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What we know....and what we don't know related to the BP disaster....

May be sorry later, but here goes........


The title says "What WE know", but it should say "What I think we know...."


What "We" know..........


1.  It was technologically a tough well. If you have to set three full strings of casing and four drilling liners in a space of 13.000' (approximately), this is a tough well from an engineering and feasibility standpoint.


2.  They shut the well in before it blew out...about two or three minutes before.  I evidence the rapid gain in stand pipe pressure in the last two or three minutes.  Nobody can explain that without telling me the well was shut in.  They boys did what the well told them to do.


3.  Displacing with sea water before setting the final cement plug was NOT a factor.  They could have set it in mud, then pulled up above the plug and displaced with sea water.  No biggie.  Either way, in order to remove the riser, they had to displace the well before or after setting that final plug, or just pull the riser and let @ 2,350 bbls of synthetic oil based mud loose into the gulf.


4. Bottom hole pressure was @ 13.000 psi as evidenced by their TD mud weight of 14.0ppg and TD at @ 18,300 ft.


5. The tapered string of 7" on bottom and swaged up to 9 5/8" or 9 7/8" (whichever), was cemented in place with 51 bbls of cement.  By my calculations, that was an excess over guage hole of 20 bbls.  I have read recently that no caliper log was taken of the well as they depended on MWD and did not run an open-hole wireline log.  That is anecdotal evidence read on the web, and not substantiated.  So I don't really know if the hole was washed out 20 bbls over caliper.  Gotta figger formation at that depth won't wash out that bad, but they did have three 15" triplex pumps on board.  This is a "gray area" to me until I get more info.


Here's what I DON"T know.....


1.  Did anyone note a discrepancy between the amount of sea water being pumped down the drill pipe and the associated returns?  Unless you had a dedicated and monitored "second" surface system on the rig to do just that, then the answer would be that they could not track it barrel-for-barrel.  But did someone see "something wrong" in the displacement?  Nothing about the surface monitors submitted by Halliburton can track that, because it doesn't track what is being pumped to the work boat.


2. THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT UNANSWERED QUESTION.......When they set that final string of casing (after cementing) and lowered it into the seal assembly and released the 5,000' of drill pipe from the setting tool in the hanger......Did they have a way of monitoring the annular pressure outside that last string of casing?  I don't know and haven't seen a diagram or picture of their wellhead configuration, but I cannot conceive of a configuration where after setting the casing, they couldn't monitor the backside pressure.


Your thoughts and comments are certainly appreciated.







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I just used the following contributor look up to find all contributions made by Aubrey McClendon to political candidates.

He gave Obama $2300 which I am sure makes him a very small donor and not Obamas second largest. He gave much more to Oklahoma Senator Tom Cole (Rep)

As for Aubrey selling his stock to keep Chesapeake afloat- you will have to explain this one to me. Aubreys margin call where he had to sell over 30 million shares almost overnight drove the stock price in the dirt to around $9 a share.(this was from a previous high of $74. It did not help keep Chjesapeake afloat-but was rather almost a contributing factor that almost put Chesapeake under.

JV Deals with Statoil-PXP-BP -TOT and others have been made by Aubrey and the board of directors which have provided the funding to keep all 100+ Chesapeake owned drilling rigs afloat throughtout this downturn

As for the thinking that we do not have enough Natural Gas to export as LNG- I think the present price of around $4.50 per mmcf reflects that we have an overabundance with just the big 4 shale plays- not including new horizontal plays being discovered recently. When Japan is signing contracts to secure LNG for over $20.00 MMCF I think you can see the potential.

As long as our natural gas is landlocked here in the lower 48 states then the price will be low. Many producers are selling at break even prices to just keep operations going.When producers can say screw selling it in the USA for $4 and send it abroad for much more as LNG- then prices here will rise and we all can make a living again.

