BP starts collecting oil, gas from blowout well in gulf

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 7
-- On June 5, the lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap, which was installed by BP PLC on the top of the Deepwater Horizon’s failed blowout preventer (BOP) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, had collected and transported 10,500 bbl of oil to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship. BP also said 22 MMscf of natural gas was collected and flared.

BP said that during June 3-5, the volume of oil collected was 16,600 bbl and 32.7 MMscf of gas was flared.

“Optimization continues and improvement in oil collection is expected over the next several days,” BP said in a press release, adding that it would be a few more days before an assessment could be made as to the success of this latest containment effort.

BP said it continues to make preparations for additional planned enhancements to the LMRP cap containment system. These enhancements include:

• The use of the hoses and manifold that were deployed for the “top kil” operation to take oil and gas from the failed Deepwater Horizon BOP through a separate riser to the Q4000 vessel on the surface. “This system is intended to increase the overall efficiency of the containment operation by possibly increasing the amount of oil and gas that can be captured from the well and is currently expected to be available for deployment in mid-June,” BP said.

• The directing of oil and gas to a new free-floating riser ending 300 ft below sea level. “This long-term containment option is designed to permit more effective disconnection and reconnection of the riser to provide the greatest flexibility for operations during a hurricane and is expected to be implemented in early July,” BP said.

In the meantime, work on the first relief well, which started May 2, continues and has currently reached a depth of 12,956 ft, BP said. The second relief well, which started May 16, is at 8,576 ft, and testing of the BOP is continuing. Both wells are still estimated to take 3 months to complete from commencement of drilling.

Spill response efforts
Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the sea’s surface, to protect the shoreline, and to collect and clean up any oil that has reached shore, BP noted.

More than 2,600 vessels are now involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels. Operations to skim oil from the surface of the water now have recovered, in total, 368,000 bbl (15.5 million gal) of “oily liquid,” BP said.

The total length of containment boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil from reaching the coast is now more than 2.2 million ft, and an additional 2.4 million ft of sorbent boom also has been deployed, BP reported.

To date, about 37,000 claims have been submitted and more than 18,000 payments already have been made, totaling $48 million. BP has received more than 152,000 calls into its help lines.

The cost of the response to date amounts to $1.25 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs. This excludes the $360 million in funds for the Louisiana barrier islands construction project, BP said, adding “It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident.”

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