Burning well in Gulf has ‘bridged over’ — “Sand and sediment collapsed into area being drilled, blocking the line” — Feds say gas flow stopped, fire decreasing (PHOTO)

Published: July 25th, 2013 at 10:48 am ET


Sky News: In a Thursday news release, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) says the well “bridged over”, meaning sand and sediment collapsed into the area being drilled, blocking the line.

Reuters: Fire at Gulf rig decreased, natural gas flow stopped -Regulators

Times Picayune: BSEE and Coast Guard officials state that they will continue overseeing response efforts until the incident has come to a complete and safe resolution that includes securing the well.

CNN: It was not immediately clear what steps would now be taken to secure the well.

See more photos of the burning rig here

Published: July 25th, 2013 at 10:48 am ET


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6 comments to Burning well in Gulf has ‘bridged over’ — “Sand and sediment collapsed into area being drilled, blocking the line” — Feds say gas flow stopped, fire decreasing (PHOTO)

  • irhologram

    So….they didn't fix it, nature did? What caused the collapse of sand and sediment? Rapid evacuation of gas, leaving a cavity? On a related link, Markww posted a series of vids showing Wings of Care photos/vids. What sighs the very breath out of me is the YELLOW color of floating chemicals and oil at the July 9 Talos leak accident and also a yellow "film " in a recent flyover of the sinkhole. The yellow would indicate sulfur, which would indicate H2S, H2S eats through metal, which would include pipes and fittings for rigs (as well as NPPs). It's presence would explain why the rigs burn so hot.

    Now that sand and sediment "bridged over" the area of release, how will they now reach the area to properly seal it…as increasing pressure easily displaces loose sand and sediment? Would it then just continue out gassing?

  • Sorry… that's a load of "BULLY!" as the pressures involved are over 100,000 PSI… they try to make folks go back to sheeple-land.

    • We Not They Finally

      Is the 100,000 PSI because they drilled too DEEP? Because BP apparently drilled right into the seabed with the illusion that it was "safe." "Safe" for them, anyway. They get to ruin it for everyone else and still walk away with cash.

  • Nah, they done good. Been vibrating the Newfoundland Banks, changing the siting of the Atlantic Plate, the planetary westward push no longer into the Gulf of Mehico for the time being.
    But I'm with Pattie, the smell of good'ol Bull Dinkies first thing in the morning is unmistakable..

  • razzz razzz

    My guess is the BOP finally crushed the drill pipe and left only a narrow opening.

    The BOP is suppose to have a two jaws to close off the drill pipe in case the 1st one fails because it was on a coupling or something and the second 2nd is offset to close on bare pipe.

    If I remember right, they are remote controlled and have a battery pack on the BOP to help operate them.

  • razzz razzz

    Justin Vandenbrink of the Houston Geological Society agreed that bridging of oil and natural gas wells is common. Drillers typically hold a well open using steel or cement casing that keeps the hole intact. But a freshly drilled portion remains exposed, leaving loose mud and softer rocks along the walls of the well vulnerable to falling back into the hole, Vandenbrink said. Bridging also can occur above a bit that has just drilled an area, he said.

    In the current incident in the Gulf, the leaking natural gas that fueled the fire likely was not strong enough to hold some of the exposed mud and sediment in place, said Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of petroleum geoscience programs at the University of Houston.
    Blown out well seals off gas leak by itself; operators ‘lucky’, experts say
    “…My gut feeling is this reservoir was not a high-energy reservoir and the gas flow rates probably were relatively small compared with what could happen,” Van Nieuwenhuise said, adding that “the natural gas is not going to be lifting a lot of the sand. It’s just going to come straight up and so there was nothing to support the wall of the well and it just collapsed.”

    Regardless of how it happened, the bridging of the well was a break for everyone involved with responding to the incident, Van Nieuwenhuise said…"