DR. STEPHEN A. RINEHART
TRW Systems Integration Group
Engineering Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology,
Painter Award winner and at Georgia Tech was the first
graduate student to get a NASA Saturn/Apollo fellowship.
UNISYS, Lockheed Missiles/Marine A consultant to numerous DoD contractors
including Office of Naval Research, Defense Nuclear Agency, Naval Sea Systems Command
AF Space and Missile Command.
Dr. Rinehart has supported conventional and nuclear weapons development
for Naval and Air Force combat weapon systems for thirty years. Program
Manager for the prototype design/upgrade for the Navy's SEAL SDV Vehicle.
Background: The following comments are based in part on my 45+ years experience in structural dynamics/mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and extensive design/project management experience including offshore oil platforms, oil pipelines, conventional/nuclear DOD weapons effects and combat weapons designs, and environmental fate and transport of chemical/oil plumes.
The following is the proposed technical and governmental approached(s) to immediately addressing the Gulf Oil Spill since BP cannot stop the well with a “Top Kill” approach by forcing mud and cement into the well to stop the flow.
The secondary tap directly into the underground (beneath the sea floor) pipe-casing that is directing the high pressure oil and gas from the reservoir into the damaged BP (Blow-Out) Preventer to redirect the oil into a new pipe casing could be used to install an explosive (i.e. nuclear charge at 18000 ft – technique claimed by Matt Simmons to have been used by the Russians to stop massive underwater oil well blowouts) to break the high pressure pipeline feeding the oil and gas to the surface since the BP “Top Kill” does not work.
Matt Simmons (Who wrote the 2005 book on oil called “Twilight In The Desert” and Chairman Emeritus of Houston based Simmons & Company) is saying there is a strong possibility based on the results of an underwater vehicle commissioned by NOAA that the main wellhead is five to seven miles from the current BOP which was probably pulled off the wellhead by the sinking of the drilling Rig. It is estimated that the real wellhead is discharging in excess of 120,000 bbls of oil per day. BP should have filed an environmental impact statement with MMS which supposedly shows that even of a wellhead blow-out of 165,000 bbls per day should not show any oil reaching the Louisiana coastline.
A large underwater plume (22 miles long?) has been found 75 miles west (!?) of the current BOP location. This would be consistent that the wellhead is the primary source of a massive oil well blowout and somebody in this Government must know this information. It would not have been economical for BP to develop this well unless the flow exceeded 60,000 bbls per day. Matt Simmons is saying this second fissure is releasing an oil plume the size of Delaware and Maryland combined.
New video suggest additional fracturing of the seabed floor may have occurred (resulting in new gas/oil vents forming outside the area of the BOP on the sea floor (Video seen on Sunday night of May 23, 2010 of some type of explosion event near the robotic cam). If new vent (approx 12-inch in diameter) has formed perhaps none of the current approaches by BP are going to work including junk shots or heavy mud operations (called “Top Kill”). It is no longer clear that due to the fractured nature of this reservoir near the seabed surface that anything can any longer completely stop the oil and gas flows in the next six months.
A. Immediately Reduce the High Pressure Oil and Gas Flow from the Reservoir into the Gulf (Detonate either large conventional or small nuclear device deep down-hole against the real location of the massive oil leak.
BP needs to be told to get out immediately and the US Government needs to take over the entire operation with US military. The US Navy needs to contact the Russian experts to draw up contingency plans to detonate a small nuclear device within the reservoir to stop this massive leak. The US Navy needs to locate the real source of the massive oil leak – start checking five to seven miles west of current BOP location. Experts at Sandia Labs can support this effort with nuclear blast codes given BP’s data on the reservoir.
