If a new sealing cap is lowered successfully, BP could stop the oil leak today.
Of course we’re all waiting to be disappointed after Top Hat, Top Kill and the Lower Marine Riser Package failed. If today’s operation (the 3-Ram Capping Stack) fails, our best hope defaults to relief wells that may be completed in mid-August.
Here’s how today’s fix is going to work (Times Picayune):
The cap, which is essentially a small blow out preventer with a cap on top, has the potential to completely shut in the flow of oil from the well. It will be lowered into place sometime today, Suttles said.
After it is in place, BP along with government scientists will conduct a series of “well integrity” tests to determine if the condition of the well. If it is not compromised and oil is not escaping from holes beneath the surface, the well will be shut in until a relief well is completed next month to permanently stop the flow. If the well is compromised, crews will resume sucking oil to ships on the surface. The tests could take 48 hours or longer.
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