Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Approaching Storm Halts Work to Plug Oil Well

Although the storm and related poor weather conditions are still hundreds of miles from the well site, officials have decided to begin moving equipment out of harm's way now. The issue is that mobilizing all of the sensitive equipment involved in trying to plug the well requires days to move and must be out of the way before poor weather strikes. BP and government officials are currently trying to determine whether it will be necessary to remove the temporary cap that has been placed over the well in advance of the potential storm.

There is some speculation that the cap will be removed if it cannot be effectively monitored from shore or from a distance that is safe from the approaching storm. Meetings are scheduled to determine whether or not such monitoring will be feasible, but one would have to assume that they would be.

Concerns remain that the temporary cap may be unstable or that it may be creating pressure problems through other areas of the well. A new rupture along the sea floor could prove disastrous and impossible to stop, should something like that occur.

The first relief well is currently within four horizontal feet and roughly sixty vertical feet of intersecting with the damaged well. Plans were to continue reinforcing the relief well today and tomorrow, but that schedule will be pushed back as a result of the pending evacuation from the area. BP and government officials are still optimistic that they can plug the well permanently on the first attempt through the relief well. Estimates for completion were around the first of August, but it is unclear how this new setback will impact the expected completion date.

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 7/22/2010
Oil Spills - Effects