BP says Macondo wellbore detected by first relief well

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, June 25 -- BP PLC reported its first relief well being drilled to stop the Macondo well oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reached 16,275 ft on June 23, and drillstring was removed for a ranging run using wireline to locate the runaway well.

During the ranging run, BP detected the Macondo well. More ranging runs will be needed to precisely locate the well. Drilling and ranging operations will continue during the next few weeks toward the target intercept depth of about 18,000 ft, BP said.

BP plans for the relief well to intersect the existing wellbore just above the producing horizon, and pump heavy kill mud into the Macondo wellbore. This process is intended to kill the flow of oil and gas at the bottom of Macondo, which will be sealed with cement.

National Incident Commander (NIC) and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the next phase will be slower paced than earlier relief well drilling efforts while the Development Driller III rig nears and intercepts the Macondo well.

A second relief well, which started May 16, has reached 10,500 ft. BP executives still anticipate that it will be mid-August before at least one of the relief wells is finished. The second relief well is being drilled as a backup to the first.

BP said it has spent $2.35 billion on the spill, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs.

Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilled the Macondo well for BP and partners. On Apr. 20, a blowout caused an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon, killing 11 crew members. On Apr. 22, the semi sank.

Judge upholds ruling
In related news, a federal judge in New Orleans on June 24 stood by his June 22 temporary injunction, which overturned a 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed after the Deepwater Horizon accident and resulting oil spill.

The US Department of Justice had asked US District Judge Martin Feldman to delay his temporary injunction until the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could review it. Feldman rejected that request.

Feldman has cleared the way so new offshore drilling legally can resume in the gulf, although oil companies are unlikely to resume drilling projects pending a ruling by an appeals court, analysts say.

US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar has said the 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed on May 27 was justified (OGJ Online, June 23, 2010). Salazar also said he plans to issue a new order “in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate, and within our authorities.”

Surface spill efforts
Some 37,000 people are involved in efforts to collect and disperse oil on the gulf’s surface, to protect the shoreline, and to clean up oil that has reached shore. Spill response efforts include more than 4,500 vessels and some 100 aircraft, BP said June 25.

NIC on June 24 reported 179 miles of shoreline was currently oiled: 34 miles in Louisiana, 42 in Mississippi, 42 in Alabama, and 61 in Florida. These numbers change daily.

Skimming operations recovered a total of 610,000 bbl of oily liquid. In addition, 275 controlled burns have removed an estimated 239,000 bbl of oil from the sea's surface.

Some 530 miles of containment boom was deployed to prevent oil from reaching the coast.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Small subset of wells accounts for most methane emissions, researchers say

12/09/2014 A small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for most methane emissions from US natural gas production, said a study from the University of ...

Methane controls just part of complete climate strategy, speakers say

12/08/2014 Reducing oil and gas operations’ methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a ...

Cost-benefit believability

12/08/2014 In anticipation of what might become the costliest federal regulation in US history, Congress should join the Supreme Court in reviewing the Enviro...

EPA air proposals should recognize progress, API official says

12/08/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency should recognize progress that is continuing before it considers imposing costly new air quality requirement...

EPA poses tighter ground-level ozone pollution controls

12/08/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed reducing ground-level emissions limits to 65-70 ppb from its current level of 75 ppb. It also will ...

API: Producers reducing methane emissions already

12/05/2014 US oil and gas producers are reducing wellhead methane emissions already and don’t need ill-conceived, overly prescriptive federal regulations, Ame...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected