Oil FAIL: Mud pumping suspended since 2AM today after two "junk shot" attempts
BP’s renewed efforts at plugging the flow of oil from its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico stalled again on Friday, as the company suspended pumping operations for the second time in two days, according to a technician involved with the response effort.
In an operation known as a “junk shot,” BP engineers poured pieces of rubber, golf balls and other materials into the crippled blowout preventer, trying to clog the device that sits atop the wellhead. The maneuver was designed to work in conjunction with the continuing “top kill” operation, in which heavy drilling liquids are pumped into the well to counteract the pressure of the gushing oil.
If the efforts succeeded, officials intended to pump cement into the well to seal it. But the company suspended pumping operations at 2:30 a.m. Friday after two “junk shot” attempts, said the technician, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the efforts.
The suspension of the effort was not announced, and appeared to again contradict statements by company and government officials that suggested the top kill procedure was progressing Friday.
"Appeared again to contradict"? I'm shocked.
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.”
Let's just hope BP isn't shorting its own stock before having this technician drop a dime to The Times (whose story is, after all, single-sourced from some sort of insider). Because that would be bad.