BP removes cap from plugged well in Gulf of Mexico

Sep 02, 2010
A tern combs the beach for food as the sun rises on August 13, in Grand Isle, Louisiana. BP on Thursday removed a massive cap which had stemmed the flow of oil from its ruptured well deep in the Gulf of Mexico in a key step toward killing the well once and for all, officials said.

BP on Thursday removed a massive cap which had stemmed the flow of oil from its ruptured well deep in the Gulf of Mexico in a key step toward killing the well once and for all, officials said.

"Under the direction of the federal science team and US government engineers, BP has completed the capping stack removal procedure," retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said in a statement.

Allen, the pointman for the US response, called it "an important step in the process to remove and preserve the damaged BOP (blowout preventer)," the large piece of equipment that failed to stop the largest maritime spill in history.

Efforts to remove the blowout preventer were set to begin Thursday evening. It will be raised to the surface to be examined and held as evidence in an official investigation.

An estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil gushed into the after an explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, killing 11 workers and sinking the huge offshore platform two days later.

The flow of oil into the sea was not fully stemmed until July 15.

The ruptured Macondo well was plugged with heavy drilling fluid and then sealed it with cement last month but the "bottom kill" operation to permanently seal the ruptured well was delayed until the blowout preventer is replaced.

The bottom kill involves intercepting the crippled well with a relief well, which then pumps heavy and cement into the oil well to permanently plug it.

Explore further: Oil thieves cause pipeline leak, pollute Mexico river

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

BP starts removing drill pipe from damaged wellhead

Aug 22, 2010

BP said Saturday it began removing drill pipe and other equipment from a damaged wellhead under the Gulf of Mexico, as it prepares to replace its giant blowout preventer valve with a new one.

Saw stuck in ruptured Gulf oil pipe: official

Jun 02, 2010

BP's latest effort to stem the oil spewing from a ruptured well a mile (1.6 kilometers) deep in the Gulf of Mexico hit a setback when a saw snagged while cutting a riser pipe, officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

52 minutes ago

Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble ...

Water crisis threatens thirsty Sao Paulo

8 hours ago

Sao Paulo is thirsty. A severe drought is hitting Brazil's largest city and thriving economic capital with no end in sight, threatening the municipal water supply to millions of people.

User comments : 0