Friday, May 28, 2010

Simple Math

BP finally got its "top kill" act together Wednesday and began pumping drilling "mud" into the hole near the frog on the bump on the log at the bottom of the deep dark well. There were periodic stops and starts as pressure tests were done to evaluate the stability of the BOP. Understandable.

But last night on CNN, LSU's... See More... See More Ed Overton theorized that pressure tests were not the only reason the TK was supended. I confess I was distracted for the first part of Overton's theory, but the gist of it was that BP had run out of mud. Well, that would certainly be embarrassing, wouldn't it? I mean, these guys are engineers, right? Good with numbers and all that, right?


BP has reported that the initial "mud" pumping started out slowly (making sure the lines and BOP could handle the pressure) and was gradually increased to 65 barrels/minute. Over the past two days there has been about 16 hours of pumping at which point BP claimed they needed to suspend operations and "see what happens."


16 hours = 960 minutes.
65 barrels/minute x 960 minutes = 62,400 barrels.

According to
"The company has also ordered 15,000 more barrels of mud to add to the 50,000 barrels initially onsite. Suttles said he did not know how much mud had been pumped into the well or how much had escaped."

50,000 + 15,000 = 65,000.

Sad but obvious fact = the dummies ran out of mud.

And yesterday they clamored for the cameras in order to explain that this temporary suspension stuff is all according to plan. Really? And they didn't think this would look awkward? No one at BP HQ thought "Hey, this plan to stop pumping in the middle of the night might look bad, y'now, since we been gaming these Cajun dinks for the last month. Shouldn't we mention this before hand so they don't think we're screwing something up?"

My other thought of the morning is that if they can pump 65 barrels/MINUTE in through two 3" hoses how is it that a 21" pipeline is spewing just 12-19,000 barrels/DAY?

Of course this is mere speculation on my part. What the hell do I know.


The Tampa Pirate said...

Well written. I hope more people get the true depth of this disaster. Here is a scary fact: I used to work in shipping and when we had a tanker in port they would discharge #6 fuel oil (a super heavy oil, thicker than the stuff coming out of the BOP on the seafloor) from a 16" pipe. Run with nominal pressure, maybe a 1/4 of the ground pressure they used to discharge bbls an hour. This is a 21" pipe gushing lighter oil at full ground pressure. Scary math for sure.

Keep up the great work!

The Tampa Pirate

The Tampa Pirate said...

For some reason the barrel quantity was removed 6000-9000 bbls per hour

M Styborski said...

Thanks Pete. For more on the Macondo Hemorrhage I and many others have some stuff over at Come on over and add your voice!