BP, U.S. government to decide well kill plan soon

* BP, government considering options for well kill

* Want to be sure not incurring more risk

By Kristen Hays

HOUSTON, Aug 16 (BestGrowthStock) – BP Plc (BP.L: ) (BP.N: ) and
government scientists should decide in the next day or two how
to go about killing the blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well, the
top official overseeing the spill response said on Monday.

“There’s nobody that wants to have this happen quicker than
I do, but there’s nobody who wants to incur more risk in this
operation,” retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told
reporters at a briefing.

“When we finish this thing, we need to have a stake in the
heart of this well,” he said.

The relief well is about 50 feet (15 metres) from its
target more than two miles beneath the seabed, Allen said.

He said BP engineers and government scientists are
concerned that cement poured into the well from the top earlier
this month squeezed back up into the space between the well
pipe and the surrounding rock layers, trapping as much as 1,000
barrels of oil.

“We took a step to minimize risk in relation to a discharge
during hurricane season and we’re just dealing with the
implications of that,” he said.

Allen said officials are assessing whether injecting heavy
drilling mud and cement into the Macondo well through the
relief well will hike pressure and force oil up.

That could mean another leak into the sea or damage the
failed blowout preventer that is key to finding the cause of
the April 20 blowout, he said.

Allen said officials may build a pressure venting system to
install on seabed equipment before the relief well is finished,
which could take a week.

Or BP may swap the failed blowout preventer for another,
which would take less time, he said.

Once drilling resumes, Allen said it could take up to a
week to intercept, inject cement, let it dry, conduct tests and
declare the Macondo well dead.
(Reporting by Kristen Hays; Editing by Jerry Norton)
(For more coverage of the oil spill, see
http://link.reuters.com/hed87k)

BP, U.S. government to decide well kill plan soon