Oil spill cap enhancements planned

By Phaedra Friend Troy

While the LMRP oil spill cap is seeing some success at capturing the leaking oil and natural gas from the Macondo well, preparations are currently under way to enhance the device. 

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.

The first LMRP cap enhancement involves using the hoses and manifold that were lowered to the seafloor for the failed “top kill” procedure. Here, the hoses and manifold will be applied to the BOP to capture leaking oil and natural gas and transport it via another riser to the Q4000 vessels above.

Expected to be able to be deployed by mid-June, this enhancement is expected to contribute to the oil spill containment efforts of the LMRP cap.

The second planned enhancement involves increasing safety through a more permanent LMRP oil spill containment cap.

Here, the oil and natural gas that the oil spill cap is collecting will be transported to the 300 feet below the water’s surface by a free-floating riser. From there, a flexible hose will transport the hydrocarbons to a containment vessel.

The reason for this modification is to allow for an easier disconnection and reconnection of the riser, should a hurricane threaten the vessels above the water. The new riser system is expected to be deployed by early July. 

Look to PennEnergy and its daily Global Offshore Weather Report for up-to-date video coverage of offshore wind, waves and weather for the nine busiest offshore regions worldwide, including the Gulf of Mexico.

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