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Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 8:56 PM

Okay, so here's my stupid idea for possibly stopping the leak in the Gulf of Mexico, tell me what's wrong with it. I figured since the well is so deep if you build a cylinder shaped explosive charge you could push it into the well while allowing the oil to flow around it until you get it way down into the well, lets say 1,000 feet, then detonate the explosive charge and collapse the well. Even if the well still continues to leak some oil, it could minimize the oil that is coming out of it to a very manageable level. Since the explosion would have to travel over a mile up to the surface to find a source of oxygen it seems highly unlikely that it would catch any of the oil on fire. So why isn't this possible? Just curious as to why this could not work. Any geologist out there?

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#1

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 9:24 PM

Glad to see you're thinking about it, but, think about what would happen if the explosive charge created fissures in the rock that is sitting above the reservoir of oil, and collapsed the natural cap that is sitting on top..........ugly.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 9:31 PM

Thanks that's the kind of answer I was looking for and it makes a lot of sense.

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#3

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 9:45 PM

The pipe is 21" in diameter and has a head pressure of 9,000 psi. That's a huge gusher and even if you could stuff a charge into the pipe, I would wonder if the detonation wouldn't just get pushed up out of the well floor.

Sort of like stuffing a fire cracker into a fire hose. You may rupture the hose, but the well head pressure would probably just exhaust the debris back out and you may end up with a fissure that is even harder to cap.

Just a guess.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 9:51 PM

Makes sense to me. Thanks

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#51
In reply to #3

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 3:10 AM

From the under water images I've seen, it doesn't look as if the oil is coming out at a pressure of 9000psi. Where did you get this information?

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 5:17 AM

Hi Guest, some reading;

BP Oil Spill – Options for the Next Time?

Explosives Experts, Could This Be Done?

BP Oil Spill - Could Oil Be Burned Underwater?

Proposal For An Undersea Oil Drilling Rig

Freeze the Flow

Could Pouring Cement Help Plug the Oil Spill?

Stopping Oil Spill - with Sound

Help Stop the Oil Spill with Real Ideas!

Then you need to read each link posted in all of those.

But the simple answer is possibly 22

(the BOP did at least partially or substantially shut down and is currently a major restriction to the flow)

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#60
In reply to #52

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 10:28 AM

How is this pressure in the oil generated?

I realise the original pocket of sealed oil, may of had some pressure related to it. But surely that head of pressure has now dissipated, seeing as it's now been venting for quite sometime.

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#5

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 10:54 PM

Just a thought here...you would probably need 600,000 lbs of pipe just to get your shape charge down there...then try to center that pipe directly over the broken one on the sea bed and force the vented tip into the well head.

That would be like hanging a pencil from a string and tyring to force it into a gushing garden hose.

Even if it were possible you would need a delivery sytem for the charge itself, a dense liquid or mud to force it down at about 2500 psi thru the pipe just to fight the force of the flowing well. Then hope your charge and det cord can withstand the atmospheric pressure's at those depths.

After all that expense and time you probably would be better off using the tapered pipe end that you were able to needle into the broken pipe on the sea floor... to get your charge in place... for it's mile deep journey... to flow the oil and natural gas back up to the surface to an oil platform.

What do I know...maybe it's possible... crazier things have been done.

"Since the explosion would have to travel over a mile up to the surface to find a source of oxygen it seems highly unlikely that it would catch any of the oil on fire".

Natural gas will not explode in the presence of a flame until it reaches a very specific concentration in the air - below a certain level it is deemed too lean to burn and above a certain level it may be too rich to burn. Within a flammable range, the gas will ignite and may cause an explosion. I don't know if it would add to or intensify your explosion.

Good luck with your idea! Hope they cap it soon...I hear every five days it spills out an Exxon Valdez into the Gulf.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/10/2010 11:10 PM

These are all good points. It's sad that once again the US government is responding to a crisis it helped create. Sure would be nice if we could have the foresight to be prepared for such a problem if and when it happens.

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#7
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/11/2010 6:11 AM

"...once again the US government is responding'''

I guess you can call swearing and sending a team of prosecutors down to the Gulf a response.

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#8
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/11/2010 8:12 AM

About right. LOL

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#9

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/11/2010 6:12 PM

The oil industry already has a similar tool (Listed under Pipe Recovery Equipment) used for recovering stuck drill string. I agree with the previous comments. I would not suggest using it for the purpose of attempting to close the well.

http://www.jetresearch.com/jet_content/2008_catalog/jrc_06.pdf

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/11/2010 9:01 PM

Given the dangers associated with collapsing or causing fissures to develop on the oil cavern roof I would agree that a high explosive yield would be to dangerous. However I did finally find a tool that the EPA is not using that is superior to their current methods, ELASTOL. This stuff is non toxic biodegradable and will bind the oil so it can be vacuumed or skimmed of the surface. It's can only help and yet they have not even talked about using it.

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#11

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 12:53 AM

What do you guys think about this idea? If they could come up with a tube or pipe of some sort and lower the mouth of it down over the outlet of the well and let the well itself pump it to the surface and then at the surface let it flow into tankers waiting to be filled wouldnt that controlled flow help to minimize environmental damages as well as add to the world oil supply forcing oil prices down. And continuing this would force oil companies to expedite a way to cap it because it would be hitting them in the wallet and they would have every available man on that problem then.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 1:19 AM

isn't this what they did with current cap that was just installed.

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 7:10 AM

I liked the last 2 suggestions of using elastol and sending a pipe down to recover the oil. I was reading and it was very similar to what my idea was about. Most issues were pointed out and made a lot of sense. Eventually the pressure will reduce and equalize and the oil flow will stop.

What do you think of this...Fabricate a funnel shaped cylinder and place it over the hole. This funnel is huge and should be heavy enough to withstand any pressure from all sides. This funnel will extend from the ocean floor to the top of the ocean surface. It should be designed so that it will flow with the tides and currents and be held in place.

With this funneled shaped pipe we could:

  • Contain and extract the oil.
  • Create a premature pressure drop by some sort of vacumn process. ( Suck the pressure out of the well )
  • Dump material over the hole to seal it. As more material is dumped in opposition to the pressure will increase to the point where the pressure in the well cannot displace the material and eventually will get plugged.

I know it seems crazy and expensive but our resources are worth it.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 1:49 AM

I belive they are already doing that

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#14
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 2:20 AM

Yet they continue to think a 4" pipe - which is around 1/30th of the area - will carry the flow - not counting the expansion due to pressure change and molar volume on change of state.

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#16

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 7:16 AM

I think they should have a "cap" device much like they are using now but with multiple outlets/hoses (on the sides) that could be closed remotely. The capacity of the outlets should exceed the capacity of the well or be connected to pumps that are ON when they lower the cap. The cap would be open at the top with a remote closure device. As the cap is lowered with the pumps running, some of the oil and pressure will be transferred to the hoses, much like lowering a big vacuum pump over the well. Then slowly close the cover to transfer all the pressure to the hoses. Again the capacity of the hoses/outlets/pumps needs to exceed the well head pressure. I suspect they don't have enough capacity in ships on the surface to accomplish this yet.

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#17

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 8:14 AM

Maybe another hair-brained idea, but worth investigating......

How about lowering a larger pipe over the bore-pipe and using some sort of "Link-Seal" like device to seal the void (annulus) between the 2 pipes???? Or some sort of mechanical-sealing device between the 2 pipes that's fashioned like a camera's "iris" that can be adjusted to close the gap?

Just a few cents more added to the fire.....

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#18

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 8:38 AM

Last time I heard, the Enterprise doesn't have enough processing capacity. I believe they were calling in two additional ships.

I am a bit surprised they didn't use an inflatable seal between the cap and the section of riser that was cut off rather than just let it leak. It appears they are leaving the vents open due to the ship capacity and the hydrates issue. If they sealed the gap, the hydrates issue should have been minimized with no seawater incursion.

Does anyone know why they didn't unbolt the flange and attach to it Vs cutting the riser just above it? They would have had a nice machined seal surface to deal with. If they could install the cap over the flow with the vents open why not just bolt an open valve in place? Once the bolts were removed/severed from the damaged riser you could potentially attach a new valve using something other than bolts which would be cumbersome for the ROV. Perhaps something with multiple hydraulic cylinder activation built into the valve flange would work. One could use the bolt holes to pilot only and use multiple clamps around the outside of the flange.

