Senator Nelson: The BP Well May Have Lost Structural Integrity Beneath the Sea Floor
Washington’s BlogTuesday, June 8, 2010
On June 2nd, Bloomberg pointed out:
Plugging the well is another challenge even after BP successfully intersects it, Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor, said. BP has said it believes the well bore to be damaged, which could hamper efforts to fill it with mud and set a concrete plug, Bea said.
Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters.
On the same day, the Wall Street Journal noted that there might be a leak in BP’s well casing 1,000 feet beneath the sea floor:
BP PLC has concluded that its “top-kill” attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.
The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP’s findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.
Yesterday, Senator Bill Nelson told MSNBC that he’s investigating reports of oil seeping up from additional leak points on the seafloor: