annular gasket for emergency stop flow of underwater oil well

For annular gaskets for emergency stop flow at underwater oil well to function, the blow out preventer,BOP, must be removed to expose the well shaft. Damaged drill string or debris must also be removed from the well  using drill head or other means. This design is based on the annular blow out preventer that normally sits at the top of the main blow out preventer where the riser is connected. Annular gaskets are installed along the length of the emergency stop flow drill string at intervals and span as necessary to reduce upward pressure sequentially. Gasket is made of rubber designed to expand when hydraulic rams squeeze it to cut off the flow of oil. Gaskets must be closed sequentially to ease pressure to a stop. Design of drill string is typical to allow the use of fill mud or concrete to fill and close well. Drill string must be forced down through upward flow pressure, so its design must allow for oil and gas to continue to flow until drill string is deep enough for gaskets to be effective. Gaskets will also aid in maintaining the drill string center within the damaged well.

Download  Annular Gasket Design PDF

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letter to secretary chu regarding the gulf of mexico oil spill

Dear Secretary Chu,

I want to thank you for rolling up your sleeves to help by leading and lending your knowledge to BP to help them through this largest man made catastrophe. Since you are intimate with the on going effort and you have been in the room with the BP’s brightest minds, will you tell me if their goals and efforts are in alignment with the citizen of the United States to stop the flow oil 100%? I feel strongly that I can speak for the majority of us who knows for certain that BP’s actions and attempts to date clearly shout containment/extraction and no where do they indicate their intent to stop the flow. We all appreciate your decision and initiative to halt the top-kill procedure for fear of additional stress to the well casing and the blow out preventer.

I want to discuss a solution no one dare to mentioned is to remove the BOP standing in the way of so many other solutions to cap this well. The oil industry has many tools and equipment already made and available to cap and fill this well, but all is moot when the BOP is in the way.

Please enlighten me on whether this option has been discussed or why has not been implemented. It is apparent that neither BP nor the Flow Rate Technical Group can determine how much the oil is escaping, then we do not have any idea how much oil will flow once the BOP is removed. Once the BOP is removed the flow of oil maybe at its maximum but it will also allow BP to cap it by traditional means with off the shelf equipment much more quickly, within days. I find it demoralizing to hear that this same nation, who has sent men to the moon, can mobilized billions of dollars to chase terrorists half way around the world, admit defeat and accept the worst case scenario of letting the oil flow until August and beyond. It is unacceptable and shameful. Everything has not been done Secretary Chu, and we all know it.

I beg that you take another risk for the sake of this beautiful nation and all its generous citizen to force the issue of removing the BOP and plug this well immediately. It is way too late to fear the amount of spilling oil, we have to put all bright minds and technology together to end the flow 100%. It is a win win situation, once this well is capped, BP will be able to start over.

I have thought this matter over a great deal and as a nation we need your help, removing the BOP is to risk doing the unthinkable but the situation we are all being held hostage under is unprecedented and requires drastic measure.

Thank you so much for your time Secretary Chu,

Mahalo,

Hai Van On

US is defenseless against man made catastrophe

As we entered into the seventh week of the largest man-made oil spill catastrophe in the United States, the nation’s effort to reach solutions matches the glacial pace of British Petroleum attempts to contain the oil. Investigations into the accident, however, were quick to form, but as the investigations began to shed light on the details of the events, the real causes and decisions of those in charge or whom to shoulder blames became more elusive.

While the oil continues to explode out of the well a mile down in the Gulf Of Mexico, the US government has already accepted the worst and will have to settle for letting it flow. Both the US and BP claims that they are doing everything that is possible, critics are not convinced. Thousands of suggestions and solutions to stem the flow or clean up the spill are being sent to BP from around the world go unheeded.

BP is in control since the beginning. Over the course of this event, it has relinquished some but not all of its hold on the handling of its information. Live feeds from remote operating vehicle on the bottom were initially restricted which let to an uproar from the American public demanding more transparency. While BP has obliged under pressure and allows the public view its live spill cams,  it also bought up Google’s search engine keywords to redirect word search such as “oil spill” to its site to attempt to control the negative press it is receiving.  BP remains in control and no where is more evident in its attempt to block reporters and photographers access to areas it deemed too negative for its already damaged image. The US has been slow to react and mobilize as its scramble to understand the true scope of the disaster. Weeks after the spill, the US still lacks scientific data to determine how much oil were spilling, it relied on information supplied by BP. Initial gallons spilled numbers from BP was only 1000 barrels a day their motivation was to keep the number low to avoid fines based on amount spilled. The amount of oil is still undetermined. A government -appointed team Flow Rate Technical Group estimates 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day. US government recognized that it lacks technology and know how in the field of oil extraction therefore had no choice but to relied on BP’s expertise. The US took on a role of overseer, but BP is still in command of information it chooses to disclose. BP is footing the bill for the damage so far, it claims over $1 billion in the effort. It is responsible for the clean up, so it also has control of where it wants to disburse its assets.

