BP plans injectivity test on Macondo well in gulf

By OGJ editors
-- BP PLC planned an Aug. 2 injectivity test on the runaway Macondo well in 5,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico to determine if a planned static kill procedure is likely to work, Kent Wells, BP senior vice-president of exploration and production, told reporters.

Wells said the test will determine if BP can push oil back into the reservoir from the top of the well. The test also will help BP understand friction pressure within the system, which has been closed with a sealing cap since July 15.

Crews doing the test will pump base oil will be pumped into the blowout well. If BP determines that it cannot inject into the well, crews will rely on a relief well to kill the flow of oil and gas from the bottom of the well, Wells said.

An Apr. 20 blowout of the Macondo well resulted in an explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig, killing 11 people. BP operates Macondo on Mississippi Canyon Block 252.

If the test goes well, BP plans the static kill for Aug. 3 when it will pump heavy drilling fluid into Macondo at low pressure using primarily a manifold on the seabed and primarily the choke line of the failed Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer.

Wells said BP has yet to determine if it will pump cement into Macondo by going through the top of the well or the bottom of the well. Cement will permanently seal the well. If cement is pumped into the well from the top during the static kill, Wells said the relief well still will be needed to confirm that the flow of oil and gas has been halted.

BP expects the relief well could intercept the Macondo well sometime during Aug. 11-15 unless tropical weather or technical problems cause delays.

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