Subsea Source Control and Containment
The lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap, installed on June 3, continues to collect oil and gas flowing from the MC252 well and transport them to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship on the surface.
In the first 12 hours of June 9 (midnight to noon), approximately 7,920 barrels of oil were collected and 15.7 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared. On June 8, a total of approximately 15,000 barrels of oil were collected and 29.4 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.
Lightering – the transfer of crude oil from one vessel to another – from storage on the Discoverer Enterprise to the barge Massachussetts began on the morning of June 9 and continues. When the process is complete, the barge will transport the oil for discharge at an onshore terminal.
Preparations for additional planned enhancements to the LMRP containment system continue to progress.
The first planned addition will use the hoses and manifold that were deployed for the “top kill” operation to take oil and gas from the failed Deepwater Horizon blow-out preventer (BOP) through a separate riser to the Q4000 vessel on the surface, in addition to the LMRP cap system. This system is intended to increase the overall efficiency of the containment operation by potentially increasing the amount of oil and gas that can be captured from the well and is currently expected to be available for operation in mid-June.
In the meantime, work on the first relief well, which started May 2, continues and has currently reached a depth of 13,978 feet. The second relief well, which started May 16, is at 8,576 feet, and preparing to drill ahead. Both wells are still estimated to take approximately three months to complete from commencement of drilling.
Surface Spill Response and Containment
Almost 3,600 vessels are now involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. Operations to skim oil from the surface of the water now have recovered, in total, approximately 383,000 barrels (16.1 million gallons) of oily liquid.
The total length of containment boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil from reaching the coast is now over 2.3 million feet, and almost 2.7 million feet of sorbent boom also has been deployed.
To date, almost 42,000 claims have been submitted and more than 20,000 payments already have been made, totalling over $53 million. BP has received more than 173,000 calls into its help lines.