Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From:
By The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
A U.S.-based consortium Vlocity Holding Inc. said it plans to build a 2000-Megawatt (MW) geothermal power plant from the Sidoarjo mudflow.

Vlocity director Taswin Tarib said his consortium could invest US$5 billion in the project should the government agree with the plan.

"Our plan looked feasible as the Sidoarjo mudflow temperature could reach 40 to 60 Celsius degree daily," he said.

The electricity from the mudflow would be later sold to the State Electricity Firm (PLN) at 2-3 euro cents per kilowatt hour, Taswin said.

The power plant could also create some 2,500 jobs for Indonesians, he said, adding that the plan had been presented to Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

Vice president special expert staff Alwi Hamu said the vice president had given a green signal to conduct an analysis of the power plant proposal. (***)


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
see? there's always a silver lining.

"always look on the briiight side of life ..."


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
*Skeptical*

It wont power turbines, they will need heat exchangers, how will they pump it trhough the system without cutting the pumps to bits, I could go on....


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Roy's Hair
Yes it's a bit stodgy isn't it? As well as poisonous. (The mud I mean).


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by MadCat
They are probably just going for the whole heat exchange bit, since the mud flows on it's own you don't need to pump it, but question that begs asking is where is that mud gonna go after they're done with it?

Doesn't look like a very permanent solution to stick a power plant on top of it if said power plant just dumps the mud right back out.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
Sounds pretty unlikely. According to one of the independent foreign researchers studying the mud volcano, the whole thing is subsiding and will eventually form a crater. Sine you'd want the mud at the hot spot to flow past the heat exchangers (or whatever), you have to have the damn thing floating or something to deal with the subsidence. Given all the geothermal potential elsewhere in Java, why bother?


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
Sounds like a case of someone's PR firm trying to eek some good news out a major misdeed. Like Freeport desperately trying to make concrete from its tailings. They could pave the whole fucking island ad still have plenty left over still smothering the once-was forest.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Originally Posted By: Dilli
*Skeptical*

It wont power turbines, they will need heat exchangers, how will they pump it trhough the system without cutting the pumps to bits, I could go on....


It's going to go ahead without a doubt, Taswin is no fool, and his investments in Bioethanol will go some way to prove that. His name is popping up with increasing frequency in connection with these projects.


From a technical point of view I suspect this stuff will behave a bit like bentonite and will only need water injection to keep it plastic, and that they will use flash vessels to generate the required superheated steam for the high pressure stages, and inject water to desuperheat and saturate for the low pressure compound stages.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Will 40 - 60 Degrees C allow the flash vessels to work effectively? Agreed the mud is thixotrophic but whatever they add will cool it, even taking water from the discharge cycle after cooling will take that temperature down considerably.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Originally Posted By: Polisi Cepek
Sounds pretty unlikely. According to one of the independent foreign researchers studying the mud volcano, the whole thing is subsiding and will eventually form a crater. Sine you'd want the mud at the hot spot to flow past the heat exchangers (or whatever), you have to have the damn thing floating or something to deal with the subsidence. Given all the geothermal potential elsewhere in Java, why bother?


It will never exist at much above 100C unless it is kept at extreme pressure, a look at steam tables suggests around 100 bar should do the job which would suggest that (without knowing the SG of the stuff) a tapping at about 1000 meters.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Originally Posted By: Dilli
Will 40 - 60 Degrees C allow the flash vessels to work effectively? Agreed the mud is thixotrophic but whatever they add will cool it, even taking water from the discharge cycle after cooling will take that temperature down considerably.


No, that's why they need to tap off deep - thats your field, but so long as they can keep the stuff under pressure, and I'd guess 100 bar is what they would be looking for then it won't give up it's entropy (sensible heat).


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
So they're not actually using the mudflow, but the place it came up from?


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
By the time the mud hits the surface it has flashed off most of it's energy - thus that great plume of steam that you see when you pass Porong. You need to get it at pressure , and the easiesy way to do that is to tap it a depth - you have a couple of alternatives, create the superheated steam underground or take the mud somewhere to recover it's entropy. The first option is much easier, you certainly don't want to be messing around with mud at high temperature.

