Oil spill stopped, says Coast Guard | Mission accomplished?
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen has announced that the BP oil spill has stopped, reports the Los Angeles Times. Engineers have, for the time being, successfully stopped oil from entering the Gulf of Mexico via the “top kill” method. It took a single day of using the top kill method of pumping mud and debris into the BP oil well leak before the flow stopped. However, officials have made it clear that the efforts are not complete and a more permanent cap must be established soon.
Oil spill stopped after well pressure reduced considerably
The BP live video feed that preceded the oil spill being stopped showed that while the well pressure behind the titanic oil leak had lessened considerably, it remained consistent enough for a constant flow. Pumping mud and other debris into the leak source and the blowout preventer began the necessary pressure equalization process. Once the pressure completely subsides, engineers plan to entomb the well in cement. Only after the well is completely sealed off will government and BP officials consider the emergency efforts a full success. Short term loans of aid from BP continue to be needed.
You can never have enough mud
This is particularly true if you’re talking about a recovery vessel responsible for top kill. Adm. Allen informed the press that one of those ships actually ran out mud before the job was complete. Thus, a backup mud ship was on the way. However, the top kill work the ships were able to complete over the past day appears to have been enough to stop the oil leak.
Is this Gulf of Mexico disaster worse than the Valdez disaster?
Numerous sources claim that the total number of gallons of oil that have entered the Gulf of Mexico during the BP catastrophe dwarf what happened with the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound in 1989. Coast Guard estimates for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill say 5,000 barrels of oil a day have been flowing into the Gulf, but many independent sources claim that estimate to be entirely too conservative, writes the Times. Adm. Allen remains optimistic that the BP oil spill will stay under control.