Feds: “We do not know the status of the annulus, OK?… Could be full of hydrocarbons”

Press Briefing by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, August 9, 2010:

Joel Achenbach: Yes thank you Admiral, I’m sorry if I’m a little bit confused, is there some concern that there are hydrocarbons in the annulus or is there some kind of reading or was it a model that someone examined and decided this was a concern? Can you explain that just a little bit better?…

Admiral Allen: … We do not know the status of the annulus, OK? It, there could be nothing in it or it could be full of hydrocarbons. It could be full of hydrocarbons that are being pressured up from the reservoir, there could be hydrocarbons that are in there that have been sealed off because cement actually did that from the top kill.

Or there could be a way that because of the seals at the top of the annulus between that and the well head there could be a path for hydrocarbons to go forward. We’ve never known that from the, from the beginning…

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