BP Caps Gusher, But Oil May Flow Again
85 days since the first report April 20 of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers — oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.
BP announced earlier this afternoon that testing of their new cap had, at least temporarily, halted the gusher that’s spilled millions of gallons of crude into the sea and caused immeasurable damage to the ecosystem and those that depend on it.
Now comes the waiting game to determine if the a.) the cap will hold and b.) if pressure from the cap will cause any additional blowouts within the well bore. “Depending on what the test shows us, we may need to open this well back up,” BP Vice President Kent Wells said.
“The well integrity test will last at least 6 hours and could last up to 48 hours,” BP said in a statement. “During the test, the three ram capping stack is closed, effectively shutting in the well and all sub-sea containment systems (namely, the Q4000 and Helix Producer systems) have been temporarily stopped. Although it cannot be assured, it is expected that no oil will be released to the ocean during the test. Even if no oil is released during the test, this will not be an indication that oil and gas flow from the wellbore has been permanently stopped.”
Stay tuned — and keep your fingers crossed.