Deepwater Horizon: Pressure test will determine if bottom kill proceeds, says Allen
With the passing of the storm in the Gulf of Mexico, work on the relief well at BP’s Macondo spill site is resuming.
HOUMA, Louisiana – With the passing of the storm in the Gulf of Mexico, work on the relief well at BP’s Macondo spill site is resuming. The static kill done earlier is holding without any apparent difficulty and may preclude the need for the planned bottom kill through the relief well.
Admiral Thad Allen, national incident commander, says the next step depends to come degree on the results of a pressure test on the annulus. Once that data is available to BP and the incident science advisors, the next step can be determined, he said.
“If the annulus is cut off with cement, and we choose not to do the bottom kill from the relief well it will be because we’ve effectively already done the bottom kill,” Allen said. He also pointed out that persisting with the bottom kill when the static kill has shut-in the well could have a bad effect on the operations.
Once the pressure test data is complete and the decision is made to go ahead with the relief well, it would take approximately 96 hours to intercept the annulus of the problem well and begin the bottom kill.
“Let me restate this for everybody: a bottom kill finishes this well. The question is: has it already been accomplished through the static kill? Or what do we need to do to ensure that the annulus has no communication with the reservoir? That’s what we’re trying to do here—to make sure there is no chance hydrocarbons come up through the reservoir either through the well casing or the annulus itself,” Allen said.