Bp to Install New Cap on Well
2010 07 11
As oil again again flows freely, crews are working around the clock to replace a containment cap on the ruptured underwater well in the Gulf of Mexico, BP said Saturday.
The company hopes to install a better-fitting one in the coming days, BP senior Vice President Kent Wells said.
"We're on plan," he said hours after the old cap was removed.
Live video showed robots in the process of removing six bolts from the apparatus so that the new cap can be positioned. The bolts may all be removed by Sunday.
The old cap had been diverting about 15,000 barrels a day (630,000 gallons) to a ship. BP still is recovering an additional 8,000 to 9,000 barrels a day (336,000 to 378,000 gallons) through a line connected to another vessel, the Q4000.
Wells said the sealing cap operation is expected to take four to seven days, with favorable weather helping the process along. In upcoming weeks, there will be an increase in the current oil containment work. A fleet of skimmers will help recover the oil now making its way to the surface.
"As we start to ramp up the additional containment capacity, we should see less and less flow," Wells said.
Wells said crews are in the final stages of hooking up the Helix Producer, another oil recovery vessel, to the well. The vessel is expected to begin collecting oil by Sunday and officials hope to reach full collection capacity of 20,000 to 25,000 barrels (840,000 to 1.5 million gallons) per day within three days.
"We're in the final stages in doing the pressure testing" on the Helix Producer, Wells said.
If successful, the effects of the containment cap operation could halt the oil gusher that started April 20 after a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Officials have said such a fix would be temporary, and the permanent solution would still be completion of a relief well. There are two relief wells under construction, with one expected to be completed in August. One could intercept the leaking well as early as the end of July.
Over the next two to three weeks, 60,000 to 80,000 barrels (2.52 million to 3.36 million gallons) a day should be contained, Wells said. Scientists estimate that 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil are spewing daily from BP's breached Macondo well.
The company also says the sealing cap work "is intended to run in parallel with the installation and start-up of the Helix Producer."
BP says there will be a period of decreased oil and gas capture from the wellhead during the cap replacement. It said another recovery vessel, the Q4000, "should continue to capture and flare oil and gas." There will be other recovery vessels and skimmers deployed.
"This can be done very effectively," Wells said.
Wells also said there will be "significant measurement capability" added to the new cap so officials can get a good idea of the flow rate.
BP said in a statement that the new cap "should improve containment efficiency during hurricane season by allowing shorter disconnect and reconnect times."
Wells echoed much of what retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday.
Allen said he approved the cap-switch plan in order to take advantage of favorable weather predicted for coming days and because, once the switch is complete, the resulting capacity to contain oil "will be far greater than the capabilities we have achieved using current systems."
Allen stressed that once the capping device is on, "we would get the most accurate flow rate to date," he said.
Meanwhile, Allen on Saturday announced that Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft is scheduled to relieve Rear Adm. James Watson as the federal on-scene coordinator Monday.
Zukunft, who has been in the region for several weeks overseeing strategic planning, is the Coast Guard's assistant commandant for marine safety, security and stewardship. Watson will return to his previous duties.
Latest News from our Front Page
Nigel Farage (UKIP) Speech on the EU, UK & Mass Immigration
2014 03 08
UKIP Nigel Farage Spring Conference speech - 2014
Red Ice Radio:
Nigel Farage MEP - The State of the EU & The Undemocratic Treaty of Lisbon
Labour wins UK by-election as Ukip trumps Tories
The ruling coalition in the UK was dealt a blow in the latest by-election test, as the UK Independence party pushed the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats into third and fourth ...
Pentagon studying Putin’s body language to predict his behavior
2014 03 07
The Pentagon has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years so that researchers can study the body movements of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in hopes of predicting future behavior.
An article published by USA Today reporter Ray Locker on Thursday and corroborated by documents discovered by RT provides rare insight into a scarcely-discussed military effort that ...
Pentagon Claims That Climate Change ‘Enables Terrorism’
2014 03 07
In it’s latest Quadrennial Defense Review the Pentagon has said that climate change and ’erratic’ climate will cause increased terrorist activity.
The four yearly reports highlight threats that face civilization and this years homed in on climate change causing an increase in terrorism.
It also mentioned that rises in sea levels and other issues associated with a warming planet will lead ...
Scientists Control Tiny Mechanical Probes Inside Human Cells
2014 03 07
Nanotechnology doesn’t get as much attention these days as genetic and stem cell approaches to medicine, but all three aim to target the causes of illness with greater precision and less collateral damage in the rest of the body than conventional approaches.
Nanotech breakthroughs have come more slowly than many had hoped, but a recent success shows progress toward the goal ...
Fukushima: The Ticking Nuclear Bomb. Over 800 Tons of Radioactive Material Pouring into Pacific Ocean
2014 03 07
First published by GR in October 2013
In August this column ran a piece claiming that the Pacific Ocean was being poisoned by radioactive material escaping from Fukushima, two years after the devastating tsunami and meltdown at the Japanese nuclear facility. Three months later, shocking evidence points towards a calamity situation.
Silence from the corporate media.
There is growing evidence coming from ...
|More News » |