LMRP oil spill containment cap sees success

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The lower marine riser package (LMRP) oil spill containment cap has been successfully deployed, and the Discoverer Enterprise drillship is receiving oil and natural gas from the damaged Macondo well

For comprehensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts under way to resolve them, visit PennEnergy's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico special section.

BP reports that the LMRP cap has been deployed 5,000 feet subsea at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill containment procedure involved cutting the damaged riser from the blowout preventer (BOP), and then capping the well and transporting the hydrocarbons via a new riser to the drillship above the water’s surface.

The Discoverer Enterprise drillship has received the flow of oil and natural gas, although it is expected to take up to two days to stabilize the flow and determine how much hydrocarbons are being captured.

The LMRP cap has never been used at such a great water depth, and there remain uncertainties about its ultimate success.

Enhancements to the LMRP cap will be developed to increase its effectiveness.

Furthermore, the two relief wells continue to be drilled to reduce the pressure inside the Macondo reservoir, and therefore, reduce the flow of oil and natural gas from the damaged well.

The oil spill began when there was a fire and explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon semisub on April 20, which then led to the sinking of the rig. BP, industry experts and governmental officials have been working desperately to contain the oil spill, deploying myriad devices in their efforts.

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