News / USA

BP Installs Cap on Leaking Oil Well

ROV (remote operated vehicle) control room on board the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, 02 Jun 2010
ROV (remote operated vehicle) control room on board the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, 02 Jun 2010

BP oil company has installed a containment cap on a damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to capture leaking oil. Engineers are adjusting the tool to collect as much oil as possible from the well.

BP engineers lowered the cap overnight into place onto the broken oil well 1.5 kilometers under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. The device is fitted with a rubber gasket that engineers hope will create a seal, so crews can siphon the oil and natural gas into a surface ship.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the operation, said crews began collecting oil overnight at a rate of about 1,000 barrels a day. He said they are working to adjust the pressure in the collection tube to capture more.

"By keeping the pressure down and producing the gas and oil, there is less of a need to have the oil seek another way out through the seals," said Admiral Allen. "We're looking for an effective way to deal with the flow."

Allen said crews must find a delicate balance that allows them to collect as much as oil as possible without drawing sea water into the tube. An earlier effort to place a cap over the leaking well failed last month, when sea water clogged the flow of oil.

The latest operation follows a series of failed efforts to cap the oil leak, which started some six weeks ago when a drill rig exploded and sank. Before placing the cap, BP engineers used remote-controlled submarines to cut off a damaged pipe in the well, which experts say was likely to increase the flow of oil about 20 percent.

Admiral Thad Allen said the operation posed a risk, but one that was needed to try to capture the leaking oil.

"We are seeing a lot of oil there, but it should start to diminish as we close the valves and go into production today," he said.

President Barack Obama is visiting Louisiana Friday to meet with local officials as they struggle to combat oil along the gulf coastline. The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from the area to help with clean-up efforts.

Louisiana has been hardest hit by the oil spill, but oil residue also has come ashore in Alabama and Mississippi. Scientists say oil sheen now is approaching the state of Florida.

Admiral Allen says resources are starting to spread thin, as the oil spill spreads further in the gulf.

"As the spill proliferates into smaller spills from south-central Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida, it is going to stress [containment] boom production capability in the country and the availability of skimmer [boats], and we are working hard to do that," said Allen.

Late Thursday, officials said strong winds drove oil into a pelican nesting ground on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana. Animal rescue teams were working to clean 60 birds that were coated in oil. Other groups have been working across the gulf to assist birds, turtles and other sea life affected by the spill.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More