BP starts static kill on Macondo well in gulf

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Aug. 3 -- BP PLC started the static kill on the deepwater Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico about 3 p.m. CDT on Aug. 3 after an injectivity test confirmed that BP could inject into the Macondo well.

Kent Wells, BP senior vice-president of exploration and production, said the static kill could take anywhere from numerous hours to several days. National Incident Commander and retired US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen was at BP’s office in Houston for the injectivity test and the static kill.

Wells said the success of pumping heavy drilling fluid into the well will determine whether cement also will be pumped into the well from the top. It’s possible the static kill could stop the flow of oil and natural gas from the top of the well although at least one relief well still will be completed to confirm the flow of oil and gas has been halted at the bottom of the well.

“They are pumping at very low rates. They will be pumping very consistently, and they are monitoring pressures,” Wells said. The static kill started by pumping 1 bbl/min into the well and was expected to be increased to 2 bbl/min.

Relief well status
In an earlier conference call on Aug. 3, Allen emphasized that the well will not truly be sealed until at least one relief well is finished.

Transocean Ltd.’s Development Driller III semisubmersible drilled the first well, which now has a cement shot in it awaiting completion of the static kill. When the relief well resumes drilling, crews will drill through the shoe, Allen said. Crews then have about 100 ft more to drill to intercept the Macondo well.

“They were offshoot about 4½ ft from the other wellbore right now,” Allen said. “So, it will be going over 4 ft and down about 100 ft at an incline of about 2.9°.”

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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