Sorry for this being a bit off topic.

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#19

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 8:47 AM

Another thought so you wouldn't need to index the valve through the bolt holes:

Attach a segmented cone on the new valve flange to make it easier to pilot over the existing riser flange. The outside hydraulic clamps would activate through slots in the cone. Stab it over the existing valve flange activate the clamps (spring applied, hydraulically released) and you should have a leak free seal. Thoughts?

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#25
In reply to #19

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 1:31 PM

Shape charge bad idea, no certainty on any part of it working and if it failed, there would be no return.

I also like the idea of the of a large cone that would sit over the riser the same way they installed that sloppy cap, that can not held in place when the vents are closed. It appears that they would not even have to remove the flange if they use the cone you suggested. If the cone had the correct angle, which would allow it to settle and make contact with the smooth outside edge of the flange, held in place by the hydraulic clamps. then close the vents, it should work. There could be a resilient coating inside of the cone to aid the sealing. The hold down clamps are the key, if the BOP can hole the head pressure, it should work.

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#28
In reply to #25

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 3:34 PM

If you don't wish to remove the riser flange... It might work to provide an elastomer seal against the OD of the flange or the top surface outside the bolt pattern. You would undoubtedly have to contend with chipped paint, dings in the surface etc. Any high velocity leakage will eventually erode the seal. It sounds feasible provided the flanges are not too banged up. There is always the possibility for an inflatable seal as well.

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#20

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 9:14 AM

GA to KDS...simple and effective idea gets my vote!

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#21

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 12:07 PM

I think it has potential. The shaped charges should go just outside the drill hole and the well casing. and be drilled in around the existing well casing down 40 or 50 ft in at lest 3 places to blow it. Its intent would be to collapse the existing well casing like a tube of toothpaste to close it off. A controlled explosion acting like a valve.

BP has not been in the oil business for years. They are simply a conglomerate that is run by acquisition bean counters who also cut corners (save money improve bottom line) without understanding the meaning of cost and quality and risk because they do not understand the oil business. Of course it is obvious our PC, AA, BHO does not either. Get Haliburton in there and fix it.

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#89
In reply to #21

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/18/2010 9:48 AM

This is not a bad idea. I seem to recall that sealing a pipe with shaped charges has been used before in the underground testing of nuclear devices. Using this approach on the PB spill will entail developing the appropriate charge and placement of the charge. Testing would be relatively easy; duplicate a section of the drill pipe and run tests the until the right charge is found and determine that it will seal the pipe. Placing the charge is another matter. One would need to gain access to the pipe below the BOP in order to place the charge. If a trench could be remotely excavated below the BOP then the charge could be place. Digging the trench would be a major problem depending on access the sea floor area adjacent to the BOP.

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#90
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/18/2010 12:53 PM

Setting off an explosion would already have been done, it in the opinion of those who know how to deal with this kind if incident thought it would stop the flow of crude and gas.

This well is over 9,000 ft. deep, with fractures in the sidewall of the pipe at undetermined locations. Plugging it via any means above a fracture will not stop the flow and would simply cause greater problems that could not be solved. Take a look a posting by Randal. The forecast by those who are knowledgeable in the industry is bleak, and that is putting it mildly. My suggestion is to, not invest in property in this country any where along the Gulf of Mexico.

If you are one of those who think that we have problems with illegal immigration from Mexico now, wait until this oil finds it's way to their Gulf Coast and trashes their fishery like ours is being trashed now. When they are starving in Mexico, they will positively flood north of the border.

All that we, "the public" has seen as yet is just the tip of an iceberg. The impact of this single oil well failure, will forever change the entire world.

TMF

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#22

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 12:09 PM

What I do not understand is.

This was an operational well right? and something went terribly wrong. but prior to the explosion and fire and collapse it was a producing wel.

Ok it collappses and the pipes are all crushed and kinked over right so they don't know how much is leaking out.

Ok i'll give them that.

But now after cutting off all the junk it is now a free flowing open pipe. yes?

so whatever the flow was prior to the incident, it what it is flowing now.

so take that number and minus whatever the cap is captureing and the answer is how much is not leaking? Duh? or am i missing something?

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 12:54 PM

Duh - yes - The well was being completed at the time of the problem - it was not and had never been in service.

As there never had been any flow (intentional flow) from the well there is no base point.

This is explained in numerous news stories and blogs by people who know the business very well.

The reason no other company is stepping up to offer to take over - Damn near mission impossible - no one could ever look good but would be made to look real bad - by some of the people here for that matter plus greenpeace et al.

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#23

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 12:16 PM

Hi grav01 - Nice try, but it won't work! Since the pressure under 5000 feet of seawater is of the order of 1 ton per square inch, - and a 22 inch pipe - with or without surrounding cracks and fissures - is belching out 5000 - 40000 barrels of the black stuff every day - plus LOTS of gas - the differential pressure from below must be very high (someone with a mathematical mind want to work it out ?) An explosion anywhere downstream from the well-head could only make things a lot worse!

One thing I'd like to know - how thick, and what is the composition and integrity of the rock layer between the sea-bed and the anticline. If they drill relief wells to reduce the pressure, is there any danger of the sea-bed collapsing under the weight of a mile depth of water? How big is this oil reservoir anyway? If it's as large as some seem to think, a couple more 22" pin-pricks are not going to make much difference.

B.P., Transocean and Halliburton have done their worst. Now I'll have a go! Use Detcord to sever the pipe cleanly at the sea-bed level. Drag the defective BOP and other scrap out of the way. Now lower a long,tapered steel plug pierced with a 1.5 - 2" channel into the open pipe end. Tamp it home. Pump in a few tons of cement down the drill-shaft. Unscrew shaft. Cover with a few thousand tons of rock and concrete, and spend the next five years cleaning up the mess!

I guess this probably won't work either, but - what the hell!!!!

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#26
In reply to #23

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 2:34 PM

You know I think this conversation and our combined inputs seem more intelligent than what I keep hearing from Admiral Allan, BP and the EPA.

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#27
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 2:48 PM

You mean there has been a suggestion that sounds even remotely feasible? Guess I missed it.

The real discussions on this topic between the big boys go on well out of any outsiders hearing.

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#29

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/12/2010 8:29 PM

Explosives Experts, Could This Be Done?

Try this. I've been on it for weeks now.

From side and top

A side ways Kylumbus egg.

Me? Give in because of a steep learning curve? This can be done, if only they would put resources to it. Not the real thing first but simulate. They should still have all geological data and choose explosives accordingly. Just on a screen. I can see it all in slow motion including the last squirts coming out of the top. In the suggested case it would be 4 of them. Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, stop. Yep, reminds me of something too.

I'll stay at it for now, Ky.

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#30
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 12:50 AM

You are feeding well?

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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 4:58 PM

Bottom feeding can take a toll.

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#31

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 8:21 AM

When I reed between the lines of what we are allowed to know the pipe below the seabed is 4km long.

Everything you want to achieve through explosives will result in an enormous water hammer, opening up the path again.

This is also exactly what went wrong with the top kill, the speed of the oil is simply to high.

As it is a 21" line, it will not be this simple to close it by an outside force.

My 5c of ideas: try to slow down the oil prior to trying to close the line.

By pushing in a conical device the oil could be slowed down over hours even days to avoid water hammer effects.

But don't forget the pressure the oil has from below, this pressure drives the high speed, so the force on this conical device will be enormous.

The trick is then to have a "balloon at the tip of the slowdown device, blow it competely up and close the pipe completely, after which a final plug can be applied at the wellhead.

The balloon would be shredded when inflated in the high speed oil but in the slowed oil it can be inflated without risk.

But first a big US national problem must be solved: by law it is forbidden for non US vessels to help. Dutch and Flemish dredgers are well known for their conessance of deep water constructions. They have vessels wich can deliver huge rocks at this depth, creating the wheight we need to be able to take the load which the oil will deliver. But they want to solve it without foreign help.

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#33
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 9:10 AM

I agree, it could only help to bring in foreign help into the situation. It won't be the first time that we've had to do this. Back when the USS Cole needed to be moved across the Atlantic back to US the US NAVY hired a Norwegian company to move the ship. Nordic countries are the leading experts on deep ocean constructions. When the Russians were trying to recover the Kursk it was the British and Norwegians that they turned to for help. Unfortunately the US Bureaucratic Juggernaut will never come to this conclusion.