2 options exist at the moment to export LNG fro the USA not discussed so far.LNG export facilities exist in both Canada and Mexico. there has been some talk of pipe lining some of the Marcellus Shale gas to Canada for LNG exporting
..and sending some of the Gulf production to Mexico to do the same.
is this why when the bottom fell out they kept drilling and building new rigs? everywhere you look they have a well somewhere
Yes Chase...they paid up to $25,000/acre for some of these leases and they had to either get a well drilled on each section or loses the leases after 3 years. This is what they call "Held By Production"

its been pretty much "Drill It Or Lose it" so a great deal of drilling continued even though it was not profitable....
but if there is no profit why keep it
Because when gas prices return to their profitable levels, they still have that production on line. And drilling that one well, locks in the lease, that can be drilled more further down the line, and say in the Haynesville areas, there is also Cotton Valley Lime, James Lime and the Pettit Lime. Securing the lease holds possible prospects further down the line.
Thanks, Curtis! Your link for 'Center for Liquified Natural Gas' may be the most authoritative info source on the subject available!

I still plan to find the Shell Perdido operations article - will post again if anything considered worthwhile found.


I now have a better understanding of your comment on the "Offer support for BP" thread.
Since I've started working here in western ND, I can validate your comment concerning flare gas. There are a lot of oil wells that do produce an amount of phase transition gas. The volumes are relatively low per well and it's just not in the economic cards to capture this low volume and pipe it off for collection. It is a waste, but in the scheme of things, a minor one considering the costs involved.
Tony Ackerman wrote:
"It is a waste, but in the scheme of things, a minor one considering the costs involved".

For now Tony, but there will come a time, when that currently flared gas will be too valuable to waste. We have already burned billions of $ worth in my lifetime, but we do need to find a more effecient way to safely transport and market it to the masses.

Again showing my age, but I remember a 50's--early 60s Popular Science mag, with a very dramatic front cover showing an artist's rendition of what he thought a LNG ship explosion in NYC harbor would look like. The expanding fireball covered most of the city IIRC. Scaring the NIMBY's is nothing new it seems.
I thought someone with Big Money had made a takeover run on Chesapeake a couple years ago--Warren Buffett maybe??

Since we're on NG, and you can throw this out if you wish Moderator:
Anyone here ever work on an old NG powered land rig? The very 1st day on a drilling location, when I was 16? (you could work underage back then--sorta) I took a summer job with a little outfit with only 2 rigs--one diesel--one NG. Before we could get started, We had to string out about 3/4 mile of pipe from a completed wellhead to the new location to run the floor engines. What a miserable way to start off--thru soybean fields, wadin/swimming thru a nasty rice canal, woods, hornets--it sucked big time. When we finished drilling surface, they brought out some Cat diesels and swapped them out and that was the last time I ever saw a sparkplug on a drilling rig.
...what?...everyone didnt break out on a propane rig with monster wakasaws with pony starting motors?...and get initated by being told turn this (a spare magnito) and get a shock that jolted them to their redwings?...lol...
...Chesapeake....has always been a dog and pony show, nothing new...if Mc Clendon was even 1/2 a real oilman instead of a shyster promoter, making his money off of selling shares to moms and pops from farm and citys that know nothing of an oil/gas play, he wouldnt have payed so high in lease prices in the barnett that a well will never pay for it's self...but thats what promoters do...use OPM (other peoples money) and lots of it to get a deal done all the while "cutting off the top" for management and bonuses...if he had to live off the profit from the wells drilled instead of influx of loans and stock sales on "over inflated numbers of reserves under lease"...and opening gas well wide open for 30 days to show a "whopper well", instead of like the real oilman who instead keeps a well "choked back" knowing it will increase the life of the well....among oilmen, Chesapeake is as big of a joke as Obama ...if this post is deleted i understand...Chesapeake probably helps pay the bills...
Chesapeake does not help pay a dime to this website...wondering if you have?
Chesapeake-just to get the facts straight-is one of the few companies that do not report overblown 30 day IP rates to their investors and they choke back all wells more than most competitors and sandbag the numbers so that their is usually a suprise to the upside at earnings time. I have been a long time investor in Chesapeake so I speak from experience- I have even worked for Chesapeake drilling many wells.

Chesapeake is also the largest and most active land driller in America-AND they have kept ALL 100+ rigs running through this downturn-employing tens of thousands of workers when you count in service companies- also Chesapeake is the largest independent producer of Natural gas in America-Hardly a "Dog and Pony" show...
I don't mind you posting- just would prefer you knew what you were talking about when you posted it!
Now-I will understand if you decide to delete this reply


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