Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oil is well, pressure basics

So the pressure is not as high as expected on the BP cap. 

And the pressure is going up slowly, like 2 PSI per hour out of 6500 PSI total.
1) The reservoir pressure is depleted because of 3 month of oil spewing.   If this is the case i would expect that experience with 10's of thousands of wells ought to let them model this very carefully and knowingly.   Since this is being discussed ambigously, I therefore rule this out-- for the most part.   And if it was reservoir depletion, why would the pressure build up now.

2) The oil is flowing somewhere else, but it's rate of flow is being slightly slowed, as it fills up the interrock /sand spaces deep within the ocean bed, and somewhere near where the well piping is breached.   As it fills up the space, it has to push harder and thus the increase in pressure.

2a) A subset of 2) is that the oil is flowing from a  lower sand bed, to a higher sand bed, and this may not necessarily turn into a problem, as long as the upper sand bed is a "reservoir" and it wont let the oil to leak out to the sea floor.  

The other thing that is obvious is that BP realizes that if they blowout the seafloor and the 2.5Billion barrels of oil escapes, that they are toast....bankrupt.   By putting the cap on, they increase the risk of a catastrphic blowout occuring, with the oil flowing freely from the top....they won't immediately cause a well bore blowout.

That was, in my humble opinion, the big delay after the cap install....BP went to the Gov and said, look here --if you want us to try to stop this well with the cap, there are risks, and you cant force us to operate this cap at our risk of ruin, therefore you sign here saying you (the US taxpayer) will backstop us if this things blows out completely.   Otherwise we would be idiots for doing anything but leaving the oil leaking freely.

Lets hope for the best.


  1. Hind sight unfortunately will be the tell all. I agree that there is something fishy going on ... too quiet for such a major deal of capping this thing.

  2. I am also amazed at the reporting that is going on, purely reckless repoting. They are talking about "if the cap holds". What a joke. This is a flanged and bolted connection for a world changing device that has been thoroughly bench tested before dropped into the ocean. Lets hope for the best!

  3. looks like now they found a seep in the ocean floor, after BP announced the "it's all good" mantra.

    In a letter addressed to Bob Dudley, BP managing director, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said tests had detected a “seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head.” The letter was posted on the website of the joint information center for the spill.


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