The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Cap Removal Delayed

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 30, 2010

High seas have forced BP to postpone efforts to remove the containment cap on the Macondo well. The company says engineers are standing by, waiting to remove the cap and the battered blowout preventer (BOP) before replacing the BOP with one from the Deepwater Driller II. No oil is expected to be spilled during the operation.

In related news today:

  • Bloomberg reports that BP engineers misread pressure data on the Macondo well before the explosion and fire. Their positive interpretation of the data led to the decision to replace the heavy drilling fluids with lighter seawater, which could not prevent natural gas from rising from the well leading to the explosion and fire.
  • Platts reports that two more sessions of hearings are likely to be held before the national commission investigating the spill releases its report in January.
  • The Bipartisan Policy Center released a memo last week detailing its findings on the efficacy of the offshore moratorium in protecting safety and mitigating future harm. The memo called for a balanced approach to domestic oil production that weighs "the benefits of reducing our reliance on imported oil, against the economic and environmental risks of producing it." It also stressed that the Department of the Interior should "not take an undue amount of time" to resume offshore drilling.
  • Documents have surfaced showing that the administration knew the deepwater moratorium would destroy nearly 23,000 jobs.

API's Andy Radford addressed the moratorium at a Poynter Institute gathering in New Orleans last week. He explained that the nation will feel the moratorium's effects in the future when U.S. oil and natural gas production is likely to decline.

As Andy pointed out, the world is expected to need 44 percent more energy in 2030 than it consumed in 2006. Restrictions that slow domestic production run counter to the nation's long-term desire to reduce dependence on other countries for energy.