Monday, July 12, 2010

Is BP's Well Well?

According to BP's COO, Doug Suttles, the New York Times reports today, we should know soon if the worst case scenario is still in the picture:
With the installation of a new cap on its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico progressing smoothly, BP prepared on Monday to conduct tests to determine whether the flow of oil escaping from the well could be halted completely.
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If the tests show the pressure rising and holding — an indication that there was no significant damage along the length of the well bore, which extends 13,000 feet below the sea floor — the valves could remain closed, effectively ending the three-month gusher.
* * *
On the other hand, the tests could show the pressure remaining lower than expected, which Mr. Suttles said would indicate a “problem with the integrity” of the well. In that case, he said, the valves would have to be reopened, oil would start escaping from the well again, and the collection systems would have to be turned back on.
The answer should be known within a few days, and certainly by the end of the week.

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