Admiral Allen hopeful about oil well cap - - The News for South Mississippi

Admiral Allen hopeful about oil well cap


By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Despite a small leak being detected at the cap recently placed on the gushing Deepwater Horizon spill site, officials are hopeful that there are no major problems. The government's point man with the leak, Admiral Thad Allen, told WLOX News in an interview Monday night, that so far, everything is actually looking pretty good.

Allen said the leak is very small and some seepage detected from the ocean floor is not from the spill site.

"Some of this can be attributed to natural seepage," he said in a satellite interview from Washington, D.C. "Some of it we just want to follow up on and do some testing. None of it so far, is indicative of the type of seepage that would be a precursor to a major hydrocarbon release that would indicate that we have a problem with the integrity of the well board itself."

If there are problems, it would probably mean BP would have to remove the cap, and that would result in oil gushing from the well again. The admiral hopes that is not needed, but if it is, he is warning everyone involved that they better be ready.

"We want to make sure that BP is prepared and understands that we are going to have to move immediately to containment if we have a precipitous drop in pressure or some reason to believe we have a breach in the integrity of the well."

The admiral also again emphasized that the ultimate goal is to drill the permanent relief well, pump mud into it, and cement it shut.

"At that point, we will know that there will be no more oil coming into the Gulf as a result of that and we can concentrate on cleaning up the oil that is still on the surface and keeping it out of the Mississippi Sound."

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