BP oil spill update: Relief well nearing intercept
Company targets August 15th for relief well interception of MC252 well
BP said on Monday that since completion of the static kill operation of the MC252 well; there has been no oil flowing into the Gulf. The company continues to work with the guidance and approval of the National Incident Commander, Thad Allen and the US government.
Following the completion of cementing operations on the MC252 well on August 5, pressure testing was performed which indicated there is an effective cement plug in the casing. BP believes the static kill and cementing procedures have been successful.
Meanwhile BP said that it is making progress on the relief well operations which began on May 2. The well is currently at a measured depth of 17,909 feet. Progressing towards the intersect with the MC252 well will involve drilling alternating with ranging runs to confirm proximity to the well. Depending upon weather conditions, the company said August 15th is the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will intercept the MC252 well annulus.
Operations on the second relief well, which started May 16, have been suspended at a measured depth of 15,874 feet, so as not to interfere with the completion of the first relief well.
Work continues to identify and collect oil on the surface of the sea and to collect and clean up oil that has reached shore. Since July 15, no new oil has flowed into the Gulf of Mexico from the MC252 well. As a result, BP, as part of Unified Command, has conducted overflights and other reconnaissance and has found less skimmable quantities of oil over the last several days. To date, skimming operations have recovered a total of over 826,000 barrels of oily liquid and a total of 411 controlled burns have been carried out.