After BP drills the deep secondary hole(s) to the undersea pipeline (and if BP is unsuccessful in tapping into the old pipe with a secondary pipeline) then either a conventional C4 (plastic explosive package) or small nuclear weapon should be deployed down-hole against the underground pipe (as far under he seabed as possible) to stop the high pressure oil/gas flow – we are out of alternatives. The Navy has the prerequisite personnel trained in setting the charges. The proposed explosive charge is large enough to blow the high pressure oil line pipe apart locally without causing further major fracturing of the reservoir relieving most of the high pressure into the current (damaged) Blowout Preventer. We routinely tested these size charges against various steel plates at the Explosive Test Range at Tyndall AFB, FL and they are very effective in fracturing steel. It may also be possible to use thermite charges to cut right thru the steel pipeline that is beneath the sea bed.
Additional fracturing of the reservoir maybe necessary to relieve wellhead pressures by horizontal drilling of the reservoir but this would require 3-D seismic surveys (and super computer model of reservoir) to suggest the best technical approach as well as Navy underwater demolition experts. A significant number of drilling rigs may be needed to be mobilized right now to start drilling into this reservoir to relieve the pressure. This requires an expert panel of drilling experts (contact API – American Petroleum Institute) as well as experts from oil companies to immediately develop a 3-D model of the reservoir which has been drilled by BP using BP’s proprietary data and any other well log data. This model needs to be transmitted to Sandia Labs to estimate effect of the detonation of small nuclear weapon.
This is no longer a question of whether BP (or any oil company) is going to recover any oil from this reservoir. The massive oil and gas flows must be immediately reduced or totally mitigated immediately
B. Massive Mobilization and Immediate Mitigation of Gulf Oil Spill by Fleet of Super Tankers with Massive Oil/Water Separators Installed to Sweep/Separate Oil Spill (contact Aramco Experts) – Prime Approach
It is suggested a group of experts be assembled (contact former CEO of Shell Oil Company (Mr John Hoffmeister) as a consultant), who has suggested this approach which was used by Saudi Aramco to clean a massive oil spill (not reported in the media) years ago. The technology exists for large oily water separators and the super fleet of oil tankers needs to be immediately mobilized from worldwide resources with the proper equipments installed to start cleaning the Gulf of Mexico. This requires the immediate authorization of Congress of probably $100 Billion to immediately procure the fleet of super tankers and ancillary equipment and start the clean-up. It requires massive logistical planning and execution which should be outside the immediate scope of FEMA and Homeland Security and report directly to/funded by the perquisite Congressional Committee.
The immediate need is now beyond urgent. This Government is way behind the clean-up/mitigation curve with its underwhelming response and recognition of how huge this spill has become and the extensive damage that is going to occur for decades to come to the coastlines of the US. Mobilizing a “fleet of shrimp boats” and burning some pools of oil for the media to see by BP is a pathetic approach to the magnitude of the crisis which is unfolding and totally unacceptable to the American Public. The flow out of this well may well exceed 20,000 barrels per day (and 70% maybe underwater in plumes). In fact, estimates by some college professors suggest this flow could be in excess of 50,000 barrels of oil per day.
C. Massive Tracking of Underwater Gas/Oil Plumes by Navy Submarines and Reporting of Location of All Underwater Plumes to Appropriate State Environmental Authorities.
Due to the depth of this blown-out well and the fact that large amount of methane gas is escaping (which can cause 3000 times the damage of the oil spill in depleting oxygen layers in the Gulf) into plumes (one reported ten miles long and three miles wide), these large underwater plumes can travel great distance before slowly rising to the surface as they approach closer to the shorelines. It has been reported that there are literally hundreds of these oily/gas plumes which will begin to surface as “suddenly large oil slicks” coming towards or coastlines (probably first visible near/outside the Florida Keys) as the water becomes more shallow. This migration of hundreds of these large underwater plumes is probably the primary reason that “oil slicks are getting into the Loop Current”. We are way beyond that point right now.
The Navy Sonar can track these underwater plumes and report locations. Where is the data and why hasn’t any civil authorities been notified? Where is the funding to address these large oil slicks coming ashore? This is where a fleet of barges/super tankers needs to be immediately deployed as to the expected locations of these oil slicks as they start appearing on the surface.
