After placing the 150,000 lb. containment cap over the oil well leaking in the Gulf of Mexico, BP (NYSE:BP) has began testing the new cap to see if it can do the job of stopping the oil from leaking into the Gulf.
The tests area a double-edged sword, in that the news could be bad news because it could confirm the flowing oil can't be contained, or of course it could be good news that it can be. The tests will make that determination.
BP began with seismic testing, and later on in the day has plans in place to test the well's integrity.
"When the data says that we need to open up the well we'll do that," he said. "When the data says that the well can be shut in we'll do that," said BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells.
The testing offers other uncertainties as it relates to time, as testing could be completed today, or stretch out for two days or longer.
Even if the cap can't successfully completely stop the flow of oil, it will be an improvement over the prior cap, slowing down the oil, and will also all collection vessels on the surface to disconnect and reconnect quicker in case of bad weather, helping to keep more oil from escaping into the Gulf.