The US is faced with a unique situation where a man made disaster is unfolding and increasing out of proportion yet it has little control on how to stop it. Americans want the spill to stop immediately, but its government’s goal is ambiguous: it has continued to allow BP to decide the course of action, which at this point and has always being containment, meaning to collect the oil.

Admiral Thad Allen admitted that the oil spill is holding America hostage.  Deepwater Horizon well is only one out of 4000 other wells in the Gulf Of Mexico out of control at this time.  Resources such as containment booms are in short supply. USCG made request for more equipment from as far as Alaska.  Whether it is the oil spill or BP in control, it is obvious that the US is very inadequate to deal with an unconventional threat such as an man made environmental catastrophe. How to distinguish between deaths and destruction to its economy caused by a corporation like BP from a combatant enemy will be critical in its policy making. 9/11’s weapons of mass destruction were airplanes, now, jets of black oil flow 24/7 will also cause far reaching destruction. The nation stands confused, vulnerable,and scratching its heads because its defense system is not configured to deal with a massive oil spill. It has yet to define a new rule of engagement. The future is now, the game has changed, its national security is directly tied into its citizen’s habits and way of life, so  it must learn how to mobilize to protect itself from these new threats.

We can hope that lessons learn from this oil spill will help the government to prepare a new play book and tailor our national defense weaponry and equipment to include ways to cap a well at 5000 feet below the ocean.

letter to admiral thad allen regarding the gulf of mexico oil spill

Dear Admiral Thad Allen,

I wish to thank you and the United States Coast Guards’ effort in the Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill so far. I realized that you are dealing with a unique situation that is growing out of proportion. If this was a military threat you and our nation would be better prepared. I read your comments in the news that contain words like hostage and enemies in reference to the state of the nation and the oil spill. I have a sense that you are quantifying the situation so that you may be able to divide your assets to deal with the problem. I applaud the USCG also for trying to separate itself from BP by creating a panel to solicit and reviews ideas from the public, engineers, university and other experts to combat this catastrophe. I feel that I can speak for many of us who stand by to watch in horror and sadness that this oil spill is on going and will continue until August and beyond. We all want to help, and we want to help so badly that we may do drastic things if we do not see results soon. It is demoralizing to hear that our government has already accept defeat based on assessment from BP that the oil will flow until they are successful with the relief wells.

I read that you are doing everything that you can and BP is also doing everything that they can. But as a member of a cynical public, I know, my common sense tells me that I am not hearing the truth. The solution to the oil spill has to be for the United States Government to stop the oil leak now. The solution will not come from BP because their every failed attempts so far were to “contain”, more exact, to extract, the oil. We all knew this has been their objective from the beginning.

A solution no one dare to mentioned is to remove the blow out preventer , BOP, that stands in the way of so many other solutions to cap this well. The oil industry has many tools and equipment already made and available to cap and fill this well, but all is moot when the BOP stands in the way. Everything has not been done because BP goals is still to extract. The American people’s goal on the other hand is to stop the flow off oil now and not August. We cannot settle for anything other than a 100% success.

We as the citizen of this great country need you to protect us. We are being harmed, and our future poisoned. Please do not let this be a Pearl Harbor and 9-11, where early warnings went unnoticed. This man made, man caused disaster will surpass both of those historic events in terms of damage to the economy and natural resources. If you must treat it as an act of aggression to this country in order for you to mobilize this country to protect itself, then please do so.

Thank you so much for your time,

Mahalo,

Hai Van On

letter to president obama regarding the oil spill

Dear Mister President Obama,

I wish to thank you and your administration’s effort in the Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill so far. I feel that I can speak for many of us who are also standing by to watch in horror and sadness that this catastrophe is on going and will continue until August and beyond. We all want to help Mister President, we want to help so badly that we may do drastic things if we do not see results soon. I know that you get thousand of letters that you and your staff may never get to answer, but I dare to think that I may be heard.

I read that you are doing everything that you can and BP is also doing everything that they can. But as a cynical public I know, my common sense tells me that I am not hearing the truth. The solution to the oil spill has to be for the United States Government to stop the oil leak now. The solution will not come from BP because their every failed attempts so far were to “contain”, more exact to extract, the oil. We all know this has been their objective from the beginning.

A solution no one dare to mentioned is to remove the blow out preventer , BOP, that stands in the way of so many other solutions to cap this well. The oil industry has many tools and equipment already made and available to cap and fill this well, but all is moot when the BOP stands in the way. Everything has not been done because BP goals is still to extract. The American people’s goal on the other hand is to stop the flow off oil now and not August. We cannot settle for anything other than a 100% success.

