For Dorrey: Your analysis of the failure of …

Comment posted Continuing gas leak at Elgin platform as deepwater drilling starts west of Shetland by newsroom.

For Dorrey: Your analysis of the failure of the casing of a well is looking very likely, from what we are hearing from industry insiders in Aberdeen on the circumstances in which the leak took place – as a spent well was closed.

newsroom also commented

  • And why so gratuitously offensive about our honest work to research and report?

    We have neither seen nor said that the Elgin platform situation is similar to that of the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    We correctly described this well as deeply drilled – 3 miles below the sea floor – rather than in deep water.

    The point is that gas extracted from these depths is more intensely poisonous because of its proportion of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

  • Have just read that H2S is removed from natural gas during the extraction process by being passed through a container of hydrated iron(III) oxide.

    Its appearance on the surface at the Elgin platform would appear to confirm a breach in the pipework bypassing passage through the hydrated iron oxide.

  • H2S is also produced during anaerobic digestion, a process used in the production of biofuel.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • General Election part of the political Gallipoli of indy versus union
    This doesn’t work, though – because everyone has their own idea of who is the best candidate, which splits the vote, letting the separatists will walk through it..
    This is not about the best candidate.
    It’s about the one most people of any political persuasion COULD vote for.
    Pro-union voters today have to forget all about personal party preferences and ‘best’ candidates and put their vote behind the pro-union candidate who is the most likely to come second to the SNP – and for whom they think people other than themselves COULD vote.
    THis is why we have shown the reasons why we feel that this candodate is Alan Reid.
    It is a sad disappointment that Labour voters are manifestly the least likely to put the need to retain the Union first – and ironically – or justly – the Labour party will be the biggest loser if the Union goes down.
  • General Election part of the political Gallipoli of indy versus union
    Yes I do.
    One major lesson I have personally learned from the narrow insularity of the nationalist separatists and the Scottish Government during and since indyref 1, is that unity is a grown up, infinitely more demanding but infinitely more rewarding politics in its plurality.
    indyref 1 taught me that, to be consistent, I should revisit my personal scepticism about the EU – and I have done that.
    No institution is beyond reform – and whether we achieve some of the necessary reforms to the lack of democratic accountability of the EU; to its chokingly centralist nature; and to the sheer constipation of too many of its procedures, I am now unconcerned as to whether we do this as a condition of continuing membership or from within our current membership.
    I have always felt that Ireland would be better as a united island – and I spent every minute of my own life there living as if it was. This was not done as any political statement but as a natural way of being. What made that so rewarding was the difference between its various cultural components – and this is not a crude difference between north and south, but between each single region and the others.
    I would not, though, wish to see anyone anywhere in a forced marriage. I do believe that force majeure is a brutish and unevolved way of deciding anything today; and that things achieved through it remain troubled.
    I have said before that I do not believe that the means justify the end; but that the end validates the means.
    So I am for a united Ireland; for a united Great Britain or United Kingdom [as a federation]; and for a united Europe. None of them may happen or last – but at least, these days, I’m consistent.
    And tomorrow I’m voting for Alan Reid.
    Had tactical voting not been such an imperative, I’d have voted for the Labour candidate, Mary Galbraith, which was what I had thought I would do.
    Lynda
  • General Election part of the political Gallipoli of indy versus union
    Happily.
    He is.
    We have laid out the reasons for this and hold to that considered view.
    It does not mean he will win.
    We can have no idea how many people understand what is at issue in this election adn ust how much of an imperative tactical voting is.
    We’ll all know tomorrow night.
  • General Election part of the political Gallipoli of indy versus union
    This is no more than a legitimate metaphor for a prolonged political conflict which has been and will continue to be hugely costly to both sides in political terms.
    It has already cost the SNP its former and legendary leader and former First Minister of Scotland.
    It looks as if it has cost one major national political party – in Scotland anyway; and, again in Scotland, a second string national party.
    It is all but certain to fire the starting gun on the end of an often principled [and sometimes unprincipled] political union that has been eminent worldwide for centuries.
    That starting gun will be primed by the start of a marshalled and serious push for Scotland to leave the Union. which will succeed.
    The cost of that to all current members of the Union is almost beyond measuring.
    No one will be the winner; but the UK, like the Ottoman Empire, is likely to end up being adjudged the winner simply because the conflict was fought on its territory and it remains standing.
    The divisions and the scale of the wastefulness in this gig are enormous and will impact long into the future on both counts.
    A political conflict that changes the lives of 63 million people utterly and irrevocably is not a matter unworthy of the appropriate, if chilling, metaphor we used.
  • ONE [tactical] VOTE for the Union in Scotland and England: JUST DO IT
    Point of information: For Argyll, has never called any citizens ‘numpties’, although we may well, on occasion, have used the word in association with Argyll and Bute Council.

