Best Chance to Stop Gulf Spill Is Months Away
Posted on May 31, 2010
It’s already the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history, and the oil spill continues to dump somewhere between 504,000 and 4.2 million gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. BP will continue to try to plug that hole, but its best chance to succeed is the drilling of relief wells, a process that won’t be finished until at least August.
Did we mention that hurricane season kicks off Tuesday and it’s expected to be a nasty one?
AP via Google:
Still, the three months it could take to finish the relief wells — the first of which started May 2 — is quicker than a typical deep well, which can take four months or longer, said Tad Patzek, chair of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at the University of Texas-Austin. BP already has a good picture of the different layers of sand and rock its drill bits will meet because of the work it did on the blown-out well.
On the slim chance the relief well doesn’t work, scientists weren’t sure exactly how much — or how long — the oil would flow. The gusher would continue until the well bore hole collapsed or pressure in the reservoir dropped to a point where oil was no longer pushed to the surface, Patzek said.
U.S. Coast Guard