BP prepares to resume relief well operations on Macondo

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, July 26 -- BP PLC, operator of the Macondo blowout well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, said the semisubmersible drilling the first relief well returned to Mississippi Canyon Block 252 and was taking steps to reconnect with the relief well and resume drilling.

“These steps are expected to take a number of days,” BP said July 26. Transocean Ltd.’s Development Driller III semi was back at the Macondo site on July 24 after Tropical Storm Bonnie was downgraded to a tropical depression as it crossed the gulf (OGJ Online, July 24, 2010).

Most of the oil spill response vessels were evacuated last week as a precaution in anticipation of potential gale-force winds associated with Bonnie. Macondo was left shut in with a sealing cap on it. At least one remotely operated vehicle remained at the site where an Apr. 20 blowout resulted in an explosion and fire that killed 11 people on the Deepwater Horizon semi, which drilled the Macondo well.

National Incident Commander and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said pressure readings taken inside the sealing cap continue to indicate well integrity. A seismic survey vessel, the Gecko Topaz, completed a seismic run on July 25 and detected no anomalies.

“The stack pressure has gone above 6,900 psi and currently stands at 6,904 psi,” Allen told reporters during a July 25 briefing.

The semi drilling the second relief well, Development Driller II, was moving back into position, and will take reconnect with a second relief well. “However, work on the second relief well has been suspended so as not to interfere with the first,” BP said.

Allen said the Helix Q4000 multiservice vessel also had returned to MC252 and was being prepared for the “static kill,” which will involve pumping heavy drilling fluid into the top of the Macondo well.

The static kill is expected sometime in early August once the first relief well lays its casing. BP had said the static kill will kill the flow of oil and gas at the top of the well. Then, the relief well will pump mud into the bottom of the well to stop the flow of oil and gas at that level. Eventually, BP will place a cement plug to permanently seal the well in 5,000 ft of water.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

BPC report examines 40 possible options to reform RFS

12/16/2014 The Bipartisan Policy Center issued a report outlining 40 possible options for reforming the federal Renewable Fuels Standard in an effort to move ...

Senate passes Defense bill with BLM drilling permit program provision

12/15/2014 The US Senate approved a Department of Defense appropriations bill on Dec. 13 containing a provision extending and making permanent a drilling perm...

Mitigating methane

12/15/2014

Among greenhouse gases, methane should be particularly amenable to deliberate cuts in emissions.

Study: To cool climate, eat less less meat, milk

12/15/2014

Meeting stated goals for Earth's climate requires not only using pricey energy but also spurning animal protein.

API: Producers reducing methane emissions already

12/15/2014 US oil and gas producers are reducing wellhead methane emissions already and don't need ill-conceived, overly prescriptive federal regulations, Ame...

A message from Oil & Gas Journal

12/15/2014

An important transition occurred during production of this issue of Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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 ...

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