Oil flow stopped in the Gulf – for a moment or two
Today marks the day that oil stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico – at least temporarily. After nearly three months of hopelessly watching oil gush into the Gulf of Mexico, mud-slinging blame games, and attempts to find a silver lining to this environmental disaster we have finally been able to temporarily stop the root of the problem – up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day pouring into our ocean.
This achievement was reached via a new well cap installed by BP, which has the ability to seal the oil well as the original blowout preventer was designed to do. The cap uses a new transition pipe and three blowout-preventer-type valves to contain all of the oil, allowing the operator to either siphon all of the oil to waiting ships, or stop the flow entirely.
To see a video on how the new cap works, check out this video at CNN.com.
Today, BP closed the three valves on this cap, stopping the oil flow in its tracks. This action was a part of a 48 hour test by BP to gather data on the cap’s performance in order to determine the best next steps. The test is divided into 6-hour blocks and at any time in these stages the operator can decide to open the valves in order to prevent damage to the cap.
After the conclusion of this test, BP will take all the data gathered during the testing period and determine how to proceed.
What an amazing feeling – the end may be in sight.