How do these things work? You have to drill parallel with the problem well and when you get below it you curve and intersect the well and deflect material into the new relief well. Sounds great! Lets do it! Will it work? On June 18th the first relief well is at 10,6777′ or about two miles down. They should be turning it towards the original well very soon and get there in August.
The Montara accident off Australia’s coast was capped using this method. It was an explosion similar to the Deepwater Horizon’s. This happened August 21, 2009. It took four attempts for them to cap this leak using this method. It spewed 17,000 to 85,000 gallons per day for ten weeks. It was finally capped using mud and cement on November 1, 2009. This leak was in the Timor sea and as of November 3, 2009 no oil was leaking from the original leak. PTT Exploration and Production are the well owners and operators and are based in Thailand. This casing at the Montara was ten inches in diameter and is a tricky thing to do with this much pipe. The DH well is only seven inches in diameter. They should have enough data and GPS technology to hit this the first time in my opinion! Let’s hope they do!
This is a diagram that shows how to cap a well. Something went wrong in this process with the BP explosion. According to some reports the blowout preventer was not stong enough to handle the extra pressure that comes with deep water drilling. Keep in mind these relief wells must have the same blowout preventers on them as well. If the original casing is eroded away, this attempt is futile. There is nothing left to cap but a hole in the earth.
I have been trying to find good news on this and this is all I got! It’s a long shot, but I know they can do it. Let’s get these guys that did do it (albeit four tries) and consult with them and show that we want to stop this! It’s hard not to get all worked up over this thing when it is in your backyard! But this is where we are. Regardless of what happened this is what has to happen now! Our Gulf has had enough, 11 lives have been lost, and millions have been effected by this one way or another.