New BP Containment Cap in Place
BP will begin testing on the new 18-foot, 150,000 pound oil spill containment cap placed yesterday on its ruptured well. The tests include adjusting valves to stop the oil spill long enough for BP to measure well pressures - a process that could take a few hours to a few days.
The overall hope is that the new BP oil spill containment cap will contain all of the oil now contributing to the ever-growing oil spill. A second possibility is that the cap will contain a portion of the leaking oil while also relying on surface ships to siphon off some of the oil. The new BP containment cap does feature connections for four collection ships instead of the three connections on the old cap. The extra collection ship will help raise total daily collection rates to increase to 60,000 to 80,000 barrels. This is more than double the current oil collection capacity, and will greatly help oil spill containment and clean-up efforts.
BP is also proceeding with drilling two other relief wells, which are the real solutions to the BP oil spill problem as they are the means to shut down or “kill” the ruptured well. Some estimate that one of the relief wells might be in place as early as the end of this month.