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You are permitted to view the material on-line and print a copy for your personal use until 24-Mar-2021. Purchased for use by Alan Owen on 24-Mar-2020. Order ref F378754. Educational material supplied by The Case Centre Copyright encoded A76HM-JUJ9K-PJMN9I Order reference F378754
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9 While the mud issue was resolved, BP had encountered earlier problems during the initial formation of the well. For this reason, BP made some final alterations to the well abandonment procedure on April 19 that included installing so-called centralizers to stabilize and hold the installation intact. However, only 6 centralizers were installed to keep the cement in place even though computer simulations suggested that 21 centralizers should be installed. This was pinpointed before a congressional hearing: “A BP plan review prepared in mid-April recommended against the full string of casing” and “despite … warnings, BP chose the more risky casing option, apparently because the liner option would have cost $7 to $10 million more and taken longer.” 25 It was further revealed that “Halliburton, the contractor hired by BP to cement the well, warned BP that the well could have a ‘SEVERE gas flow problem’ if BP lowered the final string of casing with only six centralizers’." According to the investigation there were ongoing discussions among BP managers about these matters. The Drilling Engineering Team Leader at BP, Gregory Walz brought the issue to the attention of John Guide, BP’s Well Team Leader. The hearing report stated: “Mr. Walz informed Mr. Guide: ‘We have lo cated 15 Weatherford centralizers with stop collars ... in Houston and worked things out with the rig to be able to fly them out in the morning’… In his response, Mr. Guide raised objections to the use of the additional centralizers, writing: ‘it will take 10 hrs to install them ... I do not like this.’" The congressional hearing blamed the company for misguided decision making. “In spite of the well's difficulties, BP appears to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure. In several instances, these decisions appear to violate industry guidelines and were made despite warnings from BP's own personnel and its contractors. In effect, it appears that BP repeatedly chose risky procedures in order to reduce costs and save time and made minimal efforts to contain the added risk.” On April 20, 2010 BP was almost a full six weeks behind schedule and more than $58 million over budget on this project. 26 On that day the project continued to the next phase where cement was pumped into the well, which went fine as it satisfied the first criterion that no returns were lost. At this point the abandonment process was almost done, but before being completed, they had to ensure that the cement could hold the oil and gas down. The pressure readings in two consecutive tests proved too high, but the BP site leaders concluded along with the crew that the second test was satisfactory. Then only the final steps of the process remained. While these were conducted no one
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