Following a meeting with Secretary Chu and his team of scientific and industry experts, the National Incident Commander announced that additional analysis of the well testing procedure should be performed before starting the well integrity test. This analysis will be conducted at night and into the morning of July 14. Consequently, the well integrity test did not start July 13.
During this period, BP will continue to ramp up containment operations on the Helix Producer as well as continue to optimise the Q4000 operations. The Helix Producer has the capacity to capture approximately 20,000 – 25,000 barrels of oil per day. Historically, the Q4000 has flared an average of approximately 8,000 barrels of oil per day.
The sealing cap system, the Q4000 system, the flexible riser system, and the planned additional containment systems never before have been deployed at these depths or under these conditions, and their efficiency and ability to contain or flare the oil and gas cannot be assured.
Operations continue on the first relief well. Operations on the second relief well have been temporarily suspended at 15,963 feet to ensure that there is no interference with the first relief well. The relief wells remain the sole means to permanently seal and isolate the well.
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