Storm Delays BP Relief Well and Bottom-Kill
BP has had to suspend its oil spill relief well drilling operation in the face of a tropical storm that is heading towards the relief well site. This is particularly frustrating as the BP crews are within about 30 feet of the relief well intercepting the ruptured well that spewed close to 5 million barrels in the devastating oil spill that began April 20 with the explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
Completion of the BP relief well will also allow the final oil spill “bottom-kill” operation to proceed to permanently disable the ruptured well located 13,000 feet below the sea floor. The storm will delay BP crews’ progress for about two or three days. The crews had hoped to start the “bottom-kill” process by this Sunday. With the storm impeding completion of the relief well, the “bottom-kill” phase won’t commence until the middle of next week, at the earliest. The kill operation itself will take several days as well.
BP is anxious to put this portion of its oil spill response into the past and move forward to the next phase. This includes oil spill shoreline clean up, recovery programs, and dealing with the massive lawsuits filling up court dockets in New Orleans and Houston.
Image credit: Sean Gardner/Reuters