BP has been dumping kill mud for a couple of days, now, off and on, and the well still flows. Granted, the initial dump might have been merely an attempt to understand the parameters of the system, and what it could withstand, but it appears to have been a failure. Contrary to initial reports of an admiral in Louisiana, the pill didn’t overcome the pressure of oil and gas escaping the system. BP estimated that it would take 1300 bbs of kill mud to fill the bore; they had 90,000 bbs on hand, and they stopped pumping after 16,000 bbs had been injected. Apparently, the vast majority of the mud was escaping through the riser, so they decided to re-assess(???).
When they started pumping again, they decided to go with a “junk” shot in an attempt plug some of the openings. The “junk” consists of pieces or rubber, small spheres, pieces of rope…, and whatever else might help to seal, or reduce, some of the leaks. The ideal being that the kill mud will have more area to “push” against, and hopefully, push the oil and gas down to the base of the well. If successful, the weight of the mud will effectively balance formation pressure, and then cement will be pumped to permanently seal the well.
BP has said that the process will take 36 to 48 hours before they will know if the process is successful, and that it appears that it is working, we are coming up on that time. Some engineers and geologist knowledgeable in petroleum extraction have described the process as “pissing in the wind”.
Looking at the feed from the ROV, one notices the white-snow like-material floating down. It leaves me wondering if it is gas hydrates forming from escaping hydrocarbons, if so, it doesn’t bode well for this attempt at kill the flow.
At about 09:15 this morning, something dramatic happened. Was it a “junk” shot, or was there some kind of failure. Check out the video at about 16 secs, and then at 1:14:
If this fails, they will next attempt to cut the top of the riser and install the Top Hat. It will be fitted with grommet to fit tightly over the top of riser. While, this won’t eliminate all of the oil and gas that is escaping, it should catch most of it… if all goes according to plan.
Here is to hoping…