USA: A major blowout during fracking operations

Various technical topics related to science, energy, climate change and coal & gas.

USA: A major blowout during fracking operations

Postby HVPA_research » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:15 am

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Save this one, folks to quote back at Chris Hartcher next time he assures us that CSG is "Safe".
I love the phrase "giant Bottle Rocket" - the graphics make it plain that a great length of Pipe and the well head blew off, and acted as a dangerous projectile.
The text explains how even steel casings can rupture when heated components and cold fluids are brought together.
It ought not happen, but that's exactly why accidents occur - when shortcuts are taken.
And why is that?
Profit motives and Key Performance Indicators, mean people rush to finish jobs quickly, (or to catchup on lost time schedules).

Major Failure: A Graphic Example of the Risks of Modern Well Completion Technologies ... /#more-859

As reported by industry website, Drilling Ahead, Halliburton was pumping the frac job at a reported 8,500 PSI (pounds per square inch) when the 7″ production casing parted about 100′ below ground level. This sudden upward force also parted the surface pipe just below the casing head, and the entire assembly, including the frac stack and the attached frac iron, became a giant bottle rocket, landing on the wireline truck. Miraculously, no one was killed, and the only injury was the operator in the wireline truck, sustaining a concussion.

and it continues:

The post accident photos published by Drilling Ahead and floating around the industry are impressive and can give the reader a sense of the extreme forces that oilfield tubulars and equipment sustain during drilling, completion, and production operations.

and it concludes:

I believe surface pipe and cement does protect ground water much of the time, but the procedure is not failsafe and the industry claim is certainly not true 100% of the time. There are strict rules in most states, including Texas, that specify surface pipe depths, strength, cement quality and cement volume. However, just like we saw after the Deepwater Horizon incident, those rules only work if they are followed and enforced. What we are seeing in Texas, as well as other shale boom areas, is lots of activity on many locations, not enough inspectors, and many workers who may not be trained as well as they should. Going fast with lots of operations and light oversight can result in catastrophic failures.

Denis Wilson

"The Nature of Robertson"

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