Engineers in Gulf Ready 'Static Kill' Operation


Engineers working to plug BP's (BP) ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico aim to begin an operation to pour mud and cement into the well by this evening, a step toward fixing the leak permanently.

This so-called static kill technique would use mud to force the oil back into its vast underground reservoir, which would then be sealed with cement, the Associated Press reported. Engineers would then choke the reservoir using an 18,000-foot relief well.

"It could be the beginning of the end," said Darryl Bourgoyne, director of Petroleum Engineering Research Lab at Louisiana State University.

No oil has leaked into the Gulf waters from the well since engineers fitted a cap two weeks ago. As much as 184 million gallons of crude spewed out of the well after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April, killing 11 workers.

Originally published