Amid leak worries, feds and BP focus on killing Gulf well
2010 07 20
By Erika Bolstad | YahooNews.com / McClatchy
Amid leak worries, feds and BP focus on killing Gulf wellThe government and BP continue to monitor leaks that appeared this weekend to be an ominous threat to their effort to contain the gush of oil in the Gulf of Mexico . But they’ve also renewed their focus on permanently capping the well that killed 11 people, fouled the Gulf of Mexico and wreaked economic havoc on the region.
Thad Allen , the top federal official overseeing efforts to contain oil in the Gulf of Mexico , said Monday for the first time it’s a possibility — albeit slim — that a containment cap installed last week could remain in place to keep oil from flowing from the BP well until a relief well is completed.
Allen cautioned that it would be premature to make any promises that they’d keep the well capped, considering some of the anomalies they’re seeing under water as part of an ongoing well integrity test.
Those include methane gas leaking seeping from the ocean floor three kilometers from the well, and bubbles — which had traces of methane — seen escaping near the well. They also appear to have a small leak from a gasket on the capping equipment, Allen said, but do not think it is serious. They have nothing to suggest there’s a threat to the well bore, Allen said, "but we are running every one of these anomalies down."
However, Allen has authorized another 24 hours of testing, and said they would carefully evaluate every step of the way whether keeping the cap in place is the best option as they move forward toward a permanent relief well. That well could be complete by the end of the month; it would take additional time to cement it in and kill it for good.
Monday’s decision to move forward with the testing capped a tense weekend of negotiations between the company and the government.
Both Allen and Wells explained away the tension as part of the scientific discourse over how to proceed, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was more willing to acknowledge the strain. The administration had some concerns "about commitments that BP had made that we did not feel that they were adequately living up to in terms of that monitoring," Gibbs said Monday.
"That was dealt with last night on a call that lasted late into the evening where we believe that we’re getting the type of overall monitoring, particularly the seismic and the monitoring with the remotely operated vehicle, so that we can look at each of these different steps," he said.
In his briefing Monday, Allen also hastened to add if anything looks unusual, they will end the testing immediately and revert to the system the containment cap was designed for capturing the flow of oil and piping it to vessels on the surface.
BP, Feds Clash Over Reopening Capped Oil Well
Video from: YouTube.com
"We are going on a day-to-day basis," he said. "I don’t think there’s any set course of action based on the conditions we’re encountering, but the overall goal is the relief well."
BP also announced Monday a new possible solution for permanently stopping the flow of oil from the well: a so-called "static kill." The current pressure readings and information they’ve gleaned from the ongoing integrity test show that it may now be possible to use the procedure, said Kent Wells , a senior vice president with BP.
"This is very much in its infancy, this is not something we’ve approved to do," Wells said, but said that the company was pursuing it as one of several potential options.
Over the weekend, Allen sent a letter demanding that BP inform him within four hours of any new leaks as well as provide a written explanation of the company’s plans for the containment cap going forward.
But the government’s scientific team remains concerned that the April 20 explosion and fire that killed 11 people and sunk the Deepwater Horizon may also have damaged the well deep below the floor of the ocean. They’ve feared that closing the containment cap could worsen conditions by forcing oil out of the well, and up the surrounding rock to the ocean’s floor.
If the leaking worsened, little could be done to halt the uninterrupted flow of oil from the crippled well.
The lower-than-expected pressure readings from the well integrity test have only exacerbated the concerns, because the scientific teams are uncertain what’s causing them.
However, the longer the integrity test goes on successfully, the more oil they keep oil out of the Gulf while they’re complete the relief well, Allen acknowledged.
"We’re looking at the conditions every 24 hours," Allen said, "understanding that each day we have the well shut in, that’s less pollution and oil that’s going into the environment."
Article from: news.yahoo.com/mcclatchy
Feds: Oil, gas leaking from cap on ruptured well (Link to Yahoo video)
Despite Gulf cleanup efforts, nature will have to do most of it
BP continues tests, but can’t guarantee cap will succeed
BP floats ‘static kill’ plan to seal well
Latest News from our Front Page
US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik.
December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36
Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell
Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army.
The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack.
Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job.
Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move.
The Bankster International
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
|More News » |