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#32

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 8:58 AM

GA Gwen! The heavy cone and inflatable balloon idea may indeed work. The cone exterior should be coated with tough elastomeric material to help seal against any ragged edges of the cut pipe.

I too think that the use of explosives to close-off the pipe is fraught with too many uncertainties and may in fact result in a worse catastrophe like a fractured bed rock having multiple leakage paths.....and once done it'd be impossible to stop further leakages.....

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#34

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 10:16 AM

It looks like everything that we have been proposing is all for naught.

The well pipe is fractured or damaged 1,000 feet below the sea bed!

Link to article here

This is much more difficult and serious than we imagined.

Note that collapsing the well is on the table and probably a last ditch effort, but we are nearing that last ditch now.

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#47
In reply to #34

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 8:51 PM

Wow I've been keeping up with events on this pretty good and I totally missed this bit of information. The pipe is damaged 1,000 ft down!!!. Dam that is a serious, serious problem.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 10:00 PM

Hello grav01,

Yes the secondary damage, if it really exists, is serious. However HDEP pipe is used for high pressure regularly. It comes in flexible lengths that are hermetically welded together end to end.

I was a Project Manager in a potable water main construction some about 10 years ago. One of the problems I faced was in dealing with having to pass this main across a canal that was about 100 ft wide at the water. the surface of the water was typically 12 ft below the bridge deck at the roadway, next to the place the main was to be placed. We could have placed a trestle work across the canal to carry a welded steel pipe but that would have required much maintenance in the future. We opted to do a directional bore and insert the HDPE pipe, and use the couplings that I described earlier to connect at either end. We laid the 12" C-900 pipe up to the canal and began again with the C-900 after the canal. After the HDPE pipe was in place we came back and made the connection. The HDPE pipe was 100 yards long. (900') I had to bend in the middle a full 36' to be at a safe level below the bottom of the canal. This was not a gradual bend, it was more like a soft piece of spaghetti. The wall thickness of this pipe is 1", therefore I am confident that a length of this material long enough to pass deeply enough through the fractured pipe could be placed there. And I am equally as certain that it could withstand the high pressures mentioned earlier in this blog. If the fracture isn't leaking yet, and this pipe sleeve was in place, the pressure on the fracture from within would be diminished greatly. It is not a matter for me as to weather or not this will work, it is simply going to be the ultimate decision as to just when it will be done. For me, it is just another common sense decision.

TooMuchFun

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#53
In reply to #34

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 6:19 AM

another reason to develop a device which can travel down the pipe to close it bolow the fracture.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 7:19 AM

How do you get it passed the BOP? Or what is your installation strategy?

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 7:56 AM

It light of BP's latest news of a possible pipe fracture deep below the seabed, maybe it's time to fuse the whole area with two small tactical thermonuclear specials....it'll turn the immediate bedrock area into one huge piece of glass plug and hopefully shut off all the leaks both in the pipe and fragmented bedrock...High time to try it if BP's efforts keep coming up short or are worsening the situation with every ill-fated attempt. Stuff the two nukes down the relief wells that BP is currently drilling.....

Heck the Ruskies did this first back in the 60's and have done it several times over.

Hate to use nukes for anything, but what alternatives are left really? I bet I'll be "real" popular with this suggestion....yeah right! Just my 2 cents.

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#57
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 9:00 AM

It will also create an immediate tsunami. Just what New Orleans needs.

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 9:26 AM

If the device(s) are installed several thousand feet below the seabed and their explosive yield(s) are fairly low, then there shouldn't be a Tsunami.........and if there is, so what if the cesspool that New Orleans is really worth saving? LOL We're not talking about explosive yields in excess of the 50 MT range ya know? Small briefcase size devices would be ideal here...just enough to fuse the bedrock in several 1000 feet diameter....

Just kidding people...RELAX!!!! Just being what the Aussies call cheeky...

Any Nuke engineers or scientists from Los Alamos out there that care to comment? ****GRINZZZ****

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#64
In reply to #59

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 7:01 PM

Oih, Skipper

Cocky way to approach a Captain, usually only done when arms are in a defensive position.

Any Nuke engineers or scientists from Los Alamos out there that care to comment? ****GRINZZZ****

Well, after trying to get some Master blasters to evaluate my approach I was left in a vacuum. Just the opposite of what I expected. This does not mean that I have given in but that I have to use other channels to get to them. I think I was a bit naive to think that they would comment in a public forum. Leave it with me I am on the case and will not take no for an answer.

I think I have read all of the comments on most threads and most of the links. Its becoming a bit out of hand and the time I am spending on this is possibly wasted. I can see where I am not being properly understood but just lack the time to respond to concerns of what ever kind. I have refuted most if not all of them and some concerns where even more crackpotish than my suggested front of attack.

Nukes? Not asked for at all.

just enough to fuse the bedrock in several 1000 feet diameter....

I estimate that the fused area would only have to be 30-50 feet. A cracker in comparison. You know, these guys can make explosives at will. If they need high temperatures they can make it happen. In combination with other chemicals (our beloved thermite) or reactants not so well known any thing can be done. The Germans did this 60 or more years ago. And the poms, I know, sorry John.

I am expecting a contact in the next few days. These guys don't talk to crackpots and classified information it would be to get them to take care of it. For me it is happening like in slow motion, computer animated and over and over again. I want my life back.

See Ya's, cranky old bastard, Ky.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 9:56 PM

The column of oil/vapor is moving rather rapidly up the pipe. Trying to stop it suddenly is like trying to stop a train by stepping in front of it. The liquid hammer from a sudden closure will produce a pressure transient that in all probability would rupture the pipe altogether.

Some sort of gradual, controlled closure is needed. The hydraulic squeeze-off idea made sense, provided the pipe is malleable/ductile enough not to fracture. If successive charges of explosive could effect a gradual closure, this whole approach might make sense. But I suspect that uncertainties in any calculations would turn this into a total crap-shoot. Maybe even fracture the rock into a completely unsealable sponge.

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#76
In reply to #65

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 9:12 PM

Thanks to both of you for replying.

Let me try and go from suggestion to what I anticipate will happen. I have answered most of your considerate thoughts in earlier comments in other threads, all over the place, like a crazy persons poo. I knew you would like to keep a humorous overtone to all this. Not very funny, I know.

Trying to stop it suddenly is like trying to stop a train by stepping in front of it.

The stresses such a hydraulic shock would put on the pipe would only be downwards. The top section is free to flow were it likes. This would not exceed the pressures handled in the reverse situation, when they open the flow. That's were it all went wrong in the first place. All that pressure will be at one point were as the pressure of the full stop would be dispersed over a much larger surface area, namely the full pipe length down to the reservoir.

I agree that stopping the flow will create a hammer but will hardly fracture the core well and its surrounds. It was built for that, I hope. The then hydraulic fluid will compensate for that although at unimaginable pressures. In all probability the bullet can be stopped in the barrel because the reservoir and the hydraulic compensation in the inline takes up the slack, so to say.

Maybe even fracture the rock into a completely unsealable sponge.

Many anticipate this to happen. Here is what I think will happen in real life:

1. Explosion is triggered and the kinetic energy will dissipate in the desired direction. Not up, it will not be able to lift 1000' of rock. Not down, there is only rock for a few thousand feet. It can only travel side ways and squeeze that pimple shut. I am not writing this for any expert so I use this colorful language for the not so initiated.

2. The bore core including 21" steel pipe filled with a fluid under pressure will be the first space than can be filled with the energy of the blast. To get to the point, the energy required to compact rock (granite?) into what ever it can be compacted into, will always be greater than impacting a layer of concrete and a protected steel pipe and the fluids encased. This is not happening at any interface but with in a tightly enclosed system. Its "all one" down there and the bore is the weakest link in other wise solid surrounds.

3. The liquid above the first explosion is ejected from the well and will create a burst equivalent to the space now taken up by the compressed section of the pipe. Not much really.

4. The second explosion (the timing of this must be left to the Master Blasters) will cause the fluid, still in the pipe between first compression and second could force the first to reopen minimally, but would instantly be sealed by the second which would now not have to overcome the pressure in the pipe.

5. Repeat till sealed.

Now back to your unsealable sponge and my anticipation of that. If any sponge can be created where do you think the empty spaces, which characterize a sponge, would come from? Squeezing blood out of stone comes to mind.

We are not talking of an above or just underground "mythbusters thingo" but about a small section of rock moving side ways. At that depth you would not even hear a thud or notice a ripple at the water, mud inter face. Not moving mountains but only filling a, in the scheme of things, very small cavity with moved, but definitely not compressed or sponged rock. Fill the weakest link in the chain.

What I see is an environment of complete density were only the strongest survive in position and the flow in the core is the weakest of all. Nothing else will move any where. There is nowhere for a sponge to form in my book. There is no space, cave larger than the displaced core volume created. At speculated but governable temperatures of the explosives and combination's thereof, a melting or glazing effect could be achieved, just to get that sponge out of the way again.

You know, that is what I am now suggesting since weeks now. I was hoping to be able to get some details about different explosives but am not getting any where. Its easier and less risky to find a good recipe for lasagna but these cooks don't like and can't talk much about their art.

I now have problems turning off this ever repeating animated video in my head. I might go and dig around in the garden for a while. With my kind of luck I might find something mineable.

Give me a white board any day, it saves time and allows for one on the side, if one chooses, Ky.

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#66
In reply to #64

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 11:07 PM

Hello KY.

I fully understand what you want to do. However I see "TOO" many risk factors that absolutely must be addressed before even considering such an attempt. And what if there is still an unknown issue with the existing natural cover over this crude deposit. The simple fact is that once the fire cracker has popped, you cannot undo the explosion.

This is the reason I propose the inserting a pipe within the existing pipe. I feel that if we have the technical knowledge to find the crude deposit, at such a depth, and tap it and pipe it to the surface to access it and transport it where ever, then we also have the ability to simply insert an internal sleeve into the existing pipe, there by providing a solution to this problem that doesn't send the original investment to the toilet. No one, including you has given much thought to my remarks other than one effort that was not well thought out.

I used to shoot fireworks shows, and I do understand that shaped charges can be used to do incredible things. However I believe that there is no more risk in attempting to save the well through the means that I have described than there is in simply attempting to close that well forever. What I have proposed can be undone by simply removing the internal pipe. Clearly there is no way to undo your risky idea. This is why you are not getting much support for your proposal.

Cheers

TMF

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#70
In reply to #66

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 9:32 AM

"No one, including you has given much thought to my remarks other than one effort that was not well thought out"

Your remarks have been thought about - brave of you to insist on a comment.

A suitably sized pipe has been 'desired many times' on this and other related threads.

Inserting said pipe has been desired previously, but always had the defunct BOP variables and well pressure/flow unknowns to contend with.

I looked up the properties of C-900 pipe in HDPE and PVC and could see no advantage over steel:

Firstly; considering displacing the water to avoid hydrates; a burst pressure around 750 psi means filling with a substance near or equal to saltwater SG.

With steel you can use 2,500 psi compressed nitrogen.

With a deflated "lay flat" hose, oil inflates it on rise.
(Lay flat was/is a 'plastic' concept on the original thread)

Of particular relevance is the mile depth and currents is kinking and "S" form induced tensile loads. It required major reinforcement for adequate 'lay flat' tensile strength to be obtained.

HDPE will likely neck and neck - assuming the joints don't tear - eventually kinking at the BOP, so rupturing.

But even if it doesn't, neck, kink, rupture; the SG 0.96 means no weight to facilitate fall to the well and the "like spaghetti" 1 mile column strength prohibits the use of force other than highly locally at the well head.

A 1" plus wall is a significant area to push in against the pressure. About 19 short tons / 1000 psi or if the well pressure is 9,000 psi with BOP removed - less 2,200 ambient - 6,800 psi = a force to install of 130 short tons, plus the buoyancy of a mile of pipe to overcome. This makes for an interesting gripper feeder mechanism.

Steel is still 6 g/cc heavy and an equal dimension (12" x 1" wall) will handle far greater pressure events and has 276 short tons residual insertion force / mile of string. This surplus 146 tons may be handy when it is full of oil.

For the HDPE it's the opposite case, buoyancy creates more tension on the gripers.

Do bear in mind I would not have commented except you asked.

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#74
In reply to #70

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 1:25 PM

Thank you for your comments, but HDPE is commonly used to provide a conduit beneath large waterways, such as the St Lawrence River and other places where currents are very strong. Clearly the installation of this material would require the creation of some sort of gripping and pulling device to be located at the existing well head. As for the flotation issue the sleeve would be open and would fill with the sea water and slop that is presently rising to the surface. I don't see flotation as an issue that cannot be over come. This idea may not be the final answer, but it would reinforce the existing pipe from the inside where it is accessable, provide at least a temporary way to get the flowing crude to the waiting clean up vessels and likely buy a little time until a more perminate fix can be provided, the temporary pipe will be already filled with content thus helping to offset any flotation issues issues. New Connectors to the existing well head can be readily guided into place by simply sliding them down exterior of the temporary conduit. This idea is workable, yes there may be some problems with getting it done, but we sent men to the surface of the moon, provided them with mobility to explore the surface and returned them safely, over coming issues along the way. All this takes is to throw enough money at a problem and it is solvable.

TMF

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#77
In reply to #66

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 9:56 PM

I like your telescopic idea, if I may call it that. At least you know what you are talking about, were as, I am not. I'm more following intuition than any thing else. Still, let me reply:

"TOO" many risk factors

I hope that my above reply gives some answers.

The simple fact is that once the fire cracker has popped, you cannot undo the explosion.

One has to get away from the idea of an explosion above ground style. In the suggested case there will be no shrapnel flying, no dust or smoke not even sound traveling. Just solid rock and a weak spot to be filled. Like I said its all one down there, except the bore which is the malleable part.

Clearly there is no way to undo your risky idea. This is why you are not getting much support for your proposal.

Risky idea? creating a few compressed sections of pipe? Hermetically sealed from its surrounds and at depths that could be drilled with in a week? I can't see a risk and maybe you will change your mind after reading my reply above. In the worst case scenario they would still have to rely on the relief drills in the end.

I wonder how that is going to stop the flow any way. They seem to be coming from two sides at incredible depths and then what? Get out a spanner and connect something they have up their sleeves. I shudder again. Can you explain?

I have not spoken about what happens on the lee side of the bore core, if I may call it that. That's the part of the scenario behind the bore, opposite the expansion, let me call it that instead. This rock will lend its self to becoming an unmovable mold for the bore to squeeze up against. The bore being a kind of shield, so that only the blast side will be moved and the rock on the lee stays put.

Even if these crimpings would not stop the flow it would give the whole assembly more grip. I hear that if the fractures, created by the back pressure of the top kill, keep spurting out, the bore could become a projectile and the whole lot could come out in one piece, like a large torpedo.

Your approach would stop this from happening as well. Not only that but yours has more ponderable situations, materials to deal with. I am speculating only but seeking still. Good to see that this is not about one-up-man-ship and grand standing but communicating ideas.

Hope all goes well.

Thanks again for your thoughts, Ky.

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#56
In reply to #54

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 8:42 AM

free the pipe below it, cut off the BOP and push it in till it can grab the pipe wall.

sound simple,

but is quite difficult one mile deep with a constant flow of oil in the wrong direction.

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#83
In reply to #34

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 2:39 PM

TOD says the same thing.

Well an article in TOD (The Oil Drum) anyway.

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#84
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 5:05 PM

Well done Randall,

You have just reinforced all of the reasons that I have displayed regarding "not applying an explosive force to close this well anywhere above the lowest estimated "possible fracture".

I don't pretend to compare with professionals in the oil industry. However; the worst possible disaster should have been planned for, and a verifiable and "provable" solution in place before the tapping of that reserve was began.

As I am reluctant even to suggest a solution, now that I am better informed, "So" I ask, could it be possible to push a casing that would fit within the reduced size lower well casing, down to a point where it could actually jam against the reduced dimensioned casing and restrict the escaping flow long enough to permit the "mud" used to plug the well, to form a thickened walled structure from far below the estimated lowest fractured pipe wall to the uppermost level of the existing pipe.

The reason that I propose this idea is that, if we presume the smallest size well pipe far below the surface is 10" id, and we force 12 inch od. casing with a tapered nozzle to fit against the 10" reduction, the interior of this 12 " pipe will still permit the flow of crude upward, but without permitting it to escape through fractures pushing the sealing mud outward along with the escaping crude. My theory here is that even though there will be great pressure placed on the reduction pipe, it may only have to sustain said pressure until this entire well will now have a thickened wall that may be able to sustain greater pressure. Could this then permit the attachment of a valve that could be gradually closed, reducing the escaping crude to a manageable level.

