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Even the numbers are murky. Estimates peg the amount of oil floating in the ocean between 23 million and 49 million gallons. BP's latest fix, the "cut and cap," appears to be working, capturing more than 460,000 gallons per day, but it's aim is containment and not a permanent solution.
May 28, 2010|By Jim Tankersley, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Houma, La. — — Engineers have at least temporarily stopped the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government's top oil-spill commander, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning.
The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting.
The company temporarily stopped the flow of hydrocarbons while it was pumping drilling mud at high pressure earlier this week, but pressure from the well pushed back out into the ocean a combination of oil, gas and drilling fluid when the pumping stopped.
Mr. Hayward, in an appearance on CBS's "Early Show" said that his confidence level in the well-plugging bid remains at about 60% to 70%.
May 29, 2010 | 5:02 pm
BP acknowledged the failure Saturday of its three-day effort to tamp down oil gushing from a blown out well and began work on a new operation to install a set of valves and pipe to pump oil to a surface ship.
BP's latest fix, the "cut and cap," appears to be working, capturing more than 460,000 gallons per day....
"The oil was not freely flowing before the top kill or before they cut the pipe, Leifer said, but once the riser pipe was cleared, there was little blocking the oil's rise to the top of the blowout preventer," the paper noted. "Video images confirm that the flow of black oil is unimpeded."
"If the pipe behaved as a worst-case estimate you would have no visual change in the flow, and I don't see any obvious visual change," Leifer remarked. "How much larger I don't know but let's just quote BP."