BP oil rig is sealed for good

By: Courtney Harrington

As of Sunday September 19, 2010, the oil rig off the Gulf coast has been sealed off for good. Photo courtesy of Google images

            On April 20, 2010, an oil rig 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana exploded. Due to the accident, 11 workers were killed that day. The oil rig leaked for 86 days straight, losing over 200 million gallons, or 4.9 million barrels, of crude oil into the ocean, killing animals and ecosystems. The rig was temporarily capped off on July 15, 2010, and no oil has leaked out since. The federal government collected an army of people to clean up the spill. The BP oil spill has been said to be the worst oil spill in the history of the United States.  

            Over the summer months, oil began to approach land. In some states, it washed up on the beaches. Oil appeared on the white sands of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Tourists made sure to stay away from the unpleasant sight. Many people along the coast with ocean related jobs lost them. For a short time, federal and state authorities shut down fishing in the Gulf. BP said they have paid over a hundred million dollars in claims for the damages done.

             During the summer, a relief well was built to intersect the oil from the main ruptured well. The relief well was built two and a half miles away from the original one through dirt and rocks under the sea bed. Workers built it that way so that the ruptured well can be permanently sealed off from the bottom. On Wednesday, September 15, 2010, the crew only had 20 feet left to drill. 

             At 5:54 A.M. on Sunday, September 19, The Interior Department Agency said the oil rig was announced dead.  Workers spent the weekend pouring cement and mud into the bass of the destroyed well to plug up the hole for good. A few pressure tests were conducted to make sure the cement seal was holding. “With this development, which has been confirmed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, we can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead,” Thad Allen, former coast guard, said.

             A lot was lost due to the oil spill off the coast, but people are one step closer to repairing what was destroyed. Things are not over quite yet. “However, there is still more to be done. BP’s commitment to complete our work and restore the damage done to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf coast and the livelihoods of the people across the region remains unchanged,” Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, stated.


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