BP oil spill: new cap fitted onto leaking well
July 13, 2010 1 Comment
Live underwater footage has shown a new cap being placed onto the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico, offering hope of containing the oil for the first time since BP’s deepwater rig exploded in April.
BP has said that the next step will be running tests to make sure there are no other leaks from the well. Tests and monitoring could last from six hours to two days, and oil will still leak into the Gulf during that time.
The old cap, removed on Saturday, did not have a tight fit and allowed crude to escape.
In a statement announcing the installation of the new cap, BP warned that success was not certain.
“It is expected, although cannot be assured, that no oil will be released to the ocean for the duration of the test,” the statement said. “This will not, however, be an indication that flow from the wellbore has been permanently stopped.”
The cap is only meant to be a temporary fix. To permanently plug the well, BP is drilling two relief wells to reach the blown-out well from underground and inject heavy drilling mud and concrete.
BP expects one relief well will do the job, but it’s drilling a second as a backup. Officials have offered varying estimates for when that work will be done, but mid-August is the most common timeframe.
The cap removed on Saturday was installed June 4 to capture oil gushing from the bottom of the sea, but because it had to be fitted over a jagged cut in the well pipe, it allowed some crude to escape into the Gulf. Read more.
Source: Telegraph UK