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I received emails telling me, “So what if the riser was cut deliberately?” The burning DWH was sinking anyway. Like cutting away rotten timber. It is human nature to destroy evidence to lessen their punishment when the trial comes up.
I have to admit much of this is true. Before continuing have a look at BK's article to refresh your memory:
If they just want to cut the riser, they could have used a saw cutter as we have seen on video on 1 June 20102. Why use demolition charges? Why the urgency?
According to the latest information, BP had already planned to detonate the third well on the evening of 22 April 2010, once they realised the first well blowout at 21:45 CDT 20 April 2010 was only a shallow gas blowout. Like all gas-saturated weak formation (GWSF) zone, the gas supply is pretty limited and would soon deplete itself. Once the gas runs out and the 700,000 gallons of fuel diesel were burnt off, the rig fire would start to die off. That is a no-no.
Because it would be pretty obvious they were drilling on a third well. Al Capone was not convicted on murders or his illegal bootlegging and gambling, but on tax evasion. BP can hide all their evil intentions and plans to jack up the oil prices but they cannot explain away the third well which they drilled illegally. MMS would also be in a lot of trouble for dereliction of their regulatory duties. This would have opened up a new whole can of worms. They can't have that, can they. The whole government would have collapsed overnight (well just a figure of speech).
DWH had to be sunk while the fire was still raging hot and well before it started subsiding. The third well had to be destroyed beyond recognition. It had to be just a crater which would be dug and flatten out just as a depression. The detonation had to be powerful enough to weaken the cemented wellhead or outright blow it off. But remember, the first objective was to flood the Gulf with oil as part of the plan to shoot up the oil prices to above $200/bbl.
THWell-Blowout#1 - 21:45 CDT 20 April 2010. First gas well blowout from shallow gas influx (<10,000 ft) through leaks in the top hole section of the well caused by replacing drilling mud with sea water at 8,367ft BSL The light hydrocarbon influx came directly from the shallow gas-saturated weak sub-formation (GWSF) zone less than 10,000 ft BSL. After the initial gas surge, the top hole section quickly settled into a steady in-flow state. Light hydrocarbons from the GWSF reservoir continued to flow into the top hole section of the well without affecting the stability of the lower section (bottom hole) of the well. Deep hydrocarbon influx was kept in check by the heavy column of mud weight remaining in the well from 10,000 ft to 18,360 ft BSL. With poor cementing and good vertical hydraulic connections to the shallow GWSF reservoir, hydrocarbons would flow the path of least resistance outside the well rather than into the well at deeper levels at higher mud weight.
BSB-Detonation#1 – 17:22 (?) CDT 22 April 2010. This was not an accidental explosion but again another deliberate demolition explosion set off within or around the well at sub-seabed level, probably just below the well head (WHD) cemented casings. Its main objective was to demolish the third well and to induce a second bottom hole well blowout – BHWell-Blowout#2. But the unintended consequence of this powerful explosion, tens of metres below the sea floor shook the shallow sub-seabed sediment resulting in a simultaneous massive discharge of hydrocarbons from very recent abnormal hydrocarbon accumulations within structural and stratigraphic traps at the edges of the continental shelf and salt domes. The fault controlled distribution of the first 580 sq miles oil slick captured on the 25 April Satellite photo, suggests that hydrocarbons from the Macondo reservoir might leaking through the myriad of faulted pathways since mid March 2010. Well B reached 13,305 ft BSL and encountered a serious out of well-control situation on 10 March 2010. These pathways were hydraulically connected (directly or indirectly) to Well B which continues to serve as a vertical conduit from the Rigel gas field to the shallow faults.
Since these simultaneous massive discharges happened at deep water over a vast expense of water (as far as 30-50 miles NE from the seabed location of the Macondo wells) no one realised the slicks until after 24 April 2010. According to head of EPA, Lisa Jackson, the oil takes more than 4 hours to surface from a depth of 5,000 ft. This means the oil bubbles ascended at a speed of 0.347 ft/s or 0.2 knots. Some coast guards did notice a shallow water gas discharge right on the NW-SE fault line 55 miles away. At a speed of less than 0.33 km/s (speed of sound in air) it would have taken the slow shear waves (assumed 0.2km/s) a few seconds to reach the USCG home base 55 miles away and another few minutes for the gas to reach the sea surface. At 17:44 CDT, more than 20 minutes later, the gas was still bubbling away from the shallow gas accumulation beneath the recent (Quaternary) sediment cover.
The BSB-Detonation#1 would be of no use if the explosion ejected oil and gas out of the well into the air (top of the riser) if the riser was largely vertical. If the riser was cut using a saw cutter, there is no guarantee, the slowly descending arm would bend at an acute angle. It could have a gentle bend which would serve no purpose in blocking initial powerful surge of oil from the reservoir once the base plug was breached. While it might still achieve the objective of massive oil flooding the Gulf, it could not hide the fact that the BOP was still standing. They could remove the BOP but the incriminating wellhead would still be there. no, nO, NO! It has to be a big crater with no wellhead to masquerade as “oil-gushing open ended riser” created crater.
Then they can openly show the third well blown crater and a new BOP standing at well A gushing gas without the public audience noticing the charade. Well, the fact that they were able to fool 99% of the world suggests that a lot of strategic planning before the actual blowout. Like how the distress was supposed to sound innocently accidental. They were either rehearsing or communicating on the scripted plot 3 hours before the blowout. Does that explain how outside eye-witnesses like Anchorman at Gcaptain could tell before the blowout occurred at 21:45 CDT before it became public knowledge? Does that explain how Ryan Chaisson & his fishing buddies could be at the Deepwater Horizon rig on that fateful evening on an accidental fishing trip of a lifetime. Incidentally, could Ryan Chaisson be the son of Nathaniel Chaisson who was one of Halliburton;s crew on the rig who sent an email to Jesse Gagliano at 5:45am saying “We have completed the job and it went well. He attached a detailed report stating that the job had been “pumped as planned” and that he had seen full returns throughout the process. And just before leaving the rig, Morel e-mailed the rest of the BP team to say ...”the Halliburton cement team....did a great job.” …. Deepwater Report to the President.
Great Job, yes if you read between the lines. It was a planned inside job alright. But would Chaisson risk his son's life by putting right under the rig just before the explosion? Well, you guess right, NO.
Coming back to the question of cutting the riser with demolition shape charges. Yes the demolition shape charges were used to propel a high speed falling riser in order to produce a kink at the top of the BOP. Only then could the BSB-Detonation#1 break and jam up the drill-pipe into the Kink and to block off subsequent oil flow. That was why the kink at the bent-riser developed puncture holes for the gas to leak out 20 days later. Only with a completely blocked BOP can the explosive surge of oil from the reservoir developed sufficient hydraulic power to eject the 40-ton BOP.
And this was supposed to be an accidental disaster. Now where did I go wrong? Or are we the only ones who are awake?
For more true stories on the Gulf Disasters: