Houston, Texas – A “top kill” operation intended to stop the flow of oil from the MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico has failed, according to BP. The procedure was intended to stem the flow of oil gas and ultimately kill the well by injecting heavy drilling fluid through the blow-out preventer on the sea bed and down into the well.
The company said that it successfully pumped a total of over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud and deployed a wide range of different bridging materials, but that the operation did not overcome the flow from the well.
BP and the U.S. government have decided to move to the next step in the sub-sea operations, the deployment of the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap Containment System. The plan involves cutting and removing the damaged riser from the top of the failed blow-out preventer, leaving a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the preventer’s LMRP. The cap is designed to be connected to a riser and placed over the LMRP, with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well. The cap is already on site and is expected to be connected in about four days.
BP said that the operation has not been previously carried out in 5,000 feet of water and so successful deployment cannot be assured.