Radio: Uncontrolled gas flowing from well in Gulf of Mexico — WSJ: Experts trying to stop flow below seafloor

Published: February 15th, 2013 at 5:14 pm ET


WWNO New Orleans at 4:27p ET:  Gulf of Mexico Well Evacuated Due to Uncontrolled Gas Flow […] A natural gas well located approximately 50 miles east of Venice in the Gulf of Mexico is releasing gas uncontrolled and has been evacuated, according to a report today in Fuel Fix, an energy news website operated in part by the Houston Chronicle. The site reports 15 workers were evacuated from the Ensco 87 rig, which sits in 218 feet of water, after tests found natural gas had migrated from the 8300-foot well to a sand formation approximately 1100 feet below the seabed. This uncontrolled flow happened after a blowout preventer had been activated.

Fuel Fix at 12:20p ET: Problems first arose on Feb. 4, when workers on the Ensco 87 jackup rig detected a kick, or uncontrolled flow of fluid, in the well. In response, they activated a blowout preventer, which apparently was successful in keeping natural gas from escaping the well. However later testing revealed that gas had migrated from the bottom of the roughly 8,300-foot well to a shallower sand formation 1,100 feet below the seabed.

Wall St. Journal at 4:45p ET:  Apache Corp. has detected an underground flow of natural gas at the site of a shallow-water exploratory well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company and U.S. regulators said. […] Apache said it is now working with well-control experts to stop the flow of natural gas below the seafloor. At the BSEE’s direction, Apache is readying another rig to bring to the site in case a relief well needs to be drilled.

Offshore Magazine at 4:34p ET: Offshore oil and gas regulators in the US are responding to a report of an underground gas flow at an Apache Corp.-operated exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico. […] The company has brought in well control experts from Boots and Coots to kill the well and is mobilizing the Rowan Cecil Provine rig to the site in case a relief well needs to be drilled.

See also: [intlink id=”update-divers-check-for-breach-on-the-sea-floor-in-gulf-of-mexico” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: February 15th, 2013 at 5:14 pm ET


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  3. Newspaper: Uncontrolled gas well in Gulf is highly pressured — New flyover of area; numerous work and supply vessels (PHOTOS) February 21, 2013
  4. WSJ: Blow-out in Gulf of Mexico — “Loss of well control” reported — Large oil sheen on surface, gas flowing into sea July 9, 2013
  5. Update: Divers look for “breach on the sea floor” near troubled well in Gulf of Mexico February 15, 2013

51 comments to Radio: Uncontrolled gas flowing from well in Gulf of Mexico — WSJ: Experts trying to stop flow below seafloor


    So, you cannot have a blow out of the sea floor, huh? I know I have heard that from somewhere before…well, then SURPRISE!

    These Oil Companies are out of control in the Gulf of Mexico, and drill anywhere, not understanding the true geology of the region or environment they are drilling in.

    They will not be satisfied until the whole Continental Shelf collapses!


      Seriously, no breach has occurred yet. How on earth Boots
      &Coots thinks they can stop a breach from under the seafloor….I have no idea.

      • Thad

        Underground blow-out is the term used in the oil field when the blowout is from one formation to another less pressured fornation. In the case of Santa Barbara the formation that the blowout went in to had an open fault connecting to the seabed. The third worst US oilspill disaster.
        Mexico's Ixtoc was also an underground blowout that connected to the seabed– problem was poor design of casing/ cement.
        B&C can attempt several things on the rig-envolving plugging agents heavy mud and cement. BUT if blowout starts venting at seabed- thwe rig will have to be moved and direction well drld to intercept at bottom for a kill and cement kill save as was done at BP – MC252- There have been other underground to seabed blowouts in the gulf – off Trinidad. Also on land underground blowout connecting to surface– worked one in the '73s New Roads, La.— one in Guatemala in '77

  • We Not They Finally

    This is one big "OF COURSE!" Matt Simmons (former energy advisor for Bush Sr.) announced on MSNBC (Dylan Ratigan Show) in August 2010 that there was a HOLE IN THE SEA, BP knew it, but would not say it because "They would go to prison and their fortunes would be gone." Within two weeks, he was found dead in his hot tub at home in Maine. He had said it would go on spewing oil for YEARS. And this is obviously IT! Anyone who can possibly check, the webcam was switched out from Well B to Well A (Macondo Lot 52, as leased from the U.S. govt), from before and after Hurricane Bonnie that year. The long and lat at the top is slightly (but noticeably) different; one well already capped (Well A) and one still spewing (Well B). What we think is that this PAST year, Hurricane Isaac finally stirred the Gulf of Mexico up enough that the building oil spewing beneath the sea was jolted to the surface. IT IS VERY UNLIKELY THAT THIS CAN BE FIXED. Needless to say, BP is liable for all damages, ongoing, but since it now seems to be a "new" situation, that will likely never happen. Nor can the dead Matt Simmons be brought back to life.


