Another effort to finally plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is being made by BP at its Macondo prospect. This time the company is pumping heavy drilling mud in an attempt to plug the ruptured well. As per vice president Kent Wells it was too early to know how long the process would take.
The operations began on Tuesday and hope to force the crude oil back down into a reservoir about 3.5 miles beneath the surface of the sea. If all goes as per plan the well could be put out of action permanently by Wednesday.
However that is a text book conclusion and real life may throw up other challenges. Leaks in the steel casing of the well could complicate matters. The final cement job may need to be put on hold till the relief well is ready. And any number of complications may arise.
Since the explosion some 4.9 million barrels were reported to have been leaked into the Gulf from the estimated 50 million barrels that the prospect contained.
The frustration and uncertainty will not help BP economically as it gets ready to sell more assets to help fight the disaster caused by the explosion in the Deepwater Horizon rig in April this year.
The Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010, in water approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m) deep, and has been located resting on the seafloor approximately 1,300 feet (400 m) (about a quarter of a mile) northwest of the well.