Deepwater Horizon: Weather accelerates schedule for containment

With the weather in the Gulf of Mexico near the Macondo well site improving, Admiral Thad Allen, national incident commander, says the hookup of the Helix Producer is under way and production into that vessel could come as soon as Sunday.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS – With the weather in the Gulf of Mexico near the Macondo well site improving, Admiral Thad Allen, national incident commander, says the hookup of the Helix Producer is under way and production into that vessel could come as soon as Sunday. At that point, the recovery capacity on the surface will increase to 50-53,000 b/d of oil from the current rate of around 25,000 b/d.

Allen also says with the possibility of seven to 10 days of better weather, he is pushing for a schedule to install the replacement containment cap which is expected to seal the flow while moving toward killing the well.

“We think this weather presents a significant opportunity for us to accelerate the process of capping – shutting down the well from the top and increasing the prospects for being able to kill the well from below through the relief wells,” says Allen.

He says the relief well could take until mid-August, depending upon what is found when the drilling enters the Macondo well pipe. At that point the operations expect to be able to determine whether the flow is up the annulus or contained within the drill pipe.


07/09/2010

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