September 19, 2010
Allen: Macondo well is dead
BP today confirmed that well kill operations on the Deepwater Horizon MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico are now complete, with both the casing and annulus of the well sealed by cement.
"We can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead," National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen commented.
The well has been shut-in since July 15 and, says BP, cementing operations in August, following the static kill, provided an effective cement plug in the well's casing. The relief well drilled by the DDIII drilling rig intercepted the annulus of the MC252 well on September 15, followed by pumping of cement into the annulus on September 17. BP, the federal government scientific team and the National Incident Commander have now concluded that these operations have also successfully sealed the annulus of the MC252 well.
BP will now proceed to complete the abandonment of the MC252 well, which includes removing portions of the casing and setting cement plugs. A similar plugging and abandonment of both relief wells will occur as well.
BP will also now begin the process of dismantling and recovering containment equipment and decontaminating vessels that were in position at the wellsite.
The cost of the response to September 17 amounts to approximately $9.5 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs. On June 16, BP announced an agreed package of measures, including the creation of a $20 billion escrow account to satisfy certain obligations arising from the oil and gas spill.
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen said:
"After months of extensive operations planning and execution under the direction and authority of the U.S. government science and engineering teams, BP has successfully completed the relief well by intersecting and cementing the well nearly 18,000 feet below the surface. With this development, which has been confirmed by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, we can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead. Additional regulatory steps will be undertaken but we can now state, definitively, that the Macondo well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico. From the beginning, this response has been driven by the best science and engineering available. We insisted that BP develop robust redundancy measures to ensure that each step was part of a deliberate plan, driven by science, minimizing risk to ensure we did not inflict additional harm in our efforts to kill the well. I commend the response personnel, both from the government and private sectors, for seeing this vital procedure through to the end. And although the well is now dead, we remain committed to continue aggressive efforts to clean up any additional oil we may see going forward."
The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement will oversee the continuing decommissioning of the Macondo well and its associated relief wells.