Blogs | Drilling Ahead


The Ripple Effect

By Dillion Luna, 2014-09-15

Just like throwing an object in to a pool of water the things we do effect those around us. Who would be effected if we were injured? Family? Coworkers? Friends? Who else? No one that cares for us wants to see us hurt. Depending on the severity of the injury, the ability to interact with our loved ones with all of our senses could be compromised. What if we could not work anymore and were unable to provide income for our families? How would their lifestyles change? How would creditors and items we borrowed money to purchase be effected? Would the lenders just feel compassion for you because you were injured and let you continue without making payments or would they start repossessing those possessions that were financed? How long could you survive before you had to start selling other possessions just to make ends meet? How well could you survive on Government assistance such as food stamps and other programs?

Every action has a reaction or consequences. Those consequences are up to us to decide upon. It is your decision to work and be safe or take to chances and jeopardize your health or life. Nothing is more selfish than taking chances that could lead to that phone call to tell your loved ones that you are not coming home. How cruel is it to consider taking a short cut that takes away the father or mother of a child that counting on them for everything.

Nobody ever plans to get hurt. That is why it is so important to develop plans to ensure everyone we interact with returns home the same way they left. Their future and the quality of the future of everyone that relies on them depends on this fact.

If you want to change the safety culture of your people, don't just tell them what to do to be safer, teach them why being safe is important for them and how it effects the ones who love them. Just like a pebble thrown into a pond, the effects of that single action continue outward affecting untold numbers of people and events encompassing our lives.

Posted in: Editorial | 5 comments

Judge Barbier has everything right about Macondo except the most important detail

By George Baker, 2014-09-05

Judge Barbier's 153-page report did not consider the chain of events set in motion by the placement of the casing seal assembly just 17 minutes after the placement of cement.

See More Here

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SPE/IADC 163476 - Thermal explanation for the Macondo blowout

By George Baker, 2014-08-26

The cited "Field Test 2" in the 2013 SPE/IADC paper entitled "Modeling Reveals Hidden Conditions that can Impair Wellbore Stability and Integrity" is actually about the Macondo well (an important detail that is hidden from the reader).

Speaking with one of the authors this morning, he recalled,"We wrote the paper in a way so that the lawyers who were still worried about liability wouldn't understand it. Otherwise, they wouldn't have let us publish the data."

Since April, I have been collaborating with the author to get the data and a new narrative of the root cause of the accident into English. The short story is that the Macondo well began to migrate (flow) within minutes of the setting of the casing collar which took place 17 minutes after the end of the cement job.

For the past month or so I have been stuck in trying to explain to myself how the coefficient of expansion of a drilling fluid can affect wellbore stability. Any guidance would be appreciated.

The paper is copyrighted by SPE/IADC and is not available on the internet, making the story even more hidden from public view.

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Reviewing the BOEMRE's discussion of the cement job at Macondo

By George Baker, 2014-07-24

Attached are 22 pages that are extracted, bookmarked, highlighted (and commented) from the section of the BOEMRE report of 2011 that concerned cementing at the Macondo well. I was looking for, but did not find, a clear explanation of why formation fluids entered the wellbore.

What I did find was speculation about why the float collar conversion may have failed to take place; but this fact is unimportant to any argument about why the formation fluids entered the wellbore.

The surprise was at the end of the section, where it reads: "Since the Panel concluded that the cement in [the] annulus did not fail . . . ."

Let's see: cement is the 1st barrier (nmero uno) that is designed to isolate formation fluids from the wellbore. If reservoir fluids reach the 2nd barrier (float collar) or the 3rd barrier (BOP), it means that the 1st barrier failed.

How, why and when it failed are matters that I am reviewing with a former member of the Presidential Panel on the Macondo Accident. A report is to follow.


Read Document Here

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CSB Video Released on Deepwater Horizon

By Kari, 2014-06-06

Houston, Texas, June 5, 2014 - The CSB today released a narrated computer animation recreating the Deepwater Horizon blowout on April 20, 2010. The video depicts how high-pressure oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico caused an explosion on the drilling rig that killed 11 workers and seriously injured 17 others. The rig burned for two days, eventually sinking and triggering the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
The 11-minute animation illustrates how the Deepwater Horizons blowout preventer failed to seal the well on the night of the accident because drill pipe buckled due to a mechanism known as effective compression. The video shows that the blowout preventers blind shear ram an emergency hydraulic device with two sharp cutting blades meant to cut the drill pipe and seal the well likely did activate on the night of the accident. However, because the drill pipe was buckled and off-center inside the blowout preventer, it was trapped and only partially cut. The video explains how this failure directly led to the massive oil spill and contributed to the severity of the incident on the drilling rig.
The video notes that although effective compression has previously been identified as a hazard in other drilling operations, it has never before been recognized as a problem affecting drill pipe during well operations. CSB investigators say this is an important finding because the same conditions that buckled the drill pipe during the Deepwater Horizon accident could occur at other drilling rigs even if a crew successfully shuts in a well. The video warns this could make existing blowout preventer designs less effective in emergency situations.
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New Drill Pipe, Thread Copping, WHAT IS THIS?

