Saturday, November 20, 2010

Project Truck Update: Preparing for a facelift edition

It's been a long time since I've done a project truck update.

I got back to the truck last weekend. I had neglected to disconnect the ground, so the battery was very weak from a slow leak somewhere. Also, the gasoline had evaporated out the carburetor, so I had to crank the truck enough so the mechanical fuel pump could refill the carburetor reservoir. Patches always rises from the dead eventually, though, like a true zombie.
Patches getting ready for her big day
There's some minor front end damage to the passenger side on Patches, so preping some spare parts for installation is one of my next tasks. The weather has been perfect for painting. Nice and dry.
Cracked body panel
Cracked front body panel

Here's a collection of various spare parts I've picked up, mostly for free:

I've got a spare radiator mount cleaned up and primed:
Radiator Support
This body panel attaches to the radiator mount:
Replacement body panel after grinding and priming
(The grille and headlights connect to it)

I ran out of time before I got to the battery tray, which is yet another item that bolts to the radiator mount:
Battery mount
That's the next project.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

National Academy of Engineering Preliminary Report on the loss of the Deepwater Horizon

NAE Report (PDF)

Excellent report. I don't have as much time as I'd like to go through it in detail, unfortunately.

A couple quick notes:
* I like how it emphasizes the importance of the delicate fracture gradient to the cementing operation. Any idiot could throw cement down a hole, but with this setup, too much cement (too heavy) would fracture the formation, lose the cement, and not seal the hole. Too little cement, no seal in the hole, boom (what happened). Hitting it right on the nose was what a well engineered cementing plan was supposed to do.
* Personnel shifting around so much is a sign that a company doesn't take something seriously. I watched the engineers testify on CSPAN back in August and I'll say that there was at least 1 engineer who looked like he knew what he was doing (also, the only one who had a P.E.). Unfortunately, he was only on the job for about 2 weeks before the well blew. Whoops.
* Training. OTJ isn't going to cut it anymore for personnel running half-billion dollar assets, drilling $100 million wells, with tens of billions of dollars in consequences for mistakes.
Containment Boom

Update: Gullfaks C Report Finished by Statoil. Blowout averted by "sheer luck". After overbalanced drilling caused a poorly-constructed casing to crack, the well lost mud, losing control. Cuttings plugging the production screen was the only thing that stopped another blowout.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Landrieu Party?

Random observation from yesterday: Every single office of any significance in Louisiana is now held by either a Republican or a Landrieu. The Louisiana Democratic Party is practically extinct. It should be renamed the Landrieu Party.

(Yeah, there's Richmond, but he might not be around that long)