"Concern around the integrity of the oil well shouldn't play into effect of the relief wells. -Kent Wells"
That's from @BP_America on Tuesday, keeping the conversation going as the oil disaster company tested the new cap for the Deepwater Horizon. All that stopped, for reasons that aren't yet clear. From the Times-Picayune:
A series of methodical, preliminary steps were completed before progress stalled. Engineers spent hours on a seismic survey, creating a map of the rock under the sea floor to spot potential dangers, such as gas pockets. It also provides a baseline to compare with later surveys during and after the test to see whether the pressure on the well is causing underground problems.
An unstable area around the wellbore could create bigger problems if the leak continued elsewhere in the well after the cap valves were shut, experts said.
"It's an incredibly big concern," said Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of Professional Geoscience Programs at the University of Houston. "They need to get a scan of where things are, that way when they do pressure testing, they know to look out for ruptures or changes."
Admiral Thad Allen says that we just need "additional analysis" that could finish up today -- that they're still collecting lots of oil and drilling for the relief wells is getting closer. Two bucks says today's news gets the methane-bubble crowd going, anyhow. And in a sense, I don't fault them. This is a scary story -- just maybe not in that way.