BP as a final point choked off the flow of oil in to the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday — 85 days and as much as 184 million gallons after the crisis unfolded — then commenced a tense 48 hrs of watching to determine whether the capped-off nicely would maintain or blow a new leak.
For the relief of millions of individuals along the Gulf Coast, the large, billowing brown cloud of crude at the bottom with the sea disappeared in the underwater video feed for the initial time because the disaster started in April, as BP closed the last of three openings within the 75-ton cap lowered onto the nicely earlier this week.
However the company stopped far short of declaring victory more than the greatest offshore oil spill in U.S. historical past and among the nation’s worst environmental disasters, a catastrophe which has killed wildlife and threatened the livelihoods of fishermen, restaurateurs, and oil industry workers from Texas to Florida.
Now begins a waiting period during which engineers will monitor stress gauges and watch for signs of leaks elsewhere in the nicely. The greatest risk: Stress in the oil gushing out of the ground could fracture the well and make the leak even worse.
“For the people living on the Gulf, I’m certainly not going to guess their emotions,” BP vice president Kent Wells said. “I hope they’re encouraged there’s no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. But we have to be careful. Depending on what the test shows us, we may need to open this well back up.”
The stoppage came 85 days, 16 hrs and 25 minutes after the initial report April 20 of an explosion around the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and triggered the spill.
Among 93.5 million and 184.3 million have already spilled to the Gulf, in accordance with federal estimates.