That press release clearly states there is no gas leaking on or under the PUQ, that is the production platform. We all knew that.
The problem still is the leaking drill platform that is linked by a 90 foot bridge to the production platform.
The fix is this, pump heavy drilling mud down the well bore, they hope it plugs the leak between the casing and earth where the gap is. That means filling the entire lenght of the 12 inch well bore to over 9000 ft with heavy mud under pressure then hoping it fills the gap between the casing and earth wall of the well bore. It might work, but 4000 psi has been eating away at the earth wall between the casing for over a week. Plus the acutal tempurature in this well is very hot. Over 600 degress in the bottom of the hole, since the crust is factured and thin in this area due to the weight of the sediments laying on it heat is an issue.
Everything still stays shut in, until a relief well is drilled. All the blowout collars are closed. So the well pressure has built up. The leak is still occuring between the casing and the earth which bypasses the blowout collars. Both blow out collars will have to be opened sea bed and deck to pump anything into the well bore. There will be a huge release at that moment that is the most dangerous time frame, and why a regular drilling crew can't do it. There is 315 feet at least between the deck and sea bed collar.
Still costing big money, to keep the production platform shut down. A whole field is hooked to that platform. The drill rig is also save able if there is no fire.
The still have to drill a relief well, because heavy mud is only a temporary fix. The pressure will eventually find it way up along the casing.
blow out collars aren't closed at all. IF it's leaking outside the casing then it would be bubbling up to the surface, but it's not.
It's also an older field which had already been shut in. The amount of gas coming to the surface has already decreased. They said it was most likely an smaller reservoir above the main depleted reservoir in the capped well that was leaking.
The crew issued an encouraging report, Total said. "We achieved our goals. Everything went as we would have hoped and the planned well intervention is achievable. There is certainly no showstopper to launch the well control operation," Wild Well said, according to a Total statement released Friday.
The specialists said they didn't find gas present on the Elgin Process, Utilities, Quarters, or PUQ, platform, which is connected by a 90-meter bridge to the wellhead rig. They also identified infrastructure on the well-head rig that would allow an operation to kill the well through heavy-mud pumping.