POSTED: Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 9:09am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 12:10pm
Survey finds huge plume near the spill site.
The slow, meticulous work on the floor of the gulf continues.
Crews are more than half of the way through ambient pressure tests and so far the results show the well has maintained it's integrity.
If that pressure holds teams will begin what National Incident Commander Thad Allen calls the "fishing experiment"...searching for debris from the explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon rig.
"We know there is a pipe in there someplace, potentially even maybe two pieces of pipe," he told reporters Friday.
If they find the fractured drill pipe it will have to be removed before a new, stronger blowout preventer is put into place.
Meanwhile there is new concern about hydrocarbons already in the environment.
Researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute say that in June they found a massive of oil cloud from the spill more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the gulf, more than a mile wide and stretching for 22 miles.
Scientists were forced to abandon their work tracking the plume because of hurricane alex, but say their data is evidence their could be even more oil hiding below the surface.