Drilling efforts progress on Macondo relief wells

By Phaedra Friend Troy

In an effort to reduce the pressure pushing the oil and gas from the Macondo well, two relief wells are progressing.

Because the Mississippi Canyon 252 oil well is the only puncture into the reserve formation, millions of years of pressure are forcing the oil and natural gas up the drill pipe and through the failed BOP and broken riser. The estimates of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico from the well are 5,000 barrels of oil a day.

By drilling two relief wells, the pressure forcing the hydrocarbons through the broken, leaking well will be reduced, thusly reducing the amount of oil spilling into the ocean.

Drilling efforts are under way to complete the two relief wells.

Currently, the Development Driller III has successfully finished running the blowout preventer (BOP) stack and riser, which connects the well on the ocean floor to the rig 5,000 feet above on the water’s surface. The rig is now connecting the BOP to the wellhead to begin drilling the first relief well.

Also, the Development Driller II has arrived on location to commence operations to drill the second relief well. The rig is preparing to drill, performing BOP maintenance.

Drilling efforts are expected to take some three months.

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