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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 Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 10:52:44 AM , Rating: 2
There is no way you can tell me equipment can be designed to have an oil rig explode on top of it, applying who knows how much force and vibration to the pipe connecting the well to the rig (bending it completely over on it's side), and everything still function.

They DID have a plan, and they ARE experts. But oil rigs exploding over wells isn't exactly something you can practice or account for, is it? We have NO idea what even happened, so I'm just sick of all the armchair quarterbacking on this. You aren't an expert either!

I hope someone finds some solution, cause the spill is ruining that region & will ultimately affect all of us.

Oh please. In a few years nobody will even remember this spill, and the effected area's will be back to normal. Prince William Sound, where the Exxon Valdees spill occured, was populated with hundreds of millions of Salmon (where they come to breed) just a few years after.

Nature is amazingly resilient. This is NOT going to be as big of a disaster as the media is playing it up to be. We've seen this SO many times, haven't we? Like you said, this is being politicized. It's no secret how the left would just LOVE to use this to shut down drilling and say "see!!?? we told you oil was bad!". Hell they are already doing it.

In Mexico a well similar to this one leaked for NINE MONTHS uncapped, have we all been effected by that too?? Did the oceans just die?

These oil/gas companies have raped us for years at the pump raking in insane profits

*rolls eyes* Oh boy, there it is. Even assuming that you have a point with this, where are you going with it? So because they "raped us", we need to use this accident to get back at them? Never mind that the entire reason they are freaking so far out in such difficult deep water, is because they AREN'T ALLOWED to drill in their own countries waters.

By ender21 on 6/1/2010 12:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
Cool.. I'm on my way to your place to dump about 100 barrels of oil all over your property and neighborhood.

Different if it's in YOUR backyard isn't it?

"Nature is resilient, so let's push it to the brink as often as possible." THERE's some asinine thinking.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 1:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah because CLEARLY I'm "pro oil spill" ???

Look kid, grow up. That's not what I'm saying, that's not what anybody is saying.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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