Planners estimate 5 days to evacuate spill-response vessels

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, June 26 -- Spill response officials have estimated that they need 120 hr to move vessels and rigs away from the runaway Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico before the anticipated arrival of any gale-force winds.

A gale-force wind is 40 knots, National Incident Commander and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters during a news briefing conference call on June 25. 

Officials estimate they would want a threshold of 114 hr in advance of severe weather to move Transocean Ltd.’s Discoverer Enterprise drillship and 56 hr to move the Helix Q4000 multiservice vessel if a tropical storm was forecast for the gulf, Allen said.

The Enterprise and Q4000 both are receiving oil and natural gas from the Macondo well spill. The well is in 5,000 ft of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 252.

Officials want a threshold of 104 hr to disconnect and move the Development Driller III drilling rig, which is drilling the first relief well, Allen said.

Allen said he and the National Hurricane Center forecasters were closely watching a tropical wave in the west-central Caribbean. Allen said forecasters indicated the tropical wave could turn into a tropical depression.

On June 25, the US Air Force planned to send out hunter aircraft to assess the weather system, which could potentially become the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

BP is installing floating risers that would enable faster disconnection of vessels in case a hurricane enters the gulf. Currently, the Enterprise drillship is connected via a traditional riser pipe to the failed Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer. Numerous other supply and oil storage vessels also are in the spill response area.

The period of time that the spill would have to be left unattended would depend upon the path and severity of the tropical storm or hurricane, Allen said.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a very negative effect,” Allen said if a storm were to disrupt the collection of oil and gas now being diverted from spilling into the gulf.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Chesapeake’s $4-4.5 billion capex down 37% vs. last year

02/25/2015

Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, is budgeting total capital expenditures, including capitalized interest, of $4-4.5 billion for 2015.

New regulator lists UKCS ‘priority actions’

02/25/2015 The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority, responding to calls from industry and the government for prompt support of UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) exploration ...

Grizzly files OSCA application with AER for Thickwood

02/25/2015

Grizzly Oil Sands ULC, Calgary, has filed an Oil Sands Conservation Act application with Alberta Energy Regulator for the Thickwood project.

BLM moving toward strategy for Greater Sage Grouse, Jewell says

02/25/2015 Calling it a remarkable example of federal, state, and local cooperation, US Sec. of the Interior Sally Jewell said the US Bureau of Land Managemen...

Encana trims additional $700 million from 2015 capital budget

02/25/2015 Encana Corp. is reducing its previously reported capital investment for 2015 by $700 million to $2-2.2 billion “to maintain a solid balance sheet a...

Hickenlooper’s siting task force calls for more local consultation

02/25/2015 Colorado Gov. John W. Hickenlooper’s (D) oil and gas siting taskforce called for more consultation and greater involvement with local communities o...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices holding above $49/bbl

02/25/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices for April delivery settled slightly above $49/bbl on the New York market Feb. 24 while market participants awaited...

Santos-Inpex JV gains permits in Browse basin

02/25/2015 A joint venture of Santos Ltd. and Inpex Corp. has been awarded two exploration permits in the Browse basin offshore Western Australia, about 500 k...

Obama vetoes bill approving Keystone XL crude oil pipeline

02/25/2015 US President Barack Obama vetoed S. 1, authorizing construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, saying that Congress had attempted ...
White Papers

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

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

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