Finally — after killing 11 people, injuring 17 others, spewing 172 million gallons of oil and untold amounts of natural gas into the ocean, and tormenting the entire Gulf of Mexico region for almost 5 months — the BP / Deepwater Horizon dragon has been declared officially dead by the US Coast Guard. After some tense last-minute complications, a relief well successfully intersected the failed Macondo well 13,000′ beneath the seafloor last Thursday (September 16). Cement was pumped into the base of the Macondo well, and pressure testing conducted over the weekend confirmed that this cement job had sealed the well.
Hallelujah. It’s a relief, but the BP / Deepwater Horizon Oil and Gas Disaster is far from over. There is a lot of work to do to fully measure and understand the impact of this event, to monitor its impacts over time, to apply all the lessons learned to our offshore drilling practices, and to help the Gulf ecosystem and communities recover.