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No Oil Gushing Out For the First Time

July 16, 2010

For the first time since April 20, it appears like no oil is gushing out in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a great news and let’s hope this is the beginning of the end of the BP spill disaster. Everyone is very skeptic to mark these results a success as all the previous efforts to cap the well has been unsuccessful. BP engineers are testing this new 75-ton containment cap and monitoring the pressure to make sure the well can hold the pressure and no leak is taking place somewhere else. If the pressure decreases implying the oil is leaking somewhere else or the well is unable to withhold the pressure, engineers would have to remove the cap. If the pressure test works, then BP and government have to decide next course of action- whether to shut the well or siphon the oil on the surface. Even if the cap works, it would be a temporary fix until relief wells are ready to permanently plug the well.

“If the well is leaking, then they have to open the valves again and they have to let the oil out again,” said NPR’s Richard Harris. “But if it’s not, they can just leave these valves closed and this is the end of the spill essentially for right now.”

“We’re encouraged by this development, but this isn’t over,” Thad Allen (Obama administration’s point man on the disaster) said in a statement. “Over the next several hours we will continue to collect data and work with the federal science team to analyze this information and perform additional seismic mapping runs in the hopes of gaining a better understanding on the condition of the well bore and options for temporary shut in of the well during a hurricane.” [NPR]

Let’s hope this cap works and just like those oil soaked white ibis in the picture above, let’s wait and watch!! The test will go on for another 48 hours. More updates later during the day.

Picture credit: Boston.com/Bigpicture  | REUTERS/Sean Gardner

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