BP makes progress with third containment system

Posted: 06/07/2010 in blogs, events, what BP is doing

Reported by: Rob Masson, Reporter Email: rmasson@fox8tv.net

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Gas and oil continue to leak at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill  site in the Gulf of Mexico, in this frame grab captured from a BP live  video feed July 5, 2010. (Reuters/BP/Handout)

Gas and oil continue to leak at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico, in this frame grab captured from a BP live video feed July 5, 2010. (Reuters/BP/Handout)

New Orleans – As oil continues to move further into Breton Sound, and closer to Lake Pontchartrain, BP continues moving forward with a new containment system.  It is the latest containment system to be put in place by BP, and its installation appears to be showing promise.

BP officials are about to install a system of flexible and rigid pipe from the bottom of the wellhead site to a floating oil processing ship called the Helix Producer, and Tulane’s Eric Smith has been monitoring its progress.

The new containment system could collect up to 25,000 more barrels per day, nearly doubling the current containment effort. Right now, 24,000 barrels a day being are being collected through the Discoverer Enterprise and the Q4000 vessels.

This massive containment system is taking shape, as work on a relief well continues – a relief well that could make the containment systems obsolete.

The first relief well is reaching a critical stage. It’s currently at a depth of over 17,500 feet, eleven days ahead of schedule, and could soon stop the flow of oil that’s soiled the Gulf for over two months now.

‘They’re making this approach and they’re putting sensors down there to see how close they’re getting,” Smith said.

As oil spreads further into the St. Bernard marsh, elected officials are hoping for success.

“I’m optimistic that the drilling technology is good…and i’m praying we will see this shut down as soon as possible,” Rep. Charles Melancon (D-La) said.

Once that relief well intercepts the existing drill pipe, mud then cement will be pumped in to stop the ruptured well, hopefully forever. Smith says, ‘

“At the end of the day, they get close enough and mill into the original casing and pump drilling fluid down this well bore,” Smith said.

After that, residents across the Gulf Coast, will wait and watch to determine how long we will have to endure the environmental effects of the BP spill.

The new containment system could be in place by late next week. The relief well was set to be completed in early August, but now sources say it’s about eleven days ahead of schedule. A second relief well is also being dug, but is about four thousand feet behind the first relief well.

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