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Gulf oil spill: Cap starts doing its job, but officials remain cautious

Oil rig
Cap Efforts to contain the flood of oil into the Gulf of Mexico showed the first signs of progress as 6,000 barrels of oil were pumped to the surface after the fitting of a containment cap over the blown well, officials said Saturday, but it was an incremental step that offered no guarantees of long-term success.

At a morning news briefing, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, commander of the national response to the disaster, said BP officials still had not closed the four vents of the containment cap, which would allow the well to begin pumping oil to the surface at far greater capacity.

In the meantime, thousands of gallons of oil are flowing into the sea as the massive slick hits shorelines and marshalnd in areas including Louisiana’s fishing towns and Florida’s white-sand beaches, where rust-colored globs are began washing ashore.

Allen said it was crucial to close the vents slowly to avoid putting too much pressure on the cap, which is being held in place with the help of a rubber gasket. “They’re easing the pressure up to the vessel … so they can maintain control of the oil,” said Allen.

As the vents are closed, officials must also ensure that water is not filtering in to mix with the oil and create hydrates, which led to the failure of an initial capping effort last month.

That requires the pumping downward of methanol, meaning officials must maintain a delicate balance at depths of 5,000 feet in conditions that could be disrupted in the event a major storm or hurricane forms. Hurricane season began Tuesday.

Allen said the full closure of the vents and the ramping up of oil production would depend on various conditions.

“They’re making sure they don’t increase the production rate until it is safe to do so,” said Allen. He also noted that the containment cap was only an interim, partial solution that was never guaranteed to fully plug the leak. A cap can only go so far – the only real solution is the completion of two relief wells currently being drilled. When they are finished, it will enable BP to plug the blown well and stop the spill, the worst in U.S. history.

One of the relief wells has been drilled to about 7,000 feet beneath the sea floor, less than half the distance it needs to go. The wells are not expected to be finished until early August.

-- Tina Susman, reporting from New Orleans

PHOTO: The relief well being drilled at the worksite of Deepwater Horizon on June 2, 2010. BP has now asked for international assistance in skimming oil. CREDIT: Carolyn Cole/LA Times

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Freeze Cap. Would pumping liquid carbon dioxide deep down the well head permeate the well with a slush that would slow the flow were an ice cap could be frozen at the well head so a cap could be installed?

From: Constantine Balakiryan, PhD, Professor.
7 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico
To day is 68th day, since the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Oil keeps gushing from the leaking well into the Gulf of Mexico. The amount of spilled oil now is around 300 000 000 gallons.
BP significantly reduces this rate motivated by the fact that the daily capturing 15-20 thousand barrels of oil.
I have repeatedly explained, no matter how much oil BP capturing from the Cap, because the pump creates inside the Cap additional negative pressure which immediately compensated by the pressure in the petroleum layer and accompanied by an additional release of oil, correlated with this negative pressure.
So, the amount of gushing oil unchanged or unaltered is about 90-120 thousand barrels per day.
There are many people like myself, who would like to give alternative methods to BP and the government but lack the contacts to meet the right people. BP lacks thinking “outside of the box” and continues to solve its problems to the “best” of their knowledge.
Using my know-how and liquid nitrogen oil freezing equipment we can shut the well during the nearest 3 weeks.
Constantine Balakiryan, PhD, Professor.

This explanation of why BP can't plug that leak doesn't make any logical sense. If they can plug that leak so that it doesn't leak after they drill the "relief" wells, why can't they do it now? Simple Physics says that the pressure coming out of the current pipe will be half once another well is dug into the reservoir and then it will be a third once a second "relief" well is dug. Is their plugging technology dependent on the pressure being reduced? Or is it they want to continue saving as much oil as they can until another well is dug? Sounds very fishy to me. I hope someone who can explain the simply physics of it all to the Coast Guard will read this and the light will go on in their heads. I think BP would rather be pumping "some" oil now till they are assured of hitting the reservoir with another drill. In other words, the heck with ruining the gulf waters, its about BP's profits.

