And why so gratuitously offensive about our honest …

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

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.

newsroom also commented

  • 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.
  • 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

  • SNP shuts down local branch Twitter proving witch hunt against Carmichael
    Did you read the piece we wrote the night the Carmichael lie was revealed?
    It was utterly excoriating.
    But what is going on now in the SNP’s vicious gangland-style hunting of Carmichael is primitive, sectarian and fully fascist.
    No civilised person could support it’ and no civilised society could tolerate it.
  • The Carmichael lie: another grubby pot condemns the leaking kettle
    We have no idea.Has the MSP given the year of his graduation? If so,the Glasgow University records for that year would put this matter to bed.
    If people have been unable to establish whether Mr MacKenzie graduated from Glasgow University, we are sure that he would respond to any direct questions on the matter.
    For us, life’s too short. There have always been inadequates and crooks who, for whatever reason, claim qualifications they haven’t got.
    We take people as we find them, on evidence of performance and capability, regardless of qualification or rank.
    However, this doesn’t really work when it comes to surgeons. Or does it?
    Does anyone remember the story – accurate – of a milkman from Leeds who spent his spare time reading about anatomy and general surgery in the local library, applied for job as a surgeon, got it, carried out operations with no apparent bad outcomes – memory says one was the a finger amputation and one an appendectomy – and got caught out, not through any surgical error but some paperwork glitch a keen eyed administrator eventually noticed.
  • SNP shuts down local branch Twitter proving witch hunt against Carmichael
    A witch hunt is described as an investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.
    QED.
    If you look at what is being planned by these mob-handed tweeters, they are wholly focused on hounding a man out of everything he can be hounded out of – and this is bringing the merciless harrying of the man’s family – who have done nothing.
    Alex Salmond’s lies were of far greater substance, far more dishonest, far more profoundly serious and would have been far more expensive for Scotland long into the future if over 55% of the voters in September 2014 had not recognised the dodgy indy prospectus for what it unquestionably was. You would probably have called it ‘mince’ – if it had been a pro-union document.
    The vindictiveness with which Carmichael is being harried has got nothing to to with any care for the truth. From comments here, is it clear that Mr Salmond’s direct lies can actually be believed to be fictions concocted by pro-unionists – even though he admitted the biggest of them to Andrew Neil on national television? You Tube carries a much visited permanent record of that event.
    The vindictiveness against Carmichael in today’s one party Scotland is driven by a genuinely worrying form of sectarian ethnic cleansing.
    He is the last Liberal Democrat in Scotland. That is not permissable. We must have none.
    David Mundell is the last Conservative in Scotland. We must have none of those either. And Il Magnifico himself has already set off in panting pursuit of Mundell, blunt instrument in hand.
    Something will be concocted to ramp up a mob against Ian Murray in Edinburgh South.
    These last remnants of pluralism standing against what is ever more noisily the jackboot tramp of the SNP brigades, are an endangered species.
    And if normal human beings buy into this culture, we will every one of us reap the whirlwind the SNP is sowing.
  • Supposing CalMac lost the Clyde and Hebridean ferries contract…
    Argyll Ferries is a subsidiary company of Caledonian Macbrayne Ltd, whose parent company is David MacBrayne Limited.
    The brand name’Caledonian MacBrayne’ is owned by CMAL. Apologies for using the shortened version.
    However, we will find out if CalMac is also a registered brand owned by CMAL and will add the answer to that when we get it.
    UPDATED 29 May: Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). Caledonian MacBrayne , CalMac and the lion rampant device are registered trademarks of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)and are used under licence by CalMac Ferries Ltd.
  • The Carmichael lie: another grubby pot condemns the leaking kettle
    Good question.
    The issue at the time was addressing what one could call a persistent local persecution of some ferrymen – and the council’s failure to offer robust protection to their employees.
    The conduct of the abusers was such as to fall clearly within the council’s own criterion of vexatious complainant. They had a written protocol for dealing with such complainants yet had never employed it in relation to these behaviours designed to harrass and damage their employees. On some occasions these behaviours were very much in the extreme, like pack animals ganging up on an individual.
    Several Easdale ferrymen treated in this way developed stress symptoms and had periods where they were unable to work.
    We were anxious to keep readers’ attention focused on what was an issue of serious importance.
    We felt that were we to identify this particular participant, whose behaviours were worryingly threatening, that could have become the main issue; and the less high profile issues of the undefended ferrymen could have got buried.
    The harrassment and abuse that went on, delivered by a specific group – much of which we published – was utterly unprincipled and calculated to be as personally damaging as possible. That was the heart of the matter and that was what we wanted to keep in focus.
    That was the judgment behind the anonymity used at that time.
    That need no longer exists; and the deliberate predation of Carmichael is unpleasant, self-serving and hypocritical.

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10 Responses to And why so gratuitously offensive about our honest …

  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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