BP have installed a more robust BOP
After the removal of the original 300-ton Blowout preventer (BOP) from the Gulf of Mexico, a new, fully tested, and better equipped BOP has been successfully placed above the Macondo well, according to National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen.
Allen, stated, "Under the direction of the federal science team and US government engineers, BP used the Development Driller II to successfully install a fully functioning and tested Blowout Preventer (BOP) on the cemented Macondo 252 well.
"This is an important milestone as we move toward completing the relief well and permanently killing the Macondo 252 well," Allen added.
Allen said in a statement that there was no discernable release of hydrocarbons from the site during the complicated crossover of BOPs, something that was a legitimate concern during the process.
The new BOP should be more robust in handling the growing pressures whilst BP implement ‘bottom kill', which in turn should protect the Macondo well from being compromised and damaged.
Assuming the weather remains conducive to drilling conditions, the remaining drilling distance of 100 meters should intercept the well annulus by mid-September. Allen has speculated that it should take around 96 hours to initiate ‘bottom kill' once the relief well has reached the well, which would allow sufficient time to pump enough mud and cement to seal the well sufficiently.
No substantial amount of gas or oil has leaked since technicians closed valves on a tight-fitting cap on July 15. Throughout the process, both BP and the US government claimed that the well would not be completely secure until the relief well was drilled.
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