Testing To Begin

Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 9:17am

After the government gave BP the green light to begin pressure testing on the leaking well…another delay.

Upon closing the top stack on the new cap, a leak was detected in one of the other choke lines and has to be repaired before starting the critical tests.

So through the early morning, oil still flowed, as remote subs worked around the site...readying for the test they hope will tell them the condition of the leaking well.

BP COO Doug Suttles said, "When we close well in, we want to make sure everything stays in well bore. That's what this test is designed to detect."

It involves closing off all of the outlets through the new cap to test pressure readings, but has had some concerned that if done too quickly, could make things worse.

Don Van Nieuwenhuise of the University of Houston said, "You would have an enormous amount of pressure coming to a halt immediately, very much like a train running into a brick wall. And that would send a shockwave down the well bore, which could cause problems anywhere from the surface of the well bore, to deep in the well."

That was the reason for the one-day delay and officials insist they are now moving forward very carefully.

National Incident Commander Thad Allen said, "This test is not easy. But I think, in the interest of the people, safety of environment and safety of project, we took a 24 hour break to make sure that this is right."

Making sure it's right is all anybody here wants, as they again watch to see the flow stop and the tests start.

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