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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid