08 May 2010 01:11 [Source: ICIS news]
(Adds updates throughout)
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A 100-ton container that was meant to capture oil spewing from the sunken Deepwater Horizon offshore well in the US Gulf has reached the seabed, according to news reports.
The 40-foot-tall (12-metre) container could be operational as early as Monday and BP hoped to capture as much as 85% of the oil and send it via pipe to a ship on the surface, the company said.
The drilling began on 2 May and was proceeding as expected, BP said.
The process usually takes two to three months and involves going 5,000 feet (1,525 metre) to the seabed, drilling an additional 18,000 feet, and reaching a target the size of a basketball, according to the US Coast Guard.
“BP intends to drill two wells designed to intersect the original wellbore above the oil reservoir,” the Coast Guard said. “This will allow heavy fluid to be pumped into the well which will stop the flow of oil from the reservoir. Cement will then be pumped down to permanently seal the well.”
The blast on Transocean’s offshore rig and subsequent flow of oil from BP’s well produced an oil patch that was moving closer to the ?xml:namespace>
The BP-operated rig had spewed more than 5,000 bbl/day of oil since the 20 April explosion and fire that killed 11 workers.
As a result of the incident, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that no new offshore drilling permits would be released until a safety review was released later this month.
Additional reporting by Ben DuBose
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