The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Cementing Job Completed

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 6, 2010

"Not with a bang but a whimper." - T.S. Eliot

The well that roared to life in April and took the lives of 11 men was drowned in cement yesterday. The Macondo well, which raged for about three months, quietly succumbed as engineers methodically pumped cement through the cap on the top of the well, pushing the pressurized oil and gas down thousands of feet and back into the reservoir.

When the cementing job was finished, Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said, "We can all breathe a little easier." (The New York Times)

To be doubly sure that the well has been killed, BP will intercept the wellbore with a relief well and initiate a "bottom kill" procedure which will squeeze cement into portions of the wellbore that might not have been accessible through the well's cap. BP projects that the relief well will intercept Macondo in mid-month, weather permitting.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.