(The following is a roundup of recent events related to the BP oil spill, including the the static kill.)
NEW YORK (
(BP - Get Report)
is preparing to launch its static kill operation on Monday, with tests to be conducted and the actual operation tried as early as Tuesday. The static kill will be the first of a two-pronged effort from BP to permanently plug the compromised Macondo well.
The static kill operation is similar to previous failed "kill" operations attempted by BP, which involved pumping heavy drilling mud and cement into the Macondo well. BP hopes the static kill will succeed where the previous "kill" methods failed because of the cap now in place over the well. The cap, never meant to be a permanent solution to the leaking well, should make efforts to pump mud and cement into the well more effective, BP has said.
BP plans to follow up the static kill with the relief well that has always been the No. 1 plan for ending the oil spill permanently.
The static kill could be the beginning of the end of the oil spill, which began on April 20.
The static kill uses mud to force back the pressure coming up through the well from the oil reservoir, and if successful, cement is then pumped on top of the mud to plug the well. BP hopes it will be successful, and safe, as the cap is already controlling pressure in the well, making it less likely that forcing mud into the well will cause damage.
It's been two weeks since any oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.
BP's share price received an immediate spike on the afternoon that the cap first stopped oil from flowing into the Gulf. At the beginning of July, BP shares were under $20. On Monday, BP shares were trading up and nearing the $40 mark, a share price level not seen since May 31.
It's "kill and drill" for BP, but BP is saying that the static kill is no guaranteed success, and the government is stressing that the relief wells are the only true plug for the Macondo well.
Retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the government's point man on the oil spill response, said on Sunday that the static kill is not "the end all, be all."