Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An update on the lapindo thing.

Photo clipped from here
The Lapindo debacle has been ongoing for just over 3 years now. Recently a report commissioned by Medco somehow found its way to Al-Jazeera. Its such an interesting report that I just had to post some of the findings here. Medco was a partner in the Lusi well.

You can read or download the entire report here.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The level of incompetence demonstrated by the operator in this case is astounding. Basically the report says that the well plan was inadequate, the drilling and geological personnel were incompetent, and the rig was in no condition to drill anything. Furthermore the actions of the operator after encountering lost circulation demonstrated no understanding of the problem and no clue of what to do. Basically they tried to run away.

Here is a teaser (executive summary) below. The author is Neal Adams

Lapindo Brantas, Inc. as the Operator of the Brantas Block in East Java planned and drilled the Banjar Panji No. 1 Well. The well was spudded on 9 March 2006. After drilling to 9,297 feet and reaching the Kujung formation, lost circulation was encountered. An attempt was made to pull the drill string out of the hole. A kick was taken when the bit was at 4,241 feet. An underground blowout occurred and subsequently created an above ground blowout.
Primary causation of the blowout was due to numerous operational mistakes as well as errors and omissions. Lapindo violated its own Well Plan by failing to install casing at 6,500 feet and also at ~9,000 feet. The installation of either casing string, with a proper cement job, would have prevented the kick and subsequent blowout.
The kick taken with the bit at 4,241 feet was incorrectly diagnosed and handled by Lapindo.
Several attempts were made to kill the flow before Lapindo turned its focus to the stuck pipe.
These kill attempts were nearly successful at killing the underground blowout that had developed. It appears that Lapindo did not have the technical competence to recognize that its pumping operations would likely be successful at killing the underground blowout if they had continued.
The numerous errors and omissions by Lapindo in causing the Banjar Panji No. 1 blowout can be considered as negligent, grossly negligent and/or criminally endangering the lives of the crew and surrounding residents as well as endangering the environment.
Lapindo bears the sole responsibility for the blowout.

There was another interesting comment made by a Lapindo spokesman basically stating that Lapindo had been given permission not to run protective casing by The energy watchdog (BPMigas I think - correct me if I'm wrong). If thats the case then Migas too shares the blame of incompetence in this disaster.

Given all this its a wonder why people are not rioting in the streets.

VSP - Vertical Seismic Profile. - A seismic survey whereby the receivers run into the wellbore. Offers several refinements to surface seismic incuding: a) depth correlation-surface seismic is time based b) improved resolution - the geophones are much closer to the features that you are trying to identify and c) lookahead capabilities using VSP are much more accurate than surface seismic.


H. Nizam said...

Hi Pj,
Now that the Jatim Police stopped investigation on Lapindo, the court rejected lawsuits against Lapindo, and House of Representatives(DPR) declared the Mud Flow as natural phenomenon, I wonder what hope do the victims have now. Miracle?
Only God knows.

pj said...

The only miracle to my mind is the manner in which Aburizal Bakrie can maintain a straight face throughout this whole debacle. The man must have ice in his veins. One can only wonder at the political capital he could have gained had he stepped up and taken responsibility for this disaster.

On the victim front I agree. There certainly dosen't seem to be too many avenues of appeal left do there. If there was ever cause for a demonstation this should be it.

Anonymous said...

Well, welcome to Indonesia my friend. It's a country where someone with big money can still get away for their crime. Anyway, I like your blog. Can we exchange link?

pj said...

Hi Souza

Thanks for dropping in. I have added your site to my link list.