Oh, I was thinking about cryogenics myself in regards to stopping the leak. I heard about freezing technology from the many sci-fi productions that are out there. Apparently, it isn't even new or merely theoretical. I get the strong impression BP is purposefully withholding a viable solution the way innovative technologies are being suppressed from potentially replacing petroleum-powered vehicles, or the the way Al Gore was suppressed from becoming president who would have certainly prevented this horrible cataclysm from ever occurring.

what are you guys doing for the animals

From: Constantine Balakiryan, PhD, Professor

BP loses control of the situation

Several unsuccessful attempts to stop the leak oil from wells in the Gulf of Mexico showed technological failures of BP.
I already wrote about the fallacy of previous projects; now turn to explain BP Staff errors admitted in project” Cap”.
The fact is that in point of release oil from wells, exists the dynamic equilibrium between pressure in oil layer and pressure by rendered water column above wells
When BP tries to pump oil into the tanker, it creates additional (negative) pressure which immediately causes an additional emission of oil. (You can see that in underwater pictures that show the oil being released under the “Cap”.
This is not the way to stopping the ecological catastrophe.
I continue to argue, that the unique solution to stop Gulf of Mexico oil spouting is to
Immediately start downloading liquid nitrogen into the oil well’s breakthroughs.
The low temperature will increase the viscosity of oil and may even freeze it.
The freezing will slow down the speed of emission of oil and make it easier to facilitate the collection of oil in the off shore sector.

As far as the freeze plug/ liquid nitrogen suggested by Dennis Hollenberg...

I contacted BP weeks ago about this type of procedure. I own a mechanical contracting business in S. Louisiana and I've used, many times, LCO2 and liquid nitrogen injected jackets on piping over 12" to create long ice plugs that will hold up to 20,000 psi of oil or water, and the ice plug will stay iced for as long as you pump in the liquid. It's not new technology. International Flow Technologies is one of a few national companies that can do this. See their web site. BP could not tell me why they were not able to do this. I've contacted them many times, left phone and email messages + used their submission form. No one responds, except low level personnel.

I hope there is a good reason for not attempting this procedure.

There needs to be WAY more information made public about what BP is doing, what they are attempting, and what they are planning.

Obama needs to stop pointing fingers and telling us how angry he is with BP... He's got to make some executive decisions and get this thing under control... If let leaking til November or Xmas, it will be cataclysmic for our seafood industry and our economy, which has not yet recouped from Katrina.

It seems to me that now that they have the cap on that they could pump dry ice down the pipe to solidify (make it more viscous) the oil so they can close the rest of the vents. Alternatively, one might surround the pipe from which the oil is flowing with liquid nitrogen or dry ice.

If you keep tabs on My Haywards comments on British media... he readily states that BP is barely affected (financially) by the disaster in the Gulf... it could effectlively 'care less'...

BP is feeding us so much hogwash... it doesn't take a genius to see that more oil is leaking-- out from under that 'cap'-- than the 'estimates' would have us believe... at least 60000-84000 barrels (about one barrel per second) are belching out... just check out the live cams!

From BBC news:

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hayward said: "As we speak, the containment cap is producing around 10,000 barrels of oil a day to the surface."

Asked what amount of the estimate that represented, the BP chief executive said it was "probably the vast majority". yeah right! ...look at the videos be the judge!

This guy and BP are simply playing us all... so they can salvage what oil they can, while they can, before our government 'wises up' and STOPS the flow. This well could be stopped right now! There are PLENTY of skilled technically minded people who know how to do this... and there are a variety of ways to do it!!!!

BP is the last to want this well shut off!!! For crying out loud!!!

I can't believe the media, the government (Coast Guard, Obama, NOAA) ...all compicit in this, and/or duped!!!

The American People are being fed a load of crap!!

BP will draw this out as long as they can-- for money! At the expense of the environment and the people of the United States!!

Obama! Thad Allen! Wake up!!! Or, you will be held as accountable as BP!!

Get Schlumberger... get other oil companies involved... get BP outta there NOW!!!!

I agree with Mr. Hollenberg's comments about the probable effectiveness of a freeze plug. However, it has been apparent from the beginning that BP is far more concerned with Capturing the oil than with stopping it. Any oil they capture they will sell; capping the well makes the money spent drilling it a total loss.

