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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