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10 Responses to For Dorrey: Your analysis of the failure of …

  1. I wonder if anyone has the information, and expertise, to hazard a guess at the amount of atmospheric damage being caused by this H2S etc. gas leak compared to the amount of atmospheric damage being avoided by the contribution of Scotland’s green energy sector?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Have just read that H2S is removed from natural gas during the extraction process by being passed through a container of hydrated iron(III) oxide.

      Its appearance on the surface at the Elgin platform would appear to confirm a breach in the pipework bypassing passage through the hydrated iron oxide.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Nope – sorry Newsroom. The H2S is removed by mixing the gas with amine, a liquid chemical, in this case MDEA, and then that sweetens the gas to the required standard. The H2S laden amine then is boiled and this releases the H2S into the flare system, where it is burnt.

    My guess is that the H2S is coming from a well whose casing has failed. These very deep high temperature and high pressure wells were problemmatic in the old days and I believe that well casing failures were common before the oil companies worked out out how to do it. I imagine that the well can be killed by pumping heavy brine down the well and that they are just waiting for the necessary equipment to get out there. Total are just ensuring that they dont get caught out like BP did and are being cautious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • For Dorrey: Your analysis of the failure of the casing of a well is looking very likely, from what we are hearing from industry insiders in Aberdeen on the circumstances in which the leak took place – as a spent well was closed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. This from Jake Molloy of the RMT via Reuters:

    People seven miles away can see a gas cloud coming from the Total rig,” said Jake Molloy, the head of the section of the UK union that represents offshore oil and gas workers.

    “The well in question had caused Total some problems for some considerable time … a decision was taken weeks ago to try to kill the well, but then an incident began to develop over the weekend,” he said.

    “Engineers have told me that it is almost certain that gas is leaking directly from the reservoir through the pipe casing,” he said.

    My favourite quote so far is from Total, who said the situation was ‘stable’ – which seems an unusual way to describe an ongoing uncontrolled discharge of highly explosive and poisonous gas . . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. As usual a lot of so called “experts” out there who have never seen a rig let alone a H2s gas leak, why not just let Total get on with it and wait for them to give a clear picture when they know more. This rig and platform is nothing like the the Macondo well drilled by Transocean in the Gulf of Mexico and any comparisons to it are purely speculation by people who are only guessing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. @ Geoffh

    Why so scathing of the contributors? Newsroom might not be able to tell a rig floor from a Pizza Hut, but don’t tar everyone with the same brush.

    I have worked on dozens of rigs, jack-ups, semis, platforms, in the N. Sea and elsewhere – including ones where there was an H2S risk. Dorrey also sounds as though he might know a bit what he is talking about. The quote by Jake Molloy was made after he spoke to men who had just flown in from the rig, so I expect some of them knew what was going on. My son is on another Rowan rig not so far away right now.

    There are other regulars on here who have rig experience who may be along later. I don’t think anyone said this was the same type of disaster as the Deepwater Horizon, but it is inevitable that parallels will be drawn.
    It appears that Total had been having trouble with this well for some time. They have now lost control of it. Your faith in them giving us a ‘clear picture’ is touching but may, I fear, be misplaced. They are likely to be just as concerned with minimising the PR damage as they are with regaining control of the well – whcih is not looking like an easy job at the moment.

    Latest news is that a flare has been left burning on the now deserted platform – which seems quite incredible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • And why so gratuitously offensive about our honest work to research and report?

      We have neither seen nor said that the Elgin platform situation is similar to that of the Deepwater Horizon incident.

      We correctly described this well as deeply drilled – 3 miles below the sea floor – rather than in deep water.

      The point is that gas extracted from these depths is more intensely poisonous because of its proportion of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Some intelligent reporting and contributors on Newsnicht. There seems to be a general incredulity that the flare on the platform was left burning. With a complete exclusion zone by air and sea it is hard to see how the situation is going to be easily resolved.

    Newsnight’s reporter in Aberdeen rather tellingly said that Total had not been particularly forthcoming and that most of the information had come from other sources.

    Re. comparisons with DWH – the ‘expert’ talking head made the very valid point that we have had all the easy oil and are now operating at the frontiers of our technology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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