BP is accelerating offshore oil recovery and continuing well control efforts in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 (MC252) following improvements in weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday.
Last week, a fire and subsequent explosion aboard Transocean's Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig resulted in lost lives, the rig sinking to the ocean floor and an oil spill.
"The safety of the people working offshore is our top priority and the improved weather has created better conditions for our response," said BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward. "This, combined with the light, thin oil we are dealing with has further increased our confidence that we can tackle this spill offshore."
BP, operating with the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies, has launched its comprehensive, pre-approved oil spill response plan following the April 22 sinking of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig 130 miles south-east of New Orleans.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) experts participating in the spill response, the spill is "very thin" and consists of "97 per cent sheen."
In Houma, Louisiana where the field operations response is being coordinated, more than 1,000 personnel on and offshore are deployed to coordinate the oil spill response.
BP, as lease operator of MC252, also continues to work below the surface on Transocean’s subsea equipment using remotely operated vehicles to monitor the Macondo/MC252 exploration well, and is working to activate the blow-out preventer.
The Transocean drilling rig Development Driller III will arrive on location today to drill the first of two relief wells to permanently secure the well. A second drilling rig, Transocean’s Discoverer Enterprise, is en route.