Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hurricane season comes meaning static kill might be the only thing to stop the BP oil leak

The long-awaited “static kill” was scheduled to start on BP’s blown out Macondo well Monday. It was day 100 of the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico 2010 when the static kill was to happen, although it had been delayed a week by storm Bonnie. After the static kill — ramming tons of heavy drilling mud down the well — is complete, a “bottom kill” performed from a relief well comes next. This is the worst oil spill that has occurred in the U.S. and prepared kills should be enough to stop it. Article source – Static kill could seal BP oil leak before peak hurricane season by Personal Money Store.

Cap strengthens static kill

BP put a temporary oil spill cap on so they could move on with ending this problem. The New York Times reports that an earlier effort to seal the well comparable to the static kill, using much of the exact same equipment, failed over the Memorial Day weekend. The “top kill” didn’t work as the mud wasn’t as strong as the oil pressure being released from the well. Since the flow has stopped with the oil spill cap, the static kill shouldn’t have that exact same problem.

Static kill leads to bottom kill

During the static kill, heavy mud could be pumped to the choke line of the well’s original blowout preventer that failed to set the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico 2010 in motion. 12,000 barrels of mud are on standby to go to the well, reports the Times Picayune in New Orleans. About 37,000 barrels of a heavier mud compound intended for the “bottom kill” is also on site. BP crews are assigned to view how much pressure is in the well during the process. The pressure in the well needs to get to a “static condition”. The final 100 feet of relief well should be drilled after the kills are complete.

Finishing before a hurricane hits

By the end of August, the kills need to be finished. BP plans on doing both the kills, reports the Associated Times, despite the fact that a relief well is almost finished. The relief well would do better after a static kill. BP wants this finished and also the relief well might not work as planned. The process also needs to be complete with the threat of storms within the way. Federal officials are hoping to end the BP oil leak once and for all before peak hurricane season, which typically lasts from mid-August to late October.

Further reading

New York Times

Times Picayune

Associated Press

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