Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Best Odds Are on Siphoning, Not Stopping, Gulf Gusher

The latest word from the team overseeing efforts to manage the oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico seabed is that capturing the vast flow remains the prime goal, with chances of stopping it outright looking slim at least until early August.

Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the “incident commander” in charge of operations at the wrecked well, updated reporters on a telephone conference call this morning. (Somehow the word “incident” doesn’t adequately capture an unfolding disaster, but this is all new territory in an arena attuned to “spills.”) Here are a few notable developments (a transcript should be posted later):

“We don’t know the exact status of the well bore,” Allen said. He said that one reason the  “top kill” procedure was abandoned was the realization that the well bore could be compromised.

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