3 key questions I will address in the next few slides.
Deepwater releases are much more complex then shallow ones. Consider case in 1500 m for now Jet phase: momentum dominated; lasts only a few meters from hole Gas rapidly turns to hydrate (snow). Only slightly buoyant. Plume is formed. Rises slowly. Entrains surrounding sea water which is cold, more dense then upper water Cold water dragged upward by plume; plume eventually stalls at terminal layer Oil raises as individual bubbles. Very slow process that may take hrs - days. Ocean currents often complex; strong. Plume may resemble snake. Once oil reaches surface tends to be much thinner then we’re used to. Hydrocarbon will be hard to track while subsurface. Don’t have proven technology to do it. Likely good news: lots of mixing and dispersion => reduces concentrations Difficult to capitalize on “good news” since: models are complex, don’t understand lot’s of processes, no field data
A calibrated model is needed for at least three good reasons To do contingency planning. Before we start drilling or producing we need to have an idea of where the release might go, what it will look like once it reaches the surface, and what kind of equipment we will need to track and clean it up. For incident response. If there is an accident we need a model to help guide the clean up efforts. For source tracing. If there is a release that mysteriously appears “out of no where” we need a tool to help us figure out where it might have come from. The bottom line: we need a calibrated model in order to operate safely and responsibly offshore.
Next a little background on our efforts in the past 2 years in the U. S. 2 years ago we at Chevron finished up an internal review of our capability to deal with a d/w spill. Found several unresolved and troubling questions. Dec ‘97 Chevron hosted workshop to mobilize Industry & MMS. Came to surprisingly easy consensus: needed a calibrated model. Jul. ‘98 formed JIP which started 3-yr modeling effort at Clarkson Aug ‘98 started lab efforts at UH & MIT to resolve unknown processes. Feb ‘ 99 held workshop of experts to review/refine ongoing modeling/lab effort. Jun ‘99 Norske Chevron funded Sintef to do feasibility study of a field exp. Jul ‘99 held another workshop of experts to scope out field program. Experts identified Norway spill as top ranked alternative. Oct ‘99, initiate DeepSpill JIP (field experiment) May ‘00, complete lab studies in time to further refine DeepSpill study June ‘00, complete DeepSpill field study. Fall, ‘00, calibrate Clarkson model.
Why do we need a field experiment? To learn more about the processes shown in the previous slide. We can study most of these in the lab but we can not always be sure lab is realistic. To test ways to track the hydrocarbon while it is beneath the surface. We can use traditional methods like overflights, satellites, etc. Must develop new methods that can cover large volumes in a short time period. Need the data to check a model. Even if we check the model with lab data, questions will still remain unless we have some real-world observations. It is poor science to rely on a model that has never been compared to real-world data. Right now we don’t have good field data to check a model with.
The project has gotten started with 6 companies committed so far and several others with a high likelihood of ultimately joining. A contract is available upon request. There remains a remote possibility that the DeepStar JIP will provide the Industries share of funding. Deadline for a commitment is January 4th. Late participants will be subject to a 25% late fee. We are still on target to perform the experiment during the week of June 19th. Initial discussions with SFT, the Norwegian environmental regulatory agency, are underway. There appears to be no serious road-blocks. We held our first TAC meeting in early December via teleconference. Sintef, the contractor, was asked to proceed with reserving the major equipment like ships and ROV’s. The next meeting is scheduled for January 6th in Oslo. During that meeting we will finalize the experiment plan, and review the project status.
MMS Presentation on Deep Water Oil Spill Risks
Meeting the Challenge of Potential Deepwater Spills: Cooperative Research Effort Between Industry and Government by Robert LaBelle U.S. Minerals Management Service
Deepwater Production (Percent of Total GOM OCS)
GOM Production (percentage by depth) Water Depth 1997 2002 (est.) 2007 (est.) 0 - 650 ft 59% 39% 17% 650 ft - 2600 ft 13% 14% 14% > 2600 ft 28% 47% 69%
Deep Water Spill Research <ul><li>What’s different about deep water? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we need a field experiment? </li></ul>Ixtoc Blow-out, Gulf of Mexico
Deep Water Issues <ul><li>Complex ocean column </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to track </li></ul><ul><li>Oil/gas rises in hrs - days </li></ul><ul><li>Phase changes (hydrates) </li></ul><ul><li>Thin surface slicks </li></ul><ul><li>No validated models </li></ul>
Why a calibrated model ? <ul><li>Oil spill contingency planning </li></ul><ul><li>Incident response </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental analyses </li></ul>~20 cm/s Plume with entrained water, hydrate and dissolved components Rising oil droplets Model simulations of expected behavior of release during experiments
entrainment bottom sediment current near-field far-field neutral buoyancy level sea surface jet plume hydrate formation hydrate decomposition gas dissolution into water oil droplets Deep Water Blowout
Cooperative MMS/Industry Research Dec. 97 Workshop defines problem Jul. 98 Start 3-D modeling Aug. 98 Start lab studies Feb. 99 Workshop to refine model / lab work UH Lab Plume model Jun. 99 Deep Spill feasibility study Jul. 99 Workshop to scope field experiment Dec. 99 Start Deep Spill JIP June 00 Complete lab studies June 00 Deep Spill field experiment June 01 Validated model
Deep Spill Participants Agip BHP BP Amoco CNG Chevron Conoco Devon EEX Elf El Paso ExxonMobil Kerr-McGee Marathon Mariner MMS Murphy Newfield Norske Hydro Phillips Shell Statoil Texaco Unocal Vastar
Why a field experiment? <ul><li>Collect realistic field data </li></ul><ul><li>Test & validate subsurface surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Provide data to validate models </li></ul><ul><li>Input to environmental assessment documents </li></ul>1996 Field shallow-water exp. off Norway
“ Deep Spill” Status - 10/00 <ul><li>Deep Spill experiment successful June 26 - 30, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Budget around $2 million </li></ul><ul><li>MMS share is $600k </li></ul><ul><li>23 companies so far… approx. $67k/company </li></ul><ul><li>Final report due November 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Calibrated model due June 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Raw data proprietary for 5 years </li></ul>