BP today confirmed that well kill operations on the MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico are now complete, with both the casing and annulus of the well sealed by cement.
The MC252 well has been shut-in since July 15 and cementing operations in August, following the static kill, provided an effective cement plug in the well’s casing. The relief well drilled by the DDIII drilling rig intercepted the annulus of the MC252 well on September 15, followed by pumping of cement into the annulus on September 17. BP, the federal government scientific team and the National Incident Commander have now concluded that these operations have also successfully sealed the annulus of the MC252 well.
“This is a significant milestone in the response to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and is the final step in a complex and unprecedented subsea operation – finally confirming that this well no longer presents a threat to the Gulf of Mexico,” said Tony Hayward, BP group chief executive. “However, there is still more to be done. BP’s commitment to complete our work and restore the damage done to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf coast and the livelihoods of the people across the region remains unchanged.”
BP will now proceed to complete the abandonment of the MC252 well, which includes removing portions of the casing and setting cement plugs. A similar plugging and abandonment of both relief wells will occur as well.
BP will also now begin the process of dismantling and recovering containment equipment and decontaminating vessels that were in position at the wellsite.
Approximately 25,200 personnel, more than 2,600 vessels and dozens of aircraft remain engaged in the response effort.
No volumes of oily liquid have been recovered from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico since July 21 and the last controlled burn operation occurred on July 20. BP, as part of Unified Command, continues to conduct overflights and other reconnaissance to search for oil on the surface. At peak, approximately 3.5 million feet of containment boom was deployed in response to the oil spill. Currently 670,000 feet of containment boom remains deployed.
On August 23 processing of claims from individuals and businesses related to the Deepwater Horizon incident transferred to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF). To date, over 68,000 claims have been submitted to the GCCF, with over 19,000 claims totaling over $240 million being paid, including a $34.5 million fund for real estate brokers and agents. Prior to the transfer to the GCCF, BP had made 127,000 claims payments, totalling approximately $399 million.
The cost of the response to September 17 amounts to approximately $9.5 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs. On June 16, BP announced an agreed package of measures, including the creation of a $20 billion escrow account to satisfy certain obligations arising from the oil and gas spill.