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Robert L. Cavnar Headshot

Mid-July Kill Possible? BP Explanation Almost Lost in Translation

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On their website, BP released another of their instructional videos that sort of explains what they are planning, leaving out key how's and why's and throwing in just enough oil speak so as to be distracting from the otherwise good illustration. This one, done by BP's Kent Wells, Senior Vice President of Exploration and Production (and in a Steve Jobs style mock turtle), is a short video, narrated by him, along with a recorded in-house training video that gives a good illustration of the kill well technique but not quite fit for general consumption. First have a look at the video:





Some terms they used translated to English:



Casing Shoe - At the bottom of each success string of casing is a "shoe." It is made up of a device or "sub" that is usually rounded on bottom to allow easier running into the hole. The shoe and casing are cemented in place. After giving time for setting up, the shoe is then drilled out and pressure tested to make sure it can hold expected pressures and mud weight necessary to keep the well safe.

BHA - Bottom Hole Assembly, which is usually made up of the bit, it's crossover sub, any MWD or Measured While Drilling tools and other tools such as stabilizers and hole openers. There's a wide variety of tools that are used, but are called the BHA when made up together.

MD - Measured Depth.  Pretty simple; how much the hole you drill measures. Varies from TVD or True Vertical Depth, a necessary measure when you are drilling highly deviated or angled holes. MD is measured along the hole itself. TVD is calculated straight down from the surface. They are focused on MD here.

Ranging - They are using a magnetic tool that is capable of "seeing" or sensing other metal pipes nearby.  By measuring strength of the response, they know how close they are and at which angle to drill.

Hole opener assembly- Simply a tool that reams out the hole to make running the next string of casing more successful.

It sounds as though they intend to intercept the blowout well towards the bottom of the 9 7/8" liner, which is just outside the 7" production casing. Recall that I believed early on, and continue to believe, that the blowout is coming from between the 9 7/8" liner and the 7" production string, a backside blowout. It's also possible that the subsequent damage has allowed it to now flow up the 7", but it would have to come in above the cement plug set at 12,000' below the mudline.

Hopefully, this explanation is more helpful than confusing. Even I had to watch the video a couple of times to catch some of the details that they are blowing by.

With 900' to go, one more string of pipe, and a handful of ranging runs, I'm calling the week of July 12 as kill week, assuming no real hole trouble. With the drilling records of the blowout No. 1 well as a guide, they should be able to avoid a lot of the loss circulation and kick zones by being prepared for them.

We'll see how close my guess is.

More on The Daily Hurricane Energy page.




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