Gov't Considers Making Cap a Permanent Solution

The government is giving BP another 24 hours to keep the well closed, giving them more time to draw up another untested plan to close the well.

With the well holding and the pressure rising, the government is considering BPs request to turn their temporary solution into a permanent solution, filling the cap and the well with mud to kill it.

"With the pressure on top we can probably overcome the hydrocarbons that are in there and basically have the mud defeat the oil that's in the wellbore," said Thad Allen.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

BP tried pumping heavy mud into the well to kill it back in May. That's what is called a top kill. A static kill is the same concept only now the oil is contained in the new cap, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella. Drilling mud would be pumped through the cap to choke the oil. BP would still finish the relief well, pumping mud to the bottom of the reservoir to finally plug it.

Feds Say Gulf Oil Seepage Not From Capped Well

There's still disagreement over why the well pressure was lower than expected or what to do if there's a problem.

Along the Gulf coast skimmer boats are still trolling for oil but not finding much. After months of trying to stay ahead of the spill, there's finally a chance to step back and assess progress.

The edge of marshes in the area used to be covered in oil. There are still the black stains on the grass but a month later signs of life: green shoots on the marshes are new growth.

"That tip was almost, you can kind of see, was completely slicked over," said Laura Wyness. She's in charge of protecting the marshes around Grand Isle.

Crews don't touch the grasses, just circle them with boom to absorb the oil. She's seen the grasses go from oil-covered to growing again. It's happening all across this bay.

"For it to be growing back, even with the presence of oil there, is I think a great accomplishment for mother nature herself," said Wyness.

Scientists say they've seen green shoots on other Gulf marshes covered with oil but experts warn the effects on this complex ecosystem could last for years.
  • Kelly Cobiella

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