BP Begins Flushing MC252 Subsea Equipment

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Under the guidance and approval of the Unified Area Command, BP has been authorized to begin flushing drilling mud and hydrocarbons from the MC252 well sealing cap and the original Deepwater Horizon Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) and Blow Out Preventer (BOP).

The flushing is in advance of a pressure test procedure that will study the well's BOP stack and sealing cap under ambient conditions.

The work began Wednesday afternoon and the flushing procedure will involve the following steps:

  • The Discoverer Enterprise will attach a drill string to the top of the existing sealing cap.
  • The middle blind shears of the sealing cap will be opened.
  • The Q-4000 will pump an 'anti-freeze' mixture down through the existing manifold and into the BOP's choke and kill lines. The liquid used in the flushing will be completely contained and carried to the surface through the Enterprise drill string.
  • Following the flushing, the sealing cap's blind shear ram will be closed.

Following successful flushing of the subsea equipment, BP will conduct an ambient pressure test to reassure that the well is secure. The test will be conducted over a 48-hour period, which mimics twice the time estimated to remove the original BOP and replace it with the Transocean Development Driller II (DDII) BOP.

In anticipation of a successful test, and as directed by the National Incident Commander, the DDII is preparing its BOP for further use on the MC252 well. In doing so, a storm packer will be set in the DDII well prior to moving off the second relief well site.

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