BP's Deepwater Horizon - Complete Sealing Expected Saturday - and Open Thread
This thread is being closed. Please comment on http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6970.
Update: According to the Wall Street Journal, the cement has set, and BP is preparing to test the seal at 11pm Central Time. The test will take one to two hours. The results are not expected to be announced until Sunday.
BP issued a press release Friday, in which they said that the well would be sealed today, Saturday. Since no hydrocarbons were found in he drilling mud, no annulus kill is necessary, and the annulus cementing can proceed as planned.
After the annulus cementing, the next step will be the plug and abandonment procedure.
Quoting from BP's press release:
Relief well drilling from the Development Driller III (DD3) re-started at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, and operations completed drilling the final 45 feet of hole. This drilling activity culminated with the intercept of the MC252 annulus and subsequent confirmation at 4:30 p.m. CDT Thursday. Total measured depth on the DD3 for the annulus intercept point was 17,977 feet.
Operations conducted bottoms up circulation, which returned the contents of the well’s annulus to the rig for evaluation. Testing of the drilling mud recovered from the well indicated that no hydrocarbons or cement were present at the intersect point. Therefore, no annulus kill is necessary, and the annulus cementing will proceed as planned. It is expected that the MC252 well will be completely sealed on Saturday.
Once cementing operations are complete, the DD3 will begin standard plugging and abandonment procedures for the relief well.
The Development Driller II continues its work to gather additional data from the MC252 well and try to determine the location of the drill pipe that was originally in the well at the time of the accident. Subsequently plug and abandonment activities will commence in accordance with the approved procedure.