No Oil For Now

Friday, July 16, 2010 - 10:15am

For the first time in 88 days there is no oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

A new containment cap is finally being tested, and for now at least, has stopped the flow.

Engineers shut down the new capping system Thursday afternoon, closing off the oil well.

Though the pictures appear to show a cap that is holding back the crude, BP was quick to warn it is still just a test and may still be temporary.

"I have to stress we have to manage our expectations," said BP COO Doug Suttles. "Depending on what the results, could depend on what happens next. It's possible that if the pressures are low, we'll have to reinitiate the flow.

Engineers will monitor those pressures for up to 48 hours, watching to see how the well holds

Relief wells remain the ultimate solution for permanently closing off the well.

The first is nearly complete, but drilling was halted during the new cap tests.

Those tests could continue into Saturday.

If they don't run in to any problems engineers and scientists plan to do another seismic study on the sea floor, then decide whether to leave the flow cut off or to use the cap to siphon most if not all of the oil to the surface.
 

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