BPs preparations are ongoing for the deployment of its lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment system on to the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are engaged in preliminary operations, including preparing for operations to cut through and separate the damaged riser from the LMRP at the top of the Deepwater Horizons failed blow-out preventer (BOP), BP says.
Deployment of the system will involve connecting the containment cap to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and then placing it over the LMRP, with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well and transporting it to the drillship on the surface.
Work on the first relief well, which started on 2 May, continues and it has currently reached a depth of 12,090 feet. Work on the second relief well, which started on 16 May, had reached a depth of 8,576 feet before drilling was temporarily suspended on 26 May. Drilling operations on the second relief well resumed on 30 May. Both wells are still estimated to take around three months to complete from commencement of drilling.
Above ground, work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea, to protect the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, and to collect and clean up any oil that has reached shore.
Over 1,600 vessels are now involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. Operations to skim oil from the surface of the water have now recovered, in total, some 321,000 barrels (13.5 million gallons) of oily liquid.
The total length of containment boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil reaching the coast is now over 1.9 million feet, and an additional 1.8 million feet of sorbent boom has also been deployed.
So far approximately 30,000 claims have been submitted and more than 15,000 payments already have been made, totalling some $40 million (32.6million).