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Repsol Nabors Blowout at Qugruk 2 UPDATE Situation Report No. 11

Temporary storage for drilling mud removed from drill pad, Feb. 22, 2012.

Temporary storage for drilling mud removed from drill pad, Feb. 22, 2012.

PHOTO: ADEC

  

Cruz Construction side dump truck loaded with frozen mud mixed with snow and ice ready for transport to the disposal facility.

PHOTO: Wes Ghormley ADEC

ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Division of Spill Prevention and Response
Prevention and Emergency Response Program

SITUATION REPORT

Repsol Q2 Pad Gas and Mud Release
SITREP # 11

SPILL NUMBER: 12399904601

TIME/DATE OF SPILL: Repsol reported the incident to ADEC at 10:29 AM on February 15, 2012.

TIME/DATE OF SITUATION REPORT: 3:30 PM on February 24, 2012

TYPE/AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED: Repsol estimates that approximately 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) of fresh-water-based drilling mud have been released to the ice drilling pad and adjacent snow-covered tundra. An unknown amount of gas has been released. The mud that was released is a mixture of minerals (primarily barium sulfate) and water. Drilling mud is used to lubricate the drill, control formation pressure, and remove cuttings from the bore. No oil has been spilled.

INCIDENT LOCATION: Qugruk #2 pad (Q2 pad), on the Colville River Delta, approximately 18 miles northeast of Nuiqsut and approximately 150 miles southeast of Barrow (70° 27’ 19” N, 150° 44’ 52” W).

CAUSE OF SPILL: Repsol contractor Nabors Drilling was drilling an exploratory well when the drill penetrated a shallow gas pocket at a depth of 2,523 feet, resulting in a gas kick. The gas kick drove drilling mud out of the well and through the gas diverter onto the ice pad and adjacent snow-covered tundra. The gas diverter is a pipe that extends approximately 75 feet from the drilling rig toward the south edge of the pad. Additional mud was pumped into the well in an attempt to control it, but that mud was also forced out by the gas.

POTENTIAL RESPONSIBLE PARTY (PRP): Repsol E&P USA

 

  PHOTO: ADEC

Heaters continute to pump hot air to thaw drilling rig on Feb. 22, 2012.

 

RESPONSE ACTION: Response crews continue 24-hour operations to steam thaw and remove drilling mud from the drilling rig in order to access the essential drilling rig components needed for the well-kill operation.

 

  PHOTO: ADEC

Large blocks of drilling mud, Feb. 22, 2012.

 

Repsol reports that 289 barrels (12,138 gallons) of liquids (thawed drilling mud and water) were shipped offsite for disposal yesterday, bringing the total to 738 barrels (30,996 gallons) of liquids that have been manifested and shipped offsite. One 25-cubic-yard load of solid waste was also manifested and shipped offsite yesterday.

A public meeting is scheduled in Nuiqsut from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM tonight to address any questions or concerns about the incident. Representatives from ADEC, Repsol, and North Slope Borough are at Nuiqsut for the meeting.

SOURCE CONTROL: The well ceased flowing at about 9:00 PM on February 16. Preparations for a well-control operation are ongoing.

RESOURCES AFFECTED: Snow-covered tundra and ice pad. Drilling mud can affect tundra plants by changing soil pH and salinity. Brackish water produced by the well may also increase soil salinity.

FUTURE PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Cleanup cannot safely begin until the well is under control. The well-control team will provide cleanup personnel approximately 24-hours notice in advance of completion of the well-control operation. Plans are in place for delineating and cleaning up the spill and necessary personnel crews and equipment are on standby. A reduced incident management team will continue to monitor the operation from Anchorage and two ADEC responders will remain at Palm Pad until cleanup operations are imminent, at which time additional staff will be recalled.

UNIFIED COMMAND AND PERSONNEL:
Incident Commander: Jeremy Michels, O’Brien’s Response Management
F.O.S.C.: Calvin Terada, EPA
S.O.S.C.: Tom DeRuyter, ADEC
L.O.S.C.: Gordon Brower, North Slope Borough
Field SOSC: Wes Ghormley, ADEC

WEATHER: Today: Partly cloudy; patchy fog and flurries; highs -16 to -25 ºF; and west winds around 10 mph.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with occasional flurries; patchy fog; lows -23 to -35 ºF; and west winds around 10 mph.

