“Squeezing” Is Not a Sex Move, and Other Things We Learned During the Summer of BP


When we look back at these hazy days of summer 2010, we’ll remember oil, for sure, and birds and models in oil (thank you, Italian Vogue), and a smattering of strange, mystical, rather sexual-sounding phrases, like “junk shot,” “top kill,” “tar balls,” “bottom kill,” “annulus,” “bullhead”…and now, “squeezing”!

Squeezing is apparently the act of compressing the three layers of drilling mud, cement, and some kind of, um, fluid to accelerate the speed at which the cement cures — not, despite popular belief, doing your Kegels, being groped on the subway, or even “denying someone after they have denied you.”

And the squeezing is going swell so far!

Per the New York Times,

The cement job should be completed by Friday, at which point “we can all breathe a little easier,” Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is leading the federal spill response effort, told reporters at a briefing Thursday. “This is not the end, but it will virtually assure us there will be no chance of oil leaking into the environment.”

That would be good. In other interesting intellectual-semantical explorations:

“When the well is static, it’s killed,” said Greg McCormack, program director of the Petroleum Extension Service at the University of Texas, Austin. “But if you remove the pressure, it can become unkilled. Once you put cement in it from the bottom, then it can never be unkilled.”

Whoa. That blew our minds, and our wells, too. Hooray for the killing of that which cannot be unkilled!

But what is Thad Allen really thinking? Deep. Thoughts. Like, Yoda-deep.

“It’s almost like a mystery you are trying to unravel,” Admiral Allen said. “The question is: What is the path of the cement to the bottom?”

Hm. Well, at the end of the day, we most agree with Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s words to The Washington Post, which seem to indicate that he, too, is a fan of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

“You want to make sure it’s really dead, dead, dead. Don’t want anything to rise out of the grave.”

Let the squeezing continue. FYI, reports state it will probably be mid-August before the well has been officially “killed,” which means there have to be a few more choice “words” coming our way.

Also, it’s not British Petroleum, it’s Beyond.

[via New York Times, NPR]

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