(BP article updated to reflect Monday White House report of new well leaks)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BP (BP - Get Report) gave the world -- and the markets -- the news everyone had been waiting to hear last Thursday: The live-spill cam located deep beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico showed no oil leaking from BP's Macondo well.
Euphoria immediately set in that the three-month old environmental disaster was finally ending, yet by Monday, all was not so well with the BP well. On Monday afternoon, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the BP Macondo oil well was leaking at the top, and seepage was spotted two miles away on the seafloor. Government officials are also monitoring bubbles that can be seen using deepsea cameras.
BP tried to downplay the situation, arguing that seepage at the sea floor could come from a number of causes unrelated to the BP well itself.The latest issues since the initial cap success signal that the cap could be coming off sooner, rather than later. However, if BP's improved siphoning system works, by BP's estimates it should be able to handle up to 80,000 barrels of oil daily. Yet it became clear on Monday afternoon, at a press briefing by U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, that the siphoning system is not ready to go in the event of a cap breakdown, and it could be several days of oil spewing into the Gulf unimpeded. The Coast Guard admiral said that the government and BP decided to go ahead with the new cap even though the new siphon system would not be immediately ready to serve as a replacement because stopping any oil flow into the Gulf was a priority.