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Thread: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

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    Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Not much attention has been on the possible cause of the oil rig blast. This article sheds light on a possible cause.


    Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill - Science and Tech - The Atlantic

    How did the Gulf oil rig explode? A prominent theory adds Halliburton to the mix. Workers had just finished cementing the well when the rig blew, leading experts to speculate that a flaw in this process could have caused the explosion. Halliburton, the largest company in the global cementing business, was in charge of cementing the well.

    In order to prevent oil and natural leakage, rig workers pump cement down wells after they've finished drilling. This process requires a very particular type of cement, one that must be mixed and stirred in a precise fashion. If the cement is flawed, it can crack or fail to set properly, allowing oil and gas to leak through. If gas escaped through the Gulf rig's cement, it could have shot back up the well -- what's known as a "blowout" -- and ignited the fatal blast.

    Halliburton was also responsible for cementing a well off the coast of Australia that blew last August, leaking oil for ten weeks before it was plugged. Though the investigation continues, an official from the U.S. Minerals Management Service testified that a poor cement job probably caused the explosion.

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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Hmm - that's conflicting:


    "Halliburton, the largest company in the global cementing business, was in charge of cementing the well."

    " rig workers pump cement down wells after they've finished drilling."
    So - which one is it - a rig workerrs *employed* by BP who mixed the cement (possibly doing it wrong) which caused the problem?

    Or Halliburton itself via it's own employees who were suppose to be trained in this area?

    If it needs to be done precisely then the people at Halliburton should handle it directly and with well trained professionals.

    But, this article doesn't point out whether it was done directly by Halliburton employees - or by BP employees who are not trained in this area.
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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Hmm - that's conflicting:



    So - which one is it - a rig workerrs *employed* by BP who mixed the cement (possibly doing it wrong) which caused the problem?

    Or Halliburton itself via it's own employees who were suppose to be trained in this area?

    If it needs to be done precisely then the people at Halliburton should handle it directly and with well trained professionals.

    But, this article doesn't point out whether it was done directly by Halliburton employees - or by BP employees who are not trained in this area.


    Knowing the oil field services business a bit

    The cementing would have been done directly by Halliburton employees, or well trained contractors from other oil field services contractors with the specific skills in this type of job. (ie BJ Services, Schlumberger)It is not something that is done by normal oil rig workers.
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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    The rig is hired by BP but is owned and operated by Transocean.
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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    It sounds like BP is legally responsible for the cost & responsibility or stopping and cleaning up the oil spill. They may only be on the hook for $75 million for lost income type lawsuits. That won't go far in a multi billion fishing industry. Not to mention any losses as the oil slick winds around Florida and heads up the coast. If Haliburton caused another explosion on an oil rig, BP will probably have to sue them themselves.

    What happened?
    What More Can Halliburton Tell Us About the Horizon Oil Blowout and Its Risks?

    A publicly available Halliburton PowerPoint presentation from last November might tell us a lot about what could have caused the oil blowout, fire and massive oil gushing at the Horizon rig.

    Suppose you’re that division of Halliburton that has the dangerous job of "cementing" the drilling hole and the gaps between the hole and pipe. You’ve done this lots of times in shallow water wells, but you’ve learned through previous experience in deep water there’s a particularly difficult problem having to do with the presence of gas that has seeped to the ocean floor and been captured in essentially "frozen" crystallized formations.

    The problem is that when you drill into these formations, and then try to inject cement into the hole/gaps to prevent leakage, the curing process for that creates heat. That heat can, if not controlled, cause the gas to escape the frozen crystals. If a lot of gas is released all at once, as could happen during the cement/curing process, it can cause a blowout where the cementing is occurring, or force gas and/or oil up the pipeline to the drilling rig on the surface. And the heat created by the process may be just enough to ignite the gas [or more likely, a spark at the rig -- see comments], causing the explosion and fire.

    Did this happen at the Horizon rig? And if Halliburton already knew about this problem months (years) ago, and knew the risks it might create, why are we just now learning about this?

    From Halliburton’s presentation (large pdf), page 10, last November (my bold):

    Challenges
    • Shallow water flow may occur during or after cement job
    • Under water blow out has happened
    • Gas flow may occur after a cement job in deepwater environments that contain major hydrate zones.
    • Destabilization of hydrates after the cement job is confirmed by downhole cameras.
    • The gas flow could slow down in hours to days if the de- stabilization is not severe.
    • However, the consequences could be more severe in worse cases.

    Page 13 lists the design objectives but then concedes they can’t all be met at once:

    Deepwater Well Objectives
    • Cement slurry should be placed in the entire annulus with no losses
    • Temperature increase during slurry hydration should not destabilize hydrates
    • There should be no influx of shallow water or gas into the annulus
    • The cement slurry should develop strength in the shortest time after placement
    Conditions in deepwater wells are not
    conducive to achieving all of these
    objectives simultaneously
    Halliburton Presentation May Explain Horizon Oil Rig Explosion and Fire | The Seminal

    Halliburton's actual presentation is on the site. It's pretty interesting. It's also pretty obvious that this deep water drilling carries with it many safety issues. To drill in 5,000 feet of water they did not follow anywhere near enough safety features. Both Halliburton and BP and probably TransOcean will pay dearly for this **** up.

    The gov't needs to stop depending on oil companies for safety features. That's like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    It sounds like BP is legally responsible for the cost & responsibility or stopping and cleaning up the oil spill. They may only be on the hook for $75 million for lost income type lawsuits. That won't go far in a multi billion fishing industry. Not to mention any losses as the oil slick winds around Florida and heads up the coast. If Haliburton caused another explosion on an oil rig, BP will probably have to sue them themselves.
    My guess is that we who pay taxes will get stuck with the bill and the damages/losses to the entire gulf coast.
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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    "The Obama-man sent little men with drills, wearing red suits with a hammer & sickle/crescent moon & star logo, to sabotage it!"

    I knew it. Fox News is always right.


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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    My guess is that we who pay taxes will get stuck with the bill and the damages/losses to the entire gulf coast.
    And we who buy gasoline for our cars.

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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    My guess is that we who pay taxes will get stuck with the bill and the damages/losses to the entire gulf coast.
    Somehow it always comes back around to us.
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    Re: Halliburton Could Be at Fault for Oil Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    And we who buy gasoline for our cars.
    Yeah, that too, but gasoline taxes won't pay for all the damage that has been done along the coast. I expect the price of gas to rise partially out of panic, and partially because of the mental impact that this mess will cause. I have quite a few friends along the gulf coast in Louisiana and Alabama, and a couple of them are in the oil business (specifically as suppliers of oil drilling equipment and service). Maybe they are over-reacting, but they are saying it's significantly worse (the damage) than what we are seeing and hearing on the news.
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