The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Diamond Saw Stuck

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted June 2, 2010

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen reported this morning that the diamond wire being used to make a second "clean cut" in the Deepwater Horizon riser is stuck.

Engineers are working to shake it loose so they can continue the process of installing the lower marine riser package (LMRP) designed to siphon most of the oil and gas from the well to the surface for processing. Late yesterday powerful shears, similar to garden shears, made the initial cut through the 21"-in-diameter riser.


BP reports that two additional containment strategies are planned. They include the:

  • Q 4000 Direct Connect, which will use the manifold and hoses installed for the failed "top kill" procedure to take additional oil from the blowout preventer (BOP) to the surface through a second riser.
  • Long-Term Containment Option, which would take oil from the LMRP through a separate manifold to a free-standing riser ending about 300' below sea level affixed with a flexible tube guiding the oil to a containment vessel on the surface. This option is designed to disconnect and reconnect the riser for operation during a hurricane.

In related news about the oil spill:

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) yesterday expanded the Gulf area closed to fishing. More than 68 percent of the Gulf remains open to fishing.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that the government has launched criminal and civil investigations into the oil spill.
  • BP reported the failure of the top kill maneuver could have been caused by a damaged disk about 1,000 feet below the seafloor. The disk might have prevented the heavy drilling fluid from going far enough down the wellbore to counteract the pressure from the rising oil and gas. (The Wall Street Journal)

One additional note: Yesterday was the beginning of the 2010 hurricane season. General information about the oil and natural gas industry's hurricane preparations is available here.

(Image Source: BP)