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When Shell was forced to abandon $80 million Deep Mensa well

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 14.41.06By John Donovan

In 2002, Royal Dutch Shell had a close call in the Gulf of Mexico when the oil giant was “forced to abandon drilling an $80 million well at a prospect called Deep Mensa in the Mississippi Canyon after the drill bit got stuck at nearly 28,000 feet attempting to drill through fractured rock.”

The event was described in a recent book by Tom Bower – “The Squeeze” – as a disaster.

He wrote: “Technicians monitoring the data witnessed the ‘crash out’ – the uncontrolled vibrations which smashed the drill as it struggled through fractured rock.

It took Shell a year to correct mistakes that had been made.


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