It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Friday, May 28, 2010

Conflicting Reports re "Top Kill"

Not a bad interview for mass market TV with Dr. Groat below.

He confirms my impression that we aren't getting a clear prognosis on the "top kill" at this time.

Nobody's talking much about the period of time between a hypothetical failure here and a successful relief well on a time scale of a few months. Maybe there's not much that can be done.

We are possibly facing a particularly fierce hurricane season, too, based on the usual heuristics for such things.



Update: The NYTimes quotes an anonymous worker on the scene declaring failure. It's not clear that this is definitive. Some speculate that BP wants to defer the declaration of failure into the long weekend. (h/t RN: see comments)

7 comments:

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Just saw at http://nytimes.com:

Top Kill take two suspended. It ain't going to work and BP is trying to keep it hush hush.

dhogaza said...

Strange, a previous post has gone astray ...

NYT is now reporting BP is now pumping mud again, after an 11 hour pause.

S said...

dhogaza, your previous post on this is on the wrong (more recent) thread. It says:

"That anontech gave a more consistent picture of what's gone on the last two days than any official BP spokesperson, so I think it's probably an accurate report.

In other words, we know they pumped a huge amount of mud through the thing and stopped midnight Wednesday without announcing it. Suspicious minds suspected the amount of pressurization vs. volume of mud wasn't working out.

Then they junk-shotted it, which isn't expected to full block the leakage but rather to reduce it so less mud makes more pressure countering the well pressure.

Following this, more mud, and now a halt, and the anontech saying something consistent with this grim picture:

"I don't know if we can round up enough mud".

In other words, BP's not lying when they tell the CG admiral that they're able to build enough pressure to get some mud down the hole.

Obviously they succeeded in this, otherwise it would not have spewed mud for hours after they quit pumping (i.e. mud, oil, and gas were pushed up the hole and through the riser leaks rather than just oil and gas).

But they're not being straight because the problem is that it's just taking too much bleeping mud due to the amount of leakage.

That's what I get out of this, anyway. Speculation with some foundation in stuff said over at the oil drum."

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Hey, even Andy Revkin agrees.

Hank Roberts said...

http://www.1115.org/2010/05/28/bps-experiments-with-truth/

"oops" is not something you want to hear in high tech, high risk work. Especially not repeatedly.

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, I forgot, hat tip for the above link to http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

Michael Tobis said...
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