BP has 24 Hours to Confirm Cap is Working

By: Ashton King Email
By: Ashton King Email

Things are expected to stay the same at BP's damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico at least for the next 24 hours.

BP's containment cap is staying put for now.

"We do not believe this is consequential at this time," said Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander for the Gulf Oil Spill for the Coast Guard.

The government official in charge of the spill insists there's no cause for alarm even though the 75-ton device is leaking oil and gas. Two miles away something is also seeping from the sea floor.

"The small seepages that we are finding right now do not represent at this point any indications that there is a threat to the well bore," said Allen.

BP engineers will continue keeping a close eye on the well, watching for any new leaks. Pressure readings are slowly climbing. A good sign, but government scientists are still trying to figure out why they're so low.

Tara Mergener reports, “BP wants to keep the cap in place until relief wells are completed, but the government has asked the company to draw up plans in case the cap needs to be opened.”

"If there's any indication of a drop in pressure or any reason why we might need to do something about it, we'd need to vent immediately to relieve the pressure on the well," said Allen.

But that would allow millions more gallons of crude to gush into the Gulf for at least a few days.

BP is considering another option to shut the oil flow known as "static kill". Much like the failed "top kill" method it would involve pumping heavy drilling mud and cement into the well.

Company executives believe the plan may have a chance now that the well is capped. Still they stress the idea is only in the planning stages and it will take another couple of days at least before any decision is made.

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