The Oil Spill, the Cap, and the Impact

Finally stopping the oil. We look at the engineering challenge, and the environmental impact in the Gulf of Mexico.

A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. (AP)

A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. (AP)

Last week, a sigh of relief around the country as the cap went on and the oil stopped gushing in the Gulf of Mexico.  This week, more hope. But also apprehension and uncertainty. 

There’s talk of “seepage” away from the well — of “undetermined anomalies” at the wellhead. 

Today, we’ll get a top petroleum engineer’s perspective on what’s going on down there. And we’ll step back to look at the biological damage already done in the Gulf, what can come back, and what – maybe – cannot. 

This Hour, On Point: the drama of days, and years, in the Gulf of Mexico – for the oil, for the sea.


Darryl Bourgoyne, director of Louisiana State University’s petroleum engineering laboratory in Baton Rouge.

Larry McKinney, director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Larry Crowder, marine biologist at Duke University’s marine lab in Beaufort, North Carolina.

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