Atomic Bomb proposal for Gulf of Mexico blown out well a very bad idea for many reasons, by Mud Logging Geologist Chris Landau
Before I explain why there are a few points that the lay person must understand about terminology on a drilling rig and positions of seniority.
1) A mudlog is a schematic cross sectional drawing of the lithology (rock type) of the well that has been bored.
Without looking at the mudlogs and e-logs, we are all navigating blind. They are the forensic tool that you use to discover what happened. Without the mudlog and e-logs, it like asking a person to cross the Antarctic without a map, a compass, a sextant, a radio, a satellite phone, a GPS system or any tool to help them navigate. Let us also include no navigation by the sun or stars. Basically we are being asked to find our way to the South Pole across a thousand miles of ice by gut feel alone. We all know we will get lost and not survive. The mudlog is your map and your compass and your forensic tool.
2) How many oil and gas horizons were there in this well? There was certainly more than one. The mudlog will list the gas horizons and oil horizons. Were there 10, 30 or 50? The picture the press is drawing of the oil zone is only good for elementary school textbooks. Which of these many horizons are we trying to seal? Are the proposed directional wells above some oil and gas horizons and below others. Why is this choice being made? Regardless the directional wells that are being drilled can not seal an open well or blown out well or blown out formation. Back pressure is required for drilling mud to stay in the well to keep the oil out to allow the cement to set. Whether you inject that cement from the top of the well or the bottom of the well, you have not changed a thing. The pressure in the well is the same everywhere. Directional wells will not work. You only create more holes with less back pressure to keep out the oil and gas. The drilling mud escapes. The cement escapes. Only new wells that do not intersect this blowout well will help drain the gas and oil pressure from this region. When this happens you can plug this well.