This could lead to the worst case scenario. Pressure tests indicate the wellbore structure may be compromised “down hole.” This means they may have to uncap it to take pressure off the well and prevent a total collapse of the well due to erosion. The possibility of this horrific scenario was explained in detail by an oil industry expert at The Oil Drum. It's a long post, but well worth your time. This expert claimed everything BP and the government were doing indicated they knew of a leak “down hole.” Although BP statements have hinted at this possibility, this information has not been widely reported. If the wellbore is destroyed, the entire 2 billion barrels (barrels not gallons) in this reserve are coming out into the gulf and there would be nothing anyone could do to stop it. So far, the oil expert's June 13th post is looking very credible. Let's hope he is wrong. However, AP is now reporting on this leak elsewhere in the wellbore and the possibility the well will have to be reopened.
"No one associated with this whole activity ... wants to see any more oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico," Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer, said Sunday. "Right now we don't have a target to return the well to flow."
An administration official familiar with the spill oversight, however, told The Associated Press that a seep and possible methane were found near the busted oil well. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement about the next steps had not been made yet.
The concern all along — since pressure readings on the cap weren't as high as expected — was a leak elsewhere in the wellbore, meaning the cap may have to be reopened to prevent the environmental disaster from becoming even worse and harder to fix.