After almost five months and 206 million gallons of oil released into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has officially sealed the well today that caused the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20 and killed 11 employees.
“Additional regulatory steps will be undertaken, but we can now state, definitely, that the Macondo well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico,” said former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, according to CNN reports.
BP began the final stages of sealing the well with cement on Friday, which concluded today; however, the full extent of the damage caused by the explosion and oil released is still unknown.
“This may be the final nail in the coffin for BP’s well, but the investigations into this crime against the environment are continuing. Inquiries by Congress, the Obama administration’s independent panel and others will progress until every inch of this environmental crime scene has been examined and a full autopsy has been performed on the spill’s effects,” Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement Saturday, reported CNN.
BP has promised victims of the oil spill $20 billion to be distributed through a compensation fund. Yet, in addition to the $9.5 million already spent in cleanup costs, BP may soon endure tens of billions of dollars in fines from the government and anticipated legal costs.