Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Halliburton connection to the oil rig explosion?????

The following three articles come in via Beth - thanks

A couple of things came to mind. Was this done intentionally for profit (betting on the failure of the rig) or was it done to stop off shore oil drilling (we all knew obamas promise of more off shore drilling was a bunch of BS) The fact that Halliburton was involved makes me wonder especially after finding out about their involvement in the Australia oil rig fire last year.



http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/deepwaterhorizon/6978852.html

As oil leaks in Gulf, investors worry

By LOREN STEFFY Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

April 29, 2010, 4:28PM


The financial damage from the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon is spreading almost as quickly as the oil that has been seeping from the site of last week's accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eleven people are missing and presumed dead since an explosion and fire engulfed the rig, which then sank about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast last week.

Despite the lives lost and the environmental concerns, the market typically shrugs off such accidents. This time, though, investors are worried that the longer the flow of oil continues unchecked, the more profound the impact on the companies involved and perhaps the entire offshore drilling industry.

The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index, composed of 15 companies that provide drilling services, has fallen 4.5 percent since Friday, when news of the mounting environmental threat reached the markets.

Shares of rig owner Transocean have fallen more than 8 percent since April 20, when the fire broke out after an apparent blowout. The stock closed Tuesday at $84.52. The American depositary receipts of BP, which was leasing the rig, fell 7 percent during the same period, closing Tuesday at $56.33. BP said Tuesday it's spending $6 million a day on cleanup so far.

Shares of Houston-based Cameron International have fallen 8 percent since Friday, as the focus of the cleanup shifted to a cutoff valve, made by Cameron, that workers have been unable to close to stop the flow of oil.

Latest in a series
The Deepwater Horizon accident is the latest in a string of operational problems related to BP, beginning with the explosion at its Texas City refinery in 2005 that killed 15 people and injured scores. The company also had problems with pipeline corrosion in Alaska that resulted in oil leaks and its Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico, which nearly tipped over in 2006.

The cause of the accident is unknown, and BP had only six employees aboard the Deepwater Horizon at the time. BP owns the offshore lease, which makes it responsible for the cleanup but not for the equipment or the drilling of the well. Even so, the company's history is becoming a liability.

�There's more risk perceived with them,� said David Pursell, managing director with Houston-based Tudor Pickering & Holt. BP may find it more difficult to attract partners for big projects, he added.

Meanwhile, the accident comes after several years of hurricanes in the Gulf that have raised insurance premiums for offshore platforms.

The longer the cleanup effort goes on, and the more expensive it becomes, the more it will cause insurance costs to rise.

�There's one certainty here, and that's that insurance rates are going higher when insuring deep-water operations,� Pursell said.

By Tuesday, the size of the spill had tripled in size. That raised concerns that oil could taint marshes along the Louisiana coast, adding substantially to cleanup costs.

�You have a well that's flowing out of control and the potential for environmental impact is pretty high,� Pursell said. �This isn't the Exxon Valdez, but these sorts of things can get pretty big pretty fast if it hits the coastline.�

New calls for regulation?
Oil-stained wetlands could result spark calls for new regulation on offshore drilling, even though just a month ago President Barack Obama announced plans that would expand drilling in the Gulf.

With the oil slick still miles from shore, some members of Congress who oppose new drilling are already calling for hearings on the Deepwater Horizon accident. States such as Virginia or North Carolina may rethink plans to allow drilling off their coasts if the spill makes landfall.

�This is the hook the environmental opposition needs to say, �Do you guys really want this?' � Pursell said. �It gets a heck of a lot tougher to see drilling in new areas.�

Only when workers in the Gulf contain the oil flowing from the broken well are they going to stanch the growing damage in the marketplace.

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http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/12264/Gulf-Oil-Spill-Feared-as-Rig-Workers-Still-Missing

I have some inside knowledge on this. I know people who are involved.

The Blow Out Preventer (BOP) on the sea bed manufactured by Cameron failed to close when an overpressure condition was sensed at this time it is unclear why but there are some things that may have played into that. A crew from Halliburton was on board in the process of cementing casing. They experienced a loss of circulation (meaning more cement was going down than brine was coming back up.) which indicates they probably were losing it to a gas pocket, which is compressible whereas brine is not. Compressible gasses in such a situation are bad news as they can store horrendous amounts of energy. When that energy is released you get what is known as a "kick" or pressure spike There are two kinds of hydraulically operated (usually, although all electric wellheads are becoming in vogue these days) rams in a BOP. A pipe ram and a blind/shear ram. The pipe ram clamps around the production tubing/drill pipe and seals the annular area between the tubing and the casing (generally just called the annulus), the other type is part guillotine, part gate valve. It shears off the pipe, folds it over , and completely seals off the wellhead. the BOP should have activated automatically when the pressure spike occurred, but it did not, it should also have automatically activated when the "riser", a 22" I.D. pipe running from the drill floor to the subsea wellhead, broke away from the wellhead when the ship sank. The ship was a Dynamic Positioning vessel that uses thrusters, active ballast systems, and sophisticated GPS and subsea acoustic beacons to maintain position, when the fire broke out and the vessel lost power, the only thing holding it on station was the riser. I have come to learn that BP, which likes to give a lot of lip service to safety, violated a huge safety no-no (as BP is wont to do. They are very difficult to work for due to their safety demands on vendors and contractors, but they themselves violate safety procedures with abandon.). They apparently require a software lockout on the blind-shear rams during drilling on all their offshore vessels. There is one manual override for the software lockout. it is the drillers station which is on the drill floor. But in this situation if an explosion and fire has occurred, even if there was someone AT the driller's station, they'd be roasted alive This could be the reason why the BOP failed to close.

An ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) has been able to stab into the BOP but they cannot close the rams. Luckily the wellhead would appear to have stopped flowing, Probably the riser and the production tubing have folded over and pinched themselves closed. That combined with the hydrostatic pressure at depth has prevented any further leakage, but this cannot be a stable situation. HOPEFULLY it will hold long enough to allow crews to drill a horizontal well to intersect this well and be able to pump cement into the well to plug it. The slick that is visible now I am told is coming from the sunken rig itself, it had over 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board used both as fuel and as ballast.

There are 9 Transocean crew members and two MI-Swaco crewmembers unaccounted for and the search has been called off at this point because no human could have survived immersed in the gulf waters for this long. They were closest to the rig floor when the explosion and fire occurred, they are most likely ash by no

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/30/halliburton-may-be-culpri_n_558481.html

May 2, 2010

http://s.huffpost.com/images/social-profile/lightbox/huffpo_log


Halliburton May Be Culprit In Oil Rig Explosion
Huffington Post First Posted: 04-30-10 10:43 AM | Updated: 04-30-10 03:59 PM

Read More: Bp, Deepwater Horizon, Green News, Gulf Coast, Louisiana, Louisiana Oil Spill, Oil, Oil Leak, Oil Rig, Oil Spill, Green News

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/159952/thumbs/s-OIL-RIG-large.jpg

This story has been updated

Giant oil-services provider Halliburton may be a primary suspect in the investigation into the oil rig explosion that has devastated the Gulf Coast, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Though the investigation into the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon site is still in its early stages, drilling experts agree that blame probably lies with flaws in the "cementing" process -- that is, plugging holes in the pipeline seal by pumping cement into it from the rig. Halliburton was in charge of cementing for Deepwater Horizon.

"The initial likely cause of gas coming to the surface had something to do with the cement," said Robert MacKenzie, managing director of energy and natural resources at FBR Capital Markets and a former cementing engineer in the oil industry.


The problem could have been a faulty cement plug at the bottom of the well, he said. Another possibility would be that cement between the pipe and well walls didn't harden properly and allowed gas to pass through it.

The possibility of Halliburton's culpability was first reported Monday by HuffPost's Marcus Baram.

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court by Natalie Roshto, whose husband Shane, a deck floor hand, was thrown overboard by the force of the explosion and whose body has not yet been located, Halliburton is culpable for its actions prior to the incident.

The suit claims that the company "prior to the explosion, was engaged in cementing operations of the well and well cap and, upon information and belief, improperly and negligently performed these duties, which was a cause of the explosion."

Story continues below

And Congressman Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a tough letter on Friday to Halliburton, asking for an explanation of its work on the rig, according to a spokesperson for the committee.

Last year, Halliburton was also implicated for its cementing work prior to a massive blowout off the coast of Australia, where a rig caught on fire and spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons into the sea for ten weeks.

In that incident, workers apparently failed to properly pump cement into the well, according to Elmer Danenberger, former head of regulatory affairs for the US. Minerals Management Service, who testified to an Australian commission probing that accident.

"The problem with the cementing job was one of the root causes in the Australian blowout," Danenberger told Huffington Post, adding that the rig crew didn't pick up on indications of an influx of fluids coming back in after they cemented the casing. "The crew didn't pick up on them and didn't take action."

Halliburton declined to return a detailed request for comment from Huffington Post.

The company did issue a press release responding to reports about its work on the rig:

As one of several service providers on the rig, Halliburton can confirm the following:


-- Halliburton performed a variety of services on the rig, including cementing, and had four employees stationed on the rig at the time of the accident. Halliburton's employees returned to shore safely, due, in part, to the brave rescue efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard and other organizations.

-- Halliburton had completed the cementing of the final production casing string in accordance with the well design approximately 20 hours prior to the incident. The cement slurry design was consistent with that utilized in other similar applications.

-- In accordance with accepted industry practice approved by our customers, tests demonstrating the integrity of the production casing string were completed.

-- At the time of the incident, well operations had not yet reached the point requiring the placement of the final cement plug which would enable the planned temporary abandonment of the well, consistent with normal oilfield practice.

-- We are assisting with planning and engineering support for a wide range of options designed to secure the well, including a potential relief well.

Halliburton continues to assist in efforts to identify the factors that may have lead up to the disaster, but it is premature and irresponsible to speculate on any specific causal issues.

Halliburton originated oilfield cementing and leads the world in effective, efficient delivery of zonal isolation and engineering for the life of the well, conducting thousands of successful well cementing jobs each year. The company views safety as critical to its success and is committed to continuously improve performance.

Here is the letter from Waxman to Halliburton:


LesarHalliburton.2010.4.30


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1 comment:

Martin said...

Not only did BP have a ShearRam software lockout policy--Transocean had the same policy.. I witnessed this first hand--MMS knows this....
I can only say this, If I ever go back in Deepwater there will be no OIM telling me he is the man in charge as it has been... Why is the Horizon OIM not in prison for allowing the ShearRams to be software locked to the bridge and rigfloor.In my book this was his fault. But the mighty BP JEW Machine will not fell....