BP completes kill operations on Gulf relief well

BP has confirmed that kill operations on the MC252 oil well in the Gulf of Mexico are now complete, following the intersecting and cementing of the well approximately 18,000ft below the surface.

‘We can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead,’ said Admiral Thad Allen, US national incident commander.

The MC252 well has been shut-in since 15 July and cementing operations in August, following the static kill, provided a 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 17 September.

BP, a US government scientific team and the national incident commander have now concluded that these operations have also sealed the annulus of the MC252 well.

BP says it will now abandon the MC252 well, a procedure that includes removing portions of the casing and setting cement plugs. A similar plugging and abandonment of both relief wells will also occur.

BP US chairman and president Lamar McKay said: ‘BP will continue sharing what we have learned in an effort to prevent a tragedy such as this from ever being repeated. We also believe that the industry will gain important insights on how to be better prepared to respond to any future incidents.’

In separate news, US government scientists, plus industry and stakeholder leaders, are to meet with US energy secretary Steven Chu and secretary of the interior Ken Salazar on Wednesday.

According to a statement, they will discuss how to strengthen capabilities for responding to potential blowouts of oil and gas wells in deepwaters on the Outer Continental Shelf.

One subject on the agenda will address whether and how to lift the current suspension of deepwater drilling.