Second oil spill containment system starts in the Gulf of Mexico

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Oil and natural gas spilling from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is now being captured by a second containment system

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.

One of the planned enhancements to the lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap, BP reported that the second oil spill containment system became operational at 1:00 a.m. CST on June 16.

This is in addition to the LMRP cap that is successfully collecting approximately 15,000 barrels of oil a day from the deepwater well.

The additional system involved attaching a subsea manifold to the damaged blowout preventer (BOP) via hoses, and then transferring the collected oil and natural gas via another riser to the Q4000 vessel 5,000 feet above on the water’s surface. The Q4000 uses a clean-burning system to flare the collected oil and natural gas.

The amount of hydrocarbons being collected by the second containment system is ramping up, and a new assessment of the number of barrels this system is capturing will be available soon. 

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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