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Friday, June 04, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Leaking Well Head Capped, But To What Effect

(UCAR Computer Model of Oil Slick/Sheen Projected Track)

The LMRP on the broken blow out preventer was finally cut and snipped enough to make it possible for engineers to install a cap. This last procedure was accomplished less than 12 hours ago and so far it's still in place, according to reports by Admiral Thad Allen, who has, in the past, spoken a little too early about the potential success of a given procedure. BP engineers and spokespeople are hopeful but not optimistic. They keep telling us this is only a temporary fix. Imagine trying to screw a nozzle on the end of a spitting garden hose and then imagine a 21" diameter garden hose at 5,000 feet below sea level gushing almost 600 gallons per minute of greasy, slimy, viscous crude.

Oil is coming up the new pipe that's attached to the cap but nobody knows yet how much. In addition, oil is leaking out from the seal between the cap and the LMRP. The reason for the latter is that the cut in the pipe is not as precise as engineers had hoped it would be. Still, it's a positive step, and one that can, for the present, allow recovery crews to get a leg up on the spill.

Perhaps, as the new relief wells are drilled, and as oil is siphoned from the well through the newly adapted LMRP, pressure can be relieved to a point where a further improvement can be attempted.

Meanwhile, oil is less than 4 miles from the Pensacola coast.


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