BP began its well integrity test on the gushing undersea MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico today using its 3-ram capping stack (earlier post). Full closure of the choke valve occurred at approximately 2:25 pm Central time, and currently the well remains shut-in, with no oil flowing into the Gulf.
|The capping stack prior to being lowered down to the well. Source: BP. Click to enlarge.|
Full analysis and discussion on The Oil Drum.
During the well integrity test, operations on the first relief well have been temporarily stopped while the well was at 17,840 ft as a precaution. Operations on the second relief well have been temporarily suspended at 15,874 feet to ensure that there is no interference with the first relief well. The relief wells remain the sole means to permanently seal and isolate the well.
For the first 12 hours on July 15 (midnight to noon), approximately 5,875 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 3,430 barrels of oil and 22.5 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.
For the last 12 hours on July 14 (noon to midnight), approximately 2,040 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 1,230 barrels of oil and 7.4 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.
BP video of Capping Stack Deployment