The Final Quest to Permanently Plug the BP Oil Leak? Static Kill Operations Underway
Operations for the Static Kill of BP's leaking oil pipe in the Gulf of Mexico have commenced.
The procedure started at 4 PM EDT after results from injectivity tests performed earlier in the day were positive. The injectivity tests measured the oil well's pressure to see if the drilling mud would be able to pumped deep enough to plug the oil reservoir.
Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard Admiral who is the head of the response team, said there is a chance the drilling mud may not penetrate the area of the well pipe between the inner piping and the outer casing. In this case, oil would still have a chance to leak out. So, another procedure would be required.
Admiral Allen stated that oil well will not be completely sealed until the relief wells are finished: "The relief wells are the answer."
Estimates from the latest data show BP's busted oil pipe leaked an average of 53,000 barrels of oil per day since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th.
In total, an estimated 5 million barrels of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico dwarfing the 3.3 million barrels spilled into the Bay of Campeche by the Mexican oil rig Ixtoc I in 1979, which was previously considered to be the largest oil spill ever. BP's containment efforts have recovered roughly 800,000 barrels of oil.
Image credit: © BP p.l.c.
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