BP (BP) said Friday that the Deepwater Horizon rig's blowout preventer, which failed to prevent oil from the Macondo well from flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, has been removed from atop the well.
The capping stack on top of the blowout preventer was removed Thursday, which gave workers access to connect a riser to the damaged device, the oil company said in a statement Friday. That riser will slowly lift the 300-ton piece of equipment to the ocean surface; it's expected to reach sea level on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, citing the company.
BP continues to address the aftereffects of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 rig workers and led to the most massive oil spill in U.S. history. The company, which owns 65% of the rig, took a second-quarter charge of $32.2 billion to account for expenses relating to the explosion, and CEO Tony Hayward stepped down in late July.
BP, which said that no new oil has flowed into the Gulf since July 15, has skimmed off more than 826,000 barrels of oil, while another 265,000 barrels worth of crude have been removed through more than 400 controlled burns.
About $8 billion has been spent so far on the response, which has included relief-well drilling, containment, cementing, financial grants to Gulf states, claims and federal costs, BP said. The company has created a $20 billion escrow account to cover the financial obligations stemming from the explosion.