It is just an idea, but it might be possible if there no impassable obstructions already built into the system.

TMF

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#35

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 11:15 AM

Would it be possible to fuse the formation with something other than conventional explosives or a nuclear option? Would Thermite or some other method of fusing the formation work? The biggest challenge would seem to be placing enough of it to fuse the casing and formation together. If any water were present would it flash to steam at the pressures encountered and would it just serve to fracture the formation all over again? During cooling, would the formation just crack again? The risks seem substantial. If it doesn't work, we are back to the relief well option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite

Would a modified fracturing process be a possibility? You would need to drill wells around the existing one. Instead of using a sand/gel combination which would hold the cracks open could you use cement instead?

I am still in favor of the improvised docking ring. See earlier comments #18, 19, 25 & 28. It may allow them to pull oil out more readily rather than providing additional back pressure on the well.

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#36
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 11:19 AM

Read the link in post #34.

The problem appears to be much more complex than imagined here.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 11:39 AM

@ Anon - But it takes so much of the fun out of it when people have to do research before commenting!

Some of the brightest people I have ever met were sitting on a bar stool - they were telling everyone in sight about their brilliance and how if people just listened to them everything would be alright.

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 11:49 AM

I did read your link and the article. Thanks for providing it.

What I am proposing with the modified fracturing process (Using cement) is to essentially close any of the cracks or flow channels through the formation and to attempt to replace any damaged cement around the casing in order to prevent the casing from being ejected. You would need a series of cased, cemented and perforated wells around the existing well in order to attempt this. (Obviously problematic from a time perspective).

Another thought:

If going to all of this trouble, why not drill a 1000 foot well to the point where the casing is fractured to prevent further formation channeling and erosion higher in the casing? Start pulling the fluid out the relief well Vs damaging the formation further.

The other comment related to actually trying to seal the riser leakage was in regard to reducing the pressure on the well bore.

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#46
In reply to #36

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 5:25 PM

Shocking news, I wonder how they were able to diagnose this if they are not even able to determine the flow +/- 400%. Must be experts at work with some diagnostic tools not known to me.

What the pressure and shock waves have done from the inside out I am suggesting to do the other way around. What is so hard to understand? In the end they will have no other choice so I am covered for now. Not that that gives me satisfaction it rather hurts, to tell you the truth.

Trying to push a bullet back into the barrel and be surprised that the barrel gives way? I think compacting the bore by moving rock side ways has more merit. Now they will have to go beneath 1000feet to place the charges. Could have been avoided if they would have listened to me in the first place.

What the heck, I might as well go over board and keep at it. Not much respect left for any of the experts, more disillusionment with a dysfunctional system and its parts and operating crew.

Terrible news A.H. Hope all goes well, Ky.

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#39

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 2:51 PM

Hello grav01, Et.al,.

The (Et.al.) specifically includes all of our participating Engineers, and assorted professionals, and wannabe's, and anyone else with a hair brained idea regarding just how to resolve this oil problem.

We need not reinvent the wheel to resolve this problem. We already know how to make connections between pipes of the same size and larger and smaller sizes and differing materials to each other, to provide for working seals that provide a positive seal between these asst. pipe materials. This is done every day. A collar fitting that has anchoring lugs installed all around it, contains a slip seal that tightens from interior pressure against it, and has a flange with matching bolt holes already in place . If it doesn't, a one off example could be produced in about a week. A second collar fitting designed to mate up with the other fitting, previously mentioned is already in place on the pipe that will carry this oil to the surface where the flow can be turned off or at least be restricted and redirected into waiting tankers. Standard bolts are typically used to attach these two flanged couplings together. However, in this case, I would consider using pressed in lugs on at least one flange or maybe an every other pattern on both fittings. This would aid in the alignment to either fitting.

Now for the logistics on how to get the retaining nuts onto these studs. This requires the construction of a special piece of equipment that is hydraulically or pneumatically powered with the ability to place each nut in place and tighten it as needed. It isn't rocket science folks, it is just another example of a robot. And the robot would be recoverable if it was simply slipped around the upper pipe and lowered as needed, when ready.

The most direct way to address this issue is through the "Court" nationally or internationally or both. Charge all of the high level management of all conceivable associations connected with this issue, with a criminal act of endangerment to the United States and every country with a coast line on the Gulf of Mexico. Arrest them and hold them for possible prosecution under a likely to flee, restraining order. Those at the top of this chain of authority are no better than any other terrorist. Do this and you will see just how the problem of logistics for fixing this problem will swing into action. With enough bucks/euros,franks etc. behind the effort, this problem could be resolved in a matter of weeks.

TooMuchFun

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 3:13 PM

I'm guessing that they can not do that because they suspect the well casing is damaged something like 1,000 feet below the sea bed.

Capping the pipe will increase the well head pressure and cause the oil to geyser out around the well pipe. Then you are in a bigger pickle because then there may be no way to control it or even capture it if it spreads over a wide area of the sea bed.

At pressent we are recovering an estimated 60% to 79% of the oil (based on upper government estimates) and flaring the natural gas. Plans are in place to improve that to hopefully closer to 90%. They are also drilling relief wells, but they are a few months away from that goal. The hope is to reduce the well pressure to something manageable that they can shut off.

No one is really sure of the actual flow, but government estimates puts it at something like 20,000 bpd (at 42 gallons per barrel) and a pipe pressure of about 9,000 psi.

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 4:58 PM

Hello Hero,

I took a break from regular posting here on CR 4 to attend personal issues so I have not been up to date on current events. However, regarding this issue, one need not provide a smaller pipe to the surface, a lager one is unlikely to increase pressure very much and likely would help in the containment and recovery. As for the possible fracture of the pipe further down in the system, if that is the issue, then an internal sleeve is the answer. Even if the sleeve were not a tight fit, it would direct the maximum amount of crude to the recovery ships. As it is, mopping it up on the surface is quite necessary but futile in light of the fact that we are facing hurricane season. To prove my point, earlier to day I connected a pipe to my garden hose and turned on the water. I then inserted a slightly smaller pipe into the larger one. It was not a tight fit, but clearly most of the water flowed through the slightly smaller pipe. Inserting the slightly smaller all the way to the inlet of the existing pipe would minimize the possible and possible flow through any possible fracture. And there is no limit as to just how far the inserted pipe must be before providing the connection I described previously. these kinds of parts are used everyday in the construction of sewer and potable water mains. Ruptured old cast iron mains can be cut off, the connecting end cleaned up and connected to C-900 pipe, the most used in today's service. However, I have used sections of HDPE pipe to go under roadways, railroads and and canals. Like I stated before, it isn't rocket science. Someone simply has to step up and make the "Command Decision" to go forward with the cure as doing nothing will be the worse thing that can happen beyond that which has already occurred.

TooMuchFun

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#58
In reply to #43

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 9:24 AM

Good, if it worked with your garden hose and PVC I am sure it will work one mile plus down under circumstances that are at least 100,000% different. All the while the work is being done by robots.

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#61
In reply to #58

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 10:33 AM

Well russ123,

Do you suppose it was any easier to get the pipe/well/anchoring concrete and valves in place to begin with. If one can Engineer all of that, simply sliding a poly pipe down the inside of a larger pipe shouldn't be such a big deal. It certainly doesn't compare with sending mankind to the surface of the moon and returning him safely to Earth and that technology is many years older than this issue.

The garden hose test was just to determine weather or not the reduction in interior diameter of the flow through pipe would create any appreciably increase in resistive pressure. It was minimal. Have you a better Idea that will help solve the problem and still have a functioning well.

TooMuchFun

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 10:34 AM

The guys that come up with the solutions and especially whatever is used are working for the oil companies and have been working on it. The rest is simply kibbitzing on the sidelines.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 11:06 AM

You are very correct Russ. However where I live we experience sink hole activity regularly. It is enough that the crude is being pushed out by the pressure from within and likely from the weight of the elements pressing down on it. The addition of explosive forces cannot be accurately estimated where cracks may already exist in the roof over the deposit of crude. Even a small to moderate explosion might send about sufficient shock wave activity to cause a collapse where the gradual settling caused by the reduction in volume of crude might simply permit these kinds of faults to tighten together improving a natural seal. I am sure that we are all guessing just a bit about this subject, but having worked with various kinds of pipe and on many different projects, and had to be the problem solver as I either was or represented the prime contractor, I have felt from the outset of this issue that BP, Et.al., is simply trying to get out of this situation with the least amount of liability, and save the investment already expended. Blowing it up will not accomplish that.

