There are signs that the “top kill” operations may be effective, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told NPR. He is in Houma, Louisiana, meeting with local officials and residents.
“Since yesterday afternoon, British Petroleum and their subcontractors have been pumping a heavy mud down into the well bore below the blowout preventer, and over the course of the last 12 to 18 hours, they’ve been able to force mud down, and not allow any hydrocarbons to come up,” Allen said, in an interview on Morning Edition. He is in charge of clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
They still have a ways to go, but so far, so good.
In other spill-related news:
BP’s rig-site supervisor takes the Fifth Amendment in Coast Guard questioning.
Moratorium on deepwater driling to be extended; new industry rules coming
The current moratorium on new deepwater drilling permits has been extended six months. The shallow water industry has been lobbying hard to draw a distinction between shallow and deepwater operations, so apparently their efforts have been successful, for now.
The Offshore Virginia lease sale has been cancelled and the Shell project in the Chukchi Sea, off Alaska’s northwest coast, has been deferred until 2011 at the earliest.