You're looking at something like 25000 tonnes of steam, which of course means 25000 tonnes of water per hour for the output they are looking at.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
so there's basically no connection with the mudflow then, they could be drilling anywhere with hot water underground?


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Yes, now whether they cab dewater the lagoon to stabilize it is a possible benefit, and of course those poor penduduk porong yang belum dapat ganti rugi may well get some work, rather than just selling VCD's and offering guided tours.


Wed, 09 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Makes sense, but the whole area is now extremely fractured....I'll have to think about ths one!

This is the statement that had me buggered...

"Our plan looked feasible as the Sidoarjo mudflow temperature could reach 40 to 60 Celsius degree daily," he said.

Wont work.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Well 40-60 C is bloody ambient in Sidoarjo so that isn't the source of the energy. I've looked at some of the low pressure non condensing turbines which will tick along at 8 or 9 bar (175-180C) and whilst they are nowhere near as efficient as high pressure condensors, no one much cares because the energy is free.

To run at 9 bar they would need to collect at 100-150 metres. Remember that this thing is self perpetuating and that the entropy is what is creating kinetic energy in the shape of 40000 m3 of jallop a day.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Normal temperature gradient is 0.1 degree C per every 100 feet metres. To get down to 180 C they would have to drill @ 4,000 feet. In that area, I think they would have a problem creating a stable well environment given the damge done to the formation already.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Originally Posted By: Dilli
Normal temperature gradient is 0.1 degree C per every 100 feet. To get down to 180 C they would have to drill @ 4,000 feet. In that area, I think they would have a problem creating a stable well environment given the damage done to the formation already.


Nah, this isn't a temp gradient - remember that the mud is colloids in a water/ steam suspension. The steam is acting as a crude "ejector". Because of depth there is a linear pressure gradient. Drill down 150M and the water in the mud will sit quite happily at 180+C without boiling, but give a vent to this mud, and in the first instance as it rises out of the drill hole there will be a huge release of steam and mud which will then slow down and stabilize as a pressure gradient is established. Dependant on local conditions the mud may be sitting underground at 60C (in the case of Scotland, probably bloody frozen) or in a superheated condition at 600C which is fine until someone take the plug out of the hole then it will desuperheat kicking out huge amounts of energy.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Roy's Hair
popcorn


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Some people are capable of carrying out a technical discussion without resorting to expletives or silly name calling.


Now fuck off you big hootered twit.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Roy's Hair



Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
My nose is of sensible (gentile) proportions.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Roy's Hair
Captain Don Gentile's P-51B-5 Mustang

A One-Man Air Force
Allied Commander-in-Chief Dwight Eisenhower called Capt. Don Gentile his one-man air force. Captain Gentile compiled 28 “kills” of which 15� came while piloting his P-51B Mustang “Shangri-La”. The Mustang was the most successful fighter in history with over 15,500 built for the U.S. and its Allies. Starting out as a project for the R.A.F. in 1940, the Mustang went from design to flown in an incredibly short 117 days. Unfortunately Capt. Gentile's Shangri-La had an disastrous ending. While exhibiting its fire power to reporters, Gentile landed badly and the plane was destroyed.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
What actually happened.....as far as I can make out

BPJ-1 Well data sheet

Well Name = Banjar Panji 1
Basin = East Java Basin
Political Province = Jawa Timur
Situation = Onshore S
pud Date = March 08,2006
Well Class = Exploration New-field wildcat
Operator = Lapindo Brantas Inc
Contract area = Brantas PSC
Original Latitude = -7.527083 deg
Original Longitude = 112.712500 deg
TD = 9272 ft Depth
Ref Elevation = 37.00 ft
Ground Elevation = 11.00 ft
Objective Depth = 8500 ft
Objective Lithology = carbonate
Objective Lithologic Unit = Kujung Formation
Objective Age Miocene

On 30 May 2006, PT Energi Mega Persada (EMP) announced that it was engaged in well control operations on its subsidiary, Lapindo Brantas’ wildcat Banjar Panji 1. EMP reported that it was undertaking standard well control operations after steam, water and minor amounts of gas bubbling were observed at the surface at 5am on 29 May 2006.

Banjar Panji 1 is the second well in a new drilling campaign in its on/offshore East Java Brantas PSC, and had been drilled to 2,833m in 12-1/4″ hole at the time of incident.

The well had previously been logged prior to the running of 13-3/8″ casing. Spudded on 8 March 2006 using the “TMMJ” rig, Banjar Panji 1 is targeting Miocene Kujung Formation reefal carbonates at a location on the eastern margin of the Wunut gas field which produces from Pleistocene volcaniclastic sandstones.

Banjar Panji 1 has a PTD (Potential Total Depth) of about 3,050m and the prospect has 1-50 Million Barrels of Oil (MMboe) upside resource potential according to partner Santos. Drilling costs to end April 2006 have been quoted at US$ 3,548,926.



Well diagram (when it was killed after mudflow)

The diagram above shows the condition of the well when the incident happened.

It is worth noting here that when you drill a well, drilling fluids are pumped down the drill pipe where they exit into the well bore, collect the rock cuttings and these cuttings travel back to the surface, the drilling fluid is filtered and is reused.

The drilling fluid is given additives to make it heavier than water. The resulting weight of this column of fluid is what keeps the well under control. This is known as the circulation system. Everything involved in the drilling activity is dependant upon constant controlled circulation.

The weight of these fluids being pumped down hole at is critical, too much and the formation can fracture, too little and the well bore pressure can overcome the drilling fluid weight and flow to surface causing a possible blowout.

A stable circulating system is monitored by measuring the volume being pumped and measuring the volume returning to surface. This occurs at the “Trip Tanks” where the filtered fluid is returned for reuse.

As you will see, there are a number of concentric strings of casing which are all suspended from the surface.

The largest of these is the 30” Conductor which only goes to a depth of 150 feet and is used mainly as a guide for the next stretch of hole to be drilled.

The next string is a 20” Casing which was set at a depth of approx 1,200 ft. There is what is termed a liner hanger installed which allows a 16” casing string to be suspended, however, rather than brining this all the way back to the surface, it is suspended within the lower section of the 20” Casing String to a depth of approximately 2,300 feet.

The area between these 30”, 20” and 16” concentric strings is then cemented.

This has now secured the well from Ground level to a depth of approximately 2400 ft and ensures that if there is any flow from the formation that it will be directed into the well bore and the blow out preventers on surface can contain any such unusual action.

The hole was drilled deeper, to a depth of 3,500 ft and a string of casing with a 135/8’ diameter is run into the hole, suspended within the wellhead at the surface and once again, the internal area between the casing strings is cemented.

The next stage in the drilling process involved the drilling to a depth of 8,500 feet in preparation for the last of the casing strings which was (I presume) 9-5/8” in diameter and as above the pipe would be suspended from the wellhead at surface and once again cemented.

The completion process would then normally be undertaken and the hole would be drilled to its final depth of approximately 9,300 feet and a string of tubing would be lowered into the hole.

Where this tubing leaves the bottom of the 9-5/8” casing at a depth of 8,500 feet, a device called a Packer would be installed to seal off the area between the outside diameter of the tubing and the inside diameter of the 9-5/8” casing.

The tubing was to have been set at a depth of approximately 9,200 - 9,300 feet, the Christmas Tree on the top of the wellhead is secured and the well can handed over for production.

What happened here is that once the drill crew reached the depth of 8,500 feet, they were instructed not to follow the drilling programme which was to stop drilling and run the 9-5/8” casing string.

It was then instead decided to drill ahead and at somewhere around 9.000 feet, and without the protection of the 9-5/8” Casing String they hit problems.

At this depth they encountered losses with drilling fluid entering the formation. This would normally result in the cessation of returns to surface. On this occasion, the “Trip Tank” volume remained relatively stable which indicated that formation fluid was entering the well bore above the area where the losses were occurring.

