'Static kill' on Macondo well likely delayed to Aug. 3

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 30
-- BP PLC is cleaning some debris from the bottom of the first relief well being drilled to intercept the Macondo well, and the “static kill” probably will be delayed until Aug. 3, National Incident Commander and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

The static kill initially was planned for Aug. 2 although Allen had suggested it possibly could happen sooner than that depending upon how fast the Development Driller III semisubmersible could run its final casing. On July 30, Allen said cleaning out the debris would delay the static kill for 24-36 hr.

“Some of the sediment around the side walls just settled in on itself,” Allen said. “It’s not a huge problem, but it has to be removed before we put the casing down.”

The static kill involves pumping heavy drilling fluid into the top of the Macondo well, and it could result in killing the flow of the oil and gas.

The relief well, which will be done regardless of the success of the static kill, will kill the flow of oil and gas from the bottom of the well. Crews then will use cement to seal the bottom of the well.

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