BP says capped Gulf of Mexico oil well currently not leaking but testing continues
BP has said today the capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico currently shows no signs of leakage. This news comes one day after the flow was stopped for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up in April, killing 11 workers.
BP official, Kent Wells, says there has been no sign of any leak under the sea floor now that the well has been capped.
But this is not yet the end of the road and more pressure testing is underway to make sure there are no ruptures anywhere else. There will be a 48-hour test of the integrity of the well and that time is not yet up.
Admiral Thad Allen says current tests have been inconclusive. He said testing on the capped well would continue for several more hours yet.
And President Obama told press that there was still more work to be carried out.
“It is important we don’t get ahead of ourselves,” he said, although he admitted that having had the well capped successfully is good news.
“One of the problems with having this camera down there is, is that when the oil stops gushing, everybody feels like we’re done – and we’re not,” he told CBS News.
President Obama warned that any new leaks from the capped well “could be even more catastrophic.”
So far the oil spill has caused damage to hundreds of miles of Gulf coastline and cost the livelihood of people who work in fishing and in the tourist industry. Tourists are not traveling to the Gulf coast. The oil spill is worse than the Exxon Valdez one.
BP has, to date, paid out more than $200m to 32,000 claimants and is looking into other claims.
On the ocean floor, robotic cameras are monitoring the capped well and checking into any possible oil leaks. So far there is no sign of leaking oil.
BP wants to begin drilling again on a relief well that will cut into the compromised well and allow it to be closed permanently, reports the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
The situation on the capped well is being closely watched every six hours. BP would like to keep collecting the oil, which amounts to 80,000 barrels a day, provided there are no leaks and the capped well can be sealed permanently. The capped oil well would probably be sealed with mud and cement.
If pressure stays high it means there are no other leaks going on, but if the pressure drops it could mean more leaks are happening,despite the well having been capped.
Even if the leak stops permanently, it is likely there will be tar balls washing up on the beaches of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida for months to come.
This story continues.
San Francisco residents can follow this story about the capped BP oil well, on local TV news, KTVU. The news comes on at 5pm, 6pm and 10pm.
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