Immediate recognition by Congress that this is a “National Emergency” on the scale of a nuclear weapon attack on the US and funding an appropriate “super response” – now! This spill is already totally destroying the Gulf of Mexico as we know it. It requires the formation of a “Super Governmental/Industry Tiger Team” to address and implement both the detonation of a nuclear weapon as well as the mitigation and clean-up of this spill by a fleet of Super Tankers with oily water separators totally outside of any response by BP to date.
This problem has totally overwhelmed the limited responses of an oil company such as BP. BP should be totally removed from the scene the responsibility for clean-up belongs with the US Government in making a “WWII-Type Mobilization Response”. This may include mobilizing a fleet of barges being placed as the first “ring of defense” around main well area (perimeter may have to miles in length right now) followed by a fleet of super tankers to start storing/transporting oil and discharge permits granted to discharge the water. Somebody (appointed by Congress) needs to be in charge of the entire response with billions of funding in-place right now to start cutting purchase orders (there is not time for the usual Government Bid System to be effective in a timely manner) for a fleet of tankers and it is not BP.
Mobilize a Super Tanker Fleet to start sucking up the large underwater oil plumes located at 3000 to 4000 feet under the sea. These plumes can be easily located by US Navy Sonar. Immediately find the real well head location – compare known GPS locations of where the Drilling Rig should have been drilling to the current GPS location of the BOP.
Monitoring what BP is doing is useless at this point as an appropriate Government response and shows a complete lack of understanding from a systems engineering viewpoint of the magnitude of the crisis. The Red Flag in this crisis is going to be that “BP has delayed the heavy mud attempt to seal the well” or at the “Top Kill” will not work and the follow-up “junk shot did not work because this is probably a red herring and not the real location or cause of the massive oil spill.
Immediately remove all Mines Mgmt personnel in Louisiana associated with any Gulf Coast platform reviews until and independent audits can be conducted of the all technical decisions and drilling permits issued in the past five years. Revoke all drilling permits issued by this office in past 24 months.
BP has totally misrepresented the real nature of this oil spill to Congress. It is possible that the real wellhead outflow is 120,000+ bbls per day and located miles from the BOP location. Congress should immediately send the US Navy to locate the real wellhead location.
The use of Corexit 9500 maybe 4X more toxic than oil. It could also be 10X to 20X more poisonous than other dispersants. It could undergo a phase transition to a gaseous state in the warm Gulf waters and result in some type of “toxic rain clouds” over the East Coast. The US Army developed the “best performing” absorbent by the US Corps of Engineers called Oil Sponge (a name trademarked by a company called Phase III and is 100% organic) and is made from renewable resources and there are other much safer dispersants. Oil Sponge is built using a microbial and nutrient package, capable of transforming oil hydrocarbons into a safe bi-product of carbon dioxide and water. There is also AmeriHaz Petroleum Solidifier that encapsulates environmental contaminants making crude oil and other oil like substances easy to retrieve. Both of these products have been ignored by BP and the Government in the clean-up of this fiasco. Why? Has BP trying to hide the magnitude of the spill – absolutely! Contact your Congressman immediately as to why BP has refused to stop the use of this dispersant! It is your grandkids lives that may depend on it.
The enormous amounts of natural gas being injected underwater in the Gulf of Mexico from this blow-out contain the carcinogen benzene which is water soluble. It is classified by EPA as a carcinogen at levels of 1 ppm. Is anyone now testing the Gulf waters for benzene levels? Any oil clean-up personnel need to be wearing Hazmat suits. If the water or beach sand smells oily then they may be exposed to benzene levels 20X in excess of safe standards. Nobody needs to be sticking there finger into some oily product on the beaches. There are probably more than 52000 bbls per day of natural gas being released into the Gulf of Mexico which will cause a huge oxygen depletion zone and possible massive fish and shrimp kills.
