Damages Beneath Ocean Floor in Gulf

There is mounting evidence that the explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused much more destruction than BP admits. There are damages BENEATH the sea floor in the Gulf, which would account for the additional oil plumes being sighted by independent scientists.

Why aren’t the mayors, governors, senators, and representatives of the Gulf coast states SCREAMING about all this?

  • About the millions of gallons of crude oil continuing to gush out?
  • About the millions of gallons of highly toxic Corexit oil dispersant being dumped into the Gulf which poison human and marine life?
  • About the wildlife drenched in black oil, suffering and dying?
  • About the ocean floor of the Gulf itself being damaged?

Aren’t they PAID A HANDSOME SALARY to represent the interests of their constituents? Are they not sworn to protect the United States of America? Where’s their outrage? Where’s their hue and cry to the POS sitting impotently in the White House?

Here are excerpts from a June 12, 2010, post on Washington’s Blog, titled “BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR“:

“…there is growing evidence that BP’s oil well – technically called the “well casing” or “well bore” – has suffered damage beneath the level of the sea floor.

The evidence is growing stronger and stronger that there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor. Indeed, it appears that BP officials themselves have admitted to such damage. This has enormous impacts on both the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf, and the prospects for quickly stopping the leak this summer.

On May 31st, the Washington Post noted

Sources at two companies involved with the well said that BP also discovered new damage inside the well below the seafloor and that, as a result, some of the drilling mud that was successfully forced into the well was going off to the side into rock formations.

“We discovered things that were broken in the sub-surface,” said a BP official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said that mud was making it “out to the side, into the formation.”

On June 2nd, Bloomberg pointed out:

Plugging the well is another challenge even after BP successfully intersects it, Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor, said. BP has said it believes the well bore to be damaged, which could hamper efforts to fill it with mud and set a concrete plug, Bea said.

Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters.

On the same day, the Wall Street Journal noted that there might be a leak in BP’s well casing 1,000 feet beneath the sea floor:

BP PLC has concluded that its “top-kill” attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor…. The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP’s findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.

On June 3rd, The Canadian Press quoted the top government official in charge of the response to the oil spill – Admiral Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard – as pointing to the same possibility: 

The failure of the so-called top kill procedure – which entailed pumping mud into the well at high velocity – suggested “there actually could be something wrong with the well casing, and there could be open communication in the strata or the rock formations below the sea floor,” Allen said. 

On June 7th, Senator Bill Nelson told MSNBC that he’s investigating reports of oil seeping up from additional leak points on the seafloor….”

Washington’s Blog has more on this, including several Youtube videos. CLICK HERE.

~Eowyn

7 responses to “Damages Beneath Ocean Floor in Gulf

  1. I heard that the magma layer was compromised.

    Can’t verify this YET.

    Like

  2. some new thoughts and computations …

    At several points on the web, unnamed experts (for example, see http://www.rense.com/general91/oilor.htm) are trying to say that the lens of oil that BP tapped into is pressurized to something between 20,000 and 70,000 psi. They also claim that the holding cavern is at a temperature of 400º (which, to give these experts the advantage of the doubt, I will assume is measured on the Celsius scale).

    These media experts are probable liars.

    A “precise” value for the pressure at the bottom of the well casing can be easily estimated, based on the observed pipe flow, of roughly 1 meter per second or 3.3 fps, and the nominal (inside) pipe diameter of 21 inches (as reported by a CNN announcer during a press conference with Adm. Thad Allen, USCG Ret.). That velocity, through the cross sectional area of 2.405 s.f. reduces to a flow of roughly 8.0 cfs (cubic feet per second), or roughly 60 gps (1 c.f. = 7.49 gal), or 3,600 gpm, or 1.43 bbls per second (1 bbl-oil = 42 gals), or 123,400 bbls per day, or even more roughly, 1 mil bbls, or 1 Exxon Vandeez, every 8 days.

