Relief well for damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well stalled due to pressure worries

On Monday afternoon, BP engineers and the US government’s science team met to figure out the best way to relieve pressure in the outer shell... More Below... Posted by on Aug 17th, 2010 and filed under US.

On Monday afternoon, BP engineers and the US government’s science team met to figure out the best way to relieve pressure in the outer shell of the Macondo well before BP is allowed to complete the relief well, the ultimate step in permanently sealing the exploded oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The government wants the company to proceed with filling the well with cement through a relief well to make sure the broken well really is dead, even as BP already pumped cement into the well through a procedure called a “static kill” this month.

But now officials are concerned that pumping cement through the relief well could put too much pressure on the sealed outer layer of the well, called the annulus, and National Incident Commander Thad Allen asked BP to figure out how to relieve the pressure before he would let the company complete the relief well.

(Thanks to The Times-Picayune and NASA)