Incident Commander: “Trying to come to grips with the pressure readings”

Pressure readings still not perfect for Gulf oil well, Miami Herald, July 21, 2010:

[T]he containment cap BP is using to plug its deep-water well still isn’t registering the pressure readings scientists had hoped for — prompting the federal government to emphasize Tuesday the importance of finishing a relief well in order to achieve a reliable, permanent closure. …

[P]ressure readings… are less than what scientists expected: about 6,800 pounds per square inch instead of the desired 8,000 to 9,000 psi.

Lower pressure readings could mean leaks somewhere in the well casing, and worst-case scenarios for such a leak involve oil and gas flowing into the bedrock and mud, perhaps leading to a problematic collapse of the well. …

[R]etired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said… “We’ve been trying to come to grips with the pressure readings”…

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