BP Well Is 'Effectively Dead'

Final pressure test seals the deal, Allen says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2010 10:56 AM CDT
The Development Driller III, which drilled the relief well and pumped the cement to seal the Macondo well, the source of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill, is seen in the Gulf Of Mexico,...   (Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – A permanent cement plug sealed BP's well nearly 2.5 miles below the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico, five agonizing months after an explosion sank a drilling rig and led to the worst offshore oil spill in US history. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said today that BP's well "is effectively dead." Allen said a pressure test to ensure the cement plug would hold was completed at 5:54am local time.

He said the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement has confirmed that the cementing operation was successful. "Additional regulatory steps will be undertaken but we can now state definitively that the Macondo Well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico," Allen said. Mud and cement were pushed down through the top of the well, allowing the cap installed in July to be removed. But the well could not be declared dead until a relief well was drilled so that the ruptured well could be sealed from the bottom, ensuring it never causes a problem again. The relief well intersected the blown-out well Thursday, and crews started pumping in cement Friday.

For Newser's extensive Gulf oil spill archive, click here.

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