This process is ongoing and even if it fails, frankly there is no other option but to continue trying to cap the oil spill. Below is an animation of the process:
Firstly folks, pay attention to engineers and experts. There is a lot of noise out there on the oil spill and frankly in watching the spill cams, I periodically shout out loud what a bitch! In other words, it's clear this is exceedingly technically difficult. See these previous posts on the oil disaster, Even More Ado About Oil, More Ado About Oil and Much Ado About Oil for some of the technical problems in engineering 1 mile below the sea.
Just to show you if this latest attempt fails, engineers clearly plan more efforts. They literally have put concrete on the sea bed floor to lay all of their tools around. As you can imagine, needing to lower a saw a mile down in the ocean isn't exactly immediate access to it when needed. The engineers have at least 5 different caps on the sea floor currently to try to get a good fit over the pipe gushing oil. Be patient.
We also have new animated projections of the spread of the spill.
The true economic impact is starting to show as well as the environment damage. I won't display the many horrific videos and images of birds coated in oil, dying, smothering, fish dying and people losing hope.
Currently various groups are working on economic impact reports. They vary from $1 billion to $70 billion, all assuredly low-balled. The true economic impact is dependent upon the spill rate, the continuing flow and the total amount of oil leaked. Additionally it is dependent upon ocean currents as well as public perceptions (tourism). Most critical on economic impact is the clean up effectiveness and response time. It's possible the spill will cause a double dip recession.
The Democratic Policy Committee put out a snapshot last week pegging the Louisiana commercial fishing economy at $2.4 billion and the Florida tourism industry at $60 billion. The document said economic damage "will be significant," citing reports of 70 percent declines in hotel occupancy along the Florida panhandle over Memorial Day and other signals that tourists are being spooked.
In the interim, let's just hope more boats scour and shower for oil soaked animals and life that can be saved.
The first relief well was at 12,090 feet yesterday, supposedly on track to be completed by early August. The relief wells are the known permanent solution to stop the leaking oil.
Another site covering the spill source containment efforts is The Oil Drum and they are moderating the comments to keep the noise down.
Consider this post the oil open thread.