The rig apparently continued to circulate and commenced pulling out of the hole. This was undertaken slowly in order to ensure safety, and at some pint during this operation the Rig took a “Kick” A “kick” occurs when the formation pressure is greater than the weight of the drilling fluids. The formation fluids, in this case the mud, started to flow to surface, at first slowly and then increasing in volume.



The illustration above which shows the circulation system shows a number of various ways that this could occur.

It is unclear what happened at this point. Certain reports indicated that the drill crew abandoned the rig, but this has been unconfirmed.

Upon the crews return to the rig, efforts were made to deal with this “Kick” and the primary surface safety devices known as the Blow Out Preventers (BOP) and the Choke and Kill Manifold (a series of valves and pressure reduction devices) performed their task. The well was eventually brought under control.

With this stabilisation in place, efforts were made to retrieve the drill string and start remedial work to eliminate the problem.

The drill string however got stuck at about 4,300 feet and attempts were made to free the string. These were unsuccessful. A primary safety device in the drill string called a drilling jar, (a device which can be used to impart a jarring force in an effort to “unstuck” drill pipe may have failed to operate) and a decision was made to unscrew the drill pipe above the area where the pipe was stuck, retrieve what drill string they could and leave the stuck drill pipe in the hole.

In order to make the well bore secure the next operation was to pump cement on top of the drill pipe and drill bit.

This cementing was performed thoroughly, the drill string was backed off and brought to surface and a second cementing operation was undertaken.

With this plug in place it would then be possible to commence milling on the drill pipe, in an attempt to clear the well bore of any debris. With this operation completed it would then be possible to resume normal drilling activities and run the protective 95/8” casing.

However, this is where nature lends her hand. The area where they were drilling has potential fractures which rise from the depths to the surface.

Within the same period, there was the earthquake in Yogokarta. This seismic activity could have resulted in geological changes which made the area less secure.



As the pressure from the mud flow attempted to flow from the reservoir to the surface, the cement plug in the well bore contained this pressure, however, as the 9-5/8” casing had not been set, this whole section of the well bore was allowed to become over-pressured and consequently, the mud found an easier path to surface and created the mini vlocano’s as well as causing the area surrounding the rig to crater.



At this point it can be presumed that the rig was deemed unstable and removed from site. After the rig was removed, nothing further could be done to rectify the original problems from this location and a new location was sought for the drilling of a relief well, which was unsuccessful.



As you will appreciate, a full report has not yet been made public (despite caims that it has), accordingly most of the above is an educated guess. However, it is fair to say that errors were made.

1)
The decision to drill ahead without the protection of the 9-5/8” casing string was incorrect. Without this barrier, influx from the formation was not prevented, the Rig encountered a “Kick” and later as a result the drill pipe became stuck.

2)
It is possible that more could have been done to free the stuck drill pipe (was the drilling jar function tested prior to use) and retrieve it to surface. This would have prevented the necessity of pumping cement into the hole as a barrier around the stuck drill pipe. Unfortunately, with no published evidence this cannot be confirmed.

3)
The decision to pump the cement may not have been fully assessed prior to the operation. Consideration of the geology, the possible after effects of the earthquake and well bore conditions may not have been fully researched and the consequences not foreseen.

In each of the above, the Drill Crew would not have been taken part in the decision making process. The decisions would have been made by the Oil Company and transmitted to the Drill Crew by the Company Representative on site.

The rest is history!


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Quote:
THE CAUSE - in search for an explanation

N E D E R L A N D S

Here follows an attempt to explain what happened.

