OPERATION TOP KILL Is Back And Showing Tiny Signs Of Progress

BP secretly halted Operation Top Kill at 2:30 a.m. Friday when too much mud was escaping, but as of 9:30 a.m. Saturday BP says the operation is back on. Unfortunately we can’t confirm via the live cam.

But here’s cause for optimism. The experts at The Oil Drum have identified signs of reduced flow:

UPDATE 2: 10:53 pm. It appears that they are pumping mud again, so another test may be under way. (I am judging this on texture and jet structure) . There is one interesting thing to note, and you have to be familiar with the patterns to see it. So I am going to repeat a picture from 3:45 am yesterday (which has been my standard base reference for mud, rather than oil flows.

theoildrum analysis3:45 p.m. 5/26/10

Now look at the current flow:

theoildrum analysis10:59 pm 5/28/2010

Notice the changes in the flow pattern, and particularly that the crack to the right of the central paint removed line, which had a piece of rubber jammed in it . By adding more NL junk they have just about totally bridged that crack and stopped the flow – which illustrates that what they are trying to do at the BOP is at least partially working – as I explain below.

I am almost tempted to note that the flow seems at a little less pressure, judged again by jet structure, and which would indicate more bridging in the BOP, but I grow more cautious as the process extends.

We’re breaching new science here. As BP and the White House shield the truth, scientists at The Oil Drum often have the best information.

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