I don’t know about you, but I find the new bus schedule very cumbersome. Those of us who rely on public transportation are really being affected by the routes to and from Ventura and Ojai, especially on the weekend, when one has to wait for an hour for a bus, or every 40 minutes on a weekday. What does the city of Ventura do with these funds? I know the county is broke, but this is ridiculous, and it only stands to get worse when they will raise the bus fare in the summer. Is there any route out of this mess?
Janine Sullivan, Ventura
Support from Arizona
Mr. Moomjean, I much appreciate the tone and content of your article (Right Persuasion, 5/14). Having grown up during WWII, I recognize that the most disconcerting thing about this issue is the propagandizing (misrepresenting the facts and issue) that is so prevalent. I find that truly worrisome. It is encouraging that you would author the article and that the VCReporter would carry it.
M. Collins, Arizona
Stop the talk and let’s get the oil leak plugged
This is an open letter to the American people and the President of the United States.
Dear Mr. President, fellow Americans and especially the people of the Gulf Coast:
My name is Scott Maltby and I have been a well caser since 1972. We are the well killers. In my career I have stopped four blown-out oil and gas wells, including one that got in the water tables and started blowing out all over the place. I have made an offer to BP to go to the gulf and stop that well in a matter of days (after we get rigged up, of course). I have been hesitant to tell them exactly how I will do it because, yes, as a professional, I am going to want a lot of money to do it. But I am not a member of the Harvard, Yale or MIT club or the Good Ol’ Boys crew, so, Mr. President and the American People, I want you behind me and I’m going to tell you how I am going to do it and what I will need.
First, we need people — top-notch hands who are willing to risk their lives above and beyond the call of duty. We need a No. 1 petroleum engineer. We have to have eight highly experienced casers. I have five — myself, two in California, two in Louisiana, and we will choose the other three. Then we gotta have an eight-man, five-star drilling crew, which we will choose in Louisiana. And we need cementers, but they will no be onboard until we get this thing under control.
Now, you have to have the equipment. I want a heavy-lift ghost floater (submersible rig) with a separate support ship. I call it a ghost because we want no one on board but this crew and the barge master with his skeleton crew. We want every possible ignition source down — no kitchen, no lights, no nada. Next, we have to have 24,000 feet of heavy drill collars (heavy, smooth joints of drill pipe used downhole for weight on the bit). We will run this pipe with heavy-lift casing tools.
Before I say how we are doing to do this, let me give you a little well-killing 101. Usually after a company such as Red Adair or Boots & Coots puts outs the fire (if there is one) and closes the well, the wellbore and casing are still full of that pressure. So we do what we call snubbing. We rig up a double stack of blowout preventors (too bad they didn’t have that on this one) and we “strip” tubing the BOPs. We sort of rig things up backwards so when we raise the blocks (think of a drilling rig as a vertical crane), it forces the tubing down. The crew continues this until the weight of the tubing string overcomes the pressure of the gas trying to blow it back out, then the guys can go ahead and run the string to the bottom on regular fashion. Once on the bottom, the drilling crew can go ahead pumping engineered mud, from the bottom up. The weight of the mud overcomes the pressure of the gas and the well is killed.
The good news is that the depth of the water is a blessing in disguise. We can run 5,000 feet of drill collars and be “snubbed” (have the weight to overcome the pressure) before we even enter the wellhead. At this point, I would like to get a float collar (check valve) in the string to stop the blowout from coming back to the rig floor. If this is not possible, (my engineering), we will bring a partial blowout back to the rig floor and run open pipe to bottom while it is blowing. We can do this. This is why we want so much money. We might not come back. Once on bottom, we can get a high-pressure value in the top of the string, close it (the pressure can still escape around the drill collar string at the wellhead), get our cementing equipment rigged up and start pumping the heaviest cement we can make. We will cement that hole from the bottom up, drill collars and all, sealing every nook, cranny, crack, fissure and hole you can think of all the way back to the wellhead. I don’t care if I need a cement ship. Shoot the collars off at the sea floor.
Then I’m going to back the beach and drink some beer with my Louisiana friends!
All I hear is squabbling and finger pointing over who’s responsible, who’s going to pay, what are we gonna do for a living, yada, yada, yada. I gotta listen to everybody with an opinion that doesn’t know anything about it, and I’m tired of it. I gotta do something. So let’s quit engineering this thing and git ’er plugged! I want the job!
Thank you, Mr. President, U.S. Citizens and especially the people of the Gulf Coast
Scott Maltby, Ventura