NPR logo Obama Official: Oil In Gulf May Flow Until August

Obama Official: Oil In Gulf May Flow Until August

The Obama White House on Sunday appeared to be gently preparing the nation for the increasingly likely possibility that BP's oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico won't be finally stopped until relief wells are completed which, at the current rate, are expected to happen sometime in August.

Carol Browner, the Obama White House's director of Energy and Climate Change Policy, said on Meet the Press:

"There could be oil coming up till August when the relief wells are dug."

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Some more direct quotes courtesy of MTP executive producer Betsey Fischer's Twitter feed:

"We are prepared for the worst. We have been prepared from the beginning"


"More oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico than at any other time in our history... more oil than the Exxon Valdez."

And Browner said it was the Obama Administration that ultimately decided to pull the plug on BP's "top kill" effort. Browner said on MTP:

"Yesterday (Energy Secretary) Stephen Chu and his team said, 'You cannot continue to put downward pressure on that will. It will not work.' "

BP is working on it's next attempt to stanch the oil flow, the so-called lower marine riser package cap which is essentially a better fitted dome than the version they tried earlier to catch escaping oil.

But BP says the LMRPC won't catch all the oil, so it's not a permanent solution. That would more likely come from the relief wells now being drilled that, again, aren't expected to be in operation before August.