What Caused the BP Oil Spill 2010? Halliburton, Cementing Issue?
BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 2010: Halliburton Connection - Cementing of Deepwater Horizon Drill Hole At Issue?
Though it is still far too early to determine what caused the BP Oil Spill aboard the Deepwater Horizon, one avenue that is being explored is the issue of energy giant Halliburton and its oil rig "cementing" services.
Cementing essentially provides a secure casing to the walls of oil wells.
Executives from the Houston based energy industry services provider, Halliburton, are being asked to provide documents by Congress concerning the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the role cementing may or may not have played.
Two members of Congress, Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), called on Halliburton on Friday to provide all documents relating to "the possibility or risk of an explosion or blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the status, adequacy, quality, monitoring, and inspection of the cementing work" by May 7.
Halliburton says it is fully cooperating with investigators regarding the Deepwater Horizon drilling rid incident and that it is far too premature to make any sort of conclusions about causes.
Halliburton will confirm the following.
- Halliburton performed a variety of services on the rig, including cementing, and had four employees stationed on the rig at the time of the accident. Halliburton's employees returned to shore safely, due, in part, to the brave rescue efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard and other organizations.
- Halliburton had completed the cementing of the final production casing string in accordance with the well design approximately 20 hours prior to the incident. The cement slurry design was consistent with that utilized in other similar applications.
- In accordance with accepted industry practice approved by our customers, tests demonstrating the integrity of the production casing string were completed.
- At the time of the incident, well operations had not yet reached the point requiring the placement of the final cement plug which would enable the planned temporary abandonment of the well, consistent with normal oilfield practice.
- We are assisting with planning and engineering support for a wide range of options designed to secure the well, including a potential relief well.
Three years ago the U.S. Minerals Management Service raised concerns regarding oil rig blow outs and the cementing of oil rigs. At the time of the accident crews on Transocean owned Deepwater Horizon were cementing the walls of the well.
A 2007 MMS study found that although blowouts with offshore drilling operations were becoming less frequent, less deadly and less polluting, cementing-associated troubles persisted.
Cementing problems were associated with 18 of 39 blowouts between 1992 and 2006, and 18 of 70 from 1971 to 1991. There were 17 blowouts in the earlier period where contributing factors