BP hopes to remove capping stack on Sept. 2

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Sept. 1 -- BP PLC tentatively planned to remove a capping stack from the top of the Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible blowout preventer on Sept. 2, pending the anticipated arrival of calmer seas in the Gulf of Mexico, a federal spokesman said.

The planned removal of the capping stack and subsequent replacement of the BOP has been on hold since Aug. 30 because of 6-ft seas caused by local weather around the mouth of the Mississippi River. Weather forecasters expect a window of calmer seas throughout Sept. 2-4.

National Incident Commander and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said a riser pipe from the Enterprise will be attached to the capping stack, which will be moved to the side and stored temporarily on the seabed near the Macondo well on Mississippi Canyon Block 252.

When wave levels are no more than 3 ft, the Helix Q4000 multiservice vessel will use a drillstring to remove the Deepwater Horizon BOP, Allen said.

The drillstring is not as substantial as a riser pipe, Allen said, noting that the capping stack can be removed in higher seas than can the BOP. Crews are prepared to use what Allen calls “a gentle tug” involving 80,000 lb of force to free the BOP.

Engineers and scientists calculated a limit of 80,000 lb of force to ensure the integrity of a casing hanger and an annulus seal at the top of the well, he said.

If the gentle tug fails, BP plans to open rams in the BOP’s lower marine riser package before it cuts off the drill pipe, Allen said. An estimated 3,500 ft of pipe extends down into the well, and it will be left there for now.

“Disposition of any remaining drill pipe in the well will be addressed as part of the plug and abandonment procedures that would take place after the well intercept consistent with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management[, Regulation, and Enforcement],” Allen said.

The Deepwater Horizon BOP will be brought to the Q4000 vessel and eventually transferred to the authority federal investigators. An Apr. 20 blowout of BP’s deepwater Macondo well caused an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible, killing 11 people.

“We will not know the exact status [of the Deepwater Horizon] BOP until we get that thing off and look at it,” Allen said.

Once the Deepwater Horizon BOP is removed, Transocean’s Development Driller II semi will install another BOP on the Macondo well so that a relief well being drilled by the Development Driller III can be completed to intercept the Macondo well and kill it from the bottom.

“We do believe the risks are small of a hydrocarbon release, but we want to be sure we are prepared for all contingencies,” Allen said. “There shouldn’t be any hydrocarbon release into the environment.”

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

DOI proposes Arctic-specific drilling regulations for Alaska OCS

02/20/2015 The US Department of the Interior proposed regulations to ensure that oil and gas exploration on the US Arctic Continental Shelf occur safely and r...

ExxonMobil investigating explosion at Torrance refinery

02/19/2015 An investigation is under way into the cause of an explosion and ensuing fire that took place at ExxonMobil Corp.’s 149,500-b/d Torrance, Calif., r...

Comments sought on Pinedale Anticline gas field noise report

02/18/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Pinedale Anticline Project Office (PAPO) is seeking public comments on a 2014 acoustic noise report on sound lev...

Another cut seen in Groningen gas output

02/18/2015 Production from giant Groningen natural gas field in the Netherlands might be further curtailed in response to public concern about earthquakes.

Ohio Supreme Court rules against municipality in oil and gas case

02/17/2015 The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the city of Munroe Falls cannot impose local drilling and zoning ordinances that conflict with Ohio state law reg...

Montana governor wants PHMSA to beef up pipeline enforcement in state

02/17/2015 Citing a Jan. 17 leak of 1,200 bbl of crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in eastern Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) asked US Sec. of Transportation...

Derailed West Virginia oil train carried Bakken crude

02/17/2015

A large-scale cleanup and investigation have launched following the Feb. 16 derailment of a CSX crude oil train near Mount Carbon, W.Va.

Bear Head LNG exempted from 2012 Canadian environmental act

02/16/2015 Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiary Bear Head LNG Corp. received notice from the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency (CEAA) tha...

BLM decision clears way for first NPR-A federal oil production

02/16/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth One project (GMT1), which cleared the way ...
White Papers

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...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


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

When 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



On Demand

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


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

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