How did the spill start?An explosion occurred on April 20, 2010.Two days later, the Deepwater Horizon sank inabout 5000 ft. of water.The well continued to gush oil for 86 days.
Let’s look at whatcaused the explosion:The Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation report by BPindicated problems with: the cementing of the well inaccurate safety tests faulty sensors that were supposed to detect hydrocarbons gas venting into the oil rig the safety system to prevent ﬁre and gas from igniting the failure of the blow-out preventer
What’s supposed to happen in anemergency?1) In a blowout, a rig workerpresses an emergency button.A signal is sent from the rig toone of the control pods.2) The control pod directshydraulic ﬂuid from the riginto pressurized canisterscalled accumulators througha valve...3) ..called a shuttle valve,and into the blind shear ram.4) The blind shear ram cutsthrough the drill pipe andseals the well, preventing oilfrom gushing out.
Efforts to Stop the LeakApril 25: Repair the blowoutpreventer--Failed.April 30: Use a chemicaldispersant which is usuallyused on the surface- injectit under the surface to breakapart the oil--EPA told themto use something less toxicMay 2-16: Drill two ReliefWells to divert some of thepressure and oil
MAY 7-LOWER ACONTAINMENT DOME TOGRAB THE OIL--FAILED--THE DOME WASABANDONED WHEN ITGOT PLUGGED BY ICEAND GAS LIVE VIDEO
Top kill andJunk ShotMay 26: The Top Kill methodinvolves pumping massiveamounts of drilling mud hopingthat the weight of the ﬂuid willplug up the well.The Junk shot involvesinjecting items including golfballs and pieces of rubber intothe blowout preventer. FAILED! ANIMATION
Cappingthe WellThere were multiple attemptsto cap the well. The one onthe right shows one versionwith placed onto of theblowout preventer. Methanolwas injected into to preventice from forming but oilcontinued to rise from thevents on the side. (June 3)
The better cap A SECOND ATTEMPT TO CAP THE WELLThis cap has similar parts to a blowout preventer. It has ramsor valves designed to seal when the cap is in place and the ﬂowhas slowed down enough.
What’s happening with all of the oil when they’re trying to cap it?Production rigs collectwhatever oil they canfrom different pipesand risers that havebeen put in place.Overall, they onlyrecover 800,000barrels compared tothe total 5 millionbarrels spilled.
On July 15, the newest capstops the ﬂow for the 1sttime in 86 days. VIDEO
STATICKILL andBOTTOMKILLAug 3: STATIC KILL- similar tothe Top Kill technique butconsidered “static” because theﬂow has stoppedSept. 21: BOTTOM KILL- using arelief well, cement is pumpedinto the space between the pipeand the rock, as the well itself
On Sept. 19, the well wasdeclared “effectively dead” by the US government.