Tuesday, 25 January 2011

BP Says Static Kill Working in Well, Most Spilled Oil Already Gone

The static kill procedure initiated yesterday by BP involved pumping heavy mud down into the well-pipe to allow it to seal the pipe and stop the flow of oil into it. That much of the procedure proved successful after about eight hours of pumping the mud. Officials now believe that the well pipe has been sealed by the mud and a monitoring period will last for a few days as engineers try to determine if there are any issues with pressure or small leaks in other areas of the well.

The final solution still appears to involve one of two relief wells that have been drilled toward the site of the well. Even with the successful static kill from the top of the well, the relief wells will eventually pump mud and cement at the base of the well pipe to ensure that the well itself is sealed.

In addition to the success of the static kill procedure, BP and federal officials are pointing happily to the fact that most of the oil from the spill is not visible at this point. Officials are saying that the vast majority of the oil has been either collected, dispersed naturally and with chemicals, or burned from the surface. Of course, there is little mention of the large swaths of oil that were spotted weeks ago just below the surface of the Gulf.

At this point, clean-up crews on the beaches and in boats on the Gulf appear to be in front of the oil and further issues on the beaches are projected to be minimal. The warm waters of the Gulf and the organisms there that naturally feed on crude oil and its components have been factors in the rapid deterioration of the oil from the well. As more commercial and residential fishing areas re-open, there will likely be much debate and testing to determine whether food can be eaten from these waters.

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 8/4/2010