Dr Steven Wereley, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, has testified before the House Energy and Environmental Committee that 95,000 barrels of oil are currently leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. BP would not have economically spudded this well unless it was flowing in excess of 65,000 barrels per day (and the real answer is closer to 120,000 barrels per day (50X times worse than BP/US Government stated at the outset).
The Obama Administration needs to release EPA data on air quality at/near spill sites (both onshore and at the spill site). It is the responsibility of the Obama Administration to require workers to wear respirators. It is dangerous to go near large oil spills which have been sprayed with solvents like Corexit 9500 which the Natural Science Dept of Russia has stated is 4X more toxic than oil itself!? Tell your Congressman you wish to see data on air and water quality on daily basis.
According to data from the University of South Florida, the massive oil spill has now entered the Atlantic Loop Current (starting to make its turn around the Southern tip of Florida and towards Miami) and maybe heading up the East Coast. I would expect large plumes of oil may start appearing in spots across the Panhandle and Florida beaches in next 30 to 45 days as these oil plumes gradually rise to the surface (one said to be over 22 miles long and 800+ feet deep!?!).
We are looking at the worse environmental disaster in human history and it continues to grow and the US Government has failed totally in responding to this epic crisis because of BP and Big Oil political clout and money.
The light end of the oil will be absorbed into the atmospheric system and come down as a toxic chemical bath at some point in the future. Remember that 70% of the oil and natural gas is underwater and chemically destroying the Eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone needs to contact their Congressman about mobilizing the National Guard for clean-up and start monitoring water and air quality. We need to get Congress to budget for a fleet of super tankers to start skimmers and remove BP totally from the scene. The US Navy needs to be mobilized to start identifying underwater oil plumes as well as all marine research organizations along the East Coast. The environmental impacts are almost incalculable at this point and everyone on the East Coast is going to be impacted in some manner in next ten years. Do not go near beaches where oil spills are occurring and do not touch any spilled oil with your bare hands. Wear a respirator if involved in any beach clean-up and make sure the benzene levels have been tested in all drinking and bath water.
The US Government needs to take total control with US Navy and mobilize a massive fleet of barges and super tankers with skimmers to start clean-up. We are going to need hundreds of miles of additional rubber boom and another 50,000 to 100,000 people in clean-up.
Everybody in Congress needs to be asking some very hard questions about what is really going on and find out why they have been massively misled on the real magnitude of this oil spill. We need to make sure we know the real source of the wellhead now.
In the end as much as we hate to – we may have to opt for using a “down-hole” nuclear weapon. If the relief well being drilled (not completed until August) does not stop this oil well blow-out expect a tactical nuclear option to be seriously considered in next 90 days. You may hear it is disguised as an “earthquake” some day in the Gulf of Mexico. This option needs to be structured for an immediate Congressional decision to stop the massive wellhead blow-out. You need to know the sub-sea salt topology in detail before exercising such an option.
By: Dr Stephen A Rinehart
Email stevecin AT bellsouth.net
It takes 3 months minimum to get another rig on site and ready to drill a new "hole" and pump in mud to try and stop the leak.
It takes 3 months MINIMUM! to ...
Ask anyone in the oil business. Anyone!
So all this "top kill" nonsense within a month has been emergency panic tactics which clearly haven't worked.
August is the EARLIEST that anything can or could have happened!
But already, they're taking about untried, but wouldn't they just love to try-out freak-geek-nuke theories which if, and that's a big, huge if, they, by some miracle, in some way worked.... then, hey - open the flood gates for nuke this , nuke that enterprises!!!
Nukes are not the answer.
Nukes are never the answer.
So what do you do?
You wait. When that shit comes ashore - you scrape it up, again and again and again and again ... forever if necessary!
The majority of it is a big porridge that doesn't mix "that much" (??) with the water and gradually (that is tide after tide - and there's two a day!) breaks down into smaller and smaller "globs", mixes with the sand on the beach etc. i.e - a big motherf'in' mess!!!
But it cleans - eventually.
