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When will the BP oil spill be completely stopped or captured?




The oil stops flowing!


Predicted: July 24, 2010

Actual: July 15, 2010

  • completed

Question ends

September 30, 2010 @ 06:08pm PDT



Predictions Made


Most by: MFWinAlford (18 predictions)


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fdunlap   •   Tue Jul 20 2010 at 11:00am PDT

It seems like this was closed too soon. When the current cap was placed, it was reported that they will likely open it up again in the near future (a few days). July 18th the cap was reported to be leaking and it is reported to be still leaking. The stated condition is “completely stopped” not temporally stopped.

Eamon   •   Tue Jul 20 2010 at 11:56am PDT

I understand this perception. However, at the time the cap was placed, it was stated that the flow had completely stopped. Additionally, the cap was designed for complete capture of oil escaping from the well, even though it has not yet been used for that purpose. I heard Thad Allen announce that the flow had been completely stopped, although experiments were continuing and conditions could change.

In terms of defining “completely stopped” vs. temporarily stopped, would point out that capturing oil (which was part of my definition) really implies temporarily to some degree, whereas “finally”, “forever”, etc. seems to imply a condition like the sealing of the well permanently (such as they are discussing with the relief wells.)

I suppose I should have quantified “completely stopped” with some margin for error, like 99% capture or stoppage of flow. I am aware of the ground leak 2 miles away (it is believed unrelated). I am aware of the pressure discrepancy issue, although I have not heard an authoritative explanation to it.

So, I feel confident in saying that this closed at an appropriate point, and should remain closed. This was my first market question, and it’s been a learning experience in how to properly phase a question so that it can be fairly quantified. I’m open to further enlightening discussion of this issue, but considering that this is a virtual market, I see no basis to second guess saying this is final.

mvguy   •   Tue Jul 20 2010 at 12:17pm PDT

This can be the hardest problem with some markets. Unless you’re dealing with something concrete like predicting the winner of a game or election or the Dow-Jones average, it can be a challenge to think of all the possibilities or to define terms. In retrospect, it might have been better to define “completely” or to say “for at least 24 hours” or something similar.

Like I said above, I agree fully that it was appropriate to close the market, because the oil was indeed completely stopped, even though not permanently. But I can also see why there’d be a potential argument in the other direction.

wstritt   •   Thu Jul 15 2010 at 04:30pm PDT

Eamon   •   Thu Jul 15 2010 at 04:59pm PDT

I think so. I don’t think the risk of additional oil escaping has been mitigated, but I feel this meets the stated conditions.

mvguy   •   Thu Jul 15 2010 at 05:48pm PDT

I agree. Although I lost money on this one, the market conditions didn’t say how long the oil would have to stop, only that it would.


"BP sucks!"

u$f4Shav bought at September 06, 2010
July 07, 2010 @ 03:19pm PDT

"Mostly hope, but also desperation should drive novel approaches and ultimately an innovative solution"

!Sahng6a sold at July 30, 2010
June 03, 2010 @ 06:21am PDT

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The oil stops flowing!