By Jeremy Bisson, 2014-05-18

I have been offered a interview for a thread copping position, and I have no idea what it entails, I have searched high and low on the internet but only find bits and pieces to this puzzle,I have worked in the oilfield for ten years from service rigs, coil tubing and production well testing, can any buddy explain to me what this position entails ?and what kind of career it is, whatkind of potential does it have for a guy mid career, and how much does a guy make doing this job, what kind of lifestyle is it, I would appreciate any input you may have, I appreciate it, thanks

Grupo R orders new jackups

By George Baker, 2014-05-13

This photo (taken with permission at the stand of Grupo R at OTC 2014) gives a suggestion of Grupo R's ambitions in the rig market.

I was interested in the governance of its 3 DW rigs. The company (Pemex) well supervisor is located in Villahermosa, and seldom visits the rig; instead, there is a field engineer who is stationed in Veracruz and who visits the rig regularly. He is selected in relation to the depth of the well, not in relation to the depth of the water.

Grupo R's rig chief is a Scot who lives in Edinburgh and rotates on a 30-day cycle. I do not know if he is an employee of Grupo R or a contractor.

The frequency at which the well supervisor, or higher Pemex leadership, visits the well is unknown to us. At one of the OTC 2014 panels on safety a speaker (from Statoil) said that, before the Macondo accident, visits by senior management were limited to the 4 Ls (Land, Lunch, List items and Leave). She said that the current practice at Statoil is that senior management spends the night on the rig.

Good questions for visiting journalists on a rig in Mexico to ask (in addition to the one about the number of pairs of blue eyes in the lunch room): How often does senior management from Pemex or Grupo R visit a DW rig? Does any visitor spend the night on the rig?

I was interested in the governance of its 3 DW rigs. The company (Pemex) well supervisor is located in Villahermosa, and seldom visits the rig; instead, there is a field engineer who is stationed in Veracruz and who visits the rig regularly. He is selected by in relation to the depth of the field, not the depth of the water.

Grupo R's rig chief is aScot wholives in Edinburgh and rotates on a 30-day cycle. I do not know if he is an employee of Grupo R or a contractor.

Posted in: News | 1 comments

Reporting on DWH/Macondo, 2010-14

By George Baker, 2014-04-21

Here is a title list of 4 years of reporting by Mexico Energy Intelligence (MEI) on the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo accident of 2010. Neither the government nor industry has taken ownership of the role of human error in the unfolding of that accident.

Evidence? People still talk about "Stop Work Authority," as if that notion had any credibility or relevance in matters of process safety. At the end of 2013, BSEE published a list of attributes of a "culture of safety," but simultaneously announced that compliance would not be audited.

Read List

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Commemorating Macondo

By George Baker, 2014-04-17

The MMS director at the time of Macondo (and who resigned within hours before her scheduled testimony to Congress) co-authors an essay that expresses concern that not enough has been done to implement the recommendations that came out of the investigation of the Macondo blow-out.

To judge from the presentations at the DECOM WORLD conference on Well Integrity Management Systems (April 15-16), quite a lot has been done to improve the operator's understanding and dashboard of key FTPD-related metrics.

I asked a speaker from API if Pemex could join as a member the Center for Offshore Safety. The speaker, believing that Pemex had blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, replied affirmatively; when told that Pemex only operated in Mexico, I was asked "Are you sure?"

"In that case," I was informed, "Pemex's status as a prospective member of COSwould be a matter for further discussion."


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WIMS panelist: More human errors than mechanical ones

By George Baker, 2014-04-16

At the DECOM WORLD conference this week on "Well Integrity" and WIMS, I asked the engineers: Why not add HSE metrics on your well dashboard to adjust for the (in)experience of the crew? It would serve as a kind of economic deflator; but you would have to quantify the skill level of the individuals or keep track of their "flight hours" as with pilots. I made copies available of the first page of my article on Macondo (the unmentionable ghost of which was in the subtext of most questions and presentations).
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