(dedicated to those at ATS who worked hard to keep the BP-live discussion on ROV thread alive especially StealthyKat , Ektar and Kno22 who sourced the ROV videos).
(Reuters) – By Kristen Hays HOUSTON | Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:58pm EDT
With a final shot of cement, BP Plc permanently "killed" its deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico that ruptured in April and unleashed the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the top U.S. spill official said on Sunday.
Some 153 days after the Macondo well ruptured, the U.S. government confirmed that BP had succeeded in drilling a relief well nearly 18,000 feet below the ocean surface and permanently sealing the well with cement.
"The Macondo 252 well is effectively dead," retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who has overseen the U.S. government's response, said in a statement. "We can now state, definitively, that the Macondo well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico."
President Barack Obama, whose public approval ratings were hurt by public discontent over the U.S. government's initial response to the spill, welcomed the long-awaited development as an "important milestone."
Obama said his administration was now focused on making sure the Gulf Coast "recovers fully from this disaster."
BP Confirms Successful Completion of Well Kill Operations in Gulf of Mexico
Release date: 19 September 2010
HOUSTON - BP today confirmed that well kill operations on the MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico are now complete, with both the casing and annulus of the well sealed by cement.
The MC252 well has been shut-in since July 15 and 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.
“This is a significant milestone in the response to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and is the final step in a complex and unprecedented subsea operation – finally confirming that this well no longer presents a threat to the Gulf of Mexico,” said Tony Hayward, BP group chief executive. “However, there is still more to be done. BP’s commitment to complete our work and restore the damage done to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf coast and the livelihoods of the people across the region remains unchanged.”
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.
But is the well really dead? Recent Rov evidences in late October, more than a month after the “well” was supposedly permanently killed and officially declared dead, there are signs that the “dead well” is coming back to life. Our recent postings; Our Worst Fears Of Vaporising Hydrates and the recently detected Gas Oil Plume Next To Well A, point to some of these evidences from Rov videos recorded from 20 -23 Oct 2010.
In this posting, we present evidence of increasing methane concentration and new oil spots on the seafloor. These are conclusive evidences that BP had capped the wrong well and by grouting the faults, they are spreading the oil far and wide with even more disastrous consequences. It is Mother Nature’s SOS distress signal to us for help.
Although both are recrystallised hydrates, their formation and sources are different. The former is explained in detailed on the figure caption while the second hydrate type was formed when the hot/warm gaseous methane is chilled on contact with the cold water. Both processes are inter-related.
Fig 127-3 to 127-5 show oil seeping out of the seafloor in various modes; obviously affected recently by the intense grouting activities. I shall not go into details but the fact that previous videos did not show oil in these forms suggests that BP had achieved what they had set out to do. By spreading the oil far and wide, it is hoped that these could be argued as natural seeps.
But fig 127-6 takes the cake. The supposedly “dead well” is not only alive, but kicking as well. To blow a crater of that size and depth, the built-up in pressure much be substantial. It could only mean that the grout blocking the escape pathway failed in a violent and sudden manner. If BP’s grout cannot contain the escaping force of the “awaken Genie” which had spread far and wide (over several km radius) from 18,000 ft below, what makes you think BP’s relief well could do the magic just tens of feet from source?