Talk Presents Science Of Stopping BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

HAMPTON, Va., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It is considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history and required a small army of engineers, scientists and others to stop the flow of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, the ninth-largest body of water in the world.


On Tuesday, March 5, at NASA's Langley Research Center, Paul Hsieh will present, "The Science Behind the Taming of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center here.

A research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey for more than 30 years, Hsieh served on the 2010 Government Science Team for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. For his contributions, he received the 2011 Federal Employee of the Year award.

Hsieh will be available to answer questions from the media during a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. that day. Media who wish to do so should contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786, or by e-mail at, by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the center.

That same evening at 7:30, Hsieh will present a similar presentation for the general public at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. This Sigma Series event is free and no reservations are required.

Following unsuccessful attempts during May and June 2010 to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, plans were made to install a capping stack to stop the flow of oil from the Macondo well. The procedure was not without risks; the rising pressure in the well could force oil to leak out of the damaged casing into the surrounding geological formation that could breach the seafloor. This "underground blowout" would result in an uncontrolled flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The final decision to "shut in" the well required round-the-clock work by scientists and engineers from the government, industry and academia. Hsieh's talk will present some of the scientific analyses and behind-the-scene events that led to ending the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit:

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