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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021
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It's NOT over - there's oil seeping from the leak

BP engineers detect a seepage and fear a new leak has sprung after installing the containment cap.

Oil remains prominent at the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and around the Louisiana coast.
Image: Patrick Semansky/AP via PA

BP ENGINEERS monitoring the oil spill have detected methane seeping into the ocean floor – suggesting that there are problems with the new cap applied to the site of the spill last week.

The presence of methane suggests that there may be a fresh spring of oil leaking out nearby.

Late last night the US government official in charge of the repair works, Thad Allen, wrote to BP demanding that it outline plans on how to reopen the newly-installed cap so as to full oil to the surface.

BP suggests that the process would take three days, however, but has declined to officially comment.

As we reported yesterday, there had been concerns when the Longford-made cap was installed that the pressure levels in the underground Maconda oil well were lower than anticipated.

The low pressure meant that either BP had over-estimated the total quantity of the Maconda well, under-estimated the quantity of oil being leaked through it, 0r the complete plugging of the leak has caused another minor one to spring elsewhere.

It would now appear that the latter possibility has been feared true, orl that the cap itself is not fully halting the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The events are undoubtedly cause for concern for American leaders and will be a topic of conversation when Barack Obama meets British prime minister David Cameron in Washington on Tuesday.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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