BP Still Unsure What Pressure Readings Mean

It's like a Magic 8-Ball, what's it gonna say?

British Petroleum is in the middle of a 48 hour window where the pressure readings on the new well-cap are being monitored round the clock. Still under 7000 PSI, two very divergent views on what could be happening below that cap are floating to the surface:

Perspective 1:

Roger N. Anderson, a professor of marine biology and geophysics at Columbia University, said the oil pressure might be rising slowly not because of a leak, but because of some kind of blockage in the well. “If it’s rising slowly, that means the pipe’s integrity’s still there. It’s just getting around obstacles,” he said. He added that “any increase in pressure is good, not bad.”

Okay…not bad, and then there is Perspective 2:

Benton F. Baugh, president of Radoil Inc. in Houston and a National Academy of Engineering member who specializes in underwater oil operations, warned that the pressure readings could mean that an underground blowout could occur. He said the oil coming up the well may be leaking out underground and entering a geological pocket that might not be able to hold it.

Okay…not good, and then there is Kent Wells, BP PLC Vice President, who when asked about the possibility of oil leaks underground had this to say, “No news is good news, I guess that’s how I’d say it.”


No news is good news.

This appears to have been British Petroleum’s operation model since the start.

Before the Deepwater Horizon blew up in the first place, British Petroleum didn’t run required containment tests on the well. During Congressional hearings, BP CEO Tony Hayward claimed he didn’t know about the day-to-day operations at the Deepwater Horizon. BP would rather not know about the existence of oil plumes, they’d rather not know what reporters and scientists might find out if allowed free access to the spill. A lack of information and/or avoidance of information appears to be a large part of BP’s standard operating procedure.

Kent, no news isn’t necessarily good news. If underwater leaks occur beneath the ocean floor, this could mean you will be unable to stop the oil until the resoirvor drains dry, no matter what you do. Oil leaks nullify the effectiveness of the relief wells, you know…your final solution? Knowing there are no such leaks, this is good news. Not knowing is simply, not knowing.

In any case, the tests continue and even if there are no leaks, let’s all keep this in mind:

“I’m happy the well is shut off, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Tony Kennon, mayor of hard-hit Orange Beach, Ala. But “I’m watching people moving away, people losing their jobs, everything they’ve got. How can I be that happy when that’s happening to my neighbor?”

Read the article:  BP, Scientists try to make sense of well puzzle

Have a nice day…

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