BP announced today that oil and gas is being received onboard the Discoverer Enterprise following the successful placement of a containment cap on top of the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out preventer (BOP). This follows the cutting and removal of the riser pipe from the top of the BOP's lower marine riser package (LMRP).
It is expected to take one or more days for flow rates of oil and gas to stabilize and it is not possible at this stage to estimate how much oil and gas will be captured by this containment system.
All of these operations are complex, involve risks and uncertainties, and have to be carried out by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) at 5,000 feet under water. Systems such as the LMRP containment cap never before have been deployed at these depths and conditions. The containment system's efficiency, continued operation, and ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured.
Preparations continue for the planned enhancements to the containment system as announced on June 1. Work continues on the first relief well, which started on May 2, and the second relief well, which started on May 16. Both wells are still estimated to take around three months to complete from commencement of drilling.