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View Diary: Pre-emptive Relief Well Drilling Should be Required!! (50 comments)

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  •  Good idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alkalinesky

    Instead of one well bore to blow out, you automatically drill two so that you double the risk.

    Of course you could always drlll a relief well to relieve the relief well.

    Americans will support extra safety measures about as long as the extra costs work through to the gas pump or until they run dry as the oil companies decide that further exploration in US waters is uneconomic.

    "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:02:45 PM PDT

    •  Huh?? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, Lawrence, DrJeremy, We Won

      The relief well isn't at risk to blow out, because you don't actually connect it all the way through (unless, of course, you need it, in which case the first one has already blown).  

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." -- Dom Hélder Câmara

      by SLKRR on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:32:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett

        This blowout appears to have involved weaknesses in the rock formation nearer the surface as the drilling mud seems to have been pushed into those cracks rather than stabilising the pressure in the well bore.

        A pre-drilled relief well could equally be affected by these faults. If you listen to the end of the video below you will realise that something like this happened in the Ixtoc 1 blowout in the Mexican sector of the Gulf.

        "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:51:42 PM PDT

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        •  From what I heard, and no, I have no links, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Garrett

          although it was probably on Olbermann or Maddow, the cracks are because the well wasn't properly constructed, something about cement or some such.  If there is a geological problem with the seabed, no wells should be drilled there period.

          "I can't go to sleep. Someone on the internet is wrong!"

          by DrJeremy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:15:48 PM PDT

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        •  No, no and no. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          Please remove foot from mouth.

          In this particular place (Deepwater Horizon) there are miles between the top and bottom of the shaft.

          You are talking about different places.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:12:29 PM PDT

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          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

            And the rock formations at all levels can have faults that result in cross-breakthroughs. The simplest to understand is if the actual oil resevoir is near such a formation and the pressure in  the resevoir falls below a level that would make movement possible - rather like a mine roof collapse.

            An fuller explanation of such rock movements and the possibility of "mini earthquakes" is here.

            "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:57:53 PM PDT

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          •  Indeed. But all of it is soft (0+ / 0-)

            sedimentary rock.

            There is minimal internal structure. Nothing like massive fissures.

            The Gulf is sedimentary rock down miles.

            It is also as stable as you can find on earth -- for the northern Gulf away from subduction areas.

            BP and Oil Biz flacks put out all manner of shit about this site being "unstable." No way.

            Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Career criminals + White Racists + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

            by vets74 on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 05:04:43 AM PDT

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      •  Is there some small risk? (0+ / 0-)

        I'd think, especially for exploratory and wildcat wells, there must be some risk that the relief well blows out first.

        It would be a reason to let a relief well lag somewhat behind the main bore, if so.

        And to require, in how they drill, that they could use the main bore as a kill bore to the kill bore, in case of disaster?

        •  Look (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Garrett

          Blowouts happen at the top of the shaft.  Relief wells go to the bottom of the shaft.

          You need to find out a little more about the subject.  Mind you, so do I.   But the comments you are making don't make sense.  Makes as much sense as saying the ISS should have 100,000 gallons of water on board in case it catches fire.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:15:26 PM PDT

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          •  Working on that learning about it part (0+ / 0-)

            Promise.

            What comments don't make sense?

            •  The reason that nothing gets solved from the top (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Garrett

              is precisely the reasons of which you speak.

              But a 'relief well' is a different matter.  That does not go to the top of the shaft (or it would not be a different well) but is an attempt to interrupt the flow of the original well (by much the same methods used at the top) at the bottom of the shaft where a huge barrier (kilometers) of rock, sand and silt block anything from coming to the seafloor.

              So a predrilled relief well is just a blind shaft created, kept ready to be completed if need be.

              Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

              by Demena on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 10:51:37 PM PDT

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              •  But say, (0+ / 0-)

                it's an exploratory or wildcat well. They don't know where the reservoir is. Kill bore manages to hit it first.

                It would have exactly the same level of risk of blowing out as any other well, then, wouldn't it?

                I don't think this matters for purposes of writing a bill. Congress wouldn't spell out that level of detail when directing the regulatory agency to make the rules.

                Our friends at MMS, or whoever is responsible for this type of rule, would handle the details.

                Looking into what other nations do about the issue, if it is an issue, would also help.

                (Very much joking, but my current best authority about the danger of relief wells blowing out too is Anonymous Coward, citing T. Boone Pickins, at a place called godlikeproductions, which handles UFOs, Conspiracy Theory, and Lunatic Fringe.)

    •  Oil is an international commodity, (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't matter where it is drilled.

      "I can't go to sleep. Someone on the internet is wrong!"

      by DrJeremy on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:14:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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