HOUSTON—Complex tests are expected to get underway soon in the Gulf of Mexico to help officials determine whether the containment cap, placed over the ruptured BP oil well on Monday, is doing its job.
On Tuesday morning, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told reporters the tests would likely take between six and 48 hours. But even if the cap works, it is a temporary solution. A permanent fix, requiring the broken well be plugged, is estimated to be a month away.
In the meantime, the oil lingering in the Gulf continues to reek havoc. Admiral Allen says about 35 percent of the sea is closed to fishing. He says the long term environmental and ecological impacts of the spill will be studied once the Deepwater Horizon oil stops gushing.