Static Kill? NOT approved, BP concerned about “pressure constraints”; “Very much in its infancy” (AUDIO)


Kent Wells Technical Briefing, July 19, 2010 at 18:30 EDT:

So I think what I’d say to you is continuing on with this test in 24 hour increments is absolutely the way for us to go forward. ...

Keep doing all this monitoring that just allows us to clearly distinguish between whether we have a depleted reservoir or whether we may lack integrity in the well. ...

In terms of the static kill. And let me talk about this because this is – people are probably going gee, we haven’t heard about this.

And I think there’s good reasons. This is very much in its infancy. This is not something that we’ve approved to do. ...

There was two things that allowed this to become a reality. First of all was the possibility [of] the well having integrity. We needed to have that. The tests are encouraging at this point but we haven’t made a firm decision on that. ...

And the second piece was the fact that it had a lower reservoir pressure. That was important as well to make sure we stay underneath the – any pressure constraints we might have with the system.

And so the big difference between the static kill and of course before when we talked about the top kill, which was a dynamic kill where we had to pump at tremendously high rates to try to overcome the flow of the well. It’s a very different situation when you actually have the well shut in. We can pump at low rates, we can keep it at low pressures and do it in a very different way.

So we’re going to work through with the teams and work with the scientists and see whether this is something we can do.

It clearly has some advantages in lowering the well head pressure et cetera. Maybe even to the point of the well being killed. But these are all the things that we need to work through.

Now, what I want to stress through is that at the end of the day the relief well will still be the ultimate solution. We will still drill in with the relief well to make sure that the annulus is dead, et cetera. But this static kill does give us a new option like always we like to pursue parallel options...

Remember that we’re still very much in the design and planning phase...

It’s just a very different procedure but we need to make sure that we go take the time, properly plan it out, think through all the risks and then we’ll make a decision in the – probably in the next couple days. ...

The way I’m sort of viewing this is the static kill is an additional acceleration option of the kill procedure. If you remember when I talked about the relief wells, we drill into the annulus and we’d kill that if we needed to and then we’d need to drill into the casing.

If we can do the static kill, it might kill – might kill just in the casing, it might kill in the annulus, it might kill both but it should accelerate or at least complement improve the relief well. But we’ll still want to finish up with the relief well.

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