UPDATE 1-BP could get final "go" to kill well by Tuesday – US

* Relief well could intercept blown-out well next Saturday

* 1,000 barrels of oil could be trapped in well
(Adds details, quotes, byline)

By Bruce Nichols

HOUSTON, Aug 14 (BestGrowthStock) – BP Plc (BP.L: )(BP.N: ) will get
the go-ahead to finish a relief well to finally seal its
blown-out oil well but is doing a last batch of testing and
planning first, the top government official overseeing the Gulf
of Mexico oil spill said on Saturday.

The final go-ahead could come by Tuesday, and it could take
another 96 hours or four days to intercept the bottom of the
damaged Macondo well and begin cementing it, retired Coast
Guard Admiral Thad Allen told a teleconference.

The relief well as of Saturday was within 50 feet (15.24
metres) of the bottom of Macondo and 3.5 feet (1 metre) to the
side of it, Allen said.

“We will kill the well. The relief well will be executed
and the bottom kill will be executed,” Allen said. “It’s just a
matter of finishing up tests so we understand the conditions
under which we should move forward and precautions that may be
taken to mitigate risk.”

Allen said the last round of testing and planning is aimed
at accurately predicting and preparing to control well
pressures that could build up during the “bottom-kill” process.

The concern is to prevent oil from escaping into the water
during the bottom-kill. Estimates are as much as 1,000 barrels
of oil could be trapped in the well bore as a result of the
earlier cementing done from the top.

“What we’ve directed them to do is to give us a plan on how
they would control that pressure … how they would mitigate
it, and that’s one of the things they’re going to be providing
us,” Allen said.

Final preparation could involve removing the current
blowout preventer stack atop the well and replacing it with a
“BOP” better able to withstand anticipated bottom-kill
pressures, Allen said.

That would add another step to the final process of sealing
the well from the bottom, but the replacement BOP is already on
the sea bottom atop the backup relief well that is being
drilled, he said.

If final bottom-killing of the well goes forward with the
current blowout preventer, Allen said he wants BP to prepare
extra measures – perhaps venting – to deal with excessive
pressures should they occur.
(Editing by Jackie Frank)

UPDATE 1-BP could get final "go" to kill well by Tuesday – US