Tuesday, May 04, 2010

BP's Cofferdam Claim

Late today BP's chief exec, Tony Hayward, told the Associated Press that the company's experimental underwater containment vessel, known generically as a "cofferdam," will be sunk at the site of the Deepwater Horizon well by Thursday. If everything goes as planned, it will be "hooked up to a drill ship over the weekend.

The plan is to lower the 98-ton, 40-feet tall concrete and metal box "over the source of the leaking oil about a mile underwater" and then connect it to a pipe.
In theory, once in place oil will flow into the containment system’s dome through the pipe to a barge on the surface.
As always when learning about a BP assertion, don't let yourself be as credulous as a certain congressman we know. At least, not unless BP is paying you more than a measly $5,000 to act like a simpleton.

If it works, according to Hayward, "then you would have the principal leak contained by the early part of next week. But there's no guarantees."

Our blogging neighbor Bryan, over at Why Now?, points out that BP has not previously built a cofferdam capable of operating at 5,000 feet "because it 'seemed inconceivable' the blowout preventer would fail." He then reminds readers that BP and its subcontractor, Transocean, were first alerted to problems with the same blowout preventer when one failed off the coast of Mexico a decade ago.

As the blogger known as The Maritime Lawyer explains:
Back in 2000, BP informed Transocean that there were problems with the blowout preventer on its rig, the Discover Enterprise. BP issued a notice of default to Transocean, and the latter admitted that there were issues with the blowout preventer. While BP was finding out about the problems with the blowout preventer on the Discover Enterprise, the same blowout preventer was being installed on the Deepwater Horizon, the semisubmersible offshore rig that blew up in the Gulf of Mexico this month. The blowout preventer was manufactured by Houston-based Cameron International. and Hydril. which is now owned by BP.
Of course, everyone is hoping the cofferdam works. But no one knows what the odds might be that sinking a four-story stack of concrete and metal under the sea next to the broken drilling pipes will make things many times worse.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the post: "The blowout preventer was manufactured by Houston-based Cameron International. and Hydril. which is now owned by BP."

Wrong. BP does not own either one of these corporations. Hydril Pressure Control is owned by GE; Cameron International is a Fortune 500 corporation publicly traded on the NYSE.

BP was a customer of Transocean; Transocean was the customer of Cameron.

www.tuweb.biz said...

It can't really have effect, I think this way.

Randy orton said...

This stuff is down t earth, hats off buds out there.
a knockout post