Kill the oil well? — BP oil spill
Hard decision for BP and for all of us
There is a recent technical advancement of stemming the oil spill. BP plan to top-kill the oil well. On BP’s website (1:23pm, 5-26-2010), the plan is briefly described. The fluids are being pumped to the blowout preventer (BOP) to measure the pressure and the fluid flow path. Based on the measurement, the decision will be made to weather take the top-kill actions.
What does really mean of top-kill? put it simple, it is to kill the oil well by pumping the heavy materials such as mud to the well. It seems a common sense for most of people— if you can not control it, then kill it.
What are the possible risks? There could be multiple risks. (1) The large pressure inside of the oil reservoir could fail the top-kill. (2) The relief well will be built, how long the relief well will be in the place? Can it be on time to release the large pressure of the oil reservoir? (3) There are also possible other leaking places beside of the main well. By only top-kill of the main oil well, it might cause the increased amount of other oil leaking. (4) The last, but also important is if the top-kill failed, then it is going to be very hard to take other engineering approaches to seal the leaking. It is because the main entry of the well is closed, any other engineering interventions could be difficult to conduct.
Kill or not Kill?