TMF

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 3:22 PM

I agree, it isn't rocket science. The main difference in designs is what is being asked of the ROV at depth. Specifically: Not having to deal with installing nuts once you are there. The other potential issue is the valve bouncing around in the fluid stream during installation. It could damage the lower flange seal surfaces. Anything that will reduce the time of installation would be helpful.

The spring applied, hydraulically released clamps shouldn't be that difficult to add since you would have the luxury of working on them at the surface. You would no longer need to worry about indexing since you are no longer using the bolt holes. Once in place you just release the hydraulic pressure using the ROV.

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#44
In reply to #41

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 5:14 PM

Why not have the ROV direct the smaller pipe into the larger one and apply the feeding pressure from a source at the surface. The smaller pipe would then act as a guide to slide the proper coupling down onto the larger existing pipe and the ROV would only have to assist in the placement of it long enough to permit the clamping bolts to be tightened by a robot that is also slid down the same conduit. Retrieve the robot by sliding it back up to the surface and then slid the smaller coupling half down the inserted along with a robot that positions the flanges and then tightens the second coupling half. All this takes is to throw enough money and attitude at it. I was known as a problem solver most of my professional life. Decisions like this would have been very for me to make. DO SOMETHING DAMIT, EVEN IF IT IS WRONG, CAUSE DOING NOTHING IS NO ANSWER AT ALL. Please do not be offended, I wasn't shouting at you, just making a point.

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#45

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 5:19 PM

...then detonate the explosive charge and collapse the well.

??

Wouldn't you expect the charge to expand the pipe in the region near the explosive?

Expand it enough, and the pipe would rupture, causing an worse leak than is already there.

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#49

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/13/2010 10:32 PM

Problems are more series than people realize. If BP cut corners on the cement job of earlier pipe casings there is a risk that if they were to turn off the flow the resulting well head pressure could lift the pipe out of the ground. No details about the existing pipe and cementing procedures used in the well have been provided. I hope that the well casing program wasn't screwed up.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/14/2010 2:30 AM

Greetings David. Sorry to be a Job's comforter, but - I agree. It was reported that immediately prior to the blowback/explosion on "Deepwater Horizon" Cheney's mob were injecting cement - presumably to reinforce the last section of casing. A look at the seismological survey B.P. must have produced before commencing drilling this well would be informative. What is the depth of bedrock between sea-bed and oil/gas reservoir, what is it's composition - and how badly is it faulted? Cheers. Zadok.

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#67

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 4:08 AM

Before reaching to moon, when idea came to attempt sending rocket, people called it stupidity too. Your idea is stupid only up to the time it is applied. After achieving success it would turn into idea of intellectual. In the atmosphere of stupidity, I have a stupid idea too if some one takes it to the table of testing with engineering calculation for I am not hydraulic engineer. Apply molten lead passing through heavily insulated pipe internal coating with ceramic, molted lead to be pushed into the casing with super heated steam. Either use the hole of main opening of the casing or cut the casing deep by directional drilling with modified cutting head to pierce through the rock and metal at a time. I agree with the idea that it would not catch fire in absence of oxygen in the casing. Please give a thought and comment to this idea. B.P. should have thought before drilling this well. Had that been deposited mile of earth over drilling point, there would have been no blow out. Idea of installing wellhead at bottom of sea was very risky and remedy should have been thought before blow out occurred. Weight of casing/drill pipe deep in see was one sixth of the weight on the ground, no body thought of it.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 4:17 AM

Baloney.

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 4:20 AM

He must be smoking some good stuff!

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#71
In reply to #67

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 11:31 AM

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/54223/Transocean-Oil-Spill-Backup-plan-for-containment-dome

FYI: Check out comments 13 & 14

It was a proposal to use low melting temperature molten metal as an alternative to the "Junk Shot" earlier.

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#72
In reply to #67

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 12:59 PM

Hello AbdulWasay,

Your idea may be base on sound principal. It certainly would be worthy of consideration. The plug that you would like to insert into the existing conduit would have to be placed below the area that is estimated or at least presumed to be fractured. If not located there the building pressure from below might be enough to cause said fracture to expand and and continue the flow of crude from this new location. If that were to happen and your plug were already installed, it would impede any future effort to sleeve the existing conduit. Water mains and drainage systems of much greater diameter are constantly being repaired by the sleeveing method in almost every case where only a short term interuption of service can be tolerated. I am not the creator of any new idea in my proposal. It is based on sound principal and successful performance.

Like I mentioned before, it isn't rocket science, just the application of already proven technology.

TMF

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#73

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 1:17 PM

I have not read anything that indicates clearly the effective (remaining) flow area of the pipe as it goes up to and through the BOP. There must be a serious restriction at some point, (and perhaps a great deal of leakage at that point 1000 below the sea floor) because the flow rate (if we assume 50,000 bpd) in the 21 inch pipe is very slow: 16 inches per second or so (just under 1 mph). That suggests a very low pressure differential at the outlet of the 21 inch pipe. The video of the BOP area also suggests that the velocity is low.

Here is the PBS flow totalizer widget. The flow rate can be adjusted with a slider.

The numbers I've calculated:

21pipe diameter
50000flow, barrels per day
2100000flow, gallons per day
87500flow, gallons per hour
24.31flow, gallons per second
5614.58flow cu in per second
346.19Square inch cross section area of pipe
16.22flow, inches per second
0.92flow miles per hour
2000psi differential pressure
692370pounds force against a pipe plug

The 2000 psi (differential pressure, oil vs water at 5000') figure is a pure guess, and might represent the pressure that would build up if the pipe were capped (with a plug 21 inches in diameter). The larger the 1000'-below-sea-bed-level leak, the lower this pressure would be.

If the pipe shown in the videos above is 21 inch, then eyeballing the flow suggests somewhat more than my 50,000 barrel/day estimate: my estimate is less than one pipe diameter per second, and the fact that the flow balloons out so much and appears to be moving upward faster than one pipe diameter per second suggests that the flow rate may be greater than my estimate. I 16" per second flow would not produce such great turbulence. Methane would increase the turbulence -- but not to the extent we see, I'd guess.

I like the idea, proposed by several, that a very flexible large diameter tube be used to contain the oil as it flows to the surface. Perhaps 4 foot diameter, weighted with a steel ring of large enough diameter to clear the BPO, with perhaps a 6" x 6" cross section (and 4', 6' 8'? diameter). The tube itself would be fabric-reinforced elastomer, and would need only sustain very slight differential pressures. Sections of this tube could be deployed in sections of perhaps 500 feet, with bolt together flanges at the ends of each section. The tube would be near-neutral buoyancy, and the base ring would keep it moving generally downward as deployed. This base ring would have a net downward force of multiple tons, but would not weight so much as to overstress the tube.

I have no reason to believe that the BP people have a clue regarding how to deal with this -- they have now demonstrated convincingly that they had no plan. They have several hundred times as many willful and egregious safety violations as the next worse company, so there is no reason to think that they have any interest in safety, other than when forced into complying under the threat of reduced profit. It is reasonable to assume that they barely comply with the inadequate regulations, and that they have no one tasked with coming up with sound disaster recovery plans. This has been made obvious by the handling of the disaster to date. If they cannot be bothered with the ordinary safety procedures, it is unlikely that they can be bothered with anything out of the ordinary.

One of their speediest responses was to start handing out $5000 checks to gain liability releases at a tiny fraction of market value. Certainly revealing of their thought processes.

So keep the ideas coming. Unlikely that they are heard, and even loss likely that there is a will to do the right thing, but perhaps someone will listen.

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#75

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/15/2010 1:59 PM

For anyone interested, I've aggregated the live video feeds from all 12 of BP's ROV's at the well head onto a single page.

http://stephenmacminn.com/BPliveFeeds.php

Give it a minute to load - it has to start up 12 simultaneous video streams. Works wonders on your bandwidth charges :-)

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#78
In reply to #75

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/16/2010 8:48 PM

It's like watching paint dry.

After the latest updates it looks like I am going to try even harder to get my suggestion into action. Nothing more to lose. Read this which a few of you would have done by now. Randall supplied it not to long ago.

this assessment

And then tell me again that my plan could not work, I know enough now to open my big mouth even wider. Nothing they can do with the tools they have, absolutely nothing. Watch this space, its war, Ky.

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#79
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 7:36 AM

Hope is our strategy.

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#80
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 7:37 AM

You are going to complain and post here expecting results. Sounds somewhat like pissing in the wind.

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#81
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 9:41 AM

I was just trying to inject some levity into the situation.

However, we really are all back seat drivers here, so all we can do is really hope for the best and I do!

As far as complains go, the only one I have is the response to this mess from our leaders. That is, the bulk of the response has been condemnation, blame, and legal threats.

A far better response would be to engage as many resources to manage the catastrophe as possible. This would have included foreign help that was offered and we turned down.

There will always be time to assign blame.

As an example, imagine your house catches fire. Now imagine that instead of dispatching the fire department, your city sends a forensic team and promises to fine the offending individuals that might be to blame while you work the problem with your garden hose.

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#82
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 9:59 AM

Didn't mean you Anon - I am referring to the backseat drivers. There are a lot of good people working very hard on this who have a lot more facts and knowledge of the actual situation than anyone here does.

Totally agreed that the political response has been useless sound bites for TV use. Our 'leaders' have been stunningly out of it!

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#85
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 8:21 PM

"Live in hope, die in vain."

The leaders we have are not engineers, or technocrats either. Mostly they are lawyers. Their deference to Experts reflects respect that is not particularly warranted in this case. In other posts on this subject I've said my piece.

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#86
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 8:51 PM

Were I'm from they say "lever dod als sklav"

Better dead than a slave. Not the Massa has changed just the color of the slaves and what they are supposed to do when, where and with what and not to forget for how much. In very subtle ways, but never the less slavery. No, no, not a shackle in sight. Cotton and sugarcane back then, mass production of useless toys nowadays. DROL have mercy.

It will get worse before it gets better, not only with the oil disaster. It's a hard rain gonna fall.

Have a good day, none the less, Ky.

P.S: You should see my hair!

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#87
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/17/2010 10:14 PM

I have very little interest in your hair Ky.

It will be what it will be, sometimes good and sometimes bad.

I believe you Ky are on record around here with advocating to nuclear weapons as a solution to the Blow out? As currents have been moving oil and gas, so would they move radioactivity.

Carter, for all his failures and outright posturing, interestingly enough, was for the Neutron Bomb, and Solar Power.

True or fully not, it may well have been that some of his staff used cocaine. It was fashionable back then. Would have been better if they in their positions had not gone there since a doctor back then had experience with handing out White Cross speed to astronauts, and the RAF was hopped up for the Battle of Britain.

Still where was I Ky?

Oh, Yeah, initially you seem sane, but after awhile it occurred to me you were dangerous.

Don't go quoting Bob Dylan as if that somehow works to make us love insanity. I swear you end up being a lunatic fringe reflective of every kneejerk response.

You ought to stick with music, since it is allowed to be not only misunderstood, but impossible to really understand sometimes.

What explosives really work at a mile under the ocean, and what position they best would be in is not known to me right now. IF The Use of Explosives really does Have a strong chance of stopping the poisoning of a vital food world for us. I'll go for it. However otherwise I am for Pressure Drops.

A description of an explosives set up that was not radioactive polluting could be of value to be known.

I look forward to that song and dance.

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#88
In reply to #87

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/18/2010 1:17 AM

Hi Trans

I believe you Ky are on record around here with advocating to nuclear weapons

No

Still where was I Ky?

Thinking about my hair?

Oh, Yeah, initially you seem sane, but after awhile it occurred to me you were dangerous.

So?

I look forward to that song and dance.

Wasn't that what we just did?

Sorry Trans I've lost you. Just to give you a tip, read what I have suggested and don't swing at me for no good reason at all. Just read, slow and calm and then again. I have never suggested anything regarding the use of nukes. Ever. I think you are getting me mixed up with some other poster, must be.

Are you alright?

I hope so, Ky.

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#91
In reply to #87

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/19/2010 1:47 PM

Transcendian questioning someone's sanity. That's rich.

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#92
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/19/2010 4:45 PM

He aint working on Maggie's Farm no more, so he might as well say what he likes. I think he got it all a bit wrong or mixed up. Excuse him while he kisses the sky, Ky.

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#93
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/19/2010 7:01 PM

hahahahahah good one Guest! ROTFLMAOPIMP

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#94
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Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/19/2010 8:19 PM

Apparently as far as the engineering is concerned I have my concept of blanket bombing with heavy weights, as opposed to the concept of using explosives.

As most simplistic that is a summation of the conflict of approaches. As a nuance I do not necessarily reject full out of hand the use of explosives, but do regard them as having more potential for invoking the laws of unintended consequences.

I have looked to experts to do better than they have done, and now think an amateur might well do better. At least we might expect the amateur to keep it simple.

Sure enough the amateur has nothing to lose.

I know a guy who is an expert with explosives, and he hasn't once suggested them in relation to this particular event. In fact he is fonder of my balls concept.

He is fonder of my concept when it employs steel balls, over concrete balls as he suspects that the pressure at the ocean floor will bust apart the concrete balls.

Certainly he is correct that pressure differentials would explode concrete balls that had not had all the air bubbles shaken out of them.

I had been forced to recognize that there were not enough of my steel balls laying around waiting to be used for crane testing, or building destruction for my concept.

I had considered towing of junked ships to the area, and dropping pieces of them on the area as a way to apply pressure to the wound along with whatever else I could get my hands on fast.

If Sparkstation was still around he would have been able to tell me, or us, if the idea of simply arc welding melting all the piping was viable.

AH, has pointed us towards reports indicating that the blow out is not confined to one specific pipe, indicating to me that a continuation of the surgical approach of the experts has lost practical application.

P.S. This disaster in the Gulf is worthy of severe arguments, but also worthy of resolution. In another post I pointed out why I was not going to bother with submitting concepts directly through BP channels, having gone around with them earlier when working on the Haiti housing and building issues.

From an engineering perspective according to information I have more fractures of the rock are not recommended, hence my turn away from that direction of action.

I am afraid that stopping the spewing of the poison does call for a bit by bit consistent application of blunt instruments, and not any more finely tuned approach.

As a practical consideration as concerns US and other nationstates security issues, it is obvious that all oil wells represent the threat of food poisoning. There is a nation that is hungry, Stalinist, and hungry. It may well have motives to reduce the food supply of its adversaries. Frankly I would be calling for the guarding of oil rigs out of fear that adversaries would get an idea from this divisive disaster, and make it all worse.

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#95

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/19/2010 9:52 PM

Close packing of spheres achieves a volume ratio of about 74%; i.e., 26% porosity. So this would be a heavy open-cell sponge with a gazillion little leaks spread over a wide area.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/19/2010 10:14 PM

So what?

Obviously big, medium, and small used in appropriate order are called for.

For the pipe hole big spews of the blow out mounds of big balls are likely to work.

Surgery has been tried and so far failed, so I am back to the blunt stupid approach.

I am back to first aid.

My view of it is that it is as if the body of the planet is bleeding. My reading indicates a pressure problem that has not been overcome by surgical specific robotic smart actions.

Let us small stupid people tell you experts to get out the way. Let us small stupid people let your company go the way of other failed companies, and die. I am sick of propping up killers and thieves, and may as well fire every economist who tells me to retrain. Whoever pays these idiots to pontificate to putty headed students who have never spent a night alone in the dark hungry can kiss my ass before I'll kowtow to their self serving insults.

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#97
In reply to #95

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/21/2010 3:26 AM

I tend to have the same feeling about the idea of using explosives to close a pipe.

The speed this will happen is way to high and it will result in cracks in the pipe wall.

It needs to be closed slowly and beneath the damages.

I would like to see the FMEA as held prior upon deciding to gop for this deep see well.

Nowadays they tend to go for wells at 4 to 5 km deep, imagine something nasty happens there.

