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BP CEO Tony Hayward  (Source: CBS News, AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  (Source: CBS News, AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  (Source: Fast Company)
But BP has a new plan

Saturday marked yet another failed attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's top kill procedure used more than 1.2 million gallons of mud to suppress oil into the well 5,000 feet below surface in hopes of sealing the well permanently with cement, but most of the mud ended up escaping out of the damaged riser. 

"This scares everybody, the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven't succeeded so far," said BP PLC Chief Operating Officer Dough Suttles. "Many of the things we're trying have been done on the surface before, but have never been tried at 5,000 feet."

Since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and the oil leak began six weeks ago, BP has tried and failed with several attempts such as robot submarines to close valves on the blowout preventer, large and small-sized domes to contain the leak, a one mile long siphon that only collected 900,000 gallons of oil and now, a failed top kill procedure. According to government figures, between 18 million and 40 million gallons of oil has been spilled into the Gulf. 

Despite these failures, BP already has a new plan in motion. The next step is to use robot submarines to cut the riser where the oil is leaking and try to cap it with a containment valve while using a new pipe to siphon oil up to containment ships on the surface. 

Suttles says that "cutting off the damaged riser isn't expected to cause the flow rate of leaking oil to increase significantly," though experts have mentioned that the bend in the riser was likely restricting the flow of oil and cutting it and adding a new containment valve could be a risk.

"We're confident the job will work but obviously we can' guarantee success," said Suttles. 

The new plan will take between four and seven days to work before BP can report whether it's a success or failure. According to Philip W. Johnson, an engineering professor at the University of Alabama, if BP "can't get that valve on, things will get much worse" and that the new plan is "a scary proposition."

In addition to this new effort, a relief well is in the works which should be completed in August of this year. A major concern for BP is that hurricane seasons begins Tuesday, and they're hoping the weather cooperates while they work on the Gulf.

"What we are trying to do is create an engineered solution so that we can remain on station essentially through, not perhaps the heart of a hurricane, but through the very rough weather associated with a hurricane somewhere in the Gulf," said BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Even as BP readies for the next plan of action, Louisiana residents remain disappointed and are as angry as ever. Hundreds of protestors gathered in New Orleans to speak out against BP's continuing failures.

"I'm a little upset that the perpetrators of a crime that killed 11 people are still in charge of the crime site," said local musician Dr. John, an impromptu speaker. 


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By troysavary on 5/31/2010 4:16:01 PM , Rating: 0
Despite Obama's "blame Bush" speech during his press conference, the fault here does lie with the Obama administration. This drilling was fast-tracked past the usual approval process under Obama's watch. Coincidentally enough, BP was a major contributor to the Obama presidential campaign.

By retrospooty on 6/1/2010 8:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
Really? So this rig built in 2001 was fast tracked by President Obama? Your blamey hate is conflicting with your lack on intelligence. =)

Oil has been in bed with govt. for longer than Obama has been alive. Obama is the first president I have ever seen to call that out and begin steps to do something about it.

By troysavary on 6/1/2010 3:14:31 PM , Rating: 1
Way to prove your stupidity. The rig was built in 2001, yes, but it wasn't at the current site that long. The well that is currently leaking was drilled in Sept 2009. I know it is tough for Obama fans to take their mouths of his cock long enough to tell the difference between a drill and a well, but there you go.

By retrospooty on 6/2/2010 11:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
Ah yes, it was drilled in Sept 2009. Clearly this is Obamas fault and my mouth is all over his cock. In 6 months in office, his legislative power has already not only been enacted, but executed. None of this was in the works prior to January 2009 when he took office, because govt. works THAT fast. Get a grip people. this is no more Obama's fault than Katrina was Bush's fault.

You hate Obama, thats fine. I am not all that impressed with him either, but this thing isnt his fault, and neither is the economy that dumped before he took office. If you want to hate on him, fine, hate on him for something he actually effected... Like the rediculous overspending that is going on, or the lack of changing the way Washington works as he promised.

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