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Pipeline Rupture

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(edited)

 

Videos of the fire, nicknamed the "eye of fire," circulated on social media.

How can you have a fire under water. Does the gas pipeline have oxygen in it?

Edited by Danlxyz
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(edited)

The gas is coming out and reaches surface, where it catches fire somehow, or more likely is purposely lit on fire, so that at least you know where it is, and that it’s burning instead of drifting around and causing an explosion somewhere else.  The gas is coming up out of the water so fast, and in such a large amount that the flames are sustained on top of the water.  There is no oxygen in the natural gas. 
 

in theory, If the water is shallow enough, and the volume of gas coming out is large enough it’s possible for the flamefront to travel below the normal water surface and create a sustained jet of flame directly from the sea floor to the surface, and it’s possible that happened here.  The original ignition point still had to be above the normal water level however.  The oxygen for a fire burning well under the normal water level like this comes partly from the fires own heat pulling cool air down into itself, and partly from the heat of the fire ‘cracking’ some of the water near it into hydrogen and oxygen.  This is a process that absorbs heat, and would usually put the fire out, but there is such a massive heat source from the gas that makes it to surface burning free atmospheric oxygen that it can continue to sustain itself.  
 

The volume of gas coming out of a pipeline like this is unthinkably large compared to most peoples experience.  Take a gas stove, and put one of the burners on at maximum level.  Then multiply by a thousand.  Now you are burning enough gas to be easily counted on an industrial scale.  This particular rupture was probably for a line carrying between 10 and 100 times as much gas as that, so take your stove burner (at maximum) and multiply by 10,000 or 100,000.  Also make sure the gas is coming out at about 1,000 times the pressure that it comes out of the stove, so that a thick dense column of compressed gas can come shooting out fast enough and dense enough to cut through a plank of wood.  Then set it on fire.  

Edited by Eric Gagen
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Thanks, Eric.

I wonder what the guys in that drilling platform said when all that gas came shooting out next to them.

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Edited by Ward Smith
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46 minutes ago, Danlxyz said:

Thanks, Eric.

I wonder what the guys in that drilling platform said when all that gas came shooting out next to them.

No words can describe it easily that’s a situation where you have to figure out what’s happening , and get immediate control or abandon location, or maybe even both (establish as much control as possible then abandon) 

you can only hope that the critical people responsible for making decisions and taking action keep their composure, because if they don’t it’s hopeless and the situation will get worse.

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On 7/3/2021 at 3:46 PM, Danlxyz said:

Thanks, Eric.

I wonder what the guys in that drilling platform said when all that gas came shooting out next to them.

That's a production platform not drilling.

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22 hours ago, Landon Ferguson said:

That's a production platform not drilling.

I was trying to keep it simple.  Most folks don’t even know there is a difference much less what the difference is. 

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On 7/5/2021 at 7:14 PM, Eric Gagen said:

I was trying to keep it simple.  Most folks don’t even know there is a difference much less what the difference is. 

I have looked at some of the Spanish language reports as the English language reports  are not very informative.   This is a satellite platform and the line is a NG/NGL gathering line 300mm id. "Ku Maloob Zaap is Pemex’s biggest crude oil producer, accounting for more than 40 percent of its nearly 1.7 million barrels of daily output."  This field produces  the Maya heavy crude mostly which is also 3.5 % sulfur (not H2S fortunately).  Texasgulf Sulphur used to  operate two Frasch process sulfur mines about 15km away.   If the sulfur concentration is high enough (after separating NGL/NG from the crude) it will replace oxygen as an oxidizer  which will produce mercaptains as a combustion product when burned under water. Apparently PEMEX closed the block valves and emptied the line with nitrogen. https://www.ntd.com/underwater-fire-erupted-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-from-gas-leak-extinguished-oil-company_637125.html

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