We as the citizen of this great country need you to protect us. We are being harmed, and our future poisoned. Please do not let this be a Pearl Harbor and 9-11, where early warnings went unnoticed. This man made, man caused disaster will surpass both of those historic events in terms of damage to the economy and natural resources. If you must treat it as an act of aggression to this country in order for you to mobilize this country to protect itself, then please do so.

Thank you very much for your time Mister President.

Mahalo,

Hai Van On

the blow out preventer must be removed to cap the deep horizon well in the gulf of mexico

BP’s  latest effort to use a LMRP cap to stem and capture a fraction, 6000 barrels in 24 hr, of the 19,000-25,000 barrels of oil per day escaping into the Gulf of Mexico is under evaluation. This solution is no better than their previous failed attempt to siphon the oil from the riser pipe.

So far BP engineers are trying to work around the broken blow out preventer, BOP, and this seems to be creating more problems then solutions. The BOP is a safety gateway that works both ways:  to prevent a disaster and also to prevent solutions when it is broken. This is a classic case of problem solving where a crucial safety component failed yet those who still has faith in it refuse to accept that it has become a mental blockage that prevents an easier solution: open up the well so that BP can use its known technologies to seal it again,reverse engineering. The BOP must be removed or replaced. More oil will escape but if BP is prepared with a new device to insert into the well and seal it the spill amount will be less than two to three months from now.

The Causes

BP management made short cuts command during the caping and the crew deviate from their standard operating procedure,SOP. This well took 6 weeks instead of 21 days, so BP rushed to get it done so they can move the Deep Horizon rig to another location planned for a March 7th drill. Seawater where used instead of heavier drilling mud to help hold the oil and gas down. In their rush to drill faster they may have compromised the well walls thus causing the concrete fill to be less effective, so gas escaped. Gas traveled up to the rig, bypassing the BOP. They tested BOP pressure prior to the accident without realizing the BOP had dead batteries. The pressure reading was false in the positive reading. Methane gas filled the drill room, generators operating in the area spiked then caused explosions. The BOP has kill switches in the event of a blow out, but failed to activate because dead batteries. The BOP did not fail completely, it worked some but could not cut through joints in the drilling pipe inside. To make a long story short, I would have to say that BP’s executive decisions to rushed, cut corners on top of a failed safety device that caused this disaster.

The cause and blame will sort themselves out, but we have an on going emergency. I feel strongly about the removal of the BOP, because it is the most basic obstacle. Most solutions I have read sent in from lay people have assumed that there is a hole to be plugged, but they do not take into account the 450 tons four story high “elephant” sitting on top of the hole. New designs are not practical in an emergency. For example if you are in a leaky boat with a hole and all you have available is the clothes on your back and a stick, you would use what you have. If you give the a child a stick and other things that are laying around and ask him to plug up a flowing garden hose, he would most likely shove a stick in it and slow down the flow or stop it completely. The problem gets much more complicated if there is also a broken, leaking nozzle or a sprayer at the end of that hose.

Open up the well by removing the broken BOP, shove a “stick” down with enough compressible/expandable rubber gasket every ten to twenty feet or more along its length, then activated them sequentially and gradually to reduce upward pressure. This is not new design, the annular BOP on top of the main stack BOP, works similarly by compressing a rubber gaskets to shut off flow around the drill shaft ( you can find this on Cameron’s web site)Follow up with their SOP to cap a well. They have to use technology that they have expertise at.

The Blame

They will have a scapegoat like Capt Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez to blame it on, that person will take the blame then will disappeared from public view after a year or so then will live happily ever after, BP will make sure of that as did Exxon. Bp is after all a corporation and individuals working for a corporation are protected with their company’s incorporation status. I believe that is how it all works. I have friend that was captain for Arco that were in the area and ready to assist the Exxon Valdez with empty tankers to siphon their fuel but Exxon refused their help.

I think all of us are partly guilty in any accidents involving resources extractions because they are supplying our demand. The solution starts with us ultimately.

The Motive

The public do not have all the information to solve the problem of the spill nor do we have BP’s real motive. An oil company like BP is here to extract oil and that is its mission, pure and simple. It is an organism that needs oil like a mosquito needs blood. The accident is unfortunate, but their goal remains to extract and collect what they believe is theirs. They do not want to shut down the well because their main objective is to get the two other wells working and the capping is only a side show. If they were successful at capping the well then there is no need for the other two wells. Essentially, they are getting to drill two new wells to replace one that was already losing money before the explosion. BP is making business decisions along the way as the disaster unfolds. There is nothing that stops them from saying to the US that they are sorry about the mess, but they want out and leaving the mess for us to clean up. Sure we can try to sue them , but they can afford better lawyers then this country could. They are playing nice because the US has been a good client, they like to do business with us because we are easy and are addicted to oil.

Sources:

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/o/oil_spills/gulf_of_mexico_2010/index.html?ref=us

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/spill_index.html?ref=us

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704269204575270031411598538.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEADSecondNewsCollection#articleTabs%3Dinteractive