Deepwater Horizon: Valve seals leak on MC252 well

BP has stopped the flow of oil from one of three leak points on the damaged MC252 oil well and riser in the Gulf of Mexico.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- BP has stopped the flow of oil from one of three leak points on the damaged MC252 oil well and riser in the Gulf of Mexico. This may not affect the overall flow rate, but should ease the complexity of the situation on the seabed.

ROVs have been used to install a valve on the end of a broken drill pipe, one of the three points from which oil has been leaking. The end of the pipe was cut to leave a clean end, after which the valve, weighing over half a ton, was positioned on the seabed.

The ROVs secured the valve to the broken drill pipe and then closed it, shutting off flow from the pipe. They will continue to monitor the well and remaining flow points for any changes.

BP is also preparing to load and transport a first containment dome from Port Fourchon, Louisiana to the well site. It plans to lower the dome over one of the seabed leak sites, and then connect it by pipe to a specialist vessel at the surface.

The system is designed to help capture oil at the seabed and gather it securely for processing. The dome should be lowered to the wellsite in around three days' time, allowing testing and commissioning to begin. Only once this is complete will the effectiveness of the system be proven.

BP says it has a supply of booms and other resources to cover the next seven to ten days of planned response activity, and has implemented a supply chain to deliver additional supplies as required. There are now nine staging areas across the Gulf Coast - four in Louisiana, three in Mississippi, and one each in Alabama and Florida.

05/05/2010

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