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# What pressure?

Wed 19 May, 2010 04:20 pm
Has anyone heard a figure for what the pressure is at the wellhead/broken pipe head on the BP blowout in the Gulf?
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 2,597 • Replies: 12
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engineer

1
Wed 19 May, 2010 05:35 pm
@JTT,
It's at 5000 ft and there are 34 ft of water to one atmosphere, so 147 atmospheres or close to 2200 psi.
JTT

1
Wed 19 May, 2010 09:34 pm
@engineer,
I thought that i had replied to this. Ah well, age marches on.

I wasn't talking about water pressure at the wellhead/broken pipe, E. I was wondering what the pressure was coming out of the pipe, what amount of pressure would be needed to seal the flow.
oolongteasup

1
Wed 19 May, 2010 09:52 pm
@JTT,
i'd stick my finger up
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Francis

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 12:40 am
@JTT,
You'll need a pressure higher than 2500 PSI.
hawkeye10

2
Thu 20 May, 2010 12:45 am
@JTT,
Quote:
I wasn't talking about water pressure at the wellhead/broken pipe, E. I was wondering what the pressure was coming out of the pipe, what amount of pressure would be needed to seal the flow.

BP is interested in stopping the flow, not in measuring it. That is the line used when denying us this type of information.
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JTT

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 12:59 am
@Francis,
Is that a guess, Francis, or have you actually heard something?
Francis

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 01:04 am
@JTT,
It's not a guess, it's a approximation based on measures that have been made at the head of the well and the depth of ocean floor...

You can find some of this data on the internet...

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 06:29 am
@Francis,
I looked because I was curious,but couldn't find a figure. I was wondering if the resistance of atmospheric pressure would lessen the pressure at the exit point of the well head. In other words, would it be less than at the surface, say in an desert oil field.
engineer

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 06:51 am
I was listening to the engineering prof who was testifying before Congress. He mentioned the diameter of the hole and the flow rate, so you could compute the velocity and guess the pressure from that if you are really interested. That professor must have calculated the pressure somewhere.
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JTT

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 12:23 pm
My first response is that there's no doubt that the pressure exerted by the water at that depth would press upon the oil flow.

5000 feet/34 feet = 147 atmospheres x 14.7PSI = 2161 PSI

So with 2161 PSI already present, would a new BOP actually require 2500PSI capacity [if that's the actual wellhead pressure]? I realize that it's always best to have a large measure of safety/redundancy.
hawkeye10

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 12:36 pm
@JTT,
they dont seem to be talking about doing this anymore, I assume because they dont know the exact nature of the failure, so they don't know what situation they would be faced with if they cut the current BOP off. If the pressure is anything close the the reservoir pressure there is no way they are going to get a new BOP in place...the result of trying would be to make the flow rate many multiples of what it is now.
JTT

1
Thu 20 May, 2010 12:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
I can understand why they haven't talked about it at all. It's a technical issue that really has no meaning to the average Joee.

I don't think that a BOP remains, does it? There's an open pipe on the seabed.

They got a smaller siphon pipe into the broken pipe.
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