Parker 202 was a big mama-jama. This rig had a back porch larger than the town I grew up in and could go to 42,000 feet. It was so heavy the footprint for this rig's substructure sat on a concrete foundation that was eight feet thick reinforced with 3/4 in. rebar on 8 inch centers, eight different layers. It had an elevator to the floor, for fat tool pushers, and two slides from the floor down to the ground in case the ship had to be abandoned. The Texas floor on this beast was a big as my living room.
After birth, Parker 202 was assigned its first well for Louisiana Land and Exploration (LL&E), the 36-91 Madden Deep Unit near Lysite, Wyoming, in Freemont County, east of Riverton. It drilled to 22,274 feet in March of 1992 and LL&E stopped to set a 7 3/4 in. liner from the shoe of 8 5/8ths casing at 19,000 feet to TD before carrying on to the 25,000 feet to test Mississipian Madison targets. The liner was set, cemented and given a 24 hour WOC time out, then 5 1/2 In. DP was run in the hole to perform a negative pressure test on the liner hanger. The well blew out and surface control was lost. It ejected 2,000 feet of 5 1/2 in. DP, seen in the old Houston Chronicle photo below and caught fire. Boots and Coots was invited to the party.
The fire ebbed in six hours to a slow roll over the Hydrill. Attempts were made to see if the DP could be cut to facilitate moving the rig, though I think the big son of a bitch was too heavy to skid back. Gas was very sour. Eventually the fire went out competely. All components of the rig were then moved away from the well except the substructure and derrick.
In the video below most of the rig has been saved. The uncontrolled gas flow was re-ignited for safey reasons, seen in the first few seconds of the video when a flare is shot into the rig. Several hours later the derrick fell.
At that point the remainder of the rig's substructure could be drug away from the well to gain access to the damaged BOP. Boots and Coots removed the BOP stack, capped the well and put it on diverter. From there the well immediately went to a sales line at 6 MMGPD rates. An HWC, Inc. 640 snubbing unit with Weatherford WellCat components were shipped from Houston to recover drill pipe and complete the well, believed to be blowing from Cretaceous aged Frontier dolomites at the base of the liner.
I made a week of the snubbing on this LL&E well before having to get back home. It was a big-ass unit and basket floor was about 100 feet off the ground. The well made 6 MMCFGPD the entire time we fished the DP and ran production tubing back in the hole. HWC hands and B&C personel snubbed on the well for a month after I left. Jacking 20,000 feet of drill pipe, work string, then production tubing, from a 100 foot stack, in and out of the hole multiple times takes an eternity.
Left, the view looking up the stack, below the view looking down from the basket. From the top view you can clearly see the concrete substructure "foundation."
Senior Well Control Jefe for Boots & Coots, Inc., David Thompson, left.