The Porong district at East-Java, had for long time been an area with small villages, some factories, rice-fields, a relatively big river, and a highway connecting the big cities of Surabaya and Malang. It seemed to stay that way forever. But since 29may 2006 an unstoppable stream of volcanic mud flows into houses, factories, covering roads, a railway, paralyzing people, once living and working here in peace. Since 10 years, oilcompanies discovered gas in the Wunut Field nearby, and kept on drilling new holes in the fragile earth. But the difference between any other part of the world, and this particular location is, that this place is right above the socalled "Ring of Fire". A dangerously volcano-active area. Mount Arjuna (3339m), an active volcano, is just 26 kms away. Moreover; a crack in the earth, the Watukosek fault, runs right below the drilling site. In the past longterm mudflows had already occurred. But experts of oil companies decided in 2004, that there was a high probability of finding more gas reserves here in the Kujung formation, estimated to be at a depth of 10.000ft. It would be the first exploration well of its kind in this area. Despite that no gas had been found on similar depths (10.000ft) in other locations. But, production wells here were succesful at a more shallower depth. In the beginning of 2006, the drill-site was selected, not far from the highway. Vegetation was cut away. The drilling rig and the heavy equipment were installed. The drill entered the earth and started its journey down to yet unknown layers of prosperous gas or oil. More pipes were added on top of the string, at first the earth gave way easily. Than at a depth of 6145ft the drill hit a hard layer. From than on progress downward went on extremely slow. What could have been validated as a protective screen, the drilling company experienced it as a time consuming and annoying obstruction. After 3000ft of tough drilling operations, near the point were this hard layer was finally penetrated, strange effects were noticed, such as a H2S alarm, and total loss of circulation (of drillmud). Than the hard layer was penetrated through and more problems occurred, which were resolved by rapidly plugging off the hole. It was decided to quickly retracting the drillstring back till 3580ft. Than at 4241ft the well kicked, and later the mudspill erupted 120m away.



The Mud (Spill) Volcano near Porong, in the district of Sidoarjo, East-Java, Indonesia, is unprecedented in its magnitude, in recent years. How could this happen ? The Banjar Panji-1 exploration Well, which was meant to find a gas pocket in the Kujung Formation, at a depth 8000ft or more, had been the first of its kind. In the Wunut gas field nearby, more than 20 production wells have already been installed. These have been delivering gas since 1999. But there is no production Well delivering gas from the Kujung Formation.



fig.1

Certain studies have been published which conclude that the mud disaster must be considered as a natural phenomena. However, there are many aspects to it which prove different.

Some scientists believe that the mudflow was sparked by an earthquake, near Yogjakarta, on the 27th of may 05.54 am (distance 260km). But this seems highly improbable due to the long distance, to cause any impact in Sidoarjo. Most of the publications point to the gas/oil-drilling activities of Lapindo Brantas as being the main cause. - Agnes Tuti, a researcher and social scientist at the University of Surabaya, said the gas company had been warned of the risk but ignored the advice. "PT Lapindo Brantas was warned by an American drilling company not to drill. But it decided to drill anyway, to use a protective shield. They ignored the warnings and do not want to take responsibility." (source:Washington Times)

Other sources were saying that the Lapindo Brantas drilling company did not have enough experience to accomplish well operations in such a location, with complicated sediments and formations, and the risk of a mudvolcano development.

Note that many of the publications try to explain the mud & water flow, but very scarce information exists on where the big white cloud of hot volcanic gas is coming from.



fig.2

On the 18th of may, 10days before the event, Lapindo's shareholder PT Medco E & P Brantas, sent a letter to Lapindo, and stated that it reminded the firm to set casing till a depth of 8500 feet, as agreed in the drilling program. (source Jakarta Post). Media reports say that Lapindo Brantas did not install a steel pipe casing when drilling at 3,580 to 8,500 feet as stipulated in its contract. Without the support of the pipe casing to withstand the pressure created while drilling, water and mud freely gushed through the surface. (source: Asia Water Wire).

Simulation




fig. 3

The picture above, are typical for the BPJ-1 area, before the mud-break, as they show black spots scattered around, which are originated from small sized existing gas/mud-springs. These images are from 8 months before the event. But even today you will notice them on satelite images.



Below a partial map of Java, with the red dotted line ""Sesar Simo" being a crack on which more mudvolcanoes have been developed, such as the one near Purwodadi and Bledug Kuwu. However that is a different fault-line than Watukosek, which is in SW-NE direction over Porong.



fig. 5

ANALYSIS

The story has several aspects to it. Reports which are available on www.Sidoarjo.info explain a great deal of the background. And it appears that no single (only) root cause can be pointed out, but several aspects around the BanjarPanji-1 drilling operation led to this mudspill disaster.

