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

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    Thee are sections of the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful and at Achnatra, where this looks to be an issue.
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    Agreed. It was a very serious mistake to insist in the full face of the evidence that the prospectus was correct.
    This produced three negatives:
    - distrust in competence – because the logic of what was ging to happen was clear [and was spelled out, for example, in For Argyll's own 8-piece series from independent research of the worldwide oil and refining sectors] and denying that logic looked clueless and ham handed;
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    Had the lies on the possession of legal advice on Scotland’s potential EU membership not been told; had the prospectus not been calibrated on endless oil money to pay the bills for extravagant additional increases in benefits, with no increase in taxation; and had there been a well conceived alternative currency proposition, together those would have been worth at least another 5%.
  • Clegg dreams of threesome coalition for Westminster in the face of the Groper’s revenge
    Thank you db. Corrected to ‘…take some seats from both Labour and the Lib Dems’.
    And re yours and Lowry’s remarks on Alan Reid’s position, he lost nearly 5% of his vote last time but both the Conservatives and Labour candidates were between him and the SNP candidate Mike Mackenzie, in fourth place.
    This time, Alan Reid has nothing to thank his Leader for tonight.
    Clegg’s declaration that the Lib Dems would happily shack up in a Labour coalition with the separatist SNP may well cause the fairly numerous Argyll pro-union voters [alarmed by the growth of support for the SNP since they failed to win the independence referendum] to find a safer place for their votes than the Lib Dems.
    Where this happens, we would see the majority of those votes going to the pro-union Labour candidate rather than to the Conservative one, since that party is fielding a candidate untried at this level, from the islands and not widely known across Argyll and Bute.
    The SNP in Argyll have too much to purge from the chaos of their betrayal of their electoral support in the local authority election in 2012. They may improve their vote but here, on evidence, they cannot be trusted to put local before party interests and are unlikely to take the seat.
    The best bet is on either Alan Reid or the Labour candidate, Mary Galbraith – and it would be a foolish person who wrote off Alan Reid too early.
    He may issue silly self promotional material and have developed in his public speaking a shouty manner than does not suit him – but he has been an intelligent, dedicated, unshowy hard working constituency MP whom people will not want to let down.
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  • Gigha community ownership on brink of failure
    While noting the continuing ambiguity in your statement – that you had ‘nothing whatsoever to do with the authorship of the final report’, which is not the same thing as having written a part of it, we will nevertheless accept your statement above, while reserving the right to revisit the matter in the future should there be reason to do so.
    We are happy to apologise for any and all of what you assert are inaccuracies.
    We would point out that there is nothing malicious in seeing your status as being capable of a request to write part of so important a document, had you indeed done so; nor do we imagine that you would see an invitation to deliver such work as embarrassing to you or demeaning of you.
  • Gigha community ownership on brink of failure
    You have repeatedly refused to clarify which part of what we said is incorrect.
    The situation therefore remain unclear until you do so.
    We have removed the sentence from the article as you asked.
    All you have to do is simply to say that you wrote no part of the final report issued by the LRRG.
    As we have consistently said,if you do so we will accept that without hesitation.
    And where you point directly, as we have asked you to do, to a specific inaccuracy, such as this, we will be happy to apologise for it.
    At the moment we can have no idea exactly what you would wish us to apologise for.

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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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