More BP Blowout Data

We’ve been trying to document as much data about BP’s Mississippi Canyon Block 252 well blowout that has now been flowing uncontrolled for 25 days.  The public is finally waking up to the fact that the well is likely flowing much more than the 5,000 barrels per day that BP and the Coast Guard continue to estimate.  SkyTruth, geologist John Amos’s blog, continues to estimate the flow at 26,500 barrels per day based on satellite imagery. A new estimate, made by Steve Wereley, a professor at Purdue University, placed the flow at 70,000 barrels per day using a technique called particle image velocimetry on this video finally released by BP this week:

These estimates sound reasonable since BP’s Thunder Horse deepwater wells flowed upwards of 40,000 to 50,000 barrels per day under controlled conditions when they came on. As you can tell from the production chart below:

Thunder Horse Main by Well.png

Wellbore Schematic:

We talked about the well schematic on our Thursday post and I have received a request to post it, so here it is.  It’s more of a cartoon image, not giving the exact depths of of the 7″ to 9 7/8″ crossover in long string, but gives a pretty good picture of what pipe is in the hole:

Well Schematic.jpg

I’ll be talking about the insertion tube strategy later today.


  1. Old Man says

    This diagram implies the 7″ & 9 5/8″ are a full string to the well head. I thought the 7″ was a liner.

  2. says

    Yes, it’s a long string. The casing was hung off in the casing head. That is the packoff that likely failed when mud in the riser was displaced with sea water.

  3. Old Man says

    wow, how do you get the cement plug to change size from the 9″ to 7″ during the cement job? This is something new for this old man.

  4. inventor says

    I don’t see how the insertion tube works. It seems there will be too much dissolved gas in the liquid that the tube collects. This will boil off as the tube rises to the surface eventually to extreme velocities. If much back pressure is applied, how will the tube stay in place?
    If the BOP still has restriction, the junk shot may still work, and it is the only way short of relief will.

  5. says

    I think they are relying on a certain amount of bypass. I’ve also read that they will be injecting methanol at the end of the tubing as well as nitrogen to lower hydrostatic. Seem Rube Goldberg like, but could work.

  6. inventor says

    After some more thought: There will be a natural pressure gradient from about 2300 psi to ATM as the tube rises. What if a control valve at the top is on pressure control to say around 2000 psi then pipe the flow from there to a normal series of HP/IP/LP separators? They may have to flare the bejeezus off the top of the separators, but so what?
    As long as the valves capacity was significantly higher than the capacity of the restriction, there may not be so much blow-by.
    Maybe I’m being too pessimistic…but now I’m worried about flare capacity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × = 15

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>