Chu: BP "could close the well and see what happened... The worst-case scenario is you create a fissure that doesn't heal, and the entire reservoir empties"
Energy Secretary (and, of course, Winner of the Nobel Prize) Steven Chu told The Washington Post's Joel Achenbach that he was responsible for convincing BP that the well had NOT lost integrity.
The Post reported Chu said, "BP engineers had assumed, after the 'top kill' failed, that the well had a loss of 'integrity' somewhere down below the wellhead, with breaches that let the mud from the operation surge into the rock formation instead of straight down the well."
According to the article, Chu said, "I said, 'No, I don't think so, there's another scenario,'" after which he suggested, "They could close the well and see what happened."
Chu added, "The worst-case scenario is you create a fissure that doesn't heal, and the entire reservoir empties."
"By choking the flow at the top, the pressures could build to such high levels that the oil and gas could explode laterally, through the well casing. The hydrocarbons might flow into the surrounding formations and then work their way up, into the gulf," reported Achenbach.