August 2, 2010 -- New Orleans, LA
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral (Ret.) Thad Allen discussed the nature of BP's and the US Oil Spill Response Initiatives latest effort to stop the gushing oil in the Gulf. Dressed casually in a plaid shirt and khakis, Allen fielded questions for about half an hour today.
The US Spill Response Chief outlined BP's Top Kill process, which includes the static kill, to be carried out on Tuesday. Chief Allen mentioned several key points.
(1.) The 'Static Kill' is only one step in the 'Top Kill' design. It will be used to determine the next phase of the plan.
(2.) It will take approximately 5 hours to complete the Static kill, a process of pumping about 2 barrels/minute of mud into the Q4000 riser.
(3.) After the Static Kill, engineers will be able to determine where there is oil, whether it be in the drill pipe, the casing or the annulus ( the area outside the casing and the well-bore). Depending upon the location of the oil, cement may also be pumped into the well.
(4.) It will be 31-66 hours before the status of the Static Kill is known.
After reading from prepared statements, Adm. Allen began taking questions about the clean up effort. Allen hinted that more dispersants may have been used than were necessary, stating that these decisions " were made tactically and based on surveillance photos taken of the area."
When pressed further, Allen admitted that " dispersants were used on a scale not envisioned by the Environmental Protection Act of 1970."