BP encouraged by results from experimental cap
Published: July 16,2010
GULF OF MEXICO — BP was encouraged early today by results from an experimental cap shutting in oil from its blown-out Gulf of Mexico well, saying everything was holding steady 17 hours into the effort.
BP PLC vice president Kent Wells said on a conference call that there was no evidence of a leak in the pipe under the sea floor, one of the main concerns. Wells spoke 17 hours after valves were shut to trap oil inside the cap, a test that could last up to 48 hours.
He said pressure continued to rise inside the tight-fighting cap, a sign that oil was gushing into it, instead of out through any undiscovered cracks, and staying there.
As of today, the pressure was above the minimum they were hoping to see, but not yet in the high range they were hoping for.
“The pressures we’ve seen so far are consistent with the engineering analysis work that BP has done,” Wells said. “It’s been a very steady build.”
Wells also said work would resume on one relief well, the oil giant’s more permanent solution meant to plug the well for good underground to end one of the nation’s worst environmental catastrophes.
That’s also a good sign that things were going well. Engineers had stopped drilling one of the wells Thursday in case that bore hole deep underground could be affected by the oil cap effort.
Engineers and scientists continue to monitor the cap’s pressure. Wells said two undersea robots were combing the sea bed, looking for any trace of oil or problems on the floor.
It’s still unclear whether the well cap will need to be reopened to allow oil to leak back after the test.
BP finally stopped oil from spewing into the sea yesterday, for the first time since an April 20 explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and unleashed the spill 5,000 feet beneath the water’s surface.
But the cap is a temporary measure. Even if it holds, BP needs to plug the gusher with cement and mud deep underground, where the seal will hold more permanently than any cap from above could.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Top Posts & Pages
- NEW IN MADISON COUNTY — Mississippi Bio-Medical Business Collaboratory to be introduced Friday
- Mississippi Film Studios signs contract with New Orleans company
- MDOT cutting more than 40 jobs in Right-of-Way Division
- GreenTech holds grand opening of neighborhood electric vehicle plant
- Turner Grain’s transition will help consolidate lawsuits alleging breach of contract
- Granddaughter of Barq's Root Beer founder dies at 90
- Mars Food expanding Delta plant; investing $31M and adding jobs
- Board authorizes sale of company that owns Silver Slipper Casino
- JRA plans image makeover, hires crisis manager