BP relief wells

Ecocentric Ecocentric

Oil Spill: Debating the Static Kill

Like recovering alcoholics who’ve just come out of an AA meeting, the joint BP-government team overseeing the well containment efforts is taking it one day at a time. At his afternoon briefing, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad W. Allen announced that he had authorized BP to keep the containment cap shut and the well integrity tests going …

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Oil Spill: Is the Well Damaged? (Update)

Going into the integrity test being performed on BP’s blown well in the Gulf of Mexico, we were told that the longer the test was carried out, the better it would be for the wellbore—and for the chances of putting an early end to the oil spill. If the test—which began on July 15, after BP managed to stop the flow of oil from its new …

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Oil Spill: For Now the Pressure Holds

Quick update on BP’s well containment efforts while I’m waiting for the weather to clear in Louisiana, where the sky is leaking like a blown well. After shutting the containment cap yesterday afternoon and closing off the flow of oil, BP began pressure testing the integrity of the wellbore. About 18 hours after they began, BP vice …

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Oil Spill: A Fouled Line Further Delays the Integrity Test

A quick post before I head back out. Yesterday evening BP had begun closing down the valves on its new containment cap, in preparation to pressure test the integrity of the wellbore—and find out whether the well might be able to be fully capped. Overnight, though, they hit a snag—the kill line, one of three valves on the cap that the …

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Oil Spill: Now the Pressure is REALLY On

Call it oil spill interruptus. A day after Coast Guard Admiral Thad W. Allen—on the advice of academic and government scientists led by Energy Secretary Steven Chu—abruptly stopped a planned attempt to halt the flow of oil from the new containment cap and measure the integrity of the wellbore, the all-important test is now back on. …

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