Archive for June, 2010

If bigger is better, this 1100′ tanker turned skimmer will be enormously effective.  EPA discharge and Jones Act issues?

The ship looks like a typical tanker, but it takes in contaminated water through 12 vents on either side of the bow. The oil is then supposed to be separated from the water and transferred to another vessel. The water is channeled back into the sea.

Read Full Post »

Quote from a Financial Post article:

The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

Is (was?) this EPA discharge standard being applied to water that is collected during the oil spill response operation?  If so, the author’s harsh criticism is justified.  Why haul mixtures that are 90% water to shore when you can separate the oil and discharge relatively clean water?  Why make all those trips to shore delivering cargoes that are mostly water?  A lot of the reporting on the spill has been inaccurate, so we don’t want to jump to conclusions.  Can anyone confirm or refute the author’s charge?

Read Full Post »

Interesting comments from Jane Cutler, CEO of Australia’s National Offshore Safety Petroleum Safety Authority, in NOPSA’s excellent newsletter:

The incidents in the Gulf of Mexico (Deepwater Horizon) and at the Montara wellhead platform are different in many respects, particularly in technical matters. However, they share some common factors prompting regulatory action.

I agree entirely with Ms. Cutler.  International regulators and operators must work in concert to address and resolve these issues.

Read Full Post »

Take a break!

Take a break from your stressful and complex lives and enjoy this brilliant and comical classical performance forwarded by our friend Malcolm Sharples.

Read Full Post »

BP has released a slide presentation and animation on the relief wells showing the intercept point below the 9 7/8″ casing shoe.   The exact sequence of operations once they reach the intercept point will be interesting to observe. They should encounter flow when they reach the 7″ casing annulus (assuming that is a flow path; there still seems to be some uncertainty in that regard).  Will they attempt to kill the flow in the annulus before milling into the 7″ casing?  Is there flow inside the 7″ casing via channels in the casing shoe? Is there drill pipe inside the casing?

Read Full Post »


Read Full Post »

-The duration of the Montara blowout was 75 Days. Ironically, Day 76 of the Macondo blowout will be the 4th of July.

-Eleven days have elapsed since the Montara Report was presented to Minister Ferguson, who has apparently retained his cabinet position in the new government.  Now that the cabinet has been settled, perhaps there will be more public clamor for the report?

-Cap Summit in DC? – According to Admiral Allen, government and industry experts will convene on Wednesday to decide whether to change the collection cap.  Other designs would provide a better seal and facilitate higher recovery rates via free-standing risers, but the well would flow unabated during the changeover.

-More Macondo irony:  Since the oil spilled is “avoidably lost,” royalties will presumably be due on both the oil spilled and the oil “produced” at Macondo.  However, for fields in water depths greater than 800m, the Deepwater Royalty Relief Act  of 1995 exempts the first 87.5 million barrels of oil equivalent from Federal royalties.  Court interpretations of this poorly written legislation have determined that this relief must be applied on a lease (not field) basis, making the royalty exemption much more generous.  Ironically, Kerr McGee (now part of Macondo partner Anadarko) filed the law suit that resulted in this favorable decision for industry.  MMS, which has been repeatedly (and incorrectly) denounced for being “too cozy with industry,” fought hard for the less generous interpretation.

Read Full Post »

From Offshore Magazine

The deepwater Jubilee field development offshore Ghana is on track to deliver first oil late in 2010, according to partner Tullow Oil.

Tip-of-the-hat to Ghana which advanced in the World Cup at the expense of my Yanks.  They deserved the win.

In a recent update, Offshore Magazine says Ghana ” is fast becoming one of the E&P bright spots for offshore Africa.”  I hope representatives from Ghana are able to join us at the International Regulators’ Offshore Safety Conference in October.

Good luck to Ghana in the next round of the World Cup!

Read Full Post »

See Cape Cod Times article.

A coalition of nine individuals, environmental organizations and the project’s primary opposition group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, filed a lawsuit yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. They claim the U.S. Department of Interior violated a host of federal laws in granting Cape Wind permission to build 130 wind turbines in the Sound.

Read Full Post »

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has posted a discussion draft of the Blowout Prevention Act of 2010.   A hearing is scheduled for 30 June.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »