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Kill Switch on Hold for Gulf Oil Well

August 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Environmentalists will be disappointed with the news today regarding the destructive Gulf of Mexico oil well. The final “kill” plan that was supposed to completely seal of the well has been put on hold due to certain concerns that have arisen.

Since its explosion in April, the well has cause massive economic and environmental issues for the U.S. and Gulf coast residents. BP, the owner of the rig, has been battling to shut down the well and provide relief to the residents at the same time. Last month a temporary sealing cap was installed and since then no oil has leaked through. The final phase of permanently sealing the well by using the cap was to have begun by this time.

The plan for the “kill” switch was to drill an intercept well; this would then be used to pump “mud” (a heavy drilling fluid) and cement in-between the layers of the temporary cap. The result was expected to be a permanent fix to the leaking well. However, suspicions have arisen as to whether oil coul have leaked into the space where the mud and cement were supposed to go. If this is so, then pumping the mix in with the oil could not only fail to set a permanent cap, it could also cause a high pressure zone which would then break the cap and bring everything back to square one.

A study is now underway to determine if there is any oil trapped within the cap and also to determine what course of action should be taken if it is found to be so.

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