BP Oil Spill

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BP Oil Spill I Drilling for oil off the Southeast coast of the United States had grown increasing complex as exploration is forced to move from the shallower waters to deeper waters where the risks increase. One such exploration site, the Macondo well, called the BP Deepwater Horizon was drilled 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. It was drilled to a depth of 18,000 feet in 5,000 feet of water It was an especially troublesome project from the beginning. The rig had falle
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  3/28/12 BP Oil Spill I Drilling for oil off the Southeast coast of the United States had grown increasingcomplex as exploration is forced to move from the shallower waters to deeper waters where the risks increase.One such exploration site, the Macondo well, called the BP Deepwater Horizon was drilled 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. It wasdrilled to a depth of 18,000 feet in 5,000 feet of water It was an especially troublesome project from the beginning. The rig had fallen 45 days behind scheduleand was $58 million over budget.  3/28/12 BP Oil Spill II In the early morninghours of April 20th2010 the drilling of the well was in itsfinal stages of testing. But there were someindications of problems. Then at9:45 PM a large“blowout” of methane gastravelled up the pipeto the platform. A massive explosion was followed by adevastating fire.  3/28/12 BP Oil Spill III Of 126 workers on the platform, eleven died.The rig continued to burn until it fell into the ocean the next day. When itcollapsed, the drill pipe, almost one mile below the platform, bent and fractured where it entered the ocean floor. Immediately, oil started gushing through the broken pipe and into the ocean. Attempts were made to cut off the flow by closing relief valves, called “blowoutpreventers” at the point where the pipe entered the ocean floor, but they failed. At first, BP minimized the extent of the oil leaking from the ruptured pipe andexpressed confidence that the problem would be resolved quickly, but the flow continued unabated and in the weeks that followed, estimates of the flow increased as did the environmental damage to wildlife, fishing habitats andtourist areas in Louisiana.  3/28/12 BP Oil Spill IV  Estimated of the leakage varied widely from initial estimates of 5,000 barrels aday to as much as 60,000 barrels a day. Accurate estimates were difficult toobtain simply because the problem was occurring one mile below the surface of the ocean and it was difficult to collect accurate data at this depth. On June 3rd 2010, a containment cap was placed over the well head in anengineering feat that pushed state-of the art capabilities; a feat that had never been attempted at such depths and under such atmospheric pressure. This cap was successful in allowing some but not all of the oil to be recovered by ships onthe surface.But there were still concerns. The cap lowered into place could force a leak elsewhere in the well bore and permit the escape of oil and gas through nearby  bedrock and mud thereby making the environmental disaster even worse. 
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