    We have also heard that the oil was tapped at a depth of 30,000 ft below the ocean floor. My calculation of the energy losses in the pipe will assume the well casing was installed the entire 30,000 ft length. Thus, I assume that BP wanted to protect their investment in the well, by protecting the vertical sidewalls from erosion. If the soils of the vertical sidewalls are left naked, they quickly erode from the turbulence in the boundary layers of the flow. If left unprotected, the side walls will eventually begin to slough off, and soil and rocks will collapse into the well.

    Given the observed flow, and the known pipe geometry, it is possible to calculate the pressure “loss” in the pipe, or alternately the “head” that will be required to drive the given flow through the given pipe geometry. The computation involves a well known and time tested formula, called the Hazens-Williams pipe formula. It is available on the net at engineeringtoolbox.com.

    Using a conservative coefficient of friction of 120 for the ductile iron pipe, and assuming that oil at 300–400º C has a viscosity that is roughly equal to (or less than) that of water at 60ºF, the “head” required to drive that quantity of fluid at that velocity through that pipe geometry, assuming that it is uniform throughout, is approx. 27.5 psi, or 63.4 ft of water. If we add a few psi for energy losses at the inlet and outlet orifices, then the pressure at the inlet orifice needs to be roughly 30 psi higher than the back pressure at the exit orifice.

    We know the pressure at the exit orifice of the pipe, because we know its depth. We can now compupte the exact pressure at the inlet end of the pipe, 30,000 down. It can be no more than, or less than, 30 psi higher than the ambient pressure at the discharge point, e.g. at the well head. Since the well head is at depth of 5,000 ft of sea water, it has a gage pressure of 2,230 psi (assuming 64.2 lbs/cu.ft. for sea water of the Gulf of Mexico).

    This means that the pressure of the oil at the well point is at 2,260 psi, or say 2,300 psi.

    That is based on the physics of observed flow in the pipe. No matter how infuriating it might be, at the flow rate of 1 Exxon Valdeez per 8 days, or 1.43 bbls per sec., through a 21-inch pipe, the pressure at the inlet end of that pipe has to be something on the order of 2,300 psi. If there is more pressure, then one is forced to ask, where’s the additional flow? … where are the additional friction losses that not accounting for? One thing is certain … no scientist is going to dare disclaim the long proven Hazens-Williams pipe formula.

    20,000 psi at the deep end of that pipe is utterly ludicrous. 70,000 psi is beyond totally laughable.

    Let’s look at the case of 20,000 psi at the inlet orifice. If the pressure at the inlet orifice of the pipe was 20,000 psi, as alleged, then the flow in the pipe would have to sufficient to generate friction losses corresponding 20,000 inlet pressure – 2,230 outlet pressure = 17,770 psi pressure losses. Per the Hazens-Williams equation, we should observe a flow rate of roughly 117,000 gpm, or ~4.0 M bbls per day, or 4 Exxon Vandeezes, per day. Jetting out a single 21″ pipe. It’s laughable. The exit velocity would be 108.4 fps, or 33 meters per second, or roughly 75 mph. Sadly, observed exit velocity is on the order of 1 meter per second. (Without doing the computations, I suspect that, at that velocity the drag forces on the sides of the pipe would probably lift the pipe right up out of the well bore. The hydrostatic losses, or Bernoulli forces, at the inlet and exit orifices would also be significant, but haven’t been included in this waste-of-time hypothetical case.)

    20,000 psi inlet pressure is LAUGHABLE! 70,000 psi is beyond totally laughable.

    These reputedly educated media experts assume that once most of the oil has exuded from of its underground cave, the cave will spontaneously become a vacuum, whereupon water will suddenly rush in and be converted into steam by the 400ºC temperatures in the cave. According to the physics of steam, at the pressures found at a depth of 5,000 ft, e.g. at 2,230 psi, water begins to boil at around 344ºC (651ºF).