To mention as follows;

(1) It is near to impossible that this disaster could have happened if the normal drilling procedure had been followed, which means with the installation of a complete casing till the final depth, such as has been done in the nearby Porong-1 Well. Note that the Banjar Panji-1 ExplorationWell was the first to drill onshore into the Kujung Formation supposed to be at 10.000ft.

(2) The existance of the Watukosek fault on the map above (fig.5) had caused problems earlier when drilling the Porong-1 well. This must have been known, and taken into account, prior to the BPJ-1 was spudded. Geologists and drilling specialists on-site could have known the riscs involved by drilling straight into the Watukosek Fault, at least into the formation very close to it.

(3) Information of the drilling procedures on Porong-1 Well (in the year 1993) and Wunut-2 Wells show a realistic comparison with the drilling procedures carried out on the BanjarPanji-1 well. The Porong-1 Well has been completed with casing till approx. final depth of 8659 ft.

(4) Mudvolcanoes are not uncommon in the Sidoarjo and BanjarPanji-1 well area. All precautions to prevent one should have been taken.

(5) This Report about the formation (page3) further explains that certain assumptions and calculations in 1994 probably contain mistakes. However, warnings were given in this report for potential mudvolcano development.

(6) Main Lusi Report about Casing provides reasons why casing was deemed unnecessary at certain depths. However, there is no information available about a risk analysis to validate and substantiate this decision.

(7) From this report it also appears that uncertainty existed about the depth of the Kujung Formation, which had been bothering the drilling specialists. The exact depth of the Kujung Formation had been unknown, as well as what to expect if penetration into it would happen.

(8) Total loss of circulation occurred on 9297ft depth.This problem was solved by pumping lost circulation materials into the borehole.After the well was considered in stable condition,the drill string was pulled out of the hole till 4241ft.

(9) A "kick incident" happened on the 28th of may 2006, with the drill-bit at a depth of 4241ft. This is 1 day after the earthquake near Yogjakarta. The earthquake happened at the 27th of may 05.54am. On the 28th of may, so 1 day after the earthquake, the "kick incident" happened, while the casing shoe was at 3580ft. However, the maximum depth of 9297ft had already been reached the previous day, 27th of may, 11.00hrs (5hrs after the earthquake). If some impact of the earthquake was noticeable why did drilling continue on that day till 11:00am? Conclusion: both the moment of reaching maximum depth, and the kickincident happened at such a time, that any impact by the eartquake is highly improbable.

(10) The "Kick Incident" (while at 4241 ft) is said to be quickly killed by drillmud-injection. At this moment the drille-hole between 4241ft till 9297ft was left unprotected. The kick incident could have been an indication of formation breakage in the existing drill-hole, but at which depth, remains unclear. No reasons given why there was such a rush to withdraw the drillbit between the 27th of may 11:00am, and the next day 28th of may. It means that it was decided to withdraw 9300ft of drillpipes, install anorther (wider) drillhead, and lower the new string to 3580ft, all in 1 day.

(11) Therafter a check of communication channel between the well-bore, and the mud outflow was carried out. However, the well-bore had been locked from above at 4241ft by drill-mud. What happened below 4241 ft could not be monitored nor confirmed.

(12) Certain Seismic Reports confirmed presence of gas in the KujungFormation, the Banjar Panji-1 Well supposed to be one of many others in the region. However, it is difficult to extract information which confirms that the BPJ-1 ExplorationWell had indeed provided evidence of methane. Anyway, the H2S alarm went off on 9230ft, but it was considered a nuisance, and was ignored. It remains unclear why the equipment issued a nuisance warning, and why it was ignored.

(13) In This BPJ-1 Report , dates are mentioned as follows: a. BPJ-1 well location determined on 8march06. b. Drilling commenced from 3595ft on the 6th of may down to 9297ft reached on the 27th of may. Drill-bit has been changed at 6145ft. Note: first the complete string of drillpipes have to be taken upwards, before the drillbit can be changed. Than drilling continued. Accuracy of dates and times seem not always consistent, and sometimes appear improbable. At a depth of 9297ft, total loss of circulation occurred. The well was plugged with 'lost circulation material', and cement. Than the Drillstring pulled back to 4241ft and the well-kick occurred, which means leakage of the well into the formation.

