Static kill begins on Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Following a successful injectivity test, BP commenced the static kill on the Macondo well in the deepwaters of the Gulf of Mexico the afternoon of Aug. 3, 2010. 

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.

Planned for Monday, the injectivity test was delayed until Thursday afternoon due to a small hydraulic leak on the capping stack hydraulic control system. The leak had to be repaired before the injectivity test could commence.

Pumping base oil into the Macondo well from above, the injectivity test will determine whether the well and equipment is capable of withstanding the pressure that will occur during the static kill.

“The aim of these procedures is to assist with the strategy to kill and isolate the well, and will complement the upcoming relief well operation,” reported BP.

The static kill occurred immediately afterward at 15:00 CDT.

The static kill is pumping drilling mud into the wellbore. Then BP revealed that “a decision on the best way to cement the well will be determined.”

While the static kill could permanently seal the well by pumping concrete into the wellbore from above, the relief well is planned to seal the well via an interception.

In the same release, BP reiterated that the relief well “remains the ultimate solution” to permanently seal the well using cement.

Spud on May 2, the first relief well has set its final 9 7/8-inch casing, and operations have been suspended during the static kill procedures.

Although weather remains an unknown, BP estimates that the first relief well will intercept the Macondo well annulus and perform the bottom kill by mid-August.

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