BP has installed and bolted down an adapter, called ‘spool’, on top of failed Blowout Preventer (BOP) at leaking well (Macondo, MC252) in the Gulf of Mexico. An installation of a stack of valves on top of spool is currently in progress. Pictures of a spool adapter and of a stack of valves are shown below. Once stack is installed, BP will commence well integrity test to determine if well can hold pressure (shut-in pressure) without deterioration of rock formation or seabed leaks.
Should the well pass the 48-hour pressure test, BP may shut it, Doug Suttles, the company’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, told reporters today on a conference call. The test will start as early as this morning, once a stack of valves is bolted atop spool adapter, he said. A relief well BP is drilling will still be needed for a permanent plug.
BP’s Macondo well has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day, according to a government estimate, since an April 20 drilling-rig explosion that killed 11 workers. The pressure test, to be monitored by seismic sensors on the seafloor, may determine whether the well bore can withstand the pressure of being shut, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said today in a CNN interview.
Picture: Sealing Cap, an assembly of Spool Adapter and Stack of Valves.
Picture: Spool Adapter (top) and an imitation of Blowout Preventer opening (bottom)
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