During an online chat session at the Washington Post this afternoon, recently retired President of Shell Oil John Hofmeister discussed the latest news and information about the BP oil spill.
A questioner asked about the chances that the well casing below the sea floor had been compromised, and if so would the relief wells be able to stop the oil flow.
Hofmeister responded, "This is what some people fear has occurred. It is also why the "top kill" process was halted. If the casing is compromised the well is that much more difficult to shut down, including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other risks as well."