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#98

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/29/2010 5:17 PM

I am not a geologist but I am an engineer with a 20 background in military explosives including shape charges. The term shape charge literaly refers to the blast pattern of the explosive. I know you have probally seen a building brought down on TV. That is done with shape charges and a lot of det cord. A lot of our current anti tank weaponry uses shape chargers. Without getting into a lot of classified info, we are able to direct the energy of the blast down to an area as small as a square inch. That is how we burn thru armor plating. Getting back to the problem at hand. You do not need to put a charge down the original hole. The high pressure oil comming would be an issue. Instead drill down beside the pipe about 1500 feet, then the appropiate charge could be placed and detonated sealing the leak. The charge explosive needs to be a high frequency, fast burn type with a medium yeild. This type of blow would implode the leaking pipe without causing sepathetic harmonics that could cause a collapse of the dome over the oil deposit. Then BP could take their time to redrill. But in my opinion there is more to this than the public is currently aware of.

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#99
In reply to #98

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

06/29/2010 7:16 PM

Dear Guest

You are the man I am looking for. Please, if you find the time, have a look at this. I have received well meant critique and only lack of time has stopped me from taking this any further. You seem to have the hands on experience and I hope that you can participate in some way with out comprising home land security.

Short version of procedure and latest communications:

Experts should know were they drill that second bore hole (the one with the charges) and what the geology is like on site. It is assumed they have a library of core samples

An explosives expert could calculate timing and make sure that the amount and direction of the blast is just right and take the rock properties into consideration.

Drill about 30 feet (?) From the bore hole and then place the directed chargers. Now this is what I think will happen:

1. The first explosion (down 1200 feet?) will be aimed at the encased bore hole and flatten, compress, crimp it.

2. The second explosion (at 1250 feet?) will be a repeat of the first one but will not have to overcome the pressure in the bore. It would hit the bore hole hard by forcing it against the opposite side of the bed rock.

3. The third explosion (1300feet?)

4. The fourth explosion would repeat the same 1.2.3 at calculated intervals of time strength and direction of charge and distance from bore.

This could be tested first at some land based "dead site" just to get the charges right, if they can't be calculated or simulated. There should be some similar hardware in place somewhere land based? No need to try it underwater first.

My concern is the hydraulic shock wave going down ward. It would only be one wave, extending down ward and the amount of super compressed oil could only be in the pipe underneath the first charge. The upper section would have the open ending and the water pressure against it, still lower than the pressure of the oil.

By the time of the second explosion, maybe milliseconds apart, the pressure in the above bore pipe would already be lower. Due to this the second and all the following explosions would have less pressure to overcome.

All of the above scenarios have been in practice in one form or the other in different industries and combining them in this approach seems a reasonable way to solve not only this problem but avoid others in the future.

Let me try and go from suggestion to what I anticipate will happen. I have answered most of your considerate thoughts in earlier comments in other threads, all over the place, like a crazy persons poo. I knew you would like to keep a humorous overtone to all this. Not very funny, I know.

Trying to stop it suddenly is like trying to stop a train by stepping in front of it.

The stresses such a hydraulic shock would put on the pipe would only be downwards. The top section is free to flow were it likes. This would not exceed the pressures handled in the reverse situation, when they open the flow. That's were it all went wrong in the first place. All that pressure will be at one point were as the pressure of the "full stop" would be dispersed over a much larger surface area, namely the full pipe length down to the reservoir.

I agree that stopping the flow will create a hammer but will hardly fracture the core well and its surrounds. It was built for that, I hope. The then hydraulic fluid will compensate for that although at unimaginable pressures. In all probability the bullet can be stopped in the barrel because the reservoir and the hydraulic compensation in the inline take up the slack, so to say.

Maybe even fracture the rock into a completely unsealable sponge.

Many anticipate this to happen. Here is what I think will happen in real life:

1. Explosion is triggered and the kinetic energy will dissipate in the desired direction. Not up, it will not be able to lift 1000' of rock. Not down, there is only rock for a few thousand feet. It can only travel side ways and squeeze that pimple shut.

2. The bore core including 21" steel pipe filled with a fluid under pressure will be the first space than can be filled with the energy of the blast. To get to the point, the energy required to compact rock (granite?) into what ever it can be compacted into, will always be greater than impacting a layer of concrete and a protected steel pipe and the fluids encased. This is not happening at any interface but with in a tightly enclosed system. It's "all one" down there and the bore is the weakest link in other wise solid surrounds.

3. The liquid above the first explosion is ejected from the well and will create a burst equivalent to the space now taken up by the compressed section of the pipe. Not much really.

4. The second explosion (the timing of this must be left to the Master Blasters) will cause the fluid, still in the pipe between first compression and second could force the first to reopen minimally, but would instantly be sealed by the second which would now not have to overcome the pressure in the pipe.

5. Repeat till sealed.

Now back to your "unsealable sponge" and my anticipation of that. If any sponge can be created where do you think the empty spaces, which characterize a sponge, would come from? Squeezing blood out of stone comes to mind.

We are not talking of an above or just underground "mythbusters thingo" but about a small section of rock moving side ways. At that depth you would not even hear a thud or notice a ripple at the water, mud interface. Not moving mountains but only filling a, in the scheme of things, very small cavity with moved, but definitely not compressed or sponged rock. Fill the weakest link in the chain with the hardest material in an instant.

What I see is an "environment of complete density" were only the strongest survive in position and the flow in the core is the weakest of all. Nothing else will move any where. There is nowhere for a sponge to form in my book. There is no space, cave larger than the displaced core volume created. At speculated but governable temperatures of the explosives and combination's thereof, a melting or glazing effect could be achieved, just to get that sponge out of the way again.

You know, that is what I am now suggesting since weeks now. I was hoping to be able to get some details about different explosives but am not getting any where. It's easier and less risky to find a good recipe for lasagna but these cooks don't like and can't talk much about their art. Homeland security must be thinking that I'm on to something with all the information I am researching.

"TOO" many risk factors

I hope that my above reply gives some answers.

The simple fact is that once the fire cracker has popped, you cannot undo the explosion.

One has to get away from the idea of an explosion above ground style. In the suggested case there will be no shrapnel flying, no dust or smoke not even sound traveling. Just solid rock and a weak spot to be filled. Like I said it's all one down there, except the bore which is the malleable part.

Clearly there is no way to undo your risky idea. This is why you are not getting much support for your proposal.

Risky idea? creating a few compressed sections of pipe? Hermetically sealed from its surrounds and at depths that could be drilled with in a week? I can't see a risk and maybe you will change your mind after reading my reply above. In the worst case scenario they would still have to rely on the relief drills in the end.

I wonder how that is going to stop the flow any way. They seem to be coming from two sides at incredible depths and then what? Get out a spanner and connect something they have up their sleeves. I shudder again. Can you explain?

I have not spoken about what happens on the lee side of the bore core, if I may call it that. That's the part of the scenario behind the bore, opposite the expansion; let me call it that instead. This section of rock will lend its self to becoming an unmovable mold for the bore to squeeze up against. The bore being a kind of shield, so that only the blast side will be moved and the rock on the lee stays put.

Even if these crimpings would not stop the flow it would give the whole assembly more grip. I hear that if the fractures, created by the back pressure of the top kill, keep spurting out, the bore could become a projectile and the whole lot could come out in one piece, like a large torpedo.

My information is based on comments and contributions in the threads below.

this assessment

Explosives Experts, Could This Be Done?

Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

Methane Hydrate Plug Design

Gulf Oil Spill

BP Oil Spill – Options for the Next Time?

BP Oil Spill - Could Oil Be Burned Underwater?

Proposal For An Undersea Oil Drilling Rig

Freeze the Flow

Could Pouring Cement Help Plug the Oil Spill?

Stopping Oil Spill - with Sound

Help Stop the Oil Spill with Real Ideas!

Now that you have spent half a day reading what has been said, here is an image. Please Private Mail (CR4) me if you want to keep further communication off this forum.

Thank you for your time, Ky.

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#100
In reply to #98

Re: Collapsing the Oil Well with Shape Charged Explosives

07/02/2010 9:39 PM

Hi Guest

You should have your life back by now? Any comments? I forgot to mention to fill the spaces between the charges with thermite. This would be done at sea level and then fed into the existing drill hole. This would melt the crap out of any infrastructure down there (in the explosives drill hole.) It's all about timing I suppose.

I am as far away from the action as I could get but it still hurts. These poor people and the hopelessness of the situation, unimaginable.

Hope all goes well in the end, Ky.

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