BP Plans to Upgrade Containment Device in July
As officials report gradual increases in the amount of oil being capturing from the gushing Gulf wellhead, BP announced earlier this week that it plans to replace the cap collecting the oil next month with a slightly larger device. The larger cap will “provide a better, tighter fit” than the current one, according to BP spokesperson Robert Wine—but it will also allow oil to spew into the Gulf uncontained during the changeover.
Despite these efforts, BP is still being criticized for not completely stopping the flow of oil. BP officials have reported that the amount of oil being pumped to the surface is up to 11,000 barrels a day, but engineers were unable to close all four of the cap’s vents because the equipment on hand cannot contain all of the oil.
According to leading oil spill scientist Dr. Ian McDonald, who sat down with ABC News earlier this week, BP is “groping in the dark” because they “never permitted actual estimates [of the spill] to be made.” If the company had made realistic estimates about the amount of oil gushing from the well, they could have had sufficient equipment on the surface to capture all of the oil being pumped through the containment cap, said McDonald, a Florida State oceanography professor, which would have given the company no excuse for continuing to allow oil to flow into the Gulf.
With oil still gushing, officials have said that the process of getting the oil out of the marshlands and other habitats “will be years.”