Just when BP thought it was safe to go back into the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times has learned that the U.S. Government has ordered the oil company to prepare to open the valves on their recently placed oil well cap. After 10 tries by BP to seal the oil spill, it seemed that all was progressing as planned. However, reports began to surface that there may be oil and gas seep near the BP oil well, straight from the ocean floor.
Problems seep in for BP, Obama
BP continues to live through the PR and financial disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and it appears that there’s more seep to come. The Obama administration’s response to the catastrophe was hindered by the Jones Act, which inadvertently has given Republicans more than enough ammunition against Democrats as midterm elections approach. Now that seep has been suggested, the cycle of public outrage will no doubt continue. Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the cleanup effort for the government, has given the green light for pressure testing to continue into Tuesday, as the seep is still being investigated, reports the Times.
Pressure tests had signaled no warnings as yet
When BP capped the well, pressure tests commenced so that the potential danger of blowout and seep could be monitored. Considering that the BP oil well extends down three miles into the seabed, there is much area to monitor. Even if oil does not come back up from the cap due to a pressure spike, there is the potential that oil and gas can seep into the ground. At that point, little to nothing can be done to control its escape, wrote Allen in a recent press release.
Time to bring in the Russians?
Should President Obama try to see this through with the resources currently in use, or would an “independent set of eyes,” as Andrew Revkin writes in the Times, be just what the oil seep ordered? Ocean floor oil seep could be occurring at even lower depths. A suggestion was offered to the Obama administration by a panel of deep sea experts organized by filmmaker James Cameron. Submarines from Russia have the capability of going miles deep, which would allow BP to continue monitoring oil flow at lower depths. The Russian subs could search for the seep.
CNN reports on seep near well head: