Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 20, 2010
The Macondo well that released an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has been killed.
The well, which had been shut-in since July 15, was intercepted by a relief well on September 15. Two days later, cement was pumped into the well's annulus forming a plug. After tests confirmed the strength of the plug yesterday, Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen pronounced the well "effectively dead."
BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay issued statement calling the kill "a significant technological accomplishment." He added, "BP will continue sharing what we have learned in an effort to prevent a tragedy like this from every being repeated."
Killing the well is not the end of the Deepwater Horizon saga. Numerous challenges remain along the Gulf Coast where the cleanup continues, and in Washington where politicians are considering legislation. BP estimates it has spent $9.5 billion on the spill response so far, while the human costs are incalculable. Eleven crewmembers on the Deepwater Horizon lost their lives. Thousands of workers in the fishing, tourism and energy industry lost their jobs.
The administration estimates that the de facto offshore drilling moratorium has led to the loss of no more than 12,000 jobs--a figure that was cast into doubt by the Times-Picayune on Saturday. In an editorial, the newspaper said the government's job analysis failed to account for the loss of jobs in shallow-water operations. "The least the government could do is to be frank about the negative impact its policies have had...." the editors wrote.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.