Whoa! The oil leak has maybe, just maybe, been stopped!

by JGordon on Jul. 15th, 2010

The new cap BP has placed on the leaking oil well a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico seems like it might actually be working. That means that for the for the first time in almost three months, oil has stopped flowing from the well.

I'm hesitant to let out a cheer for this, if only because we've already had quite a few gotcha-moments with "solutions" in the response to the oil leak. Right now the pressure from the well is being monitored to determine if the cap should stay tightly sealed onto the well or not—if the pressure stays high, that's good, but if the pressure drops, it could mean that the pipe has ruptured underground, which would be bad. Leaks beneath the sea floor would be much more difficult to manage, because the oil would seep up through the sediment in many places, instead of gushing from one broken pipe.

Anyway, here's hoping that the cap holds, leak free, until relief wells are completed and the leaking well can be shut off entirely. Stay tuned...

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Shana's picture
Shana says:

Keeping my fingers crossed...and my toes!

posted on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 5:34pm
Mckenna's picture
Mckenna says:

Well, at least temporarily. For the first time in 87 days, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 stopped gushing Thursday. I also checked the BP live video feed capturing the so called no oil eruption from the ruptured well. I really hope the oil cap test will be successful.

posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 6:12am
Jay B.'s picture
Jay B. says:

Thumbs up to all scientists and engineers who participated. Hope the Gulf will rebound soon, this season is probably irreversibly lost, by as far I heard local resort put tremendous effort to keep the business running, so let's see, I may consider holiday there next summer...
Any idea how all the cleaning ships and machines which were deployed at the area are successful?

posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 8:45am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I'm not sure how successful cleanup has been so far. There are lots of big oil-skimming boats deployed at the moment (like this recently converted tanker, supposedly the largest skimmer in the world), but, like the oil containment booms, I'm guessing they're most effective only when the water is relatively calm. Each ship can take in thousands or hundreds of thousands of barrels of water and oil, but I suppose that the oil is spread out over such a great are of the Gulf that it's hard to make much of a dent in it.

Also, there's a lot of talk about huge plumes of thick oil that never came to the surface, so it can't be skimmed or burned away. I bet we'll hear a lot more about those in the coming months.

posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 10:22am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Here's a clip from CNN featuring everybody's favorite Science Guy: Bill Nye.

Using a Macgyver-esque educational contraption, Nye explains why some folks are so concerned about shutting the well off, as opposed to letting it gush. Part of why scientists think that a rupture could happen under the seafloor is because the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and started off the leak could also have sent shock waves down the drill riser, and damaged it somewhere beneath the wellhead. Waves of pressure running along the well pipe could also further damage the equipment.

He explains it better. Check it out:

posted on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 11:14am
Sylvia Copeland's picture
Sylvia Copeland says:

So excited. Hope We save the animals.!

posted on Mon, 07/19/2010 - 5:08pm
scott summers's picture
scott summers says:

I to have my fingers crossed :)

posted on Tue, 07/20/2010 - 8:23am
Shana's picture
Shana says:

Seepage has been detected around the well. :(

posted on Tue, 07/20/2010 - 10:03am
marco's picture
marco says:

did you copy .

posted on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 3:05pm
marco's picture
marco says:


posted on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 3:06pm

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