Saturday, July 10, 2010
BP ecocide: cap on gusher removed, oil flows freely
Cap On Gusher Removed, Oil Flows Freely
Robotic submarines removed the cap from the gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, beginning a period of at least two days when oil will flow freely into the sea.
It's the first step in placing a tighter dome that is supposed to funnel more oil to collection ships on the surface a mile above. If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the surface ships could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf as soon as Monday.
BP spokesman Mark Proegler said the old cap was removed at 12:37 p.m. CDT on Saturday.
"Over the next four to seven days, depending on how things go, we should get that sealing cap on. That's our plan," said Kent Wells, a BP senior vice president.
It would be only a temporary solution to the catastrophe unleashed by a drilling rig explosion nearly 12 weeks ago. It won't plug the busted well and it remains uncertain that it will succeed.
The oil is flowing mostly unabated into the water for about 48 hours — long enough for as much as 5 million gallons to gush out — until the new cap is installed.
The hope for a permanent solution remains with two relief wells intended to plug it completely far beneath the seafloor.
Engineers now begin removing a bolted flange below the dome. The flange has to be taken off so another piece of equipment called a flange spool can go over the drill pipe, where the sealing cap will be connected.
The work could spill over into Sunday, Wells said, depending on how hard it is to pull off the flange. BP has a backup plan in case that doesn't work: A piece of machinery will pry the top and the bottom of the flange apart.
On Friday, National Incident Commander Thad Allen had said the cap could be in place by Monday. That's still possible, given the timeline BP submitted to the federal government, but officials say it could take up to a week of tests before it's clear whether the new cap is working.
The cap now in use was installed June 4, but because it had to be fitted over a jagged cut in the well pipe, it allows some crude to escape. The new cap — dubbed "Top Hat Number 10" — follows 80 days of failures to contain or plug the leak.
My question is, why the wait of two days or more to replace the cap thus allowing millions more gallons of oil to flow freely into the sea? Why not have the new cap ready to place on once the old one is taken off?
There has been much I have been reading on this, and I can say with sureness that the amount of methane mixed with other chemicals and toxic Corexit have made the Gulf Of Mexico a toxic stew that over time and even now will be lethal to live near. All the way up the food chain from micro organisms to whales, this toxic soup has affected the web of life. Yet, no moral outrage from this government or the people en masse.
How BP is even being allowed to take this cap off without replacing it the same day is ludicrous. It seems however, that words are not having effect anymore, so perhaps song is where we need to go:
I'm beginning to think this wasn't an accident.
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