On April 20, 2010, a fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. Over 87 days, an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked into the ocean. Stopping the leak was a monumental task, and DYCO components played a key role when the stakes were too high for failure.

Since the leak could not be capped at the top, a relief well needed to be drilled. This required finding and drilling into a ten-inch pipe buried by 13,000 feet of rock and 5,000 feet of water… from a floating platform.

According to Lisa Marshall, “Positioning is achieved using a 300-foot-long assembly, which includes a 30-foot-long cylindrical beryllium copper tool equipped with a transmitter and receiver on opposite ends. Invented by Vector Magnetics, the device emits a current that sets up an electromagnetic field when conducted by the well casing. By interpreting data on the electromagnetic field picked up by the receiver, [engineers] can calculate the precise distance and direction to the blown-out well.”2

Our client, Vector Magnetics, contacted us in early May, after they had been asked to determine a location for the relief well. Their tool required specialized transmitter coils, and after a design was finalized, DYCO went into production. Within three working days, Vector Magnetics picked up 100 coils to be used in the magnetometer headed for the Gulf.

The relief well was successful, making it possible to seal off the leak permanently. DYCO’s components were a critical part of the solution. Our collaboration, ingenuity, experience and hard work helped bring an end to this disaster, and we are proud to have done our part.

2 Lisa Marshall [http://minesmagazine.com/1745/]