BP Bottom-Kill Procedure May Not Be Necessary
Pressure tests have been part of the BP assessment of the capped ruptured well responsible for the massive Gulf oil spill. Now, U.S. government scientists and BP officials are evaluating whether or not the apparent success of the BP “static kill” operation removes the necessity of using the relief well to tap into the ruptured well for the “bottom-kill” procedure planned for next week.
Oil spill response director Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told reporters that pressure readings indicate the oil and gas from the ruptured BP well have been pushed back into the reservoir, and no longer pose a problem. No oil spill leaks have been detected since the July 15 containment cap success. The bottom-kill procedure would pump mud and cement into the base of the ruptured BP well. If the blown-out well is already sealed, this expensive and time-consuming procedure would be redundant.
With the Gulf oil spill the worst accidental oil spill in history, BP and the government are understandably cautious in making a decision concerning further “kill” operations on the ruptured well. BP officials and U.S. government scientists will prepare and submit to the government a recommendation on whether or not to proceed with the bottom-kill operation, and wait for a decision.