Daily Archives: July 16, 2010

So, the Macondo gusher has been capped and BP can breathe a sigh of relief. Well, not quite yet. The news has so far been, quite rightly, met with cautious optimism and this is only the end of the beginning for the company.

While the development is a symbolic turning point, integrity tests continue and could take up to 48 hours to complete. But, will the cap actually work?

Pressure readings and sonar are being used by engineers and scientists to examine the condition of the well bore, which extends 13,000 ft down from the well head – keep in mind it is already 5,000 feet under the surface of the gulf – to the reservoir of oil. The worry is if the well bore is damaged, oil could spew from the side and form a new gusher elsewhere on the sea bed. High pressure readings mean the well bore has retained its integrity and oil is staying inside and pushing up against the cap. While the cap ensures the flow is stopped, work can meanwhile resume to plug efforts permanently . But low pressure readings indicate that oil is escaping through the cracks and BP would then be forced to open the cap again and go back to collecting oil in surface ships. Read more

BP on Thursday night stopped the flow of oil from its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, raising hopes of an end to the environmental and economic disaster that has been escalating since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded almost three months ago. Ed Crooks, energy editor, analyses whether this is a significant turning point in the efforts to resolve the leak, which is by far the largest such incident ever in US waters.  Read more

- Lobbying for big oil tax breaks

- BP, Shell and deep well designs

- Seeking “Blue Gold” in Alaska

- Macondo shut-in “unlikely”Read more

- BP stops leak from stricken gulf well - FT

- OGP group to study offshore drilling safety - Rigzone

- Bid to block BP oil leases gains support - FT

- More than half new power in US, EU is green: study – Reuters

- Democrats consider oil spill response  as BP caps well – The Hill. Read more