You see the underwater pictures on TV, but the scale is hard to figure out. Here is what the new capping stack, with valves, for the well looked like with some size references. It weighs in at about 75 tons total.
This is a photo taken during testing on land before being lowered, and placed on top of the well.
The cap has now been lowered and placed on the well. Pressure test follow. If the pressure test shows results within expected limits, then the well may be just left closed in. If the pressure is lower than expected, then the capping valves will have to be reopened as that lower pressure would be from the lower casing leaking oil into the surrounding rocks.
If the well casing is showing signs of leaking, then the top of the stack will have to be connected up to a oil recovery ship and the oil outflow siphoned off.
Hopefully, either way, the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf may be significantly reduced. Here hoping….
BP has an animation here, which shows how the new cap is installed.
Now if only the federal government’s containment and cleanup had been anywhere as good, the damage to the Gulf and surrounding area would have been minimized — Just as the OPA 1990 called for. But sadly, our incompetent Obowma and his incompetent minions were not prepared, and damage will be severe. Big Government, too big to fail, and that means who needs plans and procedures for things we know will never happen. So answer me, why did the government even bother to write the oil spill emergency containment and cleanup plans and procedures down?
Is there any wonder they have now made it a class D felony and a $40,000 fine for news people to report on what damage has been done. All in the name of transparency, I am sure.