Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A technological marvel

Always interested in stories with a technological slant, I note that the relief well for Obama's sewer of shame is only 20 feet away from its target.
The relief well has reached a depth of 16,770 feet, but engineers plan to drill another 900 feet vertically before cutting in sideways

What I wonder about is how does a drill string 3 miles long get bent to drill sideways to hit the desired spot?

Elsewhere, I note that BP isn't the only one taking government approved shortcuts.


Billy the Bunyip said...

Steel pipe bends slightly and they rely on the length of the pipe to amplify the the angle until eventually they are drilling horizontally.
an answer on how they do it is here
What they are going to do here though is intersect the existing well bore at an angle of only a few degrees off the vertical.

PM of NZ said...

Cheers for that BtB.
Your Yahoo link gave a clear plain English description of the processes.

Interesting to note the corkscrewed well.

PM of NZ said...

Raises another question - how does the driller know exactly where the drill bit is spatially at any time 3 miles down and where the target well 20 feet away is?

Billy the Bunyip said...

There are any number of companies that provide the equipment for the spatial awareness part.
are one of them.
The well that is causing the problems has a pipe that runs to the bottom of the drillhole. Tech people apply a current to it and that creates a magnetic field that can be pinpointed using the high tech gear these folks specialise in.
They will slowly ease up alongside and continually check the location of both pipes. When they are totally satisfied that all is as it should be, they will break through and then the fun will begin.
All sorts of interesting discussions about it at "the oil drum"