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A top kill is a procedure used as a means of regaining control over an oil well that is experiencing an uncontrolled eruption of crude oil or natural gas (blowout). The process involves pumping heavyweight drilling mud into the well. This procedure is expected to stop the flow of oil and gas from the well. A further step could be sealing the well completely, often with cement.
The top kill procedure was used to plug flaming oil wells, blown up by retreating Iraqi forces, in 1991, during the Gulf War.
This technique came to prominence during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill when it was used in an attempt to seal a seafloor oil well after the failure of the blowout preventer.However, it failed to block the flow of oil.
Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well being drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig Sedco 135 in the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche in waters 50 m (164 ft) deep. On 3 June 1979, the well suffered a blowout resulting in one of the largest oil spills in history. gr
A wellhead is the component at the surface of an oil or gas well that provides the structural and pressure-containing interface for the drilling and production equipment.
A containment dome is a component of the system designed to contain the underwater blowout of an oil well such as occurred with the Macondo Well blowout from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This portion of the system is designed as a vacuum to suck up the products being expelled from a blowout and deliver those products to the containment system housed on the vessel moored above the blowout. Superior Energy Services is constructing this device to be used by Shell Oil Company on the barge Arctic Challenger as their "fourth line of defense" against a blowout in the Arctic drilling regions in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea.
A blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well or gas well after pressure control systems have failed. Modern wells have blowout preventers intended to prevent such an occurrence. An accidental spark during a blowout can lead to a catastrophic oil or gas fire.
A blowout preventer (BOP) is a specialized valve or similar mechanical device, used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells to prevent blowouts, the uncontrolled release of crude oil or natural gas from a well. They are usually installed in stacks of other valves.
Deepwater Horizon was an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore drilling rig owned by Transocean. Built in 2001 in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries, the rig was commissioned by R&B Falcon, registered in Majuro, and leased to BP from 2001 until September 2013. In September 2009, the rig drilled the deepest oil well in history at a vertical depth of 35,050 ft (10,683 m) and measured depth of 35,055 ft (10,685 m) in the Tiber Oil Field at Keathley Canyon block 102, approximately 250 miles (400 km) southeast of Houston, in 4,132 feet (1,259 m) of water.
Q4000 is a multi-purpose oil field construction and intervention vessel ordered in 1999 by Cal Dive International, and was built at the Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas for $180 million. She was delivered in 2002 and operates under the flag of the United States. She is operated by Helix Energy Solutions Group. The original Q4000 concept was conceived and is owned by SPD/McClure. The design was later modified by Bennett Offshore, which was selected to develop both the basic and detailed design.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an industrial disaster that began on April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect, considered to be the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry and estimated to be 8% to 31% larger in volume than the previous largest, the Ixtoc I oil spill, also in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. federal government estimated the total discharge at 4.9 million barrels. After several failed efforts to contain the flow, the well was declared, better than what it was, and sealed on September 19, 2010. Reports in early 2012 indicated that the well site was still leaking. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is regarded as one of the largest environmental disasters in American history.
The Macondo Prospect is an oil and gas prospect in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. The prospect was the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in April 2010 that led to a major oil spill in the region.
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion was the April 20, 2010, explosion and subsequent fire on the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), which was owned and operated by Transocean and drilling for BP in the Macondo Prospect oil field about 40 miles (64 km) southeast off the Louisiana coast. The explosion and subsequent fire resulted in the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon and the deaths of 11 workers; 17 others were injured. The same blowout that caused the explosion also caused an oil well fire and a massive offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the world, and the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Relief wells are used both in the natural gas and petroleum industry and in flood control.
The following is a timeline of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It was a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. It was a result of the well blowout that began with the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion on April 20, 2010.
Offshore oil spill prevention and response is the study and practice of reducing the number of offshore incidents that release oil or hazardous substances into the environment and limiting the amount released during those incidents.
Following is a timeline of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for July 2010.
Following is a Timeline of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for May 2010.
Efforts to stem the Deepwater Horizon oil spill were ongoing from the time that the Deepwater Horizon exploded on 4/20/2010 until the well was sealed by a cap on July 15, 2010. Various species of dolphins and other mammals, birds, and the endangered sea turtles have been killed either directly or indirectly by the oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon spill has surpassed in volume the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill as the largest ever to originate in U.S.-controlled waters; it is comparable to the 1979 Ixtoc I oil spill in total volume released.
Oil well control is the management of the dangerous effects caused by the unexpected release of formation fluid, such as natural gas and/or crude oil, upon surface equipment of oil or gas drilling rigs and escaping into the atmosphere. Technically, oil well control involves preventing the formation fluid, usually referred to as kick, from entering into the wellbore during drilling.
Arctic Challenger is a barge which has been converted by Superior Energy Services for use in the Arctic drilling operations of Shell Oil Company. This barge is designed to function as a "novel engineering solution" which they refer to as an Arctic Containment System to respond should a blowout event occur at drilling sites in the Beaufort or Chukchi Seas. According to testimony provided to Senator Mark Begich on 11 October 2012, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo said the certification for the Shell spill barge Arctic Challenger to operate in Alaska was given on the 10th of October at the Bellingham, Washington shipyard where it was constructed. Ostebo is commander of the Coast Guard’s 17th district, which covers Alaska.
The Deepwater Horizon investigation included several investigations and commissions, among others reports by National Incident Commander Thad Allen, United States Coast Guard, National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, National Academy of Engineering, National Research Council, Government Accountability Office, National Oil Spill Commission, and Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
The Wild Mary Sudik gusher was an oil well blowout that took place on March 26, 1930 in what is now Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. The gusher from Mary Sudik No. 1 well received extensive media coverage and was the subject of daily radio reports by NBC's Floyd Gibbons and newsreels that were shown in movie theaters. The gusher flowed for eleven days before it was capped on the third try.
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