Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Day 85 BP Oil Spill Update: New Cap Installed; Flow May Stop!
Jul 13: In a brief update late on July 12, BP reported that the "three ram capping stack" was installed on the Deep Water Horizon LMRP at 7 PM CDT. The stack completes the installation of the new sealing cap. BP is now undergoing well integrity testing on the MC252 well. For the duration of the integrity test, which will be a minimum of 6 hours and could extend up to 48 hours, the three ram capping stack will be closed and all sub-sea containment systems (namely, the Q4000 and Helix Producer) will be temporarily suspended, effectively shutting in the well. It is expected, although cannot be assured, that no oil will be released to the ocean for the duration of the test.
BP cautions however, that this will not be an indication that flow from the wellbore has been permanently stopped. Information gathered during the test will be reviewed with the relevant government agencies including the Federal science team to determine the way forward. Options include reinstatement of containment as well as extending the test duration beyond 48 hours. BP also notes that the sealing cap system never before has been deployed at these depths or under these conditions, and its efficiency and ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured.
The Helix Producer containment system started operations on July 12. The Q4000 containment system continues to capture oil and gas from the MC252 well and flare the hydrocarbons safely at the surface Relief well operations continue throughout this period and remain the sole means to permanently seal and isolate the well.
Also, on July 12, BP reported that as of July 10, almost 105,000 claims had been submitted and more than 52,000 payments have been made, totaling almost $165 million. A July 12, 7:00 PM update from the Unified Command indicates that 106,294 claims have been opened, from which more than $164.9 million have been disbursed. "No claims have been denied to date." There are 1,050 claims adjusters on the ground. BP says its cost of the response to date amounts to approximately $3.5 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and Federal costs.
Since June 28, BP's share value has risen $10 from a record low of $27 to a current value of $37. Additionally, the market value of the company has now risen to $118 billion -- up from a low of $98 billion. Prior to the oil spill disaster the company was valued over $180 billion. BP's rise in stock price and market value comes in spite of a July 12 front page New York Times expose entitled, "In BP's Record, a History of Boldness and Costly Blunders."