A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed
July 16, 2010
Experimental cap stops oil flowing into the gulf
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- BP was encouraged early Friday by results from an experimental cap on its busted Gulf of Mexico well, saying everything was holding steady 17 hours into the effort. BP vice president Kent Wells said on a conference call that there was no evidence of a leak in the pipe under the sea floor, one of the main concerns. Wells spoke 17 hours after valves were shut to trap oil inside the cap, a test that could last up to 48 hours. BP finally stopped oil from spewing into the sea Thursday, for the first time since an April 20 explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and unleashed the spill 5,000 feet beneath the water's surface. But the cap is a temporary measure. Even if it holds, BP needs to plug the gusher with cement and mud deep underground, where the seal will hold more permanently than any cap from above could. (27 images)

Follow The Frame on Twitter at sacbee_theframe

Rain falls on oil sheen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil well leak off the coast of Louisiana Thursday, July 15, 2010. Crew members onboard the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel prepared to skim oil this morning, but operations were put on standby after lightning was spotted nearby. AP / Patrick Semansky


oil_spill_081602.jpg
In this combo made from images taken from video provided by BP PLC, oil flows from two of three valves on the 75-ton cap atop the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at 17:04 CDT Wednesday, July 14, 2010, left, oil flows from one of three valves at 22:25 CDT Wednesday, July 14, 2010, center, and oil no longer flows from the cap at 15:57 CDT Thursday, July 15, 2010. AP / BP PLC



oil_spill_081603.jpg
Workers continue to construct a berm system on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. A tightly fitted cap was successfully keeping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in three months, BP said Thursday. AP / Dave Martin



oil_spill_081604.jpg
A worker walks through the water as a berm system is constructed on the northern end of the Chandeleur Islands, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. AP / Dave Martin



oil_spill_081605.jpg
A worker uses absorbent boom to clean oil from a marsh July 15, 2010 near Cocodrie, La. Getty Images / Mario Tama



oil_spill_081606.jpg
Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, speaks at a town hall meeting about the $20 billion fund set up to cover damage claims from the BP oil spill July 15, 2010 in Lafitte, La. Getty Images / Mario Tama



oil_spill_081607.jpg
Roy Campo, left, and the crew of fishermen continue to sort a load of blue crabs after hearing about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill being capped in Hopedale, La., Thursday, July 15, 2010. AP / Dave Martin



oil_spill_081608.jpg
The Texas Responder oil skimming vessel, left, sails away from vessels assisting in the capping of the Deepwater Horizon oil well leak on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Thursday, July 15, 2010. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081609.jpg
People pass cargo from the Mr. Leroy crew boat, left, to the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Thursday, July 15, 2010. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081610.jpg
A munson boat pulling boom passes a transrec machine as it is lifted back onto the deck of the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Thursday, July 15, 2010. The machine vacuums oily water contained by the booms into tanks on the vessel, where it can then be separated. Semansky) AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081611.jpg
Testing of the new capping system at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was halted on Thursday, July 15, 2010, when a leaking valve had to be replaced. So production of oil from the Q4000, flaring at right, went back into effect at sunrise over the site. MCT / The Los Angeles Times / Carolyn Cole



oil_spill_081612.jpg
A Brown Pelican coated in oil flaps its wings while standing on Raccoon Island, a barrier island in Terrebonne Parish, La. on Thursday, July 15, 2010. The Houma Daily Courier / Matt Stamey



oil_spill_081613.jpg
Fishermen, contracted to assist the clean up effort, collect booms used to contain the oil spill July 14, 2010 in Barataria Bay, La. Getty Images / Mario Tama



oil_spill_081614.jpg
Fishermen, contracted to assist the clean up effort, collect booms used to contain the oil spill July 14, 2010 in Barataria Bay, La. Getty Images / Mario Tama



oil_spill_081615.jpg
Boats participating in BP's Vessels of Opportunity program leave Bayou Caddy near Lakeshore to search for signs of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Mississippi on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. Sun Herald / James Edward Bates



oil_spill_081616.jpg
Boats participating in BP's Vessels of Opportunity program search for signs of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Mississippi near Lakeshore at sunrise on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. Sun Herald / James Edward Bates



oil_spill_081617.jpg
Oil is seen on a boom as it is pulled by the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Wednesday, July 14, 2010. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081618.jpg
A transrec vacuums oily water alongside a boom being pulled by the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The machine vacuums oily water into tanks on the vessel, where it can then be separated. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081619.jpg
Booms pulled by the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel contain oil on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Wednesday, July 14, 2010. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081620.jpg
Smudged oil is seen on the hard hat of contractor Mark Perrin as he sits on a crew boat alongside the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Wednesday, July 14, 2010. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081621.jpg
A work boat, center, operates near the Helix Producer, right, in the area of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. AP / Dave Martin



oil_spill_081622.jpg
Vessels monitor a oil burn in the area of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. AP / Dave Martin



oil_spill_081623.jpg
A pelican cleans its feathers while resting on oiled shrubs on Cat Island off the coast of Louisiana on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. AP / Judi Bottoni



oil_spill_081624.jpg
Tracie Driver and Mike Massey wash an oiled pelican Monday afternoon July 12, 2010, at the Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gulfport, Miss. There are 30 birds found with various amounts of oil on their bodies undergoing rehabilitation before being released in the wild. The Sun Herald / Tim Isbell



oil_spill_081625.jpg
Supervisor Wade Falany handles a rope while preparing for oil skimming operations on the deck of the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Monday, July 12, 2010. The vessel sailed from its home port in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Gulf of Mexico to assist in the containment of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon oil well. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081626.jpg
Second mate David Guzman writes in the ship log on the bridge of the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel in the Gulf of Mexico on August 12, 2010 near the coast of Louisiana. AP / Patrick Semansky



oil_spill_081627.jpg
An oil skimming vessel is seen at sunset on August 12, 2010 on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana. AP / Patrick Semansky



About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.