BP: If At First You Don't Succeed...

Thad Allen Briefs On Progess Of Tests On Oil Spill Containment Cap

Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander, briefs the media on the progess of tests on the Oil Spill Containment Cap. Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America hide caption

toggle caption Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America

...try, try again.

The energy company's unofficial motto?

BP is trying — yet again — to test the containment cap on the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, to get all the oil from deep-water well to flow through a single valve on the sea floor. The plan is to close that valve slowly, then watch as pressure builds up in the well, NPR's Richard Harris reports.

All week, there has been one setback after another.

As it was readying to test the containment cap yesterday, BP had to replace a leaking valve. BP hoisted it to the surface, through a mile of water.

"Then, they sent down a replacement part they had on hand, but it didn't quite work," Harris explains. "So, they hoisted that one up, tweaked it, and lowered it back to the top of the well."

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander, says the company plans to proceed with pressure and seismic testing to determine the integrity of the deepwater well.

"This will allow us to take a look at the sea floor and actually do sensor testing into the formation, to see if there are any areas where pockets of oil may have formed as a result of being forced out of the well bore," he said.

Depending on what the tests show, the cap could be used to shut-in the oil, or to pipe it to production vessels at the surface.



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