Will BP Skip the Relief Well, Declare Mission Accomplished, and Abandon Ship Without Permanently Killing the Oil Leak?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Yesterday, I pointed out that – while everyone is claiming that the oil well has been capped – it hasn’t really been capped.
AP reported last night:
BP, U.S. mull whether to skip ‘bottom kill’
The federal government and BP have recently raised the possibility that they won’t need to perform the operation at all, since the well was plugged last month with mud and cement pumped in through the top.
(Bottom kill is, of course, just another phrase for relief wells.)
Similarly, Bloomberg writes today:
BP Plc may not finish drilling a relief well to its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said during a conference call today.
The relief well, which for months has been touted by the U.S. government as the ultimate solution to stopping the flow from Macondo — a process known as “killing” the well — may not be needed after all, Allen said.
Oil industry expert Robert Cavnar has a must-read piece today on the situation:
For the last several days, I’ve been trying to figure out what BP is doing and what is the actual condition of BP’s MC252 well after their “static kill” and cementing procedure last week apparently didn’t work. You’ll recall that when [BP’s] Kent Wells announced this procedure, he actually used the words “killed” and “dead”.