Deepwater Horizon rig plugged and “effectively dead”

September 20th, 2010 - 10:35 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (BNO NEWS) — Five months after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 people and spawned the worst U.S. oil spill disaster in history, BP has finally been permanently sealed, officials announced.

BP’s federal spill response chief Thad Allen confirmed that the company was finally able to successfully plug the well with cement 18,000 feet below the sea with its final cement pressure test being completed on Sunday at 5:54 a.m. CDT.

“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,” Allen said.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement confirmed that the cementing operation on the Macondo well was successful, that the well has been permanently sealed with cement plugs, and that pressure tests verify the integrity of the plugs.

“The Macondo 252 well is effectively dead,” Allen added. “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.”

Oversight of the well now transitions from the National Incident Command to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement under the process laid out in the National Response Framework.

Allen commended the response personnel, both from the government and private sectors, for seeing the procedure through to the end, adding that “although the well is now dead, we remain committed to continue aggressive efforts to clean up any additional oil we may see going forward.”

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