Thursday, May 27, 2010


Thad Allen says effort to stop Gulf of Mexico oil spill going according to plan

By Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune

May 27, 2010, 8:14AM

BP PLC / The Associated PressThe equipment being used to try and plug a gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday during a maneuver known as a "top kill" that has never before been tried 5,000 feet underwater.An attempt to kill the runaway deepwater horizon well spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico is going according to plan so far, leaving the coast guard admiral in charge of managing the spill "cautiously optimistic" but unwilling to say the well is capped.

Admiral Thad Allen said gas and oil is no longer blowing out of the wrecked well on the sea floor as BP engineers and contractors pumped thousands of gallons of heavy mud down the well hole overnight Wednesday and early Thursday.

The aim is to plug the well with mud and cement it closed.

Reports from BP indicate pressures in the well are dropping -- a sign that the weight of the mud is pressing down on the upward thrust of gas and oil, Allen said.

"Right now, no news is good news," said Allen. "We're in a period of wait and see. We want to see how the well is stabilizing."

Allen, the former Cost Guard commandant, is now overseeing management of the spill for the Obama administration. He will spend the day in south Louisiana examining control efforts at sea and on the ground.

Allen will brief President Obama on Friday when he visits the area.

Allen said the government may release later today the first independent estimates of the amount of oil spewing from the well 5,000 feet below the surface of the sea. That estimate is being coordinated by the U.S. Geologic Survey, Allen said.

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