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Oil gushing from the well before the containment cap  (Source: CalFinder)

New containment cap  (Source: xinhuanet)
New containment cap stopped the leak, but the job isn't finished yet

Just five days shy of three months since the oil leak started in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, and 184 million gallons of oil spilled later, BP finally found a solution that successfully contained the oil. 

The 75-ton containment cap placed over the damaged oil well earlier this week has undergone an extensive 48-hour testing period in hopes of a successful end result. Thankfully, this method worked. For the first time since the leak erupted 85 days ago, oil has finally stopped flowing to the surface of the Gulf.

But plugging the oil well is only the beginning of resolving this environmental disaster. Now that the containment cap is placed and doing its job, engineers will begin monitoring pressure gauges making sure that there are no leaks elsewhere. The worst case scenario right now is that pressure from the oil under the containment cap could damage the well further, which would lead to oil spilling out from other areas on the sea floor. 

So the waiting game begins. Any signs of new leaks will means engineers will have to reopen the cap and let oil spill into the Gulf once again. The engineers are hoping that the well holds out for the next two days of close observation, but even if it does hold out, they have to conduct a seismic survey of the ocean floor to make sure oil isn't escaping from the well into the bedrock, and in order to conduct such a survey, engineers have to open the vents again, which releases more oil.

"For the people living on the Gulf, I'm certainly not going to guess their emotions," said Kent Wells, BP vice president. "I hope they're encouraged there's no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. But we have to be careful. Depending on what the test shows us, we may need to open this well back up."

Those surrounding the Gulf like fisherman and restauranteurs, who have lost their jobs due to the oil leak, have shown mixed reviews on the new containment cap solution. Some are relieved while others don't trust BP enough to rest assure that this is a permanent solution. 

Others, such as Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, showed a greater sense of relief that BP has closed off the well.

"That's great," said Riley. "I think a lot of prayers were answered today."

The video feed on BP's website showed the oil cloud, which has been gushing ever since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, thin and eventually fade out at 2:25 pm CDT. The containment cap in place is designed to restrict oil from entering the ocean by restraining it inside the well and also allowing ships at the surface to siphon oil from inside of it. 

The containment cap seems to be doing its job for the time being, but it is not a permanent solution to this catastrophe. BP is currently drilling two relief wells, due to be completed in mid August, which will pump cement and mud into the well with the idea of plugging it permanently. After this is accomplished, a mass clean-up, expected to take years, will take place in the Gulf.

Every little bit counts, and in this case, a huge weight has been lifted off of many shoulders today, even if it is temporary. Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, which is a trade group representing the offshore oil industry, noted that "industry officials and their families are taking a big sigh," but to others, the damage has already been done and the last thing anyone should do is assume that this has been taken care of.

"I think it's a little premature to say it's definitely over," said Steve Shepard, Gulf Coast chairman of the Mississippi Chapter of the Sierra Club. "They've gotten our hopes up so many times before that in my mind I don't think it's going to be over until Christmas."



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RE: Loving Obama
By web2dot0 on 7/16/2010 6:26:09 AM , Rating: -1
What do you expect the them to say, that they did a crappy job and should punish themselves for their actions? What would you say wise guy?

Like the article mentioned, we should be happy and elated that the cap worked. The people that made it happen should be applauded for their hard work. No one wanted this to happen on purpose. I don't think anyone is "celebrating".

However, let's not forget how we underestimated the situation and make the people not taking the proper safely precautions (due to negligence) be accountable for their actions.

Does that make you feel better now?


RE: Loving Obama
By Aloonatic on 7/16/2010 7:36:15 AM , Rating: 5
I expect him to say that British petroleum are close to getting on top of this.

Rather than all of a sudden being all we are close to ending this or whatever.

When it was all going wrong, it was all British petroleum this and that.

Now that a solution is close, suddenly it's all we we we?

I am going by what I have seen on the news by the way, so maybe I have seen different clips to you, but it just struck me as funny how he has changed his tune and wants to be part of this all of a sudden, now that things are going well.

