The Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee Rep. Ed Markey is now questioning not only if oil and gas are seeping out of the damaged casing into the seabed and surrounding rock, but whether oil and gas may be rushing IN to the casing after BP drilled into oil formations above the target reservoir.
Chairman Asks About Well Integrity, Design of Relief Wells, Timeframe, Sea Floor Leaks, Energy and Environment Subcommittee:
Are there significant deposits of oil and gas in formations above the target reservoir?
Please provide an estimate of the total amount of oil and gas that is contained in i) the Macondo well target formation and ii) each formation above the target formation that could leak hydrocarbons into the annulus as a result of poor cementing, damage caused by the initial explosion(s), or the failed Top Kill effort.
Questions on other potential hydrocarbon reservoirs in the well. ...
Please provide documents related to the possibility that the initial drilling encountered leakage from other formations above the target reservoir...
A May 23, 2010 article... in the Orlando Sentinel stated that well records indicate that in late February, there was a loss in drilling mud pressure. According to the article, this could mean that the mud fractured layers of sand or shale in the formation and vanished. The article goes on to state that in early March, the pressure of the oil and gas encountered overwhelmed the pressure of the drilling mud. In mid-April, a loss of drilling mud was reportedly again experienced. Do any or all of these events indicate that oil and gas could be flowing from somewhere other than the target reservoir? If so, please explain fully, and if not, why not?
Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter. Please provide your response no later than Friday July 2, 2010. If you have any questions or concerns, please have your staff contact Dr. Michal Freedhoff of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee staff at 202-225-2836.
Edward J. Markey
Energy and Environment Subcommittee
cc: Honorable Henry Waxman, Chairman
Honorable Joe Barton, Ranking Member
Honorable Fred Upton, Ranking Member