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Thad Allen Tells BP Seabed "Seeping" and Demands More Monitoring

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Adm. Thad Allen released a letter to BP Chief Managing Director Bob Dudley tonight in which he demands that BP provide more monitoring information, citing "a detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head."

As a continued condition of the test, you are required to provide as a top priority access and coordination for the monitoring systems, which include seismic and sonar surface ships and subsea ROV and acoustic systems. When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate, and report findings to the government in no more than four hours.

Allen goes on to complain that the test of the new containment cap has gone beyond the 48 hours allowed for the integrity test, and demanded a written update.

As the National Incident Commander, I must remain abreast of the status of your source control efforts. Now that source control has evolved into a period beyond the expected 48 hour interval of the Well Integrity Test, I am requiring that you provide me a written update within 24 hours of your intentions going forward. I remain concerned that all potential options to eliminate the discharge of oil be pursued with utmost speed until I can be assured that no additional oil will spill from the Macondo Well.

Allen said that sonar and visual monitoring of the seabed is of "paramount importance," suggesting that independent scientists have been correct all along about a possible seabed rupture. Allen directed Dudley to immediately provide written procedures for opening the choke valve as quickly as possible without damaging the well should hydrocarbon seepage near the well head be confirmed.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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I thought Murphy's Law might have been repealed. S... by ssg13565 on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 9:17:58 PM
Nobody has told CNN yet. Just checked in there at ... by Sheila Samples on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 9:44:20 PM by Michael Olympia on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 10:00:27 PM
that presser was released at 7:30 PM CST on a Sund... by Georgianne Nienaber on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 10:06:58 PM
The administration & BP (same team) seem to be... by Miriam Callaghan on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 10:25:05 PM
BP TECHNICAL BRIEFING ADVISORY Release Date: 18 J... by Georgianne Nienaber on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 10:30:41 PM
Wayne Madsen, independent investigator with plenti... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 10:21:42 PM
I'm still waiting for an investigation of the Bush... by Taylor on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 7:20:10 AM
On YouTube, I happened upon an ROV video dated Jun... by WML on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 9:34:01 AM
<a href="">... by Mary Andersons on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 10:25:35 PM
Click here for captured video footage of new seep... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 11:32:36 PM
Hi Georgianne Well done on the quick accurate rep... by Chris Landau on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 11:44:07 PM
Watching CNN just a few hours ago, and reading the... by Eugene Elander on Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 11:48:52 PM
Just when I was suspecting Thad Allen of collusion... by Jay Farrington on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 12:20:51 AM
BP has for some reason decided they would like to ... by Ralph Dratman on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:15:42 AM
beginning before the rig explosion took place........ by Ernest on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:22:33 AM
Earlier, Thad Allen had said on C-Span, "The minu... by Aurora on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:31:08 AM
The possibility that the dome, the layer(s) of (po... by Plenum on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:50:43 AM
Thanks for the quick update. What strikes me: why ... by Stefan Thiesen on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 4:57:34 AM
...because Thad Allen does not have any answers. H... by Paul from Potomac on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 9:13:58 AM
There are many research ships, both military and c... by Aurora on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 11:28:27 AM
There are many research ships, both military and c... by Aurora on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 11:59:11 AM
Update from this morning. Includes YouTube of Alle... by Georgianne Nienaber on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 10:24:42 AM
Right here on oped I saw an article a bit ago tha... by Theresa Paulfranz on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 12:25:06 PM
in satellite photos , etc.?I'm VERY skeptical abou... by Kyle Griffith on Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 12:57:41 PM