Officials look past oil leaking from BP's cap
NEW ORLEANS (KABC) -- On Day 91 of the April rig explosion, oil is once again leaking from the cap on BP's ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, but the stopper is staying put for now.
Federal officials said small amounts of oil and gas have started to seep from the cap, but that there's no reason for alarm.
They said if there's a quick rise in pressure, they'd open the well immediately to prevent leaks deep underground.
Ever since the cap was put in place last week, engineers have been keeping a close eye on it with underwater cameras and monitoring pressure readings.
BP and the government are still trying to understand why pressure readings from the well are lower than expected. Allen offered two possible explanations: The reservoir the oil is gushing from is dwindling, or there is an undiscovered leak somewhere down in the well.
Officials also said that seepage detected along the sea floor about two miles away does not appear to be related to the ruptured well.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said BP could keep the cap closed at least another 24 hours, as long as the company remained alert for leaks.
- Work on a permanent plug is moving steadily, with crews drilling into the side of the ruptured well from deep underground. By next week, they could start blasting in mud and cement to block off the well for good. Killing the well deep underground works more reliably than bottling it up with a cap.
- Approximately 94 million to 184 million gallons have gushed into the Gulf over the past three months in one of America's worst environmental crises.
- BP PLC said the cost of dealing with the spill has now reached approximately $4 billion. The company said it has made payments totaling $207 million to settle claims for damages. Almost 116,000 claims have been submitted and more than 67,500 payments have been made.
- Beachgoers have reported less oil fouling the shore since the cap was closed Thursday, saying that conditions have vastly improved from about a month ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
oil, oil spill, national news
- OC man arrested for pot brownie sales to kids
- IE cross memorial removed after complaints
- LB mayoral candidate mailer wrongly shows SD
- Benjamin Netanyahu discusses Iran at LA event
- San Clemente HS lockdown lifted after threat
- Drunk gambler sues LV casino following loss
- Moorpark school lockdown: Suspect arrested
- Parents, daughter accused in $7M shoplifting spree
- Baby rescued on FL freeway home from hospital
- Obama: West won't let Kremlin carve up Ukraine
- abcnews: Charges filed in missing nursing student case
- Bitcoin exchange CEO's death ruled 'unnatural'
- Justin Bieber's urine test video released
- OTRC: Angelina Jolie talks 'Maleficent,' daughter