By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 27 -- Crews drilling the first relief well to the deepwater Macondo well prepared for a final casing run tentatively scheduled to begin July 28, National Incident Commander and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters on July 26.
The casing needs to be in place before crews start the static kill, tentatively scheduled to begin Aug. 2.
The 2,000-ft casing run is expected to be completed around July 31-Aug. 1, Allen said. Crews then plan to cement the casing into place, and the cement is expected to take 8-12 hr to set up.
“At that point, we will be ready to move on to do two things. First of all, we will then shift to pumping mud and cement down the top of the well,” Allen said. The static kill is intended to fill the inside of the well with mud and then cement using the kill line on the failed Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer. The Helix Q4000 multiservice vessel will be used in the static kill.
Kent Wells, BP executive vice-president of exploration and production, said the static kill potentially could kill the flow of oil and gas in the Macondo well, but that BP still plans to complete the relief well.
Allen estimates the relief well crews could start trying to kill Macondo from the bottom of the well around Aug. 7. The relief well first will be drilled into the annulus of Macondo where it will set cement. Then, crews plan to drill the relief well into the casing of Macondo, Allen said.
Tropical weather or technical problems could delay the anticipated timeline, he said.