July 14th, 2010
10:20 PM ET

'Integrity test' moving forward, Allen says

BP is proceeding with a critical test of its crippled well in the Gulf of Mexico - a test that could show whether an end finally is in sight to the environmental disaster that's been unfolding for nearly three months.

The U.S. government told BP Tuesday to proceed with an "integrity" test on the well in the Gulf of Mexico, and BP began the process of shutting off valves on its new capping stack, to see whether the well can hold the pressure.

It's hoped the tests will show whether the well can be contained, either by closing the 30-foot, 75-ton cap stack or siphoning off oil to the surface.

That would signal a beginning of an end to the catastrophe that began when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and launching the relentless oil spill. But even if the well is contained, the cleanup could take years.


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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
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  1. SteveG

    @JimPK: 14Jul10 0405p edt
    REF_the mysterious "integrity test" plan
    Thad Allen keeps saying "In this exercise, high pressure is good," Allen said. "We are looking for somewhere between 8- and 9,000 psi [pounds per square inch] inside the capping stack, which would indicate to us that the hydrocarbons are being forced up and the well bore's being able to withstand that pressure."
    How did they get to the 8-9,000 psi expected pressure at the wellhead IF they were to completely shut the valves on the newly installed cap? I keep reading and watching updates by Thad Allen and BP (Mr Suttles and Mr Wells) and haven't seen or heard anybody challenge how those estimates were developed and what the confidence is in them (remember the old flow rate estimates??). IF its just a wild a... guess, seems there's 3 possibilities: its close, its way too high, or its way too low. Each of those possibilities would result in very different scenarios to deal with.

    Secondly, I don't care if they just used what they just put in place to collect all the oil at the surface (understand they now have capability to do that) vs shut if off (if there's a real risk that could cause a big mess if the plumbing can't handle the resulting pressure whatever it turns out to be).....

    Finally, the more and more I contemplate all info I've encountered re the Relief Well option I don't see that as a sure fix as BP and Thad Allen have described it.... The possibility is real that the upward flow and pressure at the proposed intersection point is so high that any effort to pump "mud and cement" in (intended to stop the flow) could result in the "mud and cement" simply getting pushed upward in the casing which would then have lost its integrity (due to "kill effort").....

    July 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      oil spill increased furiously: http://www.deepwaterbp.com/

      July 14, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      @BreakingNewsBlog whose blog features:

      Zero science (CHECK)
      Zero math (CHECK)
      Zero calculations (CHECK)
      Zero facts (CHECK)
      Zero research (CHECK)
      5 year old imagination with a crayon (CHECK)
      No education (CHECK)
      Poor English (CHECK)
      Can't spell Oxygen (CHECK)
      Crappy idea that BP, US Gov, any government, any company won't take (CHECK)
      Ugly website (CHECK)
      Spam (CHECK)
      Someone who doesn't know how to skip lines and puts idiotic periods (CHECK)

      you are a complete joke. Get an education first.

      And we all know you are a joke::
      Marano, Gaetano
      Via Ambrogio Arabia 11-D
      Cosenza, CS 87100

      For the record I'm not defending BP. I just think BreakingNews is an idiot. So does everyone else.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. B.G.

    The amount of dispersants are hinding the truth, for 24 hours of doing nothing. More death to come. Why couldn't the so called experts esimate the amount of oil being released at 8-9,000 psi.?

    July 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Smith in Oregon

    While it is entirely refreshing to now see CNN and Thad Allen discussing and openly contemplating the seriousness of a under seafloor rupture of the Louisiana BP blown Oil well drill pipe and casing resulting in multiple seafloor vents and cavity's spewing out Louisiana heavy crude Oil from the mercando Oil reservoir under immense pressure.

    Month's ago, I had repeatedly posted on that very and specific situation and how serious that would be. Anderson Cooper and his blogger staff repeatedly deleted all of those comments left in AC360 blogs. Such callous actions detracts from informing the CNN audience and detracts from useful information from even being shared.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |