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What is “static kill”?

July 22, 2010
by

The oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on May 24, 2010.

If you have been following the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill news closely, you’d know what this term means. If not, let me explain.

Static kill is a tactic that BP will deploy to seal off the oil spill. It involves pumping mud into the well to force oil back into the reservoir below.

This operation is set to begin in the next 48 hours and officials hope that it will be able to permanently seal off the breached Gulf of Mexico oil well that has been spewing out thousands of gallons of crude oil since April 20th of this year.

Officials from BP have said the “static kill” option could succeed where similar attempts have failed because pressure in the well is lower than expected.

Officials have said the relief well provides another option if the “static kill” doesn’t stop all the flow of oil.

Then, what is a relief well?

BP Relief Well

A relief well is BP’s attempt to drill through 2 1/2 miles of rock to stop the Gulf spill. It is on target for completion by mid-August.

However, weather and storm surges have prevented the construction of this well. The first tropical depression of the Atlantic season formed in the Caribbean, raising concerns about what might happen to efforts to contain the oil if bad weather forces BP to abandon them. It’s still too early to tell exactly where the storm might go and how it might affect oil on and below the surface of the Gulf.

The relief well is considered the best hope of halting the crude that has been gushing since April 20 in the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The crew that has been drilling the relief well since early May ran a test to confirm it is on the right path, using a tool that detects the magnetic field around the casing of the original, blown-out well.

More on the relief well here.

So basically, if pumping mud into the existing well to plug off the spill (static kill) does not work, the relief well should help stop the spewing of oil.

The relief well is considered the best hope of halting the crude that has been gushing since April 20 in the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

If you’re interested to learn more about the BP Deepwater Horizon / Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill disaster, check out CNN.com!!

Mel

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