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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 Anoxanmore on 7/16/2010 1:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously FIT you have to stretch that much?

Quit watching Fox for all of 20 minutes and research their so-called amendment. Do you even know what it says?

The press has access. They don't have access to an active worksite without an escort and permission, just like they don't have automatic access to a fireworks float. Pushing for a ill conceived notion to break rules that are in place across the country--not just in the Gulf--is short sighted. And is in place to keep folks safe on both sides of the work site.

Freedom of the press is the freedom to publish. Not freedom to go anywhere. In the same way that the press doesn't have free rein to poke around construction sites. Or military bases.

This is an attempt to make a single site an issue, while then endangering folks across the country because folks don't understand possible consequences. The rules are for ALL clean up sites, and work areas. Not just the Gulf. And the 20m rule means that they can still take pictures from outside with as monstrous a lens as they'd like.


RE: Loving Obama
By knutjb on 7/16/2010 2:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Get your facts straight and drop your progressive Obama can do no wrong bias.

Senator Bill Nelson-D Florida was taking press with him to see the spill with full knowledge and approval of the US Coast Guard. The night before the trip the press was prevented by the US Coast Guard, not BP, from going along. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/11/875154/-To... That isn't Fox or a right wing news source. Maybe you should watch Fox and the other media to see what they aren't showing...

Why? You need to ask the White House because they are running the show. What is it they don't want the press to see?


RE: Loving Obama
By Anoxanmore on 7/16/2010 3:01:19 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't vote for Obama, but if you right wingers are going to make up stories... ;)

It's the same government that blocks folks from approaching 20m from a firework display platform. The same government that keeps folks at a 20m distance from cranes on boats, and that keeps folks 20m from boats engaged in firefighting.

It's the same rule. It's just that some folks fail to comprehend the scale of this disaster. That is on your heads, not the Fed and the Coast Guard.

The press is free to report, and I don't see a lot of jack booted thugs beating down doors to suppress the story about the zone. Only folks who violate the same zone that is around other water construction or sites are getting popped. And publishing pictures of their violation, in a public forum, and then wailing as it's used as evidence against them for violating that zone.

Freedom of the press is the freedom to publish. Not the freedom to go anywhere they'd like. Unless of course, you'd like to see press passes sail you through any security check point, and have reporters sitting in on every RNC and DNC or boardroom or military base. Because, that won't have unintended consequences at all, will it?


RE: Loving Obama
By knutjb on 7/16/2010 4:02:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I didn't vote for Obama, but if you right wingers are going to make up stories... ;)
Make up stories? A Democrat Senator taking a couple of reporters out to see the mess was made up? Come up for air.
quote:
It's the same government that blocks folks from approaching 20m from a firework display platform. The same government that keeps folks at a 20m distance from cranes on boats, and that keeps folks 20m from boats engaged in firefighting.
But they'll a US Senator go on a fireworks barge? False argument.
quote:
It's the same rule. It's just that some folks fail to comprehend the scale of this disaster. That is on your heads, not the Fed and the Coast Guard.
And the scale has what to do with it? Oh the NEWS STORY. Again False argument. And it IS, PARTIALLY the Feds fault. They were about to give them a safety award, lack of inspections, with help from environmentalists they pushed drillers from known safe drilling depths out into very deep waters. BP holds the biggest chunk of fault but to ignore the Feds, and environmentalists, role is glaringly ignorant.
quote:
The press is free to report, and I don't see a lot of jack booted thugs beating down doors to suppress the story about the zone. Only folks who violate the same zone that is around other water construction or sites are getting popped. And publishing pictures of their violation, in a public forum, and then wailing as it's used as evidence against them for violating that zone.
Again false argument, if the area is unsafe for the Press what makes it safe for the Senator or his staff?
quote:
Freedom of the press is the freedom to publish. Not the freedom to go anywhere they'd like. Unless of course, you'd like to see press passes sail you through any security check point, and have reporters sitting in on every RNC and DNC or boardroom or military base. Because, that won't have unintended consequences at all, will it?
This is in the open sea not on a military base though we do allow the press into far more dangerous combat zones. The press was restricted from seeing something that was not "unsafe" but held back for political reasons. Pull your head out.


RE: Loving Obama
By Anoxanmore on 7/16/2010 4:33:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Make up stories? A Democrat Senator taking a couple of reporters out to see the mess was made up? Come up for air.

You said I had a bias towards Obama, I called you on that by saying I didn't vote for him, in addition to the fact the right wing media had to make up lies as well. :) See how that works?
quote:
But they'll a US Senator go on a fireworks barge? False argument

I'd highly suggest you read up what a false analogy is before you comment on one. In this case it is a very legitimate comparison since we are referring to safety standards with natural disasters, the same regulations required for Katrina after the storm had passed. The reason the media was able to report like that did, a bunch of them got stuck there during the storm. :)
quote:
And the scale has what to do with it? Oh the NEWS STORY. Again False argument. And it IS, PARTIALLY the Feds fault. They were about to give them a safety award, lack of inspections, with help from environmentalists they pushed drillers from known safe drilling depths out into very deep waters. BP holds the biggest chunk of fault but to ignore the Feds, and environmentalists, role is glaringly ignorant

Again false argument, if the area is unsafe for the Press what makes it safe for the Senator or his staff?

You keep using those words, I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
quote:
This is in the open sea not on a military base though we do allow the press into far more dangerous combat zones. The press was restricted from seeing something that was not "unsafe" but held back for political reasons. Pull your head out.

It doesn't matter where it is, if there is a disaster and they require the press a certain amount of distance away, the press had better respect it, especially if they want tours and locations they have the means and access to get where they want. Doing it secretly is without journalistic merit, I wish you could see the egg on your face at this point, but alas there are no mirrors.


RE: Loving Obama
By knutjb on 7/16/2010 5:15:06 PM , Rating: 3
False arguments, fallacies, are points in your argument that do not support what you proclaim and detract from them. http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/fallacies....

None of your arguments have justified why the media were, at the last minute, excluded from going out with the Senator.

The reason is political: "They said it was the Department of Homeland Security’s response-wide policy not to allow elected officials and media on the same 'federal asset,'" said Bryan Gulley, a spokesman for the senator. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/11/875154/-To...

My point that it wasn't a safety decision but a political one is well supported in that comment. I watched a number of news reports from reporters who went with elected officials to view the mess on government vessels. So why did Homeland Security really stop the NY Times from riding with Senator Nelson? We let the press into war zones but not out for a boat ride on a Coast Guard boat with a Senator. It smell fishy.


RE: Loving Obama
By YashBudini on 7/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Loving Obama
By knutjb on 7/17/2010 2:14:19 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
See the problem is the eye holes of the white sheet over his head aren't lining up correctly.
Besides being below the belt it is factually wrong. Conservatives were not the primary group bringing those funny white clothes into style and prominence. Many early 20th Century Progressives were responsible for that. Woodrow Wilson brought DW Griffith to the White House to show his twisting of history as if fact, The Birth of a Nation. Wilson also segregated the Military and some government agencies that had never been officially segregated before. Those events are believed by many to be the driving force in the resurgence of those horribly misguided ideas.

So before inserting your foot in your mouth know why you are placing it there. If you had you might not have done so...


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