1 more pressure test needed on BP oil well
NEW ORLEANS (KABC) -- One more pressure test on a cement plug stands in the way of declaring BP's blown-out Gulf well permanently dead, said officials on Saturday.
According to Rich Robson, the offshore installation manager on the Development Driller III vessel, the well will be declared dead once the pressure test is finished and officials are confident that the seal will hold permanently.
The vessel was used to drill the relief well that allowed engineers to pump in the cement. The 2.5-mile deep relief well intersected BP's well on Thursday.
The last pressure test is slated to happen around 11 p.m. CDT and is expected to last about half an hour. Robson said that the test is the only way to ensure the well is dead.
During the test, engineers will exert 15,000 pounds of pressure against the cement plug to make sure it won't give way.
- Initially, mud was supposed to be pumped in before the cement, but that was deemed unnecessary because there was no pressure building inside the well.
- Once the well is declared dead, it will mark the first time in five months for residents along the Gulf Coast to be completely assured of oil never spewing from that well again since the April 20 fatal rig explosion.
- The Gulf well spewed 206 million gallons of oil until the gusher was first stopped in mid-July with a temporary cap. Mud and cement were later pushed down through the top of the well, allowing the cap to be removed.
- The oil spill was an environmental and economic nightmare for people along the Gulf Coast that has spawned civil and criminal investigations. It cost gaffe-prone BP chief Tony Hayward his job and brought increased governmental scrutiny of the oil and gas industry, including a costly moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling that is still in place.
- Once the well is declared dead, it will mark the first time in five months for residents along the Gulf Cost to be completely assured of oil never spewing from that well again since the April 20 fatal rig explosion.
- Oil is still in the water and some of it is still washing ashore. Fisherman are still struggling to fight the perception that their catch is tainted and tourism also has taken a hit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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british petroleum, gulf coast, environment, gulf oil spill, oil, national news
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