At the risk of being disagreeable, this isn't a drilling problem or a formations problem. It might be a drilling problem in terms of abuse of the well head or casing, but the drilling with mud was going fine. How the well head got cracked is anyones guess. Bad welding. Bad casing seal. Bad part, dropped. Drill stem dropped into hole. Drill stem caught on casing lip on the way up, drill bit, or pipe buckle. Fishing for lost parts in hole? Bad cement job. Cement doesn't set up good over 230 degrees F. This a hot well, bottom hole temps are over 400 degrees F, as high as 630 F in this area and formation. Re-entry rig could have bumped it. Installed crooked. Anchors caught on the thing.
They are going to the resivoir if the relief well fails which is why they have 2 rigs on site.
It's not a pocket, it is bypassed formation in previous drilling. They knew it was there, just like those big Nat Gas wells around Mobile Bay or Coprus Christy, they on drill them when they need easy cash, which indicates TOT is having cash flow trouble with the shut in of Lybia. It wasn't until recently that condensate was considered valuable. Condensate used to be really cheap, now they use it in chemicals, fertilizer, and blending stock. Like Edmonton Tar Sands Crude, is blended into AEC light, with condensate. That blending technology is relatively new, the tar sands perfected the technique. Condensate is over 50 per barrel most places. The plastic and olefin people lovit, it spins rayon perfectly, and makes polyvinul Chloride plastics of all quaulities easily. Plus all the heavy crudes can be upgraded with it. Meeting EPA regs.