Sunday, September 19, 2010

Relief Well Finished, BP Says

Blown-out BP well is declared "dead"

By Nicholas Moroni

BP and the federal government stated today that a months-long operation to seal the failed well in the Gulf of Mexico is completed.

Drilled alongside the once-gushing Macondo well, which leaked subsequent to the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, a relief well (there are two of them) is reportedl intersected, and cement was pumped into the bottom of the Macondo well, thus sealing it.

The Macondo well was fitted in July with a temporary cap, but today was officially declared "dead," with the completion of the cement that had been pumped, and the relief well, which acts as a sealent from the bottom.

"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," BP CEO Tony Haywayrd said in a company press release. "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."

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's lead man in the response, said the well no longer posed any threat.

4 million barrels of oil leaked into gulf waters and BP has paid $9.5 billion in response since the spill.

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