Well control isn’t only about putting out big fires. There are many steps taken before the firefighters can even access the fire.
Today’s gallery includes videos showing just how much work there is in debris removal that is required before the work on the wellhead even starts.
The first video is a walk through of the damage and resulting debris of a burned down rig. These situations include the removal of several components like the substructure , the mast, mud tanks and several other components that are connected to the rig. All these components must be cleared well away to allow safe approach routes for the blowout crew.
The debris is slowly pulled away by bulldozers that are covered in heat shields.
In the video you will see the firefighters equipped with heat shields so they can get close enough to attach cables to the various pieces of debris.
For this step in the clearing process they use a backhoe .
The equipment, excavators and bulldozers, are covered with heat shields but when they get close-in, with ground temperature over 1000 degrees, firefighters continually dowse the equipment with water to keep it cool and protect the hydraulics parts from melting. You can see the firefighters working from protective shacks and behind heat shields.
After many days of precise and intense work you can finally see the burning well head and the blowout crew can now start working on the wellhead itself, getting ready for the final capping operation.