TIME/DATE OF THE NEXT SITUATION REPORT: 3:00 PM on February 25, 2012

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Ty Keltner, Public Information Officer, ADEC (907) 465-5009

Photographs and other spill information will be available for viewing at: http://www.state.ak.us/dec/spar/perp/index.htm

Maps
Aerial photo/map showing incident location (PDF 725K)

PHOTOS: ADEC

Photo Date: 02/22/2012      
Heaters pump hot air to thaw drilling rig. (Photo date 2/18/2012) Heaters pump hot air to thaw drilling rig. (Photo date 2/22/2012) Temporary storage for drilling mud removed from drill pad. (Photo date 2/22/2012) Drilling mud released out of diverter. (Photo date 2/22/2012)
Heaters pump hot air to thaw drilling rig. (Photo date 2/18/2012) (ADEC photo) Heaters pump hot air to thaw drilling rig. (Photo date 2/22/2012) (ADEC photo) Temporary storage for drilling mud removed from drill pad. (Photo date 2/22/2012) (ADEC photo) Drilling mud released out of diverter. (Photo date 2/22/2012) (ADEC photo)
Large blocks of frozen drilling mud. (Photo date 2/22/2012) Supersucker recovering waste fluids. (Photo date 2/22/2012)    
Large blocks of frozen drilling mud. (Photo date 2/22/2012) (ADEC photo) Supersucker recovering waste fluids. (Photo date 2/22/2012) (ADEC photo)    

Photo Date: 02/17/2012      
South end of pad mud-water. Mud-water off south end of pad. Suspected misting on the SW side of pad. Q2 Pad SE side mud-water.
South end of pad mud-water. South end of pad mud-water. (Photo date 2/17/2012)
(ADEC photo)
Mud-water off south end of pad. South end of pad mud-water. (Photo date 2/17/2012)
(ADEC photo)
Suspected misting on the SW side of pad. South end of pad mud-water. (Photo date 2/17/2012) (ADEC photo) Q2 Pad SE side mud-water. South end of pad mud-water. (Photo date 2/17/2012)
(ADEC photo)
Mud-water on pad and tundra.      
Mud-water on pad and tundra. South end of pad mud-water. (Photo date 2/17/2012)
(ADEC photo)
 

 

Incident Description

Location Qugruk #2 pad (Q2 pad), on the Colville River Delta, approximately 18 miles northeast of Nuiqsut and approximately 150 miles southeast of Barrow (70° 27' 19" N, 150° 44' 52" W).
Product/Quantity Repsol estimates that approximately 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) of fresh-water-based drilling mud have been released to the ice drilling pad and adjacent snow-covered tundra. An unknown amount of gas has been released. The mud that was released is a mixture of minerals (primarily barium sulfate) and water. Drilling mud is used to lubricate the drill, control formation pressure, and remove cuttings from the bore. No oil has been spilled.
Cause Repsol contractor Nabors Drilling was drilling an exploratory well when the drill penetrated a shallow gas pocket at a depth of 2,523 feet, resulting in a gas kick. The gas kick drove drilling mud out of the well and through the gas diverter onto the ice pad and adjacent snow-covered tundra. The gas diverter is a pipe that extends approximately 75 feet from the drilling rig toward the south edge of the pad. Additional mud was pumped into the well in an attempt to control it, but that mud was also forced out by the gas.
Time/Date of Incident TIME/DATE OF SPILL: Repsol reported the incident to ADEC at 10:29 AM on February 15, 2012.
Situation Reports
02/24/2012 1600 (PDF 253K)
02/23/2012 1600 (PDF 947K)
02/22/2012 1600 (PDF 670K)
02/21/2012 1500 (PDF 188K)
02/20/2012 1400 (PDF 228K)
02/19/2012 1400 (PDF 228K)
02/18/2012 1400 (PDF 345K)
02/17/2012 1500 (PDF 318K)
02/16/2012 1400 (PDF 224K)
02/15/2012 1930 (PDF 225K)
02/15/2012 1600 (PDF 657K)

 

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