Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Injectivity test on oil spill

The BP spill spewed 4.1m barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days, making it the biggest unintentional offshore oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. A crucial "injectivity" test meant to determine whether an effort to seal the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could proceed.

BP siphoned off an additional 800,000 barrels from when the well exploded on April 20 to when it was capped on July 15, the U.S. government-appointed group said yesterday in its latest estimate of the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

The Macondo spill exceeds the 3.3 million barrels that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences estimated leaked from Mexico’s Ixtoc-1 well in the Bay of Campeche after a blowout in 1979. The world’s worst spill was in the 1991 Persian Gulf War when retreating Iraqi forces opened oil pumps, causing the release of 6 million barrels, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In the test, "base oil" will be pumped into the ruptured well bore to determine whether it will go back into the reservoir. The test will start with pumping one barrel per minute, then two, then three. How much is pumped will depend on how the test goes and the test is meant to help officials decide whether adjustments need to be made on "how and if" the static kill will proceed.

According to a statement from BP, the administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage and repaying Americans who've suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. To date, 139,261 claims have been opened, from which more than $271 million have been disbursed.