    Admittedly, it is possible then, that at a depth 35,000 ft below sea level, the oil may have a temperature of 400ºC. We observe that when the oil exits the well head, there is no steam being produced at the water-to-oil interface. It’s just steady turbulent flow of oil in water. If we grant the benefit of the doubt to our “experts,” then we have to an assume that, although the oil may start out at 400º C, it loses more than 56ºC during its 2.5 hr trip up the riser pipe, which has to be cooler than 400º C. (The riser will eventually equilibriate thermally with its environment, e.g. with surrounding layers of soils at 400ºC, then at 350ºC, then …, etc.). Thus, the oil must be exiting the riser at 343ºC or less, since at 344º C water would beging to boil at the 5,000 ft of pressure, and we observe that the water in contact with the oil is not boiling. If the oil at the exit orifice was 344ºC or hotter, then at the ambient pressure of 2,230 psi. we would witness the formation of steam at the oil-water interface.

    It may be possible, as the experts allege, that, as the last drops of oil leave the cavern at 35,000 feet of depth, by then acting only under the lifting forces of their own buoyancy, water will begin to flow back into the cavern, to fill the vacuum left behind as the last drops of oil float upward. Thus, when the underground cavern, which is supposedly at 400ºC, is eventually emptied of oil, it will be back filled with water.

    But here is where the media experts run in to a small problem. At the ambient pressures at 35,000 feet of depth, no temperature, no matter how high, will convert liquid water to steam. On the phase diagram for water (which plots temperature and pressure and shows various phases or states; namely solid, liquid, gas and plasma), the tripple point, or critical point, of water, is at 3,226 psi, which occurs at a depth of 7,235 ft. The pressure at 35,000 ft is higher than critical pressure of water, and there is no gas phase for water (or any substance) above its critical point. Physics! In essence, when the water molecules are subjected to a pressure greater than 3,226 psi, the molecules become so interleaved, organized and connected that they cannot be expanded into a disorganized gaseous state, no matter what the temperature. 400ºC is NOT sufficient to convert water into a gas (steam or plasma) at the pressures in the cavern at 35,000 feet.

    Sorry, but, our media experts apparently forgot to look at the phase diagram for water.

    Thus water cannot suddenly become a gas inside the cave … it cannot suddenly cause the cave to explode, and produce a 20 to 80 foot tsunami that wipes out the coastline.

    disinformation abounds … arghhh!

    So, what about the cap-off option?

    OK, let’s look at the physics of its again. We need to start with knowing the “weight” of crude oil in that pipe. Since we don’t know what the exact specific gravity of the BP oil is, we’ll use an average of specific gravities for the different kinds of crude oil [thus, 790 (for Crude oil, 48º API, excluded lowest); 825 (Crude oil, 40º API); 847 (Crude oil, 35.6º API); 862 (Crude oil, 32.6º API); 915 (Crude oil, California); 973 (Crude oil, Mexican, excluded highest); 873 (Crude oil, Texas) with highest and lowest values excluded], we get an average specific gravity for all crude oils of 864. If we include the extreme max and min values, we get 869. So, to round off, let’s say the crude oil in question has a specific gravity of 870, which as kg/m³ equals 54.3 lbs/cu.ft., or 0.3771 psi per ft of depth.

    Thus the 30,000 foot column of oil, independent of its suspension in water, will exert 11,313 psi of spherical pressure at the bottom of a 30,000 ft column. At 21 inches nominal pipe diameter, the 30,000 foot column will have a volume of 72,158 cu.ft., and at 54.3 lbs/cu.ft., it will weigh approximately 3.92 million lbs. That value can be called its “mass” weight.

    But that same 3.92 million lbs of mass is suspended in water, which is more dense. Thus, the column of oil doesn’t “weigh” anything! In fact, when underwater, crude oil becomes BUOYANT,. because it is displacing water that is heavier than itself. The column of oil does not exert a downward force at the bottom of the pipe! In fact, it is trying to float up. It is exerting an upward lift at the top of the pipe. The column of underwater oil has a NEGATIVE WEIGHT. It exerts an UPWARD BUOYANT FORCE, of (64.2 – 54.3) lbs/cu.ft = 9.9 lbs/cu.ft. × 72,158 cu.ft. = 0.72 million lbs. Rounded off, that is roughly ¾ million lbs of uplift, or negative weight. Literally, if the crude oil in question has a specific gravity of 864, then it will be exerting a static upward force on the well head of ¾ million lbs.