      I hate to say it…but at this time, I agree with Thad. Something else would need to happen for this to be a story…except they evacuated.

      I am so ashamed….

  • natano natano

    I wouldn't be too surprised if they get a lease for fracking around the Yellow Stone park. You know, that thin spot in the crust with all of that magma just waiting for a fissure or two. Frack away boys, what could possibly go wrong.
    Hopefully the Republicans are formulating an apology to Exxon just in case Obama threatens to slap their wrist. Get rubio some fracking fresh water and enjoy.


      @natano….LOLOLOL, good point! Yet both parties are the same, so that one fails the smell test. All allow 'Fracking'. Not taking up for anyone, for there is no one to take up for on this issue.

    • Thad

      LOL– wrong type geology — hydricarbin di nit form or occur in volcanics–
      EXXON– how did they get in? what did I miss?

  • irhologram

    I'm not sure articles that were linked said it was a blowout of the sea floor. It said a sand layer they encountered was unexpectedly pressurized with gas where it wasn't expected, and apparently, too pervasive and migrating to deal with. Isn't that one way this could be read? That said, the sand layer that's under the clay…possibly this exact layer from the story…this sand has migrating gas/oil under pressure…and could have quite possibly made its way across the off shore shelf, into the coastal aquifer and into the Mississippi Alluvial Aquafer. In this scenario the bubbles that have enlarged to gushing water-main break sized little geysers, the swamp plumes of little fire/smoke plumes, and even the rising water distribution can be explained. I was researching the geological history of FL and found that in oil drilling SW offshore, WATER or brine fills in the spaces between porous material in the well area, cohabiting with the gas and oil being accessed. Is it possible that some of the water at the sinkhole was stored with the methane/oil/brine that has made its way to the sand strata, then migrated sideways? Does any other theory make sense considering the increasing intensity of bubbles throughout a radius of at least 40 miles?

    • Thad

      NO– there are many geological obstacles to that scenario. The most major is the faults that run east to west parallel to the Continental shelf. The rise on one side vs the fall on the other broke continuity and caused mismatch in hundreds of feet.
      The Mississippi alluvail aquifer does not go as far as the coast. Florida geology is evaporite based whereas the GoM is a huge sedinentary basin-
      Gas-oil-water in the same formation are not "cohabiting" but are in separate layers–gas -oil- water. Yes there is some gas solubulised in the oil but there no water in either..
      The formations leaking at Bayou Corne do contain gas, oil and formation water- the volune of the oil and water is small. It leaks UPWARD in to the aquifier then migrates lateral along the clay ceiling of the aquifier– like smoke or steam across the ceiling in a kitchen.
      40 miles–? Lake Peigneur? No connection. The events at Bayou Corne are in geological terms very local…

  • ftlt

    Insanity… It is called the global market place, free trade.. It really is mindless endless war and global destruction for profit

    These idiots are serious about mining in space!!!

    The poles!!!

    What we need is to live within our means globally…

    F F F F Capitalism

  • We Not They Finally

    Ddear Thad: Apparently you know everything… O.k. WE SAW Matt Simmons on t.v. just days before his death and the man was frightened but he said it anyway. And yes, EVERYTHING (not nothing) he said is coming true! You just seemed to have missed the article above. Why don't you read it? Better still: You think there is no danger of ongoing uncontrollable unstoppable oil gushing up from the sea floor? O.k. Look like a nice place to live. Why don't you try it? Fishing's great too. You should thrive.

  • yogda yogda

    Thad, In your opinion what is going on with the Louann salt layer?

    • Thad

      Louann salt layer — not see or read about anything out of the ordinary- It continues to move-creep as it has for millions of years– to sliw-too smal for man to notice.
      Have you heard anything?

  • Thad

    A little giggle, has anyone noticed the sponsors' ads at the top are subject related-
    This thread is oil field so the sponsors'ads "RigZone and"Javins Corp" a drlg contractor— LOL

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      The ad right now is Chevron in Bakersfield, CA. No one wants to live in Bakersfield because they are downwind from Canyon Diablo Nuclear Power Plant. Also, near all the pesticides and herbicies sprayed in the Central Valley. The rad readings are off the charts.