BP is still lying to us --clearly, the cap is leaking vary badly at the seal even without having the vents closed off...

The recovery pipe is woefully undersized for the task--and apparently nobody in the chain of command there is smart enough to ADD A SERIES OF PUMPS to the vertical pipe string in order to DECREASE PRESSURE at the seal interface through an INCREASE OF VOLUMETRIC FLOW CAPACITY.

Get the bean counters completely out of the picture and where "decision by committee" is used then a minimum take anyone that wears a suit and tie to work off of the committee because from the looks of it the idiots currently calling the shots probably would end up drowning an entire city block if they ever so much as considered making an attempt at repairing a dripping kitchen faucet.


Yes this looks like 200k barrels a day ' Why has the flow not been settled yet. Why hasnt congress demanded the flow rate. we should asume 300k barrels a day untill the stop hiding what it really is.

Shame on the LA Times for trying to manipulate the news! And, for trying to silence those who have opinions that are contrary to their own agenda! You think stifling discussion is the best way to resolve the genuine concerns people have? I guess it is truely a world for the elite... like those in charge of oil, the media, politics, medicine, insurance, banks, and big buisness... the people are nothing but cattle, right?

Think again!

Several other articles on the LA Times require you to have an account with a social-media site (like Google, Facebook) before you can voice your comments... why is that?

I hear that 'censorship' is occuring on several news sites... like the LA Times... has anyone else been hearing this?

The well is leaking as much , or more, than it always has.
The 'estimates' released to the public are wholly unreliable. The actual leakage rate is more like 84,000 barrels a day... minus whatever 'oil' (not oil+water+methane+dispersants) they are pumping up to the ship. 6000 barrels of what?

Nobody is forthright in this... not BP, not the government.
BP simply wants to get as much oil as they can, wait this disaster out for as long a spossible, pay the least amount they have to (under the law), and return to business as usual.

The U.S. government is complicit in this. For a variety of political, economic, and security reasons... not all of which are well thought-out, or are in the best interests of the 'American People'... but are motivations of our government none-the-less.
The well could be stopped right now, and could have been stopped a long time ago...

None of the 'players' in this actually want the well to be 'stopped' since that would be the beginning of a long drawn-out process of investigation, and policy decision-making, and a chance for the 'American People' to take control... nobody at BP, or in our government wants that.

The decisions being made throughout this fiasco are politically motivated more so, than they are motivated by environmental consequences...

The environment is screwed again.

Here is a substance that could potentially save the gulf!

The crude oil is toxic, and anyone who cleans the oily Gulf beaches needs to know the danger. Don't allow the workers to become BP's Collateral Damaged, like Exxon did in 1989.

Article from Las Vegas Review Journal:

My name is Merle Savage, a female general foreman during the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) beach cleanup in 1989, which turned into 21 years of extensive health deterioration for me, and many other workers. I am one of the 11,000+ cleanup workers from the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), who is suffering from health issues from that toxic cleanup, without compensation from Exxon.

Dr. Riki Ott visited me in 2007 to explain about the toxic spraying on the beaches. She also informed me that Exxon's medical records and the reports that surfaced in litigation by sick workers in 1994, had been sealed from the public, making it impossible to hold Exxon responsible for their actions.

Exxon developed the toxic spraying; OSHA, the Coast Guard, and the state of Alaska authorized the procedure; VECO and other Exxon contractors implemented it. Beach crews breathed in crude oil that splashed off the rocks and into the air -- the toxic exposure turned into chronic breathing conditions and central nervous system problems, neurological impairment, chronic respiratory disease, leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, liver damage, and blood disease.

My web site is devoted to searching for EVOS cleanup workers who were exposed to the toxic spraying, and are suffering from the same illnesses that I have. There is an on going Longshoreman’s claim for workers with medical problems from the oil cleanup. Our summer employment turned into a death sentence for many -- and a life of unending medical conditions for the rest of Exxon’s Collateral Damaged.

