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BP says Gulf of Mexico well is static

Spill now being monitored ahead of possible cement injection.

BP has said that the MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico appears to have stabilised after the static kill procedure carried out on August 3.

The pumping of heavy drilling mud into the well from boats on the surface began on August 3 and was stopped after about eight hours of pumping.

The well is now being monitored to ensure it remains static.

According to the company, further pumping of mud may or may not be required depending on results observed during monitoring. The start of the static kill was based on the results of an injectivity test, which immediately preceded the static kill and lasted about two hours.

BP will continue to work with the National Incident Commander and other government officials to determine the next course of action, which involves assessing whether to inject cement in the well.

The aim of these procedures is to to kill and isolate the well and will complement the upcoming relief well operation.

A relief well remains the ultimate solution to kill and permanently cement the well, BP said. The first relief well, which started on May 2, has set its final 9 7/8-inch casing. Operations on the relief wells are suspended during static kill operations.

Depending upon weather conditions, mid-August is the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will intercept the Macondo well annulus, and kill and cement operations commence.