Wednesday, August 4, 2010

BREAKING: BP claims victory; says well is in "static condition." UPDATE: Interview with Allen added. UPDATE II: Cement coming, probably tonight

This is a breaking news item.  Updates will be added as more information becomes available.

In an overnight press release, BP claimed success in killing the well by slowly pumping heavy drilling mud through the three-ram containment cap:

Release date: 04 August 2010

BP announced today that the MC252 well appears to have reached a static condition -- a significant milestone. The well pressure is now being controlled by the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling mud, which is the desired outcome of the static kill procedure carried out yesterday (US Central time).

Pumping of heavy drilling mud into the well from vessels on the surface began at 1500 CDT (2100 BST) on August 3, 2010 and was stopped after about eight hours of pumping. The well is now being monitored, per the agreed procedure, to ensure it remains static. Further pumping of mud may or may not be required depending on results observed during monitoring.

The start of the static kill was based on the results of an injectivity test, which immediately preceded the static kill and lasted about two hours.

BP will continue to work with the National Incident Commander and other government officials to determine the next course of action, which involves assessing whether to inject cement in the well via the same route.

Cement injection will create a permanent seal on the well, so while the well is in a static condition, it's not technically dead yet. Expect a decision sometime today on whether the cementing procedure will take place. If it does, expect it to be done quickly.

UPDATE: Here's an interview with Admiral Allen, held this morning on New Orleans WWL-TV:

UPDATE II:  BP will start pumping cement into the well, using the same procedure. Told ya this would be decided quickly, and that it would start ASAP after the call was made.

Gimme some feedback in the comments.