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BP: No sign of leaks as capped well nears 48 hours

 Drilling rigs and workboats operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been ...
 The Boa Sub C work boat, top, operates near the Q4000 drilling rig at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 1...
 Workboats operate near the Transocean Development Drilling Rig II at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16...
 A workboat is surrounded by an oily slick at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has...
 Map shows the forecast location of oil
 Vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead leak are seen past crew members on the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel o...
 The Transocean Development Driller III is seen on the surface above the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisi...
 Oil cleanup workers use pressure washers as they clean up the beach on Grand Isle, La., Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead from the Deepwater Horizo...
 Ships pulling oil boom pass vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana ...
 Vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead are seen on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Friday, July 16, 20...
 Medic Ron Nolan, bottom left, takes a picture of vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead from the Pacific Responder oi...
 A green sea turtle, rescued by NOAA sea turtle experts in the Gulf of Mexico, is to be transported to the Audubon Institute for rehabilitation, Venic...

APTOPIX Gulf Oil Spill

Drilling rigs and workboats operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has been ...

Gulf Oil Spill

The Boa Sub C work boat, top, operates near the Q4000 drilling rig at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 1...

Gulf Oil Spill

Workboats operate near the Transocean Development Drilling Rig II at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16...

Gulf Oil Spill

A workboat is surrounded by an oily slick at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead has...

GULF OIL SPILL

Map shows the forecast location of oil

Gulf Oil Spill

Vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead leak are seen past crew members on the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel o...

Gulf Oil Spill

The Transocean Development Driller III is seen on the surface above the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisi...

Gulf Oil Spill

Oil cleanup workers use pressure washers as they clean up the beach on Grand Isle, La., Friday, July 16, 2010. The wellhead from the Deepwater Horizo...

Gulf Oil Spill

Ships pulling oil boom pass vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana ...

Gulf Oil Spill

Vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead are seen on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Friday, July 16, 20...

Gulf Oil Spill

Medic Ron Nolan, bottom left, takes a picture of vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead from the Pacific Responder oi...

Gulf Oil Spill

A green sea turtle, rescued by NOAA sea turtle experts in the Gulf of Mexico, is to be transported to the Audubon Institute for rehabilitation, Venic...

BP was encouraged Saturday as the final hours ticked away on a two-day trial run of a massive cap on its busted Gulf of Mexico well, saying there were no signs of new leaks and oil was being kept out of the water.
Kent Wells, a BP PLC vice president, said there was no evidence from an array of pressure, temperature, sonar and other readings that oil was escaping through the sea floor or anywhere else in the well.
A new breach underground was a major concern going into the test, because oil breaking through the sea floor would be harder to control and could endanger plans for a permanent underground plug.
"We're feeling more comfortable," Wells said on a conference call, but cautioned: "The test is not over."
Wells said there has been no decision yet on whether they will reopen the cap and let oil back into the water when the 48-hour test period ends Saturday around 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT).
That call will be made by the Obama administration's point man for the disaster, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, Wells said.
BP shut valves in the cap on Thursday, stopping the flow of oil into the Gulf for the first time since the April 20 explosion on the BP-leased oil rig Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and unleashed the spill 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the sea.
With the cap working like a giant cork to keep the oil inside the well, scientists kept watch in case the buildup of pressure underground caused new leaks in the well pipe and in the surrounding bedrock that could make the disaster even worse.
Pressure readings after 41 hours were 6,745 pounds per square inch and rising slowly, Allen said, below the 7,500 psi that would have shown the well was not leaking. He said pressure continued to rise between 2 and 10 psi per hour. A low pressure reading, or a falling one, could mean the oil is escaping.
Wells also said the oil giant was making progress on its more permanent solution, a relief well that will be used to plug the leak with a mixture of mud and cement.


Updated : 2020-12-01 02:31 GMT+08:00