I do not devote as much time to watching the oil leak as I once did. However I do watch and read what I can. It seems that there is no lack of talk about the importance of removing the blow-out preventer or BOP to examine it and detect the cause of the accident or event. However there has been no reason given as to why they should remove the cap on the well and let it spill freely before the relief well is drilled. I can think of some reasons why it might be good to let the well flow from the top at the end. It would probably reduce pressure and thus make the cutting into the well shaft safer. However, I have not heard anyone say this nobody. So all I hear is that it is no big deal to open up and let the well leak for four unexplained days while they hope the constant column of storms raking the Atlantic do not interrupt the drilling.
I am not sure what the next step is if the BP people and corporation are our committed enemies but behavior like this makes it hard to understand how they could possibly be acting in good faith and with goodwill. This whole saga is truly exhausting . The behavior of so many on so many occasions reminds some of us how far we are from anything approaching right behavior in this situation. We will see what happens next.
September 1,2010 UPDATE
A fairly junior reporter on a local network has passed on assessments from the Incident Command and BP undisclosed sources to the viewership of the local station what amounts to a statement that certainly removing the cap and almost as certianly removing the blow-out preventer should not disturb the cemented in well that was static killed with mud and cemented in. In should not expose any cracks or erosion or change pressure on the well. There should be no risk of a renewed leak. That is the answer that needed to be announced clearly. It makes sense as some feel the relief well is no longer needed. I hope that it will work out that way and think that it is probable the cement job will hold. But I am glad to have someone on record even if we do not know who or why or how emphatic their statements were.