Press briefing and teleconference to provide operational update on ongoing Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill response efforts, Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander, August 1, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. EDT:
George Altman, The Press Register (AL): Hi, thanks for taking my question. Here is what I'd like to know, is there any possibility that the static kill process itself could increase the pressure and threaten the integrity of the well?
What I'm thinking is you know maybe you've got oil pushing up and then mud pushing back down. Can that process threaten the integrity of the well bore?
Thad Allen: That's a great question and that's exactly what the science team was discussing over the last few days with the BP engineers. What they're going to go do is put the mud in at a very slow rate and I think it's going to be like several barrels per minute and I think during - and I don't have the numbers in front of me right now but I think at the maximum point I think we're approaching 80 barrels per minute and putting mud down during the top kill we were trying to overcome the pressure of the oil coming up.
We've taken a look at putting the mud in very slowly so if there is a rise in pressure, we would expect there is some, that we could monitor that very, very closely. And we've established 8,000 PSI as the upper limit for pressure inside the capping stack as we put the mud into it. So we'll be monitoring that.
But that's what they've established as a limit just to make sure that based on what they know about the blow out preventer and everything else we don't want to inadvertently do damage so that's the reason the put a cap on it.
I think we all agreed that we're going to be moving forwarded. But given the time that's been inserted and some of the meetings we have with the science teams and making sure that we had looked at all the procedures associated with it include the injectivity test we thought it would be a good idea if I went ahead and issued a letter. So that will happen later this evening.