BP sets storm packer in Macondo relief well

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 21
-- BP PLC has set a storm packer in the first relief well that it is drilling to the Macondo well given the chance that a tropical weather system forming in the Caribbean could come toward Mississippi Canyon Block 252, a spokesman said July 21.

Kent Wells, BP senior vice-president of exploration and production, said the storm packer is a plug that was set 300 ft below the blowout preventer of the Development Driller III, which is drilling the relief well.

“It’s the logical thing to do,” Wells said, adding it’s also normal procedure for drilling crews to do this in advance of the possibility of an approaching storm.

Weather forecasters have not given any indication yet that BP would have to move all the response vessels in the area of the Macondo well, Wells said. Meanwhile, the well integrity test continues.

“The longer the integrity test, the better opportunity we will leave the well shut in,” Wells said.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami on July 21 reported showers and thunderstorms associated with a vigorous tropical wave extended from the Northern Leeward islands west to Hispaniola. Forecasters believed the system could strengthen into a tropical depression.

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