    Thus, a cap of concrete on top of the 30,000 feet of 21-inch pipe would need a net dead weight, IN THE WATER, of ¾ million lbs. In the air, concrete has a nominal weight of 145 lbs/cu.ft.; but, when underwater, concrete weighs only ~80 lbs/cu.ft. (145 – 64). Again, this “loss of weight” is because of the uplift provided by displacement of water. Thus, to counteract ¾ million lbs of buoyant lift in a STATIC column of crude oil, we would need 9,375 cu.ft. of concrete (750,000 lbs ÷ 80), or 1.36 million lbs of concrete in air (9,375 × 145). Add in a 10% “safety factor,” for stability considerations in the shifting sands, underwater waves, etc., and you need a top cap with a mass of roughly 1.5 million lbs of concrete. That is the weight required to “cap off” the buoyant forces of a STATIC COLUMN of oil.

    But, we do not have a static situation here. BP engineers activated the well, as an act of warfare against the peoples of the United States. So, in addition to the 1.5 million lbs of concrete that it needed to handle the static situation, we now also have to solve a much larger problem, which arises because now we have to contend with a DYNAMIC FORCES. We have to take into account the MOMENTUM of a moving column of oil. So, what is the momentum? The column of oil has a mass of 3.9 million lbs, and it is moving at a speed of 3–4 feet per second, plus or minus. That is not an insignificant mass, not it is moving at an insignificant speed. The question is, how does one stop a column of incompressible fluid, that flowing inside a contained geometry, that has 12–15 million ft-lbs per second of momentun behind it? Talk about water hammer! Try to imagine a freight train, loaded with 30,000 ft of crude oil, weighing 3.92 million lbs, and headed for a city with no brakes. And, because the 3.92 million lbs of oil is moving in the direction of its buoyancy forces as well, the freight train is essentially moving downhill towards the city as well.

    How much concrete is it going to take?

    By comparison to the ¾ million lbs of static buoyant uplift, the dynamic problem of 3.9 million lbs of mass moving at 3–4 feet per second, is the real problematic part of the so-called “cap” solution. As an act of sabotage, terrorism and warfare, BP engineers knew what they were doing when they activated the flow in that well … when they let the column of oil get moving, slowly at first, until it accelerated to its current upward speed.

    The only way you stop a rolling freight train like that, is to work with nature. The forces are too great to work against nature. No sudden solution, not even the nuclear one, is going to stop that kind of momentum.

    We has to find a way to let nature dissipate the energy from within the system (remove the lining, and increase the side wall resistance factor), while at the same time, closing off the sources of energy by which lost momentum is replaced. Thus, we need to slowly squeeze off the pipe opening, not from the above, but from below). If the pipe is pinched off too suddenly from below, the uplift forces in the rising column of oil will literally suck the ductile iron pipe inside out, like an old sock. The vacuum foces will literally suck the lower part of the pipe into the upper part. While this might momentarily do enough work (expending enough energy) to slow the rising column of oil, it might also do more damage by opening up new “piping” channels through the side walls of the naked bore.

    some fun huh …

    Like

  3. the fraud just surrendered the gulf to the Russians!

    Like

  4. @ Molecule

    The flow you estimate must be the maximum. We know the BOP activated partially and is choking the flow, if only a little.

    As for the structure underground collapsing I think some of the posters on this site need to learn about natural underground oil and gas reservoirs. They ain’t great big caves.

    IN the meantime, if you think oil driling and product ion os A Bad Thing, vote with your feet and wallets.

    Stoip buying oil an doil products. All of it: not just BPs. Halliburton et al are contractors, not just to BP but to a lot of the oil industry.

    If you want to make a meaningful stand, stop buying oil and oil products.

    Petrol, Gasoline, lubricants, Natural Gas, Bottled Gas, plastics, medicines, fertilisers, synthetic fibres, generated power, the lot.

    If you are not prepared to do your bit to stop the demand for oil, you have absolutely no right to criticise its continued production.

    Like

  5. We have a solution , we need funding and authorization .

    http://stoptheoilnow.com/

    Like

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