BP’s containment cap is capturing about half the oil shooting from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well, but U.S. Adm. Thad Allen said yesterday the coast will be under siege from the massive spill for many more months.
BP said yesterday its latest effort had captured 10,500 barrels of oil (439,950 gallons) in 24 hours and a second containment system should enable it to soon contain the vast majority of oil spewing from the leak about one mile under the ocean’s surface.
Allen, the Coast Guard admiral heading up the federal oil spill relief efforts, estimated the maximum collection rate possible from the small containment device at about 15,000 barrels per day. The well is estimated to be leaking 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.
Despite the progress, Allen told CBS’s “Face the Nation” program, “This will only end when we intercept the wellbore, pump mud down it to overcome the pressure of the oil coming up from the reservoir and put a cement plug in.”
Pressure has mounted on BP to stop the leak from the ruined seabed well and bear the full financial cost of the cleanup and damage caused to Gulf coast fisheries, wildlife and tourism.
“We have a further containment system to implement in the course of this coming week which will be in place by next weekend,” BP CEO Tony Hayward told the BBC. “When these two are in place we ... hope to be containing the vast majority of the oil.”
Allen told CNN he wants more. “I don’t think anybody should be pleased as long as there’s oil in the water.”