Nukes don't clean eventually or ever unless you consider timescales of 20,000 years or more for starters.
As for the methane gas - surely there is technology for oxygenating water if necessary which doesn't mean a nuclear ocean desert!
Chill the fuck out dudes and don't forget your shovel!
and on that note here's Christy....
... "when the elections are all over, we'll all be pushin' up clover - everyone in the graveyard votes the same!"
Sorry couldn't resist - one of my all time favourites!
"Hold your fire, Hold your fire!"
very cool stuff. thanks fintan for all the coverage and peeps for adding to it. i appreciate the various links, which i've shared on Facebook. esp the one where you can see what the spill would look like in your hometown area.
giving the audio a spin now.
red _________________ just cos things are fucked up doesn't mean it isn't progress...
Energy giant BP told Canadian regulators in March that relief wells are an "after-the-fact tactic" in controlling oil well blowouts, less than a month before the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that the company hopes to stop by drilling two relief wells.
A relief well is the oil industry's gold standard for killing a blowout. In the Gulf, BP's drillers are guiding the two wells to intersect the 7-inch well pipe of the uncontrolled well; the pipe could then be plugged with cement.
"This is the long-term definite solution to closing off this well," BP spokesman Jason French told reporters last month. "We're applying all the necessary resources, from a personnel standpoint, from the equipment standpoint."
But the first rig wasn't able to set its drill bit into the mud until 13 days after the April 20 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon; the second rig, 28 days after the accident. French said it would take an additional 90 to 120 days to reach the damaged well pipe.
That means months of gushing oil that BP never contemplated in the exploration plan that it submitted to the federal Minerals Management Service. The plan merely affirmed that BP could pay for a relief well. MMS approved the plan in April 2009.
The Canadian Policy
Yet earlier this year, BP told the National Energy Board in Canada, which regulates offshore oil drilling in the country, that it should repeal a 34-year-old policy on relief wells. The company said relief wells can be superseded by the technology and sophistication of modern drilling rigs.
The policy applies to the Beaufort Sea, stretching across the top of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon next to Alaska. The drilling season there is cut short by ice. The policy isn't even all that strict.
"An operator needs to demonstrate that there is a viable system that can be deployed to drill a well, a relief well, in the same season as the original well, should the original well go out of control," said Bharat Dixit, leader of the NEB conservation-of-resources team.
In fact, the policy is called "same season relief well capability," making clear that a company doesn't actually have to drill the relief well unless there's a blowout; it just has to be prepared.
As recently as March, the oil industry said even that isn't necessary.
"What operators are proposing is that their methodologies, their additional training, their new tools provide for a similar degree of comfort," Dixit said.
In its submission to the energy board, dated March 22, BP said that if one of the Beaufort wells went out of control, there probably wouldn't be enough time to drill a relief well before the ice came in. It called relief wells an "after-the-fact tactic."
Questions After Gulf Disaster
Instead, BP emphasized preventive technology and practices, many of which have now been called into question due to the catastrophe in the Gulf.
Most notably, the company said it has a "rigid policy requirement," calling for two barriers to hold down the surging oil and gas in a well: heavy drilling mud in the pipe and a blowout preventer at the wellhead.
The drilling mud was intentionally removed on the Deepwater Horizon rig before a cement plug was installed. The blowout preventer then failed.
Dixit says the accident will change the National Energy Board's approach to the same-season relief well question.
A spokeswoman for BP Canada didn't respond to an interview request.
Meanwhile in the Gulf, anxiety continues to rise as BP's relief wells are months away and other fixes have failed.
Marine conservation consultant Rick Steiner, a board member of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — which is critical of the way Washington oversees oil drilling on federal property offshore — argues that relief wells should be drilled simultaneously with production wells.
If that had happened, he says, the situation would be different now.
"They would've been weeks away from a kill of the well blowout, rather than months," Steiner says.
Instead, the relief wells should be finished in August, if all goes as planned. _________________ Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum