations, Mo...

Thirty-one House Democrats ask Jewell to bar leasing in Arctic Ocean

12/18/2014 US Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and 30 other House Democrats urged US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell to reject the second supplemental environmental i...

Obama makes Alaska’s Bristol Bay off-limits for oil, gas activity

12/17/2014 US President Barack Obama placed Bristol Bay off-limits for future oil and gas leasing, extending a temporary withdrawal he imposed in 2010 that wa...

New York state moves to ban hydraulic fracturing

12/17/2014 High-volume hydraulic fracturing will be banned in the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced Dec. 17, citing health risks...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


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