Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ding Dong, the Well is Dead. Gulf Oil Spill comes to anticlimactic end

In a statement released this morning, Admiral Thad Allen (RET) confirms the results of last night’s final pressure test and proclaims the Macondo Well dead; the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill over:

"After months of extensive operations planning and execution under the direction and authority of the U.S. government science and engineering teams, BP has successfully completed the relief well by intersecting and cementing the well nearly 18,000 feet below the surface.  With this development, which has been confirmed by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, we can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead.   Additional regulatory steps will be undertaken but we can now state, definitively, that the Macondo well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico.  From the beginning, this response has been driven by the best science and engineering available.  We insisted that BP develop robust redundancy measures to ensure that each step was part of a deliberate plan, driven by science, minimizing risk to ensure we did not inflict additional harm in our efforts to kill the well.  I commend the response personnel, both from the government and private sectors, for seeing this vital procedure through to the end.  And although the well is now dead, we remain committed to continue aggressive efforts to clean up any additional oil we may see going forward."

It’s something of an anticlimactic end, as the well was successfully capped on July 15 and no oil has flowed from the well since then.  There’s been quite a bit of speculation as to whether the relief well completion was even needed, as the “top kill” procedure that followed the successful cap stanched the flow of oil and could have been the permanent fix.

Nonetheless, a slow motion disaster has come to a quiet end, nearly five months to the day since April 20, when a methane gas bubble erupted and blew out the well.  The ensuing explosions and fire killed 11 men, sank one of the world’s most advanced drilling rigs and started the worst marine oil spill in US history.

Now comes the continuing recovery, which the Obama regime can hasten by dropping the arbitrary, capricious and economically devastating drilling moratorium.  Let the Gulf Coast get back to work, and it will recover all by itself.


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