Oil Keeps Gushing With New Delay
Progress is halted temporarily in the Gulf
Oil gushes from the leak in BP's oil well-pipe. (AFP / Getty Images / NewsCom)
Experts at BP Oil Company had announced that a new cap designed to stop oil from leaking into the Gulf of Mexico would be ready for testing on Tuesday. But late Tuesday night, company officials decided to delay the test for an additional 24 to 48 hours. This change disappointed many who hoped the cap would control the leak and help stop the damage to beaches, the fishing industry and ocean life. The delay is to make sure that the testing goes as planned and that the underwater oil well can be sealed once and for all.
The new custom-made cap was placed on the oil well earlier this week, but the final step is to close it completely. Experts need to carefully analyze the possible outcomes to try to avoid creating new or worse leaks once the cap is closed. The delay means that oil continues to gush into the Gulf. The U.S. government estimates that between 50 million and 142 million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf since April 20.
"As much as we want to do things as soon as possible, we want to make sure they're done absolutely correct," says Kent Wells, a BP official.
Scholastic News Online has been tracking the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Click here for a collection of news stories, video, a kids' poll, and other resources to help kids understand this environmental disaster.