The deadline on BP’s 48-hour trial on a new well cap, 3:25 p.m. EST, has come and gone with no word from the company, the Associated Press is reporting. Is no news good news? Video of the cap shows no oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, a ubiquitous sight over the last 80-plus days. Forgive the skeptical world for not being able to celebrate just yet, possibly for fear of jinxing it, but for now things are looking up. But obviously, it’s not over yet:
The cap could be reopened if scientists decide it could create an underground breach. It also could be reopened if they need to do certain seafloor mapping, or if they want to contain the oil by instead drawing it up to vessels on the surface.
A BP higher up told a conference call Saturday morning, “We’re feeling more comfortable,” but was obviously advised to hedge his comments: “The test is not over.” But at least the robots are being put to use:
Undersea cameras showed some activity midday Saturday. The robots passed a wand-like object back and forth, and appeared to be digging dirt-like debris out of a pipe. Meanwhile, a glowing globe appeared on the seafloor as bubbles swirled around.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the robots were doing, and to viewers, it was like watching a foreign movie without subtitles.
This is the longest movie ever. And no matter how good the ending is, everyone’s still going to want their money back.
Well cap’s trial ends with no word on what’s next [AP]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 17, 2010