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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid