Progress made on Deepwater Horizon

There is progress to report on controlling the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Relief Well

Fox News reports that the progress on the relief well is going ahead of plan.

"In a perfect world with no interruptions, it's possible to be ready to stop the well between July 20 and July 27," said the head of BP's Gulf Coast restoration unit, managing director Bob Dudley, in an interview. He added that this "perfect case" is threatened by the hurricane season and is "unlikely."

There is a nice explanation of the process of interconnecting the relief well to the existing well on The Oil Drum.

Capping Stack Blowout Preventer (BOP) 

BP has released pictures of the "Capping Stack BOP" and there is a slideshow of it being assembled and tested. Slide 2 shows a simulation of the broken drill pipe extending above the face of the flange on top of the existing BOP, as is expected when the existing connection to the LMRP cap is taken apart.  

Times-Picayune reporter Jaquetta White asked Admiral Allen about the tighter cap at Thursday's press briefing.

Weather will be an ongoing concern, Allen said. In addition to slowing the connection of the Helix, Allen said, it is a factor in deciding whether to remove the ill-fitting cap now being used to feed oil to the Discoverer Enterprise and replace it with a tighter-fitting version.


Unlike the current cap, the tighter cap presumably would not allow oil to escape. But Allen said officials have still not decided whether they want to remove the current cap because thousands of barrels of oil that otherwise would have been captured would escape into the sea while the caps are being changed. It would take days to replace the cap under ideal weather conditions. The length of time would be extended in the event that severe weather caused an operational shutdown.

"We are still reviewing the technical specifications that were provided to us by BP, the procedures that would be done, the amount of time it would take and the weather window," Allen said. "We are talking about that inside the administration right now and those talks are continuing."

So now the decision goes back to the secretaries of Energy and Interior to make a decision that could finally "plug the damn hole." Do they allow BP to increase the flow of oil for three days to install the capping stack BOP in order to preclude the need to wait at least until July 20 to stop the well via the relief well.
There is progress to report on controlling the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Relief Well

Fox News reports that the progress on the relief well is going ahead of plan.

"In a perfect world with no interruptions, it's possible to be ready to stop the well between July 20 and July 27," said the head of BP's Gulf Coast restoration unit, managing director Bob Dudley, in an interview. He added that this "perfect case" is threatened by the hurricane season and is "unlikely."

There is a nice explanation of the process of interconnecting the relief well to the existing well on The Oil Drum.

Capping Stack Blowout Preventer (BOP) 

BP has released pictures of the "Capping Stack BOP" and there is a slideshow of it being assembled and tested. Slide 2 shows a simulation of the broken drill pipe extending above the face of the flange on top of the existing BOP, as is expected when the existing connection to the LMRP cap is taken apart.  

Times-Picayune reporter Jaquetta White asked Admiral Allen about the tighter cap at Thursday's press briefing.

Weather will be an ongoing concern, Allen said. In addition to slowing the connection of the Helix, Allen said, it is a factor in deciding whether to remove the ill-fitting cap now being used to feed oil to the Discoverer Enterprise and replace it with a tighter-fitting version.


Unlike the current cap, the tighter cap presumably would not allow oil to escape. But Allen said officials have still not decided whether they want to remove the current cap because thousands of barrels of oil that otherwise would have been captured would escape into the sea while the caps are being changed. It would take days to replace the cap under ideal weather conditions. The length of time would be extended in the event that severe weather caused an operational shutdown.

"We are still reviewing the technical specifications that were provided to us by BP, the procedures that would be done, the amount of time it would take and the weather window," Allen said. "We are talking about that inside the administration right now and those talks are continuing."

So now the decision goes back to the secretaries of Energy and Interior to make a decision that could finally "plug the damn hole." Do they allow BP to increase the flow of oil for three days to install the capping stack BOP in order to preclude the need to wait at least until July 20 to stop the well via the relief well.

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