Bp to Install New Cap on Well
2010 07 11

From: CNN.com



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.

Source: cnn.com



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack. Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job. Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
2014-12-20 2:13
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled. Via The Hollywood Reporter: After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move. “The ...
The Bankster International
2014-12-20 1:55
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
Another banker dies under suspicious circumstances
2014-12-20 1:09
52-year-old Belgian Geert Tack – a private banker for ING who managed portfolios for wealthy individuals – was described as ‘impeccable’, ‘sporty’, ‘cared-for’, and ‘successful’ and so as Vermist reports, after disappearing a month ago, the appearance of his body off the coast of Ostend is surrounded by riddles… Impeccable. Sporty. Cared for. Successful. Just some qualifications that are attributed to ...
NATO increases military presence on Russia’s borders
2014-12-20 1:14
The Pentagon has confirmed the military buildup along Russia’s borders to ensure long-term “peace and stability” in the region. Earlier Moscow accused NATO of a sharp increase in air activity and intelligence flights in the border zone. Replying to RIA Novosti’s query on the increased number of NATO flights around Russia’s borders, a Pentagon representative told the news agency that the military ...
More News »