So How’s the New Oil-Containment Cap Working?


On Thursday, after underwater robots had successfully replaced the mediocre oil-containment cap with an effective one, BP actually seemed to have stopped oil from spilling into the Gulf! So how's it going now? Thad Allen, who's overseeing the government's response to the oil spill, says pressure is rising in the well. According to CNN, "That was a sign that the well was holding and that the leak that had been spewing oil into the Gulf for nearly three months could be contained." Woo! Even though the idea of pressure rising sounds a little scary, like the type of thing that would make an accidentally crappy oil-containment cap suddenly burst, pressure rising actually means the thing is working. According to CNN, we want even more pressure to rise:

"More than a day into the 'well integrity' test, pressure above 7,500 pounds per square inch would indicate 'high integrity and low potential for a leak,' according to [Thad] Allen. What does 6,700 pounds per square inch [the current pressure] mean? Government scientists and BP experts were not quite sure. It could be a leak, or it could simply be that so much oil has spilled out already, it's taking a while to build up pressure. 'In general, as the president noted today, this is generally good news,' Allen said."

In general, we're hesitant to be completely optimistic, but this sounds like a major improvement. We'll update if the news gets totally good after today's tests.

'Critical test to continue Saturday in fight to contain oil spill' [CNN]