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With the stack in position, the next step is to connect up the hydraulics, so that the power can be applied to the rams and that they will close the flow. This is some of what is going on with the array of other ROVs whose operations are now available for monitoring. Prior to that I suspect that they will, Monday evening, check the flow of oil through the kill line to the Helix Producer, to ensure that it can handle the flow, and that this will occur concurrent with the flow to the Q4000. Once those numbers have been confirmed, and the flow conditions validated, the shear rams will be closed. I would suspect that this will happen first, since it will increase the pressure in the well somewhat, as the flow path out is restricted to the kill and choke circuits. Then, after checking to ensure that the well is retaining its integrity – no leaks into the surrounding rock through the casing or any other of the horrific disasters that have floated through comments over the past few weeks – the flow to the choke and kill will slowly be closed. As they are closed the pressure in the well will continue to be monitored, together with the flow out of the two lines. (Having now read the full transcript I note that BP are going to do it the other way around, closing the rams last instead of first. Well I think it might be more logical to do it the other way, but they know more about the relative benefits of the choice than I). If the pressure continues to rise (indicating no leaks) as the flow trails to zero, then the well will have been shut-in. The flow will have stopped, and a test will be run, for a planned 48 hours to ensure that all the seals are holding. At that time I expect that the choke and kill lines may re-open, but without there being some unforeseen incident, I do not expect the rams to re-open. Once the well stops pumping out oil into the Gulf, the political difficulties in restarting that flow un-necessarily are considerable. And if there is a problem then in addition to the choke and kill lines the riser to the Enterprise can be re-connected, and take 15,000 bd up the pipe, for a total system capacity of around 50,000 bd without letting any more oil out into the water. If the current tests are successful, then the risks of additional leakage into the Gulf during a Hurricane are also going to be greatly reduced, and the pressure on the relief well becomes a little less.