Repsol Nabors Qugruk No. 2 Blowout UPDATE Sitrep No. 21, March 13, 2012
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Division of Spill Prevention and Response
Prevention and Emergency Response Program
Repsol Q2 Pad Gas and Mud Release
SITREP # 21
SPILL NUMBER: 12399904601
TIME/DATE OF SPILL: Repsol reported the incident to ADEC at 10:29 a.m. on February 15, 2012.
TIME/DATE OF SITUATION REPORT: 3:30 p.m. on March 13, 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. Drilling mud is used to lubricate the drill, control formation pressure, and remove cuttings from the bore. No oil was spilled during the release event.
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
RESPONSE ACTION: Since the previous Sitrep (20), a coiled tubing unit cleared out a blockage inside the drill pipe. With the blockage removed, a wireline diagnostic well logging was made. The well logging indicated the presence of two obstructions, called bridges, in the well annulus (the space between the drill pipe and the formation). Last night, the well control crew attempted to move the drill pipe to clear the bridges and establish circulation between the inside of the drill pipe and the annulus. The attempt failed and they were unable to circulate fluid through the well.
Repsol has made the decision to plug and abandon (P&A) the well, thereby achieving well control. Repsol is finalizing the well control plan for review and approval by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC). Upon approval of the well control plan by AOGCC, Repsol will begin the well control operation.
Repsol reports that a total of 2,093 barrels (87,906 gallons) of liquids have been manifested and shipped offsite. Liquids collected may include drilling mud, water and solids from the well, and condensed water from the steam used to thaw and clean the rig. A total of 2,299 cubic yards of solid waste (frozen drilling mud and downhole materials) have been manifested and shipped offsite.
SOURCE CONTROL: The well ceased flowing at about 9:00 p.m. on February 16. Finalization of the well-control
plan is underway and will be approved by AOGCC prior to initialization of the well control operation.
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 sampling the drilling mud and delineating and cleaning up the spill.
ADEC will continue to monitor the site delineation and cleanup operations.
UNIFIED COMMAND AND PERSONNEL:
Incident Commander: Jeremy Michels, O’Brien’s Response Management
S.O.S.C.: Tom DeRuyter, ADEC
F.O.S.C.: Matt Carr, EPA
L.O.S.C.: Gordon Brower, North Slope Borough
Field SOSC: Wes Ghormley, ADEC
WEATHER FORCAST: Tonight: Mostly cloudy; patchy fog; lows around -35°F; northeast winds around 10 mph.
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny; patchy fog; highs -30 to -25°F; northeast winds 10 to 15 mph.
TIME/DATE OF THE NEXT SITUATION REPORT: As the situation warrants.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Ty Keltner, Public Information Officer, ADEC (907) 465-5009
Photographs and other spill information will be available for viewing at:
Whenever there is an incident involving more than one agency with jurisdiction, a joint command arrangement, called the Unified Command, is implemented. The Unified Command for the Repsol Q2 Pad Gas and Mud Release consists of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Repsol E&P USA, and the North Slope Borough.
|Latest Photos (CREDIT ADEC)|
|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.|
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