Update 4: it appears they’re doing one junk shot after another, at least they were on Friday, each has failed so far to lodge enough material to restrict the flow very much if at all.
Despite Obama’s (public) orders, they have stopped drilling one of the relief wells. Which means this could all come down to one relief well attempt months from now.
Update 3: again as should be obvious to anyone watching the feed, the junk shots have failed:
But the technician working on the effort said that despite the injections at various pressure levels, engineers had been able to keep less than 10 percent of the injection fluids inside the stack of pipes above the well. He said that was barely an improvement on Wednesday’s results when the operation began and was suspended in its 11th hour of operations. BP resumed the pumping effort Thursday evening for about 10 more hours.
“I won’t say progress was zero, but I don’t know if we can round up enough mud to make it work,” said the technician. “Everyone is disappointed at this time.”
Frankly, I think they knew this was never going to work from the start, and it’s a bunch of theatre and gamesmanship with Obama that we’re seeing.
Update 2: Thad Allan is now claiming the Junk Shot is working ‘Oil flow is stemmed’–but he said that yesterday, and it was an outright lie.
He said that overnight, workers pumped what is known as “junk shot,” a mix of more substantial materials, like golf balls and shredded tires, into the well, and he said they would follow with more mud later Friday. The junk shot serves as a “bridge,” he said, for the mud injections, to strengthen their ability to counteract the leaking oil.
Update 1: CNN is reporting that the 2nd attempt– with ‘Junk Shot’ has started. However, there is no indication of that on the live feed at all.
The top kill has not succeeded in reducing the pressure enough to inject concrete. They have ‘temporarily’ stopped–as anyone watching the live stream could have figured out.
New York Times:
Setback Delays ‘Top Kill’ Effort to Seal Leaking Oil Well in Gulf
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, JOHN M. BRODER and LIZ ROBBINS 15 minutes ago
BP had to temporarily stop its effort to plug the well when engineers saw that too much of the fluid they were injecting into the well was escaping along with the leaking crude oil.
Word is they are going to try the junk shot. Maybe, then another top kill attempt?
I worry they’re gonna blow this thing up.
The leakage rate is significant (I calculated earlier that it was around 17,000 bd, which lies within the newly reported range of 12,000 to 19,000 bd, and may have been higher than BP were actually anticipating. (Though the leak may also have increased a little as the mud was injected at higher pressures). The operation has already used all the mud on one of the supply boats, and has moved to the second (there is a third standing by so they won’t run out). The concern, however is now with the volume of cement that will be required for the seal.
The high volume that is leaking would require that additional amount to the volume needed for the seal itself, and that may be closer to the available capacity of the system that they have in place, or the supplies that they have on site to achieve the seal. If that is the case, one can understand the desire to at least partially plug the leaks in the BOP, and to wait until the mud column fully balances the pressure in the oil reservoir before starting this phase of the operation.
Until this point in the operation the volume of cement required to create an effective plug has not been seen as an issue.
– The Oil Drum