BP and the Government disagree on next step to contain oil spillFeatured News, Health Monday, July 19th, 2010
Late Sunday the U.S. government expressed concern over what appears to be a seeping of oil from the ocean floor near the recently capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
A letter to BP Chief Managing Director Robert Dudley from retired U.S. Coast Admiral Thad Allen said that monitoring of the seabed is “of paramount importance” due to the seep discovered at an unspecified distance from the well and to “undetermined anomalies” at the wellhead.
The oil spilling into the Gulf for around 87 days and has caused untold harm to the environment and raised health concerns for those battling the spill and potential contaminated sea food was hoping the effort would effectively put a stop to one of the worst uncontrolled oil gushers in U.S. history.
The letter from Allen however, indicates that the U.S. government has concerns about the testing of the containment system devised by BP, which had originally been scheduled to last for just 48 hours. The extension has since been extended until at least Monday afternoon and could be extended longer as long as BP meets the governments’ criteria of monitoring the ocean floor for more leaks.
The government officials and BP appeared to have differences of opinion on the next step. Allen said the cap would eventually be hooked up to a mile-long pipe to pump the crude to ships on the surface. But the next day, BP’s chief operating officer Doug Suttles stated that the cap should stay clamped shut to keep in the oil until relief wells are finished which could be near the end of July or early August.
BP would obviously like to not see any more pictures of gushing oil in the media are not as keen on the government’s plan to run pipes to the surface to ships as that plan would result in up to three days of oil being released back into the Gulf while that plan is implemented. The government plan however would ease pressure on the well which could reduce risks of oil seeping from the ocean floor.
Both sides played down the apparent contradiction on Sunday. Allen, who has the final say in the matter later said the containment plan he described Saturday hadn’t changed, and that he and BP executives were on the same page.
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