(14) Gas and mudpressure measurements on the 27th, 28th of may would be very interesting. Gas or mud pressure while retraction of drill string till 4241ft could explain more, and maybe the reason why the decision was taken to set casing after all. Details about the gas content at this day are missing, focus is given to the mud, however everybody nearby the mudvolcano will see the big white cloud first, which has been there from the first day on. Remarkable that this issue has been neglected.

(15) In This BPJ-1 Report , it is mentioned that casing is required at 9200ft-9283ft, however while drilling through hard volcanoclastic sandstone. How to set casing at 9200-9283ft while drillhole above not cased yet, is not mentioned. It is not mentioned either to set casing between 3580ft-6145ft (top of hard formation which seals the Kujung Formation). Nor the reason of decision why it was not done.

(16) The mud probably originates from a layer between 4000 - 6000ft depth. In the BPJ-1 Report p.3 it says flowing occurred already at 3595ft, however more details about the content this "flow" is not provided.

(17) It is mentioned that the drillbit got stuck on the 28th of may at 4241ft, the situation could have been worsened by the injection of more heavy drill-mud to stop the kick while withstanding high upward volcanic gas pressure.

(18) There is low probability that the source of volcanic mud lies in the Kujung Formation. The mud is considered to come from a layer between 4000ft and 6000ft deep. However, the gas, originating from the BPJ-1 well into the Kujung Formation, appears to be the main driving force.



(19) Assuming no pressurized gas in the formation between 4000 - 6000ft deep, the source of gas can be important to assess the expected time, how long the mudflow will continue in the future.

(20) The nearest working volcano is Mt. Penanggungan (1653m) at 14km and the second Mt. Arjuna (3339m), at 26km distance. Due to the high temperature of the gas outflow, the existance of a underground link with the volcanic system of these volcanoes may be possible. (probable even). The geographic line followed by the Watokosek Fault is exactly to both of these volcanoes.

(21) Many other sources mention the earthquake at Yogjakarta to be the main cause. There are many reasonable arguments against this theory: (a) It is very coincidential that the mudflow bursted so near the BPJ-1 well. If the earthquake is the cause, the mudwell could have surfaced anywhere along the Watukosek Fault (assumed that this is the weakest area). (b) The hardpan of vulcanoclastic stone above the Kujung Formation has been measured to be 2000ft thick. It is hard to believe a spontaneous & sudden leak happened just due to this quake at such far distance. See below the correlation between distance of earthquake, and impact. LUSI is well above the line.



This chart shows the relationship between the magnitude of an earthquake, its distance to a location, and its effect on that location


(22) From one of the reports of a big stakeholder in 2005: "Brantas: 2006 Beyond : Continue to aggressively explore for hydrocarbons within the contract area." It is clear that the need for more organic fuel sources (gas) has become extremely important, with gradually depleting oil wells in this country, but yet the result of all this digging for oil and gas can be seen here, where not all the necessary precautions were taken.

note: unfortunately some key information in the different reports is not consistent.



fig. 6

POSSIBLE SCENARIO

The drillhead reached the penetrationpoint at 9200 ft. Only till 3580ft the required casing had been installed. Suddenly total loss of circulation occurred. Gaspressure became immensely high. All efforts were focussed to kill the gaspressure, but with limited result. Decision was taken to pull back the whole drillstring. In less than 24hours 9300ft of drill string were brought back to surface, another drillhead installed and lowered till 3580ft. Drilling commenced to widen the well as it was decided to install the casing after all. The drillhead finally got stuck at 4241ft. Gaspressure could not be killed and random outflows occurred at last coming together at the 'center mudflow'.

Than additionally, several other gas/mudchannels developed along the Watukosek fault line (Porong, BanjarPanji-1, Kedungbendo). The other ones closed after a few days, while the Centre Mudflow increased in size. Today large volume of gas-outpooring as a big white rising cloud can be observed. Some of the measured gasses are invisible. So the extend of the visible white cloud is not an accurate indication of the real volume of gas-outpoor. Occasional new gas outbursts are happening in random locations in residencial areas. These occurences reach the local newspapers, meaning they probably did not happen in such extend and frequency, as before the WellDrilling.

Assuming that the hot gas (temperature higher than 200C) under high pressure travels (like a jetpipe) from the Kujung Formation, upwards thru the mud-diapir (6000ft deep), than water will start boiling, its volume increases, and mud will be blown upwards. I propose a model in which the hot gas only, under high pressure, is responsible for the continuous mud-outflow, and not the mud-diapir at 6000ft itself. The mud, and water are taken upwards, by the hot gas. The white cloud is an indication of steam. Even while the hot mudwater flows through the Spillway and is pumped into the Porong River, at that point it is still steamingly hot.




Couple of interesting points in this - they keep mentioning Jogja, despite the fact that Arjuna is placidly active just a few clicks away.

Secondly from being involved in a control system some years back, I seem to recall that a loss of drilling mud alarm caused all hell to break loose.

He mentions about the water boiling which it could not do at those pressures and only 200C




Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Jogja was used as an excuse...I included it to highlight the teflon shoulder approach they adopted.

Yes, when the trip tank alarm goes off, everyone is supposed to take action to control the mud system, in this case they all ran away!


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
Originally Posted By: Dilli
Jogja was used as an excuse...I included it to highlight the teflon shoulder approach they adopted.

Yes, when the trip tank alarm goes off, everyone is supposed to take action to control the mud system, in this case they all ran away!


I assume you directly stop drilling to stop the thing twisting off, or do you have torque monitors for that?

To be honest for a bowl of rice a day I would run away too. as has been demonstrated these things can turn very nasty, very quickly.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
A very interesting account, more detailed than those I've seen before. I have no expertise in this but I gather that part of the reason we will never know the truth is that the documentation which was sent to BP Migas on a continuous basis was often fictive. I don't know if that includes the well data sheet above.

As a industry insider explained to us at the time (but wasn't willing to turn whistleblower), there are various ways the drilling companies can save money since they don't get paid by the hour (eg. by drilling faster than is safe, skipping putting in casings when they should, being slap-happy with the drilling mud density and quality) but which they don't put in writing because they're breaching regulations (and possibly specifications from the oil companies). He claimed that many people know this goes on, including in the regulatory body and in the companies involved, but as usual, they are either on the take or don't want to rock the boat.

Does this ring true?


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
You stop all rotary table action and secure slips around the drill string, switch flow through the choke and kill manifold if not in use already and get prepared to increase the mud weight if a well kill is required (for example if constant circulation fails to get rid of the inflow).

Kmow what you mean about shitty work for shitty pay but these guys were relatively experienced, just never encountered a kick before.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Polisi, that bell rings throughout Indonesia, but, I will say, not with the multi-nationals.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Capt. Mainwaring
I assume CNOC doesn't fall under the "multinational" payung?


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Cannot tell, never did any work with / for them, but I have heard a few stories which can be classified under "horror"


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Polisi Cepek
Originally Posted By: Dilli
Polisi, that bell rings throughout Indonesia, but, I will say, not with the multi-nationals.


In this case they had Santos as a major shareholder..


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
Santos were not involved in the day to day, they only put the money up. Interestingly, it appears they were also the only partner properly insured, but, that did not help their shares taking a beating.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by kenyeung
Originally Posted By: Polisi Cepek
Originally Posted By: Dilli
Polisi, that bell rings throughout Indonesia, but, I will say, not with the multi-nationals.


In this case they had Santos as a major shareholder..


And Lapindo Brantas, part of Medco Energi, which fancies itself as a multinational.


Thu, 10 Jul 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
I beleieve Medco owned about 32% and also committed all of its assets within Brantas to resolving the issue. Again, on this occassion, Medco were similar to Santos as only EMP & Brantas were involved in day to day operations.



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