I didn't think that I was being particularly cryptic with my first post, sorry for any confusion.

To clarify, I am delighted that the end is in sight and that (hopefully) the water in the Gulf will not have oil spewing into it from this broken pipe for much longer.


RE: Loving Obama
By hughlle on 7/16/2010 7:40:52 AM , Rating: 5
fully agreed, the moment it was all going bad it was BP not paying enough, doing enough, the moment things start to look possbily positive it becomes "after much work money and effort we have managed blah"

jog on.


RE: Loving Obama
By retrospooty on 7/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Loving Obama
By Aloonatic on 7/16/2010 8:42:16 AM , Rating: 3
He took it on the chin by blaming other people when it was all going wrong, and then sidles in when the fix is underway and suddenly wants to be part of what is going on as if he was part of the solution?

As for your your last paragraph, I think that our moronic last Prime Minister, who's solution to every problem has been o either tax it or throw sack loads of other people's (usually tax payers) money at it, seems to have infected your government with his ideas. Sorry about that. It will probably do more damage to you country in the long term than several broken oil pipelines leaking oil into the oceans on your coast.


RE: Loving Obama
By mcnabney on 7/16/2010 10:21:40 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, the only blame being pushed were the issues leading up to the rig blowing up and the blowout preventer failing.

After that it has been trying one thing after another.

Now there has been some blame being foistered about considering payments that BP should be making, but that is between the gulf residents and BP. They aren't just going to drop $20B in the French Quarter and let it be first come first served. I never really understood why the President was that closely tied to this. The only thing that he could have done that would piss me off is if he had the Feds start taking over from BP and getting the taxpayer on the hook for all of the cost.


RE: Loving Obama
By Aloonatic on 7/16/2010 9:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, reading back your comment again, I'm not convinced that you read my initial comment properly and understood what I was saying at all.

I'm not sure who "they" are, in relation to what I wrote about.

Still, I enjoyed your arrogant and internet tough guy tone, so it wasn't a complete loss :o)


RE: Loving Obama
By web2dot0 on 7/17/2010 2:15:45 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure why he shouldn't say "we" when it's in fact "we" that capped the leak.

I'm not sure you understood my comment at all buddy.

I'm sure you enjoy beating people up when they are down. Elbow from the sky!

He took like hard on this chin on this one, so when it comes time to redeem himself, he should be allowed to take some credit. He's a politician, not a saint.

We should be more concerned about the end result not your ignorant internet sniping.


RE: Loving Obama
By Aloonatic on 7/17/2010 6:02:16 PM , Rating: 4
I am not your buddy.

Why shouldn't he be saying "we" now, in almost every other sentence when describing how things are going well now? Well, was it "we" when BP were dragged infront of that committee or whatever it was? Was Obama there next to the BP exec then? Erm.... No.

I'm not really sure why you seem to have taken my comment so personally, but you should probably calm down.

I don't know what you have seen, but he hardly took it on the chin. The very simple point I was making was that when it was all going wrong it was all British Petroleum's problem, and that he was going to make sure that they took responsibility, paid etc. Now that things are improving, it's all we are dong blah blah blah..

I have never said that he is a saint, but I suspect that is why that you have taken this so personally and so hard. I suspect that you have fallen for the hype and bought into the new politics etc, but as we have seen, he is just another opportunist, self serving politician. Just like those who went before him, and those that will follow.

I'm not sniping, I just made a simple comment on a technology web site onto which you seem to have projected all sorts of issues and personally problems. You seem very angry and I have hinted above as to a theory of mine about that, but I am only the messenger, pointing out what I have seen and how I find it quite amusing, nothing more.

So please quit the patronising, holier than thou act and get off of your high horse. Of course I am concerned about the outcome you patronizing, conceited..... fool. I do not see anything that I have written above that would make you or anyone else believe that I am not at all happy to see things going well. However, that doesn't and should stop/preclude me from commenting about other aspects of what is going on, you do realise that?

I'm sorry that you are so angry and upset about this, but it's not my problem so please stop with the personally attacks on me and move on. Thanks.

Good day *tips hat*


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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