BP reaches 'static condition' on Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico

By Phaedra Friend Troy

After commencing the static kill on Tuesday afternoon, BP effectively reached “static condition" on the Macondo well in the deepwaters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

For comprehensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts under way to resolve them, visit PennEnergy's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico special section.

Hailed as a “significant milestone,” the static kill procedure allows BP to control the pressure in the well by using the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling mud.

Following a successful injectivity test, BP began pumping heavy drilling mud into the Macondo well from vessels on the water’s surface at 3 p.m. (CDT) on Aug. 3, 2010. The pumping was stopped about eight hours later.

The well is now being monitored to guarantee that the well remains static. More mud may be pumped into the well, depending on how the evaluation period goes.

BP will now determine, along with the National Incident Commander and other governmental groups, whether to initiate the cementing process via the same overhead route or through the relief well.

Nonetheless, BP reported that the relief well continues to be the “ultimate solution to kill and permanently cement the well.”

Work on the relief wells has been suspended during the injectivity test and static kill procedures. BP estimates that the relief well will intercept the Macondo well and perform the bottom kill in mid-August.

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