BP Well Update: Possible Seep Found, Plan Unclear

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After a couple of days of good news from the Gulf, there are rumblings that bad news, and oil, may soon erupt from BP's blown-out well.

The pressure in the well, an indication of how leaky it is, has not reached the levels that officials had hoped for. Given that data, it's not surprising that an anonymous official told The Associated Press that a seep of some sort had, in fact, been found.

With so much uncertainty, now there's serious carping between the Administration and BP over what steps to take next, a problem that The Atlantic Wire summarizes well.

"The federal government and BP are split over how to proceed with the containment cap currently covering the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico," John Hudson wrote. "When BP capped the well Thursday, the government suggested that the cap would be reopened, fearing that gas and oil could leak directly from the seafloor. But on Sunday, BP announced that it sought to keep the well closed until it could be permanently plugged."

Perhaps the best news from the weekend is that crews continue to make progress drilling relief wells that are considered the best hope for permanently stopping the flow of oil into the gulf. They expect to be in position to start that work next month.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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