Tourism in Gulf Shores and other nearby towns took hard financial hits following the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. But the oil giant worked feverishly through its Restore the Gulf initiative, contributing manpower and funding, to help the popular coastal areas, including Alabama’s Gulf Shores (located 375 miles south of Huntsville) recover.
On Thursday, more than two-and-a-half years after the spill, BP announced that The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved a drilling permit for a new well in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
This is BP’s first drilling permit approved since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill to meet the bureau’s enhanced safety requirements and standards established following the tragedy. The application is under a supplemental exploration plan that was approved last week following a site-specific environmental assessment by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
“BP has met all of the enhanced safety requirements that we have implemented and applied consistently over the past year. In addition, BP has adhered to voluntary standards that go beyond the agency’s regulatory requirements,” said BSEE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “This permit was approved only after thorough well design, blowout preventer, and containment capability reviews.”
According to a press release, the well is part of BP’s Kaskida prospect located in the Gulf’s Keathley Canyon map area approximately 246 miles south of Lafayette, LA in 6,034 feet water depth. In addition to meeting the bureau’s rigorous standards, BSEE verified that BP has met the additional standards it volunteered to adhere to in July 2011.
These voluntary standards include: the use of blind shear rams and a casing shear ram on subsea blowout preventers (BOPs); third party verification of BOP testing and maintenance; and laboratory testing of cement slurries.
As part of its approval process, BSEE reviewed BP’s containment capability available for the specific well proposed in the permit application. BP has contracted with the Marine Well Containment Company to use its capping stack to stop the flow of oil, should a blowout occur. The capabilities of the capping stack meet the requirements established by the specific characteristics of the proposed well.
Gulf Shores earned a spot on your Huntsville Travel Examiner’s list of top 5 destinations within driving distance from Rocket City. To learn more about visiting this unique coastal community, click here.