BP reports progress with sealing cap installation

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, July 12 --
BP PLC, operator of the runaway Macondo well, removed the lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap over the Deepwater Horizon’s failed blowout preventer and was installing a sealing cap assembly on June 12.

The sealing cap installation involves multiple stages, and BP estimates the process, which started on July 10, could take 4-7 days. The sealing cap is intended to increase oil and gas collection capacity. It’s expected to improve collection efficiency during hurricane season by allowing shorter disconnect and reconnect times,.

The sealing cap assembly also could help well kill and cementing procedures that will be part of the relief well operations. In addition, the sealing cap will enable testing of well integrity and, depending on pressure measurements, might be used to shut in the well.

The Helix Producer collection system was expected to begin operations within the next 24 hr (OGJ Online, July 9, 2010). The producer is a floating production unit, with a floating riser collection system. Once installed and the system is gradually ramped up, the Producer will collect an anticipated 20,000-25,000 b/d.

During July 10-11, BP fixed problems with a hydraulic system that operates a valve and then had to fix a leak in a methanol system.

An Apr. 20 blowout of the Macondo well caused a fire and explosion on Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible, killing 11 workers. On Apr. 22, the rig sank, and oil spill response crews have been working to stop an ongoing spill.

LMRP cap removed
Transocean’s Discoverer Enterprise drillship removed the LMRP cap at 12:40 p.m. CDT on July 10. Crews using remotely operated vehicles removed six bolts along with a flange from the LMRP. A transition spool was installed on an existing flange.

The transition spool is a connector allowing installation of a capping stack that has three closing rams. After the capping stack is installed, BP plans a well integrity test in which it plans to stop the flow of oil and gas from the top of the Macondo well while pressure within the well is measured.

The Helix Q4000 collection system continues to capture oil and gas from the MC252 well and flare the hydrocarbons at the surface. Plans also are being developed for additional containment capacity to increase capacity to 60,000-80,000 b/d by July 31.

Relief wells getting closer
Work on the first relief well, which started May 2, continues. The well being drilled by the Development Driller III reached a measured depth of 17,810 ft on July 11 and 10 ranging runs have been completed to precisely locate the Macondo well.

Following the running of casing and additional ranging runs, the relief well is intended to intercept the Macondo well at about 18,000 ft. Crews then will start the process of killing the flow of oil and gas from the reservoir by pumping specialized heavy fluids down the relief well.

A second relief well, which started May 16, has reached a measured depth of 15,874 ft, and crews prepared to set casing. After that, drilling on the second relief well will be stopped unless crews run into problems with the first relief well, said Kent Wells, BP senior vice-president of exploration and production.

The first half of August remains the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will be completed, he said. 

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