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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 Hiawa23 on 6/1/2010 10:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
What I find funny is that you accuse the oil companies of insane profits yet their percentage of profit per gallon of oil sold is less than 10 percent on average.

meh, I can choose not to eat at MCd's, I can choose not to buy any Apple product. I have to buy gas, I have to use heat, electricity, buy plastics, or whatever else is made out of oil. Even in a bad economy, when gas prices were $4-5/gallon when most companies were doing bad, or less than their usuual numbers, oil companies huge profits increased, then they cry, look at those other companies profit margins, ours is much less, k.........

Nevermind the strangle hold the oil companies have on our society, our economy, our politicians, so when you start saying look at Mcdonald's or Microsoft, or whomever else's profit margins you want to throw up, that doesn't regiter here, I don't have to buy their products.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 11:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
I love how you keep blaming the oil companies for a problem caused by our Regressive energy policy and OPEC.

By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2010 1:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
I love how you keep blaming the oil companies for a problem caused by our Regressive energy policy and OPEC.

I agree with you. The oil companies are not my only blame. I blame our govt, OPEC, other, who has had decades to try to get some sort of energy program in place. The supposed greatest country, atleast this is what the flag waivers keep telling us, I would think would produce more of our own oil & depend less on countries who hate us. God forbid when gas prices go back up to $4-6/gallon, I sure hate to see the President or next go back to the foreign countries begging them to give us a break on the price.

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