Good point Keith. More proof of the utter incompetance displayed by the brain-drained, out-sourced, contracted, top-heavy corporations that sully our world today. There are no jobs or pensions anymore, just robots and boobs like Tony Hayward stuffing his pockets as fast as he can.

BP has made it a pain to see all the live underwater feeds. Here is a page where you can see all the underwater feeds at the same time:

Arizona past a law to keep illegal from coming into the state. How those States at Gulf arresting the CEO of BP for killing 11 people. Crimes against each state for pollution. This why BP does not drill in China.

Oil companies and the regulators have failed to use a cryogenic (freeze) plug to stop the oil leak (LA Times has prevented posting this comment by their political commissar).

Freeze plugs are old technology.

A concentric, dual pipe is inserted into the oil pipe and a cryogenic fluid, e.g., freon, liquid carbon dioxide (under presssure) or nitrogen, is delivered through the inner pipe to the expansion chamber at the inserted tip. The cryogenic fluid returns to the source via the outer jacket of the pipe, thereby insulating the supplied fluid.

A frozen plug of oil then quickly forms, binding the local material into an impermeable frozen plug.

Freeze plugs have been around for many decades (have been used on nuclear reactor systems for maintenance while at full pressure).

For anyone to say that regulators and oil drilling companies are not criminally remiss at not anticipating inevitable system failures by incorporating such a fail-safe system. There are more appropriately descriptive words for it but the local LA clerk of vacuous-correctness mentality refuses to allow free speech.

Thousands of gallons? Try hundreds of thousands. The engineer who analyzed the speed and amount a month ago was only measuring one pipe, and he said that one alone was dumping 70,000 barrels a day(almost 3 million gallons). Have you not seen the other 4 holes spewing even more oil?

Thousands? I'm guessing 10 times what they say has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. They are saying 34 million which we all know from past experience is a sugar coated lie. It's 340 million and counting.

The residents of the Gulf should review recent Massachusetts law news.

A jury through an environmental class action suit has recently awarded Massachusetts property owners damages eight years after the oil spill ravaged Buzzards Bay, polluting residential beaches, devastating ecosystems and hurting local property values, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.

On April 27, 2003, eight years ago the Bouchard Barge B-120 hit an obstacle in Buzzards Bay, creating a 12-foot rupture in its hull and discharging an estimated 100,000 gallons of No. 6 oil. The oil is known to have affected an estimated 90 miles of shoreline, killed 450 numerous bird species, and recreational use of the bay, such as shell fishing and boating.

Wow, 11 people killed becaused of BP. This why companies like BP will not drill in China. In China the "C" levels would have arrested and executed. Here in this country no one at BP was arrested, yet those States facing the Gulf are more concern about Arizona law to keep people out. How about those States arresting someone for the BP crimes?

Dear Mayors of all USA

In gesture of greatness, I hope you choose to cancel the 4th of july fireworks and use the funds to help in the oil spill catastrophe in the gulf.

This will certainly put your actions in the eyes of all, and hopefully start a trend to change our wasteful ways, and think:



G Kaplan, MD

This makes me sad

Any one with very minimal experience knows; once you remove the weight with a rough cut you go back with the diamond cuter and make a smooth cut. SO, either BP did not spend the money to have a second saw standing by, or they have an ulterior motive. Ether way BP is lying to the public by omission. The President and Thad Allen are allowing it.

my email is:

worldwebwall [at]

I have just proposed to BP my idea how COMPLETELY prevent oil spread, but obviously I was ignored.

I have no idea to whom contact!


Fall proof – construction has 4 natural protective factors preventing from falling

Self Stand able – set up by itself and stand by itself

PRESSURE self adjusting – danger pressure is self adjusted

Flexible – any bending impact WILL NOT BREAK this construction

Self pumping – new never used before SAFETY way to take oil! Nothing to do- oil come self!

Self-leveling - always keep construction in RIGHT position

Easy fixable - the same second construction can replace first even within 1 hour!!!

Safety – no danger anymore

Low cost – non expensive materials and technologies

Easy installation – even within 24 hours


Can be used for ALL oil DRILLING in future as protector from leaking!

Please help me connect with serious concerned people for further assistance.


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