Application of MODFLOW for oil reservoir simulation during the Deepwater Horizon Crisis

Ground Water
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Abstract

When the Macondo well was shut in on July 15, 2010, the shut-in pressure recovered to a level that indicated the possibility of oil leakage out of the well casing into the surrounding formation. Such a leak could initiate a hydraulic fracture that might eventually breach the seafloor, resulting in renewed and uncontrolled oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico. To help evaluate whether or not to reopen the well, a MODFLOW model was constructed within 24 h after shut in to analyze the shut-in pressure. The model showed that the shut-in pressure can be explained by a reasonable scenario in which the well did not leak after shut in. The rapid response provided a scientific analysis for the decision to keep the well shut, thus ending the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blow out.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Application of MODFLOW for oil reservoir simulation during the Deepwater Horizon Crisis
Series title Ground Water
Volume 49
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher National Ground Water Association
Publisher location Columbus, OH
Contributing office(s) Branch of Regional Research-Western Region
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Ground Water
First page 319
Last page 323
Country United States