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July 15, 2010

BP set to start well integrity test

BP should start integrity testing of the Macondo well sometime today.

The test has faced two delays, one at the behest of the Feds, the other mechanical.

BP had been ordered to hold off until concerns from the scientific community were addressed.

Based on new information and analysis, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other scientists concluded that the test should now proceed with several modifications and safety requirements.

Under a new directive from Admiral Thad Allen the testing is going ahead with additional seismic testing and monitoring from ROVs, as well as acoustic and temperature monitoring throughout the test. The test will take up to 48 hours and will include periodic assessments in six-hour increments.

In a morning briefing today, BP's Kent Wells said the well integrity test was put on hold yesterday when crews noticed a leak on a hub on the choke line of the capping stack.

A second choke line was ready on the surface and was placed on the capping stack this morning, following removal of the faulty system.The new choke line then had to be checked before moving forward with the well test.

Other procedures that needed to be completed before the test could begin included again shutting down siphoning operations to the Helix Producer and Q4000.


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