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Government officials are not so sure

Deadline after deadline has passed, and the U.S. government is growing tired of waiting for BP's supposed relief efforts that don't seem to be working. After one failed attempt at a dome and a relief well that could take until August, BP executives are saying they have more options to explore, and that the governments efforts would not produce any different results.

"We won't quit until we get this job done," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer. "We're doing everything we can."

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said BP has "from day one, frankly, not fulfilled the mission it was supposed to fulfill" and "if we find that they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, we'll push them out of the way."

"In terms of not trusting BP, there's nobody--nobody--who is more devastated by what has happened and nobody that wants to shut this off more than we do and learn what happened so this never happens anywhere, to anyone, anywhere in the world again," said Robert Dudley, BP's managing director.

BP's next attempt at plugging the leak will be put to the test on Wednesday, where a thick, viscous fluid that is twice the density of water will be pumped into the core site of the leak. This will hopefully lead to the final stage of sealing the well permanently with cement.

Suttles said that if this attempt fails, BP's other options include placing an even smaller dome over the leak (for the third time), installing a blowout preventer, trying a "junk shot" (where rubber and other substances are used to plug the well), and the final solution being the relief well that could take up to 80 days to complete.

Two Obama administration officials went to Louisiana Monday to evaluate the response to the BP oil spill. In addition, Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will attend a flyover of affected areas as well as meet with BP representatives. Louisiana state and parish leaders, such as St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, demanded that the federal government allow them to "dredge up walls of sand to close the channels between the Gulf and coastal estuaries." 

"Either the Coast Guard has to side with its American citizens and protect its communities, or it has to side with a major world corporation named BP and betray American citizens in that process," said Taffaro.

In addition, Coast Guard Rear Adm. and federal on-scene coordinator Mary Landry said the barrier island project, which is a $350 million blueprint to repair Louisiana's barrier islands,  is still under review. Environmental and officials are reviewing the impact this project may have on "endangered and threatened species."

In response, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser pointed to an oil-covered pelican nesting ground and replied, "Is it affected now?"



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By geddarkstorm on 5/24/2010 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
Err, that would be a very bad idea. The well isn't a simple "hole in the ground", and the oil would just leak around any rocks you threw at it, without even slowing down. In fact, the rocks would make it nigh impossible to then contain. You can't bury it, it needs to be "jammed" shut, using its own pressure against it.

Remember, this thing's got a mile of ocean sitting on it, that's a frick ton of pressure, and it's still leaking 5000 barrels per day with a BOP that's mostly contained it (the rig fire was estimated around 25,000 barrels per day, and the destruction of the rig triggered the BOP's deadman switch. In fact, the BOP's action nearly stopped the flow for almost a day, which was why the Admiral originally said there was no leak of oil. It started up again, probably overwhelming the BOP's 15,000 PSI rating, and preventing it from completely shearing the pipe shut. This also explains why the robots failed to close the well).

This isn't the first well to leak, or the first rig accident. We have decades of experience behind us. But working at nearly a mile under water isn't helping either.

If you want to see what the leak actually looks like, in real time, go to http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?strea...


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